What are the “Terrible Twos”? Why am I asking a question online that’s not in a Google search? What’s going to replace my child’s obsession with Baby Shark?
I’ve been told the terrible twos happen when your kid turns two and all hell breaks loose. Like someone flips a switch and your kid goes on a year long rampage to destroy everything in your life, rip apart your sanity, and ultimately break you like Ivan Drago going up against Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV.
I’ve also been told that this is wrong.
The terrible twos, according to some, is a two year period between the ages of 1 to 3 where your toddler starts to behave like someone flipped a switch and now they’re on a rampage to destroy everything in your life, rip apart your sanity, and ultimately break you like Ivan Drago going up against Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV.
I’ll Google it once I’m done writing this. You should, too, because this isn’t an informative post. It’s a post about nothing… like Seinfeld. Seinfeld did well. Maybe this blog will do well. Meh.
Anywho, not much changes on a weekly basis with my kid. I mean she comes home dirty from day care each day and we clean her. Then she goes back to school… rinse and repeat. That’s as much change as we’ve had since last week.
When I started writing about my experiences as a parent nobody told me that the exponential growth your child undergoes in their first year of life starts to slow and creep along like old people driving to the Corner Bakery on a Sunday morning for their overpriced scramby eggs and bacon. It leaves me here twiddling my thumbs, vis-à-vis my blog post.
But, as an illustrator and an aspiring word smythe I am not without a back up plan. I wrote a quick little modern adaptation of “This Little Piggy” for Emma depicting some of today’s most popular trends. I hope you enjoy it and as always, Happy Parenting.
…also, I realized that when I started this blog I was reaching out to other parents, specifically other stay-at-home dads in search of some way to meet people. Well, that didn’t really pan out. A) Don’t try to meet strangers on the internet. That’s just never safe. B) I’m already spilling my life to everyone in these posts. Do they really need to reach out and insert themselves into some dude’s life while he’s trying to raise a baby? C) I’m pretty sure only my wife and our parents read this… and my wife only proof reads this so my typos and poor grammar don’t go out into the world and embarrass her. That being said, if you’re reading this and you’re not my or my wife’s parents then “Happy Parenting” might not apply to you.
I’m not going to stop writing it, though. It’s my “Stay Classy San Diego” and a sort of mantra at this point. Whenever Emma starts to behave like someone flipped a switch and she’s on a rampage to destroy everything in my life, rip apart my sanity, and ultimately break me like Ivan Drago going up against Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV, I just whisper to myself… “Happy Parenting.”
(Translation: Screw you guys! Feed my face! Clean my dookies! ATTEND TO ME, SERVANTS!)
That’s a literal conversation I’ve had several times with Kelly.
Sleep? What’s Sleep?
What is it like to sleep through the night? It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten. My daughter wakes up every night, like clockwork, hungry as a shark with a wet diaper that adds like another 10 lbs to her when picked up. SHE’S SO DAMN HEAVY NOW. She’s been getting heavier this whole time but I’m not getting any stronger. My buddy had a kid way before I did and he described the first three months of raising a new baby and not getting enough sleep like constantly walking through water. I took that to mean that moving was slow and getting around was a bit more difficult. We’re going on 5 months soon and we’ve hit colic 2.0 and I’m basically a freaking zombie.
We’re pretty frugal people, my wife and I. We don’t feel the need to upgrade our phones, computers, and TV every year despite the barrage of ads and commercials making my current tech seem dated, and thus making me feel dated, unhip, and out of touch. We like to save our money so we can invest in things that last, like a nice bed. Beds should last like 20-25 years, right? We spend a good deal of our lives in them so why not spoil ourselves with a bit of luxury if it’s not going to be outdated in the next 6 months? So we did; we bought a Tempur-Pedic and an adjustable base that vibrates and inclines, reclines, declines, Calvin Klein…. All the clines. It’s great. Buying it was one of the best decisions of our lives and we can’t wait to pay it off and get the title from Wells Fargo so it can become a family heirloom. The only bad thing about the bed is that I have to share it.
Like, not with my wife. That’s fine. She’s more than welcome. No. I have to share it with the whole family. When we got our puppy she would not, for the life of me, take to her kennel training. She was a rescue and the family she was with before us let her sleep in their bed. As a result, she would whine through the whole night. Out of desperation we let her out of her little puppy prison to sleep with us in our bed.
Cuddles and snuggles of any kind went right out the window. Human on human snuggles, anyway. My pup likes to get right up next to us when we sleep, preferring the back side like she’s the big spoon. Have you ever been spooned by a 15 lb animal? It’s weird. She just hangs out like a fanny pack.
Once she established herself as a permanent fixture in our bed she started stretching out- full leg extensions right into my back, shoving me to the edge of a king size mattress. And if I move she has the gall to growl at me! I’m still paying off this bed, who are you to growl at ME!? But that’s our fur baby and she’s spoiled.
Fast forward to today. Emma is going on 21 weeks and Kelly let her sleep in our bed. She put the baby right in the middle of our king size memory foam mattress and turned the vibration on, essentially guaranteeing that we will never get her to sleep anywhere else… EVER AGAIN.
In her defense, just like the long nights trying to train our puppy, she was desperate for some peace and quiet and looking for anything that would appease our little adorable cry baby.
Emma has two beds- a crib and a bassinet. She never uses the crib to sleep in because we co-sleep. That is, she sleeps in our room and will until she’s six months old or learns to roll back to front and front to back. It’s recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics so your child doesn’t die in their sleep. I think it’s from SIDS or just rolling over onto their face and not knowing that the air goes in that way.
Does she use any of those beds, though? No. To boot, she’s started fighting us when it’s time for a nap or time for bed. I mean, she is screaming up a storm, twisting and contorting her body like she’s had some really bad Indian food and she knows the diaper won’t hold it.
