Posts Tagged ‘ baby blog ’

The Gospel According to Jack

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Nine months.

If I wasn’t a devout Christian, what would I believe in instead; especially after becoming a dad? I try to imagine…

I don’t have enough faith to believe in nothing at all, so I would probably think that my life as I know it is just a figment of some big computer program in which I play a small role; unaware of how insignificant I really am; basically, I’m getting the idea from the movie The Matrix. Or maybe I would believe my life is simply a dream inside of a dream inside of a dream, like in the movie Inception.

Either way, it’s clear to see that if I didn’t take the words of Jesus Christ literally, along with all 66 books of The Bible, that I still would be led to believe that I am part of someone else’s plan; that there is some all-powerful force behind it all and for some reason I was chosen to play a part in it.

Something I hear other parents say a lot, or at least grandparents, is that when they look at a young baby, they see an innocent angelic being. I’m not knocking that concept, because I totally get it. But for me, what I see more of when I think deeply about my son Jack, is a human currently incapable of understanding right from wrong, but who nonetheless needs no instruction on how to make the most destructive decision possible.

Jack naturally would choose to crawl down the stairs if I wasn’t there to stop him. He would stick my car keys into the electrical outlets if I wasn’t already 23 steps ahead of him. He would never sleep, never get his diaper changed, and never leave the presence of his parents- using his crying power to try to sway his parents’ interception.

So the fact that Jack needs no help in being prone to make the wrong decision would definitely say something to me if I had no religious beliefs. It would clearly show me that despite man wanting to be good, on his own, he is prone to do the opposite.

That would cause me to realize that as a human, I am in need of some kind of intervention or path to lead me to be reconciled of my flawed nature- which is wired with good intentions but ultimately bugged with morality viruses.

But I wouldn’t be okay with the belief that there is simply some “higher power” who would usher me into a heavenly afterlife just because I was a “good enough” person. Because what exactly would be the standard of “good?”

What would make the most sense to me at this point is that there must be a God who not only created this whole universe but who also Himself would be willing to intervene in my morally imperfect state, helping restore flawed mankind to the state of Paradise that this world once was.

That way of thinking would ultimately cause me to be curious enough to pick up a free Bible in a hotel room somewhere and start reading The Old Testament, taking notice of the reoccurring theme of a perfect man who would eventually show up to willingly take on imperfection and sacrifice his life for all of mankind.

Then as I would move on to The New Testament, I would read about how God Himself came to Earth in the form of man; bringing to life the ancient predictions of The Old Testament.

I would ultimately become fascinated by this Jesus fellow, eventually believing that He was the answer to my state of moral depravity. I would recognize that no matter how hard I tried to be good enough on my own, I would ultimately fail and never be “good enough.”

Humbled of my pride and eager to embrace this mysterious yet somehow practical savior, I would become a solid believer in this man from Galilee.

Even if He wasn’t God, who He claimed to be, I would still be so enamored by a man who has managed to lead so many millions of people astray by his false teachings within the past 2000 years, and who could cause people who didn’t believe in Him to still at least say he was a good teacher, despite Him being dead wrong or even lying to people that He was God.

And that’s how ultimately, I would have become a follower of Christ, simply by observing the nature of my son. That is the gospel according to Jack.

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Like Teaching a 10 Month Old New Tricks

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Ten months.

My wife and I accidently taught our son Jack to do something weird this week. We taught him to “be a chicken.” Sort of.

For most of his life, my wife Jill has done this bit routine with Jack where she rushes up to him, acting like a mutant chicken. His typical response has always been to start hysterically laughing when she does.

But this past Wednesday night when Jill pretended to be a chicken, Jack decided he wanted to try to be a chicken too. He started opening his mouth really wide, hoping the “bahk, bahk-bahk-bahk” sound would come out. But it didn’t. So he just simply kept opening his mouth and closing it in the hopes that a chicken sound would magically be there.

To make this situation more hilarious, Jack has also been doing this new move where he smiles real big and shakes his head “no” as if to say, “I can’t believe these crazy people in front of me…”. It somehow remains me of Morgan Freeman playing the character of God in the movie Bruce Almighty.

Well, for the past couple of days now he has been combining his “no” move with his attempt at being a chicken. We should be teaching him things like how to pick up Cheerios with his index finger and thumb. Instead, our son can act like a silent chicken who is disapproving, yet very happy about it.

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He’s a Skater Boy, Said “See You Later, Boy!”

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Nine months.

Jack has now graduated the crawling stage. While it may be simply natural to assume that walking is the next phase of mobility, Jack has decided to implement an exciting new transition for himself: skating.

Whether it’s an empty water bottle, a book, or a Jiffy cornbread box, Jack gets in his crawling position and places his right hand on the random item of choice. He uses his legs to push his body forward and his left hand for both steering and to skate with, using the object like a skateboard. (Yes, he’s left handed.)

He is officially in his most hilarious stage so far. I can’t help laugh as each time he skates to where the action is, as if to say, “Forget crawling, or even walking, I’ve got a better way to get there!”.

To make it even weirder to watch, he often spouts out his new catch phrase, “to-gaht, to-ghat, to-ghat, to-ghat, to-ghat…” as he skates along. I’m still trying to figure out if that’s supposed to be his impression of either Apu from The Simpsons or The Swedish Chef from The Muppets.

