Archives for category: Humor

Grayson is a funny little guy. He’s also a surprising little guy. I’m always shocked at how he develops, and watching his development is one of the best part of being a parent. But, you can’t help but to worry when you’re friends with other parents on Facebook, and in life (weird that I thought of Facebook before real life), and you see them make posts about their children doing things yours aren’t. The one that always bugged me the most was, “So and so took 5 steps today!” “My kid stood all on his own and took 4 steps.”

I know you’re not supposed to compare your kid to another, and I know that all kids eventually do everything. I can’t think of one of my friends who still crawls instead of walks. But, when I saw Grayson holding onto things walking, or pushing things walking behind them, I couldn’t help but to be like, “Dude, you can walk, so do it!”

But, looking back on the past 13 or so months, Gray never did things normally. He started rolling over super early, and once he started he wouldn’t stop. He started sitting up, and wouldn’t budge from sitting. And, he went from army crawl to bear¬† crawl, never doing normal kid crawls. So, we really shouldn’t have been surprised when he went from not walking, to full on walking.

I don’t mean step here fall, step here fall and so on. I mean, the kid is basically jogging. Sure, he gets distracted and runs into a wall here or there, but who doesn’t? The problem that we’re faced with now, is that it’s all he wants to do. He doesn’t want to stop walking, not even for a minute. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to go to restaurants, because he doesn’t want to sit for that long. One of us ends up walking him around the restaurant, which looks like we’re walking around fishing for compliments. “Look at my baby everyone! Yes… muahaha I know how cute he is! Oh, I know he’s such a good walker!!” Ugh, makes me feel like an asshole. But, like a proud asshole because my baby walks the shit out of that restaurant.

His teeth are also coming in, and man does that suck. He basically has half of his left front tooth. He looks like a little white trash baby. It’s hilarious, but at the same time I know it’s hurting him. You can just tell how much it sucks. We’re trying to give him frozen toys to chew on, but he tosses those aside. So, we’re now trying teething biscuits. Do I feel like I’m giving my son doggy biscuits? Yes. Am I actually giving my son doggy biscuits? Inconclusive.

Any tips are welcome. I hate seeing him like this.

Welcome to 14 months!

I’d like to start this off with a semi-related story. Dibs is starting the bath for Grayson, and I walk in to tell her to remind me to write a story about how much baby proofing sucks. I walk back into the kitchen to continue to sort out how to pry open the drawers. I suddenly get called back into the bathroom. Grayson is being held out by Dibs, naked, away from her body, and quickly hands him to me. As I grab him, plop. Poop on the bathroom floor. Shit got real.

Folks, it happens, so go ahead and start mentally preparing for it.

Baby proofing is the most annoying part of becoming a parent. And I say this with absolute confidence, as moments ago I was picking up human poo off the bathroom floor.

There are a few high level problems with baby proofing, which clearly I’m planning on listing below:

1. There is no such thing as eye-pleasing baby proofing… things. They’re all a shade of gray, or taupe, which is a decision someone thought was a good one. As much as I now regret our decision to not decorate our apartment with rubber, gray colored furniture, we live with our choices. Instead, we’re blessed with these rubber, round corners on the edges on all of our furniture. Sexy. (Granted, we’re buying these items from Target, but still…)

2. There’s a reason it’s been said over and over again, and I can now confirm it, the locks are friggin’ tough to unlock. The first set of locks we got, forget it, neither Dibs or I could pry it open. Now we have these zip-tie locks that I still can’t open.

I have an internal debate to get rid of the baby proofing things all together. He survived without it till his 1st birthday, he’ll be fine. I brought this up over the weekend, citing our youth as an example of surviving non-baby proofed living (I can’t confirm or deny that fact), and was quickly shot down.

Looks like we’re stuck with the unsightly protection for our child. Awesome.

Though, I’m still under the minority opinion that taking a few unprotected corners builds a strong, aware baby.

Today is a big day. Gray is 11 months old, and his parents have been married for 4 years. We’re celebrating with the most romantic trip to Harry Potter in IMAX 3D you’ve ever seen.

I’d say Gray’s 10th month of life was one of the more difficult ones he’s had. He’s learning things so fast, and seems to get frustrated quickly when he struggles. Thought I might try and break things down into 3 sections: The Good, The Bad and The Dirty.

