Just Daddying Around (2017 Edition)
Recap: Every year (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) I jot down all the things I encounter as a father. Kiddo(my eldest) has turned 6 years old and being home schooled and Baby Girl (my youngest) is now 2. We’ve since moved to a new house and I’ve got a new job. As usual, the hilarity of parenting ensues…
Jan. 1: My wife and I got this weird kid plague that comes complete with congestion and ear aches…
We’re miserably hacking lungs, unable to hear, while the kids are having the time of their lives.
I’m starting to think they planned this.
Jan. 2: Baby girl (who is 1) unlocked her mom’s phone, found the Netflix app and chose her favorite show…
These kids maaaan…
Jan. 7: It’s 10:15PM the kids are tucked in,
the wife is snowed in at work…
Making frozen pizza…
Then watching some Netflix.
Jan. 14: After finally recouping from being sick, baby girl sneezes right in my face. #ResistanceIsFutile.
Jan. 16: Our school system will never cease to amaze me.
I thought today was an appropriate day to start teaching my oldest about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and what he stood for.
She told me before I said a word, “I already know…he was killed…”
I was shocked that teachers thought that leading the conversation with 5-year-olds about him being killed is a great idea. I say this because when I asked her details that’s the only thing that stuck.
So I framed it in the context of him not letting bullies have their way. That he believed everyone has the right to have a happy and peaceful life. It didn’t matter what the color of their skin or if they are little girls or boys.
I did inject a dose of reality that there are still bullies and that it is our jobs to not sit by and let them hurt people. When we have the courage to say “STOP” do it. If we can’t say the words, it’s ok, we can still run to those who are hurt and help them get better.
We had a good convo. She told me about a boy who didn’t want girls to play with him. And she said she doesn’t like that, she likes playing with both boys and girls.
I asked her if she said something to him and she made me laugh by saying. “Nah, He won’t understand.” As if to say he’s still too young to understand.
Parents take a moment today, now more than ever, to teach your kids at their level about the impact civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Junior have made on all of us and to keep fighting the good fight.
Jan. 16: Kiddo tried to bribe me with a dollar, to have unlimited access to the remote control.
They grow up so fast don’t they?
Jan. 19: I find it rather creepy that Kiddo can snap her toes like we do fingers… Apparently I can too… We’re weird.
Jan. 21: We hit a new milestone! Kiddo can read what I type about her.
Jan. 24: Want to know fear?
Randomly feeling your toddler smear something wet on your exposed arm…Then running away.
KIDDO: I finished cleaning. I really want to do my homework. #blessed
KIDDO: I got a good ‘remembory!’
ME: [tries not to laugh]
Jan. 29: Kiddo’s on an independent streak where she wants to fix stuff. I LOVE it! She’s realizing things she thought were trash can live again.
On the other side of the coin, Baby Girl throws things and walks away whenever she’s frustrated. We’re teaching her to cope, but it’s SO adorable.
Jan. 30: I unintentionally played a cruel joke on Kiddo.
Her mom left work early to pick up Baby Girl.
So when I picked her up, to gauge how she’d react, I told her we’d leave her baby sister at daycare. Someone would take care of her.
She said NO DADDY! with authority, WE’RE NOT LEAVING HER ALONE! in a guarded tone. But was trying not to ruffle feathers.
But when she realized that we arrived home without her, she told me I HAD to go get her. That she’s a baby and needs us. She was getting visibly agitated and upset by it and cried before I got to break it to her.
I felt REALLY bad about what I did. But inside was proud of the heart in that kid, her ability to fight for what’s right even if I’m the one doing wrong.
I told her how proud I was of her and that I’ll never joke like that again.
Feb. 3: What’s that weeping and gnashing of teeth you hear?!
Oh! It’s just Baby Girl getting her hair washed.
KIDDO: I love this burger, especially since I helped you make it.
ME: [tears] Flattery will get you everywhere my child.
Feb. 7: Let me put things into perspective about the Devos confirmation. Since our educational system is run by humans, it’s efficacy is dependent on so many factors.
All schools aren’t run the same and there’s a bias towards wealthy districts.
There are biases related to race as well. My parents dealt with it, I dealt with it and now my kids are as well.
Just recently I had to tell my mom that the struggles she went through with us, we’re still dealing with now.
We got a passive aggressive note not long ago telling us that Kiddo needs to work on her self-control. It was odd to us because she’s an easy going kid.
My wife talked to Kiddo and she told her that she was tired of being interrupted by the golden boy kid (who’s white) and is always answering all of the questions. She angrily said, “I know the answers too. I want to answer too.”
