Archive for the ‘Fatherhood’ Category

I know most parents brag about their kids. Its only natural right? Sometimes the bragging can be an over the top “my kid is better than your kid” type, sometimes it can be the “proud parent” type, and sometimes it can just simply be “sheer amazement”.

Nariah is my first child. Things as simple as when they say “excuse me” or tell their first joke feels like a big deal because it’s your first child. Now there comes a point where you get those “come on now, is this for real?” moments and that’s what this is, at least for me and my wife it is. We’ve just had a parent teacher conference with Nariah’s kindergarten teacher. She’s reading exceptionally well and is pretty good at writing. Although the teacher mentioned Nariah would write the bare minimum when it came to sentences because she wants to be finished quickly and move on. If the exercise was for the students to write what they did this past weekend, Nariah would write something like “I went home. I had fun.” and leave it at that. Nothing along the lines of variance. The teacher was trying to get Nariah to get more creative with her sentences. Now this conference happened 3 days before this “sheer amazement” moment.

We’re visiting my grandparents in NC, and everyone is kind of doing their own thing. Nariah asks her granddad for some paper and something to write with. Over the course of the next few minutes I walk by and see her kneeling on the floor writing and drawing intently. “What are you doing baby?
I’m writing a story and illustrating it too! I’m going to read it to you guys
Oh ok, cool!

Now at this point my “Oh ok” was really expecting a simple “See spot… See spot run” type story. Oh, was I ever wrong. With Nariah’s permission she has given me the rights to share her work. This is a book she wrote all by herself with out any help. She did a pretty good job phonetically spelling a lot of words. Aside from her needing to “slow down” a little and finish out the words we know she knows already, this was awesome in my opinion. The concept of this story alone is a far cry from the 3 word sentences we had just heard about. I’ve added captions showing what she says on each page underneath each picture from when she read it to us for the first time. Click on the first picture to open up the gallery.

Last night’s conversation let me know I’m due for a long and expensive parenthood…

Its bedtime and the girls call me into Nariah’s bedroom for prayers. Toryn is getting over a cold and is on the last leg of his meds. I walk into the room and before I can get all they way in, Nariah stops me with a question.

Daddy, can you go down stairs and get Toryn’s medicine for Mommy? Its in the fridge.
Oh ok, in the fridge huh?
Yep, in the door. Thanks Daddy!

Now this is the conversation that takes place while I’m downstairs looking for the medicine :

Thanks for asking Daddy for me Nariah, I was going to go get it, but thanks!
You’re welcome, Daddy’s nice.
You really like asking Daddy to do things for you don’t you?
Yep! He always says yes to me!
Oh he does? You sure?
Yep! Oooooh, I know! When he comes back upstairs, I’m going to ask him can we go to Disney this year!
Disney Nariah? We just went this summer baby.
Hmmm, you’re right… I guess we should wait til Toryn’s a little bit older… How about….. when he’s 4? Then I’ll be 8… yeah!
Hahahah if you say so Nariah.
Yep, he’s gonna take us!

I return back upstairs with the medicine and walk into the room.
OK, here you go, everybody ready for prayers?
Yeah Daddy. I have a quick question tho……

After work, if the weather’s nice, I like to take the kids to the end of our cul de sac, stand/sit on the hill, and watch the cars go by. One thing I always did with Nariah was pretend to take her nose off and throw it somewhere or either eat it. When she was old enough to “fight” back, she’d do the same back to me. This eventually moved on to other body parts; eyes, ears, mouth, arms, belly, etc… Today was Toryn’s turn and both Nariah and I played with him, throwing his nose into the street while he giggles or either looks us like “uhhhh ok????”

Nariah has started to focus on me now, stealing my nose and eating it. She is laughing and giggling and feeding my “nose” to Toryn who is back to giggling again. Finally Nariah goes for the gutso. She takes my belly. “Now I’ve got your belly! Yum yum yum yum!”
She’s running around in circles from me as I chase her to get my belly back.

All of a sudden she stops, and has this wild “OMG” look on her face. “Wait a second here! Daddy’s belly has hair on it! ptooey ptooey ptooey“.
Nariah now proceeds to spit my belly out over the ground, looks at me, smiles the biggest grin, and then runs off towards the house laughing.
This child is a mess.

Woke up feeling sick today. Woes of having 2 kids in different daycares. 2 different vantage points for the minions of the evil yucky germs to infiltrate our humble abode. Alas, after fighting the front lines for about a week, I succombed and decided to stay home.

