This baby is really dragging his heels, mostly into the side of Fina’s insides. I’m no medical expert, but it feels like the waiting game is bad for my health, and it’s possible he is doing this to torture us. Uncertainty and fear of the unknown shouldn’t be weighing me down, not because I’m the World’s Best Daddy™ with experience in both child-rearing and child-birth-observation, but because most of this early stuff should be pretty easy for me. I’ve already packed my cigars for the waiting room. I’m taking my companies paternity leave and plan on working on my golf game (it’s for work, honey!) so that I can maximize my provider-ability for my burgeoning family. I jest. I plan on being an active father and making the recovery from child-birth as smooth as possible for my wife.
We found out a couple of weeks ago that your humble-blogger, WBD, will now be the father of a boy. I’d like to say that I wasn’t extra excited about the prospects of teaching this unformed XY chromosomer how to throw a curve ball, but then I remembered that I’d have to learn how to do that myself. For someone that thinks of themselves as a jack of all/master of none, this was going to provide some complexity on the teaching-front.
From a clueless male’s perspective having a little girl is actually quite easy. The bar is set so low that anything I provide seems instantly valuable and useful. When I was solo-parenting it was amazing (and a bit off-putting) how frequently I garnered praise for the most mundane action (WOW, YOU CAN KEEP A CHILD IN A GROCERY CART WITHOUT ACCIDENTALLY RUNNING OVER IT!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! YOU CAN GET A BABY THROUGH THE SECURITY CHECKPOINT AT THE AIRPORT ALL BY YOURSELF!! YOU’RE A HERO!!), while on the flip-side of that, I observed a mom who was juggling toddler twins with a newborn strapped to her chest deftly navigate a post office at Christmas, receive not a word of encouragement or affirmation. Perhaps I looked like someone that needed help, but who is going to help me when there are macho dude things to teach?
I thought I’d endeavor to create a list of my “manspirations” to remind me that I have quite a few “dudes” in my life that can help me teach my unborn child to be masculine (assuming said unborn actually wants this).
Dear-ol’-Dad is and always will be a dichotomy; a bookish-intellectual who loves yelling at the TV just as much as the next guy. He taught me about building trellises in the garden, how to throw an elbow playing sports (or catching BART), and the value of being seen and not heard. I didn’t learn that last one very well, but perhaps my little guy will. AT has nicknamed herself “chatter box” so this may be a genetic flaw too great to overcome. “Fortune favors the bold” is something I’ve never actually heard him say, but know that’s what he believes. I’ll pass that bit on.
Here is a photo of my brother, another male role model in my family. Despite his appearance, he is a great dad, has a good job as a lawyer at a Swedish agency that helps immigrants settle in Sweden (some even deservedly-so), and a loving family. Because of his appearance, we have nicknamed him DJ MnBn (vowels removed to protect the innocent).
This is the group I’m counting on to both teach me and reign me in. Sammy, you will teach me to build stuff like an addition to our tiny home. Daniel P, you will teach me how to ride a motorcycle and how to best enunciate with my hands. DK, you will teach me some baseball things (and hope that Jr. doesn’t inherit my uncanny ability to get injured). Nate, you will teach me how to fly fish and Eagle Scout level camp. Blanch, you will teach me high finance. The list goes on an on of things my friends will teach me, that I will someday hope to teach my son. Thank you in advance!
Here’s something that my mom taught me, that I will pay forward.
“Easy as pie” BBQ chicken recipe that is both a little bit country and lotta rock n’ roll:
1) Brine the chicken with a mix of apple juice and salt, 2) put chicken in that brine, 3) let soak for 30+ minutes (more than 2 hours is great), 4) BBQ that chicken, 5) don’t over or under-cook it. Guestimate is hot fire (400 degrees, covered) for 20 minutes. 6) let it rest for at least 10 minutes before cooking it.
Our 11th Rockstar Podcast is in honor of the Grateful Dead’s “last shows” this coming weekend in Chicago. Though really, are these their last shows? Weren’t the Stones saying that 20 years ago?? And like any good Dead song, it goes on and on and there is neither a “hook”, a bridge, or discernible point, and with any luck, afterwards you’ll remember none of it. It is one long glorious rambling rose – please enjoy responsibly.
