Posts tagged ‘children’

False Visions of a Diaper-Free Home

Mason is 21+ months old now. Boys his age do an awful lot! Mason runs about the house, bounces on the bed, fiddles with the remote and eats like both a horse and a bird, depending on the day and meal. He sure is a handful. He’s also a diaper full!

I’ve written a lot about poop, and as a dad, I’m entitled to every stinking word of it. It’s a scientifically known fact: the older a child gets, the more pungent the aroma of their dirty deposits. Talk with just about any parent about this, and the conversation is sure to steer to…



We started thinking of potty training about 2 months ago. Mason somehow got into the habit of getting out of the tub, finding a certain spot in the bathroom floor and…relieving himself. Like any optimistic parents, we ran out and bought a kiddie potty. “Mason will be using this in no time!” I thought. I envisioned light at the end of a very stinky tunnel…a tunnel to a land of storage space in Mason’s room and a sudden drop in the need for baby powder and air freshener. Such a blissful thought! I was getting overwhelmed…so much joy! Tears of joy! So much emo–


–and then Mason ran by with the soft seat of the kiddie potty on his head, smiling and babbling loudly. Sigh…oh well.

The day will come when potty training will become a serious project. Hopes will be spawned and dashed with every potty sit or soiled diaper. It’s gotta happen one way or another. Mason, my boy, I have complete faith in your intestinal intelligence! Go get ’em, son! ūüôā


To Love Your Child

I caught myself being mushy a few nights ago. Mason was just sitting on the floor watching Chuggington on the DVR. He wasn’t doing anyhting in particular, just stuffing his face with Pringles like any other evening.

And I just stood there and stared.

I catch myself doing this from time to time. I stare at Mason doing any old thing that toddlers do, like it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Mason has grown so much, he’s fast approaching his 2nd birthday! It floors me to think that he’s only been walking for 8 months, and yet he runs all over the place, climbs on everything, and tortures us with it like he’s been doing it since day one. It truly is amazing, the growth process.

It all points to the unconditional love for my son. It’s something so common when you think about it, yet to every father, it brings so much joy…and tears in some cases. Sure, there are times when I want to throw myself off the roof of my house into the rose bush (quite a feat, as the rose bush does not sit near the house), but it’s all out of love.

Mushy much? I LOVE MY SON!

Beach Boy


We took a family vacation in June, visiting my sister, brother-in-law and their kids from Indiana. We met in Massachusetts with my parents and drove to Maine for an overnight at the ocean.

Mason was t quite sure about the ocean. Maybe it was the waves. Maybe it was the noise. Maybe it was the camera being constantly aimed at him. Either way…not 100% a fan. Nonetheless, this was a half decent shot.

Random Perks to Being A Dad: Toys!

Every job has its perks. Though there’s no vacation time or salary raise for being a dad, there are some fringe benefits for sure. Lately, none have been more significant for me that being able to¬†play with little kids’ toys again (and not get odd looks from my wife…OK…less odd looks). Have you ever found yourself in the toy section at Target enjoying a Slinky like a 5-year old? You’re not alone…there’s at least one other nutcase out there!

Let’s face it, human beings love a good bit of nostalgia every now and then, but we get caught up in the societal pressure of maturity. In other words, we want to play with the blocks, but we’d look like¬†morons if we were witnessed doing so. Children are like a “get out of jail free” card for this activity. I take full advantage of this.

OMG! Mason got a Magna-Doodle! SQUEEEEE!!!!

Depending on the toy, I get downright selfish. I think¬†I played with the Magna-Doodle for at least 15 minutes before Holly convinced me to let a very patient Mason play with it. Now, it’s used for a pseudo-educational tool…I write words on it and teach mason, i.e. “BREAKFAST” when he’s eating breakfast, “TRAIN” when he’s watching Chuggington, and everyone’s favorite word, “NO!” when… (insert naughty activity here).

It’s also the simple toys that bring me joy. Mason has these spiky balls that light up when bounced. Pure ecstasy for Daddy. It’s like a stress ball and light show all in one! It’s like therapy to bounce it all over the house and be endlessly entertained. I almost got in big trouble with it recently…I believe the threat began with “If you make that ball light up one more time…” and ended with “give it to Mason!!” I guess I’m just an immature dad. ūüėõ

See? Immature.

