Throw Up Isn’t So Bad

As a kid I used to think that throw up was gross.  Then during college I realized it was the body healing itself and Gawd punishing me for my sins.  Usually the sin of mixing wine with tequila or wine with anything actually.  If I got the evil out of my tummy I would feel much better the next day instead of rolling in agony all night.  Just get it out and over with.  While my post-collegial life has had limited barfing sessions, when they have occured, they are a welcome respite to the awful feeling of nauseau, stomach rummbling and general malaise that the pre-vomiting condition entails.  It sucks.  As it stands, before I had a kid I was actually pretty ambivilent about throw up.  I didn’t necessarily like it at all but welcomed it when it was over as a natural part of the “cycle of life” and other B.S.

Since having a kid I knew she was going to barf eventually and I wasn’t necessarily afraid, it just hung omminssly in the back of my mind.  I’m not talking spit up or any of that “little stuff” either. Well, our darling daughter has been supringly healthy for the first 20 months of her life, so the other day, when she at a huge raisin bagel with extra cream cheese I thought nothing of it.  During her nap I heard several screams but figured they were just her talking. Then the tone changed and, since it was about 2 hours into the nap, I figured it was time to get up.  She lay covered in dried vomit and had a very sickly gross palor.  I felt guilty for being reading the NY Times while my kid was throwing up but whaddya going to do sit outside her door?

Well, I thought, her comes the vomit.  But that didn’t bother me, it was the not knowing what caused the vomit that bugged.  Was it overeating? Did she gag herself? Did she just have a sick stomach? Dunno.  Anyway, in attempting to clean her up, she started to ralph on her back and I realized I was about to have a Jimi Hendrix Experience if I didn’t turn her on her side.  Daddy saves the day! Baby doesn’t choke on own vomit!  She dribbled some more out and all over me and in the tub where I was tempted to spray her down with the shower but realized that might ingrain some Karen Silkwood memory in her that would never be fixed.  With towels, a change of clothes and some hugs, we re-constructed the baby and got into a good zone.   We ate saltines  and water for a snack later because you know how hungry you are after throwing up right? Mom always swears by saltines and so do I.  Carry them everywhere.

I know some stomach bug is going hit our house some day and we’ll all be bent over the toilets but so far we’ve been lucky.  I can confidently say  I will be ok with it.  I’m prepared to clean up, hold heads up and wipe mouths clean and give hugs appropriately when called upon to do so.   Throw up isn’t so bad.  It’s all how you approach it.

Whine Isn’t Just a Drink for Dinner

Punditdad has had it up to here with whining. Both from his toddler and from the people out in the place we call the world.  People are too wimpy to really be angry but too bored to let things pass.  Our darling daughter gets instant R-E-S-P-E-C-T if she screams at TOP volume if you give her a rice cake instead of crackers.  I dig it. I’d rather someone was decisive with me rather than mildly complaining.  People should be the same. Mad at something? Leave. Don’t like a website? Don’t go there? In fact, I’m whining about people whining which is probably part of my blogging self loathing.

The latest thing some dad bloggers have been whining about the picture at the bottom of the page, apparently in time for Father’s Day.

I”m not sure how this is offensive.  So you don’t like being a SAHD? Stop.  Now what would happen if it was a woman in an evening gown? I think I’d find that a bit liberating eh? Don’t have to be a stay at home employee regardless of your gender.  I can only come to the conclusion that there are  a tremendous number of people who are actively looking for something to be insulted so it provides their shitty blogs with meaningless content.  This blog doesn’t need content to be shitty, that’s why Punditdad stays away and abandons you, the reader, at various times.   I’ll be back soon but do you think this picture is offensive to anyone? I don’t shop Lord and Taylor but the guy looks sharp in his suit.  Why are some kids in jammies but some are dressed for a summer day? I’m offended as a parent!

Once a Mormon missionary, now an overdressed SAHD.

Once a Mormon missionary, now an overdressed SAHD.

What’s Your Angle Daddy?

