Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Daddy Time and Nursery Rhymes...

Damn, I never contribute to this blog anymore. I have a valid excuse though - I'm busy as hell! Who would have thought that raising twin human beings would be so much work and take up so much time? It is and it does! In fact, it took me about thirty minutes to type those last four sentences because I had to 1.) break up a fight 2.) clean up urine on the floor 3.) clean urine out of a toy bucket full of wooden toys 4.) wipe crayon off the wall 5.) stop Astral from unlocking and opening the front door three times (yes, he can do that now!) and 6.) tickle Defy's belly and armpits. Ok, so I didn't have to tickle D, but it was oh so hard not to.

Can you believe that DnA will be turning 2 on March 3rd? I know, right? I'm going to risk annoying many of you by pulling The Parent Card and telling you that time flies when raising children, like it's all been one big dream. I had always heard that, and it's so true. What most parents won't tell you is that this is actually the result of living in somewhat of a hypnagogic delirium for many consecutive months. A beautiful and magical hypnagogic delirium of course!

Anyways, I've just recently been getting a sufficient amount of sleep to allow my brain to function somewhat normally, and the boys can chill and play without my assistance much more now, so hey, why not help Mama out with this month's posting by sharing some random vegan parenting/at-home daddy stuff?

As you've read in recent posts, Astral and Defy have come a long way in the last couple of months. They are saying more words than ever and their vocabulary expands daily. They're putting words together and forming small sentences. They seem so proud of themselves when they say something correctly. Never mind that everything they say sounds like it's coming from a cross between kung fu movie voice over actors and slightly disgruntled lollipop kids; they're still saying a lot of shit and proud of it, dammit! They've picked up one adjective in particular that they love to use to describe any and every thing. That's the word "big". Big kid, big bite, big step, big jump, big book, big trike, big tower (when they are stacking blocks), big banana, big booger, and big poop (my personal favorite), everything is BIG.

The boys are also very physically active, more so than ever. They can climb all kinds of playground apparatuses with little difficulty and enjoy jumping off really high platforms. Honestly, they scare the hell out of me on a daily basis. At home they are quite the little daredevils. They are not satisfied with simply riding their tricycles or playing their xylophones. No, they have to stand up on the middle bars of their tricycles and flip their xylophones upside down and try to ride them like skateboards (see adorable photos above). One day, I had finished doing something in the kitchen and then walked into the living room to find Defy standing on the couch readying himself to jump. I didn't realize that he had positioned his tricycle in front of the couch to try to land on it. Before I could act, he jumped and landed with both feet on the middle bar and then the trike flew out from under him! I ran to pick him up only to find that he was laughing hysterically along with Astral, who also thoroughly enjoyed the stunt. Then Defy tried to put his trike back into position!

They also enjoy much less dangerous activities such as drawing, dancing, singing, stacking blocks, knocking over stacked blocks, re-stacking blocks, fake-sleeping, watching squirrels, and pretending that they're cooking and eating. No need to have the television on because they have no problem entertaining themselves.

There really haven't been any social problems so far with Astral and Defy being raised as vegans, although I expect there to be in the near future once we start encountering more involved social situations. The only issue I've encountered is having to turn down snacks offered by other parents, guardians, or nannies when at a park or at playgroups, but that's fine because it gives me an opportunity to talk about veganism. Surprisingly, no one has ever responded negatively when I mention that the boys are being raised as vegans. I don't think I've even been asked about where the boys get protein, probably because they're so freaking huge. From what I read online, there is this idea out there that babies raised as vegans are small, weak, slow developing and listless, but that's obviously bullshit. Of course, people, babies included, come in all different shapes and sizes, all with unique personalities, and all children develop at their own pace. My point is that a vegan diet, in and of itself, clearly does not stunt growth or development no matter how many times some asshole from the Weston A. Price Foundation claims otherwise.

On many occasions I've taken the boys to story and song time at the library, and every time I feel the need to change up the lyrics of nursery rhymes and folk songs. There is a lot of animal exploitation in nursery rhymes and folk songs and, well, we can't be havin' that. For us, Old Macdonald doesn't have a farm; he has a sanctuary (sometimes it's a veganic farm). Baa Baa Black Sheep most certainly does not have any wool to give to humans. And when she comes around the mountain you can bet that she'll be riding a fucking bicycle, and we will definitely not be killing an old red rooster to eat his dead body. No, we'll happily share our chickpeas and dumplings with him! I mean, these are supposed to be children's songs, right? I met a vegan mother of two young girls at a storytime when I overheard her doing the same kind of thing over "Thanksgiving". A story about "turkey dinners" was being read and this mother kept telling her daughters that turkeys are their friends and that they love them so they don't eat them. How awesome is that?

I recently joined a local at-home dads’ group that has weekly play dates at one of the members' homes. The boys and I have been going and it's really cool. It's important to talk to other adults during the day, and every dad I've met shared this sentiment. Also, the boys get to hang out with other kids, so that matters too!

It's difficult to cram twenty-one months of at-home daddy moments into one blog so I'll just have to leave it at that. Since I take the boys out into the non-vegan world every day, I'll try to post about being put in more non-vegan situations and how we handle them. That is, if/when I can find the time...

all photos are of Astral Defiance and Defy Aster @ 23 months