New Father Brogging, #039

27.5 inches.  That’s how high my daughter fell when she climbed out of her pack and play.

I’ve never felt as big of a failure as a parent than this incident, where barely 60 degrees behind me, my daughter managed to climb out of her pack and play and fall onto the kitchen floor, while I was preparing her dinner, chopping green beans.

Given how increasingly mobile she gets on a daily basis, I didn’t stop to consider that with walking would come climbing, and I’ve witnessed her trying to climb things already, so I don’t know why I didn’t even think that she wouldn’t do it in the pack and play, as she’s attempted everywhere else.

But instead, I was blissfully taking for granted that she would be safe in her pack and play, while I was preparing her dinner, and I naively positioned her to where she was not within my line of sight or even my periphery, so that she couldn’t reach and grab things on the counter or on the nearby shelf, not considering that I wouldn’t see her when she inevitably managed to get up and over the side railing of her enclosure.

The thud still resonates in my brain, and the delayed shock at turning and seeing her laying on her back on the floor, her own shock still just registering the fact that she bumped her head and the pain hadn’t kicked in yet.  I picked her up immediately, hoping this would be something that she would no-sell and impress me with pain tolerance that hopefully mirrored my own, but this was for naught, so much as she was really gearing up to let loose some shrieks of pain from having fallen 27.5 inches, roughly somewhere in the neighborhood of her own height.

Fortunately, save for an unsightly bruise, nothing seems to be that bad.  No signs of concussion, no signs of any breaks or serious injury, just a tender bruise for her, and a monumental amount of frustration, defeat and self-loathing for dad.

Obviously, with raising a child and growing up, scrapes, cuts and bruises are going to happen.  But we’ve gone a year without a tremendous number of those, which made me feel like I was probably doing something right, but all it took was a few minutes of taking my head out of the game, and taking safety for granted for all that equity to come crashing down, and me feeling like a horrible fucking parent for having let it happen.

New Father Brogging, #038

I realize it’s been a month since the last time I did any sort of new dad brogging.  A year past now, I guess it’s up for debate on whether or not I’m a new dad anymore, which begs the question on whether or not I should change the titles of these types of posts, which kind of derail my organization of posting, since the tag’s literally called “new dad,” but if I’m not a new dad anymore, then wtf should I do?

I digress though, and until I can come up with a more seamless transition, it’s new dad brogs until then.

So a month ago, my daughter has figured out full-fledged crawling, and was going all over the place, exploring the parts of the house she could now access with her own mobility.

A lot has changed in the span of the last month, most notably the very quick transition from crawling into basically walking.  With each day, she’s gaining confidence on her feet, and has demonstrated the ability to carefully walk distances as great as 10-12 feet on her own with minimal or no stumbling.  She’s clearly showing a preference to get upright and walk from point A to point B, and only resorts to crawling when she wants to get somewhere fast.

But for all intents and purposes, one of those life’s milestones of watching baby’s first steps has occurred, and it was no less exciting than I would have thought it was, seeing the courage and discovery in my child’s face as she realized that she was upright and was able to sustain it while in movement.

That’s the biggest thing that happened over the last month.  Otherwise, it’s been a lot more of the same, with my child eating everything in sight, needing to babyproof and start cordoning off parts of the home since she can move about so efficiently, and of course more teething and sleep woes, since those are the constantly ever-changing factors in raising babies.

Also, since the jig is up about baby #2, I’ve spent a lot of time doing some housework, preparing nursery #2, and saying goodbye to my office as solely an office, but as the de facto guest room.  But when I say preparing, it’s mostly my second-least favorite activity in the world, painting; which has been dropped to second in favor of my new worst favorite activity in the world, which is now, hanging murals/wallpaper.

Thankfully with a second kid, that means it’s the last time I’ll have to do this stuff, and frankly I’ve literally will painted every paintable wall and trim in the house, and if anyone wants any changes in the future, I better be putting the home up for sale, or my wife or my daughters are more than welcome to explore the possibilities of doing it their fucking selves.

