Posts Tagged ‘
Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
“Whoo-whoo. Whoo-whoo. Crash!”
That’s Jack’s understanding of what trains are supposed to do, thanks to his current obsession, Thomas & Friends.
It’s the first TV show that he will watch for more than 3 minutes at a time.
I have to admit—it took some getting used to: It’s a weird format consisting of puppetry and storytelling, perfectly narrated by Alec Baldwin, of all people.
As an American, it become obvious to me from the beginning that Thomas & Friends is based off of a British book series.
The first thing that gave it away was how it seems that in every episode one of the trains gets “cross” with another, puffing away perturbed. (Though he eventually apologizes for his uncivilized behavior.)
I also laughed out loud one time when Alec Baldwin, who gives voice to all the different characters, including the rare female ones, told two of the other trains, “Stop gossiping!”
In modern American culture, for one man to tell two other men to stop gossiping would be like calling them girls, to put it mildly.
So this is basically my impression of my son’s new favorite TV show: Every episode consists of trains getting “cross” at each other about the loads they are hauling and then gossiping with each other, or one of the trains gets too prideful and crashes off a cliff. Then apologizes to Sir Topham Hatt about it.
And that explains why when Jack plays with his Sir Handel and Percy trains, he says, “Whoo-whoo. Whoo-whoo. Crash!”
I dig it, though. I do.
In fact, maybe I dig it a little too much:
These days I’m a tad bit distracted thinking about Jack’s die cast metal Thomas the Train collection; the ones designed for the Take-n-Play sets. For his 2nd birthday next month, we bought him a Rumbling Gold Mine set, which comes with the actual Thomas train.
So that means Jack will have Sir Handel, Percy, and Thomas. But now Jack’s favorite character seems to be the ever-so-moody Gordon.
Plus, there’s a character called Jack. How can I not get him Jack?
Not to mention, Jack is enthralled by fire trucks, and there is character called Flynn, who is a fire truck.
I care way too much about my son’s growing die cast metal Thomas & Friends collection.
This weekend I asked him, “Jack, do you want Harold the Helicopter?”
He instantly replied, “No.”
Bummer. For me.
With that being said, it should be no surprise that my wife and I have the same ring tone for when we call each other. You guessed it:
The theme song to Thomas & Friends.
Yes, we really are that cool.
(My wife even made a “practice birthday cake” in the form of a train this past weekend. When you look at it upside down, it sort of looks like a bear.)
Without a doubt, Jack’s birthday will be saturated in the Thomas & Friends theme.
Good thing he’s a boy. It seems like there’s no cool girl equivalent to Thomas the Train.
At least, there’s not one quite as obsessive.
Friday, September 7th, 2012
It seems like only yesterday, but actually, it was just a few hours ago.
As I was strapping Jack in his car seat, I very casually made what I thought was a one-sided conversation:
“Jack, did you do anything cool today at school?
“I played,” he (actually!) responded back.
“You did?!” I asked, just to make sure I really heard what I thought I did.
“Yeah,” he replied.
He was indeed sure that the cool thing he did at school was to play. He could have said “nap time” instead. But my son likes playing at day care!
Who knew? Go figure.
That’s it. That was the end of our first-ever conversation.
The moment was magical, like having a puppy suddenly talk to you in a classic Disney movie or something; where the human character says to the enchanted animal: “You can talk?”
Sure, it wasn’t the longest conversation, but it was the first-ever banter I’ve carried on with my son, in which I didn’t just simply ask a yes or no question.
So now I’m thinking about how from here on out, I need to be aware he may be understanding what I’m saying whenever I’m talking. After all, he could jump in and comment at any moment.
I guess I need to start asking him more open-ended questions, too:
“Jack, why do you think Here Comes Honey Boo Boo got more viewers than the Republican National Convention?”
I imagine his response:
“Well, if that’s even true, which I doubt it is, then I would say it’s similar to the reasons people go to see movies. Some go for entertainment or enlightenment, while others go to escape. Evidently, that night, more people were wanting to escape.”
What a clever and informed son I have. I wish he would have spoken up sooner.
Sunday, August 26th, 2012
As far as my son Jack knows right now, I am running for Vice President of The United States of America.
Last Saturday while I was turning on the TV to set up Sesame Street for him, a few seconds of the news was on, featuring coverage of the 2012 Presidential race.
Onto the stage walked Paul Ryan, who is Mitt Romney’s running mate.
It was a statement; not a question.
There was no hesitation in my son’s voice as he looked up at the screen and proclaimed that I was both sitting in the room with him and on the TV at the same time.
Turns out, I am not Paul Ryan and I’m not running for office.
But my son, in all certainty, believes Paul Ryan and I are the same person.
Similarly, Jack thinks that every man with a grayish white beard and hair is my dad, who he calls “Papa.”
From the Gorton’s fish sticks guy to Santa Claus, if my son sees a picture that resembles any likeness to my dad, he dubs that man as Papa.
What’s really interesting concerning my son’s perception of people is the way he sees himself.
I can be pushing him in the jogging stroller around the neighborhood and every time we see another kid around his age, he says, “Baby.”
Other toddlers are “babies” to Jack.
At least he’s consistent. Recently I showed him a picture I had just taken of himself; one where he didn’t realize he was the one in the picture.
