Chicago dad: I’d be a better father if it weren’t for technology

Fourteen years ago when buck buck number one was born, I was a new dad, excited about the opportunity to be a part of raising a new life, filling her full of knowledge and sharing the wonders of each and every day.

I would wake up with her before sunrise and sing her “Here Comes the Sun.” Hokey, I know.

We would greet every day the same way: “Hello day, we are happy to see you, we can’t wait for what you have in store for us today.”

We never stopped talking and learning:”Hello Mr. Tree, hello Mr. Duck, quack, quack. Daddy’s shirt is blue. Mommy’s hair is brown, now it’s red, now it’s blonde.” My goal was to share as much as possible with her, whenever possible.

To this day, we walk together in the woods and talk about everything we see. It’s a father’s dream.

That was kid number one, 14 years ago. Before I had a smartphone and Facebook.

Really, I blame it on my wife. When buck buck number two came along, I was at home with him and feeling a little disconnected from the world. She was already on Facebook (cuz’ I married younger!!) and convinced me that I should try it out. I noticed she had more than 400 friends and I immediately set out to beat that number – not that it’s a competition or anything.

With number two, I didn’t have a smartphone, but I did have social media accounts and YouTube: “Look buddy there’s a video of a duck. Hey pal, daddy is now friends with a fireman, they drive fire trucks, whoo whoo!! Look at my sunrise screen saver, pretty. Mommy is at work, let’s “poke” her. OK, enough learning, time for a nap.”

While he got the daily walk and a few chances to talk to the trees, the singing was replaced with iTunes of the Beatles and we would welcome the day with a Teletubbies video on my laptop while I drank coffee. Still not so bad. He is turning out to be a good kid, likes the Beatles and knows how to work a universal remote. SO much better than the 4-year-old down the street that can spell his name and speaks French!

Now there’s buck buck number three. He doesn’t stand a chance against my iPhone, three blogs, Google analytics app, Twitter feed and Facebook updates. I try to sing and share and all of that crap, but every time I put in the effort, I get a new Twitter follower (@paceofchicago btw), or someone likes my Facebook page (click here to do that now), or a friend leaves a funny comment in one of the 20 groups I’m in and before I know it he’s left on the floor chewing on some noisy toy that has been handed down to him from the first kid.

Buddy, I am sorry. Someday when I am dead and gone, I hope you find this and realize that I am not a horrible dad. I love you very much. It’s all the phone’s fault. I blame society, really it’s the economy and while we’re at it, my Buzz feed and global warming also play their parts in my crummy parenting.

I have seen a baby take its first steps, but a tweet from Will Wheaton you don’t want to miss! Classic!

I truly want to sing you a proper song when I am rocking you to sleep, but the Lumineers do it better and my Klout score dropped two points so I have to tweet!

We have plenty of trees for you to look at outside the window while I am updating the status on my Facebook fan page. Again, click here. Really. I need more fans and it will make me seem more likeable to, um, other bloggers?

I get that you haven’t had a diaper change in six hours, but Dr. Smith’s will take care of that red hiney so I have more time to come up with a funny caption of the picture I took of your food all over your head.

Yes son, for better or worse, you were born in the technological era. I love you with all my heart and if you look at my status updates and profile picture you will see how much.

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