But otherwise, raising children is in a fairly good place right now.  I’m trying not to get too complacent with #1’s development, good eating and sleeping and general good habits, because I know things are going to go tits up once #2 arrives, and then we’ll be juggling two kids under two years; but it has been somewhat nice to have a predictable routine, where I know I’ll have a little bit of downtime in the evenings.  And with my extracurricular class wrapped up, and baby projects getting chipped away at, I’ve actually not had any clue to do with my evenings as of late.

There’s a ton of television and movies that I’d like to catch up on, but at the same time, I’ve just not wanted to dive into any rabbit holes, and abstained.  In fact, mythical wife and I have been retiring early over the last few days, and just heading up to the bedroom to wind down earlier, because getting just a little bit more sleep has been way more appealing than any new Marvel property, YouTube binges or any other wastes of time.

Ironic how just a little while ago I was burning out because I had zero free time to do anything, but now that I’m occasionally getting some free time, I have no idea what to do with it, and resulting in doing mostly nothing, unless you count sleeping as doing something.

Life get back to normalcy? LOL

Seeing as how my wife shared the news on social media, I figure now is as good as time as any to finally break my own silence on this monumental news.

Originally written on December 1, 2020

We were watching 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way when mythical wife dropped the suspecting revelation on me.  The queasiness she was feeling over the day might not necessarily been from the ramen the night before.  The last time she felt this kind of nausea… and then there was the admission that a particular monthly event had not happened in a minute.

The next thing I know, I’m driving to Walgreens at 11pm on a Monday night, because we both felt the need to know what we already suspected was going to be the case with the circumstances that were already in play.  The last time we had this conversation like this, it was already a foregone conclusion and the test was merely a formality for visual confirmation of the obvious.

A second child was always something that my wife and I were open to.  She being an only child, knew the general loneliness that comes with growing up with no live-in sibling, and me, I grew up with a big sister, and there’s a pattern within my generation of cousins is that everyone has two kids, so it seemed like something that was bound to happen.  Fortunately, becoming a father and parent has been something I’ve taken to pretty well if I say so myself, and the idea of a second child never really seemed intimidating beyond the notion that my time will be stretched even thinner in the coming years and to have to go through teething with another baby gives me anxiety, but the idea itself was never off the table.

One thing I’ve learned about myself throughout the year is that I have a tremendous amount of love to give, and I have no doubt in my mind that I won’t have any shortage for another kid.

We just didn’t expect it to happen so quickly and so soon, as we’re just days away from our first child’s ninth month since birth.

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New Father Brogging, #037

Honestly?  Maybe it’s because I’m months past the period of infancy where babies do not sleep throughout the night and I’ve long forgotten the rigors of sleepless nights and daytime fatigue.  Or maybe my daughter has been particularly amenable as far as babies go.  But if you were to ask me how difficult raising a baby for the first time has been, and I think I would say that it wasn’t nearly as hard as people made it out to be.

Sure, early on there’s the endless amounts of fear and anxiety at the start as new parents, we don’t know what the heck we’re doing.  And then there’s sleep regressions quarterly that make me want to jump out windows.  And then there’s teething, and the introduction of solid foods, and then more teething that make running with razor blades seem like a mercy.

But once routines are established, reinforced and set in, things actually operate fairly smoothly.  The days become somewhat predictable, and once you know when you might actually have time to manage, things become somewhat more manageable.  So either I’ve been cruising on a nice little routine for a while, or I simply was not prepared for the difficulty jump that comes with the start of being able to say “years” in age, instead of just months.

Needless to say, the photo above has been a frequent view of mine throughout the last weeks since my daughter turned one year old.  It was almost perfect at the rate in which she hit 12 months and it just kind of clicked for her to go from awkward army crawling, to not just full-fledged crawling so much as she often uses her little left leg to thrust her further and faster, and covers ground at an impressive pace.

