Embarrassing Moment . . .

So tonight we sat on the side of the road near the railroad tracks watching the fireworks display enjoying some family time and making memories. Aside from the occasional train rumbling by it was the kind of time that every parent hopes to share with their children. Granted the night was steamy and the location was less than ideal but it was family time without whining or fighting and we where together.

Than as we where gathering up to leave my youngest Onie who is standing up notices another little girl. In a very loud carrying voice that only an innocent child can muster exclaims “She’s Creepy!” and after following her gaze I am mortified! The little girl she had seen was born with a birth defect a fairly obvious one were one of her arms didn’t fully develop and was only about a foot long and looked malnourished. I felt not only bad for the poor girl but also her parent who overheard my daughters insensitive remark. I instantly started to correct my daughter and told her how rude she was but she is only 6 and didn’t understand why she was getting snapped at. When we finally returned to the car i explained to her in further detail that just because someone looks different doesn’t mean that we should be so insensitive. I explained to her that SHE was born different and that many people said things about her that hurt Mommy and Daddies feelings and even though she is just like everyone else now not only could that change when she is older it was still hurtful. I also told her that if she met that girl in school or one like her she might find that they could be good friends but not if she just blurted out something so mean when she just met her that could hurt her feelings.

I am not sure if what I said will take but she seemed to understand the gist of it. While it was embarrassing it also turned into a teachable moment and I hope she truly learned from it. I also hope that the little girl didn’t actually hear her and that if she did she didn’t take my daughters words to heart. I wish I had taken her up the hill to apologize but I will admit to being a bit of a coward on the off chance that she didn’t hear I didn’t want to hurt her feelings for no reason.

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Posted by on 2012/07/06 in Daily Life, Parenting


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I am a Hypocrite as a Dad!

When listening to a personal music system with stock earphones at a maximum volume, the sound generated can reach a level of over 100 dBA, loud enough to begin causing permanent damage after just 15 minutes per day!

via Dangerous Decibels » Noise Induced Hearing Loss.

In a previous Blog post of mine ( Father’s Day and Conflict ) I ranted a bit about when others try and tell me how to raise my girls. I personally feel very strongly that a Parent has the right to raise their own children how they see fit so long as their children are healthy and happy. A stable home happens because of the Parent’s not in spite of them. This has been my stance ever since I first held my oldest daughter Kat and looked into her little squinty, baby eyes.

It is because of this stance that I hold so dear that I now call myself a true hypocrite. How can I not be when I see a parent place their infant in a child carrier in the back or front seat of the car and not properly buckle them in? Or when a toddler, preschool age or kindergartener or gaggle of such is herded into the back seat of a car and not buckled into so much as a booster seat let alone a proper car seat. There there is tonight. Tonight my wife and I were leaving our neighbors when 3 older cars pulled up in front of our apartment building. Usually this would be a non-issue. However what made tonight so different, set my parental instincts on alert and made me realize I am a dyed in the wool hypocrite?

These three car’s, which for a lack of a better term can only be called Ghetto Cruisers, could be heard 2 blocks before turning into our section of the complex. All three roll up blasting music to the point that every window in our section of the apartment complex was rattling and you could feel the bass in your bones through the concrete sidewalk. Now please do not mistake anything I have relate, be it the description of the cars or the sheer volume of the music as an inherent criticism. I have been known to blast my music and when I was a touch younger I rocked out with the heaviest of them. Hell I was a regular at Ozzy, Metallica and other assorted concerts in my teens and 20s. What got to me was that one of the passengers exited the middle vehicles front seat with a baby swaddled in her arms. A BABY!