No, she’s a fighter. So we have to tag team each night like the championship belt is on the line. We bust out the white noise, a warm bottle, a binky, and get to rocking in the glider in a pitch black room. It takes about half an hour but she eventually fades and we walk her to her bassinet like we just won WWII.
But we know that at 2 am she’s going to wake up. She’s going to be hungry. And she’s going to be pissed- literally and figuratively. The difference now, since she’s had a taste of the good life, is that she won’t go back down in her bassinet. Nope. No sir. She will fake sleep repeatedly until we put her in our bed, where she proceeds to sleep with her arms up next to her head like a Muay Thai fighter. God forbid there’s a sudden noise or jostle of the bed because those little fists will fly out and hit anyone and anything while she remains dead asleep. If you’re going to hit me in the side of the head at least have enough respect to be awake when you do it.
There’s no way she’s going to go back to sleep in her bassinet. I’ve felt the padding. It’s essentially cardboard with two-ply paper towel as cushioning. No, it’s not gonna happen. It’s memory foam and I’m pretty sure they call it that because you will never forget how #$@%ing good it feels.
Now here I am… sharing a bed with my wife (obviously), my dog, and my baby. You can’t sleep with a baby in the bed. My wife and I stay up like it’s a game of chicken, making sure the other one doesn’t roll over onto her. We never would, but that crap happens; I saw it on the news once. It was tragic. To avoid this, we both scootch to our respective edges of the bed, stare at each other in the dark like creepers making sure the other doesn’t get comfortable enough to fall asleep on the baby. All the while, our puppy is curled up at Emma’s feet, growling at me as I jostle her awake when my baby sucker punches me in the back of the head.
On a side note, I couldn’t be happier because Emma and our pup, Shinobi, are becoming very aware of each other. Shinobi has become super protective and I just want to share a very proud experience of mine. We had some blinds installed in the new house and the guy who was doing the install had to come into the master bedroom where Emma and Shinobi were chilling on the bed… because they’re spoiled little princesses. Well, as soon as this guy walks into the room Shinobi starts growling and barking, gets up, stands between him and Emma and proceeds to stand over Emma and then lay at her feet when she’s decided that the threat has passed. I’m so proud and I can’t wait for their adventures together.
I wrote a poem about my situation and figured I’d illustrate it. Enjoy. And as always, happy parenting.
“We should get a puppy.”
“And have a baby?”
“And buy a house.”
“Huh? But we got the puppy and the baby.”
“The house is for them”
“…what do I get?”
Who says, “Let’s get a puppy, get pregnant, have a baby, buy/build/move into a new home” all in like a year? This family.
So… we’ve moved!!! And we did it all with a baby! “That doesn’t sound hard” you say?! “Stop fishing for compliments” you say?! What if I told you we didn’t hire movers? What if I told you that after dealing with builders for 6 months, an annoying flooring company, and painters all with a baby strapped to my chest, that I boxed the contents of a two bedroom apartment every day for two weeks and transported it all to our new home across town with a Hyundai Elantra? Aaaaand, on the last day of using said Elantra to move it started to break down with me, Emma, and a bunch of our crap inside, the result being that I had to switch to an even smaller Mazda 3…. ‘CUZ THAT ALL HAPPENED! Oh… and I had to keep working to boot.
Now, having work done on a house, you might think it’s emasculating to speak to a bunch of dudes working with power tools, doing back breaking work, making a living off the sweat of their brow all while carrying a baby in a daddy saddle. Not, really, no, because I’m paying them to be there so I will call out every late arrival, ding, chip, splatter, etc. until I am satisfied that the home we’re building for our daughter is perfect in every way. Plus, I kind of wore Emma as a badge and a shield, simultaneously; everyone who we hired would know or soon find out that I was a picky and particular father, but would they dare argue with (or God forbid hit) a dude carrying a baby?
(Actually, our flooring guy did… I won’t be recommending them. Just you wait till my Yelp review!)
I’m like those parents you see at the mall or zoo who use their kid’s strollers like a battering ram to break through crowds. Yes… I too, am an ass.
Seriously, though, a lot of that was done with Baby Emma strapped to me. Last time I discussed the benefits of the daddy saddle and these past couple of weeks while moving boxes it really came in handy. However, due to the location of my baby girl being right dead center of my chest, I ended up balancing boxes on my head like some sort of primitive early version of man. I was definitely the gathering kind, not the hunters, all the while grunting out my monosyllabic disdain for manual labor and cursing the California Sun for being 80 degrees in October. The fact that our apartment was like 3000 miles from our parking spot didn’t help. Moving to a home where you can park INSIDE is amaze-balls. The whole process of emptying the apartment was this arduous task that spanned two weeks and felt like carrying the one ring through Mordor, my precious Emma just getting heavier and heavier.
We’re here now though, and harness got me through it all without having to abandon Emma to the elements. I also have to give a special thanks to our friends who helped us move the big stuff. They’re the best and there’s not enough Thai food that could ever repay their generosity.
Well, all that being said, I haven’t had a lot of time to organize my thoughts on the whole experience of parenting while pack-muling to our new home. So I’m posting a little poem I wrote for Emma about one the grossest, yet satisfying experiences I’ve had as a parent so far- picking her nose. Seriously, it’s so sickly satisfying.
I’ll Pick Your Nose
An Ode to My Daughter
Never fear my daughter!
In my duties,
I shall not falter.
I, your father,
shall pick your boogies
so you breathe without a bother.
Boogie Picking Daddy
I’m not a poet.
So what’s the grossest thing that you have to do for your child that is oddly satisfying? Comment down below or as always, feel free to hit us up on Facebook or Instagram.