At 5 she could sense the unfairness in that classroom already. That her answer is not as valuable as the golden boy.
I’ve got lots of depressing stories I could add about having black children and the constant lack of expectations that we and other parents constantly face.
Our system has been broken before Devos, it’s just that we all now get to suffer together.
Hopefully, we’ll work together to fix it for all.
Feb. 11: In sickness or in health, one thing’s for certain, my children will wake me up early on the weekends.
Feb. 12: Instead of sleep walking or talking, Baby Girl gives sleep-Stone Cold Stunners. She’s no longer welcomed in this bed.
TOOTH FAIRY #FAIL:
My wife and I completely forgot that Kiddo put her tooth under her pillow.
This morning, she woke up sad and told me that she was disappointed that there was nothing under her pillow.
I felt like garbage for forgetting, so I took advantage of the fact that 5-year-olds have short attention spans to get a couple dollars out my wallet, walk towards her room and pretend to inspect her pillow to sneak it into her pillowcase.
I asked her if she was sure she checked everywhere.
She looked and finally found it inside her pillowcase.
She was so HAPPY!
She then said “Thanks, dad.”
“I thought you and mom forgot.”
It didn’t matter how much I mentioned the tooth fairy…she knew.
KIDDO: “Is what’s inside a thermometer a Neptune?”
ME: “surprisingly close, it’s Mercury.”
KIDDO: “AH! I knew it was a planet.”
Feb. 16: BEWARE! No space is sacred. Baby Girl can open doors now!
Feb. 18: I find it cute that Baby Girl is learning to talk and her speech pattern sounds a lot like her big sister.
Feb. 18: I don’t know what kind of giant Kiddo’s gonna be, but she out eats us and yet has abs… I’m a little afraid.
Feb. 20: Had a great chat with Kiddo today.
Lately, I’ve been talking to her about how to handle bullies.
I came up with a strategy off the cuff. I told her when someone tries to be a bully it’s better to be a lion than a mouse.
Be confident in who you are and if you have to, roar.
I explained that she doesn’t have to sit there and take abuse. If it gets too bad, she should stand up strong and speak clearly and loud and tell them to stop.
She told me today that it worked on a boy who was surprised that she didn’t take well to being called stupid.
He tried to go tell on her and ended up ensnaring himself in the process.
Seeing her feeling empowered is warming my heart.
Feb. 22: I love Baby Girl, but when she’s around, I no longer have pairs of anything. Shoes, socks, gloves… I’m always hunting for something.
Feb. 24: Since Baby Girl kicked me our my bed, I’m breaking down the 2nd draft of this other children’s book I’m writing into a digestible script for the artist.
Feb. 26: There’s nothing cooler than waking up and your 5-year-old excitedly shows you that she built a circuit that turns on a light, on her own.
Feb. 26: Accidentally let an uncensored song in my playlist & Kiddo’s eyes got wide & she said “He said dumb!” Ignoring the worst words just said. #MatrixBulletDodge
Feb. 26: Put Baby Girl on the potty. Went for less than 20 seconds to get a towel to get her ready for a bath. I find her with the potty emptying it’s contents on the carpet. Yay!?
“What Dad says overrides anything Simon says.”
This happened when Kiddo tried to use game rules to get out of doing chores.
KIDDO: Do you have feelings?
ME: Sometimes people think I’m not emotiona…
KIDDO: Not those! The ones in your mouth.
Mar. 11: The kids are under me a lot today and stepping on my toes.
I’m OK with it for some reason.
Mar. 12: “DADDY! She took her diaper off!”
The scariest words I’ve ever heard.
As my wife and I are trying to figure out this parenting thing, we are realizing that we’re not aiming to get straight A kids. Although it’s an admirable goal, what we are aiming to get is kids who LOVE to learn.
We want them to have a thirst for knowledge for wherever they chose to go in life, they’ll seek and find the answers they are looking for.
With that being said we also want them to have great self-esteem. To understand that their worth isn’t determined by others. But how valuable they know they are.
With that line of thinking, we know that our kids in the modern context aren’t going to look perfect.
We are already dealing with that with Kiddo. Because instead of doing the work for her, she does it all herself, errors and all and is learning her mistakes, her homework isn’t picture perfect. But she is proud that she understands what she is doing. While her peers are turning in work that their parents are obviously doing for them.
What I care about is that there are no obstacles between my children gaining the knowledge they are seeking.
BOSS: Why are you late today?
