Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 366

What is a dad of a one year old to do?

That is the question I can’t seem to get answered. As we all know, the world is littered with self-help books, advice websites, and television shows telling you how you should live your life. Those focused on parenting tell you how to guide someone else’s life (and probably turn them into an over-protected, wildly timid, friendless dork, but that is an entirely different posting). Go ahead, Google “parenting advice” and have fun sorting through the 29.3 MILLION hits. You get everything from the site for Parenting Magazine to WebMD to the sites for Dr. Phil and the SuperNanny. Advice topics range from birth to dealing with college students and beyond. The vast majority of the sites, though, are focused on dealing with newborns.

That is my problem. I have a toddler now. I admit that I turned to the internet and to some trusted books for advice on what to do in certain situations. Heck, I’ve never done this child rearing stuff.

But now we have survived the first year. And that means that most of the websites I turned to to figure out what to do when Olive had a fever or what are appropriate finger foods, have simply kicked me to the curb. Sorry, Jeff, we have to cater to the clueless, tired, vomit and poop covered masses dealing with the little ones – you’re on your own.

I realized just the other day that the one parenting book that we own What to Expect the First Year only covers, well, the first year. We are in the second year now and apparently are experts at this parenting thing.

I figured all this out when I tried to do some research this week on giving Olive cow’s milk for the first time and introducing foods that have been verboten until her first birthday, like eggs and KFC’s Double Down sandwich. I was given very little guidance. It was almost as if all these advice-mongers were just saying “Yeah, give her 16-24 ounces of milk and just deal with it. She might get sick, might get diarrhea, might not take to it right away, but you have dealt with all that stuff before.”

Not helpful.

But I just need to man up. I must embark on the beginning of Olive’s second year without my training wheels. No more running to the computer to check at what point Olive should be gaining this motor skill or that motor skill, no more flipping through the pages of a book to find the symptoms of various childhood illnesses. At this point I’ll need to rely on myself, Leanne, and our vast parental experience.

I’m lying of course, I’m already searching amazon for good books on toddlers.

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