Thursday, February 24, 2011

Horrible Horrible Kid's Parties

Well, the little man’s birthday party went off without a hitch.  It was great to see everyone having such a great time.  I guess the highlight of the day was watching him play with my friend’s 4 year old little girl.   It was just awesome.  They were running and laughing and having such a great time that it was almost a pity that the party had to end.   Oh well.

Anyway, in a way I am glad that his birthday party is over with because I don’t plan on throwing him another party until he is old enough to ask for one.  If any of you have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to attend a child’s birthday party before then you know what I mean.  They are completely obnoxious.   These parties are like a get out of jail free card for many parents.  They show up, hang out, and let their children run around like a bunch of wild animals.  Do they keep track of them?  No, of course not!  Apparently, that magically becomes someone else’s responsibility.  I’m sorry, but I think that children need to be watched even if they are at a party.  

Unfortunately, what happens most of the time is that I get stuck watching the little jerks.  I don’t mind watching my kid and making sure he doesn’t hurt himself or anyone else.  That’s my job as his dad, but I don’t really much like watching other people’s jerky kids.  But, I know that if I don’t they are sure enough going to get hurt because their parents are too lazy to pay attention to them.

This really infuriates me.  It wouldn’t be so bad if it was always kids that I know, but even then I feel like telling people “Enough is enough.  Your kid is going to hurt itself if you don’t pay attention to what the heck it is doing.”  I guess I just figure that if I can watch my kid and pay attention to what he is doing then you can do the same for your kid too.  That’s your responsibility as a parent.  Don’t take it lightly.  I don’t. 

It is precisely because of this that I hate the idea of having birthday parties for my son.  This last one he had was alright, but I am willing to bet that when he gets older it is going to et much much worse.   I already noticed how many parents tend to forget to watch their kids at the park last summer.  I can only imagine how bad it will be at a birthday party.  Scratch that.  I already know how bad it gets at little kids birthday parties.  I went to one where the little brats were swimming when one of the little idiots decided to start throwing mud and rocks at the other kids.  Well, pretty soon all the little stupid kids were throwing rocks and mud at each other having a great time.  I decided not to say anything to the brats because at the time I didn’t have any children, but after 5 or 10 minutes of watching this idiocy I had to do something because one kid already got hit in the face and fell off his inner tube, and I didn’t want a smaller kid to get hit and drown.  So, I yelled at the kids and told them that that was probably a really bad idea and I didn’t want to see that kind of horse crap anymore.  I want to know why none of the other 10 adults there didn’t think to say anything to stop this behavior.   And, why did they give me such sour looks after I yelled at the little jerk kids?  Anyone with any sort of common sense knows that you don’t mess around in water.  That is especially true if there are kids involved and some of them aren’t strong swimmers.  That water was deep.  It was only a matter of time before one of those dumbass kids took a rock to the side of the head and drowned.  It probably would have been one of the little ones and not the 7-8 year old ones. 

It is because of situations like this one that I hate children’s parties, and I hope that my baby boy doesn’t feel like he needs to have one every year, but if he does I guess I can live with it as long as it is always somewhere other than my home.  Let the brats wreck the park or something.  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Broken Promises, Being Sick, and Dealing with the Television.

I have made the same simple promises  to myself since the little man was born, and I can't tell you how many times I repeat them to myself.  I promised that my house would not be overrun with his toys and that I would curb my incessant spending on him as well as not allowing the television to babysit him.  Well, I have kept neither of the first two promises because not only do I have a spring horse, train table, and his ride on Winnie the pooh train in my living room, but I also have the majority of his other toys laying around too.  To top it all off I keep buying the little monster more play things because I never think that he has enough toys. 

I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t use practically everything that he can pick up as a weapon against me.  This morning he picked up his remote controlled smart car and hit my in the head with it while I was lying on the couch.  I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention to him or something.  Whatever happened to the good ole’ days when all he wanted was his multicolored inflatable ball?  Oh well. 

