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Monday, May 21st, 2012
A year and a half.
I had never taken care of my son Jack overnight without my wife Jill being there.
It’s not something I was worried about; I knew I could handle Jill’s day and half business trip to Washington, DC.
Feeding him dinner, bathing him, putting him to bed, handling breakfast the next morning, packing all his stuff for daycare, then dinner and bedtime again.
That’s all I had to handle; in the midst of also picking up my wife’s goodies for Mother’s Day.
So in reality, how did it go? Did I manage it okay?
Uh, yeah. Actually, it was a little too easy.
I didn’t want to wife to know that, though. I didn’t want her to learn that I was able to get him to sleep earlier and quicker than normal. And that I was able to leave the house the next morning about 10 minutes earlier, too.
Not to mention, bath time was a breeze. Jack and I had a lot of fun squirting each other with his bath toys. Before we both knew it, he was sparkly clean and he was pleasantly eager to fall asleep.
This situation reminded me of an article my wife had read which explained that a child is often the most difficult and high maintenance with the parent who he or she was closest to in infancy. After this event, I could see that.
That’s not to say we didn’t both miss her very much. He definitely kept asking “Mama?” while she was gone.
But he seemed to understand as I would explain that Mommy would be back the next day.
I told Jill how I was looking forward to the look on his face when he woke up Saturday morning and saw that she was back. We both had high expectations.
At 6:23 AM on Saturday Jill and I woke up to Jack’s usual hilarious monologue consisting of animal sounds and calls for Elmo. Together, we snuck in his bedroom.
He was standing up, hanging on to the rail of his bed, with his diaper off and a puddle of pee on the carpet below. (That has never happened before!)
Jack was in a weird daze. He seemed apathetic to the fact that Mommy was back, despite my own proclamations of excitement for him.
We travelled to The Pfunky Griddle to have breakfast with Henry’s family and then to another of his toddler friend’s birthday parties.
It wasn’t until the middle of the afternoon that Jack warmed back up to her. I could tell it sort of hurt my wife’s feelings because he wasn’t acting happy that she was back. Actually, I was pretty bummed for her.
I certainly didn’t want to rub it in that things went so well while she was gone. So I did the only thing I knew to do: Let things work themselves out on their own.
By the next day, Jack was whining for Mommy again.
But something tells me that my son’s cold welcome back to Mommy isn’t so unique of an experience in the world of parenting. I bet there’s some psychology behind it that someone smarter than myself could explain; or at least someone else who can relate to this seemingly unusual story.
[Passes the mic to the audience.]
Thursday, May 10th, 2012
A month ago I revealed that HP would be giving one lucky mom a full “tech-over” for Mother’s Day. I invited everyone to submit a mom for the contest, telling why she should win this glorious prize package.
Today, I shall announce the lucky mom out there who will definitely have an awesome Mother’s Day gift. Drum roll please.
And the winner is…
My wife. I, I mean, she really needs a new computer and she’s such a good sport about me writing about her all the time…
Angry yet? You shouldn’t be. You should know me well enough by now I’m just joking. Gotcha! (I hope.)
Seriously, here’s the actual winning entry:
Hi Nick & Parents.com,
I am not sure if voting oneself to win is acceptable, but I truly have to give myself credit as being a super MOM! I have two beautiful daughters that I have raised, one is 8 yrs. and the other is 7 yrs., on my own. I have been known to have three jobs and attend college full time, and wonder when i would get to just spend a relaxing afternoon with my daughters. But now I have a debilitating head condition that has caused me to not be able to hold down not even one full time job. I truly believe if I were lucky enough to win HP’s ” Tech-Over”, I would still be able to spend the much needed quality time with my daughters. To be able to expand their knowledge in today’s ever-so growing Internet world would make my dreams come true!
Sincerely, Laura Kendrick
Here’s the thing that stood out most about Laura’s entry. In the very first line, she credited her self as a “Supermom,” not to mention that she submitted herself for the contest.
Why is that so cool?
Two months ago here on The Dadabase, I wrote a post entitled “Can We Just Nix This Idea Of The Perfect ‘Supermom’ Already?”
Here’s an essential excerpt from it:
“You are Supermom; the real-life version of her. The main difference I see is that the fictional version never complains. But is that a good thing? To never complain? Nope. It’s absolutely necessary to communicate your frustrations as a parent.”
Instead of Laura focusing on what she’s not, she focuses on what she is. I love that. I celebrate her confidence and determination.
Congratulations Laura and Happy Mother’s Day!
Thursday, August 11th, 2011
Though Jack has been attending day care for a couple of weeks now, I still have been wondering what it would be like when he would be exposed to another little boy about his age and size, in a different environment. I had these preconceived ideas that it might be difficult for them to get along, fighting over toys. I envisioned myself cringing, just waiting for the moment when one of them would smack the other in the forehead with a wooden block or a Matchbox car.
