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Thursday, April 12th, 2012
I’m not endorsing letting toddlers play inside refrigerators, but I am admitting that my son likes to chill… by sitting on the inside ledge of the refrigerator.
After I bring him home from daycare and he eats his dinner, Jack has a routine of playing with each of his toys from the living room.
One of his newest favorites is his Fisher-Price lawnmower. He likes to mow the kitchen floor as my wife prepares our dinner.
Of course, like most hardworking toddlers, he treats himself to a much needing break.
As soon as my wife opens up the fridge for some ingredients, Jack seizes the opportunity and plops himself down; always mesmerized by whatever products happen to be sitting there on the bottom ledge of the door.
He makes me think of an old man wearing overalls who walks into a general store as if to say to himself, “Ah, think I’ll just rest here a minute and take a load off.”
By this time of day Jack is just wearing a diaper and a t-shirt and it’s interesting to me that he is always unfazed by the coldness of the surface he is sitting on.
After a minute or so, he grunts his way back up and finishes his job with the mower.
I guess the funniest part about this daily routine is that as his parents, my wife and I completely go along with it; causing him to think it’s completely normal to mow the kitchen floor then take a rest inside the refrigerator.
Yes, it’s scary to think how a big part of my job as his parent is to teach him what is normal.
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Monday, September 5th, 2011
A few weeks ago when we were visiting my family, Jack had access to different toys in my parents’ living room. I have no idea where they even came from, but there was a set of Mattel’s “Little People” there. He was instantly drawn to one who we call “Nerdy Gerdy,” choosing her over the farmer and the firefighter. (A quick Google Image search just taught me that her real name is Maggie.)
She has remained one of his favorite toys ever since. In fact, it’s a ritual that I place Nerdy Gerdy in his right hand when I load him up for the trip to and from day care; he keeps a tight grip on her the entire time.
As I strap him into his car seat and pull the belt over his right shoulder, he transfers Nerdy Gerdy to his left hand so I will have enough room to clear his right hand. Subtle, but pretty impressive; to me, at least.
Jack does the same thing with Nerdy Gerdy when my wife dresses him in the morning; his hand won’t fit through his shirt sleeve until he switches her to the other hand. It’s funny because he can be in the middle of crying and he will still do the switch for my wife or me.
I’ve pointed out before how naturally easy it is to believe that your own child is the most beautiful baby in the world. On the same token, I’ve learned that it’s just as easy to believe that your child is ahead of the curve when it comes to their level of intelligence.
Of course, I realize that the “Nerdy Gerdy switch” does not qualify my son for the status of baby genius; neither does his ability to make a tire squealing noise as he pushes his snail-on-wheels, though at nine months old, he has no idea that boys should make screeching tires noises when they sharply turn their toy car. And that’s also not to mention the fact that he already responds to “no.”
I get it. I’m noticing the highlights of his advancements, not the things he is “behind the curve” on. As far as his ability to speak, “doy-doy-doy-doy” (toy?) is the only recently added word to his already existing vocabulary of “mehm-mehm-mehm-mehm” (Mommy) and “dada-dada-dada-dada” (Daddy).
Is my kid a genius? No, but for the fact he can operate a TV remote better than I can, I have to give the bambino some credit.
I know my dedicated readers are accustomed to me giving away books every so often, but today, for the first time, I will give away a free toy. But not just any ole toy that you’ve heard of before: “Brush with Genius” by Colorforms, a toy company that is celebrating its 60th anniversary this November.
When your child dips the Brush with Genius in paint and moves it along a piece of paper, it can make a variety of sounds based on how your child touches the brush and the recently painted paper. The sounds I heard included a squeaky mouse, a creaking door, and a soaring UFO.
At the 2011 Toy Fair, Time magazine ranked Brush with Genius as one of their 15 Smartest Toys for Young Geniuses. Yes, it’s that cool!
Here’s how you can be the one lucky one who gets one mailed straight to your house. Be the first person to leave a comment naming the very small town where we picked Jack’s first Christmas tree. Additionally, you must follow-up by emailing me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your name and mailing address. Hint: The city starts with an “s”. (There is a search box on the right side of the page.)
Congrats to Kristen in Colorado! You earned it. Thanks for reading The Dadabase so faithfully- your genius gift is on its way
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Thursday, September 1st, 2011
A couple of weeks ago while shopping at Super Target, I was standing in the baby food aisle, resting on Jack’s stroller as my wife finalized her selection. I looked down at the shelf beside me and saw a hilarious looking, white shag carpet accent pillow. It had obviously been abandoned in the wrong section. As I picked it up to examine the weird thing a bit closer, Jack immediately began laughing; he thought I was about to playfully ram him in the chest with it. So I did.
