As Jack is building his arm strength as he learns to crawl, I’m seeing him do this peculiar new move with his body. When he begins wearing himself out from crawling around on the rug and shows signs of needing a nap, he “buries” his head down into the ground and lays as flat as he can. It’s Jack’s pre-sleep position.
Coincidentally, this is happening along side a world wide Internet fad called “planking.” I just learned about it two weeks ago from Weekend Update with Seth Meyers on Saturday Night Live. Planking is a most extraordinary way to do something completely ordinary. All it involves is laying down completely flat and still, while face-down. But the most important part is that the “planker” is photographed so that their “planking proof” is evident to the Internet world; via Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.
If you need a proper visual of the official thing, just go to Google Images and type in “planking fad.” I do realize that Jack isn’t planking perfectly, because of the fact he can’t/won’t really lay his arms next to his side. But I’m okay with that, because after all, he is just a baby.
So along with Jack’s crawling comes Jack’s exploring. His biggest motivators are laptops and TV remote controllers. He just goes cuckoo for them.
Again, this is completely in line with planking, as Jack is not content to see the same scenery day after day. Just as planking requires the person to show up in new places, so does parenting Jack. Even when he was much younger, my wife and I would take him hiking. We’ve recently gotten into this tradition of rocking Jack on our two-seater rocking chair after dinner on the front porch.
As much as Jack can appreciate being over-stimulated with all the crazy antics my family introduces him to, he also loves to just chill out- but only outside. The wind has to be softly blowing on his face and he has to feel some of the heat of the sun. In that situation, Jack doesn’t make a peep. He just chills out.
And again, isn’t that a major part of planking? I’m seeing unavoidable parallels between Jack’s recent developments and the fad of planking.
If it were up to Jack, I wonder where all in the world (and space and time) he would plank…
1969 Moon Landing Planking!
Conan’s Desk Planking!
Old School Nintendo Planking!
(On an actual plank! Double score!)
Special effects appear courtesy of Walter “Wally” Wellborn.
Don’t ask me how, but all week my wife and I have had the theme song to the ‘80’s sitcom Mr. Belvedere stuck in our heads. In the mindset of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”, we downloaded the song as our ringtones for when we call each other. That has caused me to revisit some of my most favorite theme songs from these sitcoms that served as the backdrop of my childhood. A very interesting trait that many of these TV shows had in common with each other (and accordingly, the lyrics to their theme songs) is that premise was that an outsider moved into the household, therefore throwing normalcy out of whack. Which totally relates to what’s going through my head right now about our upcoming new addition, a baby boy. (In order to qualify, the sitcom had to actually start in the 1980′s; Diff’rent Strokes, Mork and Mindy, and The Facts of Life don’t qualify since since they premiered in the ’70′s.)
For example, here’s a sitcom that had it all, yet could have only existed in the 1980’s: An all-American family, laugh tracks, and an Alien puppet. Of course, I’m referring to Alf. While the song had no words (instead it sounded like what would happen if you pressed the “demo” button on a $200 Casio keyboard in 1988), the thought of a little creature running around the floor chasing cats loosely translates having a baby boy. For Family Matters, the intended outsider was Estelle Winslow who moved in with her son Carl’s family, though unexpectedly the true outsider instead became Steve Urkle (intended only as a guest star) instead a few episodes into the first season.
In Mr. Belvedere, a British butler moves in with an American family living in Philadelphia: “Sometimes things get turned around and no one’s spared… There’s a change in the status quo. Preparing for our new arrival. We might just live the good life yet…”
Another prime example is from one of my favorite sitcoms ever, which happens to have my favorite TV show theme song ever. In Perfect Strangers, city slicker Larry Appleton is thrown for a curve when his distant cousin Balki moves from his mysterious Mediterranean village to live with Larry in Chicago: “Sometimes the world looks perfect- nothing to rearrange. Sometimes you just get a feeling that you need some kind of change…”
In Full House, it was Joey and Uncle Jesse who mixed things up by moving in with the Tanner family: “What ever happened to predictability?”
There was CBS’s version of Diff’rent Strokes: Webster. As a kid, I actually liked Webster more than Arnold: “Til there was you…”
The next two sitcoms both premiered in 1984 and featured an Italian-American who moved into the household as a “manny”. Who’s the Boss? contains my 2nd favorite theme song ever and often caused me to believe that Tony Danza was my uncle: “You might awaken to a brand new life around the bend…”
Even though I never watched it, I know it was a big deal to a lot of people- Charles in Charge: “New boy in the neighborhood…”
You’re welcome… for being led into a world of nostalgia. It’s pretty much a fact that you’ll be struggling to get one of those songs out of your head for the rest of the day. So being such a sentimental guy as I am, I’ve been thinking about the current events that are going on right now. That way I can tell Jack what was going on around the time he was born:
Interestingly, on November 5th, the movie Due Date hit theatres. Daylight Savings was two days later; meaning that when it’s that time again to set back the clocks every year, it will almost be time for Jack’s birthday. Conan O’Brien’s new show premiered this week (November 8th) and sure enough on last night’s episode during the monologue Conan pointed out that it was exactly nine months ago that his gig at The Tonight Show ended; so if because two people felt sad for Conan losing his job they decided to “get frisky” to be happy again, their child would be born this week. Good call.
It will also be pretty neat that I will be able to show Jack the November 2010 issue of American Baby, in which in his birth was anticipated. He is not making his debut unannounced; that’s for sure. Today, November 11th, is not only Jack’s due date but it’s also my dad’s birthday, whose name is also Jack. So even though he won’t have the same exact birthday as my dad, their birthdays will always be close.
Of all the pregnancy advice I’ve been given, the one thing no one warned me about is this: For first time moms, it’s normal and expected to not delivery until a full week after the due date. So if you or your wife are approaching your due date, don’t do like I did and get all psyched, thinking the water is going to break at any moment. Because then everyone is constantly asking for and expecting baby news, but sure enough, the baby is unaware of his due date. He’s coming out when he’s good and ready.
I have to remind myself that my baby is not a Hot Pocket, with an exact predetermined time of two minutes in the microwave. In fact, that would be pretty weird if he truly was born right near the due date. We went to the doctor today. Thank God, Baby Jack has still got a strong heartbeat and is in a good position. He’s turned the correct way and everything. But as far as when he gets here, I’m sure it will be the moment that I (and everyone else) least expects it. He’s a sneaky little guy.
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography: