Archive for Parenting

A Father’s Perspective

Posted in Parenting with tags , , , , , , on January 27, 2014 by hendu

I have a four and a half-year old daughter.  I am blessed to have her in my life but there are some unfortunate side effects to having a young girl in your house.

One of them: Princesses.  Lots and lots of princesses.

To go along with the absurd amount of princess gear, princess movies.

Now, I love how Avery goes and dresses up as; and pretends to be a princess.  The girl loves her gowns, tiaras, shoes and septers.  She also loves her princess movies.  She knows almost all of them by heart.  Seriously, name a movie and she can tell you the characters, the plot, the casting director, the key grip and the lighting director.  I think obsessed is a good word for it.  

That’s where the problem lies.  Those old Disney princess movie, while entertaining to a young impressionable girl, I believe they send the wrong message.  In all the movies, the princess comes across as the victim, always needing a man to come and solve her problems.  Or changing who she is just for a certain prince.  Seriously, Cinderella can’t stand up to her sisters and needs a miracle to doll herself up.  Sleeping Beauty, needs a prince to come and kiss her and save her.  Snow White was told NOT to eat the damn apple, did anyway and needed a Prince to come save her.  Ariel needs to change who she is to attract a guy. These messages are so wrong and it has been that way for decades.  From Sleeping Beauty all the way to the Little Mermaid princesses have been relying on a man to save them from evil.

Thanks to the past two Disney releases, that seems to be changing.  Both Brave and Frozen have central girl figures that one: took take no crap from anyone and two: don’t need a guy to save them.  Also, while the earlier movies always focused on the princess falling in love with a prince and her relationship with them, these two movies have a much more important and healthier focus.  The love of a mother and daughter and the bond and love between two sisters.

Now, both my wife and I try to teach our daughter how to be a strong independent girl.  We try to teach her how to do things on her own and not to rely on others to solve her problems.  These teachings are great and all, but if the movies that she watches send a different message, how well do these lessons stick?  This is why I love love love Brave, Frozen and their stories.  

Both these princesses are tough, independent strong-willed young girls.  They take problems on themselves and don’t wait for Prince Charming or daddy to come and rescue them.  I think these movies finally reflect where society has been and is heading too.  I have no idea what it was like to raise girls ten or twenty years ago but I have to imagine this is a better age to do so.  There are so many strong, smart and secure women to be seen as role models and if that can start at a young age with Princess’ like Merida braveand Anna frozenthen Avery has a head start on life.

Thanks Disney for finally catching up with the times and giving young girls movie characters that aren’t wussy princess’ or evil women.

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Eyes and Ears

Posted in Avery, television with tags , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2011 by hendu

This is just one more thing to add to the ever-growing list of changes that we are forced to make.  Now that Avery is at the stage where she can start processing things much quicker and will start repeating things she sees or hears, we’ve come to the conclusion that we just can’t watch TV like we used too.

Before, we would have dinner and catch up on our DVR’d shows.  Since neither one of our schedules are conducive to watching our shows live, we have relied on a DVR for years now.  Even after Avery was born we continued to watch any show we wanted without fear of, for lack of a better word, warping her mind.  Last night we realized that those free-wheeling time of TV watching is, sadly, over.

Last night we were watching a new show on Showtime called Homeland.  Really good show BTW.  It stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers, Life) who Nikki and I both really like.  The premise of the show is unique and some of the writers also wrote for 24, one of my all-time faves.  The show has some violent moments and about 40 minutes in we both realized that it was too much for Avery.  When she can notices a guy being hung from the ceiling all bloody and she says something about it, it’s time to stop.  We both knew this day would come it just really sucks that our viewing habits and times will have to change now.

This isn’t the only show that will be affected.  Shows like Hung, Always Sunny and Curb will have to be viewed very strategically.  Luckily though most our shows are “kid-friendly.” 

So it looks like this is just another of many adjustments that parents make.  I’m guessing that seeing a bloody body, two people bumpin’ uglies or free use of swears are frowned upon when talking about kids viewing habits.

I guess it’s more Blues Clues for everyone.  Of course, on Saturday when Nikki was clicking through the channels, she went past a football game and Avery said “Mama I watch football game.”

Yep, that’s my girl.