Not a toddler, preschooler or kindergartener all of which would of been bad enough but an infant so young that it was still wrapped in swaddling. This from a trio of car’s you could hear two blocks away minimum with base so damned loud it was shaking 7 two story 8 unit apartment buildings set in a horseshoe and every car in the parking lot. Loud enough that my own children where clutching their ears and complaining from outside the car a good 25+ feet away. So yes I am a damned hypocrite. That music was too damned loud for a baby and harmful. That is not just the courses I took when I was considering being a teacher talking. That is not just the fact my own children away from the epicenter of the music where complaining and in pain and that it was hurting my own ears as circumstantial evidence to formulate an opinion. This is not about culture and socioeconomic differences or racial gaps. This is about proven science!

or at least that is what I was taught in college that I will be paying back the student loans for the next 50 years and the links posted with this article seem to show.

Noise-induced hearing loss affects people of all ages. U.S. government survey data revealed that 12.5% of children ages 6 to 19 (approximately 5.2 million children) have permanent damage to their ears’ hair cells caused by exposure to loud noises. In addition 15.5% of children ages 12 to 19 had some hearing loss in one or both ears, highlighting the fact that noise-induced hearing loss grows more prevalent with age. (Niskar, 2001)

via The Children´s Hearing Institute — Hearing Health/Preserving Hearing.

So yes I hate it when someone tries to tell me how to raise my children and I usually do Not comment negatively on others parenting or lack there of. That said if I were to ever endanger my child in a manner that could cripple them, endanger their well being in a valid and true manner or neglect them I hope some other hypocrite calls me on it. I also hope I am man enough to curb my knee jerk reaction and evaluate what they have to say without going off the deep-end. Children may be a pain sometimes but they are precious and as Parents, be it a Mom, Dad or Caregiver, it is our job to not only instill in them our values and traditions but to see that they come to no permanent life altering harm! Kid’s will be kids and will get bumps, scrapes, broken bones, bruises and plenty of hurt feelings growing up and that is part of life but  if we as Parents do our job right they will grow up strong, healthy and never suffer any lasting damage, especially by our own actions or lack there of!

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Posted by on 2012/06/30 in Daily Life, Parenting


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Burnout & Parenting.

So sometimes being a parent is a joy. Other times it can literally be a drag. In my last Blog post I related a bit about N and his trials and how he stepped up to be a Dad. Thinking about that post got me thinking about my role as a dad. I love my children and I do the best I can everyday but sometimes I feel like I am on the verge of burning out.

Sometimes my girls are whiny and sometimes its the growth spurts and the juggling of finances to keep them in proper fitting clothing. Especially underclothes! Damn but my oldest bust keeps growing when will they stop? Other times its something as simple yet insidious as going to the pool.

The Pool! Oh how I have come to despise the pool. The apartment complex we live in opened the pool just a few days after school ended and I must of spent the first 2 or 3 weeks down at that pool everyday with them for any where from a couple of hours to 6 hours at a time. Everyday from the moment my youngest gets up the 1st words out of her mouth is “Can we go to the pool?” with such an innocent eager face. I groan inside every time! I guess at this point I should mention that aside from the fact I love spending time with my children I have a minor skin reaction to UV light. I.E. a sun allergy. To make matters worse most sun blocks contain a chemical that causes me to react negatively. I either burn worse than without sunblock or I get chemical burns. So here I sit for the most part, minus a short time in the pool, sweating like a moron with a brightly striped rainbow colored golf umbrella clutched in my hands trying to keep the worst of the sun off sweating like a pig. My children frolicking in the pool and occasionally begging me to join them.

Is it bad that on occasion I wish a little time away from my girls? I mean I miss my oldest Kat who is away visiting her Aunts and wish she was back home but I spend 24/7 with my youngest and all the neighborhood kids. I feel bad for even thinking it but sometimes I really do feel on the verge of a mild burnout.

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Posted by on 2012/06/29 in Daily Life


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Are you a Dad or a Father?

Anyone can Father a child but it takes a real man to be a Dad.

