Archives for posts with tag: parenting

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 originally started writing this post on Tuesday. It was going to be about how after a point, you seem run out of things to do with a baby. Because, really, there’s only so much you can do.

I had the title all cued up, “So, What Do We Do Now?” And it was going to be this post about all the things we do to keep Gray engaged in life, and how we’re starting to run out of ideas. Really, how many times can we sing Old McDonald, or read Fox in Socks before he’s over it? (Side note 1: Fox in Socks is so much fun to read. It has become our favorite.)

All that changed yesterday, when Grayson went to his pediatrician’s appointment yesterday. See, that morning I got a text from Dibs that Gray had successfully rolled over from his back to his front. Not once, but twice. He’s 3.5 months old. At the pediatrician’s office he went back to front, then rolled back over front to back. This isn’t normal, folks.

Dibs was telling the pediatrician that he seems to get frustrated. Our pediatrician explained to her that Grayson was likely getting bored, and not stimulated enough. Basically, our son is out pacing us.

We’re really good about not letting him watch TV. I read to him every night. We constantly sing to him, and help him practice sitting. Tummy time is a daily activity. Plus everything else, like when we’re eating, “This is a piece of chicken. Chicken is awesome.” But the kid is already bored of us!

Do we need to do quantum physics with him? (Side note 2: Quantum physics always reminds me of the best part of Men in Black. The part where Will Smith is training, and the only person he shoots is the little girl in the middle of the ghetto with quantum physics books. Laugh every time. “Hesitated, sir.”) How do you keep something that can’t talk, or even sit up entertained? Sorry that we’re boring you, son.

The first thing I said when Dibs told me about the pediatrician’s visit was, “Well, did you ask how to keep him stimulated?” “Oh, uh, no,” she replied. Great.

So, that’s my new mission. Finding ways to keep Gray stimulated, so that hopefully he’s smarter than us by the time he’s 5.

Feel free to leave your tips in the comments below.

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.