My wife and I have a small bed. It’s really only big enough for two people. Throw a baby into the mix and you have to be a contortionist to get comfortable. This is why I prefer for the baby to sleep in his crib but like most things in life I seldom get what I want.
When Grayson was born my wife decided to go the breastfeeding route.
“Oh that’s great!” you’re thinking, “it’s more natural and it’s better for the baby”. Yeah, no. What it is is cheaper than formula, all the other stuff is secondary.
Now one of the temptations of breastfeeding is for the mother and baby to fall asleep together. That way if the kid wakes up in a few hours you can just latch him or her back on and fall back to sleep. No muss, no fuss. Except again, tiny bed.
My wife pumps a lot so that I can feed Grayson when I’m watching him. This is perfect at night because I feed him sitting up so that I don’t fall asleep. Once he passes out I put him in his crib….where he promptly wakes up. So I take him out and wear him down until he passes out again. I can’t just let him cry because I live with my in laws and it’s not fair to them. Plus my wife has to get up at five so she needs her sleep.
So Grayson and I battle it out until he’s too tired to resist the crib. This might be 10:30, Midnight or like the other night 1:34 AM. I’m determined to get him to sleep in his own damn bed. I was winning the war until my wife took her vacation.
On her vacation she wanted to feed bubs from the bubbies as much as she could rather than have me bottle feed him. Fine. Except that tweedle G and tweedle Mom kept falling asleep together. I try to move him, he wakes up. I want to give him a bottle so I can put him to bed but she says no I’ll feed him. They fall asleep. I can’t win.
So the whole week mom and dad and baby makes three…in the bed. Finally she goes back to work but it’s like I’ve lost all the progress I made with Grayson. So I start over. Hence the 1:30 AM zonk out. Oh well, no one said parenting would be easy.
Besides, who could stay mad at those cuties?
Hey guys and gals,
Long time no write. I’ve been busy trying to build up my writing resume by writing a lot of stuff for other sites and I fear that I have neglected my Dadventures duties. Worry not though constant readers, I have returned to you with new tales of child rearing! The baby is no longer too fat to crawl. Grayson is now able to heft is gelatinous gut off of the floor and get up on his hands and knees. Unfortunately, a mobile baby is a dangerous baby. Gone are the days when I could just abandon the child on the floor with the Mickey Mouse Club and then go off and make a coffee and smoke a cigarette. Now I have to actually watch what he’s doing, what’s going into his mouth, what he’s managed to get himself stuck under. This parenting crap has turned into a full-time job.
On the older kid front, the teen and the tween cannot seem to breathe the same air without fighting about it. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Literally everything one does pisses the other one-off. “Jacob, stop singing, I hate your voice!” “Michael, stop throwing lit matches at me!”. But of course when I suggest that one of them move away from each other they don’t. In fact, their mother and I decided that it might be good to take each kid separately for a week at a time this summer to get them away from each other. They both expressed their disdain for this idea quite vocally, “But, we want to be together!”. Brothers: can’t stand to be together, can’t stand to be away from each other.
Welp, I hope anyone following this blog didn’t leave due to lack of activity. I promise to try and write here more frequently. However if you find yourself jonesing for a ZackAttack, might I suggest you try reading some of these other articles that I have written for other sites?
Tags: babies, baby, blogging, children, comedy, dads, dadventures, fatherhood, parenting, stay at home dad', stay at home dads, stayathomedads
Happy Mothra’s day!
Yeah, that’s a pun. It did quite well on Facebook sunday when I originally posted it in honor of Mother’s Day.
Mother’s day, contrary to what people would have you believe, was not created by the Greeting Card companies but by Anna Jarvis around 1910. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday. THEN the greeting card companies, as well as the florists turned it into another commercial obligation to buy their wares. Apparently as early as nine years after she created it, Jarvis was fighting Mother’s Day’s commercialization and she even went on to regret starting it in the first place. Am I being a Mother’s Day Scrooge? Is this blog post going to be about how I don’t think we need a day to tell us when to call our mothers? Nope. Not at all, quite the opposite. The truth is that while many people would like you to believe that they tell their Mother how great she is all the time and that they resent being told when to do so (these are usually the people who hate Valentines Day as well.) many of them are to be blunt, WRONG. How often do you actually visit your mother? Chances are, if you’re an adult with a spouse and kids of your own, not that often or rather, not as often as she would like. Now how often when you visit your mother do your kids spend most of the time with her? How often while you are there do you just kind of sit in front of the tv and shoot the shit? How often do you mostly talk about whats new with you or the kids and what’s going on in your life? Now here’s the $64,000 question: When you visit/call/email/Skype your mother, how often do you say thanks? Not just “I love you” but thanks? Or “I appreciate you” ?. Probably not a lot, huh?