When I saw that there was a class of Huggies diapers called Little Movers, I just had this feeling that my child was destined to become one of those kids.  And at one point, mythical wife and I had a little concern that she might be falling behind in mobility, and prepared for more time of constantly disclaiming adjusted age since she was premature.  But then came army crawling, and like lightning striking she’s not just crawling at a rapid pace now, she’s been experimenting with getting up onto her legs and standing without assistance periodically now.

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Year One of Forever (New Father Brogging, #036)

If it’s not clear by now, I’m a very nostalgic person.  I get kicks out of internet content that puts the spotlight on things in the past, I take enjoyment in reminiscing, and one of my favorite features of theFacebook and one of the only things that I routinely indulge in is the memories feature that shows you the things you may or may not have posted on that day in previous years. 

With that latter thing, I was pleased to see that I could integrate such a function into my brog when I got it back up and running again, and even if I don’t have the time to write, I try to make a few seconds each day to refresh my main page and glance at the kinds of slop that I’ve posted in prior years, most of which is poorly-aged trash, but occasionally there are some things that I’ve churned out that even I look back at positively.

Naturally, March 5th will forever be immortalized as an important date in my history through the end of time, but before we get into the sappy meat of this post that I’ll likely have a hard time remaining dry-eyed while writing, I like to glance back at my own history, to see what trash I’d written in the past that I could make the lame joke about how that was the focal point of historical Marth 5ths of yesterday instead of the obvious.

It’s funny to think about how in prior March 5ths the most important things in my life were getting Garen in an ARAM game of League of Legends, or how I appeared to have been triggered by an SNL skit where they took a cheap shot at Waffle House, or when I found out that of all the Marvel properties in existence, fucking Morbius is the one that is slated to get a film, starring none other than the gross-looking STD-riddled magic troll, Jared Leto.

Obviously, everything changed in the March 5th of 2020, when one of the most important milestones in my entire occurred, and has permanently elevated the date to a point where anything else in the past has become inconsequential and white-noise, and only exists to be ironic, and where in the future I won’t even bother planning on posting anything on the date, and try to manage any non-birthday posts to occur before or after the date alternatively.

Regardless, it’s been approximately one year since the birth of my daughter, my first child, and pretty much the largest event that has occurred in my life.  Sure, getting homes and getting married are massive deals in their own rights, but neither involve the manifestation of another human being coming into the world, so I think I have to give the torch of priority to this specific birthday, the first of forever, as far as the rest of my life is concerned.

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New Father Brogging, #035

It’s been a while since I last did any sort of post about my plights as a first-time father.  Admittedly, things have been fairly smooth since the last time I really wrote one of these new dad brogs, which might have something to do with the lack of writing about my child, but naturally I know that I’m always another growth spurt or some sort of milestone away from the shit hitting the fan and then the routine that I’ve been living for the better part of the last five months begins to change all over again.

However, for those who might take stock in the fact that my general posting has grown less frequent in more recent times, the thing is that I simply haven’t had the time to write as much as I did, even just a month ago.  And this isn’t the usual, danny is bitching about having so little time because of work and baby, but it’s a little bit more now, because for lack of a better term, I’ve gone back to school.

I’ve been taking a night course over the last month and it will be continuing on until April, so that I can explore the possibility of acquiring new skills.  I don’t think I’ve made much secret of the fact that I’m quite unhappy with where I am at in my life professionally right now, and while casually exploring possibilities elsewhere, the results have not been very positive.  I feel stagnant in my current career path and that I have hit somewhat of a ceiling, and I don’t like my current chances at being able to break through it to ascend higher.

So instead of simply looking for a change of scenery, I’m taking a different approach of acquiring some new and different skills to which I can hope to parlay into something different, and potentially satiate two desires, being a change of scenery, but also to make a career move into a field that is warmer than what I’m doing is, has more potential for the future, and hopefully make more money than I do now, so that I can be a better provider for my family.

Because when the day is over, that’s really all I want to do, is to provide for my family, and hopefully not hate my life in order to do it.  For years, I’ve tossed the idea around in my head to take some sort of class(es) and try to pick up some new skills and make a professional pivot, but I’ve often just been all talk and no action. 

