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Sunday, October 6th, 2013
2 years, 10 months.
I keep having to remind myself of my age. It’s not something I really think about, but when I am about to say my age out loud, I naturally want to say that I am 28 or 29.
And it’s not because of the cliche where I miss being in my 20s and therefore jokingly pretend I’m still 29.
What it probably comes down to for me is that I was 28 when I found out Mommy and I were going to become parents and 29 when you were actually born.
So I guess somehow, psychologically, my age as an individual stopped mattering to me on November 16, 2010.
For all practical purproses, my age became irrelevant that day.
Instead, what I identify with more, is that I am the parent of a young child.
That, is my age. Or at least that’s what I place in that category instead.
This is something I found out officially just a few weeks ago. Mommy and I had been looking for a Sunday School class to join at our church.
We hadn’t been in a steady one since before you were born.
It was either too much trouble or too much of a sacrifice not to be near you for that extra hour or so of the week.
But now that you’re nearly 3, you make it clear that you like to go to church. You ask us to go to church. When we can’t go for whatever reason sometimes, you are disappointed.
It may just be because you get to eat snacks and play with their trucks in the playroom. Oh, and getting to ride on the giant buggy that seats like 8 kids…
The third try was a charm for us, in regards to finding the “right” class. What we realized was that the people in the class are mostly were parents of young children like us.
Mommy and I are both 32 years old. Other parents in the class were 5 years younger or 5 years older, but that didn’t mean anything.
What we didn’t realize is that we were looking for was a group of friends we could relate to in the facets of life that are most important to us- being parents of small children was was of those main things.
Having a young child defines me, not my age.
I already forgot how old I am just now; that’s how much it doesn’t matter to me anymore.
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Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
2 years, 10 months.
Now realizing that you have an understanding of what Angry Birds are and because I’m finding myself very entertained these days by your random answers, I asked you a loaded question:
Are Angry Birds mean?
“They were mean, but Lightning McQueen said, ‘It’s okay!’ And Mater said that too…”.
When you quoted Lightning McQueen, it was in falsetto; which is always great.
Not only do you make up answers to weird questions I ask you, but here lately you have begun a hobby of making up words.
This past weekend, your great-uncle Al, who you call “Uncle Owl,” gave you a 5 pack of Hot Wheels cars.
Needless to say, you loved your gift.
Later, as he was leaving, you ran up to him and announced:
“Thanks for the Poagleys!”
I’m assuming “Poagleys” is a proper noun? Maybe it’s “poaglies” instead…
But after all, you’re the one who made up the word.
Another way you use made-up words is to censor yourself, to avoid getting in trouble:
“I don’t like… booshkahs… right now! No way, Daddy!”
What you really want to say is, “I don’t like you right now!”
Instead, in that moment, “booshkahs,” keeps you clean. It works; though I totally know what you’re doing.
It reminds me of the word “smurf.” It can be used as a verb, a noun, an adjective… pretty much any part of speech.
I wish I could just make up stuff when I either didn’t know what to say or knew what I wanted to say but knew better.
Well, I guess I could… but somehow in the adult world I have to participate in, I think that would just confuse people too much and ultimately proof ineffective.
As for you, you’re nearly 3 years old. At least you’ve got a good excuse.
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Friday, August 16th, 2013
2 years, 9 months.
My mom (known to you as Nonna) texted me this morning to point out the interesting fact that when I was 2 years, 9 months old, it was January 1984.
That’s when my sister (your Auntie Dana) was born. In other words, when I was your age, I became an older brother.
Just so I can put this into perspective for myself, that means that even if during the next couple of years, you end up getting a baby brother or sister, the age difference between you and him or her will definitely be greater than the age difference between my sister and me.
Each month and each year that passes in which you remain an only child, it makes me wonder if you will always be one.
Will you become that “little adult” than only children are often referred to as?
When we go on family vacations, will it just be you in goofy touristy photos like these from the Sacramento Zoo?
I mean… I’m curious, but not that curious.
There’s no sense of urgency, but I when consider I was already a big brother by your age, it does make me think about your fate of whether or not you will have a sibling.
Perhaps I write to you about the subject of “will you or will you not remain an only child?” quite often.
No, not perhaps- I totally do.
But for me, it’s not a subject to be dealt with lightly. For our family, there is a lot of careful planning and consideration involved.
By now, I’m way past caring about anyone else’s expectations of our family growing.
I’m even way past what I perceive in my own mind of what the normal American family is supposed to be; which I suppose the image I have in my head includes at least two kids and a dog.
