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I feel like a stranger to my own blog!  It’s been way too long since I last posted.  Anyhow, imagine that I wrote this a couple weeks ago and it will give me a chance to catch up.

Smushie is now straightleggedly upright.  She’s standing!

And that would be a great thing, if she wouldn’t try grabbing all the new items within her reach…such as loose articles on the coffee tables, end tables, TV entertainment center, couch, book shelf bottoms, my desk drawers.  We are being forced to live above the 36″ line.

The girl is strong.  She does sit-ups while we change her diapers in the morning.  (No joke.)  She slaps her mom and I around when we aren’t paying attention to her.  When close enough, Smush rips our hair out for giggles.  So it wasn’t much of a surprise for her to power herself to vertical on her own so soon.  (The Worm didn’t walk until almost 18 months.)

There are two camps of parents.  The first group, praises their child’s accomplishments as soon as it happens the first time.  For example:

Parent:  “Son, can you count to 5 for me?”

2-year old Son: “Fee One Fuh One Fie Nine!”

Parent: “Oh my god!  He just calculated pi to the 5th significant digit!  We’ve got to send him to Harvard THIS YEAR”

Then there’s the second group of parents, that REALLY need to see the ‘first time’ a few more times to believe it really happened.

Parent:  “Ok sweetie, I’ve isolated any outside forces that may alter your chances of success at riding your bike.  There’s no wind today.  I checked that the pavement is perfectly level and the gravitational pull of the moon on your bicycle is negligible.  A bike that is coasting is not really riding, right?  Are you ready to try?”

2-year old daughter:  “Ahhhhhhhhh! I did it!”

Parent:  “I don’t know, sweetie.  Can you try that two more times?  The first time may have been a fluke!”

I fit squarely into the second camp.  Why?  Because if I falsely told family and friends that my Smushie-kins was standing before she was able to, it could place undue mental stress, anguish, and performance pressure onto her conscience.  I don’t know of any 10-month old that can withstand the anxiety!  (Though, I’m sure some pharmaceutical company already has drugs out to “fix” this infant psychosis…sorry, I digress.)

Since I couldn’t allow my child to bear the burden of my foolish fatherly pride, I drew a line in the sand for me her.  Made this milestone more concrete.  Tangible.

I, hereby, declare the 5-second standing rule.  Any baby not standing for a time equal or greater to five seconds is not considered standing, but probably being held up by wind, pole, starched clothing, snake oil, or other  artificial cause other than self-contained muscles.

And she did it!

To help other compulsive parents, I’ve decided to start standardizing all of the child development milestones and compile them into a book I’m writing “How to Know for Certain When Your Child is Making Progress – A Book For Neurotic Parents That Want to Quantify Everything and Leave Nothing to Chance, Luck, or Time”

I Think a Straightjacket is Easier Than Babyproofing the House from Smush.

I Think a Straightjacket is Easier Than Babyproofing our House for Smush.

The Worm took his first steps today at 7:45pm.  But, my mom saw Worm walk hours before.  He walked in her dream last night.

I’ll be the first to tell you that my mom is as intuitive as they come.  We always joke about how she reads minds…and we both know there’s a lot of truth to that.

Here’s part of an email that she sent to me this morning at 7:16:

I had a dream last night that my Honey Bun took 4 steps, fell, then 5, fell, and after continued walking.  Maybe, today is the day he puts his foot forward : )

And this evening Worm took 4 very shaky first steps and sat down.  It was a pretty awesome moment!  Thanks for preparing us, mom!

I’d better charge my camcorder.  Tomorrow may be a good day to capture some baby bipedal activity.


Yay, I Took My First Steps Today!

Our baby is long for his age.  I guess I can say tall now, because he can stand up.  He’s in the 90th percentile for height (which amounts to nothing more than bragging rights at the playground…for the parent).  Since he’s been skinny and long (tall) for most of his 10 months here, I christened him the Worm.  (It all makes sense now, doesn’t it?)  Though, I’ve recently seen that being tall doesn’t come without problems.

The Worm is crawling a lot these days, building strength in those Michelin man thighs and adding muscle density to his fluffy baby body.  I know muscles are important for the next stage of mobility, walking.  So, we’ve got him on a workout schedule of 2 hours twice a day crawling on the treadmill.  We’ve also added pilates and yoga to his routine.  His nutrition is supplemented (American style) by protein shakes, protein bars, and Gatorade (because it has electrolytes).

Conserving Leg Strength By Hanging On the Railing...Smart Worm. Smart.

With all the extra strength from training, Gavin can now stand up.  (You’re welcome, Worm.)  But, the problem is not in the standing, it’s in the sitting back down.  He doesn’t know how.  Apparently, the incredible altitude of 29.5″ (the 0.5″ makes a huge difference in the percentile rankings…) stiffens the legs, arches the back, and brings out the howling monster in him.  He’s so proud of pulling himself high enough to peer over the coffee table, and his little smile widens with achievement.  But mere minutes after the adrenaline rush fades, he realizes that he can’t get down.  (Maybe he gets altitude sickness.)

