By kenny friedman on Wednesday, February 29, 2012
He's totally in a mommy phase... It's actually been a few months now although I thought it had ended. I really wish I had written down his phases... I think we're on the third mommy phase with me trailing with two daddy phases.
It's funny and heartbreaking all at once... The fact that I can't change a diaper is in someways a blessing... But the screams of "no, mommy do it" when I come near him to do so get old.
An incomplete list of things I'm not allowed to do (depending on the day/time:
- Change diapers
- Put him to bed
- Read a book
- Get milk
- Make dinner
- Play legos
- Draw fish
- Sleep in my bed
- Use my pillow
- Brush his teeth
- Brush my teeth
- Put him in his car seat
- Drive him anywhere
- And more
By kenny friedman on Friday, February 24, 2012
So yeah... We've been cosleeping... And not because we're some freaking hippies that think that's the only harmonious way to keep our family close.
Staci was able to get him to sleep as I brave the super cold with the dog... And almost got frostbite on my ear I think... Seriously it's cold.
Cry it out absolutely works for him... It takes three days of complete hell but then he goes to sleep... But a week and a half later he cries again so that's out.
We tried melatonin at a doctor's suggestion. That totally worked but it was meant to be temporary and I feel really uncomfortable giving him something that his body should learn to produce on it's own.
Ferber and all that crap does not work on this kid.
Really that reading and waiting for him to sleep thing was best... But we screwed the pooch on that one by letting him sleep with us that first time... Where's a hot tub time-machine when you need one?
By kenny friedman on Friday, February 24, 2012
My penultimate post in my Vick's VapoRub series that ties to their feel better friend campaign... And this one naturally fits quite well as you'll see in the end.
The kid got me sick again. Crazy sick. Sicker than I have ever been. So sick that I should really take this time to apologize to my wife for not totally understanding how crazy sick she was getting the first few years she started teaching...
Kid's breed super crazy diseases...
And the thing is you'd think that if I got sick from him we'd have the same thing. And that if we have the same thing we'd be feeling pretty much the same.
But while we both had super runny noses, stuffed up heads, coughs and random bouts of sneezing he was a total ball of energy. He's been brought down by sickness maybe twice. But usually he'll be crazy sick and have all the energy he usually has... For instance the time he had pneumonia but was bouncing off the bed.
And while he was jumping all around I felt I was on my death bed. Thankfully Staci was there to take care of him. If she was gone for some reason it would have been him and the dog hanging out.
On Saturday I didn't put pants on until 4:12PM. Now you're thinking of me naked and you're wondering if that's what I look like. Think the physique of Lou Ferrigno in the Hulk days... But less green. And less of a unibrow, and better hair. And less pants. I realize he didn't have a lot of pants when he was Hulk but pre-4:12 I had none on.
Also I should take this time to mention that he rocked as the Hulk. No CGI. So superior. He was a real dude who was super strong and had extra super strength...
While I was sitting in my bed like the guy from Barenaked Ladies was lying like Brian Wilson I had an epiphany. One that would change our country and economy for the better.
We need to create a department of government that delivers free brownies to sick people. There would be at least three types of brownies; plain with powder sugar on top, walnut (with a walnut on top) and frosted. People would get one a day each day they were sick. The awesomeness of this is if you're kid was sick you could get eat the brownie if you didn't want them to have sweets.
I worked out the numbers on how this would affect the economy and such. First the Happiness Quotient (something I just made up) would go up 600%. Also we'd have more people working and would bring the unemployment to under 2%. Plus it would be self supported as brownies would be available to be delivered to non-sick folk for a cost of $4 a brownie. That might seem like a lot but they would be really good, made with good ingredients and would be kind of big.
After I solved the world problems it was time for me to go back to sleep. Also time for the kid to go to sleep... And it's a long story but basically we had to become total hippy co-sleepers because really that's the only thing that's working for the kid right now... So while we were putting him to bed he looked to me and said "here daddy" as he held out his elephant stuffed animal to me...
He knew I was sick and he's getting empathy which is really cool to see evolve. Also the elephant is huge in his mind. He usually won't give it up.
So he became that feel better friend person in my life which was awesome.
Then a bunch of hours later when I woke up at 3AM Sunday morning I went totally delirious... Whatever crazy thing he gave me was taking over my mind. I can't even really explain what was going on but basically I took some acetaminophen and pseudophederine and thought that I had to strategically decide where the meds would go in my body. And if I didn't do it right I wouldn't get well. It was as if I was a commander in a war and needed to tell the troops where to go. Plus there were all these rules, like war, that made it so hard to figure out.
I was not dreaming this. I was completely awake and completely delirious...
The kid got me good... But I'm finally feeling better.
I think if you have "a guy" for certain things your kid will look at you like you're cool. Because you're in the know.
