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A word on Advice

One thing about being a parent you will soon realize is that everyone is an "expert" parent and will freely offer advice. For example I took my son to Home Depot when he was about a year old. We stopped to look at ceiling fans. Side note: both my kids still love looking at ceiling fans. I'm not sure what it is about them. Anyway after letting my son know we were going to leave the ceiling fans, he got a little upset and started say "fans, fans, fans..." rather loudly. I had a snack bar on hand to settle him down. As I was giving him the snack bar an older lady told me "If you just gave him a pacifier you wouldn't need to give him food." Now I'm not sure a pacifier over food is a great idea plus I knew that my son never liked them and would most likely throw it into a a pile of lumber. So I polietly nodded, said "yeah" and went on our way not wanting to get into an argument over the merits on rubber nipples. It's much easier to ignore the advice of stangers than it is your own parents, relatives and friends. In the end it's your kid and your decision so do what you feel is right. It can be tough at times dealing with say an "in-law" that gave their kids a sip of "jim beam" to help them get to sleep. Legal Notice: this previous statment does not imply that I have in-lays that give achohol to children or that I even have in-laws. I also may believe my wife is adopted or there was a mixup at the hospital to keep my sanity. In conculsion do what you think is best not what is more diplomatic or the consensus advice of any "experts".


Time, Time, Time

Here's some more of my thoughts on spending time with the kids. I think everyone would agree that spending as much time as possible with your kids is a good thing. The question is with a busy job, house, wife and other commitments where do I get the time. Now, I know this not work for everyone but, I have re-arrangement my schedule so that I usually get at least 1 hour with the kids in the morning. In my option this is probably the best part of the day. The kids are generally happiest when they wake up and eager to take on the day. The kids are anxious to see each other, play with toys, sing, dance and or wrestle. Generally a good time for Dad and it's usually easy to get them breakfast, dressed and ready to go. This can also be a good time for their Mom to get a little extra sleep before she takes them for the day. So my tip, spend time in the morning since is the evening they are more likely to be worn out, in a bad mood or wanting time to themselves.


Quality Time

Here's a great idea that worked with our kids (at least until around 9 months or so). Nap time with Daddy. Sure you can try to get them to sleep in their crib or rock them or whatever but, what I would do, usually on weekends, in stretch out on the couch. Then place my son or daughter comfortably on my chest. Sometimes watching a football or baseball game on TV or listening to music or often nothing. Before you know it the baby is asleep and so are you. Wow, it is the best nap you will ever have. I'm pretty sure my kids got a good rest that way also. That is some quality time!


First Entry - Baby is Here

Ok, having a baby can be a little crazy after running to the hospital, going through labor and then delivery. (So far not so bad for Dad) Here comes the fun stuff. What do I do with this slimely cute creature that jsut arrived? There is plenty of time to hone parenting skills. Now it's time for pure survival.

Hopefully you have some family and friends to help out immediately after delivery. You may be tempted to want to take off some time from work to spend with your new baby. Although this sounds great, alot of quality time and visiting with family. I didn't see it work out. With two sets of grandparents and aunts and uncles, etc, etc. just getting to hold the baby was an effort in negoiations. Something was always said like "Oh, no I have the baby you go clean up that diaper or make us some lunch". It's great to have the help but, my advice is to take a day or two off from work and then go back. You'll still get some baby time in the evenings after everyone else is worn out but, more importantly you can take off work after everyone is left when Mom is really going to need help. (and you to)