February 19, 2009

Dadhood

Allow me a moment of introspection.

I keep a list of things I think are funny or strange or compelling in some way shape or form. I write down a sentence or two, identifying whatever it is I want write about. These, hopefully, turn into posts. Now, I'm pretty sure the majority of these notes mean something only to me. The note that spawned yesterday's post was disney kookaid cinderella sequels while the note for the previous post was a little more explanatory - how i froze my ass off in owen's crib. The net result is a list of ideas that need to be turned into full-fledged posts. Or abandoned completely because they suck ass.

Last night I looked at the list and realized something that, for some reason, surprised me. Each of the three or four things I'd jotted down over the last few days was somehow related to parenting. I don't know why this was shocking but there were, temporarily, no notes about strange bathroom encounters or music or the latest book I'd read. Just parenting and the crazy shit my kids had done.

And that's when the truth really hit me.

Four years ago, I wouldn't have imagined identifying myself this way but I am, first and foremost, a parent. When people ask me what I do, I say I'm a dad. Sure, I'm an IT geek on the side but my primary gig is dadhood. Sure, I have clients that I serve with my IT geekhood but my primary customers are named Mia, Owen and Beth.

This has fundamentally changed the ways in which I view and interact with the world.

I work in a building next to a daycare facility. I can hear the kids yell and scream from my office. Every time I hear those kids, there's a little pang in my heart that makes me miss my own more than anything in the world at that moment.

I walk into my daughter's room at night, after she's fallen asleep with books strewn over the entire surface area of her bed and I marvel at this person I've helped create - this person with ideas and thoughts and imagination and cute fingers and feet that keep getting bigger and bigger like her ideas and aspirations and dreams and vocabulary.

I was stressed and tired and frustrated over the weekend and I decided to leave the house before I pissed everyone off around me even more than I already had. I went to a bookstore and walked around. I noticed, slowly, that nearly everyone around me had their kids with them. This made me sad. I cooled off, went home, hugged my kids.

My world used to be defined by the music I listened to, the concerts I'd seen, the books I'd read, work I'd accomplished. Promotions and salary were signs of advancement. Now, though, time and accomplishment are marked by the number of three syllable words my daughter uses regularly. Or the three steps my son has taken since the weekend.

Sometimes I sit back and try to objectively look at this blogging thing. I keep wondering how many of you actually give a damn. How many of you are sitting out there on those mornings I lapse into parental rambling and talk about my kids and the latest silly things they've done. That has to get boring, right? Combine that with the fact that I have a sum total of about three and a half minutes to myself everyday which leaves me exactly no time to visit any of your sites and frankly I'm surprised any of you show up at all. Yet you do and for that I'm immensely appreciative.

I'd started off typing with the idea in mind that I'd somehow beg forgiveness for rambling parentally. But I don't think I'll do that now. Because that's who I am. And I'm proud of it.

Dad. Yeah, that sounds right.

Posted by Chris at February 19, 2009 7:10 AM
Comments

But see, it doesn't get boring, because on the days you are talking about your kiddos, your family... it's kind of like hearing the kids in the daycare next door. No, they're not your kids - but the sound is familiar and feels good anyway.

I work from home - so that means by and large my identity lies under this one roof. I'm sure at times it makes me boring as hell. That's why I try to find bits and pieces of things that remind me of who I am IN ADDITION to being a mom... And I think you do that too - you don't seem to have lost any of the other stuff - but right now, it's not the most important thing on your plate. And that, really? Is awesome.

Posted by: Sarah at February 19, 2009 8:05 AM

My favorite posts are those about your children and family. You write with humor and love. I check in regularly to see what is going on with you guys and if Mia has said or done anything funny. I would be sad if you let up on the family/children blog posts.

Posted by: Ashley K at February 19, 2009 8:41 AM

Chris, you are an easy, interesting read. Whether it is another one of your strange bathroom encounters or a short note about Mia, I look forward to your posts as much as my morning coffee.

Posted by: Wack-a-do at February 19, 2009 8:53 AM

I wouldn't be impressed if you tried to impress us every day with some neat story about IT geekdom or music. I found you and Beth when you were pregnant with Mia, and I've loved seeing you guys prepare for and now care for two totally awesome kids.

