Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dear Grandpa...

In honor of Grandpa Boettcher 2B's birthday today, this entry has been created in response to his comments and questions on the "Four Months" post:

Will it be Osh Kosh bibs and Nike, or Isod button downs and Stride Rites?

Unless some horrific mutation occurs in utero, depriving our child of the crucial gene that controls the fashion savvy part of the brain (called the stylus impeccabilus), our child will possess an innate sense of all that is stylish (that Timothy and I will be passing on, of course). We intend to nurture this gift from day one to help the baby develop the vital schemas necessary to maintain the level of coolness it will need to realize its full fashion potential.

Will it be a soccer ball, a football, a basketball (Tim is tall), or a baseball (boring.....)?

Assuming that the child will be a boy, these are our respective answers:

Timothy: yes, yes (tight end, probably), yes - if he gets Tim's "tall" gene (you see, at 6'-3", he could play a four guard in high school, but would likely have to move to the one or two guard position in college. Probably won't be tall enough for the pros, but he'll have his education to fall back on if he doesn't get drafted), and...yes

Sarah: yes, no (I like to point out every time a player gets hurt and say, "Is that what you want for our child?"), yes, and...only if they shorten games to five innings

Our little girl, however, will play soccer and volleyball (I'll coach the team), and maybe basketball (if she's not cheerleading). She will excel in dance class and take piano lessons and probably participate in an art class or two. But only if she wants to, of course.

Will you read it (for lack of a better term), Tolstoy or Silverstein, Dr. Seuss or Dr. Ruth?

Farbeit for two book junkies like Timothy and I to put a limit on our child's reading materials. I'm not sure what was read to me before I could read to myself, but I believe I learned to read with your good old-fashioned "See Tom run. Run, Tom, run." primers, which seem to have worked pretty well. From what I've heard, the moment I
could read I would read anything with words on it (shampoo bottles, grocery store receipts, etc.). But I will be sure to expose "it" to my early childhood faves - like Silverstein and Suess - in hopes of avoiding some of the bad cartoon-inspired kiddie books on the market today.

During mid-childhood, Tim and I both enjoyed the
Encyclopedia Brown series and those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books - good choices that encouraged creativity and helped to develop some logic-building skills. I'm hoping "its" teenage years will inspire some more enriching reads than The Babysitters Club or Christopher Pike thrillers, both of which I was virtually glued to every second of my early teenage years. I'd be happy if "it" would actually read the books your supposed to read for high school lit. class - in high school - and not wait until after college to read all the classics like Tim and I did. That said, I think we'll play it by ear and expose them to as much as possible without turning them into anti-social bookworms.

Will it be reruns of Mr. Rogers or Chris Matthews of MSNBC?

Although I do not intend to encourage excessive TV watching
, I am not wholly opposed to exposing the child to a few select programs that should aid in the process of creating a well-rounded mind. For example:

To prepare the child for the athlete's life that it is in store: A daily quota of ESPN1,2,3, and 4 (is there a 5 now?) will be required. Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon will be referred to as "Uncle Tony and Uncle Mike". And Sportscenter will run a continuous loop on a 42" flatscreen mounted over the child's bed. Plus, unless it learns the difference between negligence per se and res ipsa loquitur or can dissect the intricacies of a motion in limine, what will it talk to its father about?

To encourage creativity and imagination: When I was growing up, I loved the program Imagination Station with Mark Kistler. It was an interactive "space-themed" show where the host - "Captain Mark" - would teach the kids at home the basic techniques and terms relating to drawing. With marker and paper in hand, it was there that I first discovered how to locate a horizon line, found out what foreshortening meant, and learned how to shade and shadow effectively. As far as I know, the closest thing to an interactive drawing program today is Pappy's World, whose name alone inspires little confidence. I may have to hop on the Ebay train and see if I can find Captain Mark on VHS...

To develop basic motor skills and encourage a healthy physique: I will give credit where it's due and say that much of the children's programming today does focus on getting the kids up and moving, allowing them to participate physically as opposed to turning them into vegged-out, TV-watching drones. For example, an occasional viewing of the Wiggles would be acceptable, although our beloved Greg recently left the show and it probably just isn't the same.

