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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012
It seems like only yesterday, though it was actually 4 months ago, that you were obsessed with a security blanket you named Mimi.
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.
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Saturday, November 3rd, 2012
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.
Can I get a woot-woot?
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Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
My wife and I joke about the fact we hardly ever by our son any new toys.
He has six caddies full of toys that mainly consist of gifts A) from his birthday party nearly a year ago and B) from when he was first born nearly two years ago.
Between his regular daycare and his church daycare and his friends’ toys when he has play dates, Jack has daily access to several toy communities.
For the past couple of months now, Jack has had the same amount of love in his heart for fire trucks as Elmo, which is saying a lot.
The flames of his fascination are flamed even more every day at his daycare, which happens to be located right across the street from the local fire station.
Jack can do a pretty incredible impression of a fire truck by now.
I’ll be driving him home and from the back seat I’ll hear, “Wwwwhheeeaaahhhllllwwwhhh!”
(Yes, that’s the official spelling of the sound of a fire engine.)
However, it was only just today that we finally got him his very own fire truck. You’d think it be pretty easy to find a Matchbox or Hot Wheels fire truck, but no…
Either you pay at least 7 bucks for a goofy, cartoonish-looking one, or you pay at least $25 for a giant fire truck that your son wouldn’t be able to carry around with him everywhere he goes.
Well fortunately, we were able to find the right sized and the right priced fire engine truck today at Walmart. It’s made by a brand called Maisto and the thing only cost 72 cents!
Now granted, Jack’s new fire truck is also unintentionally (?) a lowrider. And it could also pass for some weird tank thing if the ladder were a canon instead.
But hey, Jack couldn’t be more excited! All he knows is, he finally has his very own fire truck.
He is so proud of it.
When he got home, he lined it up as the leader of a parade consisting of his two Thomas the Train cars and two of my old Stomper cars from McDonald’s Happy Meals back in 1985.
Oh, and a horse and a goat. They were also part of the joyous celebration.
With Jack’s 2nd birthday coming up on November 16th, I know my parents have already hinted that they got him a real fire truck toy.
I imagine it is the kind he can roll around on the floor with the big Tonka truck they got Jack for his birthday last year.
He will be so excited to get it, too; I’m sure of it.
Something he’s been doing here recently is when he has both a small and large version of toy, one becomes the baby and the other becomes the Dada.
In other words, today we bought Jack his “baby fire truck.” His “Dada fire truck” will be arriving within the next 60 days.
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Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its stance on circumcision, saying the benefits outweigh the risks.
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:
Dadvice #5: How Is It Natural To Circumcise Your Son?
Dadvice #6: Is Circumcision Unnecessary And/Or Immoral?
Dadvice #7: A Skeptic’s Letter To Intactivists
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?
For their sake, I hope so.
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Sunday, August 5th, 2012
Anytime I’ve ever heard another parent say “I just let him out of my sight for one second…” it never turns out to be a delightful story.
So as to prevent myself from ever saying that phrase, it’s simple:
I never let my son out of my sight for one second.
Obviously, he goes to daycare during the day and he sleeps in his own bedroom at night.
But what I mean is that as long as he and I are in the same room or as long as he’s with me out in public, I am the kid’s bodyguard.
I believe that all of us as human beings were born with a nature that causes us to want to, by default, make destructive decisions.
No parent ever has to teach their child to lie or to be disobedient.
While we also have a nature that causes us to want to be good and help others, we still are often driven towards destruction in our thoughts which lead to actions.
Likewise, I know my son will run straight for the cars in the street or into the crowd at the store unless I physically restrain him from doing so.
My verbal warnings aren’t yet enough for my toddler son.
He is all but handcuffed to me because at this point, I can’t trust him to keep himself from hurting himself.
Not to mention that as a father of a son, I’m acutely aware of the fact that a boy’s chance of surviving to adulthood is a lot less than a girl’s.
Mark J. Penn, in his book, Microtrends, explains it this way, in regards to statistics done here in America:
“There are about 90,000 more boys born every year than girls, setting up a favorable dating ratio. But by the time those kids turn 18, the sex ratio has shifted a full point the other way to 51 to 49, because more boys die in puberty than girls. Researchers call it a “testosterone storm,” which causes more deaths among boys from car accidents, homicides, suicides, and drownings.”
I don’t mean to be morbid or grandiose, but I think about that. I should.
Whenever I’m with my son, even in a seemingly safe environment, in my head I have to constantly be thinking, “What’s the worst that could happen right now?
Simple risk management.
Because sure enough, the moment I don’t ask myself that would be the day I would find out.
I’m not sure if I really am an overprotective dad or not.
After seeing these pictures of how I let my son play with big wooden stick, I bet some readers out there are actually thinking the opposite about me.
But that’s part of the paradox:
I’m his dad. I’m supposed to encourage his adventurous spirit. And I really like that part of my job as a dad.
Hey, I want to have fun too.
As long as it’s not too much fun.
(Kids, don’t try this at home. Unless your dad is there watching you through the camera as he encourages your adventurous spirit.)
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appetite for destruction, boys, raising a boy, Sac State, Sacramento, sin nature | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Health, Home Life, Spirituality, Story Bucket, Storytelling, The Dadabase