Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dad Had A Doctor Appointment

It was a good day.

I've been a little concerned about being thirsty every night. At around seven o'clock, it hits like a freight train, and I gulp down glass after glass of water until I go to bed. The voice in my head has been chanting "diabetes" for a couple of weeks now and so I finally gave in to the little voices and made an appointment to see a doctor. Actually, I didn't see my doctor today, but he did set up the lab work for me and so I went in for a blood draw and urine sample.

Since today was my day with Chunk, I had him in tow as we went about some of our morning chores (a little grocery shopping and a trip to the mailbox) and eventually made our way to the lab. After a snack and a game of "boo" in the waiting room, we were escorted into a little cubicle and I rolled up my sleeve, Chunk sitting next to me on the little bench.

I wasn't sure how he was going to react to all of this, but he's a pretty level-headed kid. I didn't think he'd find it too disturbing. So, he sat next to me, silently watching everything unfold, his expression calm but curious, as the tech wrapped the rubber hose around my arm, tapped my veins, and so on. In went the needle and... his expression turning a little sour, he reached over and gave me a reassuring pat and rub on the arm. That was it.

It's amazing how, every single day, he manages to do something that just overwhelms me. Every day he does something that tells me how much he understands, even though at almost sixteen months, he doesn't have the vocabulary to express it yet. I love my son.

I got a call from my doctor and the tests look good. Not only is my blood sugar fine, but my cholesterol is really good too!

Like I said, it was a good day.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Latest Developmental Plateau: Hitting Things With His Head

Last week, Chunk had an appointment with his pediatrician, during which the doctor announced that he would soon be hitting things with his head and we shouldn't be worried about it. Apparently, this is an important developmental stage for children. We were assured that Chunk couldn't actually hurt himself. This is just his way of testing himself, and us, by seeing what our reaction will be when he bangs himself into the table and then starts to cry.

He actually started this head-butting thing a couple of weeks ago. Usually he aims his head at the kitchen table or my nose. The table thing, I understand, because he used to be able to walk underneath it as he waddled around the kitchen. Then, he got taller, literally overnight, and doesn't seem to have noticed the extra inches he's put on.

My nose? I'm not so sure about that. I think maybe he has this particular developmental stage confused with the developmental stage where you act like John Candy's character Ox from "Stripes."

This morning we were chasing each other around the house and squealing, he threw his arms around me and...


...smashed his forehead into my right eye, nearly knocking me unconscious (I'm exaggerating a little for dramatic effect). The force of his little charge kind of took me by surprise, but from the expression on his face, he was a little surprised by it too. He looked like he was going to start crying, but ultimately, giggled a little. It was actually pretty funny, but I'm hoping we get through this phase fairly quickly.

Strange Request: Sheet Music

Has anyone had any luck in finding sheet music for kid's songs? I'm talking about stuff like "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Bingo." I've found a couple of sites that have MIDI and Wav files, but I was hoping to find the actual music.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Finding Balance

Is there such a thing as balance? Is there ever a time when you can say to yourself, I'm attending to everything in my life with the care and attention it deserves?

I have a strange, but amazing work schedule. I work from home two and a half days a week and spend the other two and a half days in the office. In theory, this allows me to spend more time with my son while still putting in a 40 hour work week. It really is great and I'm lucky to have been able to work out a schedule like this, but it does present some problems.

When I'm really cranking out the work, when I'm "on" and fully concentrated on my job, I don't really interact with Chunk as much as I should. We don't take our usual long walks. We don't play much. The "one hour media time" rule gets broken a little more often. Basically, I'm being a lousy dad. At the same time, I'm being a great employee. I'm being efficient and focused and sharp. When I'm "on" at home, I can crank out twice the work I can get done in the office.

On the other hand, when I concentrate more on parenting during my days at home, work suffers. There are a lot more interruptions. I don't really concentrate like I should, so my productivity plummets. Chunk and I go for our usual long walks, we go to the library and load up on books, we chase each other around the house, etc. Basically, I'm being a great dad.

Where's the balance? Can I be a good dad and a good employee at the same time? Can I be efficient with my job and attentive to my son, without letting either one suffer? I think its possible, but elusive, especially at his current age. I've been working this schedule for a year now and I think I'm close some days.