Archive for the ‘
Growing Up ’ Category
Monday, November 19th, 2012
2 years old.
Son, I have to break the news to you: You won’t be tall enough play in the NBA.
But while a career in professional basketball may not be in the cards for you, I know you’ll still have a lot of fun playing on your Little Tikes basketball goal you got last weekend for your 2nd birthday.
So here’s what we’re looking at: I think you’re going to be around 5′ 8″ or maybe 5′ 9″ by the time you’re done growing up.
We measured you on your 2nd birthday (several times just to be sure) and took several pictures to make it official.
When I see these pictures I laugh because the look on your face makes it seem like it’s your mugshot. A 2 year-old getting a mugshot; that’s funny.
Especially the one where you have dried spaghetti sauce on your face because I made you line up for the picture immediately after dinner, before I would let you play with your toys.
The theory is that, despite growth spurts and growth lags, proportionately on your 2nd birthday you’re half of your adult height.
It worked both for me and my sister, so I know it to be true in my own life.
On your 2nd birthday, you were about 34 inches tall. Doubling that means you will grow to near 5′ 8″.
So basically, you’ll be about as tall as me, which is about 5′ 9″. That sounds about right, because hardly anyone on either side of our family is over 5′ 11″. Mommy’s daddy was that height too.
You won’t be tall, nor will you be particularly short.
You’ll be as about tall as Ben Stiller and Robin Williams.
What’s funny is that your Mommy and I thought you were going to be like 6′ 3″ and 200 pounds. You were born big.
And up until recently, you were a big kid. People thought you were a year older than you were.
But by the time you reached your 2nd birthday, you started to become proportionally more like me: A smaller framed, yet averaged sized male.
During high school, you’ll probably wish you could be a little bit taller as some of your friends shoot up to over 6 feet tall. I remember feeling that way around 11th grade.
Eventually though, you’ll begin to appreciate your completely normal and average size.
I guess it’s pretty unusual knowing so early in your life how tall you’ll grow to be.
There’s really no wondering for you on this. Jack, you’re destined to be physically average sized. Just like me.
But I promise you: You are no average boy.
You are my son. I am pouring my into life into you. I will make sure you turn out to be no average kid.
I already know you’re destined to challenge the system, to be strong in your opinions, and to take pride in the things that make you different.
So with that being said, I don’t think you can be an average boy. Well, maybe in height, but that’s it.
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Monday, November 12th, 2012
For the first time ever, we had dinner together as a family, at the kitchen table, with no high chairs involved. Just my son’s booster seat.
Somehow his reaction to “eating at the table like a big boy” came across like he was a Southern rapper in a video shoot, showing off his newly acquired grandiose lifestyle.
I don’t know why he felt the need to put his foot on the table while he sipped on his pureed vegetable pouch; but he insisted, and we didn’t argue.
After all, this is the South. We can get away with quirky stuff like that simply by saying, “This is the South.”
That might also explain why our son asked for, and received, butter on his homemade whole wheat veggie pizza.
Part of the success of your child making it through an entire dinner, without a high chair, is knowing they actually ate dinner.
We have finally gotten to the point where he understands he must A) eat the same dinner as his parents, B) eat Cheerios and milk, or C) go to bed early.
This particular night he chose both veggie pizza with butter and Cheerios.
Our first family dinner at the kitchen table went much better than I thought it would:
No spills, no melt-downs, and most importantly, I actually got to finish my meal without any annoying interruptions.
I like this change. My son will be 2 years old in just a few days and his maturity is starting to show.
Perhaps he’s just simply eager to please his parents as the only child (so far?) but I could tell he really liked feeling a part of the family during our dinner.
My expectations were so low, rightfully. Fortunately, my son proved me wrong.
Maybe the secret is just adding butter. If so, it’s worth it. No more of me quickly eating dinner over the kitchen sink before I have to rush him upstairs for his bedtime.
At least that’s what I’m hoping for.
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Monday, November 5th, 2012
From what I remember about the Eighties, and maybe I’m making this up, but I feel like there was this plush parrot toy that immediately repeated whatever you just said. You didn’t even have to squeeze its wing to make it do it.
Well, that’s what my 23-month-old son currently reminds me of.
One night Jack had just gotten out of the bath and was stumbling around the bathroom, in desperate need of sleep.
“He’s like a drunk baby,” I commented to my wife.
“Drunk… baby,” Jack repeated.
What made it especially hilarious is that he said it so monotone and melancholy, like Ben Stein, or at best, a sad cartoon puppy.
Now I know I can’t say “drunk baby” out loud in front of him.
