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Saturday, September 28th, 2013
2 years, 10 months.
Mommy and I do our best to make sure that the little time we have together as a family is as quality time as possible.
We recognize that even the exact events that are intended to be exciting family adventures can end up taking away from quality time instead of enhancing it.
Knowing that we’ve got a fun road trip to Louisville coming up in just two weeks, we’re trying to make sure that this weekend and next are relatively chill.
It could be easy to assume that the low key events that take place on weekends like this would be somehwhat not that exciting for you.
But I can’t be too sure…
On Monday at your school, I saw on the wall a giant list entitled “What Do We Do With Our Families?”
As usual, you had perhaps the most seemingly random answer of all for the list:
“I go to Whole Foods and go to the pool with Daddy and Mommy!”
The pool part makes sense… but Whole Foods?
I thought it might truly just be nothing more than a random answer, but this reference to Whole Foods came up on again on Friday.
Mrs. Tonya, your school’s director, was telling me how you, the assistant director, and some of your friends were sitting at a table, pretending to be riding in a car.
When Ms. Lisa, the assistant director, asked where everyone wanted to go, the answers immediately starting coming in from your friends: to the playground, to the zoo, to play with toys, etc.
Then came your answer:
“Let’s go to Whole Foods!”
I imagine it was one of those moments where it was as if music was playing, then suddendly, the DJ stopped the vinyl record and everyone froze what their were doing, in an instant state of confusion.
Even if it seems to me like certain family activities would not be fun for you, like buying groceries with Mommy and Daddy at Whole Foods, there’s still a decent chance you may identify that event as the most exciting one there is.
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Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
2 years, 10 months.
Every time we visit my parents’ house, you take back with you a few souvenirs.
Typically, they are my old Hot Wheels from when I was about your age in the mid 1980s.
You now have so many toy cars that you regularly ask me:
“Daddy, where’d I get this one? It was yours when you was a boy?”
I’ll look over and see an orange paint-chipped Gremlin or Snoopy driving a tow truck (that was before Mater was cool) and reply, “That’s right: Nana and Papa got me that one when I was a boy, like you.”
You are lucky that my parents didn’t give away any of my childhood toys. So each time you visit their house, you can try out and even walk away with anything on display in the 1980s museum I grew up in.
“Hey, that’s a Smurf car!” you so excitedly announced, holding a red car being driven by Smurfette.
I guess you didn’t realize that Smurfs are in their offical comeback phase- that at one time, they were 20 times cooler than they are right now.
You like to take my ’80s cars into school each morning, only to store them in your cubby all day. I take it as a compliment. It’s your way of taking a piece of me with you each day when I can’t be with you.
Sure, it’s been a few decades since I’ve been a boy, but I can totally relate to your excitement about toys- especially ones from the ’80s.
It also subconsciously points to something we share in common: boyhood.
You recognize that I’m an adult, but you understand the concept that I was once a boy who was a lot like you:
I was a boy with an orange Gremlin and a Snoopy tow truck.
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Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
For over a month now, Jack has been going to “day care.” But after seeing what it’s like, I can’t even use that phrase any more. He is enrolled in a KinderCare Learning Center, which I like to call his “baby boarding school.”
My preconceived ideas of “day care” consisted of a room full of crying babies while Disney movies entertained the older kids down the hall. That is not at all what Jack experiences Monday through Friday at KinderCare.
One of my roles as Jack’s dad is to transport him to and from KinderCare each day. Honestly, it’s not one of those difficult routines where he furiously cries in fear as I drop him off each morning. Instead, he is greeted by a familiar face that is warm and welcoming. The ratio of babies to adults is 4 to 1. And even though Jack is only 9 months old, it is obvious to me that he is being engaged by his teachers as well as his surroundings.
My wife and I get a daily report letting us know how many dirty and wet diapers he had, his nap schedule, his general mood, and specific comments about how that day at KinderCare was different from the rest. Our favorite comment so far was, “Jack really had a great time outside today. He enjoyed playing with the mulch.”
That just cracks me up. It figures. Despite the toys and fresh air in the yard there, the thing he would find the most fascination in is the mulch. Classic Jack.
Without a doubt, I am convinced that his enrollment at KinderCare has enhanced his social skills.While being there, he doesn’t have my wife or me there to interfere or favor him in his interactions with the other babies. In his micro-society, he learns to interact with them on a level playing field. And that’s important to me.
Obviously, I want a well-balanced kid, not one that has been overly comforted and has lived a perfect life of ease. I like the fact he is used to the routine of me leaving him for a while, knowing that I am coming back to pick him up. I want him to know that he can be okay without me being there every minute of the day.
That being said, I only work a block away from KinderCare, so I’m never really all that far away. And despite his need for independence from me, I like knowing that I can be there in two minutes flat.
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