Archives for the month of: February, 2012

Puberty and hormones attack Gavin’s chin!

I'm So Distraught About My First Zit!

There are age recommendations for toys.  But why bother?  Either you can play with it, or you can’t.  So, I just toss the recommendations out the window…Well, I used to.

The toy that taught me and Worm a valuable life lesson is Jenga.  It’s mainly a game played (while inebriated) at an event where there’s more casual acquaintances and unknowns rather than friends.  It’s a nice ice breaker type of game.  Since Worm is lacking the traditional social skills of humans (verbal communication, nonverbal communication, emotional control, etc.), we decide that playing Jenga is a major socialization tool to increase his collection of friends at future milk and chicken pox parties.

Mattel states that Jenga is a game for “Ages 6 to adult”.  Personally, I didn’t realize that playing with blocks was conceptually advanced for a baby’s brain to wrap around.  But hey, this is America, where no child is left behind and the bar is set really low for educational pursuits so every child feels good about him or herself because that’s what’s really important in the world, not competition nor the drive to try to be the best you can be.  I digress.

I don’t know how many versions of Jenga are out there, but I’m assuming (which only makes an ass out of U and Ming, poor girl) that every Jenga has the same blocks that get stacked up and removed individually, with the reward of forcing a player to chug a beer or take a shot if one can keep the stack from crumbling to the ground.  When the Worm was presented with his new Jenga game, we allowed him to first try to get the container open.  And this is where I started to reevaluate that “Ages 6 to adult” idea.

Jenga is Dangerous For Children Under 6.

I’m impressed with his enthusiasm for the Jenga container.  But, this time enthusiasm gets the better of Worm.

I Was Appalled at the Animosity Jenga Had Towards My Innocent Child.

At Least He Got One Piece Out of the Container...

So, Jenga has set my son back mentally and emotionally.  He now wets himself, spits up, and cries.  Ok, so he was doing that before, but it seems like more liquid comes out of him now.  I blame it on the Jenga.  Worm will carry the scars of Jenga for the rest of his life all because we didn’t read the label.  Just a word of advice for parents.  Adhere to the age guidelines for toys!

Since I have nothing better to do I may have to start an organization that lobbies for pictures on the labels of toy packages showing the gory images of what happens when parents don’t adhere to the age recommendations (kind of like what the government wants to do with cigarettes).  I don’t want something like this to happen to any other child.  EVER!  Join me in my fight against parents having to read labels!

I have to give myself a point here because unlike Worm, I know how to open the Jenga container.  Besides, he’s still reeling from the trauma of the toy…I’m going to take advantage of him while he’s down!

Gavin – 8; Dad – 5

My kid has ugly toes.  (They’re not long, shapely, and seductive like my toes.)  He’s got short, stubby little sausages glued to the end of his foot.  His toenails are something alien, too.  You know how chefs will thumb press a raisin or a cherry into the top of the cookie dough clumps before baking the cookies?  Well, it looks like before our bun came out of the proverbial oven, the “Chef” hastily pressed ten toenails into Gavin’s chubby digits…and pressed a bit too hard.

Worm’s toenails are buried under his skin, which means nail clipping is never easy.  Since no parent wants to inflict visible pain on their children, nail clipping time becomes more than a game of hide and seek.  It’s a medical procedure with sharp metal objects, no anesthesia, and high stakes.  One wrong move and I maim my baby, thus rendering him the laughing-stock at the schoolyard.

“Looky over there!  Gimpy Gavin goes.

He’s got 8 fingers and only 7 toes.

His dad cut them off, and put them in a stew.

If you can’t run fast, he will do the same to you!

Picture Worm flailing all 4 limbs, screaming, crying and arching his back…simultaneously.  Then picture me with a firm grasp on the toenail to be trimmed…and nothing else.  “Well, is it skin or is it part of the nail?  I don’t know.  It’s so small that I can’t really tell.  Why are his nails the same exact color as his toes?  Is that normal?  Should I wait until later for Steph’s help?”  A screaming baby can drain the patience from any man.  “What the hell.  He’s already crying.  If I draw blood, then at least he’ll have a real reason to cry.”  Snip.

With nails and toes like his, it was only a matter of time before a nail volunteered for onychocryptosis duty.  For Gavin, it happened last night.

Tis' Only a Flesh Wound!

Ingrown Toenail? No Problem! Mom to the Rescue!

