It’s Simple… Apparently.

Guys.

Hold on, I need a moment.

*heavy sigh*

Ok, so… I spent the last year thinking how lucky I was. What a fortunate parent I am. I have such a good kid, I thought. Man, I am getting away easy with my well-behaved little girl.

That’s out the window, I think.

Either Amelia is just having a bad day, or we are in the beginning stages of “Everything is worth melting down about or arguing” phase. Either way, at the end of the interactions, I’m still chuckling with a side of silent rage.

A conversation had about an hour ago:

“I DOOOHHNNNN WANNNAA TAKE A BAYTH!!!!”

I don’t care.

*I put her in the bath*

(45 seconds later)

Are you havin’ fun?

“Yeah, I’m havin’ fun. Cause I like bein’ in the bath…”

Yeah, I know.

“Well….”

 

A little bit before that, we were watching some Disney shorts on Netflix and they were talking about something to do with Mickey Mouse’s nose and it being turned up when he looked sideways and flat when he looked straight on…

When you turn to the side you have a big nose?

“No. When I turn around…. I have a big nose…”

“It’s simple.”

*continues eating chicken nugget…*

 

Just before that:

Amelia, Fletch is following you because he wants to have fun with you.

*Whining about something incomprehensible*

Amelia, stop whining and talk to me so I can understand you.

(Stops whining and speaks perfectly clear while staring right at me)

“I’m sad because I don’t want to have fun.”

Well then go in your room and sit down until you want to have fun and he’ll stop following you.

“Nooooo.”

Go. You can come out when you want to have fun.

*weird floppy stomping to her room…silence*

-Upon an around the corner review, she immediately sat down in her room with a book and started reading to Fletch about animals… because he followed her to her room. (My dadsense predictions are growing strong)

She has hit the point of VERY, VERY (how do I make the font BIGGER?) VEERRY opinionated opinions.

That part, I must admit, I kinda really like.

My favorite new thing is this “it’s simple” response.

Do you want milk on your cereal?

“Yeah, you just pour it on. It’s simple”

I know you pour it on. But do you wa….. never mind.”

I feel like we are entering a quote-rich blog here real soon. She’s getting hilarious and somehow terribly frustrating at the same time. I’m pretty stoked overall. We’ll see how long that lasts.

 

Stay close, more coming soon///

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What Do I Say? Not What I Do!

“Amelia, stop touching that…”

“Amelia, quit playing with that and clean up…”

“Amelia, quit picking your nose…”

“Amelia, you can’t just point out that someone is fat/old/weird looking…”

Here’s the deal. Either I’m a giant three-year-old (ENTIRELY possible) or there is one real key to parenting…

Hypocrisy.

In the last few months, I find myself telling my child to stop doing pretty much everything I remember doing as a child.

Ok, so…. pretty much everything I do still as a grown adult with the inside voice that says “I’m an adult, you can’t tell me what to do…”

Anyways.

Walking through the store, she touches EVERY single thing. It’s curiosity. She’s tactile. I totally get it…. But, I find myself telling her not to touch, mainly because I don’t wanna end up footing the bill for curiosity.

I’ll be real honest with you. I HATE boogers. They are a collection of dead skin and dust and all the gross things in the world that enter into your nose. I pick that crap right out of there.

Yet I tell my kid, “Stop picking your nose.”

I struggle constantly with making sure my kid picks up after herself… some days, you don’t even want to see the atrocity that can be my room.

I know, I know, at this point someone in my family is muttering to themselves about being the example and setting the standards, blah, blah, blah…

I relate it to the way we taught photography, there are certain things we taught at the schoolhouse that, in the real world, you would never actually do… but… To get the that point of realizing those things are stupid and useless, you have to, as we would tell students, crawl, walk, run. Gotta learn the rules to know when it is ok to break them.

Although, sticking your fingers in your mouth is never ok. I don’t care how old you are. It’s just gross.

But I’ve settled on that one simple fact as an effective tool when in doubt.

