The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘observation’

Easy Praise

This post is a little counter-intuitive, because I’m going to give people reasons to not to say nice things to me, but I think it’s worth saying.

I think, in my very short journey into fatherhood, it’s easier to be called a great dad than it is to be called a great mom. By easier I mean much, much easier. Like the bar is set so low a snail could walk over it. And, unfortunately, I think that’s because of the general expectations that people have for moms and dads. Moms are expected to do … everything, and likely with a full heart and a smile, and dads are expected to help mom take a load off once every 3 weeks or so. I don’t know the exact science, but it’s in there somewhere.

My wife and I are following the traditional route, she is home on maternity leave for a long while, and I am back at work. This means, by the time I get home every day, she will have been full time b for 8+ hours, while I worked on code. In case you didn’t know, code is much more predictable than a baby. I get frustrated when I can’t solve a problem at work (because I always feel like I should know better and be able to solve whatever it is) … and a baby is somewhat similar in a way.

Hear me out. The baby and computer can both give less than ideal messages that something is wrong (cryptic error messages for one, crying so intense it consumes their whole body for the other) … but you know what? I think cryptic error messages are ok compared to crying. Most anything is ok compared to crying.

I get home from a lovely day of work or a long day and if the kiddo is up and unhappy, I’ll dance around with him. Easy peasy. He typically has an unhappy stretch somewhere between or inclusive of 7 pm to 11 pm. Usually he can be calmed pretty well, but you have to be in constant motion. I am consistently logging 3+ miles just in the house, and the majority of that is pacing/dancing from the kitchen to the family room and back. And again. And again. It’s not always pleasant, but it’s not too bad. The only really unpleasant times are when he is inconsolable and so very upset. That is tough. It’s draining to try to keep the monster happy when he is fussy for God knows what reason … And my wife has just had a long day of doing just that.

But you wouldn’t believe how people hear or see that I come home from work, take over to give my wife a break, and then folks offer up lauds generally reserved for those curing cancer.

Was I not involved in the creation of this kiddo? I know my wife, and mom’s in general, are genetically tied to the baby in a way the dad never can be or never will be … But to let that be the justification for being hands off or not trying to contribute as much as possible?

Consider, the next time you want to throw out a kudos, would you be throwing the same kudos if you saw a mom doing this thing? Or is it applause worthy simply because it’s dad?

Really. Pause. Take a moment, and think about it.

Got to go, the kid and wife have both been crying the whole time I’ve been writing this. Just kidding. You hope.

Obvious Observations, part 1

I’m 30 now. And married. And I think these two things entitle me to have formed some pretty obvious observations.

For example, I’m sitting and having lunch (I’m here trying to read a book to be a better coder but instead I’m doing this …). At a table near me are three high school kids. Two girls and a guy. The girls are laughing a lot. Now, maybe this guy is the funniest guy in the world. But you know what? Probably not. (He’s too handsome to be that funny, no one needs to be both funny AND attractive.)

When I was younger, if I said something trying to be funny and a girl laughed a lot, I didn’t get it. I didn’t think, ‘oh she’s flirting‘ or ‘oh she likes me.’ I thought, ‘that wasn’t that funny, why is she laughing?’ And if I had a crush on the girl laughing, it was a neurotic, self-harming thought like, ‘that wasn’t that funny … is she mocking me?’

Thankfully, by the time I turned 28 and met my now wife, I’d managed to sort out a few things like – sometimes people laugh really hard at dumb things because they happen to find them funny and sometimes if someone is interested in you they ask questions about things they probably find boring not to confuse you but to show interest in you and make you feel like a hot shot.

You heard it here first folks. Think back on your conversations – if someone laughed a ton and things you said that aren’t that funny, or if someone showed a lot of interest in your joy over something most consider boring … that person just may like you. Or maybe they are setting you up to mock you at a school assembly. You can’t be sure.

Woah! Unexpected Commercial News!

I just learned something CRAZY … but, you know, it kind of makes sense.

Apparently 97% of commercials featuring a weirdly, over-the-top-happy family (you know, the kind where you think, ‘really product? This is ridiculously obvious’) … Well, apparently … Those aren’t actors. In fact, the people don’t even know they’re being filmed.

It’s just old home movies from random Mormon families.

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