Posts Tagged ‘ Bruce Springsteen ’

What Your Father’s Day Card Reveals About You

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

2 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

As I picked out my own dad’s Father’s Day card today, I noticed how they are designed for all the major types of dads. For example, there’s…

The Serious/Sentimental Dad- His card features a sophisticated black and white photo of dad and child.

As well as…

The Funny Dad- Expect a witty cartoon, a humorous photo, or some kind of lighthearted joke on his card.

And similarly…

The Fart Joke Dad- Like The Funny Dad, but specifically capitalizing on flatulence.

But don’ forget about…

The $1.99 Dad- This card tends to feature more generic language, steering away from words of affection like “dad” and “love.”

And of course…

The $.99 Dad- Here’s to one step away from not sending a card at all.

Yes, no kidding: At Kroger, they have both a $1.99 section as well as the $.99 section in the Father’s Day area.

It’s an interesting thought- that kids and adult children have to subconsciously figure out whether they have a serious/sentimental dad, or a fart joke dad, or a $1.99 dad.

I wonder if it changes throughout the years based on the child’s age.

For example, I could totally see you getting me a fart joke Father’s Day card when you’re 10 years old.

It sort of reminds me of an article I read on Yahoo! Finance called “What You ‘Like’ On Facebook Can Be Revealing.”

For example, in theory, because of the fact I “like” Non-GMO ProjectOccupy MonsantoJulie BorowskiRon PaulParents Magazine, and Bruce Springsteen on Facebook, I am evidently making it somewhat obvious that I’m a a socially liberal, fiscally conservative, vegan dad who has accidentally caused his 2 and a half year-old son to now get upset in his car seat if he doesn’t get to listen to Bruce Springsteen’s Greatest Hits album on the way to school in the morning.

To me, a Father’s Day card is just as indirectly telling of what kind of dad one is perceived to be, at least in that moment, that year by their child.

I will never look at Father’s Day cards the same…

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Top photo: Night Drive Long Exposure, via Shutterstock.

Bottom photo: Knocked Out, via Shutterstock.

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The More You Accept My No, The More I Say Yes

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

2 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

When we pull into our neighborhood each afternoon, there are two ways to drive to our house: Turn right and get there quicker, or continue going straight for the slightly longer scenic route that circles around.

Of course, every day you say, “Go straight! Go straight!”

Then I respond with, “Go straight, what?

(“Please” is the implied answer, obviously.)

Upon request, I always go straight to appease you. But Tuesday, you were distracted by the commercial airplane flying right over us (we basically live in the landing path of the Nashville airport) so I just turned right to save time.

“No, Daddy! NO! Go straight! Straight, Daddy!” you protested.

But I had already committed to my right turn and we had already been in the car nearly an hour by that point. I didn’t turn back around and “go straight.”

Therefore, you began crying real tears, so emotionally caught up that you could barely hear through my remedy as we sat in the parked car in front of our house:

“Jack, just calm down a little bit and we’ll go inside and see Mommy. I didn’t go straight today but it’s okay. I can’t always give you exactly what you want, when you want it. I need you to be okay with that. All you have to do right now is calm down a little bit and I’ll get you out of your seat.”

Basically, you had to stay in a 4 minute impromptu “strapped in the car seat” time-out session with me as I listened to classic 1984 Bruce Springsteen, but not your favorite song of his, “Dancing In The Dark.”

It’s similar to the assigned seats you’ve given Mommy and I on the couch. If I sit on the wrong end of the couch, you often get so upset that the end result is me turning off the laptop; meaning you can’t finish watching monster trucks clip on YouTube.

My lesson is typically and simply this: Just chill out and you’ll get what you want from me, most of the time.

But I have to know you’re okay with letting the answer be “no” sometimes, because the more you’re okay with “no,” the more likely I am to say “yes” the next time.

Needless to say, the day after your “Daddy, go straight!” meltdown/time-out in the car situation, you immediately said, “Daddy, you go straight? Please?” as soon as we turned into our neighborhood. Nice planning and prevention on your part, Son.

You got your way. Maybe my plan is slowly working.

 

Love,

Daddy 

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Even If We’re Just Dancing In The Dark

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

Last week as I was putting you to bed one night, in the pitch dark, I heard you say, “Here, Daddy…”.

Expecting for you to give me one of your half a dozen Hot Wheels cars as a parting gift before I made my way downstairs, I reached out my hand.

My instant response: “Ewwwww! GROSS!”

Yes, it was a big, long, slimy booger you had just picked fresh for me. It felt like the size of a caterpillar.

That sort of ruined the whole ambiance of the “settle down” part of the night.

Another strange surprise I experienced, also while putting you down for the night, was when I asked you which song you wanted me to sing for your bedtime song.

