Posts Tagged ‘ father ’

Mommy Handles Our Schedule And Budget… We Just Follow

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

This morning as I was dropping you off at school, you wanted to go over to your friend Avery’s daddy and ask him if Avery could hang out with us this Saturday for the free puppet show at the Nashville Library.

He was delighted you asked, as was Avery. His response: “That sounds like fun. Well, let me check with the ‘schedule keeper’ in our house, Avery’s Mommy, and we’ll let you know tomorrow.”

A few minutes later, you asked your friend Madison’s daddy the same thing. His response: “Yeah, we’d like to do that. Let me check with the person in our household who handles our schedule and we’ll see.”

Earlier this week, I was texting my friend Dave about going to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier on opening night.

Before texting me back, you guessed it… he checked with the “schedule keeper.”

Sort of like how I recently pointed out that it’s common knowledge that the modern dad does the dishes every night (or a staple household chore of similar value), I’ve observed another sign of a happily married father:

He quickly admits he doesn’t control his schedule.

So, when I’m asked about plans, I know just what to do: I refer that person to Mommy.

You and I both are just along for the ride.

Even as I’m the one driving our family around in the car on the weekends, I never really know where we are going until we’re loading up. Seriously, that’s how it is.

That’s okay by you and me. Wherever we end up, we seem to always have a good time.

And really, it’s the same way with our budget. Mommy handles that for our family.

When I want to purchase something, like tickets for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, for example, I run it by Mommy.

It’s not necessarily that I have to ask permission, per se, as it is I… collaborate with the CFO first (Chief Financial Officer).

Whether it’s the schedule or the budget, I’ve learned that pretty much, the answer is yes, but I don’t ultimately make that call independently.

Mommy and I play different roles in our household. I don’t have to worry about planning out our schedules or doing the budget. I do other stuff, which I plan to write to you more about next.

Like I said shortly after Mommy and I got married nearly 6 years ago:

I wear the pants in the relationship… but she tells me which ones to wear.




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How To Take Good Pictures Of Your Kid

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

3 months, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Something I’m not good at is remembering to take videos of you.

However, I probably make up for it in the number of pictures I take of you each week.

Not only do I feel responsible to archive your life in letters, but I also feel the same way about the pictures I take to accompany those letters.

I have a big flashdrive which contains the story of your life, in pictures, going all the way back to the day you were born in November 2010.

While there are several thousands of pictures stored in that flashdrive, it doesn’t mean they are all good ones.

I’m not claiming to be a great photographer, but I do attempt to be decent. By now, I should consider myself an advanced amateur.

Hmm… maybe I should design a cool logo for all the pictures I take of you now, like I did for our couplies

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot the hard way.

Lighting is a big part of it. I realize that I take a lot of indoor photos of you; many of which are hazy because of the lighting in our house.

Living in a townhouse means we only have light coming in from the front and back of the house; not the sides. So I try to take as many pictures of you as I can outdoors because the light is natural and obviously better.

However, I take pictures of you as life happens, which may or may not be in the best natural lighting.

Throughout these past 3 years and 3 months of your life, I have sort of taught myself some tricks.

I wish I would have had a “cheat sheet” when I first started taking pictures of you. I do now, though… it’s at the bottom of this letter, courtesy of Obaby.

For example, I know the importance reducing “busyness” in pictures of you, by taking pictures closer if there’s a chance that the background will distract from you.

And I know not to use the zoom option, as it degrades the quality.

I’m far from a good photographer of you, but I am aiming for decent. Compared to when I first started this over 3 years ago, at least… I feel like I’ve met my goal: At best, I am an advanced amateur.




The New Parents' Guide to Mobile Photography [Infographic]
© Obaby


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New Pew Survey Shows Dads As The Moral Teacher

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

2 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

According to the new Pew Research Center survey, Americans expect dads to be more of a moral teacher and emotional comforter than a breadwinner or disciplinarian.

The way I look at it, whether a dad chooses to be or not, he often is by default the moral teacher and emotional comforter, for better or worse.

That’s not to say that the mom’s role in teaching her children values and morals is simply marginal, but I do find it interesting that in a time where the media still makes dad out to be a horrible role model or at least a lovable idiot, see “ABC 20/20′s D Is For Dad And Dumb” Segment which aired just in time for Father’s Day, this new poll shows that dads are expected to be the moral teacher more than the disciplinarian or the greater income provider.

So why is it that if dads seen as the moral teacher, that they are still often portrayed as dummies in the media? I’d say it’s because there’s a disconnect between what TV writers think America wants to see and want America actually thinks about their dads.

