Sunday, August 5th, 2012
Anytime I’ve ever heard another parent say “I just let him out of my sight for one second…” it never turns out to be a delightful story.
So as to prevent myself from ever saying that phrase, it’s simple:
I never let my son out of my sight for one second.
Obviously, he goes to daycare during the day and he sleeps in his own bedroom at night.
But what I mean is that as long as he and I are in the same room or as long as he’s with me out in public, I am the kid’s bodyguard.
I believe that all of us as human beings were born with a nature that causes us to want to, by default, make destructive decisions.
No parent ever has to teach their child to lie or to be disobedient.
While we also have a nature that causes us to want to be good and help others, we still are often driven towards destruction in our thoughts which lead to actions.
Likewise, I know my son will run straight for the cars in the street or into the crowd at the store unless I physically restrain him from doing so.
My verbal warnings aren’t yet enough for my toddler son.
He is all but handcuffed to me because at this point, I can’t trust him to keep himself from hurting himself.
Not to mention that as a father of a son, I’m acutely aware of the fact that a boy’s chance of surviving to adulthood is a lot less than a girl’s.
Mark J. Penn, in his book, Microtrends, explains it this way, in regards to statistics done here in America:
“There are about 90,000 more boys born every year than girls, setting up a favorable dating ratio. But by the time those kids turn 18, the sex ratio has shifted a full point the other way to 51 to 49, because more boys die in puberty than girls. Researchers call it a “testosterone storm,” which causes more deaths among boys from car accidents, homicides, suicides, and drownings.”
I don’t mean to be morbid or grandiose, but I think about that. I should.
Whenever I’m with my son, even in a seemingly safe environment, in my head I have to constantly be thinking, “What’s the worst that could happen right now?
Simple risk management.
Because sure enough, the moment I don’t ask myself that would be the day I would find out.
I’m not sure if I really am an overprotective dad or not.
After seeing these pictures of how I let my son play with big wooden stick, I bet some readers out there are actually thinking the opposite about me.
But that’s part of the paradox:
I’m his dad. I’m supposed to encourage his adventurous spirit. And I really like that part of my job as a dad.
Hey, I want to have fun too.
As long as it’s not too much fun.
(Kids, don’t try this at home. Unless your dad is there watching you through the camera as he encourages your adventurous spirit.)
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appetite for destruction, boys, raising a boy, Sac State, Sacramento, sin nature | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Health, Home Life, Spirituality, Story Bucket, Storytelling, The Dadabase
Saturday, August 4th, 2012
This is my son, Jack. As you can see, he is a very happy little boy.
Especially with Mimi by his side. That’s his blanket/girlfriend.
We have no idea how she got that name.
Yes, I do recognize the absurdity in the fact that my wife and I daily refer to this thin little blanket A) as a female and B) by an actual human name.
One day a few months ago he just starting calling it Mimi. None of his friends at daycare have a Mimi and his teachers didn’t know anything about it either.
And even despite knowing that Jack is fairly limited in what consonant sounds he can make so far, I just can’t figure out how “Mimi” could translate into “blanket.”
Therefore, Mimi is a proper noun. I base her gender on the way he acts like he’s in love with her… or it.
Mimi is on every car ride. She’s always there during playtime. During dinner too.
We do draw some lines, like bath time.
Interestingly, right after he gets out of the bath, his devotion briefly changes to Tara, the bath towel we dry our son off with.
Basically though, he’s just imaging that Tara as Mimi since Mimi doesn’t really like the water.
What’s really funny though, in the likeness of Michelle Tanner on Full House, what Jack somehow doesn’t realize is that there are actually two Mimi’s!
The other one is actually blue and has little dogs all over it. (It’s true when they say that love is blind.)
We just alternate the two blankets every couple of days so that Mimi is always clean.
Since turning Jack’s car seat around, facing the front now, Mimi has found herself a hostage victim on a near daily basis.
About halfway home from daycare most days, Jack will “drop” his water cup or some random toy from his back seat collection. (Basically he gets bored and wants my attention.)
He then says “uh oh” as if it were an accident, though it never is. Five seconds later, it’s a constant stream of him annoyingly whining.
I explain to him every time:
“Jack, I’m driving right now and it’s my job to keep both of us safe. I can’t reach what you’ve dropped because the car is moving. Once we get to the next stop light, I might be able to reach it for you.”
Usually the whining persists after my clear and logical explanation. So I give him a 2nd and final warning:
“Jack, just chill out and have fun back there. Otherwise, I’m going to have to take Mimi.”
If he’s feeling adventurous, which he usually his, then he continues his distracting moaning to see if I will live up to my word.
I always do.
Then I reach back and grab Mimi as my hostage in the front passenger seat. I wait about 2 minutes, during which time Jack responds:
“Mimi! Mi-mi! Mimi! My Mimi!…”.
Once I return Mimi, all is good in the world and Jack completely forgets about whatever stupid plastic cow that “fell” out of his cup holder in the first place.
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