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Parenting Meme! May 19, 2008

Posted by jojoe in Personal.
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How do you view your role as a parent? What are you there to do?

Keep him from accidentally putting his finger in an electrical socket (forever-the dangers change as he ages)! Try and teach him what I learned and guide him, knowing that he’ll probably be headstrong and want to figure it out himself.

In your social circle, are mothers expected to work or are they encouraged to stay home with the child?

I think stay-at-home Moms are a lot more common here in Utah, though in my professional circles, women have to turn to child care quicker to maintain their professional “status”. Tough-tough balance. Women have it rough!

How do you feel about your child’s education? What’s good about it, and what do you wish could be done differently?

He’s still young, but I value education very highly and we will probably need to evaluate local public schools and decide whether we need to move.

How do you share the childcare with your partner? Do you tend towards different activities or different approaches to parenting?

I think we tend to agree on things. I chip in where I can, but it is very little compared to all that Maria does. We have decided to specialize though. During Joaquin’s “fragile” years, I am the bread winner and she is the full-time nurturer. I have committed to giving her Sunday for herself. We’ll definitely be living and learning as I start work and prepare for the Bar.

What are the most important virtues to instill in a child?

Vote Democrat! (Joking) Question everything. Learn. Enjoy life. Play nice.

What’s the relationship like between mothers at the park and the school gate? Would someone you didn’t know help you out in a stressful moment?

Not Applicable.

What do you fear most for your child?

Danger – whether falling off a cliff or being kidnapped. At first, I was worried that he might not be “right”. Now I have more of a faith that he will develop well with Maria and I here – but as I think into the future I think I’ll fear the safety stuff.

How do you discipline your child and what are the errors you would put most effort into correcting?

Hard to know now. I see humor in a lot of things, so I hope I can laugh at most of his transgressions. I’ll try and not worry about correcting every little thing, but I am probably just dreaming.

Do you think the life of a child has changed much since you were young?

They grow up too fast! There also is a lot less open space to run around. That is one of the big reasons I like Salt Lake City. When Joaco gets older, its a 30 minute drive up the canyon to campgrounds!

What’s the best compliment your child could pay you for your parenting skills?

My old man cracked me up. Seriously, I hope he worships me as I should be worshipped… like Baal. No seriously, just that I gave him a hand and not a whip.

First Longhorn Game for the Whomper March 16, 2008

Posted by jojoe in Personal.
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I was watching the Texas-Kansas b-ball game today and Maria asked me if I would watch the bollito.  It started OK.  There were lots of commercials and I was holding his little hands as he stood up (he loves to stand!!).  Well, the game started back up and I had him sitting on my knee watching the TV.  I was explaining the game to him.  All of the sudden, Abrams drove and made a basket (maybe the last field goal the Horns made in the game?)…. I said “Yes!”  I tried to tone it down, conscious of the bollo.  But I scared the poor little guy.  He started crying hysterically and I had to give him up to Mommy.

So the first father-son Longhorn watching ended disastrously.  Guess it was just too early.

A Few Quick Thoughts on Having a New Boy December 13, 2007

Posted by jojoe in Personal.
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Me and Nani (Maria’s Mom) were in there next to Maria while she was having a C-Section.  I was doing my best to distract her with talk and jokes.  She kept telling the anesthesiologist that she could still feel stuff.  The anesthesiologist snapped back, “If I give you any more in your epidural you’ll stop breathing!”  I was talking to Maria, trying to crack jokes, trying to distract her.  The morphine in the epidural was starting to take hold.  Maria was drowsy, her words started getting heavier.  I asked the anesthesiologist if that was OK, and she pointed to her vitals on the monitor and said she looked good and was following everything.

On the other side of the drapes, the docs were rooting around, generally moving Maria’s trunk around like a sack of potatoes …. and then you heard it.  His first cry.  I peaked over the drape and saw his little body squirming around in some one’s hands.  Without saying anything to Maria (it’s like my mind went blank – Maria who? – good thing she was good and doped up by that point) I ran to the room next door where they had taken him ….   Tears were streaming from my eyes.

When I came in the room next door, the nurses had already almost washed all the white off him.  They put him on a table  to do something with him.   Still crying (very loudly!) and wanting to comfort him, I said, can I touch him?  And they said, “Yeah, he’s yours!”  I started to stroke him, telling him to keep crying, that it was good for him.  That he was doing great.  That beautiful crying had turned him red by now.  The nurse said, “Guess his weight.”  I said, “What?”  I was in some other place.  She repeated it, and I said, “Nine pounds,” not having any freakin’ clue.  (I hadn’t imagined or guessed at the birth weight of my boy during the pregnancy — Maria and I never discussed it — and I certainly didn’t have the faculties to pick him up, balance him, and properly consider the question at hand.)  8 lbs 6 oz.  And looking healthy.  Ten and ten, as they say, and his color was looking good.  They packaged him up and I took him to the next room to try and show Maria what she had been carrying around for so long – to finally see that little Tiburon who had been causing such swells under Maria’s skin.

What a wonderful moment it was.  Running to the next room with tears streaming.  Forgetting everything but a general sense of where you were going.  Like it was Christmas morning.

Later, after things had settled down, I went out to see if I could find some food for us.  Maria’s doc said that she had Jamba juice after her C-Section and loved it.  So being the hunter-gatherer I went out and looked for a smoothie.  It was pretty late, almost midnight, so I had to drive around a lot.  I eventually stopped at a Baskin-Robbins, figuring that they had probably diversified away from strictly ice cream to draw in a few more patrons.  I stepped out of my car, and the snow was falling lightly.  We had a big snowstorm that morning, and this was the gentle after-snow snow.  Such beautiful light falling flakes.  As I watched them fall, I thought of Joaquin, of how his soul had drifted down onto earth like these snowflakes.  How he had fallen into our lives in the form of Joaquin Peter Stultz.  And so his journey begins, melting, joining the rivers, coursing to the sea.  Happy birthday little boy!