You know I am still not convinced that he actually enjoys having all these play things around.  Every morning after my wife leaves for work he spends maybe ten or fifteen minutes just staring at his toy pile looking overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices he has.  Still about half of the time he goes right for the ball, but for a few minutes he actually looks concerned about what he should be playing with.  It is like he is saying to himself, “I can’t just play with this ball.  Da will be sad because he bought me all this other crap to play with too.  Hmm...What should I do?”  So, without fail, I will watch as he reluctantly puts down his favorite ball and pick up the talking mailbox or something.  It is like this every morning.  Then after we play for a little while it is story time.  That is never a problem because he will just grab the first book and bring it to me to read to him.  After that book is finished he will grab another and another until we have either read all his books, he gets bored, or my voice decides it doesn’t want to work anymore.  I can usually get through 15 books before that happens, but that depends on the books he has me reading him.  Our newest book is the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” that the pediatrician’s office gave him at his I year check-up.  He likes it a lot because, like with many of the other books too, his da acts out the story with him.  You will never know how much fun that is until you try it.  His other favorite thing to do lately is dance to any kind of noise that has a rhythm to it, which I am all about because there is a slight chance that it will tire him out and give me a chance to catch my breathe.   

You might have noticed that I conveniently left out that third promise to not allow the television to baby sit my son.  Well, I haven’t forgotten it.  I am still holding to it, but it is a tenuous hold the last couple of days because I have been sick more than my usual ailments.  Therefore, the poor little man has been getting the shaft because I just don’t have the energy to run around and play like I usually do.  Play time has been virtually cut in half and television time has practically doubled.  I tell myself it isn’t that bad because we watch a kids show that promotes and teaches little ones to read called “Super Why.”  But, watching t.v. is still watching t.v.  It really doesn’t matter what it is you are watching. 

I keep telling myself that this is only a temporary thing, but that doesn’t I am not getting worried that I will make it a more permanent thing because it is so easy to just leave the television on and let the little man veg out in front of it all day.  I am afraid that it is going to ruin his imagination let alone turn him into a couch potato.  I just don’t want him to revere the television like so many others do.  I have seen so many kids and adults who need to have the thing on all the time and it doesn’t even matter what is playing as long as it is on.  It is like it is a separate entity that is desperate for attention. 

How do you discourage your children from “needing” television to amuse them though?  Sure, you could try never having it on, but I am afraid that will make it that much more appealing once it is on.  There has to be a healthy mix that doesn’t turn the TV into a reward.  I am just not comfortable with making my TV set something that is all that special, but I also don’t want my baby boy to be the weird kid at school who isn’t allowed to watch TV either.  It is a conundrum.  Luckily I still have time to figure that out.  So far, I am thinking that if I don’t make a big deal about it, it won’t be a big deal.  If that doesn’t work then I will have to come up with a plan b.      

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Make Shift Valentine's Day

Yesterday, the little man had a terrific birthday.  There was cake everywhere, a brand new zoo membership, a few new toys to play with, and he even got to eat his favorite food of all time, Vegetable Lomein.  What else could he want on his first birthday?  I don’t know, but he looked pretty happy all day and that is all I ever want for him. 

But, with all that went on birthday wise I forgot someone who is almost just as important to me, my sweety.  I never once wished my wife a happy valentine’s day yesterday.  I almost feel bad about it too.  Not really.  You see, since the little man was born on Valentine’s day I kind of figured that that would mess up valentine’s day for us.  Well, not for me since I think it is just a disgusting holiday, but it is important to some people, so I made arrangements to have flowers delivered to my wife today instead.  I figured that I could make the 15th our Valentine’s day for a few years. 

Maybe it is just me, but I think that it is important for the little one’s birthday to be all about him.  My wife and I can shift V-day over a day.  It isn’t going to hurt us any.  So, I have these flowers all ready to give to her.  Now all I need is a plan on what else we can do.  I thought about taking her and the little one out to dinner, but that seems kind of lame to me; going to the movies is out of the question; arranging for someone to babysit the little man while the wife and I go out seemed like a bad idea to me because now that I have a family I kind of want to do things together.  What’s a guy to do?

