Tag Archives: Parenting

What Will He Say When He Finally Talks?

My son is 1 year old. How do you say that? That doesn’t sound right. My son is 1 years old. 1 is not plural, and I don’t think that’s right either. Now I finally understand why people use months until the kid is 2. My son is 13 months old. He’s starting to talk quite a bit. Not any language that you or I would understand. He’s developed his own dialect. I’m quite impressed with his commitment to it. As long as he seems convinced that he’s saying something meaningful, then I don’t really care if I can understand it or not. I guess there’s a shelf life for that sentiment, but at 13 months, I’m not sweating it. It’s pretty charming actually, and it got me thinking the other day that it might even be better than when he starts to talk for real. What could he possibly have to say? Then again, who knows? Maybe the thoughts going through is head are completely fascinating. Time will tell.

I did make a list of things that I’m pretty sure he’s tried to say to me already. I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait to give him this list, so he can give it a once over and let me know how accurate it is. It’s just that there have been a bunch of different occasions where I’m pretty sure I know what he was trying to say, even though he couldn’t find the right (English) words.

In no particular order, here’s my list of what I think he wanted to say………..

“Dad, I don’t want to wear a diaper today… be flexible man… I won’t poo man, don’t worry about it. I’ll give you warning if I’m gonna poo. C’mon man, be cool. Dammit!”

“This book has too many words, and not enough pictures….. I’d like you to read me this other book that has the pull-tab that makes the baby walk across the page…… I want to rip that baby’s head off.”

“I really want you to turn that ceiling fan on. Good. No, not that speed, the faster one. No, faster than that. No, slower. Now faster. Can you get that light to go on too? Perfect, now speed up the fan. Actually, slow the fan down and kill the light. Can you get it to go in between those speeds? I’m hungry.”

“Seriously, why have you put me in this high chair? Where’s the food? Why would you put me here if the food wasn’t ready? Seriously, how long for the food? Are you even working on it? What are you doing in there? Where’s my food? I’m really hungry. The thing is, I wasn’t even that hungry, but now that you’ve put me in the chair, I feel like I should be eating, but where’s the food? You’re sending me mixed messages, usually when I sit here there’s food. Where’s the food? Dad, honestly…. are you new? Mom does this faster. Oh my god! Is this a new thing where I sit here and don’t get food? Don’t pass me a toy, we’re way past that, where’s the food? Oh thank god, nom nom nom nom nom….”

“Good morning dad!! I can’t believe I just slept for 12 hours, it was awesome. I barely remember any of the high-pitched shrieking I did right before I went to bed. I totally slept that off, great sleep. Wait, where are you? Oh there you are…. you were hiding, but then you popped out!! Bwahahahaha… Hilarious, do it again! Hahahahahahahaha!! Oh that’s funny, wait…. I don’t see you….There you are! Hahahahahahahahaaaaaaa…. You kill me man!”

“I really like this news channel dad. I love it when the stock ticker goes across the bottom. When’s this Rob Ford thing gonna go away? I’ve spent my entire life watching this stupidity unfold. This guy doesn’t know how to act. I could totally get away with acting like that, but I don’t! I’m 13 months old, and I know better. Dad, did you vote for this bozo? Seriously, did you? It’s okay to say you did. Did mom? Well somebody must have voted for him. Seriously, did you? I won’t laugh. OK, I believe you. I’m hungry.”


Mom’s Choice

There are a few products around my home for babies. Anyone that’s had a baby in their home knows that there will be baby products around the home too. A lot of them. I often wonder about marketing as it pertains to babies and their preferences. My baby is almost 9 months old. He’s male, and like every other male in his family tree for as many generations back as I can intelligently vouch for, he’ll eat whatever you put in front of him. Maybe this isn’t the same for all babies. Sometimes my wife and I will be in an aisle of the grocery store, and she’ll wonder aloud ‘Which one do you think he’ll like better?’ I always find this funny because I have received zero feedback from my son regarding food, the entire time he’s been alive. He seems to like everything. That isn’t the commitment to an answer that my wife is looking for when she asks me a question. We’ve been together long enough that I know this, so my answer is very much influenced by how happy the baby looks in the picture. This goes for food, toys, furniture or any other baby related product. As far as I’m concerned, if the baby is happier on the cover of one product than they are on the other, then it’s a slam dunk as to what I’m going to decide is the right product for my baby. Marketers take note!! I’m quite certain that my son doesn’t give a shit as long as he’s comfortable. If he’s not comfortable, he might wiggle around a bit or possibly cry, but with so many outside factors at play, I’ll be damned if I can pinpoint whether it was the mango or the pineapple he didn’t like, or if he’s just tired, or he pooped. He has never told me what he thinks about his crib mattress (although I agonized over the decision), his outfits, the music we play or anything. The key to all purchases, and I’m yet to be proven wrong, is the perceived happiness of the actor baby on the packaging. It’s never steered me wrong (that I’m aware of).

