Archives for the month of: April, 2012

I need to document these times in Worm’s life now, so that (in a few years) when my memory fades, I can look back at my blog and refresh the brain cells on the things he was doing at each year of his growth.  I can entertain him years from now with the truth commingled with a little bit of fiction while he’s wiping drool off my face and changing my diapers at the ‘home’.

The first year of development has a list of milestones that should be achieved.  Of course, each chart varies on what milestones should be completed at each age category.  But, I choose the chart that stresses me out the most and makes me worry that the Worm is below average.

Please take into account that we asked the stork to deliver us an athlete that would support us financially into our golden years.  We also made it clear that we would give up brains for athletic prowess, since career-wise, it pays more.

Here goes:

Milestones completed up to 1-year-old  —

  • Drinks from sippy cup
  • Feeds himself
  • Poops himself  (I wish he would start changing his own diapers…)
  • Recognizes and responds to his names (Love, Lovie, Worm, Wormie, Dude, Babe, Bug, Bubba, Honey Bun, and occasionally Gavin)
  • Uses utensils to eat (Uses fork, spoon, and the ever handy spork.)
  • Uses short straws to drink (and to make music)
  • Claps hands (He’s ready for the circus.)
  • Crawls insanely fast (Christmas day was the first day he crawled.)
  • Stands up from sitting position without holding on to anything
  • Climbs (He can climb onto the coffee table, couch, and roof.  Ok, I help him climb onto the roof.)
  • Supports body weight on two hands (Remember doing ‘wheelbarrow’ with your friends as a kid?  Worm does this all the time!)
  • Visually tracks objects moving at moderate speeds
  • Searches for things where they were last seen (Some object permanence as well.)
  • Recognizes household objects by name (He can point out about 15 or so things in the house when I say the word.)
  • Recognizes body parts by name (Ocular Orbit, Nasal cartilage, Auricle, Oral cavity…you know.  Easy stuff.)
  • Mimics actions of mom and dad (such as lifting weights, clapping, pointing, some sign language)
  • Performs sign language (about 10 or so signs.  Thanks Alex and Leah!)
  • Turns book pages (80% of the time he reads books from left to right.)
  • Fears some strangers (the stranger, the more fearful)
  • Can pincher grasp a straw from one end and locate the other end into correct opening (wickedly good hand-eye coordination with either hand. Hallelujah!)
  • Places objects into container (We’ve got to nurture this milestone…)
  • Can locate source of sounds and find us when we call him from another room (He’s almost as good as the dogs at this!)
  • Stretches arms and legs out to get dressed (Keeps me from having to use the tazer during changing time.)
  • Gets frustrated when he can’t: do something, get something, or lift something.  (That’s a milestone?)
  • Plays ‘Give’ and ‘Take’ with objects
  • Mimics talking on the cell phone (I wonder where he picked that skill up from??)
  • Bobs up and down to music (He’s got that rhythm!)
  • Opens and closes cabinet doors (and conveniently tosses stuff out of them)
  • Flips off lights (has a hard time flipping the switch on, though)
  • Pokes everything with his index finger (sometimes even his nose)

Milestones NOT completed at 1-year-old —

  • Doesn’t say any real words (like angioplasty, perpendicular, ostensibly…)
  • Doesn’t shake head no (but then we really don’t say no to him a lot.  We try to redirect his attention to something more parent-happy.)
  • Doesn’t roll a ball back to me (It’s hard to play together when one of us doesn’t comply…and I’m not naming names.)
  • Doesn’t wave hi or bye (but he gives a good ‘Where the hell are you going?’ look)
  • Doesn’t imitate words we say to him (He only babbles in his own language that only the dogs understand.)
  • Doesn’t play pat-a-cake (Isn’t that a girl’s game anyhow?)

Worm, you’re doing great!  Your mother and I are very proud of you!

I think I’m somewhere under the bell curve of fatherhood, don’t you think?  And as an extra little pat on my own back, I’ll just sneak in a point for me!

Gavin – 11; Daddy – 6

Gimme a Hi Five Dad!

The Worm has jealousy in his little body.  The new emotion must have wired itself into his brain last night.  Because today he wants to be the object of my affection…but only when Duncan and I are having our Daddy-Dunkie time.  And if I don’t respond to Worm immediately, I am made to suffer some ear-splitting and slimy consequences.  (Can you say spoiled attachment parenting?)

Back in the day (or 8 months ago), Worm was easy to care for:  feed, change, sleep, and occasionally bathe.  No talking back, no temper tantrums, no whining.  He’d just lay back and enjoy the view from whatever surface we’d Velcro his onesie to.  Those days are gone.  He’s heavily interacting with the environment now and picking up new tricks everywhere.  (It seems his brain is developing so quickly that I swear he’s figured out how to work his baby mind meld on me, even through my force shield!)  Where else would he learn about the world, but by watching his furry brothers!

