Pros and cons of being an at-home parent

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I’m surprised that confetti and Skittles didn’t fall from the sky seeing how I’m the one millionth person to put this idea into their blog, but I’m going to do it anyway. Take from it what you will: if you’re one of the previous 999,999 to already do this, take solace in knowing I did not copy from you and if you’re not a parent and have yet to read a list like this, here’s what you’ve got to look forward to.

Oh wait, there’s the confetti!

And before you kill me for the “narrow-minded” title, the following statements/pros/cons/snarky comments can and have (I’m sure) been applicable to all parents, not just at-home parents. However, since I’ve spent most of my time parenting as an at-home parent, that’s the angle I’m taking. It’s supposed to be part serious, part snarky, maybe even humorous, so all the Literal Larry/Laura’s out there, please, relax.

I reached out to the dads who are members of the National At-Home Dad Network for some input and got some good feedback – I used some of them and had a similar thought-process as others.

The idea is that for each pro there must be a con (along with a related GIF below, which I finally discovered), because as is with everything in life, you take the good with the bad. It’s how it goes.

Without further ado, here is my debatable and highly unintellectual and scatterbrained list of the pros and cons of being at at-home parent.

1. PRO: Watching your kid(s) grow up, learning all their quirks and intricacies, understanding what the hell they’re trying to say, the memories I’m making with them everyday, it goes on and on.

1. CON: Lack of a salary. I know, “You save your family money blah blah blah…,” I get that, I do, but it’s always nice to bring in some greenbacks.

2. PRO: Getting used to functioning on little to no sleep.

2. CON: What little sleep you might get is spent fearing their dreaded middle-of-the-night wakeup call or cry,, so are you really sleeping? Whoever coined that stupid phrase never had kids. “Sleep like a baby,” pssssssssh.

3. PRO: A t-shirt and sweatpants is high-fashion to a 3-year-old and a 5-month-old, and when it’s raining/snowing/crappy outside, we don’t have to leave the house.

3. CON: An increase in laundry due to spilled food/vomit/spit-up on shirt when we head somewhere other people will see us.

4a. PRO: Showers aren’t completely necessary…

4a. CON: …until later in the day you realize you smell like vomit. And it just may be the only alone time you’re likely to get.

…or

4b. PRO: Water bills tend to be lower…

4b. CON: …because you don’t need to shower. (thanks Chris – and go follow his BLOG and check out his Kickstarter as he’s looking to publish a children’s book)

5. PRO: Living the park life every day, as long as it’s not raining.

5. CON: The ensuing breakdown that occurs when it’s time to leave the park.

6. PRO: You’re home all day with your kids, YESSSSSSSS!

6. CON: You’re home ALL day with your kids, AHHHHHHHH! (thanks Brett)

7. PRO: You’re raising your own kids, helping control what they’re exposed to, and not leaving them in day care at the mercy of other parents who decide to send their kids in regardless if they’re sick or not.

7. CON: Very little interaction with anyone over the age of three, thus making adult interaction even more enjoyable (thanks SC Skip). Also you may find yourself using a 3-year-old’s lexicon in public.

8. PRO: Chances are you’ve listened to so much crying and screaming and so many temper tantrums that you’re practically immune to it or can mentally prepare yourself for their wrath. (I’m NOT saying to just let your kid cry/scream/etc., thought crying is a way to express feelings)

8. CON: Well, crying and screaming generally means an unhappy kid and temper tantrums, even though they might make you chuckle a bit on the inside, are no good.

9. PRO: You’re bigger, faster, and stronger than they are, so there should be relatively no beef between you and your employees. (or should it be the other way around?)

9. CON: They’re slipperier, more unpredictable, and tough to wrangle, especially mid-diaper change when they can spring a sneak attack on you. A 5-month-old might only be 13 pounds but trying to pin them down to change a diaper is quite a task.

10. PRO: There’s little reason to do too good a job cleaning up the toys, unless people are coming over, seeing how 45 seconds later, they’re likely to be scattered all over the place again.

10. CON: Waking up to pee in the middle of the night and stepping on Matchbox cars/Legos/etc. and holding in your scream.

11. PRO: Cooking means controlling what your family eats and introducing your kid(s) to new foods.

11. CON: Lots of uneaten meals since a (my) three-year-old’s diet consists of cereal, pancakes, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, chicken, french fries, carrot sticks, applesauce, pizza, peanut butter and jelly, pasta with no sauce and ketchup.

