Posts Tagged ‘ Mork and Mindy ’

Positively Communicating to My Seven Month Old Son

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Seven months.

One of my biggest pet peeves has always been this situation: I’m out in public and see a stranger compliment a young child or baby.  Then the parent responds to the stranger with, “Well you can take him home with you if you like.  He’s a handful.  Nah, he’s pretty good… most of the time.”

I’m not a cursing kind of guy, but just thinking about that scenario makes me want to.  (It also makes me want to break a Two and a Half Men DVD.  But mainly because I hate Two and a Half Men.)

The truth is, I know how to be effectively sarcastic.  After all, I write a weekly Bachelor/Bachelorette recap every Monday night.  And it’s always very snarky.

But I have a big beef with being sarcastic towards babies and children.  I despise back-handed compliments.  A compliment barbed in an insult or complaint is not a compliment at all.  Constructive criticism is one thing, but sarcastic comments never motivate anyone to improve anything.  Instead, they break a person down.

I worship positive communication; in my marriage, with my friends and family, and even with my infant son who can’t even speak legitimately.

What he hears me say does matter, despite how young he is.  Because if nothing else, I am setting up a pattern of how I will communicate with him as he matures and is able to understand what I am saying.

My wife came up with a good system: We don’t speak to our son in a tone or with words that we would not use to speak to each other.  Because our son is both my wife and me.

Sure, at times our son can frustrate us; especially when we don’t know what he wants or when we can’t get him to sleep.  But it’s a matter of reminding ourselves that A) he didn’t ask to come into this world, B) he can’t communicate how he feels by using words, and C) he’s not trying to offend us.

It’s a matter of feeling sorry for him during these times he frustrates us most.  He needs an “ah, you poor baby” instead of “go to sleep already; you’re driving me crazy!”

Words matter.  They can destroy just as easily as they can heal.  And even for a cheap laugh with a stranger or a friend, I refuse to sell out.

My son is a reward and a joy. Not a joke or a burden.  As his father, I will not always be able to protect him from the cruel and destructive things people will certainly say to him in his lifetime.  But sure as Shazbot, I can be confident he doesn’t hear them from me.

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Baby Bean

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Ten weeks.

Our kid is currently the size of a small strawberry.

This baby is growing everyday inside of my wife.  A living being.  Or as I think of it, a living bean.  We already love this little 10 week old baby though it decides to spend all its time inside my wife’s womb.

Yesterday officiated Week 10 of the pregnancy.  Here’s what all is forming right now: ears, nose, neck, hair follicles, muscles, nerves, and fingerprints.  And the baby’s testicles or ovaries.  Things are happenin’.

Anytime we do something for the first time since my wife has been pregnant, we acknowledge it is the first time our baby experiences it.

Like a few weeks ago (at that point the fetus was the size of a kidney bean) when we went on a four mile hike:  That was our baby’s first hike and boy were her/his little legs tired.

Followed by baby’s first quesadilla at Ruby Tuesday’s.  And baby’s first episode of The Office.

It’s gotta be a cute little thing inside there.  I told my wife that I wish we could take it out and play with it.  And set up a little carriage for it the size of a cotton ball.  And it could sleep next to us.

But if it got cold, we could put it back in the womb for a while.

Though I bet once the baby bean experienced life outside the womb, it would rather just stay outside with us.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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The Minor Details

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

What will be his or her heritage?  How tall will he or she be as an adult?  Boy or girl?  I’m answering the tough questions today, based on educated theories.

This series isn’t a “baby blog”.  Instead, it’s a documented journey of what a first time dad thinks about, starting from when I first found out and started sharing the news with everyone.  Because this info is coming from a man, who processes things in black and white, it’s possible that the tone will be a mix of both practical and abstract.  No goo-goo gah-gah.  But maybe a little nanu-nanu.

In fraction form, here are the proportions of my coming child’s ethnicity:

1/4 Italian (my wife and I are both this)

1/8 Croatian (from my wife; Croatia is the country we know today as “Transylvania”, The Count from Sesame Street speaks with a Croatian accent)

1/8 Mexican (from me, my mom’s mom’s family moved to Buffalo from Mexico)

1/8 Norwegian (my wife’s grandfather on her dad’s side was from Norway, but was adopted by an English couple in Iowa)

1/8 German (from me, where the Shell name comes from, as well as a little bit from my wife’s Norwegian side)

1/8 Irish (my wife’s grandmother on her dad’s side came to America as an indentured servant from Ireland)

1/8 English (from me, where the pale skin and light freckles come from)

*Greek (higher up on my dad’s family tree, there were two separate Greek ancestors; family tradition tell us that a Greek ended up on the Italian side as well)

*French (in my wife’s Italian lineage, family tradition tells us that a Frenchman got thrown in the mix)

*Jewish (my Mexican grandmother swears that my late Italian grandfather was part Jewish, and based on the family’s speech patterns, uses of random Hebrew words, and quirky behavior, I’m convinced it’s true)

Virtually, on both my wife’s side and my side of the gene pool, there is no man 6 feet tall or more, nor is there a woman 5’ 8” or more.  Combined with the fact that I am 5’ 9” (the average height of the American man) and my wife is 5’ 6” (two inches taller than the average height of the American woman), here are the most likely height ranges for our child once they become full grown:

Boy: between 5’ 8” and 5’ 11”

Girl: between 5’ 3” and 5’ 7”

Hair color on both sides generally ranges from medium brown to jet black, therefore it’s most likely the child will have semi-wavy, dark brown hairThough I do have two blonde-haired, blue-eyed aunts and also a red-headed, green-eyed aunt as well.

In one of my Mexican grandma’s dreams, the baby was a girl.  But based on a Vietnamese co-worker who correctly predicted the gender of my boss’s kid based on a Chinese calendar, he told me that there is a 70% change it is a boy.  My wife’s mom gave birth to 10 kids, and only 3 were girls.

My instinct tells me it’s a girl.  We’ll know in eight weeks if I’m wrong.

All this baby guesswork makes me think of those commercials for Puppy Surprise from 1992:  “Puppy, puppy, puppy surprise…  How many puppies are there inside?  There could be three, or four, or five…”

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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