My all-time favorite fall back plan is to let my favorite girl decide what we do, but more often than not she doesn’t care either.  I suppose I could clean the house and make dinner for her, but that doesn’t seem very special.  Well, the dinner part would be same old thing anyway, but god do I hate to clean the house.  I never knew how much harder it would get once there was a little one around who took an enormous amount of pleasure in ruining any kind of progress you make.  I swear I will just about get all his toys put away and then all of a sudden he’ll streak over and pull everything out again and then walk away.  The bugger won’t even pretend to play with them.  I know that he is only making a mess to screw with me.  He knows that I know that too.  What an evil little monster!

Anyway, to get back on topic, what I need is a specific plan.  I don’t want to resort to any of the lame old evenings that everyone else does for V-day.  I want to do something different, something that will make my wife feel special but include the little man too.   If it wouldn’t be dark by the time she got home I would drive her out to the little waterfall we know of and take photos because they are really pretty this time of year, but that won’t work.  I guess it is going to be another boring evening on our makeshift valentine’s day.  Not to say that it isn’t going to be special, it just isn’t going to be different.  Oh well.  There is always next year.     

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's the Little Man's B-Day! Here's a bit About Him.

The day he was born
I can’t believe it.  The little man is a year old now.  I have to say that this has probably been the best year of my life too.  Why, it seems like just yesterday we went to the hospital to pry him out and catch a glimpse of him.  I can still remember that day pretty vividly, and I am really surprised at myself because I didn’t pass out or anything.  I didn’t even think that I was going to.  It wasn’t anything like television and movies led me to believe it would be.            

9 months old and loving it
It all started on a Saturday morning.  My wife woke up and said something about having contractions, but since she didn’t act alarmed I didn’t either.  We both pretty much just hung out that morning, relaxing as best we could.  Then we went to our friend’s house for lunch.  Yes, we went to have lunch at our friend’s house while my wife was having contractions.  It was her idea, so don’t yell at me. 

5-6 months old at the Park
Anyway, as we ate lunch or early dinner, my friend’s wife decided to time my wife’s contractions and they were like 3 minutes apart or something.  Honestly, I don’t really remember how close they were, but they were pretty close.  I do remember getting a little excited and nervous then, but being a macho man meant that I couldn’t show it.  I tried to laugh it off as them imagining it, but I knew they were right.  Eventually, she and her husband talked us into going to the hospital, which ruined all of my plans.  It wasn’t much of a plan.  I was just going to go to Dunkin’ donuts to get a gigantic box of coffee and a few dozen donuts, but I ditched that idea because I was worried that there wasn’t enough time.  Thus my beautiful plan was ruined, but since there was a chance that my baby would be born on the 13th instead of on Valentine’s Day I wasn’t too upset about it.  Who am I kidding anyway?  It didn’t matter to me when he was going to be born as long as he was healthy. 

3 months old in the Johnny Jump Up
The reason that I had originally planned to go to Dunkin’ Donuts and buying one of those gigantic boxes of coffee and a few dozen donuts was so I could take them to the hospital staff.  I figured we’d be there awhile and what harm is there in making friends with them since we were not about to go anywhere anyway.   Well, the Dunkin’ Donuts trip didn’t happen.  I am sorry.  Yes, I could have left once we got to the hospital and dropped my wife off, but there was no way I was going to take off and leave her like that.  Actually, I was afraid that if I left I would miss something important.  You know, like the birth of my very first child, but apparently giving birth to a child takes a lot longer than I had expected. 

Since I was in for the long haul, I decided to take note of my surroundings.  The very first thing I noticed was that the Olympics were on.  I believe they were doing the luge at the time.  The second thing I noticed was that, so far, nothing was how the movies and television made it seem.  My wife wasn’t screaming and threatening to kill me, but the night was still young.  I expected it to happen eventually. 

As it turns out, my wife is a toughy.  She really didn’t make any noise at all other than hum every once in a while and tell me that it hurts.  I felt so bad for her.  The third thing I noticed was that the hospital staff didn’t really have a sense of humor, and I very quickly learned to shut up and stay out of the way.  At about midnight a nurse came in and asked, “How are you feeling?  Are you doing alright?”  Of course, me being a smart ass replied, “Oh I am doing alright, but thanks for asking.”  You should have seen the evil look that got me from this tiny little nurse.  I thought that she was going to kill me, so I quickly vacated the room and went to get my wife some ice chips and what not. 

