Sunday, January 27, 2008

What is a Good Father?

I visited a friend of mine this weekend (himself a newdaddy with an eight-week-old), and it came out that I have this blog (it's not the first thing I tell people and, believe it or not, a good number of my friends have no idea I do this). When I told him it was about parenting, he was surprised, as he assumed it was a blog about how to be a good parent (and I, having only done this for about sixteen months, am in no position to be giving anyone parenting advice). I quickly explained that it was more a "blog-u-mentry" about my experiences as a new father, but it got me thinking: am I a good father? And, if so, or if not, what is a good father?

And here's my answer: I have no idea. But, let me take a crack at it anyway. (After all, I do have the audacity to call some people bad parents.)

A good father simply needs two qualities: first, they have to care about being a father; they have to care about their child and want to be a good father. Because, obviously, if you don't care about your child or your role in their life, you're never going to be good at parenting. Second, you need to have good judgment. No parent knows what they are's all guesswork. For example, at three weeks, when the baby is crying at 2am and they won't stop, do you give them a binky? Some say yes, as it soothes them and encourages a regular sleep pattern. Some say no, as it will get them addicted and screw up their teeth. I've got a view on the subject; but neither answer is correct. But, to be a good parent, you need to consider the issue and come to a decision based on what you think will ultimately be better for your child. And that really is the best you can do.

Of course, what do I know, I've only been doing this for sixteen months. And, believe me, I'm not saying I'm a good parent...I'd like to think I am, as I know I have the first quality, and think I have the second.

But, then again, this is coming from a guy who lets Bud watch an Elmo DVD regularly...and we all know what doctors say about watching TV before age 2!

P.S. New quote on the sidebar. Also, check out "Life After People" on the History Channel.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Name a' Bud-orat

I don't know who taught her the word "nice", but she's using it to describe just about everything, and she sounds just like Borat..."Niiiiiice!" This is my friend Azamat Elmo...

P.S. Who'da thought Bud would be so dead on with her sports pics? She's coming with me to Vegas next time I'm out that way!! (Although, I thought for a moment there we were on the verge of the next Ray Finkle! Laces Out!)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bud's Weekend Football Pics

Last Sunday, during the Giants-Cowboys game, Bud (after being prompted to do so about twenty minutes earlier) reached her hands up into the air and yelled "Tud-don!" Close, but there was a flag on that particular play. And the ball was nowhere near the end-zone. But, to be fair, I think it will be a while before Bud says "False Start. Offense. Five Yard Penalty."

Anyway, in honor of the new essential vocabulary word, I give you Bud's pics for this weekend.

In the professional football contest where the Giants of New York will take on the Packers of Green Bay.

The Giants will triumph by kicking an oblong ball made of pigskin through a big "H", and it will be a most ripping victory.

New England Closest Thing In Football to the Red Sox vs. the San Diego Chargers.

Too many disappointed games rooting against New England. Going to go with the Patriots on this one, but I think San Diego will cover. (Spread as of now is 14.)

And, there you have it...if you are so inclined to go with the picks of a one-year-old, I'm glad Bud can be of service.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Very Special Newdaddy

Today marks two significant events in my journey through fatherhood. First, this is my two-hundredth post. I know, I've been a bit of a slacker lately; I was gently reminded today by an unnamed reader who asked: "What's going on with my niece; I can't seem to find out from your blog!" (I may have taken a bit of creative license with the quote...which calls into question why I felt the need to italicize it, but, whatever, you get the idea.) The drop-off in posting comes primarily because my commute has lengthened since the move. I am now one of those guys who stands outside waiting for the train, alternating between looking at his watch and down the track, every so often switching to his blackberry and letting out an annoyed sigh. Yes, it's true, I am turning into that guy: I even say things like, "The Journal had an interesting article about front-running today." (Which, by the way, it did, earlier in the week.) Thank G-d for Bud; she allows me to temper such statements with "no, no, no, candles are not for eating!" (Are they?)

So, I get home later, and I'm tired-er, and, well, I'm getting lazy. But, don't worry...I'll put in a conscious effort to ramp back up.