Sheesh, in the time that I’ve taken off from moving from OC to IL the world has suddenly become covered in Stay at Home Dads.  Note this interesting article this morning in the NYTimes:

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/the-daddy-shift/?hp

I know people are out there looking for stories with hooks, an angle to make the story sexier and the stay at home dad “trend” seems to get that abuse all the time.  Here is a list of story angles in the past two years I’ve read that told more about the angle than the real STORY of how dads are equal caregivers in the modern age.

1.  Daddy is resented by Mommy for staying home.

2. Daddy is resented and mistrusted by other Mommies by staying home.

3. Daddy is resented, mistrusted and alone in a community that doesn’t understand what kind of pussy would stay home with his kids.

4. Dads don’t kill kids if they stay home.  Suprise!

5. Stay at home dads organize, have playdates and breath oxygen like other beings.

6.  Sometimes staying at home is an financial choice, other times its because that’s the BEST choice.

7. Kids grow up happy, safe and loved when home with dads.

8. Damnit, if this trend continues, society may someday recognize it…as something.

9. There is still a lot of work to be done in identity politics both for men and women.

10.  Dads really, really, really love their kids.

For a long time people in parenting magazines and such have been writing abou the travails of moms and their adventures. I wonder if those same magazines like Parenting and such are going to start turning towards dads to address problems, concerns, questions and challenges? I hope so.  Hell, maybe it’s time for a monthly Stay at Home Magazine?? Heck yes!

Sweet Home Chicago

Jake and Elwood would have made great SAHDS!

Jake and Elwood would have made great SAHDS!

When I was a kid, I saw the Blues Brothers for the very first time maybe around 9 or 10. It had car crashes, weird dancing and a lot of sunglasses. I really loved it except for the musical interludes. Now as an adult, I think the music is what makes the movie.  Performances with Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles are the spirit of Chicago, the soul, the vibe, the outrageous nature of the City of Broad Shoulders.   Yah, the movie glosses over the poverty, the racial inequality and the corruption that has stunk up the city for many many years, but heck, they drive a car through a mall and that’s a good thing.  Chicago has all the things that you could want, arts, sports, crazy weather, friendly people and interesting politics.   The freeways are terrible, the wind is terrible and the snow is terrible but it makes the summers that much more golden and the people that much more harty.  I’m hoping we’re here (again) for a long time.

Punditfamily has just finished getting moved to and I’m going to try and use the end of the crazy moving lifestyle to mix it up and get the blog going again.   Although we were sad to leave the weather of California, it was always a temporary assignment and it’s nice to get it out of our system and, hopefully settle down.

I’m getting acclimated to the community we are now in and am thinking about a new blog devoted to seeing it with fresh eyes. Will let you know if I’m brave enough to reveal it’s whereabouts.

On the prowl for dads and dad’s groups here, thinking that the Bush recesssion has affected enough that dads’ are coming out of the woodwork to hook up at parks and get their kids outdoors.  I’ll keep your posted.

The World Doesn’t Need More Mini-Me’s

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.

When I was a bit younger and there was no TVLand, I watched a show called Family Ties on NBC.  On the show, Michael J Fox, before the movies, was a young, Reagan loving country club republican who held Nixon and the burgeoning economy of the 80’s int the highest regard.  This was in stark contrast to his hippy parents who worked for public television or whatever and embraced highly liberal views.  That was the joke see, the kid was a Republican and they were hippies. Hilarity ensues.

Now that I’m a parent I see the wisdom of this show.  The world doesn’t need more people who think like their parents. The world needs people who think like the next generation of humans.  People who see the world’s value based on the future, not on the past. Unfortunately, I see everyday people trying to coax, prod, push, kick and scream their child into becoming a clone of themselves.  To affirm the values that they have used in their lives to get by every day.  They hold the same mannerisms. Value the same things (tv, junkfood, expensive cars, germaphobia, xenophobia and so on) and instill the same primitive, puritanical fears that they had instilled into them by their parents. It sucks and it will continue I’m sure.

I think that I will be a successful parent if my child feels the freedom, strength and confidence in themselves to be able to be the polar opposite of me. To resist my views, question my thinking and chose a different path.  I won’t be insulted and I won’t take offense.  I will feel honored that my child had the intellectual freedom  and the “sanctuary” to feel something different.  On the other hand, maybe they will pick and chose their own world view, a natural evolution of thinking that exists in a world without Michael J. Fox or Teen Wolf, one where the ipod, the laptop and the internet are as natural as Duran Duran.

