Saturday, October 31, 2009

COMIC - Cats

Deeble Cats
Deeble Cats
Deeble Cats Hoooooooooo!

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Listening To: Humbug by Arctic Monkeys


Friday, October 30, 2009

COMIC - Modern Marvels Part 1

In these times of discovery and invention, it's worth taking a moment to pay tribute to some of the technological devices that have changed the way we live our lives. Today, we celebrate the snot sucker.

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Listening To: 37:29:24 by Maserati


Thursday, October 29, 2009

COMIC - Practice

Thunk!


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

Today, Baby J decided she wanted to sleep in. And, I decided I wanted to experiment and see how long she'd sleep.

Baby J has always been a champion sleeper, easily logs 13 hours a night. So, naturally, I figured she'd spend an extra half hour snoozing. Well, a half hour turned into an hour turned into two hours etc. Ultimately, Baby J woke up a little more than three hours after the time she usually wakes up.

That means she slept for over 16 hours last night! And, guess what she's doing right now. That's right, napping.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

COMIC - Back Attack

Zing!


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Monday, October 26, 2009

Toybox Tumble

Today, at our regular Monday morning playgroup, Baby J was reaching for the a toy on the bottom of the toybox when her center of gravity tipped and she fell in headfirst.

Now, she's a tough little lady so she's didn't cry out or even complain really and this made it much easier to laugh at her legs sticking straight out of the box. I retreived her quickly and she seemed pretty much unphased.

And she even came out of the toybox clutching the toy she'd been going for.



Sunday, October 25, 2009

COMIC - Getting Ready for Halloween

My wife wants me to tell you all I never expressed my interest in dressing up the baby as a spray bottle.


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Listening To: Title TK by The Breeders


Saturday, October 24, 2009

COMIC - Footy Jammies

Ode to an underrated piece of apparel...


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Friday, October 23, 2009

COMIC - Religion

a.k.a. What Are You Raising Her As?

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Listening To: Making Music by Bill Withers


Thursday, October 22, 2009

First Birthday

Though it's several months away at this point, folks have started asking us what we're going to do for Baby J's first birthday. I guess we'll throw a party but it's in early January, just after New Year's, when people are finally ready to stop celebrating things. Do people want to shlep out into the cold gray for another party? Especially a party where the guest of honor has no clue what's going on? I'm not sure. If someone invited me to a child's birthday party in early January, I would probably go. But, then again, it's one of my personal mantras that you always go where you're invited if you can make it.

The other day, someone brought up the fact that early January is the worst time to have your birthday if you're a kid. At least in terms of presents. With Christmas, Chanukah, Ramadan, and the Pagan rites of the Winter Solstice, all your good gifts will have already been doled out. Your birthday is bound to be a let down.

I'm not sure if I necessarily believe this. I don't like receiving gifts from others (it makes me very uncomfortable for some reason) and I believe a party is a gift you give to your friends and family. So one last party in January might be a nice thing.

But that's me. I'm not a kid anymore. They see the world much differently than I do. Either way, we're still undecided about what to do but we'll probably have a party so we can at least eat cake.

Listening To: Hunky Dory by David Bowie


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cortisol and Prolactin

I've read in a number of places that when a father becomes the primary care giver for a baby, his body starts producing two chemicals in greater quantity, cortisol and prolactin.

Cortisol is associated with being alert and aware. It basically keeps you tuned into the things going on around you. When your baby is scampering around trying to find creative ways to use a hair dryer, an extra shot of cortisol is a good thin However, when you're trying to fall asleep, an extra shot of cortisol is a bad thing. High levels of cortisol mean if the cat sneezes in the basement, it's enough to spring me back to reality if I were, say, drifting off for a snooze. I feel a lot more alert to noises than I was before the arrival of the baby. I'm pretty sure I can actually feel the cortisol doing it's thing.

Prolactin is a different story.

Prolactin is mostly associated with producing milk and so far, I'm happy to report, I have not been doing any of that. I'm not sure what other purpose it serves. There's probably something else it's supposed to do besides the whole milk thing. Otherwise, why would I experience a spike in my prolactin levels. It's like someone placing an order for a root beer float at a doctor's office. Even if they could make it for you, they probably couldn't serve you properly.

