Time moves fast. One minute, you’re sitting in the hospital doing your first skin-to-skin bonding with your brand-new baby girl, the next you’re taking pictures for the last day of Kindergarten. No, I’m not crying, YOU ARE.
Ever since Sophia was born–and again when Maddie was born–my life has changed. I know, what an obvious thing to say. Kids change your life, everyone knows that. But I’m not talking about the always going, never stopping, plans change at a moment’s notice kind of change.
Do you remember the moment? That seminal instant that you were told you were going to be a dad? Maybe you’re a to-be dad and just found out this week, this month, today. It’s a moment that is hard to forget. You know what other moment is impossible to forget? The birth of your child. That.changes.everything.
My life has never been the same since Sophia was born in February 2011. It changed even more once Maddie came along in August 2013. It’s hard to really wrap my head around just how much things have changed. I sit and I ponder what I did before we had the girls. What did I actually do with all that free time?
Me and Maddie in her early days.
Yes, that free time was great. I could do anything I wanted. And waste hours on end. Now? The vast majority of my time is dedicated to Sophia and Maddie. Whether it’s taking the four hours required to get them to actually eat a meal, telling them to stop fighting over a toy, or convincing them that bedtime is a time for sleep–without Mommy or Daddy, that’s where my time goes. Oh, I really only just mentioned the tough parts didn’t I? While those things really do take up A LOT of time, they’re really the little inconveniences that come along with being a parent.
There is so much awesome that comes with being a dad. A million reasons I can say #ThanksBaby to my little girls. From the moment they were both born, there have been millions of laughs, lots of kissing boo-boos, SO MANY diapers changed. Inside jokes, outside jokes, dad jokes (ALL THE DAD JOKES), tears, kisses, silly games, cuddles, and everything in between.
Sisters meet for the first time.
What I never expected when I became a dad was that it would be how I identify. That’s really hard for me to believe. My life is about being a dad. For better or worse. Through all my mistakes, hiccups, and failures, being a father is who I am.
I will never, and I mean NEVER, forget the day we brought the girls home. I was terrified. We got Sophia in the car and I thought to myself “What now?! I’m in no way qualified to do this! WHAT IF I BREAK HER?!” With Maddie, I felt a little more at-ease than that, but damned if I wasn’t scared I’d break her too. Well, 5 and almost 3 years, respectively each, I haven’t broken them (ok, there was that one time I knocked Maddie down the stairs by accident, LAY OFF ME!)
This video created by Pampers is definitely worth a watch, too. If you want to see the kind of bond and relationship that comes about between baby and father at birth, this will show you. I love it. A lot.
What I do know, more than any other thing, is that no matter what I’m going to be there for these kids. Through all the tampers, frustrations, fights, future “I HATE YOU DAD” taunts, the giggles, the laughs, the love, and the amazing, I’m going to be there. Every step of the way.
If it weren’t for these two beautiful daughters, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this right now. I don’t even know what my identity would be. This is my chance to say #ThanksBaby to them both–for making me a father, for teaching me everything they teach me daily.
Yes, I got in the crib. OFTEN.
Just like I love thanking my daughters, I want to help spread that love to the masses. I’m doing that with Pampers–who honors dads for just being dads and thanks them for all the amazing things, big and small, they do to help little ones have a better, loving, more fulfilling life.
Please join us by tweeting why you are most thankful for baby with the hashtag #ThanksBaby.
Visit www.pampers.com to learn more about Pampers products, join the Pampers Rewards program, and find ideas and information to help your baby get the most out of love, sleep and play.
Listen, no one ever said that parenting was all wins. If you’re a parent and you’ve experienced nothing but wins thus far in your parenting “career”, well I’d like to meet you. And push you down the stairs because you’re a liar. Every day, something is going to make you feel like you’re failing as a parent. Oftentimes, it’s more than once a day.
