Madden in the Morning

I’m what I’d call a “free” morning person. I love it when I have no place to be. I leisurely get my coffee and relax as the sun pours into our living room. Or at least I used to. I’m also the stereotypical father/teacher who on a work day doesn’t get going until I’ve got a 32 oz. cookie dough ice coffee in me from Aroma Joes. Going waaaaaaaay back to 1998, I was a junior in high school. I drove my sister and myself to school everyday. I also for a short stint picked up a friend of hers to catch a ride with us. Fifteen years later, my wife (the girl who caught a ride with us), still reminds me of how pissy I was on those drives. Apparently, I hardly said three words to her in the forty or so 7:00 AM trips we made together. I was a charmer (she must have fell for my strong, silent type personality). Anyways, the point of this rambling, confusing intro on mornings is……..well I don’t know how I completely feel about them. But really, anyways….

Madden…Ohhhhh Madden. I never realized that a two year old could “not be a morning person”….Until I met Madden in the morning. And since the start of summer, one of my daddy duties has entailed being in charge of dragging a tasmanian devil from the room next door.

It starts a little something like this…Somewhere between 5:15 and 6:30 AM:

“DADDY, MOMMA, DADDY, DADDY, MOMMA, DAAAAAAADDY”

*Open door to room*

“Hey buddy! Good morning, how did you sleep last night? Did you have any good dreams?”

NO DIAPER CHANGE!

(Well good *&$%!#@ morning to you as well)

Don’t worry, that last part was just my inner voice. But literally, the boy has started each and every day with a diaper change since his day of birth. Yet every morning he is just as shocked as the day before when I disclose to him that I’m going to be the evil dad who will torture him with a fresh, soft, dry diaper applied to his rear end.

From there I attempt to entice him to come cuddle with his mommy and I for about 20 minutes so I can shake the cob webs that have been forming from my 6 hours of broken sleep and 3:00AM sit-downs with the 2-week old. Hmmmmm, crawling into mommy and daddy’s bed, snuggles and hugs, early morning I love you’s!!!!! Sounds like a treat, right? WRONG! He wants no part of it. As a kid, I spent the first portion of my life wandering down the halls in the middle of the night to my parents bed, just so I could wake up and be with my two favorite people. But the mere suggestion of it is intolerable to Madden. He’s been sleeping for 10 hours, he’s ready to go. Dad. You better be ready to go to. So I stumble down the stairs with 36 pounds of two year old in my arms and a heaping pile of blankets wedged in between, and I plop him down on the couch.

*Ahhhhhh, Here we go, a chance to relax with my coffee. He’ll have his sippy of milk and a couple books. I’ll throw on the fear mongering morning television program news, life is good…..

But wait, the two mistakes we bought a couple years prior to kids dogs are trotting up behind us. (I immediately vow to not overuse the cross-out text feature) They’ll need to go out immediately or they’ll pee in the house.*

DADDY, SIT!

“I will bub, I just gotta get Norm and Gert out to go potty”

SIT!!!

I throw the sippy of milk in his lap and book it for the door. A few minutes later I come back to him crying. I cautiously take my spot to the right of his throne (damn it crossing things out is fun). I make the conscience decision to ignore this, because I’m all about making him realize the world doesn’t revolve around him. I move right into our first book mid sob. By this point, the cavalry (mom) has overheard the carnage taking place and is coming down the stairs to provide ground support.

Mommy no come downstairs

“uhhhhhh, no Madden , mommy IS coming downstairs”

“MOMMY NO COME DOWNSTAIRS!”

Awwwwww Madden, you make us all feel so welcome in the morning. And so, we give our son the time he needs to snap out of it; and the pep talk it takes for ourselves to tolerate his demands, cries and tantrums until he’s out of his grouchy fog. My wife and I get our day started by shooting some smirks and knowing glances at each other as we try not to push his buttons too much. I try to not let my blood boil as I endure the worser parts of what a two-year old is capable of, and before we know it, we’re on our way. We share laughs and fun times, we give our kisses and hugs, we make special memories. Luckily, the boy is a superstar the other 23 hours of the day. I love him, cranky mornings and all.

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Quinn’s Top Five

As I stated earlier, my two year old Madden, wants to do EVERYTHING by himself. Here are 5 things he should be thankful he is able to do independently. Two week old brother, Quinn, is not so lucky. Which means dad has the good fortune of enduring the following characteristics of infancy.

Top Five Things Quinn Can’t Do:

1. burp: how hard is it to involuntarily allow gas to escape from the start of your digestive tract? Quinn struggles to produce even the tiniest of a burp when I am slapping full force on his back or jostling him around.

2. control his arm movements: quick and spastic, the way a newborn moves it’s arms is just simply uncomfortable to watch.

3. hold his head up: back in 1950, the modern bobble head doll first appeared. Clearly the inspiration was in the week after someone brought their first child home from the hospital.

4. look at ANYTHING:

Oh Quinn, look at that, a deer is out in the front yard!

…never mind, even if he was able to turn his head in that direction, everything outside of what…18 inches???…is just a fuzzy mess of colors.

5. communicate: Quinn has one go to move, he cries. Period.

Two year old Madden should count his lucky stars that he has a full arsenal equipped with gestures, facial expressions, and his big boy words…but here he is proving that the old go to cryin’ habit is hard to break!

“I want to do it all by myself!”

…said no father ever. But it’s the quote of choice of my two year old son Madden at the moment. In some situations when he states this, all that comes out is a nervous laugh as I picture just how that is going to play out. I’m all for fostering independence, but if it’s cleaning dog crap off the back tire of his power wheel that he wants to do by himself, I know where ‘all by himself‘ is headed. Straight to a bath kicking and screaming, poop smeared and convulsing, and that is just my reaction.

My wife and I are fortunate enough to have just had a healthy baby boy #2, Quinn. I’m sure eventually he will want to do it all by himself as well, but for the moment he does absolutely nothing himself except poop and sleep. As I delved back into the throes of Similac hell, and was prompted by my wife, I decided to venture into the world of blogging. It seems very trite and cliche to be a parent using this forum to write, but I figured it could serve as a place to document, vent and share my opinions on the mind bending journey that is parenting. I figured I could do it all by myself and maybe use it as a therapeutic tool when I feel like I’m the worst father on earth. I plan on sharing daily experiences, both the highest of points of parenting and the lowest and my opinions and thoughts on life in general. Humor will be interjected where necessary, and I’ll most likely be sipping on something as I’m typing, so it is sure to remain mildly entertaining.