Sunday, May 21, 2006

Cranky Baby + Cranky Dad = Cranky, Lousy Time


Lately, being a dad hasn't been very fun. Saying that kills me, but it's true. Having reached the stage where he's learning how to express himself more and more, especially his frustration, he's been challenging. And, he's been challenged, frustrated with being unable to express himself he's taken up hitting, which is leading to a number of problems, the most profound being some time outs.

Does that mean I love him any less? Of course not. In a lot of ways, I'm finding that as he pushes me and tests his own limits, I love him even more. His hugs are stronger now, more committed. They are also more random. Swooping down on me like some klutzy bird of prey, he wraps his arms around me and sometimes gives me a long, exaggerated, no doubt germ infested kiss, for reasons I can never seem to fathom. He just does it at weird, random intervals, and it obviously means something positive. Why question that?

But, still, I'm just not having fun.

I think a lot of it has to do with my work schedule. I set some very ambitious goals for myself when I started my new job and my ambition has paled by the flood of additional opportunities that piled on top of my own projects, nearly leveling me with their onslaught of deadlines and forms. So, I've been distracted. Even when I'm taking a break and exploring a new playground with Chunk, my mind is churning with thoughts of cover letters and proposals and follow-up telephone calls.

I need to get out of my own head for a while. I need to be Denver Dad when I'm at the playground with my son, and not "that guy who has three projects due on the 1st and plays with his son occasionally too." Maybe when it's not fun being a dad, it's not very fun having a dad like me. That's a troubling thought.

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