Posts Tagged ‘ baby boy ’

The Doom and Gloom of “You Just Wait”

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Eight months.

A year ago, when my wife was pregnant with our son, co-workers would ask me about what was going through my head about becoming a dad.  I would always respond by telling them I was aware of how my life was going to change, but that ultimately, I was excited about it all.

And what typically was their response?

“Well, you just wait until he’s crying in the middle of the night and you’re not getting any sleep… You just wait until he turns two years old and he’s pitching a fit… You just wait until he’s a teenager and he acts like he hates you…”

Needless to say, I’ve heard this unsolicited “well, you just wait until he gets older” gloom and doom more than I care to.  Well, here I am, a year later, and I’m still the same positive guy living with my realistic expectations; which certain people view as a fantasy.

The phrase “well, you just wait” is just another version of “I told you,” translating into “I can’t say ‘I told you so’ yet because enough time hasn’t gone by, so you’ll just have to wait so that you can see that I am right and you are naïve.”

I would bet that in the history of the world there has never been a time when a person has truly appreciated hearing “I told you so” or any form of it.  So “well, you just wait” doesn’t translate any differently to me.

Admittedly, it can be tricky trying to figure out what to do when it comes to parenting because it’s so easy to become overwhelmed by not only so many techniques out there, but also so many people confidently telling you that what worked for them and their child is the best (and only) way to do it.

Often, a lot of the parenting advice I hear just gets lost in the noise.  Granted, this blog is technically designed to give fellow parents advice, as I often do.  So am I just adding to the noise pollution, as I regularly share my noticeably conservative and undeniably positive outlook on fatherhood?

Maybe.  But whether or not you ever adopt my views on any particular aspect of parenting, and whether or not you find any of them to be effective, my intention is to speak with authority while not coming across as a know-it-all.  Will I be able to successfully pull off that delicate balance?

Well, you just wait…

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Jackzilla, King of the Living Room Floor

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Seven months.

He pulls himself up to a standing position by grabbing onto the coffee table and lets out a big “Rrrrhhaarrrggghhrrr!”  Who or what will be his next victim?

Maybe an empty, plastic two liter bottle serving as a skyscraper? Or perhaps his mother and I, who are both lying down on the carpet: He has proven his enjoyment in plowing over our legs (and sometimes our faces) as he makes it his goal that nothing shall stop him in his unforgiving tracks.

At this stage of fatherhood, I view my son as Jackzilla.  And with very good reason:

He’s noticeably large-framed for his age.  He prefers exploring the floors of every room, hoping to find something he can pull apart, knock down, or crawl over.  And the sounds he makes when goes on his adventurous rampages… well, Jack just really does sound like a baby monster.

There are times when comparing him to Frankenstein’s monster would be appropriate.  But because I truly believe Jack enjoys pretending to be his own wrecking crew to his toys and other household items, it’s easier to imagine him as an out of control, giant lizard.

Yet still, there is a way to tame the Baby Beast.

All it takes is his cousin’s pink Porsche.  Jack transforms into a lady’s man, resting one arm up on the back of the seat as he backs the car up to pick up his imaginary date, then drives her downtown for a romantic date at a classy restaurant.

Sure, he has to drive it “Fred Flintstone style,” but he sure knows how to maneuver his sports car.  He can even move sideways without ever turn the steering wheel.

Gone are the seemingly “forever ago” days when Jack struggled to turn over on his belly or attempt to crawl.

Jack is definitely a little man on the go with a big imagination. Or perhaps it is I who has the larger than life imagination, painting these stories with details making him out to be a giant lizard monster who can instantly transform into a suave James Bond baby.

But if Jack could comprehend those references, I’m sure he would enjoy his playtime almost as much as I enjoy watching it, as well as, getting plowed over by him in the process.

What would really be cool if he got to share his playtime with another little boy as adventurous as he is.  Then I could have a front row seat for  ”Jackzilla vs. Baby Kong!”

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Boys Should Be Boys: Raising a Bambino

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Six months.

Do you raise a boy baby differently because he is a boy instead of a girl?  Should you treat him any differently because of his gender?  The obvious, implied, correct answer is “yes.”

As if this wasn’t already established, I’ll just go ahead and put this out there: I can be a bit funny about stuff sometimes. And I don’t mean “ha ha” funny.  I mean “peculiar.”  I’m just set in my quirky ways, leaving others to deal with the flashes of absurdity.

bambino

That being said, I’m realizing already how particular I am with how I raise Jack.  I know he’s only 6 months old and it’s basically irrelevant now to even think about these things, but it’s important to me that he is seen as a boy, not simply a baby. For example, Jack doesn’t use a “passy”; he uses a pacifier. “Passy” sounds way to much like “prissy.”

And when he gets a little older, he won’t be drinking from a “sippy cup,” which to me sounds like “sissy cup.”  Instead, he will be drinking from what I cleverly named his “bambino cup.”  (“Bambino” is Italian for “little boy.”)

I don’t like words that sound like they should be referring to what a cute little girl would say.   Yes, Jack is a baby, and he’s not yet a little boy- but he is a boy baby. It matters to me that he is treated appropriately masculine even in his first several months of life.

That being said, I should go ahead and point out some irony.  With a new cousin on the way (my sister is pregnant with a little girl, due July 2nd), when we take Jack to my sister and her husband’s house, he gets to try out some of his cousin’s toys before she gets here.  I have no problem whatsoever with Jack playing on an all pink play pad with a pink bird that plays a sort of girly song when he pulls it. Why not? Because it’s so obvious that he’s “messing around” with a girl’s toy.  It’s funny and ironic and something to joke about.

I carry Jack around with necessary caution, but I’m not too delicate with him.  He is an adventurous boy.  Sometimes as he’s rolling around on the floor he slightly bumps the back of his head down on the carpet rug, loud enough to make a [thud!] sound.  When he even notices that he’s “supposed” to be hurt, he gets over it in about two seconds.  Especially when he checks our facial expressions to get confirmation that he really he is okay.  Then it’s back to rolling around.

Jack will have manners when he gets older; he will say “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am.”  He will be respectful and well-behaved to both adults and his peers.  I will make sure of it. He will be a Southern gentleman.  And even so, he will get into some (innocent) trouble.

He will break a window with a baseball.  He will stay out too long playing out in the woods and worry me that he’s not home yet.  He will step out to the line of danger but will be smart enough not to cross it.

There’s nothing wrong with letting a boy be a boy.  And that’s coming from a former little boy who broke a window and stayed out past dinner time because I was having fun playing in the woods.  But I also knew how to behave in public.  So if there’s anything delicate about being a boy, it’s the crucial balance of being “rough and tumble” along with knowing when to say “please”and “thank you.”

Granted, it’s all about raising a well-balanced son.  Being involved in music and art are just as important as being a boy scout and playing sports.  Any of those activities he wants to do and he enjoys, I will encourage him- whether he’s artistic, athletic, or equally both.  As for me, I was never an athlete (or a good one, at least) and it ultimately led me to have an interest in writing- which is why you are reading this today.

Unnecessary Bonus:

All this testosterone in the air is causing me to consider renaming my blog.  I could just see it now…

Randy Savage Italian Jewish

Artwork courtesy of Jeremy Schultz.

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