To enrich the mind and soul: I am actually impressed by the amount of today's children's programming that does center around learning, whether it be learning how to count to ten, how to tie your shoe, or how to share your toys with someone that isn't very nice to you. I appreciate the focus on bi-culturalism as demonstrated by programs like Dora the Explorer (am I the only one who wants to call it "Dora the Explora"?) and Handy Manny. Christian-based programs like Veggie-Tales will always have a place in our home, and I think the Baby Einstein series is genius (and I'm sure its shareholders agree), in that it covers such a wide array of developmental areas and age groups.

That being said, I will always prefer that my child picks up a book instead of a remote control.

Must the urchin (for lack of a better term), eat the entire balanced meal in order to partake in a healthy dessert of assorted fresh fruit, or simply be required to chomp half the hamburger, most of the fries and two Mountain Dews in order to get a Dove bar to enjoy in front of the TV during reruns of Dynasty?

Timothy and I hope to be able to set a good example for the urchin by eating well-balanced meals as a general rule with only an occasional fast food binge now and then. Seeing as we don't generally keep junk food and soda in the house now, I don't intend for that to change once a child enters the picture. I will strive to provide fresh meals daily where the ingredients do not all come in a single bag from the freezer section of the grocery (mystery meat chunks included). I vow to expose my child to the fresh produce section of the market so that it may become familiar with the many vegetables that I never even saw until high school (and that Timothy had never seen unfried until college). Finally, I will require a standard of effort when it comes to trying foods the child thinks might be "icky" based on how it looks or smells. Failure to meet said requirement will result in the deprivation of the healthy dessert of assorted fresh fruit.

So dad, I hope that satisfies your curiosity for now. Let me know if I have failed to address any of the issues that are of concern to you as Grandpa 2B.

Happy Birthday!!


Oliver said...

LOVE this. You are such an entertaining and talented writer! I think Grandpa got more than he bargained for :)


leah said...

Okay, I'm not too sure why Tim was included in the sports section of this blog. We all know that any athletic traits would have to come from Sarah!! Tim's kid would either 1.)miss a ball that was thrown right to his chest or
2.)cry and quit the sport after he fell on a kid and broke their arm!! The food section, thats where Tim's side of the family comes in!!! hehe :)

Auntie Rachel said...

You have put a lot of thought into little 2B's lifestyle already. Awesome. However, I do have a few qualms about a couple of points that, as an official aunt, I feel is my duty to argue. For the sake of the child, of course. The first point relates to the sporting realm of 2B's world. I feel strongly against allowing the child no access into the wonderful world of contact sports. Trust me, if he/she has any Boettcher genes at all, it will take more than a good tackle to take him/her out of the game. Also, you neglected to mention Tae Kwon Do. Are we allowed to educate the wee tyke on martial arts? Do I see tournaments in his/her future?
My only other point is about the food. I agree whole-heartedly about letting the child experience a variety of fresh produce and such. Then perhaps he/she won't get addicted to the brown/beige category like some of us... Encourage 2B to try things that may look yucky - expand his/her horizons. However, if something smells icky allow the child to stay away from said item! Example: poorly cooked asparagus (yes, Sarah, I have tried asparagus). If it smells nasty, it tastes just as nasty. Your sense of smell should tell how the item is going to taste. If it doesn't, if the food tastes differently than it smells, DON"T TRUST IT! Perfect example: coffee. Smells good (sometimes) but tastes bitter and nasty. Bad surprise.
Anyhow, I am just lobbying for 2B, as is my right as Aunty. Of course, whatever you decide, I will respect. Until you are out of the room, then I will allow 2B to do whatever he/she wants, thereby spoiling the child. As is also my right.
THis is gonna be fun.
Can't wait for our shoot! I just got my background equipment. I've got a white, gray, black, blue, and bright frickin green (for green screen shots perhaps) backdrops, and a stand, so you don't have to worry about pinning holes into your walls.
Love ya!
Big Hugs,
Aunt Rache

Nick said...

I have been trying to think of Imagination Station for the last five years and I can't tell you how happy I am you referenced that!

I still think it's funny dad didn't mention any martial arts in the sports questions. Perhaps that is too violent as well? Hmm. . . Sarah was tough enough without it. . Perhaps 2B will inherit those traits as well!