The stress ball. Any father should have several hundred.

It’s true…the older kids get, the more stressful my job as a father gets. Mason is like a puppy in some ways. He wants to get into everything, and he hasn’t learned what “no!” means yet (though “light” and “dinner” have become familiar to him). If I began to describe the sheer frequency of my trips to the fireplace, toilet, trash can, spare room door, etc…I’d jump off a cliff. Dealing with Mason’s household expeditions is like dragging a never-ending chain of daddy doom:

  • Toddlers want to explore.
  • Exploration leads to mischief.
  • Mischief creates discipline.
  • Discipline results in a screaming child.
  • Screaming stresses Daddy out.
  • Rinse. Repeat.

A favorite professor of mine had a phrase he liked to use when describing toddlers and the tantrums that come with their current life phase.

“There is no such thing as the ‘terrible two’s or three’s.’ These children are learning their natural boundaries!”

-Prof. Chris Arnold

Thanks, Professor. As many times as I repeat this phrase over and over with each trip to the (insert “hands-off” household appliance here), I still have the urge to dunk my head in liquid nitrogen and bang it against the kitchen counter. I get it, Mason is exploring this new world of his, and walking allows him to reach higher, farther, faster, etc. In time, he’ll hopefully get used to all these things and leave them alone…ha! What a pipe dream.

So I guess I’ll just have to wait until the word “no” enters his tiny head as a signal to cease and desist current activity. We’ve also tried explaining to him why we are saying no, but if he doesn’t get “no,” will he get “because A, B, Y and Z?”

:::grabs stress ball:::

Until next time…

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Comments on: "$@#&*! Handling Fatherhood Stress" (5)

  1. mommysaidaswearword said:

    I distinctly remember our daughter going through this phase. It went away. But now it is back in full swing. She is two and now she is intentionally doing ‘bad’ things for kicks.

  2. When I am back in the workforce, I think I will appear as the most unstressed guy ever. In the worst situation at work, I will just remember that none of my job duties (crossing fingers!) include cleaning poop off the floor while trying to dress two screaming kids and coordinate the next 4 hours in the process.

    That said, my lack of having a stress ball over the past 5+ years sums up why my hands are crumpled up into deformed, tiny fists. I may not make it past interview handshakes.

    • Haha, will you be the dad that begs for 24-hour shifts?
      Work on the handshake in advance. Just remember,employers aren’t your kids, so it’s impolite to pick them up by the armpits and relocate them as a form of authoritization.

  3. […] Mason has these spiky balls that light up when bounced. Pure ecstasy for Daddy. It’s like a stress ball and light show all in one! It’s like therapy to bounce it all over the house and be endlessly […]

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