12. PRO: You can often convince them kids that the only kind of music anyone should listen to is Southern Rock (and they eventually start singing the lyrics to “Can’t You See” by The Marshall Tucker Band)…

12. CON: …but they remind you that the only types of shows on television are on Disney Junior and there’s often one episode they’ll watch until the cows come home.

13. PRO: You get to set your own schedule…

13. CON: …that often revolves around the nap time of two kids who, if they miss nap, turn into raging animals at around five in the afternoon.

14. PRO: Getting a few hours to spend with your wife/husband after successfully putting the kid(s) to sleep.

14. CON: Feeling like a prisoner in your own home, knowing that a creaky floorboard is a trigger to a wake-up-screaming fit.

15. PRO: Hopefully getting to hang with the other at-home dads next fall in Raleigh for the 20th Annual At-Home Dad Convention. (pretty good idea Mike)

15. CON: Leaving the Wifester and maniacs for a few days.

So there you have it, a little lengthier than anticipated, but I kept coming up with and getting great ideas. If you think I missed any, feel free to comment. Until next time America, stay positive.

Noises in the night

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Last night, or should I say very early this morning, there were some rumblings from G-Unit’s bedroom, and by rumblings, I mean crying. The first time, at 12:30am required me to go in there and rock him back to sleep. Save your opinions on letting the kid “cry it out,” because if the kid is screaming and crying, I’m not sleeping either.

Everything was going great until 4:38am rolled around, when another bout of crying woke us up. Wifester volunteered but I overruled her and went in for Round 2 with the heavyweight champion of sleep resistance. I mean it really didn’t matter who went in either time, we were both awake anyway. It took about 20 minutes or so to tame the beast before I was able to leave his lair.

She got up soon after I put him back down in his crib, around 5:15am I think, to go to the living room, enjoy a hot cup of Joe, and watch the morning news. She enjoyed her coffee and news for a solid eight or nine minutes before the beast woke again. She went in, got him, and fed him as she “enjoyed” her coffee and the news.

Oh, what’s that I hear at 5:41am? Yup, Unit calling out, “Daddy! Daddy! I’m up. Come get me. Daddy!”

So there we were, up for much of the night with two kids who have yet to really grasp the importance of a good night’s sleep.

The day was off to a great start and the sun hadn’t even begun it’s ascent into the sky. Needless to say, we can’t wait until we turn the clocks back for Daylight Saving Time on November 2. That oughta be a treat, but it’s a few weeks away, so there’s still hope.

G-Man (I’m going to call him this from now on since the Unit and G-Unit can get repetitive and a bit confusing) did have his morning nap, albeit a few minutes earlier than normal, but slept for just 35 minutes. He must have had big plans today.

My plan was the park, since the torrential rains passed and it was looking like a nice day, which it certainly is.

I loaded up my bag, packed Unit a lunch, and got them in the car. They’d already been up for five hours but there’s no chance in hell we were staying inside. Unit, who was thrilled to be going to the park before we left the house was now quite displeased with our decision to go (see: yesterday’s post), instead demanding we go to the library, which he failed to mention to me at any point this morning. Mid-ride he changed his tune from bad attitude to happy toddler, saying, “Daddy, I’m gonna stop being a mean person and be a happy boy!” Well it’s official, he’s going to be happy from here on out. Then he asked me to teach him the words to “Something Bad” by Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, one of the Wifester’s favorites. It went something like this: “boomba boomp boop something bad about to happen…” He told me those weren’t the right words and changed topics to Do Not Enter signs. Whew, crisis averted.

Immediately upon our 10:30am arrival at the park, the sound of clapping and giddy excitement was heard coming from the back seat as Unit asked if his “friends” were going to be there. Turns out, one of his “friends” from the other day was there and though they played together for a while, neither chose to re-break the ice, so the two of them ran around like mimes, acting out whatever poses/moves/dances struck them as funny.

And with that, one of them is up…oh wait, both of them are now up. There’s weird noises coming from both rooms. Short naps after a short night’s sleep, it must be something in the air. Nope, it’s just Unit, crying. Because I “left him” alone for his nap, as if I’ve ever napped with him. Kids, man, kids!?

