Friday, February 25, 2005

Ruben's First Steps

The past week Ruben has been taking his first steps. His first steps last Friday. It happened where Ruben had fallen while cruising around the recliner and I picked him up and stood him up in front of me about four steps away, just to see if he would stand up without leaning on something like he had done in the past, but then all of a sudden he began walking towards me so that I could hold him. He had a huge grin on his face as he came towards me. Both his hands out in front of him trying to reach for me.

You should have seen my expression when he took those four steps towards me. Honestly, he seemed to walk in slow motion. He obviously wasn't, but that's how it seemed to me as I watched him take each step. If it were a scene from a movie you would hear the theme song from "2001: A Space Odyssey" playing in the background; a close-up shot of Ruben's face showing a big, slobbery grin; then a shot from the side as he finally makes it to me and I give him a big hug. All in slow motion of course. :-) Movies can sometimes be more dramatic than real life, but this moment for me has been etched in my mind in such dramatic fashion.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Here is Ruben in his high chair gnawing on some orange slices, broccoli, carrots, crackers and fish. Three of the four food groups. Yum! Posted by Hello

Friday, February 11, 2005

Unpacking never felt so good.

When we moved to Kentucky, Kiesha packed my last bottle of Red Rooster Louisiana Hot Sauce. Oh how I thanked her later when I found out she packed it. I love that Red Rooster and they don't sell it anywhere around here in Madisonville, so you can imagine that I was all depressed when I saw that last drop of sauce leave the bottle.

Well I looked on the bottle and saw that Bruce Foods produces the stuff. I went to their website and saw that they produce so much more good stuff. A co-worker at LAHSA kept a handy 12oz bottle at work. That's how much she liked it. I think Kiesha was eyeballing the Cajun Fish Seasoning. Needless to say I can have a little bit of Los Angeles here in Kentucky through my great friends at Bruce Foods. My order came in a couple of days ago, and I quickly unpacked six 12 oz bottles. Mmmm,mmmm,mmmm. God bless those cajuns!

"Dadda" came first

I would just like to go on the record saying that Ruben's first word was "Dadda". He first said Dadda shortly after arriving in Kentucky. And to mom's consternation, he has also learned to say ball and bye-bye but not mamma. We spend every day coaxing him to say, "mamma" but no dice. I guess he knows who butters his roll. :-)

Friday, February 04, 2005

Mammas don't let your babies grow up to eat Friskies

I am not one to jump to conclusions, but sometimes the evidence is hard to ignore. Maybe I'm just paranoid. But not the kind of paranoia like Mel Gibson's character in "Conspiracy Theory" where he he thinks the CIA is tapping his brain so he wraps his head in aluminum foil -- just a mild paranoia.

Ruben has been climbing all over the couches, he's been a little more agitated lately, he doesn't like his food as much, and he doesn't respond to his name but he responds when you call him Domino. All this has happened since he ate that bit of Friskies. Now I'm not saying he's scratching the back of his neck with his feet or using the litter box, but is there cause for concern here? It's funny so far but I guess I should stop calling Domino or else Ruben might continue thinking that's his name. At least that is what I think is happening.

Wait...what's that scratching sound?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Welcome to The Twilight Zone

I have come to realize that there are many benefits and drawbacks to being an unemployed daddy. I'm probably going to dispell a lot of myths so don't be shocked. I know we all sometimes find it hard to get up and go to work and wish sometimes we could just stay home and relax. Call the boss, fake a cough and sniffles, and call out sick. Be careful what you wish for because you may find yourself in...The Twilight Zone.

Pro - No huge stack of paperwork at the office that needs to get done. Ugh!
Con - You are staring at a stack of dirty laundry that needs to be done. :-(

Pro - Spending more time with lil Ruben, playing and laughing.
Con - Changing more diapers, especially the poopy ones. :-(

Pro - You avoid your boss at work.
Con - Your wife becomes your boss at home. (Just kidding baby)

Pro - Not having to wear a suit and tie.
Con - Spending an entire day in your pajamas and robe.

Pro - Relaxing in front of the TV with a mug of hot coffee.
Con - Day-time TV is geared to women. Example, The View. :-(

Pro - Taking your time to read the newspaper, along with a mug of hot coffee.
Con - The newspaper is a local fish wrap called, "The Messenger".

Pro - Avoiding idle chit chat with co-workers.
Con - Making idle chit chat with your mother-in-law.