But in an ironic, I have to thank coronavirus, kind of situation, it’s never been a better time to go in this direction, because the school in which I’m taking my course through, is 100% virtual and I can do this from home, because the pandemic has forced them to go entirely virtual.  Otherwise, I’d have had to have gone into downtown Atlanta twice a week to take my course, and I simply have no desire to actually go into the city anymore, regardless of a pandemic or not.

So, I’m getting to take this course entirely online, from the convenience of my own home.  But that also means that for the duration of this class, my already sparse 2-3 hrs of free time a night, two evenings out of the week, I have to forfeit even that in order to take my course, which means that I have even less time to myself, which has occasionally left me feeling a little overwhelmed and overtaxed at times.

But the good thing about having a kid is that it only takes one look at my child to remind me what I’m doing all this for, and to refocus.  And it’s kind of funny how serious I take this course, because despite the fact that I will have the luxury of tuition reimbursement from my current job, I’m still having to front all the costs until then.  And you don’t realize how hard you want to work in school, when you realize your own money is what’s at stake when you’re taking the course.

In addition to the four hours of rare personal time I lose a week to classes, I’ve spent much more than that, on homework assignments and doing my best to really understand the subject matter and actually try and learn, absorb and apply this newfound knowledge, and hope that I’ll someday soon, be able to parlay it into a different career path than where I’m at now.

New Father Brogging, #034

Normally, I wait until I finish a series before I write about it, but I feel like writing right now, and there’s no guarantee that feeling will last later.  But I’m just about finished with The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix.  Although some of the subject matter about substance abuse is a little uncomfortable watch, not because I can relate so much as it’s just not always pleasant watching people degrade themselves through the things they do to themselves, it’s an excellent series that I’ve enjoyed very much and hope the finish is as strong as the series has been.

It’s a show that’s legitimately made chess seem as cool as I typically think it is from a metaphorical standpoint into actually being cool to watch a series that revolves around it.

Whenever I run on the treadmill, I’m usually watching wrestling highlights or shit on the WWE Network, most notably any of the documentaries that the service continuously puts out much to my delight because if there’s one thing that the WWE does very well, it’s produce documentaries.

Among the documentaries that I enjoy the most, are usually the ones that are about the female talent.  Alexa Bliss, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, and most recently, an episode of Chronicle about Bianca Belair, which was especially good, because she’s a particularly extraordinary woman in the sense that she’s probably pound-for-pound the best athlete in professional wrestling, but also a hell of an artistic talent that designs and fabricates all of her own ring attire.

What I’m getting at is that especially lately, I’ve been enjoying watching stories, be them fiction or documentaries, about strong women, because as a dad to a daughter, it lets my imagination run wild about what my own little girl can grow up to be when she hopefully becomes a strong, talented and intelligent woman one day.

I’m not saying that I want her to be a chess grandmaster or a professional wrestler, specifically, but what I do want for my kid, and it wouldn’t have mattered if she were a boy or a girl, is for her to find at least one thing; one hobby, one activity, that they can hopefully become passionate about and hold onto through adolescence.  Swimming. Drawing.  Gymnastics.  Piano.  Martial arts.  Anything at all; multiple would be great, but I really just want her to have at least one thing, that she can hold onto, and make into some sort of lifelong habit.

One of the few regrets I have in my life is the fact that of all the things that I was doing as a kid; piano, Tae Kwon Do, basketball, drawing, Japanese language; I never really held onto any one of those things, never persevered through adolescence with any of those potential talents, and I let the talents and skills erode and fade away over time, and I can only wish that I didn’t, and that I could be above average at any one of those things today.

I don’t want my daughter to make the same choice, and obviously I know there’s a fine line of her voluntarily maintaining an activity versus being volun-told to stick with it, with the latter obviously leading to inevitable failure, but all I can do is really hope to encourage and let her make her own choices with her life, and watching stories of strong females in the world today gives me hope that there’s an endless bag full of possibilities for my daughter in the future.