Being a dad sounds like a pretty good gig. I love hearing about it. I can't say I'll ever be a dad, but I hope to some day be a parent. Now, you've got me looking forward to ears full of sneezy snot and nights in a crib. It doesn't sound glamorous, but it does sound full of love. Didn't someone say, "Love is all you need"? That sounds about right.

Posted by: Emily at February 19, 2009 8:59 AM

I know what you mean.
Allison and Jake's mom

Posted by: bethanne at February 19, 2009 9:07 AM

No need for apologies. Your crazy stories make us laugh and help us realize that our own crazy stories aren't so crazy after all.

Posted by: SassyPants at February 19, 2009 9:47 AM

Chris, you are the first blog I ping every morning. It wouldn't be a good day without it.

Seriously.

Dooode.

Posted by: Julia at February 19, 2009 10:01 AM

I don't go all the way back with you and Beth but I've watched Mia grow from a tiny baby into a self assured little girl. Now I get to start over with Owen.

Your posts are usually the first things I look for each morning. They brighten my day.

Posted by: Ann Adams at February 19, 2009 10:14 AM

I doubt you could write anything that would make
me want to stop reading. My kids are much older
than yours, so reading about Mia and Owen lets
me relive some of their childhood vicariously.
And, when you write about other subjects I find
it just as enjoyable.

Posted by: Michelle at February 19, 2009 10:15 AM

I read it every single day in hopes you DO talk about being a dad. Keep it up - we're out here, always reading.

Posted by: Claire at February 19, 2009 10:23 AM

I like your parental rambling :) It makes me think ahead to how my blog will inevitably change when I have my own children. :)

Posted by: Kate at February 19, 2009 10:30 AM

I think your transformation to daddy blogger has been fascinating and refreshing. Besides, it doesn't matter what you write about, you always seem to make it enjoyable to read.

Posted by: Jeff A at February 19, 2009 10:33 AM

And that's exactly why we keep coming back. You are a dad and an IT geek, and you turn those stories into perfectly written adventures. And you do it all so eloquently and honestly, which makes you that much more interesting. You are a dad. I like that about you.
** But I'm not so sure Beth would like you referring to her as her parent. haha 4th paragraph...last word...I **know** what you mean, but I **could** read it two ways :-)

Posted by: Tera at February 19, 2009 10:49 AM

It happens to all parents and I think it's supposed to. The difference with you is that you are a talented writer and make it truly fun to read about their antics. I'm not kissing your ass, just stating the facts as I see them.
I'm not a 'natural' Mom (by choice) but I am raising my Stepson, have since he was three. We'll do anything for our kids - hell, I even play nice with his narcissitic Mother, now THAT'S love (and sacrifice!)

Posted by: LaineyDid at February 19, 2009 11:03 AM

I can't speak for everyone, but as a parent I love to read your parent posts. I also love your music and book posts. Your tales from the toilet posts, and all the other posts you write.

Posted by: lesley at February 19, 2009 11:04 AM

Personally, I come for the kid stuff. Everything else is just gravy. :)

Keep up the good work, dude!

Posted by: gabrielle at February 19, 2009 11:29 AM

What you right isn't boring, you always have funny stories to tell. It is wonderful to read about your family and the ways they are growing up. I feel like you are a part of my family even though I don't know you. And it doesn't matter that you don't get around to reading others blogs. Some things are just more important and one day you will have the time again. Keep cherishing the time you have with your babies.

Posted by: Adi at February 19, 2009 11:40 AM

You know, the main reason that I read you every day is because of how you are with your kids. I think that Mia and Owen are very lucky to have a father like you.

It also doesn't hurt that you are willing to dress up to play with Mia and then post the pics on here! That's my very favorite part ;)

Posted by: sherri at February 19, 2009 11:48 AM

We parents have to stick together. I read blogs partially because the people I work with are sick of hearing about my son. I never tire of the parenting gig, so I love reading about other parenting gigs. Besides, who has time to read and discuss books? I'm a fricking librarian and I can't finish a book with an almost three year old around. Last concert I went to was a year ago. But my son says something funny almost every day.

