Adventures of Darth Daddy

Monday, June 05, 2006

Operator - I've been disconnected!

Before an hour or so ago, my thoughts tonight were going to be about finishing the kids backyard playground, uprooting a tree stump, installing a trailer hitch on the truck, and purchasing a bike carrier for the trailer hitch.

But what just happened made me what to talk a bit about "where Im at". The wife and I were laying in bed, watching tv (surrounded by all 3 cats), when the baby started crying. Her philosophy has always been "just let him cry it out". However, after 5 minutes of screaming, I draw the line, and say it's time to tend to the child. You must also remember that Logan is asleep in the same room. Even if he's dead asleep, it can't be good to him to have to listen to all that screaming. I fear that he will either have disturbed sleep, or wake to resent his brother for crying. There have alreayd been mourings when I've overheard him telling Lance to "shut up, and stop making noise", although Lance hadn't cried a peep since the night before.

By problem is 2 fold.

1. Although I knew how connected a pregnancy could make a relationship, I never dreamed of how a child (more specifically parenting issues) could rip a marriage apart.

and 2. I fear that I just don't feel as connected to Lance as I do Logan.

Let's address #2 first. The wife can wait.

Logan has always been the center of attention. He loves the spotlight, and has, for the most part, been a dream as far as "raising" issues are concerned. When it was nap time, I'd sit and hold him in my arms, and we'd often fall asleep together. The tight bond between us seemed to be there from birth. When Lance came along, I often had to put him in his swing for nap time, because there was no way in hell Logan could sit down and shut up long enough for the baby to fall asleep. In the last few months, I've even started (at times) to resent how much attention Logan needs, as I se how much time I DON'T have to devote to Lance. I feel that I have failed, in some ways, because I wasn't able to devote as much one-on-one time to Lance as I did to Logan. Days that the inlaws take Logan for a day have been great, in that I get to spend time just with Lance - we play, we read, we build with blocks..whatever. All the while not having to worry about "what's Logan doing???".

It's important to mention that only on few occasions has Lance ever fallen asleep in my arms. And now it's startin gto bother me how much we refuses to be held. From time to time, he's okay with sitting in my lap for a short time, but when it comes to night time, he wants nothign to do with me. With Logan, when he awoke in the middle of the night, I woul dhol dhim till he fell bak asleep. When I try the same to Lance, he gets 10 times more pissed off that Im holdin him. But other than ignore him, there is no other alternative. I've thgout to myself "Ya better deal with this, kid....I'm all you got at the moment. Mommy said to let you cry".

Maybe he entering the terrible 2's early. Maybe I missed some major developmental moment to connect with him. Maybe he's an entirely different personality type than Logan, and I shouldn't compare them so much.

I'm trying to connect, and will keep trying. It just seems that sometimes Lance acts like he's the nighbors kid instead of mine. Here I thought I has a bit of an authority on child raising, having been pretty much alone to raise Logan, and along comes Lance and tells me that all I think I know aint worth the shit in his diaper.

Now, about the wife. Nothing, save a rare few things that I won't mention - even here - are as unattractive to me as a mother who lacks parenting skills. Let me tell you what I'm dealing with here. Tonight, I brought Lance out to our bed. I though tit woul dsooth him, and I also wanted to remove him from the room so Logan could sleep. After a bit of not calming down, the wife asks him if he wants some milk for his tummy. He just keeps screaming (he is very non-verbal). She asks again, and then just lays there. A few minutes go by, and she asks if he wants some medicine for his tummy.
At this point, I lose it. I ask "Why not ask if he'd like a stock portfolio and some investment tips?!. How the hell does HE know if he wants some medicine for his tummy. You the mom - figure it out. And where the hell is that milk you offered him ?"

Her response: "Well, he didn tsay he wanted it. When he doesn't grunt that he wants it, he won't drink it".

The kid is pissed off majorly, very upset, crying, boogers running down his face, tears, the whole package - and she thinks he going to stop his tantrum for a moment, to answer her. WTF?!
*** Also worth mentioning is that she had all weekend to wash sippy cups, and didn't . She left me high and dry last week without baby wipes . A fast trip to Costco had daddy returnign with a mega box of 30 packages, fuck you very much. This week, it was sippy cups. And I was not about to move off of that bed to get a drink, because I wanted her to feel as frustrated as I did this mourning, trying to find a clean sippy cup.

So here I am - feeling very displeased with my choice of "wife", very disconnected to my 1.5 yr old, and (worst of all), have been very short (in patience) with Logan resently. I've noticed that I've had to apologize for yelling much more than usual. And fo rthings that used to not bother me so much. Like telling him to stand next to me, and having his wander around the resteraunt. Like havin to tell him 15 times to "SIT DOWN AND EAT YOUR FOOD!", or "God damnit, get off that gate! I've had to tell you taht every damn day for 3 years - when are you going to learn!". Or "Why the hell did you swing the front door open so fast. You just clocked your brother in the head!"

I'm very stressed. I get even more stressed on days that I don't mave martial arts classes. Day with classes I have a release - I get to leave the house alone - I get to talk to other adults - and I get to step back for a moment, and reflect on the positive things that happened that day. I have many times, coem home from the dojo, and after huggin Logan, tol dhim that I was sorry about how I yelled earlier that day.