We’re lucky we caught it early.  For those that are hoping to share in this wonderful experience (It’s great fun, especially after midnight!), here are a few tips that I found useful:

  1. To prevent ingrown toenails from happening, clip your baby’s nails often.  I usually know it’s time to clip Gavin’s nails when he can grabs at my neck and some skin comes off.  (Remember that sometimes clipping the nails too short can be a problem.)
  2. If this has already happened to you, then don’t tell your friends.  They will know that you are too busy Facebooking to pay much attention to your baby.  You may be ridiculed and scoffed at.  Some parents may even report you for neglect and child abuse.
  3. Squeeze the toe to see if baby cries.  This is a pretty good sign of ingrown toenail pain.  Usually the offending toe will be red and may possibly ooze pus.  If you are upset that your baby woke you up in the middle of the night, squeeze the toe multiple times.
  4. Onesies with footies and socks can irritate the offending toe and can contribute to infection.  Allow the toe to breathe.  (It’s a saying.  Toes don’t really breathe.)
  5. Clip the nail as close to the skin as possible.  If you clip some skin also, don’t worry.  Your baby shouldn’t remember the pain you caused them with your early parenting mistakes.
  6. Soak the baby’s foot in warm water for 5-10 minutes, a couple of times a day to loosen up the skin and encourage healing.
  7. Apply anti-bacterial ointment.  Just keep baby from eating it.
  8. If necessary, you can give your child acetaminophen for the pain.  It may help get both you and the baby some much needed sleep.

For my unpreparedness, Worm gets a point.  You keep testing my skills eh, son?

Gavin – 8; Dad – 4

y'all - the magazine of southern people

y'all - the magazine of southern people (Photo credit: lacylouwho)

I was reading an article today about vocabulary terms kids should know by the time he/she hits the two year old mark.  Researchers use the two year mark as a starting point for the testing of developmental disorders, such as deafness, autism, dyslexia, etc.  Children at or near this age should understand words such as:  hi, bye, mommy, daddy, cat, dog, and so on (you can see the rest of the list through the link at the bottom).  If not, it could mean that your child could have some mental development issues or could just be your child is prepping for a life of professional athletic prowess.

I agree that some of the words from the list are important for a normal baby to recognize, but I spent a lot of my youth in the south where the language is, um, a bit different.  There is no way for southerners to compare their kids to the list presented by the Child Study Institute at Bryn Mawr College.  Therefore, I’ve made a list to handle the largest portion of non-English speaking Americans.  This is the first list of 25 words/terms that your 2-year-old country bumpkin should know.

So, I’ve compiled a list of the 25 words your budding redneck boy or gal should know along with a brief definition or english translation.  If your son or daughter cannot repeat/understand any of the words below, take the whiskey bottle away from your child for a few hours and try again.

  1. Maw – equivalent to mother.
  2. Paw – equivalent to father.
  3. Mamaw – equivalent to grandmother.
  4. Pappee – equivalent to grandfather.
  5. Bubba – term for brother.  Sometimes used as a term for any male.
  6. Sissy – term for sister.
  7. Cuddins – relatives.  Example:  It’s aright for cuddins to kiss.
  8. Yall – means you all.  Also, commonly used to refer to one person.
  9. Yous – the plural form of you.  More strongly directed form of Yall.
  10. Arraz – equivalent to ours.  Emphasis is on the 1st syllable.  Example:  When we marry arraz cuddins, we stay kin.
  11. Dem – equivalent to them or those.  Example:  Dem critters is still food.  Just wash dem up and toss dem in da oven.
  12. Warsh – to clean.  Example:  We warsh the baby same time as the dawg, once a month!
  13. Ignant – equivalent to ignorant.  Example:  Don’t be ignant!  Wrasslin is real!
  14. Sodeepop – carbonated beverage, such as Pepsi, Coke,or Cactus Juice
  15. Skeeter – equivalent to mosquito.  Example:  These dang skeeters is bitin’ me all up on my nayk.
  16. Aye-rab – any person of color.  Example:  Amerka has its first aye-rab prezdent, Obama.
  17. Larnin – education.  Example:  We gots to get sum larnin if we gonna geet jobs.
  18. Vittles – food.  Example:  Boy! Stop tossin’ them vittles at the dawg and eat’em up yur sef.
  19. Coon – equivalent to racoon.  Example:  We dun cawt us two coons for suppa!
  20. Raffle – gun or firearm.  Example:  I see coons!  Quick, gimme dat raffle!
  21. Fixin – term for “going to” or “getting ready to”.  Example:  I’m fixin to whoop dat skweelin baby!
  22. Treller – home or house.  Example:  My maw and paw live in separate trellers, but least dem’s in the same treller park!
  23. Winna – equivalent to window.  Example:  My camaro’s got natural a/c.  Just crack the winna and feel that cool air.
  24. RicinNASCAR.  Example:  Lemme git my lucky #3 hat on, cuz it’s car ricin weekend!
  25. Laff – equivalent to life.  Example:  The happiest 3 years of my laff wuz spent in 10th grade.
If you want to see what the original 25 words were, see here:
The 25 Words Every Toddler Needs To Know

