Friday, August 30, 2013

REBLOG: Talking to our daughters about body shape

As a dad of a toddler girl, I don't look forward to her having to navigate these incredibly difficult waters with her.  Unfortunately, I will have to find ways to help her exist happily whatever her body type is.  The link below will show you a young woman's interesting set of advice to put in the hopper.  I am not convinced that avoiding the subject completely is the way to go but I like some of the concepts here.

"Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes"

There's no such thing as "SAFE".

A few days back I shared the story of Ducky’s first non-stroller walk in the neighborhood.  To recap, it went something like this.
1)walk six feet, sit down and look at a stick for 5 minutes
2)get up and walk 10 feet, sit down and hit 2 rocks together
3)get up and walk 9 feet in the other direction
4)play chicken with an oncoming Nissan until Daddy pulls her out of the way
5)hear a doggie in the window and make a beeline for a stranger's house
6)cry because Daddy won't let her pet the unknown doggie in the stranger's house
7)walk 15 feet pinballing 3 times from one side of the street to the other
8)sit down and play with 2 completely different rocks on the ground
9)repeat at shorter distance intervals ass fatigue increases until she is too tired and Daddy carries    
    her the rest of the way home
10)get home and somehow be a bundle of energy again 
The next day, I had a brilliant idea which was going to resolve the issues of oncoming cars and the distractions of unknown dogs and kids on the route.  We are blessed to live in a county that spends significant resources providing green spaces for residents to use walking, biking, playing, sight-seeing, and picture taking.  The Rollins Savannah is one of those places and happens to be 2 miles from my house.  It's quite perfect.  As we arrived there we found a sign at the mouth of the trail which made me pause to prioritize which gave me pause.  Pictured here is the sign:
 Really!?  Coyotes??  You have marked all the “known dens?”  This seemed unreal to me.  How can I go from getting nervous about cars and probably harmless dogs barking from peoples’ homes and then run to a "safe" place where they need signs to keep your eyes out for what I can only assume are baby-snatching coyotes.  Ridiculous.  This reinforced what should have been an obvious lesson for me.  When it comes to kids, like most things in our lives, there is no such thing as safe, only safer.  As a Dad that thought is scarier than I ever imagined it being but as a person it is what keeps life interesting.  If absolute safe existed, life would be awfully boring because to leave that could seem foolhardy.  Having no complete refuge, no inexorably safe, makes is OK to take risks.  I have the responsibility to take well calculated risks  for me and for Ducky and to try with all that I have to find choices that offer acceptable risk for the experience but there is no capital “S” Safe to be found so risk is an automatic. 

Might as well try to enjoy the ride!

Welcome to Raising a Dad!

It has been a whirlwind 15 months! Our beautiful daughter Ducky joined us in the middle of 2012 and, as would be expected, the whole world changed. She was 8 lbs 1 oz of happy little baby and we knew from minute one how blessed we were to have her. Our family continues to expand as my wonderful wife Allie and I are expecting our second child next February. If all continues as planned, I will get the amazing opportunity to be at home with our kids during the day and I hope to share some of the fun and exciting parts with everybody on here.

Being married to an strong, driven woman has been the highlight of my life so far.  Having been lucky enough to meet her in college so we have had 13 years together already is more than I could have hoped for.  That feeling has only been heightened as we have included a very independent little girl in our home.  I cannot imagine what life will be like with two kids running around; the only guarantee I am willing to make is that it will be insane.  To make sure that we don't ever get into a routine, before Ducky was born we went on a bit of an animal rescue spree.  Over several years, we adopted two seventy pound dogs and two indoor cats.  I am convinced, based on all of this, that I will not run out of things to write about.

Allie and I tend a little toward the hippie end of the spectrum.  As such, we made certain deals with ourselves when we found out we were pregnant.  First, we WILL cloth diaper after a couple weeks when she is big enough for the one sized diapers.  Second, all food and drink WILL be organic and healthy.  Baby WILL breast feed until a year and everything WILL be perfect.  It took about 2 weeks for that to come off the rail.  Try as we might, breastfeeding wouldn't work.  As new parents with a plan, this was a shot to the gut.  One promise we made to ourselves was by the wayside and we weren't even done with maternity leave yet.  Turns out that was a pretty good lesson, "plans are good, humble is better."   We do try to cloth diaper as often as is reasonable but that certainly is not nearly as often as we planned.  I figure 51% would round up to the original "always" we committed ourselves to so we are sort of nailing it.  At this point, it depends on the day if eco-Anthony or lazy-Anthony wins the battle.  Ducky does eat a ton of fruits as planned, often organic.  Unfortunately, about 2 months ago she decided that vegetables were sent here by some evil spirit to make her miserable and that her best defense would be to ignore them.  She doesn't throw a fit, she doesn't drop them off the high chair, she simply acts as if they are not there and if we try to feed them to her she will quietly remove them from her mouth and continue with what she was doing as if we hadn't rudely interrupted her.  We, being of superior intellect, have figured out how to trick a 15 month old using the amazing foil packs.  The foil pack companies are sneaky. They mix broccoli in with the apples and purple carrots with the pears.  I never thought that I would be proud of fooling a baby but here I sit, smiling at our guile. 

Well, now you know a little about us and our family.  The cats, the dogs, the babies, Allie and I will likely all show up prominently in this blog though I want to focus on the parenting aspects of our current existence and specifically on the particular issues encountered by stay at home dads.  We are a growing population but we will encounter situations unique to ourselves and I intend this blog to be a place to engage those.  Thanks for reading and I will catch up with you soon,