Posts Tagged ‘ children ’

Daddy, We Should Pour Soda Over The Heads Of The Bad Guys

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Friday morning as we were on our way to school, sitting at the red light, you looked over and saw what you assumed was a tanker truck delivering gas to the gas station.

“Actually, that’s a soda truck. Soda makes people sick. It’s not healthy for people to drink it,” your health nut dad explained.

Your immediate response:

“Daddy, we should pour soda over the heads of the bad guys.”

Now, maybe if an outsider somehow heard that conversation, they might suggest it’s a prime example of a parent brainwashing their child.

I don’t know, though. I don’t know if it’s common knowledge that drinking soda leads to diabetes (type 2), like it is common knowledge in our family. Fortunately, recognizes this on their website:

“The American Diabetes Association recommends that people should limit their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent diabetes. Sugar-sweetened beverages include beverages like: regular soda, fruit punch, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, sweet tea, and other sugary drinks.”

Plus, I don’t know if this is common knowledge either, like it is for our family, that diet sodas are no better for a person who is trying to avoid cancer or disease. Even WebMD doesn’t outright deny or dismiss these claims:

“The most recent headlines have raised concerns that diet sodas boost stroke risk. Diet and regular sodas have both been linked to obesitykidney damage, and certain cancers. Regular soft drinks have been linked to elevated blood pressure… Observational studies like these can point to possible concerns, but they can’t prove that sodas do, or don’t, pose a health risk.”

But over time, like smoking cigarettes, regularly drinking soda is the sort of like playing Russian roulette.

The way I see it, it would be an act of mercy to pour soda over the heads of the bad guys. Better on them, than in them.

Honestly, I would be very upset if I found out that someone let you drink soda when I wasn’t around. That would be extremely offensive to me; even if you only had a few sips.

Aside from the overdose of sugar, and the mysterious chemicals, there’s also the caffeine to take into consideration.

Caffeine is the most unregulated, psychoactive drug in the world; not to mention it’s addictive. An article from The Journal Of Young Investigors: The Premier Ungraduate Science Journal puts it this way:

“According to a study conducted by New Scientist magazine, 90% of North American adults consume some form of caffeine on a daily basis, making this legal, psychoactive substance the world’s most widely used drug.”

As for you, you just drink water all day, then almond milk with dinner.

Soda is not for drinking. It’s for pouring over the heads of bad guys; at least, according to you it is.

You’re nicer than I am, though. Again, I think making the bad guys drink that stuff would be a lot worse.



(Your health nut) Daddy


Note: This is an opinion piece of the author and does not reflect Parents magazine or the medical establishment.

Top image: Shutterstock, Evil Soda.

Bottom image: Shutterstock, Soda Cans- Sugar and Caffeine.

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Empathy For Dads Who Can’t See Their Kids Everyday

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

3 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

I think it’s very important for me to make a regular habit of trying to imagine myself in other people’s shoes. That’s an ability called empathy, by the way.

The older I get, the more perspectives I gain, by seeing life through the eyes of those who have had different experiences than me. 

Something I think about sometimes is what it must be like for dads who are not able to see their kids on a daily basis; for whatever reason that may be.

I get to see you everyday. I get to experience life with you- even on those seemingly forgettable days where nothing particularly epic happens. But I am mindful to not take even those days for granted.

However, there a lot of dads who don’t get to see their kids except for certain days of the month.

It’s beyond sad for me to think about that; putting myself in that situation.

Where I work during the day at my H.R. job, I deal mostly with men-  many of which only see their kids on the weekends or every other weekend.

Maybe that’s why I am thinking about this today.

If I am honestly and vulnerably putting myself in their shoes, I see such a devastating version of my life; without you, without Mommy too.

You’re part of me; you’re half of me- literally.

How could I function without seeing half of me everyday; a half of me that needs and desires my certain fatherly influence on a regular basis?

That’s beyond a tragedy when I imagine it personally.

So I don’t take it for granted at all that our family lives in the same house and sees each other each day. 

I am thankful for what our family has- and I definitely don’t take it lightly. Because I make a habit of empathizing with others, the best I can. It puts things into perspective.


Love, Daddy


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My Age, Now That I’m A Parent, Seems Less Relevant

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

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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Lesson From My Kid: When In Doubt or Danger, Make Stuff Up

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

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?

Your response:

“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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When I Was 2 Years, 9 Months Old, I Became A Brother

Friday, August 16th, 2013

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

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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