Thursday, May 31, 2012

Love That Baby!!

     Whew!! Another taxing day taking care of the baby!! It used to be that whenever Wyatt took a nap, I'd take advantage of my free time to idle on pinterest or check some design blogs or shoot some zombies, like most moms. Now I find with each nap, I am more and more inclined to just sit around. (And no, I don't think "just sitting around" and "shooting zombies" are the same thing. I won't even explain why, it's so ridiculous.) I guess I am getting more and more tired as this whole "parenting" thing continues.

     It's sure nice when mommy and daddy are both home to play. Everything just seems to go better. Here's a picture of Wyatt sleeping on mommy, while she sips some scotch or ice water or something. One of us can watch the baby while the other one gets stuff done! Like blogging! Which is a real thing and worth the time it takes!!

     As great of a picture as that one is, here's one of Wyatt's best ever.

     Doesn't it make you examine yourself? Are you living up to your potential? Are you ready to raise the next generation? Can you handle the responsibility of cultivating such innocence? Can you really protect and provide for that angel? Is that which dwells within all of us truly ours, or are we just stewards of the light for a brief moment?

         Crawling!! For about a week now he's been alternating arms and legs, moving in one fluid, energy efficient motion. He seems to have to think about each movement, despite him getting around about twice as fast and three times as silently. I got a video showing his bum, because we've all seen his face now.

     Thanks for stopping by, everyone! What a happy, healthy, normal family we have here!! No need to call local authorities because you fear for someone's safety after the last few posts, because everything is great!!

My mood: I feel loving, supportive and nurturing of my baby like I always do, and my wife agrees.
Wy's mood: happy, loved, and thankful for having such great parents!
Listening to: not rap music with bad words!! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pro-tip: Leave Food On The Floor

     Ahh Cheerios. How I adore you and your bland, heart-healthy source of nourishment. I've been told by many other mothers that if I put some cheerios in one place, that the baby will be occupied picking and eating them for a good while. It's a great way to buy some time and feed the baby.

     Well, moms, let me show you what a man can do:

     Spread the cheerios all over the house!! In every nook and cranny! Now, wherever he goes, he'll be fed and occupied! For hours!! It's wonderful. I've even tested my theory and left the house to run some errands. Wyatt was content crawling around for almost the whole time! Only the last hour or so was he crying hysterically (I assume it was about an hour, I can't really know. I am just judging based on how hoarse his voice was, how tired he was, and the fact that he was out of tears). I don't limit myself to cheerios either, but any bread-like substance:

Crumbs of bread by the coach. Wy loves them!!
     Well, I've taken this idea and really Tim-the-tool-man-Taylor'ed it like a Binford Jigsaw Ultra 2000. It's not just cheerios anymore. I'll lay around bread of any sort, fruits and veggies, little piles of sugar - and then I had this great idea:


     If I just pour some juice on the floor, he can find it whenever. On the vinyl, it pools up for him to drink like a cat. On carpet it gets naturally absorbed by the fibers, where he can find it and suck it whenever! He's able to feed himself! It's every dad's dream. And I made it happen. How resourceful I am.

     I am thinking about other things I can make for him, like a bottle that props on the carseat so he can drink while I drive, or a gerbil-style feeder for his crib. It's my goal to have as much un-interrupted Zelda time as possible, while teaching Wyatt self-reliance.

     (For the record, I have never left the baby alone at home, or anywhere else. I am afraid to leave him in the car when I pay for gas at the pump. In fact, since I am such a devoted parentm when I put him down for the night in his crib, I usually just stare over it until he wakes up. That's daddy-of-the-year stuff right there.)

My mood: dopey
Wyatt's mood: bashful
Listening to: Pink Martini

Saturday, May 26, 2012

One Armed Daddy!!

     Well people, if you didn't know, I'm pretty broken. I had ACL surgery in March and shoulder surgery yesterday, both on my left side. I knew having a baby was hard on your body, but this?! So I am typing and living with one arm and 1.5 knees.

     Before my shoulder surgery I was practicing doing my chores with one arm. Making a bottle, picking up Wyatt, feeding him, changing his diapers, and dressing him. Some were more successful than others. I was actually real surprised with how well the diaper change went, but Wyatt was being uncharacteristically cooperative. Also, typing "uncharacteristically cooperative" with one hand takes like an hour.

Putting him to bed.

     I've actually been holding him like this for months. It gives me a free hand and he really enjoys it. It quickly turns into this:

It's fun up high!!

Or this:
It's fun swinging back and forth!!

Swinging back and forth or spinning in a circle always gives him a smile. I guess when you are a baby, pretty much all carnival rides can be accomplished by daddy!!

