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Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
2 years, 6 months.
For the past two weeks, while riding in the car with me to and from school, you had been asking for a black van.
I have no idea why. It’s not like you saw a cool black van or something.
So with Nonna and Papa (my parents) coming up for Memorial Day weekend, I figured I should let them know in case they could find one of my old childhood toys to suffice.
The plan worked, basically.
Papa found an old Tonka van of mine from circa-1985, but it was silver and red.
So he used a can of black spray paint and made it the right color.
Your “new” black van has snazzy red interior and has these cool “window walls.”
Yes, you were quite impressed.
As for me, however, I jokingly referred to your new toy as a “creeper van.”
It’s just that when I was young, I was taught to never go near big black vans with no windows in the very back… for safety reasons.
Similarly, though I have a nostalgic fascination of ice cream trucks, in reality, I have a distrust for the people who drive them… or big black vans with no windows in the very back.
I don’t want to be prejudiced towards anyone about anything, but if I said that I’m not leery of certain seemingly peculiar people in certain seemingly peculiar situations, then I would be lying.
Just a few days ago I told the story about how I myself creep out other parents when I do pull-ups at the playground on my lunch break; without you there with me.
However, I don’t feel judged by those parents. Actually, I totally get it. I just think it’s funny.
Does being a good parent make someone more judgmental, prejudice, and untrusting of others?
I can only speak for myself; and if I do, then that probably technically makes me prideful because I am assuming I am a good parent.
Somewhat interestingly, I admit I might come across as judgmental, prejudiced, and untrusting of others because of the fact that I see big black vans as “red flags.”
I call it being wisely protective. Others may see it as judgmental… but does that make them judgmental? I don’t know.
Clearly, I don’t have any answers. I’m just asking questions today.
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Friday, May 24th, 2013
2 years, 6 months.
I recently took you by my office on a Saturday morning while Mommy was buying groceries.
After all, it seems a little weird that though your daycare is just on the other side of the red light, you’ve never really gotten to see what it’s like inside that brown brick building where Daddy works.
Once you saw my chair and computer, you knew just what to do… except for that darn “Ctrl+Alt+Del” screen.
It wasn’t long before you realized you wouldn’t have the opportunity to watch any monster trucks on YouTube, so you got bored and wanted to watch me fill a Styrofoam cup with water in the break room.
Then, you were ready to go. So we left. (Granted, it was nice having my co-workers comment on you being a handsome little boy.)
And that’s my story about what it was like taking my 2 and a half year-old to work.
While that random Saturday morning may have seemed uneventful at the time, it wasn’t. It served as a model for you to follow in your playtime.
This week you scooted your new Thomas the Train trike down the hall into the living room and declared, “I go to work!”
You parked your “monster truck” (Thomas the Train trike) near the closet, then stood up, trying to figure out what pretending to work is supposed to look like.
“Jack, what do you do at work?” I asked.
Your response, with a clever smile:
“I play with kitty cats!” You ran over to your favorite plush cat doll and lifted it above your head like Link finding one of the fragments of the Triforce, then announced, “I found one!”
So from what I understand, your job is not only to play with kitties, but more importantly, finding them like Easter Eggs.
I don’t think you quite understand yet what Mommy and I do all day at work. For all I know, I figure you assume it’s like a daycare for adults.
Well, actually… maybe in some ways it is.
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Sunday, May 19th, 2013
2 years, 6 month.
Last night Mommy and I watched a total chick flick, What To Expect When You’re Expecting.
As far as the main takeaway for me, as a dad, the movie served as a visual reminder of what it’s like for the dad as the mom is giving birth.
In particular, I’m referring to the ridiculous and easily mockable theatrics that an empathetic and supportive father engages himself during labor:
“Hee-hee-hoo! Hee-hee-hoo! You’re doing great! I’m so proud of you! Hee-hee-hoo!”
Those words of encouragement are of course accompanied by the dad making constant, unflattering, John-Mayer-singing faces.
At least no one other than Mommy or the doctors saw my 12 hour goofball performance while Mommy was giving birth to you.
I know this has to sound petty, but when I think of Mommy and I having another baby (not necessarily any time soon, by the way) the first thing that enters my mind is, “Ah man, I have to be that dramatic character again.”