There are also those “oh shit, what the hell did I just do” moments. ParentFails. I had a nice little DadFail a few weeks ago. It’s still fresh in my mind. What was it? Well, if you haven’t read the title of this post yet, let me fill you in… I accidentally knocked Maddie down an entire flight of hardwood stairs. Continue reading →
I cried this weekend. Scratch that. I cried a lot this weekend. I’m not ashamed to admit that. Why did I cry? I stubbed my toe, obviously… You want the real reason? I spent four days in Washington, DC for Dad2.0 Summit. And it.was.amazing. Honestly, it was up there in the pantheon of great experiences of my life. And before you ask, no it doesn’t top the births of my kids or my wedding day. But, it’s up there. Continue reading →
We’ve all been there. Hanging out with a sibling, or a friend, or that random dude at the bus stop that won’t stop talking to you because reasons–and they start with “hey, do you, uh, wanna play repeat??” And you reply, nicely “no, I’m good. I hate that game.” So, you think that’s the end of it, right? Big old bag of NOPE. “No, I’m good. I hate that game.”
You try to back your way out of the game that you very clearly do NOT want to be playing. “Seriously, can we not do this right now?” And because they’re your friend or brother or sister or stranger-du-jour they ignore you “seriously, can we not do this right now?” And on and on and on it goes for a solid 20 minutes. It ends when you either walk away or push them in front of a bus. Whichever is easier.
Why am I talking about one of the most annoying games ever? Well, considering that Sarah and I are currently living through a never-ending game of repeat, it seemed pretty apt. No, Sophia isn’t repeating everything we say. Why would you ask that… No, what is actually happening is that Maddie is learning everything she possibly can from Sophia. And repeating it. Or copying it. Like, every.little.thing. Good, bad, other, if big sister is doing it, you can bet your ass that little sister is following suit.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great for some things. Like, brushing her teeth. Or going on the swings. Or running around the yard. Or trying something new and different. It’s pretty awesome when she does that stuff. I love it. When she tries repeating words that she so obviously can’t say, it’s beyond adorable. I’m pretty sure Sophia loves it, too. Unless I’m reading things the wrong way when she says “Stop copying me, Maddie!” But, I’m pretty sure that means she’s enjoying it. Right? Right.
Then, there are the things that I wish she wouldn’t be copying. That high-pitched squeal when she’s upset at not getting her way? PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T DO IT AGAIN. Throwing herself on the floor for a tantrum, jumping on or off the bed, hitting me because I SO OBVIOUSLY did something wrong (sorrrrrrrrrrry that I said you can’t go sledding down the steps). Those are the times where maybe not repeating every.single.thing Sophia does would be cool. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Oh. Oh, it is? I wasn’t aware of that.
In all honesty, it’s pretty damn funny watching Maddie play repeat all the time. There have been plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and I’m sure those are going to continue. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go ask that guy over there if he wants to play repeat…
You guys, we have a problem. My sweet, lovable, nearly two-year old Maddie has discovered the word no. And I don’t mean in the cute kind of way, either.
She already hit and passed that stage. She was an adorable mini-Mutombo. She even had the finger wag down pat. She looked basically just like this:
And IT.WAS.ADORABLE. She said it all the time. She told Sophia no A LOT. Which was great for us. I mean, it saved us the trouble. We were gonna say no anyway, but having her preempt our no with a no of her own was great. OR, she’d reinforce our no with a no of her own. #Adorbs
But now? This week, HOLY HELL. She wakes up, is happy and running around. But then it’s time to get dressed. Change her diaper. Put on clothes. Brush hair and teeth. It’s then that her inner-Daniel Bryan circa 2012 comes out. What do I mean? Just take a look at the gif below. You’ll get the idea.
Need a more audible illustration? Fine. This oughta do the trick.
Seriously. She just started doing it this week. We’re both just like, “WHAT IS HAPPENING?!” “WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT US?!” It’s a whole thing. I blame Sophia.
The great thing about having two kids is when the older one starts teaching the younger one to scream "NOOOO!" At everything. Or not.
I know, I KNOW, it’s just a phase. One that will last probably right through her formative years. Right up until FOREVER. You wanna know how Sarah and I are reacting to this when it happens? Take a gander, dear friends.
Or how about this one:
You catch my drift? It’s OUT OF CONTROL. So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go start chanting YES! in the face of my soon-to-be two-year-old child…
Did you go to college? (Insert your mom went to college joke)… Okay, well if you didn’t, then have you ever seen a movie about college? Or how about heard a story that starts “this one time, when I was in college, I got so drunk…”? If you answered yes to any of them, then you will understand what I’m about to say. Kids in college do some really stupid shit. Like, really stupid. I never did, nope, not me. FINE, I did my fair share of stupid things, while I had been drinking.
