Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kiddos Love it When Daddy Acts Stupid

In my 3 years being a father there is one lesson out of the thousands I have learned that can save you in the most sanity-testing situations you may find yourself in. The lesson is silly yet simple: Cranky babies love it when daddy acts stupid.

Of course the preferred choice of distraction still remains snacks, jumping on the bed, or watching YouTube videos, but sometimes that doesn't work and you find yourself developing a very serious case of "Ohmygoshthesekidsaredrivingmenutsitus". It was during a heavy episode of above mentioned condition that I found myself feeling and acting stupid and my kids LOVED IT!

A few tips on how digressing o the mentality of the children will not only calm them down and solve your sanity issue of the time, but remind you what it is like to be a child and allow you to live a few moments with not a care in the world.

Exhibit A: Caleb has just finished a 10 minute lap race around the downstairs of the apartment and in his tired state has run straight into the wall, head first. He comes running up, eyes full of tears, barely able to catch a breath between screams and says "Daddy my head! Daddy my head!". My very first attempt to calm him with "awww my poor buggaboo it's okay" was an epic fail and the tears continued. So then I tried "Would you like some cheesies or some gummies?". Once again, epic fail. The crying continued.

Thinking he might be really hurt I ask him what hurts. "My head" he says. So I start to play doctor with him. After looking his head over thoroughly with a few hmmmm's and aha's I notice he is starting to grin. So I pull back from him real fast and yell "AHA!!! IT'S YO HEAD!!!" ... and he loses it. Laughter cannot be contained and I thought he was going to explode. I do this over and over and over till he gets the hiccups. Acting stupid cured it!

Exhibit B: Everyone knows there is nothing funnier than the sound made while breaking wind. Especially if you are a kid. My daughter Marlee, having just learned to pull up, is easily distracted by having "poot poots" blown on her feet. This comes in handy quite often as she learns the hard way what she can and can't do yet.

The stairs offered a new challenge to her just a few weeks ago. After a few tries she finally gets in standing position with her legs up against the bottom stair. And, as nature calls for, gravity set in and the Pooties went down. She quickly sits up, looks at me with those adorable, yet sad, puppy dog eyes, and the wailing begins.

I rush over and pick her up as quick as possible. Immediately I realize "it's okay" is not going to work. So I do the only thing I can think of. I lay Marlee down on her back and grab her feet. In the silliest voice possible I say "Isa ..... gonnna....BLOW POOT POOTS ON YOUR FEET!!" and blow a raspberry on her foot. The tears recede, the angelic smile returns, and the laughter begins. I never knew such a little human was capable of such laughs. To add to this, she breaks a little wind of her own while laughing and Caleb hears it. Trying not to fall over from laughing so hard he runs over to me, proudly opens his mouth and says "MARLEE YOU FARTED!!!". Loving her brother so much, and always wanting to imitate, she squeals with delight and laughs till she spits up.

I love my children. They are my world and my life. And I have learned so much from them, not just about parenting, but about how to be a child every now and then and just let the fears of the world subside in your mind. Whether rich, or poor, big city, or country bumpkin, if you have children, there is an escape from the world like none other. By being my silliest (and sometimes my dumbest) I digress back to a time where the worst that could happen was my favorite ball going down the gutter, or hey wait, nobody is watching me. To a time where the most important thing is playtime. Where I am free to be who I want, when I want. To be the child, laughing, running in circles, jumping on the bed, and blowing bubbles in the bathtub.

Kids like it when you act stupid in front of them. Maybe it's a keen sense of feeling smarter than you or the sense of I'm not different. But I think it's the bond that is made when you allow yourself to not only be a parent, but a best friend. The world doesn't always have to be so grown up, and sometimes, neither should we.

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