That’s one reason I wouldn’t mind Mommy getting the epidural right away if we have another baby.
Unlike the extremely pro-Business Of Being Born dad I was back in 2010, I’ve sort of went the other way on that one. I just want to be able to fast-forward through the whole labor process, as awkward and exhausting as it was for me, and I assume, Mommy.
While there’s this traditional concept of “there’s nothing like holding your own child for this first time,” it took months for me to feel that way. I’ve said multiple times that being a dad actually wasn’t something awesome for me until you were 15 months, because that’s the age you starting acknowledging my presence.
That was the age where I felt psychologically needed by you, not just physically.
That was the age where I stopped subconsciously thinking, “I have to do this,” and started thinking, “I want to do this.”
What I’m not sure of is whether it sounds selfish of me to say that out loud. Maybe I’m the only dad who feels this way, so I can’t speak for anyone other than myself.
If nothing else, the simple thought is this:
I feel awkward enough in life on a daily basis. I have a very unsuccessful high five record with other guys. I never know if there’s going to be a snap or a half-hug involved.
So the thought of going through the labor process again, not to mention, the first 15 months, again… well, I can handle it, but it is a little intimidating.
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Monday, May 13th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
You have officially learned to spit. That’s both a good and a dangerous thing.
It’s good because it’s an important part of brushing your teeth. It’s a dangerous thing because I have to trust that you’re not going to spit at an inappropriate time or place.
I guess I make it more alluring for you to want to spit because over the past couple of months, I have taken up the Indian folk remedy of “oil pulling.”
Yes, I know it sounds weird. But two or three times a week on the drive to school, I swish coconut oil around my mouth for 20 minutes (it helps serve as a natural mouthwash and preventative of headaches for me) and then at the Nippers Corner crossing, I spit the coconut oil out my car window.
I always feel bad for whoever’s in the car behind me, especially if it’s a woman. I’m sure they assume I just got sick.
Each morning as you and I are getting ready to leave the house, you always ask me, “You gonna put that stuff in yo’ mouth?”
Watching me do my oil pulling is normal to you by now. However, I don’t think you’re totally clear on when it’s okay to spit.
With that being said, this past weekend on Mother’s Day, when Mommy told you that you couldn’t have a 2nd granola bar, but instead that you’d have to eat more of the main lunch she prepared for you, you acted like you were about to spit at her.
After I put you in a time-out session providing me with enough time for finish my own lunch, I had you apologize to Mommy:
“I sorry, Mommy.”
You saw how important it was for you to apologize, so then about 10 minutes later, you apologized to Mommy again.
Within the hour, you had begun using “I sorry, Mommy” as a new way to ask for things.
“I play with Play-Doh? I sorry, Mommy.”
I guess it’s an interesting spin on the saying, “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.”
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Thursday, May 9th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
If weather permits, Mommy and I are taking you to the zoo this weekend.
However, I think you’ve made some assumptions about what will be on exhibit there.
As I walked you into school this morning, you couldn’t hold in the excitement:
“We see dinosaurs at the zoo!”
It was at that moment this occurred to me: You have no idea that dinosaurs haven’t existed on this Earth in a very long time.
Really though, why would you not think dinosaurs are still around?
After all, I just bought you a plastic T-Rex to wrestle your monster trucks. Therefore, you have assumed that dinosaurs and monster trucks are age-old rivals.
It doesn’t help that over the weekend you watched an episode of Transformers: Rescue Bots, as well as the 1981 animated Spider-Man series, where the plot involved dinosaurs coming to life in modern day, causing chaos and therefore invoking the help of the good guys to save everyone.
When your teacher, Ms. Lauren, asked you what else besides dinosaurs you are excited to see at the zoo this weekend, you quickly responded: “Trucks. Fire trucks.”
Son, this may be a very disappointing visit to the zoo. Hopefully, I can pass off the iguanas as “baby dinosaurs.”
It’s just that I feel compelled to protect your belief in dinosaurs. I kind of don’t want you to find out the truth about them.
So that’s what will happen. I will encourage and build up your version of reality where dinosaurs are still alive in the world. Because honestly, that sounds like a pretty cool version of reality. Who am I to mess that up for you right now?
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