But we’re not even a “dog family.” Or cat lovers.
We’re not animal people at all! Except for the fact we enjoy going to zoos as a type of a default hobby because our Nashville Zoo Pass is transferable to other major zoos.
Life is unfolding slightly different than I planned it. I always wanted four kids.
Then you were born. And I realized, I feel plenty enough of a dad now.
I feel like I can live my entire life satisfied in knowing I get to raise you and have a lifelong relationship with you.
You may never know what it’s like to be a big brother. Are you okay with that?
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Friday, October 19th, 2012
If you are a helicopter parent, think you might be one, or have been recently called one by someone you know, tell me about it.
Do you “hover over” your child? Are you considered to be “over-involved” in your child’s life?
I’m curious and I want to explain why.
Recently I finished a 3 part series on trying to figure out if I was a helicopter parent. (I know now that I’m not.)
However, to come to that conclusion, I compared myself to extreme stereotypes of what I imagine(d) a helicopter parent to be.
While that may have been effective in helping me reach the conclusion of my self-analysis, it still leaves things quite blurry on what a real helicopter parent is actually like.
By gathering stories from readers, I want to be able to present a collective image of a true helicopter parent.
I want to hear which of your behaviors cause you to be labeled as one.
Allow me to give my grandiose stereotype of a helicopter parent so that my preconceived ideas can be proven wrong:
A true helicopter parent believes the “cry it method” is evil and therefore their child rarely sleeps in their own bed, up until the child’s preteen years. The child is given prescription drugs as early as preschool to help them with ADHD and/or depression, as the child never really learns to cope with their own emotions.
Years later, the child has trouble finding their classes in high school and even college, calling their parents for help. Similarly, the child is still completely dependent on their parents, well into their 20′s, for laundry and cooked meals.
Ultimately, the child never really learns to stand up for themselves or believe in themselves.
They never learn individuality, because their concept of it is based completely on how their parents perceive them.
By the time they reach adulthood, all the “babying” their parents have done has preserved them in a perpetual state of “what am I supposed to do?”
Now is your chance to enlighten me, as well as the rest of us, who don’t understand your parenting style. Now is your chance to defend your proud stance as a helicopter parent. Set the record straight by overwriting the stereotype I just shared.
Send me an email. Tweet me. Contact me on The Dadabase Facebook page.
All of those things are super easy to do, just by clicking on the appropriate icon on the right side of the screen, underneath “Follow Nick Shell.”
Or just simply leave a comment below.
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ADHD, children, depression, extreme parenting, helicopter parenting, parenting, parents, toddler | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Growing Up, Must Read, Storytelling, The Dadabase
Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
Recently I saw a quiz here on Parents.com that you could take to find out if you’re ready for a second child. I didn’t need to take the quiz. With no hesitation, I thought to myself, nope.
I am still too self-centered, still too greedy with what little free time I do have in the day, and honestly, my ability to trust in God for all it would take for a second kid isn’t strong enough. I’m ashamed but willing to admit it.
My honesty here also reveals a white elephant; there is no guarantee my wife and I would even be blessed with a second child when the time does come that we are “ready.” So I don’t mean to be assuming or ungrateful that we so effortlessly received our son Jack.
But in this moment, I am sort of terrified at the thought of returning to the days of a crying baby in the middle of the night. (I trained my son to sleep through the night back when he was 6 months old and haven’t had to worry about this problem since then.)
Man, the frustrations of not having the same motherly instincts to be awoken by a baby’s cry and therefore my wife having to take the brunt of it. Then there’s the fact that instinctively, I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time with an infant anyway.
Seriously, it’s taken 13 months for me to even feel somewhat necessary in my own home.
That’s the biggest frustration for me, as a dad, that I don’t feel needed or necessary in raising an infant. And I know I’m not alone in this. This is the kind of thing that other daddy bloggers probably write about and dads who don’t blog, still think about.
I like being needed and knowing how to help. But the worst parts of those first couple of months as a dad were like being in a play where I didn’t know the lines. I was supposed to be this certain character but I wasn’t even given a script before showtime. I’m so glad that at this point in fatherhood, I can at least ad-lib my lines and make the scene work.
Like I said, I’m too self-centered for Kid #2 right now. And that brings us to the other white elephant: What other way to be cured of my greed than to be surprised by another child? There’s not.
Having a kid, and I assume having more kids, further breaks a man down to the point he doesn’t worry as much about what he will lose; but instead, he will focus on what will he gain.
I bet that’s what Jim Bob Duggar would tell me.
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