Dad for Beginners

Amateurism at its best

diaper bag

July 21, 2014
by Creed
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Baby Junk, pt. 2 – Diaper Bag

One thing I’ve learned in the one year I’ve been a parent is that other parents like to tailor their public parenting to meet their narcissistic needs. Parents like when another parent admires how “together” they are. Conversely, some get their jollies by appearing overwhelmed and disheveled. These vainglorious parents enjoy the public perception of their parenting as much as they enjoy their own reflection.

diaper bag

It’s a little known fact that Caravaggio painted his famous “Narcissus” after witnessing the ostentation of new parents at his local grocery store.

One of the benchmarks of parental vanity is the diaper bag. Parents tote this monstrosity around with extreme loyalty, as if the Earth would implode on itself if you accidently forgot it in the car. However, the diaper bag has become more than just a bag for carrying diapers. In my experience, these “diaper bag” parents like to carry everything from diapers and wipes to their personal effects, a various assortment of toys, multiple changes of clothes, and probably a month’s worth of pre-pumped baby deliciousness. None of which is really necessary.

The diaper bag affliction is taking parents by storm. They cannot survive without this thing. A trip to the local grocery store with a baby is suddenly tantamount to traversing the Gobi Desert during the Siberian anticyclone. The sheer volume of supplies parents feel inclined to carry with them at all times is astonishing.

diaper bag

Bactrian camels of the Gobi and new parents with pretentious diaper bags have a lot in common. See? You learned something today.

But in reality, none of this is for the baby. Yes, at some point any or all of it could be used for the baby to some degree, however the diaper bag is an accessory. Modern parents with all their haughty and overbearing charm, have taken the diaper bag and made it a symbol of their self-ascribed parenting acumen. The more clever and creative parents have also adapted the bag to reflect their economic status.

diaper bag

If you don’t have a Gucci diaper bag then you are nothing to me. Be gone.

The diaper bag is a useful device for transporting diapers. But with all these modern parents and their diaper bag vanity, I prefer to keep my diapers and baby ass-wipes locked securely in my gold plated, antique-style, steamer trunk sea chest with vintage wooden leather rustic belt straps. At least when I push my grocery cart around the other parents will know I’m extremely wealthy and possibly a pirate.

Part 1: The Crib

July 10, 2014
by Creed
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How to Save Money, pt. 4: The Bondage of Baby Clothing

For a variety of reasons, there are few things more frustrating than baby clothing. Most obviously, baby clothing is a never-ending expense that is predictably cyclical in nature and ongoing until your baby reaches a physical plateau. Secondly, babies, much like zoo animals and convicted felons, crave freedom. Infancy is one of the brief eras in the modern human life when nakedness is perfectly acceptable in virtually any situation. Moreover, baby clothes are subject to the same parental vanity as any other baby accessory and become quite expensive. It is for all these reasons that new parents are all the wiser to save themselves some coin and forego an abundant wardrobe of baby attire altogether.

Once a baby is born, there are only a few certainties for the new parents. 1. It will need to eat. 2. It will shit. 3. It will cry, and 4. It will grow. Now while clothing is in no way a requirement for newborn babies, one of the tangential certainties is that it will likely get cold. The fatless and frail physical frame of a new baby almost guarantees that at some point, given your geographical proximity to the equator, your baby will get cold and therefore will need to be clothed at least a percentage of the time. However, in reference to certainty #4, that the baby will grow, it is implied that once you do clothe your baby, you’ll be enrolled in a ceaseless cycle of discarding old clothes and procuring new, larger ones. The rate at which a baby grows rivals that of other notoriously rapid growing entities like sea kelp, blue whale calves, sunflower bamboo, or an inebriated married man’s ego at a singles karaoke night. Be prepared to experience an endless cycle of re-outfitting your tiny human with size-appropriate baby clothing.

baby clothing

Welcome to Oman. Famous for having one of the most comfortable year round climates on Earth. Baby clothes not required.

