• keepthecastleorg

Buckle up, it's 8:30 pm

Updated: Nov 6





Clara is running from the far side of the living room into the kitchen at a medium speed, lucky for us its only medium and not big speed. {that's an inside joke between me and my daughter so if she ever reads this she will laugh} The kitchen is littered with various items that have been thrown around from the events of the day. There's a Frozen princess dress at the living room entry, stick riding horse blocking the roundabout kitchen table, shoes in the middle of the kitchen floor, and various forms of crafting materials from the girls' activity hour. Following close behind her big sister is Abigail, goofily running with her arms behind her as if she is moving at supersonic speeds breaking the time space continuum. They are both laughing and making primitive sounds that fill the entire house similar to an elementary school lunchroom. Somehow the girls manage to dodge all of the kitchen landmines that would result in a trip, slip, or fall and lead to soft tissue damage or at least that's what I tell myself. My wife is attempting to accomplish one of her tasks for the day while also battling a new born baby boy who wants his mama and is letting everyone in the house know. I look at the stove clock, its 8:30.


I am doing my best to analyze the situations within my home and make the best decision for all parties involved. Fathers have the unique ability to feel out the environment and determine all potential accidents. As my children are running around all of the toys and clothes in the floor, I am seeing potential injuries that could happen in various forms. I am coming to the realization that my son is crying and has been for a little while now because it is forming into a half cry but more scream. Watching my wife attempt to wash dishes or complete any household task with this baby filling the room with cries is fascinating. Why didn't she ask me to hold the baby? Why does she need to get the dishes washed at this very moment? Does she think this is a good time?


The potential for accidents has reached critical mass in the kitchen, I know if the silly, overtired girls are allowed to continue behaving this way that an incident will definitely happen. I step in and ask the girls to please calm down and lets start getting ready for bed. This, of course, wasn't heard because they are too far gone into silly loopy overtired phase. I ask them again to calm down and this time I pick Clara up so to stop the conductor and slow down the crazy train but this turns into "attack the daddy" I am now the new game to prevent bed time from happening. I reason that in order to get these wildlings to listen I need to "shock the system". I need to raise my voice and use my dad tone, to let everyone know I mean business, the running stops. Mission accomplished right? Wrong. The running has come to a stop but the sensitivity and emotion has gone off the tracks. I let them know I am being tough but fair and that I gave them multiple opportunities to calm down but there is no reasoning with overtired young ladies. I try to console Abigail and tell her to not cry because no one is in trouble and as this is happening, Clara is trying to tell me why she is upset and that its my fault. I respond by telling her not to "mom" me and she immediately starts crying and runs away to her room. At this point i pick up the baby and do my best to console a newborn who only wants the comfort his mother can give, in an attempt to allow my wife to get a sense of accomplishment. She quickly washes her hands off and comes to the aid of her baby boy.


Doing what I want is irrelevant, being what the family needs is the only thing.

I blame myself for the events of the night. A lot of being a father is just being around and involved. Any time you remove yourself from the family it seems to have a negative impact. Because I was not involved in family matters of the evening it melted down. Maybe I was watching a video, on the front porch lifting weights, working on the yard, playing guitar, or watching TV. Doesn't matter what I was doing because I was separated from the inner workings of the family group, I am home but I'm not actively participating in the home. Fathers have a responsibility to always be aware of how the mood of the home is, my plans need to always be flexible and able to adapt to the family's needs. "What do my wife and children need from me?" is the question I always ask myself because its easy to become selfish and do what I want. Doing what I want is irrelevant, being what the family needs is the only thing.





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