Coronavirus: The Third Month (June)

Day 76: Monday, June 1:

Dear Stephanie, let’s get married and have kids so instead of spending quarantine binging Netflix we can tape balloons to our car and drive by some six year old’s house and sing happy birthday from six feet away.

Day 77: Tuesday, June 2:

I’m regretting panic buying $100 worth Of LEGO’s to end up with two kids ignoring them and instead playing with cardboard Amazon Prime boxes and a Tupperware lid for the last few hours.

This quarantine thing is intense!

Wife: “You should never question my choices, because you’re one of them.” Me: “That’s exactly why I question your choices.” _ Wife: “Good point!”

Day 78: Wednesday: June 3

The world is still fighting over toilet paper and today my son decides to give our few rolls left a bath…

Day 79: Thursday, June 4:

How do you keep two kids busy while you conduct Zoom Meetings all day? Give them a vacuum, a few baby wipes and put them to work!

Day 80: Friday, June 5:

What do you do when you can’t go out for pizza and you have ZERO DESIRE to cook… you put the kids to work!

Day 81: Saturday, June 6:

Today I got to catch up with good friends to celebrate one of their 40th birthdays. Interesting enough, Jax used to remind me to take my keys, wallet and cell phone… today he said, “Dad don’t forget your mask and Purell!”

Day 82: Sunday, June 7:

FOLKS… WE GOT SOME BIG NEWS HERE… OUR FIRST LOOSE TOOTH! This kid is growing up too fast! Bring on adulthood!

Day 83: Monday, June 8:

Today we attempting an early morning walk before work and virtual school started.

7:30am: leave house

7:32am: stop because Jax is so hot and “needs a sip of water”

7:36am: stop for rocks

7:37am: stop to pick flowers (that are actually weeds)

7:39am: now Oliver’s cold

7:40am: stop for sticks

7:42am: go home because both boys are really, really tired.

45 total steps logged.

Day 84: Tuesday, June 9:

Happy birthday to the only person who isn’t on Social Media. To my not so little brother! We’ve come a long way from me almost getting you eaten by a snake in the backyard when we were kids! Jax and Ollie couldn’t ask for a better uncle!

Day 85: Wednesday, June 10:

I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present than spending the day with my family! It was our first family outing and first time out to dinner in MONTHS!

Day 86: Thursday, June 11:

Hard to imagine how my kids were ever able to survive a regular school days without 23 snacks.

Day 87: Friday, June 12:

Today Jackson had his VIRTUAL FIELD DAY!

Field Day VIA a computer might have been the most frustrating aspect of Distance Learning. My kids would rather watch the timer in the corner of the screen on the zoom conference than actually participate in virtual field day. Jax has now asked 16,000 times when this is over because he wants to go inside already!

PS: Do they give college scholarships for balloon dribbling?!?? Jax had a record of 30 before the balloon popped. What does that count as? Forget it… This has now turned into a way for me to feel athletic again!
As a matter fact I’m playing the Rocky theme right now and shoving the kids to the ground!

Day 88: Saturday, June 13:

My two little Dirt Devils/Beach Bums! There’s nothing like burying yourself in the sand as kid!

Day 89: Sunday, June 14:

During quarantine I’ve been slowly working on a project that I had wanted to do for ages. I figured the perfect time was now! In between Zoom meetings and distance learning (and you know life) I decided to build a high back sofa/bar table for the basement. Mind you I’m lucky to come away with ten fingers after using a pencil sharpener. so this was quite the challenge. But, table saws, circular saws, hacksaws and vice clamps be damned, because it came out pretty good.

Day 90: Monday, June 15:

The tooth has fallen out (been pulled out). All packed up in an envelope with a note. That Tooth fairy better start looking for some spare change!

PS: Yes the first tooth only yielded a dollar and a pack of baseball cards, but remember the tooth-fairy is a nonprofit…. she’s on unemployed from her other “paying” job bc of Covid-19, so with that being said, “you get what you get and you don’t get upset!!!”

