Posts Tagged ‘
Monday, February 18th, 2013
2 years, 3 months.
You can speak; and I’m not referring to a selection of the most necessary phrases to get through life as a 2 year-old. I mean that Mommy and I can carry on an actual conversation with you and you understand what we are asking or telling you.
Yes, you can participate in legitimate conversations now. Granted, there are some limitations; some concepts are just too complex for you to make much sense of right now.
I’ve been telling you how, here lately, you’ve been really picky about which roles Mommy and I can do. As I mentioned, I am now your wardrobe assistant/technician, whereas that used to be Mommy’s job.
This past Saturday the three of us were so busy playing in your bedroom, swinging the shaggy bolster pillow at each other and pretending that your Thor play tent was a ship on the stormy sea, that a couple of hours passed before we realized your diaper was pretty wet.
So we asked you, “Jack, who do you want to change your diaper, Mommy or Daddy?”
Your instant response: “Jesus!” The look on your face was completely serious.
It caught me so off guard, I hesitated as I attempted to answer you:
“Well… uh… Jesus can watch… but it needs to be either Mommy or me who changes your diaper today.”
You stood your ground:
“I want Jesus! I want Jesus to change my diaper!”
Thinking back now, I can’t even remember whether it was Mommy or me who actually changed your diaper. I just know it’s a very bizarre thing to think about. I mean, how do I explain to you why Jesus can’t change your diaper?
That’s a tough one for a 2 year-old to process.
I started thinking about how Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine. Then I started seriously thinking about whether any of His unrecorded miracles included changing toddlers’ diapers. You really got me thinking, kid.
This is only the beginning. You are going to be saying some pretty hilarious things without trying, as you’re new to this “real conversation” concept.
I will be here to help you as you get lost in translation. I will try to help you, at least.
Sunday, February 17th, 2013
2 years, 3 months.
I, too, wish that I could leave the house in my pajamas. However, neither of us can have our way.
Granted, if I ever showed up to work in pajamas, I would feel pretty socially awkward, with good reason.
As for you, I’m guessing you wouldn’t feel strange about it at all, but then I’d be the weird dad who lets his son wear pajamas to daycare everyday.
Here lately, getting you dressed every morning has become so much of a struggle that I have to be the one who does it, instead of Mommy.
You only want your clothes to be changed laying down, which puts you in the perfect position to bicycle-kick whoever is trying to get you dressed. It’s better that I am the who takes the collateral damage from you.
So now I am officially your wardrobe assistant/technician.
While the Twitter hashtag #aintnobodygottimeforthat officially peaked last summer, the “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That (Autotune Remix)” on YouTube serves as the mental soundtrack as I get you dressed now.
You and I are both thinking, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” You’re thinking it because you evidently see getting dressed as an unnecessary hassle; or even worse, a form of punishment.
I’m thinking it because I don’t have time to struggle with you over it.
There seems to be no obvious solution to you not wanting to get dressed. I don’t know; maybe it was better in Biblical days when everyone evidently just wore robes all the time.
Actually, I think you could totally pull off rockin’ the Kid Icarus look. So, uh, Jack… what do ya say?
Saturday, February 16th, 2013
2 years, 3 months.
I recently explained to you how I now have to let Mommy drive while I sit in the backseat with you, to keep you from being anxious and needy, since Mommy is the nurturer and I’m the entertainer.
That’s one of those things I have to file in the “whatever works” category.
Or, to translate that into the language of Twitter:
It goes without saying that as a parent, “whatever works” is a catchphrase that I seem to mumble on a daily basis.
In addition to having to change the seating arrangements for our family car rides, we have also had to change our morning routine.
Mommy arranged it with her boss to show up 15 minutes early for work and leave 15 minutes early, too.
This way, Mommy leaves the house 15 minutes before we do, because here recently you put up less of a fight if I’m the one who gets you ready.
It may have something to do with what I just mentioned a minute ago; that I am not the nurturer so you have lower expectations with me. So Mommy and I use that to our advantage.
Our new morning routine also allows more quality time with you and Mommy; the two of you share breakfast together while I shower and get ready.