Your request: “Nooning.”

Having no clue what that was supposed to mean, I started singing the word “nooning” to a made-up tune I hoped would sound like some famous traditional Chinese folk song.

You interrupted my glorious musical number: “No! Talk about it!”

Talking about “nooning” was definitely more difficult than singing it; I must admit.

At that moment, I imagined you as a toddler talk show host, introducing the topic for the episode that day.

During those final minutes before I officially put you to bed before leaving the room each night, you basically just see what kind of random stuff you can say and get away with… and so do I.

To celebrate our mutual randomness in the pitch black darkness of your bedroom at 7:43 PM each night, I have now added Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 hit “Dancing In The Dark” to my list of bedtime songs to sing as I’m holding you.

When it comes to intercepting caterpillar-like boogers and trying to figure out what “nooning” really is, this gun’s for hire.

Even if we’re just dancing in the dark.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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I Kind Of Have A Man Crush On My Son

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

20 months.

I don’t envy new dads.

There’s that token “I’m holding my kid for the first time” picture on Facebook that automatically gets like 53 comments and “likes.” I know, because here’s my version of that picture posted 20 months ago.

And then comes the culture shock and the learning curb.

Months later arrives the anger resulting after someone pulls you aside and tells you that it’s normal for an infant to start sleeping through the night at 3 months old and that “crying it out” is just a natural part of it.

“You mean all three of us could have been getting sleep this whole time?!”

Even worse, no one really tells you how to get your baby to sleep through the night, anyway. Meanwhile, the extreme parents try make you feel guilty for even exploring the idea.

Again, I don’t envy new dads.

Hallelujah, I am well past that stage now! I’m no longer a “new dad.” I’m a father of a toddler.

New dads, I am writing you this from the future. It gets better.

A lot better! It took me a while, but I’m finally at that point where I can proclaim, “I LOVE being a dad!”

In fact, I kind of have a man crush on my son.

I add him to my current list of man crushes: Ron Paul, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Bruce Springsteen.

What really propelled me into this state of fatherhood nirvana was probably this past weekend.

There was nothing monumental about it: We took Jack to swim lessons, and on a wagon ride, and just hung out a lot with him.

But the whole time, he was cool. Not high maintenance, not needy in an annoying way, just chillaxed like Jack Johnson.

Sure, it’s easier to feel good about myself as a dad when my kid behaves well the entire weekend. But his 48 hours of perfect behavior which allowed our family to have fun and stay in good moods was largely a result of my diligence with him.

I love to see those moments of “it paid off!” in parenting.

What topped off this perfect weekend was when my wife handed him over to me to put him to bed for the night. He ran right up to my face as if he was going to awkwardly kiss me like Paul Rudd or something.

Instead, he gave me an “Eskimo kiss.” (My wife has been working on teaching him to do that.)

I can’t explain it. But that somehow melted my heart… but in the most manliest of ways, of course.

 

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I’m A Cool Rockin’ Daddy In The USA… For Now

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

19 months.

No matter how cool of a dad I may be in my son’s eyes now, I’m led to believe that will all change about a decade or so from now.

But as for the time being, Jack looks to me as a leader in many aspects on how to be a guy. A cool guy, might I add.

While playing “Animals” with him, if I place a chicken on top of a horse on top of a truck, he will instantly repeat that awesome thing his dad just did.

Jack thinks all the cool kids have a blow-up mattress in their living room, which serves as a necessary wrestling mat. Because his dad set one up for him.

And several years from now, when I teach him to play Chess with me, I’m sure it will become our mutual obsession. Same thing goes for when I help him become the only kid in his class to solve a Rubik’s Cube… in less than 3 minutes.

Unless I’m the exception to the rule, then in theory, at some point I will stop being considered cool with the age 18 to 35 demographics.

As a modern young dad, wearing plaid or cargo shorts is in style. Wearing pleated khaki shorts, on the other hand, is not.

Similarly, being a fan of Dave Matthews Band and Jason Mraz means I have good taste in music.

But at some point, will my love for their music be a sign that I’m out of touch with what is cool?

Granted, I’ll never be a skinny jeans kind of guy. So if that’s what’s cool, I’ve already missed that boat. (Fortunately!)

But for now, I’m a 31 year-old dad who assumes the culture of a 25 year-old guy; minus the iPhone.

Jack thinks I’m the coolest guy in the world, even if by default.

After all, his dad wears a Spiderman mask while chasing him around the house. And pulls him around the neighborhood in a Radio Flyer wagon.

If that’s not cool, I don’t know what is.

(As I if it needed saying, that’s not my cool classic car in the picture above. But at least mine isn’t the minivan next to it, either.)

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