Monday, December 13, 2010

It is about choosing...

...and choosing and choosing and choosing.

Today was my first "official" day as a full-time dad. It was one of those days that reminds me that I always have a choice: I can choose to accept what is happening or I can choose to pretend that it isn't happening and try to make it different (or some variation on this theme). Remember, this is my first day as a full-time dad...

Mary Jane (MJ), my three-year-old woke up at 6:20. Not unusual for her, and certainly not early for her, but I hoped she would sleep to 7:00 today. Rebekah, my four-month-old, was also up early which is unusual for her (she'll often sleep until 8:30 or 9:00). No big deal, though, the early morning went quite well with us having first breakfast and playing without incident.

I put Rebekah down for her first nap and MJ and I decided to get the exersaucer out for Rebekah. After cleaning the exersaucer it was time for morning snack: yogurt. Unfortunately, MJ and I botched the hand off and the yogurt ended up all over the kitchen floor...and the freshly cleaned exersaucer.

Rebekah didn't want to sleep much in the morning and so rather than a 1-2 hour nap, she slept only 40 min. No problem, I thought, I'll just roll with the punches. An hour later, Rebekah is hungry again. Feed Rebekah and start to get MJ's lunch ready and put Rebekah down for a second nap. Everything is going okay now.

After lunch is "rest time" for MJ and I tell her I'm going to take a shower while she watches her movie (The Wizard of Oz - her current favorite). I'm just about to step into the shower and MJ comes in: "I hear Rebekah!" she says. Quickly get dressed again and go down to get Rebekah. After 20 or 30 min I finally get to take a shower (Rebekah is now in the bouncy in the bathroom. Just as I am finishing my shower, I hear screaming - MJ fell down the stairs! I run out of the bathroom to get her (she is fine) and console her. I'm dripping wet holding a crying three-year-old and trying to keep my towel from falling down. After a couple minutes I set MJ back down. "My dress is wet" she says, confused. She thought it got wet somehow when she fell down the stairs! I explain that it is wet because I picked her up while I was still dripping wet from the shower. We head downstairs to get both of us some clothes and to put her dress in the dryer. Rebekah is still in her bouncy upstairs. After about 3 minutes I hear Rebekah "talking" (she doesn't like to be left out), so I leave MJ sitting at the bottom of the stairs and run up to get Rebekah.

Finally, we are all dressed and MJ has calmed down again. I notice that I am getting irritable and realize that I have not had much protein today. I leave MJ and Rebekah in the living room playing Barbies while I go into the kitchen to make a protein shake. I put the milk and powder in the mixer and, I thought, closed the lid. As I start to shake the mixer something cold and wet sloshes onto my face...the lid wasn't closed! So now there is chocolate protein powder all over me and the kitchen floor (fortunately, we had moved the exersaucer into the other room by this time so it did not get hit again!). So now I get to Swifer the kitchen floor for the second time in three hours.

It is now about 1:30 pm.

The rest of the day went quite well...other than that MJ hit her head once on a door knob and twice on the wood frame of the couch while we were wrestling. Here's a picture of the three of us sitting on the couch:

It occurred to me during afternoon snack time that the reason I was so exhausted by 3:15 pm is because being with two little, beautiful, intelligent, growing human beings requires a level of giving that I am simply not accustomed to. As a full-time dad my job, literally, is to provide for these girls in every way that I can. And so, I get several opportunities throughout the day to choose: will I choose to accept what is happening or will I choose to pretend that it isn't happening and try to make it different? I choose YES!, this is it. I'll take it for what it is. After all, the protein shake was all over my face, no matter how much I wanted it to be different!


  1. What an experience...You, no doubt, will cherish this time spent with your girls. It is irreplaceable...once they are that age, and then they aren't. Good for you, Rob!

  2. This is an almost perfect description of my life a few months ago. And I agree, it is very much about choosing to just accept the chaos (or whathaveyou). This should be fun.

  3. I say this with tears streaming down my cheeks and gratitude in my heart: When we're old and wrinkly, sitting in our rocking chairs watching our grandkids sitting on the floor playing and listening to our children regale us with stories full of humor, frustration, worry (AM I doing the right thing), but most of all joy; I will look to you, big brother, and say, "Do you remember the protein powder?..."

    I believe you will never regret this choice that you will make every day. Recommiting yourself to your little people time and time again. You have won; and the best part is we all get to benefit!

    I love you,