Nariah comes running in the room after I’ve ironed her clothes and she’s eaten breakfast. I have gotten back in the bed by now.

I’m so excited to go to mommy’s job today! We’re going to noodle and company for lunch! Why are you still in the bed daddy?
*cough cough*… I not feeling too well
Daddy, you’re don’t feel well? You’re not going to work today?
I don’t think so boo, I have a bad headache and this cough just won’t go away…
Oh… Well…. I’ll be right back…..

And she runs off. A few moments later she returns with this stuffed aye aye that whistles when you press his/her tummy. I haven’t seen this stuffed aye aye in at least a year.

Here you go daddy, you can sleep with this… And when you look at it, you can think of me and mommy today. Maybe that will help you feel better?

I heart this girl! I definitely don’t have to worry about her throwing me up in a nursing home and forgetting about me!

Its dinner time and spaghetti is the decided dish on the menu.
Daddy, since mommy’s not here yet, I can be your helper in the kitchen!
Awesome! I’ll go ahead and brown the beef, you start up the salads, you can do whatever you want with them, you’re in charge!
I get out one of those English cukes so show Nariah how to cut them up in fairly small slices (the first 3-4 were on point… but the last 7-8 were huge meatball sized chunks looking like deformed parallelograms, which of course I told her were just “perfect”, hilarious). I finish browning, seasoning, and draining the meat and proceed to add the sauce to the pot. I check on Nariah and she has cheese all over the floor and her clothes, bacon bits all over the counter, and is about to crumble up some crackers for homemade croutons. She is just smiling as a happy little camper can be. Of course the first thought that pops in my head is “what in the world?!?!? what is she doing?!?!??”. But that thought is quickly taken away by how much joy she is showing in helping out.
Daddy, I think we need some garlic bread too!”
Ooh, you’re right, I forgot about that, let me get it now!

Nariah turns back around to finish her salad and I head to the stove behind her, turn on the oven and then look in the freezer for some Texas Toast.
Ow!!!! Ow!!!! Daddy stop! you’re burning me!!!
I jump away from the freezer, “What’s wrong boo? What are you talking about? I’m not touching you.
Daddy, yes you did, you burned me on my back!
As I look on her back, she has a big blotch of spaghetti sauce. Now she is a good 5 feet from the stove, so I’m looking around confused. I look to the floor, spaghetti sauce… I look at my pants and socks, spaghetti sauce…. I look to the stove, and its like a scene from a movie. The pot is alive and angry; its spitting out sauce everywhere! I never turned down the burner to low from when I browned the beef (oops). Now its boiling in a mad rage so much that I can’t even reach over the top to turn it down. There is sauce all over the side counters, on top of the spices, inside the sugar canister that I had just opened, and even under the microwave vent.
Ow… Ow…. Ooooh….. Ow!! Man… This sauce is hot! I’m so sorry Nariah, I see what you mean!

As I’m dancing around the stove dodging the flying sauce, Nariah is just beside herself trying not to fall out the chair laughing at me. “Get it daddy! Hee hee. Watch out!!!  Oooooh, that’s a big splash!  Hahaha. Whew boy… you’re gonna get it when mommy gets home, this is a mess!

Finally, lid on the pot and removed from burner to cool down. I step back and look at the mess. Then all of a sudden I hear : “Oooooooooooooooooooooooh, you got it on the ceiling too!
I look up and sure enough, there is spaghetti all over the ceiling! And I mean all over the ceiling. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture to share as I was indeed trying to clean that up before Toya got home. All the while I’m cleaning up, Nariah is shaking her head and muttering, “I can’t believe you got it on the ceiling…. that’s crazy daddy!

But alas, we’re not done yet. I have the water boiling for the noodles and I pick up this jumbo sized bottle of olive oil to add to the water before putting in the noodles. Why does the top decide to break off. Luckily it was a plastic bottle which saved it from breaking, however… the unlucky part was that because it was a plastic bottle, the landing caused the oil to erupt like a volcano. And yes… again… we have a mess on the ceiling! And this time, the cabinet doors and the side of the fridge were victims too. Rivers of olive oil are now dripping from the ceiling and cabinets.
Snicker snicker…. hahahahahahahah…. I’ll help you daddy! I’ll get the towels!

