Posts Tagged ‘ kids ’

Daddy, Did You Run Over That Squirrel?

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

While sitting in the back seat, sometimes you are able to see squirrels dart out in front of our car as they attempt to frantically cross the street.

Each time that happens, you always ask me, “Daddy, did you run over that squirrel?”

Fortunately, so far, each time, I’ve been able to explain to you that the squirrel crossed the street in time.

Though I’m sure from your perspective in the back seat, it probably appears that I indeed am running over the squirrel.

I’ve yet to hit an animal with you in the car.

In fact, in the past month, I have actually saved the lives of two creatures: a baby bird and a baby turtle.

While mountain biking during my lunch break, I have come across animals that would be destined to become roadkill, or at least “sidewalk kill” if I didn’t intervene.

I just stopped on the sidewalk, picked up the animal, and helped it across to the other side.

So as your Daddy, that’s one of the things you know me for: saving animals.

Even bugs- I try not to kill a bug if I can just throw it outside in the grass. The way I see it, I’m contributing to the circle of life. That bug is some other creature’s dinner. Why should I interfere by killing it and throwing it in the toilet?

You would almost think that as much as I apparently care about animals, being a vegan and all, that we would have a family pet.

But we don’t. You have plenty of stuffed animals who you pretend are not only real but that they  are also able to speak to you.

If we’re lucky, I won’t have to “run over” any squirrels on our drives to and from school. But thank you for always asking. You’re just as concerned as I am.

Sure, roadkill contributes to the circle of life by giving possums and vultures their dinner…

But still, I’d rather that happen more naturally than a vehicle with us inside to be the cause of it.




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Daddy’s In His Quiet Place Right Now…

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

Yes, that’s me. Those are my feet sticking out from underneath all of the couch cushions and accent pillows in our living room.

When that picture was taken, I was in somewhat of a meditative state; not simply because my oxygen supply was being fairly limited, but also because it was sort of relaxing in there.

In fact, I had no idea Mommy even took that picture until I was going through the picture folder on my flash drive yesterday, looking for a something else.

Sure, I heard what was going on outside my world of pillows:

“Hey Mommy! Daddy’s all covered. Look at Daddy. I finished his cage now.”

Then I heard your footsteps as you approached me. I saw a small opening appear between the pillows, with light coming through.

“Here you go, Tiger. Here’s your food!”

Apparently pet tigers like to eat (plastic) snakes.

This routine has become the norm. I can see why.

It allows you to completely make a mess and get away with it, as you pretend you are building a cage for your Daddy, who happens to be a tiger.

I really don’t mind it at all. Like I said, it sort of gives me 12 minutes or more of time to just zone-out on the living room floor.

With a schedule as busy as mine, I typically don’t make time for zoning out… other than when I’m running or sleeping.

It’s not so much a desperate attempt to make time for myself as it is me trying to multitask:

By being your tiger in a cage, I can spend quality time with you; because to you, I’m playing.

And I can rest my mind for a little while; because to me, being buried in a “cage” of pillows is actually relaxing.

Yes, that’s me multitasking. It’s Daddy in his… quiet place.




Keep your kids busy with these chore guides

Lords of the Playground: The Gamble
Lords of the Playground: The Gamble
Lords of the Playground: The Gamble

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Lance The Magical Wonder Horse And Jack The Jockey

Monday, May 12th, 2014

3 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

I feel like so many of these letters begin with me telling you about an online special that Mommy found, which introduced our family to a new experience.

This letter is one of those.

On Saturday, we drove about 45 minutes from Nashville to Mt. Juliet to take you to a 30 minute horse riding lesson.

I figured that, worst case scenario, you would be freaked out by the horse and I would spend most of the lesson trying to convince you to stay on the horse.

As a parent, I have learned the importance of lowering my own expectations, as necessary…

With that being said, I didn’t have to apply that skill this time.

In fact, I was amazed at how eager you were to ride your horse; his name was Lance, by the way.

You really liked Lance the Magical Wonder Horse!

The instructor even had you waving at Mommy and me, and riding backwards, by the time it was over.

I watched how, at the end, you had such pride in putting away the equipment and feeding Lance some carrots as a treat.

