Sports and my daughter

August 31, 2006

Jeremy over at DadBloggers wrote an interesting article about introducing his kids to sports. It got me thinking a bit about how sports was a part of my life growing up and wondering how sports will fit into my daughter’s life.

Growing up in Buffalo, sports was a big part of life for most people. When the Bills played, the pizza places and bars were packed. My parents had season tickets to the Sabres games for many many years. When we weren’t playing pond hockey from morning until late night, we were playing street hockey. I can remember hiding under the covers with my little portable radio, listening to the Sabres games. I am sure my parents knew.

When I moved away from Buffalo, I had to get the Center Ice pay-per-view package and watch every Sabres game.

But what role would sports play in my daughter’s life?

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Happy Birthday, Mom! (I cannot keep a secret)

August 31, 2006

It was Ms. Kaz’s birthday the other day.

The day before, after picking my daughter up from daycare, we stopped at a local store which sells a lot of nice things that Ms. Kaz and I like. After spending the first few minutes petting the store’s cat (“looks like Marshy, dad!), we wandered the store looking for something my daughter could buy my wife for her birthday.

We immediately found a card with a monkey on it. That was easy.

Finally, my daughter found a coffee mug with a birthday candle on it (“candle, dad!” — she’s big into birthdays). After confirming with her 3 or 4 times (*nod* — with my daughter, “yes” means yes, a nod means YES!) that she wanted to buy the mug, we proceded home with our gift-bagged mug and card.

As soon as my wife got home, my daughter started saying, “tea cup, mom! candle, mom! tea cup!” Fortunately, my wife didn’t figure out what my daughter was trying to tell her. Unfortunately, I tried to tell my daughter that we needed to keep it a secret until tomorrow, mommy’s birthday. Of course, this just made my daughter want to give Ms. Kaz her present right away.

This year, I am going Christmas shopping by myself.

[Kaz: last night, right before bed, my daughter saw the mug and wanted to hold it and look at it. As she was looking at it, she saw the candle and immediately began trying to blow it out]

[Kaz: oh yeah, Happy Birthday, Ms. Kaz!]

The Big Talk (Part V)

August 30, 2006

Today, my daughter was holding her Pooh Bear and rocking it like a baby. This was very cute. The conversation that followed went something like this…

Ms. Kaz: Hey, sweetie? Would you like a little baby to hold and rock?
Daughter: *nod*
Kaz: Would you like a baby brother or sister to hold and rock?
Daughter: *nod*
Ms. Kaz: So, you’re ready to have a little baby brother or sister around the house?
Daughter: *nod*
Ms. Kaz: The question is – is daddy ready…?
Kaz: …

Potty talk & more…

August 29, 2006

As previously mentioned, my sister and family were in town this past weekend. My sister has been through 2 kids, and certain has given our daughter’s development a kick start, mostly by being a little more aggressive than us. Not in a damage-the-kid kind of way, but more likely in a good way.

The first kick start she gave our daughter was with sitting on the potty. We Ms. Kaz may have let our daughter sit on the “big potty” once or twice previously. My sister encouraged our daughter to do it everytime, and our daughter loved it! I’m not sure she’s going to sit on her “little potty” ever again.

Right now, we’ve just been holding her as she sits on it. I think we need to get ourselves a potty seat (the kind that sits over a regular seat), and a step stool.

Now I feel good again because I have some baby gear to research!

The second kick-start courtesy of my sister is one I wasn’t quite ready to give up yet, and that is the restaurant high-chair. Okay, this one wasn’t completely my sister’s “fault” because my daughter wanted to sit in the booth with her little cousin and play. We gave in (with my sister’s encouragement) and let her sit in the booth for part of dinner.

A couple days later, she insisted on sitting in a regular chair instead of the high-chair. Again, we gave in and let her (this time was probably completely our fault). Okay, I know this is a weakness of ours mine – we I give in too much.

But sitting in a “big chair” is all well and good when you have 7 other people to entertain and contain her. When it is two people, it is harder to play goalie and keep her from wandering around.

I feel confident we will teach her how to behave in a restaurant. Or, we’ll just let her have her way and just never ever go back to those restaurants again.

The Big Talk (Part IV)

August 27, 2006

Recently, our conversations have been as follows:

Kaz: Hey, sweetie, how would you like a little brother or sister?
Daughter: No.
Ms. Kaz: You don’t want a little brother or sister to play with?
Daughter: No.

And so on…

This weekend, my mother and my sister and her family, including my 5 year old nephew came to visit. She’s having a blast with my nephew. They run around and scream for no reason. They roar (or, in one instance, quack) at each other with toy dinosaurs. They have a great time.

So we’ve figured it out. Our daughter doesn’t want a little brother or sister… she wants an older brother or sister.

Green Parenting Blogs

August 25, 2006

As I’ve mentioned in the past, now that I am blogging, I find myself checking out other blogs more and finding a lot of new and interesting blogs. Recently, I’ve come across a couple of Green parenting blogs that are worth noting:

Great Green Baby is a good site for information about green, especially organic, products for your child.

Pirate Papa describes himself as anarcho-green. He’s quite a bit greener than we are, but maybe that’ll inspire us to keep doing a little more at a time. His writing is also very entertaining.

I have to admit I haven’t explored Green Parenting very much yet, but it looks very promising!

