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Changes in connection

Well, we kind of hit an interesting moment in our little YY’s development charts. He has become much, much more talkative now that he’s well past 3 years old and it’s become kind of fun to hang with the little fella. He’s even wanting to hang out with me and he talks up a storm about all kinds of things – Transformers, Optimus Prime, the bugs we see on our daily walks, etc., etc., etc. He’s all-around developing and becoming far more confident in his ways.

Now, his grandparents – my parents – came to visit us for a couple of weeks. My dad’s always gone on about how it’s hard to really develop anything resembling a relationship with someone who’s less than 2 years old because you can’t really talk to them – all you can do is change diapers, put them to sleep, coo-coo them, sing songs, do silly stuff and play simple games. But now, he’s been pleasantly surprised, actually enjoying his time with the little fella because he’s able to interact with him.

Brings to mind the interesting differences in the way women and men bond with their kids. Moms, I find, bond just about right away. They are the nurturing ones who get great joy out of breastfeeding, taking care of the baby, raising and rearing them, while the father often feels kind of pushed out of the picture and playing third wheel in the whole setup. And men, by nature, bond via experience. It’s hard for men – myself and my father included – to really bond with a little crying beast who poops his diapers five times a day.

But now, with little YY sprouting into an actual boy, actually reacting to our conversations, actually initiating conversations, starting games, playing, wanting to help in the kitchen, all that kind of stuff, it makes it much more of a joy to spend time with him.

So, my parents – his grandparents – coming over was a nice little eye-opener for me. Not only did they help take the load off the whole parenting jig, but they also really, really had a lot of fun doing so. It was great to see, and especially interesting to see my dad’s different reactions in playing with our boy.

That’s pretty much all I have to say this time around. Too much work to do right now.

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Sorry, what was I talking about?

Well, then. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on here. There are so many things – SO MANY THINGS – I’d like to write about, and that I’ve been tempted to write about, but so many things have slipped my mind.

Many years ago, when little YY was still a wee infant, my auntie visited us to get her first glimpse at our little addition to the human race. When we asked her what life was like when she was a new mom – she has two, born so close together that they’re basically Irish twins – her response was that she could barely remember anything.

See, the thing is, those first few years are so heady, so full of mush, poo, pee, puke, and all kinds of chaotic things that it’s hard for your brain to register much at all. You’re up at all kinds of hours of the day and night, taking care of that little feller. And so, memories don’t get stored properly.

Doesn’t matter that these are the greatest days of your life – being a brand-new parent. You may remember vividly the first few hours of your little’un’s life, but after that, the days kind of mush together.

Hence the term: baby brain.

Yeah, that kind of stays after awhile. I’m still a SAHD, a stay-at-home daddy, and even now I’m finding it difficult to remember a lot of things in my son’s life. Not that I’m not having any awesome moments – I am having plenty of those – but rather, when called upon to reach into my memory chest and pull out some delectable morsels for, say, this blog, I come up absolutely empty.

What I need to do is keep a notebook – an e-notebook, anyway – of all the things that happen. Because you know what? Things happen all the time with little YY, almost every hour, just about every day, something happens that makes me think: Well, that’s gotta go into my blog!

And now, here I am, feeling guilty that I haven’t really updated anything here, and well, I’m coming up with blanks. So here’s my promise to any of the readers out there – if there actually are any – that I’ll dedicate myself a little more dedicatively to this task. Maybe a new blog post every couple of weeks? I can do that. It’s not hard at all.

So, little YY is now three years and about three months old. Time to get going. Let’s bring this blog back to life!

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Our little linguistic community

This is a short one. But it deserves attention. In the years of our little boy’s life, we have developed our own little house lingo. Try these on for starters:

YELLOW BABY.

BLUE HOME TOY.

FASTER OVAL.

Don’t know what those are? Hell, we didn’t know either and we still don’t. All we know is that for our boy, those terms mean everything.

