Posts Tagged ‘ summer ’

My Kid Turns Playtime Into Manual Labor

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

2 years, 8 month.

Dear Jack,

At one point last week on our family vacation in California, I ended up becoming the official “adult in charge of all the kids” for about an hour.

It just so happened that you and your cousins discovered the random packs of balloons sitting on a shelf in the garage… along with the water hose behind the house.

Who was I to deny your rights to create and destroy water balloons?

My motto is that “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission.”

I wasn’t sure if Grandma, or any of the other parents of your cousins, would have a problem with it, but I took my chances.

Turns out, Grandma (Mommy’s Mommy) later told me that’s why those balloons were there- to make water balloons.

Look at this picture of you holding one. It’s hilarious, ridiculous, and pretty awesome, actually.

You look like an Austrian weight lifter.

I started out by making you legitimate sized water balloons, but I could tell you wanted more of a challenge.

So I started filling them up so full of water that you could barely carry them, because you were so inspired to keep them from dropping and bursting, that it become like a competition to you.

Or at least good ole fashioned manual labor.

And it wasn’t just the water balloons.

You took great pride each day in washing your Thomas the Train tricycle.

I mean… your monster truck.

If I had to calculate the percentage of time you spent actually riding it versus how much time you spent giving it a wash, I would say 30% riding versus 70% washing.

So that means the majority of the time you were “playing” with your tricycle, you were technically working instead.

When it comes to playtime, you don’t play around.








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Fun Summer Activity: Playing With Wet Toilet Paper

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

2 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

Our family believes in being classy. Therefore, toilet paper is a toy.

Hey, it was your idea, not mine.

Last Sunday, the weather was a bit overcast and you wanted to play outside in the water, but didn’t really want to get wet.

So I just let you figure out for yourself what that even meant once you got outside.

It so happened that your nose started running once you got out there so I grabbed you some toilet paper real quick, leaving the extra sheets in my pocket.

As you dunked your plastic tiger souvenir from the Louisville Zoo into your Little Tikes water table, you saw the extra toilet paper hanging out of my front pocket:

“Daddy, I have that? Toilet paper… please?”

With me being in “whatever works” mode having survived the road trip from [Louisville] the day before, I didn’t hesitate to grant your wish.

I stepped away for a minute to pour a glass of water and returned to your explaining to me what was going on in your world:

“Look Daddy, the tiger has a mane!”

That confirmed that our Louisville Zoo trip was actually educational… sort of.

You then proceeded to use one of Mommy’s measuring cups to wash the tiger’s mane off.

I also learned from you that wet toilet paper serves as great “cement” for your toy trucks.

Admittedly, I was hoping yesterday’s thunderstorm would magically wash away the debris.

Turns out, wet toilet paper that has been dried by the sun does not necessarily turn mushy again by heavy rain… and then just “disappear” after that.

I guess I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.





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That Glazed-Over Stare Means You’re Learning

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

2 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

Here’s a picture of you at the Nashville Zoo last Friday night during an animal show where you saw and learned about the Clouded Leopard.

You were lucky- Mommy and I let you stay up an hour past your bed time that night!

It was quite the spectacle for a 2 and a half year-old boy to witness, though that might not have been obvious to anyone sitting near us.

Seriously, check out the look on your face.

To me, you appear in this photo to be extremely bored or at least slightly sedated, as you munch on your goldfish crackers.

However, this is simply how you look when you are learning.

You have taught me that when you have that glazed-over look on your face and remain silent, you couldn’t be any more in tune with what’s going on. That’s simply you taking it all in.

About six months ago, I took you by the reptile aquarium/pet store near our house. You were expressionless the whole time.

Yet even now, when we drive by that place, you ask to go back to see the lizards and snakes.

Though you never look excited when I let you watch your favorite shows on Netflix, like All About Monster Trucks with Hard Hat Harry, you never smile… just that glazed-over stare.

Then, an hour later, you’ll be playing on the floor, imitating the monster truck mayhem you absorbed earlier.

So I’m no longer fooled into thinking you’re not learning or at least being entertained. I know you’re totally paying attention and anything I do or say during that time may and will be used against me.

