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Diary of a New Daddy

Mark's "adventures" in parenthood.

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A Prized Rosetta Stone

Posted: Saturday, February 28, 2009

by Mark

I am sure that I am writing this for a very select few. I am sure by now most of you have long since given up on any sort of update from me. My intentions have always been there, but my time seems to evaporate before my eyes. Who would have figured that having a newborn...and now a toddler...would have distracted me from writing and posting updates? For those of you who are reading this, I would like to thank you for diligently checking every day, week, month or even year for a sliver of anything new. I would like to apologize for my extremely long hiatus. I wish I could promise that I will continue updates on a regular schedule in the future, but judging from my past history, I'll skip the empty promise. My last year (+) has been full of wonder, learning, patience and humility. There was nothing in my past that I have experienced that would have prepared me for this journey I am currently traversing. If someone walked up to me four years ago and told me that I would be well into a career path, happily married, have a talented, artistic step-son and a daughter that meant more to me than the world, I would have asked them 'Oh yeah? Will I also win the lottery, find a cure for cancer, and invent a time-traveling device?' While I'm still hoping for that last one, the odds of me updating this site on a regular basis are much greater. Where to start? I cannot detail the uncountable times when arriving home from work I would peek my head around the corner to see her in her high chair eating dinner, and then see my little girl's look of surprise and joy when she sees me, giving me a bursting euphoria. Reaching out her hands, touching her fingers to her thumbs repeatedly, I can only surmise (and I won't let you make me think otherwise) that she wants me to whisk her out of her restraints into my arms and give her hugs and kisses until she notices the next shiny object. Dylan is becoming a man. I remember - not too long ago - that he was preoccupied with things such as video games, music, and television. He may still be to an extent, but now he has a flame, thinking of his driver's permit, learning the guitar and delving into photoshop as only a true student of beauty could. I am very proud of him. Although he probably doesn't realize it, he has offered me more challenge than any teacher, boss, mentor, or otherwise put together - he has challenged my ability to become a parent. I would like to think that I'm succeeding at this, but some days are better than others... Kristine has been my foundation in all of this. I owe her everything that I have today. I could go on, but no one (except Kris) wants to hear about that sappy stuff. We want to hear more about Sophia & Dylan! My little Sophia has given me more joy than I have ever thought possible. Yes, that was a cliché, and I'm going against good judgement using it, as glazed over as it will be to those who do not have kids of their own. Sophia has recently gained an affinity to all things electronic - video game controllers, remotes, cell phones and the like - basically, if it has a light on it, she wants it. I was at an electronics store recently (I know, hard to imagine), when something caught my eye and got my gears spinning. What I found was a jumbo universal remote. 'Jumbo' is an understatement, measuring in at about a foot long and about five inches wide. With giant glow-in-the-dark buttons and an LED light that confirms button presses, my preconceived criteria checklist was complete. At the checkout, the cashier was ringing me up, when he stopped at the remote. "Huh. I was thinking of getting one of these, just to play around with it." "Actually, that's the decoy remote for my 1-year-old daughter." He stopped, looked at me, and dropped his jaw. Slapping the cashier next to him, he exclaimed, "The man behind the counter is a genius!" I just gave him a dumb grin, and thought to myself, We'll see. I've since been proven that I'm far from genius. While Sophia was bright-eyed at the sight, it was fairly short-lived. I've realized that her love of all things electronic is really just a correlation without causation. What it really comes down to is: if daddy has it in his hand, Sophia wants it in her hand. While she does like the remote, and will carry it around like a prized Rosetta Stone, it falls short of a decoy. As soon as I want to change the channel, the jumbo controller is discarded like an unwanted Cheerio, and I find myself in the middle of a tug-o-war with the real remote. It seems I have a lot more to learn...

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