Learning to be a full-time dad is an adjustment

I mentioned in this column a few weeks ago that my daughter was moving in with me.

 Cody Thorn

Cody Thorn

This Monday marked exactly a month and it has been an interesting transition to say the least, both good and bad. I have spent almost her entire life being a dad but not a ‘real dad’ in my eyes, getting her on weekends and holidays, etc. In my eyes I have always been the ‘cool’ parent, the one she comes to for a few days at a time and we usually end up doing something she likes. I mean, there is a reason why my Dave & Busters card has more than 30,000 tickets still waiting to be spent and I’m sure by now we have spent close to that much on stuffed animals and other trinkets I’m sure worth pennies for our time playing games there.

But learning to go from the ‘cool’ parent to being the one in charge is something that hasn’t exactly been a seamless transition, but it is one I’m working on. It is a situation that neither one of us really had much time to plan for but we are trying to make the best of it. There have been a few compromises on both sides and I’m sure I have a few more white hairs on my head and in my beard than I did a few months ago.

Honestly, I’m kind of winging it the best I can. We try to make food at home a few times a week, but with this job, there has been a good mix of Arby’s, Taco Bell and McDonald’s and once the QT Kitchen opens next month, that will be added to the rotation I’m sure. I think the trickiest thing — and funniest — was going through the Taco Bell drive thru Friday afternoon after I picked her up from school. She ordered food but told me after this meal, she was going to go vegetarian, like some of her friends. She asked me to join but I had to politely decline because I like meat way too much. But trying to comprise on food to eat for both of us has been interesting. I found myself saying something unintentionally about meat and she had to remind me about that.

So new school, new family dynamic and now a vegetarian all in a month span.

She seems to be adjusting to the new school OK and her grades are much better than mine were in high school. I honestly wasn’t the best student in school. I always put the athlete before the student part and grades weren’t always the highest priority for me. I was perfectly fine skating by with C’s. It was easy to do too since my younger brother got all A’s and scored a 33 on the ACT. He was the golden child so that kind of allowed me to fly under the radar with my sub-optimal grades. I have used that as a teaching tool for her. I don’t want her to be like me in that aspect. Sure sports are great, but it would be better if she knew the importance of college and the costs if you don’t have a scholarship.

I’m sure there are going to be more roller coaster momentums the next few years but so far it has been fun overall and only a few tears have been shed.

Random thoughts

I spent a lot of time over the past few weeks driving on Interstate 70 on how busy this fall was.

One week I trekked over to St. Louis to watch the Blues play a game and then on Nov. 10, I made the drive to St. Peters to cover the high school swimming and diving championships. That marked the final fall sporting event of the season. Though, if you had asked me earlier this year what my thoughts were, I’d almost ventured to say it would have been a football team still playing this time of the year.

Fall sports are crazy busy and this was my first season here. I had been through half of a winter and all of spring, but this year marked the first fall one and I can easily say my head was spinning trying to keep up with every team. It is fun and there were times I was lucky enough to get to two or three events a day. However, that doesn’t give you a lot of time to be around one team very long, but I had great coaches from all five schools that got me stats and took my questions whenever I needed to ask something.

This issue will feature the winter preview section on basketball, swimming and diving and wrestling teams from the five schools.

The other thought I had driving across I-70, is I sure wish the taxpayers would’ve passed Prop D. I get the hate for new taxes but, personally, a few pennies is better than new tires and alignments after every trip on that road.