Day 90: Tuesday, June 16:

You want to wear a cut off tank top and rain boots up the street on your power wheels while carrying garden tools? Sure, at this point at least you have on pants.

PS: Today I learned my children can fix a squeaky wheel with hand held garden tools. Don’t ask!

Day 91: Wednesday, June 17:

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Started Kindergarten in the classroom and ended it by the pool

The last day of Kindergarten also meant the last day of Distance Learning (for now). What a crazy, crazy cRAzY school year it was for this little guy! Mom and I are so incredibly proud of you and your accomplishments!

Day 92: Thursday, June 18

Today, after putting on my mask in the Big Y parking lot, I looked in the rear view mirror… I realized this is what my ears look like with a face-mask on:

Day 93: Friday, June 19

Dear Apple,

Can we just not with the screen time reports this week?

Love, mom and dad

Day 94: Saturday. June 20

Pre-Father’s Day Father’s Day Party: my wife, the boy’s mom planned a party for today…. my response to that… Thank you. This was perfect. I actually for once enjoyed myself. I did just enough cleaning, organizing and cooking, etc to keep sane.

Stephanie, I don’t know if you noticed but I actually went in the pool. That’s a big deal. We may argue and butt heads. But, If there’s anyone who is going to be by my side for all the nonsense that is me and what comes with it… I wouldn’t want anyone by my side but you.

Day 95: Sunday, June 21:

Father’s Day is always perfect when spent with the family, especially my two superheros!

Day 96: Monday, June 22:

My wife buys our kids a lot of kinetic sand, play-dough and painting supplies for someone who wants to stay married.

Day 97: Tuesday, June 23:

Today was my first official day I have taken “off” from work since Christmas Break. It was nice to spend some quiet time without the phone/emails for a little while. The boys and I went to the beach (mom was stuck in the office!!!)

With the tide out we were able to walk out almost to the top of the jetty! Nobody fell in (more importantly no one pushed anyone in!)

Day 98: Wednesday, June 24:

Today was a LOOOOOONG DAYYYYYY! Coordinating chrome book and iPad drop off at school for all the amazing students who borrowed devices during distance learning will take a lot of a guy! But, coming home to these two smiling little boys (SCREAMING, “DAAAAADDDDDIEEEESSSSSSS HOMMMMEEEEE!!!!” Will always help being a long day of to a happy close!

Day 99: Thursday, June 25:

My day today… on a Zoom Call with my assistant principal while working from home:

Assistant Principal: “Would you be able to…”

… my two kids run by the camera: one wielding a sword, one naked, both in ski masks and capes…

Assistant Principal: “Never mind.”

Day 100: Friday, June 26:

ONE-HUNDRED-FREAKING-DAYS-OF-QUARANTINE. It’s been 100 days since schools across the nation began distance learning and the quarantine began. As we mark that significant number in this global pandemic not much has changed. Cases are still spiking, masks are required almost everywhere

Day 101: Saturday, June 27:

Roman, our newest little nephew, was baptized today. It was nice celebrating with family for the first time in long time. We also learned Jax is a pretty good photographer!

Day 102: Sunday, June 28:

Heard the wife yelling this from the other room earlier: “STOP DOING THAT!!! WE CAN NOT GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM DURING A PANDEMIC!”

Day 103: Monday, June 29:

We’ve officially lost it here. No school for the kids, rain outside and Oliver wants his 14th M&M yogurt of the day. I have to draw the line somewhere. 13 M&M yogurts before noon is acceptable, but when you try for 14 you have gone too far. Sorry little man, but that temper tantrum is going to have to last a lot longer than…. forget just eat another damn yogurt!

Day 104: Tuesday, June 30:

What a way to end the month. I came home to Jackson narrating a live video of Oliver playing with his Magic Trax! Apparently he’s started his own YouTube channel. Best part, he signed off by saying, “Thanks for watching. Don’t forget to like and subscribe!!!

I guess that takes us into month four… hello July!