Here’s to hoping they have a more consistent and noiseless night of sleep, but at least Unit sleeps right through G-Man’s outbursts.

I AM in control of my own destiny

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new do

Seeing how it’s unofficially National Dictionary Day (since Noah Webster was born October 16, 1758), let me give you the Merriam-Webster definition of “destiny,”:

des·ti·ny

noun \ˈdes-tə-nē\

: what happens in the future : the things that someone or something will experience in the future

: a power that is believed to control what happens in the future

Oh crap, did I say destiny? I meant destination, since that seems to be the only thing I can control since I’m the one driving the car. My destiny is at the mercy of two volatile, mood-swingy, bipolar-ish boys in the backseat who in the same breath can be both jovial and devilish.

For those of you who are all prophetic in your “you create your own destiny” mindset and “you could create a better destiny if you taught your children to behave blah blah blah,” you may or may not be a parents, so let me reiterate: my destiny (at least while they’re young) is controlled by two boys in the backseat who are about as unpredictable as the numbers in the nightly lotto drawings.

Take our excursion to Snip-Its and Target this morning. I explained that we were going to get him (Unit) a haircut and then Target. He disagreed with the notion of going to the latter so vehemently that he removed his Crocs (it’s 75° and pouring rain) and dropped them on the floor of the car. I know, what a maniac. “I’m NOT going to Target, I don’t LIKE it there!” I reminded him that I was driving and that’s what we were doing, and nicely asked him to behave. “I’m gonna apologize,” he almost inaudibly spoke (that’s how he says he’s sorry, by telling you he’s going to apologize).

Unit needed a haircut in the worst way so why not take him to the place that claims “a haircut at” their establishment “is truly an adventure!” I am not disputing their statement at all, every single time we go there (thrice a year), Unit loves it.

Here’s our Snip-Its experience in a nutshell:

We walked in, gave them the last four of my phone number (since we’ve been there before), ask the child’s name, proceed to give your kid a special credit card that is later inserted into the front of the desk disguised as a special toy-making-type machine. He got up in the chair, held onto the card as tight as possible, and proceeded to respond to everything the woman asked him in his whisper voice, a voice so low it’s barely a tick up from it being considered lip-synching. Hey, at least he was answering her. After the cut was over, he politely asked for a lollipop (pats self on back) and hops down. He put the card in faux-toy-making-machine and out popped … wait for it … a sticky hand thingy. Ugh. I paid, got a coupon for $3 off the next cut, and we left.

We’ll be back before the new year to take advantage of the $3 off coupon, believe that!

Well that went rather swimmingly.

As soon as we step foot outside, he tells me he likes his haircut and wants to go to Target. Yes, the place just 30 minutes prior he thought was the worst place on Earth. Like I stated earlier, “volatile, mood-swingy, bipolar-ish.”

I get the two loaded up in the car, G-Unit screeching like a pterodactyl as we get pelted by the pouring rain, and we head to our final destination, Target. After we arrived, the de-boarding began and while I was getting them out of the car, I used an umbrella to keep from getting soaked by the teeming rain. Unit had a breakdown, looked away and began crying because he didn’t want to use the umbrella but also didn’t want to get soaked. I waited outside the car, cuffs of my pants dripping water, wearing G-Unit underneath the umbrella. After two minutes, Unit came to his senses and stepped out of the car.

Everyone knows what a black-hole Target is for your wallet though they do have the best prices on cereal, which was on my list of things to procure along with milk, bread, and a few packs of $1.50 foam brushes. Today I kept it in check, spending just $30 instead of the anticipated $14, so that was a small victory. I wound up getting two boxes of cereal, bread, milk, the foam brushes, two bags of Rold Gold pretzels (sourdough and sticks), and a box of apricot fruit leathers. I think that was all.

The entire time inside, Unit rode in the large basket of the shopping cart (I know they’re not supposed to sit in there) as he pretended he was actually controlling where we went all the while singing in a high-pitched voice that everyone in the store assuredly thought was awesome. He was having a good ol’ time, he must’ve forgot he removed and dropped his Crocs earlier on because I mentioned the store’s name. “Volatile, mood-swingy, bipolar-ish.”

The root of the story: you control your destination, your destiny, or what happens in your future, is heavily dependent on the maniacs in the back seat.

