Archives for posts with tag: sahd

Every now and then I find that my kids are absorbing the things I am telling them. There are germs on that doorknob you’re licking. Sharing with your sister lets both of you enjoy the same moment. Don’t run with scissors. Be kind to others. Mostly, I feel like I’m talking to a couple of quacking ducks waiting for me to throw bread at them. There’s no “I understand, Hondaddy.” or “That really makes sense to me.” or even “Wow, you’re the smartest person in the world, Honeydaddy!” I don’t get feedback to reassure me that my sentences aren’t falling out of their ears once they lay down for bed.

Occasionally, the kids astound me and in some way, shape, or form, they show me that I’m not just their personal butler and chauffeur.

We’re in the car and singing radio songs the other day. (Yes, they asked for it. No, I didn’t bribe them!) The kids enjoy hearing me sing. I suck, but they’re young, so their limited experiences set the bar very low. My performances have all gotten applause, even when I string random words together that make no sense. I digress.

Adele queues up with her new song “Hello” which up until last month was owned by Lionel Richie in my memory banks. I start singing as if I’d heard the song thrice daily on every local station from the minute her CD released. I belt out the line “At least I can say that I’ve tried to tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart…” All of a sudden, Wormie says “You know, Mushie. It’s not nice to break someone’s heart.” and I lost it.

My eyes welled up with tears as I choked myself on his words. How could Worm interrupt me in yet another spine-tingling vocal rendition? And how does a four and a half year old see the heart as anything other than a blood pump in the body? Somehow, he’s pieced together a metaphorical concept that even grownups have a hard time with.

Worm asked me for confirmation. “Isn’t that right, Honeydaddy?” I quickly wiped away the tears and swallowed my pride for him. “You’re right, lovie.” was all I could assemble with my eyes dripping as we continued the drive to the post office.

The way he spoke to Mushie was so matter-of-fact, it was as if he was giving a college lecture on the subject.

It shook me up.

Worm and I have never discussed heartbreak. I think it could be a somewhat complicated topic, so it hasn’t been on the table. We talk about planetary orbit, instead. Really though, we have conversed many times about simple things like friendship, love, kindness, and generosity. He pieced together this idea himself, kind of like he’d do with one of his lego cars.

Worm is wise beyond his years. Sure, he cries over a toy that he can’t have and fights with his sister over gummy bunnies. But, he is seeing human interaction at a deeper, more emotional level than other kids his age. He’s compassionate. Maybe it’s because his mind hasn’t yet been clouded by ego and negativity. Maybe, it’s due to pure curiosity. Either way, that day made me feel more substantial as a parent, more influential. I’m not just a pizza slicer, grape dispenser, butt wiper, dish washer, lego builder guy to him. I matter. Worm’s not just listening to me when I’m singing, but also when I’m yelling, consoling, and whispering in his rubbery ears. Maybe this “being a dad” thing is becoming a pretty important job. Or maybe it has always been. Now, I wonder if I’m getting through to the Mushmonster…

Teaching boys to become men.

I’m in California dreaming…

Gavin – 40; Honeydaddy – 26 (Worm, I’m starting to get the hang of this whole dad thing…)

 

We were lucky. Our kids conformed to a great sleep schedule early.  A few months into this world, they each figured this out. When mommy and daddy looked exhausted, they needed to go to bed. When the sun peered into their bedrooms, it was time to wake up. When we pulled the blackout curtains to darken their rooms, it was nap time! A strict schedule and straightjacket swaddle were essential to their (and our) nocturnal bliss, and we enjoyed our peaceful slumber until recently.

The key word from the above paragraph is “were”. They’re no longer our children. They have become sleep deprivation devices, SDD1 and SDD2. They are small robots that effectively suck the life out of parental units within a 50 feet radius. And they do so by not allowing our adult bodies to reach REM sleep. If I am dozing off in bed, SDD1 or SDD2 will sing loudly, kick the walls, or pierce the air with high decibel shrieks. Randomly. Once we hit alpha waves, they respond accordingly. (Sorry, geek speak.) SDD1 and 2 are not usually working at the same time, as they telepathically communicate with one another so that at least one of them is sleeping (read: recharging) while the other is working to make sweet dreams a distant memory for us.

