Friday, April 29, 2011

What the Hell is Going on with all this Texting Crap?!

You know, there are times when I just can’t stand technology.  It just seems like everything is getting more and more impersonal these days and out of hand.  I don’t know about you, but I am getting rather sick of it.  It is just too bizarre, and it is going too far.   I am afraid that many people, especially youngsters, are forgetting how to be decent, polite citizens. 

Well, you may be asking what brought this up or where I am going with this, and I will tell you.  First, I am fed up with text messages.  I think that they are a great invention, but most people cannot text with out being a jerk at the same time.  Yesterday, when we went to the park my wife and I noticed that there was a mother there totally ignoring her children because whoever she was texting at the time was more important than paying attention to them.  I was sickened by this.  

The other main reason that I am irritated is that this morning I called my internet provider to ask a question and I got this automated voice telling me to either visit their website or send a text message and a service rep would get back to me.  Ridiculous!  There wasn’t even an option to hold for anyone.  What is this world coming to?  Why can't we communicate with each other using our voices?

No wonder so many teeny boppers are having such a hard time in school.  They aren't learning to communicate properly with other people.  

It used to be that parents encouraged their children to interact with the world.  In fact, I wasn’t allowed to even touch a phone until I was at least 10.  If I wanted to talk to one of my friends I would have to walk to their house and see if they were free.  When I got older sure I’d make a phone call, but more often than not I would still walk or ride my bike over to see them and chat for a while.  it was how things were done on my road.  Unfortunately, that type of thing just doesn’t happen anymore.  It’s either too dangerous or too inconvenient.  Either way, those times have passed on and left us with the here and now that we all know and maybe love.  

it saddens me that as a whole we have trained ourselves to not be satisfied with anything that may take a little effort and time.  No, we want everything right away and it better come easy!  Nothing else is sufficient.  

It is such a shame!

Does it really have to be like this?

It seems as if more and more people are closing themselves off from everything and everyone else.  It seems like all anyone cares about is oneself.  With that mind, what kind of messages are we sending to our children?  “Sure Honey, let’s go to the park, and while we are there mommy is going to ignore you totally so she can text uninterruptedly someone more important than you at the moment.”  

Is that really what you want to tell your kids?  

Well, I am sorry because that is exactly what you are communicating every single time you choose to ignore them so you can text or play with another one of your stupid gadgets.   It is no wonder that more and more teenagers are disgustingly self-centered and rude beyond belief.  Why would they be any different than their parents?    

Everywhere you go you see teens with headphones jammed in their ears and texting someone using all these stupid acronyms because they can’t be bothered to make a phone call and typing an entire word that is spelled correctly is too difficult.  I guess a phone call takes too long or something.  Way longer than typing up a message on some teeny tiny keyboard embedded in a phone and then waiting for a reply.  What is even more ridiculous to me is that if they aren’t wearing headphones and texting, then they are probably sitting or standing with their back to a “friend” while they are texting another “friend.”  I guess the friend that they are with isn’t as important as the one they are texting.  

Hmmm…I wonder where they got that particular idea from mom and dad?  They couldn’t possibly have picked it up from you because you so often ignored them while they were little or anything.  I wonder…

Seeing this type of behavior always makes me so frustrated and apprehensive!  I often wonder to myself, “Is it so hard to a raise a kid that is considerate of others?”  Well, if my trips to the mall and to the local Walmart are any judge then I guess it really is.

But, do I really blame technology for this trend?


Truthfully, I don’t even blame the parents all that much because there is only so much that parents can do to stop this from happening with their kids.  The best thing we can do is drill into our children while they are young respect, courtesy, and consideration.  You know what I mean.  I am talking about teaching the good ole' golden rule.  No, not golden shower but the golden rule.  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  I know we haven't forgotten the concept, so we should cram that into our children's minds when they are little with the hopes that it will take root and flower when they are older.  

Wouldn't a good first step be to toss the cellphone, mp3 player, laptop, i-pod, i-pad, kindle, or whatever aside so you can reserve some time each day for your family and nothing else.  No interruptions.  That could be so beneficial!  It's at least worth a try.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yep, I'm a bit of an Ogre, but I bet You are Too!

So, as I am watching the final episode of Shrek for the 100th time I am starting to see similarities between Shrek and myself.  Not physical similarities of course.  I am a card carrying, certified fatty and he doesn’t seem to be in that bad of shape.  He is also hairless where I am almost cruelly hairy.  My genetics have gone bad, and have played a terrible joke on me making me look like some sort of Sasquatch gorilla cross breed.  It just isn’t right, but I am used to it by now and have come to terms with my unnatural hairiness, and now I wouldn't have it any other way.

