Posts Tagged ‘
Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
2 years, 7 months.
This week I introduced Mommy to a 25 year-old movie called Rain Man, starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman.
It’s one of those movies where, now that I’ve seen it for the 3rd time, I realize that it’s actually one of my favorite movies.
I mentioned to Mommy some of the similarities between Rain Man and The Guilt Trip , starring Barbara Streisand and Seth Rogen; another movie we both really like.
And then it hit me… most of my favorite movies are “road movies.”
A road movie is a film genre in which main characters travel across the country (or at least the state) motivated by some random plot device; during which they learn to overcome their differences in personalities and communication styles.
The characters involved typically find themselves rewarded by the end of the movie; most of all because of their shared personal experiences and character development. In other words, they become better people because of the road trip.
Ultimately, they prove that life’s a journey, not a destination.
(Just to name a few more examples of my favorite road movies… Dumb And Dumber, Planes, Trains, & Automobiles, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Little Miss Sunshine, and Sideways.)
On a similar note, Mommy and I have been totally psyching you up for this weekend. Friday is our 5th wedding anniversary and we’re celebrating it by…
Taking you on a 2 and a half hour road trip from Nashville, TN to Louisville, KY!
We’ve got you so excited/slightly confused as we keep telling you about the fold-out couch you’ll be sleeping on:
“Jack, do you want to sleep on your own special ‘big boy bed’ at the hotel in Louisville?”
Not to mention, our zoo membership is recognized there too, so visiting the zoo ultimately becomes the plot device for our little road trip.
You’re hoping to see camels and bears.
For me, this is really fun. I’m already cracking up at the thought of you sleeping on a fold-out couch in a hotel in Louisville.
That’s something I adore about you:
Here Mommy and I have hyped up this trip for the past couple of weeks and you don’t even know what a hotel is, or Louisville, or a fold-out couch.
Yet, your eyes light up at the thought of it all.
I think you’re going to do great on your first real road trip. It’s all about the journey, anyway.
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Tuesday, June 18th, 2013
2 years, 7 months.
Here’s a picture of you at the Nashville Zoo last Friday night during an animal show where you saw and learned about the Clouded Leopard.
You were lucky- Mommy and I let you stay up an hour past your bed time that night!
It was quite the spectacle for a 2 and a half year-old boy to witness, though that might not have been obvious to anyone sitting near us.
Seriously, check out the look on your face.
To me, you appear in this photo to be extremely bored or at least slightly sedated, as you munch on your goldfish crackers.
However, this is simply how you look when you are learning.
You have taught me that when you have that glazed-over look on your face and remain silent, you couldn’t be any more in tune with what’s going on. That’s simply you taking it all in.
About six months ago, I took you by the reptile aquarium/pet store near our house. You were expressionless the whole time.
Yet even now, when we drive by that place, you ask to go back to see the lizards and snakes.
Though you never look excited when I let you watch your favorite shows on Netflix, like All About Monster Trucks with Hard Hat Harry, you never smile… just that glazed-over stare.
Then, an hour later, you’ll be playing on the floor, imitating the monster truck mayhem you absorbed earlier.
So I’m no longer fooled into thinking you’re not learning or at least being entertained. I know you’re totally paying attention and anything I do or say during that time may and will be used against me.
Sure, you’ll smile and laugh while you play; when you’re the one creating. But you respect the process of being presented with education (and entertainment) so much, you take it extremely seriously.
Some might even say too seriously.
I just say you’re intense.
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Saturday, June 15th, 2013
2 years, 6 months.
One of the most noteworthy things about seeing you grow up right now, in this phase of your life, is the way you’re experimenting with your speaking abilities.
We’ve been taking advantage of our family zoo pass by going every single weekend since we bought it about a month ago. In the process, I learned what a hot potato is.
“Look at that hot potato!” you would exclaim, referring to the climbable statue in the zoo’s playground.
I realized that in your version of the English language, a hippopotamus is a hot potato.
My mind went back to the year 1988 as you preceded to “feed” the “hot potato” some mulch.
Apparently, I was witnessing the live version of the board game “Hungry, Hungry Hippos.”
Of course, “hot potatoes” aren’t the only thing I have to remember to immediately translate in my mind.
When Mommy makes you Annie’s Homegrown macaroni and cheese for dinner, you always ask her to put “black cheese” on it.
Any guesses as to what that means?
Pepper. Black pepper is “black cheese.”
One of my favorite phrases of yours is a “regular bar.”
We have so many different types of organic fruit strip snacks we keep in the pantry, that’s how you have been identifying and differentiating fig bars.
Somehow the fact they have a whole wheat coating around them makes them “regular.”