SDD1 has a brand new technique. Ever since we allowed him to enter and exit his cage bedroom at will, he’s been finding it convenient to waltz into our room at all hours of the night like we’re a 7-Eleven. (I need to turn off the Honeydaddy sign between the hours of 10pm and 7am.) It’s about 5 times a night…and that doesn’t include the amount of times SDD2 wakes us up with her noisemaking antics. (It’s great that she wants to be a singer, but for the love of Tebow, she should be practicing in the daytime!)

His techniques of torture:

SDD1: “Whaaaah!” (Usually around midnight this happens…and it’s a simple way to wake just about anyone. Even the dead.)

SDD1: “Mommy (or Honeydaddy), can you cover me up?”  (as if his arms are too tired to work between 1 and 2am…)

SDD1: “I want some hugs!” (What parent will say no to that?  This is an easy one for him. It never fails any time of night. Never.)

SDD1: “I have to go poopie. I want you to watch me!” (Really? Watch? I can’t participate? Like a well-oiled machine, the poop monster rears its head between 5:35 and 5:50 daily. Take that last sentence however you want. One day, I’m going to shove a cork in him and send him back to bed.)

The other sleep deprivation techniques aren’t that bad, but the poopie one kills me. I usually can’t go back to sleep afterwards. It’s that last hour of sleep that’s so coveted, so precious, so delicious…and I can’t have it. The dogs wake up from the toilet flush. Worm is hungry from the early morning ‘effort’. And we are pretty much forced to get out of bed before 6. I’m dying from this lack of sleep…I feel it in my bones…

They've taken over my eating schedule, and now my sleeping schedule!  Argh!

They’ve taken over my eating schedule, and now my sleeping schedule! Argh!

Gavin – 37; Honeydaddy – 21 (You already eat my food. Now you take away my sleep. How else will you torment me?)

Holy crap, that last post was a rant and rave session! This one’s different, I promise. Plus, I’ve had over 3 weeks to blow off that steam!

I love the fall season. It’s my favorite time of year. The weather gets a bit crisp, like a ripe apple! It’s relaxing and enjoyable to welcome the changing seasons, but really only when you don’t have small children running and screaming through the moment. I have children, so I can’t just sit out on the back patio for hours and breathe in a cool old fashioned while watching (or imagining, as we do here in San Diego) leaves fall from the trees. Because as soon as my cocktail holding derriere hit the patio furniture, Mushie would already be trouncing through the yard picking, stomping, (or heaven forbid, tasting) dog poopies. (I swear she’s convinced they’re truffles…I digress.)

Sorry, back to the apples. We wanted to return to the Raven Hill apple orchard in Julian, CA that we had first visited way back in 2012. (We missed the apple orchards last year due to a complication called a 9-month old baby.)  After perusing the old internet this year, we learned that Raven Hill didn’t exist anymore. But in exactly the same place, there was an orchard called Volcan Valley Apple Farm.  (I know. I know. First our favorite orchard was on a hill…now, it’s in a valley…it’s all about perspective, I guess.) We punched the location into the GPS and early Saturday morning, we headed for the hills, er, valley.

Three things I learned while making the one hour and nineteen minute trip on the winding roads up to Julian, California:

  1. An hour in the car with small children can feel like three.
  2. Having two people in the car with motion sickness is worse than one. (Worm inherited this from his mother.)
  3. It wouldn’t be a normal weekend unless someone is crying inconsolably.

Once we arrived at our destination (and the altitude induced hypoxia kicked in), the smiles and laughter began. Worm and mommy got the color back in their faces and the woozy out of their legs. We walked the rows of tasty apples and hauled in three bags worth of the delicious (not to be confused with the genetically modified and tasteless red delicious) apples! Lucky for us, we showed up early in the season. The recent southern California droughts had left some orchards fruitless.

