First and foremost I must apologize to the one or two readers of this blog that it has been such a length of time since I've last posted. I tried to make a commitment when moving out so far away that I'd at least post a blog post frequently, and here I am almost 5 months later sitting down to write a post about lots of nothing. 

I'm not going to take this post to do a giant update of what we've been doing... I'll save that for a rainy day when I'm bored. Because right now I'm not bored. 

Right now I'm in a space of my head that I don't like. 

Sure, it's easy to always pretend that things are happy grand and terrific. You've got to put on a certain face for people so that you don't burden them with baggage. Everyone has their own baggage that they need to deal with and having to feign interest in dealing with other people's baggage is not something I like doing nor do I want other people to feel. 

Really, this post isn't for you, the reader, it's for me. It's a way for me to get thoughts out of my head in a way that doesn't waste the limited number of key strokes that I have left in my fingers (though, since this is a new keyboard I am hitting the backspace a lot). If someone just happens to read this and think "huh... me to" then my keystrokes won't be considered completely wasted.

It was the same age that Niamonster was. 

I have such a love/hate relationship with the age of 2. It's the age where a child finally starts coming to their own and finding their personality. They're interactive, loving, cuddly. They run around and say words instead of grunts, eat food with their own fingers, drink out of straws and glasses. They're even starting to be curious with using the toilet instead of dropping loads in their pants. 

But one thing is also very consistent with a child of this age. They are complete, unrelenting, persistent little shits. I have very little patience for people who choose to be bad. See, logically, I know that a child of that age does not know any better because they are still learning just what it means to be a little human. 

Logic has nothing to do with this.

When you have a child that is consistently being a holy terror for 4 hours straight, you aren't logically processing anything. You are biting your tongue, clutching that cup of coffee a wee harder than you should be, you are walking to the other room so that you don't "accidentally" smash their face into a wall. 

I have a breaking point, and my son took me to it today. He woke me up at 7 with his yelling, he was throwing toast around, hitting his sister, and screaming when he didn't get his way. He was actively ignoring any direction I gave him and would purposely wait until I wasn't looking to go get in other trouble. 

It got to the point where he screamed in anger one too many times at my wife and I snapped. I hopped up out of my chair, wrapped my arm around his chest under his arms, and carried him to his "timeout" chair. 

"Uh... Shank... that's pretty normal, it's called discipline."

Yeah... but here's the deal. I yelled. It wasn't loud yelling. It wasn't "daddy getting attention" yelling. It was anger. I was mad... nay... pissed. My son was being someone that I despise. He's freaking not even two years old yet... and the thing is... I don't anger yell. Ever! It's not something I do. I manipulate, I subvert, I redirect, I get sarcastic... but I don't yell when I'm angry. 

Since I don't yell, my kids never hear that voice. He heard it and it scared the be-jesus out of him. Which, on one hand, good... but on the other, he's probably now scared of me. That's no good.

At a certain age, I miss the "still a kid" thing.

Once my kids start interacting with me, I forget that they are still little drunk monkeys. I figure in my head that since they can carry on conversations with me that they should start acting like adults. Dumb. I know. But when it comes to emotionally heated moments you forget logic and reason, and you go with the first thing by muscle memory. 

It's not just him I scared

My wife is strong, beautiful, and charismatic. She's overcome things in life that you don't talk about because of how uncomfortable it makes people. You know... those things you sweep under the rug for generations, she was vocal about and triumphed. I've learned to not use my "angry voice", not just because I believe children should never experience, but because it takes my wife to a place in her head that she shouldn't be. 

It turns me, albeit temporarily, into one of the demons that she's spent her whole life surviving. 

And that, my dear readers, is why I'm in a bad head space right now. 

Regret is a terrible hangover. It clouds you and makes you think about things that you know are illogical... it takes your happiness and craps all over it. It's like an IV of depression slowly dripping into your veins. I've found that the best way to rip the needle out of your skin and start getting over regret is to admit and apologize to those affected by your decisions. 

To the wife of today and BMan of the future:

I'm sorry I allowed myself to grow horns and turn into a demon that will haunt you. That isn't me and certainly isn't someone that I want to be. I won't promise it won't happen again because I fail at perfection, but I do promise that if it does happen again, the horns will be a little smaller and the voice a little quieter.


Today I'm going to be random. Not because I don't have other things to write about, but because my focus sucks right now and I want to distract you as well. Welcome to the life of an ADD child. 

Of course, back in the glorious 80s, every child had ADD because they couldn't focus, ran around with lots of energy, and acted like... you know... children. Apparently parents in the 80's wanted mature adults to come crawling out of the uterus. I don't think they thought about those ramifications.

I do have to thank my parents again and again for not putting me on the candy drug that all my friends were on... the good ol' ritalin. They had the foresight to know that I'd be able to handle it myself - and it turns out they were not wrong. So now I just wear small holes in my shoes and feel the need to constantly make noise. 

My little boy is growing up faster then you can say, "wow, it looks like he's grown a little bit in the past week". He's an infant... they've been known to do that from time to time. 

Of course, my child, just like me, likes to be an overachiever right out of the gate and is blasting some 98 percentile length and head size. He's a lanky mo-fo. I don't even know where he gets it - it's not like Isabella or myself are huge-o-giants. 

