Archives for category: MVG Oddities

Before I became a parent, I never understood why every baby I saw was a micro-version of Cousin Itt.  (I know.  You’re probably thinking Southern California is full of organic tie-dye hippie types that don’t want to disturb nature by doing anything un-natural to baby like brushing its teeth, washing its body, or doing the most anti-hippie thing possible…cutting its hair.  Well, you’re half right.)

The reason these parents don’t cut their baby’s hair is because unlike adult hair, baby hair has nerve endings that can cause baby to scream in agony when severed.  That seems to be the only logical reason why they would scream during haircuts.  Don’t worry though, they should grow out of it.

Parents get attached to their baby’s hair.  It’s that simple.  You’ve created this little monster bundle of joy and you want to know whether his or her hair will grow out curly or stay straight.  You want to know if the sun will change baby hair color better than bottle bleach.  You want to know if baby will naturally develop a ‘Billy Idol‘ or ‘Jennifer Aniston‘ hairdo.  (Don’t ask me why these two hairstyles came to mind.)  Or your kid was born with premature male pattern baldness and you’re praying for enough growth to do a combover.  We fell into this last category.

We had to let Worm’s hair grow out to cover up the baldness.  Sadly, time traded us the hairy cul-de-sac for an 80’s mullet.  Steph and I lived with our decision (to do nothing) for a while, but what message were we sending to America by letting Worm sport a mullet?  That American children should mix business with pleasure?  That it’s ok to look like a boy from the front and a girl from behind?  How could we add fuel to the gender confused fire that our country fearfully burns.  We both knew that in this day and age, our society was not advanced enough to accept the unconservative mullet hairstyle…even though Jesus rocked a feather mullet.  But, I’m not judging here.  I’m just sayin’.

Although Steph and I talked about trimming Worm’s hair for a couple months, we only made the decision after a brief (yet, life-changing) encounter with a mother and child outside our favorite Chinese food restaurant.

“How old’s your little girl?”

Perplexed that this woman couldn’t see a strapping young lad of 15 months behind his long, pretty eyelashes, delicate facial features, and curly ringlets, I played along.  “My baby is 15 months old.  Not walking yet, though.  Like your son.”

“Oh, be careful what you wish for.  Once your girl starts walking, you’ll be chasing her around everywhere.”

There she goes again.  Why does she emphasize GIRL?  At this point, I can’t just tell this lady that my ‘she’ is a ‘he’.  It’s too late.  We’re too far into our conversational relationship.  (Saying anything at this point is akin to telling your soon-to-be wife at the alter that you are starting to have second thoughts.  Awkward.)  To save her the mentally scarring thought that my son is the most effeminate boy she’s ever seen, I allow this woman to reassign Worm’s gender for the length of the conversation.

When this mom and toddler left, Steph and I figured it was time for a trim.

Dad, No Time For Cutting My Hair! I’ve Got To Figure Out What This Thing Is!

(The title is a bad nerd joke.  Sorry, I try to control it with medication.)

Should I have my anxiety attack now or after #2 is born?  I know nothing about girls.

Let me explain further.  I know absolutely nothing about girls.  Just ask my wife…

I don’t know if there’s anything that can prepare me for a baby girl more adding an extra bathroom and expanding her dress closet.

Luckily, the internet has loads of the parenting answers that clueless dads like me are searching for.  So, pink doilies, pink ponies, and pink sweatpants with ‘PINK’ written on the backside will be showing up on our doorstep soon.  Thank you Al Gore for one-click internet shopping!

I feel like the expectations for me to raise a little girl properly are high.  With Worm, the bar is set on the ground.  Keep him from torching himself.  Keep him from cracking open his head.  Make sure his limbs and digits stay attached to his body.  Pat him on the back every now and then with a “Good job, son.” thrown in for positive support.  No one second guesses your parenting style with a boy.  They just say “Oh.  He’s a spirited one!” or “He’s got some gumption!”  (Ok, no one under 60 says that anymore, but you get my drift.  Does anyone even say ‘drift’ anymore?)