It's just that lately, I've had to apologize too much.

And the worst of all, is that summer is almost here. That means 24/7 non-stop having the wife at home. Oh joy.

8 Comments:

  • At 9:54 AM, Blogger Mike said…

    No answers for you. But you are blogging my life, dude.

     
  • At 1:04 PM, Anonymous chip said…

    I can sympathize. You don't realize how hard kids can be on a relationship until it happens. Definitely take time this summer for yourself. It'll be good for you, for the kids, for the wife. Stress is your enemy.

     
  • At 7:06 PM, Blogger Phil said…

    I admire your honesty here... I hold back on a lot of this stuff because I've got friends and relatives secretly reading my blog (perhaps trying to catch me writing something that they can gossip about). Anyway, you are absolutely right about children changing a relationship in a negative way. I'm constantly battling this, trying to get my wife and I on the same page. Sometimes I don't even talk to her about things, I just go and do it. And sometimes I tell her to just take care of it, or plan it, or whatever, and leave me out of it. And then there's those times when we patiently discuss something, then I just go and do it my way anyway. :)

    We recently bought bikes and kayaks for ourselves, so that we can get out and away from the house (if not the kids) and be doing something relaxing together. Well, I'm not sure if kayaking is going to be relaxing, but I'm hoping it is. It's not quite the same as doing something just for yourself, but it's as close as I'm going to get. For just myself, the computer is my stress relief... I read blogs, write a few things of my own, download music, watch hilarious YouTube videos, browse through Flickr photos... This is my daily therapy. My kids have no idea that when they finally fall asleep I'm rushing to my office for a couple hours of ME time. I call it "Daddy has to do his work now."

    Oh yeah, and one more thing... When your boys start sleeping through the night, your stress levels will plummet dramatically.

    Keep on "blogging it real"...

     
  • At 1:24 PM, Blogger Butterfly said…

    Parenting skills don't grow on tree's...it can be so frustrating when your partner doesn't see what steps need to be taken to solve a situation with the same clarity as you do. I can certainly relate to that.

    But self reflection is going to save your beans every time. Taking a good look at how these factors are making you feel stressed, is only going to help you to find great solutions for them. I think the impending summer will be just what the Dr. Ordered. Take some time away from the kids as a couple, and take advantage of the great weather to embrace all of those fun activities that can remind you of what "family" is all about. It will get better as the kids get older. Hang tough!

     
  • At 1:31 PM, Blogger Oda Daddy said…

    Ahh, yes...Sounds very familiar. For me at least, I have found that since I spend more time with the kid, I understand what things will work and what wont. My wife sometimes says things to Oda Mae that I just don't understand, and neither does Oda Mae. I try to remember that I get a lot more practice than she does. I also have a lot of experience teaching so that helps. My wife was never a good teacher and she'll admit it. So that shows up in the home as well.

    Good Luck!
    Jim

     
  • At 10:09 AM, Blogger KC said…

    OMG, you're blogging (most of) my life too!

    My stress is going waaaay up now that I have two mobile and demanding kids. And, #1 is regressing slightly in her ability/willingness to do simple things for herself, making things even worse for me. And, she's got a terrible case of the "no! no! no!" which gets her in trouble and shoots my BP through the roof.

    I said f*ck and d*mn within #1's earshot the other day (and the wife's too, darnit), and I'm in extremly hot water for it. I can't help it. I'm not keeping my cool. I'm on the verge of being abusive. Call CPS, take the kids away, Dad's gone nuts and needs his parenting license revoked until he gets enough remedial coursework done.

    As for connecting with the kid(s), I feel a lot like you do, but my #2 has simply learned to sleep fine without me holding him. Thankfully he'll cuddle now and then when he's really really tired. As long as you're having good fun and making eye contact and have your little "inside joke" games, I think you're doing fine. You can't expect both to be the same as the situations are NOT identical (one has a brother, one did not). It is your job, however, to teach the Older One that you sometimes have to give the Younger One some extra attention -- and he can't go nuts trying to get your attention back.

    As for the wife, I think she's an OK parent, but she doesn't think some things are as urgent as I do. I might someday get used to that, perhaps when the kids are all grown up in 17 years or so.

     
  • At 3:29 PM, Blogger Magoo said…

    Coming up on year 4 of Being Mr.Mom.. I have come to the conclusion and source of much of the stress. We are made to remain the "guy" who takes care of all the "guy" stuff. But now, we are also expected to take care of all the "mom" stuff.

    If this was truly a swap of jobs, she would be cutting the grass, planning the retirement, getting the oil changed.. and in that time I could sit in the living room in the fetal position drinking crown royal and get my brain back.

    Its the buildup of loss of time, loss of identity and loss of patience that does it to you.

    I think what you can take to heart, is that your two kids are surely getting more attention and love that kids have gotten since the 1950's. All this crap will end up producing great kids.. And that is our goal.

    Will we make it till they are 18? That remains to be seen.. But if not, I'll meet ya in the nuthouse.. we can stare at the blue walls with all the other mrmoms.


    Ken

    www.mrmominflorida.blogspot.com

     
  • At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Kevin said…

    I agree with Magoo. I like to tell my wife that I just to the baby watching, grocery shopping, cooking, yard work, car maintence, home repair and computer tech support and she does all the rest.

     

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