 Well, after a few hours, maybe 12 or so, of walking with my wife and trying to be helpful in any way possible my wife decided to get an epidural.  What was odd about that was that she asked me what I thought about it.  I didn’t answer.  I am afraid I just looked shocked because all the while my wife was humming through the pain and telling me conversationally that it hurt terribly, I was hearing this screaming and commotion from the room adjacent to us that was very disconcerting.  It sounded like a torture chamber or something.  You know, if it were me giving birth, I would have gotten an epidural within the hour of arrival.  But no, my wife had to be all tough cookie about it.  I was so proud of her, but dismayed that she didn’t want to relieve some of her pain.  Just the thought of it made me want to cry.  I can’t imagine what it actually felt like, and I don’t really want to know either.

The day after the little man was born
At around 6 am my wife’s midwife showed up in pajamas with her hair all messy from sleep.  I couldn’t help but smirk a little, and then I looked in a mirror and realized that I looked exactly the same minus the boobs and substitute jeans and a t-shirt for the pajamas.  She said that things weren’t progressing very quickly and went home and took a nap and came back looking like she meant business.  By then one of our friends showed up for a little extra moral support.  She told me to take off but by then I had already spent a number of hours in that little room with my little wife, and I was not about to go anywhere until the birth was over with, which happened at 2:15 in the afternoon.   

3 months old after bath time
Oh my, did the process of getting my son out scare the crap out of me!  I won’t give you all the details even though I could because I had to hold one of my wife’s legs up because she was so tired, but I will tell you that I was really surprised at the amount of hair my son had the first time I saw him.  I swear he popped out said, “Hey Da!” and shot back up where he came from three or four time.  Each time I noticed how thick his hair was.  He was going to be a fine looking boy I thought, and, so far, I am right. Other than that, I will also tell you that during the first attempt to get him out his heart rate dropped dangerously and he had to be rolled over to the right direction, which didn’t quite work out the way they wanted it to.  In the end they had to yank him out with a suction cup, which was a trick because of the amount of hair he had on his head.  Nevertheless he came out; our perfect little Valentine’s Day baby.  I was speechless, trembling and trying my darnedest not to cry and collapse.  He was beautiful even if he did kind of look like a baby mole.   

After he was all cleaned up and ready to go to the receiving room I think they call it I said something like, “Thank you so much.  I guess we’ll see you guys in about a year with our next one.” to the nurse.  Apparently, that wasn’t funny.  I got yelled at because the nurse thought I was being serious.  She started going on about all the health risks and what not.  When she finished my wife told her that I was joking and the nurse said, “You don’t know how many morons I see every day that do stuff like that.”   I took her word for it and went quickly to my wife’s new room before I could get myself into any more trouble with the angry nurse.  Then two short days later we were home with our baby boy wondering how much we were going to screw him up over his life time.  Hopefully it won’t be too bad for him.

4 months old 
Like I said before, it is so hard for me to believe that it has been a whole year since that wonderful day of his birth.  He has grown so much!  He is just the happiest little squirt and I often wonder where the heck he got such a pleasant personality from.  It must be something he got all on his own because everyone knows that neither my wife nor I are what you can call pleasant people.  I am also astounded by my son’s sense of humor.  I swear he has been telling jokes and playing pranks on me since he was five months old.  He’ll run up to me and try to hand me something, and just when I think he is actually going to give whatever it is he has to me he yanks it out of my hand and screams in laughter.  He’ll either do that or he’ll come up to me and lean on me and then let one rip and giggle like crazy.  Where does he get this stuff from?  It is amazing.  Before becoming a father I would never have guessed in a million years that infants could be capable of that kind of behavior.  To be able to pull a prank like that takes a surprising amount of foresight if you think about it.  I think babies are a whole lot more aware of what’s going on around them then a lot of people give them credit for.