For instance, “yellow baby” – that’s what he says when he wants his mom to cuddle him for awhile. Just wrap him up in her arms and hold him closely so he can chill out and shut out the world just for a couple minutes. “I want the yellow baby!” he would say. Why “yellow baby”? Please, don’t ask. We don’t know either. We just go along with it.

What about “faster oval”? It’s the most bizarre thing. When I take him out of the bathtub all wrapped up in a towel, and put him down on the bed to get him dressed for bed, he shouts out at me, “FASTER OVAL!” Well, sometimes, it’s “SLOWER OVAL!”

What does it mean? Well, he pulls his knees up facing me in a fetal position, and I just wrap him up tightly in his towel and bounce him up and down on the bed by pushing down on his knees again and again. It’s like a mini-trampoline thing. If it’s a slower oval, it means he wants a “slower” version of it. He loves it, and I’m guessing he got the “oval” thing from the shape his body makes when he curls his knees up into the fetal position.

Now, you’re wondering about the “blue home toy”. I have no idea. XX has no idea either. He’s been asking us for this for a few days now. It could be a blue toy at the daycare. We thought it was the blue Power Ranger in our overflowing toy box. But no. It’s something else. We don’t know what it is yet.

More terms shall come shortly. But there you have it. Our little family lingo, which only the three of us know. We are the world’s smallest linguistic community but we’re far from endangered.

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“I love you, Daddy!”

Finally.

Finally.

It had been so long. After days, weeks, months – actually, years – of wondering when I was going to hear those hallowed words come out of my son’s mouth, it finally happened.

In the bathtub, I believe on Saturday or Sunday last, he just looked up at me and said out of the blue: “I love you, Daddy!”

A rare moment where all the other bullshit surrounding us suddenly shattered, and there was a tender, sharp, focused moment between father and son. No more noise. Just me and him, looking at each other. And my response wasn’t a flubbering, bumbling “Uh… coughity cough, um, how’s about dem Bears?” or something like that. Rather, it came out fluidly, like it was supposed to happen. “I love you too, buddy!”

It took that long for it to happen. See, right now, we are going through the whole mommy attachment phase which has been taking its sweet time. It started early on in the year – even late last year – with numerous hilarious (not really) episodes where I couldn’t even get a sock onto my son without him screaming: “NO! MOMMY DO IT! MOMMY DO IT!”

“I WANT MOMMY DO IT!”

Pull off his shirt?

“NOOOO! MOMMY! MOMMY!”

Put him in the bath?

“MOMMY DO IT! MOMMY!”

Put him in bed?

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

And worst of all, I’d watch him giggle and look lovingly into my wife’s eyes and utter “I love you, Mommy!” over and over again, out of the blue, again and again, letting the world know that he really, really loves his mommy.

As he should, and as he is expected to, because she really is a great mommy.

But of course, I wondered why he doesn’t say the same things to me. Why does he cut me aside with such ruthlessness and fury and turn to butter whenever mommy walks into the room? Well, there’s gazillions of theories out there. The Alpha Male Theory, which really logically shouldn’t happen until the teen years. The Oedipal theory, which is kind of gross. The general idea that he came from his mommy and she’s lovely and nurturing and feeding and all that kind of stuff while daddy just fumbles around the house trying to maintain it… yep.

But then, finally, in the bathtub, when he was playing with his usual toys – a tiny Wolverine, a red car, his BLUE HOME TOY (which to this day we have no idea what he’s bloody talking about) – and he looks up to me with those bulging baby eyes of his and blurts it out without a cue of any kind.

“I love you, Daddy!”

First time he ever said it to me without mommy prompting him to do it. And so far, he hasn’t said it since. But it’ll do. I know it’s just words, and that he really loves me no matter what he does or says, but it means something. It’s great, really.

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Songs!

As anyone knows, I’m not a terribly good singer. And sometimes, not even a good listener, but that’s another topic for another day.

