A typical morning is happening over at our place.
Emerson is running around, stealing the remote controls, changing all the settings on the TV. Shes over at the record player, turning the dials and blasting music to only be disappointed by the music being too loud (she understands turning the dial up but hasn’t completely grasped that the dial can also turn the music down).
She smacking the dog in the nose while Josh and I try to explain to her that she should be nice to him and give him a good-morning kiss, instead.
She’s chasing Tuffy around trying to grab onto his tail mysteriously whipping back and forth.
Josh is trying to get out the door while I try to decide what to make Emerson for breakfast this morning – my first challenge of every day.
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In today’s post, I figured I’d just give you guys a quick little list of a few things that I’ve learned since becoming a dad. Now, some of these things are good, some bad, but they’re all things that I’m pretty sure most every first-time parent learns, usually the hard way, and that’s okay.
1. If you think that your relationship with your significant other is going to stay the same or be even anywhere near the same as it used to be, at least for the first many months, you’re crazy. Having a baby changes everything, from how you think about coming home after work to how you and your partner leave the house to get anything done. Nothing is the same. Not even the tiniest, most minute aspects of your life stay the same except for your love for your SO—and their love for you—if you’re lucky. Just don’t expect to be the hot-and-heavy teenage lovers you once were or the movie-watching cuddle monsters you were used to being pre-baby because that shit isn’t staying the same. I promise.
2. Your baby is going to rule your life. I think this one is kind of just a no-brainer, but I do think there are those new parents out there that think that it’s not going to be very hard… that they’re going to get to do all of the same things they were able to do before the little bundle arrived, but that’s not so, and anyone that thinks like that is in for a rude awakening. I guess there are some out there who do everything they used to and either leave their SO to fend for themselves and do everything for the child while they get to go out and have fun, but if you’re that person, I’m sorry to break it to you but you’re probably not a great parent. Babies change everything—it’s just a fact of life—but it’s really not so bad once you get used to it.
I guess today I’ve got a little ode to or a little shoutout to stay-at-home parents. I am not one myself but I know that being one has got to be incredibly tough.
I once found myself a part-time stay at home dad when we were still living in Vancouver, Washington and I worked full-time, four days a week, and Kayleigh worked full-time, three days a week. So I spent three full days with Emmy, from like 7am to 9pm, just the two of us, kickin’ it. Keep in mind, Kayleigh was doing it four days, from 9am to 10pm or later. This is all after she already had to (as if she minded) stay at home for something like seven weeks after Emmy was born for her maternity leave, which was unpaid, by the way.
I’ve got to say, in the months that I did the whole all-day parenting thing—it was hard, like, it whooped my ass. I’m surprised we both even made it back then, like, we’re both here and in one piece and I think that’s impressive. But I did have really hard days being with Emmy all by myself, and I mean ALL by myself. We lived in the PNW all alone, with no family near or anything. Okay, so Kayleigh’s cousin Tiffany lived in downtown Portland but she’s a doctor and we rarely saw her so that doesn’t count. And yes, she did have a great aunt and uncle that lived at the coast 2.5 hours away, but hey, they lived on the coast, 2.5 hours away…
I know that many of you aren’t going to care much about this, but not too long ago my twenty-seventh birthday came rolling by, and guess what? Well, it was the first time that we (Kayleigh and I) got to spend any time without Emmy in months! Well, I guess I get to go to work and school, but it’s the first time she’s really been without either of us for more than, like, an hour in the recent past. Not that I have anything against spending time with her or anything.
Any of you who are parents will understand how big a deal it is to get a night away from your children, and I gotta tell you, we enjoyed it.
The last time we got a night together, just us, was in September. We had just moved to Vegas and had gone down to Arizona to see my mom, and while we were there we went out to see IT. That was like four-and-a-half or five months ago! So it was time, well-deserved even, and we took advantage of the one chance we had to spend some real, quality time together.
After I got home from work, we all hung out and spent a while playing as a family, and tried to cram in all the time we could get together before we had to leave our little girl behind. When you never spend really any amount of time away from your kids, it can be hard to do so, even when it’s for less than a handful of hours! Such is the case for Kayleigh at least! She has the hardest time leaving Emmy anywhere, with anyone; it’s kinda cute. Anyways, we played and played with Emmy, gave her snacks, and basically just made sure she wasn’t going to think that we had abandoned her, or didn’t love her anymore, or something. Kids are weird, and think all kinds of weird things for all kinds of reasons, okay?
Have any of you ever had a ferret? You know, those long tube-like, semi-crazy little mustelids (not rodents, I checked. Google it!) that scurry around and have no chill? The ones that steal all of your stuff and have ALL the energy and sometimes bite you if they feel like it?
Well, I hate to have to inform you all, but Emmy has become a ferret.
Recently—like sometime in the last couple of weeks—she’s decided that one of the greatest things in the world is taking other peoples things and putting them in places that they would never think to look.
The other day Kayleigh and I were making dinner and Emerson was running around, doing what she does—being a nutcase and attacking the animals—what else? She then proceeded to grab Kayleigh’s stepdad’s flip-flops and made her way into the kitchen where we were slaving over the counter and stove, working hard to get food ready for her. She walked over to the oven, opened the drawer underneath, threw the flip-flops in, and walked away.
It sure is a beautiful day to watch a bunch of dudes wearing tights try to wrastle each other to the ground, ain’t it?
Well, Emmy was up early today, like 6 am-ish and now here we are. Typically she sleeps until at least 6:30, and this lack of the extra half hour is definitely felt anddd probably contributes to why I feel the urge to post this unnecessary little blog post. I awoke to Kayleigh and the amazing little lady lying next to me, Kayleigh half-asleep, Emmy with diaper leaking… all over her mama. So, Kayleigh got up and grabbed a diaper, I stayed in the bed with Emmy, and she, herself just stared at me trying to figure out what in the hell we were up to. The diaper was switched out and the attempt at cuddling went on. It didn’t really last, though.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please.
Let me begin by telling you that babies aren’t always easy—as if that’s not something you’ve been told forever—and I’m here to let you know about something that rips out my heart, much like Lloyd Christmas does to the chef in Dumb and Dumber.
Emmy was born active and stubborn, strong-willed and, to put it lightly, strong in the physical sense, too. She’s been go, go, go and always on the move from the second she wakes up until the moment she goes down every night. She doesn’t quit is what I’m getting at; she’s constantly in motion—doing, exploring, learning. While this all may sound great, fine-and-dandy even, there are days when all I want to do is rip my fuckin’ hair out!