#AtoZChallenge: K is for Keeping up with my Shiznit

K guest post
photo credit: “When I grow up, I’m gonna be the tiniest, most powerful-est Sith Lord in the whole galaxy!” via photopin (license)

So, I forgot what letter we’re on.

KTwice. And what’s even better, I razzed fellow blog dad Eric of All in Dad’s Work about a guest post he promised me for this Wednesday. In the midst of the A to Z Challenge. For both of us.

Only, Eric has already guest posted for me.

In what can be attributed in equal parts to Canadian kindness and just being a standup guy, Eric wrapped up a post in his drafts folder to deliver the guest blog he didn’t have to deliver. Good man, Eric.

guest postI was busy trying to figure out how to incorporate the letter K with the Wednesday Word from Deb Runs‘ weekly linkup.

(Her word was Judgment, which is one of those words I can barely spell, let alone write about, and somehow link to a letter that begins with K, all while lamenting the Challenge blogs I’m not getting to and wondering why my left eyelid won’t stop twitching.

Check out his guest post, then go see what he’s doing with the A to Z Challenge business.


Change of the Challenge

Parenting is tough. We all know that. It’s always tough, except when it’s not. It’s a 24/7 role. 365 days a year for the rest of your life. Once you’re a parent you’re always a parent. But it’s not as challenging as we like to think it is.

Is a zebra white with black stripes or is it black with white stripes? If you shaved it you would find that its skin is black.

Is parenting difficult with easy phases or easy with difficult phases? If you shaved it you would be pleased to see that it is indeed easy with difficult phases.

What I’ve come to understand over my seemingly short, yet equally long, years of being a dad is that the challenge of parenting changes.

The challenge of parenting isn’t in the easy moments of calm and clarity. The challenge lies when things get loud and messy and we’re just doing the best we can.

What I’ve come to understand over my seemingly short, yet equally long, years of being a dad is that the challenge of parenting changes. It evolves.

In the beginning the challenge just lays there, occasionally crying, occasionally laughing, and frequently needing food. It grows to a crawling phase yet its needs remain the same. Soon it is upright and running on two legs. Then it grows and grows and goes to school.

Then it grows some more and you’re suddenly dealing with a hormone raging, moody teenager where there was once an infant.

The challenge changes with the stages

In the beginning, we parents are mere zombies after waking three times through the night to feed a hungry belly. It’s difficult functioning on such little sleep. Our brains are cloudy and our judgement is poor.

We put shampoo on our toothbrush and wash our hair with toothpaste. But parenting is easy because the child stays where we put them. They’re cute and cuddly and friends and family swoon over them.

The fun begins when they start crawling.

You’ll just be frustrated trying to plug in the vacuum until the child pulls out the outlet protector for you.

Did you baby proof your house? Plug the outlets. Lock the cupboards. Baby gate the stairs. Put the breakable up high. Not that any of that matters. You’ll just be frustrated trying to plug in the vacuum until the child pulls out the outlet protector for you.

We find ourselves trying to keep them safe while they find any source of danger possible.

The challenge of parenting continues to evolve as they grow. They start sleeping all night long. It’s a beautiful moment to wake in the morning to realize that you just got more sleep in one night than you used to get in a week.

New challenges to overcome

Suddenly faced with a walking, talking toddler, we attempt to start potty training, instill some respect and manners and pray we don’t have a picky eater. They run to be chased. They jump to be caught. They talk to be heard.

When they start school there will be entirely new challenges to overcome.

Develop a morning routine. Making sure they’re trying their hardest. Making sure they’re not falling behind. Making sure they understand. It won’t be good enough to just ask questions. You’ll need to ask the right questions.

They learn so fast.

Then you’ll have to figure out what’s for supper. Despite the obstacles, they play games. They joke. They learn so fast.

I hear when they grow to be teens you can’t keep food in the house.

