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.
I am observant. I like watching things around me. I enjoy watching how kids play. I watch how other parents parent. What I really enjoy is watching how the Kid reacts in certain situations.
In these observations, there is one thing that stands out; the Kid is ME in social situations.
I remember vividly one family reunion as a Kid, I could not have been more than 8-years-old. I was enthralled with the family pictures that they were taking. That might come as a shock, someone interested in the family pictures? But it wasn’t that I was so much curious about the pictures, more or less watching what people were doing. I was in the background popping my head up between family members as the pictures were being snapped. You could call me an early adopter of photo-bombing. I didn’t want attention, because everyone knew I was there. Just curious, like any 8-year-old. There was someone recording video of this, probably on beta-tape. Now, people look back at that time see my curious head popping up and laugh. I never thought though that I would pass down my curiosity to my son though.
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.
Why ask why? I am sure you are wondering why I am asking this question right? Just the question “Why?” has been very popular in our house lately.
Just the other day I was fixing one of the toilets and the Kid was, I hesitate to say getting in my way and asking me what I was doing. I told him I was fixing the toilet and the first thing out of his mouth was
“Because it is broken.”
A puzzled look came across his face. I could see that he was looking at the toilet and saw nothing wrong with it.
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.