Posted by: rebecca at February 19, 2009 11:54 AM

I'm not a parent, but I love to read your stories. There's so much love in your posts -- that's what brings me back. :)

Posted by: Lisa at February 19, 2009 12:12 PM

I read to live vicariously through your family. That may sound creepy, but I'm finally realizing that in this thing called life, I will probably never have children and while that breaks my heart, I do know that there are OTHER children's lives out there that I can be a part of. Physically - as in my friends around here. And emotionally through blogs like yours. It gives me hope that there are decent parents out there making and raising the kind of kids I think I would have had.

Posted by: k8 at February 19, 2009 12:17 PM

P.S. If writing about your kids keeps you from posting more links to digital crack (ie The evil bubble spinner) I'm all for it. I cannot tell you how much time I have wasted on that damn game already - thanks a lot - not! Hmm, maybe your cavity was karma for getting us all hooked on it!

Posted by: LaineyDid at February 19, 2009 12:29 PM

We do the best we can as parents. The rest is just what it is. Don't apologize for being you, the dad. I've been coming here since you and Beth were pregnant with Mia and back then, I remember thinking, I can't wait to see how this changes Chris...and Beth too. I've loved watching your kids grow and hearing about how they've changed you. Makes me feel less boring. :)

Posted by: Issa at February 19, 2009 12:38 PM

Hey Chris - did you know that the Express quoted you again yesterday? It was about laying in Owen's crib - hilarious! I've been totally checked out of blogs lately, not even reading other people's at this point, so forgive me that I didn't read that post the day you...posted...it. (Did you know that trying to plan a wedding, small and low-key as it may be, is still an annoyingly time consuming thing? Ughhh.) But keep up the insightful writing. You and your beautiful family are entertaining even on what you consider to be your most mundane day.

Posted by: Liberal Banana at February 19, 2009 1:11 PM

you know what keeps me coming back?
you don't write posts like that bore me to tears. boring posts about other peoples' children? um, yeah, no thanks. but funny, witty, heartfelt stories? awesome.
you are really good writer, Chris...i wish i could tell kid stories like you can!

Posted by: ali at February 19, 2009 1:13 PM

Don't take this the wrong way but I keep coming back because I like you and your rambling ways.

Posted by: That Girl at February 19, 2009 1:35 PM

You highlight all the reasons I want to become a mom.

Posted by: La Petite CHic at February 19, 2009 1:48 PM

You know, I recently told my husband that he should check out your blog. He does not read blogs at all. Well, occasionally mine, but I told him that you're a dad and funny and seem cool and so maybe he'd like this blog.

Posted by: aimee at February 19, 2009 1:49 PM

I come and read BECAUSE you are a dad and a husband and a smart, funny writer.

Whether you are writing about people singing in the bathroom, Mia helping you with your penis, Beth laughing at you, Owen sleeping on your chest, trying to balance it all, or, if I'm really lucky, Sweet Baby Jesus, doesn't matter to me. I get what I come for.

Posted by: Mindy at February 19, 2009 1:59 PM

I think you're a great dad :) You've always been a great writer and I've enjoyed your blog for many a year now, (wow.) but I think fatherhood has brought you a depth that wasn't necessarily there before (or at least not apparent. Ha. A-parent. *Groan*)

Posted by: Heather at February 19, 2009 2:15 PM

Sounds to me like you couldn't get rid of your readers if you tried. I think we all enjoy reading because you're insightful and sarcastic (sometimes) and funny and thoughtful too - whether its work or kids. I started reading you before Mia was born and now you have two and I have one so I feel like it's been a journey together. Corny as that sounds...

Posted by: carrster at February 19, 2009 2:31 PM

Chris, please don't ever consider stopping writing the blog. I mean what would I do every morning over my cup of tea. As someone who does not have kids, I have to admit that I worried when you had kids, would I still be interested in your blog. Yep, still interested, every day. I look forward to that notification email in my inbox every weekday, telling me Chris has written something else to read.

Posted by: goodsnake at February 19, 2009 2:54 PM

I don't know why I ever come here either you ungrateful bastard.