Living in a dorm, or even in a house or apartment with other people in college will lead to witnessing some insane things. Such as? How about some random person opening your dorm room door, walking into your room, and peeing in your trash can? That happened. More than once.
You may be asking yourself, Nick, what the hell is your point? Everyone knows that college kids do stupid crap. Yeah, but did you know that when you think about it, ridiculous things that little kids do could ALSO have been done by drunken college kids. Yeah, they’re one in the same.
Need proof? OH I GOT PROOF. Check out some of these tweets that I’ve (and one from Ben) been sending out over the interwebs recently using the #CollegeOrKids.
Do you see what I’m getting at? There are a ton more examples that could be and SHOULD BE tweeted and shared, too! Now it’s your turn, my oh-so-witty readers. I wanna see what you come up with for #CollegeOrKids. Tweet them @brownie_22 using that hashtag. Or you can comment here, or on my Facebookpage.
Kids are something else, man. They start out as these little blobs. Okay, they start as babies, not blobs. But come on, they look a little bit like blobs, right? RIGHT?? And then, in what seems like an instant, they become these mobile, talkative little people.
The way they move is downright hilarious. Maddie, at all of 18-months, looks like she’s trying to charge through a locked door every time she gets moving. Shoulders slightly forward, legs a churnin, and a head of steam going full force. It cracks me up just thinking about it.
And then, there are the words. They speak, eventually. Did you know that? They do, I swear. The words they start to spout are even funnier. They try to say things, and you think you know what they mean, but come on, do you really what all that gibberish means? Oh you do? Well, carry on then…
Anyway… One of Maddie’s first words was Da-Da. And yeah, that’s pretty damn awesome. Was she talking to me? I mean, I guess so, but she could have just been saying it because she knew no other words, so everything was Da-Da. Maybe she was singing. You never really know, do you? That brings us to now. The present. Maddie knows a few words, even knows the name of her daycare teacher. Milk, blanket, bottle, more. And, she knows Mommy. You know who she calls Mommy? She calls Mommy, Mommy. You know who else she calls Mommy? ME. Yes, she calls Daddy by Mommy.
And it’s not just like she’s looking past me. She’s looking right AT me. Yesterday, when I arrived at daycare to pick the girls up, I heard the pitter patter of running, tiny feet coming behind me down the hallway. And do you know what I heard? Guess. I’ll give you a minute…………………………
Do you know who wasn’t with me? Sarah, aka Mommy. Nope. It was Daddy. Her teacher told me that she saw Maddie start running and heard her yelling Mommy–“but I only saw the back of your head and you aren’t Mommy”–is what she told me. So, there is that.
Maddie, if you’re reading this (and since you’re my daughter you must be able to read by now, right?), my name is Daddy. That’s D-A-D-D-Y. Ask Sophia, she knows how to say it and how to spell it. She also knows that it’s my name. She’s your big sister, it’s her job to help you out with these things.
I know, the time will come, relatively soon I’m sure, where Maddie will call me by my name. Hell, I won’t be surprised if she starts calling me Nick before she starts calling me Daddy. But, in the meantime, I’ll suck it up and I guess I’ll be called Mommy for a while. I’ll still point to myself and say “No, Daddy!” every.single.time, though!
I didn’t think that my 3-1/2-year old daughter would be as perceptive as she is. She’s three! We did pictures with Santa last weekend. And then, did breakfast with Santa at a local church this weekend. Afterwards, Sophia informs us that “I saw two Santas!”…
I guess this is a question that Sophia could ask every time we go to a different mall and see a different Santa sitting in his chair for photos. But, most of those Santas look similar enough that she doesn’t think it’s a different one. At least that’s the way I see it in my mind.
Aside from the “Santa has lots of helpers” reasoning, what ways do you explain the appearance of SO MANY SANTAS to your kids? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, and Facebook.
She’s turning three, the terrible twos are over, we thought. The threes are worse, they said. We didn’t believe them. Perhaps, we were mistaken… Sophia is as sharp as a tack. She’s far smarter than I thought she would be as a three-year old. She’s more advanced than I thought she would be at this point. It amazes me every day. You know what doesn’t amaze me? Living under the tyrannical reign of a toddler. Continue reading →