Posts Tagged ‘ dancing ’

Teaching “How To Be Human” Lessons To Our Son

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

A year and a half.

It’s funny to see how your toddler will eagerly mimic and go along with just about anything you do, assuming you are teaching him or her a lesson in what it’s like to be a normal human being.

Because after all, isn’t that sort of what we’re doing as parents- giving our kids “how to be human” lessons each day?

After all, we undoubtedly instill our own family culture into our kids; even if we as the parents are not necessarily aware what our micro-culture even is.

I’m trying to think of some examples of micro-culture in our household, but not for the average American family.

Well, for starters, our son believes that prunes are a delicious dessert. (We deprive the kid of fruit juice, so to him, the sweetness of dried plums taste pretty awesome!)

Jack asks to be pulled in his wagon around the neighborhood; not as a recreational activity, but as a mini-sabbatical.

He thinks that cleaning and doing housework, like vacuuming, is a treat.

Part of our morning routine is that Jill lets him take all the caps off the perfume and cologne bottles; making it his duty to smell each one of them. (That explains why he often smells extremely masculine or feminine each morning on his way to daycare.)

There’s the fact that my wife and I realized it will be a while before we can upgrade from our modest 31 inch screen TV, so we pulled out our blow-up mattress to lay down on to watch Lost on. Hey, if we can’t make the TV bigger, we can at least make it seem bigger, right? Anyway, Jack has assumed it’s his new play mat.

Oh, and then there’s the exercise video with accompanying exercise step…

My wife’s exercise step has been a sporadic toy choice for Jack over the past month or so. Sometimes during playtime he grunts and points to the closet.

That’s my cue to take it out for him and let him “walk the plank.” Evidently it’s a lot of fun when you’re 18 months-old.

By going along with the idea that an exercise step is a kids’ toy, I reinforce his preconceived idea that this is normal.

Last Saturday, while wearing his (in)famous plaid romper, he decided to join Jill in a work-out video in the convenience of our living room thanks to Netflix on our Wii, called Dance Off the Inches: Calorie Blasting.

If only Elmo had his very own dance video for toddlers…

Jack thinks dancing to an exercise video is normal for an 18 month-old. And I allow him to.

Too bad he has to learn how to be a normal human being from me. My feet may be on the ground, but my head is always in the clouds.

Poor kid.


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Is It Normal For My Toddler to Moonwalk?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

16 months.

I don’t know the answer, so I’m sorry if my blog is now the #1 site that pops up when you Google that question. But it is, however, the question I am trying to answer right now.

Yes, that’s right. My 16 month-old son is teaching himself to moonwalk. Like Michael Jackson singing “Billie Jean” in 1983.

Over Easter weekend while we were in Alabama with my family, we visited my grandmother in the nursing home. I was standing next to her bed as she asked me if I’d ever seen that “Charlie bit me” video; evidently Fox News recently featured the clip for those who have never experienced the Internet.

My wife Jill called me from the doorway of the room, where she was supervising Jack burn off some energy in the hall:

“Nick, he’s walking backwards… have you ever seen him do that before?”

I hadn’t. In fact, I never heard of any toddler A) trying to walk backwards and B) actually succeeding.

But my son Jack was doing it. To watch your toddler son walk backwards is a fascinating thing, but even more curious was the fact he was moonwalking.

He actually was picking up his heals, then sliding his toes backwards in a reversed walking motion.

So when I ask the question “is it normal for my son to moonwalk?” I guess what I’m getting at is this:

Is he some kind of child prodigy or something? Instead of Doogie Howser the doctor, have I fathered the next Justin Bieber?

I think it’s possible. I mean, already, he has the ability to find the dance beat in an alarm clock going off or even just hearing radio static.

Will I have to enroll him in dance classes for gifted children? I would hate to see such amazing potential go to waste.

Or could it be, like most toddlers, he just randomly figured out how to do something weird in the delirium created from his slack of sleep during such a busy egg-hunting weekend?

I think he’s just being a normal toddler and I’m probably not the only parent of a toddler out there who wonders if it really is that strange that their kid walks backwards when they get really tired.

Either way, I think I know what song will be playing in my head all day:

Billie Jean’s not my lover…”.


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My Toddler Has Moves Like Jagger… And Frankenstein!

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

15 months.

Whenever Jack hears any kind of music, he just starts dancing. I realize, though, I may be using the word “dancing” pretty loosely.

Sure, he’s got moves like Jagger… but mixed with a little bit of Stevie Wonder’s signature head swing from side to side and while awkwardly putting his arms straight out like Frankenstein.

It can be Phil Collins’ soft rock, Bon Jovi’s hard rock, Jason Aldean’s country rock, or simply a cheesy jingle on the radio: No matter what kind of song it is, Jack believes it deserves the same dance moves.

In other words, my son has soul but he ain’t got no rhythm.

He’s pretty much obsessed with dancing right now. He has this zebra scooter which he refuses to ride until I hit the music button on it.

Similarly, he won’t begin eating his breakfast or dinner until my wife turns on the radio on top of the fridge.

Jack will point up to the stereo, waiting until he hears a melody before touching the food on the tray of his high chair.

This morning as I was helping my wife get him dressed, he was being pretty cranky for no good reason. I tried distracting him by making stupid faces and weird jungle sounds, but it was to no avail.

So my wife and I decided to sing an unrehearsed duet for him: The Alphabet Song.

By the letter F, he was laughing and working on his dance moves.

And while he doesn’t even care about watching TV in the first place, perhaps for our own entertainment, my wife and I like to turn on The Backyardigans (via Netflix streaming through our Wii) just to watch him get all excited and Jagger around to the surprisingly un-catchy, yet unforgettable, theme song.

My son is definitely a dancing machine. Here again, I’m using the word “dancing” pretty loosely.

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