No, the similarities between Shrek and myself aren’t physical, but I can still see them and I can totally relate to Shrek and how he reacts to certain things.  Like Shrek, I think it is the greatest thing to wake up to a giggling little runt, I hate children’s birthday parties, I tend to throw tantrums, and I also say things that I don’t mean when I get angry.  But, unlike Shrek, I have never gotten tired of hanging with my baby boy, I have never wished to go back in time to a point when I had no responsibilities, and, most of all, I don’t feel like less of a man now that my life has changed because I am a dad.  But, I know plenty of fathers that would feel like that or do.  I just don’t understand why.  Being a daddy rocks!

Since, when does taking other people into consideration emasculate anyone?  Sure, it’s easier if the only person you have to think about is yourself, but isn’t it a little pathetic too?  I don’t know.  I guess it boils down to the fact that I don’t really know what makes a man manly.  It is a confusing concept to me.  I always thought that just peeing while standing up was enough.  Now, I am not so sure anymore! 

I am relatively certain that being man has nothing to do with being belligerent or forceful or being the quintessential tough guy that we see in the movies.  You know what I am talking about right?  The type of guy who doesn’t take any crap from anybody.  If you don't know what I am talking about go an rent any film that Mark Wahlberg is starring in, or better yet watch something with Clint Eastwood in it.  

Well, I hate to say it, but I think that most of the guys that tend to act like those types of characters are more or less spoiled assholes, and I am not positive, but I don’t think that being a self-centered ass makes anyone more manly.  But, to be fair, I also don’t think being manly is all that important anyway.  After all, I sing show tunes while dancing around with the little man all day.  I have heard that that kind of thing is definitely not manly, but maybe I've gotten bad information.  

Anyway, besides the whole being like an ogre/man thing, I can definitely relate to how Shrek feels, and I am willing to bet that most other people can too.  I guess there is a little bit of an ogre in all of us.  Now, that is something to ponder.

P.s. Yes, I realize that Shrek is a character and not a real ogre because Ogres do not exist.  I just happened to be marveling at how the creators of the Shrek franchise could make their character so life like and multidimensional. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Adult Onesie?

Not your everyday post today.  More of a product pitch than anything.  Keep an open mind,and eventually you will realize that this is the greatest idea you have ever heard.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wear a onsie?  I have, and I have come to the conclusion that it must be awesome!  You’d never have to worry about your shirt coming un-tucked.  You’d probably never even have to wear underwear again either.  How awesome would that be?

Well, I guess you could still wear your underoo’s, but they would be optional because the onesie almost has them built in.  But, something would definitely have to be done to stop the onesie from riding up the crack of your butt, which is surely to happen.  I have come up with an answer to that problem already.  Popsicle sticks.  Just glue them to the onesie around the area where your butt crack would be.  Problem solved. 

That just leaves us with the problem of making urination a little easier.  Having the buttons in the crotch is a cool idea, but as a whole I think we are all infatuated with doing things quickly.  That’s why I am developing a patent on a funnel system to sew into the adult onesie.  Or maybe I will just sew into the onesie reusable adult diapers so we can poop, pee, and work all while sitting at a desk or behind the wheel of a car or whatever.  It’s not only convenient, but it is also environmentally conscious too.

I know what you are thinking, “What a great Idea!” right?  I bet you are wishing that you thought of it.  Well, guess what.  Because I am so lazy, I am perfectly willing to let someone else do all the work and take all the credit, and I will even volunteer myself as a test subject for the finished product. 

How great am I? 

How many grown men do you know that are willing to wear an adult onesie and possibly even an adult diaper in order to help you find any design flaws in a product that you are working on?  What can I say?  I am a nice guy!ow Ho

Friday, April 22, 2011

What am I Going to do About Farty Pants Here?

You know how people with dogs blame their silent but deadlies on their dogs?  Well, the same thing applies to people with children, and I am really certain that my family isn’t the only one that does this.  I have seen this kind of activity from multiple people in public, and I grew up in a household where my dad would rip ass and then blame it on whichever kid was nearest him.  It’s all in good fun right? 

Well, there comes a point where the shenanigans have to stop before someone ends up with a serious case of the brown trousers.  I bring this up, not because I have had the rare opportunity to watch a grown man poop himself in public, which I have seen before by the way and I don’t want to talk about it.  Let's just say it was horrifying!  I bring it up because there comes a point where your flatulence stops being funny and starts being disgusting. 

Not to me of course.  

