Posts Tagged ‘ dad ’

What Happens While Mommy’s Getting Her Haircut…

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

One of my jobs as “the dad” has always been to distract you from getting into trouble, or getting bored, while in public.

Over the weekend, Mommy had a haircut appointment at a salon, thanks to a Groupon.

I was able to distract you for about 8 minutes with the one magazine that wasn’t intended for actual desperate housewives… a hunting magazine, in which we only looked at the animals that had not been shot yet.

Hey, that’s just me being creative.

So I suggested we take a walk outside to see the other places in the shopping center.

We started out by watching the people exit the drive-through at Starbucks. But after only three cars, you were ready to run.

The shop right next to where Mommy was getting her haircut was a nails salon. The front door happened to be open, since it was nice outside.

You peaked in and saw the workers wearing masks over their noses and mouths to protect them from the fumes.

Your instant (and loud) response: “Hey, it’s the dentist!”

Then you ran down the sidewalk to check out the other stores. However, none of the others were open.

So we headed back by the nails salon. By that point, the owner was standing in the doorway, smiling.

I explained to him that you thought he was a dentist.

He went along with it. He then asked you if you have been brushing your teeth.

You assured him you have been. He offered to show you around the “dentist’s office” but you politely declined.

Once his wife caught a glimpse of you, she came over to ask you if you wanted to stay there at the “dentist’s” with them.

After you laughed and told her no, she surprised us both by making a face like a monkey (?) and flopped her arms around in the air, then started cheerfully grunting (?) to us, “Ooga-booga, booga-ooga!”

It was about that time that Mommy was all finished with her haircut and walked out of the salon. So we walked away with Mommy, backwards, smiling and nodding at the “dentist’s” wife; as she made you laugh all the way back to the car.

Yep, I guess we got what we were looking for:

Entertainment while Mommy got her haircut.

Uh… you’re welcome!

 

Love,

Daddy

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Will The Real Easter Bunny Please Hop Up?

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

In the past few weeks, you have seen the Easter Bunny three times now. I really wish I could know exactly what you’re thinking when you see him.

My guess is that your perception of the Easter Bunny is similar to the way you perceive Trotro the donkey, on Netflix.

You have explained to me, “No, Daddy. Trotro is not a donkey or a boy… he’s a donkey boy.”

So that means the Easter Bunny is not a bunny or a man, but a bunny man.

I’m sure you are further confused by the fact that all three Easter Bunnies you’ve seen here recently looked completely different.

The yellow one in the middle of the Opry Mills Mall sort of looked like a grandpa, wearing wire framed glasses.

About 50 feet away was the brown bunny standing in the doorway of Build-A-Bear (who is not advertised as the Easter Bunny, but it is implied). That one apparently is female- and definitely the happiest. She silently giggles a lot.

Actually, I’ve never considered this, but there is no solid reason why the Easter Bunny has to be a male.

It’s confirmed then- I am officially open-minded to Build-A-Bear’s concept of the Easter Bunny… that he may be a she.

And then there’s the Kroger Easter Bunny.

He sort of followed us around like a puppy; which wasn’t a bad thing. I would say he was more like a real bunny and less of a bunny man.

I think his goal was for us to get our picture made with him. It worked.

He even watched as you got your hands painted.

Nothing says Easter like a snake and a hippo; per your request, of course.

Being a kid is great, isn’t it?

You get to live in a mysterious world where enchanted mutant bunnies appear in public in the weeks leading up to Easter, then all of the sudden get shy and sneak in during the middle of the night to give you candy and toys.

Sounds a little passive-aggressive, though… right? You don’t question that at all and neither did I, at your age.

Logic isn’t so important to you at this stage in life. I miss that.

 

Love,

Daddy

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The Top 10 Dadabase Posts Of All Time: 4 Years And Counting

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

As of today, I have been doing this for exactly 4 years. That’s right- I’ve been writing to you, or at least about you, since April 13, 2010; which was 7 months before you were even born.

Here’s an explanation as featured in the About Me section:

“Back in April 2010, I decided I wanted to set a world record for the longest-running daddy blog in the world, beginning with the day the parents-to-be went public with the news they were expecting a baby. Nearly a thousand blog posts later, I write a new one nearly every day.”

Sure, it takes discipline and creativity to write a fatherly post 25 times each month (this is my 955th over all), but it’s one of the things in this life I do best.

Even then, my best isn’t always great. In the past 4 years, I have definitely written things I would later, and still do, regret. At the same time, those “regretful” moments also have served as important milestones in my maturity as your daddy, as well as a writer.

On the other extreme, I think it’s interesting to see what the most interesting things I’ve written to you are about. While my Top 10 Dadabase posts are definitely not my personal Top 10 favorites, the free market has decided otherwise, and I absolutely appreciate their opinion and input.

Just for the record, I have still yet to officially “break the 4th wall” and admit to you that these letters are seen by anyone other than you and me; today is as close as it gets for now. (It’s sort of like how on the TV show, The Office, they never really acknowledged the camera crew or the fact there were making a documentary until the final season.)

