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Bad dad 101

by admin

Yesterday, in retrospect, turned out to be one of those days that I wasn’t exactly an a1 model parent. You would think that waking up to a stunning Byron Bay winter morning, after 2 weeks of bed hopping in the frigid suburbs of Melbourne, would be enough to put a smile on anyones face. Well not me I’m afraid. No no no, you see I have something that can ruin even the most magical of good moods.

I have children.

Two tired, worn out little hybrid versions of myself (damn it) and Renee, but without my raging chest infection.

Yes my sweet angels, post-holidays, have turned decidedly feral, and holy smoke does that make for fun times. Which it could have been if I was in a better mental and physical state. I’m sort of disappointed that I’m not in the mood to silently piss myself laughing and reach for the camera when the inevitable meltdowns kick off for the day.

No unfortunately (for them) my tolerance levels are pretty bloody low right now, as is my ability to remain calm under duress. (pc version of “not lose my shit”)

One of these cherubs is not going to sleep until waaaay too late but refuses to sleep in and the other little gem is up for the day before the sun even thinks about poking its head up. And they both end up in my bed every night.

Every. Night. FFS.

So the tone for yesterday (which started at 445am thanks buddy) was really concreted early when both Albi and I launched into simultaneous coughing fits and had to beat a hasty path to the lounge before we woke She Who Shall Not Be Named. (see previous post re waking an 8 yr old girl prematurely) I fell back to sleep on the couch, grateful for the extra room ;). Albi did not.

The morning, surprisingly, went by relatively smoothly, apart from the obligatory “because dad’s in the toilet” fight for the day. I merely raised my voice mediating on said occasion.

The first chinks in the armour began to show around 1130am. It started friendly enough. A game of chasey around the coffee table…because that always ends well. Albi split his lip tripping over the rug. Blood, tears and cuddles but ok in the end. Grace had a short lived fiery rant when I evil-eyed her, but it was mostly just a feeble attempt at exoneration.

Lunchtime was when the wheels started falling off.

First cab off the rank was G with a vicious tyrade of abuse aimed squarely at yours truly, because the tomato in her cheese and tomato toastie, that I had made for her by request, was too hot and burnt her mouth. My guard was beginning to drop and I told her that by 8yrs old, I would have assumed she would know how to eat a bloody toasted sandwich and slammed the door.

Not an hour later, with Grace still sulking over the Great Toasty Attack, we decided to head into Byron for a play at the park and enjoy some sunshine. Except for Albi. No Albi decided that his first meltdown for the day would be because he couldn’t watch his 325th episode of Grojband (kids cartoon) for the day before we left. And by meltdown I mean continual red-faced screaming and mouth-foamed thrashing for close to 20min. In fact it only stopped when he passed out from the effort; just as we pulled up at the park. Of course.

By now my mental fortitude was being seriously tested. I tried many forms of tantrum breaking styles; cuddles, distraction, rewards, ignorance, etc, and yes, I even threw my very own tanty, complete with profanities and flying spittle. But alas ’twas all for nought. He had worked himself into such a lather than I really believe he was experiencing a 4yr old version of an out of body experience. I just had to let him come down of his own accord. Bless.

Leaving the park, we eased nicely into another Grace spat over her inability to find a favourite song on the CD playing in the car. Apparently this was entirely my fault and we discussed such all the way to circus class – with a little foot stamping and screeching thrown in for good measure.

I was now, quite ineffectively, dealing with and arguing like a child myself. It’s a amazing how quickly you can sink to this level, and some of the things that came out of my mouth would stupefy even the most illiterate adult. (eg. I know am but what are you)

To even out the score, in the spirit of fairness, it was once again Albi’s turn to climb aboard the meltdown bus as we were leaving circus to head out for dinner.

This time all concept of common sense and logicality seemed lost as he flew into an uncontrollable rage because he was not allowed to take a handful of items home from the play centre area, and indeed that he had to leave in the first place.

This for me was the proverbial straw. In the middle of the (thankfully quiet) road I jammed on the brakes and pretty much lost my shit.

I yelled and screamed, swore profusely (I think I said the f-bomb at least four times – but who’d know), ranted on about their unfair treatment of me, succeeded in bringing them both to tears and I believe at one stage my head rotated a full 360deg as the veins in my forehead threatened to turn into facial haemorrhoids. I finished off by flooring the accelerator, like scaring them half to death would somehow accentuate my point.

Two threats of “I’ll turn this car around” and a whole lot of silence en route to the restaurant brought the fracas to an icy conclusion.

Unlike the threats, two glasses of red with dinner soothed my mood somewhat and fortunately the rest of the night passed without incident. Well if you don’t count the 1-2-3 time out threat that is.

