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Monday, July 2nd, 2012
You mean there’s a difference between girls and boys? Who cares.
Best I can remember, girls didn’t get the Cooties until I was in preschool. And by Kindergarten, I stopped caring.
As for Jack, he’s far from the “Cootie awareness stage.” I’m sure he recognizes that boys are different from girls in some subliminal way, but I think it’s mainly because of the different playing styles of the two genders.
Because boys play more rough. Put Jack in a group of girls and he escapes from the crowd, looking for the loudest, most dangerous adventure possible.
This weekend before we dropped off Jack at the nursery at church and were printing off his name tag, I noticed some “Allergy Alert” stickers.
Without thinking about it, I grabbed the pen and wrote ”Girls” on the sticker and slapped it on his shirt.
So clever and witty, I am.
Interestingly, it turned out that there happened to be 10 boys his class and only one girl. The sticker ended up being appropriate, after all.
Something Henry’s dad was telling me about recently is how Henry can tell if a person is a man or woman; no matter their age.
How does a kid know? I’ve never thought about it before.
Sophie’s mom and I have joked about how, by default, Sophie is sort of a tomboy right now at daycare: She’s always right there in the mix of whatever hijinks that Jack and Henry are into.
And this is interesting to me, because Sophie is the girl Jack is around more than any other.
So clearly, Jack hasn’t yet developed any preconceived ideas about girls. Sophie is just as cool as Henry… for now.
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Sunday, February 5th, 2012
Last July when we moved back to Nashville, some coworkers heard that our son Jack was enrolled in KinderCare, responding with something to the effect of, “Oh, is that the fancy daycare where they let you watch your kid on a hidden camera anytime you want by logging onto their website?”
I find that concept laughable.
That I would pay [x amount] of our income for strangers to care for our child from 7:45 AM to 5: 05 PM every weekday, yet not trust them enough to do so unsupervised, but instead Big Brother style, all day by my wife and me; as we check every 30 seconds on a website to make sure our son is okay.
So, no… my son’s daycare does not have a website where I can watch him on a hidden camera all day; in case I had any doubt that the daycare workers are mistreating and abusing him as seen on some 20/20 or Dateline episode a few years ago.
Whether I want to or not, I have to trust my son with random strangers.
In fact, I had to today. Though wife and I love our megachurch we’ve both been attending for over five years now, over the past couple of months we realized that the check-in process for our son to get into the daycare was so elaborate and detailed, with printed badges and passwords, not to mention the 25 minute drive from our house, that we were willing to try a closer and smaller church that is more practical for us now that we are parents.
One where the childcare program was so simple that there was no paperwork nor name tags nor computers. One where if there was some kind of emergency during the service, someone could just walk around the corner and let us know.
So today, we “tried out” a new church, leaving Jack with random strangers in the church’s toddler room. When we picked him back up an hour later, he was totally chilled and relaxed, eating Cheddar goldfish with random strangers his age. He was fine and the random strangers taking care of him were very kind to him.
Random strangers are random strangers until you get to know them and realize you can definitely trust them; that’s the irony.
Image: Woman with a fun expression wearing a purple hat, via Shutterstock.
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Thursday, November 17th, 2011
Jack is currently the only boy in his age/stage group at KinderCare. Since this recently became the case, I have noticed a new dynamic between him and his classmate, Sophie Culpepper. (What a cool name, right?)
Don’t get ahead of me here. This is not a post about Jack’s first daycare crush. We’re not there yet.
It’s becoming the norm now that when I drop off Jack in the morning, he will stand up next to the toy sink, and Sophie will walk up to him. Standing just inches away from his face, she stares at him as if to say, “Good, you’re here now. Entertain me.”
His sigh and blank stare back at her seem to translate: “Hey, I just got here. Give me a minute to see what kind of trouble we can get into today.”
Their “partners-in-crime” relationship is especially funny because of how much they look alike. I instantly think of the cartoon show, Rugrats, where the only obvious difference between Phil and Lil is a hair bow and a dress. In other words, it’s like they are twin brother and sister, who if they were the same gender, would be identical twins.
It somehow helps their buddy status that both Jack and Sophie are currently two of the most popular American names for babies. In 2010, the year they were both born, Sophie (Sophia) was the #1 most popular girl name and Jack was the 13th most popular for boys; for what it’s worth, Jackson/Jaxon was #3.
According their current KinderCare teacher, Ty, the two of them follow each other around and often want whatever toy the other is currently playing with.
So when they’re not making messes together by scattering the neatly placed toys all over the floor, which I’ve been informed they do on a daily basis, they have this assumed sibling rivalry going on.
I love it that at only a year old, Jack is getting a good idea of what it’s like to have to share with someone who is similar in age and personality. Sophie, who was born just a month after him, is his perfect match.
Jill (my wife, in case you’re new to The Dadabase) and I are especially smitten by Sophie. She usually walks up to us to get a hug whenever she sees us. As you can see from the pictures, she is an adorable little girl.
I knew she was officially cool when she started staring at me one day and I responded by making my scary Freddy Krueger face at her: Just like Jack, she instantly laughed. That’s when she won my heart.
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Monday, July 18th, 2011
The reset button has been pressed and the screen has faded to white. Today my family began life back on the magical island (a reference to Lost) of Nashville where we have been destined to live. It was a big day for all three of us: I returned back to the same office where I used to work; my wife started a new job back at Vanderbilt University where she worked previous to our move; and Jack went to daycare for the first time, or ”baby boarding school” as I like to think of it. (I will inevitably be writing an entire post about my feelings about him going to daycare, in the near future.)
For me, starting back over in Nashville today felt like waking up from a long stretch of amnesia, where I remember dreaming of a strange parallel universe I had been living in for eight months; only it wasn’t a dream. It was real life. It’s like suddenly having a flash drive in the USB port of my brain which contains the acquired data to help me best function in this “redo” of my life.
As I rode my mountain bike from my office to Jack’s daycare to briefly visit him during my lunch break, I noticed several businesses and restaurants that have been replaced by new ones; while others are surprisingly still around. And in my office most of the same people were still there to welcome me back, though I saw several unfamiliar, and therefore strange, new people who were walking around the place as if they knew what they were doing.
But it was me who wasn’t there all along, for I was receiving my necessary life education lessons back in Alabama. As of last night, we have officially unpacked our bags. Though we still have a lot of our stuff still in storage, there already is the undeniable sense of “home” for us here. Because despite what we thought was right for us a year ago, we belong here, in Nashville.
I loved being back at my old office today. And my wife is really excited about her new job. As for Jack, I will just have to assume he’s having a good time in daycare; hanging out with other babies who are the same age, yet a lot smaller than he is. I know he’s in good hands, but it’s just tough that they are not our hands.
The time has come for all three of us to grow up and move forward; together as a family of three.
Photos courtesy of Moments in Time Photography in Fort Payne, Alabama:
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babies, daddy blog, daycare, family, fatherhood, home, infant, Nashville | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Growing Up, Home Life, Story Bucket, Storytelling