Music & Movement at the library; eating while sleeping

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penguins

(image courtesy of B&D Library)

For the second week in a row, we headed to our local library, which kicks butt, for Wednesday’s “Music & Movement” class. It’s a music enriched program consisting of a before and after stretching routine. songs, dance, and a lot of constant movement. In other words, a blessing for parents who are looking for a way to tire their kids out. Fellow Connecticut SAHD Allan was in attendance and experienced the M&M for the first time

Unit is always a little hesitant to join in at first but quickly warms up once the children’s librarian, Miss Meg, encourages him to participate. He’s familiar with her because for nearly four months prior to this M&M class, the library offers up a playgroup. I tried to urge him to join in, but he acts like a goof and doesn’t. Hey, at least he listens to someone.

Today they had to stand on/near the ‘X’ on the ground and listen to the music and follow the dance instructions, until they were able to freestyle, at which point Unit broke it down. He’s got some arsenal of dance moves, something he definitely does NOT get from me (though I am a hell of a chair dancer and have been known to break it down after a few cocktails). Basically, he’s me after a bunch of drinks at a wedding.

Anyway, he sweats like an animal (partly because he needs a haircut, which will be our Thursday adventure). And for the first time in a while, he actually confessed to me in the car that he was…wait for it…TIRED!

We got home, ate lunch, and put him down for a nap. (Insert criticism or critique over the fact that my three-and-a-half-year-old still naps here).

This brings us to the second topic in the headline, eating while sleeping. The culprit of this is G-Unit. Today, he had a lengthy nap in the morning for about 65 minutes or so, but went sleepless during the M&M class. This is understandable since there are kids dancing and music playing, so he’s got things to distract him. He generally falls asleep on the way home from the library on Wednesdays, but not today. We only live about 11 minutes from the library so he’ll cry for two or three minutes then pass out, only to wake up 15 minutes later.

Today he didn’t sleep at all so his afternoon nap routine began a few minutes earlier than normal. I changed him, fed him his bottle, and put him in his crib to sleep. While rocking him in the glider and feeding him, he fell asleep. Straight up passed out. But he managed to keep eating. (I’m not 100% sure but this seems like it could be a safety hazard). In any event, he’d stop sucking on the bottle until I moved it, at which point he’d begin eating again. This process repeated itself about a dozen times, until he ate four of the five ounces in his bottle.

Today he was so exhausted that he required only about a minute or two of rocking before I was able to successfully place him in his crib and walk out of the room to begin Unit’s nap-time routine, which I’ll get into another time.

So today’s two things: thank you to Miss Meg for tiring Unit out with 45 minutes of non-stop movement and thank God I can’t eat while I sleep or my weight would balloon even higher than it already has.

Playground parting is such sweet sorrow for Unit and his ‘friends’

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The playground is such a blissful place for a three-year-old: a boundless play area, obstacles galore, swings out the wazoo … and other kids.

Unit is what you’d consider an outsider, just like his old man. He’ll casually observe others’ behaviors before determining if he should or should not “befriend” said other. There’s nothing wrong with his thought process…he’s cautious and careful in who he wants to run with, and I appreciate that about him. It shows me that he can make sound decisions on his own (most of the time).

Here’s how it goes when we decide to make it a playground day:

  1. Arrive at playground
  2. Remove boys from the car, wear G-Unit
  3. Runs amok (by himself) for 20-25 minutes
  4. Grab a drink of water
  5. Scan the playground for other kids
  6. Decides which kid seems like “friend” material
  7. Follow said kid around like a tail for a few minutes
  8. Allows said kid to follow him around like a tail for a few minutes
  9. Runs over to me when he can’t find his “friend” and asks where his “friend” is
  10. Finds “friend”
  11. I remind him that when G-Unit starts crying, it’s time to go home
  12. I tell him to go ahead and play some more
  13. Asks me where his “friend” is
  14. Immediately finds his “friend”
  15. Continues to run with said “friend”
  16. After at least an hour-plus with his “friend,” it’s noon, 12:15p (time to leave)
  17. G-Unit begins to remind us that it’s time to leave by beginning to cry/whinny/grab at my face with his fingernails that need trimming
  18. I remind Unit that it’s almost time to go, reminding him that it’s almost time for G-Unit to eat/nap
  19. He throws his arms up in disgust/anger
  20. I cave, allowing him three more things to do before we leave
  21. He comes back to me after completing all the activities
  22. He sulks and follows me to the car
  23. Unit asks, “Is my friend gonna miss me?”
  24. I reply, “Yes, but maybe we’ll see them again next time we’re here. What was his/her name?”
  25. (Silence)
  26. We get in the car, buckle him in, and head home.