Eye of the Beholder?

Posted in Avery, family, Parenting with tags , , on April 30, 2010 by hendu

Is that where beauty truly lies?  Or does our view of beauty get skewed a bit. 

My daughter got me thinking about this.  When was the last time you heard a parent say “Man, my baby is just flat-out ugly!”  Never?  Me too.  All parents think that their child is the cutest and that’s the way it should be but is their view skewed by love or do they really see their child differently than the rest of the world?  Now, I think we all can agree that these babies are ugly:     .  I’m sure that they are loved to death by their parents, like they should be, but do they view them differently than the rest of the public?  Do they see a different face? 

Now I know that you are never supposed to tell a mother and father that they have ugly offspring nor should they never admit in public that their babies are ghastly.  In private though do they ever have that conversation?  Just between the parents does the word “ugly” ever come up? 

Now, I know that I think my daughter is gorgeous    , but that’s my view.  I swear I’m not fishing for compliments, these are serious thoughts.  Does the look different to the rest of the world.  Are my eyes adjusting her look to see something that may or may not be there.  Do our brains mess with our vision so we see our children in a different light than others? 

I don’t know, maybe they are just all breathtaking in their individual ways.

My Second Job

Posted in Avery, family, Parenting with tags , , , on October 21, 2009 by hendu

Job #1 of course is my directing duties here at the New and Improved Peacock.  I job I love and take very seriously. 

Job #2, I thought, was my baseball coaching gig at Hale-Ray HS.  Well, it turns out that’s been bumped to #3 for now.

My new #2, a bed.  Yep that’s right, a sleeping apparatus.  Humanus Beddia I think is the latin phrase for it.  Roughly translated: Human Bed.  In dealing with our first of countless child sicknesses, my wife and I realized quickly, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  For me, that was transforming into a cot for Avery(in case you were wondering, I’d be an autobot.  Along with a dresser, nightstand, armoir and blanket chest we’d form Boudoir-Bot, the ultimate furniture menace…….sorry, went off ona bit of a tangent there 🙂 )

Anyway, as I was saying, Avery has been sick with an upper respiratory thing w/ an onset of an ear infection.  The most comfortable(and only) way she can sleep is on her chest with her head elevated.  Well, since there isn’t a great (or safe) contraption inveted yet that fits into a crib, the options are limited.  So, I become a bed.  She slept on my chest for 2 1/2 hours yesterday afternoon while Nikki got some much needed shut-eye (32 straight hours can make anyone tired) then last night another 4 hours. 

Oh the sacrifices we make.

I’ll make sure to store this away for when she tells me how much she hates me when she’s 13.

What Would I Do?

Posted in Parenting with tags , , on April 8, 2009 by hendu

That is a question I ask myself a lot lately.  Ever since Nikki and I found out we are expecting, I look at things with that question floating above it. 

Sandra Cantu

Sandra Cantu

The latest story that got me thinking is the one about the 8 year old California girl that was abducted and later found stuffed in a suitcase, dead.  Here is the MSNBC story.

I put myself in the parents shoes and wonder how I would react, and that is what worries me.  When one of my baseball players gets into a situation ie: getting run over, purposely getting thrown at, being accused of something, etc. I can go a tad over the top in protecting and defending him.  I’ve pulled my team off the field before because of the actions of another team.  I mean, these are just my players for four months a year.  They’re not even my blood. 

People have been joking with me since we found out we are having a daughter.  Laughing about my reaction when her first date shows up at our house.  Or the first time she gets dumped. Yada yada yada….

  My biggest worry though is something like what happened to the Cali girl.  I am terrified about that scenario and my reaction.  I don’t know if I could contain myself if confronted with this or if I am  confronted with the accused. 

Obviously, this is a worst case scenario and the odds are so minuscule.  There were bigger concerns with us having a daughter other then the fact of the lighter issues(softball player, being stuck at dance recitals, playing w/ dolls, the teenage years) but a horror like an abduction was the real reason.

I guess the only thing I can do is love her with all my being and do everything in my power to shield and protect her.  I can’t imagine living through a horror like that and my views on stories like this have certainly changed.  They used to be just video and sound.  Just people crying to a camera.  Now, I can see myself in these people.  I can see myself in these situations, and that scares me to the core.