Except that he doesn’t run yet…or crawl…or even roll over.  This pic is of Gavin at 5 weeks old.  Some of our friends and family bought these clothes as gifts (and I thank you) to make our baby look like a track star!  Boy, does he look fast…

Check out my jogging pose!

This phoenix feels like it’s been whacked by a couple of tree branches on its way up.  My head is still thumping (not pounding anymore) and my throat is swollen, but my first small victory is that I can breathe through my nose again.  Blasted flu virus!

The flu has transformed me into a wheezing, bumbling tangle of limbs and slime.  My senses, covered in phlegm, have allowed me to trip over my feet and almost eat my teeth.  Twice.  I’m not a happy camper.  (Although, the added resonance of nasal congestion grants me a few days of Barry White bass vocals.   But, I’m only swooning myself because Steph and Worm won’t come within earshot of their walking petri dish, formerly known as dad.)

On the first day of flu-ness, my germs have asked of me:  12 packs of saline, 11 foreign movies (preferably French), 10 rolls of tissue, 9 mandarin oranges, 8 coughs a minute, 7 bloody noses, 6 garlic cloves, 5 bowls of soup, 4 Chinese herbs, 3 onion slices, 2 gallons water, and 1 dark, moist room.

I’m lucky to have been sick during the time that Steph had off from work.  For the past 4 days, she has handled all of Worm’s needs, while I lay in bed denouncing the Gods with “Why me?” between coughing fits.  So there hasn’t been any me versus Gavin in the past few days because there was hardly a me present.

But, today Steph’s back at work and I’ve got to take hold of the baby again.  (After 4 days out of view, he may have forgotten just who I am.)  The situation freaks me out as I’m still not 100% well.  In fact, my phlegm is still a ruddy yellow color with red sprinkles all over it.  Am I contagious still?  Probably.  (And I can’t remember the last time the flu hit me for more than a couple of days.  This flu’s been quite resilient.)  I don’t want Gavin to get sick.  So, how do I manage this feat?  I’m sure other parents have been in a similar situation and have their personal way of dealing with spreading germs to the kids.

Then there’s my way.

How To Protect Your Baby From Catching Your Flu - Technique

How To Protect Your Baby From Catching Your Flu - Action

He just doesn’t deserve…to get my sinus infection.  So, I won’t be affectionate with him.  Not today and maybe not for a few days.  It may be a little weird for us both since I spend about half of my day kissing his pudgy chipmunk cheeks and biting his little ears.

I tried to fight it off.  Multiple clients of mine have been sick.  I’m sure I caught it from one of them because I’ve been having some sinus problems going on for a couple of weeks now.  But, now there’s green and red stuff coming out of my orifices.  (Luckily, not those orifices.  I’m talking about my nostrils.)  All in time for Steph and I to go to San Francisco for the weekend.  Yay.

I’m seeing what a detriment to my health fatherhood is.  Even though Worm didn’t get me sick, I can’t take a rest day from him.  And rest is what I need to kick an infection fast.  He just wouldn’t understand me if I said to him “You play over here for an hour or so and then take a nap.  I’m leaving this big bowl of food next to you so you can eat when you’re hungry.  But, watch your portions.  Your onesies are fitting a bit snug in the middle.”  Mini-me doesn’t understand that daddy needs rest and some Playstation time.

So, I’m off to the herb shop I go to find my Chinese herbal formula to help me kick this blasted sinus infection.  (For all the TCM herbalists, it’s a modified Ge Gen Tang for sinuses.  Stiff neck and upper back with green and red phlegm, chills, no sweating, muscle aches and weakness.)

Now, I understand what they mean when they say “you come second and the baby comes first….”  Sniff, sniff.  Right now, I don’t really see fatherhood as a win-win situation.  It’s more like a parasite-host situation.

I would have taken a picture of my nasal bacteria for you, but instead you get poor, pathetic me.

There's no place like home. There's no place like home...

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