Sunday, June 12th, 2011
Do you raise a boy baby differently because he is a boy instead of a girl? Should you treat him any differently because of his gender? The obvious, implied, correct answer is “yes.”
As if this wasn’t already established, I’ll just go ahead and put this out there: I can be a bit funny about stuff sometimes. And I don’t mean “ha ha” funny. I mean “peculiar.” I’m just set in my quirky ways, leaving others to deal with the flashes of absurdity.
That being said, I’m realizing already how particular I am with how I raise Jack. I know he’s only 6 months old and it’s basically irrelevant now to even think about these things, but it’s important to me that he is seen as a boy, not simply a baby. For example, Jack doesn’t use a “passy”; he uses a pacifier. “Passy” sounds way to much like “prissy.”
And when he gets a little older, he won’t be drinking from a “sippy cup,” which to me sounds like “sissy cup.” Instead, he will be drinking from what I cleverly named his “bambino cup.” (“Bambino” is Italian for “little boy.”)
I don’t like words that sound like they should be referring to what a cute little girl would say. Yes, Jack is a baby, and he’s not yet a little boy- but he is a boy baby. It matters to me that he is treated appropriately masculine even in his first several months of life.
That being said, I should go ahead and point out some irony. With a new cousin on the way (my sister is pregnant with a little girl, due July 2nd), when we take Jack to my sister and her husband’s house, he gets to try out some of his cousin’s toys before she gets here. I have no problem whatsoever with Jack playing on an all pink play pad with a pink bird that plays a sort of girly song when he pulls it. Why not? Because it’s so obvious that he’s “messing around” with a girl’s toy. It’s funny and ironic and something to joke about.
I carry Jack around with necessary caution, but I’m not too delicate with him. He is an adventurous boy. Sometimes as he’s rolling around on the floor he slightly bumps the back of his head down on the carpet rug, loud enough to make a [thud!] sound. When he even notices that he’s “supposed” to be hurt, he gets over it in about two seconds. Especially when he checks our facial expressions to get confirmation that he really he is okay. Then it’s back to rolling around.
Jack will have manners when he gets older; he will say “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am.” He will be respectful and well-behaved to both adults and his peers. I will make sure of it. He will be a Southern gentleman. And even so, he will get into some (innocent) trouble.
He will break a window with a baseball. He will stay out too long playing out in the woods and worry me that he’s not home yet. He will step out to the line of danger but will be smart enough not to cross it.
There’s nothing wrong with letting a boy be a boy. And that’s coming from a former little boy who broke a window and stayed out past dinner time because I was having fun playing in the woods. But I also knew how to behave in public. So if there’s anything delicate about being a boy, it’s the crucial balance of being “rough and tumble” along with knowing when to say “please”and “thank you.”
Granted, it’s all about raising a well-balanced son. Being involved in music and art are just as important as being a boy scout and playing sports. Any of those activities he wants to do and he enjoys, I will encourage him- whether he’s artistic, athletic, or equally both. As for me, I was never an athlete (or a good one, at least) and it ultimately led me to have an interest in writing- which is why you are reading this today.
All this testosterone in the air is causing me to consider renaming my blog. I could just see it now…
Artwork courtesy of Jeremy Schultz.
Categories: Home Life, Nostalgia, Story Bucket, Storytelling, The Dadabase | Tags: baby boy, bambino, fatherhood, gender, Italian, macho, manners, masculine, pacifier, parenting, raising a boy, Randy Macho Man Savage, Storytelling, well balanced
Saturday, June 12th, 2010
In my first “dad from day one” post on April 13th (dad from day one: She’s Having a Baby), I told the almost spooky story of how my Mexican grandma dreamed she was having a granddaughter two weeks before we went public with the news that my wife was pregnant. Since then, we have been asked on a near daily basis if we think it’s a boy or a girl.
I have found it easier this whole time just to assume my grandma’s dream is right. And in the past couple weeks since my wife has began “showing”, it’s become pretty obvious she’s “holding the baby high”, which is typical for a girl in the womb.
I would never go see a psychic myself. But… what happens when someone else goes to a psychic and their fortune is about you instead?
That’s exactly what happened. Today, one of my wife’s coworkers went to a psychic as a sort of “joke birthday gift” to herself. The fortune told: “One of your coworkers is pregnant with a girl.”