So to celebrate 4 years and running, 3 of them being on Parents.com, I now take a look at how my fatherly perspective most resonates with the general public:

#1: No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls… Jealous Much? (February 7, 2014/16 Facebook “likes”)

#2: The Half-Abortion: Only Keeping One Twin (August 14, 2011/2,900 Facebook “likes”)

#3: 5 Token Signs Of Millennial (Or Generation Y) Parents (December 2, 2012/44 Facebook “likes”)

#4: A Slap In The Face: Child Abuse Or Child Discipline (June 10, 2012/329 Facebook “likes”)

#5: Is “Natural” Vanilla Flavoring Really From Beavers…? (February 12, 2012/2,700 Facebook “likes”)

#6: 5 Pointers To Help Avoid Food With Fillers (December 20, 2012/13 Facebook “likes”)

#7: 5 Impractical Ways To Save Your Family Money in 2013 (January 2, 2013/13 Facebook “likes”)

#8: Kama Sutra For Parents Of Young Children (February 14, 2012/1,000 Facebook “likes”)

#9: 7 Tips For Planning A 1 Year-Old’s Birthday Party (December 2, 2011/10 Facebook “likes”)

#10: The Amazing Photo Of Alicia Atkins’ Baby Reaching From The Womb (January 3, 2013/106 Facebook “likes”)

To my surprise, my review of the recipe for “No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls” is by far the most popular thing I’ve ever written. I only wrote it 2 months ago, yet it has now nearly doubled the number of views of the #2 most popular most, which was published nearly 3 years ago.

So I guess I need to review more vegan recipes?

Over all, just glancing at which ones made the Top 10 list, it appears I am most interesting and relevant when I am talking about our vegan (“plant-based”) lifestyle, morality issues, identifying as Generation Y parents, questioning the traditional norms of child discipline, being “cheap” parents, poking fun at the realities of trying to sleep as a parent, planning a child’s birthday party, and spotlighting cool news stories about parenting.

(Plus, putting numbers in the title, like “The Top 10 Dadabase Posts Of All Time: 4 Years And Counting”, seems to help too.)

I’ll try to keep these things in mind as I continue writing my thoughts as a dad in these “private” daily letters to you.

Four years down… the rest of our lives to go!

 

Love,

Daddy 

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Before I Met Your Mother: Flashback To 2005

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

Until last night, I had never seen a full episode of the popular TV show, How I Met Your Mother.

But after hearing all the hype about the final episode that aired this week, I decided to check out the first couple of episodes on Netflix.

It’s interesting because the first episode flashes back to the year 2005, when the protagonist and narrator was 27 years old and meets the woman he wants to marry… and sort of ultimately begins to chase for 9 seasons.

Seeing the show took me back to a place in my life when I was that single 20something year-old guy without a wife and child.

It’s such a different state of mind.

Yes, there was so much “freedom” back then, yet I clearly remember that deep yearning to meet the love of my life, who would in essence connect me to a universe in which the world made better sense to me.

For me, the year 2005 was when I moved to Nashville to truly “start my adult life” as a 24 year-old single guy.

A year later, I met Mommy. Less than two years later, she and I got married. About two and a half years after that, you were born.

To me, this current version of my life is the one I would pick every time.

I know it could be said that raising a 3 year-old boy is at times, chaotic.

But one of my roles in our small family (and in this world as a whole) is to help organize chaos.

It’s as if I find safety and security in the structure of chaos, because it brings meaning to my life.

There are so many things I can’t do well. And there are many obvious roles in our family that Mommy handles.

As for me, I’m here for “everything else.” That’s what I’m good at. I’m starting to fathom that now.

That includes getting rid of spiders for Mommy. That includes being the official disciplinarian for you. That includes me being consistently positive for the two of you even when I don’t feel like it.

I bet it’s hard to imagine me any other way though, right? Before I met your mother, I was a lost boy.

You and her changed that for me. I like 2014 a lot better than 2005.

 

 

Love,

Daddy

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What Scientifically Makes Kids Happy, Part 3: Love From Dad

Friday, March 21st, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Continued from Part 1: Optimism and Part 2: Less TV Time.

Dear Jack,

In the past two letters, I shared with you what makes kids happy, from a scientific viewpoint. I’ve really enjoyed learning about this stuff.

Today’s letter is obviously particularly relevant to you and me.

I will admit, if this information weren’t scientifically backed up, what I am about to say might sound totally biased, but I read all about it an article in LiveScience, as well as seeing it referenced in “The Science Of Raising Happy Kids” infographic at the bottom of this page:

“Feeling loved by dad was even more important for kids’ wellbeing, happiness, and life satisfaction than feeling loved by Mom.

The most effective dads listen to their kids, have a close relationship with them, set appropriate rules, and give freedom when it makes sense.”

Maybe I’m alone here on this, but there are certain days when I feel like I don’t really matter so much; that I’m a chauffer and a dishwasher… like I’m a stage hand.

Your emotional attachment to Mommy is so obvious. As for your emotional attachment to me, the dad… not quite as obvious.

For most of my life I had functioned in a way that I needed confirmation that I was doing things right in order to feel confident.

However, I’m past that point in my life. That started changing about the time I got a real job… but even more so once I became your daddy.

But obviously, it’s still encouraging to learn that you feeling loved by me is an important of your wellbeing, happiness and life satisfaction.

It helps me to be more positive of a person, which is something I’m working on, to know that the things I already do (listen to you, have a close relationship with you, set appropriate rules, and give you freedom when it makes sense) are actually paying off.

Hey, I won’t argue with science.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Infographic featured courtesy of Happify:

Read the entire What Makes Kids Scientifically Happy series:

 Part 1: Optimism

 Part 2: Less TV Time

Part 3: Love From Dad

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