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Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
2 years, 3 months.
My biggest fear in life is not of public speaking or of heights; it’s that I’ll have to be bored for more than 30 minutes. Yes, that’s a giveaway sign that I’m part of Generation Y.
However, as long as I have you around, I don’t think that being bored will be a problem.
The clock does not generally seem to slow down when I am with you. You keep life interesting in your silly, weird, and challenging ways.
This morning I spent ten minutes wrestling you as you resisted me getting you dressed. I was actually sweating a little bit by the time we finally headed out the door. Seriously, you put up quite a fight.
While I generally don’t look forward to having to pin you down to get you dressed, it’s little things like that that keep life interesting.
I mean, the normal way to leave for work in the morning wouldn’t include such a physical and psychological challenge. But with you, it just might.
On the lighter side, your ideas of fun and passing time are much more different than mine.
For example, every night after your bath, you like to run into your closet and find a new treasure to carry to bed. Last night, it was a cow print cloth diaper.
This is especially funny to me because you never really wore your cloth diapers in the first place. But because you find entertainment in discovering random items stored in your closet, you selected the cow print cloth diaper.
I could tell you were slightly disappointed that your choice wasn’t as exciting as the one from the night before, which was one of your baby monitor speakers.
Even still, you committed to it. You did your best to convince yourself that you actually wanted to sleep with a cow print cloth diaper.
My life is not boring, thanks to you. Needless to say, I live in interesting times.
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Friday, September 21st, 2012
Last month I saw this Garfield comic that happened to perfectly summarize how I think my toddler son tends to see life. (I now have it cut out and taped up near Jack’s pictures on my cubicle wall at work.)
This concept most applies to our car rides to and from Jack’s day care and my office, 5 days a week.
Jack wants to be entertained, so I keep around a toddler’s survival kit: A book, a toy truck, and a stuffed animal.
After half of the car ride, what does he do? He “accidently” drops any of the above items.
That’s always annoying. Try explaining to your toddler that you can’t sacrifice safely driving to turn around and attempt to pick up his “fallen” stuffed giraffe.
It doesn’t work. Dang logic.
But when he’s not trying to engage me by him losing reach of his toys, he’s instead “hurting” himself with them.
Yesterday Jack kept accidently dropping his two Thomas the Train toys into his knees, making sure I heard his fake whine: “Eh, heh heh…”.
You always instantly know when your kid is faking being hurt, right?
So each time I hear a fake whine, I reply with an equally fake “Ahhhhwwwhhh!”
What’s funny is that it didn’t take him long at all to realize I wasn’t being serious either.
So each time each hears my faux sympathy, now his response is, “No. No. N-n-n-no!”
He wants to be sure I know that he knows.
And then what does he do right after? He repeats the cycle with another “Eh, heh heh.”
Until he has the attention span for a handheld video game, my son is stuck with pretending to drop toys and/or pretending to get hurt by those same toys.
The world exists for his amusement. I wish car rides could be the intermission.
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Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
Two Saturday nights ago my wife and I turned on the TV in hopes of a catching a creepy episode of Dateline featuring yet another typical, captivating story where a seemingly normal husband or wife murdered their spouse and tried to cover it up.
Instead, we happened to catch the very beginning of Wrestelmania 28, which for some random reason was airing on NBC. And we couldn’t turn it off.
We were reeled in by the mini-documentary profiles of both The Rock and John Cena. Before the match began, we were already rooting for John Cena, dressed in his token jean shorts.
Yes, professional wrestling is fake. Sorry.
No, not every single move is choreographed, but the basics of each match are predetermined, as I assume the wrestlers practice with each other for hours before their televised event.
Sure, certain parts of the physical wrestling are real, like slamming each other down on the stage.
But if all those “punches” to the face were real, there would obviously be some instant red marks and/or blood to prove it.
Why is it important that professional wrestling is fake? Because that’s what draws a crowd. People love exciting entertainment, even when they know it’s over the top and less than realistic.
(Ever heard of a show on TLC called Here Comes Honey Boo Boo?)
