Countdown: Less than 24 hours

We are scheduled to go into the hospital tomorrow morning to start an 8 am induction process. The boy is a week “overcooked” and Fina’s provider recommends either inducing at that point, or ultrasounds and other tests to make sure he is ok. There ain’t much space in there, and Fina is done with being pregnant. We planned on this if he was a week late, but I know it feels a bit odd to her to schedule a time to come in to give the birthing process a push out of the nest.

We went for our regular evening stroll through the neighborhood last night and happened upon a woman just as she was leaving a house that we had spent some time in. A friend/one of the instructors at our grad school program rented this house to Fina’s family the first time they came and visited, and they stayed for a month. This was our first exposure to the neighborhood we live in now and it is always a bit bizarre to walk by the house and not know the people that currently occupy it. Anita sold the house probably 4 years ago.

This woman was very friendly and excited to say hi. It just so happens, that she is a doula, who was visiting her clients 8 weeks after their baby was born.  My experience with doulas, including leading up to, and at the birth of my daughter, was not always positive. Doulas are not medical professionals, they are consigliere’s to the mom during the birthing process, and ostensibly I like the idea of a doula acting as a trusted advisor. They can help to ensure that the birth plan is adhered-to as much as possible, and that the OB/GYN’s that may have a tee time to get to, don’t rush you into the operating room.

Unfortunately in my experience, I have found them to be kinda judgmental. “OH, YOU AREN’T SURE WHETHER OR NOT YOU WANT A COMPLETELY NATURAL CHILDBIRTH? YOU SHOULD MAMA!!! IT’S BEST FOR MAMA AND BABY!!! YOU ARE A NINJA WARRIOR! PAIN MEANS NOTHING TO YOU!!!  DO YOU EVEN CARE ABOUT WHETHER YOUR CHILD GROWS UP TO HAVE A FULFILLING LIFE? And the doula we ran into last night reinforced this.

When she saw Fina’s belly, I could smell the sales pitch coming and she eagerly asked, “so mama¹, when are you due?” Fina said that we have an induction scheduled for Friday morning. OH NO! THAT’S SOOOO PAINFUL. DON’T DO IT. IT’S REALLY THE LONGEST AND MOST PAINFUL WAY TO GIVE BIRTH. CAN YOU CANCEL IT? OH GOD!!! PLEASE NOOOOO. JUST START HAVING LOT’S OF SEX, OK? DON’T DO IT.

As you might imagine, this really upset my already pretty distraught wife. We had just been with her OB who walked us through the options and we came to the conclusion that was what was best. Why did the doula say this at that point? Regardless, we are excited to meet our new little guy this weekend and will keep you all posted.

smoking mom

I have seen a pregnant woman chain-smoke, and I am by no means advocating that.  Doulas may recommend it though, to take the edge off.

I have seen a pregnant woman chain-smoke, and I am by no means advocating that.

¹Why do Doula’s call pregnant women who have not yet given birth, Mama? She is not your mother.

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Dragging his heels

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.

cigar ad from the 50s

When men were men and could wait impatiently in the hospital waiting room or nearby watering hole for their spawn… Now all we get is access to our own epidural and the chance to support our partner through a phenomenally difficult thing.

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Oh Boy

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).

DoD:

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.

DoD relaxing in some type of body of water. I inherited the ability to do this really well– and plan to pass it on to my unborn son.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DJ MnBn:

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).

DJ Mn Bn took time away from his busy international DJ lifestyle to take my nephew to a scouting activity. This is both inspirational and a small token of basic parental responsibilities that I too plan to embrace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friends:

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.

Last Night’s BBQ Chicken and Purple Broccolini.

Patience and Listening Go Hand-in-Hand. RIGHT?!! Are you LISTENING!!?!?!

2015-05-27 11.00.56

AT just turned 5 and has a bit of a mischievous streak. She is also someone quite comfortable wearing a crown/tiara. Here she is at her birthday circle at school.