Looking back over this past year I am not sure how much of it I would change or do differently in regards to my son, but I do know that I wouldn’t buy half of the crap that I did for him.  Right now we have I don’t know how many strollers that we don’t use, a crib that has never been used, an extra pack and play that has been used to store toys in, and a whole lot of other crap that I can’t even think of right now.  But, like so many other first time parents my wife and I were afraid of doing something wrong, so we bought all that worthless junk because most of it said it was safer than the other brands.  Well, now that I think about it, everything says that it is safer than the other brands.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  It could be diapers, ointment, or it could be a car seat, but you can pretty much guess that no matter what the product is it will advertise itself as the safest thing going for your baby.  Well, now that I know that, I will be prepared for the next one if he or she ever arrives.  I am kind of hoping that he/she does show up eventually because I still have a lot of love to give and one more little one running around would be perfect to use it on.   I am a little abashed at having figured out that that is all the little one really wants. Love.  He doesn’t care which diapers he wears or what kind of stroller or car seat he sits in.  As long as my wife or me is with him and love him he is happy.  Wouldn’t it be nice if that was enough for all of us?

Baby Bath time

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Shut up and Dance!

Yesterday, the little man and I discovered something very important.  We found out how important it is to take a little time to be completely silly.  Now, it may seem that this isn’t a very worthwhile endeavor, but you will have to try it and see for yourself.   It is definitely worth a try, and you might be surprised at the result.  Who knows, it might add years to year life or something.

So, the little man and I came to this conclusion yesterday after our lunchtime when we usually do some sort of physical activity like dancing, baby monster tag, spinning, or rolling and chasing his favorite inflatable ball around.  Well, for some reason, I was feeling quite lethargic and mopey at the time, and I don’t know why really.  I guess it is just a case of where sometimes people just get down.  Anyway, my son decided that he wanted to dance.  He does this sort of move that I call the toddler stomp.  It is basically just him running in place and stomping his feet really loud while jumping and spinning. Whenever he starts this intricate dance it is a hint that he would like to listen to some music.  I figured that out a few weeks ago, and I will never forget it again because if you don’t turn on his music all hell will break loose.  Trust me.  Nobody wants that. 

So, anyway, I turned on the music and he danced away, and, before I realized what I was doing, I joined in because, let’s face it, he was going to make me do it eventually anyway.  You know what?  I am so glad I did because, to tell you the truth, I am not sure if I have ever had a better time. 

Maybe it is just me, but I find that there is definitely something very rewarding about goofing around with my son whenever I get a chance.  I can’t really describe how good it makes me feel to be able to spend times like that with him.  It is like somehow I am magically transported back to a simpler time where I don’t have to be an adult, and I don’t have to worry about what I look like to other people, not that I worry about that too much anyway.  Dancing with the little man means that I can be as carefree as I dare.  

What’s it going to matter anyway?  It isn’t like the little man is going to make fun of me.  Well, he won’t yet anyway, but for now all he cares about is that he is having a good time with his da.  The only problem is I can’t keep up with the little squirt anymore.  He can jump and dance his butt off for maybe a half hour to an hour non-stop.  I think I might have 20 minutes in me tops, but whenever I try to stop he looks at me all disappointedly with his puppy dog eyes and, somehow, I manage to gather some more stamina and keep dancing with him until he is done.  I figure dancing with him is good for me anyway, but man I am sore afterwards.  At least he doesn’t insist that I dance like him.  There is no way that I am going to jump up and down and flop around and do the toddler stomp for an hour.  That boy is nuts when it comes to dancing! 

What is particularly surprising is that he can do all this crazy stuff and still seem to be keeping in rhythm.  It’s amazing to me!  I am just so glad that he chose dancing as his after lunch activity.  It is just what I needed to turn my day around.  I am going to remember this for next time I am feeling gloomy.  The remedy for it is cheap.  You should try it sometime.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Disgusting Dogs and the Sneaky Poop Attacks!

Caution:  Consider this fair warning.  Today's post is slightly gross and, as the title might suggest, involves poopy.  So please take this into consideration before you read further if there is a possibility that this will offend you.