Songs – these are one of the things in our huge arsenal that we use to manage our kids. We use them to help them sleep, to get them excited, to keep them happy in the car, and most of all just for unabashed entertainment value.

I have been going through a motherlode of songs with little YY… many of them different from the next. For instance, at the very beginning of my stay-at-home father life, which would be just a few months before YY’s first birthday, I would lull him to sleep singing Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box (inappropriate? Sure, if you want to read into it that way, but come on, it’s sung with love rather than angst in this case, and a 10-month-old baby may not necessarily interpret the greater implications of that song anyway).

She eyes me like a pisces when I am weak
Been locked inside your heart-shaped box for a week

And often I’d sing a song that’s stuck in my head for years – Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock doing “Picture”:

I put your picture away
Sat down and cri-ed today…
I can’t look at you when I’m lying next to her.

Another somewhat depressing but very touching song. It does have an uplifting thing at the end where the couple in question gets back together and that’s it, it’s done.

But my favourite? Probably Harlem Blues from one of my favourite Spike Lee films.

You can never tell… what’s on a man’s mind.
And if he’s from Harlem, there ain’t no use in even tryin’.

And what’s kind of fun is I mess around with the lyrics a bit, or even hum the words I don’t know. As I’m rocking YY to sleep in my arms, I try to sharpen and raise my voice to a high pitch, and then down to a low pitch, and somewhere in between. Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow take turns singing, so here I am doing Kid Rock’s manly voice, then Sheryl Crow’s wonderfully female sing-song. And the Harlem Blues bit, I’ll try and get as high as I can without ripping my vocal cords apart. Or on some nights when I’m not quite up to it, I’ll switch it around so that I’m a guy singing that song:

You can never tell… what’s on a woman’s mind.
And if she’s from Harlem, there ain’t no use in even tryin’.

And I’ll do that in a deep, Leonard Cohen-type voice just for kicks. It makes that long end-of-day lull-to-sleep ritual that much more fun.

And lately? I’m now taking kid’s songs and messing around with the lyrics in a big way. For instance, Baa, Baa, Black Sheep:

Baa Baa Black Sheep, have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.
One for the Iron Man, and one for the Hulk.
And one for the little monsters living in your sock!

And then I’d tickle his feet. He loves it.

And more:

One for Captain America and one for the Wolverine,
And one for the little monsters living in your sock.

One of his favourite songs is the Wheels on the Bus, something that gets a little bit annoying after a very short time:

The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round,
The wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the town.

When I pick up little YY at the daycare I ask him to give me a train’s name. “Thomas!”

OK, it’s Thomas:

Thomas on the bus goes choo choo choo, choo choo choo, choo choo choo,
Thomas on the bus goes choo choo choo, all through the town!

That’s kind of a lot of fun actually. After finishing a bar, I’ll turn back to him and he’ll squeal: “CAPPEN AMERKA!”

OK, so it is, but I must sing the “Captain America” part really fast to keep it in rhythm:

Captain America on the bus goes boom boom boom, boom boom boom, boom boom boom,
Captain America on the bus goes boom boom boom, all through the town!

And with every new name he throws at me – Wolverine, Percy, Scooby Doo – I’ll make up a sound and basically go with it.

All in all, lots of fun. I still don’t get tired of doing it. I guess I’m lucky I can be a kid at heart with my kid. It makes for good times.

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Bonding with another father

On Friday I was immersed in a marathon script-writing session with two other writers as part of the Boston 48-Hour Film Project. It’s an awesome tradition where you get to make a movie in the span of 48 hours. Always good fun, and this is my second time doing so in as many years.

One of the other movie folks – maybe a production type, or an assistant to the director, or whatever – is a fellow named Jason, and we talked a lot about kids at the end of the marathon writing session. As it happens, he has a 7.5 year old child, and I could see his eyes moisten when I showed him a photo of my little boy on my smartphone.