So it’s settled. My grandma and a psychic have both had a vision about this baby girl.
Our kid is the size of a sweet potato.
Only one way to know for sure- wait until next Thursday (June 17th). That’s when we’re officially finding out whether we’re having a boy or a girl- given that our baby isn’t crossing its legs during the procedure.
In a week’s time, I will have posted “dad from day one: The Gender of Our Baby”.
Here’s what The Bump says about our baby this week:
“Your fetus has become amazingly mobile (at least compared to you), passing the hours yawning, hiccuping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking and swallowing. And, baby’s finally big enough that you’ll be able to feel those movements soon.”
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:
Categories: The Dadabase | Tags: baby, Bible, birthday, boy, child, dad from day one, fatherhood, fetus, gender, girl, Jewish law, Mexican, parenting, pregnancy, pregnant, psychic, Revelation, sweet potato, wife
Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
What will be his or her heritage? How tall will he or she be as an adult? Boy or girl? I’m answering the tough questions today, based on educated theories.
This series isn’t a “baby blog”. Instead, it’s a documented journey of what a first time dad thinks about, starting from when I first found out and started sharing the news with everyone. Because this info is coming from a man, who processes things in black and white, it’s possible that the tone will be a mix of both practical and abstract. No goo-goo gah-gah. But maybe a little nanu-nanu.
In fraction form, here are the proportions of my coming child’s ethnicity:
1/4 Italian (my wife and I are both this)
1/8 Croatian (from my wife; Croatia is the country we know today as “Transylvania”, The Count from Sesame Street speaks with a Croatian accent)
1/8 Mexican (from me, my mom’s mom’s family moved to Buffalo from Mexico)
1/8 Norwegian (my wife’s grandfather on her dad’s side was from Norway, but was adopted by an English couple in Iowa)
1/8 German (from me, where the Shell name comes from, as well as a little bit from my wife’s Norwegian side)
1/8 Irish (my wife’s grandmother on her dad’s side came to America as an indentured servant from Ireland)
1/8 English (from me, where the pale skin and light freckles come from)
*Greek (higher up on my dad’s family tree, there were two separate Greek ancestors; family tradition tell us that a Greek ended up on the Italian side as well)
*French (in my wife’s Italian lineage, family tradition tells us that a Frenchman got thrown in the mix)
*Jewish (my Mexican grandmother swears that my late Italian grandfather was part Jewish, and based on the family’s speech patterns, uses of random Hebrew words, and quirky behavior, I’m convinced it’s true)
Virtually, on both my wife’s side and my side of the gene pool, there is no man 6 feet tall or more, nor is there a woman 5’ 8” or more. Combined with the fact that I am 5’ 9” (the average height of the American man) and my wife is 5’ 6” (two inches taller than the average height of the American woman), here are the most likely height ranges for our child once they become full grown:
Boy: between 5’ 8” and 5’ 11”
Girl: between 5’ 3” and 5’ 7”
Hair color on both sides generally ranges from medium brown to jet black, therefore it’s most likely the child will have semi-wavy, dark brown hair. Though I do have two blonde-haired, blue-eyed aunts and also a red-headed, green-eyed aunt as well.
In one of my Mexican grandma’s dreams, the baby was a girl. But based on a Vietnamese co-worker who correctly predicted the gender of my boss’s kid based on a Chinese calendar, he told me that there is a 70% change it is a boy. My wife’s mom gave birth to 10 kids, and only 3 were girls.
My instinct tells me it’s a girl. We’ll know in eight weeks if I’m wrong.
All this baby guesswork makes me think of those commercials for Puppy Surprise from 1992: “Puppy, puppy, puppy surprise… How many puppies are there inside? There could be three, or four, or five…”
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:
Categories: People, The Dadabase | Tags: American, baby blog, boy or girl, Chinese calendar, Croatia, Croatian, dad from day one, English, ethinicity, family tree, fatherhood, French, gender, German, goo goo gah gah, Greek, hair color, having kids, Hebrew, height, heritage, Iowa, Ireland, Irish, Italian, Jewish, journal, Mexican, Mork and Mindy, nanu nanu, Nick Shell, Norwegian, pregnancy, Puppy Surprise, Sesame Street, The Count, Transylvania, Vietnamese, Year of the Tiger