Posts Tagged ‘ singing ’

With A Toddler, Everyday Is A Musical!

Friday, July 12th, 2013

2 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

I grew up never really “getting” the concept of musicals.

The fact that all the people in each scene just happen to know the lyrics and melody of the same song about the event happening in real time, not questioning where the musical accompaniment is coming from…

Not to mention, the fact they typically never acknowledge, after finishing the song, that they indeed just sang a song.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons that I love The Lorax movie so much: It opens with a hilarious musical number that not only satirizes the stereotypical overindulgent American lifestyle, but it also mocks musicals themselves.

I love how at the end of the song I’m referring to, “Thneedville Song,” that the O’Hare delivery guy sort of gets stuck after finishing the final note of the song and has to be escorted away by two other men.

“What happened to that man?” you recently asked after seeing that part.

So, yes, I’ve always perceived musicals as impractical, unrealistic, and just plain absurd.

Until now…

Because this is what I know as normal: All throughout the day, you’re either A) making up a song about what you see around you or B) singing a pre-existing song that relates to what you see around you.

Here’s a perfect example:

I love the hilarious twist ending of this video when it is revealed that you are serenading a toy lizard in a plastic boat.

For me, it’s equal amounts precious and hilarious.

Tonight as I was tucking you in for bed, you made a special request, “Daddy, sing “Gorillas Are Angry.’”

Knowing that you were asking me to make up a new song on the spot about the first random thought that came to your mind, I just went with it, singing, “Gorillas are angry, gorillas are angry…”.

Your response was perfect:

“I don’t know that song, Daddy.”

Yeah, that makes two of us!





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Teaching “How To Be Human” Lessons To Our Son

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

A year and a half.

It’s funny to see how your toddler will eagerly mimic and go along with just about anything you do, assuming you are teaching him or her a lesson in what it’s like to be a normal human being.

Because after all, isn’t that sort of what we’re doing as parents- giving our kids “how to be human” lessons each day?

After all, we undoubtedly instill our own family culture into our kids; even if we as the parents are not necessarily aware what our micro-culture even is.

I’m trying to think of some examples of micro-culture in our household, but not for the average American family.

Well, for starters, our son believes that prunes are a delicious dessert. (We deprive the kid of fruit juice, so to him, the sweetness of dried plums taste pretty awesome!)

Jack asks to be pulled in his wagon around the neighborhood; not as a recreational activity, but as a mini-sabbatical.

He thinks that cleaning and doing housework, like vacuuming, is a treat.

Part of our morning routine is that Jill lets him take all the caps off the perfume and cologne bottles; making it his duty to smell each one of them. (That explains why he often smells extremely masculine or feminine each morning on his way to daycare.)

There’s the fact that my wife and I realized it will be a while before we can upgrade from our modest 31 inch screen TV, so we pulled out our blow-up mattress to lay down on to watch Lost on. Hey, if we can’t make the TV bigger, we can at least make it seem bigger, right? Anyway, Jack has assumed it’s his new play mat.

Oh, and then there’s the exercise video with accompanying exercise step…

My wife’s exercise step has been a sporadic toy choice for Jack over the past month or so. Sometimes during playtime he grunts and points to the closet.

That’s my cue to take it out for him and let him “walk the plank.” Evidently it’s a lot of fun when you’re 18 months-old.

By going along with the idea that an exercise step is a kids’ toy, I reinforce his preconceived idea that this is normal.

Last Saturday, while wearing his (in)famous plaid romper, he decided to join Jill in a work-out video in the convenience of our living room thanks to Netflix on our Wii, called Dance Off the Inches: Calorie Blasting.

If only Elmo had his very own dance video for toddlers…

Jack thinks dancing to an exercise video is normal for an 18 month-old. And I allow him to.

Too bad he has to learn how to be a normal human being from me. My feet may be on the ground, but my head is always in the clouds.

Poor kid.


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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:



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