Category Archives: Memory Monday

Driver’s License Lapse

Ever make a mistake that you swore you’d never make again? That was me about ten years ago when I let my driver’s license lapse. It wasn’t on purpose. I just didn’t pay any attention to the expiration date on that little piece of plastic in my wallet.

By the time I figured it out I was just outside the window where all you have to do is by your fee and get your picture taken. No, I had to re-take the written driver exam.

Not going to lie. Even though I had decades of driving experience, the idea of taking the test raised my anxiety level a little bit. I mean, how bad would it be if I didn’t pass? It would not only be embarrassing but also time-consuming having to go back again.

I studied the online manual in preparation and my wife and daughters drove me to the DOT testing station the next Saturday morning to take the test. They waited in the car and while I went inside.

Taking the test was a different experience this time compared to the first time I took the test at age 14. Back then, it was done on paper. This time it was computerized. A DOT worker pointed me to a computer, letting me how many questions I’d be given and how many I could miss and still pass.

The first few questions went well with the computer telling me I got them correct. Then I got to one that I didn’t read all the way through and answered it incorrectly. As soon as it popped up that it was wrong I realized my mistake.

I remember saying to myself, “Deep breath. Slow down. You can do this.” That’s when I started reading each question two and three times before answering… just to ensure I didn’t make another dumb mistake.

There were a few questions that seemed a little tricky at first. They asked about traffic situations that when behind the wheel you would do the right thing… but on the computer screen, the answer wasn’t as apparent. I skipped those questions, choosing to come back to them at the end.

I’m sure I let out an audible sigh of relief when I realized I could answer every question I skipped incorrectly and still pass the test. Knowing this I breezed through them getting the majority right.

As I walked out of that building with a brand new driver’s license in hand I vowed to never let it expire again. I even went so far as to set a Google calendar reminder on my birthday  every year to check my license expiration date.

On my last birthday when I checked it was expired… so I renewed it online. That means I’m good for another 8 years!

Have you ever accidentally let your driver’s license expire?

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Memory Monday – Diaper Changing Fiasco

I’ve probably mentioned it before… but I’m plugged into a pretty cool Facebook group of Dad Bloggers. It’s a place where guys can ask their dad and blogging questions and get them answered by other dads who have already “been there and done that”.

Awhile back one of the guys in the group that I have become friends with announced that he was starting his own dad-centric podcast. I offered to record a show intro and outro for him… just like I had previously done for my friends at the Parental Dadvisory podcast. It’s my small way of giving back to the online community that I have gained a lot of value from.

Brock, the new podcast host, and I collaborated together on what he wanted me to say and the type of music to use. Together, we came up with a finished product that he really loved. I’m tooting my own horn here but I thought it sounded great too and accurately described his vision for the show.

There was only one thing left to do. He just needed to put the interview he had already recorded between the open and close… and then press “publish” to send the first episode of the NOMADad Podcast out into the world.

Since I had a vested interest in the show I had already signed up for the Anchor podcast app to let me know when new episodes get published. I got the notification and listened to that first episode on my commute home that night.

I was blown away by the quality of the content. For his first episode, Brock interviewed a friend of his who was a new dad. We’re talking “a first-time dad with a newborn less than two weeks old new”.

As the two dads on the podcast talked about their experiences I couldn’t help but chuckle a little bit. Many of the thoughts and actions of that new dad mirrored my own in the days after our first daughter was born. About 11 minutes into the podcast the new dad described the first diaper change that he performed in the hospital.

I was instantly taken back to the first diaper change I did at the hospital. To be honest, I think it was the first diaper I had ever changed in real life. Sure, I had read the parenting books on how to do it and may have even practiced on a doll in our pregnancy classes… but none of that really prepared me for how that first diaper change would go down.

Being a planner, I had the wipes ready. Diaper opened, flattened out, and placed in what I thought was a “strategically position”. Then the moment of truth. The tape came off one side of the dirty diaper… and then the other. There was nothing holding it onto our daughter anymore and there was no turning back. I gingerly took a tiny, little foot in each hand and lifted her up.

This is when I realized the first flaw in my plan. I didn’t have a third arm to do the wiping and the diaper situating.  I gently tried to take both feet into my left hand so I could work with my right.

My newborn daughter was not a fan of this at all and kicked. The kick was sudden and unexpected to this rookie dad. Her force surprised me and I let go of her feet. Experienced parents can probably see where the story is heading.

One of her heels landed squarely into that dirty diaper. It was her first one too which is always darker and stickier than your typical dirty diaper. Think greenish black and tar-like.

You soon to be dads can Google and read up on meconium. You might find it informative and useful.

To make matters worse, the heel that landed was also the one that got the heel stick, blood test after she was born so it had a band-aid on it. Looking back now it had to have been one comical scene. An inexperienced dad not quite ready for the challenge of that first diaper… and a baby flailing her limbs around in a strange new world.

In the commotion, the clean diaper I had readied got knocked to the floor and I realized the two wipes I had on standby weren’t going to be nearly enough. One of the many thoughts hitting my head at that moment was  “How do I pick up the clean diaper from the floor while making sure my daughter doesn’t fall off the changing pad?”

The nurse in the room at the time was a real pro. She didn’t laugh at all. Instead, she came to my rescue, asking if I minded if she took over. I was happy for the help and for the pointers she gave while finishing what I started. “Don’t worry,” she assured me. “It gets easier. Before long you’ll be able to do this one-handed and half asleep.”

I never quite got the one-handed diaper change perfected… but I know I’ve changed more than one diaper in my sleep before. 🙂

What’s your diaper change story?

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Memory Monday – The Gun That Wouldn’t Go Off

Not very often do sports and theatre mix… but attending two track meets in the last week reminded me of a funny theatre memory.

The town I grew up in has a very active community theatre. I started to become involved in it the Summer between 3rd and 4th grade. It was cool to have something to do and be a part of something with a wide variety of people. There were farmers, teachers, salesmen, kids… folks from all walks of life.

So, why did attending a couple track meets remind me of being a part of this diverse group? Well, at each event there were a few times that the starter’s gun didn’t work. He pulled the trigger and nothing happened. The runners were called off, he fiddled with it, and they tried again.

Each misfire took me back to one particular theatrical performance. I think the show was either Guys and Dolls or Hello Dolly.  There was a scene where a scuffle took place onstage and a cop would appear center stage at the top of a set of stairs and fire a fake gun to get everyone’s attention.

One performance, the gun didn’t go off! The actor pulled the trigger. Click. Click. Nothing. The actor, a Pastor in real life, did the best he could. He pulled the trigger twice again saying, “Bang! Bang!”

Everyone did their best to keep their composure and the show continued on… but when it was over that misfire had us all laughing backstage.  It was that moment that gave the Pastor a new nickname. After that night, Bang Bang just seemed to fit.

Where you ever in a performance that had a moment that didn’t go exactly as planned?

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