Posts Tagged ‘
Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
My wife and I joke about the fact we hardly ever by our son any new toys.
He has six caddies full of toys that mainly consist of gifts A) from his birthday party nearly a year ago and B) from when he was first born nearly two years ago.
Between his regular daycare and his church daycare and his friends’ toys when he has play dates, Jack has daily access to several toy communities.
For the past couple of months now, Jack has had the same amount of love in his heart for fire trucks as Elmo, which is saying a lot.
The flames of his fascination are flamed even more every day at his daycare, which happens to be located right across the street from the local fire station.
Jack can do a pretty incredible impression of a fire truck by now.
I’ll be driving him home and from the back seat I’ll hear, “Wwwwhheeeaaahhhllllwwwhhh!”
(Yes, that’s the official spelling of the sound of a fire engine.)
However, it was only just today that we finally got him his very own fire truck. You’d think it be pretty easy to find a Matchbox or Hot Wheels fire truck, but no…
Either you pay at least 7 bucks for a goofy, cartoonish-looking one, or you pay at least $25 for a giant fire truck that your son wouldn’t be able to carry around with him everywhere he goes.
Well fortunately, we were able to find the right sized and the right priced fire engine truck today at Walmart. It’s made by a brand called Maisto and the thing only cost 72 cents!
Now granted, Jack’s new fire truck is also unintentionally (?) a lowrider. And it could also pass for some weird tank thing if the ladder were a canon instead.
But hey, Jack couldn’t be more excited! All he knows is, he finally has his very own fire truck.
He is so proud of it.
When he got home, he lined it up as the leader of a parade consisting of his two Thomas the Train cars and two of my old Stomper cars from McDonald’s Happy Meals back in 1985.
Oh, and a horse and a goat. They were also part of the joyous celebration.
With Jack’s 2nd birthday coming up on November 16th, I know my parents have already hinted that they got him a real fire truck toy.
I imagine it is the kind he can roll around on the floor with the big Tonka truck they got Jack for his birthday last year.
He will be so excited to get it, too; I’m sure of it.
Something he’s been doing here recently is when he has both a small and large version of toy, one becomes the baby and the other becomes the Dada.
In other words, today we bought Jack his “baby fire truck.” His “Dada fire truck” will be arriving within the next 60 days.
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Friday, June 17th, 2011
Recently in my post entitled, “The Positive Re-branding of Fatherhood,” I noted that dads are making a comeback and becoming more involved in their kids’ lives. Call it a trend, call it a movement; I call it a necessary revolution: Men are changing the future of society now by priding themselves in not settling for mediocre fatherhood, but instead, awesome fatherhood. And maybe even one day the term “Superdad” will actually be as familiar as “Supermom.”
In fact, I was pleasantly unsurprised to read today in another blog here on Parents.com about a recent poll showing that, compared to 50 years ago, fathers are indeed more involved in the lives of their children. Granted, these days there are less households where the dad actually lives in the same household as his kids. But for the dads who do dwell with their kids, these dads are definitely more active compared to 50 years ago.
So it’s not all in my head! Dads really are making a comeback. What a cool time to be a dad. This is what The Dadabase is all about.
Today, I want to brag on President Barack Obama. Last week he introduced a new initiative called “Strong Fathers, Strong Families,” which is a program that provides ways for fathers to spend quality time with their children, via free or discounted pricing on fun activities, such as bowling, sports games, and zoos.
In his recent essay, “Being the Father I Never Had,” he openly recognized the fact that despite the heroism of single moms who have raised a large portion of recent generations, the presence of an active father is valuable to the well-being and future of today’s children:
“And even though my sister and I were lucky enough to be raised by a wonderful mother and caring grandparents, I always felt [my father’s] absence and wondered what it would have been like if he had been a greater presence in my life. I still do. It is perhaps for this reason that fatherhood is so important to me, and why I’ve tried so hard to be there for my own children.” –President Barack Obama
For a guy like me whose active campaign and passionate mission is to positively re-brand fatherhood through this blog on Parents.com, I can’t help but feel strong admiration for our President in his public support for the “Strong Fathers, Strong Families.” I tip my hat to Mr. Obama for using his voice for an idea so necessary and positive for the good of our country.