HA! It's my first stop with a tea and I enjoy each and every day. Honestly. You are a great parent and your insights, observations general humour make me think about myself as a parent, and what I do well, and not so much.

Keep it up!

Posted by: Beth at February 19, 2009 3:07 PM

It is comforting to know that there are dads out there like you.

Posted by: a mom at February 19, 2009 3:14 PM

Your blog posts, while largely related to your little ones (something I no longer have) remind me of the little things in life that truly matter. Family. I'm a firm believer in blogging what you know....so just keep blogging what you currently experience. I come because I'm entertained and I can easily say "geesh, I may have been mad at that dog barking next door last night, but I wasn't sleeping in a crib!!"
;-)

I'm also currently struggling with a teenager and your stories remind me that he was once cute and therefore I am immediately more forgiving of this difficult time in his life.

Posted by: Kristy at February 19, 2009 3:30 PM

Frankly, few people's parenting stories are unique. It's in the telling of them that interest is created. It's the same with novels, there's no basic plot structure that hasn't been done before. But that doesn't mean that books are any less interesting to read.

Personally, I read lots of sites through my Google Reader and rarely click over to comment. Or rather, I go in fits and starts.

Anyway, I find you entertaining. I have no idea how you have the creative energy to post every day, but that's a whole other issue!

Posted by: mandy at February 19, 2009 3:48 PM

Yes, sometimes it can get boring to hear parents yarn on and on about their kids - but not when they do it in an interesting and entertaining manner (like you do - in case you didn't get that connection). You make me look forward to parenthood (ugh - we need to decide on this issue!) because you show an appreciation for it.

Posted by: TUWABVB at February 19, 2009 4:28 PM

I'm a father. And now, I'm a grandfather. And your post hit home so much, I swear I started lactating.

Write on, Young Dad.

Old Dad

Posted by: Marshall at February 19, 2009 5:33 PM

i love your dadditude.

Posted by: RzDrms at February 19, 2009 5:58 PM

My children (2 boys, 7 year age difference) were everything to me. Still are. I understand at least a bit. My husband (now my ex) said to me once that I had no ambitions in life. I was astounded at this comment - Raising my children was everything to me, and I counted that as the ultimate ambition. And I'm happy to say that I'm glad he's my ex husband. My life now is much nicer. And Don (my husband) understands my love of children.

Posted by: cassie-b at February 19, 2009 7:08 PM

And that's why I enjoy your posts.

Posted by: cassie-b at February 19, 2009 7:08 PM

incidentally, this is why i keep reading your blog :)

Posted by: kati at February 19, 2009 7:11 PM

I love hearing about the wacky shit your kids do! They're offbeat just like you are, and you've got a great storytelling ability, so keep it all coming.

Pops.

(This is where you yell at me to get off your lawn.)

Posted by: Dawn at February 19, 2009 7:36 PM

When I was pregnant people told me kids change everything. I totally underestimated how...

Posted by: Nat at February 19, 2009 8:24 PM

Awesome revelations. I totally get it! (Sorry for the lame vocab here...)

Posted by: morninglightmama at February 19, 2009 9:56 PM

To put it simply, I come because I love the Chris show. I love the way you put your life into words and it's entertaining. Plus it's reminded me that yes, I really do want kids and that I am looking forward to having my own amusing stories to possibly share with the world. :)

Posted by: Teenuh at February 19, 2009 10:00 PM

I don't remember how I found Beth's blog, but I started reading hers first and then I started reading yours as well. This was well before Mia was born, so that's how long I've been reading. Now I follow both of you guys. I can't really explain it. It's not that I'm stalking you, I don't want your life, I don't want to be you. I think it's just that visiting your blog and Beth's blog makes me feel like I'm visiting a friend, a friend that I feel like I know pretty well although I'm not sure I could pick you guys out in a crowd. I don't have a blog of my own, because I don't feel like what I have to say is that interesting. I sort of went off on a tangent here, but I guess my point is that regardless of what you write, I enjoy it. It reminds me that there are other people out there that have some of the same views I am, and that intelligent, normal people really do exist! (And by that, I mean Democrat, seriously!)

