21st Century Dad
One Dad's Thoughts, Ideas, and Feelings.
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Some Quick Bits

January 28th, 2011 . by 21st Century Dad

Time is precious and fleeting. I applaud the more prolific mom and dad bloggers out there. How do you find the time to write? This time around, it’s digest-sized bits and pieces from the life of 21st Century Dad. Maybe I’m just running into the same problem I had writing original music. I would come up with a great hook or chorus, but had no clue how to flesh out verses or the bridge. So thus follows a medley of random musings.

Black Ops

Sometimes your child gets hooked on a DVD that you do not particularly like. Twilli has an off-brand no-name low-budget production of Cinderella on DVD. Twilli’s mom and I use the term “hecho en China” to describe it and other poorly executed knock-offs. It’s poorly animated and the dialogue at times sounds like it came from a web-based language translator. While Twilli is sufficiently distracted by some recent Little Einsteins DVDs, Cinderella will just vanish. It’s so bad, McKay‘s probably would reject it.

The Single Parent Dating Game

The last time I was an unrestricted free agent, a different collective bargaining agreement was in place. It was a simpler time, before Facebook and text messaging. The arrival of social media on our collective consciousness effectively abolished the “3 day rule.” The biggest change now is, I’m a single dad.

Circumstances also conspire against me here. I work an odd schedule and wrap shared custody around it. Many weeks, all my kid-free evenings are spent slinging pro audio gear to the masses who pass through the door at Guitar Center. I am socially liberal, politically moderate, spiritually ambiguous, and eat mostly vegan – definitely not the status quo here in in the Bible Belt.

Single parents are often summarily weeded out due to perceived “baggage.” Many people even state it explicitly in their online dating profiles.

The “us vs. them” sentiment toward non-parents also spills over into the dating world. I was on the other side of it and always respectful of family time and custody arrangements. Dating another single mom would mean I have to play the most epic game of Tetris with our schedules.

Father of the Year Award Goes to….

ME! Of course. When I started this blog, I wanted it to be a place people found knowledge and wisdom. All rookie parents hope they can pull it off and try their darndest. Then we come to terms with our limitations. Reality is the 18-wheeler and your dreams of being an All-Star Mom or Dad is a Mini Cooper. Which one wins in a collision? I’ve used the following tactics when faced by my limitations:

  • Some breakfast ideas that come from outside-the-box thinking. As long as it has a good mix of simple and complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and fat, I’m good with it, especially if it can be eaten in the car… because I don’t get out the door early enough to make it on time for breakfast at daycare.
  • Using several baby wipes in lieu of a bath.
  • Letting the girl wear her Crocs in the dead of winter (while toting “real shoes” in reserve) because your resolve is already worn down after your futile attempt to coax her into proper footwear for the weather.
  • One back-pocket option I have is a properly timed “sugar crash” to get the girl to bed at a reasonable hour. It’s not an option you can or should use often. It usually precludes the brushing of teeth.

These Aren’t the Droids You’re Looking For

You also surprise yourself sometimes. Who would’ve thought Jedi mind tricks would be a vital part of the parental repertoire? The Force is strong in this one.

Sometimes you wonder if you’ve crossed the line between modeling cooperative behavior and just giving in to the whims of a 3 year old.

Cooperation is abundant, but it has a spotty uptime record. When you’re racing against the clock, there isn’t time to go through an entire routine that weaves its way through myriad distractions to achieve your objective of buckling the girl into her car seat. Sometimes, you need to go with the “nuclear option.” Let her flip out because you’ve forced her against her will. But take solace in the fact that few have the capacity to go from pissed to blissed in a matter of seconds like a 3 year old.

One thing parents worry about a lot is dressing their children properly for the weather. One morning Twilli wanted to wear a particular sweater, but rebuffed my efforts to put on another layer underneath. I then put the inner layer inside the sweater.

Early bedtime and Twilli rarely cross paths. One night, I decided to try a new tactic. I told her, “all the kitties, doggies, and horses are waiting for you in dream land. You have to lie down and close your eyes before you can go be with the kitties. They’re all waiting for you to give them kisses.”

One Response to “Some Quick Bits”

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