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An Irish Lesson

“May the road rise up to challenge you
May the wind fall sometimes in your face
May the sun burn your backside on occasion
And the threat of rain be always around the bend
And until we meet again
May God watch over you in a distance allowing mistakes, accepting poor choices, testing your will and building your character.”

For those of us who do not wish that life comes too easy for our children.

-My Pathetic Blog

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"There’s nothing I like better than starting new projects around the house…It distracts me from the old new projects that I no longer have time to complete."
#dadphoto

#dadphoto

Tags: parenting

"My toddler sleeps with us every night. I’m worried that for the rest of his life he won’t be able to fall asleep unless he’s next to a middle-aged man that he can kick in the neck throughout the night"
Tonight’s reading of “A Knuffle Bunny Trilogy” has been performed by Dad.

Tonight’s reading of “A Knuffle Bunny Trilogy” has been performed by Dad.

My mother used to go to Parent-Teacher conferences with her curlers in. My sister and I would cry with embarrassment. Let’s see how my kids handle me picking them up at school like this today.

My mother used to go to Parent-Teacher conferences with her curlers in. My sister and I would cry with embarrassment. Let’s see how my kids handle me picking them up at school like this today.

Thirteen Thoughts on 13.1 Miles

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Yesterday, I completed the Philadelphia Love Run for my third half marathon. The entire race was in a torrential rainfall, but I still enjoyed every one of the 13.1 miles.  Here are thirteen random thoughts from the run.

Starting Line…Woman behind me said before taking her first steps, “I’ve earned this medal.”  Admittedly I was tired and cranky, but this statement got on my nerves as this race didn’t even start yet.

Mile 2… A Philly police woman called me an idiot under her breath because I was running on the sidewalks. I guess she wasn’t happy about having to work on a Sunday morning.

Mile 3…Umbrellas are just about the most selfish thing ever invented.

Mile 4…Second best sign I have ever seen running… “Your feet hurt because your heart’s so big.” Actually, I was only able to read the part that said, “Your feet hurt because…”  I finished the rest of the sign in my head. The best sign I ever read during a race was, “Some day you’re not going to be able to do this…but today is not that day.” I think of this sign often.

Mile 5…A cold wet rain and headed out to West Fairmount Park with no cheerleaders. I don’t feel much love in this Love Run.

Mile 6…Don’t judge a runner by the size of their butt.

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The Labor and Ice Chip Delivery Man

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I read an article today about a New Jersey woman who was trying to legally keep the biological father out of the delivery room during her labor.

My first thought was to make a joke that he should be so lucky. Then I realized I was only kidding myself. I wouldn’t miss my children’s birth for the world. 

I’m sure there was some charm in our fathers’ day when men spent this labor and delivery time waiting at the nearby bar. But I can’t imagine not being there for the first moments of my child’s life.

I can’t imagine not hearing my daughter cry for the first time. Not being there when my son’s misshapen head first entered the world. Not holding that grimy tiny being against my weak heart and saying hello for the first time in the first minutes of his life.

And I can’t imagine not being there for the worry, either. When the baby struggles to escape the grasp of the mother’s womb. When you realize that the doctor realizes that this particular baby is a bit more stubborn than the average new  human being. When your infant son comes out quiet and still, and you can’t figure out why he’s not crying like his siblings did. And then you fear for your child for the first time in a lifetime of parental fears to come.

These are the moments, the memories that I can’t imagine not having as a father. That being said the other twenty-plus hours of labor and delivery are for the fucking birds, and essentially only exist as punishment for the father’s fertility.

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#tbt  ”And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!” - 2010

Tags: Max parenting

Was watching Finding Nemo with the kids when my eight-year-year taught me that the fish in question was called an ‘angler fish.’ I just love it when my kids teach me something.

Was watching Finding Nemo with the kids when my eight-year-year taught me that the fish in question was called an ‘angler fish.’ I just love it when my kids teach me something.

