“Me Too!”

So yeah. Wow. I have a blog still.
July….was one hell of a month. I was able to get two weeks off for vacation, although not at the same time. I had a week right at the beginning, and another right at the end. Those two weeks were filled with travel, extended family time, visits to places of historical and cultural value, hiking, a few (not many) trips to the gym, and more and more, on top of the two weeks I had working as usual. August looks to be a little more tame, so I’m hoping to get more time on this thing.

Work is going great, although I still have a few psychological scars from the last job that keep leading me to believe that I’m going to screw something up somewhere along the line. None of my coworkers make me feel that way, it’s just something inside ME that I have to deal with…for another nine months when my probation is ended. I make that hurdle, and I think I’ll be in the clear.

While work seems to be getting easier, parenting….is not. Talk about a challenge, I constantly feel like I’m not doing anything right at all, although the boys are indicating otherwise…more on that in a moment.

The stressful part really, is dealing with two boys where the oldest is grown enough to do fun and exciting things with, and the younger brother can’t stand to be left out of anything. I understand he wants to be included and he wants to be like his big brother, but he’s really not ready for stuff yet. Something as simple as fishing. The Narrator and I used to fish a lot more than we have this season. We’ve cut back a little because every time we talk about going, the little guy pipes up “I want to go fishing too!” Occasionally I’ll try to herd the two of them, but the little inevitably gets bored and irritating only a few moments in, and I have to corral him on top of making sure the seven year old doesn’t spear himself with a hook, unsnarl lines, re-bait hooks, and so on. As a result, fishing simply isn’t as relaxing as it once was. It will be again soon, but it has become one of those things that is a chore more than anything else.

Another example, is the monster truck show that The Narrator and I have been going to every summer since 2013 when I graduated the police academy. This year, we decided to take The Destroyer along with us. I was ready for that, until my wife decided that I’d need help with the two of them, and said she’d go along. The interesting part there, is that neither boy was all that much trouble, but my poor wife hated every second of being there. I spent more time worrying about her being bored than I ever was about the boys. One more thing that just simply wasn’t as enjoyable.

I know this will all fade out, as soon as the boys are a little older, but for right now, every day is chock full of frustration.

But…there’s an upside.

As you may or may not know, I work overnights. I usually leave the house about the time the boys are having dinner, and get home around 8am. Then I go to sleep until around 1 or 2, and on my busy week, I’ll do that two or three days in a row.
Having vacation last week, I was home every night. The usual bedtime routine for us is my wife takes The Narrator in to his room where he reads for a few moments, then she’ll kiss him goodnight and he’ll fall asleep on his own. I’ll take The Destroyer, read to him, and lay with him until he falls asleep next to me.

This past week though, the boys requested that I put them both to sleep. The first night I went in with The Narrator, we finished our story, and I turned out the light.

“Daddy?”
“Yeah bud?”
“I really miss you when you’re at work.”
“I know. I miss you too.”
Then I hear him sniffle. He’s crying there in the dark, thinking about me going off to work at night. We talked a while about why I go to work and why I do what I do.

The little one too-

“Daddy?”
“Yes?”
“Do you go to work on this day?”
“Yeah, I leave around dinner time.”

He too starts to cry, genuinely upset that I’m leaving. It got worse this afternoon, he fell asleep on the couch. I woke him up as I was going out the door. He woke up, saw me dressed and ready to go, and immediately fell apart. That made leaving extremely difficult.

I must not be effing up as badly as I feel like I am at times.

It could be that I’m my own worse critic…I think many of us are.

 

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