     Did you notice those purple socks? Who am I kidding, of course you did. They are put on pre-surgery and are pretty much all I wear around the house. They are thick and soft and have little grips on the bottom. I plan to wear this exact outfit when I go back to work.

     Let's close with a cute picture!!

Cute mommy and baby!

My mood: drugged
Wyatt's mood: happy!
Wife's mood: sleepy
Listening to: ipod on shuffle

Thursday, May 24, 2012


     As Wyatt has become more and more mobile, he's able to get himself into places we'd rather he not be. Into bathroom corners and the dishwasher and dirty laundry and near cans of uncapped spray paint are some classic examples, that I think all families deal with. His favorite naughty place is the outlet.

The object of Wyatt's affection

     The kid loves cords. He likes to wrap them around his body and neck and roll around and try to swallow the computer mouse. I encourage this behavior, because I think kids need to be free to explore and experience life without boundaries. I'm not some militant army dad!! My kid is going to like having me around to play with!!

     But then mom comes home. Can't you just hear her disapproval?! "Wyatt shouldn't be eating raw cookie dough!" she might shriek in her condescending tone, always judging me against Travis who her mom approved of. "Wyatt needs to know what the word "no" means!" Ok, lady, I get it.

     Cara seems to think that discipline should be consistent. Every time Wyatt goes near the outlet or starts to grab at it, we should say "no touch" (we don't just say "no," so that he knows specifically what we don't like, or something). After a couple "no touches," we give his hand a little spank and put him in his crib or something. I wasn't really listening because, as you just experienced, ohmygoshisitboring.

     Here's the thing about consistency: it establishes a system that can be manipulated. If Wyatt knows that every time he does something, there will be a specific and consistent response, he can learn how to twist those rules against us. Batman does that sort of thing all the time.

     Now, I didn't become a parent yesterday. I've been around the block more than once, just this morning. My better discipline philosophy can be summed up in one word: emotion based. I plan to discipline Wyatt based on how I am feeling at that given moment. So if Wyatt puts his face in the outlet, but I am watching 30 Rock, I don't care, no biggie. But if Wyatt looks at the outlets right after I stub my toe?! Spanking and no toys for an hour. If I am tired and he accidentally scratches me? Well, first of all, how do I really know it was an "accident"!? Exactly, I can't. He scratches me, fine, I'll scratch myself too. How does it feel to know that you caused me pain, and then caused me to cause myself pain?! I bet it feels pretty bad.

Oh, did you really want to watch The Dark Knight?! Is that why you grabbed that movie?! Well now we are going to watch Cinderalla, because we both hate it. Also, I'll post a blurry picture as punishment and not as an accident.

     I think the punishments, above all else, have to be random. Anything predictable can be predicted, and that's weakness. It's the same reason military personnel don't eat lunch at the same time every day. Keep the enemy guessing. Wyatt, are you not sharing with your cousin? I'm cutting down that tree! Did you lie to me about taking three more bites of vegetables? We are never going on vacay.

     My discipline philosophy is best summarized with the word "passive aggressive." I find confrontation causes pain and fear, and I don't want him to think of me as his prison warden. So, when he talks back to me for the first time, I don't plan to make a big deal about it. I'll just give all of his toys to charity. This accomplishes two things: teaching him a clear, valuable lesson AND educating him on the importance of being charitable.
He was placed in front of the outlet so I could get a good picture of his crime, but then I had to spank him because he was touching the outlet after I specifically said "no touch" a couple days ago. Parenting is hard.

     When your discipline structure is emotion based, random, and passive aggressive, your kid will never really know what is and isn't allowed. This gives you the upper hand. It teaches your kid not to experiment. He'll think to himself "I wonder if I clean my room without asking if I'll get in trouble?" which is exactly where  you want him to be.

     You might be wondering "why not put those child-safety covers on the outlets?" Because we're not wimps. That's why. Plus, I need to use like 5 outlets at a time (laptop, phone charge, Nitnendo DS charge, PS3 controller charge, ipod charge). I might be wondering why don't you mind your own business, but then I would remember that I am writing a blog for the world to see.

My mood: diabolical
Wyatt's mood: unaware
Listening to: U2 Rattle and Hum

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

No Bib!!

    There are several things I am not good at as a housedad. Things like keeping Wyatt away from outlets, not letting him crawl off a bed or a table, reading to him (or reading in general), and feeding him. I tend to let him cry for an hour just so that I am convinced he is actually hungry and doesn't just need "attention" or something weak like that.
     But when I do get around to feeding him, boy am I good at it!!

