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Friday, May 2nd, 2014
3 years, 5 months.
I am attempting to create a cool new phrase in the world of parenting. See, when a father takes his daughter out for fun, it’s called a “daddy date.”
But what’s a good phrase for when a daddy takes his son out for some good one-on-one time?
I got it:
Last weekend you and I went to the zoo to check out a real red panda, so your matching stuffed animal could meet his relatives.
Meanwhile, Mommy stayed home and took care of some Spring cleaning.
However, when we arrived at the Nashville Zoo, it appeared that the red pandas were observing the Sabbath, because they were asleep in the trees.
That was no problem for us, though. Fortunately, the Nashville Zoo happens to contain one of the coolest playgrounds I’ve ever seen in my life. So we had a dadventure anyway!
You know that with me, there is no such thing as pushing you too high in the swing.
The way I see it, what fun is it for you unless I push you so high that your back is parallel to the ground, about 7 feet high in the air.
By the way, don’t be misled by the lack of a smile on your face in some of these pictures. A lot of times when it’s just you and me hanging out, we sort of space out and “think about nothing” together.
You actually said to me, “Daddy, we’re having fun right now!”
We both got a great work-out. I decided to challenge myself by not taking you in the jogging stroller; instead, I carried you the whole time, except when you were running around and playing.
As we spent quality father-son time together, we also were moving around, breathing in fresh air.
Like the animals at the zoo already know, this helps reduce stress, improves sleep quality, decreases the chance of depression, and improves the quality of learning. (See infographic below.)
It’s important that we get our special one-on-one time. I personally believe it’s important to also make sure there is some kind of edge or thrill involved, to make the event a true dadventure.
You’re a cool little boy and I’m a cool daddy, so we might as well have a good time whenever we have a chance!
How tall will your little man be?
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Friday, May 2nd, 2014
3 years, 5 months.
I know it’s easy to forget this fact about your dad, but I do actually have a full-time job in HR at a trucking company called Paschall Truck Lines. It just so happens that my company was responsible for shipping the dinosaurs for the DinoTrek exhibits currently being featured in zoos across America.
Last Saturday, Mommy and I took you to go check them out in action at the Nashville Zoo just a few miles down the road from our house.
Though you knew up front they weren’t real dinosaurs, you still treated them with reverence.
You did have the nerve to pet the dinosaurs with me, despite the fact you saw the way they moved their giant mouths and you heard the way they roared at us.
A couple of the dinosaurs even spit water out of their mouths at us. (You spit back at them.)
Some of the “scarier” dinosaurs had machines behind them that caused fog to appear as we approached them.
After we finished our dinosaur tour, you expressed to me, “Daddy, I like the dinosaurs that don’t have gas.”
We had so much fun seeing the dinosaurs, you and I actually went back the next day to visit them again.
Not to mention, you’ve been telling your teachers and friends at school about them all week.
Yesterday on the way home from school, you told me, “Daddy, can we dig up some dinosaur bones? Maybe if can find some, we can turn them into real dinosaurs again.”
Until there’s a real Jurassic Park, our best shot of seeing resurrected dinosaurs is the DinoTrek exhibit at the zoo.
I would love to ride a stegosaurus with you, if I could. Maybe in Heaven, who knows?
And if they have dinosaurs up there, I bet they don’t “have gas.”
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Friday, March 14th, 2014
3 years, 3 months.
Tomorrow is the big day… We’re going to the Monster Jam show in the morning!
For the first time, you will get to see what happens when we drive past Whole Foods on I-65 in Nashville.
All you know at this point is that the other way on I-65 goes to Louisville, KY where we have visited the zoo a couple of times now; where they have the rhinos.
So I explained to you that going south on the Interstate will take us to a place called Huntsville, AL… where the monster trucks are. (As if it’s a special monster truck city where the monster trucks always are; where they live, work, and play in organized chaos.)
Today you have been deciding which toy monster trucks to take with us on the mini-road trip; hoping to see the “real life” Monster Mutt tomorrow, which is a monster truck that looks like a giant puppy, floppy ears and all.
