Sunday, August 28, 2011

Domestic Engineer?

   For over two years I have struggled with my personal identity. Leading up to this crisis I took pride in being a hard-working tax-paying American man. Then as an Army husband I found myself living in Germany, fighting for one of a few jobs on base. After it set in that the job I did land would not pay enough to cover the child care that was needed to keep that job, my wife and I decided it would be better if I was the child care. Although being a stay at home dad is work, hard work, in my head I didn't have a job or career.
   When people would ask what do you do? I was embarrassed. I would say for now I take care of the baby and quickly change the subject. I didn't know how to classify what I did, or what to call myself. I wanted to sound like a man who took care of his family. As time went on I liked what I did and still do, so I started to toss around different monikers if someone asked. Here are a few.
  •  Stay at home Dad
  •  House Husband
  •  Family Manager
  •  Child Care Provider
  •  Domestic Engineer
  •  Full Time Father
  •  Dad on Duty
   The one that I use most often is Domestic Engineer. It seems that a lot of people don't know what that is, but they act like it sounds important. Others that do know what a Domestic Engineer is respect it for what it is. Even with all the different names, I know deep down it is just being a Dad.

(Update) After some more research I found that the term Domestic Engineer is used more prevalently in the UK.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pacifiers- How old is too old?

Pacifier Tree

    On a trip to the local playground, I came upon a sight too common. There was a little girl(almost school age) running around with a pacifier in her mouth. She was old enough to talk to her brother and sister in full sentences. When she called to her father she would pull out the binky to talk then quickly replace it in her mouth. I remember our doctor telling us to give up the paci by the time our daughter turned two or she could develop issues with her speech and increase the chance of ear infections. I think he brought it up at the 12mo. well baby check. So with-in a few months we were done. Both the older brother and sister of this playground pacifier pupil had noticeable overbites.
Pacifier Tree
   As a military spouse I live in an area overrun with young families all with bundles of kids. This may be why I have noticed a growing trend of older kids still using a pacifier. My wife claims that a majority of the offenders are local(we live in Germany) kids. That may be so and if so may be part of the culture. In fact I believe this might be true. While at a Luisenpark, Mannheim(a great place to take the kids) we ran into a family who was at the park for a special reason. It was time for there 3 1/2 year old to give up the pacifier. the whole family made it into a big deal, they even got all dressed up. Grandma and Grandpa introduced the tot to a special binki tree. Then Mom and Dad stepped in and had him pick a branch and place the binki on the tree for others to enjoy. To my surprise and more over his parents surprise the little boy was excited to comply. They took photos then laughed all the way to get ice cream.
   At what age is useing a pacifier to old? Is the temporary comfort to the child and ease of not dealing with a crying totteler worth the chances of possible health effects? Every parent finds what works best in their situation, but don't just think of yourself keep the possible implications to your child in mind.

Here is a interesting article on this topic. Read the comments. Good Stuff.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Beginning.

 This is my first time writing a blog. So, please hang with me.  As I go though this I am sure that I will learn how to make it better. I know that writing is not my strong point, actually it is one of my week points.  That is one reason that I decided to start a blog. I have been out of the work place for over two years with my only practice in writing coming in the form of facebook updates and e-mails to friends and family.
   I am currently a stay at home dad, or domestic engineer as I like to call it, living in Germany as a Army spouse. My situation has caused a distance between me and many of my friends and family. With my main audience being my children at home. With this blog I would like to share some of my thoughts and experiences, along with a little writing practice.
   The goal is to write as often as I feel inspired at least once a week. If you were chasing rabbit holes and found this please leave a comment of encouragement or an idea you would like to hear my view on.