Posts Tagged ‘ The Hunger Games ’

For A Less Anxious Car Ride With A 2 Year-Old…

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

2 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

While I am definitely more mindful these days of trying to avoid the use of bravado in my letters to you, I must admit, my ego took a bit of a hit when I recently had to start riding in the backseat with you.

Something always seemed awkward, if nothing else, about seeing a wife drive the car while the husband was in the front passenger seat.

Well, at least it’s not that bad. The new normal is that Mommy drives and I accompany you in the backseat.

I have relinquished my role as the family chauffeur; a role that I feel is supposed to be mine, as the dad and husband.

But, as I had hoped when I implemented this plan, you are a lot less anxious, needy, whiny, and hungry now that it’s me sitting next to you in the back seat.

You see Mommy as the nurturer, which she is.

However, with me, you just want to chill out. Either you contemplate your life, deep in thought, as pictured right; or you like to be goofy with me as we sing the few lines we know of the songs from The Lorax movie:

“How ba-a-a-ad can I be?”

I’m curious to see how our new driving method will work on our next road trip.

We drove two and a half hours to Alabama last month, but it felt more like five. There was nothing Mommy could do back there to make you happy. Plus, you needed a nap, but that never happened.

Since I’m not the nurturer of the family, I wonder if it will be easier for you to fall asleep in the car if it’s me back there with you next time.

It’s just that your expectations are so much different (and lower?) for me as your seatmate, as opposed to Mommy.

You treat us differently. You are much more low-maintenance with me; you always have been.

Like I’ve mentioned last July in “The Hunger Games: Toddler Edition,” you are not as hungry and you ask for food less with I’m the parent caring for you. You can go for hours without thinking about food if it’s just you and me.

But with Mommy, you’ll eat two meals in a row.

So for now, I’ll be your backseat buddy. I shall entertain you, make you lose your appetite, and bore you to sleep.






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The Hunger Games: Toddler Edition

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

19 months.

Jack associates Jill with food. He associates me with… doing weird activities, I guess.

When he whines or gets antsy, my wife’s natural reaction is to assume he wants a snack. So he gets one.

But my natural reaction is to move him to a different room or take him outside. I just change the scenery and he so quickly forgets about why he was upset.

When I am taking care of Jack, he doesn’t get snacks. He doesn’t ask for them. He doesn’t think about them.

My wife is the nurturer. I am the adventurer.

For the rare times I get home with Jack before Jill gets there, Jack and I head straight to the living room and start playing.

It’s not until Mommy arrives that Jack remembers he’s hungry and immediately runs to his high chair, moaning on account of the munchies.

With me, he only wants three meals a day; no snacks.

With my wife, he wants three meals a day, all complete with 2nd helpings; and of course, a snack or two in-between each meal.

Why? Does his appetite truly increase when Jack sees his Mommy?

Nope. But seeing her triggers him to think, “I could eat…”.

What made me think of this double standard is the routine of our family car rides on the weekends. Typically, whenever we leave the house, it’s just after a meal.

Then we load up in the car, with me in the driver’s seat and Jack and Jill in the back. Once we’re all strapped in, I start driving. Then I hear Jill getting out a snack for Jack.

Not because he’s hungry, but because he wants an activity to entertain him. And hey, if Mommy’s activity involves food, he’s not going to turn it down.

I imagine if Jill was the one driving and I was the one entertaining, Jack wouldn’t be eating at all in the car. Because I would be too busy annoying him with his toys for him to think about unnecessary snacks.


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