I am perfectly willing to admit that I am horrendously uncouth.  I love a good fart joke or a good fart.  It is just funny to me, but I recognize that many people fail to see the humor in bodily functions such as that, but I don’t want any one to be offended.  Who am I kidding?  I don’t care if you get offended by it.  In fact, I care so little that I taught my cute, adorable little man to find his flatulence funny.  Just five minutes ago he was sitting on his potty and farting up a storm and laughing his tiny little butt off!  He would laugh and then fart because he was laughing.  It was too cute!  

But, that got me thinking…….. How much trouble is this likely going to create once he starts school?

You know, I always promised myself that when I was younger that if I had kids I wouldn’t try to make them conform just so they would fit in and be popular.  I wanted my baby to be an individual who is comfortable being whoever he is.   Well, now that I have a real honest to god baby boy on my hands, and in my heart, I realize that what I thought was all just bull crap!  

I had no idea what I was talking about then.  I had all these grand notions about how my child would be raised, but that was all crap because in reality I was just as clueless then as I am now.  There is so much to think about when you have a kid that you really can’t even fathom it all before you are holding your baby in your arms and loving it up.  

There are so many worries that magically appear the moment the baby pops out that I swear only occur to try and ruin your otherwise perfect day.  I remember at first worrying about how I am going to have "THE" talk with him before he was five minutes old.  Then my sanity returned, and I realized it was a little soon to worry about that.  Then I started worrying about the whole school thing, and I haven't stopped yet.  What am I going to do?

Of course I want my son to fit in!  I was stupid to even consider that I wouldn’t care if he did or not.  It isn’t like I care for my sake.  I care for his sake!  I remember how horrible other kids were in school.  Anybody who wasn’t “normal” was treated like yesterday’s trash and thrown out to the curb to be hauled away.  It was terrible, and I am sure it isn’t any different now!  Don’t you remember all the ignorant teachers who treated some of the kids poorly just because they were different and they could?  So you know that there are at least a few terrible teachers out there that aren’t above encouraging the ostracism that we all dreaded as children ourselves.  

So, now I am not really all that sure what to do.  Do I encourage my son to be an individual or do I try to stifle his personality with the hopes that he will fit in when he is a little older and going to school? 

I should hope that you all know already what I am going to do.

I am going to try a mixture of the two.  I am hopefully not going to stifle his personality in anyway, but I want to teach him that there are definite limits to what is acceptable behavior.  He needs to know that what is ok at home with his mom and da isn’t always going to be considered acceptable out in public, especially at school.  Sure, it would be nice to just let him be rambunctious and outspoken wherever he is, but that isn’t realistically feasible.  In the real world, that kind of behavior will get him into real trouble, and no teacher is going to like that. 

I can't believe that I am starting to get so apprehensive about this whole thing already because he is only 14 months old.  I keep asking myself, "Am I going to have to teach my little man to be two people at once?"  If I am, then this will be hard for me to teach him because I’m not sure how to go about it.  I am afraid that it might come across as being yourself is bad and being like everyone else is right.  I don’t want him to think that, but I also don’t want him to have a hard time in school either.  

Maybe I am thinking about it too much.  I don’t know, but I don’t want to wait and see what happens.  I want my son to be prepared for it.  I guess in reality the only real thing I can do is be willing to fight for his happiness.  And we all know that I am willing to do that!  All parents are willing fight for their kids.  All good parents anyway! I just hope it doesn’t come down to that too often.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Defeat is Grand!

I realized this morning while I was dancing and singing and goofing around with the little man that my house has been truly taken over.   Everywhere you look there is evidence of a child.  You look in the living room and there are so many toys that they can’t all be put away nicely.  In the kitchen there are pieces of train track almost everywhere.  Evidently, there was a high speed crash that I missed.  There is even a mini vacuum cleaner next to the big one so the little man can vacuum with me if I ever get around to it.  It amazes me at how much stuff the boy has accumulated in only 14 months.  It also amazes me at how messy little boys can be, and that is coming from me a messy big boy.

I can’t tell you how awesome this all makes me feel.

    Yes, I said awesome and not awful.  Believe it or not, dada likes to play with his baby boy, and we have a great time almost every day having pretend tea parties and being train conductors and race car drivers.  The best part of it is that I don’t feel any pressure to pick up afterwards because I am fairly certain that it is a hopeless cause.  I’ll pick up but in five minutes all the toys will be out anyway.  But, that doesn’t matter because it is so much fun to play with my son that it is worth the mess.  But, today, I felt like being able to walk to my couch without tripping, that and I would kind of like to find my dvd remote that has been lost somewhere.  For some reason, I thought that if I found a spot for some of these toys I’d be able to find the remote. 

