Posts Tagged ‘ Paul Rudd ’

Teaching An American 2 Year-Old To Kiss Like A European

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

2 years, 1 months.

Dear Jack,

Every night before we put you to bed, you know you have to kiss Mommy and me goodnight.

Right now, we’re helping you figure out how to do it just right.

“No tongue, Jack!”

That’s what Mommy has to remind you because you have this habit; instead of kissing us, you lick us, like you’re a puppy.

The goal is for us to kiss each other on the cheek, not the lips.

But several times now, you have leaned in to me with your mouth open like you’re about to take a big bite out of an ice cream cone.

Please know how hard it is for me not to laugh when you do that, but I know I can’t afford to as I’m trying to get you into sleep mode.

There’s this concept in my head of you and I kissing each other on the cheek as we say hello and goodbye, even as we get older.

I know that may sound a little bizarre at first; mainly because it is. Because we’re Americans living in America.

If we were in Italy or France, it probably wouldn’t be that weird.

Just picture us, 20 years from now, wearing cabbie hats as we greet each other with open arms and a classic European father-son kiss on the cheek.

(Just saying that out loud seems so un-American; like the kind of thing that Paul Rudd would do unsuccessfully in a Judd Apatow movie.)

But that’s how I imagine us; being totally comfortable with being physically affectionate.

Granted, it’s to be done with discretion; not the kind of thing to be executed in front of your friends when you’re in the 6th grade. After all, I’m no helicopter parent nor do I want to be associated with the term “attachment parenting.’

Aside from what I see as unfavorable extremes, I just want it to be normal for a dad to kiss his son hello, goodbye, and goodnight; even if it comes across as European.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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Do Fathers Have Lower Testosterone Levels Than Non-Dads?

Monday, November 28th, 2011

One year.

If you’re asking me, based on personal experience, the answer is… NOOOOOO!!!

{morphs into the Incredible Hunk, as conveniently, only the bottoms of pants tear off }

Back in September the Assistant Editor of Parents.com, Jessie Assimon, sent me a link to one of the other bloggers’ articles here entitled “Study: Testosterone Levels Lower in Fathers.” Knowing she was curious for my thoughts on the piece, I thanked her for thinking of me, as I planned to soon write a post responding to the new study’s findings.

But what could I really say in a Dadabase post about the subject?

“Since becoming a dad, my level of testosterone has dropped. But that’s okay, because now I really can empathize with my wife. When I tell her that I know what’s she going through, I really do mean it.”

Yeah right.

Now, two and half months later, I have finally figured out my response and my take on the issue:

I am convinced that my level of testosterone has actually increased since becoming a dad.

Especially now that my son is a year old and I have 12 solid months experience, I know for a fact that I am more aggressive, more likely to stand up for myself, more likely to hurt peoples’ feelings, more likely to say no and not feel bad about it, and more likely to be seriously tempted to challenge the arrogant [bloke] to a fight outside after he made a rude comment to my wife at Pei Wei Express.

It’s like suddenly every Third Eye Blind song that talks about punching another guy in the nose (“London,” “Camouflage,” “Don’t Believe a Word”) serves as the soundtrack of my life.

In a matter of a year, I’ve gone from being Paul Rudd to Clint Eastwood.

I’m no longer patient to wait to see if the problem works itself out by me being nice. I take control immediately of the situation before it takes control of me.

My son would still be waking up throughout the night if it weren’t for me implicating the “make him cry it out” method in our house. I laid down the law and felt great. And that was only the beginning.

Granted, anyone who has actually read the article I mentioned in the beginning will know that the symptoms for having less testosterone have nothing to do with being more “on edge” like the way I am describing and experiencing.

The article instead focuses on a dad’s increased likelihood of further commitment to his family, as his testosterone drops by near half:

“The study, experts say, suggests that men’s bodies evolved hormonal systems helped them commit to their families once children were born. It also suggests that men’s behavior can affect hormonal signals their bodies send, not just that hormones influence behavior.”

Well, if that’s what this is about, then consider me the effeminate lion from The Wizard of Oz. 

But if having a lower testosterone level means that I’m more mild-mannered and motherly… forget it!

If nothing else it’s pretty interesting that in theory it actually takes having less cojones to be man enough to not run away from your family when things get tough or seemingly less exciting. Man, I could have told you that!

I wonder how much money was wasted on doing the scientific research for that report. Do yourself a favor and come to me next time, scientists.

Just ask for Mr. Chutzpah.

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The Buddy Factor of Being a Dad

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Seven months.

The Dadabase

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.

The Dadabase

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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Proud Papa

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Twenty weeks.

*Did you hear about this blog from American Baby magazine?  If so, click here to get to the main page (table of contents) for “dad from day one”.  There’s a whole lot more where this come from…

During the closing credits of my favorite movie of all time, I Love You, Man, Barry (Jon Favreau) finds out his wife Denise (Jamie Pressly) is pregnant after she vomits on him at the wedding reception.  With puke on his shirt, he says to her, “Please, try to make it a boy.”  Barry is a Type A jerk, inhabiting every memory and idea of a typical beer-guzzling frat boy.  So of course, having a boy (instead of a girl) would be very important to him.

Being that I’m nothing like that character in the movie, instead being much more like the main character, Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd), I had just always assumed I would have all daughters.  Here’s the picture I had in my head of my future family: Me, wifey, three daughters, and two Cockapoos (or Labradoodles).

It just makes more sense that a guy who has no interest (or talent whatsoever) in sports or hunting (or anything proving I’m man enough by showing my “game face”), but instead has always been enthralled in everything artistic (drawing, entertaining, acting, singing, songwriting, writing) would somehow automatically make a better father to daughters instead of sons.  So that’s part of the reason I was so authentically surprised to learn that our baby is a boy.  Like somehow I deserved a son less because I’m not a certain macho stereotype I’ve memorized from three decades of watching sitcoms and movies.

And now, I have to admit, there’s a part of me that can’t help but laugh that without any preconceived hopes or crossed fingers, I get what every man secretly hopes for- a son.  There’s an unspoken concept (at least in my mind) that raising a son is a rite of passage for a man.  A coveted elective course, a special honorary badge, an engraved trophy so easily received- to be a father to a son.  A chance not so much to relive my own life, but to enhance another future man with all the life experience and knowledge I’ve learned the hard way.

The movie I Love You, Man is built around the fact that male friendships and bonds don’t often come so easily.  By a man having a son, he is automatically given that opportunity- to nurture a male the way every boy and man craves to be taught and directed.  What I lack in knowledge of fixing cars and football statistics and home repairs, I can make up for in teaching healthy communication skills and anything that falls under that categories of “literary”, “artistic”, “psychological”, and “entertainment”.

In other words, I have a feeling I will be raising  the likeness of a future Jewish comedic actor, maybe the next Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the next Shia LaBeouf, the next James Franco…

A well-rounded people-person who is confident in who he is, that’s who I predict he will become.  Who knows?  Maybe he’ll be a quiet, mild-mannered, studious, future accountant.  But with a dad as quirky and Hawaiian-shirt-wearing as me, I just don’t think he has a chance of being anything like Clark Kent.

Baby Jack's body is the length of a cantaloupe this week.

Here’s what The Bump says about Week 20:

Baby’s digestive system is busy creating meconium (a tarry black substance made of swallowed amniotic fluid, digestive secretion and dead cells), which will fill the first diaper after birth. And, speaking of the diaper situation… baby’s genitals are now fully formed!

To return to the “dad from day one” main page, click here.

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

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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