I keep forgetting about Father’s Day.
I should get used to keeping an eye on it – but in the second addition of me playing the starring role of “Daddy” – I keep forgetting about it.
Last year was a lot of fun; and I can sum the day up in one word: biscuits. Since I was already thinking about how things have changed since last year, I decided to put finger to plastic and pound out a new Father’s Day piece for 2012.
As a first-time parent, the last year confirmed all the stories friends and relatives told me about how fast kids grow. I saw a picture of my kid this past weekend from a year ago and it is pretty amazing how much he’s grown in a year. He’s grown so much, you’d think he was one of those little sponge animals that are squished into a little capsule until you drop them in warm water and then they explode into full size in a matter of seconds.
Aside from all the ways he has grown and all the different stages of development, I think what I’ve learned the most is that I don’t know a whole-hell-of-a-lot.
Last year, being only three months in, it was actually pretty easy because he was still a baby. They eat, they poop, they sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat. But now, as a toddler, I’m really beginning to see the top of the tip of the great unknown. He’s getting into everything and expressing his own opinions more and more.
Uh-oh, little daddy in the making.
It isn’t like I didn’t expect this to happen – I did. But I’m not sure I was prepared for how overbearing of a parent I have become. I never thought I’d be a parent that was afraid to let their kid be a kid, but now, I’m seeing that I’m going to have a difficult time.
With every fall, every “no” for trying to pick-up or touch something he shouldn’t, I am in a full-blown mini-panic.
The first time this happened was an instance anyone with kids can relate to. You have your kid in the bathtub giving him a bath, when he slips and for a split-second, his face goes in the water. He’s fine. He probably didn’t even hit the bottom of the tub, but he freaks out and you freak out. I think I was more terrified that he was. He’s screaming and you’re grabbing him out of the water faster than can be recorded by the most sophisticated Olympic timer.
That cry. That face. That panic.
That’s you more than it is your kid.
Two minutes after the slip, he’s splashing water and playing with toys like nothing happened, but you’re getting over having a mini-heart attack while half-submerged in the bath trying to make sure he doesn’t fall over again.
Most likely, he will slip again, despite your best efforts. You know why? Because kids fall down. It’s what they do. But that doesn’t make it any easier. And it sure hasn’t made me any less paranoid about it happening every time he’s getting a bath.
After he was out of the bath and getting ready for bed, all I could think about was how-in-the-world was I going to handle him being four and scraping his knee or getting a cut or falling off a swing when he is 10.
I can feel my heart-rate increasing just thinking about it.
That’s not all I’ve learned.
I’ve learned the truth that there’s nothing more special that the rare hug from your kid; no better feeling than making them laugh so hard that all they can do is try and squirm away.
I’ve learned that try-as-you-may, there’s no such thing as tuning out their cries, especially the ones that come from taking away a toy or not letting them do something they aren’t suppose to do.
I’ve learned that sleep is a necessity and that sleeping late – even if late is 6am – is a luxury not easily obtained.
I’ve learned that tired is a way of life and that coffee is my new BFF.
I’m not complaining – I wouldn’t change a thing. He’s a charmer. He’s all-boy. He’s even watched about five minutes of baseball with me after his before-bed milk a few times. He’s a great little guy who’s growing like a weed.
From my perspective, it seems like he’s got this being an infant thing figured out. Me, on the other hand, I’ve got a long way to go to figure this dad thing out.
Happy Father’s Day, year two.
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