The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Monday, January 29, 2007

Toast For Good

It finally happened, I fried the hard disk in my Powerbook. The last time my computer seized up I gave it a time out, relegated to the corner of our dining room to reflect on what it had done, and how hurtful its behaviour was. After a week, the lesson sank in and my Powerbook was running again.

Now a smart man might have taken that as a sign the hard disk was on the way out, but no one has ever accused me of being smart. I just thought, "Wow, Macs are so good they can fix themselves" and kept working away. That is until yesterday.

Luckily I backed the important data up and started using Gmail, so it's just a matter of dropping in a new hard drive. Problem is there are about 34 intricate steps involved, and with a son that loves to sit on my lap and push everything off the table, I'm not looking forward to it.

Anyways, I won't be posting regularly until I get my Powerbook running again.

Monday, January 22, 2007

A New Spread

Continuing down the road of healthy snacks we embarked on when The Boy was born, P discovered Sesame Yum-Yums at our local bagel shop. Unleavened bread and sesame seeds, The Boy loves them and sesame seeds are high in nutrition, so we feel good about giving them to him.

Thing is, sesame seeds don't really digest in the classic sense of the word; they pretty much pass through him whole. And you see, sesame seeds don't cling together in the classic sense either, each seed is fiercely independent. Even after being tossed together in what must be an awkward social situation - the colon, a sesame seed would rather go through as a loner than make any friends.

So after a day of Sesame Yum-Yum snacking The Boys poop doesn't come out solid, it's more like a crumbly paste; essentially The Boy is producing really poor quality Tahini. This would explain why P and I haven't had much appetite for Middle Eastern food lately.

What a mess! It's like he's been playing in a really disgusting sandbox; sesame seeds all over the change table. I used to think dried fruit was bad, but I'll take those over Sesame Yum-Yums any day.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Let The Probing Begin

I ran into a friend at the doctor's office last week, a friend I'll call Andrew, because that's his name and I don't think he reads my blog anyways. If you email me, I'll also give you his address and cell number.

Andrew and his wife are going through the process of adopting a baby, a long and labourious process to access their suitability as parents. Things like criminal record checks, financial history and credit checks, as well as disciple styles, family support, upbringing, values and beliefs. Basically every part of their life is researched, evaluated and assessed; they are an open book. Even space aliens aren't this thorough! Mind you, in the aliens' defense, just how much can you learn from probing?

As much as the road to adoption is a long one, I recognize that the government is just trying to make sure that the children in their care are placed in the absolute best possible home, and for that they get my full support. The thing about Andrew's situation that got me thinking was - if they were having a natural child birth, no one would be accessing their abilities to be parents. What if through the adoption process they were deemed to be unfit to adopt, but suddenly found themselves expecting? Can that information be used to stop the pregnancy? I don't think so.

I'm not saying I want pregnancy to be regulated, that would be ridiculous. It's just unfortunate that unfit parents can be denied adopting a child, but no one can stop unfit parents from birthing a child.

Oh, for the record, I think Andrew and his wife will make great parents. Keeping my fingers crossed they'll get approved.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Free Ginsu Knife With Every Order

I saw an infomercial on the weekend hawking a parenting method called Scream-Free Parenting. For 30 minutes I sat on the couch nonplussed, staring at the screen; I was completely mesmerized. It's not that I wanted to buy the book, I was just blown away that there are people in the world that think screaming is an effective communication method. Even though adults might cave to this obvious loss of self-control just to restore peace, pity the parent who thinks screaming will work on their kids.
And what sort of lesson would you be teaching your children?
Whenever you don't get your way, start yelling. And if that doesn't work become more shrill. Keep it up until you win. Twirling and flapping your arms is a nice added touch, and can really sell your side of the argument.
Bad advice for children, but that would be great advice for a debate team.

"Be It Resolved: It is Role of the Federal Government to Create Equality Between the Provinces."

Mr. Speaker. I would like to open my argument by saying that my honourable opponent is clearly wrong. He is a little man, with a little mind and manhood to match. Not to mentION HE SUCKS. HE'S A LOSER AND DRESSES LIKE A LOSER. LOSER LOSER LOSER. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT. ALL OF YOU ARE LOSERS! GAAAAAAH AAAAAAH AAAAH.

Now that's a debate I'd pay to see.

Anyways, I'm not so naive to think there aren't parents who use screaming as a way to control their kids. I just thought they were a small minority. Apparently it happens enough that someone can turn it into a living.

During P's pregnancy I would always get asked whether I was prepared for fatherhood. "Yeah I guess, I'm really good with cats." was my standard reply.

