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Fatherhood in the 21st Century

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Category: Worth A Chuckle

I am a big fan of podcasts; I listen to several as a way of keeping myself educated and informed on business matters. I’ve been searching for a good fatherhood podcast for some time, with limited success. It’s not so much that the podcasts haven’t been good, just that they haven’t really struck a chord with me. For example, the GeekDads podcast is very well done, but just didn’t really catch my attention.

A couple of weeks ago I visited Cast Of Dads and downloaded episode 7. Entitled “We Were All Morons”, I thought it was worth a listen. Unfortunately, it took me until yesterday to listen to the podcast – it was worth the wait.

The podcast consists of 5 Dads who are responsible for 13 children across a wide range of ages. The banter was natural, and really sounded like a group of guys just getting together and talking about the things that were on their minds.The podcast included a great discussion on dealing with bullying that I though was handled really well. All too often a group of guys would revert to bravado and deny that they or their children were ever bullied. Instead, these men offered up personal insights and workable solutions to the problem. Bravo.

So if you, like me, enjoy listening to podcasts, please check out the Cast of Dads. Their podcast is located at:http://castofdads.squarespace.com.

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs
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My son is becoming a thrill junkie. It all started innocently enough. Driving a truck on icy winter roads means that from time to time we would do a little fishtail when going around corners or when starting out from a stoplight. The ensuing giggles encouraged Dad to try a couple of donuts in an empty parking lot. This was greeted with a wonderful “Whee!” sound from the back seat. (It also led to my wife asking me why Nick asked her to “do some donuts” on a morning when she drove him to daycare. Oops.)

However, the thrill seeking reached its peak about a month ago. I took Nick to a nearby hill with his sled. Now, it’s not as if I went out and bought the boy a GT Snow Racer or a snowboard – he’s got a classic kiddie sled – wooden, with two ski’s, sides, and a curved back. The hill was busy that day, with lots of older kids sledding off jumps and racing each other. I got Nick seated in the sled, then took him part way up the hill. I turned him around and gave him a gentle push. He went sliding down the hill, coming to a stop a little ways away.

Hearing no sound, I ran up to Nick and asked him what he thought. No response. “Nick, was that fun?” I asked. He nodded. “Do you want to try again?” He nodded.

We repeated the experiment a couple more times. It didn’t seems as if he was really enjoying himself, so I asked him if he wanted to go home. The reply was clear. Mustering all the anger he could, he turned around, pointed to the hill and yelled, “No! I want to go to the TOP!”.

We continued sledding for a while, moving further and further up the hill each time until I was comfortable with how stable his sled was, and we eventually reached the top of the hill. By now, Nick was having so much fun that he was getting out of the sled by himself at the bottom of the hill and starting back up before I could reach him.

Since then we’ve gone sledding a couple more times, and each time he gets more confident. He now tells me the direction he wants to go and the path that he wants to take. He asks me to give him a push so that he goes faster, and now wants to race someone down the hill each time.

I think that’s pretty cool. It’s time for Dad to pick up a sled. Maybe that GT Snow Racer that I always wanted as a kid.

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs
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Yesterday morning Mom left for a four day conference on the coast, leaving Nick and I to fend for ourselves.

As expected, so far we have killed the cat, lost our shoes, and managed to survive by eating only potato chips and soda.

Just kidding.

It’s funny that the perception of fathers being terrible parents is so pervasive in our society. I’m not sure if it is because TV commercials and sitcoms make us look stupid, or if TV commercials and sitcoms make us look stupid because that is the prevailing attitude in society, but either way that attitude has to change. There are millions of single dads out there, and many more stay-at-home-dads that are doing a great job of raising their kids.

I’m having a great time with my boy this weekend. Sure, its harder when you don’t have someone else to take over for half an hour while you run out to the store, but it’s not impossible. While I do the dishes, Nick plays. While I cook supper, Nick watches Thomas & Friends. When I go to the store, he comes with me.

We miss Mom, but this isn’t an unbearable situation in the short run.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the pizza guy is here and I need to find my pants.

(Kidding again!)

I was travelling out of town on business last week, and I ended up in my hotel room one night looking for something on television.

As I watched the on screen TV guide scroll past, I was delighted to see that channel 34 was playing “The Backyardigans”. I flipped over there to see which episode it was, on the off chance it was one I hadn’t yet seen.