I believe that it has become easy and normal to downplay the importance of fathers in the lives of their children. Because we as a society have learned to, in order to survive and move forward. But I don’t want our American society to simply survive; I want it to thrive. And even just the name of President Obama’s initiative itself spells it out pretty clearly: A strong father will lead and grow a strong family.
President Obama is not only taking action in sharing my same passion for parenting; but also just like I am doing, he is using his public platform to openly support active fatherhood. I get it, not every child has the option of being raised by a good man. Many children have selfish, abusive, and/or absent biological fathers; some who have left by choice while others were good men but have unfortunately passed away.
Still, children need a positive adult male role model to fill that void, whether it’s an uncle, family friend, step-dad, a pastor, or neighbor. It’s not okay that kids are growing up without good dads. Nor is it okay to deny the need or importance of a positive adult male role model in a child’s life.
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baby, baby blog, children, dads, family, father, Father's Day, Father's Day 2011, fatherhood, kids, Obama's Strong Fathers Strong Families, parenting, President Obama, role model, role models, Strong Fathers Strong Families, Supermom | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Home Life, Must Read, Nostalgia, Spirituality, The Dadabase
Thursday, December 30th, 2010
Maybe somewhat surprisingly, I am a proud Country music fan- though I’m ultimately a Dave Matthews Band/Guster/John Mayer/Bruce Springsteen/Tom Petty kind of guy.
In the past few weeks, in the midst of leaving our lives behind in Nashville and entering uncertainty and a current status of “in between jobs” in Alabama, not having much to do but constantly search for jobs and take care of our baby, the lyrics to a Country song by Andy Griggs from 1999 keep coming to my mind: “I promise you now, you won’t ever be lonely.”
Though the song is obviously written from the perspective of a man in love with a woman, looking forward to spending the rest of his life with her, the lyrics now speak to me in a different way:
“You’re safe from the world wrapped in my arms and I’ll never let go. Baby, here’s where it starts and I promise you now you won’t ever be lonely. Here’s a shoulder you can cry on and a love you can rely on. For as long as I live
there will always be a place you belong.”
But while the words to this song obviously make perfect sense in the perspective of me speaking to my child, they actually are more relevant to me in this mindset: I won’t ever be lonely. Not just him. But I won’t ever be lonely.
I am better able to understand now why there are so many pregnant teenagers and why MTV’s 16 and Pregnant is such a popular show- because so many kids today are lonely.
(I am under the crazy notion that a good number of pregnant teens and extremely young parents are not getting pregnant simply because of the careless lack of birth control, but instead because they subconsciously want to be have a baby in a attempt to be loved by someone.)
So many daughters have never been told by their fathers that they are beautiful. So many sons have never heard their father tell them “I’m proud of you”. Having a baby definitely changes the lonely factor in many ways. Even if the 19 year-old father who works for minimum wage at the oil change place bales on her soon after the baby is born- at least that young mother will always have someone depending on her.
Granted, I haven’t been lonely in a long time. But I can easily remember it. It can be painful; literally. Last week I watched a National Geographic documentary on solitary confinement where I learned that loneliness is processed in the same part of the brain as pain. I can easily remember being 20 years old, feeling lost, out of place, an unmatched. I wondered for the next five years if I would be like the actor who played Mr. Belvedere, who never married or had children his whole life. But at age 25, my wife and I met each other and those heavy and desperate thoughts of loneliness haven’t entered my mind in over four years.
Now at age 29, I am the opposite of lonely. I have a wonderful wife and a beautiful and hilarious baby son that I will always matter to. And I have a feeling that the older our son Jack gets, the more attention and energy of mine that he will require. At least until he reaches 7th grade and gets too cool for me.