With a little girl, I fear the mothers’ stink eye.  When we go out in public, I’m sure every mother will be peering into my daddy daughtering techniques.  They’ve got to, right?  I’m raising one of their own species.  They will gasp and chatter about how I’m doing this all wrong and that I’m doing that all wrong.  And that I don’t understand because I’m a man.  I’ll just smile and say “Oh, this time of month is rough for you, eh?  But don’t worry, you look like you’ll be post-menopausal soon.”  Then I’ll just grab #2 and run away as fast as I can!

I know what they are going to say to me.  “You’re supposed to braid her hair, not tie a double overhand knot into it!” Or “Can’t you see the mauve pants and periwinkle tube tops don’t match her green jelly strap sandals?” (Luckily, I can use color blindness as my escape plan.  Ah, the old X chromosome deformity excuse.)  Or even better “Why isn’t she allowed to go to the spa and get a mani-pedi facial?  She’s already 3 years old!”

As a reference, here’s what men are going to tell me.  “You’ve got a girl?  Good luck brother.  I hope you make it out alive.”  Or “Holy crap man.  With two women in the house, you should set up a bed in the garage for the one week a month you’ll be hiding out there.  It will help you defend yourself.”  Or the extremely terrifying delivery of “You’re going to find out more about women than you ever wanted to know. You’ll think the loony bin makes more sense than your house.”

Girls are fragile.  Girls are delicate.  Watch what you say to them.  They are sensitive.  You can’t treat them like boys.  You’ve got to wipe them the other way.  Don’t manhandle them.  Girls are not designed to do one thing at time.  Don’t hold her upside down, her insides may shift around or even fall out.  Don’t say no to your daughter, it will scar her for life.  

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball.  I’m so nervous and excited that I’m just going to close my eyes and let the bat rip.

3 Lines (near the arrow) = Girl. 3 Lines (near the arrow) != pumpkin turned on it’s side with part of the bottom missing.

Our gang is growing by 20%.  (For you number crunchers, I’m including our furry kids too!)  The current ratio of male members to female members is 4:1.  The testosterone laden bunch (mainly me, at this point) rule the roost when Steph’s at work.

Is this lopsided ratio going to even out a little?  I’m 99.9% sure that it won’t.  Using my magical powers of deduction and perception, it’s certain.  Once the stork drops off #2, we’ll be looking at a baby with a few extra body parts, if you know what I mean.  And if Steph thinks she’s outnumbered now, just wait until January.  It will be more of the same rip-roaring, dirt flinging, frog catching, video-game playing, beer drinking, alphabet burping and musical farting action at our place!

(Besides, who wants a pretty little baby girl to muck up the manliness we’ve got goin’ on by wrapping daddy around her little finger and getting her way all the time?  Not me…Ok, maybe that would be awesome too…)

We’ve got a couple days left until the ultrasound.

You got guts?  Wanna bet against the house?  VOTE IN THE BLACK BOX ABOVE!

I can’t find it.  It’s disappeared.  And I’m pissed.  I thought it would be another year before Worm stopped napping twice a day.

I was getting used to having about almost 5 hours of “me” time per diem.

Step 1 – Keep Worm’s brain and body in high gear until he ran out of gas.

Step 2 – Put Worm into sleep mode.  (He’d nap for a solid part of the day and I would catch up on my work and personal tasks.)

Step 3 – When Worm wakes up, repeat the sequence.

I was money.  I had this whole parenting thing on cruise control while I focused my mind on important matters.  I was the SAHD of every man’s dreams.  (It’s kind of gross when I ponder too deeply the thought of being in every man’s dreams.)

“What?  You can feed the hungry, build houses in Africa, and raise Gavin at the same time?  Where do you find the hours in the day?” the other dads would ask me.  And I would grin and reply “And one day I will stop global warming…but that will be sometime after #2 is born.  I need a challenge.”

All of a sudden, I’m getting half the “me” time and the s#!t has hit the fan.  I’m scrambling to keep it together because my system has failed.  I’m losing sleep at night to get stuff done and I’m a zombie in the daylight when I need energy to match Worm’s exuberance.  I feel like I’m trying to cram 10 pounds of proverbial s#!t in a 5 pound bag.

