Hi. I’m Mike. Mike Cbay. I’m a YDad. And this is the new home of my blog. Welcome!
Hold up. Wait a minute. (Record spinning backwards) WTF? YDad?
Let me rewind a bit. I’ll try explain with a story.
About a week ago, just before my eldest son’s second birthday, I had a difficult day with my sons. A bout of daddy fail, if you will. For you see, my wife had just been hit with a fever at the start of the weekend, and I bravely (or stupidly) declared that I would take care of the kids that day without her help at all. She could then focus 100% of her energy on getting better before the coming work week. I was confident. I’m a good dad, I thought to myself, and I’m a good husband too. This would be a piece of cake. Several pieces in fact. The taste of which would be so sweet and fulfilling. The outcome of this adventure would surely be me standing on a dais engorging on a glorious mudcake of daddy victory.
The events of that day could not possibly take me further away from the chocolatey goodness of success.
My puffed-up chest soon deflated like a broken whoopee cushion. I fumbled through the regular daily routines for the kids that Mrs Cbay usually handled with mad skills during the weekdays while I was at work. I hadn’t had this kind of exposure to the demands of both of my sons at this age (almost two, and six months), and their intense tag team strategy steamrolled me and my ego into the ground.
There’s nothing like a major poo incident to test your parenting resolve. A note to new parents – along your journey, there will be poo. And on that fateful day, for me, poo there was, and I could not escape it. After preparing some lunch, I found my youngest gleefully sitting on the little kiddy couch, bouncing up and down while trying to bite the limbs off some stuffed toys. As I picked him up to put him in the high chair, I was mortified to find dripping wet poo all over the couch, on my son’s bottom and back and legs and hands, on Elmo’s head, aaaaahh freaking poo, poo, poo everywhere. Damn nappy could not contain the flood. I thought about yelling out to Mrs Cbay for help but I stuck to my futile non-plan. I could heroically tell her about it later in the event that I lived to tell the tale.
I put the boy in the Bumbo which did nothing but stain it. At least he was smiling. My curious eldest would soon go and play with the poo-couch so I had to act quick. Hands covered in poo, I spun around the lounge room like The Mask and moved all the soiled things to the adjacent room, and locked my eldest in using the safety gate (sorry buddy!). My youngest, still smiling and laughing, watched on as I decided what to clean in order of salvageability. I decided Elmo, couch, son. Terrible, I know (sorry, please forgive me!) Elmo made it, the couch didn’t. After using up all my MP on cleaning poo, at least my happy youngest was happy. But tired daddy was tired.
The hours went by, and the day wore me down. At least Mrs Cbay was getting much-needed rest. And the boys were happy. Celebrate the wins they say, although at the time I found it difficult to. My wife is truly amazing, I don’t know how she conquers these battles day in day out. Much respect to to stay-at-home mums and dads, for I know not how you do it.
The night crept up. The boys did not want to sleep. I tried everything in my arsenal, from bottles of warm milk to reading books to singing songs and even the good ol’ yelling. I was at my weakest and clutching at straws. My youngest fell asleep first, and got woken by my eldest, who himself thankfully then fell asleep. It was just me and my youngest again.
Then came the crying. C’mon! He was fed, burped, changed, and I was exhausted, curmudgeonly and at breaking point, completely losing my shit. And then it happened. Calm washed over me. Chocolate swirls and waves like in the Cadbury TV ads.
I sat down. And told him stories about me. How I wasn’t born here in Australia and how his grandparents worked hard for me and his uncle so we could grow up here. How we didn’t have mobile phones when we were younger. How life was like before the internet. How I met his mother.
To my amazement he stopped his stirring. With his eyes wide and mouth slightly agape, it was as if he really was listening intently, hanging off my every word, waiting to hear about his dad’s adventures in the old, disconnected world. His half-smile as he slowly drifted to sleep in my arms was both humbling and beautiful.
And then I couldn’t sleep, overwhelmed by what I just experienced. Hours passed as I attempted to clean up the whirlwind aftermath of our toddler and baby. In the wee hours of the morning, It suddenly dawned on me. (Zing!) I gave myself some credit. I acknowledged how far I’d come, how much I’d grown, and how I’m not failing as badly as I keep thinking I am. There was my chocolate cake.
I’ve been married for three years, and a dad for two years. And yet I’m in a perpetual state of growing up. I’m Mike Cbay. A generation Y dad. A YDad. This is my story.
Remembering how my son looked at me as he listened to my stories, I realised that it’ll only be a matter of time before both my sons will be asking me, “why, dad?”
Well boys, hopefully you’ll find what you’re looking for here.