Look, I have to say something to you. This isn’t going to be easy. To be honest, this is probably going to hurt me more than it will hurt you but this needs to be said.
We need a break.
Look, it isn’t you, it’s me. Get used to that saying, because it won’t be the last time someone says it to you. You might even say it to a stage 5 clinger in the future, more on that when you are older.
I haven’t been the best dad lately. I have been easily frustrated, angered, which would lead to many time-outs. Time-outs that I wish I did not have to give you. There has been an internal struggle with me lately, a fight between something that you do not quite understand that has been interfering with me being a good dad.
There is no better way to clean up your language than having a 3-year-old in the house. My language was not that bad before, however, there were times I would use some more colorful language. In fact I did not use the cleanest of language to describe going to the bathroom. It turns out that after potty training the Kid he started using some of the words that I was using. It might not sound bad, however, when the Kid started to use those words outside of the bathroom was when trouble started to ensue. We started calling those words that were to be only used in the bathroom, rightfully, bathroom words.
I consider myself a photographer. I was lucky enough to have a wife who splurged on a new Canon Rebel XSi when we were newly weds. Which I was very thankful for when we had the Kid almost 3 years ago.
I recently started going through pictures on my computer and quickly discovered that the last time I pulled out my camera, while I was at home and not on vacation, to take pictures of the Kid was in March of this year. I started wondering where all the pictures that I am taking are at?
I am sure that as I was asking myself this question, I received a notification on my phone so I started to mess with my phone. I look up from my phone, which was in the foreground of the computer that I was just working on and say my son playing with his trains. I began thinking, that this would be something to share with all my friends on Facebook and Twitter. I get down and snap a picture with my phone and instantly upload to Instagram to share with the world.
There comes a moment in a man’s life when he says or does something hits him over the head, and I’m not talking about the wife’s hand hitting the back of our head when we say something stupid. I’m talking about a moment that might flutter by at that particular time but a day later, he realizes just what happened at that moment. For me, that moment was yesterday during a job interview.
I have not said it yet here on my site, but I have brought it up over on Dads Round Table, I have been laid-off. It is tough when you are supporting a son and a wife going through law school. It feels like everything has been stripped from me. Having three months left until my last day, which ironically falls on my birthday, every day I walk into to work my pride sinks and my feeling of being needed is crushed just a little bit more.
I pride myself on being a good cook. I’m better off being outside next to the grill and one of the things that I have become accustom to grilling is a hot dog. Not for me, but for the Kid. He loves them! Can you blame him?
One night, I was finishing up a pair of pork chops on the grill, and a hot dog for the Kid. I pulled the dog, chops, and potatoes off the grill and brought them to the table. I served up our delicious meal. I made one slight change to my grilling method,which I’m still perfecting before making it public, and our pork chops were excellent. The Kid was chowing down on some strawberries and some graham crackers.
I looked down at our dog who was panting from being outside and said, “You are a hot dog aren’t you?” She proceeded to look at me like, I don’t know what you are talking about but I’m waiting for the kid next to you to drop some food.
The Kid looked up from finishing off the crackers, looked at me, then to the hot dog, then to our dog, and back to the hot dog. The most pathetic whimper was let out when I realized exactly what I had done. It was that moment that I realized by calling our dog a “hot dog” the Kid was associating it with the hot dog that he was eating. He flat-out refused to finish his meal.
I felt awful. I tried to explain that a hot dog is not an actual dog but to no avail. Seeing the look on his face and knowing that he was thinking, “What are you going to do to Anna dad?”
After making an exception of not taking one bite of everything on your plate, we let him down to play. I went to clean up the table, but left the hot dog in question on the table. Part of me was wondering if he would forget the entire conversation and come back hungry.
To make the situation up to the Kid, I built a tent. A tent to my son is just a blanket covering up your entire body. When we were both in the tent, we told each other secrets, popped our head out of the blanket looked at Hot Mama and just giggled to some unknown whispers. As we pulled the blanked back over our heads, I asked, “Are you hungry?” He responded with a big “YES!” and then went to his seat and started chowing down on his hot dog.
This was one of those teachable moments for a father and son. While it might be difficult for a 2-and-half year old’s mind to comprehend that a hot dog is not actually made up of hot dogs, it was probably the first time that he realized that what he eats, sometimes was once a living breathing thing. For me, I found out that I should never EVER compare something we are about to eat to be or was a living breathing thing. You live and learn!