Since making this our new norm, we no longer leave the house stressed or in a hurry. That’s all it took; we just couldn’t all three leave at the same time.
We are so focused on finding ways to improve quality time together as a family. Sometimes, we have recognized that by assigning certain daily activities to one particular parent, it can improve quality time for two of us at a time.
It’s sort of like working the “3rd wheel” concept to our advantage. Our model is this: Two wheels in the back and one in the front.
As a family, we often have to move and work like a tricycle.
Hey, whatever works.
Saturday, February 9th, 2013
2 years, 2 months.
Last Saturday morning when it snowed here in Nashville, I snapped a few quick pictures of you discovering the glory of it through the window.
However, those pictures of you didn’t quite turn out as I had hoped.
Instead, they could easily be filed under the categories of “safety hazard” or “a mess to be made.”
Without an explanation, the picture to the right looks like I just let you regularly pretend to strangle yourself with the strings from the window blinds.
In reality, the exact second this picture was shot was the only time you’ve ever put the strings from the window blinds close to your neck.
The main reason you I’ve never let you play with the window blinds is explained in the picture below.
Not only do I not want you to hurt yourself, but I don’t want you to learn that it’s okay to play with something that could easily turn into a big mess, or more importantly, something that could break and be so expensive to fix.
(Those blinds throughout our townhouse costed us a total of $500 for the 3 windows we have, by the time they were installed.)
Trust me, I don’t want to be a stick in the mud parent who is telling you “no” anytime you try to do something new.
I want you to be curious and adventurous. You are a little boy. You’re basically wired to discover fun new things on a regular basis.
But as your dad, I have to constantly be asking myself, “Is this a safety hazard?” and “Will this make a big expensive mess that I’ll have to clean up and pay for?”
Speaking of snow, it reminds me of when I was a kid in school and the Superintendent would have to make the call very early that morning on whether or not school would be cancelled because of snowy or icy weather.
If he cancelled school, and the weather ended up not being as bad as everyone thought it would be, then it could make it look like he jumped the gun and overreacted.
But if he didn’t cancel school, and the weather really was as bad as everyone thought it might be, then he could be seen as unwise and not concerned enough with the safety of the children.
I feel like the Superintendent. You give me enough reasons each day to have continually ask myself whether I should approve or cancel whatever potential hazard or mess you are about to get yourself into.
Saturday, February 9th, 2013
2 years, 2 months.
In this very moment, here is exactly what’s going through my mind:
You really do have a weird man for a dad.
I realize that’s nothing I need to apologize for. After all, my quirkiness and passionate beliefs are what attracted Mommy to me in the first place.
So ultimately, you are here today because I’m not so normal of an American man.
We’ll make this thing work, though. You’ll turn out fine.
It’s just that I have a feeling as you get older, your friends will all be aware that your dad is… a bit on the eccentric side.
You’ll be the kid with the dad who doesn’t eat meat, doesn’t use any products that contain sodium laurel sulphate, doesn’t use microwaves, doesn’t pay for cable or smart phones, and doesn’t believe in using credit cards.
I’ll be that Libertarian, yet law-abiding; conservative, yet open-minded; Generation Y father who happens to live on the outside of what is often mainstream.
To be honest, I only recently realized how off-beat a demographic I am a part of. As I look back through the letters I’ve written you, I see that often my worldview does not necessarily reflect that of the majority.
So the question is, how will that affect you?
Am I brainwashing you? Probably a little bit. However, I don’t see how I’m brainwashing you any more than any other parent out there.
That’s one of the scary parts about being a parent. As your dad, I greatly influence your worldview, whether I mean to or not.
You can’t choose your parents. I’m the one you ended up with, though.
Whether it’s for better or for worse, I take pride in showing you my version of how the world works and/or how it should work.
Ultimately, what I want for you isn’t any different than what I assume any parent wants for their child:
I want you to know you are loved, you are special, and you are wanted. I want you to be confident in yourself, strong in your beliefs, and caring to others.
Maybe I’m not that weird of a dad after all…