Hi, My Name Is…

My boy is a genius! Seriously, he is a Albert Einstein, Galileo type genius. We bought the Fisher Price “Baby’s First Blocks” set. It’s basically a box with different shaped and colored blocks that fit through the appropriate shaped openings on the lid. So far he just does the basic baby stuff with it. Sticks to his favorites. Waves them in the air. Puts them in his mouth. However, the other day he did something remarkable. My wife (MM) and I sat on the floor with him and his blocks. As he banged away with them we took turns teaching him the colors of the blocks and pointing to the hole with the matching shape. Then it happened. He picked up the red triangle, looked at the holes, looked at the triangle, and gently placed the block through the correct triangle-shaped hole. He’s only 8 months. GENIUS! Doogie Howser has got nothing on Donny! My wife (MM) and I clapped and yelled and applauded. Right before I could get up and grab the champagne from the fridge he erupted. Shocked and frightened he screamed and lunged for his mommy. We’re starting to learn that babies don’t appreciate sudden loud and aggressive displays of affection. I can’t blame him. I don’t think I would care for huge people screaming and clapping at me every time I put my keys correctly into the door as opposed to my mouth. When I really think about it, me and my son are similar in a lot of ways. So, what better way to introduce myself, then through him.IMG_4028
More and more I’m beginning to realize that Donny is a chip off the old handsome block. For one, I’ve never been a big sleeper. Neither is my son. At the latest he’ll sleep in until 7:30. Let me repeat that. At the latest. On occasion he’s up at 6. I’ve always been a late to bed early to rise guy. In a good mood and ready to go at the crack of dawn. Which is working out great for this drastic lifestyle change called parenthood. My wife (MM) has never said anything but I’m sure she finds it slightly annoying. MM is the complete opposite. The poor woman hasn’t slept late in a year. She loves sleep. Cherishes it. She once slept through an entire 7 night Caribbean vacation. Practically. In my opinion.

Donny and I also don’t care for eating old dead animal carcasses. We’re fruit and veggie guys. A few weeks ago I made a delicious puree of chicken, carrot, and potato. He loved it initially but hasn’t cared for it since. Which is like me. I gave up meat 13 months ago. For no other reason than it didn’t taste good to me anymore, just like Donny. I thought after a little break I would go back but it never happened. 13 months later I realize I’ll never eat meat again. I feel better now then I’ve ever felt in my life. Over the past year I’ve developed a real passion for the health benefits of not eating other animals. As my best friend, Doc, has said “[I’ve] become one of those annoying militant vegetarians.” I think he’s right.

Donny is becoming a homebody. His body seldom actually leaves the home. Same as me. A few months after Donny was born, my wife, Mommy Moneybags(MM), decided the best caretaker for her child was right under her nose. Or shall we say right on top of oh nevermind. The point is that after countless dead-end jobs it was time for me to take on my greatest challenge. My first meaningful job. Watching and raising the most precious thing she’s ever held. Let that sink in. She choose me. It’s an honor. A privilege. I’ve never felt so much pressure in my life. I really can’t screw this one up. The great thing is I’m starting to discover that I’m actually pretty good at this. I can totally do this. And do it well. I can raise a child that’s smart, confident, healthy, and most importantly I can raise him to be a positive contributor to the world we all share. I can be the Michelangelo of fathers. And that’s exactly what I plan to do.

There’s more to that story about the blocks. Soon after Donny put the triangle-shaped block into the correct hole he grabbed the second triangle and attempted to bang and force it through the square hole. After a few unsuccessful tries he lost interest. So much for my genius. He then began searching for his favorite block. The blue circle. Seeing it trapped inside the box with the lid firmly placed on top I could see his face drop. Defeat began to well up under his eyes. I couldn’t stand seeing him this way. I began to move toward the box but before I could get close enough he put his hand out to me, open palmed, strong, and confident. Like Babe Ruth calling his shot.** He looked me right in the eye as if to say, “I got this.” Then like a crazed mix between Godzilla and King Kong he ripped off the yellow unattached lid that stood between him and his ultimate goal. He then threw it to floor and ROARED at it in a way that can only be described as the T-Rex from Jurassic Park mixed with Howard Dean’s campaign killing scream of ’04. He then stared at his prize. I could see the wheels turning. He was considering his options. He slowly placed both hands on the side of the exposed red box and threw it as far as he could! Blue and yellow and red and purple pieces flew in every direction. Every block was now available to him. They were free. Next he slowly crawled to the blue circle he originally sought and stuffed it into his mouth. Then it hit me… he IS a genius! He’s a liberator! He’s a freedom fighter!!!

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** He might have just been trying to steady himself. He’s still learning to balance the enormous size and weight of his head with the gravitational pull of the floor.

