Posts Tagged ‘ playing ’

Daddy’s In His Quiet Place Right Now…

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

Yes, that’s me. Those are my feet sticking out from underneath all of the couch cushions and accent pillows in our living room.

When that picture was taken, I was in somewhat of a meditative state; not simply because my oxygen supply was being fairly limited, but also because it was sort of relaxing in there.

In fact, I had no idea Mommy even took that picture until I was going through the picture folder on my flash drive yesterday, looking for a something else.

Sure, I heard what was going on outside my world of pillows:

“Hey Mommy! Daddy’s all covered. Look at Daddy. I finished his cage now.”

Then I heard your footsteps as you approached me. I saw a small opening appear between the pillows, with light coming through.

“Here you go, Tiger. Here’s your food!”

Apparently pet tigers like to eat (plastic) snakes.

This routine has become the norm. I can see why.

It allows you to completely make a mess and get away with it, as you pretend you are building a cage for your Daddy, who happens to be a tiger.

I really don’t mind it at all. Like I said, it sort of gives me 12 minutes or more of time to just zone-out on the living room floor.

With a schedule as busy as mine, I typically don’t make time for zoning out… other than when I’m running or sleeping.

It’s not so much a desperate attempt to make time for myself as it is me trying to multitask:

By being your tiger in a cage, I can spend quality time with you; because to you, I’m playing.

And I can rest my mind for a little while; because to me, being buried in a “cage” of pillows is actually relaxing.

Yes, that’s me multitasking. It’s Daddy in his… quiet place.




Keep your kids busy with these chore guides

Lords of the Playground: The Gamble
Lords of the Playground: The Gamble
Lords of the Playground: The Gamble

Add a Comment

My Son’s Boy Cave: No Girls Allowed (Except Mommy)

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

14 months.

We painted our son’s bedroom brown. Yeah, it was a risky move. What if it ended up being dark and creepy?

Some risks are worth taking; this was one of them. We had this idea in mind to create a “boy cave” for our son, as opposed to a “man cave.”

And what better color for a cave than brown? (Actually, I bet dark gray is probably the correct answer.)

We did originally plan for his room to be a “robot cave.” My wife found this really cool 3 foot tall decal on Etsy, designed by Tweet Heart. Unfortunately, the raised texture of our walls prevented it from sticking. It was sad that Ralph the Robot couldn’t hang around. We’ll try again when we live in house with walls with normal texture.

So what makes his bedroom a true boy cave?

Action and adventure!

First, there’s his Rockasan chair; which is a rocking papasan. It was originally intended as a rocking chair to rock him to sleep when he was an infant. But by now, he loves to pull himself up on it and let his own body weight cause him to swing back and forth like he’s in one of those pirate ship rides at an amusement park.

Second, my wife’s inflatable exercise ball serves as that giant rock that chases Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. My son Jack loves for me to roll the giant inflatable ball towards him from across the room. He tries to dart past me without getting hit.

It’s kind of like a very unfair version of dodgeball. I always am amazed at the level of intensity the ball can clobber him and he not only still remains standing but continues to keep running: all while hysterically laughing.

Third, he likes to play “full contact” hide-and-seek. The game consists of me running into the closet or the bathroom attached to his bedroom. Then he’ll sneak up and peak around the corner at me. The second he sees my face…


He gets attacked by the Yeti. Or whatever kind of monster I am assumed to be as a 5′ 9″ yelling adult man with a deranged look on my face. (To him, I’m still a giant; it helps that he’s only 29 inches tall.)

In a sort of slow motion move, I jump up in the air like Batman landing on the ground with my arms spread out and I pretend to lay on top of him. He just loves being playfully “attacked.”

And that’s my definition of “boy cave.”

We’ll try again in a few years, Ralph the Robot…

Add a Comment

Infant Intelligence: Jack’s Brush with Genius

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Nine months.

A few weeks ago when we were visiting my family, Jack had access to different toys in my parents’ living room. I have no idea where they even came from, but there was a set of Mattel’s “Little People” there. He was instantly drawn to one who we call “Nerdy Gerdy,” choosing her over the farmer and the firefighter. (A quick Google Image search just taught me that her real name is Maggie.)

She has remained one of his favorite toys ever since. In fact, it’s a ritual that I place Nerdy Gerdy in his right hand when I load him up for the trip to and from day care; he keeps a tight grip on her the entire time.

As I strap him into his car seat and pull the belt over his right shoulder, he transfers Nerdy Gerdy to his left hand so I will have enough room to clear his right hand. Subtle, but pretty impressive; to me, at least.