See, most mothers (and I’m saying most because just like father’s, kids, aunts and uncles, there are some rotten ones out there) made the decision to become mothers knowing full well that they were entering into a thankless job without retirement benefits. Kids as I have mentioned before are on the whole selfish. I don’t mean that slag them off or anything ( regular readers should know by now that I obviously love kids) but think of it as a survival instinct that stayed around into modern society. Children care about themselves above and beyond anyone else because it’s an act of self-preservation. As such they don’t care so much that mom works all day at the office or in some cases that mom works two jobs to put food on the table, they just care that food is there when they want it, and that there are video games and a computer to go on after dinner. Most mothers don’t put up a stink about their lack of recognition because that’s not what they are raising kids for. They’re not doing it for praise or to constantly have their butts kissed, or to even be thanked for pulling a double shift. And it’s because they don’t put up a stink about it that we sometimes forget that our mothers aren’t super awesome robots that run on no sleep and require no food and live only to serve. Mother’s are unfortunately as human as the rest of us. As such, they require praise and a pat on the back occasionally as well. They need to be told that they’re doing a good job or get to sleep in or even just taken out to lunch every once in a while. Mother’s Day reminds us of that. If you’re a perfect son or daughter and you treat your mom like a queen most of the time, good for you. If you’re like the rest of us, at the very least you remember to pamper mom one day a year.
In my opinion Mother’s Day isn’t just some useless greeting card holiday but a day that actually does a lot of good.
Tags: blogging, children, dads, dadventures, humor, mom, mom's, mother, mother's day, parenting, parents, stay at home dads
Last night I dutifully attended my son Jacobs chorus concert with my wife and the baby. Despite the fact that my in laws would have been more than happy to watch Grayson for us, we chose to bring him anyway: he was part of the plan. An infant is the perfect tool to allow you to slip out of any function or social gathering that you are obligated to show up at but that you really want to leave as quickly as possible. Case in point: we got to the school, we made small talk with my ex, we sat through the ten minutes that the 5th grade was on stage and then we got the hell out of Dodge. No one questioned it because everyone knows how needy babies are. The fact that Grayson was being perfectly content and had eaten not that long ago was irrelevant.
I have a confession to make: I hate going to my kids sporting events and concerts. I will go of course, to show support for my children but I don’t have to enjoy it. I sound like a monster right? Please, no parents like going to these things they just don’t admit it. There’s a reason that they don’t put 8yr old playing baseball on TV, It’s as boring as watching shit dry. Seriously, little uncoordinated children running around after balls and tripping all over each other is not anyone’s idea of entertainment. The same goes for the concerts, 5th graders sing like 5th graders. They either look down at their shoes and warble off key or mumble softly to themselves in a barely audible fashion. No one is there because they want to be. If you didn’t have any kids, would you spend a night going see a little league game or watching a bunch of tweens badly reenact Glee? Of course you wouldn’t.
I go out of obligation but also because I’m investing in the future. I figure that if I sit through enough of these things when the kids suck, it will encourage them to keep doing it so that one day, maybe in High School, maybe in College, I’ll go to a recital or a concert and enjoy what I’m hearing. I have no doubt that both my kids are talented (the jury is still out on the baby) and one day that talent is going to shine through on a stage or screen. But for now I’m forced to endure the boring stuff they do. But that’s what smart phones are for right?
As a parent I know that one of my duties is to expose my children to Star Wars at an early age. Ok fine, as a GEEK parent I know that one of my duties is to expose my children to Star Wars at an early age. Ever since I can remember I’ve been a fan of that Galaxy far, far away. Some of my earliest memories are going to the video store (remember those? ) and renting the Star Wars films on VHS (remember those?).
Eventually my parents wised up and bought me the trilogy one xmas.
My experience with Star Wars was bittersweet. I relished any opportunity to wave around a stick and make wooshing noises or to hold that same stick sideways and pew pew everything in sight. And oh the toys! I had action figures of every major player and several people and aliens that were on screen for mere seconds. I felt self conscious playing the Star Wars role-playing game at school during lunch. I winced with every roll of the dice wishing I was smart enough not to bring my obsessions out in public but knowing that I would always wear my geekiness, however awkward, on my sleeve for the world to judge.
And judge they did. Geek and nerd fandoms are in vogue right now but it wasn’t so long ago that reading comics would get you the stink eye from adults and laughter and cold hearted jeers from the “normal” kids.
