My boring life as a dad

Dear Diary,

Today was more of the same old things. I fear that boredom has started to spread its tentacles across my subconscious making it difficult to focus on anything worthy of causing synapses to fire. The mornings are the worst. Dull to the point of seeking ways to physically stimulate my brain using blunt force trauma. I remember the days when each morning brought new challenges and invigorating scenarios. My body, in tune with my mind, used to work out by running and lifting backbreaking weights repeatedly. I would run cross-country and leap fallen logs without breaking my stride or losing my balance. Then I would go to work and multi-task all day. I could carry on multiple conversations at once even while I walked down bustling streets with sirens wailing and buses screeching to a halt. And most of all I could pull all nighters no problem. A pot of coffee and I was good to go. I could even take a power nap and then get right back up and keep working. The only time I would really let my guard down and relax was the weekend. Sleep in late. Watch some TV. Read the paper while having brunch at a corner café. Meet friends and talk about politics and global social issues. Now I really just lie around and stare at the wall. I miss how much I could accomplish in just one day. To prove my point here is a typical lazy Saturday at home these days for us old folks:

Weblog for Saturday September 25, 2010

5:00 – Baby monitor crackles. It’s my son. He’s whining. “Daddy?! Daddy?!… Milk… Pleeeeasssse!”. Roll over and look at my wife. I can tell she is looking at me through her closed eyes. I’m the milkman so she’s not moving. “Daaaaaaaddy!!!!”

5:15 – Burn my hand. Need to make coffee before I bare hand the pot that’s heating the milk.

5:16 – Burn my hand. Again.

5:17 – My son has inhaled his milk. Looks at me like Oliver Twist… “More?!”

5:19 – Burn my hand. Again.

5:30 – Bump into my wife who has silently entered the kitchen and spill boiling coffee on my bare feet. Step on random toy.

5:45 – “What’s that smell?”

5:50 – “Hey buddy let’s change your diaper…” “Nooooooooooooo! I don’t want it!” “You may not, but daddy and mommy are about to pass out so…” “Noooooooo!”

5:55 – Using Navy SEAL hand signals and fiber optic cameras my wife and I corner our son in a remote hard to reach location. Rocks, scissors, paper for who goes in.

6:00 – Ice pack for daddy who threw paper to mommy’s scissor and made the mistake of entering remote location headfirst. Rookie mistake.

6:15 – I remember when Jimmy “Jumbo” Taylor pinned me in 5 seconds during 8th grade PE with a move called “The Cowboy”. Daddy tries to pull it off on the 2 year old to get him onto the changing pad and throws his back.

6:16 – Mommy shakes her head in disgust. Rolls daddy to the side and wrangles son, losing a clump of hair in the struggle.

6:30 – Daddy recovers as diaper is finally secured and high-pitched screaming has subsided to a whimper. Daddy and mommy hear a distinct ringing sound coming from inside their heads.

6:40 – While mommy showers, I am attempting to dress my son. I manage to get his right sock on.

6:45 – Mommy checks in on daddy who has managed to get the left sock on with one hand (I use the other to shield my body from my son’s wind milling arms). I’m fine.

7:15 – My son is fully clothed. I grab a water bottle and head for the shower. I hear my son tearing by the bathroom with my wife in hot pursuit.

7:20 – My son bursts into the bathroom. He is naked and laughing (cackling?).

7:21 – He pees on the floor and laughs (cackles?).

7:40 – We get his clothes back on.

8:00 – Temporarily distracted by an episode of Curious George (and taking copious notes with Crayons) my wife and I are able to get dressed. Very, very quietly.

8:15 – A first attempt is made to coax our son out of the door.

8:16 – “Nooooooooooooo! I don’t want it!”

8:20 – A trail of cars is placed outside my son’s room and ends with his favorite strategically placed on the stroller that is in the hallway.

8:30 – Sensing a trap my son has used his Thomas The Tank Train umbrella to hook the stroller from inside the door and pull it to him. He snags his favorite car and is gone. I step on a car barefoot.

8:50 – Mommy and daddy break open the emergency kit. A trail of muffin crumbs is put in place of the cars. Daddy makes himself really small and crouches behind the stroller. Mommy slides behind the front door.

9:05 – My son is dazed by the sugar rush and makes the fatal greedy mistake of going for the wrapper. Daddy pounces and quickly ties him down. Mommy flings him the diaper bag and shuts the door behind her. Daddy sprints to the elevator. Mom is close behind.

9:20 – I send my wife ahead to peer around the corner and make sure that there are no ice cream trucks ready to ambush us as we head towards the neutral zone (aka Central Park). She signals the all clear.

9:35 – Just as we enter the last crosswalk before the park the familiar Mister Softee jingle invades the relative silence as an ice cream truck emerges from the side street to our left. I see the driver’s beady eyes looking straight at us as his mouth breaks into an evil grin. I pick up the pace as my wife starts standard evasive maneuvers such as “Look an airplane!” or “Look a dinosaur!”.

9:36 – My son smells the ice cream truck. Daddy forgot to move upwind. Another rookie mistake.

9:50 – The sobbing has subsided and a giant pout camps dead center on my son’s face. It says: “You are the meanest people in the universe!”

9:51 – A dog prances by and sniffs my son. “Ooooooh doggie! I want it!” The pout is gone. “I waaaaant it!”

9:52 – The dog leaves. The pout returns.

10:00 – We reach the swings. “Ooooooh swings!” The pout is gone.

10:45 – As my arms start to go numb there is a first attempt at removing my son from the swings which catches the attention of the mounted policemen in the vicinity. They are about to call in a 211. I assure them that we are in fact the little rabble rouser’s parents as my son screams “Noooooo! No! Noooooo!” at the top of his lungs while kicking me repeatedly in my (rather soft) belly and my groin. The cops look doubtful and remain in the area until we finally get our son away from the swings.

11:15 – My son plays and laughs with his cars on the grass. And old lady walks by and comments on how cute and well behaved my son is.

11:16 – I offer my son to the old lady much to my wife’s dismay. She points out that offering some money would probably help convince the lady. The lady surprisingly turns down the offer.

11:20 – The mounted police officers pass within a few feet and smile and wave to our son. They then glare at us and carry on.

12:00 – Our son falls asleep exhausted.

12:01 – My wife and I weep. These are tears of joy. We have gotten through half the day without major incidents and with most of our sanity intact.

As you can see a parent’s life is rather boring. Life is so much easier now that I have a kid and I worry that if we have a second kid it might become unbearably slow. I worry that my wife and I will find ourselves sitting around with little else to do but watch the younger generation getting so much accomplished in their daily lives full of ideas on how to conquer the world and get things done. I wonder what tomorrow will bring? Probably more of the same old things. Ho hum.

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