So, I started putting all the little man’s toys away.  As soon as I started I heard a squeal of laughter and then noticed that all the toys I put away were strewn helter-skelter throughout the room again.  With a sigh I picked them back up only to find that the rest of the toys magically were tossed about too, and right in the center of it all was my son smiling impishly.  It was obvious that I wasn’t going to win this game, so I decided to take a break, which isn’t what my boy wanted me to do because  as soon as I sat down admitting my defeat the little madman came after me with a pool noodle and started beating me about the head like the little brute he is.

It was great fun! 

Then before I knew it a wrestling match broke out.  I would like to say that I won, but that would be lying.  I think he got me on points in the end.  He may be small, but he is more than tenacious enough to make up for it.  So, that makes two times today that I have had to admit defeat.  That’s ok.  I am used to it.  Playtime with my son is more important to me than being able to get to the couch without tripping.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Super Dad Status!

I realized something today while the little guy and I were at the park.  No, it wasn’t the usual realization that I was the only daddy there.  I realized that I must have missed a memo or something declaring today the official take your sibling to the park day.  To be fair, the older children might have been the parents of the younger ones, but I am going to hope and believe that they were siblings for my own benefit.

At first I thought the problem was that we tried a new park that happened to be not as as cool as our regular park for the little man.  Well, it was cooler for older kids to play in because there were a lot more big kid slides and what not, but for my little 14 month old there wasn’t a lot of appeal.  The real problem was that there weren’t any of those little kid swings that he loves so much, and he isn’t big enough for the regular swings yet.  Besides that, it was a wicked park.

Anyway, we didn’t stay too long at that park.  We didn’t leave because I was the only parent there.  We left because the other kids didn’t want anything to do with the little man.  One of the littlest ones even told him that they didn’t want to play with him and weren’t going to.  They were just mean.  My son ran up to them and tried to run and play, but they all just ran away from him.  When he followed they basically told him to get lost.  It made me mad, but since they weren’t my kids I couldn’t really say anything to them, so I ended up taking my crying baby boy to our regular park where the kids seem to be a little nice.  It was a heart wrenching experience for me because as a parent I want everyone to love my boy as much as I do, and it really hurts when I see little kids being mean to him and refusing to play with him.  But, that is just how it goes.  You can't make everyone like you.

Well, by the time we arrived at our regular park the little man was happier and so was I, but I immediately realized that I was the only parent there too.  “Oh no!” I thought.  I was worried that these youngsters would be mean too, but that was nothing I had to worry about.   As soon as we left the parking lot we were pretty much mobbed.  I don’t know how many little kids came at us but it was fun.  Honestly I can’t remember a time when I had more fun.  It was me playing with 10-15 little kids and my baby boy while a few teenagers watched thinking that they were way too cool to play too. 

It was at this time that I realized that my theory that as long as my little man was around I could do just about anything was correct.  I was running and jumping and rolling in the grass.  It was awesome!  I felt like a super dad!  Then one of the teenage boys said something to me that totally bummed me out.  I felt so bad after wards I didn’t really know what to do or say.  It is funny how just a few words can change your day or even your life sometimes.

Anyway, while I was playing with my baby boy and his new friends a young man that might have been between 13-15 years old came over to me and started talking to me.  He sat down on the grass and told me that his dad would never act so childish and foolish.  He told me that he couldn’t remember a time when his dad ever played with him or his brothers and sister.  Then he said that my little man was so lucky and that he would do anything to have a dad like me.  

I didn’t know what to say.  I wanted to cry because I felt so bad for this young man who was obviously hurting in some way, but I couldn’t because I am a grown man.  We aren't supposed to cry, but in reality we all do at some point.  Most of us will just never admit it. 

Then it struck me.  What this young man said to me was possibly the greatest compliment that anyone could ever give me.  I’ll never forget it as long as I live.  I ended up responding to his great compliment by doing the only thing that felt right.  I gave the kid a man hug.  You know what I am talking about.  I put my arm around his shoulders and squeezed him like my dad used to do to me when I was a youngster.  You'll never guess what happened next. The little punk eyed my cane and challenged me to a stroller race!  

What the hell!  

I was so startled by this that I didn’t say anything.  Then I looked at him and I saw that he thought that he had made a mistake.  

Eventually, I said, “Hell Yeah I’ll race your punk ass!”  

Apparently, that wasn’t what he expected me to say at all be cause he immediately started laughing almost uncontrollably, but I was serious.   Dead serious.  Soon I found myself strapping the little man in and making sure he was in there nice and securely because I wasn’t going to hold back.  I was in it to win it!