The Good: Grayson survived his first weekend away from his mommy. As a dad, I can also say that I (barely) survived my first weekend away from his mommy. We had a blast! Mostly wrestling on the floor, rolling around and laughing. We visited family, and played constantly.
Also, Gray seems to be doing really, really well in daycare. They tell us he’s sort of the leader of the kids. Of course he is. My only beef is that it seems like he always comes home with poop all over his clothes (they’re in a bag, not still on him), which means I somehow get to clean that up. “Your stomach can handle the smell, honey.” “No… no it can’t.”
Gray also talks constantly. “Bacca bacca, dada, bacca.” All the time. No idea where he got that from.

The Bad: I touched on the bad, which is Gray exploding out of his diapers again. We’re also have issues with feedings. He seems to hate eating these days, which for him is weird. We’re introducing new foods, and he’s introducing new ways to not eat them. I’ll put a carrot in his mouth, and he’ll take a carrot out of his mouth. I’ll give him a bite of apples, and he’ll motorboat the apples.
Funny story: I got a haircut the other day after feeding Gray. The whole time I was feeding him (oatmeal), he’d motorboat and the oatmeal would go all over me. So, I’m getting a haircut and the dude says to me, “I hate to tell you this, but you have a lot of flakes in your hair.” “What?!!? I have never noticed, and that’s something I’d notice…. oh my God… Those aren’t flakes, they’re dried oatmeal my kid spit all over me.” Parenting!
The kid needs to eat, and it’s starting to become a major source of frustration for both him and us.
Lastly, he’s just having trouble with things that should be simple. Not sure if that’s what I mean, but diaper changes have become increasingly difficult. He’d rather be anywhere in the world other than on the changing table. We distract him with songs and toys, and have become fast change artists, but it’s still bothersome.

The Dirty: Eating leaves everyone and everything covered in food. It’s hilarious, but it’s still messy.
And, finally, now that he carries his toys everywhere with him, I’m constantly dodging toys, balls and books. I’m going to break my neck, I swear.

So, that’s about it. Our little 11 month old is growing up so damn quickly. The changes in his face, body and voice are incredible. Dibs noted last night that his laugh has changed, and he sounds more mature. I hate it. Stay a baby forever!

Gray turns 8 months in less than a week. 8 months! How is this remotely possible?

Last night I was feeding him apples, and I just couldn’t get over how quickly he’s growing up. He looks old. I mean, old for an 8 month old. His facial features are developing, his facial expressions are amazingly similar to mine and he hates peas.

I really need to post the peas video on Youtube. I promise I will and will repost here.

Let’s talk about his milestones, shall we?

At his point Gray is sitting with no problem. He’s not sitting on his own (meaning he’s not going from back to butt), but he’ll definitely sit there for long periods at a time with no help. He’s also able to get up on all fours now, and is seconds away from crawling. He’s really good at scooting himself backwards. It’s hilarious to watch. He looks like a honey badger. He’s also good at taking toys with him as he rolls around the apartment.

Gray has this insane focus, perhaps this normal, but he’s the first baby I’ve ever been around for 8 months straight. We play basketball. He’ll lay on his back, and I’ll hold this little basketball above him. He’ll grab it, get excited, I’ll take it away and say something like, “Daddy stole the ball!” and he’ll go into fits of laughter, then try and get the ball back. We do this for long periods of time, and each time he’s just as excited to get the ball back. It’s amazing (I think there’s a photo a few posts back of him with his basketball).

We recently stopped giving Grayson the pacifier all together. We braced ourselves for the worst. And, nothing. I don’t even think he remembers he ever had it. I had heard horror stories about taking the pacifier away from the baby. Well, we don’t have those stories, which is awesome, but probably not helpful for you.

Dibs and I have now entered into the great race of whose name he’s going to say first. Will it be Mama, or Dada? He’s gotten a Da out, and he’s gotten a Ma out, but no definitive Mama or Dada yet. We’re so close at this point, but I’m not sure how to put him over the edge! I’m shocked Dibs and I don’t have some sort of a bet going on about whose name is first. (We all remember our Birthday and Weight Pool. Congrats for winning that, Eman.)

Grayson’s absolute favorite thing in world is reading. He gets read to after his bath, and before his last feeding of the night. He absolutely lights up when it’s book time. We read him lots of Dr. Seuss (Fox in Socks is his fave), Shel Silverstein, Where the Wild Things Are, and books like the Very Hungry Caterpillar. But, nothing gets him as excited as when we get Goodnight Moon. Man, he lights up with the biggest smile when we get out Goodnight Moon. We always save it for last.

So, that’s it. 8 months. I just can’t believe it’s flying by this quickly.