I also find some of the branding interesting. The one I saw today (which prompted the blog, because God knows I don’t come up with ideas much before I actually start typing) was ‘Mom’s Choice’. Mom’s Choice is the obvious choice isn’t it? I would buy that. I mean after all, Mom sampled all of these products and narrowed it down. She did all the work for me, right? How does a company get to be ‘Mom’s Choice?’ Is there a rigorous selection process that all of these products go through? Is this a government regulated thing, or can anybody slap ‘Mom’s Choice’ on the label?

More importantly, whose Mom? My Mom? The baby’s Mom? Everyone has/had a Mom. Which one of them made the call on this? Was there a panel of expert moms that got together on this? A secret society of taste-making moms that run the baby food game? Is there a criteria for Moms that get to be on the ‘Mom’s Choice’ selection committee? Do they need to have more than one kid to qualify? Or are they teenage Moms (Who most recently were eating baby food themselves)? Or an even number of Moms from each age group to properly represent the spectrum of Moms. Are all the different ethnic cultures represented in this Mom group? Or does it depend on the ethnicity of the baby on the cover (What??? We all eat different shit as adults, does a baby’s cultural background not matter at ‘Mom’s Choice’?).

What if you started a company called Dad’s Choice? Why does nobody in the baby food industry care what Dad thinks. Dad probably eats more than Mom. He should be more of an expert. What if all those names were taken, could you just take another member of society and have them vouch for the taste of baby food?

Bartender’s Choice
Raquetball Coach’s Choice
Zookeeper’s Cousin’s Choice
Necktie Designer’s Choice
Zipline Technician’s Choice
Stamp Collector’s Choice
Librarian’s Choice
Assistant Manager Of The Meat Department At The Grocery Store’s Choice

These are all fresh ideas, but let’s face it. Mom knows best, although I don’t believe in the legitimacy of the representative amount of Moms, endorsing and quality checking ‘Mom’s Choice’ food, I do think it’s clever advertising. It found its way into my home so clearly, at least one of us fell for it.

I just want to go on record as saying that I don’t think there were any Moms involved in the choosing of ‘Mom’s Choice’. I also don’t think that being a Mom qualifies you to know the first thing about what baby food tastes like, or how it should taste. I’m no expert, but in my short stint as a parent I’ve learned that if your baby is hungry enough, they will eat anything, whether it’s ‘Mom’s Choice’ or ‘Macaroni Necklace Sales Representative’s Choice’, or their shoe.


Who’s That On Your Profile Pic?

I’m revisiting a rant from my pre-Wordpress days. I don’t know why it made me so many enemies at the time. Not real enemies I guess, but there were a lot of people with differing opinions about it, and that makes me happy because I do like to stir it up from time to time.

On a Facebook status update I once said that I hated it when people used pictures of their children as their profile pics. Last night at a bar, a friend fondly recalled this as me ‘hating when people post pictures of their kids on Facebook’. That is NOT EVEN THE SAME THING!

Facebook logo

I have this belief that a Facebook profile picture should be a picture of the person whose profile it is. Call me old-fashioned! This is the picture that I see when I’m trying to figure out who you are. This is the picture that I see when you leave a comment on my page. Sometimes when people have babies, they like to put a picture of the baby as their profile pic. I don’t like that! If your kid needs to be the profile pic, then maybe it’s time for them to have their own page.

I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t have pictures of your kids on Facebook. Post as many pics of your kids as you want!! In photo albums. I love seeing your beautiful families. Just not on the profile pic. That should be you. Can it be a pic with you with your kid? Sure…. but not your kid solo. It irritates me.

Maybe it’s because when I see a Facebook comment, I like to look at the person’s picture and imagine them saying that to me. Or maybe it’s just that I don’t want to picture a newborn baby delivering a social commentary about how the mayor of Toronto is a crackhead, or a 4-year-old posting a YouTube clip of a Led Zeppelin video. Take responsibility for your status updates, and stop hiding behind your kids. It’s like not looking me in the eye when you talk to me.

When I first presented this idea to people, I got a lot of that ‘When you have a kid, you’ll understand’ business. Well I do have a kid now, and as much as it pains me to say, he’s substantially better looking than I am. While I’m happy to share that with my Facebook friends, I do not do so in the form of a profile pic….. cuz it aint his profile!!!