As we waited for this young stranger and his little sister to strap into their stroller we were busily discussing what the race track perimeter would be.  Eventually, we decided that we would simply run along the perimeter of the playground, which might have been 200 meters or so.  Well, before we knew it we were off, and I couldn’t believe that I was beating this kid.  We rounded the first turn and he was nowhere in sight.  At the second turn he had caught up and my boy and his sister were laughing so hard that I could hardly hear anything but their maniacal giggling.  By the third turn we were neck and neck with him on the inside.  There was only one corner left.   That’s when I broke out and I actually won this silly little race.  I won't lie.  I felt pretty good about myself.  “Not bad for a fat man who walks with a cane” I thought.  Then my stupid left leg and arm decided to say enough was enough.  I fell down and sat next to my little one in his stroller trying desperately to pretend that I did it on purpose and could get up at any time.  Sometimes having a genetic disease is just so damned inconvenient!  

Well, anyway, apparently I wasn’t fooling anyone, and I could tell by the way he looked that the kid I raced felt really bad about it, but I told him not to worry I would be alright in a moment or 2 and that it was nothing that he did.  Then he said, “I really wasn’t expecting you to be so fast!”  quickly followed by, “If I hadn’t tripped on my own feet at the end I would have beaten you though.”  

I don’t think he tripped at all.  I am pretty sure that he let me win.  He might not realize it, but he gave me a chance to feel like “Super Dad” for a few moments after that impromptu race, and I doubt he will ever know how much I appreciated it.  Everyone needs to feel like a super hero now and then.  Today was my day I guess.  I can really think of a way to thank him for that, but I hope that one day he realizes how awesome it was for me, and I hope that if he has children he will get the chance to feel like "Super Dad" himself.   

I hope I get a chance to see that young man again.  It isn’t often that you get a chance to meet such a good kid who isn’t really a kid.  I am not sure how to say it, but in a lot of ways I believe that that young man is just as mature as I am maybe even more so.  I am so glad to have had the chance to meet him.  He not only gave me the best compliment I could ever receive, but he also gave me my  “Super Dad” status for the day.  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Gender Molds: Not All of Us Want to be Princesses and G.I. Joe's

One thing that has perplexed me for some time now is the propensity for some parents to force gendered stereotypes on their children.  I just don’t get it.  Why do so many of us insist on making our sons and daughters act like anything but children?  They'll have the rest of their lives to act feminine or masculine.  Just let them be kids while they can.

Shouldn't our youngsters feel free to be themselves while they are young?  They shouldn't have to worry about acting like a proper young man or young woman.  They shouldn’t have to worry about dressing properly and looking right.  Let them be kids for crying out loud!  If your son wants to play dress up let him.  If your daughter wants to go fishing or hunting take her out with you.  I am willing to bet that once your kids get older they aren't going to want to spend as much time with you anymore, so you might as well spend the little time you do have with them doing things that they enjoy.  

I am bringing this up because I went to the park yesterday and had a terrible time.  While we were there my little boy tried to play with two little girls, but they weren’t allowed to do much.  Their mother designated which areas of the playground were appropriate for little girls and which were for little boys.  The entire time this lady would be saying things like, “Princess, little girls don’t run.” or she would say “Tiara, the slide is a boys toy.”  

Yep, that’s right.  Apparently, little girls aren’t supposed to use the slide or the swings or play on the rope or the merry-go-round or above all they are not supposed to run.  I guess that is considered the most un-lady like activity of all.  What made me really sad was that these little girls couldn't have been older then three and four.  

Anyway, I soon found myself wondering why even bring your kids to the park if you won’t allow them to play and have any fun.  It just seemed cruel to me.  If all these kids are allowed to do is jump rope and play hopscotch why tempt them with an entire playground by taking them to the park?  What is that all about?

Well, it wasn’t long before another mother with her little daughter asked this lady  this same question as well as how this seemingly crazy mom determined which objects were alright for boys and which were fine for little girls.  The answer was, “Well, little girls shouldn't do anything that might result in their dresses flying up and showing their panties.” that all?

Then the other mom said, “Well, why not just dress them in jeans and sneakers then?”

The reply was a simple, “Little girls don’t wear pants.”  There was a really weird emphasis on the "don't wear" that I found a little frightening.  She made it sound like girls that wear pants are a disgusting unnatural thing.  But, maybe I was just reading too much into it.  She probably meant that her girls won’t wear pants, which isn't an unheard of phenomenon.  Anyway, I don’t know how she meant it, but  the lady asking the questions got seriously offended.  I guess she thought that the crazy mom was judging her or something because her little girl was wearing jeans and a sweat shirt.  