Jack does the same thing with Nerdy Gerdy when my wife dresses him in the morning; his hand won’t fit through his shirt sleeve until he switches her to the other hand. It’s funny because he can be in the middle of crying and he will still do the switch for my wife or me.

I’ve pointed out before how naturally easy it is to believe that your own child is the most beautiful baby in the world. On the same token, I’ve learned that it’s just as easy to believe that your child is ahead of the curve when it comes to their level of intelligence.

Of course, I realize that the “Nerdy Gerdy switch” does not qualify my son for the status of baby genius; neither does his ability to make a tire squealing noise as he pushes his snail-on-wheels, though at nine months old, he has no idea that boys should make screeching tires noises when they sharply turn their toy car. And that’s also not to mention the fact that he already responds to “no.”

I get it. I’m noticing the highlights of his advancements, not the things he is “behind the curve” on. As far as his ability to speak, “doy-doy-doy-doy” (toy?) is the only recently added word to his already existing vocabulary of “mehm-mehm-mehm-mehm” (Mommy) and “dada-dada-dada-dada” (Daddy).

Is my kid a genius? No, but for the fact he can operate a TV remote better than I can, I have to give the bambino some credit.

Unexpected Bonus!

I know my dedicated readers are accustomed to me giving away books every so often, but today, for the first time, I will give away a free toy. But not just any ole toy that you’ve heard of before: “Brush with Genius” by Colorforms, a toy company that is celebrating its 60th anniversary this November.

When your child dips the Brush with Genius in paint and moves it along a piece of paper, it can make a variety of sounds based on how your child touches the brush and the recently painted paper. The sounds I heard included a squeaky mouse, a creaking door, and a soaring UFO.

At the 2011 Toy Fair, Time magazine ranked Brush with Genius as one of their 15 Smartest Toys for Young Geniuses. Yes, it’s that cool!

Here’s how you can be the one lucky one who gets one mailed straight to your house. Be the first person to leave a comment naming the very small town where we picked Jack’s first Christmas tree. Additionally, you must follow-up by emailing me ( your name and mailing address. Hint: The city starts with an “s”. (There is a search box on the right side of the page.)

Congrats to Kristen in Colorado! You earned it. Thanks for reading The Dadabase so faithfully- your genius gift is on its way :)

Add a Comment

Playtime with an Infant

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Week 1.

It doesn’t take being a full week into this to realize that there are predictable patterns of my baby: he eats, he poops/pees, he plays, and he sleeps.  Of course the word “plays”, when referring to a week-old infant, is somewhat limited being that he doesn’t really have active neck muscles yet.  I have to turn his head to show him where the action is, but that’s okay.

When he’s more awake, I like to box with Baby Jack.  He instinctively puts his hands out like a boxer- and because we keep mittens on his hands to keep him from scratching his face, it’s only natural that he makes for a perfect baby boxer.  Of course, it’s his fists versus my pointer fingers.  And I only push my fingers up against his “boxing gloves”.  We are in the beginning stages of “dad wrestles son”.

Another playtime activity is when I lay back against a wall or the bed headboard, placing him in my lap.  Then I use my legs as a sort of elevator/recliner, which serves as a fun ride for him.  Something else I can do in this position is to flex my stomach muscles very hard, straining hard enough to cause my stomach to vibrate or shake quickly.  That makes Jack vibrate and shake too- it’s an easy way to get him to smile.  When playing with him, I basically just think to myself: “What are all the ways I would like to annoy a cat if it would let me?”  It gives me good direction as a dad.

Add a Comment

Becoming a Complete Goofball to Entertain the Baby

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Twenty-seven weeks.

I know nothing about how to take care of a baby, yet.  But what I do know, and what I have always known when it comes to babies is how to make them laugh and play with them.  In the way that women instinctively speak in a high, falsetto voice to babies (I’ve read that that’s the frequency babies hear when they’re that young, as opposed to a normal speaking voice), I automatically become any given idiot monster when I find myself in a situation where a baby is looking at me, waiting for some kind of confirmation.

The default character I play while entertaining babies could best be described as Popeye mixed with Grimace mixed with Beaker: A smiling, squinty-eyed, beeping mutant.  But what can I say?  Babies like me when I am this fictional goofball.

And really, that’s what happens to any adult when a baby is set in front of them.  Adults become ridiculous.  That’s one of the many reasons people like babies.  Because adults get a free pass to act stupid.  All in the name of making a baby happy.

Needless to say, I am so looking forward to my free pass.

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



Add a Comment