Being Dad

Being a father is fraught with danger…

Sick children February 25, 2013

Filed under: Dad Blog,Parenting — Tim @ 4:21 am
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Apart from an adult male with a dose of “Man-Flu”, there is nothing more taxing on a family than a sick child.  Mums usually bear the brunt of any household malady, primarily due to the pleasing evolutionary twist that sick children only want their mummies. This dates back to early Cro-Magnon days when ill youngsters were much safer staying in the cave with mum than tramping around the savannah with dad – while he searched for alcoholic berries.

Now days of course, the drive thru bottle shop has replaced a lot of the tramping and savannah issues. But regardless, sick kids are just safer with their mums. Ladies, evolution doesn’t lie.

This inalienable fact certainly does not, however, stop me, and most fathers, from interfering. Men are fixers. “Problem with the dishwasher, Darling? Let me just get the hammer out”. I’m not suggesting I actually fix things, but I like to pretend I can. So generally, when appliances break, my wife immediately dials the repairman.

“Well, water isn’t draining, and there’s a large hole in the panel door…..yes, it’s about the size of a hammer…”

Sometimes I try to fix my wife’s lousy day.

“Hard day with Missy, Darling? What you need is beer and a DVD. How does ‘We Were Soldiers’ sound? And while your up, I’ll have a beer too, thanks. Now, what’s for dinner?”

So when Missy gets sick, which is thankfully not particularly often, my wife circles the wagons. She has thermometers and elixirs to hand – entertains and cuddles Missy when she needs full attention and leaves her be when she needs to vent her sickly frustration or just wants some alone time.

I usually wander in, try to tickle Missy when she is angry, ignore her when she is fragile, and talk incessantly to her while Cinderella is on the TV. Think of me as the spanner, and my household as the works. I suspect many dads are in the same boat here.

Sick kiddies are delicate and must be handled in a similar fashion to a freshly dug-up grenade – i.e. VERY carefully.  Generally, mums are just better at it. (I will make an exception here for stay-at-home-dads). So next time Missy is sick, I think I will come home – and interfere.

Men don’t learn Ladies; we are the product of millions of years of evolution. Just accept it.

 

If it Looks Like Poo, and Smells Like Poo: Chances Are: It Is Poo. February 18, 2013

Filed under: Dad Blog,Parenting — Tim @ 4:36 am
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For the purpose of this post, “#1” will signify wee, (or “pee” if you’re American) and “#2” will signify poo. This is in keeping with international conventions and standards.

I know children who are potty trained at 2 years old, or even younger. My daughter is not amongst them.

I will qualify that statement, of course. After all, if she ever reads this when she is 20, (doubtful), I don’t want to traumatize her any more than simply being my daughter has already.

Missy is potty trained for #1’s. She has been for a while. Sure there is an occasional relapse, but the reality is, I can’t honestly say I haven’t had the occasional “slip-up”. (I blame beer).

It’s just #2’s. She just seems to like – for want of a better way of putting it – popping a poo out in a nappy.  As she only wears nappies at night, we have developed quite the night-time ritual.

Once ready for bed, my wife or I sit her down and explain all about “pooping in the potty”. She looks at us, nods in agreement, says she doesn’t have to go, gets into bed – and – pops one out in her nappy.  Granted she is quite good about telling us, and so we generally avoid any nappy leaking in the bed issues – and she keeps us on the hook by announcing “maybe tomorrow” she will come to the potty party, so to speak.

So is there a proper time kids should be toilet trained? In my opinion – not really. I do know from a relative who is a highly respected Obstetrician that toilet training girls too early, may lead to medical issues later in life. But be that as it may, as a layman, the issue for me is the typical one of fear. Fear my child is behind the curve in some way.

Over the 3 and-a-bit years of Missy’s life, I have (mostly) turned around my irrational angst and competitive parenting of the past. When she walked, talked and started using a fork, are all, I now know, irrelevant. Kids do things at their own speed. Some walk early, some talk late, some grow tall and some eat great. Oh the poetry of life. Well the amateur rhymes of life, at least.

So Missy likes to poo in a nappy – so what? If I could get someone to clean me up, I might be the same (note to wife: is the answer still no??).  All too soon, children grow up and enter a world where they are pushed and pulled in all directions. Their time as a “kid” is oh so short. Sure, you can’t have a 13 year-old walking around in a nappy, but for me, I am trying to be more aware of Missy’s age, and the appropriateness (or not) of imposing things on her that just don’t matter.

While it’s true I won’t be able to boastfully pull out pictures of toilet-accomplished poo’s from my wallet to show other parents (much to their relief), it’s a small price to pay for letting my little girl be…a little girl.

 

Have You Met Madam Guillotine? February 4, 2013

Here’s a problem if I ever saw one.

I came home the other day, only to discover poor Missy just recovering from an extended bout of crying. So naturally, I was interested in the circumstances of this trying event.

Was Missy in trouble for not eating lunch? Did she stub her toe? Was there a monster under her bed?  No. My wife took me aside. In a quiet calm voice, she explained there had been an accident.

An accident?!

Had Missy swallowed drain cleaner? Did she fall and bash her head? What? What was this accident??

A dismemberment, that’s what.

Missy has a baby. Well, not a real baby, which would be weird…right? She has a toy baby that can come with her into the bath. This ‘baby’ comes complete with a vagina. Actually it’s more like a hole, simply drilled in where the ladies bits are supposed to be. I suppose an anatomically accurate doll for a 3-year-old would definitely be weird. But the hole means baby can pee and drain at the same time.

The problem is the hole isn’t large enough to easily drain the water out. Maybe, if the baby had an anatomically correct….  Nope, still weird.  We did discover, however, the water does drain much better if bath baby is upside down and water can escape through the gap where the head is attached to the body.

This particular day, my wife had tried to speed up the draining process so Missy could get ‘baby’ ready for bed. Being a thinker, she thought she could expedite the process a little: “Just need to ease this joint open a little…”

Next thing you know, my wife is in the glaring spotlight – head in one hand, body in the other. Cute little water baby had been beheaded.

It’s hard to come back from that.

In a way, it was just as well my wife was the Executioner as I am not so sure I would have, or could have, handled the situation without doing permanent physical damage to baby and permanent psychological damage to Missy. Thankfully my wife is the brains of our operation, and baby’s head was reattached in a gentle, timely fashion, without any need for a hammer and plyers.

But despite a quick, no-fuss reattachment, poor Missy had still seen her baby’s head torn off. That’s certainly cause for tears.

 

 
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