We joked about all kinds of things about being a father. One thing was how the kid somehow knows – just knows - where your balls are and always stomps on them with his feet, or knees them, or whatever else. It never fails. As a father your balls always take a good beating at least once or twice a day.

He told me that it was instinct – they do it because of evolution. They don’t want other kids in the picture, so they go after the source of any new kids, which of course is our balls. It’s their way of making sure they’d be the only kid in the family. That’s pretty funny.

I tell him how awesome it is to be waken up by the kid. Sometimes a gentle shake on the shoulder or a pat on the head, other days a violent nose grab or a hair pull, but one way or another your eyes open and there’s the little tyke, grinning ear to ear in your face. It’s an awesome way to wake up to the day.

“The second best way to wake up in the morning,” he tells me. It takes me a second or two to register, but then I realize it. I laugh loudly and we shake hands. It’s a real bonding moment.

Seriously, one of my favourite things about being a parent is the way we bond with other parents out there. I wrote about this in an earlier blog post – it’s like being fellow soldiers. Fellow warriors. We see each other doing our thing, and we nod at each other with a curt smile, like: “Hey buddy, I see you and I know!”

Yup, I know. And it’s awesome.

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Captain America

As is the main feed of any parent’s Netflix display on their TV, ours is absolutely littered with cartoons and kiddie TV shows. Not Barney and Pokemon, mind you – those are absolutely forbidden from gracing our dear TV screen. Rather, we have gone through anything and everything that we haven’t really heard of before but think it might be beneficial to our child’s intelligential (is that a word?) well-being: Super Why, Edewcate, Baby First TV, Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood and so on.

Our kiddo loves this stuff. He also loves the dorky, early-child cartoons with cute little bees buzzing around and talking to each other, but unfortunately it has zero entertainment value for my wife and I.

So what we try and do is find some in-between stuff that we can enjoy as well. The two big ones are Scooby Doo (well, of course!) and Marvel Super Squad – a sort-of kid’s version of the Avengers with all the main players such as Wolverine, Captain America and Iron Man but with oversized heads and hands and feet, looking like some kind of child versions of their adult selves.

It’s actually pretty clever viewing. The dialogue is quite quirky and often quite funny, and even the bad guys such as Dr. Doom have their funny lines. Even I enjoy it.

We’ve even found toys of each of these characters and the boy loves them – he takes them with him to his bath every night, insists on clutching them when we go out for a walk or when he sits in his chair at dinnertime.

Yesterday, something happened to Captain America, though. Being the faithful father I am, I took little YY to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where they have a biweekly thing for little kids to play with crayons and all kinds of fun stuff while roaming the hallowed halls of the gallery itself. We had a great time – total cultural immersion, I got to see some amazing paintings, portraits and sculptures (one of two or three cherubs scaring the heck out of little YY in the process) and he got to play on the floor with crayons and mold some clay in one of the studios as well.

As was expected, on the way home, he fell asleep in the stroller just 15 minutes away from the house itself. While happily marching along, I realized to my horror that he fell asleep while clutching Wolverine in one hand and Captain America in another.

I checked his hands and sure enough, Wolverine was still there. Captain America was nowhere to be found. Sadly realizing that the good Cap’n was probably sitting on a sidewalk somewhere several blocks behind me, I walked on, just feeling a bit too lazy to go all the way back looking for it.

Needless to say, poor YY was devastated. He was happy to have Wolverine, but with tears in his eyes and bawling wildly, he would scream at me: “CAPPEN AMERRRRRKA! CAPPEN AMERRRRKA!” over and over again, before falling to the floor in a clump.

This broke my dear heart. Thoughts raced through my mind. Was I traumatizing this poor child? I can’t just explain to him what really happened, so I tried to divert his attention to other things. Food. Books. TV. Whatever.

But he went on in his endless obsessive mantra: “CAPPPPPPENNNNN AMERRRRRRKA!!!!!!” he’d shrill at the top of his voice.