It’s funny how a family trip to go see monsters trucks run over old cars (or whatever they do) could be such a big deal to the three of us, but it is. It’s a big deal to you, so it’s a big deal to Mommy and me.
This morning Mommy sent me a text that seemed to summarize things, as if in a simple, yet poetic way:
Spring and summer are on their way and we have lots of fun things to be excited about— because our world is right in front of us and it’s pretty good
She’s right. When I see you and Mommy in front of me, I see the world and I know that it’s pretty good. Well, actually “pretty good” is an understatement.
Maybe I could use #blessed as a good start. (Yeah, the hashtag makes it even cooler.)
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Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
2 years, 11 months.
As we anticipated our 2nd trip to the Louisville Zoo, I had been trying to hype up the train ride they have, since we didn’t get a chance to ride it last time.
“No, I don’t want to ride that train.”
I didn’t believe you. I figured maybe you just didn’t know for sure what I was talking about.
After all, how could a little boy who is obsessed with Chugginton and Thomas & Friends not want to actually ride a little train around the zoo?
But Z-Day came and you held true to your word: You still didn’t want to ride it, adding, “I scared!”
However, you weren’t given a choice. There we were in line for the train ride with my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law, and your girl cousin who is 7 months younger than you.
You were getting on that train. Whether or not you would allow yourself to enjoy it, that was the part I didn’t know.
For the first minute or so of the ride, you buried your head in Mommy’s shoulder.
Then you heard all the fun happening around and you just couldn’t pretend not to be there anymore. It was nearly immediately that you began screaming with excitement.
We blasted through a series of tunnels, which from what I can remember, sort of looked like the rainbow graffiti-looking artwork on the Coldplay album, Mylo Xyloto.
With the zoo being decorated in a Fall/Halloween theme, there were plenty of other interesting things to distract you from the fact that just minutes before you were somewhat terrified.
I remember we saw some giant spiders and goofy monsters.
You loved the train ride.
It was a challenge for you, though. It placed you out of your comfort zone.
I’m not fully convinced you won’t be afraid to ride the next zoo train you encounter, but at least now I know that you enjoyed the ride in the end.
Thanks for being a brave little toaster. I mean, the little engine that could.
P.S. To see more pictures of our family road trip, go to The Dadabase’s Facebook page and click on the picture folder, Louisville AdVANture Road Trip October 2013.
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Monday, August 26th, 2013
2 years, 9 months.
Though you’ve pretty much memorized the entire layout of the Nashville Zoo since we bought our family season pass several months ago, it wasn’t until yesterday that we actually bothered to check out the petting zoo area.
I was really surprised when you wanted me to unstrap you from the jogging stroller and even more surprised when you actually wanted to pet the goats with the brushes the zoo provides.
It’s just that I figured you’d probably be a little freaked out by the goats, the way you are fascinated by dogs from afar, then shy away once you actually get close to one.
But no, you totally petted the goats and they were totally cool with you doing so.
The only problem was, the goats were a little too friendly. They really made themselves at home.
Actually, it’s their home, so…
I wasn’t too surprised when we got back to our jogging stroller to learn that one of the goats had finished off your Clif Kid Zbar snack.
He was aiming to get your water bottle but you stood your ground.
However, that didn’t stop another one of the goats from licking off the spilled water on the stroller, leading him to chewing and tasting the stroller itself.
Then he ate a Starbucks napkin you had been using as well.
Lucky for us, we only paid about 20 bucks for that jogging stroller off of Craig’s List. And amazingly, even after the goat taste-tested it yesterday, I didn’t even see any teeth marks or rips in the fabric.
So perhaps you have mixed feelings about the goats:
The good news is, they’re very friendly.
The bad news is, they’re very friendly.
Between the hungry goats and the mutant giraffe man we met yesterday at the zoo, I’d say we had some serious father-son bonding time.
P.S. To see more pictures of our father/son visit to the Nashville Zoo today, go to The Dadabase Facebook page and find the photo folder called “The Mutant Giraffe And The Hungry Goat.”
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