Many people say that we have children to create ourselves all over again because we fear death and want to use our only real natural god given talent to attain a small bit of immortality.  That’s never been my reasoning. I’ve always thought that my wife and I had an overabundance of love in our hearts and that we could share it with our child.  Hopefully, no matter the views of our children, they will feel the same. Lately, at the playground I’ve been fighting this a bit.  My daughter sometimes doesn’t do what I want and I get frustrated. She doesn’t want to go down the slide or play on the jungle gym. She doesn’t want to walk in my direction or see the thing I”m pointing at.   Restraint is more difficult than frustration and a child of 18 months doesn’t know squat. But how am I going to feel later, when the decisions she makes are important and shape who she is? Will I give her enough rope to survive and thrive or will I be too afraid of who she might become?  Who knows. I’ve got plenty of years to screw her up but for now, I’m trying to settle down and let her kook around the park walking like a zombie and pointing and nothing.  Maybe, if I do a good enough job, she’ll grow up and be a minature Alex P. Keaton? Perish the thought.

Stay At Home Dads Therapy Group = Park ‘N Play

Let the slide release your Id.

Let the slide release your Id.

Despite being a man, I’m comfortable “sharing” the challenges of being home with a child with other men. This isn’t rocket science as to why. I want to know when their kids nap, snack, scream, shit, shower and generally how they operate.  Do they keep their kids up too late or never nap them? Do they feed them junk food or tons of juice?  You gotta find out if you’re doing the right things or what. Is the library cool or the zoo fun or too expensive?  Only through sharing do you find this stuff out. I met a guy today who has 4 kids, 6, 4, 3, and 21 months. He’s been doing the SAHD thing for 6 years! This guy is like the YODA of SAHDS and I barely got a chance to pick his brain.  What I could learn from him. Where did I meet him? At the weekly park group that I attend.  About 5-6 dads and their kids go to the park, run around, eat, snack and shoot the bull.   Now some people would have trouble with this group. Why? Because they are afraid to show up and meet strangers. They are afraid they won’t fit in or say the right things. I understand it but in this tough world that we live in, you gotta be stronger than that.  Thankfully, about 10 months ago, I started going to the OC Dads group and what a great group of guys I’ve gotten to know. They are my friends.

The Bean is the youngest of them and is still walking around like a stoned Frankenstein’s Monster that can’t throw a ball, ride a bike or do much other than get pushed on the swings.  But being around other kids and seeing her intereact with them is gratifying.  Seeing her be around other men who are parenting is cool and I know she’s a little bit better off because of it.  I’ve met cool guys who write movies, tv, create websites, daytrade in the market, parachute and dumpster dive.  They are all different and have a unique and relaxed manner of parenting — similiar to me.  In fact, being with them has cemented the confidence I have, that parental anxiety drips down to kids and that letting kids be kids is the most important thing you can do.  I look forward to seeing the dads and spending another sunny day at the park, shooting the bull and eating goldfish crackers.

Flying Solo

I'm your Captain. Would you like a pillow?

I'm your Captain. Would you like a pillow?

Flying solo is a difficult time in the Punditdad household. It means that I’m forced to be with and care for the child ALL DAY with no relief during the night for “the put down”. Somehow, when the chores of parenthood were split up, Punditdad chose feeding dinner at night and Momma chose putting to bed and all associated rituals.  Now, when Momma leaves for work so she can earn more money and keep Punditdad in the lifestyle that he has become accustomed to, he must take over the loathsome chores.

For someone who does the nap time put down, putting to bed is arduous, slow and completely un-riveting.  She is tired, I want an ice cold beer and neither of us is really excited to be here. That’s why when Momma is out of town we do a strict 5:30 PM feed time and a strict 6:00 PM bedtime.  This may seem early but the Bean is usually asleep by 6:30 PM anyway.  I mean, what the hell, I’m going to be the one she sees at 7:00 AM anyway when it’s time to get out of the jammies and eat breakfast so cut me a break.

This week it’s Monday through Friday of flying solo. I’ve done it before but Parent Sanity is the most fragile of things. I must hold on. I can hold on. Is it bedtime yet?