Sounds about right for a three-year-old, except for the fact that very, very rarely do they actually engage in conversation, which I’m guessing is also normal for a three-year-old.

What I’m trying to say here is that Unit has made progress from when he was in his two’s. Back then, he would never have approached other kids and make an effort to play. Progress is the name of the game, right?

He shares without any issues or the “this is MINE” nonsense, he doesn’t push or punch any of his “friends,” and he’s genuinely upset when he leaves them for the day. He’s a caring, compassionate and has an obnoxiously inordinate amount of energy. And he’s one hell of a kid.

(At-home) Parents ARE allowed to have hobbies, alone time

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Despite lacking the “alone” time to enjoy things as we did before our tiny humans arrived, stay-at-home and work-at-home parents (and ALL parents, really) are allowed to have hobbies that DO NOT involve the child(ren) they care for every day.

Here’s a list of a few luxuries I enjoyed before having kids:

  • quiet road trips to Anywhere, USA that didn’t require packing the car like a Jenga tower to get everything to fit
  • day-long Sundays at the bar watching football
  • being able to stay all nine innings at a baseball game (insert any sporting event here)
  • sleeping in past 6:30am on weekends
  • knowing that at a restaurant, every meal ordered for a person will be eaten

Now, am I saying I regret having kids? Hell no, these two dudes are some of the raddest humans I’ve ever met. Are they a lot of work? You bet your ass they are, but I wouldn’t change my situation for anything. All I’m saying is there are some things that I used to enjoy better by myself or with the Wifester.

Hobbies are what keep us young at heart. Some hobbies allow us a way to relieve the stress from the everyday grind. Some hobbies take us back to a time when we were kids and help us re-attach to things we loved in the past. Whether it be stamp collecting, video gaming, golfing, painting, cartooning, whatever it is, each of us has something we enjoy doing that does not involve our children. Kids make most things better, but for every parents peace of mind, every now and again we need the “me time.”

Here’s a few things I still enjoy doing, but now enjoying doing sans kids:

  • crossword puzzles – Unit is smart, but he has no idea how to read, thus rendering him useless in helping me complete a puzzle.
  • golf – a three-year-old really hinders the pace of play on the course.
  • live music – not the brightest idea taking a three-year-old to a dark, loud room with strangers lurking around every corner.
  • road trips – getting the in-laws to come watch the boys is relatively easy, enabling Wifester and I a rare weekend away from it all
  • shopping – I consider myself a phenomenal gift-giver, but to fully hone these skills, I need uninterrupted time to mindlessly meander through the aisles/interwebs in search of the right gift.
  • photography – I’m an amateur but still, it’s no fun trying to capture cool shots with a kid running off and/or screaming (though I do enjoy taking pictures of my kids running and/or screaming)

Here’s some of the things I enjoy doing with the kids (and when I say ‘kids,’ it’s more Unit since G-Unit still can’t sit up on his own):

  • building domino rally courses
  • tower building with said dominoes
  • creating wooden railroad tracks
  • dance parties in the living room to Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Beatles, CCR, etc.
  • assisting in Lego building activities
  • teaching him how to ride a bike

“Isn’t life so much more fun and fulfilling with kids?” Yeah, it is. Everything I do is for them and Wifester, but every now and again, I need time to myself, time to give myself a break from it all, and in no way does that make me a bad parent. It makes me a human being.

OK, time to warm a bottle up for G-Unit, he’s been napping for a few minutes and it’s highly likely he’ll wake up and be ready to eat when Unit ultimately wakes him up since he has a hard time controlling the volume of his voice sometimes, a la Jacob Sjil.

A 45-minute discussion with a 3-year-old about … volcanoes

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Saturday morning, Unit and I took a 65-minute drive to a newly purchased lake house (that my parents bought) to help my dad out with some painting. The weather wasn’t ideal as the misty rain confused the hell out of the windshield wiper speed as I maintained the speed limit on I-84, I-91, I-691, and Route 8 in our stealth 1999 Chevrolet Malibu, affectionately known as “Bu-Bu.” (It’s our ‘other’ car)

We’re not even 10 minutes into the trip and I hear, “Daddy, let’s talk about something. Let’s talk about … … … volcanoes!” So volcanoes were the topic of conversation nearly the entire trip. Volcanoes. You just can’t make this stuff up. I honestly have no idea where the hell he ever even saw a volcano except when I mentioned it in passing as he “Whoooaa”‘d the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Californication album cover a few months back. He asked what the pool was filled with, to which I replied lava, and then he asked where it came from, yada, yada, yada.