Watching the Scream-Free infomercial made me think about how we raise The Boy. We don't prescribe to any particular parenting technique, but the more I thought about it, the more my glib reply rang true - we're raising The Boy pretty much like we raise our cat(s). I could have my own infomercial.

Be patient, loving and devoted. Set boundaries, "listen" to their concerns, play with them and belay their fears. Take care of their needs and clean up their shit. Hmmm... sound familiar?

Oh sure there are some differences, litter box and opposable thumbs for example, but I really think I'm onto something here.

Raise Your Kids Like You Raise Your Cats [tm].

Order today. Operators are standing by.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It's All Fun and Games

The Boy and I love tooting bugles, or more precisely plastic kitchen funnels. It's fun, we have a good time. He walks around the kitchen making Tah-Dah noises through the funnel and I mimic him. Sometimes the Boy lets me take the lead, but usually I get in about 15 seconds of "Funnel Chuck Mangione" before he decides that Tah-Dah is much, much better; can't really argue with him there.

Saturday was a particularly lively jam session, lots of laughing and Tah-Dahs. It's going great until The Boy suddenly punches the middle of my funnel, driving the fat part into my nose and the stem down my throat, then waddles off to the living room to play with his blocks.

P bowled over laughing when I told her about the '...till someone loses an eye' incident.

Last night The Boy was wheeling around the kitchen while we cooked dinner, waving a mini-whisk and making zoom-zoom noises. P can't resist the cuteness and picks him up for a hug; her first mistake. She cracks a big, wide smile; mistake number two. The smile is just wide enough for The Boy to ram the whisk into her mouth and swirl it around.

Who's laughing now?

Friday, January 05, 2007

The "V" Word - Update

I think I'm going to faint.

Watch this...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

See Ya Boys

This morning at 4:30 AM P woke up retching. The very first thing that raced through my mind was, "I better go see if she's okay." Immediately followed by, "Shit, I hope she's not pregnant!"

Yes, as much as The Boy is a total blast, and as much fun as we're having being parents, we're going to stop at one. We've thought long and hard about having a second, weighed the pros and cons of raising a single child (there are as many good reasons for as there are against), and talked to parents who experienced both scenarios, so we haven't come to this decision lightly. We just feel our temperaments are better suited to being the parents of one child instead of two.

So lately talk has revolved around the "V' word, that's V as in vasectomy. Holy crap, it hurts already! According to my doctor, the procedure is now non-surgical, which makes absolutely no sense to me. How can it possibly be non-surgical? Doesn't there have to be some sort of inscision? What happens instead, the doctor kicks me in the nuts really hard? And what if the procedure doesn't take? "Yes, we need to repeat the procedure, please book another appointment for a second kick in the nuts."

Whatever the method I'm told they use a local anesthetic and the whole process takes about an hour. Local anesthetic? Give me a general anesthetic! Cripes, I want to be unconscious if someone is going to cut into my ball-sack.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Christmas Gorilla

Happy New Year!

The family had a great holiday season, I barely cracked open my powerbook the entire time, which explains the long absence from blogging. Hanging out with family, friends, P and The Boy; yeah that's what the holidays is about, spending time with the ones you care about.

We spent the days in and around Christmas over at my parents this year. We don't get over there often, so everyone was excited to see The Boy. Sure they were happy to see P and me too, but we're a distant second compared to him. He was showered with attention and lapped up every second of it. Between time spent playing with relatives, The Boy danced with a monkey, or a gorilla to be precise.

Q: How do you eat your shortbread when there's an gorilla in the room?
A: With earplugs on.

For some reason my parents have a dancing, Macarena-singing gorilla in their house. It's triggered by noise, so it would make an ideal alarm system (if anything will make thieves leave your house in a hurry, it would be that song). But instead it sits on top of my father's dresser.

I don't get the thinking behind the gorilla. Not only does it sing and dance to easily the worst song of the 90's, it sports a jaunty red tank-top with a number 23 on the front. Is it supposed to be in a dance contest? Not much of contest seeing the gorilla would win by default every time, what with it tearing the other contestants limbs off and all.

The fact the gorilla sings the Macarena over and over is bad enough. it's doubly annoying because there's no volume control, it's just set to loud. Watch the video and see for yourself. The sound isn't dubbed in, that's really how loud it sings.

Watch The Monkey (Quicktime Required)

If you have trouble, try viewing the video here.

Cute isn't it? Believe me, it's much less cute after four straight days of it. The entire visit I sat praying for the batteries to die. Unfortunately the gorilla not only sings and dances, it's very energy efficient too. Stupid Monkey. I've never been so glad to be home.