I’m in no hurry to see him start walking, because I know that will be a whole other challenge in itself for the parents. It’s totally cool with me if he wants to be a skater boy for now.

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Discovering Free Time, As a Dad

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Nine months.

Is there such a thing as “free time” after becoming a parent? When can a new mom or dad find time in the week to just simply chill out together in peace and quiet; or even more difficult, be able to participate in their beloved hobbies that reflect who they are as individuals?

Other than daddy blogging, I also enjoy playing guitar and writing songs (though that hardly ever happens anymore). But the hobby that is a bit less sporadic in my schedule is simply exploring, whether it’s via hiking or mountain biking.

In his book, Daddy Dates, author Greg Wright perfectly describes why “exploring” is a solid hobby of mine:

“It’s the way guys operate. Exploration amps us up. There is this moment when curiosity rules and you get kind of jazzed and you think, ‘I wonder what’s in there, this is so cool!’ You’re going to figure out how to get around that mysterious place because you’re motivated by some instinct of discovery.”

While in California last month, I found a few 90 minute nuggets where I could slip away virtually unnoticed, amidst all the family. I snagged a mountain bike from my mother-in-law’s garage, then went exploring along the Sacramento River.

I ended up accidently discovering the neighboring 15 acre community of Locke. The Chinatown, settled alongside the river, was built in 1915.  These days, it resembles a closed down, but kept up, exhibit at the Epcot Center. I read on Wikipedia that most of the original Chinese population of the town moved out to Sacramento and that today only 10 Chinese-Americans remain residents there.

See, that’s the cool kind of find I’m always looking for when I go exploring. My favorite part of the expedition was finding a Buddhist church. In Thailand, Buddhist temples were everywhere, but never a church. Weird and cool.

As far as finding and/or making time for myself and my hobbies, it takes creativity. There’s that strategic balance of being a good husband, a good dad, and still getting some “free time” anyway I can. Even now, as I write this, it’s 11:08 on a Monday night- my wife and son are sound asleep; I’ll be waking up at 6 AM to get ready for my “real job”.

My free time often translates as “time when I’m the only one awake,” as well as, “time during which most normal parents would be asleep if they had the chance.”

I’m one of those people who functions strangely well on less than six hours of sleep each night. If I wasn’t, The Dadabase would be on life support right now.

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Infant Intelligence: Jack’s Brush with Genius

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Nine months.

A few weeks ago when we were visiting my family, Jack had access to different toys in my parents’ living room. I have no idea where they even came from, but there was a set of Mattel’s “Little People” there. He was instantly drawn to one who we call “Nerdy Gerdy,” choosing her over the farmer and the firefighter. (A quick Google Image search just taught me that her real name is Maggie.)

She has remained one of his favorite toys ever since. In fact, it’s a ritual that I place Nerdy Gerdy in his right hand when I load him up for the trip to and from day care; he keeps a tight grip on her the entire time.

As I strap him into his car seat and pull the belt over his right shoulder, he transfers Nerdy Gerdy to his left hand so I will have enough room to clear his right hand. Subtle, but pretty impressive; to me, at least.

Jack does the same thing with Nerdy Gerdy when my wife dresses him in the morning; his hand won’t fit through his shirt sleeve until he switches her to the other hand. It’s funny because he can be in the middle of crying and he will still do the switch for my wife or me.

I’ve pointed out before how naturally easy it is to believe that your own child is the most beautiful baby in the world. On the same token, I’ve learned that it’s just as easy to believe that your child is ahead of the curve when it comes to their level of intelligence.

Of course, I realize that the “Nerdy Gerdy switch” does not qualify my son for the status of baby genius; neither does his ability to make a tire squealing noise as he pushes his snail-on-wheels, though at nine months old, he has no idea that boys should make screeching tires noises when they sharply turn their toy car. And that’s also not to mention the fact that he already responds to “no.”

I get it. I’m noticing the highlights of his advancements, not the things he is “behind the curve” on. As far as his ability to speak, “doy-doy-doy-doy” (toy?) is the only recently added word to his already existing vocabulary of “mehm-mehm-mehm-mehm” (Mommy) and “dada-dada-dada-dada” (Daddy).

Is my kid a genius? No, but for the fact he can operate a TV remote better than I can, I have to give the bambino some credit.

Unexpected Bonus!

I know my dedicated readers are accustomed to me giving away books every so often, but today, for the first time, I will give away a free toy. But not just any ole toy that you’ve heard of before: “Brush with Genius” by Colorforms, a toy company that is celebrating its 60th anniversary this November.

When your child dips the Brush with Genius in paint and moves it along a piece of paper, it can make a variety of sounds based on how your child touches the brush and the recently painted paper. The sounds I heard included a squeaky mouse, a creaking door, and a soaring UFO.

At the 2011 Toy Fair, Time magazine ranked Brush with Genius as one of their 15 Smartest Toys for Young Geniuses. Yes, it’s that cool!

Here’s how you can be the one lucky one who gets one mailed straight to your house. Be the first person to leave a comment naming the very small town where we picked Jack’s first Christmas tree. Additionally, you must follow-up by emailing me (nickshell1983@hotmail.com) your name and mailing address. Hint: The city starts with an “s”. (There is a search box on the right side of the page.)

Congrats to Kristen in Colorado! You earned it. Thanks for reading The Dadabase so faithfully- your genius gift is on its way :)

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