PS: Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to like and subscribe! 😂😂😂

Has it Been Two Weeks Yet?

We’re on day two of the coronavirus pandemic which has canceled much of society. Schools are closed, libraries are empty… and most businesses are so full of panicky people you’re better off staying home.

That causes quite the quandary when you have two small children who have the attention span of a fly. The number of activities they can breeze through in even a small amount of time is incredible. We’ve read, we’ve drawn pictures, we watched a movie. We’ve taken the dogs for a walk and we rode our bikes. That’s it. We’re done!

That is until the oldest of my brood had the idea to write happy messages to the neighbors in chalk on their driveways. While some of the messages are less inspiring then others, it’s the thought that counts.

So friends and neighbors check your driveways for something special courtesy of Jax and Ollie.

Oll-E > Wall-E

Both are pretty cute and they even sound the same

I’ve blogged about all the normal baby and toddler firsts… I’ve talked about cleaning nuclear-like diaper messes and first solid foods… I’ve written about bubble wrapping and baby gating the house for their first steps. Now don’t get me wrong those are all hugely significant moments in time, but they all pale in comparison to hearing you child speak their first words. I’ve been in educational for nearly 20 years… I’ve taught children to read, to multiply triple digit numbers and I’ve taught children how to explain their thinking, but teaching a child to speak… that’s just magical.

Parenting is just a series of events that makes you feel equally proud and sad… watching your child become more independent each and everyday makes your heart both swell with pride for the amazing little being you are raising and also makes your heart long for the days when your baby needed you for everything. Like Elton John said, “it’s the Circle of Life” (I’m not sure if that analogy works here, but it sounds good so if you don’t mind, please just roll with it).

Listen, becoming mobile matters, it’s a huge step (pardon the pun) in the growth and development of a child. Learning to talk… to have a reciprocal conversation… is like the when the caveman first discovered fire, or first time you realized you didn’t have to actually flip open a cell phone to use it. It’s a game changer

Oliver has been saying words for a bit now… some much more clearly than others. But to hear him say his own name… I don’t know why… it was really cool. It was special. I know he has asked for juice when he’s wanted it and I’ve heard him yell, “dog” when Buster and Max were being naughty, but this… saying his name… I feel like it transforms him from a parakeet to a real person. I’m not sure why (especially since he was literally repeating his name), but just stay with me here… it’s my blog so I can write whatever I want.

Talking is transformative, getting to a point where you’re child knows his name, can say his own name and can string a word or two together changes an entire parent-child relationship I’m just hoping we are getting to the point where we can get a response from Oliver when ask him, “why are you screaming and what was the purpose of throwing yourself on the ground just now?”

But for now… I’ll take the slow and steady progress, even if he sounds like that robot WALL-E when he talks!

A Coming of Age Tale

A tale as old as time…

It’s a typical coming of age story… part of a genre and film that focuses on the growth of a protagonist from youth to… well in this case… from youth to youth. The typical coming-of-age story tends to emphasize dialogue or internal monologue over action, but in this here… in Oliver’s case… the kid is like barely one year old. Let’s not focus on the dialogue or lack there of and just look at the fact that this little boy is about to become a menace to society. He’s mobile and not just rolling over, or crawling around on all fours.

The subjects of coming-of-age stories are typically teenagers, which makes sense considering you need some years behind you in order to actually “come of age.” But not in this case, Oliver is walking… he’s a danger to not only himself but everyone around him! I’ve seen this far too many times (just once really- Jackson), but I know what’s going to happen. We’re going to wind up with a few falls at the very least… and to be honest, I predict numerous black and blues and at least one hospital visit in the very near future.

Keep your fingers crossed this kid is more coordinated than his bother and his father.

Oliver’s First Steps

There’s something to be said about a child’s first steps. It’s a new dawn, both for the child and for the adults. It’s both exciting and scary. It’s also hilarious. Watching a child take their first steps is like watching a penguin walk across a frozen lake.