The most awesome part about all of this, was the ability to not get mad at everything going haywire and to just enjoy the mess with my little helper as she thought everything was just hilarious! Which indeed it was. Seeing Nariah’s face as she told Toya about our ordeal over dinner made it all worthwhile.


Another short and sweet Nariah moment.

On a day like any other, I’m off to pick up Nariah from daycare. She’s sitting at the table when I arrive and doesn’t do the usual “Dadddddddddy!” while running into your body part where a 4 year old head would hit if she were to run into you full speed. Instead, she calmly walks over with this picture in hand and hands it to me.

Here Daddy! I made this for you!
Thanks baby! Its beautiful! What did you make this time?
Its a heart daddy! When you stayed overnight at the hospital with mommy when Toryn was born, you both looked like you needed a present. So I made this for you. I made one for mommy too!

And she just stands there looking at me, not smiling, but with that look of “I love you daddy” look. I can’t really describe the feeling that overcame me when I gave her a hug and told her thank you. The feeling in that hug she gave me back was definitely something else. People always ask me, when kids are running around screaming, the prices of daycare inflates, the attitudes, the talkbacks, the long nights of zero sleep, and the lack of parental privacy if having kids worth the trouble. Little moments like this more than make it all worthwhile.

There comes a time where every child starts the cycle of homework. Being in the kindergarten class, Nariah now brings home homework every week.

Tonight’s task: color the group of objects within a box that is the larger quantity.
Nariah breezed through the first two boxes with no problem. In the third box, there are 6 school buses, 2 columns of 3; and 5 motorcycles, lined up in 2 staggered columns of 3 and 2. I looked over to check on what her brother Toryn was babbling about and when I looked back Nariah had already colored 2 of the motorcycles.
Baby, you sure you are coloring the right ones?
Yes daddy
Did you count them?
Can you count them out loud for me?

She counts the motorcycles up to 5. Moving on to the school buses she counts 3 and says there’s a “copy” of the 3 as well beside them. She then and tells me that the 5 motorcycles are more than the sets of “3”. Now, I couldn’t really be disappointed in that, this girl was thinking. While reassuring her that indeed she was right in her statement, I made sure she understood the problem was looking to solve the total number and not just groupings.
Oh ok daddy, so then I need to color the school buses
Yep, just color all of the school buses. I think you won’t have to worry about the motorcycles being a mistake since you only colored two of them.
Its ok daddy, I can erase it
Baby, that’s crayon you’re using, not a pencil, you won’t be able to erase that

Nariah doesn’t pay me any attention and pulls out a pencil from her box of drawing utensils.
She clicks to advance the lead and starts “writing” on top of the crayon.
Confused as to why she’s not “erasing” I speak out; “Baby, that’s not going to work, come on, its getting late. Let’s go ahead and color the buses.
Uh huh! My friend at school showed me a trick.
Daddy, I got a trick… you’ll see…

So now I’m a little anxious to get homework finished but also intrigued, so I let her write all over the colored motorcycles. When she finishes, she flips the pencil over, and proceeds to start erasing. So I’m sitting there… and little by little the crayon actually starts to erase… until it was all gone!
See….. TOLD YA!” she exclaims with this “daddy, you’re old school, this is new school” look on her face.

There was actually nothing I could say as I just looked at it like “wow”. I finally was able to give Nariah her props after my #EpicFail moment. I have loooooooong days of parenting ahead of me if I’m already being bested by a kindergartner! I don’t remember Mr Wizards World or Electric Company teaching us this trick at all!

So awhile back, I learned my lesson on trying to figure out your kid’s artwork. That it was safer for them to just tell you what it is instead of guessing. If you missed that catastrophe, see : Daddy On Artwork

So today I pick up Nariah and she tells me : “Look daddy! I made you another picture! Wanna see???
Sure baby! Lets check it out!

So she grabs her picture from her cubby and shows it to me. Now using my new parenting skill, my spider-parent sense talks to me and says  “Unnh unnh Ryan! This is a trap! Just nod and say ‘its awesome’!” But I really was stumped when I saw the picture, I actually wanted to know. Take a look :

After trying to figure out what this picture is of in my head for a few seconds, I did the safe thing… I said “This is awesome Nariah, what is it?
She looked at the paper and looked back at me with this “you’re joking right?” look on her face. She looked back at the picture one more time in a “Are we looking at the same picture” type of way, and then looked at me again and displayed a “You really can’t be serious” face.
Daddy… Its dots… Its just a bunch of dots…

Now I’m not sure, but I could’ve sworn I heard “duh” come out of her mouth, but I really think it was that spider-parent sense thingy talking to me.