Sadly, I had already seen this particular episode (It was season one, episode 8: “The Key to the Nile”, moral: “You can get almost anything you want if you just say please and thank you.”). However, this made me ask a question of myself. If I hadn’t seen the episode that was playing, would I, a 33 year old man alone in a hotel room in a strange city, have spent 30 minutes watching the exploits of five anthropomorphized animals?

I guess we’ll never know; instead I watched Mike Holmes new show, “Holmes in New Orleans”. It wasn’t very good. Maybe if Mike Holmes had added a couple of song and dance numbers and finished the show with a tasty, healthy snack I would have enjoyed it more…

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As Nick’s vocabulary grows larger and larger, I really need to start watching my mouth a little more closely. Slowly Nick has progressed from ‘Banana’ (NANA), to ‘Cheese’ (CHZZ), to ‘Cracker’ (KAKA), and finally to ‘Apple’ (APPA).

Over the weekend I was backing my truck out of the driveway and neglected to unplug the block heater cord from the house before driving away. Over the long hood I saw the cord stretch out taught, and then release back toward the house like a rubber band. The bright yellow plug from the block heater was clearly visible against the white snow.

“Fudge!” I yelled, though of course it was another word that begins with “F” that passed through my lips.

It was then that my eyes opened wide and I bit my tongue. Nick was giggling in the backseat, repeating “Fa, Fa, Fa”…

I just hope that the next word he learns isn’t “duck”.

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Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood.

Really?

Snoop Dogg has a television show about being a dad? And its in its second season? Really?

I’m flabbergasted.

http://ca.eonline.com/on/shows/snoopdogg/index.jsp

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How a new baby can make you a better man.

I share a computer at work with two other people – I rarely use it, but we have it at our service shop for email, word processing, and to look information up on the internet. For whatever reason, one of the other gentlemen has set MSN as the homepage. I used to find it quite frustrating (it’s a slow-loading site on that PC), but for the past couple of weeks I have actually found myself enjoying some of the articles on it.

This morning I came across a wonderful article from Best Life magazine titled The Newborn Ultimatum – How a New Baby Can Make You a Better Man. The writer, Sam Grobart, has written the article around 5 concepts that he feels Fathers know well. Those are: Talk less and listen more, Keep your cool, Know your strength, Stick to your guns, Share the spotlight. Frankly, I couldn’t agree more. My favorite quote of the article is this: “Caring for an infant is kind of like being a member of Prince’s entourage or an aide to Kim Jong-Il: You are responsible for anticipating the needs of an irrational person who is completely divorced from reality”.

I highly suggest reading the article in full at the Best Life website. The article is located here: http://www.bestlifeonline.com/cms/publish/fatherhood/Benefits-of-Fatherhood.php

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Do Schools Kill Creativity?

One of my favorite sites on the internet is www.TED.com. I had never heard of TED until I stumbled across their site about a year ago, and I have been a fan ever since. Basically, it’s an organization that brings together a group of extraordinary people once a year for an exchange of ideas. It is incredibly difficult to actually get into the event, but they post a few of the videos every week on their website, for free.

Obviously, as a parent I’m concerned about both the cost and the quality of education. I often have discussions with my wife about the value of education. Certainly, we both feel a great education is a wonderful thing to have, but we do disagree on what makes a good education. I’m a hands-on kind of guy, and I value my knowledge of science and math, especially physics, which I often say is the science of the world around us. My wife is an English teacher, and has her own opinions.

I recently found a video on TED’s website about education and where it is heading in the future. Ken Robinson feels that schools and the subject structure that they currently have may in fact be limiting our children’s futures. I especially like the quote where he mentions that kids entering school today will be retiring in 2065, and they are in an educational system that is meant to prepare them for this future. However, he points out that even with all the intelligent people at the TED convention, none of them could really agree on what the world would look like in even five years.

Anyway, I really enjoy the site, and the video. I thought that I would share it with you.

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Nick is having a nap right now, so I started looking for some Dad information to share with all of you. I came across this ‘Gangsta Rap’ video about Stay At Home Dads, and I had to share it, it’s probably the funniest SAHD thing I’ve ever seen. I hope you enjoy it.


Stay at Home Dad Rap - Watch more free videos

The video is from Break.com, but I actually found it at AtHomeDad.Org