Archive for the ‘ Spirituality ’ Category

I, Too, Was Once An Angry Zombie Dad

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

20 months.

During the first 15 months of my son’s life, I was essentially in survival mode.

No matter how positively I narrated this thing, I felt like a souvenir mug that had fallen on the floor, shattered, and then was superglued back together. Everyday.

I was never really one of those dads who went around saying, “I love being a dad! It’s tough, but when you come home at the end of the day and see that ‘little you’ looking up at you with those big eyes, it makes it all worth it.”

Yeah, that was never something I said nor thought. (Especially because my son is not a mini-me.)

Ah, but then my son turned the magical age of 15 months old. My life instantly got better!

Since then, I’ve been getting a better understanding now of why people enjoy being a parent; not just simply learning to deal with their new, demanding responsibilities.

Everyone has their own struggles and “default sins.” One of mine is greed. Not really with material possessions, but with my time.

If you’re familiar with the popular book, The Five Love Languages, then it’s important to note that “quality time” is probably my main love language.

When you become a parent and begin caring for an infant, the concept of quality time basically ceases to exist.

I was so disgruntled by the fact that my wife and I had to sacrifice meaningful conversations that didn’t revolve around our son, as well as, just even getting to hang out with each other on the couch and watch a movie without hearing that annoying “baby buzzer” going off.

Despite being a very outgoing guy, I’d say I’m just as much an introvert as I am an extrovert. I require a decent amount of solitude to function properly, where my deep and random thoughts can be born. So yeah, that pretty much went out the window too when my wonderful son arrived.

But once we were brave enough to incorporate “the cry it out method for our son and he instantly started sleeping through the night, we began getting our lives back.

When my son turned 15 months old, he started making me feel validated as a parent. It was like on Lost, realizing that pressing the button in the hatch every 108 minutes actually mattered and did good.

I finally began seeing a connection between my input as a parent and his output as a child. Man, I needed that.

My zombie days are over. I paid my dues. I have earned the right to have a magnificent son who daily plays “Props” on Whose Line Is It Anyway? with me.

I get to watch him do weird stuff like put a plastic rabbit on top of a toy car as if it’s normal.

And he depends on me to fix his hair in the morning and scare him with a Spiderman mask during playtime.

Oh, and have I mentioned that he loves learning how to “go pee-pee” by watching me? I’m not sure if I’ve written about that before, but don’t worry, there’s plenty more “watching Dada pee-pee” material coming up soon.

But hey, I’d rather being an oversharenting parent than an angry zombie dad.

Grrrrrr! Sorry, just had a flashback…

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Could Your Parenting Prevent An Antichrist From Existing?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

19 months.

In his New York Times bestseller, Eating The Dinosuar, Chuck Klosterman proposes a theory I’ve subconsciously thought about for a good number of years now:

“Let’s say you built a time machine to kill ‘Baby Hitler’ in 1889. Committing that murder would mean the Holocaust never happened. And that would mean you’d have no motive for going back in time in the first place, because the tyrannical Adolf Hitler, the one you despise, would not exist.”

Not only would you be killing a yet still innocent baby, who’s to say that an even worse, unstoppable antichrist wouldn’t have risen up during that same time and took his place? Like Super Shredder in the 2nd Ninja Turtles movie.

But forget about killing Hitler as an infant. Instead, as a friend on Facebook recommended, why not kidnap “Baby Hitler” and then raise him as your own, therefore causing him to never become the demonic monster we know him as today?

I’m not endorsing kidnapping infants here, but my friend did get me thinking:

Could pretty much any of us have prevented Hitler from becoming Hitler?

Sure, none of us parents are perfect. But I have to assume that if I raised a future Hitler, with my structured yet loving parenting style, things would have turned out a lot different.

This is an ultimate question of nature versus nature.

But am I wrong? As parents, does our influence not have enough power to raise up a child to be good?

And by “good” I mean “not Hitler.”

I realize this Dadabase post is so weird and abstract and potentially unrelatable (and offensive?) that it may easily never show up in the Most Read Posts or Most Recent Comments section at the top right side of this page.

Just the same, if there are any other parents out there willing to engage me in this hypothetical question, I would love to hear your take on it:

If you raised “Baby Hitler” (or any potential antichrist or at least a serial killer, for that matter) from infancy, would they turn out as a normal human being instead? Would your positive influence on an innocent child be able to prevent the outcome had the actual parent raised the child?

Okay, go…

 

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Receiving The Communion of Elmo The Muppet

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

A year and a half.

“Here you go, Jack. You can eat Elmo’s face,” my wife said as she handed our son some Organic Crunchin’ Crackers in the back seat.

As I drove us back home from church I thought about how unquestionably absurd it is that kids eat their favorite cartoon characters.

I thought about how when I was a kid, I enjoyed Flintstones vitamins, Mickey Mouse popsicles, and Pac-Man pasta in a can.

