Dan England is one of our dad guest posters. He is the dad of three: toddler Jayden and nearly two-year-old identical twins Allie and Andie, and also husband to Kate. He is a writer, poker player, mountain climber, runner and baby wrangler. He has recently written for TWINS magazine, and writes full-time for a newspaper. He and his family live in Colorado (hence the mountain climbing.) His blog can be found at: http://pokingandpeaking.blogspot.com/
• I have the agility of a ballet dancer. I used to be clumsy and unsure, even when I was climbing mountains every weekend (I was always surprisingly nimble on the thin ledges or rocks, however). But now? I can dodge a minefield of dolls, Lego blocks, Hot Wheels cars, DVDs, blocks with sharp corners, toy strollers, big fire trucks, shoes, clothes and the occasional twin, toddler or dog. All in a manner of seconds. When I do inevitably trip, I usually do some Baryshnikov-like move in the air and land on my soles. I usually skip the bow, though, because I’m probably chasing after a twin, and they’re pretty fast now.
• I can cheer silently during sports, even Kansas basketball. It gets a little tougher now, during the tournament, but I keep it in check for the most part. I used to LOVE to yell, both good and bad, at them, but having a dog cut out the bad, and having kids cut out both. I’m not perfect. I was cheering the other day and the toddler, Jayden, kept looking at me and laughing and saying, “Daddy, what you doing?” He asks me that 1,576 times a day anyway, but I could tell he was slightly concerned. When I asked him “But it’s all in good fun, so it’s OK when Daddy yells because it means he’s happy, right?”
He looked at me and said, “Well, no.”
• I have the patience of a monk. OK, not a monk. Maybe a hyperactive monk. Still, I am 100 times more patient than I used to be, which means I”m still not quite patient enough with the three. When Jayden spilled his cereal all over himself the other day, mainly because we were screwing around during breakfast, he cried and I merely laughed a bit and told him it was OK. I could not do that two years ago.
• However, my laser-like memory has been reduced to swiss cheese. I can’t remember people’s names as often as I should, and that’s because my brain is too occupied with things like:
– “Where did Andie go?”
– “Where did Allie go?”
– “Where are their pacifiers?”
– “Where are their juice cups” (Today I found a cup with cottage-cheese in it because it had milk in it for a couple weeks and we just discovered it. Oops.)
– “Where are their damn juice cups?!”
– “When are they going to bed?”
• I can change a diaper in the dark, while grabbing another twin with one arm, with my back turned, with poop getting on my hand, while the other one fights me, while getting their bath ready, while screaming (softly) at Kate for help, without missing a beat or gagging.
Bonus: I really enjoy even the screamiest heavy metal now because, hey, it can’t be any worse than when the girls start feeding off each other.
What parent-power do you possess now that you didn’t have before kids?