It may look on the outside that I do not feel for you son. It may seem that I am hiding a lot of my emotions It may look like I am not being a good dad but this whole tough love deal was tougher than imagined.
We did not realize last week that you were sick when we started closing you in your room to keep you in your toddler bed. We did not know until the next day after a very rough night. Once we figured out that you were sick, your crib was immediately put back together. We did not want you going through a major change while you were sick. Your mother and myself were not ready for just how rough things were going to get.
Understand, that we have undergone a lot of changes son. You are changing day cares, instead of your mother dropping you off now I am, and your mother is starting classes again. It is difficult. VERY difficult.
I have beaten myself up lately. I never listened to your mother when she told me 5 months ago that you were to young for your toddler bed. It is a lesson that I still have to learn. It created a rough 5 months of you running into our room in the middle of the night. Many sleepless nights by your mother and myself, you included. That was just the beginning, and now welcome to hell week.
It started with a little fever. I say little, your mother, who is right on this, says it was not little. This came on a night we were supposed to have a date night. Plans cancelled. Suddenly, you were in pain, we could see that. Fingers in mouth, we thought you had strep, I would not take you to the doctor to save money, being the penny pincher that I am. Drool. Everywhere! I remember thinking that there was no way you could be teething, AGAIN!
Where do I turn? To the internet, because it has the answer to everything. I learn there are these wonderful things called 2 year molars. I say wonderful, but you, your mother, day care teachers, and myself now know, THEY SUCK! I have never seen you so much pain. This is one of those times where I can not help you. Well I can, to a point, with Tylenol That is all I can do.
Maybe, your father is to emotional on the inside, but seeing how you are hurting makes me hurt. I don’t show it but it does. One thing that I know, is that you, your mother and myself just need to push through. This time will pass. There will be a time when you lose your first tooth. When you fall off your bike and scrap your arm. I will look back at this time and then and only then will I realize just how easy I had it.
Son, it is time for some tough love. We are a week into the third round of the toddler bed. Before your mother and me did not have the energy to fully invest ourselves into getting you to stay asleep in your room. You would come crawl into bed with us, kicking me in the back, sleeping horizontal pushing me off the side of the bed knocking me out cold as I hit the corner of my nightstand. It’s all find and dandy for your bed but when you don’t push me out of bed you wake me up.
Mom and dad need their sleep and so do you. So we are laying down the law, we will be closing your door and letting you cry it out. Sounds cruel but we are doing it, the book that your pediatrician suggested. Remember you hate him not us, he is the one who is sticking you with needles!
We do not want to do this as much as you do not want the feelings of abandonment. Rest assured though, we are there for you, across the house and dead asleep, but we are there. It will take some time getting used to. I am sure that it will take a couple of days of screaming bloody murder right by your door and possibly going to sleep right by the door. Another piece of advice son, if you can just stay in bed, when your mother and I walk into your room we might hit you in the head, which would make things worse.
Someday you will understand that sleeping is one of the greatest joy’s a person can have in life. You will feel recharged full of energy and ready to throw snowballs at daddy…
We love you son, we are not trying to be cruel or punish you. This is only for the greater good trust us! You may hate us for a couple of days but after that you will be fine I am sure, after you tell us about all of your new friends that you will be meeting at your new day-care. We just don’t want you going to day-care looking like this…
William, this is one of the few times I will address you by name. But I want you to know this…
I Love You!
While what happened to the 7 to 8-year-old children in Newtown, Connecticut is tragic, it will not keep me from letting you grow up. I can’t protect you forever. You always want to hold my hand to go to sleep. However, I will not always be able to do that. I can’t keep some creep from coming in and taking you in your sleep. I can’t keep you from playing on our driveway and some drunk driving through our lawn and hitting you. I can’t keep you from playing in our back yard and someone shooting a gun in the air a mile away and the bullet hitting you. I can’t keep you from going to school and someone deciding that shooting children is the answer. These are all things that have happened before, what is to keep them from happening again.
I can’t keep these things from happening. As much as I want to, I can’t. William, I love you! I love you more than you will ever be able to realize. That is the one thing I can tell and show you. I will tell you that every, single, day. I do NOT want something to happen to you and deal with the feelings that I would have if I did not tell you that. Those feelings would be more difficult. I can not even imagine what the parents of the children who were shot are going through. I do not wish that upon anyone.
I have to let you grow up, I have to let you go places where I do not have control over the surroundings. It is one of the risks that I am taking as a parent. I want you to know though, I love you William.
Son, this piece of advice that I am going to give you is something that I wish I had done when I was younger, yet I know that later it will come back to bite me in the butt.
Santa is real.
You have just started recognizing who this strange man is. You know that he has a white beard and is round plump belly. You point out all of the Christmas items we have in the house that are of Santa.
When you believe, Christmas means so much more to you. Not only that but you get more presents, something that you are just now going to learning about but Christmas carry’s a whole new meaning. The Christmas lights shine brighter (wait till your older son and all you will see is your electric bill rising because of them), the presents under the tree seem bigger, the egg nog tastes alittle bit more eggier.
That son, is why you want to always believe. I wish I did.
Son, I dread the holidays. Well OK, you got me, I love the holidays. I just hate the holiday travel. At this time you probably don’t know why. I know that you probably hate being strapped into your car seat for hours on end as we go and see family, get used it. Once you become a parent, you will fully understand my hatred of holiday travel.
Since you hate travel you make it difficult for your mother and father. We have come up with a few ways to help elevate the problem however that can only go so far. You can only take a nap for at most 2 hours, unless we give you bourbon, but something tells me that I would not be a good parent if I did that. You can only read the same book so many times and you can only play with the same toy for so long.
I would hope that this year will be different. I would love to count the trucks as we drive and I would love to play eye-spy with you. Not only would this help pass the time but it would keep you entertained for at least an hour of our 6 hour tour. My singing obviously doesn’t keep you happy because you keep on screaming “DON’t DADDY” as I sing to you.
Let me tell you son, that if you are pleasant in the car, it will make the trip go by much quicker and make mommy and daddy more pleasant to be around. I wish that there was a way to show you how much more fun we are to be around when you follow our directions but I can only practice what I preach for so long before I go insane.
You do not get to see this side of the family that much and so at least I am excited about seeing them, your mother on the other hand might not be looking forward to seeing the in-laws, but what person likes seeing their in-laws right? I know that you will have fun because this is a Thanksgiving and Christmas for you! You will get to eat a lot of food, hopefully fall into a turkey coma, and play with the new toys that your grandparents will be getting you.
All I ask is for a nice quiet trip out there and back and maybe if you are good, I might get you a Sonic Slush.