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Of Diapers and Doh! Moments

Diaper tabI’d like to preface this story with this fact: before April 26th, 2012, I don’t recall ever having to change a diaper in any of my babysitting assignments, as they were always already in their night-time diapers when I’d arrive to sit after dinner.

Okay! Moms, prepare to laugh your heads off at my expense. New dads, please fess up if you had a similar ah-ha! moment with today’s diapers.

Sometime after we’d made our way through most of the first box of diapers, I’d get to the second tab and pull it apart, only to realize that it didn’t have any adhesive. At best, it looked like the adhesive was stronger than the tab’s attachment to the diaper, since it looked weird with some quality control number stamped on it. I assumed that either the adhesive roll was running out when these diapers were made (like when register receipts start printing with that pink striping) or were just plain made wrong.

I’d grab a second diaper and it would work!

This went on for several days, not always every changing or every day, either.

Finally, after one night’s bath, I experienced this again. First tab: fine. Second tab: no sticky. Now, I know the ladies are laughing so hard right now, if they weren’t already. Please don’t spoil this for the men – oh, this is in writing on the Internet. Right.

I grabbed 2 more diapers and tossed those out, too. Same problem.

Boy (stark naked, ever-increasingly chilly Boy) and I went to his room to fetch a handful. I shouted down the stairs to Beautiful, “These diapers are freaking getting on my last nerves! We need our money back!” and proceeded to try on one diaper after another.

Finally, once one got both tabs on the front of the diaper properly, the light bulb went on over my head.

I slowly pulled it back off and felt it. No sticky. I’m sorry I speak like a toddler now, by the way. Back on. Back off. “By golly, I think these are Velcro,” I said to myself, or possibly to Boy. I’d been putting on the first tab so quickly and effortlessly that I never realized they weren’t sticky. It wasn’t until I got to the second one and did some adjustments or slowed down for a good alignment that I took notice and freaked out at bad manufacturing.

I pulled a half-dozen perfectly good diapers back out of the trashcan and headed downstairs like I had won the Nobel prize for in-genius diaper reverse engineering.

“Yeah, didn’t you notice the strip on the front that they attach to?” quipped Beautiful when I relayed my marvelous discovery.

“Of course, on the first day, but I thought that was some super-strong area that wouldn’t be pulled away from the diaper when the sticky tabs pull on them with movement.”

I have since yet had a reason to throw out a diaper that didn’t have a sticky second tab.

Time to Return to Center

centeringEvery now and then, I get more and more frenetic and am constantly doing things but not really getting anything of substance (read: money, quality time, healthy stuff) done. I become a shell of a man, a shadow of my former usual self. I have to pull it together to get through a day or a call.

For example, just this morning, we both happened to be at our desks like “the old days” earlier this year. Beautiful had limited time to do things and had a hospital bill for me to review and call them on speakerphone so we could both figure out what was owed. One crap thing after another with people on phones sent me into a spiral that ended with my throwing my arms up in the air saying “I can’t deal with this now,” with a moderately raised voice becoming of the toddler running around here lately.

Losing my center

Echoing the beginning, every now and then, we have a little talk one way or another (usually it’s me in the hot seat because I’m so disconnected from my feelings) to figure out what is bothering me. It’s not unheard of for a statement like this to happen: “I don’t think you know what is bothering you right now, but something is,” with the implication that I’d best get to the activity of figuring it out. I can be sulky, frustrated, depressed (not so much since I started on anti-depressants for my appetite), or downright mad at seemingly nothing for hours or even days before the reason comes to the surface.

I express trauma or stress before my consciousness is aware of the mechanism causing the expression. It’s simply how I’m wired. It’s times like this I waffle between wishing this was still an anonymous site to say anything and everything (it’s cheaper than therapy) and glad I have people who know me learning more about me.

Finding my center

Thankfully, in recent months, I think we’ve figured out what I need to have a balanced life. Turns out, I haven’t been doing about 90% of them. That’s a failing grade. I’m going to do better, so the next time you see me, ask me if I’m doing more of my “balance checklist.”

  • treatments – that’s a given, though I miss more evening treatments when I’m off my center than normal. Right now, I’m 100% AM and about 60% evening.
  • walks/runs – just haven’t been happening. While it’s fun for a while, Boy has sucked the fun out of morning walks – more accurately, walks with him are not what I need to find my center, but they are a blast when I am already centered.
  • filling my cup – lots of things fill my cup, but I don’t do them because they all feel selfish. In reality, it’s more selfish to deny myself taking photos, playing an hour or two of computer games, WRITING, READING, and even the occasional man-date.