ME: My kid hid my shoes last night.
Mar. 13: Sittin’ here sippin’ on a juice pouch at work.
My, how things have changed.
Mar. 13: Before bed, Baby Girl fights sleep by singing whatever songs she learned at daycare. Today’s medley is “happy & you know it” and “ABCs”
KIDDO: Oh you’re awake!
Mar. 20: I love my kids with all of my heart, but I’d love a morning in total silence to gather my thoughts.
But then I’d worry something bad happened.
This must be what the “Kobayashi Maru” feels like.
Mar. 21: Baby Girl just told me “I Lub you! Bye Bye” [heart melts]. Now I don’t want to go to work.
Mar. 25: Kiddo threw me for a loop today.
KIDDO: “I know you were kids and grew up, got married, I grew in mommy, we went to the hospital then I was born…”
ME: [Getting Nervous]
[I know she has a question she wants to ask. Like the great scientist or detective I know she’s gonna be, she starts putting the puzzle together.]
KIDDO: “I know since I look like both of you, there’s part of you and Mommy…”
ME: [Not ready…Not ready…Not ready yet]
BABY GIRL: [runs and go hide under the dinner table and leaves me stranded]
KIDDO: [being a typical 5-year-old gets distracted and buys me some time.]
It’s time for a mom and dad conference STAT!
Mar. 26: Baby Girl runs into my room with so much joy in her face. She gives me a big hug and then the room smells like hot garbage. #NotLoveJustGas
Apr. 4: Baby Girl translator: “Baba-Doo” means I love you.
Apr. 6: Kiddo just told me to “go Google it” when I asked her a question.
I get why parents enjoy embarrassing their kids later in life.
Apr. 6: Apparently everyone in the house (including me) falls asleep before my youngest. No one can seem to be able to wait her out.
Apr. 8: KIDDO is retelling me a dream she had about the show Golden Girls.
Can you guess what her mom has been watching lately?
Apr. 8: Caillou’s theme song plays on the tablet, Baby Girl clicks on something else.
I love this child.
Apr. 9: Teaching Baby Girl how to beatbox… I think she enjoys spitting on me more than anything.
Apr. 11: My kids’ Goldfish snack crackers really came through this morning.
Apr. 23: I can’t even get mad at Kiddo’s quick wit.
I told her she’s not royalty and just can’t demand things in this house.
She just said, “How does it feel to be the king of me?”
I sent her to her room while holding back a chuckle.
May 6: That moment when both kids wake up at 3 am on a Saturday morning…
May 6: Had a great trip to the park.
RANDOM PARENTING TIP:
That old adage of catching more flies with honey than vinegar is true with your kids as well. Life is far less stressful when you keep your cool and let kids be kids.
DEEP CONVO WITH KIDDO:
If Mickey is now [an amusement park] character is he no longer fiction?
I watched… I’m sorry… I mean, I observed the lighting bug’s butt.
ME: You draw all these pictures for your mom, I feel a little left out.
KIDDO: Don’t be dramatic, you know I love you.
KIDDO: Eggs are the corn chickens poop!
May 27: After a long exhausting week, I can finally rel….
[Kid wakes up at 1am and doesn’t fall asleep until 3:45]
KIDDO: May I have some syrup with my french toast?
ME: [internal dialog] but…but… I want us to have a nice day.
KIDDO: How about we look for a globe for my birthday.
[Literally says…] wink wink. It’ll be the perfect gift.
I’ve got myself a pint sized mob boss.
KIDDO: I will do the math problem, but I will also draw a frowny face because I don’t want to.
Better than a tantrum I guess.
KIDDO: Let’s not call it rain, let’s call it precipitation.
June 12: Kiddo is no joke!
My wife told me that she complemented her on a dress she wore.
She told her, “Mommy you look like a queen when you wear that skirt.”
“Daddy needs to find something like that and he’ll be a king and if you find something for [Baby Girl] she’ll be a princess.”
Her mom then asked her “What about you?”
Without missing a beat she said, “I’ll be the adviser to the king and queen.”
That kid…I tell ya.
June 22: Not sure if this will ever happen again, but for the first time both kids slept all night without waking me up once! #blessed
June 24: We watched Moana and everyone loved it. I’m pretty sure I’ll be mending “couch sailing” injuries soon.
THAT MOMENT WHEN:
The kids sing “How far I’ll go” from Moana and give you chills.
