Tuck: “Dada, can we play on your Kindle now?”
Me: “Not right now, buddy. Maybe while Coltrane is napping, okay?”
Tuck: “I love playing on your Kindle!”
Me: “I know! Sometimes I think you only love me because I have a Kindle. Is there anything you like about Dada other than that I have a Kindle?”
Tuck: “I like your shorts.”
Me: “Tuck, I need you to get your boots. And can you please get me Cole’s shoes from the shoe shelf?”
Tuck: “Dada, I only have so many hands.”
B is for . . .
Tuck: “Dada, can I play a Mickey game on the computer?”
Me: “Actually, there’s something else we need to do tonight first.”
Me: “Let’s see if you can guess, Tuck. It’s something really fun, and it starts with a B.”
Tuck: “What is it?!”
Me: “You need to guess! What do you really like to get before bed and starts with a B sound? B says ‘buh’… ‘buh’…”
Tuck: “Buh buh buh…”
Me: “You love it when Mama or Dada give you a… buh… buh…”
Tuck: “What sound was it?”
Anna: “What? What sound?”
Tuck: “Yes. What was the sound?”
Anna: “I don’t understand what you mean. What sound?”
Tuck: “What sound was it in the car?”
Anna: “WHAT sound? I don’t know! You asked me!”
Tuck: “I mean why was there a sound? Of died.”
Me: “A sound of DYING?”
Tuck: “Yes. Why did Dada say there was the sound of dying?”
Me: “Oh. I think I know what he’s asking…”
***FIVE MINUTES EARLIER***
Me: [Checking Facebook on my phone in the car] “Huh. It sounds like Whitney Houston died. :-\”
All By Myself
Tuck: “DADA! DADA! COME HEEEERE!”
Me: “What? What!” *running*
Tuck: “Dada I’m going poop on the potty really good all by myself!”
Me: “Yay! Great job, Tucker!”
Tuck: “I didn’t even have to use the potty seat on the big potty, but I didn’t fall in!”
Me: “Wow. I’m so proud of you. What a big boy you are!”
Tuck: “Sure am! This means I don’t have to wear underwear now.”
Tuck: “Dada, what’s brains?”
Me: “Brains are the part of you inside your head. Your brain helps you think about things, come up with great ideas, and it tells your body what to do all the time. Isn’t that neat?”
Tuck: “Like Monkey has brains?”
Me: “Yes, Monkey has brains. They are right here inside his head. And does Tucker have brains?”
Tuck: “Yes, they’re in my head too!”
Me: “That’s right. Does Dada have brains?”
Tuck: “Well, no.”
Tuck: “But Mama has brains!”
Me: “Well, yes. Yes she does. She has a really big brain. But, Dada has brains too, right?”
Tuck: “Actually, no. But Baby Cole has brains!”
I am about to change your life.
Well, okay, maybe not.
Maybe you’re one of those people who has some sort of aberrant aversion to All Things Banana. To this day it remains one of only two culinary flaws (the other being a dislike of most seafood) I have ever found in my lovely and otherwise perfect wife.
But if you’re not one of those people, or perhaps even more importantly have a child or children who seem to enjoy something of a banana-centric diet, you’re going to love this and so will your kids.
This is so easy, I literally had to sit for a minute or so and contemplate how in the world a guy like me, with the dual passions of cooking good food and surfing the internet finding obscure recipes, had never heard of it or tried it.
It’s so easy, I’m not even going to call this a recipe. It would be like giving you a “recipe” for how to slice an apple or shred cheese.
Ask a dad who has spent even a small amount of time out alone in public with his kid (or kids), and he’ll probably have an anecdote about how somebody asked if he was “babysitting” that day.
It’s one of the more annoying little digs at the importance of fathers-as-equal-parents that probably happens unconsciously, but it happens a lot. I’ve learned to usually shrug it off, but it’s always the sort of comment that makes me shake my head.
The truth is, the vast majority of people know that such a question is, well . . . dumb.
Most, even those who are not parents, would say (or think) the same thing in such a situation: “When a dad is taking care of his own kids, it’s not called ‘baby-sitting.’ It’s called ‘parenting.'” That’s just common sense, it seems to me.
The U.S. Census Bureau apparently disagrees, according to a recent New York Times post:
When both parents are present in the household, the Census Bureau assumes for the purposes of its “Who’s Minding the Kids?” report, that the mother is the “designated parent.” And when the designated parent is working or at school, the bureau would like to know who’s providing child care.
If the answer is Daddy, as it was 26 percent of the time when these numbers were last released, in 2005, and 32 percent of the time in 2010, the Census Bureau calls that “care.” But if Mom is caring for a child while Dad’s at work, that’s not a “child care arrangement,” but something else. Parenting, presumably.
“Regardless of how much families have changed over the last 50 years women are still primarily responsible for work in the home,” said Lynda Laughlin of the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch. “We try to look at child care as more of a form of work support. “A mother, said Ms. Laughlin, is “not only caring for the child only while Dad works. She’s probably caring for the child 24 hours and so Dad is able to go to work regardless.”
It’s bad enough that, by their definition, I am not even a “stay-at-home dad” at all, because according to the U.S. Census Bureau you only count as one of those if you have gone 52 weeks of the previous year without making any income. In fact, just looking for job, even part-time or freelance work, means you’re no longer a “stay-at-home dad,” you’re just an unemployed member of the “work force” and acting as temporary “primary caregiver” in the meantime.
(If you ever wonder why the number of stay-at-home dads is seen as so low, this is why. By this self-reported definition, the Bureau reported only 174,000 stay-at-home fathers in the U.S., perpetuating the idea that dad-as-primary caregiver is a rare thing and making those who do it out to be some sort of aberration. Yet, by their own numbers, they also reported that fully one-third of fathers with working wives regularly acted as primary caregivers for their children. One third!)
So let me get this straight . . .
The fact that, in addition to caring for my two boys full-time, I do a little bit of freelance work on the side and have produced a couple of children’s books — that have netted me enough money to treat myself to a grande Java Chip Frappuccino (no whip) — I am not a “stay-at-home dad,” but simply acting as “primary caregiver” at times.
The fact that I have XY sex chromosomes means that when I am acting as primary caregiver for my own children, while my XX chromosome’d partner is at work, I am just one more available kind of “child care provider.” I am not “parenting,” but merely providing a service to the “designated parent” (my wife), not unlike a nanny, au pair, or daycare center.
I think the lesson here is that I need to ask for a raise.
I recently finished converting both of my alphabetic children’s picture books into the new Kindle Fire format and this week to celebrate their launch I am offering them for free, until February 11th, 2012.
They’re simple, but they’re bold and colorful and fun, and I am very proud of these as my first little toe-dip into the world of creating and self-publishing my own books for kids.
These were created with the Kindle Fire’s color and formatting in mind, but are designed to be compatible with other Kindle devices and apps.
Please check them out, and do me a favor by giving them a like or a share, give them glowing reviews, and more than anything find a kid and sit down and read with them.
|The Animalphabet||Now I Eat My ABCs|