Some people have bike guys, some have guys to help them tear down a house (I have one of those too) and so forth.
But the one that MF cares about right now is the fish guy. And the kid asks me to call him any time we pass the pet store so we can see if the fish are awake.
Miloh will yell up to me, Call the fish guy. And I'll grab my phone... And the conversation will go like this.
Me: Hey fish guy it's Kenny
Me: Yeah, pretty good. You?
Me: I was wondering if the fish are still awake. We'd like to see them.
Me: Oh, they're asleep because it's dark out?
Me: Well tell them MF and I say goodnight.
Me: You too... Bye.
MF: Call the fish guy again
Me: Hey it's me again. Just checking to see if you're sure they're asleep.
Me: They are... Oh but they said goodnight to us before going to sleep?
Me: Maybe we'll stop in later this week... Goodnight.
So the fish guy might not technically be real... But it makes the kid happy that I have a fish guy... So we're going with it.
When I the idea for this First Gen Dad thing got in my head I thought it would just be some super light QA questions focusing on dudes who are stand up dads even though they didn't have a good influence... But as I started writing my QA I realized I needed to add a little background... These are questions I get asked every once in awhile from folks... I usually blow them off with short answers but in my post I decided to answer... And in Don's words "it got real".
So I really have to thank Don for being my first guinea pig after me.
Here's a little background on him from my POV... He's a dude I met on twitter and probably a guy I'd hang with if we lived in the same city... unless he thought I was an ass or such.
Don's a designer, one of the reasons he gets a plus in my mind, and a really good one at that... He's makes sweet little tattoo flash inspired shirts, design blogs (I'm talking sweet designs that I should probably hire him for except since I design sites it would be weird but it's hard to do your own stuff) and more... And he's got sweet tattoos.
But aside from that he's writes a super honest and humble blog about being a dad. I read few blogs... Like a really small number... But he's on that list and should be on yours. And of course he's a dad... to his daughter Adeline.
Really I have to thank him one last time because this is personal stuff and I'm honored that he was willing to share.
Oh, and I really quickly should announce a new thing–I'm trying to lose money on my blog. Most folks use them to make cash but the way I see it is if I can't make millions I should just make nothing (or at least $10 a year for the domain name). Therefore I see free ad space as negative cash. So find a link to his blog design thingy in my right sidebar.
That being said every month-ish I'm giving someone free ad space... Someone that designs something or such (totally committal with that description) And so Don get's it this month. It's a value of $1.17 a month.
And now his story:
Why wasn't your father around when you were growing up?
My Mom and Dad had me as a sort of "love child". My mothers parents didn't want my Mom to Date or see boys at her age (15), after 3 years of childhood love they decided to get pregnant on purpose so they would have to get married and have their strong love accepted. Looking back, I don't think they had any idea what the hell they were doing, and I know that when I was 18 I would have had no business getting married and having a child. After 7 or so years of a abusive marriage, my mom only decided to leave when the abuse turned from her to me. My memories of my Dad after divorce seem to entail him coming to get me for a visit and just killing time until I had to go back to my mom. I didn't really have a bad relationship with him, I'm not really positive if my Dad actually wanted a kid, or even understood what a relationship is between a Dad and child.
Do you have a relationship with him now? How is it?
Over the years I have seen my Dad in very spaced out, sporadic times. He seems like a very different person from what my Mom described to me. But, he definitely hasn't been involved in my life any time recently. I'm not sure when the last time I saw him was, but it was definitely years, he also has never seen my Daughter and that is something I really don't understand. I think that is part of who he is that I will never get.
Before you were a dad what did you look forward most about being a dad? What was your greatest fear?
My Mother and I were very close growing up and I have always felt like a male version of her when it comes to relationships. After my Mom was remarried she had 3 children that were much younger than I was, and I really enjoyed being around them as they grew. At times I almost felt like a parent to them. That experience actually made me look forward to the time that I had a child of my own. I had worried at times that I, like many people, was caught in a cycle of being a bad husband and a bad dad. I've never met my blood Grandfather because of a similar experience between him, my Grandmother and my Dad. I am thankful that much of who I am came from being around my Mom and a lack of a Father figure, I had to make up for it myself. I really think that a lot of my life experiences and path was a learning experience of me basically teaching myself about life and how relationships work.
Are you the father you thought you'd become?
I'm not sure that i had a vision of the type of father that I would be, but I had envisioned myself being something that I would have liked. My Daughter is still very young, and I don't think that I can rate my own efforts. But I will say that since the first time that I felt her head as she was emerging to the world for the first time, I could feel the desire to give her the best Dad that I was capable of. The clichés were all true for me, and I realized it right then and there, I didn't realize what that love would feel like until it was there in our birthing pool in our living room resting on our chests. How has fatherhood changed you? • It's strange to try to explain this, but as much as the whole experience has changed me, I really feel like the same person I was 10 years ago. I guess now when I jump around like a moron or hit myself in the head with a ball, my daughter is there to laugh at me.
