While I am definitely more mindful these days of trying to avoid the use of bravado in my letters to you, I must admit, my ego took a bit of a hit when I recently had to start riding in the backseat with you.
Something always seemed awkward, if nothing else, about seeing a wife drive the car while the husband was in the front passenger seat.
Well, at least it’s not that bad. The new normal is that Mommy drives and I accompany you in the backseat.
I have relinquished my role as the family chauffeur; a role that I feel is supposed to be mine, as the dad and husband.
But, as I had hoped when I implemented this plan, you are a lot less anxious, needy, whiny, and hungry now that it’s me sitting next to you in the back seat.
You see Mommy as the nurturer, which she is.
However, with me, you just want to chill out. Either you contemplate your life, deep in thought, as pictured right; or you like to be goofy with me as we sing the few lines we know of the songs from The Lorax movie:
“How ba-a-a-ad can I be?”
I’m curious to see how our new driving method will work on our next road trip.
We drove two and a half hours to Alabama last month, but it felt more like five. There was nothing Mommy could do back there to make you happy. Plus, you needed a nap, but that never happened.
Since I’m not the nurturer of the family, I wonder if it will be easier for you to fall asleep in the car if it’s me back there with you next time.
It’s just that your expectations are so much different (and lower?) for me as your seatmate, as opposed to Mommy.
You treat us differently. You are much more low-maintenance with me; you always have been.
Like I’ve mentioned last July in “The Hunger Games: Toddler Edition,” you are not as hungry and you ask for food less with I’m the parent caring for you. You can go for hours without thinking about food if it’s just you and me.
But with Mommy, you’ll eat two meals in a row.
So for now, I’ll be your backseat buddy. I shall entertain you, make you lose your appetite, and bore you to sleep.
Well, I haven’t heard you say “her” name in a while, but Mimi is still just as important in your life:
You are now entering the initial stages of building forts in the living room.
Today on the drive to daycare, I heard sneaky giggling in the backseat. You had convinced Mommy to let you take your blanket with you, even though it was strangely in the upper 70′s on this rainy December day.
I turned around to see the real-life equivalent of a ghost from Pac-Man. You had pulled the blanket completely over you, hoping I would notice you myself before your own laughing found you out.
“Jack’s house!” I proclaimed.
That’s right, it’s all about the house that Jack built.
Whether you’re hiding underneath your high chair, covering yourself under couch pillows, or your personal favorite, hiding beneath a blanket, your newest current hobby is making “Jack’s house.”
You’re in luck right now because we still have the blow-up mattress in the middle of the living room floor from your Auntie Erin’s visit, which provides the perfect bouncy floor for an appropriate house for a 2-year-old, as you randomly snack on a piece of wheat bread and roll around your toy monster truck.
Before long, you will realize you can prop up your blanket on your toy basketball goal or chairs, making for the perfect fort in the living room.
But I don’t want to rush you. For now, it’s fun to watch you prop up your blanket tent like it’s a toy; which it apparently is right now.
As your dad, it’s cool to be able to see you develop your adventure-making skills.
It’s almost ironic that carrying around a security blanket would be a gateway activity to building a fort in the living room.
You’re progressing from insecurity to security and the way you use a blanket is the evidence.
A train museum is Disneyland for a nearly 2-year-old boy.
I’m all for Disney theme parks and I’m really looking forward to the day my son Jack will be old enough to remember and appreciate a magical experience like that.
But for now, as he nears his 2nd birthday, a trip to the California State Railroad Museum was all he needed.
From seeing giant automatic train villages, to touring 1930′s train cars, to hanging out at the elaborate Thomas the Train play station, this was one museum that my squirmy son could not get enough of.
I’m seriously having trouble understanding what it would be like to have an American toddler son in the year 2012 who is not obsessed with trains.
What theme is your son infatuated with if not for everything locomotive?
If Thomas the Train and his die cast metal friends aren’t the theme of your son’s birthday party, and if he didn’t dress up as a train or a conductor for Halloween, and if he doesn’t have to carry out toy trains everywhere he goes, including to bed, well… what is he into?
This is all I know: Trains.
If this were the year 1995, Jack would have a t-shirt with a train on the front and the writing would read, in big letters:
“Life is trains. The rest is just details.”
The truth is, before my son got into trains, my preconceived idea about little boys liking trains is that it was sort of… nerdy.
But now I have been converted to the rough and tumble world of trains.
With all the soot and metal and crashing and American history, not to mention that most of the cast of Thomas and Friends is male, I no longer think trains are a dorky theme for my son.
So this election season, please know where I stand on this issue. I strongly support my son and his enthrallment of locomotives.
My best advice for anyone making travel plans for this upcoming holiday season, see where the closest train museum is and take your toddler son there.
If he has not yet been introduced to the world of trains, then make today the day.
If you are a soon-to-be parent of a baby boy who has been trying to figure out whether or not circumcision is right for your son, then the AAP’s statement is good news. Now you can have some closure on this subject.
Circumcision it is. Done.
But if you are an Intactivist, one who actively campaigns against circumcision, then the American Academy of Pediatrics’ revised circumcision stance is bad news:
After all, it means that an organization that most parents would find to be respectable and trustworthy is justifying an unnecessary tradition of genital mutilation.
The AAP’s revised policy takes away the credibility of what Intactivists have been trying to tell us all along.
So much for the neutrality of this article: I’m not an Intactivist, by the way.
Like most parents who have decided to circumcise their son, I am not and have never been passionate about the subject of circumcision.
However, on three different occasions now, I have explained what propelled me to choose circumcision:
When it was all said and done, I had no problem saying this to Intactivists:
“You may be right.” It’s just that ultimately, I don’t care if they’re right. What’s done is done.
It became evident to me that the only way I could find shelter from the tidal wave of violent comments I received in those three Dadvice articles was to A) repent of the sin of circumcising my son, B) start using The Dadabase as a platform to preach Intactivism, and C) make an oath to not circumcise my next son, should I ever have one.
That sort of parenting extremism simply turns me off to their ideas, as valid as some of their points may be.
The vibes I have received from most Intactivists have been saturated in condescension, sarcasm, and prejudice.
I realize that stating my opinion on this today is only throwing gasoline on the fire; further perpetuating the frenemy relationship I have with Intactivist readers. Maybe I’m just curious to see if Intactivists will collectively be clever enough to learn how to be relevant in how they communicate with us unbelievers?
Will Intactivists kill me with their kindness? Will they prove me wrong when I say they are condescending to those of us who do not believe the same way as they do?