His response: “Baby.”
So I guess Jack understands that he is a baby. He is self-aware like that.
Meanwhile, I am Paul Ryan and my dad is the fish sticks guy on the yellow box.
(It is possible to assume I am attempting to subliminally convince you to vote for Mitt Romney and to make Gorton’s fish sticks for dinner tonight. Just keep in mind: I am both a Libertarian and a vegetarian. But man, I do sort of miss fish tacos.)
Categories: Deep Thoughts, Must Read, Nostalgia, Storytelling, The Dadabase | Tags: fatherhood, fish sticks, Libertarian, Mitt Romney, parenting, parents, Paul Ryan
Thursday, August 9th, 2012
About 24 hours ago, I published “How Do Parents Leave Their Kids Alone In A Hot Car?!”
To summarize it, I basically said that I feel like every time I hear another “parent left their kid alone in the hot car” story, it’s always that the parent was a bit looney to begin with.
I ended it with this:
“But really, I don’t know, do non-crazy parents end up leaving their kids alone in the car? Do they?”
The answer is yes.
Good, normal parents who are respected in their community have unfortunately accidently left their kids alone in a hot car.
The most common way this seems to happen: They simply forgot to drop off their kid, who was quiet in the back seat.
Here are a couple of links to prove it:
As I mentioned in this post’s prequel, I totally see how I could forget my son in the back seat of my car, on a morning when he is really tame on the drive and while I am very preoccupied with 17 random thoughts and 8 that actually are important.
But I want to make sure I never do forget.
I read this statement from the Safe Kids Worldwide CEO, Kate Carr, who had some advice for parents to prevent forgetting their child in the car:
“Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car – a briefcase, your purse, or better yet, your cell phone – that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.”
So, yeah, I’m going to start doing that. Starting today.
Now that I know it’s not just a stereotype of a parent who accidently leaves their kid in the car seat on a hot summer day, I’m ready to spread awareness.
What better way to do that than with another one of my glorious awareness ribbons?
For the record, I think awareness ribbons are annoying by now and are well past the “jumped the shark” point. And for me, that’s why they work. They spread awareness, even if through sheer tackiness like an infomercial.
So as I look at this orange “Kid Still In The Car Seat” Awareness ribbon that took me about 90 seconds to create on PicFont.com, I will be reminded to start leaving my cell phone in the back seat next to my son from now on.
Not to mention, I don’t need the added danger of tempting myself to text my wife while I’m driving.
I want to set good, preventative habits as a parent.
Thanks to those of you who left comments on ”How Do Parents Leave Their Kids Alone In A Hot Car?!” You led me here and I think I’m a better parent for it.
Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Rainbow is the new pink. Literally.
I’m not against raising money and awareness for cancer, but for the past couple of years now, I feel like I’m one of the only people willing to point out the irony of buying junk food with a pink ribbon on the package.
Yes, some of the money goes to find a cure for cancer. But also, eating junk food doesn’t help prevent cancer. Quite the opposite.
Even if it’s pop culture heresy, I’m willing to say it: Pink sells. It’s a convenient marketing strategy that most people aren’t willing to criticize.
Turns out, selling cancer awareness with the color pink has inspired a new trend that’s starting to pop up: Gay-friendly ads.
They’re perfect because they create a lot of buzz among the exact demographic they are going after:
Eighteen to 34 year-olds; most of whom are Generation Y, a group of young adults who likes to be known for being open-minded and accepting.
Sure, there are those who are personally offended by seeing JC Penney’s “Gay Dad Ad” or Kraft’s Oreo ”Rainbow Cookie” ad.
But the percentage of those who are upset enough to actually not buy the product is evidently irrelevant in comparison to all those who will either deliberately or subconsciously prefer a brand or product because of a gay-friendly ad.
Somewhere between 1% and 3% of Americans are gay; about 4 million people. But that’s enough to culturally divide the rest of us over it.
Here’s where it gets tricky. It’s gotten to the point now where it’s clearly politically incorrect to not support gay marriage.
What does gay marriage have to do with chicken? Ask the people banning Chick-fil-A.
The funny thing is, I can’t find where Chick-fil-A’s President Dan Cathy actually even used the phrase “gay marriage” in an interview. (Will someone please link proof of it in a comment for me?)
Yet Chick-fil-A is apparently being banned by the Muppets and the mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, over this.
I find it extremely ironic that people are banning Chick-fil-A in the name of accepting others when they are not accepting of those who do not endorse gay marriage.
At the same time, I’m cool with gay-friendly ads. Nor do I oppose gay marriage; as recognized by the State.
But let’s be honest about what this really is.
These gay-friendly ads are a marketing strategy. That’s why more brands are using them. And they are evidently working.
What can we expect in the future? More gay-friendly ads.
Especially advertising products to parents who do the shopping for food and clothing for the household.
Will you buy your kid Oreos because you saw their rainbow ad? Kraft thinks you will. Same thing with JC Penney.
I predict that it’s only a matter of time before we see a gay-friendly diaper ad. I give it until the end of the year.
Instead of a faux denim diaper, why not a rainbow diaper?
Update since original publishing…
Here are two links that give more background on what Mr. Cathy actually said: