It’s official. I’m finally a parent.
Yeah I had a kid before, Frank, but that wasn’t parenting. He was easy.
He ate everything in sight. He would reach over the bag of chips to grab broccoli. He’s eaten more vegetables by the age of 5 than I have my entire life. He’s polite to adults and most other kids. He says please and thank you. He sings to his sister when she whines or cries. Oh and he sleeps. He sleeps like a crazy bastard.
He no longer naps but when he did they would go from 2:30 to 6pm-ish. Yeah, almost 4hrs. He would get up for dinner and go back to bed around 8:00pm and sleep through till 8:30 or 9am. That’s not even the crazy part. When he started walking, he would take himself upstairs and put himself to nap. Not kidding. At first I would stop him to change his diaper and then send him on his way. After a while I just got used to the sight of him dragging ass up the stairs with Lenny/Lambie and listening for his door to shut.
For his first haircut at an actual haircut joint, he sat there and took it. He even followed Miss Courtney’s instructions. When we dropped him for his first day of pre-school, at the ripe old age of two, he never made a peep and never looked back. Been that way ever since.
That’s not parenting. That’s observing.
Frank was on auto-pilot
Frank’s sister is not on auto-pilot. She is always on a collision course with a mountain top somewhere. In the likely event of a cabin depressurization, complimentary oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Please affix your own oxygen mask before helping the person seated next to you.
Now I’m a parent. This kid is running my ass off. I have no ass. Although it may have rotated around to my gut. Regardless, I’m running morning, noon, and night with this one. And my complimentary oxygen mask has not dropped from the ceiling yet. Case in point below.
A River Runs Through It
Last week during the normal course of events it became apparent this child will require much more monitoring. Not necessarily in the helicopter dad mode, more of the NSA – Big Brother tracking her every move, mode.
Whilst folding the morning laundry in my room watching Return to Fat Camp: The Thinning, young Anne Marie played on her own in the bonus room. For whatever reason it felt a little too quiet. I shook that off, thinking I can at least fold these socks before I walk down there.
Always go with your first instinct.
This is what I found when I finally got those damn socks folded.
Yeah, so permeant marker, Sharpie brand to be exact. However, amongst the myriad of things I learned that day was this little gem. Nothing is permanent for moms. They know ways around stuff dudes haven’t even thought about yet. I’m not ashamed to admit my first thought was to call my sister-in-law Rachel. Well, my first thought really was oh sh*t! Tracy’s gonna kill me, I gotta get this off before she gets home!
My second thought was Rachel. No matter the strides made by stay at home dads, the natural instinct to call a mom you know will have an answer for you, proves that we SAHD’s have a long way to go. I knew Rachel would know what to do. And as usual she did. Alcohol wipes and soak in the bath if wipes don’t work. No go on the wipes, a bath it is. This is perfect, AM loves the bath so this should be easy.
So I do a quick mental check of the ole to do list. Lunch first and then bath looks to be the most efficient use of already wasted time. AM says she wants to wash her hands. Perfect. You can’t see it in the picture but her hands were covered as well. This will be like a little pre-soak before the bath and give me a few minutes to get lunch going before she starts busting my balls about being hungry.
Downstairs I go. AM appears and wants to eat. I listen closely for the sound of water running upstairs. I hear nothing and AM says she turned off the water. OK.
Anyone feeling a little twinge right now. Hold on to that.
We eat lunch and kibitz around a bit downstairs, change a big time dirty diaper, etc… After about 40 minutes I can now hear water running. But I can only hear it if I stand in the hall way near the door to the garage. No sinks are running downstairs. Standing at the bottom of the stairs I still can’t hear water running upstairs. But I’ll be damned if I can’t hear water running by the garage door. I pop it open and take a peek. If Frank was there at that moment he would have said something like, “Daddy, why is there a waterfall in the garage?” Indeed Frank, indeed.
Yep, a full blown Niagara class waterfall coming from the garage ceiling. I’m no plumber but I figure that has to be coming from a sink or tub upstairs. Up the stairs I go, taking four steps at a time. When I turned the corner from the top of the stairs my feet were under water. I’m still not sure how this happened but when I went into the hall bathroom the water was up to my ankles.
The culprit… well we all know who the culprit is, but the cause of the river running through my house was a plastic medicine cup placed perfectly over the drain in the sink. The reason I could not hear the water running was because a wash cloth had been stuffed or “gotten stuck” in the little overflow slit in the front of the sink and the faucet was under water.
Believe it or not the Sharpie covered face was now on the back burner. I’m in crisis management mode. This is one area where me being the stay at home parent is an advantage.
Once I got the water stopped, I’m hauling the mail to the garage to get my industrial shop vac. But I know the Vac can only get the surface water. It’s not strong enough to get the water out of the carpet. For that I’ll need my carpet shampooer. I’m not saying there aren’t moms who could get both of those big appliances up the stairs in one trip, but I gotta believe that’s a few trips for most moms. Engaging my big shoulders enhanced by baby muscles and I’m rolling up the stairs with a Sears & Roebuck vintage Craftsman, 5 gallon, 3hp, variable speed, shop vac, and a Hoover Deep Clean carpet shampoo type machine.
It took a while but I got the water all cleaned up. Even managed to re-org the cabinets and drawers under the sink, as they were all filled to the top with water. I’ve been meaning to do that anyway. The water in the garage poured through an already existing hole, so not much to do there but let it air dry. The Vac/shampooer combo worked to perfection on the hall carpet. Aside from the throw rugs in the bathroom needing to be washed and the hallway carpet being slightly damp, everything was back in order. Almost everything.
While all this was going on my Sharpie covered daughter was laying on her back in the dry part of the hall way with her feet on the stair banisters, singing about wanting to take a bath. Not kidding. So I still have to get her in the tub to de-sharpie-ize her and meet Tracy for an appointment in about an hour. Thankfully Rachel was right and after about 10 minutes it came off. Grammy showed up right after that and I was able to shower and make the appointment.
I figured it was OK to tell Tracy all of this when I met up with her since the water and the child were cleaned up. Wrong. The moral of that story is, don’t tell your spouse anything about the kids or house they wouldn’t have seen on their own.
As for the kid, well she strolled to her room to plot her next conquest. As you can see below, contrary to popular belief Emperor Palpatine is alive and well. Not a Star Wars fans – google it.
So this is what parenting is like.
AM’s #1 job on earth, besides bringing cuteness back, is to strike a firm balance between perpetual sharpening of the old man’s wits and driving him to the bottle…baby or booze, you decide.
Classic right there.
The bottle is getting closer and closer.
We had our AM first, and for that reason we didn’t want any more kids! But fortunately, our surprise baby was very mellow and loved to sleep. If I’d had her first, I’d probably have wanted ten kids!!! My older one, who’s now pregnant, is still a terror, still has problems sleeping. and my younger one is sweet and delightful to be around. so funny how different they can be! Keep up the good work!
Thanks Chef. Have to agree. Would have been tough to go for two if AM was first.
I just love reading your blog! You should write a book once the kids are all grown up. Seriously!
Thanks Robyn. I have a draft on paper. Just need a good dose of discipline to finish it.
It happens to the best of us! Wish I could post the picture I have of our youngest with Sharpie allover her belly, pants, shirt, and to top it all off 1/2 of a handlebar moustache! Maybe you should have a contest and let all of the parents that follow your blog send in their Sharpie marker pictures! LOL! And we have the polar opposite experience to Chef MiMi we had three boys then our girl and if we had her first she would have probably been an only child! God works in mysterious ways!
I like the contest idea. Might have to try that one.
That’s because the first kid is a sucker-baby who convinces you that you can have twelve. Then…
I was smug…so I was given twins. From the pregnancy to the time they cut each others hair to the time I found one of them ON TOP OF THE FRIDGE at 17 months old… Insanity. Just start drinking…that seems to solve everything. lol
Yep. Frank suckered us but good. I’m getting closer and closer to the bottle.
OMG – I love that kid! You are definitely getting called to the Principal’s office!!
I anticipate being called about 20 minutes after I drop her at pre-school.
I feel like Anne Marie needs to meet up with my younger niece and nephew. And then we all need to run far away to escape the damage.
Yeah lets make sure that doesn’t happen.
Can’t decide if I’m laughing harder at the story itself, or picturing your mother laughing as she reads it!
And the “Emperor Walking” – Classic.
Oh my mother is enjoying this no doubt.
But the second kid is supposed to be the easy one!! I have had days like that! Fortunately few and far between.I’m wondering if that was really E.T. in that video. I wouldn’t put it past her hiding an alien in your house! Thanks for the smile this morning!!
Thanks for reading. I afraid to look in her closet now.
Let me tell you a little story. Once knew this 20 yr old snot nosed kid who knew everything. Had a great job working with the greatest bunch of guys in the world. Had life by the short ones. Went on to bigger and better things in life. Married way, way out of his league. Life is sweet for him! Retired from military. Life is wonderful. Has his first child. He is the definition of the perfect child. How can life get any better? Lets have another. Well, his life took a hit to the nads. No one should have to endure that setback. Fast forward a couple of years and he is now getting his ass handed to him on a daily basis by the smallest and cutest little gem on earth. All i can say is hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! You deserve it. No moral to this story except Fran is in way over his head. Call for reinforcements. You are going to need them. Keep it coming Vinnie.
Snot nosed kid I’ll give you, but knew everything? Not hardly. That was AB and Mort.
Priceless! She is getting you spun up quickly after having it fairly easy with Frank. They both are precious and will keep you and Tracy busy for life 🙂