awightdad_1b

Since it was Father’s Day on Sunday, the boy spent a lot of time over the weekend asking me questions about my dad and about my dad’s dad. The boy asked me if my dad and my granddad were nice to me when I was a kid. I told the boy that my dad was awight and that my granddad was pretty good, but I purposefully kept my critiques of their parenting and grandparenting styles somewhat vague. The boy asked, “Did your dad like to spend time with you when you were little?” And I said, I dunno, I guess, at least maybe a little bit. And the boy asked, “Did your dad cook for you?” And I said, No, my mom did all of the cooking when I was growing up.

Then the boy asked, “What was your grandpa like?” And I said, He was a nice man, kinda like a big teddy bear. He used to dress up like Santa Claus during Christmas. And the boy said, “Your grandpa sounds nice.” And I said, He was.

The boy said, “I’m lucky that I have a dad and a daddy, and a birth father, too.” And I said, We’re lucky that you’re our son. And the boy said, “Well, I’m lucky to have a real dad like you and a real daddy like daddy.” And I said, You birth father is your real dad, too. And the boy said, “Yeah, but my real dad is the dad who cooks for me and takes care of me.” And I said, Yeah.

Working

For many years, the boy has said that he wants to be a chef and/or an architect when he grows up. Lately, though, he’s been saying that he wants to be an engineer. I asked him why he wants to be an engineer instead of a chef or an architect, and he said it’s because he wants to 1) build things, 2) experiment with things, and 3) make lots of money.

I told him that an engineer doesn’t necessarily make more money than a chef or an architect, but he said he doesn’t really care. The driving force behind his current career aspiration is the ability to make things, opposed to having to talk or write about things, like what I do for a living.

It’s a funny feeling to realize that my kid isn’t going to be a writer (thank the goddess) or an artist (which is kinda sorta sad and stuff). I guess our brains are just wired differently, and despite the fact that the boy has two artsy-fartsy-ish dads who aren’t scientifically minded, the boy seems to be.

 

screentimeBefore I became a dad, I told myself that any of my future kid(s) would be able to consume as much electronic media as he or she wanted. Now that I’m actually a dad, and I have a son who is obsessed with electronic media, I’m starting to have second thoughts. I mean, it was fine when the boy was little, like, before he was in school and stuff, but I think his consumption of electronic media is starting to get in the way of him being a productive member of second-grade society. Plus, I’m starting to have visions of my son at age 20, and he’s living in my basement playing Minecraft all-day-long.

So I’m trying out this new parenting technique that I like to call “limited screen time after dinner.” Here’s how it works:

  • After homework and dinner, the boy is allowed a set amount of screen time before bedtime.
  • I’ll set a timer, say, for 15 minutes, and when the timer goes off, the boy’s screen time is done.
  • Once the timer goes off after 15 minutes, the boy will renegotiate for additional screen time, at which point I’ll add 10 minutes to the clock.
  • After 10 minutes, I’ll tell the boy that he’s done with screen time, and he’ll invariably ask for five more minutes of time.
  • I’ll concede and give him five more minutes of screen time.
  • Once five minutes have passed, and the boy has used a total of 30 minutes of screen time for the evening, I’ll turn off all of the lights in the house and hide in my bedroom while the boy begrudgingly brushes his teeth and gets ready for bed.

I’ll readily admit that it’s not a very well-thought-out technique. So sue me, sheesh!

sleddingI dunno what it is about boys, but they seem to be impervious to cold weather. If my kid complains about anything, 9 times out of 10, he’s probably complaining about being too hot. Even in the dead of winter. Like, it could be 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and he’ll say that he’s too hot to wear a coat outside. I’m sympathetic to my son’s feels, really, I am.

As a boy, I would rather be freezing cold than even slightly warm. I never understood peeps who were always cold cuz to me the world was always running about 10 degrees too hot for my liking. But then something weird happened when I turned 35. Suddenly, hot weather didn’t bother me so much, and just as suddenly, even the slightest breeze would make me, goddess forbid, cold. I suppose it’s a function of aging, but nowadays, I am more often cold (even when it’s technically kinda sorta hot) than I am not.

When I took the boy sledding, his chief complaint was being too hot. It was 26 degrees Fahrenheit. So while I was freezing in my overcoat, hat, and gloves, I practically had to force the boy to wear his outerwear. I told the boy that one day when he’s my age, he’ll probably realize the difference between hot and cold, but he said, “Dad, when I’m your age, there will be machines that keep the weather the same all of the time so we won’t need to worry about that.” And I said, What would be the ideal temperature for you in this climate-controlled future? And the boy said, “I dunno, maybe 40 degrees?”

I told the boy that we’d reconvene this conversation in 30 years.

 

 

snowdayThe weather forecast calls for another few inches of snow later this afternoon, which sounds like a joy. And by joy, I mean, we already have at least two feet of snow accumulated in our front and back yards, so what’s an additional two or three inches gonna do, amirite? I dunno about you, but I’m done with winter, officially. I know peeps always complain about cold weather during the winter as if it’s a surprise, but I’m pretty sure this winter will go down in the annals of bad weather as one of the worst. Couple the bad weather with the excessive amounts of travel I’ve had to do for work lately and it’s basically a recipe for a really ticked off lazy dad.