Do you know what I’ve now got to squeeze into that tiny window of opportunity?

Here’s my list:

  • Eat breakfast (“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll)
  • Wash dishes (“No husband has ever been shot while he was doing dishes.” – Unknown)
  • Clean kitchen (“Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.” – Phyllis Diller)
  • Check and answer emails  (“I get email, therefore I am.” – Unknown)
  • Pack merchandise for internet business (“Folks who get all wrapped up in themselves, sure do make small packages.” – Unknown)
  • Exercise  (“It’s not sweat, it’s my body crying from the pain.” – Unknown)
  • Eat lunch (“As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices:  take it or leave it.” – Buddy Hackett)
  • Take a shower  (“Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely.” – P.J. O’Rourke)
  • Relax for a few minutes before Worm wakes up (“Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another.” – Anatole France)

And at least for the next week, I’m trying to fit watching the Olympics somewhere in there.

So, if you’re wondering why my blog has slowed to a crawl, it’s Worm’s fault!  Too bad Worm doesn’t see things the way Yogi did.

“I usually try to take a two hour nap from 1 to 4.”

– Yogi Berra

He’s So Adorable When He Sleeps, Sometimes I Can’t Help But Wake Him Up And Kiss Him!

 

I have recently had the opportunity to interview for a TV series that is going to be based on stay-at-home dads.  Since I have a burning desire to walk the red carpet and have people pay me to wear clothes, I decided to try out.  What the heck, right?  What’s the worst that could happen?  One problem is that Gavin may not want to be on TV.  At this age, he has no say.  (We vote on things all the time, but he never asks any questions or says ‘Aye‘ or ‘Nay’.  So, 85% of the time, I win!)  How do I know what Worm wants?  Does he want everyone in the universe to see what he’s doing and how he’s growing up?  Does he want to be famous?

I thought about all of the great things that could happen if we were on TV:

  • My friends and family could watch us every single day on TV.
  • Gavin could become a reality TV star.
  • It would take my blog to another level.
  • I could get paid for changing diapers and brushing baby teeth.  (Gavin would get paid in jujube’s and jellybeans.)
  • I could eventually have my own talk show!
Then, I thought about all of the bad things that could happen if I was on TV:
  • My friends and family could watch me every single day on TV.
  • I wouldn’t be able to see myself on TV because I don’t have cable.
  • We would have to watch everything we say and do in public.
  • We could get negative press from the media.
  • We could be stalked by the paparazzi.
  • We could end up like the Kardashians.

Things I learned that day:

  • It takes 4 hours to get to L.A. (from San Diego) on a weekday morning.
  • It takes 1 hr and 50 minutes to get home from L.A. (to San Diego) on a weekday at lunch time.
  • I can’t drive more than 2 hours without having to pee.
  • 50 minutes of my camera interview will be condensed into 2-3 minutes.  Therefore, 95% of what I say is worthless.  (Have they been talking to my wife?)
  • There’s a lot of if’s in show business.

Stay tuned.  If I know something, you’ll know something.  If you’ve got any thoughts, feel free to comment!

We’re Just a Couple of Character Actors!!!

We’re rolling into one full year with the Worm.  Just like the gnathostomiasis, he’s got teeth.  Unlike the gnathostomiasis though, our Worm doesn’t crawl into humans and devour them from the inside.  (Which could be a useful skill to have in your back pocket.)

We are a little concerned about the fact that he hasn’t cut more than 2 teeth yet.  We haven’t seen more than two teeth in his head for 6 months.  If the folklore is true about connection between teeth and wisdom, it makes sense why Worm kisses the sliding glass door.

The general rule is that babies cut the middle bottom teeth first.  This gives them the ability to bite the fleshy part of your fingertip at feeding time and cause pain.  This happens around 6 months of age.  After that, the baby will cut approximately one tooth a month.  (So, if do the math correctly, our baby should have 6 teeth, which is 4 more than what he’s got.)  As the rule goes, the next two that come through are the two top front teeth.  At this point, baby’s shredding power increases exponentially.  This quickly becomes a hazard if one is not paying attention while feeding a voracious eater.  If you look around, you will find a small percentage of parents waving a hand with only 3 or 4 fingers.  (Learn from their mistakes.  Don’t let this happen to you!)