I know what you’re thinking….. what kind of thing is this to care about?? How much extra emotional energy does this guy have to be irritated by something so unimportant and trivial? It may surprise you (but at the 457 character mark, it shouldn’t because I never wrap up this quickly) that this is actually part of a bigger philosophy I have about parenting. I lacked credibility before I had a kid, so people didn’t want to hear my opinion on this, but like all the other parents who think they’re so damn smart because they managed to create a human (and they didn’t even have to go to school for it), I now would like to present my advice on parenting. Please feel free to give feedback, or to ignore as you see fit.

I think that too many parents give too much of themselves to the endeavour of raising their kids. There seems to be a breed of super-parents who have no lives outside of their kids. I don’t mean to criticize this because in a way, it’s the most selfless thing you can do. I’m certainly not suggesting that you should have kids without the intention of going ‘all-in’ either…. that wouldn’t be right. Somewhere along the line though, the world has seen armies of interesting people get into the ‘human creation’ game, and come out the other side ‘not-too-interesting’. I can see how it happens too. This is an all-consuming undertaking, this parenting thing…. not for the weak-hearted!

Maybe there’s a way we can do this without totally losing our identity though…. maybe there’s a way we can ‘keep our own photo as our profile pic’ so to speak…..I know there’s not a lot of time to do things we want to do, and when we get that extra time, the first thing we think of is what else can we do for our children…. which is great! I’m sure they appreciate it.

The thing is that one day they’ll get older. One day, they’ll want to know about YOUR life. One day, they’ll want to know that YOU had hopes and dreams, and at least occasionally went after them. At the time that they reach a certain age and have their own family, they might want to know that YOU didn’t just shut it down and live through them exclusively, but that maybe YOU still had a few tricks up your sleeve, and maybe YOU were someone interesting who they could really look up to.

So all you super-parents out there, I’m sure your babies appreciate all you do for them, and this isn’t meant to be-little any of the sacrifices you make. It’s just to remind you that your babies want you to be happy, even if they don’t know it yet. They want you to still live your life (or at least as much of it as you have time for). Most importantly your babies want you to be a person of interest, not just their parent. They won’t be offended if you take back your identity…. they’ll respect you for it in the end (providing you don’t do a complete 180 and start becoming a crappy parent, that’s not what I’m trying to say). Take some of your life back if you can! Start with that profile pic. YOU ARE STILL A PERSON!

A message of inspiration from Thoughts and Rants in Jogging Pants ūüôā


Aftermath

I had so many fun and lighthearted topics to choose from this week, but I just can’t seem to get my head (or heart) around the school shootings in Connecticut that have taken place since my last blog.¬† We’ve seen tragedies like this before, but never REALLY like this.¬† I don’t know why it’s affecting me so much.¬†¬†I’ve felt an awful combination of sickness and sadness whenever I think about this.¬† Is it because of the age of the kids, or because I am now a father?¬†¬†Either way, what’s always interesting to me is how the aftermath plays out.

First we mourn for the families which makes sense, and it should really stop there.¬† Then, it’s the blame game.¬† As if you can undo all of this as long as you are able to isolate the cause.¬† Or at very least you can stop it from happening again.¬† I don’t think that’s true….. it was too random.¬† Plus I think it makes people feel horrible to think that it could have been prevented.¬† I don’t think it helps the grieving process at all.¬† They’ll do their best to break it down in the coming weeks, and the public will argue and debate which ‘reason’ they think was the primary motive behind it.¬† Then the government will step in and throw some money at the winner.

What’s to blame?

– Gun Control???¬† (Pick me, Pick me!!!)¬† Yes and no.¬† Gun control is absolutely a problem in the United States, although most of their population refuses to admit it.¬† There are many who feel their right to ‘bear arms’ is more important than the overall safety of their population.¬† Was it responsible for this incident?¬† I doubt it.¬† I’m sure a properly motivated killer could find a murder weapon whether it was easy or difficult.¬† I’d say that hopefully the aftermath leads the politicians to look at this closer though.¬† Sometimes in politics, it takes something like this to sway public opinion, and open up some minds.¬† This could be a huge opportunity to take steps to making America a safer place.¬† They’ve shown little to no interest in gun control for the sake of stopping inner city violence, but 20 schoolchildren between the ages of 5-10???¬† I sure hope something good comes out of this.

– Lack of awareness of mental health issues???¬† Maybe.¬† This is always a problem.¬† Especially in young people.¬† When a teenager is acting out, people are always so dismissive.¬† Is this some undiagnosed problem?¬† Were people around this guy being sensitive to it?¬† Was his own family sensitive to it?¬† I haven’t done any research to find out the story about the killer.¬† I’m sure more details in will surface in the aftermath.¬† I will say this…. You have to be absolutely dripping with evil to do what he did on the scale that he did it.¬† How did that evil not manifest itself earlier in life?¬† Who knows?¬† It’s almost always mental health issues that people don’t know about.¬† I don’t believe anybody in their right or wrong mind would do what he did.¬† There have to be factors at play that we don’t know about.