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.

 

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Rockstar Podcast 10.1; Everything Seattle Seahawks with a 4 Year-Old 12th Man

This Rockstar Podcast 10.1 is dedicated to the Seattle Seahawks — who will compete agains the New England Patriots tomorrow at 3 pm our time, here in Seattle. Tay-Tay is the ultimate 12th man and let’s us all know what it’s like and the emotional toll that it takes on a 4 year-old. She also explains football and life, with plenty of metaphors, cliches, and inspirational jargon (but doesn’t “spike the football” too early) — and tells us a bit about her favorite player, Brussel Wilson (no relation to the brussels sprout fortune). Enjoy and always feel free to leave your comments or requests on our contact us page – someone will respond within 24-36 months, we guarantee that. 

 

Rockstar Podcast #10: Holiday Movie Guide; Home Alone, Danish Xmas, et al

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!

 

Eatin' fro yo in the parking lot - apres' swim. Queen Anne, Seattle November 2014.

Eatin’ fro yo in the parking lot – apres’ swim. Queen Anne, Seattle November 2014.

The RockStar the Podcast talent (L-R): J, Tay-Tay, Fini

The RockStar the Podcast talent (L-R): J, Tay-Tay, Fini

Coaching: When to step in and help your kid against overzealousness

AT has been taking swimming lessons at the pool in our neighborhood and she has really loved it. The frolicking, the dunking her head on-command, the positive reinforcement from a real-life swim coach — swimming and learning with an expert that isn’t her dad. It’s been a really great experience except for those periods where she has been inconsolably bawling.

See, most of the staff at the pool is both adept at swimming and teaching, but also interacting with children. This is a hard job for someone that is really good at the former and not the latter.

The pool in question and prior to meltdown.

The pool in question and prior to meltdown.

Everyone of the coaches she works with except that one overzealous guy that CAN’T SEEM TO REALIZE THAT 3 AND 4 YEAR-OLDS LIKE IT WHEN KIDS YELL, BUT NO SO MUCH WHEN ADULTS DO IT!!!

He is great at generating looks of disgust and fear from his routine of excitedly showing how not-to swim gracefully (eg. flailing/splashing/yelling/thrashing/whipping his hair into their sweet little faces like a Merman). See, he’s really good at swimming, and he loves swimming, and see, well, GET IT? YEAAAAAAAAAAH!  HE’S GOOD AT IT!!!! SPLASH!! ALSO KIDS!!! THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO!! OK??!!

The last class was a couple of weeks ago and I had to walk over at a certain point and ask that Merman not be the one to work with AT as she was cowering in the corner and paralyzed with fear. She was the 2nd child to have to “hit the showers” early because Merman had scared them, yet Merman was blissfully unaware that his behavior was causing this.

I was going to really just let it go (in the parlance of our times), but recently Andie moved on to invididual lessons and appears to have developed a fear of all men in pools. Part of me thinks this is a fear I should foster, but only the irrational part thinking about teenage pool parties and 80’s movies.

I felt genuinely stupid about pulling her out of class because let’s face it, my generation is a bunch of wimps. Can you imagine what 4 or 5 generations removed from the greatest generation will be like? I’ll tell  you, they will be ineffectual, afraid of Mermen and other mythical man-creatures, and pretty much afraid of everything. I’ll be tying her shoes when she’s 40 and living in my basement (which is really my parents basement).

Thankfully, these kids will probably get to adolescence and live through a terrible economic depression and World War IV to strengthen their resolve. I was never that lucky and part of me really wishes I was.

In all sincerity; it is a fine line  between tiger-daddying and letting our children learn that people can  be a bit scary, yet harmless. The Merman was definitely harmless and I could even see a flicker of acknowledgement when I had to ask that he stay away from my precious daughter.

This is what AT envisioned when she thought a Merman would be teaching her how to swim.

This is what AT envisioned when she thought a Merman would be teaching her how to swim. Oh how wrong she was.