I sit here writing this wondering, what does the future hold. No, not about my family, or if the Kansas City Royals will win the World Series or not. I wonder what the future holds for The Rookie Dad.
In the 4 years that I have been writing The Rookie Dad, it has transitioned from the The Father In Me to what it is today, The Rookie Dad. Readers have seen me featured on Freshly Pressed as I wrote about the day my son was born. They have seen me go through being laid off, being a stay at home dad, to going back to work.
I went through a dry spell of writing for The Rookie Dad, to only have the inspiration come back after being featured on the Today Show. That inspiration has brought new ideas and renewed sense of motivation to keep The Rookie Dad up and running.
I’m a blogger, damn it!
I do not say that with a face palm. I say this with a sense of revelation and pride. It took me close to 4 years to realize this. I sit here over 450 posts into The Rookie Dad and feeling like I am coming into my own as a blogger and a writer.
When I started The Rookie Dad, I was afraid to speak of it in public. Like the online persona would shield me from the ridicule and stigma that came with being known as a blogger, which at the time was still something many people didn’t quite understand. However, there was one night that my slight embarrassment of being a blogger changed.
Son, it has been a while since I shared a story with you. You have been learning so quickly that is difficult to keep up. Yesterday though you just did something so dang cute that I have to share this memory! You ran up to Anna (our new puppy) as she was sleeping against the wall to look out the window. You proceeded to say “I am sorry Anna!”
Now whether you meant it when you said you were sorry or not I have no idea. My guess is that you did mean it, you tell Anna you love her all the time. You give her giant bear hugs and kisses before bed. You want to play with her so badly that you get just a bit to rough and she ends up running away.
None of this is your fault, you are still learning how to play with Anna. We adopted her because you needed a play pal and I am confident she will become that for you. Until then I will continue to help you play with her so she knows that you won’t hurt her.
You have learned when to say “I am sorry” which is a trait that your mother and I appreciate. You are not acting out in a malicious way, you are just being a two and a half-year old.
I love you,
We did not realize that you were sick when we started the toddler bed process again and failed to realize it for a week. It ended up in your mother missing classes because you got her sick and then you even had me out of work for a day with whatever bug you had. It was something that all three of us had to muscle through though.
Once we knew that you were feeling better we had already started a routine of reading you to sleep. We kept that routine because we knew that it was working at the time. The downside however, it would take an hour for you to fall asleep.
We were really not sure what caused this problem. You would even wake up in the middle of the night and walk to our room and climb in bed with us, that is a different story though.
It was almost two weeks of sleepless nights into this transition and we had enough reading you to sleep. Now, don’t go thinking that mommy and daddy didn’t love you at the time because we stopped coddling you. We never stopped loving you. Sometimes as a parent it takes tough love and this was one of those moments. You will understand when you are a parent. There are times you will tell your child to just suck it up and deal with it, that bone sticking out of your arm, it is nothing, now get back onto the baseball field and get me a win! Wow, I really would never make a good baseball coach would I? Maybe I should just turn in my resignation now before I even start. Wait, I am getting away from the story.
We continued to read to you but would stop after about three or four books and put you into bed. This started a whole new slew of problems. You would scream and climb out of bed even more than before. We would stand outside your doorway to tell you that we were still here it worked for the first night… still took you an hour to fall asleep but it worked to keep you crying but calm knowing that we were there.
The second night of this however you wouldn’t be calm. Finally after an hour of you screaming your mother walked in and thought maybe some stuffed animals would help.
After looking around at all of your new-found friends… you spotted the mascot from your mothers alma mater and my favorite college athletic team. You immediately said:
I am still working on the pronunciation with you. It’s JAYHAWK! You better learn it before basketball season starts! I am expecting to hear you say it with me during the games.
However, you couldn’t resist holding the Jayhawk. What it is about this bird, only you can tell us. But you loved it!
And that son, is how you spent the night with a Jayhawk.
24 hours into our new toddler bed experiment your mother hit a wall. I was at work, then I was working weekends in the TV News industry. Son, if there is one thing you get out of this story, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go into a news career. It is a life sucking career that will leave you with no time for your family and friends and a worse attitude than Charlie Sheen on a late night drug induced rage. Oh who am I kidding… you will never know who Charlie Sheen is so you are “WINNING.”
Naptime came and I got a phone call and all I heard was…
And your mother telling me that she hates me. True story. Your mother really didn’t hate me although part of me thought maybe she really did hate me and I would come home to a knife yielding sleep deprived wife. But in reality she hated the fact that it was her in the situation because of me and I was not able to also deal with it.
The moment I got home from work there was no knife, I was safe on that front so I put the side rail back onto the crib for you. That seemed to make all the difference and you were able to sleep. Your mother told me that I was pushing you to grow up to fast. Now that I look back on it, I was. I wanted you to be a big boy faster than you wanted to be one, a lesson I have yet to learn. I want you to be older than you really are and I have no patience.
But let’s fast forward to 2 weeks ago.
You had started to develop a habit at bedtime that mom and dad were not happy about. You wouldn’t sleep without us in the room.
We would read to you each night and let you turn your music on and help us get you ready for bed. The moment we put you in your crib you would cry and cry.
The discussion started again, do we put you in a toddler bed? Maybe that is what you want. We didn’t know, you wouldn’t tell us, I mean you were only telling me “Hab A Goo Da” when you would leave for day-care in the morning! We thought that since you were sleeping on a cot at daycare maybe it would work.
We let it go on for a couple of nights and finally gave in and put the toddler rail back on. The same thing as before happened. You would cry and cry. We decided that maybe we could read you to sleep. Well that took 2 hours. There was no way that we could do this each night. I mean we love you son, but two hours? Really? I hope that maybe someday you can explain what you were thinking during this time to me.
Your mother was going through law school and needed to study. Me, well I needed my time away from you. I know that sounds mean, but when you are a parent you will understand. It is strange I want to get away from you for a while but I hate it when I am away from you. Strange phenomena that you will understand someday.
What happened next though, is the reason you ended up with the Jayhawk in your bed with you.