THREE THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – If I’m going to let my son play around on the bed with me…DO NOT fall asleep. I can’t elaborate. MM reads this.
  2. Being a stay-at-home dad gives me a lot of time to graze. Like a cow in an endless field of grass. It’s not always junk food but I’m constantly eating none the less. My son sees this. Daddy stuffing his face at all hours of the day. Am I setting a bad example? Should I start hiding a stash of vegetables, fruits, and cheez-its in the bathroom?
  3. Sports Minute – The World Cup is upon us! I will be glued to the television for the next 5 weeks. Not to watch the USA though. Sorry to inform you casual fans but we’re probably going 0-3 and out. Our preliminary group opponents include: Germany – one the best teams on the planet. Currently ranked #2 in the world. My pick to win it all. Portugal – always a strong team which just happens to have arguably the best player of this generation in his prime. Christiano Ronaldo. And he’s really good-looking. I’ll admit it. And last but certainly not least, Ghana – on paper they’re the US’s best chance for a win. Too bad Ghana has eliminated the USA from the past two World Cups. Sport that red white and blue while you can. I have a feeling we’ll be out in a hurry.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the second edition of Daddy Day By Day. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Talk to you soon…

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I Got 99 Problems But A Bib Ain’t One

The morning my son was born I posted a photo from The Lion King to my Facebook page. I’m reminded of this today while watching my son attack a spoonful of sweet potato. Like a lion cub devouring a gazelle my boy has no regard for flavor, patience, or cleanliness. He accentuates this point by ripping down his bib after every satisfying mouthful. Right before tossing it to the floor and smearing sweet potato from his mouth unto every bit of the table he can reach. Ahh, the Dadlife. Because his verbal skills haven’t quite develop yet over the past 7 months I am left to ponder the meaning of this. Is it satisfaction? Or is it protest? The baby rights movement of 2014? As a first time Dad of an amazing little boy I feel it’s my duty to decode these things. To understand him. To make sense of all his baby behaviors and ramblings. Thus far these are the three things keeping me up at night:
1. Rasberrying – At first I thought he was bored…with me. Showing it in the most blatantly boorish way possible. Just being a real baby jerk about it. Fortunately, my wife(MM) came to the rescue of my ego and said that it couldn’t possibly be that. There’s no way he could have discovered the lameness of his father’s jokes and dancing so soon. Instead I’ve decided that he has simply discovered his own spit. Not only that, Donny(my son) has discovered that he can produce an endless supply. So far it looks like he plans on storing it in my shirt and on my face. Dadlife. If we don’t get through this phase soon Donny is going to flood the house. Should I be worried?
2. Baby Dancing – Normally this shouldn’t be an issue that needs my attention. Normally babies dance to the appropriate baby approved jingles. Not my boy. He does get really excited for The Hotdog dance on Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse. He even likes to groove back and forth to Boogie Nights by Heatwave. However, lately he has become entranced with a different soothing melody. A television commercial for Captain Morgan white rum. For several months one of my favorite programs, Pardon The Interruption, has been sponsored by Captain Morgan. They have religiously been running a commercial featuring the song Double Bubble Trouble by M.I.A. While I initially thought he liked the song I have come to conclusion that it is the actual commercial he enjoys. Either Donny is mesmerized by the hypnotizing combination of color and sound that this high-definition slow motion commercial provides, or his happy hour starts somewhere around 5:30EST and he’s waiting for me to mix him up a drink. Captain and milk? Should I be worried?
3. Fake cough/ laugh? – At first it was funny, then kind of cute. Then it got troubling. Was it asthma? Some allergy? The asbestos in the house?!?!? Don’t worry, there is no asbestos in our home. The trouble is MM and I don’t know if it’s a real cough or just a noise he likes to make. Often it sounds like a laugh and is accompanied with his smile. He does seem quite amused with himself when he does it. And he does it all the time. It’s difficult to imitate and he won’t do it on command making it impossible to replicate for our pediatrician. I am admittedly at a loss with this one. Should I be worried?

In the 7 months I’ve been a father there have been countless highs and zero lows. Sure there has been rough days but in the end it’s never that bad. As I continue to try to decode this rubric cube that is my son I have to remember not to worry about every little thing he does that I can’t figure out. I’m learning that to be a parent is to worry, but worry just holds you back.

“Much human misery arises from people despairing over things that despair cannot help. We should not worry about things that no amount of worrying will resolve. The important thing is to build a golden palace of joy in our hearts that nothing can disturb.” – Daisaku Ikeda

THREE THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – Invest in bibs with higher quality velcro in the back
  2. MM and I became interested in seeing the film Fed Up (fedupmovie.com). A documentary challenging Americans to break our addiction to sugar. 2 days later she baked a chocolate pie. It was delicious.
  3. Sports Minute – My beloved Oakland Raiders drafted 3 defensive backs in the 2014 draft. They have drafted 17 defensive backs in the last 10 years. 1 has panned out. 1!!! May the curse finally be broken.

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Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the first edition of Daddy Day By Day and I plan on writing many more. If you have any questions, comments, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to share. Talk to you soon…