They know it’s going to be a dangerous few steps… their body and more importantly gravity is telling them not to do it… but that darn penguin I mean child throws caution to the wind and takes his first step towards their destination. The similarities to a child’s first steps and the “penguin walk” are glaring: Extended wings (er… I mean arms) out to the side, slightly bent knees, and then the side to side shuffle as they move forward (rather than taking big steps). All of this helps penguins and children maintain their center of gravity during their treacherous hike across a massive glacier or in Oliver’s case the living room.

What does this all mean? In reality… for parents with an almost four year old and now a second walker… it means back into full on man to man coverage. No more cheating off Oliver to give double-coverage to Jax… it means everything needs to be boarded up again. Stairs, doors and windows. And with the way this meatball moves, fast and with a purpose he’s more like a wrecking ball then an infant.

“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Here’s a hilarious story about Jackson’s first steps and my attempt to “walk for the first time again!!!!” https://chroniclesofanewdad.com/2015/06/10/a-dads-first-steps-a-research-article/

Making (tiny) Moves

This kid is making moves. He is fast… really, really fast. Listen I know fast… I ran track. I was a sprinter. And on top of that… I move a million miles a minutes everyday, there’s no slow motion for me ever. This kid though… he’s Usain Bolt.

He’s huge… he’s fast… he’s smart… hes relentless… he’s the next Bo Jackson… he’s going to be a multi-sport star… He’s going to be dominating kids twice his age, I’m surprised he isn’t already a three way star on the high school varsity teams here in town.

Be prepared ESPN the next sports prodigy is coming for you.

Hollywood D-Lister

Click here for the original story from ABC6

  

 ABC 6 NEWS Featured Story:

Wednesday, July 08, 2015 05:41PM

Fatherhood can be a hilarious, nerve-wracking, heart-warming, eye-opening journey for new dads.

That’s why a Connecticut father, Peter Fragola, decided to start documenting all the funny things he’s learning along the way.

Using the name, Carmine, Peter started a daddy blog titled: ‘Sorry Son: Chronicles of a New Dad.’

One of our favorite entries involved Peter’s idea to get a feel for the nervousness, excitement, and determination it takes for his 13-month-old, Jackson, to learn to walk…. by learning to walk on stilts.

At first, it seemed like Peter had it down as he took slow, wobbly steps with a little help from a friend.

But that was soon followed up with a little reality check.

Watch what happened when he got too confident and decided to let go of his friend’s hands

Not as easy as it looks!

Luckily, Peter says his little boy has a better sense of balance than his father as he learns to maneuver through the world.

And now his dad has a better sense of the pain of learning to walk again.

You can check out more of Peter’s musings on the world of fatherhood by clicking on the link below:

https://newdadchronicles.wordpress.com/

The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind (I’ve always wanted to call something a whirlwing, it sounds very Casablanca… very Sleepless in Seattle). A few tweets, a few emails and a phone call and all of a sudden Chronicles of a New Dad is featured on ABC News at 4. Crazy to think how far the blog has come since that faithful day in late April 2014. From a pregnancy selfie to the nightly news!

We here at CND want to thank everyone who has read, liked, shared and commented on the blog over the past 14 months. Thanks for visiting and we hope you keep coming back to read about the events that make us laugh and cry day after day.


  

Almost 500 Views since the news story

 

 

A Dad’s First Steps (A Research Article)

These days people are trying to see what it’s like to be someone else… Put on a “disguise”, be an “undercover boss,” and you even hear about movie stars dressing up as their characters for upcoming roles… Well I think it’s time I did some research for this blog and for parents everywhere.  It’s time to “walk a mile in my son’s shoes.” (I mean that figuratively of course bc I wouldn’t be caught in those Stride Rite’s)

As Jax begins his journey walking I wanted to get a feel for the nervousness, excitement and determination it takes a 13 month old to continue getting up fall after fall. And that I did…

This is a classic example of a dad trying to be cool. “No, no really I got this… I don’t need any help.” Immediately followed by a fall to my death or worse torn suit pants. There’s no doubting the confidence that was gained from the first two or three successful steps on those stilts. I had confidence coming in waves… only to end in disaster.