So what does all this have to do with my kids? Well we all want our kids to enjoy the same things we do in fact at a very early age all our kids interests are dictated by us as they have neither the drive nor the opportunity to seek out other interests on their own. Some things stick. Some they leave behind when crafting their own identity. When my older boys were younger I bombarded them with Star Wars toys and clothes, videogames and of course movies. Some things were hits, the videogames particularly the Lego ones did well. Some things didn’t do as well, the action figures got played with but not as much as I would have liked.
As the kids got older they developed their own interests. Michael is obsessed with Japan (manga, anime, sushi) and Jacob is into computers and Sonic the Hedgehog. Sure, they still “like” Star Wars but nowhere near as much as dear old dad.
And that’s the lesson I guess. Your children start out as fresh lumps of clay that you hope to mold into your own image but somewhere along the way they start sculpting themselves and the image starts straying from the original blueprint.
I now have a chance to do it all over again with Grayson. Though I know that ultimately he will grow up to like his own stuff….
I can’t help but introduce him to the classics.
I know a lot of parents make the joke that their kids are only angels when they’re sleeping, but beyond the humorous implication that the rest of the time they’re evil little shits, there’s a lot of truth to this. Angels in the romantic sense are perfect beings created before us imperfect humans. Beautiful and flawless, they give us something to aspire to. Sleeping babies are similar in that they are pure innocence. A blank slate not yet filled with dreams, desires, fears and hopes.
I think the term “I slept like a baby” has less to do with waking up every couple of hours having wet yourself and crying for milk, and more to do with sleeping a sleep devoid of stress from bills, mortgages, jerky bosses and the like.
Sometimes I just watch my kids sleep and a lump catches in my throat. I wish they could sleep like that forever but I know that soon enough they’ll start sleeping like adults. Adults look haggard while they sleep, worn out by another day just surviving. They furrow their brows, they click their teeth they display all manor of nervous ticks and anxious twitches. Adults toss and turn, looking tortured as they try to rest and forget about their troubles.
Babies and young children though look at utter peace while they slumber. A peace unbroken by the cynical adult world.
When I see sleeping children I really do see angels.
Tags: babies, baby, blogging, children, dads, dadventures, fatherhood, humor, kids, parenting, parents, stay at home dad', stay at home dads, stayathomedads
I’m not a religious person. As such Easter flummoxes me. Christmas I can put in a secular context no problem: A time of year for giving and family. Take out Christ’s resurrection from Easter and you get: Time of year for candy (though it’s not Halloween) and small gifts (though it’s not Christmas). This Easter was a particularly odd one for me. Being very tight on money right now I felt like it was a waste to buy baskets and grass for my two older sons so I just kind of handed them their candy. Neither kid believes in the Easter Bunny anymore and so it felt weird presenting them with cheap baskets full of plastic grass just so that there was something to put their candy in. Then there was the baby who at three months of age couldn’t care less what day it was. We got him a couple of stuffed animals, not that he can really play with them yet.
I feel bad because I feel like I should care about Easter but I really don’t. Even as a child I wasn’t very excited for Easter. For one thing, Easter never came with any good television specials. Oh they had a couple, there was the obligatory claymation one which I barely recall, and there was a Peanuts one that was highly inferior to The Great Pumpkin and A Charlie Brown Christmas. For another, it just felt like weaker Christmas. You get up in the morning kind of excited knowing that something will be in your basket, but you knew it wasn’t a new bike or a Sega Genesis (yes I’m old). Maybe it would be a single action figure, maybe a yo-yo, who knows. You only knew that it would be something small and inexpensive surrounded by chocolate. I know that I sound materialistic and cynical but honestly, as a child did you really care about anything on Easter/Christmas/Halloween other than what you were getting? Children seem greedy but it’s only because they can’t process the value of family, or tradition until they get older.
I know that next Easter Grayson will be over a year old and we will pull out all the stops, baskets, bunnies, Easter bunny foot prints going from the basket all the way out the front door. Hell, I’ll probably even do baskets for the older boys just to maintain the illusion. Maybe I’ll feel differently then. Maybe, but for now I maintain my curmudgeonly stance: Easter, Schmeaster.
I started writing this the day after Easter and just got around to finishing it today. In the time in between Grayson has fallen in love with the stuffed Lamb he got for Easter. Granted he usually just chews on him, but still he does it while gently holding him in the crook of his arm. It’s the first stuffed animal that he has shown any interest in and it’s so friggen cute. Maybe Easter isn’t useless after all.
Tags: babies, baby, blogging, children, comedy, dads, dadventures, easter, easter bunny, fatherhood, parenting, parents, peanuts, stay at home dad', stay at home dads