Secondly, it is a well-known fact that babies like freedom. Much like zoo animals and convicted felons, babies desire liberty. Similarly to nudists, infants crave unbridled nakedness. This desperate pursuit of infant nudity is where you as the parent can corral those greenbacks and work that Visa card down to an almost manageable debt. Baby nakedness is wonderful for the baby because it provides much-needed aeration to the nether regions. Being wrapped up tightly in a diaper all night, sitting in a pool of urine doesn’t give the sensitive epidermis the needed exposure to healthy air. More importantly, it is socially acceptable for a human baby to be naked in virtually any scenario. Allowing your baby to roam naked freely will save you some time and money. As long as you keep that bottle of Resolve handy for when he or she drops a load on the carpet, you’re going to be just fine.

baby clothing

Invite the boys over for some beer, wings, and naked time. Male bonding at the infant level is as close to utopia as you’ll find.

Most importantly in the quest to save some dollars via baby clothing is to not get caught up in the vanity of baby apparel. Just like in the adult world, baby apparel has a designer version of virtually everything. From useless shoes to seasonal garments, even frivolous baby accessories, parents too easily get vacuumed into the world of baby vainglory. A baby will never care about the public perception of their onesie. They will not lament the discount sweater you picked up at Ross because the cold winter weather drove up your electrical bill. A baby will be just as satisfied in a burlap sack with arm and leg holes as they will in Burberry boxed bodysuit and hat from Nieman Marcus for $150.

baby clothing

A onesie has a lifespan of exactly two to three weeks. Spend your $150 wisely.

There are few things more frustrating than baby clothing. However, we, the conceited and selfish consumer make it all the more difficult. A baby will always grow and will always need new clothes, but the expense can be kept to a minimum unless you want to go ahead and get your spawn a pack of Marlboro Reds and some Folgers crystals and really end the growth cycle early. Until then, set your vanity aside, enjoy some turbulent and unchecked nakedness, and just remember that whatever clothes you bought today will be irrelevant in a matter of weeks. Cheers.

Looking for more useful ways to save money? Click here.

World Cup

July 6, 2014
by Creed
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Separation of Mind and State

All the recent American fervor over the World Cup is easily the sorriest display of fandom the sports world has ever seen. It is no secret that America does not like soccer. In fact, it is a well-established fact that America as a nation neither embraces soccer nor cares at all about the plethora of exceptional soccer leagues throughout the world. However, recently we’ve been seeing a lot of public discussion about the sport and America’s place on the world stage. But why is that? It’s only once every four years that American soccer pundits emerge from their hibernations. Why is this year any different? Spoiler alert; it’s not.

The root cause of all American “soccer enthusiasm” is nationalism. Nationalism is the primary catalyst behind most nation’s exuberance during international sporting events. When it comes to the World Cup, however, the entirety of the world sans America has an existing and genuine interest in the sport. America does not. We care so little about the MLS, our own domestic league, that we could faint mid-match and require a gurney to carry us off, much like most of the fake-injury-plagued soccer stars that we care nothing about. It is the same reason that every four years we cheer for a bobsledder or shot-putter that we’ve never heard of nor do we care exists. Soon after the event is over, they fade into obscurity along with the “passionate” fans who only a week earlier could tell you where they went to high school and what their favorite food is. Americans have a gluttonous desire to prove to anyone willing to listen that we are better. We don’t know why nor do we really care what we’re better at; we’re just better.

World Cup

It’s not the majestic bald eagle’s fault that he’s affiliated with us or has been portrayed as a stern and steadfast soccer-hater.

American nationalism is the worst kind of nationalism because it is hollow and purposeless. When given an opportunity to defeat another country at anything, Americans will sing to the high heavens the greatness of our union. We will champion the excellence of America at whatever challenge is presented. We will scurry quietly to our computers where we’ll Google the names of the competitors and then bombard a conversation with our “knowledge” as if we were raised learning about the history and accolades of our more obscure domestic athletes.

When the events are over, it’s remarkable how quickly the average American mind reverts to its normal state. We know subconsciously that because many of these international events only happen every four years, that the next time around we will likely have to learn a new set of names in order to bombast knowledge from the water cooler. Even more remarkable, perhaps, is that many of the unknown athletes we touted, will spend the next four years of their lives earning their professional income in another nation. This is primarily the case with soccer. Yet, of these “super fans,” how many among them will trace the careers of their “favorite” American soccer stars through the English Premier League or German Bundesliga while awaiting another World Cup?

