Sunday, October 30, 2005

Potty training is kicking my butt--more like shaming it

I know that I can stand to be a more attentive father. I know this. Save your comments in that direction. I also do not need any consolation.

I know that thousands upon thousands upon thousands of diapers go in landfills every day.

I don't have time to interpret every single look on the face of this little girl to determine if it is a #1 face or a #2 face. I sit kks on the toilet. Often. Maybe not as often as I should. But I do. This girl has enough control to hold things in when she wants to. Which leads me to believe that she is ready for the transtion into big girl pants. She waits until she can get into her play room, shut the door and read a book. Maybe kks has been watching her father...

How do you get inside the head of an nearly 3 year old?

Of course, the rage in parenting and environmentalism is infant potty training. Article after article mocks me as a parent. I can't get in the girl's kitchen about this one. She can't even be conquered by a suppository. Ask my mother about that one. Actually, maybe asking my mother is not the best idea, unless you want to hear about my toilet training and my toilet habits.

Research that one at your own risk. And feel free to donate to the therapy jar for kks.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Planting Title Nine Seeds

I am going to this costume party tonight against my better judgment with my wife. Pastors generally don't go to parties on Saturday nights--but once in awhile there are exceptions.

Kks is going to stay home with her grandparents this evening--but she did get involved in this costume thing. I am reluctant to invest a lot of money in costumes. After a brief excursion to the local party store, I learned I could be Spider Man, the Incredible Hulk, a guy with a knife coming out of my head, a hippie or a doctor.

Off to the local sporting goods store--with a few hockey accessories and stuff from home, I could be be a hockey player.

In my search for Kks' college scholarship (athletic or academic), I will introduce her to activities that might create a more well-rounded girl. Even though I know little about hockey--I picked up a hockey stick for Kks--and we'll hit a hockey ball in the driveway. If she likes it, we'll keep playing. We may have a starting left wing for Cornell in the making.

At least we can have some fun father-daughter time.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Transition into Preschool

After a few months of towering over the other toddlers--the wise folks at Kks' child care facility decided it was time for the not-so-little girl to move on in to preschool. Today I took Kks directly to the preschool area. I watched her case the joint. She didn't want to leave my side. Why?

1. She really does love her Daddy.
2. She was not sure if she wanted to enter an arena she couldn't dominate. She's only bigger than HALF the kids in preschool. There are some in there she couldn't squash like a grape (Maybe this is just guy think).
3. It is a fairly new place and a new routine, and she approached it like any human being would approach a new situation--with a little bit of skepticism.

I vote for #3--although I do like to entertain options 1 and 2.

The teachers talk about Kks' cognitive abilities in relation to toddlerhood and preschool. I guess that is important as opposed to sheer physical domination...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A relief to be home

Kks did not like it when I dropped her off at child care this morning. It's official. She really does like me.

The kid is resilient, but she is still just a kid. It is hard to leave someone that you love--and from my interpretation of her body language, she just wanted to be with me longer today. I tend to feel the same way when I depart from Melanie or my parents or brothers. Even though I was frazzled and tired, it was about all I could do to keep it together when I sent my brother off for his flight on Sunday. I had been able to hang out with him on several occasions over two weeks in many interesting places. It was just good to be with him.

Kks is a little girl who loves her independent time, but she just likes to know that we are around. She likes to share a discovery, a movie scene, a frustration. Even share a kiss.

I am glad that I can be home to experience this.

I may even go pick her up early today.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The darker side of business travel

I remember a day when I aspired to be traveling to many places, seeing many people, and doing important things.

Sometimes the most important thing that could have happened on this 13 day excursion was having Kks talking to me on the phone and hearing that her mother loves me.

I know that some people enjoy business travel. They like the interactions, the excitement of the work on many cultural fronts. I also know that people can get wrapped up in business travel and work because they can't handle what is going on at home. Relationships are hard work, and they can be hard to manage. After a some time in the Northwest, and 4 other corners of the country, I saw all of these things at work--and I got a glimpse of what my life could be. I still don't know what it will be--God and my family and I are working on that one. I had a summer with Kks, and it was a great summer. Sure, it was too hot. But we played and we went places together. We built houses out of legos, ate meals together.

In my aspirations, I wanted to be significant. I wanted to know my gifts matter. How thoughtless of me I would try to look at places other than my wife and daugther. Work can be seductive. I can see how people get sucked in. These past two weeks I have seen glimpses of what business travel can do to a person. It is not evil--but some clear boundaries need to be set. The opportunities to use my gifts will take care of themselves. This is a hard lesson.

When it comes down to it, no one will care about where I have gone for business travel. There are ample opportunities to go places in my life, and they will come at their own time. Kks can come with us, and we can learn together from our perspectives. I don't have to pursue them like they are never going to be there. The opportunities are there through my child's eyes.

Daddy misses you, little girl. I am looking forward to a big hug from my wife.

I'll be home soon.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Becoming more difficult to leave home

I have a great trip coming up that will be at least mentioned (maybe even chronicled) in my other blog, madhousegazette.

Kks is making it more difficult to leave home. I love babies. But the personality that kks is developing turns the heads of her parents more than once per day. "Did you hear what she said?"

The words hang there like every one should be recorded for posterity. I'm not sure what wisdom or publication value these words offer. But like a single black or blue or rasp berry they are to be enjoyed in their season--picked and enjoyed. I remember few individual berries themselves. Maybe someday I can give Kks this blog and she can talk about the berries she gave her mother and me.

Before going for a walk in Wenatchee when she stayed with her grandparents back in the room, she waved at us, said bye bye and to our amazement, "Have a good time!"

After about 12 hours in transit from Seattle to Denver to Sioux Falls, we were both thankful that Kks found creative ways to keep herself occupied. She shares the wonder of her father to look out the window of an airplane and getting a wider snapshot of what the earth really does when it rotates on an axis--rock and soil varying over thousands of miles on a big blue marble.

Why would I want to miss any of this season by going to other places? I love to discover place. I pray that Kks has a joyful connection with her world and the people around her.