You were just such a natural. I would have been terrified to have ridden a horse at your age.

Having you for a son is teaching me how timid I really was as a boy. I feel like I didn’t really grow out of it until about 7th grade.

As for you, you’re an adventurer.

Something that really stood out at me about this place, was the fact that many of their horses are rescues. I learned that many work horses end up in what’s called “the kill bin” after their better years are over.

It’s cool that the horses are being given a respectful retirement- by brightening children’s days, as Lance did for you.

After your lesson was finished and Mommy was talking to the owner about the possibility of having your 4th birthday party there in November, you asked me to take you to the pile of gravels behind the barn.

Playing in gravels- that’s such a “3 year-old boy kind of way” to finish off a horse riding lesson.

Seeing you meet Lance was like watching you meet a real-life version of one of your stuffed animals.

It was like you two already knew each other- like Lance was used to sleeping in your bed and riding with you to school each morning.

Maybe we’ll see Lance again…




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Daddy, How Do You Grow Up?

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

3 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

There are some questions, as your dad, I can just not be prepared for.

On the way home from school last week, you asked a very logical question:

“Daddy, how do you grow up?”

While you’re still fuzzy on my actual age (you think I’m 4 years old), you do understand that eventually, you’ll grow up to be as tall as I am.

So I answered your question the way any dad would in that situation:

“Well, you just have to keep going to sleep every night… and each morning when you wake up, you’ll be just a little bit bigger.”

What’s interesting about the timing of your question is that we just happened to be driving one of the smallest cars on the road:

I was doing a review of the 2014 Fiat 500 at the time.

Maybe that’s what made you think of it; you were feeling so big in such a small car.

The questions have continued since then.

A few days later as I was helping you put on your shoes before we left for school, you asked, “Daddy, will these shoes get bigger when I grow up?”

I wish.

I can see you’re definitely fascinated by the process of physically growing bigger. In hindsight, I really don’t know that I could have answered your original question any better than I did.

Without getting all scientific, I think it really is that simple.

You go to sleep, you wake up, you’re a little bit bigger the next day.

I’m assuming my answer was best suited for a 3 year-old little boy like yourself.

Since then, I’ve heard you proudly explain to Mommy that the more you go to sleep at night, the sooner you’ll grow up.

It may be a coincidence, but I feel like here recently, you’ve put up less of a fight when it’s time for a nap or bedtime.

Hmm… I wonder why.





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My Son Thinks Our Car Windows Are Voice-Activated

Monday, April 21st, 2014

3 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

Because I also write reviews for cars on the side with my personal blog, that means sometimes for months at a time, we get a brand-new vehicle each week to test-drive as a family.

With that being said, this past week we have been ridin’ dirty in a 2014 Toyota Tacoma.

This truck is the first vehicle you’ve ever been in where you can reach the power window buttons.

To a 3 year-old boy, that’s a really big deal!

For weeks prior, on the drive to school, I have been hearing you grunt and strain for several minutes, then proclaim:

“Daddy… I can’t… reach… the button. I can’t reach it, Daddy.”

But finally, this past week in the truck, I heard you announce, “Hey Daddy! I can reach it!”

Immediately, the power window started coming down.

For the past several days now, we’ve had to drive to and from school with your window down. You love to feel the air move through your fingers. It’s like the coolest thing ever to you.

This morning it was pretty chilly, so I turned the heat on full blast in order to counter the cold air coming in from your window.

You then saw my window go down as well, which prompted an amazed response:

“Hey Daddy! Your window moves by itself?!”

I realized you didn’t see that I had pressed the button, so I decided to have some fun with you.

“Jack, do want the window beside you to go down? You have to tell it to.”

You hesitated, only for a moment. You turned to the driver’s side back passenger window and spoke with authority:

“Window, go down!”

And it did.

“Hey Daddy, I made it go down! It listened!”

A few minutes later, the two remaining windows were down, thanks to your voice-activation.

Yeah, so I have a feeling from now on, with each different car we ride in, I’m going to be hearing you “voice-activate” the power windows.

It’s too much fun to let you know it’s really just me controlling them all from the driver’s seat.




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