Dad Time

Posted: September 18, 2010 in Family, Kids
Tags: , ,

Dad Time. Defined as the period, no matter how long, in which Mom is not present and Dad is left with the kids. Inevitably, Dad Time invokes incidents that simply do not occur if Mom is present.

For example, there was the time I was attempting to transfer six month old Clara from a pack ‘n play to her crib, in the dark, but did so by picking her up upside down and then holding her away from my body while trying to figure out what happened to her head. You can imagine Jaime’s reaction when she walked in at that exact moment to witness her baby dangling by her legs, fast asleep.

Or the time just a few weeks ago, when just moments after Jaime left the house, I underestimated Shepard’s crawling speed, then underestimated his ability to pry open doors, and then watched helplessly as he found a bottle of Pine Sol and with break neck speed untwisted the cap and let the the bottle’s contents fly onto the kitchen floor while he giggled with delight. No joke, the way he put the Pine Sol in a headlock and twisted off the cap while releasing the bottle to the ground in one motion would have made Jason Bourne jealous. Boy, did it smell clean in the apartment that night.

Jaime is away for the weekend at the Ganderbrook Ladies’ Retreat in Maine, which means I have had the kids to myself for a couple days and fortunately for the kids there are no great stories to tell. But just a couple days of Dad Time reinforces both how much I love these kids and how grateful I am that my wife is able and willing to stay home and raise them.

Clara, Shep and I visited Sweet Treats on Center Street yesterday to pick up some candy (also a part of Dad Time) and the store manager commented how fast the time goes by with little ones. She had a look of longing in her eyes that suggested she wished she could return to such a time as I am currently enjoying. Just an hour before, the cashier at Walgreens noted she wasn’t even sure if she could remember her girls, now 11 and 6, ever being as cute as Clara. I don’t think she meant to say Clara was especially cute, as much as she was trying to lament the fact that she simply doesn’t have clear memories of her children as toddlers. These interactions made me appreciate my blessings all the more.

So not to brag, but in hopes that I will someday remember, Shepard is incredibly cute at 13 months. He just learned how to walk and his gait-in-progress reminds us of Jack Sparrow looking for the last of the rum. He frequently comes up behind us while doing the dishes just to snuggle the back of our legs, complete with a humming sound effect to express his love. And there can be few things better in life than to return home from work to your son ecstatically flipping out with excitement upon your arrival screaming “Dada!”.

Clara continues to be a trip at nearly three years old. She did an amazing job as flower girl in Ty and Andrea’s wedding over Labor Day weekend. I think it may be impossible for a Dad’s eyes not to well up with tears when you see your beautiful little girl go down the aisle, even if she’s only two and just the flower girl. After she very seriously and thoroughly placed the flower petals on the aisle she came back to hang out with me near the back of the venue so as not to cause a distraction.

I fed the kids animal crackers to keep them quiet and when I found a sheep cracker I pointed it out to Clara. Clara then picked up a rock and informed me that I should have the sheep stand on the rock. I complied. Then she instructed me to have the sheep drink water from the rock. This took me aback, because as many Bible stories as we have read to her, I don’t ever recall telling her about Moses and the water from the rock in Exodus and I couldn’t think what may have possessed her imagination to think that a rock could produce water.

I began to think that perhaps out of the mouth of babes I was to receive an inspirational message from God or some type of instruction. I eagerly awaited what she would say next as I envisioned myself as a sheep in need of both God as my rock and foundation and Jesus as the living water foreshadowed in those Exodus passages. Clara then squinted her eyes and cocked her head appearing ready to deliver a profound insight. And then she asked me very seriously, ” Now, Daddy… Do you have to go potty?” Good stuff.

Well, Jaime is due back in a few hours, and while I have successfully kept the kids alive, the house is a wreck. Dad time.

  1. April says:

    Ah, sounds much like my husband’s “Dad Time”. I work from home full time, go to school part time, and am far busier than is really sane. As a result, the kids get a lot of Dad Time outside of daycare hours. I wander out of the back room after work to find the house looking like a tornado hit it, the kids so hopped up on sugar that they’re out of focus, unidentifiable sticky substances everywhere and the family all quite happy. That last part would be the important portion. Stuff is just stuff, but Justin and the kids will remember this time together. I’m sure yours are building happy memories as well.

    And now I miss the Jack Sparrow walk! Did you get video to save it? Lyn did that too, briefly. I wish I had more video. Both my kids were more of cruisers though, then into running.

    Isn’t that ability to open lids terrifying? Will can sometimes open childproof caps now – he’s 4. Mine are both monkies, they can climb anything, so no place is “safe” to store dangerous items. You’re right – toddlers have lightning speed superpowers for troublemaking. Whoever said accidents happen in slow motion obviously did not have a two year old. They’re ninjas. Moms just have to hone those super ninja powers, we’re all part precognitive.

  2. Bud says:

    I really appreciate the great Dad example you are living out and your children will look back with fondness and will be so thankful for the “Dad Time” you gave them. We all have “close calls” and “semi potentially dangerous moments” with our kids. Mom’s have the too. : ) Isn’t it good to know that angels are watching out for them too? I loved the Jack Sparrow reference and literally laughed out loud as I pictured Shep strolling through your kitchen! Keep up the good work, Dad!

  3. Wednesday says:

    *lots of giggling*

  4. Lana says:

    I’m excited for Nathan’s dad time.

  5. I agree with the ninja comparison April.

    Thanks Bud for your encouragement.

    Wendy, your giggles bring so much joy, I’m glad to provide some impetus for them!

    Lana, I am so excited for you and Nathan. Can’t wait to see you both in October. Glad to hear your baby is doing well.

  6. Jason says:

    Wow, Clara’s insight into the needs of us as sheep from the Good Shepherd just blew my whole world apart. I do need to go potty. I never looked at it like that.

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