How much would you have paid to be one of the lucky ones to see this clown fall?

Look, at some point you have to just realize walking just isn’t for you any more… especially when you are facedown on a cold role floor. There are only a finite number of high pressure steps one person can navigate through before succumbing to gravity… and I hit my quota pretty early on.

The look that says, “ohh crap Ijust killed my boss!”

At this point I felt like a horse who just needed to be taken out to pasture and put out of his misery… Please just drop a sheet over me and go on with your day.

Luckily this kid has a better sense of balance than his father as he learns to maneuver through the world using his new found mode of transportation.  Yes he may look like a drunken sailor and yes he may look like his knees don’t work when he walks… But at least he’s better at it than his dad… And at least now his dad knows the pain of learning to walk again.

A split for the ages… Glad that hurdling flexibility is still coming in handy.  

He Got Game (Jax’ 1st Steps)

I’m not sure where I want to go with this one.  I could go a few ways… I could talk about how proud i am of my son for taking his first steps… I could talk about how sad I am that I wasnt there… or I could talk about how demanding of a walking coach Uncle Dustin is. Any of the three would accurately describe the video above.  Any of the three would be acceptable.  But if you have been reading this blog for any amount of time you know for a fact I am about to go on a tangent about my damn brother-in-law being a self-serving  communist, militant leader.

Yes I know Jax walked; yes I know that is a gigantic accomplishment. (Also means our lives as we know it are over)… But come on… Walking?  I mean how big of a deal is that?  I walk everyday.  I can walk while I’m half asleep from my bed to the bathroom and back with at least 65% accuracy.  I mean come on everyone walks… Get over it.  (Or cry a little everytime you watch the video like I do).

I’m more concerned right now at the fact that my brother-in-law has turned from a kind hearted uncle into a vicious human being, more concerned with outcomes than with the feelings and well being of his nephew.  I mean did you watch this video? Did you see the pressure he put on my son to do something he was clearly nervous about.  Ridiculous. Completely unnecessary.  Way to demanding.

He Got Game was clearly Dustin’s favorite movie.  He modeled himself after Jesus Shuttlesworth’s dad… Dustin is Denzel, Denzel is Dustin.  All the video above is missing is Uncle Dusty making Jax run suicides in the dark.

Jackson might as well be chasing a chicken in a fenced in parking lot instead of slowly learning how to walk.  Walking you say!?!!  He should be eating lightening and crapping thunder by now.

I guess we should be thankful he is growing up slowly but surely and just sit back and enjoy the process… As long as Uncle Dustin lets us!!!

Here is the whole video of his first steps:

Pure Jealousy 

So this is what the world has become?  Have we permenantly lowered the bar for celebrating our babies in terms of accomplishments?  Every other week I’m on here bragging about how my little man accomplished another amazing feat… Maybe he blinked twice or ate a piece of toast.  I mean is this world we want to raise our kids in?  Where everyone gets a trophy and we’re all are winners!??? Where have I gone wrong?

Jackson stumbling around looking like an old man with a walker and everyone is losing their damn minds over it? I’m to the point where I feel like a baby is the best job on the planet.  Anything they do is billed as the next “moon landing”. Wouldn’t it be nice to get the same treatment as an adult? Wake up and brush your teeth- round of applause… Pour milk in cereal without any spills- freaking standing ovation… Make it to work without a ticket for being on your cell phone (which is actually harder than it seems)- applause, applause, applause.

That’s why being a grown up sucks! You don’t get a trophy every time you fart and cough.  You do what you do because it’s expected.  I’m going on strike until I get an award for everything I do even somewhat successfully.  Don’t bother me until my one year old and I get equal treatment.

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Hey Jax, Neil didn’t need a walker to take his first steps.

 

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… I’m so proud of him!!! He’s so close to walking!! 🏃👍