Even though Gavin’s teeth are way behind his appetite for solid foods, we let him to try to eat things like bread, waffles, apples, papaya, bananas, dog toys, plastic bottles, Jenga blocks, etc.  He’s so curious about everything that we eat.  (Even more interesting is that for a baby who hasn’t seen much cuisine in his short life, he can differentiate food items from non-food items.  It could be a side effect of watching Food Network all day long, but I’m not certain.)  We’re willing to try to feed him almost anything.  Almost.

I think he’s still a few years away from the chomping capability of Cap’n Crunch cereal like his old dad.  But, we’ll get there.  (I warm up with Peanut Butter Crunch and exercise my incisors on Crunch Berries.) He can ruminate on the softer foods until he’s built up his jaw, teeth and gums for this pinnacle of crunchiness.  When the time comes, it will be a crowning (get it?) achievement his old man will be proud of!

A Gummy Grin!

  • Drooling
  • Crankiness and unusual irritability
  • Biting
  • Lack of appetite (because the teeth hurt!)
  • Problems sleeping
In my house, we find the new tooth first and say “Oh, that’s why little so-and-so was acting funny last week.”  It seems we’re always one step behind the baby…figuratively and literally.

Have you ever had someone totally transform the way you look at yourself?  These people are the hidden gems in life.  They usually shock you with their authenticity and timing.  They can be hidden anywhere in society, even in plain sight.  After a chance encounter with them, you’re never the same.

I found my ruby at Supercuts.  While cutting my hair, she told me something that just blew my mind.  First, she asked me how I usually comb my hair.  I replied “I part my hair on the right side and comb all my gray hairs over to the left.  It never feels natural for me to comb it this way even though I’ve been doing it forever.”

Then she said “It’s probably because your cowlick pushes your hair the opposite way.”  So, my hair swirl goes clockwise, which makes my hair naturally part on the left side.  That’s the exact opposite of what I thought was going on back there…

I inferred from her statement that what she really meant was that a grown man with an ounce of common sense should probably know where to part his hair.

Cheers to this wonderful lady, who was so bold to tell me the truth about my own coiffure and resurrecting my faith in humanity.  There have been none so bold before you dear woman (because if there was, I would have been combing my hair the right way years ago!!!)

Even though I had trouble figuring out my own hairy noggin, I can’t help but be happy now.  It’s all because my little Gavin has the same direction swirl as his daddy!  What are the chances?  (I know, it’s 50%.  Don’t burst my bubble.)  As I see it, Worm and I are even more closely related than before!  Now we’re practically twins or something!

It's Not Pretty, But it is a Clockwise Rotation

Combing the Perfect Spiral

Let a valuable lesson be learned here by all.  If you have a friend or family member that has been combing their hair in the opposite direction of the hair whorl, their life is probably a mess like mine was.  Tell them about it and change their future forever.  Be the gem of someone else’s life.

Now that I am styling my hair with its natural flow, my life has also begun to flow much more naturally.  I’ve also noticed the sky is bluer and the grass is greener!  I feel smarter and more mentally clear!

I take it upon myself to not repeat the same mistake on my child.  I will make sure Worm always combs his hair with the grain (until he wants a mohawk)…and even then, I’ll make sure it swirls a little to the right.

Here’s food for thought.  A research scientist named Amar Klar has done research trying to correlate handedness to the direction of the hair spiral.  He believes that there is a gene that connects hair whorl direction with handedness.  If you believe his research data or wish to test it out on your own baby, just look at the hair spiral.  You may be able to predict whether your child is going to be right-handed or left-handed, subsequently amazing your friends and family!  (Although, you could guess right-handed for everyone and be correct 90% of the time.)

Related articles:

Right-Handed? Your Hair Reveals It

Are You Left Handed?  Do You Know Someone Who Is?

Human Handedness and Scalp Hair-Whorl Direction Develop From a Common Genetic Mechanism

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