Fatherhood and a Shoe to the Head

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

An acquaintance of mine recently had a baby. She was one of those pregnant ladies. You know them. She read the books. She did her research. She studied for parenthood like it’s the friggin’ SATs. In doing so, she committed what, in my opinion, is one of the cardinal mistakes a parent-to-be can make: She convinced herself she was ready.

Then she had the baby. Shock of all shocks: She wasn’t ready. She was prepared. But she wasn’t ready.

What’s the difference? Being prepared is learning the ins and outs of pregnancy. Setting up your baby’s room. Taking an infant CPR class. Asking your friends and family about their parenting experiences. Reading the books and doing your research. Coming into parenthood, everybody should be prepared to a certain extent. There’s only so much you can do, in my book. But to come in willfully ignorant would be foolish to say the least.

But being prepared isn’t being ready. Because guess what? You can’t be ready. Here’s why…

Awhile back I was driving with my three-year-old and my one-year-old in the backseat. They were each snug in their car seats, and I was up front minding my business. Nothing too out of the ordinary.

Then a little plastic shoe struck me in the side of the head.

While I was naturally bewildered, it didn’t take a forensic scientist to figure out where it came from. One look back and I saw my three-year-old sporting one shoe and smiling at me in that “cat that ate the canary” sort of way.

I don’t care who you are, how many books you read, how many classes you take, or who your parent friends are…you’re never ready to take a shoe to the head. It just happens.

You want to come as close as you can get to being “ready” for parenthood? Do what I did before I got in that car: Fasten your seat belt. Prepare to be unprepared. Embrace the chaos that’s coming. Because it is coming. And guess what? A lot of it is pretty cool.

Also, watch out for flying crocs.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Fatherhood: Screaming Day

Black Canary, Canary Cry, Justice League UnlimitedBy Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

You know what day in the life of a parent is really great?

The day your baby, your one-year-old in my case, learns she can scream. And I mean really scream. That blood-curdling, ear-piercing kind of scream. So now when you’ve got an upset and crying baby, you’re not only dealing with whatever crisis is at hand, you’re also wincing because your kid is about to break your damn eardrums…

It gives new meaning to the phrase “finding your voice.”

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Honey Nut Cheerios, Stickiness, and Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh, HoneyBy Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Honey Nut Cheerios are deceptively sticky. I put my one-year-old in the stroller yesterday, along with a snack container filled with them. When we got home they were stuck all over her body.

That’s why Winnie the Pooh isn’t nearly as cuddly as Disney wants you to believe. Much as we all love him, dude is elbow-deep in honey half the time. You’d come away with yellow fur stuck to your body.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

The Recliner, the End Table, and the Human Spirit

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

My one-year-old, who is starting to walk, got herself wedged between a recliner and an end table this morning. Naturally she cried, and I had to come pick her up.

So I set her back down, and she proceeds to climb back to where she was and nearly gets wedged in again before I stop her.

That’s kind of a metaphor for the whole human experience, if you think about it. We’re either tenacious enough to keep trying, or thick-headed enough (no offense, kiddo) to get ourselves in the same situations over and over.

Which is it? Depends on your view of the world, I suppose…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Ray Parker Jr. or Bust

Photo of Ray Parker Jr.By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

A couple days ago, while my two-year-old was having dinner, I told Alexa to “play ‘Ghostbusters'”.

When the music started, I immediately knew something was wrong. I know the song by heart, and what I was hearing was NOT “Ghostbusters”.

A little bit of research revealed that when asked to play “Ghostbusters”, Alexa picked the version by WALK THE MOON from the 2016 remake.

Alexa almost got fired.

In this house, we play Ray Parker Jr. or we don’t even bother.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Living in Disney Hell

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Disney Hell is a very real place.

It’s not filled with villains, or kidnapped princesses, or evil magic. Rather, it’s a song. One song. That your child keeps asking for over…and over…and over…and over…

The make-up of Disney Hell varies depending on the family and child. But in the Siebert house, Disney Hell is this “I’ve Got a Dream” song on a constant loop. My two-year-old will specifically ask for, “Dream Song?”

And no, “I’ve Got a Dream” does not feature Martin Luther King Jr.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

So, What Did We Learn Today?

chaos is how i learnBy Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

When my oldest daughter was a baby, she had a t-shirt that read “Chaos is How I Learn” (shown right). I actually found an adult-sized version of it over at Box Lunch.

She’s two now. This morning, I wound up chasing her around the house as she held a digital thermometer in her hand, and had a Target gift card stuck to her foot.

So…what the @#$% did we learn from THAT?!?

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Don’t Touch Daddy’s Toys!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’m a toy collector. Action figures in particular. That shouldn’t be too hard to ascertain, given some of the stuff I post. I used to have a lot more shelf space in my office to display them. Be warned, collectors. Once you get a house and a family, shelf space becomes a rare commodity….

I have a vivid memory from a day years before Baby Primary Ignition was born. We had a two friends, a married couple, over with their young son. They knew I was a toy collector. Apparently word had trickled down to their boy, as right when we opened our front door, the little guy made a mad dash for my office. He proceeded to make his way in and out with Ghostbusters (shown above), Power Rangers, superheroes, etc. Our friends looked at me apologetically. But I said something to the effect of: “You can’t have a room full of toys, and then have a kid over and say he can’t play.”

I look back fondly on that moment. That felt like a good one for yours truly.

Now if only I could be as understanding today with Baby Primary Ignition. She’s almost two, and as one might surmise, she’s gotten very grabby…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Getting Your Kid a Spoon

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Ahhhh Calvin & Hobbes. So timeless. So perfect.

Baby Primary Ignition has this electronic toy shaped like a little soccer ball. It rolls around, plays music, annoys her parents, etc. This morning I noticed her playing with it, but no sound was coming out. I figured the batteries were dead. So I did what I imagine most dads would do. I got a screwdriver out of my little tool kit in the closet, opened up the ball, swapped out the batteries, and low and behold the ball was back in business!

In one of my favorite episodes of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld recounts something Matthew Broderick told him about, of all things, getting his kid a spoon…

“Matthew has this great line about when you get your kid a spoon. You think, ‘What a great dad I am. Look at me getting my kid a spoon.’ That is what we think.”

He’s talking about a certain kind of narcissism that comes with parenting. But there’s a sweetness to it too, I think.

When they’re older, we won’t be able to solve life’s big problems for them. But for now, the small ones will suffice. Because those small problems feel big to them. So they feel big to us too.

Oh, my Baby. Feel free to take all the time in the world growing up.

(In truth, part of me now regrets fixing the ball. The damn thing is currently rolling around our wood floors making more noise than ever.)

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.