July 7: The kids haven’t been in the house for a couple of days and I’m missing them…
Ughhh… I guess I like em’
July 10: The kids are still with their grandparents and I forgot how creepy silence is…
July 15: TV SHOW TITLE: “Dreams come true!”
KIDDO: “That’s not true.
I wish I could fly.
You don’t see me flying.”
KIDDO: [runs in my room] THERE’S A SPIDER IN OUR ROOM!
ME: Let me sleep!
KIDDO: [Runs back with napkin] I killed it.
I’m going to put it in your trashcan.
KIDDO: Lil sis is cute, I’m beautiful.
July 23: Sittin’ on the couch staring into space, when I get a random toddler kiss on my forehead from Baby Girl. D’AWWW!
Aug. 6: Nothing tests your love for your child as not dropping them when they surprisingly sneeze huge snot balls in your face… with your mouth open.
KIDDO: I’m sorry I didn’t get to make my weapon tonight. If you see a shadow with a hat on it, wake me up and I’ll punch it in the face.
Aug. 12: Baby Girl, I’m moved that I’m the only one that can get you to sleep, really I am. But I’d like to eventually get sleep, before I cry too.
Aug. 12: How much snot can a toddler make?
Aug. 13: Listening/peeping at my 6-year-old teach her 2-year-old sister how to read is one of the most heart warming things ever. I’ve got goosebumps. I love my kids.
Aug. 20: I put on some old Mr Rogers Neighborhood for the kids and ended up being the one calmed down.
Aug. 21: During the #eclipse, our unenthusiastic kiddo yells “The sky is falling, the sky is falling, let’s call the president.”
Aug. 30: Kiddo’s trying to use her birthday like diplomatic immunity. She thinks she can do anything because she’s the “birthday girl.”
Sep. 8: It’s 8:30 pm on a Friday and I got the kids to sleep? While their mom’s at work?
What kind of witchcraft is this?
Sep. 10: Watching Rugrats from a parent’s point of view is a totally different experience.
ME: I’m going to need you to poopoo or peepee in the potty.
BABY GIRL: [gives me a big side eye] Do what?!
Sep. 12: The universal sign of a parent’s car:
Gold Fish crackers or Cheerios everywhere.
Sep. 13: Leave it to my family to forbid me from removing “Charlotte’s” web from our doorway because she gets rid of mosquitoes.
Sep. 15: Baby Girl calls stars “dinkle dinkle” (she’s trying to say twinkle) and it’s so cute!
KIDDO: Are you up there looking at the Facebook?
ME: NO! (yes…I forgot that kid can read)
KIDDO: “[Baby Girl] Just threw her stuffed cow and it’s stuck in the ceiling fan.
ME: [internally] That kid’s got an arm!
[externally] DIDN’T I TELL YALL TO STOP MESSIN’ AROUND IN THAT ROOM!?
Sep. 17: After a long day with the kids, Kiddo decides to cap it off with a song she made up on her recorder…
Sep. 21: Baby Girl just gave me an unexpected kiss on the forehead as I tucked her in for bed, then said “I love you.”
Be still my heart!
Sep. 22: It’s neat listening to Kiddo figure out the world around her.
“I know I want to be a mommy one day, but I need to buy things, so I probably will need a job first.”
Sep. 25: I love my kids.
Last night I read them a bedtime story and Kiddo was adamant that I skipped a page. I was sure I didn’t and flipped back and was certain I read all of them and told her to chill.
Well, this morning, I woke up finding the book in my bed flipped on a page I did not see.
This kid doesn’t play. When she knows something’s right, she doesn’t get swayed.
Sep. 25: One piece of parenting advice my wife and I are learning, cater to your child’s strengths.
Every child has something they are exceptionally good at. Sometimes it’s an annoying trait or something that you can easily overlook. But as a parent, it’s your job not to overlook them.
Let’s say your kid talks A LOT, is “nitpicky,” daydreams a lot, or is hyperactive. Nowadays folks dismiss these traits that could propel kids forward if they are offered an opportunity to channel that behavior into something constructive.
For example, our oldest talks a lot. I love her, but since she was born, she loved to talk. So we made her use it to explain things, to tell us stories, to read out loud, to not be afraid to speak in public. We used something that comes naturally to her, to empower her, instead of telling her to shut up.
So parents, guardians, teachers heck anyone in general, look for ways to empower folks with their natural talents. Don’t always look at them as hindrances.
ME: Baby Girl where are you?!
[Broom closet opens]
Oct. 1: I woke up this morning to Kiddo potty training her sister.
Apparently Baby Girl took off her diaper and Kiddo threw it away and got the potty so that she had somewhere to go.