Is there anything you wish your father knew about you as a father?
I actually don't feel like I have anything to prove, my main thoughts on proving myself as a father are reserved for my Wife and my Daughter, they are the ones that really know if I'm doing it right.
Any wisdom for new dads?
I've tried in the past to think of good advice to give to other dads that are newer to the game than I am, but I think that every experience is as unique as the person themselves. I will say that you can try to plan and envision what you would do in certain situations, but until the time actually faces you, you really don't know how you will handle it. My Daughter had a time when she had trouble going to the bathroom (we're talking number 2 here) and it turned out that the only time she could go comfortably was when she was in a nice warm bath with me. I didn't hesitate any time that I could see a discomfort that I became a pro at spotting… I would strip both of us down and hop in the tub and prepare to catch whatever came out. On paper in the past this may have seemed ridiculous, but that is my point, be prepared for things that will come up that you wouldn't envision… and be prepared to do some crazy shit.
And now part two Q&A...
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By kenny friedman on Tuesday, February 14, 2012
This should probably be filed under "maybe this make's me an ass but..."
Yesterday morning on the way to work I heard a medley of Whitney Houston songs... It's not my style of music but I can objectively say she has an amazing voice. The thing about the songs is I had heard them all pre-1997... Because since she started doing crack she hasn't really produced any notable music... I realize she might not have been on crack but she was a fan of the drugs...
And she probably smoked some crack.
Perhaps I'm callous but I'll always see her as a crack addict... Michael Jackson will always be a child molester... But I don't listen to either of their music so it's easy to separate it.
Although Andrew Wood, lead singer of Mother Love Bone who died days before the scheduled release of his first album from a heroin overdose, will always be a fool and I think of it every time I listen to their album... While for some reason I always see Kurt Cobain's death as just sad.
Why we posthumously hold people like Whitney and Michael up on pedestals blows my mind...
It's weird to compare deaths of folks but I think that's what we do as humans... And one recent death that hit me this year was Sarah Burke, the freestyle skier. Her name was a mainstay on the X-games winner pedestal... She progressed the sport in a huge way... She died too young doing what she loved and that to me is sad. She wasn't destroying herself.
Her death did get some press. The X-games had a great memorial for her.
I realize action sports get less press than music... That she probably "touched" fewer lives. But as a father people like Sarah are the ones I'd rather mourn. Because who, and how, we mourn will show our kids who to look up too...
And action sports aside I want MF to look up to folks that aren't crack smokers, child molesters or heroin addicts.
By kenny friedman on Monday, February 13, 2012
It's well documented that I was completely freaked out by kid before MF was born... And a whole gaggle of kids made me completely nutso and uncomfortable.
And really while I've changed a bit I still feel pretty much the same. Unkown kids freak me out. A gaggle of them is one of the most uncomfortable situations I can possibly be in... And for the record I probably don't like 97% of kids and still think 99% of babies are ugly (I just add that because it's true and I feared I would changed after we had a kid).
But the other day I picked the kid up from school and two of his classmates were there... And as I was looking at the fish tank Staci suggested I read a book to him... In hindsight I think she knew what would happen.
I grabbed a book and sat down to read to him... And then I was encircled by the two other kids in his class... Like drippy nosed hyenas with big puppy dog eyes and smiles they sat waiting for me to read a book.
And so I put my fear aside and rocked it...
Between them pretending to eat everything on the page (something MF no longer does because he says that pictures aren't real) and then showing me they each have a belly button and that they can each flip over and showing me that they each like a different fish than the others do and then bringing book after book to me to read I somehow survived... And it made me stronger.
I'm not saying I'm ready to open a kid's book store and have story time but one small step (although I still have gross flashbacks of three runny noses staring at me).
And I'm not saying that I deserve an award because this is something other folks do naturally... But I believe in my heart that future generations will look at this moment and see that they should create an award for this kind of situation and then name it after me.
By kenny friedman on Monday, February 06, 2012
If you missed my post from November in which MF is watching a bike video you should check it out. We still limit screen time for him but I always cave when it comes to that video or another of Danny MacAskill's videos.
Really though he's not just watching... He's participating...
He's moved from casual observation to full on mimicking... But without a bike.
Not sure how this came about but he loves it... I should mention in the first video he was supposed to be laying low as he had pneumonia... It didn't stop him. It did slow him down a bit.
On the second one we were getting ready to go to an indoor skatepark for the first time to watch the kids... He had a ton of fun while we were there but this is what we did to get ready. It's a small slice of a larger video which includes me bopping him on the head when I jumped over him... But I lost some weight and those pants were falling off... No one wants to see crack.
I'm still hoping to get a long version of just him. I thought I'd have it last week but that's when he asked me to join.