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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Modern Mormon Men: How To Preach Like A Four Year-Old

My newest post on MMM tells the funny story of my son sharing the gospel with our neighbors.

Modern Mormon Men: How To Preach Like A Four Year-Old: by  Apparent Parent  ( bio ) "Hey," my son told my neighbor, "you didn't watch general conference." My neighbor is not LDS and lives w...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Superhuman parenting: super speed

It was like one of those moments you hear about. You know the ones: Baby is about to leap off some precarious ledge and a mother covers a ludicrous distance in time to stop certain death for the child. Or there's the common story of the child (who has the propensity to sink faster than a man's heart when forced to watch "Twilight" with his wife) that ventures to the side of the pool only to be snatched out of the air by a father who just swam an Olympic-sized pool in under two seconds to avert the disaster.

I believe these moments are real - a moment where sheer parenting adrenaline flows so purely that a parent has super powers for a small snatch of time. I've heard enough of these stories from credible sources that I have to believe them. Every parent has one of these at least once, right?

So there I am in church, watching my three children while my wife played prelude music. One child I have given a tithing envelope to take to the bishop while the two girls, 3 and 10-months old, stick with me on the bench. I glance back and forth between my son, who I am watching with a proud smile as he delivers the envelope, and my 10-month old, who I know to be the tricksiest of tricksters.

One glance I spent a moment too long adoring my son, and when I returned my gaze to my daughter, she was falling upside down and backward off the bench. Time slowed down. It was like one of those movies where, you know, time slows down at a critical juncture. I watched as my baby fell, twisting into an upside-down awkwardness a few feet away. I felt those mighty parental juices flowing into my veins like pure injected Slushee. I knew I could catch her. Just as her head was about to bounce off the floor, I completely failed to snatch her out of the air. Yep. I did nothing. My parental juices spent way too long in the injection phase and forgot to move into action phase. My arm was still resting on the pew when impact occurred, despite all the slow-motion hubbub.

But luckily the juices flowed now. You have never seen a father snatch a baby off the floor and abandon his two older children to disappear from a chapel full of people wondering what caused the loud bump shortly before the baby started screaming. So while those things may happen to other parents, mine has a delayed kick in. It's like my brain had to have time to register the danger before my body would react. All systems were go, but I'm pretty sure I still wore the proud smile from watching my son with the tithing envelope when her noggin hit the floor.  Even my emergency system has to boot up first. So while I respect these stories when I hear them from others, so far they just don't happen to me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My daughter the Roomba

My kid is a Roomba. It's sad but true. Same tiny stature, same sucking noises, same erratic flight pattern, although these things are cute when my daughter does them.

In case you don't know, a Roomba is a pint-size vacuum that goes around eating things off the floor until it bumps into objects too large to swallow, when it turns around and makes a run for it to find more particulate edibility. This is the perfect description of any "oral phase" baby. And if you don't think this matches the description of a teething child, I'll just prove it to you by pulling out text from Roomba's advertising campaigns for comparison with my Baby Roomba.

Roomba: On-board scheduling allows you to preset up to seven times per week for Roomba to clean when it's most convenient for you.
Baby Roomba: Yep. It's called meal time, but my Roomba has a preset for 21 times per week, and it can't be switched off.

Roomba: Two Auto Virtual Walls create an invisible barrier that blocks Roomba from entering off-limit areas.
Baby Roomba: Who needs "virtual walls" when you can have real ones? We use a bench and a kitchen chair to keep baby confined to the living room/dining area so she can't climb up the stairs, eat Legos in the kids' bedroom or eat the grout leftover from tiling the bathroom.

Roomba: Compact Home Base for Roomba to dock and recharge when done vacuuming or the battery is low.
Baby Roomba: It's called a crib, Roomba, now go to sleep!

Roomba: Uses a three-stage cleaning system to vacuum 98% of dirt, dust and debris from floors.
Baby Roomba: I'm pretty sure Baby Roomba does better than 98%. I have seen her vacuum up particles I didn't think existed. My favorite is when one of the older kids spills spaghetti and her face goes to the floor to lap gratefully at the missing marinara.

