Chronicles of a single-ish dad guy. Part 1: Didn’t you have Pants?

Prologue:
I’d like to introduce myself; Tyson. Hi nice to meet you. I’m a hard working man for a up and coming SaaS company called Workday. More relevant to this however is my wife, Xi (She) who is a hard working woman for a smaller home living good company called RST Brands.

She is the Supply Chain Manager/Director for this company and, because she is fluent in Chinese, must make regular trips to China. She does this to help negotiate new contracts with manufacturers and ensure quality control standards are met. The events that follow occurred during one of these trips.

Day 1:
7:00 – No change around the house outside of mom bringing extra big bags to work.

8:30 – It’s time to drop the boys off at school. We’ve been talking about the trip all morning and the 3 year old understands one simple fact; someone is going on with airplanes and he likes airplanes.

8:31 – I finally get a good understanding as to how strong a 3 year old is when they eat all their food. At one point the teacher got a pry bar to remove him from around my neck, but regretfully a plastic tool doesn’t hold up well in this kind of struggle. “So how do you solve a problem like Maria?” Simple, ship em out.

8:40 – The kindergarten class and big brother located there in was happy to help the little guy calm down. Who knew creative solutions and community help would work?

12:00 – A little secret for all you working dads. Go to the gym at lunch. generally your employer encourages this behavior and will grant you an bit of an extended lunch. On top of that, you get a refresh in the middle of the day and avoid going out to eat every day.

3:45 – Call from the elementary school reveals that older brother was under the impression that we would be picking him up and the whole family would be going to the airport. So cute, kinda sad. You know what this calls for?

5:00 – Snacks! After getting little brother from the preschool area we decide that we could use some special snacks for the final leg of the journey home.

The list…
Pringles – can for each kid
Capri Sun
Oatmeal – like I said, the 3 year old eats
Wasatch Sampler pack – k this one’s for me

5:15 – Time to play our music louder than mom wants us to while eating dinner; pulled BBQ beef and broccoli. The music will continue throughout the night.

Playlist…
Penywise – Dad pick
Guttermouth – Dad pick
Gorillaz – Oldest pick
Deltron 3030 – Dad pick
Wax Tailor – Youngest pick
Imagine Dragons – Youngest pick

6:00 – It’s time to play with each other. By Thor’s hammer we will not be having TV streaming all week. “Play with each other. You’re boys that’s what you’re supposed to do”

6:15 – Little brother “Daaaaaad I hurt my head!” Dad says “Is there blood or a bump?” Older brother says “nope.” Dad says “Okay keep playing, just take it from 11 to 10.” Dad laughs and kids don’t know why

6:30 – Somehow the 3 year old lost his pants. They are no where to be found in the house. Personal note, revert back to my favorite bachelor game “where’s the smell?”

7:00 – Time to calm down and do something a little more creative. big brother has a Lego stash that would enable him to build his own Lego Movie, but for some reason wants more….

One of the first books I read to my oldest was “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Why? Simple, I needed references that a child could relate to. In this circumstance Veruca Salt worked just fine.

7:30 – “Boys why are you literally standing in the fridge?” Boys, “Dad, I know we said that we weren’t hungry anymore, but can we have a hot dog?”

7:40 – Eat hot dogs… CRAP! I begin to realize that my perfect week goal may not end up perfect after all, but hey, the kitchen is clean as a whistle.

Homework at the new desk!

Homework at the new desk!

8:00 – Alright it’s time for homework and book time.

All in all day 1 was eventful, but manageable. The boys went to bed a little late, but that’s to be expected because I usually keep them up a little past 8:) to play with them. The hardest part about being a working parent is that you don’t get to play with your kids nearly as much as you would like.

Tomorrow is a new day. This time; no time keeping.

It's been a long day

It’s been a long day

Xi’s Big Day

Xi's Big Day

We decided to go to Victoria, BC for Xi’s milestone birthday; don’t ask a number as she is somewhat sensitive about that. Originally we had thought about going to Moab and Arches national monument in Southern UT, but decided against that as it is so hot and dry down there that you can get dehydrated without even sweating.
Victoria is a lovely city, with many adventures for both the children and us. Xi desperately wants to have some adult time without having to manage the children, but that won’t happen for a couple days at least.

Iconic Figures

I have found that my boys are very drawn to the same iconic children’s figures that I had in my youth. Sure there are some new ones like… Ummm Lightning McQueen? Seriously, we had Winnie the Pooh, The Looney Toons, Thomas the Tank Engine, etc… Come to think of it those characters were even before my time. They were my parent’s icons. My generation had The Lion King, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers. When it really comes down to it does it seem like we are losing the development of these characters? Is this because the ones that were previously developed were so iconic or is it because we are starting to lose our creativity because we watch too much television. It’s all very confusing. Here’s a picture to help ease your troubled mind. Yes this is my youngest with an icon.

Comfy little boy

Comfy little boy

Marriage Failure Rate

I think I may have figured out something regarding the high marriage failure rate; here in the US anyway. To explain my thought I’d like to first go back to my impression of my wife’s family and culture.

My wife is from China. When I first married her I was under the assumption that there were some differences between people of the Unites States and people from China, but overall we had the same basic human understanding of the world around us so the difference wouldn’t be too great. While some components of this are correct, for the most part my understanding was grossly inaccurate. When I first met her parents I did everything wrong, but the biggest thing I screwed up on was dismissing how important the family was in Chinese culture. It is my general understanding that in China you never dismiss your family. By this I mean that retirement homes are virtually non existent or when a child goes to college it is perfectly acceptable if not encouraged that they attend a university that is close to home.

To contrast Ive found that, at least with my family, we have very much said good by and good luck. If you ask my mother she might say something different, but this is the overall impression I’m left with.

To get to the point, I believe this stand alone complex we have is one of the things that discourages or inhibits longevity in marriage.It seems to me that relationships are easier to manage if there are outside parties helping the couple work through their differences. We have a lack of this in our relationship which is why it becomes very difficult at times. This seems to be especially true when children are introduced into a family. Overall, I just think people should support their friends and family more here in the States.

Cheers

The food thing

I didn’t think it would happen in my family but it did. Just like in A Christmas Story we have a child in our family that does not eat. Our oldest boy has had a hard time with eating since he was a baby. I remember at one point we tried to put food into a medicine syringe to try and force him to eat. That was defiantly a failure so I would not try doing that on your stubborn kids. Here is the worst of it all. I remember when I was a kid my mother would tell me “I’m going to send all your food to the starving kids in China.” I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one who say through that empty threat. Honestly, we all knew that a half eaten chicken would go bad by tomorrow and would never make the trip to China. Oh and the picture, he only took an hour to eat a half of a chicken breast. Believe me when I say that this is 100 times faster than what he was doing last year so we are making progress. Cheers!

image

My Chinese Family

You may all have guessed that it can become a little tricky at times having part of your family live on the other side of the world. There are a number of things that I have to battle with on a regular basis. I will not go into many of those right now because each and every one can be a fascinating stand alone entry in my option. The problem that I have dealt with and would like to talk about in this entry is information sharing. One of the things I like to do is take videos of my family and share them with my wife’s family in China. Initially I would make a video, burn a DVD and mail it to China. This became very time consuming, expensive and difficult as I prefer to use AVCHD format (BluRay). So I decided to start posting my movies, but this didn’t work as most sites which allow individual postings (people’s opinions) are blocked in China. Nevertheless, I came up with a solution. I found that Photoshop has a service that is accepted in China so I have been using that. Here is my video site It was pretty easy to create, but it costs me an annual fee. In case you run into this in the future, this is probably the best way to go.