Sure, you’ll smile and laugh while you play; when you’re the one creating. But you respect the process of being presented with education (and entertainment) so much, you take it extremely seriously.

Some might even say too seriously.

I just say you’re intense.




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My Son’s New Power Tool: The Water Hose

Monday, June 25th, 2012

19 months old.

This past weekend while in Alabama celebrating Jack’s cousin Calla’s first birthday, Jack decided that his new plastic pet dog and duck needed a bath.

My dad, who Jack calls Papa, found a make-shift wading pool so Jack could take proper care of his furry friends. I mean, I’m sure Cujo and Mutant Duck needed a good cool-down as they were getting pretty smelly in the hot summer sun.

So Jack was introduced to a new power tool: The water hose.

I imagined he would go crazy with it right away. But instead, he took on the demeanor of a middle-aged man joyfully yet carefully working on a weekend project involving power tools.

My dad helped show Jack how the nozzle on the hose could change the speed and intensity of  the water shooting out.

It was at that point that the inevitable finally happened:

Yes, Jack turned the weapon on his Papa.

As you can see from these pictures, Jack had a blast…

Or maybe it was my dad who had the blast, literally.

This was definitely one of those unplanned, accidental good memories that wouldn’t have been quite as good if it were planned.

It was completely spontaneous. Jack didn’t have time to switch to swim clothes first.

All I know is I was talking to my mom and sister in the kitchen, then Jill walked in and said:

“Come here, you have to see this!”

It was the perfect result of my son’s quest for adventure and my dad’s knack for making adventures out of ordinary things lying around the house.

On the drive back to Nashville yesterday, Jill and I were talking about how we wish there was some way Jack could actually remember this event happening.

Well, I have a feeling we’ll be doing this spontaneous, unplanned water show again the next time we visit.

For more pictures of the water show, visit The Dadabase’s Facebook and click on the photo album, Jack’s Farm/Zoo.



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Summertime Means My Son Sleeps In Longer

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

19 months.

Yeah, I know.

Today is the first day of summer and I’m supposed to be all happy and nostalgic about it, saying, “Ah, summer… takes me back to when I was a kid, enjoying Otter Pops and Sharkleberry Fin in the hot sun, and watching Hey Dude and Inspector Gadget on Nickelodeon. And now I get to see my own son enjoy summertime!”

Well, that’s not at all what’s really going through my head.

Instead, what I’m actually thinking is, “Okay, if today is the longest day of the year, then that means starting tomorrow, the days will be getting shorter, meaning there will be less sunlight, meaning Jack will start sleeping in longer!”

Sorry to be so goth about it, but that, my friends, is what summer is really about for me.

It’s about me gradually getting more sleep because less sunlight shining through the window will help my son sleep longer.

Yeah, we hung up thick brown curtains over the window blinds in his room but they only help so much.

Several weeks ago, Jack started waking up at 5:30 AM, as opposed to 6:15 which I am accustomed to. I know a lot of parents have it worse; they have kids who don’t sleep through the night like I taught mine to.

But for the sake of the ultimate balance in the universe, my son sleeps from 7:00 PM until the rooster crows each morning because I become a monster without a solid night of sleep.

I go from mild-mannered, Members Only jacket-wearing Bill Bixby to painted green with a bad wig Lou Ferrigno. It’s not good.

Jack and I have had this understanding that he doesn’t wake up his mother and me in the middle of the night. But too much sunlight has compromised that.

With Jack waking up 45 minutes early, it not only means I’m grumpy, but it means he’s even grumpier; as seen in the top picture of him in his Radio Flyer wagon.

Not to mention, his daytime naps have often been non-existent; here lately.

But I can’t blame Jack that he thinks that during these longest days of the year he’s been living in Nightmute, Alaska; where it’s hard to distinguish night from day.

All I know is, things are looking up for this grouchy hibernation-deprived dad.

For Father’s Day, I was able to cash in my “1 Hour Uninterrupted Nap” Daddy Coupon. Plus I received my first official Father’s Day necktie, hand-crafted by my son.

Come, winter. Come quickly.

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