“Mommy, I have a regular bar?” That’s the kind of thing I would overhear you ask Mommy.
Finally, I had to finally ask Mommy what that meant.
She explained they are the Nature’s Bakery brand (non-GMO verified) version of Fig Newtons.
So there you have it…
Hot potatoes are hippopotamuses.
Black cheese is black pepper.
And regular bars are fig bars.
It has just now occurred to me that really, only Mommy and I understand your version of the English language.
Even then, we’re still decoding what you say every day.
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Thursday, June 6th, 2013
2 years, 6 months.
When we pull into our neighborhood each afternoon, there are two ways to drive to our house: Turn right and get there quicker, or continue going straight for the slightly longer scenic route that circles around.
Of course, every day you say, “Go straight! Go straight!”
Then I respond with, “Go straight, what?”
(“Please” is the implied answer, obviously.)
Upon request, I always go straight to appease you. But Tuesday, you were distracted by the commercial airplane flying right over us (we basically live in the landing path of the Nashville airport) so I just turned right to save time.
“No, Daddy! NO! Go straight! Straight, Daddy!” you protested.
But I had already committed to my right turn and we had already been in the car nearly an hour by that point. I didn’t turn back around and “go straight.”
Therefore, you began crying real tears, so emotionally caught up that you could barely hear through my remedy as we sat in the parked car in front of our house:
“Jack, just calm down a little bit and we’ll go inside and see Mommy. I didn’t go straight today but it’s okay. I can’t always give you exactly what you want, when you want it. I need you to be okay with that. All you have to do right now is calm down a little bit and I’ll get you out of your seat.”
Basically, you had to stay in a 4 minute impromptu “strapped in the car seat” time-out session with me as I listened to classic 1984 Bruce Springsteen, but not your favorite song of his, “Dancing In The Dark.”
It’s similar to the assigned seats you’ve given Mommy and I on the couch. If I sit on the wrong end of the couch, you often get so upset that the end result is me turning off the laptop; meaning you can’t finish watching monster trucks clip on YouTube.
My lesson is typically and simply this: Just chill out and you’ll get what you want from me, most of the time.
But I have to know you’re okay with letting the answer be “no” sometimes, because the more you’re okay with “no,” the more likely I am to say “yes” the next time.
Needless to say, the day after your “Daddy, go straight!” meltdown/time-out in the car situation, you immediately said, “Daddy, you go straight? Please?” as soon as we turned into our neighborhood. Nice planning and prevention on your part, Son.
You got your way. Maybe my plan is slowly working.
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Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
2 years, 6 months.
Because of my legitimate fear of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, I am trying to counteract the numbness in my left shoulder, wrist, and hand by working those muscles on a daily basis.
Therefore, last week I started a daily habit of stopping by the playground near my office to do pull-ups.
I imagine it’s quite a random sight at 1:15 every afternoon in Aspen Grove Park to see some random guy wheel in on his mountain bike, set down his book bag and helmet, do several pull-ups on the playground, then speed off into the distance.
Predictably, there are always a few moms with their young kids already there when I arrive.
My most awkward encounter so far happened about a week ago.
There was a grandmother with her daughter- a mom who was about my age, accompanied by her own daughter who was about your age.
In the non-creepiest way I knew how, I approached the 7 foot high monkey bars. Immediately, the three of them all looked up at me, seemingly concerned.
I felt the need to explain:
“Hi, I work in one of the offices nearby. I come here everyday now to do my pull-ups because I type all day on a computer, and this helps me.”
The grandmother responded:
“Well, thank you for explaining that…”. The tone and look on her face was completely serious. She meant what she was saying.
From that point, she began rationalizing out loud, trying to convince herself as well as her grown daughter, that I was there basically to “blow off steam” from the stress of working in an office.
That wasn’t the case at all. My job doesn’t stress me out at all. I love my job.
However, I felt it to be in my best interest to leave immediately, without trying to further justify my existence. So I did.
I’m too cheap to pay for a gym membership; not to mention, I’d rather be outside anyway, breathing fresh air and feeling the sunlight on my skin. So the combination of mountain biking and doing pull-ups on the playground is like a free gym membership to me.
Sure, it looks weird to onlookers, but the only rule I saw on the park sign was against people smoking there- not against adults showing up without a child.
For me, what this story reveals is that each parent has certain things they see as a red flag; some possible threat to their child’s safety and well-being. I know I’ve got mine. (And I’ve learned not to mention them on the Internet anymore!)
I’m just a harmless dad of a 2 and a half year-old son who is using the city park for a minute or two as part of his daily exercise routine. But that’s not how it looks to everybody. To some, I am the childless creepy guy in the park.
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