Posts Tagged ‘ child ’

Why My Son Doesn’t Get Hurt In Front Of Me

Monday, June 17th, 2013

2 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

This morning I accidentally bumped your head as I was getting you out of my car.

Not just a slight graze, but it was the kind of hit that would cause the world “BAM!” or “THUD!” to appear in the air, like on the 1960′s Batman TV series.

Your response?

About 3 seconds later, you nonchalantly scratched your head, as if you might have felt a piece of fuzz in your hair or something.

But it was like you were confused, more than anything.

Under normal circumstances, youwould have been crying pretty hard and it would have been a big dramatic ordeal.

But I guess when I use the phrase “under normal circumstances,” I’m referring to Mommy being present.

Like magic, you basically feel no pain or discomfort when it’s just you and me.

I don’t believe that’s because you’re trying to impress me by showing me how tough you are. After all, I need no convincing of that. I am very aware of how thick your Croatian skull is.

Instead, I believe it’s because you instinctively aren’t seeking my physical comfort. Quite the opposite, you test me physically. You love to wrestle me; even if during the process you pretend to hate it.

Of course the obvious flip side to this is how different you act “under normal circumstances.” With Mommy in the room, you can barely stub your toe on the carpet, then yell, “Owie!” On cue, Mommy is authentically concerned.

With me, you don’t even bother.

But more importantly, like I said, your brain evidently doesn’t even process pain or discomfort when it’s just you and me. You’re so much lower maintenance during “Daddy only” time. Ya know that?

It’s interesting how quickly you can turn on and off the “Mommy switch.”






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What’s Your Parenting Product Differentiation?

Monday, October 1st, 2012

22 months.

What is that one fixation you have as a parent that you hope sets your child (your product) apart in a good way?

I’ve noticed that in my conversations and dealings with fellow parents of toddlers, we all seem to have some unique element regarding how we raise our kids, and therefore, have a certain expectation of how they will perform on their own.

For example, some parents are proud of the fact their child is advanced physically, being able to walk, run, and spin themselves dizzy before other toddlers of the same age can.

There are others who have been faithful to teach their child sign language since infancy, meaning that their toddler today has a more impressive vocabulary than the average Brayden or Avery out there.

I recently realized what my wife and I care most about when it comes to our 22 month-old son. Actually, two things: that he doesn’t have a snotty nose and that he’s not a brat.

The phrase “snot-nosed brat” is a familiar term in our society, with good reason.

Part of it is caused by parents making empty, theatrical threats of discipline, then not following through with them on their child. That’s one of my parenting pet peeves.

Our son Jack knows that if we say we are going to do something, then we are good on our word. We want to set a good example of integrity in our communication with him.

Time out means time out. No story before bedtime tonight means no story before bedtime tonight. “No applesauce until you finish your rice and beans” means… ah, well, you know the rest.

While it’s extremely important to my wife and me that our son has good manners and is well behaved, we also care a great bit about his hygiene, as we ourselves are pretty obsessed with being clean.

I guarantee you that you will never see Jack with a runny nose, as long as he is in our presence. His parental clean-up crew is there to swoop in with a wet Kleenex at any given moment.

At least, that’s what I would like to guarantee you.

As parents, we all inevitably focus on certain strengths in our child that outweigh perceived weaknesses; whether those perceived weaknesses are in our own minds or in American society’s collective expectations.

So while Jack may never be the most athletically, intellectually, or socially advanced, we definitely aim for him to have the driest nose and the most respectful attitude.

At least we can have that much.

We hope.

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Parenting a Tongue Tied Baby

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Week 5.

I chose not to go public about Jack being tongue tied, maybe in a subconscious attempt to avoid being overwhelmed with polarizing schools of advice before my wife and I had time to assess the situation ourselves and learn what would truly be best for him.  We realized after just the first couple of days after Jack was born that he wasn’t able to feed like other babies.  He could never get a good latch nor could he take more than a few sips of milk before crying and making a gurgling sound.  Actually, I never knew that being tongue tied was a real thing.  I just thought it was a phrase people used to describe momentarily not being able to successfully speak.  In case you haven’t already clicked on the Wikipedia link in the first sentence or already know this, some babies are born with that “skin bridge” attached too closely for them to stick out their tongues very far.

In Jack’s case, it meant extreme difficulty in feeding.  For more extreme cases, a tongue tied baby may grow up to become a child or adult with a speech impediment.  So last Thursday, we drove back to Vanderbilt in Nashville and had Jack’s tongue clipped.  I consider it a 2nd circumcision of sorts.  In fact, I was offered the chance to watch the procedure, so I did.  It was everything you would imagine. Just a few quick cuts.  I highly recommend it if your infant or child is tongue tied.