World Cup

My personal favorite biathlete is no one because how the hell is skiing and shooting guns even a real sport?

This nation has reached a point in its history where virtually everyone born an American citizen was born into a developed and advanced nation. When none of the citizenry has really experienced national subjugation, it is difficult to sustain a believable nationalism for any length of time. This is why Americans rally around sports; because they truly have nothing else to rally around. We know in our hearts that an international sporting event will meet our two basic requirements for giddy nationalism; it will be temporary and it will appear genuine. Whether consciously or not, when dealing with serious issues like state solidarity or kicking a colorful orb around a field of green, Americans inherently know that we care about neither and will struggle to feign interest for more than a few weeks.

For a brief time every few years, Americans use ambiguous sporting events such as the World Cup to cultivate an atmosphere of pride, for however brief a moment. It is entirely false. Completely contrived. Barely believable. But in a country filled with shallow and mindless followers, it’s a valiant attempt nonetheless.

So good luck in the 2014 World Cup, America. Oh wait, what? We already lost? Ok, whoever dies with the most toys wins. Good night.

July 3, 2014
by Creed
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Learning Moments: The Fourth of July

Organic learning moments are so rare. When available, it is critical to capitalize on the natural opportunity to teach a child something without it seeming contrived, forced, or having been done as a reaction to some act of malfeasance. This is my son’s second Fourth of July, although considering that last year at this time he was approximately two-weeks old, for all practical purposes, it is his first real Fourth of July. Since my son is just barely more than one-year-old, will retain virtually nothing I teach him, and has the attention span of a squirrel with hyperactivity disorder, I present this learning moment as a timeless letter for him to enjoy for years to come, including every Fourth of July from here until I’m dead.

Dear Son,

Today is the Fourth of July. It is a holiday celebrated by one nation to commemorate its greatness. On this day, droves of people will consume large quantities of alcohol, transport heavy food preparation equipment to parks and beaches, and attempt to acquire melanoma while they sit and eat amongst the company of friends, family, and copious amounts of American flags.

Fourth of July

Add mini American flags to virtually anything and instantly become a patriot. What a great country indeed.

The Fourth of July is one of this great nation’s many excuses to take a day off of work and pass the time by eating, drinking, and engaging in whatever general foolishness is the order of the day. Basically it’s like every other American holiday. Cheers. The difference between the countless Hallmark holidays we as a nation celebrate and the Fourth of July is that in general, most people are under the impression that the Fourth of July carries some type of historical meaning. Now, although the vast quantity of people are blind to any historical traditional and simply use the day to not work and get heavily intoxicated, there is a decent percentage of society that has remembered that this day is one of history, not just the normal American holiday debauchery.

However, the history that people celebrate is very often the wrong one and yet nobody really cares, because the ultimate goal of any holiday gathering is to get inebriated and consume way too much of whatever holiday fare is being cooked. This particular day is even more special because Americans like to shoot colorful fire in the air and scream.

The Fourth of July is the day America celebrates its independence from Great Britain. However, this really isn’t accurate because although the resolution of independence was closed in Congress on July 2nd, the Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed until early August. Truthfully, most colonies had autonomously declared their independence more than a month before the Congressional resolution. Even John Adams (historical guy) believed that Americans would celebrate July 2nd as the day of independence. Over time, Americans adopted July 4th as the celebratory date because it was the date that the Congressional resolution was first published. Even our forefathers were media whores who believed whatever they read. Kind of makes you feel all warm inside and connected to the past.

Fourth of July

John Adams was best known for his killer Fourth of July barbecues and of course, his hair.

Even with independence declared and Congress united, the Revolutionary War still continued for another 7 years. You see, son, declaring something doesn’t necessarily mean anything. I can declare lots of things and your mother will surely decide to play the role of the British and curtail my freedom. Americans had to support their independence with force and it really wasn’t until 1783 that all European intervention was vanquished. Even then, the America of 1783 was not the America of today, only comprising the land from the Mississippi River to the East Coast and it didn’t even include Florida. So everyone celebrating their Fourth of July in Miami beach technically are celebrating erroneously.

Fourth of July

50 stars to represent 50 Declaration of Independence signers. Red and white stripes to represent the celebratory candy canes they ate. History is easy to make up when nobody cares.