I am sure you have heard the above quote countless times before in some shape or form. It used to be run as a Public Service Announcement on TV after schools and during Saturday morning cartoons.  Taken at face value without context it seems like any other silly platitude or catch phrase we have heard a million times before. I.E. “This is your brain, This is your Brain on Drugs, Any Questions?” or “Only YOU can prevent forest Fires!” weighted words but so cheesy. Not to mention they stand as solitary voices against an onslaught of counter images, slogans and media that preach the opposite message. Is it any wonder that so many of today’s young boys and girls after finding themselves with a child 9 months or so after engaging in unprotected sex break up and refer to each other as the “Baby Momma” and “Baby Daddy” even to the child and NOT as Mom and Dad?

A very good friend of mine has been dating a young guy who I shall refer to as N. Now I like to consider N to be a Dad. he is in his lower 20s and has a daughter. He and his ex got pregnant when they were both 17 and instead of doing like a lot of young boys his age have done, even those in his own family, and forgetting about his daughter he has fought to have a place in her life. N finished high school and found a job. He did so that he could pay his back child support and by doing so for went college even though he had a chance to play ball out of state. To him paying his “dues”, stepping up, getting a job so that he could get insurance for his daughter and being part of her life as much as her mother and the courts would allow him was more important.

While I am not saying I condone teenage sex or that I am making a moral judgment in any shape or form I respect N! He had a child at a young age and he has gone out of his way, bent over backwards despite heavy opposition that it is not my place to detail here to be part of her life. He set aside his own aspirations and future plans because he had a child so that he could be a part of her life and do the best he can for her. That to me is more than a father that is a Dad and a Man. So the cheesy quote I began this Blog post with is true anyone can spill their seed and father a child but it really does take a true man to be a Dad. Someone who is willing to make the sacrifice of time and personal desire to be part of their child’s life despite their age or socioeconomic status and step up to the plate.

The world needs more Dads like N and less boys who are just out to dip their wick.

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Posted by on 2012/06/25 in Parenting


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Father’s Day and Conflict

So I struggled all week with writing a Blog post about our Father’s Day. I had all sorts of creative things in mind, some were even productive while others where just viscous rants. At one point I had decided to just put the day behind me and forget about it but the day and its events just sat there in the back of my mind niggling and nibbling away at me. That day has been a canker sore so today I decided to just sit here and type and see what flows out. No rhyme no reason just free writing at its most basic.

So now you may be asking what was so bad about this last Fathers Day?

Well to begin my wife and I inadvertently were wed on Fathers Day 12 years ago. So often Fathers Day and our Anniversary fall on the same day. This was unplanned and is on occasion a happy coincidence. This year it was a burden. It was planned that we would meet at one of my sister in laws who lived in town and have a family dinner. That later in the day after this lunch/dinner our other sister in law would take our oldest daughter Kat out of town to her house for a few weeks for a visit. Well a half hour before we leave to go to the dinner/lunch my out of town sister in law calls and says that she and her wife have not even left the house and wouldn’t be leaving for a while. This instantly set off my wife and other sister in law. So putting that aside my wife and I go over and we have lunch/dinner though of course my family and I are now trapped at my sister in laws until my other sister in law shows up.

Now extended time with in laws can be trying even if you have the best of relationships but when those relationships are strained and you are already feeling a little down because you have mixed emotions about your child leaving for a few weeks things can be even more tense. Believe me things were extremely tense to begin with! Aside from showing up 4 hours late my wife and in laws had also planned to go through some of my recently deceased mother in laws things. You see the sister in law who cooked lunch/dinner currently lives in the house that my mother in law who passed away lived in.

My mother in law passed away back at the beginning of December. This is a tragedy that has hit my wife, children and in laws extremely hard. There are nights when my wife still cries herself to sleep and times when my children still cry. My sister in laws have handled their mothers passing roughly as well especially my out of town sister in law. She has taken her mothers passing personally due to her own past problems and traumas. Traumas and problems which aren’t mine to relate. What is mine to relate is her conduct and my response this last Fathers Day.