– The Parents?¬† Easy target.¬† Divorced.¬† The mother was one of the victims.¬† How bad could they have possibly been at parenting that this happened?¬† I don’t think so.¬† Apparently she kept a lot of guns in the house though.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter who’s to blame.¬† It’s over.¬† It doesn’t sound like there’s anything to learn.¬† It doesn’t sound like there was any way to prevent it.¬† One thing for sure is that in the weeks to come it will be analyzed to death.¬† All of the US networks can pencil this into the news programming for the next 6 months.¬† Reporters can dig up all the dirt they can find about every person who ever knew or dealt with the killer’s¬†family.¬† It’s only a matter of time before this is referenced in a tasteless rap lyric.¬† We will all hold opinions about this and judge¬†people¬†we’ve never met before.

We can only hope that something like tighter gun control is what comes from this.¬† Other than that, maybe for a day or two we hugged our children just a little bit longer.¬† Maybe we decided against berating the kid who took to long to give us our order at McDonalds.¬† Maybe for a time we united with our enemies over the grief of senseless killings of school children.¬† Hopefully this reminded us that life isn’t something to be taken for granted.¬† Hopefully there’s some way to turn this violence from the past into a peaceful future.¬† Hopefully something positive and lasting comes out of the aftermath!


Parenting Blog??? I Think I’ll Pass

I’m a new dad.¬† Exciting times!¬† Not as much time to blog.¬† Not as many topics to blog about.¬† I mean there is one new topic that I could probably write about.¬† It would be easy.¬† This could be a forum to document every moment of a new life.¬† Then when he grows up I could go back and read all my own posts and have weepy nostalgic times over a beer or two.

Here’s the thing though….. This is thoughts and rants in jogging pants.¬† While I don’t have time to sit around in my jogging pants anymore, I think I owe it to my loyal fan base whose numbers sit comfortably in double digits, to not turn this into a parenting blog.¬† In my time on WordPress, I would have to say that at least 30% of the blogs I’ve read involved people talking about their kids.¬†¬†There’s nothing wrong with that.¬† Some of my favourite bloggers do this, and I love hearing about it.¬† I would say however, that this site is saturated with these types of posts, and not quite as full of scathing social commentary.¬† I think I owe it to my non-paying public to keep on keepin on with the stuff I was doing before.

The other thing that weighs into this decision is that I respect the privacy of my newborn.¬† Oh the tales I could already tell about shits¬†he’s taken, or times he was upset with us.¬† I don’t think it would be fair to him though.¬† He might not want everyone knowing about his business, and when I¬†approached him about it, he completely ignored the topic, and was totally evasive.¬† I understand though.¬† He doesn’t want to disappoint his old man by saying no, but if he says yes, who knows what embarrassing little stories about pissing on his sock I’ll tell the general public.¬† Anyways, I let him off the hook.¬† 15 days is too young to have to make a¬†complicated decision like that, especially when you may not understand the consequences of your actions.¬† So I’m leaving him out of this for now.¬† Sorry baby nuts!!!¬† (By baby nuts I mean people who are crazy about babies, not……well you know)

Here are some opinions I have about some baby related stuff though…… Since we’re here

– There is NOTHING to be gained from arriving at the pediatrician’s office early, other than disease from a bunch of other snotty nosed kids in the waiting room.¬† Far better to wait¬†until the last second to arrive.¬† Even if you’re early, wait in the car.

– Stylized naked pictures of you and your baby are not art.¬† They’re weird, and your baby will set fire to them as soon as he/she is old enough.¬† What were you thinking?

РThe happier the baby looks in an advertisement, the more likely I am to buy the product.  Can you imagine how stressful it must be to be in charge of capturing those images?

– I’m really not looking forward to letting my kid watch ‘children’s television’ on the same TV that I’m supposed to be watching sports on, but I really want to find out¬†what kind of show¬†Toopy¬†and Binoo¬†is.¬† I just like how it sounds when I say it.¬† Toopy¬†and Binoo, Toopy¬†and Binoo, Toopy¬†and Binoo……. I can do this for hours.

– When you’re in¬†a store with your 2-year-old, be mindful of the fact that they probably don’t really want to shop at this store the same way you do, so don’t get lulled into the whole ‘I can shop with my 2 year old’ falseness.¬† They will run around the store pulling things off the shelves, while you’re debating a cookware purchase.¬† I often fantasize about slapping¬†the shit out of these parents.¬† If you ever see a silly little grin creep over my face, that’s the look of satisfaction.

I’m sure there’s more.¬† I’m too sleepy to continue.