Posts Tagged ‘ dinosaurs ’

I Thought We Were At The Playground To Actually Play…

Monday, October 7th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

Saturday morning after we watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the 23rd time, I’ll mention more about that later, Mommy and I decided it was time for you, I mean, our family, to burn off some extra energy at Granny White Park- or as you call it, “The Dinosaur Park.”

(It has like three different plastic dinosaurs you can climb on.)

I thought we were going to the playground to actually play, but once we got there, all your jittery energy strangely transformed you into a sluggish state of wonder.

You decided you wanted to “people watch” instead.

And I have to admit- there was a lot to see. Nearby, there was a birthday party going on in which all the little boys were dressed up in superhero costumes.

“Daddy, there’s two Spidermans?” you asked.

You didn’t want to go down the slide, or crawl through the tunnel, or even try out the cool pirate ship teeter-totter.

However, you were willing to let Mommy and me push you on the swing, which is the most passive activity to do at the park; other than sitting on the plastic dinosaurs and watching the other kids have fun.

Seriously, you looked so sad.

I get it that you may have just been a little bit intimidated by all the other kids you didn’t know.

Or maybe that, like me sometimes, you just felt like being philosophical and introspective.

But after about 12 minutes of you being the swing, I myself was getting antsy.

So with the superheros now playing behind you where you couldn’t see them anymore, I suggested we move around a bit- in the form of a family walk.

Didn’t work.

After about five steps, you said it:

“Mommy! Hold me!”

You clearly weren’t too tired to walk. The whole point in us being there was for you to burn off all the extra energy you had back at the house.

So I grabbed you and ran far into the vacant soccer field, therefore forcing you to have to run; either because I was chasing you or you were chasing me.

It worked.

For about a minute.

Then you made your way to Mommy again and it was back to sitting in the swing. And sitting on the dinosaurs.

Oh well, I tried.












Add a Comment

My Son, The Zoo Animal Heckler

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

2 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

Twenty years ago in 1993, as a 12 year-old boy, I got to see Jurassic Park in the movie theater with my dad. It was the most life-like experience I’ve ever had in regards to believing I was actually seeing real dinosaurs.

As for you, your version of that happened last weekend when Mommy and I took you to the Nashville Zoo. You finally got to meet a real “dinosaur,” as promised. (An iguana, to be exact.)

Though you enjoyed finally getting to see one, as promised and hyped up, you told me your favorite animal was actually, of all exotic things, the turtle.


(Maybe it’s because our last name is Shell and turtles have a shell?)

You brought a red lowrider truck with you as your companion.

Somehow, from the beginning of our zoo visit, you assumed that in order for the thing to be legitimate or official, you were obligated for each zoo animal to see your truck.

It was like getting your passport stamped. You had to have each new animal hear your offer to play with them.

Impressively, we ended up seeing every animal in the entire zoo in an hour and 25 minutes. Your concept of going to the zoo is like mine of going shopping: Get in, get it, get out!

But of course, along the way, you did have time to unintentionally (?) heckle the zoo animals:

“Hey Tiger! I ride you?”

“Hey Meerkat! Wanna play with my red truck?”

Fortunately, you never seemed too bummed out when the animals stared in the other direction while you sincerely tried to befriend them.

Oh well, we ended up buying a family season pass to the zoo, so this wasn’t your only chance to befriend the (hopefully) enchanted creatures of the forest.

Most importantly, you still believe that dinosaurs are alive and well.

I care less about you losing faith in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.

Or even Mickey Mouse.

But if you still believe that dinosaurs exist, I believe I can assist in keeping your childhood wonder alive even longer.

Randomly enough, the zoo helps with that.





P.S. To see more pictures of your recent visit to the zoo, go to The Dadabase Facebook page and click on the picture folder, Zoo and Baseball 2013.



Add a Comment

Hiding From My Son That Dinosaurs Are Extinct

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

If weather permits, Mommy and I are taking you to the zoo this weekend.

However, I think you’ve made some assumptions about what will be on exhibit there.

As I walked you into school this morning, you couldn’t hold in the excitement:

“We see dinosaurs at the zoo!”

It was at that moment this occurred to me: You have no idea that dinosaurs haven’t existed on this Earth in a very long time.

Really though, why would you not think dinosaurs are still around?

After all, I just bought you a plastic T-Rex to wrestle your monster trucks. Therefore, you have assumed that dinosaurs and monster trucks are age-old rivals.

It doesn’t help that over the weekend you watched an episode of Transformers: Rescue Bots, as well as the 1981 animated Spider-Man series, where the plot involved dinosaurs coming to life in modern day, causing chaos and therefore invoking the help of the good guys to save everyone.

When your teacher, Ms. Lauren, asked you what else besides dinosaurs you are excited to see at the zoo this weekend, you quickly responded: “Trucks. Fire trucks.”

Son, this may be a very disappointing visit to the zoo. Hopefully, I can pass off the iguanas as “baby dinosaurs.”

It’s just that I feel compelled to protect your belief in dinosaurs. I kind of don’t want you to find out the truth about them.

So that’s what will happen. I will encourage and build up your version of reality where dinosaurs are still alive in the world. Because honestly, that sounds like a pretty cool version of reality. Who am I to mess that up for you right now?




Add a Comment

3 Ways Jazz Music is Like Parenthood

Monday, March 5th, 2012

15 months.

No genre of music would serve as the official soundtrack to parenthood better than jazz. Let’s get right to it so you can see what I mean. Here are 3 ways jazz music is like parenthood:

1. It is organized chaos but in the end is beautiful. Jazz nearly defies music theory, as opposed to the “same three chords” concept of rock music.

It’s not as predictable or formulaic as country or rap. In other words, jazz is organized chaos.

Similarly, parenthood contains just as much need for improv as jazz music does.

Sure, you’ve got a general plan of how you want things to go, but until you’re in the middle of it, you may end up not actually breastfeeding or co-sleeping or using cloth diapers.

Being a parent means you organize chaos, everyday. But in the end, what you do is magnificent; even if no one is there to say it.

2. It contains a lot of incoherent babbling. Some jazz contains no singing; some contains wonderful, well thought-out lyrics. But a good amount of it contains scat singing; you know, that “doobidy-bop-bah-dah” stuff, as featured at the end of the theme song for Full House, that uses the human voice as an instrument during breaks from singing actual words.

Need I say more? My son is 15 months-old and he currently exclusively speaks in the language of Scat. I don’t anticipate that changing too much in the near future.

3. It may cause deep thoughts. When I am driving my son to sleep, as I regularly do twice a day on the weekends, I keep the station on 89.5; the jazz station.

As my son finds himself drifting into visions of talking puppies and trees made of Cheerios and Cheddar goldfish crackers, I am also transcending into a higher state.

I think about how crazy it is that I, of all people, am I parent.

As I analyze how I’m already having to set boundaries for my son by firmly teaching him “yes” and “no” it makes me think about how God must know how I feel.

Being a dad keeps me in constant states of deep thoughts. This whole parenting thing is more than just survival of the human race.

Instead, it’s more about me becoming a better person through sacrifice of myself. It’s about sharing my moral beliefs, love of art, and wonder of the world with a soul who I helped bring into existence.

That’s pretty deep, man. Parenting will do that to you. So will jazz.

Add a Comment