I should point out the that Jack loves to have random objects fly toward him and bump him, especially in the head and chest. It makes him laugh hysterically; always has.
The other reason that the sight of the pillow made him laugh was probably because it looks like the two dogs he has met in his life, one of those canines in particular reminds me of Falcor from The Never Ending Story. He has laughed at the sight of shaggy white dogs he has met, so he just associated the pillow with them.
Jack is at the age now where the kind of toy he needs most is a learning center with gears and gadgets for him to pull on. I realize that technically, that’s not how we should have spent $12 that day. But I just had to do it.
So that was a few weeks ago and I must say, I incorporate the stupid shag carpet bolster pillow into Jack’s daily playtime- I sort of feel obligated to. Fortunately, he’s still crazy about the random, bizarre, giant rabbit’s foot.
I have this theory that some of the best toys you can buy for a baby boy are actually dog toys. After all, isn’t this story a bit reminiscent of when I bought Jack the sock monkey dog bed when he was a newborn?
The truth is, I call Jack my “baby puppy” on a daily basis; especially when he follows me around the house with a big grin on his face. So I throw him a bone. Well, not actually a bone, but a two foot long, somewhat awkward-looking pillow.
I’m not sure what he really thinks the pillow is. Maybe he thinks it’s a friendly dog in the form of a cube. Or the head of a giant Q-tip.
He’s sort of weird for liking it so much. I’m even weirder for buying it for him.
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baby, daddy blog, funny, kids toys, playtime, Target, toys | Categories:
Growing Up, Home Life, Must Read, Story Bucket, Storytelling
Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
What interesting “toys” does your baby get to play with?
By now it’s nearly cliché to point out the irony in a kid getting more enjoyment out of the cardboard box that a toy is packaged in rather than the actual toy itself. So I won’t. But similarly, I will point out a few other seemingly mundane household items that currently serve as Jack’s greatest form of entertainment.
His biggest fascination is with air vents; whether or not air is actually coming out of them. I suppose that to him, he gets a thrill out of the anxiety of wondering at which exact moment the cold air will suddenly begin blowing on his face and through his hair. Jack hovers over and around the air vent like it’s some magical wishing well, about to grant him his wish of an instant set of teeth in which he could use to eat veggie pizza with his parents. Or at least a masculine unicorn to ride on.
But for the times that Jack prefers a more hands-on experience, there is the amazing wooden spoon! Thanks to my wife’s creative thinking, Jack now has a wondrous multipurpose toy that can be used for the following:
1) Jack can use to the handle to repeatedly ram his leg, while joyously smiling.
2) Jack can use the head of the spoon to repeatedly hit himself in the forehead, again, while joyously smiling.
3) Jack can pretend the wooden spoon is a Popsicle, tasting its delicious wooden flavor.
4) Jack can practice his self-invented stunt of attempting to crawl while carrying the spoon in one hand.
5) Jack can wave the wooden spoon around in the air like he’s conducting a choir of enchanted kittens.
Should Jack ever tire of the wooden spoon, there is always the back-up plan. Yes, the paper towel roll. While Jack can basically use it in the same ways he uses the spoon, he can additionally become mesmerized by watching me put the paper towel roll to my mouth to make weird falsetto humming noises through it; like a giant kazoo. It works similar to the way Indian men charm snakes.
I am a certified baby charmer.
And fortunately, Jack is like a cat in that he can entertain himself with nearly any random household object. The question is, who is more entertained by the magical wooden spoon and its other glorious counterparts? My infant son for finding entertainment value in it, or me for finding entertainment value in watching him find entertainment value in it?
P.S. As I post this, my sister is in labor with her first child. Jack’s about to get a new cousin! And I’m about to be an uncle for the first time, through blood.
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baby, baby blog, back up plan, blog, dad, entertainment, falsetto, fatherhood, funny, kazoo, kittens, paper towels, parenting, parents, popsicle, spoon, toys, unicorn, veggie pizza | Categories:
Home Life, Must Read, Story Bucket, Storytelling
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
People have been asking me if my wife has started “nesting” our home yet. And the answer is pretty much “no”, being that we’re in the process of selling our house. It’s a matter of gradually moving all our possessions out of the house, not getting ready for the baby right now.
This past weekend we did a 24 hour road trip to my hometown. (Meaning from the time we left Nashville, until the time we got back, it was 24 hours). My mom has kept my crib from 1981, along with my wooden high chair up in the attic this entire time. It appears she is turning my sister’s bedroom into the “grandbaby room”- even my favorite childhood toys are there on display.
It’s hilarious. And awesome. My mom is going through a nesting phase. Even if my wife isn’t yet.
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:
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13 weeks, 1981, crib, dad from day one, expecting parents, grandchild, high chair, moving, Nashville, nesting, pregnancy, toys | Categories:
People, Storytelling, The Dadabase