Things I've learned about being a parent, that my parents actually told me when I was a kid...

There's nothing so annoying as the smug look on someone's face when they get to say "I told you so!". Especially when it's coming from your parents. While I didn't have the "ideal" childhood, it was far from bad. I'm actually thankful for the way I was raised, because it made me very independent and aware of how the world actually is. (Seriously, thank you Mom, Dale, Dad and Jeri)

As a kid, you tend to think to yourself, "I'm never going to raise my kids like this!" or "I'm going to be friends with my kids, because I'll understand them, and not just treat them like immature little shits." We've all felt this way, that we can do better than our parents, who just weren't cool enough to understand us. But, as I enter the serious side of my adulthood, I find myself more and more tending to act just like them. And I also understand why. Children are endearing, annoying, sweet, needy, whiny and thoughtful bundles of pure, sugared energy. And in everything involving the child in my life (who we will refer to as Monkey from now on), I think back to how my parents acted, how they handled similar situations, and I'm struck by the horror of it... They were right. I do understand now that I have a child around. Even as I apologize to them for all the hell I now know I put them through, I imagine the smug expression behind their eyes... Damnit!

And now to the point of this blog. I'm going to attempt to chronicle everything I experience/learn from being a parent. I do this for several reasons; One, being able to get feed back from other parents, secondly, to share those special moments of life with a child, and most importantly, to have a god damn record of all the crap that (Monkey), and whatever fuck trophies that happen to spawn from my loins, have put me (us) through. That way, when they're old enough to be at this stage in life*, I'll print this out and hand it to them, laughing my senile old head off, and walk away.

* This is assuming that humanity has survived the coming zombie apocalypse. Face it, most of you won't, and I'm glad for that.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Insta-Dad

So, for those of you who know me, you know that my life is significantly different than it was a few years ago.  I've been married, bought a house, separated, deployed (again), divorced, and I am now in the final stages of short-selling my house. And all before I was thirty. Not bad, eh?

It's no where near as bad as it sounds. I've developed a serious relationship with an absolutely wonderful woman, and her beautiful daughter, Monkey.  And that brings us to the reason of this blog.  Stepping into the role of Insta-Dad, I've discovered a new-found respect for what my step-dad did, getting involved with a woman with two kids.  There is a seriously steep learning curve, and I'm beginning to realize why I pissed my parents off so much, and what I might have  inadvertently done to keep them from dropping me off at the nearest freeway, somewhere around the third lane. So, onto my first topic...

"I'm just..." 

Ah, goddamnit!

You're just doing everything except what I just told you to do. Maybe I have a better idea of what my parents went through because we were all military, and the "I'm just..." feel like nothing more than insubordination. And that's un-goddamn-acceptable. This is totally uncharted ground for me, and I really have to get a death grip on my patience when I have to tell Monkey four or five times to do anything.

And then she does something like this, which utterly melts my stern countenance, and makes me realize that I might just be utterly powerless in this family setting.

I just had my last drill a couple of weeks ago, and when I went to wake the Monkey I was in my uniform.  Her mother and I have been seeing each other since shortly before I got deployed this last time.  I saw the Monkey about every other day via Skype.  Anyways, when she saw me in my uniform, her voice got real small, and she asked "Are you leaving again?".

It brought back memories on when Dale would always have to leave, and I think I knew how he felt then.  So I patiently told her that I was only going to be gone for a couple of days, and after that, I wouldn't be leaving for Army things ever again.  The simple fact that that made her smile, makes me feel like I might be doing something right.