This morning, we arose early, I got all of my treatments except my Vest done before Boy woke up and then I did my Vest while they ate breakfast. I went for a walk and it felt so good, I ran. My ankle didn’t hurt, so I kept running, and running, and running. I ran nearly twice as far as I’ve run in one stretch since I got off the couch in February (nearly a 1/2 mile) and didn’t trigger a coughing fit. I felt better! I never got really tired or lethargic today, so I’ve got to remember: just do it.

This weekend is Father’s Day and I’m going to go to the gun range for the first time with a long-time friend (another dad of a toddler and a newborn) and I’m really looking forward to that. I should be back to my usual self by Sunday morning!

How One Month Can Change Everything

One month ago our lives were completely different.

One month ago we became parents through the foster care system. Within 24 hours, we’d “had” 2 toddler boys and infinitely increased our knowledge about life with toddlers.

Since then, we’ve laughed more and lived life more in the present. It’s been a huge adjustment to my workday and made me 100x more sensitive. Heck, we’ve even become “those parents” that everyone stares at in the store, but we don’t really mind.

We no longer go through our day just doing what we do when we want to do them, so long as everything gets done and all of the bills get paid. Our schedule has become our constant except when family visitations mess with Boy’s attitude and naps. I am have resumed my walks (nearly daily) and he likes to hold onto my Vest hoses when it’s running, so doing my treatments isn’t a big deal.

One of the highlights of my day is when he wants to throw each bit of my morning neb trash away, but my favorite time is a tie between “coming home” from upstairs before dinner to a running, laughing boy saying “daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy” and reaching up with both arms and bath time. I give him a bath even when he doesn’t need one because he’s contained and I like playing with the foam letters that stick to the tile as much as he does.

Life is pretty good.

Life Is What You Make It – Unless…

You’re a young child.

I’m a big listener of business books and self-improvement/leadership books on Audible.com. One of the recurring themes of success stories and case studies is that successful people and organizations make the best of what they are given (or faced with).

The thought occurred to me Saturday morning as I was returning from my walk pushing Boy in the stroller – he was completely passed out for the previous 40 minutes so I had a lot of time to listen and ponder – when I realized that his life is what WE make it. He can’t, at this point in his young life, “make” anything of any situation. The best a toddler can do is figure out some way to cope with a bad situation and are oblivious to any sense of having a superb life.

Ellie May Carbon Fiber LegsIf you’re reading this, though, you can make things out of what you’re dealt with. There comes a point in everyone’s lives where they have the ability to look at the situation they are in and make a conscious decision to look for/at the bright side, overcome restrictions or constraints, and become a stronger, better person than they would be without such an experience.

Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin brands, is dyslexic. So severely so, he was discounted in school and had to learn from comic books and constantly use tutors in college. He’s not alone, as there are hundreds of success stories like his about people who have overcome, nay – harnessed, their problems, failures, and disabilities to become household names or hidden creatures who have shaped the world we live in today.

Unless you’re a child who can’t grasp what it is to look adversity in the face and slap it silly, slit its throat, or blow its brains out, you have a choice to make when adversity does its thing.

What kind of person are you? Are you going to let CF stand in your way of doing something great or are you going to lie down and give up?

I’d rather live a life worth having than a life spent wishing.

Of Diapers and Doh! Moments

I'd like to preface this story with this fact: before April 26th, 2012, I don't recall ever having to change a diaper in any of my babysitting assignments, as they were always already in their night-time diapers when I'd arrive to sit after … [Read more]

Time to Return to Center

Every now and then, I get more and more frenetic and am constantly doing things but not really getting anything of substance (read: money, quality time, healthy stuff) done. I become a shell of a man, a shadow of my former usual self. I have to pull … [Read more]

How One Month Can Change Everything

One month ago our lives were completely different. One month ago we became parents through the foster care system. Within 24 hours, we'd "had" 2 toddler boys and infinitely increased our knowledge about life with toddlers. Since then, we've … [Read more]

Life Is What You Make It – Unless…

You're a young child. I'm a big listener of business books and self-improvement/leadership books on Audible.com. One of the recurring themes of success stories and case studies is that successful people and organizations make the best of what they … [Read more]