The second: well, Bud said "I love you" for the first time. And I am going to pretend it was to me and she intended to say it. I'd say there's a 50/50 chance of that being true. She has been pretty good at the "fill-in-the-blank" game with songs, I will sing part of the song and leave out the last word, which she will fill in (or something that sounds like it). Lately, I've been doing that with "Love Me Do." Love, Love You know....I'ya'you. Out of nowhere, today she looked at me and said "I'ya'you." Maybe she was remembering the song.

Or maybe, just maybe, she was respecting the fatherhood skill of Newdaddy. Happy 200 posts.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Play That Funky Music 1-Year-Old

Newmommy pointed out that I am way too into Bud's toys. I didn't hear her, as I was trying too hard to figure out how to play "Alex F" on the xylophone. (I have already mastered "Ridin' Dirty"). I guess she's right, but in my defense, Bud has got some cool toys.

The instruments do me in immediately. I never thought I had a musical side: I played the trombone briefly in middle school, although lugging that thing around became somewhat of a liability, especially on bus rides. I also wasn't very good. The next closest thing to a musical instrument was a DJ setup in college, although that hardly counts. So, you can imagine my surprise seeing myself go right for Bud's drumsticks and trying to bang out "Wipeout" on her letters-and-numbers-foam floor. It's fun, because Bud will jam with me. You haven't heard music until you've heard a sixteen-month old (!!) rock out on a bumble bee-shaped maraca.

Bud's into music too. "Mu-gick On. Mu-gick On." On the low end of the tolerance spectrum is Elmo-music (he speaks with improper grammar, people!). Although, Bud loves it, so naturally, it is an essential part of our collection. Sesame Babies is next, semi-tolerable in small doses. Then comes the tolerable Laurie Berkner, who gets regular play in our house and car primarily because her stuff is catchy as hell.

And then there are those infrequent wonderful times where Bud gets her groove on to my ipod.

P.S. Newmommy reports 8 unassisted steps, followed by 10 unassisted steps. I think Bud may have walked today too (rim shot...)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

And now...a guest post from Newaunt

The following is from an e-mail Newaunt (or as Bud calls her...Ah-tee) sent to some of her friends, updating them about Bud's recent escapades. I'm posting this, as I think it would be interesting to get someone else's perspective up here, and, well, I am busy watching the NFL playoffs today and am too lazy to post something. Here you go....

"I spent Christmas with Newmommy, Newdaddy, and Bud. When Newmommy fed Bud Spaghetti O's (which they call pasta soup, or as Bud says "poop"), Bud kept saying "macaroo" (macaroni). Newmommy kept correcting Bud as she fed her to try to get her to acknowledge that it was soup or Spaghetti O's, and not macaroni. Bud knows the difference between tortellini ("lini") and macaroni, so Newmommy thought Bud would quickly master this.

However, Bud continued to say macaroo. After a while Bud looked at Newmommy and said "maracoo keys" (macaroni & cheese). Newmommy said, "Do you want macaroni & cheese?" Bud's eyes lit up and she said "Yeth! Puleeze!" 15 months old and not only does she request specific foods, but she asks nicely.

After dinner, Bud said, "Lap, story." Newmommy put Bud in her lap and said, "Which story would you like, Elmo, Numbers, Quiet Loud, or Blankie (all books that Bud has heard a million times). Newmommy waited a few seconds and Bud stated "Elmo." The girl knows what she wants!"

Yes, it's true. Bud now says "please", "toomi" (which I think is 'excuse me,' as it's used in proper context), and I could have sworn she said "bless you" when I coughed yesterday, although I'm not sure about that one.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Three Unassisted Steps

Well, that didn't take long. It was only a few days ago I was pondering whether '08 would bring Bud's first steps and, about sixteen hours into the new year, it turned out to be true. Bud took three unassisted steps from her toy kitchen to me.

I'm recovering from last night, so I am a little short on witty remarks. I'm sure I'll think of something as soon as I hit 'publish.'

Happy New Year everyone!!