Sometimes parenting sucks and that’s okay!

Well, if that didn’t draw you in, I don’t know what will. This will be a little bit more of a rant, but sometimes a dad just needs to decompress. After all, Troy and I started this little site as a way to share satirical stories about being dads to four girls in a very real way — and today, it’s going to be a therapeutic battleground of me to unload my feelings and or opinions on a few parenting topics. Annnnndddddd go.

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“I must break you!” -Brooklyn Bender

Any parent with kids under the age of five that talk about how their kids brush their teeth by themselves, love putting on their jammies, read some advanced books for their age, listen to Rosetta Stone and fall asleep on their own is living on another planet. As of lately, Brooke who’s normally been the better sleeper of our two kids, has thought bed time equals party time. All that eye rubbing and crabbiness from supper time on just seems to have vanished into thin air. She’ll sometimes have her face practically in her plate full of food, catnapping her way through dinner. Then, when we finally make it to bed time, I sometimes feel like I’m in Rocky IV, and even though she doesn’t talk much yet, she looks up me and with her best Ivan Drago face that says, “I must break you.” Where did this sudden jolt of energy come from?

But I will tell you what, when she does fall asleep and you look down at them peacefully sleeping in your arms, knowing you helped make that life, the last hour of misery and your throbbing headache just seems to go away.

Contrary to what social media would tell you, being a parent isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s hard…like really hard. There’s no manual and there’s no right or wrong way of doing anything. There’s your way and the way others do it — and I highly suggest you don’t get the two confused. With two little girls under our belt, I learned to stop measuring my kids milestones, growth rates, and vocabulary against all others. Just because my kid isn’t reciting the Encyclopedia Brittanica by 18 months doesn’t mean she’s not going to graduate high school. They may not walk or talk as soon as the next kid, but that’s okay. So pay no attention to the parents that use to condescending, “Oh really? My so and so is already doing that. And my other kid did this…” You get the point.

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A perfect example of a real life photo that didn’t make it to social media.

What works for you may not work for other people, and thats okay. You know why? Because they’re your kids! So don’t let them super parents who seem to have it all figured out influence you too much, because behind the perfectly filtered photos of their kids smiling and looking all cute in the most adorable situations, there’s 30 photos in their deleted folder from the ones that didn’t go as planned and make the social media cut.

My wife and I sat back the other day and watched our kids go crazy before bed and we each caught each others eye with a look of, “This is nuts, but it’s our nuts.” As one pranced around with her underwear on her head “shaking her booty”, as she calls it, to Peppa Pig playing in the background, and the other sat quietly in the corner putting small Barbie toys in her mouth, we couldn’t help but soak it all in. If you were to walk into my house at that very moment, I’m positive you would’ve thought it was the looney bin and we were fit for straight jackets. We might not be perfect at parenting, but we’ve found what works for us and with a 3.5 year old that’s incredibly smart, funny, beautiful and still has all four limbs and appendages, I’d say the second one and someday a third, is going to turn out just fine.

So with all that, as a parent, sometimes you just have to take a step back and give yourself a pat on the back. No one said it was going to be easy, but just that it would be worth it. Becoming a parent has made me appreciate my parents so much more because all those years of “You wait till you’re a father…”, have now come to fruition and I’m like — they were totally right. You’ve got to remember you’re doing the hardest, most thankless full-time job on the planet on top of your eight to five. Disregard the perfect parents because they’re anything but perfect…no matter what Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat tells you.

 

 

 

phases of bedtime routines

Bedtime routines have varied over the last 3 years. They are a bit cyclical on speed and ease, and when you get into a memorable “that’s just a phase” (other people’s words, not mine) routine, you feel like your life will never be simple again. And it isn’t, those “phases” continue to evolve into something else entirely. There is nothing is simple about it. They are just too excited, too psyched to lay down.

Have you ever tried to hold down a wet puppy after a bath? on its back? in a ball pit? Yeah, bedtime can be like that.

Psyched for life - no sleep for me

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the pregnancy countdown – a man’s guide

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Camryn the day we told her she was being promoted to Big Sister!

