Most of you that know me know that I am blind/visually impaired (VI). You may not know that I am also a Blind Baby Daddy x 2. During the pandemic, I have also become the full-time stay-at-home daddy for our 2.5-year-old and 18 month old little boys.
Being blind in its self teaches one to find humor in otherwise embarrassing moments in life. On top of that, being a blind daddy reaffirms that it's not essential to strive to be perfect, but rather to get the job done using whatever method it takes.
With this in mind, I thought I would share my top 10 Blind Baby Daddy moments. These will help you to envision the world through my eyes and hopefully encourage you to take the pressure off yourself to be perfect.
#10. That's Backwards: It has become quite a regular occurrence that I'm told at least one of the kids has their clothes on backward.
#9. That's Tut's Clothes: It's also a regular occurrence that I put Tut's (my youngest boy's) clothes on Kennan. When you can't see the tags, you just guess, and sometimes you just try to make sure they're clothed.
#8. Keeping it Clean: Clean is a subjective term. My wife asks me to clean the kids' faces after dinner. I say, "I already wiped their faces." She often points out that they have food all over them. I say, "It looked pretty clean to me!"
#7. Ouch!!!!: I often get up in the morning and walk into the living room and step, slip, or get impaled on the war zone of hot wheels, toddler chairs, books, and other hazardous objects that my kids leave scattered on the floor.
#6. Puddles in the House?: Puddles are meant for outside after the rain, not in the house. Occasionally, my socks get soaked while walking through the house. After the fact, I realize that potty training is not working well, and my oldest has made the floor his potty. Being blind, I often encounter things through "feel." This does not exclude soaking my socks in urine and other liquids.
#5. Where's Tut?: With two active, mobile kids, it's like a continuous game of Marco Polo, but instead responding with "Polo," I listen for the screams and cackles of laughter to find out where they are. I also find myself at times asking my oldest, "Kennan, where's Tut." Instead of keeping people out of my six-foot bubble, I am always trying to keep them within my six-foot bubble of vision.
#4. COVID Imprisonment: I know all of you reading this probably feel imprisoned, but being Blind Baby Daddy may be Imprisonment in a straitjacket. Typically, when thinking about going somewhere, I either take public transportation, rideshare services, or walk. With COVID, public transit is off the table. I can't really lug around two car seats and take the kids in an Uber, and I am trying to limit my own potential exposure.
My feet still work to walk places, but when I think about going to the grocery store, I remember, "Who touches more things: the kids, or me picking everything up and putting it inches from my face?" Needless to say, I'm not taking the kids into public buildings either. I'm pretty much stuck!!!
#3. It's Story Time: Reading books is not exactly the easiest thing for Blind Baby Daddy, so reading books means a different story every time. I guess what the picture looks like and make up a random story that may or may not be relevant to the book in hand. At some point, the kids will realize the story keeps changing, but for now, they keep on bringing the books and saying, "Daddy, read it!"
#2. Daddy's Pooper Scooper: One of the most challenging things for a blind person is seeing the dog poop in the yard and cleaning it up. To solve this problem, I have trained my oldest to go find the dog poop for daddy. He actually loves this job and asks when he can do it again.
#1. More Bun Huns: What started as a little grill and chill with the family became something much more lasting. I wanted to get my son Kennan excited about the hot dogs that I just grilled up, so, inspired by Sir Mix-a-Lot's song, "Baby Got Back," I said to Kennan, "Do you want some more Buns, Hun? This got him excited for hot dog buns and to yell out, "I want more bun huns!"
This, of course, got his brother into hot dog buns. The next thing you know Kennan is opening the pantry door for his brother and Tut is walking around the house with a hot dog bun in his hand, dropping little pieces everywhere (which, of course, Blind Baby Daddy can't tell from paper shreds or anything else on the floor and now the entire house must be swept).
I hope you enjoyed these entertaining moments. There is a moral to the story: most of the things that I do are far from perfect, but you don't have to be perfect to accomplish great things. This applies to the training that you do for your next PR in a race or your first IRONMAN triathlon. Those who find ways to get the job done with a little are often surprised just how much they can accomplish!