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Nov 302010

Where is my backbone?? Well not literally…I mean it’s behind me somewhere, I’m guessing. Rather I’m talking about my ability, or lack thereof, to be more firm with O when I need to be.

If you’ve been following me for sometime then you know that it took The Boss and me 4 years to have O (and then only 16 more months to have Jake). Both of our children are truly miracles so I don’t know if this plays into how I’m feeling. Up until recently O has just been a perfect angel. Well, at least in her Daddy’s eyes. Yes, I did say, “recently”. You see, it seems she’s hit what some call the, Terrible Two’s. I don’t think anywhere near as bad as some 2 year olds but there’s still hope, she’s only 2 ½. She is such a sweet, loving, and caring little girl. She will literally walk up to strange children at the mall and try and hold their hand. She’ll sit next to you and rub your arm as she sucks her thumb. She’s just terribly sweet!

Except when she’s not.

Lately, she’s been pretty aggressive and physical with Jake and not in a sweet way either. She’s pushed him down, thrown things at him, bit him, and hit him with toys. It’s not cool. Jake is just 15 months old and while he is a big boy she’s still much bigger than him right now. Of course that will change in a short while but for now I need to figure something out.

The Boss seems to be able to be more firm when it comes to reprimanding her. I have more of the “well she’s only 2 years old” attitude. However, I can appreciate how being firm with her is a necessity in many instances. I do realize that going easy on her now will only make it easier for her to walk all over me in the future. Don’t get me wrong. I have raised my voice quite a few times and been very stern with her. For the most part though I just have trouble following through on punishment. When we’re talking punishment I mean timeouts, taking things away, or closing her bedroom door at night when she’s too loud (she likes sleeping with the door open).

So why am I a big wuss? I don’t know! Is it that she’s my little girl? My first born? That it took us 4 years to have her? I just don’t like to see her upset. It’s like I’m rooting for her not to screw up so she won’t get in trouble.

The Boss: Olivia if you do that one more time!

Me: Come on Olivia, please listen to Mommy, you don’t want to go in timeout!

O: Does it again

The Boss: Puts her in timeout

Me: Damn!

I know that being more firm and following through on cause and effect with her will go a long way. I also know that at her age she’s testing her boundaries with us. Now’s the time I need to buckle down and suck it up. I know I’ll only be benefiting her by doing so, even if it doesn’t feel right at the time. I know she’ll grow up to respect me more if I am more firm. Plus, it’s important that The Boss and I are on the same page when it comes to parenting.

I’m realizing as a Dad, and as a Dad to O and Jake that I need to be aware of my actions and responses to these types of situations. I’m also realizing that sometimes I have to do things I don’t like to do to get the outcome I need to have as a responsible parent. Maybe tomorrow O will wake up and realize that she’s never going to do anything wrong ever again. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and realize I need to mentor her even in times when it’s not comfortable. I’m guessing the latter of those two will happen. As her Dad it’s my responsibility to mentor her. Mentoring comes in different forms and applied the right way will yield a beautiful, mature adult who has respect. To not follow through on my part as a Dad and a parent would ultimately rob her of any ability to respect others. Sometimes what doesn’t feel right today is exactly what’s needed to feel right tomorrow.

Nov 292010

The holidays can be a fun, exciting, and stressful time of the year. Normally those stresses are around where you might decide to spend the holiday, the actual travel to get there, and then of course how you’re going to pay for all those gifts! I’ve personally dealt with all those stresses, as I’m sure most all of you have. However, there is one type of stress that I haven’t quite felt until recently.
I was born and raised in a Jewish household on the east coast. Growing up in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland everyone was Jewish, or so it felt. So when I thought about how my children would celebrate the holidays it never occurred to me that a Christmas tree would be sitting in our living room. Now I’m not a religious person so when I met The Boss it didn’t bother me one bit that she wasn’t also Jewish. We agreed that we would raise the children with an understanding of both of our holidays.
Last year Jake was 3 months old around this time and O was 19 months old. Neither one of them had any idea what a holiday was nor the difference between Christmas and Hanukkah. I always knew once they got to a certain age we’d have to share with them both cultures and activities.
What I didn’t account for was the “cool” factor about these holidays. Hanukkah has never really become that commercialized for whatever reason. Not to mention there just isn’t that many Jews in America when you think about it. So what does this all look like? Well, how about Christmas Tree lightings all over, lights on houses, and Christmas music in stores. Now before I go any further let me just say for the record that I think all this stuff is great! I love Christmas music and the lights are so awesome! My point is we’re walking through Target and there’s a huge Christmas section with trees, lights, Santa’s, and all kind of festive things! Now if I’m 2 years old like O I’m going to love this stuff! It’s exciting and fun, right? Heck, even us adults get excited about it! But what about Hanukkah? If you’re lucky there will be a very little portion of one section of an aisle that’s got some Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins in the gold bags) and some sorry ass looking Menorah.
So how do I make dreidel’s, latkes, and Menorah’s cool in the face of Santa, Reindeer, Jingles, and Christmas Trees? Do I convince the Mall Santa to spin the Driedel so O and Jake think it’s cool? I guess for now Hanukkah will have to be really celebrated and expressed in our own home. They’re just not going to “see” Hanukkah outside of the house like they will Christmas. I’m going to have to get some fun games for us, have them participate in the lighting of the Menorah, and help me cook.
I want to create some of our own traditions. It’ll also be special if we’re the only one’s doing it and it’s not something they see everyone else doing. Maybe I’ll call up our local Synagogue (we have one!) and see if they have anything for little ones.
The challenge is that at 2 years old children aren’t going to be engaged in a holiday/activity because of the history behind it. O doesn’t care that oil burned a light for 8 days and nights. She cares about bright lights, music, and the like. When they’re older then of course we can talk about what’s behind the holiday but for now I still want them to be just as excited about Hannukah as they are Christmas.

 Are you in a mixed marriage or do you know a couple who is? If so, do you have any suggestions for us? How do you get your children excited about one holiday when another one just seems so much more fun?

Nov 252010

Well it’s Thursday morning on Thanksgiving. We’re all watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and I thought it’d be appropriate to remind myself of what’s important in my life. I spend so much time consuming myself with what I don’t have (just being honest) that I don’t look around and really, truly appreciate the things I do have.

So without further ado I present to you, in no particular order, the things I’m thankful for on this Thanksgiving morning!

  • I’m thankful that both O and Jake are healthy and happy children!
  • I’m thankful that The Boss is who she is because without her I’d be one lost puppy.
  • I’m thankful for the effectiveness of the chemotherapy my Mom is going through. It’s going to allow us all to be together for a very, very long time!
  • I’m thankful that both The Boss and I are employed with good incomes to help us get out of this mound of debt we have! We’ll do it!
  • I’m thankful for our Nanny. Besides being responsible for O’s bilingual skills (and eventually Jake’s) she takes super great care of both of them!
  • I’m thankful to have such great friends both online and in real life!
  • I’m thankful to YOU for reading this blog and for sharing in my life experiences with me.

I hope you have a

Happy Thanksgiving


that you’re able to share it

with the ones


love the most!

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