Since Thursday, the silver coating the doctor sprayed on the lacerations has been slowly peeling off.  So in a few more days, he should be out of pain and be able to begin learning to feed normally, with a tongue that can reach past his lips.  So if you have a tongue tied baby, and you’re asking for my opinion, just get it clipped. It’s no big deal and it sure beats having to wonder how much easier feeding could have been and whether your child will have difficulty speaking.

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Influence and Individuality

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Thirty-one weeks.

Parenting is one of the few institutions where brainwashing is not only allowed, and a given, but it’s also sort of the whole point.  Like a duo-dictatorship, two people (the parents) have so much influence over another human being (the child) on so many levels.  Freedom of religion?  Nope.  Freedom of speech?  Not so much.  The rules that matter are enforced by the parents and accordingly, the child learns his or her moral code and adopts his human culture largely from how the parents choose to raise him or her.

Will I be a strict parent?  “Strict” has such a negative connotation these days.  It evokes thoughts of having rules for the sake of having rules, yielding a teenage kid that is either so nerdy that he thinks getting to stay up until 11:00 at night to watch Battlestar Gallactica is an idea of a good time, or he’s so rebellious he gets a DUI and a huge tattoo by the time he graduates high school.  So I’d rather not use the word “strict”, but instead “consistent and practical”.  Like my parents were to me.

I have always been very close to my parents; I knew I could talk to them about anything and they would listen, without being judgmental or condescending, yet still guiding me in the right direction.  They gave me a little responsibility at a time, and when I proved I could handle it, they gave me more.  I never had a curfew, nor did I need one.  But had I responded differently to the responsibility I was given, I know for a fact the rules would have been stricter, as they would have needed to be.

I think it’s funny when I hear parents of young kids say, “Well my Brayden won’t eat what I cook him.  He only eats chicken nuggets and pizza, and he only drinks Coke from his sippy cup.”  I smile and laugh with them, shaking my head like I know how it is, when really I’m thinking, “It’s not up to your kid!  It’s up to YOU!  YOU’RE the parent!”

Just like I’ve heard other parents say, “I’m not going to force any religious beliefs on my kids.  They need to figure out what they believe on their own.”  (Which is always a clear indication that parent has no solid religious beliefs, otherwise they would pass them on to their children.) It will not be the case for my kid.  He will know who Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus and Peter and the Apostle Paul are.  He will know the importance and relevance of John 3:16.  Just like my dad read to me from my kid’s Bible every night, so will I do for my son.

And when he grows up, I will have influenced who he is.  Yet still, he will have his own personality and make his own decisions.  Truly though, that’s how it was for all of us.  Even if one or both of our parents were out of the picture, they still influenced us- negatively or positively.  So I am choosing to make a conscious, solid, positive influence in his life.  And I will be very deliberate in doing so.

Here’s what The Bump says about Baby Jack this week:

Baby’s energy is surging, thanks to the formation of white fat deposits beneath the skin. (Have those kicks and jabs to the ribs tipped you off yet?) Baby is also settling into sleep and waking cycles, though — as you’ve also probably noticed — they don’t necessarily coincide with your own. Also this month, all five senses are finally functional, and the brain and nervous system are going through major developments.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:



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The Countdown to Found Out the Gender of the Baby

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Eighteen weeks.

In my first “dad from day one” post on April 13th (dad from day one: She’s Having a Baby), I told the almost spooky story of how my Mexican grandma dreamed she was having a granddaughter two weeks before we went public with the news that my wife was pregnant.  Since then, we have been asked on a near daily basis if we think it’s a boy or a girl.

I have found it easier this whole time just to assume my grandma’s dream is right.  And in the past couple weeks since my wife has began “showing”, it’s become pretty obvious she’s “holding the baby high”, which is typical for a girl in the womb.

I would never go see a psychic myself.  But… what happens when someone else goes to a psychic and their fortune is about you instead?

That’s exactly what happened.  Today, one of my wife’s coworkers went to a psychic as a sort of “joke birthday gift” to herself.  The fortune told: “One of your coworkers is pregnant with a girl.”

So it’s settled.  My grandma and a psychic have both had a vision about this baby girl.

Our kid is the size of a sweet potato.

Only one way to know for sure- wait until next Thursday (June 17th).  That’s when we’re officially finding out whether we’re having a boy or a girl- given that our baby isn’t crossing its legs during the procedure.

In a week’s time, I will have posted “dad from day one: The Gender of Our Baby”.

Here’s what The Bump says about our baby this week:

“Your fetus has become amazingly mobile (at least compared to you), passing the hours yawning, hiccuping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking and swallowing. And, baby’s finally big enough that you’ll be able to feel those movements soon.”

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:



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