Hypocritical answers.

“Dad, can I have a lollipop?”

(It’s 8 in the morning… what would I do if I wanted a lollipop right now? Answer in the opposite…)

“No, you can’t eat candy at 8 in the morning, we need to have breakfast first.”

Cracks open a breakfast beer…

 

Nailed it.

 

 

Stay close… more coming soon///

 

The Holiday Lump of Single Parenting…

Ok, I can tell you right now, this is going to be a bit of a downer post. Sorry in advance, but, hey… It’s my blog and this is one of the sadder memories I realized as it happens I will always carry with me. So. You get to experience it too.

 

This past weekend I went up to take part in a family tradition for the first time in like 15 years. Coincidentally, single parenting I think is what kept me from doing it when I was younger and single parenting is what made the memory I can barely stand to think about now.

Most of my mother’s side of the immediate family now lives on Whidbey Island, where I grew up. Every year for about the last 12-15 years, my Mom, brother, Aunt, cousin and grandparents (since they moved up to Whidbey from California) get together in Coupeville to take part in the Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony. As we were waiting for the parade to start we began discussing it and realized I had never come down for the evenings events. We decided by coincidence that I must have just been with my dad each year.

It was not a weekend where I had Amelia. And now it starts getting kinda sad.

For the last couple of months we (Amelia and I) have been getting into some pretty serious conversations about Santa. Who he is, where he lives, the never-ending list of what she wants to ask him for and what he might bring her for Christmas, and the fact that she REALLY wants to go see Santa.

Engage lump. Even as I type. Dammit.

The parade was going fine, and I was minorly disappointed that Amelia couldn’t be there for the Christmas carols since she loves singing so much.

Then it happened.

Santa came up over the hill. And I thought about how much she would freak out to see him in person. And I got sad she wasn’t there.

Then it kinda hit me that I was missing the chance at a serious life memory. That first time she see’s Santa; being aware of what it means as a kid to see Santa.

Every time I looked up towards the lit-up sleigh with the waving Santa, the lump in my throat got stronger. As the rest of my family looked on and waved, I kept trying not to dwell on how much, especially in that moment, I missed my little girl. Luckily it was cold and rainy out, so the sniffling and wet upper face area was easily disguised as a rainy cold nose.

It still amazes me how uncontrollably strong my emotions for my child can be. It is an irrational and truly unconditional love. And not having her always around for everything is hard.

Not being able to share in that moment that all the parents around me were getting to relish in, taking for granted the moment as it happens as a routine part of the holidays, made it that much worse.

As he dashed through the rain past us, I managed to get through the moment without anyone noticing.

A deep breath, a strong effort to compartmentalize, and a fake smile. It’s amazing what those three things can do to hide what’s happening in your head.

After the parade they brought the sleigh around and had Santa walk through the crowd to meet the kids and take pictures with everyone. I, of course, had to get a photo with him to at least show Amelia that I had met him. A fake smile and a constant fight to keep the lump at bay… We took a couple photos with the fam and he moved on.

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He was impressed with my little baby beard. 

It’s something that will linger through all the walks near anything holiday-ey. Driving past a house with lights and not getting to point them out to Amelia. Eating the Christmas cookies we made together in an empty house. It just kinda sucks, man.

To keep it from being a totally lame depressing post…It’s not all bad. We’ll get to do plenty, go see Santa and drive around and look at Christmas lights and do fun holiday stuff together… and I get to wake up Christmas morning and enjoy her seeing the presents under the tree this year. But it’s the little moments you don’t get that can weigh so heavily.

I’m sure I’ve already said it once, but, the one thing I never wanted Amelia to have to go through was being a kid with separated parents. It is tough, and for us it is only just beginning.

I suppose on the plus side, silver lining or whatever, it makes you appreciate the moments you do get with your kids so much more.

Take the time to cherish your moments with family this Christmas; appreciate being a part of those events…

 

Stay close, more coming soon///