We made the move from breast milk to formula. Well, not 100%, but formula is now in the mix. This, of course, didn’t come without a few tears from Dibs. But, I have to commend her. Her goal was six months of breastfeeding, and she surpassed it.

Breastfeeding was a struggle early on for her, and she worked tirelessly to do it right and not give up. This meant lactation consultants, and a range of frustrations. Once it clicked for those two, it really clicked. She earned her Silver Boobs (hilarious designation for 6 months of breast feeding), and she should be proud of her accomplishment. I think it definitely helped Gray, and help them bond even more.

Ultimately, with her new job she couldn’t keep up with the insane pumping schedule, and breast milk preparations are tough. Plus, we’ve been adding cereal and some foods into the mix in order to fill up our growing boy, so it’s not too bad that we’re weening him off breast milk.

Unless you have to change his diapers. Sweet mother of all things holy, people. His diapers now smell like something crawled into his butt and died. While eating at a restaurant with my parents Sunday, Gray relieved himself at the table. Dibs had yet to arrive, so I took him into the bathroom for a changing.

Quick tangent: It’s 2011. Dad’s change diapers now. Can we get an effin’ changing table in every bathroom at this point? I mean, really, I shouldn’t have to be stuck on a trendy sink counter trying to change my kid, at a not so trendy restaurant.

When I opened his diaper, I thought perhaps he had the cheese enchiladas, rice and beans instead of milk. As I’m changing him, another dude walks into bathroom, says, “Holy crap, I’ll wait till he’s out of here,” and leaves. Yep… this is my son.

In other Gray news, we’ve been working with him to get him to sit. He’s a good sitter when he’s paying attention, but Grayson seems to rather do things like eat his feet. And, when he’s sitting for a long time he gets super excited, laughs uncontrollably and falls down. It’s hilarious, yet not productive. He’s almost on the verge of crawling, as well. This is exciting only because it means Dibs is crawling around the apartment trying to show him how. Always funny.

Lastly, we’ve moved from the 2 diapers to the 3 diapers. Trust me. There’s no way the 2 can hold in the madness…

FACT: Every day morons raise children.

Every time Dibs or I were struggling with Gray, I either told her this reminder, or said it to myself. It’s an important thing to know.

Yes, morons successfully raise children every day.

You better believe poor people raise children every day.

And, even wolves have raised a kid or two.

I’ve found that reminding myself that I’m not the first person to experience the hard times, the frustrating times and the oh-my-god-he’s-still-crying times has helped me.

Welcome to parenthood Jeff and Jessica. Wait, that sounds like you guys are married. You’re not. You’ve never met, but you’ve both just become parents. So congrats!! Just remember, morons raise kids every day.

I was walking with Gray in the new and improved Baby Bjorn on Black Friday, as Dibs was taking a much needed nap, and an old Scottish woman approached me on Union St. “Oh, he’s a precious baby,” she said. “Oh, thank you very much.” “What’s his name?” she asked. “His name is Grayson.” She then said, “What a nice name. Fathers in my day didn’t do this, you know?” “You know, they didn’t do it in my day either,” I replied.

I keep running into this topic. The whole idea of Dad’s being all sensitive these days. I read a post by Natali Del Conte-Morris about The Era of the Sensitive Dad, and my mom talks about my involvement with Gray a lot. That’s really when I decided that perhaps I should tackle the subject.

Suffice it to say, my father wasn’t the best at being a father. This is something I’ve known from being older. Small things, like never changing a diaper, showing any real interest or really being affectionate were par for the course. Of course, my (Step) Dad was the exact opposite of that. He was/is hugely involved in my life and (as soon as we move home) Grayson’s life. Obviously, when modeling myself after who I wanted to be as a father, it was a no-brainer.

It just seemed natural to want to spend time with Grayson, and make sure Dibs was taken care of to the best of my abilities. And, with all honesty, to see the pride he has from filling a diaper, makes me just as proud. So, yay, whoo-hoo, I’m an amazing dad.

But, what about the other side of the coin? What is scaring me now is what my friend, Christian, brought to my attention.

In summary, are we turning our kids into pansy’s by being so involved and nurturing? When you look at athletes and successful men, they generally have one thing in common: being driven to succeed at a Hitler level, or just being completely abandoned by their fathers. We looked at examples of this, and it really started to take shape. Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, LeBron, every rapper, and every dude on Wall Street. The list goes on and on.

Perhaps the environment we’re creating for our sons is too easy, too nurturing, too sensitive.

