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Sunday, September 16th, 2012
If you ever fly into Nashville, you will see our house as you are landing; just look out the window, down on your left side.
Anytime I am outside with my son Jack on a walk, he looks up at the sky about every 15 minutes and proclaims, “Airplane. Airplane.”
So I guess for his sake, it’s pretty cool that we happen to live along the landing path of all planes heading to the Nashville airport.
Jack is also intrigued by trains, as I suspect most nearly 2 year-olds boys are. He can’t go anywhere without a Thomas the Train character in his hand.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that for his birthday (exactly 2 months from today) Jack will be a train conductor.
And when it comes to automobiles of any kind, Jack just can’t get enough. He even distinguishes between “big cars” and “baby cars,” whatever exactly that means.
Jack recently confirmed with us that for his first car when he turns 16, he wants a pick-up truck.
So in review, what is my toddler son into these days? Planes, trains, and automobiles.
Oh yeah, and pooping, too.
Last week during bath time as Jack was sprawled out in his Superman position, he looked up at my wife and said, “Butt? Butt.”
“Do you have to use the potty, Jack?” My wife propped him up on the toilet while embracing him.
He strained. He concentrated. But nothing happened.
Even still, he reached over, grabbed some toilet paper, and pretended to use it the right way.
I soon would learn that Jack has been observing another boy at his daycare, Troy, who is being potty trained in the 2 year-old class.
Pooping is not something that Jack is ashamed of. To him, it’s like learning to eat with a fork. It’s nothing special, it’s just the next part of growing up.
So every time Jack stops what he’s doing to say “poop?” or “butt?” we’re going to take him seriously.
We’ll take him straight to the potty and he’ll get a chance to go like a big boy.
One day when we least expect it, it will happen for real.
But it won’t be any big deal to Jack. The way he sees it, poop happens.
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bathroom humor, cars, Planes Trains and Automobiles, pooping, potty training, toddlers, trains, trucks | Categories:
Growing Up, Home Life, Must Read, Nostalgia, The Dadabase
Sunday, September 9th, 2012
Yesterday we took our toddler son Jack to the Day Out With Thomas the Train 2012 Mystery On The Rails Tour. As the parents, we had these (unrealistic) expectations of what it would be like:
Each train car would be an actual character from the TV show and we would travel through the best scenery of our city.
Instead, we boarded a normal, regular-looking 1950’s train car and traveled 12 minutes forward at about 15 miles per hour, then backtracked in reverse to where we started from.
The scenery included a parking lot of school buses, a dumping zone, and the graffiti underneath the main bridge.
And that’s if you were sitting on the right side of the train; if you were sitting on the left aisle, you got to see a brick wall for most of the ride.
It cost a total of about 43 bucks for our family of 3 to take this excursion. Granted, there were other Thomas the Train themed activities after the ride ended; like getting free temporary tattoos, visiting a miniature petting zoo, and story time.
However, the rain put a bit of a damper on most of that for us.
So maybe our expectations as parents weren’t exactly met. But when I looked over at Jack, he was totally enthralled by all the excitement.
His face was pressed against the glass of the window most of the time. He never cried nor got antsy. And for a toddler boy, that’s saying a lot!
Not all parents were as lucky as we were.
I saw plenty of fellow dads doing their best to contain their crying sons who couldn’t sit still for the event, or whose sons were even afraid to enter the train at all.
But our child was happy. As his parents, we were just along for the ride. Honestly, isn’t that a good way to sum up parenthood?
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Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its stance on circumcision, saying the benefits outweigh the risks.
If you are a soon-to-be parent of a baby boy who has been trying to figure out whether or not circumcision is right for your son, then the AAP’s statement is good news. Now you can have some closure on this subject.
Circumcision it is. Done.
But if you are an Intactivist, one who actively campaigns against circumcision, then the American Academy of Pediatrics’ revised circumcision stance is bad news:
After all, it means that an organization that most parents would find to be respectable and trustworthy is justifying an unnecessary tradition of genital mutilation.
The AAP’s revised policy takes away the credibility of what Intactivists have been trying to tell us all along.
So much for the neutrality of this article: I’m not an Intactivist, by the way.
Like most parents who have decided to circumcise their son, I am not and have never been passionate about the subject of circumcision.
However, on three different occasions now, I have explained what propelled me to choose circumcision:
Dadvice #5: How Is It Natural To Circumcise Your Son?
Dadvice #6: Is Circumcision Unnecessary And/Or Immoral?
Dadvice #7: A Skeptic’s Letter To Intactivists
When it was all said and done, I had no problem saying this to Intactivists:
“You may be right.” It’s just that ultimately, I don’t care if they’re right. What’s done is done.
It became evident to me that the only way I could find shelter from the tidal wave of violent comments I received in those three Dadvice articles was to A) repent of the sin of circumcising my son, B) start using The Dadabase as a platform to preach Intactivism, and C) make an oath to not circumcise my next son, should I ever have one.