FIVE SIMPLE RULES FOR HOSTING A PLAYDATE

Here’s a quick guide to watching someone else’s child

No. 1. Full body disclosure… Have the parent of the child disclose all their bumps and bruises before entering your house. The whole transaction should feel a lot like renting a car. Circle all the dings and scratches on the child to prove they were present before taking possession of the child.

No. 2. Lock the bathroom door behind you… Wait, don’t even use the bathroom. Hold it in until the child leaves. Kids know no boundaries. This world is already filled with enough awkward conversations.

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Tags: parenting

Here’s my ‘sometimes I feel like Christopher Robin in some weird Winnie the Pooh parade’ selfie.

Here’s my ‘sometimes I feel like Christopher Robin in some weird Winnie the Pooh parade’ selfie.

Waving My White Flag

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Sometimes as a parent you have to wave that white flag. Often, actually, if you want to keep your sanity.

“I’m done, Daddy,” I hear the child shouting from the bathroom. “I’m done pooping!”

When I open the bathroom door I find my five-year-old son bent over in a downward dog pose with his muddy eye staring right at me.

I tell him, with my breath held, that he is old enough to wipe his own butt. I have used shame. I have used humiliation. I have used adult conversation. But he just doesn’t budge. So I wipe his butt and get the hell out of there.

It’s these kinds of moments that I lose myself as a parent. I want them to rush to adulthood and grow up a little. At times I can’t stand my tiny little roommates.

My oldest boy, our eight-year sweetheart doesn’t eat. Well he eats, but it’s not actually real food. His diet consists of chicken nuggets, hot dogs and a pizza from only a select group of neighborhood pizzerias. He is a smart, athletic social young man whose lumpy torso is starting to look like a bag a frozen dinosaur chicken nuggets. And his farts actually smell like ketchup.

We have tried all the tricks to make this kid eat, to mix up his meal, to balance his diet. But he wants what he wants, and he gags on the rest. Parenting a picky eater is frustrating. But it gets worse as the night goes on.

My three-year-boy sleeps with us. Well, actually we sleep with him. We put him down in our bed and join him later in the evening.  (Judge me all you want, but I have four children and I am beyond your scrutiny.) This kid kicks and punches. He steals the covers and throws them off the bed.

My life would be better, my work would be stronger and my sanity would be intact if I was able to get one good night sleep on occasion. I’d kick and scream about it, but I’m just too tired after ten years of having a child in my bed.

Which brings me to my 10-year-old daughter. Wow she’s beautiful, but she’s starting to get that teenage attitude. She has a wicked chip on her shoulder. She always has a witty retort in her chamber. Her eye rolls are on a constant loop around her head like she’s wearing a pair of wiggle-eye stickers on her face.

Every conversation with her could turn into either an innocent life lesson, or a verbal war.

But I’m not complaining. You see, I can’t complain. My kids are me. They are exactly like me. And I know it.

I was a terrible eater as a child, a horrible sleeper too. I still remember the feeling of my butt falling asleep as I waited for my mom to wipe my ass at the age of kindergarten. And I’m pretty sure I invented the eye roll as a young man. But I grew up, and I know my children will too. I know in time they will grow out of their weird little habits. I know that I too must use this time to grow as a parent.

In the meantime I surrender.  Every time I turn around I find another battle at another forefront.  There are parental issues attacking me at every angle. To quote Carson from Downton Abbey, “ I cannot fight a war on all fronts.”

So, fellow parents, allow me this opportunity to wave an occasional white flag or two. I urge you to look the other way when you catch me looking the other way.

And I’ll do the same.

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I am Kevin Harris, a father of four and husband to one very understanding woman. And yes, I know exactly what caused all those pregnancies! My home life makes me smile and I like to share that laughter with others. Find more of me herehttps://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Pathetic-Blog/201109276572306

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My minion Max!

My minion Max!

disco-ball-dad said: Thanks for finally creating a funny/excellent post on how to be a dad. Great Tumblr.

Thank you!