FINE! I decided, thinking it best just to go back out and actually look. “Hey kiddo, let’s go look for him. He’s at the front, I’m sure we can go out to the front and see if we can find him.” So in the stroller he went, and off we went.

After some 15 minutes of searching the sidewalks, I saw a familiar red and blue thing on the ground. Right there, where cars drive into a gas station. Only the legs. No body to be found. Captain America’s legs.

Oh, my, God. I felt horrible.

I picked up the legs and gave them to the boy, explaining that it was Captain America – or really, what was left of him. Is that what WW2 was like? Your hero returns from battle missing some or all his limbs, and you’re supposed to embrace him like nothing happened? Well, I tried to sway little YY into accepting the legs, and just the legs.

“Ah… Fix! FIX!” he would say, pointing to the legs.

“I can’t fix it. That’s the way he is now. I’m so sorry,” I said in response, still feeling like a rotten father and feeling all the horrific pain that must be going through this poor child’s heart right now.

I could only crouch down to my knees and just hang out with the boy for a few minutes in quiet contemplation, as the cars drove on by and as the schoolkids marched on behind me. Probably one of those kids found the upper half of Captain America’s body and took it home with him.

Well, it’s a day later and little YY has kind of – kind of – accepted the fact that we only have Captain America’s legs and nothing more. It’s darkly funny to see him playing with Wolverine and half-of-Captain-America like that. But I guess he’s happy.

What he doesn’t know is that, very likely, a brand-new Captain America will probably show up in the next week or so. What he also doesn’t know is that this new Captain America is not a separate being, but rather a “fixed” version of the old one. Back from battle, back from the front, and ready to party.

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A broken BOAT! A broken BOAAAAT!

“Broken boat! A BROKEN BOAAAAT!”

That was the mantra that little YY exclaimed every five seconds as we watched… Titanic. That’s right, the somewhat sappy but very much a masterpiece of 1990s cinema, our generation’s answer to Gone With The Wind, and the direct cause of Canadian director James Cameron’s cringing “I’M THE KING OF THE WORLD!” proclamation when his movie won its 11th Oscar of the night – the most Oscars for a movie since, I think, Ben Hur…

But those are but trifling matters. It was interesting watching our little boy watch Titanic for the first time – as any parent will tell you, kids can be very impressionable especially with stuff they see on TV. Normally we are careful about what we watch with him – no violence, no swears (well, I do admit to a few Louis CK binges during the daytime but I’m not sure if much of the language actually gets into YY’s head), and particularly nothing scary or disturbing.

Titanic to us is quite honestly just an old classic that warrants re-watching from time to time, if for nothing more than the spectacular visual effects that are still impressive even today. The way the boat – sorry, the majestic ocean liner – sinks is just unreal. The iceberg hits the boat just a little more than halfway through this three-hour epic, which means the sinking scene takes up most of the second half of this movie.

So, that’s a long time sinking. And there are numerous jarring moments throughout all that, with a babyfaced Leonardo DiCaprio and a young, cute Kate Winslet running hand in hand through all the water splashing around them… but the absolute highlight of the film has to be when the boat actually sinks.

First, it’ll kowtow over so that the back end of the ship lifts up into the air, its nose disappearing into the ocean depths. And of course, the weight of the back end is such that the bloody boat cracks in half in a scene that will make the hairs on your neck stand on end.

And yes, it quite clearly affected little YY – who up to that point was just farting around playing with his Thomas the Tank Engine toys and babbling happily – and now he’s suddenly sitting there with us watching, his mouth wide open, screaming: “Broken boat! A BROKEN BOAAAT! A BROOOOOKENNNNN BOAAAAAAAT!” at the height of his impressive voice.

And X turns to me and wonders aloud: “Do you think he should be watching this?” just as the bodies fall from the Titanic’s suddenly fractured body into the frigid waters.

