And finally...A Daft Scots Lass asks, "Whats your most challenging part of being a daddy?"
That's an excellent question! This allows me to answer in many layers, such as early days, crawlng/exploring, safety issues, maintaining discipline, sibling rivalry, etc.
The early days - I worried constantly about the girls not breathing anymore. Yeah, I was aware of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and I was afraid that I would not be able to know when they were having problems. I never forgot one night when my younger daughter (about 8 months old) was in bed with us, sandwiched in for her safety. While sleeping, I started to become aware of the rocking motion sensation. I woke up and I freaked out when I saw why...my daughter's face was covered by our bed sheet and she was moving her head back and forth to try to breathe better. She was starting to suffocate and I woke up in time. I didn't sleep again that night.
Crawling/exploring/safety issues - I live in a two-story house, so the bane of my existence was the stairs. I've had near heart-attack moments from not being able to find them, only to discover they were UPSTAIRS. Incredible that they never had an accident on the stairs! Once they learned how to operate the doors, I had to post warning signs on the doors to remind the visitors to close and lock the doors behind them. I also worried that they inherited my intense nature of curiousity. Yes, I child-proofed the house, but... You know the saying, "Curiousity killed the cat"? Well, my girls are still alive. ;)
Maintaing discipline - this was made harder once the girls realized they could ask me for permission after being denied by their mother. How was I supposed to know she had said "No" already? I did try asking, "What did your mother say?" and they would lie, of course. Now, we tell each other what the decision was so they can't manipulate us...well, mostly me. ;) As for maintaining discipline, we make sure to be consistent and follow through with our warnings. They know we will warn them just once and second time will result in a time-out.
Sibling rivalry - I coined the term "Little Sibling Syndrome" after seeing a friend's youngest son constantly fight for his portions or rights or turns. I have noticed that he would go into the LSS mode even if he didn't have to fight for it at all. Since I don't want that in my younger daughter, I have repeatedly cautioned my older daughter about LSS. I have warned her that she must share things with her sister or include her in play...and guess what? Because my older daughter has exluded or refused to share with her sister, my younger daughter doesn't like to share out of fear that she will not get back whatever it was. Sighs.
Personality clashes - my older daughter is just like me, right down to the shape and look of the fingernails and how I walk. My younger daughter is just like her mother, willful and stubborn. Drives me CRAZY that I not only have to deal with the stubborn daughter, but the stubborn mother too. However, nothing frustrates me more than my "younger self"...she lets her fears spiral out of control. She's afraid of deep water/drowning and she has jumped into a spring (that is at least 30 feet deep) from a dock 10 feet high when I held her hand and jumped with her...and she has yet to jump from a 3 feet high diving board...at our public pool populated by lifeguards...solo.
Anyone else got questions for me? I would be happy to answer them.
A letter to my family and friends
3 days ago