Saving America’s Children with Ice Cream

August 24, 2006

Ben & Jerry's American Pie Ice Cream

My daughter loves ice cream. It is one of the ways, when she was younger, she learned to say “more”. When we had our Daddy & Daughter night the other night, I asked her to tell mommy what we did. All she said was, “Ice cream, mom!”

Now, I know, a lot of you think Mssrs. Ben and Jerry “sold out” when they, well, sold out their share of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company. Maybe I am naive, but I like to think the company has still stuck to the ideals laid out by their founders.

I know a lot of the rest of you say, “Yeah, but now that Ben & Jerry’s paved the way, there are a lot of premium ice cream brands, and some of my local ice cream parlors make better ice cream.” I agree, I haven’t bought nearly as much Ben & Jerry’s as I used to. But, when my wife needed to recover from a particularly bad Terrible Twos day, and it was 10pm, I picked up a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. I think it was something with caramel and/or bits of ice cream cone. I don’t remember. It didn’t stick around long.

So what am I getting at, and how is ice cream going to save America’s children? Find out more after the jump…

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Things I don’t know

August 24, 2006

I think when you first become a parent, you learn a lot of things you shouldn’t do in the first 6 months, a year, two years… And you deduce, by this, when you can start doing things.

But I’ve notice there are a few things that seem like they ought to be simple to answer, and yet, I just have no idea what the answers are.

Here are but a few I’ve found myself pondering recently:

  • When can I give my daughter a pillow in her crib/bed?
  • When can I feed her popcorn?
  • How do I know when she’s ready to sit in a real chair as opposed to a high chair?

I am sure there are more that just don’t come to mind immediately, but I haven’t had my coffee yet.

A Night Out With My Daughter

August 22, 2006

My wife worked late tonight.

It isn’t often that I spend a fairly large amount of time taking care of my daughter by myself. There have been 2 or 3 hours here or there. Okay, so tonight was only about 4 hours or so. And my wife did come home before I managed to get my daughter to bed, which, if she went to bed at her normal time, would not normally happen.

But I spent the night under the assumption that I would be caring for her from pick-up-from-daycare time until bedtime.

The reason I didn’t was, well, I am a pushover. There. The first step is admitting it, right? Now, what’s the next step to recovery?

The night started off good. We came home, got changed, got ready to go out to the local drive-in for grilled cheeses and french fries. She sat nicely and ate her food well. When we got our soft-serve ice cream, she sat in the “big girl chair” and ate her cone just great.

Then she played me like a… damn, I got nothing good here. Just read the rest after the jump…

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Report: Fatherhood messes with your brain

August 21, 2006

There’s a part (right after the funny non-parent stuff – you know, the dentist, booze and drugs) in Bill Cosby’s Himself where he talks about how, before kids, he and his wife used to be intellectuals. After that, well, that’s the whole rest of the movie.

And in some respects that’s true of Ms. Kaz and myself. Oh, it isn’t that we just don’t have the time for intellectual pursuits. We could find the time. But something else is going on. I really feel a little dumber since my daughter was born. Maybe it is the lack of sleep? Maybe it is the frustration of dealing with a 2 year old in the throes of the terrible twos? Maybe it is reading books with big letters and lots of pictures, listening to songs by the Wiggles, and watching too much Blue’s Clues? Maybe having a child really does kill brain cells?

Then I saw this research study by Elizabeth Gould at Princeton University. This study showed (at least in monkeys, but that’s close enough to human fathers) that having a child does change a father’s brain. I knew it!

The study showed that, “fathers had a higher density of connections in a region of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex than nonfathers.” Uhm. Sure.

But wait! There’s more! The study also found that “[F]athers also had more of a particular hormone receptor in this region for vasopressin, which is thought to be involved in parental behavior and social bonding.” Blah blah blah. Whatever.

I’m sure they are just leaving out the part about our kids making us stupid. Don’t believe me? Ask your kid when she’s a teenager just how dumb you really are.

For now, I’ll enjoy my daughter saying, “Daddy’s smart!” when I can find her socks under the couch.

What we are reading: Strega Nona

August 21, 2006

strega nona coverUsually, I kind of lovingly make fun of some the children’s books my daughter has. But I really like Strega Nona (by Tomie de Paola). And by sitting a writing this review, I learned something new myself. Turns out, this book was written in 1975. I’m not sure why it struck me as a newer book.

The illustrations are refreshingly different for a children’s book. At least compared to some of the other books she has. While some of the animals might be out of proportion in some of the panels, I am willing to forgive the book because it is also kind of fun to read.

Of course, it contains a bit of song or poem that Strega Nona (Grandma Witch) sings, which, like all good children’s books, you will find yourself reciting to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

And how can you go wrong with a book that has the line, “We must protect our town from the pasta” ??

Plus, the book is responsible for my daughter yelling, “string him up!” to bad drivers in traffic.

I don’t want to get in to too much more, so I’ll just summarize with: witch, big dumb guy, magic pasta pot, “the punishment must fit the crime”. The book should take you about 5 minutes or so to get through.

You can get it at barnes and noble for $7.99 []

1 Sentence Book Review: Weeble-topia

August 21, 2006

tooyIn Weeble-land, where pasta apparently grows in the ground, taxpayer money is used to pay public servants (Tooey, the fireman Fireturtle) to rescue children who climbed too high on playground equipment, retrieve balloons stuck in trees, fix traffic lights, and help water the “crops”.

Be annoyed by your own copy of Tooey to the Rescue for just $5.99 []


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