As we see all around us in our postmodern world, Americans celebrate the wrong day for reasons they cannot even begin to understand. Moreover, they decorate the landscape with American flags, not really even knowing why. Far too often we stand in line and follow the chanting without the words even being audible.

The truth, however, is that if it weren’t for partisan politics, the Fourth of July might not even be that big of a deal. It wasn’t until after the war of 1812 and the Federalist/Democratic-Republican divisions that the actual document itself became a torch by which the Democratic-Republicans would become the predominant political party. John Adams (same historical guy from earlier) believed that Americans seemed uninterested in the past and used the pseudo-date of July Fourth and the Declaration to solidify the Democratic-Republican Party. If only John Adams could visit 2014 and see how interested Americans are in the past now. We’ve become a truly impressive group of citizens for all the wrong reasons.

So happy Fourth of July, son. I truly hope we can get you out of this loathsome nation before you’re old enough to learn all these fictions in America’s wonderful public school system. But that’s a letter for another time.

June 30, 2014
by Creed
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Material Goods as a Demarcation of Child Age: Infant car seat v. toddler car seat, a study in true linguistic absurdity

All U.S. state governments have child safety seat requirements. While the purpose of protecting children as they age and grow is the same across all states, the miniscule differences are nauseating. You can learn about what your state requires here:

What I’ve learned recently is that, colloquially, there are distinct differences between baby, infant, and toddler. What I’ve also learned, logically, is that none of those terms really makes any sense insofar as they do not really describe an identifiable change in the condition or size of the person at a specific time. They are generalities that society has determined are sufficient gradients of the growth of a baby before it reaches childhood.

There are no “baby” car seats. Car seats are for infants and toddlers. Two words that seem to exist exclusively within the realm of government compliance and consumerism yet have permutated into colloquialisms for talking about babies in general.

car seats

If an infant seat could talk, it would say, “turn me around and put a baby in me.” Kind of like my wife did with me.

However, infant car seats and toddler car seats are markedly different. Infant car seats serve as more of a “cradle” and are placed in the vehicle backwards. Toddler seats face forward and are more akin to normal, human car seats. When your child outgrows the infant seat and is ready for the toddler seat, he has thereby graduated into a new classification of tiny human.

It seems that perhaps the best way to distinctly classify someone as a “toddler,” is when they outgrow the infant seat and need the larger toddler seat. Other than benchmarks of the size of the child for consumer and legal purposes, the terms have no meaning. Adhering to this precedent indicates that childhood does not actually begin until a child is able to spurn the toddler seat and sit in the vehicle like a regular person. Maybe this very article can serve as jurisprudence for the pro-choicers.

While I do not condone abortion or improperly outfitting a child in a safety seat, it is remarkable how society in general has accepted arbitrary colloquialisms of consumerism and compliance to refer to contrived eras of child age. The words “infant,” “toddler,” and “child” are fluid but in such a strictly regulated society, they’ve become inflexible. As my ultimate act of protest and revolt, when the hostess in a restaurant asks, “two and a half?” or fails to acknowledge my child at all, I invariably ask her how her career as a hostess is working out and tell her that her parents didn’t love her. I’m bitter now. Thanks, America.

baby proofing

June 24, 2014
by Creed
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How to Baby Proof Your Home

Seasoned parenting experts love to give advice to new parents. Every experienced parent is the best parent that has ever walked the face of the Earth. Taking advice from veteran parents is similar to being recommended to a doctor or medical specialist. Everyone’s guy is the best. “You have to see my doctor, he’s the best.” Well, they can’t all be the best. Someone out there is graduating at the bottom of these med school classes, and thus a plethora of doctors exist who are obviously not the best. Parenting is no different. The parenting gurus like to use buzzwords to sound important. Baby proofing is a perfect example of a parenting buzzword gone berserk. All these self-proclaimed parenting experts will champion baby proofing as something all new parents must do. It is critically important. Baby proof your house to protect your infant.

