Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Doubling Down on Fatherhood

So we're going to do this again. I guess I was just that good the first time, it's a hard argument to against the proverbial 'why not?'.

A little girl! I'm intrigued by this sudden crystallization of our family thumbnail. Instead of the rock tumbler that is a male dominated clan like the one I experienced, we will have a more neopolitan family of poise and parity. And while I can name a handful of new parents with an elder son and junior daughter, we have none of reasonable comparison in either of our families.

With Jack it has been a rather simple plug and play strategy for me, as I am also a first born son. Basically I can provide and apportion with little more than intuition and timing. With a daughter ... I hesitate to say the same attitude is insufficient, but it's a road never traveled. A child tends to bond to the opposite sex parent, what can I utilize from that arrangement?

It was a bit of a surprise to thumb through a variety of bookstores when I was looking for books for dads about raising daughters. There appears to be a veritable library of information on raising sons, even a section on raising geeks, but fathers and daughters? I found three on my initial inspection.

The first one was written by a Dr. Meg Meeker, M.D., which initially drew me in, as I was expecting a tome steeped in rational thought and chock full of scientific studies. What I got was a Catholic conservative telling me unless I was a huge asshole my daughter would contract a STD by age 12, and that would make her RUINED FOREVER. Essentially she preached there was no such thing as being too overprotective, that my daughter will only think I love her if I'm a dark menacing shadow in her social world and that smoking is a better habit than sex, a topic the woman seemed obsessed with. Indeed, there seemed to be almost nothing in the book about years zero through twelve, it just warped ahead where every third page was a sobby anecdote about one of her patients blaming her herpes on daddy not cleaning his guns on the porch when boys came around.

The other books seemed better, but I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that we have exceptional parenting potential and coupled with the lessons we learned with Jack, I'm as well prepared as I can be.

Hey, I've got two girl dogs, that's at least worth the benefit of the doubt.

Hope she likes kibble.


Anonymous said...

"Jack's Experience with Airplanes" Jack has an awareness of airplanes, he has toy airplanes, and sees them in the sky. Even hsi vision is restricted from his car seat, he spots them very well by pointing & saying "Airplane !, grandma or grandpa.

Over the last 3 months I had to make 2 business trips by airplane. The timing worked out that grandma could drop me off with Jack. We go to the airport waiting area ("cell phone call lot") and watch the planes take off. Most of the time it's exciting since they go right over the car. Jack askes "Where are they going ? . We say to "cities", difficult to understand they are carrying people.

The first time I was dropped off, Jack cried, didn't understand this travel concept. The second time we prepared him for this separation. I also called from the airport gate which helped with the separation.

My returned trip out of Monterrey Mexico was delayed 5 hours, bummer (I had got up at 4 am for the flight)!! since I didn't think I would get to see Jack that day. Grandma put Jack on the phone and he said are "you on an airplane ?" He cheered my frustrated stay where my departure information was limited and in Spanish.

Jack's parents graciously let him come along to pick me up at the airport even though it was his 8 pm bedtime. He spotted me 100 yards away in the baggage terminal. A very nice, warm greeting for my return and another step to understanding this airplane concept, warm regards, and love, grandpa

I called from Monterrey

Anonymous said...

"Addendum - Jack's Experience with Airplanes" On my return flight, Grandma Robichaud was using the Internet "Flight Tracker" to follow my flight's progress. She showed Jack how this works. It is a cartoon airplane which slowly moves across the map of the USA (remember "airplanes go to cities"). Again another difficult concept to accept this graphic representation of the physical world.

From my point I enjoyed talking to Jack on the phone from Monterrey Mexico & again from O'Hara (Chicago) airport and his excitement to see me at the airport terminal. The rest of this comprehension will just take time, warm regards and love, grandpa robichaud