Thursday, September 15, 2011

Unsportsmanlike conduct

There was a very important lesson which was learned this past weekend, to wit: it is kind of a bad idea to let the little guy watch too much professional football on television, and it is an unequivocally awful idea bordering on reckless endangerment to let the little guy watch pro football on tv with me when one of the teams in the televised contest is my team, and they are losing. Because I get very fired up and demonstrative of my negative emotions in that scenario, and the little guy apparently internalizes it all very much, with outward effects varying from aggressive acting out to teary refusals to allow the lights to be extinguished at bedtime (because he’s still “just so sad about the way the game was going”. Dagger. My heart.)

But it was a crazy weekend, Opening Weekend for the NFL and the rarest of all conjunctions wherein my wife was home from work on Sunday (blowing a vacation day, technically, true, but worth it) AND the Steelers were on at 1 (because they were playing the Ravens) AND the Giants were on at 4 (because they were playing the Redskins). My wife and I had gorged ourselves on Thursday Night Football for the season opener as well as the fantastic Michigan/Notre Dame game on Saturday night, and we judged that it wouldn’t be the end of the world to simply hang out in the den with the games on for essentially all of Sunday afternoon. Of course not only did it have a deleterious effect on the little guy (once he joined us after his designated quiet-time for the day) but both the Steelers and the Giants ended up losing, and looking none-too-encouraging while doing so, which meant in case we weren’t prepared to take seriously the lesson we were meant to learn there were a couple of extra dollops of fan-karma just to pound the point home. OK, universe, we get it; my wife and I will limit ourselves to Sunday Night and Monday Night football. At least until the playoffs (assuming we still have a vested interest in the sport by then).

The devil inside
Of course bringing out the little guy’s aggressive side is never the best idea in the world, especially recently as we are currently dealing with some delayed-onset sibling resentment. It’s nothing out of the ordinary by any stretch, and only noteworthy because we honestly thought we had dodged that bullet entirely, not realizing it was simply on a very slow approach. But now it’s here, with the little guy demanding to also be picked up whenever mommy or daddy picks up the baby, with the little guy stealing the baby’s toys for no reason, with the little guy showing blatant disregard for the baby’s whereabouts when he starts flopping around and flailing his legs. And we are dealing with it.

One conveniently serendipitous development is that the little girl has just outgrown the co-sleeper within which she has slept, at our bedside, since coming home from the hospital. Our daughter is five months old now and (in another case of a bullet which we’ve hopefully dodged entirely and not simply missed the slo-mo approach of) continues to be a very good sleeper, including this week wherein, since Sunday night, she has been sleeping in her crib in her own room for about the same six to eight hours as before. My wife and I are hoping that this will eliminate at least once source of jealousy in her older brother, who suspected she was getting special treatment by being “allowed” to sleep in mommy and daddy’s room every night. Injustice redressed!

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