Meanwhile, busy daddy and the boy can’t seem to get enough of the snow. They decided to burrow a few snow tunnels in our front yard because of course they did. Just watching them play outside in the snow made me tired, sheesh.

movienight

It’s been awhile since I’ve actually been at home on a Friday night, so it was nice to have an honest-to-goodness Friday movie night with busy daddy and the boy. Actually, we saw a matinée of the LEGO Movie cuz I’m still feeling like kaka-doodie and I’m planning to be in bed by 8:00 PM, so whatevs. I guess our entire town also decided to see the matinée of the LEGO Movie cuz the theater was a cluster fudge of peeps and we ended up getting terrible seats in the very front row.

But no matter. The LEGO Movie was fantastic and highly recommended! For the past week, the boy has been singing this kinda sorta insipid song, but it turns out that the song is supposed to be insipid. And totes catchy. It’s like an ear worm that burrows into your brain once you hear it. I’m actually singing that shizz right now!

falafel

Since we’ve been holed up at home for the past few days, we decided to step out for a quik-e bite at a local Middle Eastern-slash-falafel joint. We’ve been there before, and the eats are always yum, but today we met the owner, who is super-sweet, and her welcoming attitude makes us want to go back again soon.

Busy daddy ordered a plate of falafel and a side of sweet potato fries, which I was told were deloycious, but who knows since I haven’t had much of an appetite lately. The boy said the eats were awight, but I think it’s only because he wanted hummus instead falafel. Next time.

Busy daddy and I told a story to the boy about how when we were grad students-slash-starving artists living in New York City, we used to eat $1 dollar falafel for dinner all of the time because that’s what we could afford. The boy said, “That sounds like a cheap date!” And I said, You’re telling me. Busy daddy reserved comment.

donutsEveryone at the Busy-Lazy shack seems to be a bit under the weather lately, and frankly, the piles of snow outside ain’t helping matters. I think I caught whatever stomach bug the boy had a few days ago, so I feel utterly craptastic. Like, every bone in my body hurts and the thought of eating anything makes my stomach churn. The good news is that this stomach bug is turning out to be the Best Diet Evah cuz I’ve lost, like, five pounds since yesterday! The bad news is that it’s probably just water weight and stuff. I think I might be a little bit dehydrated cuz I’m becoming a little bit loopy.

I called out sick from work for the rest of the day cuz staring at my computer screen all morning was resulting in diminishing returns. Really, there is only so much a person can stare at a website in dev mode before you want to tell everyone to STFU.

Busy daddy’s office is closed today due to the weather, so he’s been running errands and/or shoveling snow. On his way back from the gym, he called to see if I wanted some donuts or somethin’. I said, No donuts for me, but maybe the boy would like one? So busy daddy bought six.

Nothin’ says love like a half-dozen heart-shaped donuts from the local donut emporium. Too bad I can’t eat any, but the boy said they were deloycious!

glassesWhen the boy was a wee lad, he had this strange habit of blinking his eyes and scrunching up his face at random times. It was adorbz, obvs, but after awhile, busy daddy and I started to grow concerned that maybe there was something wrong with our son. But each year at the boy’s annual wellness checkup, the pediatrician would tell us not to worry. Babies often exhibit tics that they eventually outgrow, the pediatrician would tell us. Lighten up a bit, he’d say.

Sure enough, the boy’s facial scrunching and blinking subsided, and through the years he picked up other tics that came and went. There was a period between ages two and three when the boy would curl his toes under his feet and walk on his toe knuckles for shizz and giggz. Then there was a period between ages three and five when the boy would cross all of his fingers—index with middle and ring with pinkie—and walk around with clenched hands.

Generally speaking, I’m not much of a worry wart when it comes to weirdo kiddie stuff. As an older brother to many younger siblings and as an uncle to too-many nieces and nephews to count, I’ve seen my share of kiddie behavior that might seem strange at the time but never had any lasting effects.

The boy’s blinking and face scrunching resurfaced with a vengeance sometime last year, and although I didn’t think much of it at the time, when the boy had his annual wellness checkup last fall, it became clear that there actually might be something behind this tic. Turns out, the boy failed his eye exam. It wasn’t a near-miss kinda failure. It was a can’t-see-the-biggest-letter-on-the-top-of-the-eyechart failure.

Shortly before Christmas, the boy got his first pair of glasses, and suddenly the blinking and face scrunching stopped. Actually, he still occasionally does the blinking and face scrunching thing, but I think it’s probably more out of muscle memory than anything else.

The first time the boy looked at the world through his new glasses, he said that everything suddenly looked 3-D. I asked him what things looked like before getting glasses, and he said, “I dunno, not 3-D.” The boy has a kind of myopia that’s progressive, so as he gets older, his vision will likely continue to falter. It’s not terrible and he could probably get contacts or Lasik surgery if he wants when he’s older, but the boy minimally will need corrective lenses for the rest of his life.

There was a time when wearing glasses would make a kid a target for ridicule, but I think (I hope, at least) that times have changed. I don’t think the boy minds wearing glasses, although he has recently developed a habit of “forgetting” where he put his glasses and walking through the world with blurry eyes. I think the fact that the boy sees both of his fathers (and many family members) wearing glasses, so it’s really NBD. At least that’s what I hope. Plus, boys who wear glasses are adorbz, amirite?