Kids deliberately choose to eat the characters they love.

Just walk down the cereal aisle at your favorite grocery store and notice how many choices are largely based on some kind of an edible friend.

Sure, it’s simply an effective marketing strategy. But more so is the point that kids don’t think it’s weird to eat Elmo’s face.

Jack gets so upset if he drops his Elmo doll on the drive to daycare. Elmo is his friend. But would Elmo really want Jack to chew on his eyeballs, swallow him, and then digest him?

Sounds pretty morbid when I put it that way.

But what’s really ironic about that drive back from church is that my wife and I had just taken communion; symbolically eating the flesh (crackers) and blood (grape juice) of Christ.

I thought about how for any outsider of Christianity, that concept must sound beyond obscure. It must sound cannibalistic, even.

Taking communion is act done in remembrance of Christ. Do you see the parallel that I realized on the car ride a few Sundays ago?

Jack eats Elmo in remembrance of Elmo’s unconditional friendship and kindness. He takes Elmo with him wherever he goes.

Granted, Elmo didn’t die on a cross for the sins of the world for those who believe in him.

But I guess, if nothing else, what I learned from communion, followed by an Elmo cracker munching session in the car ride home is this:

We consume what, and who, we love.

Whether you’re a toddler and you idolize Elmo the baby Muppet, or you’re 31 and worship Jesus Christ.

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The Real Threat To The Sanctity Of Marriage

Friday, May 11th, 2012

17 months.

I don’t feel threatened by how the government defines marriage because I firmly believe in the importance of separating church and state.

Do certain conservative believers in the Christian god have exclusiveness over the right to marriage, as recognized by the American government?

If so, then it’s time to start converting any non-Christian couples before they wed.

There is marriage as recognized by the nation I am a citizen of; then there is marriage as recognized by the particular religious faith I belong to.

Two separate things… and the first one is not something I’m too concerned with.

Though it makes me feel good that my wife took my last name.

It’s actually pretty funny to me when the same people who complain about the Ten Commandments not being displayed in government buildings can not even name all ten of the commandments.

And I always think it’s ridiculous when I hear that “they took prayer out of schools.” No. No they didn’t.

(I’m assuming “they” is referring to Communists and this is the year 1985?)

As the dad of a toddler and the husband of a Christian woman, I pray while holding them both each morning before we go our separate ways for the day. When my son Jack goes to his daycare, I don’t expect them to have prayer for him there.

If I want to teach my son to pray or to learn the Ten Commandments, then it’s my responsibility as his dad to teach him in my home.

I laughed pretty hard recently when I heard a guy complaining about the Presidential support of “legalizing gay marriage,” saying that it threatens the sanctity of marriage and the future of America.

The most obvious reason his viewpoint was invalid is because he unashamedly admits to watching pornography regularly and says there’s nothing wrong with flirting with other women in bars because at the end of the night he’s not going home with them, he’s going home to his wife.

Here’s what I know:

I’m protecting the sanctity of my marriage by loving my wife the best way I know how. That includes not coveting other women, keeping strong and open communication with my wife, spending quality time with her, and being the best dad I can be to our son. Oh, and prayer, too.

But not the kind endorsed by the government… because, you know, the government took away prayer from us.

Here’s the video I stole from a friend on Facebook that inspired this article. Now handing the mic to Julie Borowski:

 

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The Bookworm In My Back Seat

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

17 months.

Jack loves reading. In other words, he loves looking at the pages of a book for the purpose of identifying the animals so that he can make their appropriate sounds.

The book he is currently obsessed over is The Beginner’s Bible; a children’s cartoon version of the stories in the Bible. Why does he insist of reading it all the way to daycare and back everyday? Because he’s just that spiritual of a toddler? Or…

To practice his animal sounds.

A couple of minutes into the car ride each day, I hear “Sssssss…”. That means Jack sees a picture of Satan, as a serpent, tempting Adam and Eve with the forbidden fruit.

Five minutes later, it’s “Bzzzzzz…”. Yeah, that’s the Seven Plagues on Egypt; the gnats and lice to be exact.

I’ll hear various spurts of “Pffffttt…”. That would be Jack’s very impressive impression of what a camel sounds like: There are plenty of random pictures of men riding camels throughout the book.

Eventually I hear “bah-bah,” Jack’s version of a donkey, which means Jesus is making his triumphal entry into Jerusalem… on a donkey, of course.

And then for the rest of the book, there aren’t so many animals anymore; mainly just bearded men in robes talking to each other.

Each time Jack gets to this point, he just starts laughing.

It took me a solid week to figure out what was so funny. I’m pretty sure it’s because Jack has never seen a man in real life with a big bushy beard.

So he’s laughing at the brown sheep’s butts on men’s faces. Or, beards, as we recognize them in the non-cartoon world.

Yes, my toddler son leads his own Bible study twice a day in the back seat of my car. Technically.

Welcome to Back Seat Baptist Church.

 

 

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