Duncan and Frodo are Worm’s older siblings.  It’s only natural that he thinks he’s a dog too.  (Maybe I could fatten him up by feeding him from the dog bowl…hmm.)  And as the youngest one in the family, he picks up some habits and tricks from his hairy bros.  The best trick Worm has learned is growling.  (It’s useful for when I’m at the supermarket and people want to hold Gavin.  I make him growl and let the would-be-handler know that he hasn’t had his shots yet.)  The worst trick is the jealous whining.  (Thanks Duncan.)  Worm’s realized that whining lands you in the lap and affections of daddy.  In our house, the squeaky wheel gets a lot of grease!

60% of the Time, It Works Every Time!

Since my type-A personality has me multitasking on just about everything, I also try to multitask family fun time.  (Do you see anything wrong with that?)  100% utilization of my arms is important to maximizing my distribution of entertainment to the family.  For instance, during play time I’ll try to distract Worm in his play area for about 10 minutes with one hand.  With the other hand, I’ll pet Duncan.  Or, I’ll play tug-of-war with Duncan on one arm, while holding Worm in the other.  (I’ll need to get fitted with a third arm when the next child comes.)  If I wiggle my arms just right, there’s amusement for the entire family.

But, the second Worm feels like Duncan is getting more attention than he, out comes the jealous fits!

If I don’t answer the call of the little wildman, the volume increases and the tears fall freely.  Only after I’ve transfixed my full attention on Gavin, do the sprinklers stop.

Just wait until we decide to have another kid, Worm.  Your world (and mine) will completely shatter unless I can figure out how to keep everyone happy!  (Maybe cloning myself will become an option by then.)

Gavin – 11; Daddy – 5

One Million Ignorant Moms is in the news again.  (Please don’t think that once you’re a mom that you are automatically inducted.  You have to love God and hate everything else to become a member.  I digress.)  This time they’ve got a problem with Urban Outfitters.  (UO is also great at making headlines.  See ‘Navajo Nation Sues Urban Outfitters‘ for one example.)  A few days ago, UO sent out their April 2012 catalog featuring their new line of clothing.  (If you’re reading my blog, you’re probably too old and unhip to wear their stuff.  Do people even say ‘hip’ anymore?)  On the second page of the catalog is *gasp* an image of two very nice pairs of shoes…attached to two very liplocked girls.

To prevent straight females everywhere from seeing this horrid act and subsequently catching “the gayness“, OMM is boycotting UO and telling their members to burn the catalog (along with any other non-Christian holy books they’ve got).  The members have been told to wash their eyes with soap and water in case they have seen the page (or in their terms, ‘filth’) in person.  (Don’t worry, seeing the ‘filth’ on the fancy interwebthing isn’t the same thing and does NOT require cleansing of the eyes.)  Confession stands have been open this week, 24 hours a day for all, including those that have even thought about the shameless Urban Outfitter image.

Apparently in our country, there are one million moms that are full of ignorance and hatred (powered by fear).  If OMM keeps fighting every clothing company that they have a problem with, they’ll soon be walking around naked.  And personally, I don’t want to see one million angry moms walking around in the buff burning things in effigy and castigating every living being (in the name of God).

The first thought that came to mind when I read the story was that OMM was probably backed by some radical fearful alienating Christian organization.  (They sounded so ignorant, it had to be related to blind religion.  Blind religion is not to be confused with real religion, where we are supposed to love and support each other regardless of different beliefs.)  So, I dug a little deeper and bingo.  I found it.  The American Family Association is the group that oversees OMM.  They’re an organization that will “communicate an outspoken, resolute, Christian voice throughout America.”  And their mission?  It’s to “inform, equip, and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture, and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission.”

I’ve got no problem with organized religion, just organized asininity.  (Yes, it’s a word.)  Couldn’t OMM spend more time worrying about teaching their own family values to themselves instead of pressing them on other people?  They should stop worrying about saving the rest of us.  We’re too busy trying to remove fear from our hearts and make the world a better place for EVERYBODY.

Anyhow, I asked One Million Dads (in my brain) how they felt about the UO image and here are the responses I got:

  • 56% – “I should have ordered two copies!”
  • 20% – “What does Urban mean?”
  • 18% – “Are you sure those aren’t boys with wigs?”
  • 5% – “Is it only women that can contract “the gayness” from seeing this picture, or can men get it too?”
  • 1% – “We don’t hate girls kissing girls.  We hate lesbians kissing lesbians.”