Roomba: Cleaning head suspension system allows Roomba to automatically adjust between carpet, tile, hardwood and linoleum floors.
Baby Roomba: No problem. Whatever the surface, baby will find contraband to shove in her face. At least she's getting better about spitting it out when we go to sweep her mouth. Enough back of the throat prods and anyone learns to cough up.

Roomba: Counter-rotating bristle brush and beater brush work together like a dustpan and broom.
Baby Roomba: Forefinger and opposable thumb - on each hand!

Roomba: Fine vacuum filter traps dust, pollen and tiny particulates inside bin.
Baby Roomba: The mouth is kind of a staging area, but often those particulates make it to the inside bin, or tummy, as many parents call it.

Roomba: Cleans the whole floor, including the areas you see and those you can't.
Baby Roomba: Yup - easily slips under the table, under chairs, behind garbage, etc. leaving behind a spotless floor.

Roomba: Vacuums under and around furniture and along wall edges...
Baby Roomba: ...and between tiles! No loose grout is safe from Baby Roomba's disposal hole.

Roomba: Selects from dozens of robotic behaviors more than 60 times per second to optimize coverage.
Baby Roomba: You never know what she's going to do next - might eat the mouse ball. Might vault off the chair backwards to continue feeding. Might start eating feathers off the stairs. Often these changes come as fast as 60 per second.

Roomba: Has Light-Touch Bumper Technology which accurately discerns soft barriers from solid barriers, allowing Roomba to go under curtains, comforters, bed skirts and couch skirts.
Baby Roomba: "That's where the remote disappeared to!" you might say as you snatch a thoroughly dusty Baby Roomba out from under the bed. Also has the ability to run from authority figures at a fast crawl.

Roomba: Dirt Detect Technology uses an acoustic sensor to help find dirtier areas and spend more time cleaning them.
Baby Roomba: So that's what all that mumbling and buzzing is about when she's bouncing off things under the table and trying to form a meal out of our unintentional discards.

Roomba: Cliff Detection Sensors allow Roomba to avoid stairs and other drop-offs.
Baby Roomba: I think mine's defective. Cliffs seem awfully attractive to Baby Roomba for some reason.

Roomba: Anti-Tangle Technology keeps Roomba from getting stuck on cords, carpet fringe and tassels, helping Roomba to clean on its own without supervision.
Baby Roomba: Can only clean without supervision, thus avoiding tangles with her parents.

Roomba: Built-in handle makes for easy carrying.
Baby Roomba: Easy to pick up by the seat of her pants.

Roomba: Simple operation – just press the Clean button and Roomba does the rest.
Baby Roomba: There's a button?

Roomba: Comes with one extra filter.
Baby Roomba: Didn't come with any, but we go through like 150 per month.

Roomba price:

Baby Roomba price:
Started with $12,000 in hospital/doctor bills and the price keeps adding up, but totally worth every penny and more.

Roomba Specifications:
Package Dimensions: 17 x 18 x 5 inches
Robot Weight: 8.3 lbs.

Is it any coincidence these are almost Baby Roomba's exact specs at birth? I don't think so. So I think it's obvious and conclusive. My wife gave birth to a Roomba less than a year ago.

Friday, April 13, 2012

March another record for visitation to Apparent Parent

Starting a new job in March, blogging has been hard to get to. My last post happened a month ago. Enough said. And that post was simply to announce record visitation for the blog in the month of February. Well, despite not writing a word on this blog since then, March surpassed February's numbers, which were until that point a record by 40 percent. And March beat that by a significant 27 percent.

Who knew?

That means that even though I may not be doing my work over here, you have been. Thank you for sharing the word about this blog. It means a lot to me. Become a member, tell your friends, like the blog on FaceBook, find me on Twitter: @MarkDWilcox, however you want to keep up. And the more support I receive, the more I'll blog. Promise.