I suppose I should be happy. E has made this transition very well, much to my surprise. He had enough stuff to do on the planes, thanks to some great advice from friends with kids who had been on long flights before. Excepting one small meltdown in Tokyo when he saw a play area in the terminal but we had to get on our next flight he did great. He slept in the hotel with no problems. He then even transitioned to sleeping in our new apartment with little or no issues…..but then there was today.
We had been invited over to play at a friends place (yes we made made one set of friends so far) and everything seemed to be going well between Lilly and E. They painted and played with Play-Doh. There was chasing and laughing. But then it happened. The cool toy. The destroyer of all inter-toddler peace treaties and non-aggression pacts. The brand new bright purple ride on tractor of doom! Much like Highlander, “There can be only one!”, rider. And so began the bargaining by we parents.
Me “Its Lilly’s turn you can have a turn when she’s done”
Lilly’s Dad “Don’t you want to share with your friends”
A shaky cease fire was reached when a Mickey Mouse ride on cart was produced from a closet. The children seemed to fall into a pattern of gasp actually sharing and playing nicely……It was a ruse. A calm before the building storm of screaming and crying. Both the other dad and I turned our heads at the sudden shriek. Then as if in a slow motion seen from a bad movie I saw Lilly coming towards us holding her forearm. I knew it without asking the IT had happened. Emmet had broken out his go to move. He had taken poor Lilly’s alabaster chubby little arm and …left two perfect rows of teeth marks in it.
He hasn’t done it in almost a year. I though we were past it. But from as soon as teeth emerged until just after his second birthday its been his old faithful tactic. Grab on and chomp down. And technically it works. Whoever is bothering him tends to vacate his immediate area as soon as their flesh can be parted from his mouth. But it mortifies me. I know he’s only 3. I know a lot of kids do it. I also know that for the most part he’s a really good kid. He listens well he usually plays very well with other kids. He eats his vegetables ( as long as they are carrots). And he did sit in a timeout and contritely say sorry and administer the world recognized healing balm of the toddler, a hug and a high five. And while I was aghast at the bite I was happy he knew he had done wrong and apologized….WHY BITING? I would almost rather he was a hitter or kicker….or anything else-er. For some reason in my mind biting is worse. Oh well. He’ll outgrow it right? Or, This too shall pass. Or any of the other platitudes parents of older children or my mother ply me with when I’m having trouble dealing with parenthood.
We left shortly after the chomping. It seems Lilly hadn’t had a nap, E was getting hungry (it was almost dinner time) . And after a meal and a train ride home he was in much better spirits. We played with some of the kids in our apartment complex outside. He even asked for his shower and bedtime. Its almost as if he wanted to remind me he is an adorable, good boy 90% of the time.
So I guess I’m starting a blog. More like an online diary that if I get some readers at some point in the future, and make some change great. But more a place for me to put my thoughts down and selfishly think someone else might care what they are. This will mainly be about the odd turns my life has taken recently and be an outlet for me as I adjust. That being said a little background ( in case there is someone reading this ) would be appropriate.
I’m Mike, I’m from Rhode Island in the United States. A 33 year old father of a 3 year old boy Emmet. Although that is getting ahead a bit. At 18 I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. I served for about 5 years with a tour of duty in Iraq. I’m not saying that as a hook to get you to read this as a thank you, or for sympathy, or any other emotive response, its simply a fact. A fact which for better or worse colors my outlook on a lot of things, from popular culture to home life. After separating from the Corps I took a job at a local veterinary hospital. Never planned on being a vet tech but for the last 10 years or so that has been my life. I also in that time attended Johnson and Wales University for Culinary Arts. But alas no one explained to me that at the age of 29 with a wife, rent and 2 car payments I did not possess the time to spend 5 or 6 years making minimum wage while gaining enough “experience” to to get a job where I could actually support myself cooking. So now we eat well at home. Probably one of the main reasons I no longer look like the Marine I once was. Well that and the fact that wine, whiskey, and cheese are my favorite snacks while running is no longer part of my daily agenda.
Most recently however I find myself unemployed. For the first time since the age of 14. I did not get downsized, or outsourced, nor was I a victim of the economy. My wife’s employer made us a stunning offer to relocate and we moved last month ( January 2014). Now when I say relocate I don’t mean a few hours from home, or even cross country. We are now in a separate hemisphere from all of our family and friends. We have moved to the bustling metropolis that is the country of Singapore. And this is where the impetus for this blog has come from. To document and express my thoughts and feelings in a way that gets me to critically think about what is now going on in my life as I make the transition from a dad with a full time job and outlets for my energy and interests to full time stay at home dad in a place where I know almost no one. My history in the Marine Corps has served me well in the first few weeks here as has my experience in culinary school. My first 2 years in the Marines was spent stationed in Okinawa, Japan. So this is not my first time in an Asian country or setting. Between that experience and the exposure to trying a lot of different foods has made my transition in some ways easier than my wife or son’s. Its not so much the culture shock I’m feeling as the lifestyle shock. Its now for most days sunup to sundown the Mike and Emmet show. And that is very different for me.
That then will be where most of my blog focuses……how me and E (as I like to call the boy) spend our days. Our trials and triumphs, as seen through my eyes. Hopefully this entertains, or intrigues a few people. And if not, oh well I think I’ll be better for the writing. It will give me something to focus on and look forward to at the end of each day. And with luck I or at some time later my son will look back on this and think it was a good idea.