He also really prefers his fist over his binky. Time for some cute.

(look at those meaty-ass hands)

You know what I suck at? I suck at writing about myself. You think it'd be easy because I'm such an attention whore, but alas writing about myself is almost as bad as jabbing two forks in my eyes. See, I'm not an attention whore in the way that I like asking for it or I need to draw it to myself. I'm an attention whore that only likes it when people give it to me freely. 

This poses an interesting connudrum in the fact that without asking for attention, I often times don't get it. So I've learned to manipulate situations, socially engineer people, or just flat out be an overachiever with the sole purpose of garnering an extra glance or a word of praise. 

My thoughts stem from the fact that I just had to write a little biography for a client that I'm working with so that they could put it in an RFP. I really wish I would have saved the first draft. It looked like a 6 year old who just learned the word biography met up with a 16 year old's speech patterns:

"I'm... uh... neat. I think I do stuff sometimes that... I mean... it's ok. But... I'm not the greatest I know... ya know... but I... whatever."

It was painful. I think I'm going to save what I wrote and just reuse it everywhere so I never have to do that again.

Finally - my bestest friends in the whole world (yes, I'm 29 and still use "bestest") just recently introduced me to stand-up paddleboarding. It's like surfing for the mid-west. A slightly larger than a surfboard surfboard is placed upon the water. You stand upon the board with a paddle... and... paddle. 

So you're standing up... with a paddle... on a board. Thus the ever clever name, stand-up paddleboard.

As funny as I'm failing to be, this sport is quite relaxing and really brings you at peace with yourself and intune with nature as you're gliding across the lake at 7am. Surrounded by nature and silence you find yourself getting lost in your thoughts AND getting a good workout. 

We also had a little yoga in there too. I wish I could do that every morning.

(me chillin' and paddlin')



That's not a word you want in your vocabulary when caring and watching your spawn fly around on all fours, getting into and doing things they shouldn't. There is the pain that they feel when their little feet slip out from under them and the only thing left to cushion their fall is a head that is so disproportionate to the rest of their body that gravity acts quickly making sure that it is the first thing to meet the ground. Then, there is the pain the parent feels seeing the crocodile tears stream down the face knowing the new found agony they just felt. Then, and let's all be honest with ourselves here, there is  the pain of having people notice black on blue knots on your kids head who give that look of, "wow, dad, nice parenting". 
I have a strong conviction about this though. Even though it's painful for both me and my 1/10 scale version of me, I let it happen.
"You LET your child experience pain?!" (maybe this guy actually is a bad dad)

Please read me right one this one. I don't cause my child pain and I don't allow her to get in situations that would detrimental to her health. But I do let her hurt herself.
"My God! Why?!"
There is an old adage that says, "Anything that does not kill you, only makes you stronger", and I think there is a lot to be said in that. Us humans are pretty dang stubborn and it seems that we have a tough time learning things when the going is "going good". But I find it absolutely amazing how many "life lessons" and "street smart" ideals I've learned from the times in my life where going has just been a plain pain in the butt.
For instance: We all have that "coffee table of death". The one that sits right at the end of the couch and is the last thing that separates the living room from the dining room or the hallway. How many times have you gotten close to running into it? How many times have you told yourself that you should take that corner a little wider? Sure. We can tell ourselves that something "will probably hurt", but something about just telling yourself isn't very effective. 
But then comes the frightful, barefoot day when you actually do take that corner too close. And out of nowhere the coffee table inches out its little leg JUST far enough to clip your little, vulnerable pinkie toe, trying to separate that poor little bugger clean off of your foot. I bet you take that corner a little wider every time now, don't you?
For another instance: Love. We've all felt it, we've all been hurt by it. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I, with no reservation, threw my heart out to a girl. And how, every time, that girl took my heart and launched it with a force of a bat hitting a baseball during fly-ball practice. Each time I was hurt, each time I felt pain, I learned more what true love was, and more how to better handle and approach giving my heart away. I know I love my wife as much as I do BECAUSE of the pain I felt, not in spite of it.
"I see where you're going with this."
I don't like Niamonster feeling pain, but I also know that when she is learning to walk, the times she falls down help her learn how to better balance. The times her head is plastered to the wall as the only friction slowing down her decent to the ground, she is learning physics and gravity. When she crawls under the table and sits up too fast and bonks her head, she learns spacial reference. When she flings toys around and one nails her in her fat melon, she learns force and Newton's laws.
She won't get up and exclaim, "Daddy! I know Newton's third law now!"... and in fact every time she bonks her head on something, even though she may be kissing schools such as Harvard and Princeton goodbye, I know she is "getting it". She's learning a lot fast then if I would pull her away and protect her from every little bump and bruise. 
I also know that protecting her as she grows up will get tougher and tougher. Right now, she bonks her little peanut head, but someday she'll be a teenager who has a bruised heart from some boy. I want my little girl to grow into being a woman who can handle her own, who knows she can heal, who knows she can get up the next morning and continue on with life. Who knows that pain is just another step closer to being a better person. 
Pain will happen. Growth will happen. And I know that there is nothing I can do to stop it.