“I dunno,” came my reply. Honestly, I had no idea. I’ve heard horror stories about kids happily having baths, and then one day, just because they saw something somewhere or on TV, they’re all freaked out about the water and it’ll take a massive battle just to get them into the bathtub once again.

After all, just a week ago, we went through about a week’s worth of the most frustrating, hand-wringing, exhausting parenting we’ve had the displeasure to experience – little YY throwing tantrums every 10 minutes, crying like you wouldn’t believe, and just about flipping out over the littlest things. And it would take such a valiant battle on my end just to change his diapers, change his clothes, get him into the tub, get him out of the tub, and so on. We’d heard about the terrible twos and the terrible threes, but holy smokes, we didn’t think it would be this bad.

So, we’re still a tad traumatized from that experience. So anything that could happen makes us wonder and probably overthink things. So, is little YY traumatized by watching such a massive ocean liner crack in half and sink into the ocean’s murky depths?

The way he watched it, the way he screamed, the way he was so actively and emotionally involved, told us: yes, he’s traumatized.

I mean, screaming “A BROKEN BOAAAAAT!” 20-30 times in succession? Yeah, we’re torturing that poor kid.

But the bath afterwards was no biggie. Nor was sleep – although he did have a somewhat fitful sleep. Perhaps that’s what it was – he was a little overstimulated from the movie, but no more fitful than he is during some of his more fitful nights.

Later, I talked with X about it and asked her opinion. She offered this possibility – the way we act and react as parents has a much stronger impact than anything YY will ever see out there. And since we were clearly chuckling, smiling, watching, and overall relaxed about the situation, perhaps little YY learned to be relaxed about it too. If we had been freaking out, or if we freaked out in trying to keep little YY from watching, perhaps the effect would have been more adverse.

But as it happens – a broken boat? Pah, it’s just a movie. An expensive movie, the second-top grossing movie of all time, but still, a bloody movie about a broken boat. Little YY has moved on, and there’s no PTSD to be seen here.

Thank goodness.

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The great outdoors

The last few months – five or six months, even – have been horrid in New England. I don’t think anyone can tell you they’ve been through a worse winter than this past one, with freezing temperatures, cloudy skies and blustery conditions the norm every day for weeks on end.

Still, people do go off to work, even if they grumble about it a bit. They still get in their cars, they still march off to the transit stop, and some hardy ones still get on their bikes and pedal against the icy winds.

But as a stay-at-home dad, it has been a pretty rough ride. With a two-year-old in tow – well, 2.5 years old now, but same difference – it’s a little harder to go out. As any parent will tell you, a young child’s skin is more sensitive to the elements than adult skin is. That’s why they always tell you to put a hat on your young’un when you go to the beach – they get sunburn far more easily than you will, and moreover, the consequences of getting sunburned at a young age can be long and far reaching.

The flip side goes for cold conditions too. The rule of thumb is to dress your kid as you’d dress yourself for the elements, but add one more layer. That way you can be assured they’ll be comfortable. But that doesn’t change the fact that their face is bitterly exposed, and frostbite is a very real possibility.

So what do we do? We stay inside. Sans car, because X takes the car to work every day. We stay inside, and develop the worst case of cabin fever, and drive each other mad.

It did happen to me. I could hear the frayed ends of sanity calling me, to quote the good people of Metallica. It was a tough ordeal, and it’s hard to come up with any creative endeavours if you’re in the house all day long.

I did come up with a few clever things though:

1) Make a house out of the beanbags we have in the living room. Little YY never gets tired of that.
2) Take some large paper and draw train tracks on it, and build tunnels out of cardboard cereal boxes and tape them down. Presto, your very own homemade train track! And YY loved this too, especially with his little Thomas the Tank Engine trains.
3) TV.
4) Read books.
5) TV.
6) TV.
7) TV.

