Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Saying "No"

Declan has now reached the ripe old age of 1 year and as such he has become more and more daring.  He's tall enough and stable enough to climb up on most furniture now and can also figure out how to open a drawer or door that does not have a latch or lock on it.  And he's figured out that he can take his bigger and heavier toys and drop them on the floor or bang them against the wall to make a symphonic cacophony of noise that apparently he enjoys immensely.  

As such the word "no" is quite frequently heard throughout our house.  However, the reaction you get from Declan when you tell him no can no better be predicted than the next winning lottery number.  Here are just a few of my favorites:
  • He will stop whatever he was doing and go about something else (I feel like SuperDad when this happens)
  • He will ignore you completely (kids...)
  • He will stop, turn towards you, look you dead in the eye and continue doing what he's doing (I dare anyone not to laugh at that)
  • He will run away screaming as if you just did the funniest thing ever (I want that kid's sense of humor)
  • He will start crying like you just took his favorite toy and broke it in front of him (which I have thought of doing I'm kind of ashamed to admit)
All of this brings us to the question, "Is he not listening to us?"  When I stop and think about that I feel bad because I want to be the authority figure in Declan's life and I don't want him to grow up to be a brat or worse yet a DB.  What can I do to make him listen to me more.  If he does things after we tell him not to I have given him a little tap on the bum (which he barely feels cause of the diaper) and that has no effect on him.  I redirect him if possible.  Ignore the behavior if it's not unsafe. 

After all of this soul searching and questioning of myself and my parenting abilities I feel utterly absurd because I have had the realization that the root of the problem isn't me or his mom or anyone else.  The root of the problem is Declan.  And it's not really his fault either, so I can't get mad at him over it either.  He can't control it.  This problem will go away eventually, especially if we remember the root but also strive to teach him what "no" means and what is appropriate and what is not. 

So what is the root?  What is this horrible thing that makes my son misbehave and not listen to us?  What possible ailment could inflict a child so small as to cause him to drive us insane at times and burst out laughing at others?

He's one.

That's right, he's only one year old.  He has no contextual grasp of the idea of "no".  He will, with time and training from the adults around him.  But at this point to expect him to "listen" to you and (cue Cartman voice) "respect my authority" is just setting yourself up for disappointment.  He's only one and rather than focus on getting him to do what we want him to we really need to focus on the amazement in his eyes and mind when his figures out that he push his toybox up to the sofa and use it as a step stool to get up on the couch, which then unlocks a whole new treasure trove of things to play with (lamps, picture frames, coasters, phones, etc).  Well that and quickly take him down so he doesn't fall. 

Wish - I wish that my son will always be thirsty for knowledge and always want to learn more.  When he asks a question I never want him to accept "Because" as an answer.  If he can't find out I want him to want to know so much that he will go look up the answer himself.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Accept everyone

The recent news of the Boy Scouts of America still not allowing gay people to participate in scouting activities has really struck a nerve with me.  Let me say up front that I am an Eagle Scout and some of my most fond memories of growing up are from scouting.  So much so that a few months ago I bought Declan a rather expensive but totally cute tshirt that looks like a scout uniform.  I really want Declan to have some of those same experiences cause of how much I loved them.  Now I know he may not want to do scouting and that's fine with me if that's his choice. 

The issue is that I want to teach Declan to accept everyone, regardless of how they may be different than you.  So how can I then support him joining a group who's policies say that gays can't participate?  I don't want to support any group that discriminates against other people, and the fact that the BSA are one of those groups is truly ripping me up inside.

Wish - I wish that Declan will always judge people not by their differences but how they treat others.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I love my little guy, I truly and honestly do.  But sometimes I just wish he would go to sleep.  I wish I could say that he sleeps through the night with no problems, but he usually doesn't.  It's not something I worry about or anything like that, it's more of an annoyance than anything.

Wish - I wish that Declan's sleeping habits get better...soon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Being a working dad sucks

My wife is a teacher in a high school so she is off for the summer.  Today she took Declan to the beach with her mom and I'm jealous.  She was nice/cruel enough to send me a short video of the little guy playing with his shovel in the sand and it was great to see, but I also wish I could be there.

I am finding that balancing family/work/me/chore time is a very difficult thing to do and some people have a clearly different idea of how I should spend all of my time than I do, but I am doing the best that I can and doing what I think is right.  Unfortunately I can't spend 100% of my time as family time but I do find that I cherish the time with my family more because of this.  Even when we are doing "nothing", like watching TV or going shopping I have found that I enjoy that time just as much as the fun stuff (like going swimming or to the zoo).

Wish - I wish that Declan will one day play an instrument.  I wish I had the time and the talent to learn an instrument.  I played the drums in school and I could probably still hold a beat but it's my wish Declan takes an interest to an instrument and carries that with him for the rest of his life.  Maybe someday I'll have the time to learn an instrument too and we can "jam" together.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Underestimating the time it takes to be a Dad.

Long time no post huh? Yeah I know, I know. I will admit that I severely underestimate the sheer amount of time being a dad takes. There are so many things that I would like to be doing that I simply don't have the time for (like blogging) and to be honest I don't feel bad about that. Declan is by far the best thing in the world to ever have happened to me and I am thankful for him everyday (even when he tries to roll away while I'm trying to change his diaper, what a mess). 

So there has been so much going on in my life that I really don't know what to start with. So I have decided that I will try to make a lot more shorter posts that long posts, but I will end each post with something I either want to do with my son someday or that I want him to experience for himself.  Some of these may be rehashed from previous posts, but I'll just blame that on laziness or a particular passion for that wish, take your pick.

I wish that Declan will someday dance with him mom at his wedding.  Getting to dance with my mom was an awesome experience and something I will always cherish.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Still getting ready.....

It's been a few weeks since the baby shower and I'm still trying to get everything put together and have the room ready to go...but we have time right?  Well maybe, and maybe not.  The further on this pregnancy goes the more I'm convinced Rusty is going to make his arrival before his ETA.  At this point I would say his nursery is about 75% complete, I have two more pieces of furniture to put together and then we have all the toys, chairs, play mats, and everything else to put together too.  Once the room is complete I will take some shots and post them up for everyone to see.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Post-Shower Part 1

Last weekend (5/22/11) my parents and mother-in-law had a baby shower for Erin.  To be honest I would have liked to have stayed and opened the presents with Erin but it was a thing for the "women" as I was told so me and my dad went out for breakfast while they had their tea and crumpets. 

As my father and I were leaving the restaurant in the morning he informed me that my rear tire was getting low and would need some air.  Noting his suggestion I made a point to remind myself to swing by the gas station that night to fill up the tire and thought nothing more of it.  When we arrived back at the shower I was amazed to see the sheer amount of things we had received as gifts, the generosity of our friends and family was astonishing.  And after about another 30 minutes or so of talking with people and helping Erin open some of the bigger gifts I began the process of loading the van, only to find out that my tire was no longer "a little low", it was completely flat!  So we instead loaded up my parents mini-van and had my car towed to Brockton and had to go out and get a new tire.  Oh boy, what a memorable shower!

Tune in next time to hear about some of the awesome gifts we got!