Either way, I feel a little strange knowing these chemical changes are going on. Especially, the prolactin thing. So I decided to re-man myself a little bit this afternoon. I sat down a while back to listen to some manly music, some brash classic rock or something similar. I settled on KISS though I'm not really sure why. Seems like a fairly manly band.


You gotta be manly to rock kitty-cat face paint

Well, as I listened, I spent some time reading up on KISS online and discovered that Peter Criss, a former KISS guitarist, is a breast cancer survivor.



Richard Roundtree, the guy who played Shaft, also had breast cancer. And who could possibly more manly than Shaft? He's one bad mother...
Shut your mouth...

Well, if Peter Criss and Shaft can get breast cancer I guess I can be okay with making prolactin. It takes a real man to admit he's making prolactin.

Listening To: Lateralus by Tool*



*Fairly manly music

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DJ Baby J

Baby J has taken a keen interest in an old Yamaha stereo system near her play area. She pulls herself up to it and starts poking the buttons. Sometimes, she turns on NPR. Sometimes she gets my wife's CD's going and switches on Fergilicious. Other times, she gets one of mine going and plays us some Jazz.


I'm guessing that it's all pretty much random and she doesn't really know what she's doing. However, I could swear that she has a preference for the Fergilicious stuff. It's played heavily in the rotation.



Regardless of what she's playing, I really like the idea that she's so interested in the stereo. I'm not sure if she's learning anything from it besides the fact that it lights up and make noise but eventually some day she'll understand what's going on. Someday, she'll choose her own music. And I'm glad that she'll know how to explore a variety of programming.

Also, she can learn spelling from Fergie. F to the E to the G to the...



Monday, October 19, 2009

COMIC - Baby J in the Fourth Dimension

Who knew that having a baby would allow you to peer through the fabric of our universe?

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Listening To: XO by Elliott Smith

Sunday, October 18, 2009

50th Post Retrospective

I've officially logged 50 posts here at Dawn of the Dad! To honor the occasion, I've cobbled together a brief retrospective of the comics I've made up until now. Also, since I don't do many musical posts, I thought I'd set this one to a little number I did last month. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Most Gross Post

I was lifting Baby J above my head Lion King style and then bringing her down to my open mouth like I was going to take a bite. Each time I brought her close, I'd say, "CHOMP," and she'd bust out laughing.

It really is a fun game. I suggest you try it sometime.

Anyway, on the third or fourth CHOMP, Baby J spit up a great strand of orange slush. I'm happy to say none of it went in my mouth. For once I was actually happy to have my shirt covered with regurgitated carrots! Had she puked a fraction of a second later...well...I try not to think about it.

Listening To: Maggot Brain by Funkadelic


Friday, October 16, 2009

COMIC - Playthings

By the way, in case you were worried, we do NOT have a chainsaw in the house for the baby to play with.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Steps

Baby J has learned to walk up steps. With considerable effort and a wary adult spotter behind her, she'll make her way up an entire flight of stairs.

Of all the nifty little things she's taught herself to do, I have to say that this is my least favorite. Earlier today, she climbed up one stair all by herself. I went to get her but arrived just a second too late. She saw me coming and thought it was all a game. With a gleeful, toothless smile, she lunged headfirst off the stair to make her getaway. Needless to say, she didn't get very far.

After five minutes of holding her, rocking her, reassuring her, and distracting her, she finally stopped crying. I put her down and guess where she went.

That's right. The stairs.

You'd think that human beings would develop complimentary skills simultaneously. Going up the stairs is only good if you know how to go down stairs. It really makes you question the evolutionary viability of the human race. But, we've made it this far. I suppose that old adage, what goes up must come down, is something children must learn the hard way.

Baby J clearly learned the hard way today. Hopefully, she'll generalize this rule and find a better way to come down after she's gone up.

Listening To: Orphans by Tom Waits


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall Down, Go "Boom"

Baby J is active and interested in everything. But her interest is outpacing her development at this point. She wants to explore the world but is limited by her little, off-balance body.

She falls down a lot now and bumps herself. Usually, after each moment of falling down, going boom, she's right back up again. But sometimes, she smacks her face on something. Sometimes, she whacks her head of the floor. Such events send her into a frenzy of snotty tears and howls of pain. For me, they are heart clenching moments of stress.

Naturally, I don't want her to hurt herself. I want to keep her safe. But at the same time I don't want to inhibit her intrepid spirit or to jail her in her little baby coral.