I’m guessing this will be true at our house. They’re already insatiable. At this age, they’re adult-like. Of course, they think are full-fledged adults. As parents, we know they won’t realize they’re not adults at this stage until they’re 25.

From rompers and diapers to cars with empty fuel tanks

Although there are challenges at each phase, those challenges evolve though each stage of growing up. Sometimes they seem to change overnight. Where once they were in a romper and a full diaper they’re now in a car with an empty fuel tank.

To appreciate the stage is to appreciate the child. Even if you are a sleepless zombie.




  1. Miss Andi says:

    I’m not a parent but I’m glad to hear that when you shave parenthood it’s all good 😊 (what a great way to demonstrate a point! I personally would’ve never thought of shaving the zebra to find out the original colour lol)

    Andrea from Music & Words blog
    Volunteer in Damyanti’s D Company #atozchallenge

    1. Eric Wood says:

      I’m glad someone shaved that zebra so we’d all know the truth about them. As a parent, our good moments both outnumber and outweigh the struggles. Sometimes it just in how we look at the situation.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad you liked it, Andrea – and Eric, what color is a porcupine?

  2. Kisma says:

    Parenthood is the most rewarding, frustrating, terrifying, fantastic job ever.
    This is perfect!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Amen to that, sister.

  3. Eric Wood says:

    Thanks for allowing me to guest again! Even if it was by accident 🙂 Love how you worked in with the letter K.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks for being awesome about it while I corralled my shiznit.

  4. cricketmuse says:

    Grandparenting is much easier. It’s the reward for surviving parenthood.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s probably like playing golf on the senior tour, Crick. You get the same posh resorts and a nice check, but you don’t have to dork around with the day-to-day of playing against the young guns. Maybe. Sorta.

  5. Lyn says:

    Our children won’t really understand about parenthood — which they probably think is all fun and games — until they become parents themselves. LOL then we sit quietly and smile as we think of the past.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      One of my girls kind of doesn’t understand my unabashed adoration for her. When she becomes a parent, I hope she sees it.

      1. Lyn says:

        She will, Eli, she will 😉

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        It’s my hope, Lyn.

  6. Hate to tell you – when your kid hits 26, like my oldest has, they still think they’re adults, but in many ways they still have a long way to go. Parenting is life-long evolution! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think they need us more, sometimes, when they’re older. I hope so, anyway.

      1. They do…in my case it’s to clean his apartment, but if that means we get to hang out, I’ll take it!

  7. stomperdad says:

    Reblogged this on All In A Dad's Work and commented:
    K is also for kindness. Even if it is accidental. My blog is traveling today. You’ll find it hanging out with fellow dad blogger, Eli, over at Coach Daddy. They’re probably trading coaching stories, bragging about their kids, and discussing their favorite soccer plays over a pizza. He remembered that he didn’t need my post, but he used it anyway. He could be a Canadian with that kind of generosity. Go check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I definitely needed it, brother. Thanks for coming through on short notice, and brilliantly, too.

  8. Parenting seriously should come with a warning label that on any given day that it is the good, the bad and the ugly at any moment each and every day! 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That unpredictable element is part of what makes parenting beautiful, isn’t it?

  9. Nancy says:

    Well said. Even though I sometimes long for that age when my children were small and new, I seriously do not want to deal with car seats and potty training ever, ever again. Some challenges should never be revisited.😊

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We graduate from such messy chapters, Nancy. We’ve earned our stripes!

      1. Nancy says:

        That is true! 😊

  10. I’ve forgotten several times already what day we’re on, I’ve confused the letters. Jesus Murphy. We’re half way there tomorrow. I’ve missed one day but whatevs, not going to sweat it.
    Hope you’re doing well my friend! 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I forget the day of the week on my own, but now that I have to think of what letter the day is? Forget about it.

      Jesus Murphy! Didn’t he play shortstop for the Cubs in the mid 80s?

      I’m trying to run two pages on this challenge, Linds. I need to get back and see what you’re spinning!

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