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Saturday, April 20th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
Thursday morning as we pulled out of the neighborhood, you asked me:
“What’s that sound, Daddy?”
Minutes later, a man in a pick-up truck next to me motioned to my back tire. Fortunately, we happened to be very close to a WalMart, where we learned my tire had a big silver nail in it and that the tire would have to be replaced.
For months now, I have meaning to get my own diaper bag to keep in my car for you.
Given that you and I spend at least 7 hours a week together in my car, it makes sense that I should have a “daddy diaper bag” to remain with me wherever I am with you.
Interestingly enough, Thursday morning happened to be the morning I placed my new daddy diaper bag in my car, in the seat next to you. Then minutes later, the flat tire situation happened.
So during the 2 and a half hour event, I had books, toys, snacks, and of course, diapers for you; right there all in one place. It’s strange to think that before this week, I didn’t even carry diapers with me in my car!
But now, we’re all set. And not only do I have a daddy diaper bag, I actually have a really nice, trendy one from OkieDog.
I noticed that the particular bag I chose, the Urban Sphinx, is specifically designed for a man. Just like the way a man compartmentalizes his thoughts in a very cut-and-dry manner, the bag is evidently designed this way too.
The bag actually reminds me of my car itself, a Honda Element, in that it is simple, practical, efficient, and very low-maintenance.
Those are all adjectives that, as a man, are important to me in describing things I own.
Like a Honda Element, my daddy diaper bag contains no cloth or fabric, making it very easy to clean.
It has a plastic carabiner-type device on a key ring behind the main flap, making it very easy to find my keys. (That’s why I hate Mommy’s purse… I always have to dig around for her keys!)
Something else that made me smile about my daddy diaper bag is that it comes with a couple smaller zippered bags; perfect for wet wipes or snacks.
I like how nothing about it is hidden: All the pockets and compartments are easily visible and obtainable. (I am assuming it was designed by a man because everything about it speaks to me in my language?)
In other words, nothing about it reminds me of a purse, like our other diaper bag.
Son, this is our masculine diaper bag. It has already experienced its first adventure with the two of us.
Here’s to many more father and son adventures! Hopefully, they won’t involve me buying a new tire for my car…
Attention Dadabase Readers: Here’s a coupon code that gives you a 10% discount on orders from the okiedog.com site: 2296.
It will be good through the end of May 2013. Also, Okiedog will soon be offering free shipping on all products to Amazon Prime members.
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
I’ve never called my son “Buddy.”
No, it’s not that I’m one of those parents who takes things too seriously; proclaiming that calling my son such a casual nickname will cause him to respect me less in the long run.
Nor am I bitter that my dad wouldn’t let me get a My Buddy doll when I was a kid in the Eighties, so therefore I just boycott the word altogether.
Ultimately, I just don’t think I have the right personality for it. I watch my good friend (and the most talented photographer I know) Joe Hendricks play with his son:
“Hey there little Buddy! Look at you starting to walk! That’s my main man! What a champ!”
That will never be me. I’ll never talk like that. I could never pull it off.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
It’s just that my friend Joe is more of a Buddy kind of guy than I am or ever will be.
He is the epitome of the nickname “Buddy.” Not only does everyone I know happen to know Joe, but he’s the kind of guy you want to be your friend if he’s not already.
As for me, I’m more an introvert/extrovert hybrid. And I never refer to my own friends by that word. I never say, “Yeah, last weekend me and one of my buddies…”.
I use the much less interesting and affectionate term, friend, instead for my… friends.
So what word do I use for my son when I am talking to my him?
As I unpack my subconscious on this, I realize that I enjoy reminding myself that I am his father. I find a lot of my value as a human being in being a dad.
I suppose I choose son because it makes me feel good about myself. It carries this idea of mentorship, especially when I use it to instruct him:
“Alright Son, pick up your toys, then we can go downstairs and watch Elmo.”
“Son, come with me. We’re going to try out our new jogging stroller.”
“You have a good night, Son. I love you.”
To me, the word carries a lot of emotional and spiritual meaning with it. Plus, it goes without saying that packaged into the word son is friend.
But it’s all personal preference and it doesn’t matter in the end.
The dads who call their son “Buddy” are doing what’s right for them and their relationship with their son, as are those of us who use another name instead.
People show affection and emotion in different ways. And I think all this talk right now about a man calling his son “Buddy” is just simply a reflection of that.
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Buddy, dad, daddy, father son nicknames, fatherhood, jogging stroller, nicknames, parenting | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Growing Up, Home Life, Must Read, People, The Dadabase
Sunday, September 11th, 2011
I’ve made mention before that one of my many weaknesses is that I’m horrible/inexperienced when it comes to anything mechanical. My deficiencies in this department aren’t for a lack of interest or a lack of trying, though. A couple of weeks ago I attempted to change the back tire on my mountain bike, since the tube in the tire exploded from the summer heat.
Fast forward a few paragraphs into this story and it turns out I went to the bike repair shop and was told that the cost of repairing the bike would be more than the cost of the bike itself. I evidently am that bad at fixing even the simplest of things!
Fortunately, the girl at the repair shop was wrong and they were able to fix what I messed up for only $27. (It would have only cost me $10 to let them repair the flat tire in the first place.)
My son, Jack, on the other hand, will most likely not suffer from his old man’s bad luck with understanding mechanics. He currently is sort of obsessed with trying to figure out how mechanical stuff works. Jack loves taking things apart.
I can just tell already his brain is working in ways that mine never has.
Another thing about Jack that I can’t help but be aware of is that he will likely end up being an athlete; something I tried to be a few times as a kid, then eventually turned to art, music, and writing- activities that were more my speed. Even today, the physical activities I involve myself with, mainly running and mountain biking, are noncompetitive hobbies.
