Where did I go?

Has it really been over a year since I last posted?  In a word:  Yes.

When I first started this site, I thought I would be a blogging machine in between diaper changes and nap times.  Come to find out, being a stay-at-home dad is MAD work (feel free to say “DUH” out loud like most people would say if this were an actual conversation).  Now, I knew this would be difficult coming in because I stayed home with my oldest son when he was just a few months old before going back to work full time along with my wife.  He is now 4 and quite the delightful handful himself.  But being home with twins is another animal that no singleton or set of books can really prepare you for.

While I can’t update you on everything I have been doing over the the last 12-18 months, I can tell you one of the big items I have been working on is a YouTube channel for kids where a pirate puppet named Captain Vernon (a stretch, I know) and a nerdy professor (yet another stretch, I know) do toy reviews combined with educational lessons on a variety of cool subjects.

The Professor (see picture to the left) even did a few live performances for kids recently talking about gravity, geysers, and green milk and was asked to return despite some terrible jokes.

But you might be wondering, why start blogging now after being home for almost 2 years.  Well, 2 reasons.

The first:  back when I first started this Stay-At-Home dad life, I did not have much to say.  I was learning on the fly for the most part, and could not really think of stuff to write that would be anything more than a paragraph or 2 about what had happened in any given week.  I figured a few updates to friends and family on Facebook would cover that.

My second reason for starting this up again:  this photo.

To give you some context, it was taken by a reporter who did an article about spending 72 hours at the world’s largest Stay-At-Home Dad convention hosted by the National At-Home Dad Network in Portland this past September.   I wanted to attend last year, but could not work out the details and this year posed similar problems.  But when I saw all these dads wearing masks for the photo to show a sense a unity, 2 things came to mind.

First:  Because I am child of the 80’s and 90’s (amazing decades on their own, epic when combined), I immediately remembered the masks the robbers used in the classic Patrick Swayze (RIP) and Keanu Reeves movie Point Break and how I need to watch that movie again simply for nostalgia’s sake (yes those robbers used presidential masks but still..).

The second thought that hit me:  where are the black, brown and tan masks?

This is not to say I have any issue with National At-Home Dad Network or the photo.  I am sure the attendees wore the mask that best represented them and that there are masks in other colors as well.  MY issue is with people of color representing at all events, but especially when it comes those events that show how much we love caring for our kids.  Seeing this photo helped me realize that I have a voice and a perspective that could be helpful to all people of all backgrounds, but may be even more helpful to that brother out there caring for his kids on his own because he is the only breadwinner, or the brother who stays home with the kids because he just loves to do it and his wife loves that he does it willingly (and also because the babysitter comes in once a week to give him a full 8 hours of freedom).

Either way, to quote the terrible, terrible Will Smith movie Wild Wild West, maybe if I start planning for the 2018 SAHD Convention  (sounds like a downer as an acronym), I will be able to a “…add color to these monochromatic proceedings”.  In the movie’s defense, this is one of the funnier scenes with Smith and Branagh going tit for tat with comments that highlight Smith being black and Branagh being stuck in a wheelchair but that is a blog for another day.

So, I am back on the scene for as long as I can be and hope I can bring a perspective that is helpful to dads and moms (and all caregivers) alike.

Daily posts?  Doubtful.

Weekly posts?  Maybe.

Monthly posts?  Likely.

Subjects will run the gamut from childcare to Netflix reviews to some Paw Patrol commentary and everything in between.  No subject is out of bounds!  Except maybe politics…

Whatever happens, I look forward to sharing it with you.

Let’s do this!

coolminivandad

 

We Are The Champions!

A few weeks ago, my 2 and ½ year old son Justin went back to daycare after being off for a week from Christmas Eve thru New Years.  To be perfectly blunt, the morning routine of getting him out the house for the first few days was…less than pleasant.  Crying, kicking off of shoes, snotty noses.  And don’t get me started on how Justin was acting.   He calms down once he arrives at daycare and sees his friends and teachers, but leaving the house was a nightmare for me and the wife because he naturally wants to stay home with me and the twins since that was the routine for over a week.

Also, as anyone who knows me knows, I am a blast to hang out with, so who can blame him for not wanting to leave.

This got me to thinking about Father/Son relationships since I have now that I have 2 sons of my own.  My mom and dad have always told me that growing up, I was stuck to my dad like glue and when he left the room, I would go searching for him like a lost puppy.  I dispute these facts, but it was so long ago I will choose to believe was I am told.  When my dad comes over to see me (really to see the grandkids) he tells me the same story mainly because is further cements his feeling of being awesome.

