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.

Dilemma: Help now or forever miss capturing the action for posterity?

I just encountered a scenario that briefly called into question my own internal standing as Worlds Best Daddy (WBD) and I’m eager to see what my loyal subjects, I mean followers think about how I handled it. I’m confident you’ll agree WBD did the best thing for both the internet and of course my child.

Setting the scene:

It was a dark and rainy night, very Film Noir (well I guess it still is because it just happened), and I had just picked AT up from daycare. She was as happy as ever to see me – meaning she was really dissapointed that mom wasn’t there, but that’s besides the point. You don’t get to be WBD by worrying about what your kids want.

Anyway, her daycare is quite nice and in the new “tech ghetto” of Seattle, South Lake Union. There are a ton of people crossing the street and  couple that with the awfulness of Seattle drivers, and it’s really nerve-wracking and you have to be extra careful, especially in the rain, with a screaming 2.5 year old in the car demanding “MORE CRACKERS NOW DADDY!”

So as per usual at this time of night, in this part of town, with this weather, I was a bit distracted (also, I was trying to send a text message and look at google maps, but that’s neither here nor there). When out of nowhere, my precious angel changes the cadence of her scream and I can tell that it’s not about crackers. I look back and AT has spun a Chinese Finger Torture (that’s probably not very PC, sorry) with her hair and it’s cutting off the circulation to her right pointer finger.

Backing up a bit, AT regularly spins her hair and it kinda drives me crazy. I used to work with a woman who I’d consider one of the dumbest and most annoying people on earth and she used to twirl her hair constantly. I associate it with stupidity and it absolutely freaks me out that my little uber-intelligent-smarty-pants could have such a “tick.” I choose to believe that there is no correlation and that the dumby I used to work with was just doing it to antagonize me personally.

As Andie was obviously scared and in pain, I pulled over immediately to rectify the situation and help her untangle, but then I had a thought, perhaps she’d want me to take a photo of it?  I’ve done all kinds of dumb stuff as both an adult and an adolescent, so I’m sure I must have done even dumber things as a child, yet there is no photographic evidence of this. I’d like to have photo evidence of that bean I stuck in my nose, but I’ll admit that I’m not a normal person.

So her finger was getting pretty purple at this point and I don’t feel great about it, but here’s the photo.

If it’s any consolation AT, I really believe you’ll be happy that I caught this for posterity. And thankfully, we were able to save the tip of your finger… and your hair. Actually cutting your hair was my first inclination, but then I remembered you have picture day tomorrow and I can’t deal with the wrath of your mom if you show up looking like some weird hipster.

 

The moral of the story is that we are all winners. I was able to save her hair, her finger, and the image for eternity.