But Jack is simply built like an athlete. He’s a tank. He’s a 1940′s wrestler.
A few weeks ago at his 9 month check-up, we learned that he is in the 90th percentile for height and 75th for weight. Maybe as he gets older he’ll end up adopting the skinny, bow-legged Italian body style that his dad had. However, I think he will grow up to be the opposite: a tall, large-framed, coordinated boy who is picked first on teams in gym class.
It’s safe to say I’ll eventually become a sports fan and learn a lot more about doing home repairs, thanks to my son.
How did this athletically-built, mechanically-minded boy come from me? All I can say is that it figures. I’m still laughing at the irony that a fair complected, blue eyed kid could ever be the offspring of dark-featured, olive complected parents like his mom and me.
I wonder in what other ways Jack will be the opposite of me . . . I’m sure he’ll be a whiz in math and science.
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Monday, August 22nd, 2011
Knowing that my son will inevitably pick up on the vibes I put out there as I react to him, I make a conscious effort to be calm-assertive, as a dad. Here’s my own definition of calm-assertiveness: being cool, calm, and collected as well as being direct, assertive, and respectable.
I very much enjoy watching Cesar Millan’s TV show Dog Whisperer, as he teaches the importance of being a “calm-assertive” leader. It’s not only interesting to learn about how dogs were meant to be raised and trained, but also how a lot of what Cesar Millan teaches actually translates to human relationships. He himself has noted the comparison, being known for saying: “Humans are the only animals who will follow unstable pack leaders.”
The Dog Whisperer makes a great point about us humans needing stable, respectable leaders. When we (as well as our children) do not have a confident, consistent, authoritative example to live by, we can become confused, angry, anxious, rebellious, spiteful, and/or apathetic. I know for a fact that I am wired to want to follow the best human examples out there. So I am always looking around the room to locate the “pack leader.”
Sometimes that means that I need to be that leader, when there is not a legitimate or active one present. I was also programmed to want to be in control, because often, my ability to control is necessary and needed for the structure of those around me; especially at work and at home.
I can’t allow my son to begin to believe that he is the pack leader; that he is the boss. Sure, I know we parents may joke about our kids “ruling the roust” sometimes, but in all seriousness, there needs to be no doubt in my son’s mind who really makes and carries out the rules. It’s my job to make it clear that there are definite boundaries that must be respected.
When it comes to establishing those boundaries, part of my responsibility as a dad is to figure out the limits while considering my wife’s maternal input. Undeniably, I must make the conscious effort to establish order and expectations for my son to live by.
Granted, my expectations are necessarily and realistically set as low as they need to be. But I refuse to be a dad without direction.
Thank you, Cesar Millan, for introducing me to the concept of the term “calm-assertive,” even though I’m not actually a dog person.
This post is a spin-off of “Putting My Paternal Instincts to Good Use.”
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calm-assertive, Cesar Millan, daddy, daddy blog, Dog Whisperer, dogs, family, fatherhood, pack leader | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Home Life, Must Read, People, Storytelling
Friday, July 1st, 2011
It’s a big, dangerous world out there and it’s my job to keep this little bambino safe. But I must channel my fears into positive, rational energy.
There is plenty of truth in the stereotype that parents are over-protective with their first child. I know, because I’m living it right now. Subconsciously, I preview every potentially dangerous situation for Jack; no matter how improbable.
I am Jack’s protector- I can not let anything bad happen to him. Like Bruce Banner (the Incredible Hulk), I can instantly turn into the biggest beast of a monster in an effort to protect him. So while I am an average-looking, mild-mannered man, all it takes is Jack being in potential danger for me to transform into a potential killing machine.
But what is most relevant is that I prepare for Jack’s safety in every situation. So that I never have to rescue or save him. Being over-protective means preventing dangerous situations; not just worrying about them happening all the time.
For my 10th birthday on April 20th, 1991, my parents bought me exactly what I wanted the most: Bible Adventures, the Nintendo game. (Yes, it actually existed!) The game was modeled after my favorite video game ever, Super Mario Bros. 2, in that you could carry items above your head and throw them at enemies.
The most interesting (and disturbing!) thing in Bible Adventures was that if you played as Moses’ sister Miriam, you held baby Moses over your head and for some unexplainable reason, if you pressed the B button, you would throw the infant Moses onto the ground…
Miraculously, he would never be injured; whether you tossed him onto the hard concrete sidewalk, on top of a giant mutant spider, directly into a guard throwing spears, or into the river. But I was a 10 year-old boy, so I didn’t let the physical practicality or the Biblical incorrectness of the game bother me too much. But I did have a lot of fun repeatedly throwing baby Moses onto the sidewalk and watching him bounce, cry for a second, then instantly start smiling again. Needless to say, Bible Adventures did not receive the Nintendo Seal of Approval.
Since the day Jack was born, I have always been fearful that I will drop him; knowing that unlike the invincible Nintendo version of baby Moses, my son would not simply bounce and smile afterwards. So now that he is beginning to crawl, it means I carry him around less. Which means I worry less about dropping him, and more about him getting into all kinds of other troubles.
With good reason, I worry about him drowning, being run over by a car, getting electrocuted, choking, falling, getting attacked by a dog, or maybe even getting swooped up by a long-lost pterodactyl. It even scares me to type my fears aloud, even if the last one was a joke.
I am the Papa Bear. I will do whatever it takes to protect Mama Bear and Baby Bear. Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
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1991, Bible Adventures, dad blog, daddy, fatherhood, fear, Moses, Nintendo, Old Testament, overprotective, papa, parenting, positive energy, Super Mario Bros. 2, The Incredible Hulk | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Home Life, Spirituality, The Dadabase