Posts Tagged With: patience

6 Ways My Daughter Challenges Me

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My daughter is two years old and she has challenged me more so than many other humans on the planet. At least it feels that way. Here are six ways that my daughter challenges me on a daily basis:

1. Going Outside: I love the outdoors. Somehow in the last few years I have found myself staying indoors even when it’s gorgeous out. Maybe its because I’m tired from working, chores, etc. Maybe its because we have cable and all those DIY shows are so interesting. Whatever the case may be my daughter has no desire to follow daddy in this respect. Claire demands to be let out into the wilderness of our suburban .35 acres. I am falling in love with the outdoors once again.

2. Patience: Lets face it; we can all use more patience. I thought I was patient and then my daughter turned two. Claire is on 100% of the time and she has no desire to slow down or wait for me to catch up. Whether it’s her need for food every 30 minutes, or her ADD style of play I am constantly being pushed to grow in my patience.

3. Letting go: I am supper anal when it comes to order in our home. I want things put away immediately once they are no longer being used. Taking my time with chores, projects, etc. does not compute in my brain. I like to tackle things right away and be done with it. This is not possible in the toddler world. Claire is messy and she is unapologetic about it. My daughter’s creativity and toys are not limited to her bedroom or the living room for that matter and I realize more and more that this is ok…I think.

4. Being fearless: I am always amazed at how little fear my daughter has. Whether it’s diving off some platform at the park or saying, “hello” to the person in front of us at the grocery store she does things that many would never venture to do. I can’t tell you of how many great conversations I have had with strangers because my daughter was willing to engage them.

5. Being Healthier: I use to be in pretty decent shape. I got married and somehow the gym became a place I frequented less and less. Work and family life got more complicated and Chick-fil-a and Chinese food became a quick fix. My daughter helps me to realize that I need to be in good shape in order to run and play with her. Quick, unhealthy meals don’t help me and they definitely don’t set an example for my daughter. I want to live a long time and eating healthy is one way of achieving that.

6. Enjoying Moments: When I am patient with my daughter and I let go off my anal tendencies of order and control I find that I have a space to enjoy the moment at hand. My favorite moments with my daughter are the ones where we simply sit and do nothing. Moments where time seems to stand still and we are simply being father and daughter. This is one of the best things my daughter is doing to challenge me to be a better person.

 

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Categories: fatherhood, healthy living, kids challenging parents, living in the moment, Parenting, toddlers | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Little Dictator

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The day begins with breakfast. I have made banana pancakes and they are really good. The little dictator has not had a taste of the pancakes but she yells that this is not what she wants. I try to reason with her but she yells and throws her sippy-cup in protest. I go back to the kitchen and prepare something else. I come back into the dinning room and present my new offering. The little dictator is still not pleased. Apparently she is not in a good mood this morning.

Breakfast ends and we head over to the little dictators toy area. The little dictator wants to play and so do I, but I have to use the bathroom. This is not acceptable to her. The little dictator screams “play!” I tell her that I will be very quick and the little dictator screams some more and demands that we play now. I head to the bathroom in defiance and the little dictator pounds on the door demanding that I stop this disobedience and that I return to the room to play. I leave the bathroom and proceed to fulfill her demands.

Playtime starts off pleasant. The little dictator pulls out her blocks and makes a tower. Not more than a few seconds go by and she demolishes the tower. The little dictator smiles ever so slightly and turns her eyes towards me. I am not sure what she is thinking but I wonder if she is trying to send a message.

The little dictator demands that we now color with her markers. I grant her wish and pull out the drawing pad and markers. The little dictator cannot be limited to such a thing as a drawing pad. Her imagination is much bigger than that. It encompasses the carpet as well. I encourage that she stay on the drawing pad. The little dictator refuses. Markers are taken away and a new rage comes over her. Crying, followed by the usual rant of, “mine! Mine! MINE!”

Suddenly the little dictator realizes that markers are overrated and that she is hungry once again. I sarcastically point out that we have some great pancakes, but the little dictator is not amused. I think sarcasm is beyond her. The little dictator proceeds to the fridge where she awaits for me to open it and grant her whatever she wishes. Ice cream and mangos are at the top of her list. Ice cream is denied, which causes another rage, but quickly she realizes that mangos are just as good. The mangos have just touched the plate and I hear the little dictator calling out, “Sofia! Sofia!” This is the little dictator’s favorite TV show. She is quite obsessed with it. “Sofia! Sofia!” I finally cave and allow her to watch one episode. There is no sound from her for 22 minutes.

Bliss.

The show ends and the little dictator demands that another episode be played. “Sofia! Sofia!” I refuse and a hissy fit ensues. I ignore it and the little dictator proceeds to go play in her room. She calls for me at full force. I go in to see what the little dictator needs and she runs at me full speed and says, “Daddy! Daddy!” She reaches for me and greets me with, “Hi Daddy.” I smile and pick the little dictator up, “hi baby.” I stare into the beautiful bluesih, gray eyes that are before me and smile.

This is my little dictator. My baby girl.

Categories: children, demanding kids, fatherhood, kids wanting things their way, temper tantrums, toddlers, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Lock Out Rant

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The day began chaotic. I woke up later than I should have. Claire woke up exactly at the same time I did which meant that I would have to put breakfast and my quiet time aside until she was taken care of. After changing her and getting her breakfast I remembered that the animals needed to eat and that the dog had been holding his bladder since 10pm the night before.

Animals were fed. Dog used the bathroom. Success.

Daughter spills Chiobani yogurt on her tray and proceeds to smear it all over the tray and then push 75% of its contents onto the floor.

Sigh…

Luckily the dog isn’t lactose intolerant and enjoys strawberries.