Anyway, it got uncomfortable fairly quickly so the little man and I moved from the main play area over to the slides away from all the turmoil.  I am glad that I kept my mouth shut because I am fairly certain that I am going to run into both of these women and their children again, and I don’t want to be caught in the middle of any kind of argument involving their parenting styles.  That could never be a good thing. 

After witnessing that little episode, I started thinking about what that woman would say if she knew that I let, no encouraged, my little man to play with a pink tea set.  It is an awesome toy!  He loves to play with it and pour the fake tea onto the floor.  The teapot even speaks to him and strongly emphasizes using good manners.  It says things like, "Could I have some more please." and "Oooh, why thank you!" It's great!  I am really happy we managed to find a toy like that.  

Now, I am not going to lie and say that I wouldn’t have picked out a "manlier" toy if there was an option of one.  But, if there was one I don’t know if my son would have liked it as much as his little pink tea pot anyway.  It is hard to say.  All I really know is that if my son really enjoys playing with his teapot, then it is fine with me.  

I don’t really care what he plays with as long as he is happy while he is doing it.  If he decides he wants a Barbie that’s fine.  I am not going to try and talk him into the male equivalent, G.I. Joe, if that is what he wants.  I would just try to find a cheaper knock off version of Barbie because they are wicked expensive!

With all this in mind, I am glad to say that at least our culture is starting to progress, albeit slowly, from forcing our children to into these strict, gender molds.  You can see the evidence of this progressiveness when you are out shopping.  Take a few moments to notice the kids around you.  You might just see  a few of the boys singing and dancing in the aisles to whatever the latest “Glee” song is.  Yeah it is annoying, but at least it is better than watching a pathetic youngster try to act big and bad.  

You know, I am a little jealous even when I see this because when I was younger we didn’t dare get caught singing and dancing no matter how much we loved to do it.  That kind of thing was likely to get one labeled “fruity” and beat up.  It is nice to see that song and dance seems like an acceptable method for youngsters of all sexes to express themselves.  I hope we continue this trend of open mindedness as a society.  It is about time that we pulled ourselves out of these old ruts that were the norm for so long.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ditching the Plans

One of the things that I have noticed lately is that it is getting increasingly harder to try and plan anything as my son gets older.   If it’s not the weather that is screwing things up it is sure to be something else, and when new teeth are coming in you can forget about any kind of plans whatsoever.  I have never seen anyone change moods as fast as my little man changes his moods when he is teething.  One minute he’ll be the best little angel ever and then out of nowhere I have the demon baby from hell screaming and throwing a massive fit for seemingly no reason.  How can I take such a cranky toddler out and about?  It will only make him more miserable.  

So, with that in mind I have decided to plan as  little as possible from now on until my baby boy learns to speak and can tell me what is going on. 

Don’t get me wrong, we still go out and have fun at the park or go for walks and stuff, but I have to predict what he will be like when we do this.  I feel like a meteorologist trying to forecast the little man’s moods instead of the weather.  I envision myself standing in front of a green screen saying things like, "Today will be cloudy with a 70% chance of tantrums due to a rising molar, so we might have to forego todays shopping trip.  But, you never know really.  Today's forecast is a tricky one." 

I would like to say that I am always correct in my predictions, but we all know that that would be a lie.  In reality you can't possibly foresee someone's mood like that, and if I hit the mark three quarters of the time I feel extremely lucky because when I fail it is usually a miserably embarrassing failure.  

Let’s face it no one wants to own up to having the kid that screams inconsolably at the store or park or wherever.  Luckily, I usually get the hell out of dodge before that happens so no one can see what is going down, but there have been a one or two occasions when I wasn’t quick enough at the draw.  Let me tell you, it is really awkward to try and hobble out of a store while a toddler is screaming in your face and kicking at the same time.  That’s why when the little man starts to get uppity I tend to drop whatever it is I am doing and we end up leaving the store right away.      

Lately, another reason has developed that makes planning things in advance a little difficult.  The little man’s nap schedule has been thrown wickedly off.  He used to sleep from 8-10 in the morning then from 1-3 or 4 in the afternoons.  Well, now he sleeps whenever the heck he feels like it because he is a big boy, and no matter how much I try to coax him and how tired he really is he isn’t going to go down for a nap unless he feels like it.  He can be such a little monster sometimes!   I can't even really describe how wicked some of these fights about nap time get.  

Originally, I thought that the reason he started fighting naps so hard was because he is a little older now, around 14 months, and he might not need to sleep so much anymore.  Wrong!  He still needs his sleep and just as much of it.  He just is either too uncomfortable because of his new teeth coming in or he doesn’t want to admit being tired enough to actually fall asleep and be happy.  Either way, the end result sucks for both of us.  I end up with a cranky toddler sized hit man and he gets so tired that the poor fellow can’t even think straight.  I hear that it will get better soon, and I really hope that that is correct.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Why Did You Become Someone's Parent?