Then, just like clockwork, my friend, Alison, posts a story about how trying to create the perfect environment for your child will make living with kid unbearable.

Can we, for a moment, flash back to the benign neglect of the 1970s and ’80s? I can remember my parents having parties, wild children running around until dark, catching fireflies. If these children helped themselves to three slices of cake, or ingested the second-hand smoke from cigarettes, or carried cocktails to adults who were ever so slightly slurring their words, they were not noticed; they were loved, just not monitored. And, as I remember it, those warm summer nights of not being focused on were liberating. In the long sticky hours of boredom, in the lonely, unsupervised, unstructured time, something blooms; it was in those margins that we became ourselves.

They’re right! I loved not being a micromanaged child. It gave me the freedom to make my own choices, for better or worse, and become a person. It’s a good article, you should read it.

A frequent discussion between Dibs and I is how we are going to handle the discipline of Gray when the time comes. Her concern is that she’ll be forced to be the tough one, because, well, you don’t earn the name Diabla without being a tough one.¬† Now I realize that this is a terrible idea!

Tonight when I get home, I’m making Gray go out to find a stick. That’s right, a stick to give him lashings with!

Or… maybe I’ll just continue to be an awesome dad, and hope for the best?

In an ideal world, I would never have poop on me.

This is not an ideal world.

No, this is a world covered in poop. I am the world. I am covered in poop.

I know what you’re thinking, “Toph, what’s the deal, buddy? Why can’t your kid keep it in his pants?” To be honest, I have no idea. We’ve tried so many different types of diapers. We’ve tried the Pampers Swaddlers and the Huggies Little Snugglers and still poop comes pouring out.

(Yes, you’re reading this correctly. Another edition of Gray’s poop stories)

His favorite place to poop seems to be on me. When I have him in the position that’s photoed in this post, forget it, he’s going to poop on me. As soon as I feel the rush of poo, I pick him up quickly and sprint to the changing table. Too late. I’m covered.

We do seem to have a bit more success with the Little Snugglers.

I think the biggest problem is the amount of poop Grayson produces. Seriously, when he lets it go it’s everywhere. When he goes more than day without pooping, our house is on Threat Level Red. Expecting parents prepare yourself. When these kids poop, it goes everywhere. It goes between their leg creases and under their huevos. The best part is when they start kicking their legs and get their feet in it. The whole thing escalates quickly. Next thing you know your kid is covered in poop and Brick killed a guy with a trident.

My steps to avoid this disaster (though futile) are:
1. Removing socks and pulling up onesie as high as I can.
2. Trying to clean his butt with the existing diaper as much as I can.
3. Holding his legs up while I get more wet wipes.
4. High pressured water hose.

When you’re traveling with him, I also recommend packing a few freezer bags in his diaper bag, plus an extra outfit (or two, depending how long you’ll be gone). The freezer bags help to protect the contents of the diaper bag after an explosion. Just be careful not to leave the poop-laden clothes in the diaper bag too long. Trust me. I opened a 2 day old bag, and it fried my nose hairs off. Sure, it was good to get rid of some unwanted nose hair, but there are better methods.

We had some pretty big steps in parenthood happen in consecutive days. I should probably tell you about them.

The first was on Sunday. Dibs, Gray and I got out of the house for longer than 2 hours. The second was Dibs leaving the boys home for her first girl’s night after Grayson was born.

On Sunday, a friend invited us over to his place to watch the Cowboys game. He lives about 3o minutes away in the North Bay, so we were a bit scared. We had milk supply, with an hours worth of traveling, plus you knew he’d be fussy considering it was our first extended trip. Surprisingly, Grayson was fine during the game, despite the abysmal showing from the Cowboys. We fed him right up until we left to his house, and we fed him a few hours into the game. He took down the bottle, and needed more, of course he did. No big deal, right? Marse had her Hooter Hider, and she feed him.

After the game, we had to stop by Babies R Us to pick up a breast pump (we’ve been renting). Inside of Babies R Us is when things got interesting.

I need to briefly preface this story. Leading up to Sunday, Grayson had not pooped in about 3 days. I know you now know where this is all headed. Naturally, we were concerned, since before this poop-lull Grayson had not gone 30 minutes without shitting (I just got a vision of him reading this at age 18 and being like, “Seriously, Dad? You told people about my poop habits?”). The doctor said that if it lasts over 7 days, then we should be concerned.

