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Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
Babies can get away with so much that we adults never could. Since they’re too young to realize they are breaking the rules of adult social expectations, their behavior is not only excused, but it also becomes slightly hilarious entertainment. Based on the things I’ve observed my 11 month old-son do in public, here are the top 5 things he does that are cute because he does them, but if I did them, I would be a moron.
1) Stumbling around the room for the fun of it. My son Jack has recently learned to walk; though technically I should call it toddling. I can’t remember the last time I stood in the middle of a crowded room and laughed and grunted as I stumbled 12 feet into every direction for no apparent reason. If I did that, it would be (and should be) assumed that wasn’t oregano on my pizza.
2) Wearing pajamas as normal attire. I see what my kid gets to wear everyday, and frankly, I’m jealous. Essentially, he wears a glorified version of pajamas every single day. Every day is Casual Friday for him… really, really casual.
3) Making a mess with food. You know all those “roadhouse style” restaurants where you get to throw the peanut shells on the floor? That’s every meal that my son eats. He eats his food until he’s no longer hungry; which at that point, the leftover food becomes a toy. Or maybe he pretends he’s throwing candy from a float in a parade.
4) Putting things in his mouth that just fell on the floor. Okay, I admit, I’m not jealous about this one. Heck, I’ve watched him lay down and lick the floor itself for fun. To him, the floor is not dirty; it evidently tastes like Skittles and makes everything that falls onto it taste like a rainbow as well. It’s the modern version of the Midas Touch.
5) Passing gas. I’ve been a dad for nearly a year now and so far, I’ve never been able to resist laughing when Jack releases a fluffy air biscuit- especially when he does it at church. Actually, maybe this should have been #1, now that I think about it. I guess the question is this: Which is worse, to seem like you’re crazy or to be rude?
Well, if you’re a baby, you’re neither. Instead, you’re cute either way!
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autumn, babies, behavior, funny, holidays, pumpkins | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Growing Up, Home Life, Must Read, Nostalgia, Storytelling
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
As if Halloween wasn’t already a cool enough “holiday,” with all the free candy and the part about getting to dress up as whatever you want and get away with it, there is yet another really good reason to love Halloween:
You don’t have to feel guilty for not celebrating it for the “right reasons!”
It’s not like with Christmas, where people preach to each other about the cliche of “getting so caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas that you forget the real meaning of it all.”
And while I would love to enjoy my Peeps with a clear mind, I admit how easy it is to get distracted by the delicious pastel commercialism of Easter; instead of being reminded of how and why Jesus Christ was raised from the dead for the sake of mankind.
Heck, I can’t even have a guilt-free conscious on Columbus Day, because it’s basically just celebrating when a Spanish-sponsored Italian explorer “discovered” a continent of natives who would ultimately be conquered by Europeans for their land. I guess that’s how the history of the world goes- dividing and defeating; not that I’m okay with that.
But with Halloween, all you have to really do is just have a good time. It gives parents a reason to have just as much fun as their kids.
Now, I guess technically, Halloween is based on a pagan holiday where people celebrate their dead ancestors coming back to life or something like that. I don’t really care.
Because Halloween has become so commercialized in modern day America that all it’s about is pretending to be someone you’re not and getting free candy for it. I won’t argue with that.
To help celebrate the upcoming sugar rush, I personally invite you to download Parents magazine’s free Carve-a-Pumpkin app:
Carve-a-Pumpkin from Parents® magazine is the easiest — and safest (no knives involved!) — way to make jack-o-lanterns with your family this Halloween.
Choose from five different pumpkin styles, then either “carve” a design of your own, or pick from our library of wacky eyes, noses, and mouths.
Add a message and you’re ready to share your creation with all your friends! This easy-to-navigate, take-anywhere tool is perfect for families on the go. Products from Parents magazine help moms and dads celebrate the joys of parenthood and raise kids in a healthy, safe, and loving environment.
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Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
It’s a proud moment in a dad’s life to learn that while under the care of another adult, your son elbow jabbed another kid who was hitting him on the head. And that is exactly what happened. My eleven month old son defended himself against a bully’s repeated attacks. Interestingly enough, he and “the bully” are now friends.
My son taught the bully to respect him by putting him in his place. That’s my boy.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. What better way for me to celebrate as a dad than to know my daily wrestling routines with my son have paid off? I play the big scary monster who hides behind the couch and charges towards him to give him a big “daddy hug.” It’s a way for him to test his strength against mine, as he knows I’m no real danger to him. I’m simply his training coach.
Why do men love sports? Playing sports is like “playing war.”
At the end of the day, no one really gets hurt too badly but the players get to engage their masculine strength (and strategies) against other “warriors.” Another thing it reminds me of is the way that dogs “play fight.” It’s their natural way of preparing for an attack by a larger dog or some kind of other serious physical threat.
