Baby Step #16 Listening for pleasure

1000babysteps.com #15

First hearing test (Day after birth)

So Cheeky Chupeta and I will be hanging out when she’ll suddenly perk up, turn toward the door, and dimple in delight.

What? I don’t hear anything.

Then I’ll focus, really listen, and realize that she’s enjoying the subtle jingle-jangle of our beagle’s dog tags across the house.

It is a really nice sound.

When we think of listening for pleasure, we tend to think of music. But taking a cue from Lil’ All Ears, I’m paying attention to the sonorous delights of dog snoring and the pitter-patter of approaching footsteps. It’s a rich soundscape we live in, if we take the time to slow down, shut up and enjoy it.

After Cheeky’s first hearing test at the hospital, the nurse declared her to have good hearing. Now I’m realizing that it’s not just the hearing, it’s the listening.

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What sounds do you savor when you’re not running around like a headless chicken?

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Baby Step #15 Don’t be shy about expressing your needs

Lil’ Squeaky definitely wasn’t bashful about letting us know she needed us last night.

Every two hours.

So I won’t be sheepish about what I need right now:

SLEEP!!!

Okay, have a good day.

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For more on this inexhaustible topic, check out the “I Have A Dream” MLK Day Special.

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Baby Step #14 Realizing that a total mess is sometimes the stage before total bliss

1000babysteps.com #14

1000babysteps.com  #14

1000babysteps.com  #14

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Baby Step #13 Chalk around the block!

#13 www.1000babysteps.comLet’s face it, having a kid is the perfect excuse to start drawing on stuff with chalk again. But you really don’t need one.

Why?

Because you — yes, you my friend — have a tiny repressed artiste inside of you. Mine is a malnourished little Frenchman who wears a maroon-colored beret and smokes unfiltered Gauloises. And, believe me, Jean-Paul needs a day out!

So, whether it’s that sad sidewalk in front of your house, that bare wall by your apartment building, or (if you’re all shy like) that pathetic little piece of pavement around back, borrow some chalk from your little local artistes — or splurge on a box of Crayola Low Dust– and go at it!

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What’s your repressed artiste’s name?

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Baby Step #12 Understanding that no one is more beloved than the bringer of breakfast in bed

www.1000babysteps.com

www.1000babysteps.com

www.1000babysteps.com

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Baby Step #11 Where the Tiger Mother and this White Rabbit Dad Agree! (or, Recognizing Self-focus as Self-sabotage)

First photo ever taken of my family

First family photo

When you hear the phrase ‘family first’ now, do you think of the infamous Tiger Mother and roll your eyes? Well, stop it, and look at us.

No, seriously, look at us.

We look exhausted, right?

We sure are!

But guess what? We’re also as happy as we’ll ever be.

Yes, this photo depicts a unique occasion, but it reflects what’s becoming clearer to me every day:

If you put yourself first, you won’t be tired or inconvenienced much, but you won’t be happy for very long either.

My experience is that self-focus is secretly a form of self-sabotage. Like many addictive behaviors, it gives you a quick fix, but ultimately leaves you hungry.

Do I plan to tell Naomi this?

Absolutely. I believe the key will be to teach her to value her family and community at least as much, if not more, then herself. Frankly, I wish this had been more emphasized in my family and schools, but it certainly wasn’t in the culture in the 80′s and 90′s. This value has become more prevalent with the rise of the environmental movement, but I still believe this is one area where this fluffy, year-of-the-rabbit dad could learn something from the rabid Tiger Mother.

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As always, would love to hear your thoughts.

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Baby Step #10 Be amazed by the ‘everyday’

Day 1

Day 1

Day 149

Day 149

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