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Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
A year and a half.
After seeing my son wear this romper, I finally understand the meaning of the 1991 hit song, “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred.
Just like I personally know how it is being too sexy for my hat, my shirt, and my cat, so my son is too masculine for this plaid romper.
It just doesn’t work for him. Sorry Son, but this is one outfit you can’t pull off. And I think it’s safe to say that’s a compliment.
This past Saturday my wife skeptically dressed Jack in his new romper as we met some friends at The Pfunky Griddle for breakfast.
As he played in the foyer, I couldn’t help but notice: He doesn’t look right in this thing.
What would it take for him to be able to pull it off? A chili bowl haircut, for starters.
But I don’t think Jack is the chili bowl haircut kind of boy. His military cut seems to suit him well; as does his deep and raspy Croatian voice.
Jack hits his head hard every day as he plays and never flinches or cries about it; most of the time he doesn’t even realize that, technically, he’s injured.
He might as well have a barbed wire tattoo around his bicep.
Jack can pull off “cute,” but not this kind of cute.
I’m not knocking little boys’ rompers, because obviously as many other boy toddlers I see wearing them, and as many are being sold in stores, they must be good for somebody.
As I’ve fished for input on The Dadabase Facebook wall, I’m hearing a consensus that rompers like this are best designed A) for babies, not toddlers and B) for girls. Is that accurate?
Though I personally prefer to dress nice and classy every chance I get, my wife says that she prefers me as a “t-shirt and jeans guy.”
Similarly, I think my son is a t-shirt and jeans toddler.
And he can rock a retro yellow suit from 1981.
Or a wool cap in 85 degree weather.
But to see him grunt his way around in between bar stools and benches wearing this, he just seems like a walking contradiction.
Am I a macho chauvinist dad or am I right to assume that these kinds of rompers just aren’t appropriate for 18 month-old little boys?
Only Right Said Fred can judge me.
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1991, children's clothing, dad, fatherhood, macho, masculine, romper, toddler. boys will be boys | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Growing Up, Home Life, Must Read, Nostalgia, Storytelling, The Dadabase
Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
Put me in a room with a dozen guys my age and most likely I will surface as either the cultural equivalent of Paul Rudd, Ron Paul, or Jack Johnson.
If I were a main character on Lost, at best I would be the reluctant leader Jack Shephard, but I definitely would not be Sawyer or Sayid.
If I were part of the cast of Scrubs, I would be J.D. Dorian, not Dr. Cox.
In other words, by default, I am not the alpha male. I am the off-beat guy in the corner that people like being around, but don’t look to for protection, acceptance, or approval.
I am not the pack leader. Instead, I am the pack… guy next door.
And that’s fine by me; I know my role and my place in society.
Except when it’s not fine. Except when I must by default become the necessary pack leader. Most importantly, in my home.
In a household consisting of my wife and our 14 month-old son, I am obviously the alpha male. If I wasn’t, it would be a disaster; like the kind of thing you would watch on the TV show Supernanny.
And at my day job, with my sales position, being aggressive and taking charge is vital. I’m definitely by no means the alpha male there, but applying the things I learn from being one in my home helps me perform better at work.
Being the alpha male in my home means making important decisions on the spot and being good at making those decisions. Being this pack leader of my home means establishing order and trusting that my direction allows for my “society” to carry out that established order.
Yes, I am using the phrases “alpha male” and “pack leader” but when it really comes down to it, I’m talking about being the head of the household.
I’m going to edit this next sentence for sexual content, so use your imagination:
I’ve learned that as a man, it’s better to be perceived as a [jerk] than a [pansy].
My wife would rather be married to someone she respects because he is willing to take control of the situation, as needed, as compared to a man who is so easy-going that he leaves her up to take care of the decision-making and planning of both small and large household events.
Granted, we make our decisions together. But there are plenty of times where it needs to be my call and my initiative.
When it comes down to it, I don’t like being in charge and making decicisions. But to be a man, to be a husband, to be a dad; it’s just something I’m having to get used to.
Image: Goldfish swim in an aquarium, via Shutterstock.
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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.
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baby boy, bambino, fatherhood, gender, Italian, macho, manners, masculine, pacifier, parenting, raising a boy, Randy Macho Man Savage, Storytelling, well balanced | Categories:
Home Life, Nostalgia, Story Bucket, Storytelling, The Dadabase