Archive for the ‘ Storytelling ’ Category

Quality Family Time For My Kid Is… Going To Whole Foods?

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

Mommy and I do our best to make sure that the little time we have together as a family is as quality time as possible.

We recognize that even the exact events that are intended to be exciting family adventures can end up taking away from quality time instead of enhancing it.

Knowing that we’ve got a fun road trip to Louisville coming up in just two weeks, we’re trying to make sure that this weekend and next are relatively chill.

It could be easy to assume that the low key events that take place on weekends like this would be somehwhat not that exciting for you.

But I can’t be too sure…

On Monday at your school, I saw on the wall a giant list entitled “What Do We Do With Our Families?”

As usual, you had perhaps the most seemingly random answer of all for the list:

“I go to Whole Foods and go to the pool with Daddy and Mommy!”

The pool part makes sense… but Whole Foods?

I thought it might truly just be nothing more than a random answer, but this reference to Whole Foods came up on again on Friday.

Mrs. Tonya, your school’s director, was telling me how you, the assistant director, and some of your friends were sitting at a table, pretending to be riding in a car.

When Ms. Lisa, the assistant director, asked where everyone wanted to go, the answers immediately starting coming in from your friends: to the playground, to the zoo, to play with toys, etc.

Then came your answer:

“Let’s go to Whole Foods!”

I imagine it was one of those moments where it was as if music was playing, then suddendly, the DJ stopped the vinyl record and everyone froze what their were doing, in an instant state of confusion.

Lesson learned.

Even if it seems to me like certain family activities would not be fun for you, like buying groceries with Mommy and Daddy at Whole Foods, there’s still a decent chance you may identify that event as the most exciting one there is.





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My Kid Is The Proud Line Leader, 24/7

Friday, September 27th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

In the culture of nearly 3 year-olds, I’m assuming that the “line leader” status is pretty much king.

Mommy and I have been noticing that you have been using the term quite frequently as you play with your cars:

“I’m the line leader, I gotta go before you,” I’ll hear you say in a falsetto voice, portraying whichever Hot Wheels car is that is indeed the appointed line leader.

What’s really funny is that you have now begun daily announcing yourself as the line leader… each morning when it’s just you and me as we’re leaving the house for school.

It first happened one day last week as I was sitting down on the carpet, putting on my shoes. You stood up and calm-assertively darted to the front door:

“I’m the line leader.”

At that exact moment, I was preoccupied with thoughts of gathering together my lunch and your snacks for the car.

But I soon realized that I had to take you quite seriously on your claim.

So I just rolled with it.

Though I’ve always been very particular and strict about not letting you anywhere near a street or parking lot without me holding on to you, I realized I need to start showing you I trust you with some boundaries.

Our deal now is that you get to lead us to the 2nd sidewalk square from our front door while I lock up. Granted, I never take my eyes off you while I’m doing it: I’m in reaching distance of you.

Sure, it’s just a matter of a few feet each morning, but you do indeed get to be the line leader.

The current theme/new cool word in your life right now is very clear to me. So I’m trying to make it more relevant for my own life too.

Yesterday morning on the misty, Seattle-like drive to school, you asked me why I stopped to let the 18 wheeler turn in front of me.

My reply: “Because… he’s the line leader.”

I figured you could follow that logic.





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Lesson From My Kid: When In Doubt or Danger, Make Stuff Up

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

Now realizing that you have an understanding of what Angry Birds are and because I’m finding myself very entertained these days by your random answers, I asked you a loaded question:

Are Angry Birds mean?

Your response:

“They were mean, but Lightning McQueen said, ‘It’s okay!’ And Mater said that too…”.

When you quoted Lightning McQueen, it was in falsetto; which is always great.

Not only do you make up answers to weird questions I ask you, but here lately you have begun a hobby of making up words.

This past weekend, your great-uncle Al, who you call “Uncle Owl,” gave you a 5 pack of Hot Wheels cars.

Needless to say, you loved your gift.

Later, as he was leaving, you ran up to him and announced:

“Thanks for the Poagleys!”

I’m assuming “Poagleys” is a proper noun? Maybe it’s “poaglies” instead…

But after all, you’re the one who made up the word.

