Did It

My son has created a catch phrase that very well could sweep the nation. You may not have heard it yet because it is currently being swept under the nation’s rug, but once this news hits the interweb, look out.

The pop culture revolution began with my mother, who watches the Twins twice a week while I doctorize on campus. As the kids slowly become geniuses just like their parents, they are constantly acquiring new skills and lifehacks–like standing up and walking on their own, infiltrating government-grade security measures, or composing their very first rock opera (entitled American Infant) with nothing but a toy xylophone and Daddy’s GarageBand app.

Twinfamy Presents American Infant

No word on a release date yet. They still haven't learned what that is.

Appropriately, whenever the Twins would use their newfound superpowers for good, my mother made a point to positively reinforce these behaviors, thus congratulating, “You did it!”

This became an overnight chart-topper with the kids, and soon, around November, every time my son accomplished a task, he’d triumphantly proclaim, “Did it!”

Knocking down a twenty-story tower of stacking cups… “Did it.”

Climbing up and over the legs Daddy futilely intended as a crawling barricade… “Did it.”

Turning the page of a board book with his trademark single-finger approach… “Did it.”

Thieving his sister’s toy, sending her into an inferno of tears and arm-flails while he mirthfully admires his spoils… “Did it.”

Over time, the “Did it” catch-phrase craze pervaded our entire household. After laughing our asses off at our son the first 50 times (and dutifully reattaching them to our pelvises), my wife and I just couldn’t deny the sheer empowerment the utterance awakens, and joined the movement.

Upon finishing the evening’s mountain of dishwashing and high-chair de-funkification… “Did it!”

Our Baby-Proofed Fireplace

Adhering a dismantled diaper box to our fireplace with packing tape so as to ward off tiny invaders… “Did it!”

Finally getting them both to sleep at 3 a.m. after an hour-long double meltdown… “Did it!”

Before long, my daughter became a proud member of Team Did It, as have our entire extended family. The Twins’ grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even our friends are now also enthusiastically announcing task completion, their fists raised in celebration like a gaggle of Rocky Balboas.

. . .

This January was a whirlwind encircling me with staggering milestones, and found me gawking dumbly at it all, wondering how the hell I got here in what seemed to be a blink of an eye–one so fast that the eyelashes made that whooshy Indiana-Jones-whip sound. I call this phenomenon Life Vertigo–when I take a step back to look at my life and suddenly lose my bearings as I wonder if high school really was that long ago, discover a patch of gray hair where brown once flourished, or realize my children will never again be newborns.

As my wife and I stood among thousands at the Fiesta Bowl Block Party counting down the final seconds of 2011 while a gigantic Tostitos chip was lowered into a gargantuan salsa bowl in an awesomely bad nod to Times Square, the preceding 12 months flashed before my eyes. Never before has a year been more jam-packed with a full spectrum of events and emotions. My wife and I became first-time parents twice and celebrated our half-decade anniversary as a couple. She turned the big three-oh, and in a few short months, I’ll join her. I left a teaching career to stay home with the Twins and pursue a Ph. D. I started this fine publication and people actually read it. Never have I slept less, and never have I accomplished more. And once downtown Tempe erupted in a flurry of confetti and we’d sufficiently New-Year’s-kissed, my wife whispered her first words of 2012 in my ear: “Did it.”

We stood in the airport terminal holding hand-drawn “Welcome home, soldier!” signs. For the past year, my family had been missing an instrumental member, my step-father-in-law, who’d been serving in Afghanistan. Aside from the already-difficult separation from his wife and children, he’d also sacrificed watching the Twins grow through their first year, with the exception of occasional Skyping. It was rough for all of us without him, and every time we had a significant event or holiday here, it just didn’t seem the same. But that was all about to end with his triumphant return. After all of the apprehension and anxiety, the perils and prayers, we’d made it through. And as we watched his million-dollar smile approach, he raised a fist and shouted a phrase he’d been using across the world after learning it via video chat: “Did it!”

Sock Monkey Birthday PartyAmidst the army of Pink and Blue Sock Monkeys we’d assembled as the theme for the Twins’ First Birthday Party EVER Extravaganza, we buckled our year-old loinfruits into their high chairs. The sea of faces surrounding us was a star-studded Who’s Who of Our Facebook Friends, flanked by a bouncy castle, ice sculptures, and various technicians preparing the laser light show set to erupt just as two tiny mouths blew out their candles. The kajillions around the globe who’d tuned in to the CNN broadcast all joined us in a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday To You” and my son and daughter each tore into their own respective blue and pink birthday cakes. Once they’d had their cake and eaten it, too, and the paparazzi flashes subsided, I began the daunting task of cleaning up my frosting-smeared son. And as I stood him up in front of me to wipe his face, he flashed me his mischievous, cocked-eyebrow grin, and said “Did it.”

“We sure did, Buddy.”

.

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If not, I apologize. Was it something I did?

41 comments

    • John Pseudonymous

      Thanks, man! That means a lot coming from you. It’s definitely one of my favorites. Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well, but glad I could give you a charge. I’m feeling a new ad campaign coming on…

      Tough cold? 4 out of 5 Loyal Readers prefer Twinfamy over NyQuil.

  1. Daddy's in Charge?

    Few people can string together words as well as you. I loved this. I can see marketing teams up and down Madison Avenue trying to figure out how to capitalize on this phrase. Nike seems like a logical destination. What do you mean “Just Do It?” “I Did It”

    • John Pseudonymous

      Wow, I think that may have just made my day. Thanks, John!

