The Perfect Evening…Almost

Reprinted with permission from The Daddy Diaries

chickenI went a long time with no children. I have admittedly not always been a “kid friendly” kind of dude. Before having my own children, I was an uncle to Braden and Joby, but I don’t know that I was really a good one. My brother, now he’s a good uncle. He’s fun and laid back and great with kids. But I tend to be uptight and, according to Joby, “Stone’s got lots of rules.”

But of course, here I am now in a house filled with girls and estrogen and hair bows and bobby pins and snot and smelly feet and math homework and science projects. I was forced to become a “kid” person. I learned what it was to be a parent. I read parenting articles and books on parenting. On how to be a good “step”father to Abby and Emma. And how to be the right kind of dad to Gracee.

But some things just simply cannot be learned. Sometimes, things happen and absolutely nothing you learned in life, or in parenting manuals or articles or videos….NOTHING will ever prepare you for some of these scenarios that you never even dreamed were anything that you’d ever have to worry about. Scenarios that never even entered your mind.

Like, say for instance, when you are enjoying a beautiful evening in the backyard, the temperature is perfect, and the sun begins to slowly sneak behind the trees. Life feels perfect. Everything is in its place, and something very uncommon occurs. Something very rare in my life. Peace. Calm. A quiet mind.

And then as I look around proudly at my family and my home, my gaze focuses on my beautiful blue-eyed toddler. My heart nearly bursts with pride. And then, as if I’m watching in slow motion, I watch helplessly as she raises a hand to her mouth, and then put a big, steaming fresh, wet pile of chicken poop into her mouth. Too late, I yelled, “GRACEE NOOOOO!” She then grins at me, smacks her lips a few times, laughs, spits the remaining chicken crap onto the ground and says, “EEEEWWWW, Gracee, No No!”

And then she laughed and walked away as though as nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

Yeah…I’m pretty damn certain that I never read anything about that in “Dude, You’re Gonna Be A Dad”, “First Time Dad” or “What To Expect When Your Wife is Expanding.” I feel like I would’ve remembered it.

-by Stoney Stamper


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