Nariah says… #48

Posted: July 28, 2011 in Comedy, Fatherhood, Nariah

As we got ready for prayers, I asked Nariah “Are you going to dance with your daddy at your wedding?
I don’t wanna talk about that right now

After laughing for a bit, I ask her “Why not?
Lets talk about it when I’m 13, that’s when I’m going to start dating

Wow, this girl has it all figured out.

Daddy on “Shopping”

Posted: July 4, 2011 in Fatherhood, Nariah

With a new baby in the house, its tough to find the time to relax, especially when you’re the father and any break you have should be making sure the mother is getting her break. Nonetheless I sat down in the living room where everyone else is watching TV, well except the infant of course.

Nariah comes over to Toya and I with this pamphlet in her hands. “I have some money and I would like to go to the store and buy this ‘Barbie Mini B.’. This is the one I want right here“, and she turns to the page and shows us the one she wants.
Mommy says they cost about 6-8 dollars and I have more than enough in my purse, can we go to the store so I can buy it?

Now I don’t know if on the outside my body said “But I just sat down…” or not, but on the inside was the feeling of this being the first time she ever asked to do something like this and that it could be fun! We always joke with Nariah when we shop for groceries by asking if she’s paying when we’re at the cashier and she would either say “no” or hand the cashier some invisible money, so for her to mention real money this time sounded like an adventure. Toya and I agreed that I should take Nariah shopping while she stays home with the newborn.

So we’re off to Walmart to look for this Barbie Mini B. with the “orange cell phone”. While in the store, I mention that we need some new toothpaste for her toothpaste dispenser and we pick that up before heading to the *cue dramatic music* “TOY SECTION!“. To our dismay, not on

ly did they not have the one she wanted, but they didn’t have any of the Barbie Mini B’s. Hmmm, what to do now?

How about we try Toy’s R Us?”
Yeah daddy! They should have it!
Ok, but first lets pay for this toothpaste
Ok Daddy, I’m going to pay for it ok?

Huh??? Did my daughter, 4 years old mind you, just offer to pay for a common household item?

Baby, you don’t have to pay for it, we’re here to get you a toy, I’m getting this for the house.
But daddy, I want to pay for it, I have enough money see?” and she opens up her purse to show me that she really had much more money than I thought she really had.
Nariah, this is awesome that you want to pay, but I will pay for this, so that you can use your money for toys! OK? I really appreciate you for offering!

Now comes a reaction I really wasn’t prepared for. She actually starts wimpering and sheds a couple of tears. I bend down to talk to her.
Nariah, what’s wrong honey?
In between sobs she replies, “but… I really…. wanted… to pay… for it…. You always…. pay daddy…. and I…. wanted to use my money this time…… so that… you wouldn’t have to….

Wow….  Ummmmm yeah…. Not expecting that at all! Sounds like a no-brainer right? Let the child pay for it? Well as I’m walking to the cashier in the back (it would take forever to pay for one item in the front of our always packed for no reason Walmart), this thought is running through my head: I can hear the cashier saying or thinking “Why is this man making his daughter pay for her own toothpaste? Crying shame….

So we get to the cashier and Nariah has cheered up now that I’m letting her be a big girl and help daddy out. I mention to the cashier that she wants to pay for it this time and asks if she minds that we’ll take a little time so that she can count our her money for her first purchase ever in life. $3.31 was the total. I told Nariah to give the lady $4 and that she would get some change back. The excitement on her face during this transaction was immeasurable. As Nariah gives me her wallet to put back in her purse the cashier asks if we have change to which I find 2 quarters to give. Then the cashiers asks if we have a penny. I reply with a “No” and Nariah corrects me.
Yes I do daddy, there’s one penny, you have to look in the bottom for it
Now I didn’t see a penny in there and told Nariah as I searched again that I thought she was wrong. But sure enough, there was dark penny in there hiding and she had this look of “I told you so” which was kind of funny.

The cashier handed me 20 cents change to give Nariah. Thinking quickly I slipped in 3 dollar bills from my wallet and handed it all to Nariah along with her wallet. “Here’s your change boo!” She excitedly puts the money in her wallet and says “Ok daddy, Toys R Us next right?

As a parent, what would you do?