Apparently, a three-year-old never forgets.

So thus began his love affair with lava and more specifically, volcanoes. The following is roughly 8% of the conversation we engaged in about volcanoes. The questions were being asked so quick he could barely catch his breath. Of course, I had an answer for everything.

  • Unit: “Daddy, is that a volcano?” (pointing to the hill on the median of the highway)
  • Me: “No, that’s just a berm.”
  • Unit: “What’s a ber… Is that a volcano?” (pointing to a mountain in the distance)
  • Me: “It could be a volcano but luckily it’s not. There aren’t many volcanoes in Connecticut.”
  • Unit: “What would happen if it was a volcano, could be drive on it?”
  • Me: “I guess we could if there was a road on it bu…”
  • Unit: “Daddy, daddy, is there a road on that volcano? Is there a road on there?”
  • Me: “No.”
  • Unit: “Oooooh, is that a volcano?” (pointing at the same mountain, just a different view since we changed orientation)
  • Me: “That’s the same mountain as before, we’re heading South now.”
  • Unit: “Daddy look, this is what a volcano does when it eeyupts.” (gestures upwards with his hands and makes  weird noise)
  • Me: “Nice bud.”
  • Unit: “Can we go in a volcano?”
  • Me: “I think we could possibly hike on a volcano since they don’t erupt too often.”
  • Unit: “We don’t wanna be on one when it eeyupts.”
  • Me: “Nope. The lava will melt everything in its path.”
  • Unit: “Even us, daddy? And Bu-Bu?”
  • Me (chuckling): “Even Bu-Bu and definitely us.”
  • Unit: “Whoa! I hope that volcano doesn’t melt us.” (pointing to the same mountain)
  • Me: “That’s a mountain.”
  • Unit: “What’s the difference between a mountain and a volcano?”
  • Me: “A volcano is a mountain but volcanoes have lava and magma inside them, and a lot of mountains don’t have that inside them.”
  • Unit: “Oh, right.”

If that was exhausting to read, try living it. Unit is as inquisitive as any person I’ve ever encountered in my life and when it’s just me and him in the car together, the questions are asked quicker than this Mike Tyson 6-punch combo. I guess it’s better than having a mute, which he basically was for the first 18 months of his life.

He’s making up for lost time I guess. In any event, it made the ride go by rather quickly.

And in case you were wondering what else we talked about besides volcanoes, it was street lights. I (made up?) that they used sunlight to charge during the day when it was light out so that at night, when the sun isn’t out, the lights would have energy to light up. He liked the idea of the sun providing energy so much he asked for his water bottle so because he “needed energy” before he got tired.

What’d you talk about this weekend?

2 AM wake up call leads to co-sleeping for a night

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Contrary to what you may think, G-Unit isn’t the one who woke up last night at 2 am and eventually wound up in our bed. It was Unit and it further reaffirmed my belief against us co-sleeping with our kids. I’m not saying it’s not for everyone and should be frowned upon, but for us, in this home, in our king bed (thanks Butlerish), it’s not happening. In fact, I know plenty who do it and are enamored with the idea, and that’s all good and well…for them.

If you followed some of my Twitter feed last night, you’d it’s easy to understand why you think it was G-Unit who was the one who slept like crap (pun intended). Here’s a string of tweets:

Now that we’ve seen the proof of his relentless shitting, let’s get to the heart of the matter: co-sleeping with Unit. Because he woke up at 2 am crying/whimpering about something I couldn’t quite comprehend, I asked if he wanted to come sleep in our bed. Before I finished asking, he was climbing in the bed. Here’s a few reasons why it didn’t/doesn’t work:

  • He emanates heat like an outdoor patio heater.
  • His head always seems to find its way onto my pillow, often times headbutting me, which wakes me up and doesn’t phase him.
  • His arm slings around and typically finds its way around my neck.
  • He randomly woke up, sat up, and hugged the dog, who he hates sleeping around.
  • Did I mention the headbutts?