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16 and Pregnant, 1999, Andy Griggs, baby, baby blog, Country music, dad blog, dad from day one, Dave Matthews Band, father, Guster, John Mayer, loneliness, lonely, love, mother, Mr. Belvedere, Nashville, pain, parenting, pregnancy, solitary confinement, teen pregnancy, unemployed, unplanned pregnancy | Categories:
Nostalgia, People, Spirituality, Storytelling, The Dadabase
Thursday, July 15th, 2010
I blame it on my Italian heritage, which trickled down to me throughout my life thanks to my grandfather Metallo; of course, since I grew up in the South, he was simply “Paw Paw”. I’ve inherited an instinct to incorporate just a little bit of peculiar character in purchased items. It’s a careful balance of finding items that are slightly flashy and clashing, yet still classy, but not trashy. (Bet you can’t say that phrase five times real fast…)
In this American generation, the idea of a man caring much about his shoes is often considered to be related to gay or metrosexual culture. But I don’t subscribe to that mentality. In fact, I believe an important part of being a man is how he dresses; and as everyone should know, his shoes are the most important part of the wardrobe, since they ultimately set the tone for his clothing.
My mindset is more of an old-school class American idea; yet it is still a staple concept of any movie or TV show portraying Italian culture. From The Godfather movies to The Sopranos, the way an Italian man dresses is well planned out. Never an accident. Italians are not slobs.
Paw Paw Metallo
Being that my wife and I both are one quarter Italian, our son Jack will also be one quarter Italian as well. That means he will not get by with the typical American guy’s shoe collection: a pair of black dress shoes, a brown pair of boots, a pair of running shoes, and a pair of flip flops. No, not my son.
Jack will be like me. I own no less than 15 pairs of shoes, some of which are at least 10 years old, yet you would never know it because I take such good care of them. And while Jack won’t be born for another three months, he already has two pairs of essential “flashy, clashing, and classy yet not trashy” shoes awaiting him.
Last week as my wife and I were registering at Target, we found some shoes on clearance that not only meet the criteria, but also are essentially identical to shoes I already own. A pair of Kelly green sneakers (6-9 months, in time for Summer) and a pair of white leather loafers (12-18 months, just in time for Christmas). Like father, like son.
*Jack is still the size of a papaya; no major change in fruit size this week.
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:
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Official "baby bump" picture
American, baby, Christmas, classy, dad from day one, fashion, father, green, Italian, life, man, men, men's fashion, metrosexual, papaya, parenting, parents, shoes, soon, South, The Godfather, The Sopranos | Categories:
Health, People, Storytelling, The Dadabase
Thursday, July 1st, 2010
Baby Jack is starting to kick now. Of course I’m assuming that he’s also simply moving around and turning inside there as well- not just kicking. So it may not be his foot, but instead his elbow, or even his head that my wife and I are feeling. This morning in my less-than-conscious-waking-state-of-mind, my wife placed my hand on her stomach, saying, “Do you feel him moving?” I did.
And as real as this is, that our son is actually inside there, so lively, it’s still ingrained in my brain somehow Baby Jack is light years away, floating around in a heavenly baby universe until November. Despite feeling him with my own hand, with just centimeters separating the skin of my hand and the skin of his body, despite him literally being a matter of a few feet away (or less, depending on how near I am to my wife), I’m having trouble grasping that in reality, he’s right there.
Jack’s body is the length of a banana.
Not in another world. But here.
Here’s what The Bump says this week:
“Baby gulps down several ounces of amniotic fluid every day, both for hydration and nutrition and to practice swallowing and digesting. And, these days, those taste buds actually work! Studies show that after birth, babies are most interested in tastes they’ve already experienced through amniotic fluid. Meaning, think about what you want your future child to eat as you prepare your own lunch.”
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:
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baby, banana, dad, dad from day one, father, fetus, hand, kicking, mother, November, parenthood, pregnancy, skin, stomach, The Bump | Categories:
Health, Nostalgia, People, Spirituality, Storytelling, The Dadabase