I’m thinking about starting a group called “I Really Don’t Think God Gives A Shit if Girls Kiss Girls As Long As They’re Not Killing Anyone”…anyone want to join?

If you catch "the gayness" from seeing this image, MVG is truly sorry.

Here’s the skinny.  It’s Worm.

We had our 1 year checkup with the pediatrician.  She breaks out her measuring sticks to size up our future NBA all-star.  (We’re making him sleep with a couple of basketballs to get him dreaming about the game.  It’s called mental preparation.)  Then she punches the stats into her machine (sometimes called a computer) and out comes a chart.  It shows us that our baby is less than 30% in the weight category for his age.  (Hello?  Have you seen ‘dat baby’ daddy?)  Apparently, skinny babies are not in vogue.  We get lectured.

“What types of foods are you feeding him?”

“You know.  Formula, fruits, veggies, rice, quinoa, potatoes, chicken, etc.  We try to feed him healthy stuff.  Organic, if possible.”

The doctor’s brain hears the words “healthy” and “organic” and instantly translates our words to something more like “We are vegetarians and we only feed our kid grass-fed wheatgrass and imported kale chips.  And occasionally, granola.”

WTF?

We try to abate the doctor’s fears of our child abuse by letting her know that our child is extremely active.  When awake, he doesn’t stop crawling, playing, or moving.  The blank stare she returns lets me know her brain didn’t register a thing I said.  Then she starts in.

“You should be feeding him high calorie foods, like whole milk, butter, cheese, cream cheese, regular yogurt.  You know, things like that. No low-fat food.”

“Sounds great!  From what you’re saying, most of his calories should be from milk products.  We’re going to cut out the middle man and just buy a cow for Worm.  (That’s what Indians do, right?)  It’s probably the best way to get him fat enough to be ‘in the 50th percentile’.  There doesn’t seem to be any downside to loading up on dairy!”  (Ok, I didn’t say that to her, I just nodded and smiled.)

In my brain, I translate the rest of her ‘blah, blah, blah…’ to “Listen you damn new age hippies.  The fact that you even question vaccines for your baby means that you’re crazier than Mel Gibson.  Can’t you see that you’re the problem with society?  If you don’t feed your baby tons of cow products, then we can’t sustain the beef and milk industry, the pharmaceutical industry (bovine antibiotics and hormones) will go out of business, the price of beef will skyrocket, and I’ll never see a 99 cent cheeseburger again.  So stop smoking the weed, sniffing the tie-dye, and dancing naked during the full moons.  Get your kid fattened up or else….

And to make sure he puts on weight, I’m scheduling a weigh-in for Gavin in 6 weeks.”

To Be Continued…

What About the Milk Chocolate, Dad?

After posting a recent article on a little girl genius, I’d like to give you a taste of what the dunderhead (IQ = mine) part of the population does to make more rational people shake their heads in disbelief.

We’ve started feeding the Worm solid foods about 6 months ago.  He’s got an insatiable appetite for all things edible (or plastic).  At around the 10-month old mark, we started allowing Worm to feed off our dinner plates.  He would point at what looked appetizing and we would let him sample it.  Vegetables, rice, chicken, pasta, etc.  Of course, only foods that were shown to be low on the food allergy list were dropped into the baby’s mouth.  It was fun to see what Worm liked and didn’t like to eat.

Then one day, we decided to get a little crazy with the food selection.

In the morning, we decided to make Worm a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  (In case you were wondering, peanuts can be severe and life-threatening for those with a peanut allergy.)  We definitely wanted to test out peanut butter on the Worm.  This isn’t the dunderhead part.  We planned on giving Worm peanut butter that day, especially in the morning.  If there was a reaction, we would be awake and ready to drive him to the hospital emergency room.

Here’s dunderhead move #1.  The jelly part of the sandwich was a mixed berry blend and strawberries were one of the ingredients.  (Strawberry allergies are fairly common.  Did I know this ahead of time?  Yes.  Did I use my brain to make the PB and J sandwich? No.)  I probably should have used grape jelly instead.  (Did you know that white strawberries do not produce the allergic reactions of the red ones?  Read here. Did I just increase your IQ by one point?  I sure did.)

One of the rules of experimentation is that you don’t test two variables at the same time.  (All we could say was oops and thank god he didn’t have a reaction to either peanut butter or strawberries.)

Another rule of experimentation is that you must wait until the first experiment is complete before running another experiment.  Did we wait?  Not even a whole day passed before we shoved another couple of high allergy foods into Worm’s mouth!