There is no doubt that becoming a dad was and will always be the greatest thing that ever happened to me. The fact that it has happened twice is even more awesome. The first time around, I was inundated with tidbits and advice from people. While they always had the best of intentions, the one thing that I learned quickly after becoming a parent, is that everyone does it differently and someone’s right is someone else’s wrong. Find what works for you and just do that. It’s weird how the advice just stopped though once we had number two on the way. Maybe that’s because they now know you have your own way of doing things and by the looks of your perfectly heathy, functioning ,cute toddler, you don’t need to rely on the opinion of others? Bingo!

So, now that I had the dad t-shirt already, during this second pregnancy I decided to journal along during Samantha’s pregnancy. What started out as a great stress reliever, turned into something quite fun. I wrote it from the perspective of a guy who has been there once, and is trying to provide a full look at the pregnancy in weeks for any new dads. I never told Samantha I was doing it, and shortly after we got home from the hospital, I let her read it. Continue reading

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no more “running” errands

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Braving Sam’s Club with two cuties.

Ah yes, errands. What used to be a simple and sometimes enjoyable task has now transformed into a scene straight out of Gladiator. There are no more quick trips to the store. Heck, we’ve even forgone the term running. Because with two little girls, three and 10 months, nothing is quick. Our errands are now calculated down to a science. We practically make a map of stops, strategy brief and then cross our fingers that all goes as planned…and it rarely does.

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why does my daughter scare me?

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Bozo before he got punched

If you had to ask my wife what’s the one genre of movies I will not watch, she will undoubtedly reply quickly with “scary movies.” I would rather sit down and watch 100 romantic comedies, terrible chick flicks and documentaries on foreign conflict than sit through one scary movie. Let’s be honest, I probably couldn’t sit through one.

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in the beginning there was milk – pt 2

full capacity momma milk farm

So we covered the basics about our first child and breast milk from our last post, now here’s when then boobs get impressive- and we have a chart to prove it! So far, 4 months in to baby Nora’s life, it is turning into a remarkable milk bonanza. The sheer and utter volume of it all (yes there is a pun in there) is slightly bewildering. The quantities being doled out, have classified Wendy now as an “over-producer”. Bottles are being exchanged mid-session, but we finally got smart… Continue reading

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in the beginning there was milk – pt 1

Stella & me! 6 mo

Stella & me! 6 mo

There’s milk. There was always milk. Granted, with our first child, Stella, it came in low and slow like a good brisket strategy. But for Nora, baby #2, it produced hard and fast, more suitable for searing steak. It still pretty much amazes me that a food source can squirt, quite aggressively, out of a breast. Fascinating really, but a little bit frustrating as if you walk in the vicinity of Them, my wife, Wendy, will flinch in fear that they are going to be touched and run away. Continue reading

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you’re going to do what?

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Yeah, I’m not in trouble at all.

Last night, my wife brought up the idea of taking our oldest daughter shopping. At first, this didn’t seem out of the ordinary, as she goes shopping with her quite often. However, she quietly slipped in the last part of the sentence after a brief pause, “Because I want her to pick out some clothes.” WHAT?! She couldn’t be serious…oh but she was. She said, “I want her to walk around the store and pick out things that SHE wants to wear.” She’s three! This sort of stuff isn’t supposed to happen for like another decade, right?

First and foremost, some back story. In the last six months, Camryn has become obsessed with dressing herself. It’s usually pretty harmless and she’s actually pretty good at matching things up. She’s taken mental notes on all the things her mom and I have dressed her in and done a pretty good job of coordinating outfits on her own. The issue comes in with the frequency — like we’re talking two or three outfit changes a day. When she’s playing Barbies it’s one outfit, and when Barbie and Bitty Baby want to go to the imaginary park, well, that calls for an outfit change. Heck, today we woke up and she had herself completely dressed head to toe. We don’t need to focus on the fact is was sparkly leggings, flowing top and flip flops.

In her mind, certain shoes go with certain pants/shorts and a tutu skirt go with EVERYTHING. She calls them her “Princess Skirts” and while I know they’re cute and the fact that she feels pretty in them is heart-warming, but every time she puts one on all I want to do is call her Ace Ventura. Not only is it one of my favorite movies, but the fact she puts tutu skirts over an outfit that doesn’t match at all makes it a dead ringer for Jim Carrey.

