Just Another Day in Paradise

This post brought to you by country star Phil Vassar:

The kids screaming, phone ringing
Dog barking at the mailman bringing
That stack of bills – overdue
Good morning baby, how are you?
Got a half hour, quick shower
Take a drink of milk but the milk’s gone sour
My funny face makes you laugh
Twist the top on and I put it back
There goes the washing machine
Baby, don’t kick it.
I promise I’ll fix it
Long about a million other things

When you become a parent, everything is magnified. You still have to deal with all the same stuff you dealt with before the baby arrived, but it’s just harder because you’re also solely responsible for the well-being of another living, breathing, screaming, pooping person. Therefore even the simple and mundane things from your previous life (I call it BC, Before Children) become extraordinarily complicated and stressful.

I worked all day yesterday and then came home. I instinctively reached for the handle on the screen door only to realize it had broken off. And I was supposed to get to the hardware store to buy a replacement and install it. Whoops. Maybe tomorrow. As I struggled to open the frozen door and see my wife and son, all the comotion must’ve alerted the dogs. No sooner did I get the door open than the dogs went screaming past me outside. Out of instinct, I dove for Haley and caught her by the collar. Except, as anyone in the northeast knows, there’s a butt load of snow right now and I was laying face first in it. Fenway decided to take off and make me chase her.

Fifteen minutes later I finally got inside my own house but had to put the dogs in the bedroom because the guy from Lowe’s had just arrived. We have to replace our front door, the closet doors, the nursery closet doors and the bedroom closet doors. I don’t know how much this is going to cost, I asked MJ not to tell me. The dogs were FREAKING OUT in the bedroom, barking and scratching at the door relentlessly. That made Will cry. The poor Lowe’s guy looked like he just wanted to run screaming from this crazy house. If he was single, we just gave him the best birth control of all time. He’ll be wearing two condoms from here on out.

After he left and we freed the dogs, it was time for dinner. I fed the dogs and then let Fenway outside on the lead. But of course, Fenway got stuck around a tree. Right after I took my shoes off. Too tired to even put my shoes back on, I ran like a 10-year-old girl barefoot in the snow to free the dog.

Once inside (and now suffering from frostbite) MJ was trying to finish up dinner. The dogs were trying to jump up on the counter and they were under MJ’s feet constantly tripping her up. So I squirted them with the water bottle, only my aim wasn’t so good and I ended up squirting MJ. Meanwhile, Will was in his highchair screaming because he ran out of Cheerios. I thought he had eaten them all, only to discover most of them had dropped into his lap. I knew that because the dogs had jumped up and were burying their face near his crotch to eat the Cheerios.

After dinner it’s time for me to give Will a bath while MJ does the dishes. Whenever I strip Will down to give him a bath I run out to the kitchen holding his naked body in front of me. I get to MJ and shout “NAKED BABY!” while shaking him gently from side to side. And then we do a “baby sandwich” as we both hug and kiss him. And as we squeezed him in the baby sandwich…he farted. Right on me. I guess I’m lucky it was JUST a fart.

In the bathroom I put Will down and let him walk around as I got the water ready. When it was all set I turned around and saw Will running at me with his arms outstretched. I stood there, thinking that it was so cute Will was running toward daddy wanting to be picked up.

And it was cute…until he stumbled forward and steadied himself by frantically grabbing onto my testicles.

You have to imagine what it must’ve been like for MJ to hear a horrible groaning sound, followed by a baby’s cry, at which point she runs in and sees her husband curled up in the fetal position, gripping his sack, while the baby wails away.

Friday, you’re late
Guess we’ll never make our dinner date
At the restaurant you start to cry
Baby, we’ll just improvise
Well, plan B looks like
Dominoes’ pizza in the candle light
Then we’ll tippy toe to our room
Make a little love that’s overdue
But somebody had a bad dream
Mama and daddy
Can me and my teddy
Come in to sleep in between?

OK, so maybe we weren’t about to make some long overdue love. But we were looking forward to sleep. But since we’re switching Will over to cow’s milk in sippy cups instead of formula in bottles, his schedule has gotten all screwed up again. He doesn’t like the milk and he flat out hates the sippy cup. This has led to him waking up several times a night again. Which means we’re up several times a night again. Will is, quite literally, coming between us and sleep. As for sex, well…it’s not really on the radar screen.