Have you ever been out and about and watched other people interact with their children who obviously don’t really want them?  You know who I am talking about it’s those moms and dads who are constantly yelling at their kids in the store when they really aren’t doing anything wrong or even worse those parents in Walmart who tell their kids that they are worthless or even worse.  Every time I see things like that I always wonder why even have kids if you never wanted them? 

Well, the answer came to me one evening when I was chatting with my wife.  She said, “People really only become parents for one of two reasons.  They either really want to have children or they think that having children is expected of them.”  When you put it that way it is almost like they think they have no choice.  How terrible is that?

Well, I have thought about what my honey bear said. (By the by I usually call my wife honey bear or Woobie Woo or something equally sicky sweet) You know what?  What she said really makes sense to me.  Most of the people I know have kids because they really wanted them, but I am sure that there a few people that had a kid because they thought that was what married people were supposed to do or something.  But, what about the people who didn’t think about children as a possible side effect before they started “bumpin’ uglies?”  We all know that that happens, and it probably happens a lot, but that doesn’t mean that you are going to be a bad parent if it happens to you.  In fact, I firmly believe that how you become a parent has little to do with what kind of a parent a person is.  It all depends on whether or not you love your kids and can take care of them. 

So, there are really 3 different reasons that people become preggers and have babies; they either really want to have a baby; think that they are supposed to have a baby; or they don’t think about it at all. 

Honestly, I believe that no matter what the circumstances were when my son arrived in this world I would love him to pieces.  Somehow, he just makes our lives a little more complete, a little better.  You know, my wife and I spent a lot of time thinking about him and what he would be like even before we started trying to conceive.   We planned and planned until we finally couldn’t wait any longer, so we were one of the types that definitely thought about it before we had the little man, but did we really want him or did we have him because it was expected of us?  Well, of course we really wanted him!  The wait for him nearly broke our hearts, but believe me it was worth it.  Neither my wife nor I am the type to do something as big as have a baby because it is expected of us.  We had our little man because we wanted him dearly.  

Now, that doesn't mean that the people who didn't plan their babies or the people who had their kids because that is what they thought they were supposed to do don't love their kids just as much as I love mine.  It just means that the impetus for having their baby was different, nothing else.  I just find it interesting to think of the various reasons of why people have  children, and I like to categorize things.  It amuses me.  

Now I'd like you to ask yourself this question. If you have kids what made you decide to become someone's parent?    

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Unsolicited Advice

I have often wondered where some people get the misconception that experience equals knowledge and expertise.  It seems like whenever I go out anywhere alone with the little man somebody says “Trust me I have like 6 kids.  I know what I am talking about.”  But, most often their advice is so off the wall insane that it is utterly useless.  In fact, it is often so bad that it makes me wonder how their kids survived thus far.

Also, I am never going to listen to anyone who has six kids anyway because they are probably insane, and if those 6 children are running around a grocery store wreaking havoc forget about it!  To even think about having six children you’d have to be crazy.  It’s just too many, and just because you have six unruly little bastards doesn’t make you an authority on child rearing!  I guess I am just getting a little fed up with people pestering me about how I interact with my son when I am out in public.  Maybe I’m too sensitive or a little too harsh on other people.  I don’t know, but, nonetheless, I am tired of it.

Yesterday, I went to the grocery store, and like always I was playing with the little man.  I can’t help it.  I love to play with him.   Anyway, I was tickling him and kissing on him making him giggle and squeal.  It was awesome!  We were having a great time.  Then this gigantic woman with scads of children made a bee line over to me while I was ordering lunch meat from the deli counter.   At first, she was telling me how beautiful my son was.  That didn’t bother me, but she continued to tell me that I was teaching him to misbehave by playing with him in the store.  She said, “You’ll have to trust me because I have six kids.  I know what I am talking about.  If you play with that baby like that he will never learn to respect you when you are out in public.”  How the hell does that make any sense?!

I looked around and watched her kids climbing on the shelves and running around and screaming, and asked “Is that where you went wrong?”

“Never. I would never play with my kids like that in public!”  She said

After she said that, I pointed to her misbehaving children and said, “Well, maybe you should have!”

I was pretty torked.  There is nothing worse than receiving unsolicited advice from a stranger on how to parent your kid.  I know that she was just trying to help, but she wasn’t making any sense, and to be frank, I am a little sick of random people coming up to me only to tell me how I should parent my baby.  What I really want to know is how does playing with your infant in public teach them to be disrespectful when they are older?   Is there a difference between private and public play?  Am I missing something here?  It just doesn’t make any sense, which is precisely why I think that woman was most likely insane due to having too many children.  I don’t even know why I am so torked about it.

