December 7, 2005

A Parent

I haven’t written very much about being a father. Last year sometime I put up a picture of O. so people could see what she looked liked. I took it down a week later because it creeped me out to have a picture of her online. The Internet’s not an entirely safe place. I’m a protective father, but I don’t think overprotective. Sometimes it amazes both of us that we’ve managed to raise a child for almost three and a half years.

A few weeks ago we were about to lose our minds. She had become impossibly demanding. "Can I have some juice, daddy," she would say. I’d get her the juice, she’d finish it, then, "Can I have some cereal, can I watch a movie, can I go to the playground?" Nothing was ever enough. I think she just liked the experience of us getting her things. It cut core to our feelings of guilt as parents--that we’re never doing enough. For a time, when she got really tired, she would start throwing tantrums and calling us stupid--a word she learned because she heard us say "Stop it," and it got transformed.

So we were getting really burnt out and were about to have a nervous breakdown. A few days later, she woke up with a better grasp of language and she calmed down a lot: she couldn’t express herself clearly and it was making her frustrated. She’s gone through many of these major leaps.

Last night we went to the L.A. Festival of Lights at Griffith Park. You drive along display after display of Christmas lights. Kind of weird and cool--very strange Christmas music was being piped in. She loved it:



Afterwards we went to my brother’s house and she played like crazy with her cousin. That night, she came into our bed at 5 am because she had wet the bed. She’s potty trained but we’ve been trying to get her off of wearing diapers (pull-ups) at night. She may have to go back for a little while longer. Anyway, I wanted to get some of this stuff down because I don’t write very much about being a Dad--even though it’s most of my life. Perhaps because it is most of my life, I use this blog to exercise and explore other parts of me. She’s perfect, we are lucky.

My wife also has a blog. You get a prize if you know what it is. I’ve never linked to it because my family reads this blog and she wouldn’t be able to be as honest if she knew they were reading. She’s an ex-stripper writing about her life. I’m really proud and impressed with what she’s done. It's been very successful and a great experience for her. Email me if you want to know what it is.


Empty Drum said...

The Google has provided me with the answer. What is the prize?

Henry Baum said...

A very, very small ego boost.

Empty Drum said...

I feel so adequate now!

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