The Greatness of being a Daddy on the Weekend

24 Oct

My weekend was long.  Long in that it was exhausting.  I’m going to ache for days exhausting.  But it was good.

Being a Daddy changed my life considerably over the last few years.  At first it seemed that the change meant a lot of what I loved in life was going away.  Watching sports, playing video games, hanging out with the guys, and watching movies in the theater all had to suffer.  Truthfully,I sacrificed the movies in the theater almost completely.  Hanging out with the guys is less weekly now and more quarterly.  Sports are now on the DVR or via NFL Rewind.  The video games get played once or twice a week around midnight.  And yet my life is better.

You see, I get to do things that the single, childless me never got to do.  I get to completely embrace the kid in me.  Take Saturday night for instance.  My wife really wanted to take our girls to the Del Mar Pumpkin Patch and so off we went.  It wasn’t cheap, ($30 I think) but had a ton of rides and attractions for little kids.

There was the carousel that my daughter didn’t want to get off.  “I just want to ride the horsey Daddy!”

There was the rocket ship that went around and around and she slapped high-five with the operator every lap.

There was the tea-cup type ride that she loved spinning around and around in with Daddy on board.  Dizzy fun.

There was the little train that she road for about 10 minutes and smiled for the entire time (except when I was taking pictures.)

There was the bouncy house and little inflatable slide where she expended as much energy as possible and giggled non-stop.

And there was the petting zoo, which we never made it to.

Why, might you ask, did we miss the petting zoo?  A petting zoo is gold with little kids and she had asked to go, but something else grabbed a hold of her and would not let go.  The GIANT inflatable slide.  Huge.  At least two stories high and probably closer to three.  And she had to ride it.  Since it was a little high and all the kids on it made it a bit dangerous for a tiny two-year old toddler to get tossed around, Daddy had to go.  The steep climb to the top required me to carry her up over and over and over and over.  And over and over and over.

“Again Daddy!  Again!”

The upside to carrying her to the top time after time was that I got to ride the giant slide over and over.  My back was killing me afterwards, my legs burned, and I was totally exhausted, but I was a kid again.  I had the wonderful opportunity to slide as fast as I could, laughing aloud, because I had my toddler in my arms.  At almost 40 years old, I did something I’ve probably wanted to do every time I saw one of these giants slides over the last 30 years, but it just seemed socially unacceptable then.  Now, I’ve got a kid, so it’s okay and endearing when I play with children.  It was great.

To balance things out, there was Sunday’s slide.  Family photo day at the railroad park in Poway and of course, the two-year old getting some time in on the playground was a must.

“Daddy, will you go with me?”

“That’s okay Beautiful.  I’ll watch you.”

“Please Daddy.”

She knows how to get me to do almost anything and that simple elongated please does it every time.

So, I climbed up into very cramped quarters and a half covered slide gave birth to me.  Yep, it was a tight fit and I think that one ride down hurt more than the twenty the night before.  That’s a little lesson to first time parents.  Playgrounds are meant for people under 4 feet tall and 80 lbs.  How does the weight come into play?  Remember that the “M” means mass in E=mc squared and in this case the increased mass meets the low resistance of the slide and you gain speed.  Some serious speed on some slides.  Sunday I didn’t find myself airborne, but it has happened coming off a kiddie slide before.

By 5pm Sunday afternoon, with my eldest daughter’s weekend completed, she, my wife, and my baby girl all drifted off for a little nap.  Finally, I got some NFL action.  I love my DVR.  Without it I would’ve missed nearly every minute of my Mavericks winning their first ever championship this summer and I’d miss almost every minute of the Chargers’ every Sunday afternoon.  Then after 9pm, when I was folding clothes, I had the laptop propped up in front of me with NFL Rewind giving me the Cowboys’ game replay.  Granted I have to stay away from my phone, TV, and the internet all day on a Sunday to watch the games like that, but at least I get to watch them.

So, the weekend concluded with rocking the exhausted two-year old to sleep at 10pm.  She’d fought sleep after dinner for about 90 minutes and since my wife drifted off again, I got the “closer” opportunity.  There really is very little that’s more rewarding than being the closer at bed time.  You have a child tired beyond words and all you have to do is answer a few random two-year old questions, hold her, rock her slowly, and see her eyes flutter shut.  The over the top benefit last night was that when she closed her eyes, I got a simple, sweet, “I love you Daddy.”  And she snuggled in real close and was done.  So was I.  Heart melted.  I love being Daddy, especially on the weekends.

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