This concept was also part of the story lines to boxing movies like Cinderella Man and Rocky, where the fight planners and promoters acknowledged the need for not only an underdog the people would root for, but also the need for a good long fight.
That’s not to say that Mike Tyson biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear wasn’t exciting, but there’s only so many times fighters can bite off their opponent’s body parts before it hurts the integrity of the sport.
Therefore, professional wrestling is fake. It’s much safer that way; not only for the well-being of the wrestlers, but also for the faithfulness of the spectators.
My 21 month-old son is at least subconsciously aware of this fact, too. On a daily basis, we wrestle in our living room. And every weekend, at the park.
He knows I won’t actually hurt him, yet he screams as I straddle him like a hungry lion tearing into a delicious zebra.
All of my growling and barking and shouting “Jack, come back here!” as I chase him across the room has to be perceived to him like being in the middle of a WWE wrestling match.
Even my toddler knows that wrestling is fake. But that doesn’t make it any less entertaining.
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Friday, July 20th, 2012
Today a coworker walked up to my desk and said, “Here, you have a kid. Take this.”
He handed me me some random Spongebob Squarepants toy from the bottom of a box of Cheerios.
Turns out, the toy was a water squirter; which will be perfect for bath time.
My son can turn anything into a toy. And he does. Every day and every hour.
If he discovers a mop in your closet, then it’s time to push that thing around like it’s his toy lawnmower.
If he finds my socks at the bottom of the stairs, then he has to put them on, becoming his new moon boots.
Jack recently discovered my wife’s 3 pound hand weights. Yes, now they are magic swords, evidently. And they shoot lasers out the ends, too.
He finds value in inanimate objects by asking himself, “How can I make this a fun and entertaining toy for the next 12 minutes?”
It totally reminds me of the “Props” game on the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? where they had to come up with a believable use for some random object… on the spot.
Yeah, now that I think about it, Jack really is constantly playing that game!
Wow. I understand my son so much better now.
Thank you, Drew Carey.
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
What interesting “toys” does your baby get to play with?
By now it’s nearly cliché to point out the irony in a kid getting more enjoyment out of the cardboard box that a toy is packaged in rather than the actual toy itself. So I won’t. But similarly, I will point out a few other seemingly mundane household items that currently serve as Jack’s greatest form of entertainment.
His biggest fascination is with air vents; whether or not air is actually coming out of them. I suppose that to him, he gets a thrill out of the anxiety of wondering at which exact moment the cold air will suddenly begin blowing on his face and through his hair. Jack hovers over and around the air vent like it’s some magical wishing well, about to grant him his wish of an instant set of teeth in which he could use to eat veggie pizza with his parents. Or at least a masculine unicorn to ride on.
But for the times that Jack prefers a more hands-on experience, there is the amazing wooden spoon! Thanks to my wife’s creative thinking, Jack now has a wondrous multipurpose toy that can be used for the following:
1) Jack can use to the handle to repeatedly ram his leg, while joyously smiling.
2) Jack can use the head of the spoon to repeatedly hit himself in the forehead, again, while joyously smiling.
3) Jack can pretend the wooden spoon is a Popsicle, tasting its delicious wooden flavor.
4) Jack can practice his self-invented stunt of attempting to crawl while carrying the spoon in one hand.
5) Jack can wave the wooden spoon around in the air like he’s conducting a choir of enchanted kittens.
Should Jack ever tire of the wooden spoon, there is always the back-up plan. Yes, the paper towel roll. While Jack can basically use it in the same ways he uses the spoon, he can additionally become mesmerized by watching me put the paper towel roll to my mouth to make weird falsetto humming noises through it; like a giant kazoo. It works similar to the way Indian men charm snakes.
I am a certified baby charmer.
And fortunately, Jack is like a cat in that he can entertain himself with nearly any random household object. The question is, who is more entertained by the magical wooden spoon and its other glorious counterparts? My infant son for finding entertainment value in it, or me for finding entertainment value in watching him find entertainment value in it?
P.S. As I post this, my sister is in labor with her first child. Jack’s about to get a new cousin! And I’m about to be an uncle for the first time, through blood.
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Home Life, Must Read, Story Bucket, Storytelling