I guess I forgot that infant boys don’t have that much testosterone, yet. Fortunately, Jack’s first encounter with a buddy wasn’t at all as I bleakly imagined it. While in Sacramento last week, we visited Jill’s childhood friend, Paula; she and her husband had their first child just a few months before Jack was born.
It was funny to observe Jack and Evan (Paula’s son) playing next to each other from the same toy box. Several times they reached for the same toy, then they would both simultaneously back off from it, as if to say, “No, it’s cool. You go ahead. You saw it first.”
If only we lived in a world with “baby subtitles,” where we adults could translate what our children are saying to us and each other.
For most of the visit, I imagined in my head what their conversations were like as they were playmates:
“So, you’re Evan? Yeah, my mom has talked a lot about you. Actually, I’ve seen a lot of your pictures on Facebook. There’s this one where you’re wearing one of those taxi cab driver hats. My mom got me one of those but I kept taking it off because I can’t stand having stuff on my head. It makes me itch.”
“Yep, I’ve heard of you too. I wonder why our moms are laughing at us right now. I’m hungry. Let’s eat. Wahhhhh!!! Waahhhh! Ehhhhh…”.
“Okay, sounds good. Bluhhh!!! Mehm-mehm-mehm-mehm…”.
Being that Jill and Paula grew up together and remain friends despite the long distance and that they still see each other at least once a year when we fly out to California in the summer, I think it’s safe to say that Jack and Evan will grow up knowing each other too. Even if that means just one actual play date a year and in the meantime their Mommies pointing to a Facebook picture, saying, “Look, here’s your buddy.”
Jack has made his first friend.
Categories: Growing Up, Home Life, People, Recaps, Story Bucket, Storytelling | Tags: babies, baby boy, California, Carlos, childhood, daddy blog, Jack, mommy, playmates, Sacramento, subtitles, testosterone
Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
The word on the street is true. And we couldn’t be any happier about it!
Three weeks ago my Mexican grandma (who has always been very religious-superstitious) called my sister, saying, “Do you have something to tell me?”
“Are you sure? You don’t have anything to tell me?”
“Nnnnno…” (more hesitantly than the first time)
“I had a dream. I had a dream where I saw your grandfather in Heaven and he was so happy. He was pushing a baby stroller.”
In other words, my grandma assumed the wrong grandchild. She also told my sister about another dream she had where she saw “the most beautiful little girl in a rocking chair”. We’ll know in about eight more weeks whether or not that second dream is true.
Something I never realized about finding out you’re going to be a first time parent is that it has to stay a secret for a while. Long enough to make sure it’s not a false alarm. Long enough to confirm with a doctor. Long enough to get a sonogram.
We’ve known for over a month now. It’s a huge secret to keep from the entire world for that long. What a relief! Hey, we’re having a baby!
Expected arrival is on my dad’s 54th birthday: November 11th.
Obviously I’ve got a lot more to say about it all and I will continue to encounter plenty more as time goes on. Therefore, this is the first of many in my new series I call “dad from day one”. While it seems pretty easy to find material out there for expectant moms, not so much for expectant dads.
Expectant dads don’t encounter physical changes, but they do experience psychological ones. In this new series I will be journaling the whole process, from the time we found out we’re having a baby, until… well I can’t say until the baby is born because that’s only the beginning. And speaking of the beginning, when is day one?
Was it the day of conception? The day we found out? Today, the day I’m publicly telling everyone I haven’t already told in person or on the phone? I don’t know. Day One is the beginning of this new person I am becoming.
In the likeness of a TV show I’ve never seen but heard good things about, How I Met Your Mother, another goal of “dad from day one” is to create an archive for this kid to come. To show him or her what was going through my head during all this.
Eighteen years ago, I was given a blank journal by a classmate from school as a Christmas present. Inspired by my favorite cartoon show at the time, Doug, I remember my first entry:
“Dear Journal, I will be writing everyday so that in the future when I have kids of my own one day…”
Then I stopped. I embarrassed myself with the phrase “kids of my own one day” because it wasn’t the way I actually talked. It just seemed too weird. I threw the journal in the garbage.
Here I am 18 years later, seven months away from the big day. About to have a “kid of my own”. Let’s do this thing.
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:
Categories: People, Storytelling, The Dadabase | Tags: conception, dad, dad from day one, daddy, dear journal, Doug, dreaming about pregnancy, expectant dads, first time dad, first time parents, having a baby, How I Met Your Mother, journaling, Mexican, mom, mommy, Nick Shell, November 11th, Porkchop, pregnancy, religious, She's Having a Baby, sonogram, superstitious, we're having a baby