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Dave Ja Vu: It's all good in the parent 'hood PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 08 January 2009 18:06
    Back during my first stint here at the paper, I was a toddler-less being­.
    In those carefree days, I didn’t have to worry about doody and owies, bedtime and nap time, Santa and the Easter Bunny, potentially-nightmare-inducing movies and ‘The Wiggles’ (who induce nightmares in me).
    My life is so much better now.
    I was pondering the other day about the different life we knew before Amy and I brought Jack into this world. Granted, she did all the bringing in; I did the...um...I...well...okay, I didn’t do much.
    For those without toddlers, use the following information as a means of understanding exactly why those of us who house  them are often disheveled, sometimes winded and always out of the loop.
    At our house, we have a simplicity deficiency. The life we once knew is no longer recognizable. It is both child’s play and not.
    For instance, a simple two-block walk to the grocery store with Jack turns into an hour-long excursion, from which I return emotionally exhausted, defeated and looking — for lack of a better phrase — psychologically pummeled.
    I then stumble into Casa De Vrbi with none of what we went for. Instead, I carry with me in one hand a bag of lollipops, Sprite and sticks, and in the other a screaming banshee who’s trying to take off his pants.
    At that point, I consider the trip a wild success because it totally busts open my prior record of two hours to score a bag of crushed M&M’s.    
    My dear son has an intense passion for cowboy apparel (whodathunkit, huh?), and lately has also been quite fixated on walking everywhere.
    Literally. Everywhere.
    I find myself agreeing with his logic — which numbs the noggin — because it’s wasteful to start the car to drive in town. Like his dear old dad though, Jack has a propensity for taking things to their absolute extreme.
    While getting in the car to drive to Granny Janny’s in McCook the other day, he had a freak-out of Tom Cruise-ish proportions because I wouldn’t just walk the 30 miles with him.
    Distance is of no concern to toddlers. Neither is time.
    Walk a mile in my shoes (with Jack along). It entails stopping for a slew of miscellaneous reasons: to leap off Margaret Rodgers’ front yard tree stump no less than 67 times; to take a fake catnap in the middle of the sidewalk or a sticker patch; to grab at frozen doggy-do; and to play ‘freeze’ with Dad. (The game of ‘freeze’ is a joy. It involves stopping over and over again until insanity splits your adult skull in two and the crazy inside oozes out onto the ground in the form of a puddle of daddy tears).
    And when you get to where you’re going? Forget about an exit that doesn’t include a tri-county search party for the missing boot he hid in your host’s fridge, three colossal fits of child rage, and a time-out for both the little one and the ‘adult’. Followed by a round of hugs for one and all.
    Would better organization help?
    I don’t know. Should it take me an hour-and-a-half to get us both out the door in the morn? Then, when I finally get to work, open my soda, sit and sip, should I then realize (thanks to my breath bouncing back in my face) that I forgot to brush my teeth? When I realize that horrid tidbit, should I then sit and ponder when exactly that simple hygienic act actually occurred in my life?
    Hint: The answer to all these questions is ‘no’.
    But I guess when the act of praying to God-On-High that nothing happens to your child while you’re scrubbing your backside in the shower is commonplace, much of the old tried-and-true about life just kinda flies right out the window.     
    We maintain order, don’t get me wrong. We discipline, teach him to be gracious and polite, and maintain a routine. So life is normal. For him.
    We parents are holding it together the best we can at all times. You see, we both work full-time jobs and do the parenting gig together, which is like having 12-plus part-time jobs: doctor, lawyer, governor, chef, teacher, taxi driver, facilities manager, janitor, laundry attendant, CEO, counselor and — my favorite — clown.
    As much as I admire the stay-at-homers of the world (don’t you dare get me wrong on that one) it’s working moms like my wife who deserve kudos in copious amounts. She holds down the full-time job and all 12 part-time positions with class and grace.
    If you think I’m complaining about this gig though, you couldn’t be more wrong. I love being a dad and relish the craziness. I say ‘bring it on’.
    You see, no matter how ludicrous the schedule gets and how run-down we become as we do it all with dignity, a wink of sleep here and there, and boogers smeared on our shirts, we do it for good reasons.
    We love parenthood. It’s a job of which we’re passionate and we’re fully vested in all the perks thereof.
    Plus, I think my kid is completely adorkable, so that helps. [Big proud Dad smile.]
    Yes, at the end of every parent’s day — after the tantrums and diapers and ‘Wiggles’ videos and begging them to please eat and doing the ‘Mickey Mouse Hot Dog Dance’ for the zillionth time and dealing with maladies familiar and unfamiliar and stepping on toys in the dark and pondering whether we’re too nice or too strict — a simple hug and a ‘thanks, daddy’ or ‘love you, mommy’ sets the universe right once again.
    And it’s really all the incentive we need to get up the next day and do our 13 jobs all over again.

    Dave Vrbas, convinced that most children’s shows are created by complete and utter stoners, is the associate editor of the Wauneta Breeze. He can be reached via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Last Updated on Friday, 09 January 2009 17:04