I also realize now that one of my wife’s catchphrases is, “That’s creepy.” Whether referring to a segment on the local news about a haunted ghost tour or just driving down the road and seeing vultures eating the remains of a possum, Jack recognizes the phrase as something he needs to include in his vocabulary.
There’s something funny about a toddler saying, “That’s creepy.”
He doesn’t know the word “scary” yet, but he knows “creepy.”
Last weekend while on vacation in California with my wife’s family, we had to keep reminding everyone that Jack would definitely repeat any new words he heard.
And he did.
Hopefully he’ll forget all about “the s-word” for a while.
While Jack can decently repeat any phrase he hears, that doesn’t necessarily mean he knows the meaning of the words he uses. I assume that eventually comes next.
As for now, he is having fun repeating the words he hears adults use. And to be honest, I’m having fun hearing him repeat all the random stuff I say throughout the course of a day.
For example, at this point could I probably teach him to say, “Beam me up, Daddy?”
Yes, and I shall.
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Saturday, November 3rd, 2012
That’s what I have been asking fellow parents at my son’s daycare.
The appropriate age is evidently around three years old from what people are telling me: My son will be 2 years-old in two weeks.
My wife and I were sort of planning on Jack’s Christmas gift this year being his first tricycle, but after learning he may be too young, or not tall enough to reach the peddles, we began looking at other options.
Then we arrived here in Sacramento for our vacation and I saw that my mother-in-law had bought Jack a Thomas the Train Tough Trike.
No, he’s not old enough for it nor is he tall enough to reach the peddles; he’s currently 34 inches tall.
But, that doesn’t seem to matter at all to him.
He’s put a lot of miles on his trike in the short amount of time we’ve been here. Part of our routine each morning is I walk next to him as he drives around the block.
Jack loves rolling down the driveway into the gutter curve in the sidewalk, as it creates a roller coaster type of effect.
“I go fast. Go fast. Daddy?”
That means I need to run to the end of the driveway ahead of him to catch him. I know when I was his age, I wouldn’t have had the bravery to be such an Evel Knievel.
What’s funny is that because his feet can’t reach the pedals, he has to ride his trike Fred Flintstone style.
However, this is the first toy vehicle he’s ever been able to steer, so the fact he’s not using his Tough Trike to its full potential doesn’t matter at all to him.
One of my favorite parts about escorting him on his morning ride is that fact that Jack refuses (!) to even leave the front porch if his half dozen toys aren’t with him.
No, you don’t see his rubber eyeball from Halloween, or his toy trains, or cars, or plastic made-in-China animals in Jack’s hands.
That’s because they’re inside the secret compartment underneath his seat on the trike.
He treats his special take-along toys like magic fuel to make the thing work. No toys… no fuel.
About every 15 minutes, he’ll awkwardly shimmy off his trike, open up the seat, hold each one of his toys for a few seconds, then place them back inside and return on his journey.
I think he likes the security of knowing he hasn’t ran out of magic fuel.
Now as we wrap up our vacation week in California, we know we will have to leave Jack’s Tough Trike behind on the West Coast.
It would cost 20 bucks to ship it to Nashville, but only 2 dollars more just to buy a new one.
I have a feeling the 2nd option will come into fruition.
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Thursday, November 1st, 2012
It never made sense in the first place that our son would have blonde hair, coming from a lineage of Italian and even Mexican descent.
But we couldn’t have known any better. Jack is our first and only child, so far.
So when his hair began turning platinum blonde after a few months of being born, we figured his strange hair color was just as random as his blue eyes.
Sure, there were a few parents who nonchalantly tried to tell me that it’s actually quite common for a toddler’s blonde hair to go darker when they grow older.
I figured my son was the exception.
But look at his hair.
You can see the remaining platinum blonde amidst the now brown sprouting through. It’s morphing from blonde to champagne gold; eventually to become brown.
It’s like the opposite of an adult whose hair is growing gray.
Lesson learned: If you’re a first-time parent with a child whose hair is light blonde, nothing permanent is promised when it comes to hair color.
That’s just how a young child’s hair grows in.
Enjoy the novelty of it while you can. Chances are, eventually your child’s hair will turn some shade of brown.
Be surprised at the unlikelihood of your child having blonde hair.
Just know that at some point, whether it’s near the 2-year mark like with my son, or whether it’s 10 years, unless you or the other parent has blonde hair, your child probably will have darker hair.
I look at the darkest splotches of my son’s hair and now realize that that is what color his hair will actually be when it’s all said and done.
You are looking at a picture of a little boy will have dark brown hair, just like his dad.
Nothing lasts forever, like the cold November rain. And my son’s blonde hair.
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