Posted by: Stephanie at February 19, 2009 10:48 PM

Beautiful post. I'm so glad I got that nudge to show up here in the little free time I have this morning. Thanks for this. You know I totally relate! I think so many of us do....

Posted by: Haley-O at February 19, 2009 11:41 PM

So beautifully put. My husband has the same feelings about dadhood as you. Very heart-warming.
Thanks for sharing. Don't stop. As you can tell, we enjoy it. A lot.

Posted by: Nenette at February 19, 2009 11:44 PM

Honestly, IF I ever "mark as read" on your blog, it's going to be a post about music. Because, me and you, we would probably never mesh well in that area. But I LOVELOVE hearing all about Mia and Owen. They are beautiful children and they make me want some just like them someday. (in the very distant future!) More importantly, just by the way that you write about them I can tell how good you are with them and how much you love them. And that also makes me want to approach parenthood with at least half of the craziness that you do!

Posted by: Jennifer Berthiaume at February 20, 2009 3:39 AM

It doesn't get boring - it's fascinating. You don't write how to guides on parenting (who could do that, anwyay?) but you write about your own experiences. Seeing how you view the world makes it a richer place than if I just had my own experiences.

Now, with everybody my age getting married and getting kids... maybe I need to look around, stop playing PC games, stop spending so much time on my job and figure out what I'm missing?

There's got to be a reason I read your blog every day. :)

Posted by: Hannah at February 20, 2009 4:26 AM

Dad.....Yes that somehow fits you!

Posted by: Maribeth at February 20, 2009 6:28 AM

Beautiful!

Posted by: mikkie at February 20, 2009 10:45 AM

OMG I'd love to wander around a bookstore WITHOUT my kid in tow.

Posted by: jessica at February 20, 2009 1:46 PM

awww, that is a really sweet post. Your wife & children are very lucky!

Posted by: La Petite Belle at February 20, 2009 3:50 PM

I know what you mean, dadhood has changed most of my priorities. I always knew it would, that's one reason I was always scared of having kids. Everything I feared has come to pass, but somehow I don't mind at all...

Posted by: rpm at February 20, 2009 7:34 PM

your parenting/kid stories are my favorites! Well, maybe 2nd in line to your funny bathroom stories.

Posted by: alfredsmom at February 21, 2009 5:15 AM

I always marvel at the miracle of these living beings I have, the pups, that rely on my totally and think I am the best thing since sliced bread. And then you write about actually having created a living thing and I went WOW. As I've said before, you're the only parent blog I read, and that's a compliment. It's those revelations such as the post you just wrote that make it interesting.

Posted by: Heather at February 21, 2009 2:24 PM

I think that all of us with blogs wonder why other people enjoy reading them because to us, we're not that funny nor is our life all that interesting.

Your blog is one of my favorites because you have a variety of topics that are smart, well written, and at times downright hysterical. :) The parenting ones are my favorite.

Posted by: Scatteredmom at February 21, 2009 3:24 PM

As a busy parent also, I stop in most weeks to read your blog. I find them very inspiring and insightful. Among your many talents you are quite the writer. I don't share the same political views, I certainly could never consume the books that you do and only somewhat know the music, old stuff mostly. but when it comes to your wife, your daughter and your son, please continue to share with us and thanks for letting us be a part of the joy and wonder that is parenthood with you. Mine children are both teens now and it goes so fast, how I wish I could put into words the feeling and emotions I feel as well as you do. May you all always be blessed and happy.

Posted by: pam at February 21, 2009 7:15 PM

What a sweet and lovely post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts without apology.

Posted by: Janssen at February 22, 2009 11:58 AM

We come here not expecting you to visit us in return, but because of who you are without apology. You're a good dad and a good husband (well, it's your blog afterall so you can paint yourself however you'd like! HA!) but seriously, you are who you are and it's pretty damn good. Well done.

Posted by: samantha jo campen at February 23, 2009 10:18 PM

Make your own life more easy get the credit loans and everything you want.

Posted by: TamikaBest33 at August 15, 2011 3:57 AM


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