If you have children you probably remember all the diaper explosions that you had to clean up.  I am constantly surprised at the sheer amount of poop that little babies can create in one go.   Like this morning for instance.  The little man was playing with his wooden train set and all of a sudden he looks at me and gives me that smile, which isn’t really a smile.  It’s the look that all babies get when they are struggling internally with some sort of demon that desperately wants to escape their bowels and take over the world.

Well, this morning’s escaped diaper demon was certainly something that the devil himself would be proud of.   I swear to you that before my very eyes I watched as my son’s diaper expanded to its bursting point.  Oh my, what a stench it created!  I am telling you that this diaper demon smelled so bad that even the dogs cringed in terror.  They were so afraid of it consuming their very essence that they banished themselves up the stairs and hid trembling in their crates, which is totally the opposite reaction from what I have grown accustomed to from them.  Those of you who have nasty disgusting dogs know what I am referring to, but for those that do not I will tell you what gross dogs do with baby poopy.  They try their hardest to eat it.  It is a disgusting but sometimes useful habit!

I am not going to lie to you and say that I never once let the dogs clean up after the little man, but I will say that there has been a few times when I couldn’t stop the cleanup from occurring due to being completely shocked.   Don’t get me wrong.  I wasn’t shocked that the dogs would eat it.  I have grown up with disgusting mongrel dogs and know exactly what they are capable of eating.  No, I was shocked at the velocity, volume, and quantity of dookie at which babies are capable of shooting out their bottoms. 

Before he was born, I thought that I was prepared for this, but I was wrong.  To this day it still surprises me, and amuses me a little.  How can something so little fire a turd torpedo that sounds like a thunderstorm and looks like a Christmas style fruitcake out its pooper like that?  And, for some reason unknown to me, the little man has learned to wait and aim these nuggets of awesomeness at me while I am either changing him or helping to sit him on his froggy potty.  The little squirt knows to lean sideways to fire his “ammunition” out over the potty too.  I know he is doing this on purpose because he laughs at me when he does it.  I am thinking that my wife has put him up to it.

As you can imagine, when these little attacks first happened I was quite shocked.  Now I know to look out for them however.  But, for a while, it was really handy to have two completely disgusting dogs hanging around because they could always clean up the poop attack while I cleaned up the boy and found something to clean up the situation myself.  Yes, I refer to my son’s excrement as situations.  Anyhow, if you have kids, then you know how handy a tool to disgusting, poop eating dogs can be regardless of the level of disgust you feel at the time when they are put in use.  I don’t encourage this behavior or anything, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be a little thankful for it does it?

Anyway, for the last month or so I haven’t had to utilize my dogs for that specific purpose, and they seem truly saddened by this, which is why it was so surprising to me that this morning the little man managed to produce something so vile that even my disgusting dogs didn’t want anything to do with it.  Neither did I, but what can you do?  Someone had to clean it up, and this morning that someone was me.  But, what made the experience even more humiliating was the self-satisfied look that the little tyke had on his face as I scooped the dookie out from under him on the changing table.  It was like he was reminding me of my proper place in society, and for a little extra confirmation he pee’d on me while I was cleaning him up too.  He hasn’t done that in months.  He must have thought I was getting to uppity for my own good.  Now, I know better I guess.

So, let this serve as a warning to all future parents out there.  Being a mommy or a daddy has many rewards, but it also requires you to get your hands dirty too.  I mean really filthy!  It doesn’t matter how weak your stomach is.  When the poop flies you have to clean up the mess, and if this might be too much for your weak stomach then I suggest getting some disgusting dogs of your own or maybe desensitizing yourself a little at a time before you have to get in there and really get dirty.  Your baby will help in this because at first the poopy attacks won’t be that bad, but I assure you that they will get worse progressively.  So, make sure you stock up on baby wipes and keep your supplies filled because believe me you’ll be thankful for them later. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Reality Check. What's Important to You?

I often wonder how there is so many people in this world that can be so out of touch with reality.  I just find it so hard to believe that in this day and age with television and the internet that way it is that someone has to really try in order to be blind to what is going on around the globe. 

I know, I know.  I am no one to talk because there are so many times when I have no idea what is going on out there.  Like, who the hell are some of these “singers” they got coming out of the wood work these days?  But, with that aside, at least I know about global warming and other worldwide and national concerns.

