Archive for the ‘fathering’ Category

Caird… He’s My Baby He likes to Drool! – Tools for Teething

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
Baby with big smile

Caird at 7 months.

How time flies. We are now raising 7-month-old Caird who is a drool machine! Here is the song we wrote about him. Yes he’s just sprouted his first two teeth and the teething has been a part of our lives for the last couple months.  Teething is a painful process for babies and parents. Some little ones teethe for what seems like an eternity.

Here are some things that you can do for your baby during the “Teething phase.” We love soft chew toys, especially cloth ones that can be placed in the freezer to cool down those little sore gums.  We have an amazing chew toy called “Sophie the Giraffe” that he just loves (we bought extras for our friends with newborns because it really works).  An easy solution is a clean damp washcloth put in the freeze, or as the American Dental Association suggests a clean, cool small spoon, or even your own clean finger.

With our other kids we have had moments where the teething pain has seemed too much, and in those cases we made a visit to the pediatrician’s office, or sometimes gotten over the counter teething gel or homeopathic teething tablets to help ease the pain. If you ever get overly concerned about the length of time your baby is teething you may want to talk to your child’s dentist to get more information about the teething process. Rest assured that every baby will eventually get teeth!

This process, while long and hard, is worth the hurt and lack of sleep just to see those pretty pearly whites!

Cool podcast about Teething

A Quick Note about Teething

Babies sometimes have a hard time staying asleep when they are Teething


Thoughts from paternity leave

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

You’ve probably heard of “pregnancy brain” or “momnesia.” You know that forgetfulness and loss of razor sharp thinking so many moms (especially academics) experience with pregnancy. Well today I invented a phrase called the “paternity leave brain”. In my case it’s that fuzziness of mind that comes with trying to be a “stay at home dad” of 5, lacking sleep, cooking, cleaning, nursing a nursing mommy, handling staff issues at work (at an arms-length), writing, grading, teaching, and such. I know you are thinking “Andrew you are just crazy for having a big family like that…” and perhaps I am, but I am also crazy about the subject of fatherhood and family life, and as you can see, I’m getting all “ethnographic” about it. When people comment, “After four kids and a degree in that field, I guess you have everything under control,” I do my best to suppress a mischievous “cackle” (as my students would say) by simply responding with “I’m not sure ‘control’ is the right word but we are doing fine.”

It is hard to admit that most days I join the ranks of moms and dads who feel like they are “ruining their kids,” just to find out that I too am doing a pretty good job. Yes you can be a good parent even if you are a little distracted juggling so many things at once. I just wish I had that multitasking gene that my wife seems to have been born with.

During these last couple weeks I have been calling on my favorite two parenting tips: 1) I’m paying attention to what I want to see more of in my kids (noticing the good and rewarding with my attention), and 2) I’m actually being a bit more consistent and making a routine my new best friend, even though its not easy. And though I am a bit rusty at both, I have had more time than usual to practice and I can see truly how helpful they have been as a zookeeper of sort.

Yes, life keeps you a bit busy at times (especially with a tenure clock ticking), but hopefully not too busy to smell the roses and remember what you value most: family, relationships, and all that fun stuff that goes with those.