That sort of parenting extremism simply turns me off to their ideas, as valid as some of their points may be.
The vibes I have received from most Intactivists have been saturated in condescension, sarcasm, and prejudice.
I realize that stating my opinion on this today is only throwing gasoline on the fire; further perpetuating the frenemy relationship I have with Intactivist readers. Maybe I’m just curious to see if Intactivists will collectively be clever enough to learn how to be relevant in how they communicate with us unbelievers?
Will Intactivists kill me with their kindness? Will they prove me wrong when I say they are condescending to those of us who do not believe the same way as they do?
For their sake, I hope so.
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Sunday, August 12th, 2012
There is a buzz on the Internet I intend to start right now about the idea of handcuffing your toddler during their time-out sessions for bad behavior.
I am one of those parents who is attempting not to spank my child; instead focusing heavily on setting concrete expectations and follow-through for age-appropriate discipline, which does not include any form of hitting.
So by going the time-out route, I am ultimately saying this to my child:
“Instead of me physically punishing you by smacking you on the butt with my hand or a fly swatter or a paddle, I am going to socially separately you from the society of this house.
Sure, it will only be for about 2 minutes since you are about 2 years old, but you will despise it.
You will be separated from the people you love the most and who love you the most. You will be contained in your crib, which has bars like a prison. Your freedom will be temporarily be taken away.
I intend to punish you psychologically, which will in turn hopefully help to discipline you.”
Granted, I always explain to my son why he is being sent to what I call “Baby Alcatraz.” He has to say he is sorry to the person he hurt and/or offended.
I hug him afterwards and remind him that I love him. Then I say something like, “Okay, now let’s have a fun rest of the day.”
This past weekend, my sister, her husband, and their 13 month-old daughter came to visit us here in Nashville from two and a half hours away.
Though my son doesn’t have trouble sharing his toys in daycare, he evidently does here at the house. Because as he kept reminding his younger little cousin, the toys she was playing with were “MINE!”
He ended up pushing her down on the floor and hitting my sister really hard on the shin with a TV remote.
Needless to say, I escorted him upstairs to Baby Alcatraz. Twice within 20 minutes.
During that dramatic escapade, I thought to myself, “Why aren’t I arresting him with plastic toy handcuffs when I do this?”
Maybe it would help drive home the point that he is not permitted to use his hands to hurt other people.
Is “arresting” your toddler with play handcuffs really so horrible of an idea? Whether you spank them or put them in time-out, you’re still punishing them in the process of discipline.
I want to avoid physically striking my child, though I’m obviously okay with physically restraining him. What would be so bad about putting him behind bars and handcuffing him on the way there? Seems consistent to me.
Having to discipline your kid is weird and annoying anyway; are toy plastic handcuffs during time-out really so awful?
Stop me from buying plastic toy handcuffs to arrest to my son for time-out. Or support the absurd idea.
Top image: Plastic toy handcuffs, via Shutterstock.
Bottom image: Adorable funny baby boy, via Shutterstock.
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Thursday, August 9th, 2012
About 24 hours ago, I published “How Do Parents Leave Their Kids Alone In A Hot Car?!”
To summarize it, I basically said that I feel like every time I hear another “parent left their kid alone in the hot car” story, it’s always that the parent was a bit looney to begin with.
I ended it with this:
“But really, I don’t know, do non-crazy parents end up leaving their kids alone in the car? Do they?”
The answer is yes.
Good, normal parents who are respected in their community have unfortunately accidently left their kids alone in a hot car.
The most common way this seems to happen: They simply forgot to drop off their kid, who was quiet in the back seat.
Here are a couple of links to prove it:
As I mentioned in this post’s prequel, I totally see how I could forget my son in the back seat of my car, on a morning when he is really tame on the drive and while I am very preoccupied with 17 random thoughts and 8 that actually are important.
But I want to make sure I never do forget.
I read this statement from the Safe Kids Worldwide CEO, Kate Carr, who had some advice for parents to prevent forgetting their child in the car:
“Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car – a briefcase, your purse, or better yet, your cell phone – that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.”
So, yeah, I’m going to start doing that. Starting today.
Now that I know it’s not just a stereotype of a parent who accidently leaves their kid in the car seat on a hot summer day, I’m ready to spread awareness.
What better way to do that than with another one of my glorious awareness ribbons?
For the record, I think awareness ribbons are annoying by now and are well past the “jumped the shark” point. And for me, that’s why they work. They spread awareness, even if through sheer tackiness like an infomercial.
So as I look at this orange “Kid Still In The Car Seat” Awareness ribbon that took me about 90 seconds to create on PicFont.com, I will be reminded to start leaving my cell phone in the back seat next to my son from now on.
Not to mention, I don’t need the added danger of tempting myself to text my wife while I’m driving.
I want to set good, preventative habits as a parent.
Thanks to those of you who left comments on ”How Do Parents Leave Their Kids Alone In A Hot Car?!” You led me here and I think I’m a better parent for it.
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