He starts getting really, really cranky inside of Babies R Us. So, I pick him to see if I can calm him down. “Weird, there’s something wet on my arm,” I think to myself. I pull him away to see an ocean of poop all over me and him. He exploded! There was poop everywhere. It was so bad we had to buy him new clothes. Hell, we threw away most of what he was wearing. Luckily, we were at Babies R Us, right? How all that poo was inside that little body I’ll never know. So I clean him off, clean myself off, change him, change myself (let’s be serious here) and he’s happy again. We’ve just had our first 5 hour excursion!

The next night, Monday, I finally convince Diabla to take a break and go meet some friends for dinner. Monday night was going to be Daddy/Gray night. We’d watch some Monday Night Football, maybe clean up the house a bit and perhaps we’d surprise her with a little treat when she came home for actually leaving the house.

It went really well. Let’s be honest, he slept most of the time in the Baby Bjorn. We watched the game (with my Fantasy Football season basically on the line), and we managed to make Dibs some Chocolate, Chocolate Chip cookies. He started getting pissed off, at what I still don’t know, so I fed him his bottle. The milk storage bags aren’t accurate with the ounces, did you know that? Me either. Thanks to that new fact, I suppose I didn’t give him enough. Here I’m thinking he’s just taken out 4 and half ounces. Well, he didn’t. So I give it all to him. Still though, he’s not happy and none of my tricks are working.

Thankfully, Dibs came home, and he was immediately quiet. Once she held him, all was right in Gray’s world. Either he was really happy to see her, or was totally done with me.

We’re a month in, and things are finally seeming like they’re getting relatively close to normal.

By relatively close, I mean, not even remotely close to normal…

Every dad I’ve talked to is always telling me how they like to bond with their kid without having boobs.

Have you ever seen a group of people more desperate to have boobs? It kills me every time I’ve heard a dad mention it. “Sure she can feed him and all, but you can, too. They have bottles, you know.” Or, “I like to rock him to sleep, since I can’t feed him to sleep like someone can.” The jealousy is astounding. The only other group of people who understand this type of jealously are tween girls. All their friends have boobs, when will theirs show up??? It’s the same thing really.

This is reason number 183 why parenting is so weird.

So, let’s discuss some ways that dads can bond with their kid, without having the boobs from Meet the Fockers. Though, I guess, you could try that… weirdo. I’ve covered some of these in the 10 Commandments, but they should be repeated.

Bring the baby to the wife at night: The kid is upset, and the first thing he sees is you. Ok, so it’s not the most ideal situation, but it’s something. I like to see if I can calm him down before I hand him over to Diabla. That way I give myself credit for what has happened, as I drift back asleep. It’s the small victories.

Burp and Change him: This sort of goes along with the first point. In between boobs, I take Grayson and burp and change him. Of course, this usually results in getting spit up on, pissed on and shit on. Do with that what you will.

Feed him: Yeah, I know I just made fun of it, but it does work. I will say, I’m amazed how quickly my kid can tear through a bottle. 20 minutes on each boob, equates to 2 minutes on the bottle. He really treats the bottle like a shot. This really makes me scared for his future liver. 2 ounces means nothing to this kid.

Tummy Time: Oh man, tummy time is hilarious. I hate that we can’t think of a better name for it. Fish out of water time? Grayson is a master of fish out of water time. Just put the kid on his belly and see if you can make him flip over. If anything, it’s funny to watch for 10 minutes.

Skin to Skin: Here’s another name I can’t stand. Skin to Skin. Have you seen Requiem for a Dream? There’s a scene in there that the words Skin to Skin always reminds me of. You either know it or you don’t. Anyways, I do like when Gray sleeps on my chest. Apparently, he loves it too.

Massage: I guess babies love to be massaged. Every time I do it Gray farts like a high school kid after eating McDonalds, and I laugh like the high school kids more immature friend.

Baby Bjorn: Holy crap, this works 90% of the time. Put the kid in and walk around. Boom, he’s asleep in your arms aren’t going to sleep.

Watch the Cowboys together: Maybe this is just what Gray and I do? Ok, so we don’t let him actually watch tv, but I let him hear it (along with a few obscenities… he’ll learn them sooner or later, right?).

Whatever you do try and give the wife a break. Grayson and I go on stroller walks, or I’ll hold him while she showers. It sucks, you know, because you’re at work all day. So, take advantage of all the time you can. Otherwise, you’re a terrible dad, and you won’t be thanked when he wins the Heisman.

I’m sure y’all have plenty more ideas, so feel free to comment below. By that I mean on the blog, your Facebook comments do no good to anyone, but me.