Posts Tagged ‘ TMI ’

Will My Oversharenting Embarrass My Kid Later?

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

20 months.

This past weekend my son Jack and I were out behind the house and he saw a pipe dripping water.

In the normal way that a toddler feels it’s necessary to shout out every noun they recognize, or think they recognize, he proclaimed,

“Pee-pee!”

It was just days before that I had published the oversharenting-laced Toddler Potty Training 101: Father To Son, in which told how I am currently psychologically potty training my son by letting him watch me go potty.

If you haven’t read it yet, I invite you to. Especially if you want to feel a little bit awkward.

But it’s not like my son’s Elmo Goes Potty book gets very specific in showing little boys exactly how to go pee-pee. And if it did, that would be more than creepy.

Clearly, it’s my job to teach my son by example on this. Have you noticed how little printed info there is on a father teaching his toddler son to go potty?

I did. That’s why I wrote about it. I think it’s one of those things that is normal in the household but remains largely unspoken.

Needless to say, I have little shame when it comes to oversharenting.

But I think it’s because I just deem it as self-deprecation; which scores you “cool points” in today’s world of parenting.

While some parents oversharent by giving an hour-by-hour status update on their kid’s wet and dirty diapers, when I oversharent, it tends to either involve me being weird, like scaring my son with a Spiderman mask… or it involves him pointing (and laughing) at me in my birthday suit.

When I oversharent, I try to make sure it doesn’t revolve around my son, but instead, my own feelings of inadequacy or habits of non-kosher behavior, as a dad .

I’ll make fun of myself all day long, but it’s important to me that I don’t harmfully overexpose my son or my wife; despite sharing them with the world in 400 words 6 days a week.

Granted, Jack isn’t even 2 years old yet. It’s not like he’s going to remember any of this anyway.

I was recently asked if I’ve ever thought about how one day my son will be old enough to read what I write about him and that he might be embarrassed by it.

No, I haven’t really thought about it. But no, I don’t think he’ll be ashamed, either.

Not at all.

In fact, I think of how cool it would have been had blogging existed in December 1982 when I myself was only 20 months old.

I mean, I do have this awesomely retro picture below to speak a thousand words for me.

But I think my son will totally dig the fact that those “unrememberable” first years of his life will be preserved like Han Solo in carbonite. The funny things he does now, like think that a dripping pipe is going pee-pee, are innocently humorous and normal for his age.

Not strange or shameful or unmentionable. Not destined for censorship; not even by my son a decade from now.

If I thought something might embarrass my wife, or eventually my son, I simply wouldn’t write about it.

For me, that’s actually what constitutes as crossing the line.

I’m here to embarrass myself when applicable, not them. But even then, I’m wondering if I can actually embarrass myself in my oversharenting.

I have yet to reach the point of shame.

Stay tuned, though. I’m sure I can at least come close.

Especially as we venture further into potty training.

 

 

 

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Toddler Potty Training 101: Father To Son

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

19 months.

*Warning: Contains oversharenting.

Early this morning I was getting ready to leave the house to take my son Jack to his doctor at Vanderbilt when I explained to him:

“Wait, son. I need to go pee-pee first.”

I left the bathroom door open so I could make sure he didn’t charge towards the potentially dangerous staircase, which he never does. Instead, he walked up to me, standing just far enough away from the toilet to be in the safe zone.

Jack watched the “waterfall” go into the potty in amazement and wonder. I felt he needed a sophisticated commentary.

“See, son. Pee-pee is coming out of Dada’s… hose.”

Yes. Hose.

That’s the best I could come up with, given the lack of sleep I received because of him waking up at 3:30 AM due to his fever.

But hey, I was just trying to relate it to something he could appreciate. And knowing that Jack loves playing with the water hose, it made the most sense in that split-second, unplanned moment.

I saw the yearning in his eyes: I could tell that my son totally wants to “spray his hose” into the potty.

To seal the deal properly, as I flushed the toilet I waved goodbye to the potty water as I emphatically proclaimed, “Bye bye, pee-pee! Bye bye!”

(Because Jack says “bye-bye” to everyone and everything, I knew he would appreciate this.)

My wife and I are in no hurry to potty train our child. I just want to plant that seed in his mind, though. I want to him to know that when he’s a little bit older, he will have the privilege of getting to do what Dada does.

I want him to believe that he’s missing out. And after seeing his reactions to my recent habit of glorifying going pee-pee in the potty, I think my plan is working.

Here lately Jack is indeed growing more aware of “pee-pee” anyway. He has this new thing he will do at the house where he will announce to me:

“Pee-pee.”

He’s literally letting me know that it’s time for me to change his diaper.

But because of his inability to make all the vowel sounds so far, “poo-poo” is pronounced the same as “pee-pee.”

Either way, I’m impressed by his new trick. My toddler actually tells me when it’s time to change his diaper.

The days of me mindlessly changing his diapers and him being unaware of why I’m doing it are over. Now he knows why!

I think he deserves a trendy Pee-Pee Awareness ribbon just for that alone.

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Oversharenting Awareness: TMI About Your Kids In Social Media

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

17 months.

Do you really want to know about a former high school classmate’s toddler’s pooping schedule? Or even worse, see the evidence?

Where do you draw the line on sharing your own child’s info on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social network?

I think about this constantly. From pictures, to videos, to status updates, to blog entries, I have to ask myself:

Am I doing this at the future expense of my son, as well as, the present expense of my reputation and my wife’s?

Am I exploiting my son or simply sharing the joy he brings me?

Ironically, today’s article wasn’t intended to be about this.

Instead, it was going to be entitled “Being Naked In Front Of Your Toddler.” It would have talked about how even though it’s not weird for your toddler to see their parents naked now, it will be in several years.

But my wife nixed it.

She said even though it’s probably a very relatable (and funny) topic for a lot of parents out there, it still falls in the “too much information” category. Because after all, there are definitely creepy people who search the Internet for that kind of stuff, in a bad way.

So I won’t be sharing the story about how a few weeks ago my wife snuck our son into the bathroom while I was in the shower and he pulled open the curtain, pointed up at me, and started laughing.

Because that could be considered “oversharenting.”

Oh well. Our society loves watching train wrecks. That’s why reality TV rules the major networks instead of classic laugh track-infused sitcoms with corny but catchy theme songs.

And maybe that’s why it’s easy not to hesitate to share too much information about our kids online.

Maybe we subconsciously follow the examples we see in our mainstream popular culture in which boundaries are irresponsibly set to help insure we snag enough “cool points” from our Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

I personally am always in danger of oversharenting. If not, this daddy blog of mine pretty much couldn’t exist. Or at least, it wouldn’t be interesting.

But as the conductor of this train, I keep a close watch on the tracks. As far as I know, I haven’t wrecked yet.

 

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