Another way you use made-up words is to censor yourself, to avoid getting in trouble:

“I don’t like… booshkahs… right now! No way, Daddy!”

What you really want to say is, “I don’t like you right now!”

Instead, in that moment, “booshkahs,” keeps you clean. It works; though I totally know what you’re doing.

It reminds me of the word “smurf.” It can be used as a verb, a noun, an adjective… pretty much any part of speech.

I wish I could just make up stuff when I either didn’t know what to say or knew what I wanted to say but knew better.

Well, I guess I could… but somehow in the adult world I have to participate in, I think that would just confuse people too much and ultimately proof ineffective.

As for you, you’re nearly 3 years old. At least you’ve got a good excuse.





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Boys Don’t Cry… To Get What They Want From Daddy

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

I mentioned yesterday how logic is beginning to play a more important role in your life. This doesn’t just apply to how you play with your toys.

It also has to do with learning which strategies work to get what you want from me.

Whether it’s a certain snack, or toy, or route home from school, you are learning that shouting and crying no longer work on me.

I have learned that you understand me when I tell you there’s a better (and easier) way to get what you want.

There’s no getting away with pretending you don’t speak the language. You totally understand what I’m saying now. And if you didn’t, you would make it clear to me.

Yesterday on the way home, you screamed, “Bridge! I want to go over the bridge! Turn right! Bridge.

I spelled it out for you:

“Jack, if you want something from Daddy, you’ll need to ask please first, and not be crying when you ask for it. You’ll need to stop crying right now before it’s too late for me to cross the bridge. Otherwise, I’m going to turn left because it’s the quicker way home.”

You only hesitated for a second, as you realized your way wasn’t going to get you the results you were hoping for.

Like magic, the crying stopped and you asked please. We crossed the bridge, both literally and metaphorically.

(It’s funny how it’s sort of hard to use the word “please” when you’re screaming at someone, anyway.)

You knew from past experiences (and experiments) with me that when I say I’m going to do something, or not do it, I’m holding true to my word.

Had you not stopped crying, and not asked please, I wouldn’t have driven home the way you wanted. Perhaps that would have meant you would have cried and been upset the whole hour drive home.

Lucky for both of us, you learned the importance of how Daddy operates. With Daddy, there’s always a formula.

Get what you want by following the formula.

I’m about as stubborn as a computer, which doesn’t cave based on emotional responses. And I imagine, you will learn to become just as stubborn as I am, like that.





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Warning: Do Not Feed The Goats Your Jogging Stroller

Monday, August 26th, 2013

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

Though you’ve pretty much memorized the entire layout of the Nashville Zoo since we bought our family season pass several months ago, it wasn’t until yesterday that we actually bothered to check out the petting zoo area.

I was really surprised when you wanted me to unstrap you from the jogging stroller and even more surprised when you actually wanted to pet the goats with the brushes the zoo provides.

It’s just that I figured you’d probably be a little freaked out by the goats, the way you are fascinated by dogs from afar, then shy away once you actually get close to one.

But no, you totally petted the goats and they were totally cool with you doing so.

The only problem was, the goats were a little too friendly. They really made themselves at home.

Actually, it’s their home, so…

I wasn’t too surprised when we got back to our jogging stroller to learn that one of the goats had finished off your Clif Kid Zbar snack.

He was aiming to get your water bottle but you stood your ground.

However, that didn’t stop another one of the goats from licking off the spilled water on the stroller, leading him to chewing and tasting the stroller itself.

Then he ate a Starbucks napkin you had been using as well.

Lucky for us, we only paid about 20 bucks for that jogging stroller off of Craig’s List. And amazingly, even after the goat taste-tested it yesterday, I didn’t even see any teeth marks or rips in the fabric.

So perhaps you have mixed feelings about the goats:

The good news is, they’re very friendly.

The bad news is, they’re very friendly.

Between the hungry goats and the mutant giraffe man we met yesterday at the zoo, I’d say we had some serious father-son bonding time.





P.S. To see more pictures of our father/son visit to the Nashville Zoo today, go to The Dadabase Facebook page and find the photo folder called “The Mutant Giraffe And The Hungry Goat.”




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