Within the realm of baby proofing, lots of mainstays exist that don’t really change over time. Things like covering electrical outlets, padding the corners of tables, moving heavy objects to higher locations, and keeping sharp, pointy things like pencils, scissors, staples, and ninja sais off the floor where the baby cannot reach them. While taking these precautions seems to orbit the world of common sense, the parenting sages like to call it baby proofing. Even common sense has become so uncommon that we require a user manual and have to give it a cool name in order for it to be taken seriously.

baby proofing

The secret to effective baby proofing is to lock your child out of everything. Literally everything.

The truth about baby proofing is that it isn’t real. It is a fictional idea conjured solely in the mind of the self-glossed parenting adroit. A baby will discover a thousand different ways to hurt themselves without ever sticking their finger in an electrical socket or pulling daddy’s katana swords off the table. A curious baby will do almost anything to thwart the pseudo-security system that the masterful baby proofing parent has in place. A baby will walk out onto a scorching hot, sun-baked patio and burn their feet. They will attempt to scale the couch at a vertical incline like Spiderman. They will crawl in between the washing machine and the wall simply because they can. They will pull anything within reach out of the pantry or refrigerator. They’ll put food in their eyes. They’ll scratch their face with their tiny claws. They’ll pee on the floor then stand up and slip on their own urine. The entire world is a hazard when you’re a baby.

baby proofing

Erect a fence and teach your baby to climb. Baby courage knows no bounds.

Baby proofing is a myth until you as the parent are willing to swaddle your baby in packing peanuts and keep it in a plastic bubble. The reality is, your baby will injure itself. It is inevitable. The good news, however, is that babies are soft and flexible and can handle the rugged terrain of endless household threats and perils. Baby proof your house, by all means, but don’t be shocked when your tiny human crashes head first into the floor lamp simply because he or she feels like it. A baby’s mind works like a bull moose in rutting season and every inanimate object in your home is a fertile cow.

crib

June 18, 2014
by Creed
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Baby Junk, pt. 1 – The Crib

As I’ve mentioned many times on this website, there are a lot of things that babies simply do not need. Moreover, there are droves of overzealous parents who seek to buy all the books, all the accessories, and outfit their youngling with all the colorful crap that they’ve been conditioned to believe is required for raising a child. Perhaps the most obvious piece of furniture in a new baby’s life is the crib. But does a baby really need this tiny cell for sleeping?

As you may or may not know, this website champions the idea of bed-sharing. That is, parents and baby sharing the same bed. Now, while many parents and so-called experts will not embrace this idea, they cannot articulate a suitable alternative. Most new parents buy a crib for their baby. The ultimate purpose of the crib is for a baby to be able to sleep without rolling out and plummeting to the floor. It makes sense in theory.

crib

A luxury crib is a quick and effective way to drop a few paychecks without blinking an eye.

However, newborn babies are simply incapable of rolling with the vigor that is required to propel them out of a bed. More importantly, a newborn wakes up every two-three hours to feed anyway so there is really no time when they are unsupervised. Newborn babies are often inconsolable and angry, meaning they need to be held or consoled or left in a dark corner of a soundproof isolation chamber. All scenarios where they are in no danger of falling out of a bed.

Once a baby reaches the age when he or she is able to move about and roll effortlessly, the crib seems like a more appropriate way to cage your child. However, as babies reach five and six months of age, they become more curious. They attempt to stand. They slowly change from a feeble mass of fleshy tissue into a feeble mass of fleshy tissue with the fortitude and determination of Evel Knieval. The crib thus proves to be a useful mechanism for caging your child for a mere 2-3 months.

crib

Evel Knievel was a professional idiot for money. Infants do it for free.

Once a baby figures out that he or she can stand up and see over the top of the bars, that’s it. There is no turning back at that point. Crafty parents think that by lowering the mattress, you can preserve the lifespan of the crib, however all you’re really doing is teaching your infant to climb. There is no happy reality for a cribbed baby. Much like zoo animals and felons, they will continually try to escape.

Cribs range anywhere from $65-$80 all the way up to the uber-luxurious, polished mahogany, full-size, pillow-top mattress, cribs of the super elite. No matter what space you occupy on the socioeconomic ladder, a crib will always be useless.

June 13, 2014
by Creed
0 comments

Dialogue with a Pregnant Woman

Women are enigmas. They are mysteries wrapped in riddles. The average man knows better than to attempt to dissect the psyche of a woman. Pregnant women, however, take the average crazy to a whole new level. The best way to illustrate this is through an example. Enjoy.