As per usual, once the devil spawn were sleeping peacefully, I had time to reflect on the day. Naturally I dove straight into self loathing and remorse for my parenting skills, vowing to make up for it in the morning.

Days like these are few and far between thankfully. The perfect storm of illness, tiredness and boredom. I realise that the image of me berating my children at full throttle doesn’t conjure up thoughts of model parenting, but hey, I’m only bloody human.

We all have our limits and unfortunately sometimes they get tested. As long as I educate my munchkins that throwing a wobbly is not excepted default behaviour for dealing with conflict, I think there are worse things I could do as a parent than belt out a few well times profanities when all else fails.

As I write this we are all a happy, coughing and spluttering, content and loving family once again.

And next time I’ll make sure I have the camera handy. πŸ˜‰

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48 comments

Cathy Williams July 21, 2017 - 9:48 am

Keep pushing through..
You’re amazing.❀️

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Just A Dad July 21, 2017 - 9:57 am

Thanks Cathy. Not many other options I guess!

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Cathy Williams July 21, 2017 - 10:08 am

And I can do is send some big Hugs to you and yours.x

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Just A Dad July 21, 2017 - 10:12 am

Aww thanks! X

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KrisandShan Silver July 21, 2017 - 9:51 am

Sitting here nodding my head after every paragraph. God those days can test you and your sanity xx

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Just A Dad July 21, 2017 - 9:56 am

And then some πŸ˜‰

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Bec Jean July 21, 2017 - 10:08 am

Kids are tough but you are doing good

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Just A Dad July 21, 2017 - 10:11 am

I’m tougher and I make sure I tell them! πŸ˜‰

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Fiona O'Donnell July 21, 2017 - 10:09 am

Oh man I laughed at this one. It’s rare I lose my shit completely either but I recall also slamming on the brakes, actually ordering them out of the car and driving about 10 meters down the road with them crying and screaming behind me. They were also quiet in the car until our destination. We all lost our shit sometimes buddy. Then you get it back again. Builds resilience and we all want resilient children

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Just A Dad July 21, 2017 - 10:11 am

Nice. I like that. Next time my morning apologies will include building their resilience πŸ™‚

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Fiona O'Donnell July 21, 2017 - 10:11 am

Just A Dad it’s a gift really. X

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Just A Dad July 21, 2017 - 10:13 am

Ha! Spin doctoring at its finest. Love your work!

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Widowed Mom of two October 27, 2019 - 12:33 pm

OMG! I did this in an RV this summer, the kids were ramping up their 50th fight about something 🀯 ….completely forgetting my sister, who came with us on this trip, was in the loo 😳🀣. She nearly ended up in the tub!!
Everyone is fine, and we laugh until we cry every time it comes up…okay, I laugh more than she does πŸ˜‰
This solo parenting thing isn’t easy but we do the best we can and apologize to the littles when we aren’t at our best. And do better the next day hopefully…if they aren’t acting like Satan’s spawn.

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Leanne Russell-Clarke July 21, 2017 - 10:32 am

‘Complete with spittle’- funny…
We’ve all lost it at our kids occasionally- they need to know you’re human too, not just perfect temperature-toastie-makers πŸ™‚

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Just A Dad July 21, 2017 - 10:33 am

Oh but I am. She doesn’t realise it yet πŸ˜‰

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Leanne Russell-Clarke July 21, 2017 - 10:37 am

Timing is everything with a toastie- she will learn…

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Louise Mcdermott July 21, 2017 - 10:38 am

Wow we have all had those days that’s for sure ….your doing an awesome job

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Just A Dad July 21, 2017 - 10:41 am

Thanks Louise! Pretty sure the majority of people don’t like to admit that they lose it occasionally though. Me? Not so πŸ™‚

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Andy Day July 21, 2017 - 10:44 am

Yep know the feeling. Managed to restrain myself from hitting the gas pedal though have stopped the car for a “quiet word” on occasion. Luckily I have my kids trained up to stay on naughty spot and watch an egg timer for 5 or 10 minutes. Gives me and them time to calm down. Can’t recommend egg timers enough as it gives them something to look at and know how long they have got. Super market melt downs can be a mission though. I once had to explain to a lady who was concerned for my daughters well being that, in fact daughter and son had been so naughty they were now sat at either end of the super marker aisle and I was getting them to move along the sides of the supermarket, one aisle at a time as I progressed through doing my weekly shop.

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Just A Dad July 21, 2017 - 11:13 am

Oooh I like your style Andy! Can so picture the supermarket – classic stuff!

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Marina Barnett July 21, 2017 - 9:33 pm

Andy that is priceless. You are doing an amazing job.