The other day I was outside shoveling my sidewalk for perhaps the 100th time this winter when I overheard my neighbor say something like, “So much for Global Warming” in her creaky crackly smoker’s voice.    

Immediately following that statement her compatriot replied, “Global warming?  What’s that?”

To which the woman replied, “You know, it’s when the globe heats up and makes the world hotter so it won’t snow no more.  I can’t wait.  It sounds wonderful.”

Well, to say the least I was perplexed.  Not just by the woman’s lack of understanding but by this guy’s total lack of knowledge about it. He acted like he had never even heard the term before.  I mean who in the world can avoid the topic of global warming these days.  How does that happen?  Maybe I am just na├»ve, but I think that is way worse than me not knowing who the heck Justin Beiber was.   

I guess it is just a matter of what is important to you, which leads me to the problem of raising my baby boy with the ability to recognize what is really important to him.  I hope that he doesn’t find it to be a hack singer or something, but if it is I will do my best to be supportive and hope that that phase will pass.  Regardless of what he believes to be important it is important for me that my baby knows that his mama and da will be right there with him helping in any way we can.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blast you Bob the Builder!!!

Today is a sad sad day in my household.  It is the end of an era.  “Thomas the Tank Engine” has been dethroned as the king of my baby boy’s heart.  Who, you ask, has usurped Thomas’s rightful place as king of entertainment in Toddlervania?  Why, none other than that treacherously vile creature known as “Bob the Builder.”

The battle for the little man’s heart was brief and violent.  Bob’s attack was so sudden that I didn’t even see it coming.  Before I realized what was happening it was too late to come to Thomas’s aide with fortifications for his front lines.  Without my aide, Thomas had no choice but to retreat with the hopes of rising to power again someday.  Hopefully, that day comes soon.

As the smoke cleared from the battlegrounds, I realized something as I viewed the debris.  “Bob the Builder” initiated his assault on my baby’s heart months ago.  His sole aim was the destruction of “Thomas the Tank Engine’s” hold there.  Bob even had the temerity to infiltrate Thomas’s DVD’s recklessly.  It was only a matter of time before the little man became curious of this intruder who boldly displayed himself as a possible successor to Thomas.  Had I realized this then, I would have fast forwarded through the promos and advertisements that showed before every episode of “Thomas the Tank Engine” that we watched with the hopes of avoiding this tragedy.  

I think that it was actually Bob’s marching song that did the most damage.  It is just too catchy to ignore.  It is what allows “Bob the Builder” to imbed himself into the psyches of millions so thoroughly.  I mean really.  If blasted Bob managed to affix his marching chant, “CAN WE FIX IT?!...YES, WE CAN!” into a presidential candidate’s campaign slogan, what chance did a toddler have of fighting him off?   I guess I just never realized quite how powerful “Bob the Builder” was, and he is getting stronger every day.

In reality, having Bob dethrone Thomas doesn’t really bother me.  They are really pretty similar in that they both have similar wholesome messages and what not.  I just like Thomas a little more because he was around when I was a little tyke.  Watching Thomas makes me feel nostalgic.   He brings back memories of my childhood when life seemed so much easier whereas Bob does nothing for me personally.   Well, I can’t really claim that because truthfully I find Bob and his cronies dreadfully annoying.  It has nothing to do with their actions or their stories, but has everything to do with their voices.  They grate on my nerves so much that I can feel my brain rotting with each passing moment as they speak.  I can’t believe that so many children revere these characters who sound so vapid and simple that it drives me mad.

Unfortunately, what the little man likes has little to do with me these days.  Each day he is growing more and more independent.  If I want to encourage this trend in my son, then I have no choice but to allow Bob to be Thomas’s replacement and hope that it is only for a brief period of time.  We all know how easily swayed a toddler’s whims are.  I just hope that the little dobber doesn’t decide to stick forget about his old friend “Thomas the Tank Engine.”  Yet, should he then know this my poor, poor beloved Thomas.  Your untimely downfall will be noted in the history books as the work of a masterful betrayal, and you will forever have a place in my heart if not in my son’s.  Farewell, for now, my friend and rest easy knowing that I will do what I can to win you back into the little man’s favor.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"It's ok. I do Child Care." said Ms. Piggy.