My daughters and I rough house some times as does my wife. My out of town sister in law heard that on occasion my daughter Kat had her bra strap popped. This to my out of town sister in law is Child Abuse. No if’s and’s or but’s about it if you pop a young girls bra it is the same as punching her in the face or raping her. When she heard that we one time after tripping over one of Kat’s bras stuck it in the freezer as a joke she went into a full on rant. She was threatening to punch people and shoot them. Talking about how my wife and I abused our daughter. How what we were doing was no right and was ruining our daughters life and was “Fucking up her head forever”. Taking into consideration just how angry I was getting at this point my sister in laws own past issues, current issues and my own hot button issues I calmly told her that there was a lot of things I would like to say to her on the subject but instead I was just going to go outside and have a cigarette. My wife didn’t even give her that curtsey she just walked out.

What Gives People the Right?!

Like many parents I am very defensive of my children. I am also very defensive of my rights and prerogatives as  a parent. It angers me to no end to have someone, especially someone without children of their own, tell me what I am doing wrong or how to raise my children. I take umbrage with people threatening me with violence and screaming at me especially when and were my children are concerned. I am not the best parent I know this and I make mistakes. I will always make mistakes and I will learn from my mistakes but I do my best the same as every other parent on the planet and like every other parent on the planet the last thing I need is a backseat driver or armchair quarterback who has never even stepped up to the plate or been behind the wheel themselves trying to steer the car or call the plays. Especially now that the car is up to speed on the highway or the game is in a series.

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Posted by on 2012/06/22 in Conflict, Family, Parenting


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The Hypocrisy of Parenting.

Do as I say NOT as I have Done!

No Fun!

Lets face it growing up we all at one point or another had this fantasy that if and when we had kid’s of our own things would turn out differently from how things went with our own parents. We would be the “Cool” Dad or “Mom” and know it all because we had been there, done that and would not always be the one telling our kid’s No No NO! We would see things from their point of view and never tell them that they couldn’t do something especially if its something we had done. . . and then.

Many years and if your lucky 9 months later in the Maternity ward you are holding your wife’s hand as she gives birth to your daughter or son. Or you are in the emergency operating room clutching onto your wife’s hand behind a green sheet making sure she remains conscious and praying with every fiber of your being that she and your daughter just survive. Suddenly whether it be the first scenario or the second you are not thinking “I am going to be the Cool understanding Dad!”, at least I wasn’t. I know such thoughts were the farthest from my mind as I held both my little girls for the very first time. Kat in the first example and Onie in the second.

Now 11 and a half years, many issues and growing pains, later I find I am a hypocrite of the most blatant sort. I have mentioned before that my oldest hit, or was hit by, puberty hard which is a family trait. By her age I was already out smoking, experimenting with sex and was less than 6 months away from taking my 1st of many drinks of alcohol. All things that I work hard to keep her away from. Yet I had once said I would let my child do and experience everything I did and be the “Cool” Dad. I still drink from time to time, I still smoke, I curse like a stereotypical sailor and I damned sure enjoy sex. All things I also am damned sure I won’t have my daughters doing for a long time to come. I also won’t let them stay up all night, eat cake and icecream for dinner, play in traffic, walk around naked outside, shoot arrows with fireworks attached into the city, play with matches or any other random number of dangerous, stupid or illegal things. All of which I have done at some point in my life.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that even though being a parent implies and even involves a certain amount of hypocrisy it also means growing up. As much as we may not of liked or understood many of our parents actions and as much as we may still disagree with some of the things they did, think and believe we wouldn’t be the people we are today without their hypocrisy and care. For better or worse with or without their intentions we are who we are today because of our parents. So even if you really don’t get along to well with your own Father call him up this weekend and thank him or at least acknowledge him this Fathers Day. Chances are he was just as overwhelmed with you when you where a kid as you are with your own kids and even if he was the farthest thing from a Saint he deserves at least some recognition if he at least stuck around and tried.

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Posted by on 2012/06/15 in Daily Life


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Hakuna ‘O’ Tata’s What a Wonderful Phase!

Phase; noun, : a stage in a process of change or development: Each phase of life brings its own joys.