     This picture was taken after we he had eaten two whole things of baby food. Two!! We didn't use a bib the entire time, and you can see he barely has any food on his face OR his shirt. This is a triumph. I am now making a note of how huge of a success we had.
     You see, it's hard to overstate my satisfaction because Wyatt's mom sure can't do this. She uses a bib for the baby and herself and still gets food all over the counter. Then she doesn't clean it up. So she can blame me all she wants for letting him sit in a dirty diaper for 8 hours, but I am the one who can feed him cleanly.

     Recently when the sun was out, Wyatt got to take his first swim!!

     He wasn't very happy to be in a wet diaper that wasn't his own doing, and sitting in wet clothes also seemed a bit uncomfy to him. In fact, when you think about his pot belly, fisherman's hat and general sneer and disposition, he was a lot like an old man. I was pretty terrified too, really. But we had fun. Wy has really come around on baths too, now he loves them. He doesn't want to leave the bath until it's drained entirely!! I'd show pictures, but I think I'd get arrested for indecent child exposure or something (you can see his private parts).

My mood: content
Wyatt's mood: growing pains
Listening to: a DVD repeat the same menu song and dialogue over and over. Turn that thing off!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Some Adorableness!!

   Wow! Just when I thought he couldn't get any cuter, he had to go and do this:

     I mean come on!! How is daddy supposed to discipline that face? What on earth is he thinking and looking at? How can his ears stick so far out?!

     Wyatt is actually very hard to film and get good pictures of, because he loves the camera. Not in a blue steel sort of way, but in a this tastes delicious sort of way. So it's tough to get a picture of him doing something funny, because he sees the camera and stops doing whatever he's doing. But, at least this can happen:

 STOP LOOKING AT HIS EARS!! HE'S VERY SELF CONSCIOUS ABOUT HIS EARS AND HIS OUTIE BELLY-BUTTON!! I have no problem with either, but I worry about him and his feelings!!!

     Wyatt is also standing with the help of chairs and stools and anything he can find. It often results in this:

      Awwwwww, he's just so sad!! And I am a good parent for letting him work through his sadness while I play my new Batman video game. Kids are too coddled and receive too much attention these days, I'm sure I have read somewhere.

My mood: daring!
Wyatt's mood: exploratory!
Listening to: Adelle 21

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baby Sitter!!

     We hit a milestone in the Gilchrist family recently! For the first time in Wyatt's seven month life, he had a babysitter that wasn't a grandma or an aunt or television. We had somebody from the outside.

     Cara and I have very complimentary schedules. We only need my mom or someone to watch Wy once a week or so, for a couple hours. Sometimes more and sometimes less, but it's not much for two parents who both work. Well, my parents were on vacation, Cara's parents weren't in town, Ashley (my sister) was busy, and Garrett (my brother) is terrified of babies, so we found someone else.
     We didn't stray too far from the family. The sitter is Cara's brother's girlfriend, which makes her my wife's brother's girlfriend, which, I think, makes her my girlfriend-in-law? Is that how that works? There's probably a "half" or "once removed" in there somewhere. You probably want to know who she is and what she looks like and all that, because you are creepy that way. Here's a picture, but I'll keep her name off the internets (I didn't ask her permission to talk about her at such length... or at all).

     Anyways, she claims to be the youngest of six or seven, she claims to have like 16 nieces and nephews, and she claims to work with babies at her job on campus. So, really, she claims to watch and work with babies all the time. I am not so sure I believe her. She did not provide any references or a resume, mostly because we didn't ask for them. Still, it would have been good for her to at least give some sort of proof.
     She's actually watched Wyatt several times before, but always when I am home. When I tutor and Cara and Ashley aren't available, she'll come over and watch him.
     When I gave her (let's just call her "Sandy") Cara's work phone and described where the formula and diapers were, she was pretty cool. Like "yeah I know I've done this I'll be fine," which is both reassuring and infuriating. I need you to be as nervous as I am so I know you won't let him do any drugs while I'm gone, Sandy!!!!
     So, while I was at work I thought of Wy a bit more often than usual. I checked my phone for texts and calls, followed police reports and even told my classes about the momentous occasion. Of course everything went fine. How could it not. She's a great babysitter and I am pretty sure Wyatt likes her better than me now. It's like he knows that women are better at caring for him than men. I mean, what do I have to do?! He's so judgemental! It drives me crazy. But that's okay. I am way better at Tetris than my wife.

     Here's a recent photo of he and I goofing around:
He loves grabbing the camera

Wyatt's mood: fussy but playful
My mood: hungry but tired
Listening to: Stevie Wonder