For dinner that same night, Steph, Grandma, and I went to our neighborhood Chinese food buffet.  (It makes total sense to take a baby to a buffet once he starts to eat solid foods, right?  I mean, why open the door a little bit?  Why not throw the door wide open and break it off the hinges?)

Hey?! Where's the cupcakes and cheezy poofs?

In what could be called overzealous enthusiasm (or reckless stupidity), we decided to feed Worm a variety of foods from the buffet trays.  And we didn’t realize that some of the foods had shrimp, fish and/or fish products in them until after Worm had eaten.  (Fish and shellfish are also very high on the food allergy scale.  Severe reaction such as anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock can occur upon eating.)  Did I think about this ahead of time?  No.  Dunderhead move #2.

We got lucky that day.  Our family history only shows shellfish allergy from one of the grandpas and no one else.  The chances of food allergic reaction in Worm was pretty low.  But, we will try to be a little bit smarter in dealing with any more of our kids in the future.

If there is anything that you can learn from an idiot like myself, it’s this:

  • Don’t do what I did.  Give your kids one potentially high allergy food every couple of days.  You should let your child pass the new food through their gastrointestinal system before moving on to another.
  • Check your family history of allergies.  Make note of who in your family has allergies to alert yourself of potentially reactive foods.  Food allergies can be passed down.
  • Make a list of the high allergy foods you want your baby to try (Cow’s Milk, Wheat, Soy, Peanuts, Tree nuts, Fish, Shellfish, Eggs are very highly allergic).  Check off the ones that your baby has tried and make note of any bowel movement changes.
  • Check your baby’s skin for any changes after eating.  (It’s hard to tell if your baby has a skin rash if you can’t see through onesies.)  Check again after each diaper change for any redness, hives, bumps, etc.
  • Read food labels.  (Unless you’re at a buffet and you’re trying out the free-for-all smorgasbord technique like we did.  Not recommended.)
  • Know where the hospital is.  Severe allergic reaction in babies can constrict airways pretty quickly.  Lack of oxygen can lead to brain damage. You don’t want to waste time seaching the internet for the hospital during an emergency.
Related Links:

Food Allergies in Babies

How To Test Foods on Your Baby For Allergies  (Very informative blog)

Peanut Allergies in Babies

Strawberry Allergy Signs in Babies

http://www.achooallergy.com/blog/strawberry-allergy-/

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein (Photo credit: mansionwb) If you thought this was the 4-year old genius, Heidi Hankins, you're not a genius.

Probably not.  Maybe the name Heidi Hankins doesn’t ring a bell now.  Why?  Because she’s only 4 years old and hasn’t made her mark on the world yet.  But 20 years from now, her name may become synonymous with Einstein if she’s the one that solves the laws of the physics defying nanoparticles (or solve the riddle of one of man’s greatest mysteries, the female mind).

Heidi’s IQ is a whopping 159…supposedly 1 point less than Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and myself.  (Just checking to see if you were paying attention.)  She just joined MENSA.

This brings me to a hypothetical question.  What if this capacity for knowledge was bestowed upon my child?  A gift like this makes for an interesting perspective on child rearing.  Would I be smart enough to realize how smart my kid was?  Would I be able to exercise his mind to the extent that it would need to be, in order to maximize his abilities?  Challenging a child of that intellect would be, um, challenging.  And the problems that come with that ‘genius‘ moniker could destroy the person.

Imagine if everyone expects your kid to be the best at everything?  Imagine if everyone expects your kid to be the next Einstein?  What if your kid doesn’t want to be?  What if the world says that your child’s talents were wasted and denounces your parenting skills?  Those are the things society will probably think and say.  (This is a sad part of the idiocracy we live in.)  The societal pressure of expectation can be a difficult burden to bear.

Would I be happy if my child was a genius?  Yes.  Would I be happy if my child was normal?  Yes.  Would I be happy if my child was a kind, generous, loving human being?  Above anything else, yes.  In my eyes, his genius can take a backseat to this.

Some tidbits that you may find interesting:

You’re one year old now,

What does that mean?

A whole lot of crawling

Is what I’ve been seeing.

—–

I can honestly say you’re

Not hiding from life.

You’re exploring and growing.

Should I find you a wife?  (Or is it still too early?)

—–

Three hundred and sixty

Five days since you’ve come.

I can handle it better

If given some rum.  (and maybe a calendar…Wow, a year already??)

—–

I touch the bath drain

Watching water, like time,

Flow through my hands swiftly

Like life.  Is that grime?  (It’s time to scrub the bathtub.  What can I say?)

—–

Next year you’ll be two

And where will I be?

Teaching you how

To stand up and pee (in the shower.  I can’t wait for that!)

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