Excerpt from a conversation with a pregnant wife.

Me: Are you hungry? Do you want to eat?

Wife: Let’s get In ‘N Out Burger.

M: Ok.

W: I don’t want double meat. Can they just give me one meat and double vegetables?

M: Probably.

W: Are you going to eat?

M: No, I’m good.

W: But you said that you were hungry, why aren’t you going to eat?

M: I don’t want a burger, I’ll just eat something at home.

W: But you said that you are hungry. Why aren’t you eating? You like burgers. Why don’t you want to eat with me?

M: I just don’t want In ‘N Out. I’ll eat something with you at home while you eat your burger.

W: But then I’ll have to wait and it will be cold.

M: Microwave it.

W: I don’t want microwave burger!

M: Ok, well I’ll eat later.

W: I don’t like that you don’t want to eat with me. Let’s go home.

M: Ok, well we’re going to In ‘N Out first.

W: I don’t want a burger. I’m not hungry.

M: Huh? But…

W: No, just go home. I don’t like burgers.

M: Ok, well I’m still going to go to In ‘N out because I know you and I know you’ll eat a burger if we get one.

W: NO! I DON’T WANT A BURGER. WHAT DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND ABOUT THAT? YOU DON’T WANT TO EAT WITH ME AND I DON’T WANT A BURGER!

M: Ok, let’s go eat at In ‘N Out. We will eat together.

W: No! If you go to In ‘N Out I’m not going to eat and I swear to God I’m going to walk home and you can do whatever you want. I don’t want a burger and I hate you!

M: Ok.

The End.

This conversation has been brought to you by poor decisions and haphazard use of birth control. Be safe out there, men.

June 5, 2014
by Creed
0 comments

Speak Like a Parrot

One of the most precious moments for a new parent is when your baby first begins to try and speak. The nonsensical half words that babies utter are neither comprehensible nor productive, but is signifies a milestone in their ongoing quest to become a real human. Talking is an essential part of human interaction albeit one of the more annoying features in many people. Infants use their environment to procure new skills, which is why being a verbal role model is critical to their linguistic development. My wife still screams at me, but her volume has decreased and I get a lot more mad-dogging these days in place of the overt verbal abuse. Having a child has definitely boosted my self-esteem. I find that as my son learns to speak, he astutely recognizes visual cues as to what demeanor he will adopt when he mutters his next incoherent rambling. Having an infant is kind of like owning a parrot.

speak

The only real difference between an infant and a parrot is the ability to fly.

speakTalking to an infant is like talking to a parrot because, at least to some degree, they will attempt to mimic your style. I find that for the most part, my child voices positive and uplifting squeaks and squeals probably because I’m a very positive and uplifting person. He uses my demeanor as a benchmark of how pleasantly or unpleasantly he will squawk. Conversely, when I’m the victim of disgruntlement or backlash from the wife or the workplace, my son takes that as a cue to turn his smile upside down. He still squawks at ungodly volumes, but his tone is guttural. His almost telepathic ability to sense discouragement and channel it into his own behavior is virtually supernatural. In my home, every day is Independence Day.

Talking to an infant is like talking to a parrot because it can be incredibly annoying and raucous. At times, my son’s shrieks and screeches echo through our cavernous living space like the wailing of a lost soul through an unknown catacomb. It can be fairly frightening if you cannot see the smile on his face when he does it. I worry at times that the neighbors have begun to believe that we masochistically punish our son or keep some kind of helium gimp locked away for our erotic forays. The truth is, we got rid of the gimp long before he was born. His wailing is truly out of joy. We’re still not really sure where he summons such euphoria, but he’s reached incredible volumes. It may actually be to our benefit, however, because when our neighbors witness such a deafening howl from our residence, they are less likely to try and engage us in public. Human interaction is so overrated.

speak

There is nothing more annoying than a screeching parrot, unless you’re the neighbor to someone who owns a parrot.