Overanalyzing TV: Every Parent’s Job

Since its invention, the TV has driven millions of parents nuts.

As parents, we are always trying to prevent our kids, no matter what age, from being exposed to things that will harm them or warp their innocent minds. Rarely is this more true than when parents try to control what kids see on TV. TV is so open and blatant today that even newscasts are dangerous for little ones to watch. Surely, shows on Disney Junior must be perfectly OK to watch, Right?


Several months ago, Holly and I were watching some Disney Junior to get a handle on some of the shows Mason would be watching in the future, Mason was just a couple of months old at this point, nowhere near being able to sit up to watch TV, let alone understand what was on it. This show called “Jungle Junction” comes on.

Some Jungle Junction characters, including "Ellyvan." Likely a Chrysler model.

Cute show. Little “animals” on wheels roll around and talk. One is even named “Ellyvan” and it’s an elephant! HA! There are several other characters and the like, but the purpose of this is to overanalyze, so I’m going to skip the rest of them.

Anyway, this episode was all about “the big rain.” Apparently, these creatures live in an oasis in the middle of a huge desert, and whenever a “big rain” comes, they need to collect as much water as they can to keep plants and things growing, and so they have things to drink.

Wait, cars drink? Well, animals do…but they are cars too…how is this possible?! Continuing on…

So “the big rain” is approaching, in the form of a¬†huge thunderstorm!¬†As it begins to pour, the animals/cars/whatevers begin running around with buckets to collect water. They strategically place them at the ends of leaves and the like so collect as much as possible, and–

Wait, what?! It’s thunder and lightning, and these idiots are running around like morons with buckets! Who wrote this crap! I can see Mason anticipating a tornado warning, bucket in hand, ready to dash out and save the freaking imaginary carnimals from themselves. Oy!

I know, it’s just a kids show, and kids are supposed to have imaginations. I highly doubt Mason will ever run out in a thunderstorm with a bucket, but as an adult, and as a parent, you can’t help but think of these crazy things. It sucks that we lose our wild imaginations as we get older, but for our kid’s sakes, we need to be alert of these “possible scenarios.”

Overanalysis of TV doesn’t stop as a child gets older…it gets worse. I always seem to assume Mason will do exactly what these shows depict. If¬†Special Agent OSO¬†activates his jet pack, I’ll be waiting for Mason to dive off the couch. Heck, he already likes to climb into the couch and bounce around, what’s a plunge to the floor? Just another health hazard for Mommy and Daddy. Hey, maybe there’s a hazard sign for overanalysis…

What about you? What shows have you found ridiculously easy to overanalyze and assume the worst from? Anyone? Please tell me I’m not the only crazy dad here…

Five Parental Hazards & How To Avoid Them


Now that Mason is walking, running, climbing, learning to throw things, etc., I’ve become concerned about my own safety around the house, not just his. If Mommy and Daddy aren’t healthy and well to take care of him, he’s in danger! That’s why I’m putting warning signs all around the house to warn us about the potential hazards that surround us. Sure, they may look silly, but lives are at stake here!

Here are five ordinary warning signs we see in the outside world that can be adapted for use in the home.

Warning Sign #1: SLOW DOWN

Warning #1: SLOW DOWN!

Purpose: This is pretty straight forward. Toddlers are everywhere, and they come out of nowhere. Move too quickly, and you accidentally knee your kid in the head and feel awful about it.

Locations: Place this sign at sudden turns in the hallway, on doors that children could lurk behind…anywhere a fast move could cause a concussion.

Warning Sign #2: TRAINS ON TV

Warning #2: TV TRAIN ALERT!

Purpose: Little boys (and even some little girls) love trains. Not just in the living room, but on TV. Wouldn’t you know it, Disney has this market cornered. Mason loved watching Chuggington every morning. Second only to Special Agent Oso, this show causes Mason to concentrate on cartoons…and get angry when said concentration is broken. This sign keeps your kid from screaming for no good TV-related reason.

Locations: This sign is best placed wherever your TV is located. Stop and look both ways for trains on TV, proceed with caution.

Warning Sign #3: HAVE A NICE TRIP!!