The day was turning out better than it had started, which is never a bad thing…and all without a flask of hard alcohol! I can’t say that it was the finest trip I’ve ever taken with the family, but it was memorable. Just like the landscape, our orchard experience this year had its ups and downs. But, the highest part was that my camera captured a really touching moment of the kids that is probably my finest work to date. I found it absolutely breathtaking (though, it didn’t quite make up for all of the crying and whining that day…).

This image speaks volumes more than my captions ever could.

This image speaks volumes more than my captions ever could.

Gavin – 36; Honeydaddy – 21 (In the muck and mire of day-to-day parenting, I know I forget to open my eyes and experience the present moment. You and your sister are doing your best to keep reminding me to do so. Please don’t give up on me.)

 

 

It’s the one and only Smush!  (BTW, the past couple weeks have sucked.  Worm is still bringing home germs from daycare…this time, I think it’s a stomach bug he gave me.  That or it was last week’s leftover chicken and rice I’ve been eating…God, I hope I don’t poop myself.)

Smushie is showing a strong personality these days.  I thought that she would model herself after her handsome and debonair father (It’s my blog.  I can write anything I want.) since she sees me every day as a larger than life superhero with a dangerous trio of wit, charm, and looks.  But, unfortunately that’s not the case.  She doesn’t even mimic much of her older brother whom she adores.  She’s got her own thing going.

I didn’t quite understand this colloquialism until recently.  But, it’s clear to me now.  My daughter is a pistol.  (I’m at least certain her head is made of metal.)  Let’s break this down.

I don’t have a hard head.  (Although my wife would beg to differ.)  My crown is a modern, thin-walled type that allows for expansion in the odd case I glean something useful from my time here on Earth.  The Smushter’s head is more Neanderthal in nature.  Read dense.  It’s a furry cannonball.  I’ve witnessed Smushie use her noggin to “examine” the antique bookshelf, the coffee table, her baby step stool and the kitchen floor.  Did she succeed?  No.  Did she cry?  Merely a whimper.  Did any of the contact leave a mark?  Nope, not even the corner of the bookshelf!  I thought to cut her myself to verify that she’s human, but I don’t really want to know.  (The mystery is somewhat exciting to me…and I need all the excitement I can get at this stage of my life.)

Smush, just like a gun, is fun and games until her energy gets directed towards something.  The trigger is pulled when something across the room is something she wants to obliterate inspect.  And once it is pulled, she’s unstoppable until she hits her desired target.  She will rip through anything to get at it.  (I’ve stood in her way and almost got my eyes gouged out.  More than once.)  We affectionately call her “Baby Bulldozer” when she’s in the zone and destroying everything in her path from point A to B.

Lastly, there’s a boldness and a brashness to the Smush.  (Pistols ooze boldness and make anyone holding them feel the same way, right?)  She’s got a fearless attitude and isn’t shy about showing us.  She dives off the couch and laughs about it…all while we’re thanking Tebow that we grabbed her in time from yet another neckbreaking dive into the carpet.  (It’s Berber, so it’s not really a crash pad, if you know what I mean.)  Even when we’re paying attention, she boldly smacks her mommy and I in the face during our ‘discussions’.  (We’re slowly getting used to her communication style.  It’s unorthodox, but I’m sure it works well in some management situations.)  Sure, she mercilessly pulls our hair to guide us left or right.  She’s not afraid to yank our hair out when we don’t do what she asks.  I’ve tried reasoning with her that sometimes crying just sounds like crying.  She disagrees.

All in all, we’re amazed at how far our littlest Smushie has come.  There are major differences between she and her brother even in these first 8 months.   I’m in awe that two kids raised in the same environment with similar DNA don’t do a damn thing I say  could be so different from one another and so unruly special.