— James Taylor (@kungfoolery) July 1, 2015
Grateful Dead, “Ramble On Rose” – Just before Jerry died.
Rich Stadium Orchard Park NY – 6/26/1994
I really have to start taking my own advice. Frequently, when AT gets frustrated or confused (or denied her precious “shows”) she lashes out and gets really upset, and I always try to calm her down by saying “take a deep breath”. My mom taught me this one and it works for pretty much any scenario where you feel stress. With AT, it works most of the time. Sometimes she even realizes that she has overreacted and apologizes for her misbehavior, which I think is pretty great for a newly minted 5-year-old. I’m really proud of her when she does that.
That being said, it feels like I’m constantly repeating myself, trying to get her to listen and pay attention and sometimes I break and I yell. I hate myself when I do that and I also feel like they are completely avoidable if I just “take a deep breath” before reacting to what I feel like is the end of my rope.
After a brief hiatus of 6 months — taken as the on-air partners worked through both contractual and creative differences/mental sabbatical; RockSta®: the Podcast ©™ — is “back and better than ever imagined before”©!
On this return episode we tackle everything in 10 minutes from hard hitting local issues like the deep-bore(ing) tunnel/Big Bertha, to the holiday classic movie, Home Alone. We also introduced our new contributor; the strong/silent, Fini© – all the way from Denmark!©. We hope you enjoy! Happy Holidays!
— James Taylor (@kungfoolery) December 21, 2014
This is perhaps the first post that AT might one day in her teen years actually be a bit pissed at me about. Please sweetheart, forgive me in advance and tell your therapist that I am not a monster. Recently, at the behest of her pediatrician, we setup a visit to discuss bed-wetting. This provider instilled a level of worry in my ex-wife that was slightly below the nuclear option. The provider thought we should come in to discuss “the issue”.
This started as a harmless 4 year check up appointment setting and the passing comment, “Is it a bit strange that she’s still wearing a diaper at night?”
She’s been sans-diaper all-day since before she was two, but she still doesn’t wake up in the night to pee… and she ain’t holding it.
Fina and I have experienced the failed experiment of just ripping the bandaid off – peeing her (as Pappa Goob says) before bed and hoping she doesn’t wet the bed. The result thus far is that we’ve been changing the sheets daily by letting her pee the bed night after night for a week. This as you might imagine, was not productive.
AT’s mom was smarter about it and just didn’t take the diaper off for sleeping; and the guilt pouring into her emails planning this emergency doctor’s appointment echoed that of a mom who woke up one day and realized it was probably weird to still be breastfeeding her 13 year old.
AT ended up having a pretty unnecessary, if not mildly reassuring, visit with a healthcare provider — but it wasn’t her pediatrician. He was a 20-something Doctor of Herbs and Massages (or Naturopath for short) from Bastyr. He was super chill, said don’t fret, and told us that if she was still doing it at 6 start trying some home remedies.
The ARNP that serves as her pediatrician (pretty great, so I guess busy) wasn’t actually able to see her when we went to the appointment that had been scheduled in the previous day’s panic. So, thankfully we’ll be back in a couple weeks for her actual check-up.
This most recent podcast was much more disjointed and significantly longer than any other podcast we’ve ever done. The format and feel are reminiscent of an experimental art rock band’s first show – with a dab more angst. It’s pretty deep. If you don’t like it it’s probably because you can’t appreciate art.
Rockstar Visions #3 is a 3 part experiment with 3 distinct elements: 1) Do’s and Don’t’s of Rockstar (hint: something you shouldn’t do on a plane), 2) Eatin’ Burgers and Talkin’ Bout Life (cousins in Ukraine), 3) The marriage of the married girl Elsa to King Diamond (with exciting sub-story about our brothers and sisters of the animal kingdom, the majestic Giraffe). ~ Enjoy
— James Taylor (@kungfoolery) March 29, 2014