So far, I’ve let Worm try (try = cry, scream, shake) for an hour before I help him get back down.  Am I going in too soon to help?  Should I give him an extra hour or two to fatigue his legs enough to drop his derriere to the ground?  Or should I stick out my hand and provide a softer landing spot?  (Screw that last idea. I don’t want to chance breaking a finger or even worse, getting my hand pooped on!)

I’ve even channeled my inner dad voice.  “Worm, all you have to do is reverse the steps to go from standing to sitting.  It’s that simple.  Here.  Let me, your wise teacher, show you what to do.  Just stick out your butt like this…”

Dad, Where Do you Want Me To Drag This Barbell To?

No dice there.  Just more crying and shaking.  (When he’s upset, he just doesn’t listen.  He takes after his mother that way.)

Gavin’s been try-ing the standtosit procedure (sounds official, doesn’t it?) for about 2 weeks solid.  Every day the same thing occurs.  I can’t put him down for a nap in his crib and go watch my soaps, without seeing him in the baby monitor two seconds later upright and gripping the bars, inmate style.  He’s afraid to do the standtosit because he can’t bend his knees and control his backward descent to the ground.  (The 3 pictures shown were taken around the house within about 30 minutes of each other.  Guess who had to save him every time he got stuck?)

Ah, such is the relentless toil of this SAHD…saving the same Worm every day, sometimes multiple times a day…

Now that I’m writing this, I think I may have come up with a solution…double diapers!  (Tebow, I’m so incredibly smart that I amaze myself!)  Just like water wings protect baby from drowning in water, double diapers protect baby from falling on land!  Is that a genius idea or what?

I will double up the diapers on Gavin’s bum!  Twice the diapers must halve the impact!  The poor kid was cursed with his daddy’s boney svelte buttocks and could use a little more “junk in the trunk“, especially in this crash and clumsy stage of infancy.  (I know.  You and I are both thinking silicone butt implants would be the best option, but Steph’s been reluctant to let me add any parts to the baby.  I’ve already asked twice.)

Dad, Could You Bring Me a Chair or a Recliner or Something??

Pampers, if you are reading this, you can add one more type to the 40 different diaper types you confuse us men with.  These shall be called Pampers Crash Pads – Protection For Boney Baby Butts.  Make them twice as thick as regular diapers and make us consumers feel like child abusers if we don’t use them during the crawling/walking transition stage.

I can’t wait to try out my brilliant idea!  Maybe I should mock up a prototype and do some testing before trying my design on a real baby.  Nah, too much work.  What’s the worst that could happen?

I come from a family where spanking was the icing on the punishment cake.  Luckily, I didn’t get spanked that often. My brother got the hot seat more than I.  Thanks bro!  My wife comes from a family where spanking wasn’t used as a disciplinary tactic.

How will we discipline the Worm?

Personally, I hope to break the spanking tradition with him.  I don’t plan on serving physical punishment to the Worm for his wrongdoings.  (I take out my anger on my dogs.)  But, I will try my best to figure out why he did what he did.  Kids do stuff mindlessly.  I used to be a kid (although some people still think I am a kid).  I’ve partaken in my fair share of destruction.  (I’m just glad no person got hurt, just the animals in the forest and the frogs in the pond, and the turtles, and the…I digress.)  I know full well that some children don’t understand the ramifications of their acts, nor do they understand the ripple effect those actions have on people around them.  (I’m sure that many adults don’t even have this awareness.)  But, I’m still going to try to learn/teach from Gavin’s misdeeds instead of just punishing him for them.  I’m going to search for an answer each opportunity presented, even if I only receive a blank stare in return from him.  Why?  Because I’d like him to recognize his part in the event and accept some responsibility for his actions in life.  And possibly think about what he did, if only briefly.

After being on the other side of the belt, I don’t think that spanking is a necessary component for a parent teaching a lesson.  It won’t build trust between Worm and I and it won’t strengthen our relationship.  Spanking builds fear (and callouses).

If you wish, you can read the article about the effect of spanking on children here.  The article says that spanking leads to aggression and lowers IQ.  (So, does that mean if I spank Gavin enough that he could morph into a professional MMA fighter in a few years?  How is this a bad thing again?)

If you don’t agree with me, please let me give you a few spanking tips:

  • Make sure child is wearing thin, tight clothing for maximum spanking effect.  Fluffy clothing dissipates too much energy.
  • Spank child in one location on buttocks.  By concentrating your spanking technique to a particular area, you can cause more pain sensation.
  • Learn to spank with both arms.  This will keep you from getting repetitive stress syndrome and reduce your chance of injury.
  • When using a belt for spanking, a 2 to 3″ wide leather one works well.  To add more spice to the swing, make contact using the buckle end.
  • Set goals when spanking your child.  Try to increase the repetitions every time.  Spanking builds strength in your rotator cuff muscles.  It makes a great exercise for the shoulder girdle.
  • The best time to spank a child is while they’re sleeping.  They never see it coming and can’t run away.

Fist of Fury

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