Well it’s been a couple of day’s since I have posted and in during that period I realized that I have spent my time here blogging doing little more than complaining and well that’s not very constructive. So to turn things around a little bit I felt I should use my own experience and lets face it this is a blog so my opinion to try to make a positive difference in other fathers lives. Hence the title of today’s blog post. Any dad with a pubescent daughter knows that her body is changing, often in embarrassing ways and often way faster than both you and she are ready to deal with, particularly in the area of her bust.

For some girls this is a gradual change that they grow into over time and for others it can literally seem to happen over night. My eldest daughter Kat who is 11 is in the later category. I have, in my limited posts till now, mentioned her and our struggles till now in this department. I feel that perhaps I should shed some light on this struggle in an attempt to help other fathers who are perhaps unprepared,never considered this aspect of their daughters development or perhaps might also be in the same situation. Kat went from barely budding to 32D in a period of 6 to 8 months and she is still growing. Now I will get into the health aspects of such developments in a young girls life a little later but first I want to talk about a few other things.

As fathers we often over look the emotional toll that a young girls breast’s growth or lack there of can have. First and foremost is the obvious if a girl is an early bloomer and develops faster than the other girls in her class she can feel a sense of ostracism. This sense of being different or shunned can be real or imagined particularly depending on how much emphasis is given at home or how her changing body is handled at home. Young girls are constantly bombarded by movies, magazines, internet and other media sources and as I have been told by many others on both blogs, medical journals, friends and family a young girl still is impacted heavily by her father whether she shows it or not. At home we can help to mitigate what I like to call the “Barbie Doll Syndrome” were little girls think they need to live up to the unrealistic body expectations of pop culture even if they happen to be so blessed. We should be striving to help them feel comfortable with and in their own bodies. We need to also help them accept that some girls maybe jealous of them if they do develop early. That its not theirs or anyone fault that their bodies are the way they are. At the same time we also have to be careful not to over react and be supportive no matter their age. I say this because I remember, long before she started developing, Kat coming to me and complaining that she wasn’t as pretty as her Barbie doll and I flipped out on her. I had inadvertently cry. I felt horrible about it and to this day I try to temper my reactions to innocent phrases and queries my daughters have because of it. Who would of thought that years later she would of looked like a brunette version of that damned doll at 11!

Believe it or not a Ill fitting bra is Dangerous to her Health.

Health and Bra’s

As to the health issues surrounding breast development and breasts in general get your daughters a proper fitting and get them refitted often! If your wife is not there to take them to do it than take them to a store that does fittings. They do it over the shirt now. My sister even posted a comment about how JC Penny’s does fittings in a previous post of mine. If like my daughter your own is of a slender band size but ridiculous cup size, I can’t believe I would ever say this, than believe it or not Victoria’s Secret is not a bad or evil alternative. Yes I know they have a lot of sexy products and you never want to think about your young daughter in such a place but they do have garments that give decent coverage with out the slink! Solid colors, full coverage, cotton, non-pushup and even things without lace and frills. In fact if you hadn’t purchased them from V.S. you wouldn’t even know that they were from V.S. at all. They also have sales and they have their “Pink Nation” that if you sign her up for will send coupons and extra discounts to an e-mail address of your choice as well as an I-Phone and Android app.

I am no expert but it seems that an ill fitting bra can not only cause back and shoulder pain but tendon damage and other health issues. I know from previous talks with my friends and family members who have substantial busts that they have suffered back pains for years due to ill fitting bras and if I can help my daughter avoid it I am more than willing to overcome my own embarrassment and take her shopping. I know she was embarrassed at first to have dad along but now somehow she would rather have me go than her mother. I’ll admit I would rather her mother take her but if it means she is comfortable not only shopping for a necessity but becoming more comfortable with her body and herself than any discomfort I feel is transient and more than worth it.

An odd thing to Blog about I know but if it helps even one father and his daughter who might be struggling with the same issue than the time spent typing was time well spent.

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Posted by on 2012/06/08 in Daily Life, Growing Pains


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