So why should things be any different with my (not-so) little man? It’s simply an instinct for me to want to wrestle him and that, accordingly, he enjoys the challenge. I’m preparing for him to defend himself from another kid trying to pick on him. What I am not doing is simply teaching him violence for the sake of violence.
Preventing bullying means a lot of things. But ultimately, I’ve yet to talk to one father out there who is okay with his son not defending himself against being physically attacked by a peer.
Bullies attack those who they perceive as weak because they themselves are weak in some way; also because they have a lack of respect for others. I vow to teach my son that he is strong, both in spirit and in body. That may mean that he has to teach the bully to respect him by fighting back.
Sometimes words (and corporate policies) prevent bullying. Other times, a good ole fashioned elbow jab does the trick.
Passing the Mic:
Do you encourage your son to fight the bully in the name of self-defense? Or is my approach a perfect example of “bad parenting?”
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Monday, October 24th, 2011
After becoming a dad last year, I quickly learned that certain things in my life which were previously important had become nearly irrelevant. The funny thing is, I’m so used to my new state of normalcy that I actually forgot that at one point these things even mattered at all. So to celebrate my recent maturity as a dad and as a human being, I now share the top seven things I stopped caring about when I became a dad.
1. Drool: Today at work I looked down at my jacket and saw what appeared to be dried slobber. It’s amazing how much I didn’t care. Maybe there’s something about changing so many diapers in those first couple months that caused me to not even think twice about something as harmless as a little bit of baby drool- whether it’s wet on my hand or dried on my clothing.
2. Sleep: At this point, my son sleeps from 7PM until 6:30 AM every day; but I’m so accustomed to those days of so little sleep for my family of three, that six solid hours each night is plenty good for me. You would think I would crash slightly after he does each night, but I guess I have to feel like I have some kind of life outside of being a dad- like staying up until midnight to publish this blog post.
3. Watching movies: Watching TV shows is different because that is so much more of a passive event. Movies require a sense of commitment- averaging from 90 minutes to two hours. Free time matters so much more to me now; movies just don’t hold their value in my new economy of time.
4. What time I eat: Dinner could be at 6PM… or maybe 7:30… 8 o’clock… it’s anybody’s guess. Coordinating my son’s own eating schedule along with putting him to bed for the night then actually cooking the meal for us parents and then sitting down to eat it; well, it’s the kind of thing that just has to be flexible. I eat when I can, not when I’m hungry.
5. Being on time, in general: I can manage to get to work on time each day despite being the one to drop him off at day care. However, making it to church on time is a whole other blog post. We used to be the people who showed up to events on time. Now the motto is “better late than never.” People seem to understand, though: We have the “parent pass.”
6. Weekend plans: Does it really matter what I’m doing this weekend? Will I be getting any more sleep than a weekday? Will it be any more relaxing than being at work all day instead? I think I just answered my own questions.
7. The perception of being in control: I feel like B.C. (before child) I actually believed I had a decent amount of control over my life. Now, controlling my own life essentially revolves around trying to control my son’s life. Ultimately, if I can keep him from chewing on the power cord to the vacuum cleaner today, then I’ll gladly count that as “being in control.”
Passing the Mic:
What would you add to your version of this list?
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autumn, dad, fall, fatherhood, holiday, holidays, parenting | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Growing Up, Home Life, Must Read, Nostalgia, People, Storytelling, The Dadabase
Sunday, October 23rd, 2011
Cheers to my favorite season of the year, Autumn! With what drink do I make this toast? Well, of course that would be an “off menu” item none among us inconspicuously clued in as the “Dirty Chai Latte” at Starbucks. It’s a Chai Tea Latte with an added shot of espresso.
Why am I promoting it for free? Am I getting a lifetime supply of Dirty Chai’s out of this deal? I wish.
With all the great things that emerge with the fall season, my sinus and allergy problems are among them- especially here in Nashville. Some days, like today, when I accordingly get a headache so intense I nearly get nauseous, no pain reliever will heal me other than a $4 Dirty Chai.
Will you like it? There’s a good chance you won’t. But I definitely do.
It’s made with cinnamon, anise, ginger, cloves, cardamom, milk, a little bit of sugar, and of course, a shot of espresso. So it’s earthy, spicy, malty, rich, and just sweet enough for me not to feel guilty.
By all means, the Dirty Chai is a drug; but at least it’s a legal one. If you are feeling sick, its warmth and caffeine will mask your pain. If you’re feeling stressed by the reality of parenthood, it will lift you up. If are already feeling good, it will make you feel even better.
As parents, we have our vices. This is one of mine. There’s just something about drinking a Dirty Chai amongst the company of strangers at Starbucks who are lucky enough to “work from home” on their laptops that makes me feel like all is well in the world.
Passing the Mic:
I’ve shared my favorite drinkable Autumn vice with you. What’s yours? Do you have an “off the menu” item to introduce to me?
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