I base “what America actually thinks” on what I’m seeing as Facebook status updates today for Father’s Day. I see Facebook consumed with pictures of everyone’s dad, with a caption bragging about how incredible,  supportive, and even how “perfect” their dads were while growing up.

Therefore, I find nothing surprising, only assuring and confirming, about the results of the new Pew Research Center survey.

In fact, I’ve already written about my desire to morally teach you. See “Dads Like To Teach Their Kids Life Lessons.”

I take great pride in the fact that I have the honor of instilling values and morals in you. Because hey, it sure beats what the media would like for you to believe; they evidently still think I’m simply a lovable idiot.





Graph: Pew Research Center.


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Why Dad Feels Anxious About The Thought Of A 2nd Child

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

2 years, 5 months.

Disclaimer: Contains potentially confusing viewpoints that may be exclusive to the male mindset.

Dear Jack,

The main reason I feel anxious about the thought of having another child is not the financial aspect, or even the fact we only have a 2 bedroom townhouse; it’s knowing that I would be placed in that frustrating position again of not knowing what to do on a daily basis.

Sure, I’d know more of what I was doing the 2nd time around, but it would also be on top of taking care of you too; though you demand less attention than you did when you were a baby.

To see me in my worst element is to see me in a high pressure, reoccurring situation where I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. For me, that was the first 15 months of your life; back when you wouldn’t let me take care of you without Mommy being in the same room.

Therefore, I couldn’t feel like I was leading our family, and it made me feel horrible about myself.

Just to be clear, I don’t mind high pressure at all. In fact, I like the challenge of it; given that I’ve been well trained on the subject.

It’s no secret: I find my self-worth not in how others see me, but in how I see myself. If I don’t feel in control, or at least that I know what my role is, I sort of feel worthless.

Now that you’re well beyond the age of 15 months, in fact, days away from being double that, my frustrating days of flat-out not knowing what to do in regards to being a dad are mostly a thing of the past; back in the year 2011.

As for modern day life, I know my role now; every minute of the day, and I love it!

In addition to being your official chauffeur, bedtime singer, protector from monsters… I also am the official dishwasher, bathroom cleaner, garbage man, vacuumer, relationship mediator, and the parent juggling two jobs outside of home life.

Every night, after our family eats dinner, I know that once Mommy takes you upstairs for your bath, I am going to immediately start washing and drying all the dishes, then wipe off the counter, and vacuum; just in time to go upstairs and sing your final bedtime song.

While it would be really nice to just chill out after dinner instead of doing housework, I don’t even mind. The reason: Because it sure beats the heck out of those first 15 months when I didn’t know my role.

As your dad, who is wired to fix problems and lead others, it’s very challenging for me to… I’m trying to think of a way to say this without using the PG version slang word…

I like to be driving the motorcycle, not riding in the sidecar.

(Watch the movie Garden State, when you’re older, to fully understand the reference. “Sidecars are for…”.)

What I am saying is that right now, I don’t feel like I’m riding in the sidecar. I feel like our life is predictable enough now where I don’t taste the chaos in the air anymore.

I love having this peace in my head; not dwelling on my inabilities to successfully figure out what exactly I’m supposed to do every single second. I love knowing what to do.

Ah, if and when the time comes for a 2nd child, I fear losing that again.





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Why I’m The Most Vanilla Dad My Son Knows

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

2 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

You love dads.

Sure, you love me, but I’m your dad. You’re used to me by now.

No matter how adventurous I am with you, you are still always fascinated by every other dad you meet.

A prime example is our friend Dave.

We went to visit him, his wife Karen, and their brand-new daughter Avery.

As the picture clearly demonstrates, you felt quite comfortable with Dave. Mommy held Avery and Dave held you.

(Just to be clear to anyone else reading this letter, I’m the guy in the green vest and Dave is the guy with the red shirt.)

Before we left their house, Dave gave you one of his business cards; he’s a Realtor in the Nashville area. You played with his business card all the way home.

Then once you got home, you placed his card in your little boy wallet with Mommy’s zeroed out gift cards. As I put you to bed that night, I asked you what your favorite part of the day was. Your response:

“When Leaf hold you.”

I should translate. Your refer to Dave as Leaf, and “you” means “me.” Your favorite part of the day was when Dave held you.

Even now, as I write this, you are upstairs asleep, with Dave’s business card underneath your pillow.

That’s right: You sleep with his card under your pillow. You really like Dave.

I think it’s cool to see how you gravitate towards other dads. It’s clear that to me that you find so much value in masculine role models.

As for the most part, you’re stuck with me. I’m familiar, predictable, safe, and normal. I’m vanilla.




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