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How Cam looks 60% of the time.

So my wife called today and said, “Pray for me. We are headed to Carter’s.” She’s a brave soul, but I think the she’s letting the illusion of shopping with her daughters, something she always wanted, cloud up her vision. Realistically, she’s heading into a retail store with a 10-month old who grabs everything and threenager.  I’m not much of a betting man, but this could turn into a scene straight out of the Ace Ventura play book. God speed, Samantha.

 

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my painted toe

immobilized salon client

daddy toenail painting

Laid up after tearing my ACL, Stella goes to town painting my toenails

I’m no stranger to beauty products out there. My wife and I have done numerous pre-beard era (PBA) mud masks and Biore pore strips. I figured I would not be immune to such shenanigans when I had kids.

My oldest daughter LOVES getting her nails painted. She sits incredibly still for a 2 year old, even waiting patiently as her nails dry.  Once she is confident that her nails are perfect, she moves on to her favorite client’s big hairy toes. Most recently, when I was immobilized from an ACL tear (damn you Defy Gravity, damn you), it presented a perfect opportunity for some nail painting. She’s pretty good at it, which is surprising since she can’t color with 20 feet of the lines on a coloring book.

Not gonna lie I enjoy it a tad bit. The coolness of the “hot pink schnozberries” paint applied on the toenail is slightly refreshing, and let’s get real, the smell of the nail polish remover can be invigorating.

My toes are always demanding a double take, as I find myself sockless quite a bit, especially at all of my doctors appointments as part of the ACL recovery. It’s my daddy badge of pride, “Yeah, my 2 year old did that, and now I’m pretty as hell”.

Now its been 2.5 months since my last application and while my nail is not as gloriously presentable, it’s still in good shape and maybe ready for some Kentucky blue, just in time for March Madness.

-Troy

Icing knee down admiring my daughters handiwork

Icing knee down admiring my daughters handiwork

Ready for a touch up

Ready for a touch up

Closeup. So pretty.

Closeup. So pretty.

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real-life uses for the fujita scale

The other night, I came home and was greeted to a visibly frustrated wife who looked like she just had “one of those days.” She works part time as a registered nurse which has allowed her to stay home three days a week to spend more time with the girls. Awesome, right? For the most part, yes. The only downfall is that on her days off, sometimes she’s more run down than after a full 10-hour shift. And on this particular Monday, I knew it was better to wait and ask what happened.

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Then I found the source of frustration at the end of hall. As I closed the distance to my oldest daughter’s room and intense wave of destruction began to show itself. I peeked into the room and honestly thought it was a deleted scene from the 1996 film “Twister.” I sat back to asses the damage and tried to come up with the appropriate Fujita scale rating — this was a solid F4. She’s normally pretty good at creating messes and they’re manageable to clean up, but this one took the cake. This one was going to require special attention and some reinforcements like myself or my wife.  I decided the best course of action was to let things calm down, go make supper, and we’d come back to this natural disaster later.

The time was now. Supper was done, girls were bathed and it was time to conquer the Mt. Everest of messes in our home. Since this was a teachable moment for our daughter, I asked her to go clean up the mess she made in her room. With a blank stare she looked up at me and gave me, “But daddy, my legs are broken!” I didn’t know whether to be frustrated or laugh at her ingenuity. I decided on reasoning with her and asked, “How are you still standing if your legs are broken?” Quick thinking set in, and she fell to the ground, taking all her weight off the badly injured lower extremities — she always has been a little dramatic. “See,” she said.  Well that escalated quickly. This wasn’t a war I was going to win easily. Time to pull our the big guns. “How are you going to go swimming at the pool or go down the slides at the park?” Dazed and confused at my seemingly impossible question, she did all she could to muster up a response. But her little three-year-old brain couldn’t turn fast enough. She caved and came back at me with a counter offer, “Okay, but you have to help, okay?” How could I say no to that?

The room was eventually cleaned and I think she spent more time correcting me on where she wanted things than she did actually cleaning. On the plus side, we only had to stop three times for Baby Alive outfit changes.

-Adam

 

 

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