I’m No “Super Dad;” I Almost Broke My Son
After my first “Daddy Derek” blog last week I’ve gotten teasing from some friends about the “Daddy Derek” name, an email saying I am “the last person who should ever be telling anyone how to raise their kids,” and a Facebook post claiming my wife and I have a live-in nanny. For the record, we have a wonderful live-out nanny who watches our boys each morning for a few hours until I get home from work. I have the kids to myself for 5+ hours each day until my wife gets home.
I’m not “Super Dad.” I’ve never claimed to be. The closest I come to super status is a “Super Dad” mug and t-shirt that I was given for Father’s Day. I get tired and cranky quite easily. I don’t have as much patience as I often should. My wife has to remind me that even though our four and a half year-old son Tyler is quite bright, I shouldn’t expect him to handle things a 10 year-old can like mowing the lawn (kidding).
I may not be a “Super Dad” but I do contribute to household chores. I pick up our oldest from preschool every day, take the boys to doctor’s appointments and haircuts, do laundry, and tear the house apart to find missing pacifiers. Those pacis disappear into thin air more than right socks.
I also like giving the kids baths and books at night. When Tyler was about 3 months old, after giving him a bath in the sink and wrapping him up and cradling him in one of those dog hooded towels, I tripped over the dog on my way out of the bathroom. Our dog Dawson is a 90+ pound chocolate lab, so he completely took my legs out from under me. How I didn’t see him is beyond me. In that moment, Tyler shifted from the cradled position to lying along my arms with his head in my hands like a football in a wide receiver’s hands as he makes a diving catch. I have no idea what sudden cardiac arrest feels like but I’m certain whatever I was feeling was close. It happened so fast that I have no idea if I completely kept the back of Tyler’s head from hitting the floor, but I do know he unleashed a brief, but terrifying cry, I nearly soiled myself and the dog actually did.
In that moment, I felt like my mug and t-shirt should read “World’s Worst Dad.” Tyler appeared fine but being the neurotic guy I am, I was worried he would never be the same again. More importantly, what if my mother-in-law found out? Only 3 months into a being a dad and I almost broke my son. And the family dog. My wife had to calm me down.
My small accident and all the associated guilt reinforced the fact that I was now a parent. More importantly, it made me realize that I had the power to love and care for someone so much more than I ever thought possible. I’ve had plenty more of those realizations since then but luckily none have involved almost breaking either of my boys.
WCCB News Rising Host Derek James balances a full-time job in the glamorous world of television news (including a 2:30am wake up and stale coffee) along with managing chaos every afternoon for 4 year-old Tyler and almost 2 year-old Chase.
See more from Derek @DerekJamesTV on Facebook and Twitter.