Sunday, December 4th, 2011
My sister and her husband drove in from Alabama for Jack’s first birthday, bringing their now 4 month-old daughter, who is Jack’s only cousin on my side of the family. I had barely seen her in person since she was born; right before we moved back to Nashville during the summer.
As far as how she and Jack would get along, I had no doubts in their inevitable mutual curiosity of each other, like Teddy Ruxpin and Grubby. But I really wasn’t so sure how she would react to me, her uncle.
All I have is a son, so my only fatherly instincts for interacting with a little girl are to treat her like I treat Jack- like a boy.
Right off the bat, I gave her my best Freddy Krueger/evil possum face. You can see from the picture (above) how she reacted. In other words, she… liked it?
Evidently so. Next I put her on one of Jack’s new toys (featured below) which happens to be completely age inappropriate for a 4 month-old little girl. She started riding it. Jack helped push her.
Once she finally wanted off the V-Teach Zebra Scooter, I picked her up and held her (to the right), the same awkward man-handling way I do Jack.
My mom, in amazement, told me it was extremely rare for a person other than my sister or her husband to hold her… not even my mom or dad.
So I’m the cool uncle? Hey! I’m the cool uncle!
Instantly I had a flashback from when Jack was just a few months old, how my brother-in-law could do the slightest little things to make him laugh. Now, I get to be the magic trick-doer of an uncle.
As Jack’s dad, he is simply used to me. Sure, I make him laugh everyday. I also make him cry when he doesn’t want to get in his car seat in the morning.
But as an uncle, my main job is to be the comic relief. I am the weird mutant dinosaur that pretends to eat babies one minute, then holds them tightly the next.
Being an uncle is easy. If only being a dad was like that.
Monday, June 13th, 2011
Here at The Dadabase, I try to keep things classy, but it doesn’t help when Jack would rather keep them gassy.
I only know what it’s like to have a little boy. If my wife and I ever have a daughter, I’m sure things will be dramatically different. One of the main differences I wonder about is if baby girls are as gassy as my son.
Males are expected to be funny. And Jack definitely is. Even as a newborn with closed eyes who slept most of the time, Jack made a habit of breaking the ice (by breaking the wind) with every new person who would hold him. It was his way of saying, “Hi, nice to meet you.” A bit of an initiation for each new person, as well.
Nearly seven months later, Jack’s still practicing his potty humor. Last Sunday as I was driving home after church, my wife reminded me that we needed to stop the car for gas. Right on cue, Jack did his part to help: “Ppppffffffthhh…”.
Later that day, I was holding Jack out on the front porch, letting him gaze at the sheep farm across the street. One of the farm workers pulled up in a red pick-up truck. He had the windows open and the radio on. A Pat Benetar song was playing: “Hit me with your best shot… Fire away!”
So Jack did. Like he actually knew what he was doing.
I can’t keep from laughing out loud at his gas antics, especially when we make conversation with Jack and his response is simply “ppppffffffthhh…”. It’s as if to say to us, “You know what I think about that…?”
In his head, he has already associated his “gas leaks” with humor. Even when he’s not feeling himself, I can make the (in)appropriate sound with my mouth, and without fail, Jack immediately starts laughing out loud. Sure, I’ll eventually have to teach him to behave properly in public as he gets old enough to understand manners and self-control. But until then, Jack gets a free pass on passing gas.
And I guess that’s one of the many reasons that children take us back to a more carefree place. Without worrying about social expectations, without having to appear to always keep it all together, without a necessary world of concerns, children ultimately remind us of a time when the biggest problem in life was that Teddy Ruxpin’s size D batteries needed to be replaced.
For what it’s worth, it took four of those stupid batteries.
Categories: Growing Up, Home Life, Story Bucket, Storytelling | Tags: baby, embarrassing, fatherhood, funny, gas, gas leak, parenting, Pat Benetar, potty humor, Storytelling, Teddy Ruxpin