Tag Archives: son

M&M Time

So tomorrow is my first day back to work after 4 days off. Rachel had to go back to work on Tuesday , so I was lucky enough to have one on one time with Max. Because of work, school, sports, and life in general, these moments of one on one time are all too infrequent. I’m genuinely bummed, and will really miss being able to spend the whole day with Max tomorrow.

Instead of fun trips to the park, playing board games, swimming, bowling, skating, and working on projects around the house, I’ll be back to “slaying the dragon” at my desk at work. Doing uninspiring stuff like monitoring routers, installing software and deploying new servers and replying to e-mails. It’s very sad that in this “modern age”, in order to provide for our children, it often means spending lots of time away from them. No wonder society has so many problems.

I’m fortunate that my work schedule is pretty flexible. And I probably get to spend a lot more time with Max, than other parents. But since these moments where we genuinely enjoy each others company are so fleeting, it seems like there is never enough. I know the days when I am annoying, or embarrassing to Max are just around the corner. So the fact that Max loves spending time with me, and me with him, is very special to me.

One of the things I love most about spending time with Max, is listening to him talk. I get a huge thrill when he asks questions, and shows interest in how things work, and how he tries to get a better understanding about the world around him. His curiosity is so interesting to me. I’ve heard people say that parenthood is as much of an education for the parent, as it is for the child. And I didn’t quite know what people meant by that at first, but now I totally get it.

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Max Can Add!

A few years back, my sister introduced me to this game called “Double Shutter”. It’s a simple game, where you have two rows of tiles with numbers on them. 1-9 in the front row and 9-1 in the back row. You roll two dice, and and add up the dots to shut the tiles of your choice. So if you roll a 4 and 2, you can either flip down the 6 in the front row, the 4 and 2 in the front row, or any other combination of numbers that add up to 6.

After playing at it my sisters house, I liked it so much, I bought one for myself. Max has always taken a liking to the game. Not sure if it’s the bright red tin that the game come in, or what it is. But since we got it, he always wants to play around with it. Obviously, when he was 18 months old, he just liked flipping the tiles and didn’t understand the game. Over the weekend, it was raining on Saturday, and Max was a little bored. After his shower, he asked if we could play “that dice game”. So I got the game out. All the other times, he would just roll the dice and flip the tiles around. But this time things were different!

Max rolled the dice, and I asked him to tell me the value on each of the die. I was pleasantly surprised that he could identify the number of dots pretty much by site. He would look down and see 3 dots and know it was 3 dots, without counting them. That was a nice surprise in itself. At first, I kept the game simple, and if he rolled a 3 and 1, I would have him flip down 3 and 1. As we played a few rounds, if the 3 and 1 were already flipped down, I would say to Max, 3 and 1 make 4, so flip down the 4. He caught on really quickly and started adding the dice up. If the numbers were small, 2 and 1, 2 and 2, 3 and 1 etc, he could do the math in his head. When we rolled bigger numbers (4 and 6, 5 and 5 etc), he would count the dots.

We never really had any “formal” adding lessons. He’s played a few games on the iPad and read a few books that have examples of adding things up, but it’s not something we really focussed on. So I was really surprised and impressed at how quickly he picked up the concept.

Rachel walked into the room when Max and I were playing and heard him say “3 and 1 equals 4”. She looked equally as shocked as me. I’ll have to keep this in mind as Max learns more and more complex things. Find fun and creative ways to teach him, without him really knowing he is learning. As we rolled the dice, all he cared about was playing one more game. He was having fun, and I was having fun watching him and I could see all the pieces of the puzzle come together, as he grasped more and more of the concept of the game. One of countless times when Max has made me one proud Papa.

Complete Turnaround

Since I’ve become a father, my outlook on life has changed quite a bit. One of the biggest viewpoint changes for me has been about war. Before Max was born, I guess I never saw soldiers as sons and daughters, mothers and fathers. They were sort of like toy soldiers to me. Disposable. Pawns in a game.

I can’t imagine what it must have been like for parents to see their children drafted and sent overseas during WWII. How scary must it have been for these 18 year old kids to be thrown in the middle of hell. I supposed back then, kids grew a lot faster and were forced to be “men” at an earlier age. My Godson is about to turn 16, and I couldn’t imagine him being in a warzone in 2 years. He’s still so young and fragile.

Maybe it’s selfish of me, but there is now way I would ever want to see Max drafted or go off to war. If he grows up and chooses to serve in the armed forces, I think I could accept that. I would hope he would choose more of a surveillance or supporting role rather than being in the front lines of battle.

I used to think war was a necessary evil. Now I just view it for what it really is, evil.