So next time there’s an early morning wakeup, sorry Unit, I’m going to attempt soothing your emotions/outburst before offering up our bed. Wifester slept great she said, so that makes two of three.

Here’s some new beats for your ears for a Friday.

An odd request from my 3-year-old today

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You really never know what a kid will say, especially a three-year-old. Today was a rather rainy day, the sun came out for a fleeting minute or two right as I was putting Unit down for a nap (yes, he’s almost three-and-a-half and still naps), so our brains were all a little sleepy.

We started off the day right, baking a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies after Wifester went to work. I cook dinner every night but am far from adept at baking. I’ve made cookies in the past but they typically come out mundane and average (at best). I’ve also dabbled in fruit crisps/cobblers several times, to mixed results.

Unit and I noshed on several cookies throughout the morning before we headed off to the library. G-Unit was on-the-ball with his behavior today and was rather pleasant for the vast majority of the morning despite his 12-minute nap while Unit and I baked. I would have rewarded his behavior with a cookie but he’s only 4-months-old, so no dice on that one.

Without fail, right before I put Unit down for nap, he asks to go guacamole. I know he’s putting off the nap but I’m not gonna be the one to prohibit my kid a trip to the hopper if he asks. He had a cookie in hand (and mouth) and I asked if he wanted me to hold it until after his nap.

His request was interesting.

“Daddy, I have to go guacamole but I’m gonna bring my cookie in case I get hungry.”

Well alright. I know it probably wasn’t all that sanitary, but I’ve taught him not to touch anything on the toilet with his hands while he’s on the toilet, so I’ve got peace of mind knowing he held his cookie out in front of him the entire three minutes he was on the bowl.

And with that, you have today’s odd request from a 3-year-old.

Five things my 3-year-old got excited about today

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Everyday is a fresh start filled with new adventures, new sights, and new sounds. And when you’re three-years-old, even the littlest things can amaze you. (Now that I read that, maybe adults need to take a page out of the three-year-old’s playbook.) Anyway, Unit has been relatively pleasant lately sans a few outbursts here and there, but today, he seems to be in a genuinely great mood (for now). How great a mood, you ask (or don’t)?

Here’s a list of five things — all observed before noon — that he got excited about.

  1. Crosswalks: On the way to our morning adventure (the bank, credit union, and Toys ‘R’ Us), each and every time he spotted a crosswalk, he exclaimed, “Oooooh, a CROSSWALK, daddy…oooh, and another one over dare!”
  2. Weather: It’s cloudy, a bit chilly, and the sun has yet to peek through today (I don’t think it will) but when we walked out the door, he says, “Ahhh, what a beautiful day it is, right daddy?” To which I replied, “Yeah, it’s a great day, man, let’s get moving.” Maybe meteorology is in his future, I mean who gets excited for a cloudy day?
  3. “Do Not Enter” signs: Not sure how the hell this one came about (several months ago) but he’s enamored with “Do Not Enter” signs. There’s a ton here in Connecticut, every which one Unit proclaims, “LOOK! A ‘Do Not Enter’ sign, LOOK!” He loves the things (so, if anyone has a spare sign lying around, I’d love to have it to put on his wall).
  4. Lunch: I don’t make the best lunches but I try to figure out what he wants before putting everything on the plate. It’s always peanut butter and jelly. Today, he opted for carrots (pronounced ‘cayots’), popcorn, and water. So after cutting the crust off the sandwich, arranging four carrots in line, and filling the third compartment with popcorn, I deliver the final product. “Mmm, this looks like a gooood lunch, daddy!” Yeah, lunch. The same one he’s had thrice this week.
  5. His new Lego set: He’s moved on from Duplo and Mega Bloks and on to actual Lego, the kind that you can’t see and cause bodily harm when you step on. He got himself a Lego Junior crane/bulldozer kit called ‘Digger.’ He named the driver, his first Lego figuring, Doug. So Doug drives Digger. The hugged the dang thing in the car on the way home from TRU and really focused on the directions and finding the right pieces to build.

So like I said prior, maybe adults can take a cue from the tiny humans they created and look for the good in things. I guess to us it’s all mundane and taken for granted, but to a three-year-old, even seeing crosswalks on a cloudy day is reason to celebrate.