Doing OK As a Single Dad (Bonding with Kids)

In blog, family friends by Michael Michelini2 Comments

About 4 days in as I type this up out of 7 days my wife is out of town (meditation retreat in India, can you believe) – and it is the insanity of me taking care of our 2 kids on my own. Well, there is a maid but she only works weekdays 4pm to 8pm so the last 2 days of this weekend have been “all in”.

I’m alive, but not only surviving, but thriving!

The first couple nights having them sleep in their own beds wasn’t working out – so now we just accepted that all 3 of our pillows and blankets will be put in my bed and they are here with me all night. Each night less and less crying for mommy (or grandpa) as I think I am holding things together.

The last weekend was a great bonding experience, and just to recap a bit for the blog readers interested in my parenting skills (take notes hehe!)

Saturday – they have learned that my morning is my work time – they have been good to play on their own at home. Of course there is the fighting over the same toy (even if there are 100 similar toys) and they come crying and screaming to daddy for a resolution. But I was able to get some work done and made it through at my home office until about 11:30am

Then spaghetti time! Loaded up a ton of spaghetti and a “sauce” (mixed tomato paste and chicken, water, salt) with grated cheese (always makes things taste better). Kids at a decent amount and daddy was happy.

Neither of them are taking naps – at least not when we want them to – so I gave up on trying to force them to sleep after lunch. We went for a walk to Promenda Mall with no real goal. Ice cream cones at KFC, running around the big empty hallways – and then ended up in a kiddie play land.

A couple hours there (1 hour of the paid indoor playground) and then about another hour of them with the coin operated video game machines (most of the time not paid just jumping around in them).

Some grocery shopping – well really just getting juice and snacks. Then to meet my friend Jon – another American looking to move from Shenzhen to Chiang Mai – along with his family at Nic’s restaurant on Saturday night.

Hopped a Grab taxi, loaded up the kids, and about 200 Thai baht fee later we were at Nic’s. Maggie nodded off in my lap on the ride there. The kids know this place (we come frequently) but first time for Jon and his family. The pirate ship is awesome, but definitely can be a bit dangerous. Playing until about 8:30pm (they have decent lighting in the play area) finally got them to eat some of their dinner and head home.

Before leaving, Jon invited us over to his hotel pool the next day – the kid’s ears perked up – SWIMMING! That got them so fired up and excited for the next day (day 2 of the action packed weekend) – Sunday.

Grab taxi back home, another couple hundred Baht.

The biggest challenge for me was showering the kids (second biggest getting them in and out of bed)! We don’t have a bathtub but instead buckets for each of them that we use the showered to fill with luke warm water. Seems each kid has their own preference and strong opinion about the water temperature but we eventually figured it out. Splashing each other, water in the eyes, and crying from an exhausting and action packed day – finally got them dried and into pajamas to bed about 9:30pm Saturday.

Let them sleep in til about 8am Sunday – but seems no matter how late they would want to sleep more! Pried them out of my bed, dressed and simple breakfast. Then the excitement for swimming (Miles actually was asking me in the middle of the night what time we would go swimming). But the deal is – I need to get some daddy time in the morning and then we go.

I lock the front gate as I am in my writing zone in the home office – and lucky I did – they tried to escape. Already changed to swimming attire, they kids were working together to climb out of the main gate of our yard – insanity! Scolding a bit, I told them – AFTER lunch.

Heated up some of mommy’s leftovers (how long do leftovers last?) and pushed them to eat to make it to the swimming stage. Was a challenge. But we made it to swimming time and hopped in another Grab and down to downtown again (another 200 baht).

Deep pool at the Lotus hotel – Maggie jumped in and it was over her head – saw her flapping her hands and fished her out single handedly while also preparing Miles’s goggles. We got there before Jon did as the kids couldn’t wait. The bummer was there was no kiddie pool and no part of the adult pool shallow enough for them to walk in – plus it was cold water!

That didn’t stop us from having fun! They took turns surfing on daddy’s back and boosted swimming – it was a good time.

Jon and his family came – armed with doughnuts! Kids went crazy and a bit after 3pm had already eaten 3 (between Miles and Maggie). They promised me they would still eat their dinner (more on that later).

Swimming around with Jon and his family members of 3 – we got some nice photos (that are here with the blog) and will go down in memory lane.

Took a Grab taxi back about 5pm and this time directly back to a neighbor’s house for dinner (Eve) – a fellow classmate. I was able to drop the kids off and walk to my house to shower and relax before returning there for dinner around 6pm. That household is all Chinese, and I feel like I never left China when visiting (feels cool).

Ate – well Maggie did – Miles it was pulling teeth (think the doughnuts was still in his tummy) – but eventually both finished their dinner. Played with some Legos and left by 7:30pm – to head home for SHOWER time!

Showered up, reading books, and some youtube videos of Spiderman and Catboy (PJ Masks) after a battle of how many shows and how long per show is acceptable, got kids to bed by 9:30pm.

Now it is Monday morning, 7am, and I need to pry them out of bed in about 10 minutes. Wish me luck!

But I think it was an awesome bonding time with daddy! They said they had a blast, and another little memory in the book called life. Mommy is back on Wednesday and things should be smooth sailing now – full time school and a maid to help out at night. The weekend I knew would be the challenge – and I fully embraced it. May as well make the most of it.

Hope you had a good weekend too. We only have so many of these!

Want to read up how I moved my family to Thailand? Put together a single page with multiple sources on Thailand family moving here.

Looking to get motivated to take action? Check out my motivation section on the blog.

Cheers and I wish you the best in your own personal life journey.

Related Posts



Leave a Comment