My Parenting Foible

It’s hard out there for a newborn. And youngest child. And being one of three boys. And having twins as older brothers. And those twins being crazy toddlers. When mom and dad have to chase toddlers around, sometimes the baby gets lost in the mix. Sometimes the only person looking out is the dog, who slowly drags her disgusting tongue across baby face in a caring, yet gross, way. Another day in the life of Ezra, who is known as Emu. Another day of dad forgetting I’m in the  cart momentarily. 

We don’t intentionally give Ezra the short end of the stick. It happens though. I mean, Diana and I somewhat have a handle on parenting a newborn. Diaper, bottle or pacifier. You can’t really fail with that formula, and its been super effective for our first boys. yet, with Ezra, all the gentleness and skittishness is replaced with firm knowledge in effectiveness. And because of that, Emu doesn’t get the beck and call treatment his brothers grew accustomed to. Make no mistake, a cry is our bell and call to action, we are Pavlov’s dogs for sure. But it takes us a little longer to get there with Emu. Urgency has largely left the building.

I will treat all my kids with the same amount of love and tenderness. Just because he is the youngest and I’ve been through this before doesn’t mean anything, I will treat him as a treated his brothers! For I am father of the year!

Two months ago, I believed firmly that this was to be true. I held these truths to be self-evident, that all children are created equally and are to be treated with the same amount of my energy and focus! Then I found myself chasing after a toddler in the grocery store, completely leaving my baby to be snatched from my cart. Relax, he was sort of still in view! But fuck, for a second I forgot all about him to chase his brother down an aisle.

It’s not just at the grocery store. At home, sometimes kitchen dance parties will get loud and popping. during poor Emu’s nap time, the house shakes like a rave. Sorry kid. I get why you are grumpy all the time.

Maybe it was because I wasn’t thinking, but I didn’t expect my second foray with parenting a newborn to sometimes feel neglectful. Caring for a baby is not that hard. Caring for a baby AND toddlers is damn exhausting. Whenever I get a peaceful moment, it’s quickly shattered by banshee screeches. The new favorite sound off of the house. It feels like discovery channel. As the toddlers circle preparing to duel, each lets out a ferociously high-pitched squeal of challenge. If the father doesn’t intervene soon, Megablocks will be used as weaponry and bite marks will ensue. So goes the constant battle for the same toys. SEE!! In a piece I sat down specifically to write about Ezra, I forget him to talk about toddler gladiator fights!!!!!

I like to imagine that it’s because of a lack of mobility and activity in a newborn that factors in to my shortcomings. Maybe when Ezra is bigger and can run with the pack it will be easier to divide my attention. Right now, having him in stationery form, it’s hard to chase around two toddlers and remember baby might want to play Peek-A-Boo. So, here’s to hoping that is not just another Punk Rock Papa fallacy waiting to rear it’s head in a year! Shit, where did I set down that baby to write this?

I can’t catch a break when it comes to trying to be the best father I can be. I’m sorry Ezra, I really would love couch cuddling and showing you off to people. These brothers of yours, they are a full-time, exhausting job. And we love you, it’s just an adjustment having you. I am sure I will start to get it right, the learning to share my time and attention equally amongst the three. 

Do you ever have issues as a parent with spreading the love? Are you honest enough to admit it if it’s true? were you the asshole who told me to pay better attention to my kids at the store the other day? Blatantly stealing this next line from Samara- Talk to me, I’m listening


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12 comments on “My Parenting Foible
  1. Dude…was that your baby rolling himself down the aisle the other day? I thought he looked familiar.

    I totally have trouble splitting time between Sleaven and Sylus. Sleaven’s special needs can become so overwhelming that o forget that Sy might need help with his homework or reaching the cheesy poofs…

    I think they will survive though. The young ones always surprise you. Or so I yell myself 😉

  2. Dude…was that your baby rolling himself down the aisle the other day? I thought he looked familiar.

    I totally have trouble splitting time between Sleaven and Sylus. Sleaven’s special needs can become so overwhelming that I forget that Sy might need help with his homework or reaching the cheesy poofs…

    I think they will survive though. The young ones always surprise you. Or so I tell myself 😉

  3. There is a reason most “second kids” don’t have as many pictures in the baby album. My SIL, 3 years younger than her brother, (the second coming of Christ), had to make HER OWN baby album when she was a teenager. The fact that you are concerned about being the best dad you can, already makes it so:) Rock on, Papa!!

  4. I deal with these thoughts everyday. I confided in Brandon. I was feeling like a failure bc with each new kid the undivided attention became less and less. Brandon, wise beyond his years said, “It’s not that you are loving one child more than the other it’s that each child is different, each child needs a different kind of love from you.”

    It’s true. Jaelyns daily struggles take most of my attention. He needs to be praised for the simplest of task. He needs to hear I love him and he needs the hugs, wvery hour or so.

    Jennas not as demanding, she’s more independent. She needs to hear it and feel it daily but not hourly like Jaelyn. Maybe it’s bc when Jaelyn’s at school her and I talk a lot.

    Jace could careless right now. He’s the same age as your oldest boys. But being the baby of the family he kind of already gets it. He comes to me when he wants ac hug or cuddle time. I can’t wait for Jenna to start school so we can have some alone time.

    Don’t feel bad. As long as you love yoir children the way they need you to, everything else will work itself out.

  5. The first kid is always the favorite. It’s proven. In some psychology journal, I’m sure. You just had to go and outdo the norm and have TWO at once. My poor daughter got so much less attention. I caudled her older brother, beckoned with every tiny whimper, which is why when she was born, I was too busy with him to really notice her much. She was content in the swing with her paci. But as she grows older, and becomes more and more female with every minute, she demands more….she needs me. Sorry gotta run.

  6. Emu will be just fine. And you can always start saving early for his therapy, just in case.

    And remember – in writing, nothing is original. So, steal from a badass. xxo

  7. It seems that you might be mixing up a couple of important things, Papa. The first kid(s) are the ones that throw you right into parent training. Remember when every cry made you nervous and that diaper had to be checked/changed every two hours? You worry that you hold them too much or not enough, is it laundry soap, bath soap, shampoo, or food causing those few red bumps? Normal spit up or real puking? There is a lot to be said for getting through that stuff enough to relax with a newborn and realize that he is going to be just fine while you separate the gladiators or have that dance party in the kitchen. I have no doubt that Emu will have more than enough attention when he wants and needs it. Those first little trainers make it easy to forget that a lot of babies get way more attention than they actually need or even want in those first few months. When Emu needs more, he’s going to tell you in no uncertain terms. Remember this when you scoop him up to participate in a spontaneous boogie with the brothers. You will never share your time equally, that is unrealistic. What you will do, though, is give your attention as each kid requires. Because that’s what good parents do. And you are a good parent.

  8. This all so normal, believe me like when your first starts Kindergarten and you have the tears rolling down your cheeks, to the last one starting and you doing the happy dance and all the first timers are looking at you with disgust. It reminds me of the commercial of the different stages of mothering, first one,sanitize your hands , second you drop the pacifier go rinse it off, on to the third you drop it ,”oh well a little dirt never hurt anyone”. Seeing first hand how you and Diana parent trust me not one of the three will feel slighted. You guys rock as parents!!!!!

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