Hubris

Me after listening to eight hours of crying


I thought I had this parenting thing all figured a while back when Jackson hit a groove and was easing up on requiring parental services for every part of this life.  When the new guy came along we hit our stride pretty quickly and got a routine up and running the minute we were home from the hospital. For the first few weeks, the baby would sleep in the doc-a-tot thing or even in the Rock and play. I had no worries of long sleepless nights and knew once Oliver checked out A-OK for allergies this was going to be a piece of cake. 

I had False visions of a snoring little bundle of joy, peacefully dreaming while I watched his little face smiling back at me.  I’d be able to look over emails and complete teacher observation write-ups. I’d be able to binge watch on Netflix and get back to writing on a more consistent basis. Heck I’d even maybe up my to reading a more than two books a month. 

That was until I realized that my son was being possessed by Voldemort… before I came to the conclusion that he was housing a piece of Voldemort’s souls inside him… before I spent eight straight hours bouncing, walking, soothing, or rocking this evil little dark wizard from 9-5pm every night… before I heard the decibels of screaming that this child’s tiny voice box could produce… before I went three straight weeks with little to no sleep. 

And you know what… that’s my bad. I shouldn’t have been so cocky. I shouldn’t have counted my eggs before they hatched. I should have banked as much sleep as I could early on. And that’s what happens when you fly too close to the sun. Too much confidence will “melt the wax on your wings” and send you to a certain death. It happened to Icarus and its now happened to me. 

Mr. McGibletts Makes a Comeback

Mr. McGibletts was a household favorite back in the day.  He’s been through a lot. He’s been puked on… peed on… and I’m pretty sure both dogs have chewed on him as well.  He’s been to Cape Cod, Newport, hung from the back of his head in the garage during winter and for a long period of time he was stored quietly in the attic… but he keeps coming back for more!

2014 McGibletts:
2017 McGibletts:
PS: How scary is “the real” Mr. McGibletts?!??! 

Five Star General 

Let’s be honest here parenting two children is literally like having 12. It’s like being the general of the Continental Army… A bunch of completely untrained, extremely energetic, very hungry, needy and ill prepared people in an environment of utter chaos, screaming, injuries and bodily fluids.  
I’m not going to sit here and say I had some incredibly tough upbringing or that I know the trials and tribulations that some families go through… But as an educator for the past almost 20 years and as a former Division 1 College athlete who functioned at high levels both in the classroom and on the track with little to no sleep and performed under an incredible amount of stress… I can honestly say that compares in no way to being a parent of multiple children. 

There’s a never ending need for your services… Which in all reality it’s something I expected and was as well prepared as I could be for. However it’s the fact that there truly is no time to even go to the bathroom, or eat something let alone make something to eat, and forget showering. The house is jam packed with baby holding apparatuses of every shape and size. There are enough toys here (that no one plays with) to make even Geoffrey the Giraffe jealous. I’ve claimed approximately a 6square foot of floor space to sleep on, or at least rest on. 

The claim that parenting is hard no matter what is a lie. One kid was like a walk in the park. Even when we were actual walking in the park, it was like a walk in the park figuratively. Two kids is like going to battle. Waking up (if you even call it waking up) is a constant war between good and evil. It’s chasing dogs who are eating dirty diapers and spreading bacitracin and butt cream in crack and crevasses that I didn’t even know existed. It’s walking through a mine field of Legos, magnetic letters and pacifiers. You have to look around at every corner… plain and simple you’ve got to keep your head on a swivel at all times. 

And just when you think you’ve got a handle on things… someone poops in their pants. My washer and dryer is working overtime these days. I’m not sure either one will make it to see 2018. But I guess that’s it… you have to take the good with the bad. Because for every scream filled night there’s a few quiet times that look like this: 

Mini Monet V

Finally the genius, the minuture artistic savant of abstract painting has taken some time out of his busy schedule to paint himself something for once.  

No fanfare… no time lapse video… just the finished creation blending artistic vision and artistic ability with the fact that his parents think that everything he does is amazing and you have a genuine masterpiece: 

Dads in the Limelight: Interview

Here is my interview done by the well known author behind the Dad of Divas website and blog.  I’m happy to be able to share it since its been published on his website for quite some time now. 

Thanks for reading!!!

-Peter

Dads in the Limelight Series: Presented by Dad of Divas. Our Dad in the Limelight is Peter Fragola of Chronicles of a New Dad. I want to thank Peter Fragola for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing his story with all of you.


1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge).

The main reason for being asked to be featured as a #limelightdad is because… well above all I am a proud dad of one 2 1/2 year old incredibly funny, energetic and ever adventurous son (with one of the way). I realized a long time ago that time is our real arch nemesis, which in turn made me contemplate doing something to have for my son as he grows up. And since I can’t draw, or sing or do anything artsy… I figured I would start this blog because I wanted to record all the idiotic things I do as a new dad, I mean an easy way to keep track of my little one growing up.

