Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

When teaching life lessons to toddlers, don't forget the water.

I'm not a Bostonian, but saying I had a "wicked busy week" sounds so much cooler than "super busy" or "really busy" or even "crazy busy".

Just a plain jane Central Californian who lives in "wicked crazy" Santa Cruz with his lovely wife and baby Bea.

That's why it was more than a pleasure yesterday afternoon to push Beatrice down to Natural Bridges to see the Monarch butterflies, something we've done a handful of times in the past few weeks.

It's a great little walk (for Daddy - Bea's still in the stroller most of it) and there are always life lessons to teach along the way.

Like walking past the Global College of Natural Medicine where staffers take smoke breaks outside.

"Beatrice, that's the nastiest and most dangerous monkey you can ever invite to ride on your back."

Of course, all she heard and most likely understood was Beatrice -- blah, blah, monkey, blah-blah-blah, ride, blah. However, she is a smart little bug who knows how to sign and is learning more words every day.

So I continued.

"One of Nana and Papa's close friends passed away this morning, Bea. She had an operation last night to repair severely damaged arteries but she didn't make it. She was a long-time smoker and her lungs and heart were in pretty bad shape. Smoking can make you very, very sick."

Nana, Papa, blah, blah, morning, blah, night, blah-blah.

Birds chirped. The sun bathed us in mellow warmth. Bea kicked her legs in the stroller.

"Papa smoked for a long time too. He had an abscess on his lung that had to be removed in 2002 and he was very, very sick for months and almost went to heaven. But as you saw this last Christmas, he's feeling pretty good."

Papa, blah-blah-blah, Christmas, blah, well.

"And your daddy, well he smoked for a long time too, but I hope to be around for a lot longer now, Bea. I'm feeling pretty good. That's why I take you running sometimes and we go for these walks."

Daddy, blah-blah-blah, Bea, feeling pretty good, blah, running, blah, walks.

After we got to Natural Bridges I let Bea walk and run around a little. It was such a nice day for this early in January (which is always mild anyway). I had planned for us to stay a little while, to see how many butterflies we could spy, but when she gave me the sign for drink I realized I had forgotten the water.

"I'm sorry sweetie. I forgot it. Can you wait?"

The drink sign sped up frantically and escalated into a crying jag.

Daddy, I promise I won't smoke, but don't you ever forget the water again, or I'll get wicked crazy on your butt.

Get me home, Jack. I'm thirsty.


  1. OK, this was the coolest...LOVED the blah blah blah, we all is sometimes ALL they hear LOL


  2. I know, but I hope she heard some of my lesson! "Papa don't preach, I'm in trouble deep..."

  3. Leaving without Braden's cup is as dangerous as crocodile wrestling. Never forget the drink.

    I used to smoke too. Now it disgusts me to no end. I hope she gets your message.