Pro - Missing a day at work.
Con - Missing a paycheck.

Well, there you have it folks. It kinda seems like an episode out of the Twilight Zone doesn't it? Like the guy who loved to read books but couldn't find the time to read because work interfered with his love of reading. Then a nuclear holocaust hits and he is the only survivor and finds that the library was saved and all the books are intact. He is stacking up the books he plans to read and he is in hog heaven, except...he steps on his eyeglasses and crushes them. Welcome to The Twilight Zone.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

If that doesn't work, then I'll just lock him in his room

Just recently Kiesha and I were speaking about what we would want Ruben to learn about sex in school, when we will have "the talk" with him, and what we want him to know about sex, love, STDs, the whole enchilada. Nothing really that I've thought about in great detail or have been planning since his birth since I don't expect my lil guy to be sexually active for quite a while (we can hope for maybe at least 20 years from now). Hahahaha.

I recognize that teen abstinence programs, virginity pledges, sex education in public schools, and contraception at schools are politicized issues and often times partisan. They really shouldn't but this is the society we live in. Nevertheless, I think we can all agree that teens having sex and teens having children are things we all would like to see significantly reduced. The statistics are scary. For instance, approximately a quarter of ninth grade girls and tenth grade boys reported having sex! This particular article on the failure of a teen abstinence program in Texas raises many questions for me.

The study findings state that more teenage boys and girls "reported" having sex after the abstinence only education. Now I may not be a sophisticated researcher but my hunch is that if some adult wanting to research sex abstinence programs comes around asking a teenager if they have had sex, the first knee jerk response from the teenager is likely to be "No". My guess is that marked increase may be an increase in honest "reporting", meaning that the actual number of teenagers in the study group who had already had sex was higher than what was originally reported. That is even scarier.

But assuming the reporting was honest, it is still difficult to say if abstinence programs work or not. It would be absurd to think that the goal of abstinence programs is to reduce teen sex to zero. I think that is what proponents would like to see but that is unrealistic. I think the goal should be to delay sex as much as possible. Statistics show that the rate of first having sex increases with age, so that by the time a boy reaches the age of 19, close to 9 in 10 boys would have already had sex and 8 in 10 girls.

Abstinence programs should do cohort studies where the study focuses on teenagers who have not had sex at age 15, provide abstinence programs at that point, track the teenagers until age 19 and see if the abstinance program delayed sex. If not, then we can toss out abstinence programs out the window. "Just say NO" didn't work for drugs, so why would we think it works for sex. Same thing for making contraception available at schools or teaching teenagers about contraception. I haven't come across a study that says this encourages teenagers to have sex or delays intercourse, I think it doesn't increase the rate of intercourse among teenagers, just the rate of protected intercourse.

All this makes me think about my sex education. My parents were by no means good teachers, they avoided having the talk with me entirely. Other than sage tidbits like, don't get involved with married women and don't get a girl pregnant if you aren't ready to take care of a family, they were silent on sex education. The sex education I did get in middle school was less about sex and more about human reproduction (i.e. having babies). That can scare anyone into not having sex. I took a human sexuality class in college. Needless to say I didn't have sex until college. I doubt it was Professor Bolton's human sex class that clinched the deal. I would say for me it was more a matter of being properly educated and informed about every aspect of sexual intercourse, feeling emotionally prepared to have it, and having an opportunity to have sex. This isn't to say that I wasn't a raging sexual hormone on feet up until that point because I was and I think that if we are all honest with ourselves we all are that way. Thus you can see that our young teenagers are having sex potentially because of opportunity while not being properly educated and prepared to deal with the potential aftermath. Thus I am a strong proponent of sex education and contraception in schools, but a bigger proponent of sex education for parents so that they can sit down with their kids and talk about sex in a mature manner. I think if all parents were well informed, raised their kids right, had the "sex talk" with their kids, that having contraception available at schools would in no way make their kids have sex. I think "contraception in schools" is an easy scapegoat for a parent who didn't do their parenting job right.

Thus as Ruben grows I think my job is going to be to properly educate Ruben on sex and love, teach him he shouldn't have sex because of peer pressure, teach him to respect women and other good moral values, teach him that he shouldn't have sex until he is in love and is mature enough to handle the consequences, and monitor who he sees and where he goes, and cross my fingers that he'll wait until he's in his twenties. If that doesn't work, then I'll just lock him in his room.