Archive for the ‘ Growing Up ’ Category

Little Sleep + Plastic Sports Equipment = Caveman Mode

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

2 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

Here at the end of the 2nd full day of vacation with Mommy’s side of the family here in Sacramento, I’ve officially realized the way it’s going to be:

You’re totally going to get away with running around the whole week wearing nothing but a diaper.

It’s not intentional, of course.

Mommy purposely packed your cutest outfits for this trip. And you do wear them, for about the first two hours of the day.

Then it’s warm enough to play in the little wading pool in the backyard; as you step in the squishy black mud as you search for new toys to throw in your pool.

I laughed to myself yesterday after dinner. There I was, playfully spanking you with an over-sized, plastic, hollow baseball bat, as you attempted to hit me with the accompanying plastic baseball while swinging a plastic golf club at me.

You were in total caveman mode. And I was encouraging it…

Even after our impromptu game, you continued walking around like a gorilla, grunting your way across the background as family members tried to speak to you in English.

It wasn’t the first time I saw you this way. I thought back to Father’s Day when you gave me my unofficial gift

Now that you have finally caught up on most of your missed sleep due to the early flight out here, the time change, and all the excitement of your cousins making you into a pet version of Animal from the Muppets, I don’t expect you to go full caveman again this week.

Enjoy the “no shirt, no shoes, no pants, no problem” policy while you can, though. We are on vacation, remember.





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The More You Accept My No, The More I Say Yes

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

2 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

When we pull into our neighborhood each afternoon, there are two ways to drive to our house: Turn right and get there quicker, or continue going straight for the slightly longer scenic route that circles around.

Of course, every day you say, “Go straight! Go straight!”

Then I respond with, “Go straight, what?

(“Please” is the implied answer, obviously.)

Upon request, I always go straight to appease you. But Tuesday, you were distracted by the commercial airplane flying right over us (we basically live in the landing path of the Nashville airport) so I just turned right to save time.

“No, Daddy! NO! Go straight! Straight, Daddy!” you protested.

But I had already committed to my right turn and we had already been in the car nearly an hour by that point. I didn’t turn back around and “go straight.”

Therefore, you began crying real tears, so emotionally caught up that you could barely hear through my remedy as we sat in the parked car in front of our house:

“Jack, just calm down a little bit and we’ll go inside and see Mommy. I didn’t go straight today but it’s okay. I can’t always give you exactly what you want, when you want it. I need you to be okay with that. All you have to do right now is calm down a little bit and I’ll get you out of your seat.”

Basically, you had to stay in a 4 minute impromptu “strapped in the car seat” time-out session with me as I listened to classic 1984 Bruce Springsteen, but not your favorite song of his, “Dancing In The Dark.”

It’s similar to the assigned seats you’ve given Mommy and I on the couch. If I sit on the wrong end of the couch, you often get so upset that the end result is me turning off the laptop; meaning you can’t finish watching monster trucks clip on YouTube.

My lesson is typically and simply this: Just chill out and you’ll get what you want from me, most of the time.

But I have to know you’re okay with letting the answer be “no” sometimes, because the more you’re okay with “no,” the more likely I am to say “yes” the next time.

Needless to say, the day after your “Daddy, go straight!” meltdown/time-out in the car situation, you immediately said, “Daddy, you go straight? Please?” as soon as we turned into our neighborhood. Nice planning and prevention on your part, Son.

You got your way. Maybe my plan is slowly working.




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2 Going On 72… To Infinity And Beyond!

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

2 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

Since I took you to Shipwrecked, your favorite indoor playhouse in the Nashville area, for the past two weeks you kept asking me, “I go back to Shipwrecked? I drive Buzz?”

So yes, you finally got your wish yesterday. You got to drive Buzz. And boy did you enjoy it… I think…

Last time, I explained how you drove the Lightning McQueen car like a crotchety old man. Driving Buzz was the same way for you.

Clearly you were just there for business, not pleasure.

Your objective was to drive the Buzz Lightyear car from one side of the indoor playground to other, without any other kids trying to take it away from you.

Based on the look on your face in the picture above, I’d say you did a pretty good job of scaring them off. I’m sure you made it clear you weren’t there to make friends… but just to drive Buzz.

Fortunately, after you accomplished your mission, you starting interacting with the other kids there. You abandoned Buzz for the ball pit, the train table, the book nook, and the building blocks.

You didn’t even mind that other kids drove Buzz during the rest of our 2 and a half hour session.

I guess we could say you are learning to share, despite being an only child right now.

Well, this is a start, at least.






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My Toddler’s 1st 5 K… He Just Felt Like Running!

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

2 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

While learning to walk really is a big deal, I feel like I never hear of any parents talking about the first time their kid runs.

I’m not referring to walking fast. I’m not talking about jogging a few steps before falling down. Instead, I mean running.

Today was the first time where your updated motor skills had the opportunity to be tested on an open course. Mommy and I took you to a huge park with virtually no physically boundaries.

You just got to wander wherever you wanted to today; you’re so not used to that. Granted, we were about 15 feet behind and/or in front of you the whole time.

Mommy and I joked that you ran your first 5 K today. Once you started running, and realized you could do it without falling and hearing us trying to stop you, you didn’t want to stop- so you didn’t.

Just like Forrest Gump.

I just didn’t know a 2 year-old could run for 20 minutes straight. It’s like you were trying to burn off all the calories from your goldfish crackers for the past week. If so, you were successful.

As one would predict, you were ready for bed early tonight. That worked out pretty conveniently since yesterday was Daylight Savings Time so technically I had to put you to bed an hour early.

You pretty much snubbed the playground for the opportunity to run the whole time. As much as you like dogs, you weren’t that fascinated by any of them you saw today. You were only semi-impressed by seeing kites for the first time.

Running made you very happy today. This seems like the perfect cure for your typical Sunday afternoon antsy-ness. Just let you run in a park until you heart is content.

Honestly, I’m nearly more excited about you running for the first time than when you learned to walk.

Walking is so last year anyway.





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I Want To Do It… I Need Help…

Monday, February 25th, 2013

2 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Today I took a really late lunch from work so I could drive you to the nearby park, just down the street from your daycare and from where my office is.

It was 2:40 and you had just woken up from your nap, so I’m pretty sure you thought you might still be dreaming since I don’t regularly get the opportunity to see you during the workday.

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, you set your sights on your goal… the big boy slide.

The only way to get to that 7 foot tall slide was to go up the climbing wall.

I placed my hands around your waist, allowing you to reach for the grips and pull yourself up.

You instantly turned around to me and resisted: “I want to do it.”

I pulled my hands away where you could no longer feel them but where they were close enough in case you fell.

About three seconds passed… “I need help.”

That situation happens several times a day now. Whether it’s opening a fruit snack or putting on your shoes, you have to attempt to do it yourself first, then you’ll ask me to do it.

These days I just need to remember to assume you want to do everything yourself. I suppose it’s pretty much a waste of time for me to even try to help you, because I know what will happen:

“I want to do it… I need help.”

This is the stage where you are realizing you can actually do some stuff yourself. You don’t actually need me for everything anymore.

It’s like each situation is a new pickle jar to be opened.

I am your OnStar, your tech support, and your extra muscles.





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