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Karley Barton July 21, 2017 - 10:55 am

I have only just found your page yesterday, and this was a great read. Thanks for the laugh. You just have to keep going and remind yourself that you are doing a great job. The children are alive and fed and able to throw tantrums, this alone means you are succeeding.

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Just A Dad July 21, 2017 - 11:14 am

Thanks Karley! I couldn’t agree more. They want for nothing and are healthy and (generally) happy. That will do me just fine πŸ™‚

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Kerrie Wright-Murdoch July 21, 2017 - 11:38 am

You are only human I used to pull up to the most feral house in town and threaten to leave Jax there… then he would cry and apologize profusely… it happened more than once… I don’t do it anymore and the house has since been sold and renovated… sometimes I think I need to find a new feral house cos sometimes it’s still necessary.. you are doing a great job mate… it’s all about balance

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Jo Kantoo July 21, 2017 - 11:54 am

Epic .

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Megan Taylor July 21, 2017 - 11:55 am

I once told Sophie that I was going to leave her out for the garbage men. Not my finest moment, but hey, it worked!

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Josie Quinlan July 21, 2017 - 12:08 pm

Keep your chin up, not every day will be perfect but if at the end of the day everyone is peacefully sleeping then you’ve succeeded! Hope you feel better soon πŸ™‚

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Cindi Cindi July 21, 2017 - 12:10 pm

i love your proverbial straw! sitting in said bed hopping in melbourne with 2 sleeping kids pissing myself laughing! πŸ™‚ thanks πŸ™‚ sorry for a’hole day, the true test of parenting, how many f’bombs can be dropped while coughing a lung up! πŸ™‚

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Just A Dad July 22, 2017 - 3:30 am

Lol. I was surprised at the fluidity of my swearing. Really let it flow. Think it was the only time since I got back that I wasn’t coughing!

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Anita Coldrey July 21, 2017 - 12:11 pm

Ha ha… huge belly laugh as I can relate to slamming on the brakes, did it recently and scared the proverbial out of my two who had been fighting all day. You’re an amazing father, and yes human, we all lose our shit and let the f bomb fly. Well I certainly do that’s for sure! Xxxx

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Just A Dad July 21, 2017 - 12:13 pm

F bombs are my show stopper. X

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Tania Carstein July 21, 2017 - 12:30 pm

We ALL have those moments…I think you would be lying if you said you didn’t πŸ˜‰ You’re doing amazing, never doubt yourself, remember you are human and that ALWAYS your kids will still love you as its unconditional no matter how many F Bombs are thrown around Lol…It’s character building πŸ˜‰

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Just A Dad July 21, 2017 - 12:32 pm

Excellent. I’m all about character building πŸ˜‰

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Sammy Dee July 21, 2017 - 1:16 pm

Been there. Done that. More than once. And we all survived
New day tomorrow β˜€

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Just A Dad July 21, 2017 - 1:20 pm

Excellent. Love a bit of validation πŸ™‚

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Alison Page July 21, 2017 - 8:00 pm

This is the first time I’ve read your blog,love your honesty and what parent can’t totally relate.

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Just A Dad July 22, 2017 - 1:19 am

Thanks Alison!

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Kelli Wright July 21, 2017 - 8:12 pm

Love this piece!
This is the stuff you’ll laugh with them about in years to come -building memories

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Just A Dad July 22, 2017 - 1:20 am

Agreed! Might build a panic room first πŸ˜‰

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Kelli Wright July 22, 2017 - 1:46 am

Just I was actually going to reply “your kids do ‘circus class’ how freakin’ cool is that”
And then I thought, there’s probably a more profound meaning in all of this…. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

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Just A Dad July 22, 2017 - 2:19 am

Lol. Multi-layered πŸ™‚

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Susan Clothier July 21, 2017 - 9:24 pm

Oh Marty…. best light read at your expense ever….. my favorite was the “facial hemorrhoids”

You’re human and I think you’re doing awesome x

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Leigh Galea July 22, 2017 - 1:18 am

Nothing wrong with dropping the odd F bomb. It’s good for the soul!!!

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Rose Sirianni July 22, 2017 - 6:00 am

Loved it. Yes we all have it the fan.

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Nicola Anderson July 23, 2017 - 4:42 am

Gold. I can totally relate!! (The red helps every time )

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Just A Dad July 23, 2017 - 4:45 am

Is there nothing it can’t do? πŸ˜‰

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Jo Wilson July 23, 2017 - 6:08 am

Haven’t had a day like that for a while Chris but they used to happen a lot now I have the 12yr old drop the fbomb at me…. so not cool but makes me laugh every time!! Those days get wider apart but I don’t think anything stops them happening!!

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Just A Dad July 23, 2017 - 6:12 am

I retrospect I hope so too. So funny, again, in retrospect πŸ˜‰

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