I find something else for my daughter to eat. In typical fashion she licks it, puts it down and a half hour later comes back and eats it as if it were the greatest thing ever. What’s wrong with her taste buds?!

I look at the oven clock: 8:45am. Crap. I need to get Claire to the babysitter and I still haven’t packed her lunch or mine. *Note to self—do this the night before!!!

Food is packed and ready to go. It may not be the greatest sandwich I ever made but its food and it will keep me alive. I grab Claire and her diaper bag with one hand, lunch bag in the other, and my left hand pinky has a hold of the keys and iPad mini.

Pinky is feeling a bit overwhelmed.

I begin to walk towards the door and the dog greets me as if I were taking him on a walk. I put everything down. The dog needs to go out one last time before I go to work and then I have to put him in his crate. Sigh…

Dog uses bathroom. Success.

I turn the knob to the French door that is to lead me back into my house to regretfully be greeted with my shoulder hitting said door. “Umm…this door seems to not be opening.” I turn the knob and push again. Still not opening. My daughter stands on the other side of the glass with a look that I have not quite experienced before.

The hamster slowly begins to give momentum to the wheel.

Daughter + door not opening + new look on face = locked out of the house.

Sigh…

“Claire, sweetie. Can you unlock the deadbolt?” “No, it isn’t funny so stop laughing.” Claire begins her attempt to reverse the deadbolts locking mechanism, but apparently she can only lock it. Of course!

I think to myself, “How do I get into the house?” I could wake my wife up, but she worked the night shift and went to bed 2 hours ago. She will not be happy. Naturally, I go back to the door and begin coaching Claire on how to open the door. Claire tries but fails. I laugh a little. If I weren’t going to be late to work it would be a lot funnier.

I finally give up and knock on our bedroom window. Wife wakes up and unlocks the door. Success. Wife has a look I recognize very well. It is a mixture of “I’m-not-pleased”, with a dash of “I-would-kill-you-if-our-daughter-wasn’t-here-right-now”. I try to make light of the situation and share with her how Claire is the one that locked me out. “Isn’t that cute?” I ask. Wife continues to walk away towards the bedroom.

I finally get the dog in the crate and Claire into the car. I drop her off at the babysitter and get to work 15 minutes late. I sit down at my chair and attempt to relax. I think to myself, I made it to work only 15 minutes late. That’s better than I expected. Success.

Lunchtime comes around and my uninspiring sandwich is nowhere to be found. The hamster slowly begins to give momentum to the wheel.

Sigh…I left it at home…

Categories: child locking you out of the house, daughters, dogs, fatherhood, patience | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Diaper Reality

DSC02881There was poop everywhere

A routine 3:00 a.m. diaper change turned ugly at about 3:01 when I discovered that Claire had pooped up to the back of her neck. How does that happen?! Seriously. The physics of it just blows my mind. I’m sure there is a YouTube video out there explaining it with simulations and quadratic equations, but I digress.

The problem with this particular blowout was not so much that Claire was caked in it, but that the diaper was not disposable. My wife and I’s inner hippie got the best of us before Claire was born when we decided that we would use reusable diapers. This isn’t your great-grandma’s dinner-napkin-with-a-safety-pin diaper. This is a technologically advanced diaper that makes those hundreds, even thousands of dollars a year in disposables vanish. What these “BumGenius” company folks don’t tell you before you buy them is that there’s this nasty, sticky, Spiderman web like poop that doesn’t come off easily. It’s the kind that you need laser to remove it from the diaper. “It’s still attached!” “Get the laser, hun!”

They sell a sprayer attachment that connects to your toilet. It works—20 gallons later.

So I cleaned Claire off, changed her and then did battle with Satan’s forgotten child in a technologically advanced diaper. 20 gallons later, I claimed victory. I thought I was going to need a priest, but it worked out.

I went back to Claire’s room because she was making some noise. She was probably traumatized from the experience. I know I was—it was up to her neck! I walked in and smelled poop. I thought that maybe some had passed Claire’s head and hit the wall or something crazy like that. I sniffed around and found the source—in Claire’s new diaper. Apparently Satan had another forgotten child.

I began the cleaning process again (this time I used a disposable diaper—who’s the bum genius now?!). I began to pull the Velcro strap of the new diaper close when I heard a foul noise followed by a smell. Claire had pulled off a Hat Trick and it was only 3:10 a.m.

At this point I am beyond upset and I lose it. I start quietly yelling (which is hard to do) at Claire for this unnecessary level of bowel activity. She starts crying. I start crying, which is followed by shame, guilt, and many other terrible emotions.

I put Claire to bed and head to the living room to let the whole ordeal set in. “I yelled at her, God! For pooping!” More shame. More tears and the realization that I might not be as good of a father as I think I am. As I sat on the couch upset at myself, and asking God for patience and strength, I felt that God had something to say.

As usual I wasn’t expecting this.

God was showing me that Claire’s bowel movements are an image of my life. I sin. God comes in to clean the mess. I sin again—almost immediately—and God comes in to clean the mess again. As He patiently and lovingly cleanses me I go ahead and make another mess—the Hat Trick. Yet, God patiently wipes away the nasty, foul and unpleasant reality that is my brokenness. The diaper reality is this: we sin, seek forgiveness, God cleanses and heals, and we sin again. However, our heavenly Father is much more patient than this rookie dad. When I look at the analogy of this diaper fiasco I realize God is right and that, yet again, discovering fatherhood is more than learning patience with Claire and diaper cleansing techniques. It demands that I recognize and accept God’s never-ending patience with me, and my own constant diaper Hat Tricks.

*No technologically advanced diapers were harmed in the making of this blog*

Categories: brokenness, cleansing, fatherhood, God, Parenting, patience, sin | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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