Not much fun for little Harpo*.

I think this is a dilemma all parents face. How do you balance your child's need to explore and their safety? How much should you limit their experiences in order to protect them?

I suppose it's different for everyone. For me, I'm still figuring it out. But as a teacher, I have seen that kids are more resilient than adults and that they need lots and lots and lots of opportunities to screw up. They need to fall down, go boom. I guess my job as a dad is to make sure that there is nice fluffy carpets around so the boom isn't too intense.

Listening To: Premier Symptomes by Air



* obscure reference to Finding Nemo

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

COMIC - Crying Corner

Where do you go when you're sad?

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Stuck Between Couch and Wall

Yesterday, Baby J got herself wedged between the couch and the wall. She couldn't get out so she started crying for me. It was really funny though I felt bad for laughing. I suppose this is the first of many times when she will get herself into trouble in which she can't get out of.



Sunday, October 11, 2009

COMIC - Symmetry

You have to read this comic from right to left. Read both columns simultaneously.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

FIRSTS - Steps

Baby J took her first steps a few days ago. I didn't get to see it but my wife was right there when it happened. She hasn't done it again since. or maybe she just waits until I have my back turned.



Friday, October 9, 2009

COMIC - Interview with a Baby

This may seem completely weird but it's what I do for the better part of each day.


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Listening To: Pork Soda by Primus


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Death of a Lovie

Not long ago I posted about Baby J's lovie, a package of Kleenex tissues.

Well, sadly, packages of Kleenex are not made with the same rigorous standards as other baby toys and this morning Baby J gutted her lovie spilling its papery entrails out on the floor.

Still clutching the plastic wrapper in her tiny fist she started wailing. And she was inconsolable. It took a full ten minutes or so to calm her down.

She must feel terribly guilty.

She's gone to sleep for her morning nap now and I'm going to clean up the crime scene. I'll place a new, fresh package with her toys and hopefully she'll forgive herself.



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Speaking in Tongues

Yesterday, Baby J woke up speaking a strange new language. It was like she had discovered how her tongue works overnight. She went from predictable, repetitious stuff like, "da, da, da, da," to mystical incantations like, "blaggal laggal laggal geddel."

We had occasion to spends some time with a few speech pathologists yesterday and they were all very amused by the way Baby J spoke in tongues.

They also told me it's okay that my child has a tendency to growl and shriek at everything. It doesn't mean she's going feral.

That's a load off my mind.

Listening To: Funeral by Arcade Fire


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cruising

Baby J has started to cruise. In case you don't know, cruising is the precursor to walking. It's when the baby is upright, holding onto something (i.e. couch, baby gate, etc.), and walking sideways inch by inch.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Adoption

I just finished watching Disney's Tarzan. Everybody knows the story of Tarzan so the studio tried to go a different direction with it. They tried to look at it from a new angle and what they got was a partial study on what it means to be adopted. In this case, it was adoption of the gorilla/human variety but adoption, none the less. It got me thinking about adoption and what it means to be adopted.


From a strict biological viewpoint, I guess you could say that adoption is providing for offspring that don't carry your hereditary information. But it seems to me that it's worth taking a second look at how we view it. The whole arrangement of adoption is too large for a linear scientific definition.

I'm starting to think that we're all sort of adopted.

Why do I take care of Baby J? It's not because I want her to carry my genes on to the next generation. In fact, I don't see myself in her at all. She doesn't look like me. If I hadn't been in the delivery room, the doctors could have just handed me some other baby and said she was mine. I would have probably believed them.

I think I care for Baby J because I adopted her. Just like I adopted my wife. Just like I adopted my family. At one point in my life, all these people were strangers to me. There must be some kind of biochemical process in our brains that makes us love our children, spouses, siblings, parents, and anyone else who care about for that matter. This process takes time to develop. The process of connecting with each other is sort of like adoption.

We become open to others who need us and, at the same time, grow to need them as well. I think that's what adoption means. At least to me anyway.



Sunday, October 4, 2009

COMIC - Avocations

Am I posting too many comics?

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

COMIC - Rrrrrrrroutines

Rrrrrah! Phbbbblrt! Wahhhh!

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Listening To: Stakes Is High by De La Soul


Friday, October 2, 2009

COMIC - Hekt

What the heck is "hekt?"

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kahlil Explains Parenting

Today's post is from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran's.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.