A few days ago I went out shopping with the little man and the little wife.  While perusing the aisles of various foodstuffs I overheard this lady speaking to what I supposed to be her son.  Well, anyway, she was just berating this kid, calling him all sorts of names and telling him how stupid he was.  I really felt like I should intervene, but if I have learned anything in my almost thirty years of life, I have learned that sometimes when you mean well and get involved in a domestic situation like this it just turns out very poorly for the victim later on.  So, I ignored her as best as I could, hoping that she would have the common courtesy to keep it quiet at least. 

Later on, while we were at the checkout, this same lady with the vulgar mouth and bad attitude gets in line behind us.  Of course she was still berating the poor kid, albeit more quietly than before.  Apparently, she didn’t want the checkout operator to think poorly of her parenting skills or something.

Anyway, she says something a bit louder which made me turn to look at her questioningly.  Well, we made eye contact and the first thing I really noticed about her was that she strongly resembled Ms. Piggy from The Muppets.  Oddly enough, the name seems to suit that lady well because she not only looks like her, but she also has a piggish personality to go with it too.   The second thing that struck me as odd was that she flippantly said, “It’s ok. I do childcare.”  I didn’t reply.  I was too busy trying to determine what the heck she meant by that and wondering if she knew that she looked like that famous pig.

It was all too much for me to take in at once.  I mean really, who wouldn’t be a little taken aback if Ms.  Piggy came up and spoke to them, especially if she said that after acting like a child abusing bully?  Did this woman honestly believe that her behavior was justified because she was a babysitter?  I hope not.  In reality, she probably didn’t think anything of it.  There was just an air of nonchalance about it that I found so disturbing.  But, who am I to question a professional?

It took me until I got into the parking lot to really understand what Ms. Piggy was saying and meant.  Apparently, she was not referring to her previous behavior.  She was referring to us, my wife and I, and our lack of paying attention to the little man.  She was saying that our son had some paper in his mouth.  It was when my wife replied to her that Ms. Piggy said, “It’s ok. I do childcare.”  Thankfully, I caught myself before I said, “Thank god you don’t watch my kid!”  

Instead I chose to remain silent because she seemed to be the type of person that was perfectly fine with throwing a totally toddler-esque tantrum in the middle of the store.  I might be wrong, but based on her behavior with her son or whatever he was to her I don’t think that I am. 

Since then, I have wondered just how desperate I would have to be to let a person like that watch my son.  If she treats her own kid that badly you know she isn’t going to treat your child that well either.  I bet she could hold it together just long enough to get you out of the house, but after that all bets are off.  Just think.  There are probably millions of babysitters just like her, which is exactly why my wife and I have decided to have one of us, me, stay at home with our baby boy.  

Frankly, I am quite disturbed that there seems to be an abundance of sitters like Ms. Piggy who have no problems swearing around your kids, letting the television watch over your kids, or letting someone else’s older child clothe and change your baby’s diapers.  I know I am not being fair to this poor woman I haven’t even talked to, but I can’t help feeling and thinking that if it looks like trash, sounds like trash, and smells like trash than chances are it is trash.   Sure, it may not be true, but I am willing to play on the probability that it is.

It is because of Ms. Piggy and all the other sitters like her that it is so important for parents to interview prospective babysitters thoroughly.  You have to actually go and visit them and get a feel for how they do things.  Preferably, go when there are children there so you can see if they are happy or not.  Ask a ton of questions.  Any decent babysitter won’t mind in the least if you want to talk to them before you make the decision of whether or not you want them to look after your child when you can’t.  It’s a huge decision not to be made lightly.  It is also important to communicate regularly with the sitter after you choose one.  I would even suggest stopping in early to retrieve your child every once in a while just to see that everything is how you want it to be.  When your little on is involved, there is no such thing as too careful, and if you accidently chose a Ms. Piggy for a sitter when you didn’t mean to, then the sooner you know the better.