Smushie, you’re a pistol (and more than occasionally, I think a loose cannon could better define you), and I love you for that!  You’re brave, confident, and dauntless.  Your zest for life is apparent and your unbridled joy is contagious.  At times, you can frustrate the hell out of me but you keep our days interesting (and some nights, as well).  When you put your head mind into something, you do so with every ounce of yourself.  If there’s anything that your fearlessness will show, it’s that you will break down walls in both love and life.  And that will take you very, very far.  We’re lucky to have you!  (There’s a reason why we call you “Double Happiness!”)

Sorry, Smushels.  I Keep Forgetting That You're In Charge Now, Not Me!

Sorry, Smushels. I Keep Forgetting That You’re In Charge Now, Not Me!

I like t-shirts almost as much as I like tee-shirts.  Especially tee-shirts that are clever, meaningful, bold, imaginative, and unique.  Everything that I’m not.  Since a smart-looking short sleeve makes the man, I’ll gladly spend the $15 on a good tee to cloak my thin torso in its charismatic charms.  (I’ve been brainwashed by the fashion industry.)

Today, I got a tee-shirt.  Probably the best tee-shirt ever.  No, it IS the best tee-shirt ever.

Steph walked into the house after work and unwrapped a package of tee-shirts that she had designed for each of us.  Smush drooled all over hers.  Worm, being terribly two, threw his to the ground in disgust.  And me, well,  I cried.  (What is it about childrearing that is so beard-removingly effeminating for me?)

I don’t know what came over me.  Maybe it was the high cotton thread count.  Maybe it was the picture of Worm’s grinning face on the front.  Maybe it was the way the soft, black collar felt on my adam’s apple.  I don’t know why I got so choked up over this damn thing.  My gratitude to my wife came out as “Blub, blub, blubbery blub.”  In a strange way, she understood the magnitude of her gift to me.  As an aside, I’m very proud of myself for only losing control of my tear ducts and not my bowels through the excitement.

I’m now one of ‘those’ people.  You know, the ones that wear custom tee shirts with pictures of their significant other/family member and the words ‘I’m with stupid –>’ underneath.  I’ve got a shirt with Worm on it and it’s a one-of-a-kind.

In my mind, those types of shirts were lame…until I got one!  I have seen the light!

What is it about screenprinting family photos onto a piece of clothing that touches the heart?  I don’t know.  I was overcome by a wave of emotions and thoughts such as:

  • If I don’t wash it, it might stay brand new forever.
  • Would it be weird to want matching pants for my new shirt?
  • If the real Worm spills anything on my awesome tee, I’ll tan his hide.
  • Does this shirt make my arms look fat?
  • Can I dress up this tee with a white sport coat for special occasions?
  • Can the real Worm handle the idea that tee-shirt Worm is so awesome?

I feel close to my son now.  The only way I could feel closer, would be if I received a tee-shirt made entirely from his lovely auburn colored hair.  (Hint, hint, hint.  Father’s day is coming up.)

It’s better than my Dalai Lama peace tee.  It’s even better than my Goonies tee, which I singlehandedly brought back from the dead using Goo-Gone and a scrub brush.  (That stuff’s amazing!)  This tee-shirt will be worn for all eternity…or until Smushie barfs all over it in a jealous rage (or indigestion).  8VMTEHKY5KQU

Could a Day Get any Better Than This?

Could a Day Get any Better Than This?

When I’m chillin’ at my crib waiting for the girlies in the ‘hood to drop by, I like to relax with a Colt 45 warm milk.  Happy Monday ladies!

Does Mommy's Milk Come In Strawberry Flavor?

Does Mommy’s Milk Come In Strawberry Flavor?

July 2011

Worm, I wish you a happy birthday.  Exactly two years ago, you were born and you haven’t been out of my heart since.  Our life together has been very special and I cherish it.  I am excited to see what the future brings.  I love you.
 
Your proud father,
d.
 
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