Yes, that’s pretty much it. In the beginning, I get clever, I have fun, I enjoy doing stuff with the little guy. But after some time, when he’s bored of everything I’ve come up with, then we resort to the surrogate babysitter, the idiot box, the boob tube, whatever you call it. Our Netflix subscription page is now covered in recommendations of Super Why, Scooby Doo, and all kinds of little cartoons.

But now, it’s April. The weather’s getting much, much better. We are going outside a lot more. Interestingly, I find it so much easier to look after little YY when we’re outside. He’s more occupied with discovery, with exploration, with doing stuff on his own. It’s also a great pleasure to see him wide-eyed with wonder, big, smacking grin on his face, and exclaiming and running around like a banshee, and making the most of his time out there. It’s fun to be outside.

And he really does follow after his parents, being an outdoorsy type of person. As we head into spring and summer, going camping, going on hikes and bike rides, going to the beach, going to parks with lakes filled full of ducks and geese, squirrels, birds, and all kinds of neat little animals, I’m really looking forward to doing all that with the boy.

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The end of early-morning shut-eye

About 20 years ago, when I was attempting to start a new business – in air-duct cleaning and sanitation… yes, air duct cleaning and sanitation – I was conversing with an employee about the perks and pitfalls of getting up early in the morning. At that time, I was a precocious, spoiled 22-year-old with long hair and I wasn’t terribly disciplined. In fact, that year, I was taking time off from university because I just couldn’t – or more accurately, couldn’t be arsed to – keep my grades up. Was spending to much time partying and socializing.

So I took a year off, but my habits remained ingrained: I liked to sleep in a little bit every morning, and this job involved me getting up at 7:30 – 8 every morning. For me, at the time, that was a horrific concept. The employee made it clear to me that many, many people in the so-called real world get up ridiculously early to get started on the day, and my response was probably something equally ridiculous like: “Why would anyone want to get up that early? It’s a free world, and I’m not gonna conform to it!”

Well, then. It’s some 20 years later, and I’m a proud poppa to little two-year-old YY. As any parent will tell you, kids like to get up early. It’s strange, really, because you’d expect them to want to sleep in all the time since they can do whatever the heck they want until they turn 20 or so.

Maybe it’s because they usually hit the sack around 8-8:30 and they’ve already put in their quota of sleep hours that night.

Maybe it’s because the old human instincts to rise with the sun haven’t yet been erased.

But really, maybe it’s because the world is so gosh-darned exciting for a two-year-old that they can’t wait to get up and experience every single minute of it.

Wow – that must have been quite awesome. Imagine being so excited about the world that every morning is a Christmas morning and you just wanna get up, wake your parents up and get started on the day, every single morning?

And at six in the morning, too!

Wait a sec – did you say six in the morning?

Yup, six in the morning. The last few days, that’s what time little YY has been getting up. Even at this age I’m still particular to snoozing until a somewhat decent hour – such as six-thirty or seven. But six?

This morning, he woke up at 5:50 a.m. Phew. It was so early, I could barely pull my eyelids open to see what time it was.

I remember staying at people’s houses where they had kids, and I’d come downstairs bleary eyed at, say, 8 in the morning, for breakfast, and well, it seems that everyone’s already up and about. “Where are the kids?” I’d ask. “Oh, they’re already at school,” comes the response. Whoa, really? The day’s already a couple hours ago by the time I even get started on my own day?

Well, it’s actually become quite normal now to live like this. I come downstairs with little YY in tow, and kiss X good morning, and look at the clock. 6:25 in the morning, or something to that effect. I’m now one of those parents. I’m up at the crack of dawn. Now, really, I actually don’t mind it that much. It’s become normal. The new normal.

But still, I wouldn’t mind some shuteye until 8 on weekends. It still does happen. But gone are the days of sleeping til noon. Do I miss those days? Not really. It’s nice to have such long days, and to see the beautiful morning sun, to smell the crisp air, and all that. Thanks YY, for yet another eye-opening experience.