I really appreciate her initiative.
Oct. 1: My weekends are spent discerning whether the screams I hear are life threatening or not.
Oct. 1: [Looking through a Halloween costume catalog]
KIDDO: Where are the lab coats daddy?
Oct. 5: KIDDO: I’m smarter than Batman!
KIDDO: I know the 5 States of matter and my place values.
ME: You’ve got a point.
Oct. 7: I have no idea what Baby Girl says half the time, but she’s soooo cute and expressive.
Oct. 8: Kiddo figured out she can sing and play violin at the same time. It opened her up to new possibilities.
Oct. 9: Took some Children’s Tylenol last night and slept soundly, while dreaming of Sesame Street.
I don’t think it’s supposed to work that way.
WIFE: Baby Girl, can you count to 10?
BABY GIRL: 10!!!
Oct. 12: Baby Girl’s latest hobby?
Making choking sounds when I’m within earshot, to see me run and nearly hurt myself.
This phase can kick rocks.
Oct. 13: Doesn’t matter what time I put Baby Girl to bed, it takes her an hour and 15 minutes to get to sleep. I’ve got to pick my times wisely.
Oct. 15: Baby Girl (who is 2) was looking at the numbers 1, 2 and 3 on the dishwasher and was saying something odd.
My wife repeated what she said. It turns out she switched a kid app she was playing to Japanese. She was counting in Japanese.
Oct. 17: Our family photo shoot is today and I got less than 4 hours of sleep. I’m gonna look rough…I mean authentic.
ME: Why is Baby Girl crying?
WIFE: She’s mad because I wouldn’t slam a door on her hands.
PARENT DEAD GIVEAWAY:
Saying you have to go to the potty to other grown folks.
Oct. 20: That phase when kids lose their teeth and wiggle them every chance they get.
ME: (As I freed the kids from the baby gate): You are now free!
KIDDO: (Seriously and without missing a beat): Baby, I was born free.
ME: (You Go Girl!) Whaaat!?
What’s funny about all of this, she just felt like saying it. And told me she never heard anyone say it.
THINGS I FIND MYSELF SAYING:
Why are there so many NEKID dolls everywhere?!
Oct. 28: I almost would rather have my kids listen to an unedited song over a Kids Bop version. My ears!!!
BABY GIRL: [yells at bathroom door]
KIDDO: I’m in the bathroom! Let me have my privacy!
ME: (Oh Karma, you are so fair.)
Oct. 31: [My wife gives me a kiss]
KIDDO: Ugh… I’m gonna die right now.
I guess I got a 6-nager.
Nov. 4: I just explained to Kiddo what commercials are and she thought I was a weirdo. This is going to be an interesting new generation.
KIDDO: What did one turkey say to another?
ME: What did they say?
KIDDO: Gobble gobble!!!
KIDDO: Mommy I put your shoes in the closet because I got tired of tripping on them.
KIDDO: Daddy, how does these pajamas look?
ME: Looks good!
KIDDO: Nope. I looked in the mirror and I look great. No! I look fantastic!
ME: [I wish I had her confidence]
Nov. 19: There’s nothing quite as difficult as trying to find a toddler’s pair of shoes.
Nov. 26: [The following is an actual excerpt from a message I sent to my wife just now… reader’s discretion is advised]
“…nothing but booger filled sneezes and poop today…”
KIDDO: A character on a show I watched yesterday said a bad word.
ME: Really?! What did they say?
KIDDO: [bashful] Are you sure you want me to say it?
ME: Only if you’re comfortable and you’re not in trouble.
KIDDO: [with wide eyes] He said [then she whispered] “dagnabbit.”
Dec. 9: Baby Girl is asking me some pretty deep questions! Unfortunately she’s 2 and I have no idea what she’s talking about.
Dec. 13: I’ve been trying to figure out why Kiddo has been suspiciously helpful and kind lately…it’s almost Christmas time.
Dec. 24: Looking forward to the day the kids are old enough for me to watch Die Hard for Christmas.
Dec. 30: [Kiddo pontificating to Baby Girl]
If you leave her alone [a spider they found] she’ll leave us alone. If we disturb her, she’ll bite us in the face.
Dec. 30: Kiddo will make an excellent vigilant neighbor when she grows up. From loose dogs to strange cars circling the neighborhood she gives me the lowdown on any situation.
KIDDO: [hums “If you happy and you know it”]
BABY GIRL: ribbit ribbit
This went on in a loop and I’m dead.