The blog has slowly evolved over time and has become a little more than a daily recording of funny antics and Day to day parenting. There are some entries that allow me to tell my son how much I love him… and some entries that allow me to apologize. But mostly, it’s been about sharing the things that most dads, most parents at that, feel but never say out loud and I’ve been able to do all this because writing has been my way of leaving a legacy for my family. As Voltaire said, “Writing is the painting of the voice.”

Other than parenting I am a former Division 1 college athlete (track and field hurdler). I have been dedicated to the field of education for more than fifteen years with a specific concentration in curriculum and instruction development, differentiated instruction, English Language Learner instruction and enrichment opportunities for students. My most recent administrative experience has been shaped by four years of leadership as a current elementary school Principal and previously as an Assistant Principal and prior to my administrative positions I was an elementary school teacher for twelve years.


2) Tell me about your family.

Mom and I had Jackson almost three years ago. It was the GREATEST DAY OF OUR LIVES. We, still to this day, count our blessings every time we look at our amazing son. We also each take turns pulling our hair out chasing our little one around the house. For the most part we have a small group of friends and family who have been amazing supports. Each of these people contribute to our son’s growth and development in some way and since they are referenced quite often in the blog i try to give more detailed descriptions about them as I write.

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

The hardest part of being a dad, so far, has been feeling guilty about the time I can’t spend with my son. The guilty feeling that persists after having to sneak into my son’s room at 5:45am kiss his head and tip toes out to leave for work is real. It’s one of those “guilts” that sits on your chest like an elephant from those CPD commercials. That kind of guilt can and will eat away at you, and no amount of “make up time” with the family can do anything about it. “Lost time is never found again,” Benjamin Franklin had a point here. In all reality though… I try to remember that something’s I cannot change, and that I have to make do with what I have. I have to work, I have to travel… but I can make the best of the time I do have with my little man.


4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

Don’t tell your child they are “smart,” tell them they are “hard working and persistent.” Intelligence is valuable, obviously, but research shows the more powerful skill parents should be instilling in their children doesn’t have anything to do with smarts, it has to do with effort, grit and drive.

Hang up their art work at home and in your office… even if you have no idea what it is supposed to be.

Be spontaneous… having periodic “drop everything and dance” times are a must… I suggest Huey Lewis and the News for these impromptu dance parties.

Have a favorite book to go back to when you just need to hit the reset button after a long day. “It’s the books you read when you’re young that stay with you always.” JK Rowling

HAVE FUN. Parenting isn’t a job. It’s a responsibility, a commitment, an ongoing game of chess! Enjoy it… and most importantly… write it all down. How you chose to share it all with your child(ren) is up to you, but record it somewhere, because time flies when you’re having fun… or getting thrown up on


5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?

This goes back to a previous question and how balancing being a dad and the “real world” responsibilities are constantly at odds. As I get home some nights at 7 o’clock… a quick hug, a kiss and a bedtime book is about all I get with Jackson. This is not something new to me, or to any 21st century parent. Time is something that we all want more of… yet we will never get. 

There is always the quality vs quantity debate. But to be honest I’m not sure what to make of that when it comes to spending time with my son. Is there anyway I can get quantity AND quality time… at the same time… all the time?

For now I’ve had to accept the fact that I am doing what I love during the times I am not with him, and know that he is spending time with the people that also love him as much as I do when I am at work. Whether it’s mom, or Grammy, Mima or Auntie… I’m happy knowing he’s happy.
After working a long day… Coming home to that hug and kiss goodnight means just a little bit more these days. Just don’t be surprised if You find me reading an extra book or two with him before bedtime because I’ll take quantity AND quality please.


6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

I’ve learned a lot about parenting from my grandfather, my dad and especially my friends who are dads now. The most useful and helpful advice I continue to get is how just when you think you have things figured out and under control, life throws you a curveball. Flexibility is the key to parenting.


7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

No one does it the same. Parenting in the same household don’t parent the same all the time. Just because someone else does things differently than you doesn’t make them a bad parent. Random, unsolicited advice is the worst advice. Even if you mean well… step off and let people parent their children in the best way they know how. (If they ask for help then it’s fair game).


8.What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

Taking my son to his first game at Yankee Stadium. No words needed… baseball, father & son and America’s pastime.

Watching my son interact with his great grandfather. Seeing the generation gap close when they played together and talked has been the most rewarding and memorable time as a father so far.

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Learn more about Peter Fragola:
BLOG: https://chroniclesofanewdad.com

FACEBOOK: https://m.facebook.com/chroniclesofanewdad/

TWITTER: @CHearthstone
If you have any questions for Peter Fragola, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.comQuestions?

Drop me a line and Leave a Reply below:
1st Comment: Honest Mum® (@HonestMum) on January 20, 2017 at 2:48 am. What a wonderful, frank interview. Guilt chips away at us all but it’s a futile emotion. Quality time over quantity. Love your advice too.