Great idea

Ever have a great idea? Well an idea that you thought was great? An idea that you were sure would “wow” someone? That from start to finish it was going to be perfect? Then you tried to execute the plan.

Everything starts off ok. Things got rough for a second or two but the wheels were not off the track yet. The plan smoothed out and was going pretty good. Suddenly, all hell breaks loose and you aren’t sure where things went wrong. There are tears, crying, and yelling. Just as suddenly as it began the chaos ends and you are left standing and wondering how great of a plan was it in the first place. This pretty much sums up my night.

The plan:

1. Go home and change, then pick up Toby

2. Drive to Panera and eat

3. Stop at Kraynaks (this is a store close to my home town that has an awesome Christmas display, a green house, and a toy store)

4. Go see “Walking with Dinosaur’s” with Toby.

5. Drive home, Toby falls asleep on the ride home and end the night peacefully!

Piece of cake, right?

When I picked up Toby we had to drive past a Burger King, he started to flip out because he wanted to go to the play area there. Eventually he settled down after it was clear I wasn’t going to stop.

Then we get to Panera. This is where things smoothed out. For whatever random reason, this kid loves Panera and behaves miraculously there.

Kraynaks was good. The big bump in the road there was he wanted at $40 Lego set. It’s amazing how this kid forgot that I spent a stupid amount of money on him for Christmas. Ah but here is where him being 3 years old and not knowing the value of things helps. He ended up settling for two generic action figures that cost less than $2! Win!

The movie. Sigh. First off, I know that it seems like a good idea to get to a movie nice and early and get settled in.

Parenting tip #23431: Do not arrive before previews start! Your child will decide to climb the stairs and then jump down them two at a time.

Parenting tip #23432: movie theaters don’t carry apple juice.

Parenting tip #23433: the automatic flushers in the bathroom will scare your kid so he won’t want to pee in the potty.

Then the drive home. He didn’t sleep. In fact, Toby was amped up so much he thought it would be funny to kick off his shoe and throw his sock in the front seat while I was driving. I laugh now, but it scared the crap out of me driving at night and suddenly this small soft thing lands on my shoulder.

Ah home, safe right? Just get home and everything will be ok. Wrong. He has in the meantime pooped himself. Exciting, I know. He is also melting down because I tell him it’s bedtime. Epic melt down. Tears. Crying. Cries for momma, Nanna, anyone one but me. I change his diaper, ever try and change a diaper of a kid who is melting down?? It sucks.

I put him in bed. More tears. More cries. For the parents that say “just let them cry it out”, I say you haven’t heard my kid screaming at the top of his lungs and crying. Finally, I go in and lay down with him. Sing a few songs and by the fourth round of “twinkle twinkle little star” he’s asleep and I am left wondering how great of plan was all of this really?

Honestly sucks

So this is a rarity for me. Two post in essentially in less than 6hours. I apologize for the bombardment of posts. If you read my last post “Dear Toby, (12/12/13)” you read about how Toby got into trouble at daycare for pushing a kid and then subsequently blamed me. The thing is … I am to blame. Which quite honestly sucks.

I have the benefit, if you want to call it that, to work with students who have some terrible parents. In an extremely selfish way it helps me. I can compare myself to them and say “Well at least I didn’t do that” or “I’m doing better than that person”. It helps keep things in perspective.

The problem with it is that it almost gives me too much wiggle room if you will. If I am constantly comparing myself to these parents then it allows me to not be my best. The mindset is that “Well, I can do this because it’s not as bad as THAT!” Then it leads to a slippery slope down to “Well as long as I don’t do THAT, then I’m a good parent.” Again, I find myself not being my best.

At the same time I know I’m not perfect and I’m not going to be a perfect parent. I’m have and will make mistakes. It’s a fine line between pushing too hard to be a “perfect parent” and falling down that “slippery slope”.

I don’t want to be the overbearing, overprotective, overly sensitive, overly parenting parent but where is the line between being your best and being the overly parenting type? At what point do you strip away the fun because you are worried about “pushing at school” or do you toss caution to the wind and turn it into a “Do as I say, not as I do” moment?

I know that there really aren’t any right answers. That there are millions of factors that effect how a person grows up. I know that each person reading this has their own opinion. For all the parenting books that are out there that say “Do this” there are just as many that say “Do that”. In the end I can only do my best. In the end the only person that will know if I did my best will be me. Hopefully, it will be enough.

Dear Toby, (12/12/13)

Dear Toby, (12/12/13)

You got into trouble today. I picked you up from daycare and the teacher told me that you got into trouble for pushing. She said that when she told you that you don’t push friends, that your excuse was “but I push my dad”.

The phrase “Do as I say, not as I do” comes to mind. “Don’t push your friends, but I can dump you on the couch and knock you over with my feet.” It sounds so hypocritical, let’s be honest, it is. It’s difficult to find that line between playing around and not teaching you bad habits. It’s hard to establish boundaries and not let you pick up on my bad habits.

I know that over the next dozen or so years that you’ll pick up on many of my bad habits. I just hope you pick up on the good ones as well. When I really think about it, this was really only the 2nd “bad” day out of this whole school year so far. I think that this has to be a pretty good track record.

Hopefully by the time you are old enough to read this, you’ll have learned from my bad habits and picked up on some good ones. I’m sorry that I basically got you into trouble.

Love,
Friend Dad

I forgive you

I am beginning to think I need to change the title of my blog to “Bedtime stories and Life Lessons”. It seems like more and more of my posts are centered around putting Toby to bed. In reflection I realize that it’s the most relaxed environment that Toby and I are in. He isn’t jumping on my head or I’m not trying to get away to do dishes or make dinner. It’s calm, it’s peaceful.

Tonight was no different. I put Toby to bed. Downloaded a new book on my Kindle to read to him. Honestly, I would recommend a tablet of some sort for you would be parents. Real books are nice but it’s great to have a tablet handy. Plus let’s be honest, tablets are going to be the next generation of Gameboys and iPods.

Anyways, we read the book. Played story with his toys. Tonight’s story was Superman, farmer and a pair of legs… Yes literally just legs from a broken action figure fighting a “huge stuffed dog”. Turns out the “huge stuffed dog” was just a puppy and wanted to play. Everyone got “tired” and went to bed. I laid down with Toby for a few minutes. A new wrinkle in the evening has developed. A few times a week he has started to apologize for things. These aren’t just utterances of “I’m sorry” but legit apologies for things that he did. It’s actually quite incredible.

He apologized for jumping on my legs and trying to ride them like a horse. I had told him earlier that it hurt when he did that and he needed to stop. Tonight when he apologized I told him I forgave him. I figured if he knows enough to apologize for something then he should know what it means to forgive. I asked him if he knew what it meant to forgive. Of course he said no. I explained to him simply that it means that you are no longer angry with that person for what they did. I told him I forgave him. He sighed and simply responded “I love you dad”.