So for all the fathers (and mothers) out there, cherish those times when your children don’t want to let you out of their site or even let go of you physically.  It may seem annoying when you feel like you need a crowbar to dislodge them from their car seat when they stiffen up like a piece of plywood in front of school as you attempt to get them out of the car without looking like an unfit parent to onlookers, but it is a beautiful thing to be loved on almost any level.  I hope there will not be a future where I can barely get a “Hello” from my kids or a hug, but I know it is a future that is possible.  I am doing my best to avoid that scenario daily! Lot of hugs, some limited Ipad time, and the occasional French fries or Munchkins as a treat can be amazing motivators.

This into leads me into a “great” memory growing up.

Many dads play sports with their kids.  Many dads enjoy defeating their kids at sports and rue the day when their son or daughter finally defeats them at backgammon or racketball (yes those are the 2 examples I have.  I was a private school kid my whole life, and my other athletic skills were limited to middle school basketball so leave me alone).  For me, I hated losing to my dad because of one thing: THE SONG.

Whenever he was victorious, which was often when I was young, he would stand up, shake his fist in the air as if rolling a pair of dice and sing his specially crafted victory song that I thought he had written just for me.  It features lyrics about how he would “always win in the end” and how there was “no time for losers” and being “the champion of the world”.  If you know music at all, you will already see where I am going with this.  He would hold each note as long as he could to make the song feel like eternity.

My mom hated this.

When I was around 10 years old, I remember driving somewhere with my dad and the radio was on some rock station.  A song that I had never heard before came on that started“I’ve paid my dues, Time after time, I’ve done my sentence, But committed no crime, And bad mistakes…”  Having never heard the song before, I had no idea the chorus to come.

We are the champions – my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting
Till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions of the World

I turned to my dad with my mouth hanging open.  He had been torturing me with a song by the classic rock band Queen.  Not even an original song.  I could not believe it.  All he could do was look at me and laugh.  The secret was out.  Needless to say, he sang the song a bit less since I was in on the joke.  Also, I started beating him at sports as games a lot more, so maybe the song revelation was motivation for me.

We still laugh about it to this day, but I say this because I still feel close to my dad and he loves being a grandparent.  Still not very good at changing diapers, but makes a great wrestling buddy for my oldest son who attacks him the minute he lays down on the rug.  He was not a perfect dad, but none of us are perfect anythings (bad grammar I know).  But moments like those are the ones that stay with me and I hope I can make lots of memories like those with my three.

A few snowmen when the weather finally calms down will be a start.

Better late than never…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Well, it only took me a little over a month,  but here is my first post for my blog coolminivandad.com since becoming a Stay at Home Dad (yes the acronym is SAHD)Let me start by saying:  This SAHD Life ain’t no joke #SAHDLife.

I will go more into that as the months go on, but rest assured, I have changed more diapers, than I care to admit and have unintentionally watched more episodes of the terrible, terrible “reality”show Love & Hip Hop than anyone should .   I say “reality” because these shows are as scripted(sometimes even more so) as any sitcom or drama on tv so they are not as real as they try they to advertise.  That diatribe will be for a later post…..

I just want to take this time let you know what you can expect from this site and how often.  I will post when I can and the subjects will be a varied as you can imagine.  Everything from personal parenting tips (Diaper Genies: Miracle or Menace?) to my real life celebrity encounters (like my recent run in with Cousin Larry from the classic 90’s sitcom Perfect Strangers), even some classic tales from my childhood (like The Christmas Day LEGO Incident) and anything else I get the time to write .  Maybe a movie review if me and the missus can ever get to an actual theatre and get someone to babysit times 3!  We are taking childcare offers people!

I hope what write will be funny, insightful and relevant to you or somebody you know.  It might be 2 pages long, it might be a paragraph, it might be just a few words.  It really depends on how much time my twins and 2.5 year old will allow me at any given time and how far behind I am on any given house chore (right now laundry and dishes are neck and neck with Christmas toy clean up and vacuuming closing in fast)

At my current rate, I will to post at least once a month, so feel free come back every month around then or sooner.  Hey, if you have some good subjects for me to tackle and just want to say hey, shoot me an email at coolminivandad@gmail.com!

Thanks for taking a few minutes to look, SAHD Out!

VG2