Anyway, after I calmed down in a few minutes I began to wonder if I was doing something wrong.  I back tracked a little and determined that all I was doing before she confronted me was either saying “Uh oh! Daddy’s a tickle monster!” while I tickled the little man’s ribs and feet or saying “Now daddy’s a kissy monster!” and then I would kiss his cheeks and forehead.  What is wrong with doing that in a grocery store?  

I don’t know.  Seems rather harmless to me.

The other thing that continues to bother me is why on earth would anybody go up to a complete stranger and tell them that they are parenting their kids wrong.  I could understand intervening if somebody was actively hurting their child, but other than that why bother?  What good is it really going to do?  No one ever listens to advice that they don’t ask for.  So what made her think that I would care about what she had to say?  Again, I believe that she was crazy and had some sort of god complex or something.  I wanted to tell her that if she going to offer unsolicited advice she should at least make sure that she was good at what she was offering advice about because it appeared to me that she was a pretty pathetic parent.  I mean really.  Who allows their children to climb store shelves and run around a store like that?  I don’t care if you do have six kids.  That is no excuse.

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's Confirmed. I'm a Fatty!

I am in a quandary.  As parents we all try to teach our children that ever body is different and that it is good thing to be different.  We try to teach our kids not to be hateful or hurtful to others because of these differences, whether they are visible or not, but at the same time we want them to be healthy and average in appearance so they won't get picked on or have other hooligans make them feel bad about themselves.  I guess what I really mean is that we don’t want  our kids to be fat and be made to feel bad about it really.  

The reason I bring this up is because at my last doctor’s visit I had confirmation that I was indeed fat.  Apparently, I wasn't surprised enough, which got me a lecture on what being a fatty could mean.  I stopped listening up until the point where I was sure he said something about being refused admittance to the all you can eat buffets.  That would suck!  

Seriously though, what my good doctor, who I really like, failed to realize is that I already knew I was a fatty.  I didn't need his confirmation.     I am just not that worried about it.  I am fairly happy with who I am, and I don't believe that there is anything wrong with being fat.  Apparently, I am wrong to think like this though.  

In fact, I am so wrong about the gravity of this situation, which is fairly strong because I am a huge fatty, that my good doctor wrote me a letter and sent it through the mail as a friendly little reminder to me that I was fat.  So, in response I did what I know best.  I ate it!  Because screw him that's why!  No, I didn't really eat the letter, but I did think to myself, "Thank you, but I am not sure that I needed a reminder doctor man.  I don't think that my fatness is something that I am likely to forget somehow.  But, I guess you never know."

Anyway, now I am trying to lose weight in earnest and I am hoping that I can do it before the little man starts asking questions.  Well, really all I am doing differently is cutting out all the snacking I do, which isn't really a big deal.  But, now I am wondering how I am going to tell my son that there are all sorts of different people and we shouldn’t judge anyone on their appearance but on their actions when I am trying to change my appearance because a doctor told me that I am morbidly obese?  I am not even really sure why I am trying when my doctor even said that my obesity didn’t necessarily mean that I am unhealthy.  He really said that I might feel better if I was thinner.  I think he really meant that I would be better to look at if I was thinner, but maybe I was reading too much into it.  He assured me that wasn't what he meant at all, but would be true all the same.  You see that is why I like my new doctor so much!  He has a sense of humor!  You don't find that in a lot of doctors. 

Anyway, it may be true that I would feel better if I lost weight , but I am pretty sure that I don't feel bad because I am fat.  I feel bad because I have a genetic disease that makes me feel sick a lot of the time.  I admit I also have high blood pressure that may be caused by my extraordinary fatness, but my doctor said that there was a chance that it wasn't because of my obesity at all.  It might be genetic or something.  Either way, losing some weight wouldn't hurt.

Back to my real predicament.  What I need to know is should I teach my son that people of all shapes and sizes are fine and deserve respect because there really is no normal when it comes to appearance, or do I teach him that it is ok for people to look different as long as they aren’t fat because fat is gross and probably unhealthy?   It isn't hard to tell which I am going to teach to my baby boy because a person's weight is really no means of determining their overall health, and I am surely not going to allow my son to think poorly of someone just because they are heavy.  How superficial is that?  Besides, I would never want my son, or anyone really, to feel bad because of their weight or how they look.  That just isn't right.  If you are happy the way you are why should anyone else care?  It's none of their business.