As my sleep was interrupted for the second time, I slowly woke up and opened my eyes only to find a dalmatian laying next to me. I note the irony of me having to get up while my dog sleeps soundly in my place. When I get out of bed I step on one of Will’s toys. Which makes me trip. Which ends with me stepping in the laundry basket and banging against the wall.

After 20 minutes of calming Will down and feeding him I finally get him back to sleep. So I head toward the nursery only to find that in my zombie-like state, I accidentally closed the baby gate. And it’s one of those ones we have to pull the handle up, which makes it extremely difficult to open while holding a 25-lb baby. So I did what any normal dad would do: I tried to open it with my foot!

Try, if you can, to picture a 235-lb man holding a 25-lb baby laying on the floor with one foot caught in a baby gate handle, ignoring the searing pain his back because he’s desperately trying to keep the baby asleep. MJ doesn’t know that happened though. So sssshhhhh!

Well, it’s ok. It’s so nice
It’s just another day in paradise
Well, there’s no place that
I’d rather be
Well, it’s two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
And I ask the Lord every night
For just another day in paradise

This is the best part of the song. Because even with escaped dogs, dirty diapers, no sleep, stepping on baby toys, trying to pay the bills which are higher than our income, falling down in the middle of the night and scampering barefoot in the snow…I love my life.

I love my wife. I love my son. I even love my damn dogs.

It’s not perfect, but it’s perfect for me.

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7 thoughts on “Just Another Day in Paradise

  1. Let me tell you what I love most about your blog. You ready? It is watching your reality turn, well frankly more realistic. When you first started blogging it was rainbows and stars in your eyes. Now you are getting out of the honeymoon stage into the reality of how different your life really has become. The fact that peace and quiet doesn’t exist. And all of this, you realize will be at least 18 more years unless you have more children, then you get to start over the counting!

    You are like me in the fact that you clearly remember life BC.

    Also I think you can clearly see why most fathers are not like you. Many people I know sleep in separate parts of the house now too. That makes the mother more isolated and teh only one taking care of the children (like me). But here is the flipside to that arrangment – and something you won’t have to experience! My girls are mama’s girls. Why? Because it has always been me. Kids sense this stuff! They know.

    Now my husband realizes it too. Because of his lack of involvment for the past 4 years, his girls aren’t overly connected with him or his family. Me? My family? They are all about. You won’t have that problem. Your son is connected with you and will always feel that respect for you.

    So yes, it is hard. But yes, MJ will love and respect you SOOOO much for your hard work. So as hard as it is you are in a win/ win situation my friend. YOu keep it up! Be a fab role model!

    I look so forward to watching your journey……

  2. Thanks Glamour Girl, I appreciate that.

    I can’t imagine religiously sleeping in separate parts of the house. I won’t lie, sometimes that’d be appealing and once in awhile I end up on the couch, but you can’t just skip the trying parts of parenthood. Otherwise you won’t treasure the great times as much. And I signed up for the whole experience, good and bad, not just the fun stuff.

    That’s sad about your husband, although I’m sure he’s off working hard and providing. My dad was building a business from the ground up to provide for us when we were younger, so I don’t remember him too much when I was really little. My mom was super mom and did everything. But as we got older my dad more than made up for it and he spent time with us whenever he could. He was actually sad when I went off to college because we did so much together by that time I don’t think he wanted me or my brother to leave. Hopefully your husband will be the same way.

  3. Seriously, you stressed ME out while reading that.

    I’m still laughing at the visual of you running like a little girl. I’ve done that on more than one occasion.

  4. Add 2 more boys, all in school, 1 plays football, baseball and basketball along with clarinet, baseball for the other two and you might come close to the chaos that rules my world.

    I wouldn’t trade them for the world, lol. Little heathens. The only thing my living room lacks is a pig head on a stake. Just when I’m considering doing something that will warrant DSS involvement, they do something to remind me why I’d still do it all over again.

    I had a horrible day today. When I called home my 5 year old gets on the phone and says “no more wall street bailouts!!” Aside from how hilarious it was to hear that come out in a 5 year old voice, I pieced together that he and my wonderful guy (who, incidentally listens to too much NPR) were playing investment banker. Responsible investment banker, as it were. Those moments keep us sane. My kids seem to have been born with a highly developed skill for manipulating my soft spots.

  5. so just come on down here when you guys are ready. Just dont bring any more of this cold weather with you like john did. Surfer Jay I enjoyed your last blog too.

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