Warning #3: WATCH YOUR STEP!

Purpose: Toddlers make messes. Toddlers destroy clean areas. Toddlers throw toys. Little toys. Toys that tall people don’t see easily. Being warned to watch where you step prevents toe stubbings, trips, foot punctures, and other things that make mommies and daddies curse and cry. I’m sure parents know all too well the pain of LEGOs. Enough said.

Locations: Place this sign anywhere you have more than three feet of open floor space between you and any destination that may lay before you. Those painful suckers can lurk anywhere!

Warning Sign #4: INCOMING!!!

Warning #4: WET FLOOR!!

Purpose: After numerous spills of significance, I find it a personal responsibility to warn fellow parents of the growing threat of massive spills. Spills are easy to slip on and hard to prevent, but with proper placement, this warning sign can be used to bring awareness to liquid terror.

Locations: Post in the kitchen, near your kid’s high chair, and on every liquid container your kid could possibly ever get their hands on. Consider an evacuation route to escape the house in a quick manner as well.

Warning Sign #5: DON'T BREATHE!!

Warning #5: P… *GASP* U!!!

Purpose: This sign warns parents of the most vile, disgusting toxin in the household: the stinky diaper. I’m sure thousands of parents each year pass out from the sheer potency of toddler feces. Let’s also not forget guests who may be in the residence at the time of a nuclear deposit. Warning people of the silent suffocator is just the right thing to do.

Locations: Post this sucker near the diaper changing area, near the diaper disposal unit, on the diaper disposal unit…even on your little one’s bottom. Excrement is dangerous and unpredictable. Use extreme caution…the sign can’t help you once it all comes out.

With these signs in place, your home will be a safer place for you to enjoy your child’s life, and for you to be a better parent. Remember…if you aren’t aware, you take the dare! Don’t succumb to the parental hazards of the home!

Translating “Baby Babble”

If this child could talk, he'd say...??

When Mason had his 15-month checkup last week, Doc said he’d be talking any day now. Well, as of today, any day has not yet come. Still he’s developing his own versions of words…baby babble. Certain objects have distinct sounds that he makes, and even (in my opinion) certain actions.

So what to make of this babble? Is it possible that it could be translated into plain English? Absolutely! With the aid of my own creativity, I give you the first entries in the 2012 Baby Babble Translator!

(CAVEAT: I make no guarantees that this thing works, or even that this is the first 2012 translator created by a weird parent)

So here we go! Let’s start with…

BB: “Bwrwrwrwah!”

English: “Light.”

Light already has a significance¬†in Mason’s baby babble vocabulary. But lately, he vocalizes when he points to it, and it’s usually the same strange sound.

BB: “Dah! Dabada DAH!”

English: “I’m playing with the fireplace. Please discipline me.”

It’s true, Mason loves playing with the glass doors to the fireplace. Open, close. Open, close. He even leans back and lets the door handle his weight. Not cool.¬† Of course, just pulling him away makes him scream and he goes back for more, so sometimes loud voices need to be used.

BB: “Dadadadada…*sigh*”

English: “I am experiencing dry mouth from my food. Please give me juice/milk.”

Mason usually eats pretty silently, so when he pipes up, it’s an automatic response to grab the nearest sippy cup for his enjoyment. When he’s done drinking, rather than babble for removal of said sippy cup, he just chucks it in a general direction. Awesome.

BB: “Mum-mum-mum…”

English: A: “Mommy” (not sure yet). B: “This food is delicious! Thank you!”

Mason usually tosses out the “mum” sound when eating treats, but he also says it when Mommy is in the vicinity. It’s a possible double meaning on this one.

BB: *complete silence and stillness*

English: “Special Agent Oso is on. Please stop talking.”

Lately, just about the only time Mason is calm and quiet is when something good (in his opinion)¬†is on TV. For shows like “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” or “Chuggington,” he’ll stop for any music, but for “Oso,” He’s in rapt attention to the stuffed bear’s clumsy adventures.

Well, that’s it! The first 5 entries in the 2012 Baby Babble Translator are official. Of course, Mason says much more than this, but these are the five that seem consistent with the object/behavior.¬†I’m not sure if a second edition with more entries will be necessary…it all depends on what the boy says…literally.

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