The Rewards of Fatherhood, Fitness and Frugality
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You Can’t Hug A Chicken Wing

It’s Monday.

I try to motivate myself. I try to get going and do something. But I continue to find myself only planning for and anticipating their arrival and dreading their departure. When The Babies are home, I’m on point. We all eat a good meal, everybody is in bed on time and bathed. Bedtime stories come with wicked quickness. The next morning is usually a mad dash but they’re to school on time, clean and alert. Everybody has taken their vitamins. My day is productive and orderly.

They go to their mom’s today.

Flickr @ yummyinmytummyblog

Flickr @ yummyinmytummyblog

When they’re not around, I lose it. The time in between their stays at home is strung together with Futurama reruns, piled up dishes in the sink, Facebook marathons and several orders of Papa John’s Chipotle chicken wings. I don’t want to admit I’m that guy. You know the guy with no real direction unless he’s ushering kiddlings to a ballet rehearsal or a karate class or the next playdate. I need to get in the gym, do some yardwork, do some real work, call a friend, go to church, join a cause, do something for God’s sake.

I’ve really been trying to get better. And I have made some progress. I don’t cry anymore when they’re gone.  And I actually shave on those days. I take my vitamins. And coffee helps. But every now and again I fall back into that self-loathing funk. “OH, WOE IS ME! MY BABIES ARE SO FAR (half mile) AWAY FROM ME!”

Internal dialogue.

Get it together Ben. Snap out of it. You’re going to smother those girls. Give them too many hugs and accolades. Remember, it ain’t about you. It’s about them. And they are doing fine without you. They’ll be back and guaranteed they will be coming with loads of attitude and hair-graying rambunctiousness. So take it down a notch brother!

Outside of my brain.

Ok. I’m better. It will be Tuesday soon. They come back Tuesday. I can survive the next 24 hours.

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1 Karen { 05.26.09 at 8:27 am }

love how open you are – really sweet post!

2 DivaMom { 05.26.09 at 11:41 am }

LOL! Poor you. You’ll be aiight. But you SHOULD join a cause, go to church, call a friend or something…

3 Darla { 05.26.09 at 12:03 pm }

It is Tuesday…you are back to your realm!

4 Sophia { 05.26.09 at 2:27 pm }

Im cracking up…..yes Ben, please do something….

5 Marvin { 05.26.09 at 4:52 pm }

I feel you Ben you are your daughter`s first boyfriend and they are the girl friends you created and love unconditionally. why should you stop hugging and kissing(so much)? in our life time we`ve all experienced a feeling of being pushed away and unwantedness(and they will too) why should it come from you? The girls are your cause, hobby and thing to do so you might as well do it to the best of your ability. when it`s time to let go a little they will let you know. Take it from me no matter how old they get, they will always be YOUR little girls but at some point the rest of the world will see them as women. That`s when you look in the mirror wipe your tears and say i think it`s time for ME to grow up but you gotta shave regularly and get in the gym and keep your body right the babies want you now but when their grown and out the house who`s gonna want a beer gut hairy Ben?

6 Ben { 05.26.09 at 5:00 pm }

@Marvin: Thanks brah. You always set the record straight. You’re right. I’m not going to stop stealing my hugs and kisses. I’m definitely going to get my fill. But you’re also right. I have to do something. I’ll do a few pushups tonight.

7 Wayne { 05.26.09 at 9:23 pm }

I have two girls, so I understand. You know I’m a writer, so I think you’re already doing the best thing to do when one feels this way: writing about it.

8 Amelia { 05.27.09 at 1:17 pm }

I don’t know many men who can actually relate to what I go through. I’m use to the men who couldn’t careless if they see their kids or not (sorry, its just MY reality). So this is refreshing and eye-tearing :’-)

9 Ms. Thompson { 06.01.09 at 10:07 pm }

WOW! So invigorating. So uplifting. So hopeful…These are only some of the words that came to mind after reading and thinking of your blog. Your children are so fortunate to have you as their father. Setting the stage for our child/children is part of our job as parents. And if we are good (the best that we can be) at it, we will always shower them with ample hugs, kisses, advice, unconditional love, support, shelter, education, and protection (to the best of our ability). It feels good to know that a man can and does exhibit those deep seeded passions (usually associated with the mother) for his child/children and isn’t embarrased to express it or say that it exist within him.

I do agree with Marvin, someday they will be young women, so continue to shower with them with all the love, kisses, and hugs so they can stash it away for a rainy day when they are off at college!

10 360 (C.Smith) { 06.02.09 at 11:03 am }

Ben, or Bakaar, as we called you in HS (chuckle),
First let me tell you how proud of you that I am. That’s coming from brother to brother. Maaaan, can I relate to the empty feeling you receive when your child returns to the other parent. This tells me that you’re “true” to yours, because when you are, it hurts like crazy! ….. however, there is some hope at the end of the tunnel. My son’s getting a little older now, & things have gotten a lot better. When I put my total faith in God, & stopped “counting the time” with my boy, but stated “making the time count”, things began to fall into place. I promise you that if you read a chapter a day of the book of Proverbs, you will get your strength as HE speaks to you. There’s 31 chapters; one for every day of any month is how I look at it. Stay Up!

~ 360 (C. Smith)

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