Talking with an infant is like talking to a parrot because they like to repeat. Infants trying to repeat after you is one of the most fun and dangerous aspects of them learning to speak. While parrots generally have a limit on the quantity of words they can learn, a human’s potential for retaining new linguistic material is endless. Infants do not have filters and they cannot distinguish productive words from useless ones. When you instruct an infant to say a specific word, more than likely you’ll get anything else. It’s unpredictable. And this is where the danger lies. I have to think twice before I express to my wife that our apartment manager is a greasy behemoth and smells like a cesspool for fear that my son will pick up one or all of those words. He may not pick up any. But I couldn’t safely take him into the same office as the greasy behemoth for fear that he’ll say exactly what I did. I try to be a good role model.

speak

Parrots can learn some words if properly trained. Infants pick up the words you don’t even recall saying and use them inappropriately on purpose.

The main difference between infants and parrots is that one will not mature into a human adult and use their language skills in social situations that may dictate their future. While setting the example is beneficial in both cases, an infants vernacular will have a far greater reflection on you as the parent. If my parrot tells a houseguest to fuck off, it’s funny. If my son does it, it’s only funny once the guest leaves and my son believes he did something wrong. Even if his observation was correct, social convention is unfair for infants.

May 23, 2014
by Creed
0 comments

Involved Fatherhood, So Hot Right Now…

Having recently been turned on to the bizarre world of parenting blogs, I’ve noticed a striking similarity that many dad writers share: the use of the term “involved” when referring to their own parenting or the parenting of other dads that they admire most. On the internet, dads love to publicize their encouragement to one another regarding their high parenting IQs. They like to pat each other on the back, as if what they are doing is revolutionary. The modern internet dad has become his own biggest fan. The only “involved” father these men truly admire is themselves. The current age of social media provides an exceptional outlet for fatherly self-promotion. Great fathers can now tell everyone willing to read their ramblings of how great a father they are. But when you boil it down, emphasizing your “involvement” as a father isn’t involved, it’s trendy.

For so long, as far back as I can remember to when I was a kid, moms lorded over the realm of parenting advice. Like a feudal system of regional warlords and their peasantry, moms owned the parenting conversation. This construct didn’t demean dads, it just hid them. The technological and informatic revolution that Al Gore’s internet represents has changed the landscape of parental visibility. Dad now has a venue for expression but more importantly, an audience. And more and more dads are out there in cyberspace airing their opinions.

involved father

Media portrays Tom Brady as an involved father. But I remain skeptical about his involvement due to his lack of fatherly self-promotion.

But it’s not just opinions where these sensational internet dads cease. These dads are demanding equality from a public who has been raised to view mom as the parental guru.

These new age dads seek not only the continued reverence of their masculinity, but also the recognition of anything they observe to be gender biased. This can get absurd quite rapidly until one day you’re on the internet, reading about a dad who’s offended by a new laundry detergent commercial that evokes a slight gender bias towards mom. Dads are writing about the right of a father in the hospital during labor. They are advocating the benefits of a stay-at-home-dad over a stay-at-home-mom. The topics they focus on are relevant and useful. It is the way in which they so forcefully try to seize the parental limelight that is objectionable.

Being a good father is a great quality. No one doubts that. The questions is, what purpose is all this fatherly promotion serving? They throw around colloquialisms like dandelion spores in the wind. They want their readers to believe that there are paradigms of fatherhood and the one new dads are entering is one of equality in the homestead, where dad is just as accountable as mom. It is “involved” fathering, that’s what these internet dads are engaging in according to them. They are, by publically sharing their parenting experiences, ushering in a new era of parenthood, one where the father is supposed to be praised for shouldering an equal burden of responsibility as the mother. What they neglect to highlight, is that this idea existed all along.  

Involved fathering isn’t real. It is a term that’s been contrived by guilty, mostly white, liberal dads to relinquish some kind of inherent guilt harbored from what they believe is generations of uninvolved fathering. Maybe all these dads of questionable writing ability had similar childhoods. Childhoods in which their own fathers were severely uninvolved…you know, uninvolved – formerly known as deadbeat. Or maybe these internet dads are just jealous that mom is still the media-sponsored guru.

Being an involved father is not a new concept. It doesn’t fluctuate with the times. It isn’t a trend. But writing about it is. Touting oneself for your increased level of commitment and dedication is a new phenomenon.

Being an involved father is an idea as old as fatherhood itself and will never go out of style. But on the internet, being an involved father is…well, it’s so hot right now!

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