Monday, June 3rd, 2013
2 years, 6 months.
You’ve had My Pal Scout (by LeapFrog) since you were a newborn. He’s a toy you’ve literally grown up with. However, it’s now at age 2 and a half that Scout is truly relevant to your life more than ever.
Now that you can talk, it’s like Scout has truly come to life! He’s a real talking puppy… at least, I think that’s what you think.
Sometimes to stall going to bed, you’ll ask for socks from the closet, then see a toy you haven’t played with in the past 4 months; ever since you became obsessed with monster trucks, that is.
That happened to be the case with Scout.
“Jack, let me show you how to play with him. If you want to play games, just press this red ball of yarn on his paw,” I explained.
Scout began talking to you:
“Hi Jack, wanna play?”
In a half-second’s time of confusion, astonishment, and wonder, I saw your eyebrows go up as you excitedly and hesitantly replied with a smile, “Yeah!”
Then Scout continued to engage you: “My favorite animal is a giraffe. Jack, is that your favorite animal too?”
How could it be that this green puppy who has been hanging out in the closet has the same interests as you? He even likes bananas, as you do, and sang about them to you.
Granted, Mommy customized Scout online a couple years ago to say your name and interests. But to you, he’s a cool dog who can talk.
And so the bromance began. All last weekend, Scout was your buddy. You were sort of bummed that I wouldn’t let you take him to the zoo.
At least I let you eat dinner with him.
I think Mommy just needs to program Scout to say he likes monster trucks… then you’ll really be all set!
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Monday, June 27th, 2011
I believe everyone has multiple personalities and different versions of themselves that they reveal based on their environment. But these multiplicities of ourselves ultimately are still built on top of one default personality. My default personality is amazingly similar to the character of Peter Klaven (portrayed by Paul Rudd) in my favorite movie ever, I Love You Man.
The movie focuses on Peter’s lack of ability to make and keep strong male friendships and the difficulty that means for him in trying to find groomsmen and most importantly, a best man, for his upcoming wedding.
Most of my guy friends are scattered across the country; instantly available via text message, but not for hanging out with on a regular basis. And I’m completely okay and comfortable with that. And interestingly enough, whether it was my female-orientated major in college (English), or every work environment I’ve been in since then, I’ve constantly been surrounded by women instead of men. And again, I’m completely okay and comfortable with that fact.
Even here on Parents.com, I’m the only male parent blogger. It is simply my life’s destiny to be a guy who relates to women almost as well as I relate to men. Need I remind you, it’s mainly women reading The Dadabase.
(Granted, my wife edits out anything too masculine or overly male-driven. Recently, she had me delete several paragraphs which went on way too long about the details of a Nintendo game.)
But now I have a son. A baby boy who will eventually grow into a big boy who will eventually grow into a teenage boy and eventually a man. This means that I will ultimately have a buddy.
I will always have a reason to get to do what I want to do with my free time, as long as Jack is with me. Because I will be spending quality time with him while I do what I enjoy anyway (or at least enjoyed in my youth).
Already, I’m mentally working on a list of things I will enjoy doing that also will serve as good male-bonding, quality time with my son over the next 2 to 20 years:
1) Watch the entire series of the following movies and TV series: Rocky, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Band of Brothers, and Lost.
2) Go hiking and exploring in the woods on the weekend.
3) Build awesome Lego sets.
4) Take our bikes for a long ride in a new neighborhood.
5) Have old school Nintendo game marathons.
6) Blow stuff up with fireworks.
7) If ever can ever afford it, take him on a trip to Thailand.
Of course, this is only the beginning of my list. But I really look forward to the underlying male friendship in my father-son relationship with him.
I am adamant on being Jack’s father, not his friend. However, just like how I mentioned in the beginning that we all have different personalities, I know that a father is not simply the paternal figure of his son’s life. Being a good dad means being someone to relate to and it involves a lot of mentoring. It requires good communication and quality time.
Being a father is like being a friend, but it’s so much more than that. Yet it’s paradoxically both more casual and more demanding of respect than simply being a friend. But even though I won’t refer to my son as my friend, I will gladly call him my buddy.
Man, now I’ve got the jingle to the 80’s toy, My Buddy, stuck in my head:
“Wherever I go, he goes… My buddy, my buddy, my buddy and me!”
All pictures taken courtesy of Dave Stanley at Little River Falls in Fort Payne, Alabama.
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1980's, Alabama, baby blog, dad, father and son, fatherhood, fireworks, Fort Payne, Fort Payne AL, friend, Harry Potter, I Love You Man, Lego, male bonding, multiple personalities, My Buddy, Nintendo, parenting, Paul Rudd, Peter Klaven, state parks, Thailand | Categories:
Growing Up, Home Life, Must Read, Story Bucket, Storytelling