      I can see that, too. Maybe I should trademark it and sell it for kajillions of dollars.

      It’s such a simple idea, but I’m not kidding when I say it’s been empowering to say it, even for the small victories. My son’s so money, and I don’t think he even knows it.

    • John Pseudonymous

      Thanks so much, Brad! So thrilled you feel that way, and thanks for sharing on the Twitter.

      I’m with you. There’s way more awesome out there than I ever imagined there was when I first entered this dimension, your own work included.

  2. Diaper Dads

    That was awesome. I especially like the part about your step-dad-in-law doing the fist pump. Sometimes I get bummed out because we don’t have ANY family close to us and my sons are missing out on a lot of that extended family time.

    Great post. Once again, you are raising the bar, my friend.

  3. EduDad

    I’m having difficulty coming up with a poignant comment as I quickly chug some coffee and type like hell before the kids get in from recess. In short, I liked it. I liked how you took something cute and slowly turned the post into into a piece about accomplishment and the value of family.

    I also love how I know every dad in the comment list. We’ve developed a hell of a community here. That is something very special. I’m happy to be part of this team of awesome dads with awesome blogs.

    I’ll be back.

    • John Pseudonymous

      Ah, I know the oh-crap-the-kids-are-about-to-come-back-in shuffle all too well.

      Thanks! Although it started as something cute and funny my son said, it’s really become our mantra as a family, and honestly, it’s just a blast to say when you finish something. I urge everyone to try it.

      I noticed the same thing you did about our Dad Gang all commenting here and it made me smile. I think we need to stop avoiding the inevitable and decide on an official name, hashtag, and gestural symbol to throw up at rival dad gangs.

    • John Pseudonymous

      Still pretty awesome, though. I love it when kids say adult expressions–cracks me up.

      An aside–consider incorporating the term “dudeletism” into your blog as a name for his expressions.

  4. Howard Sams

    Having acquired my own scratchy throat to go with the kid’s and being Sleepy and Grumpy while playing Doc, I didn’t begin reading this post in the best commenting frame of mind. A few graphs in, I had cracked only a “Whatever” (that and a “3 a.m.? HAYYYULLL, naw!”)

    By the end, I was smiling and thinking, “That’s pretty ——- cool.” Your father-in-law. The wonderful things you’ve accomplished over the last year. That such a simple declaration of achievement swept the family nation in such a spirit.

    Good stuff.

    • John Pseudonymous

      Wow, seems like a lot of my Loyal Readers out there are under the weather. Try not to get too close to each other while you read the blog and make sure to wash your hands after you post a comment. There’s no telling who’s been here before you, or what ailments from which they are suffering.

      Hope you an the family feel better soon, man! We just battled through that same situation at home, and it really makes you appreciate being healthy.

      Thanks so much for the kind words of encouragement. It’s been a nuts year, but we “did it.”

  5. Barmy Rootstock

    I’m with DKL — it’s a new favorite. And you’ve got a lot of good ones!

    Perfect read to snap me out of the mid-day sleeps at work and get me looking forward to being Daddy again in a few hours.

    Awesome…thanks.

  6. whatimeant2say

    I’m feeling a little out of my league here. I guess Chunky Mama and I will have to speak for the female gender on this post. Well, she kind of said what I would have said if she hadn’t gotten here first. I guess I’ll have to think of something else…
    Hmm…
    Ah ha!
    YOU DID IT!
    Great post!

  7. Deborah the Closet Monster

    When I first started reading this, I thought of Li’l D proclaiming last week, “I did it! I took a nap!” (He hadn’t. He just really wanted the post-nap popsicle I’d promised. Bad idea!)

    Now, though? I end with an “aaaaw.”

    • John Pseudonymous

      Thanks Deb! I hope Li’l D was a good boy and took that nap so he could earn that popsicle. It’s important to learn that in life, there are no free popsicles. And if they are, it’s probably a crappy brand that tastes like syrup and isn’t worth eating.

      This is important stuff to learn. And yes, it will be on the final exam.

  8. jetts31

    Did it. I like that. Sounds so much better than mine, “Suck it losers!”. Plus I can say it church and not have anyone look at me ;)

    Congrats on your year my friend.

    • John Pseudonymous

      Yeah, “Did it” rolls off the tongue a little easier and is definitely church-friendly. However, I’ve been known to use your catch phrase as well. I’m sure soon enough my kids’ll hear me…

      Figuring out how to open a baby-proofed drawer…”Suck it, losers!”

      Standing on a chair to reach the cookie jar… “Suck it, losers!”

      Throwing car keys in the toilet… “Suck it, losers!”

  9. It's A Dome Life

    Adorable. My family has had a few catch phrases developed by our toddler. As the old ones fade new ones arrived. What a terrific depiction of family life. Made me laugh and cry a little.

  10. hazeydazeblog

    Only just joined the blogging community, and we too have “one of each” along with a trial run that is 22months older! Our littlest Mr is magic at catch phrases and we too find ourselves along for the ride (extended family included), his current long standing catch phrase being “Da-daaa” in place of “Ta-Da”, he often enters a room Kramer-like with a “Da-daa” and jazz-hands to finish…it never fails to raise a smile…and I’ve been known to finish the washing up and ironing in similar fashion!

    Really enjoying your posts, I hope once I find my rhythm blogging that I too will write entertaining passages about my kids antics.

    Thanks

  11. Pingback: The Poop Hits the Fan: Parenting Bloggers’ Top Tips (For Way More Than Writing About Parenting) | The Daily Post

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