Ryan Thomason

Geek Dad: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

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One of the hardest things I’ve found since becoming a Geek Dad is that it is really hard to lead by example. Sometimes, I eat like crap, say bad words, or react in a way that I shouldn’t have. All the while telling my kids that they should be doing what I DIDN’T just do. I’m getting better though, like right now, I have 3 cookies and a big glass of milk. The kids are asleep, and they don’t know that I hid the cookies in the back of the pantry. Oh man, what have I become?

I want my kids to grow up all around healthy as human beings. What I mean by that is, they eat healthy, have them know that they are loved, and that it is good to help others when those people need it. We’ve got the ‘they know they are loved” thing down easy enough. The eating healthy, well, I guess it’s healthy enough. Finley is still on formula, transitioning into stage 1 baby food, of which is all organic. Lincoln on the other hand, lives off a diet of Peanut butter and Jelly, and Grilled Cheese sandwiches, throw in some yogurt, chips, and fruits sometimes for flavor. All mind you trying to be as organic and natural as possible that we try to buy for him, which is damn expensive. No wonder mom and dad eat like crap. Thankfully it’s grape season at our house, and the long grape vine we inherited when we bought the house is a good producer. Lincoln will pick a whole thing of grapes and just eat it while we play outside. I guess his diet isn’t that bad, he is still a head taller than other kids his age, and rough houses with kids 2 years older than him with no problems.

I think it is just natural for parents to overreact about how they are raising their kids. You might have noticed that I didn’t talk about meat, Lincoln just won’t eat it. Ever since he was a baby he never liked the taste/texture of meat. Still, with his 3rd birthday coming up the kid has never had more than a mere taste of meat. Being a carnivore myself, I guess that worries me, but my wife points out that he eats enough peanut butter, beans, and other things with proteins. Damn can the kid eat when he is hungry though, he can, if he wants to have a cheese personal size pizza to himself from Pizza Hut. Is that bad? I dunno, I look at some kids though, and I feel bad for them. I look at my son and I just see a growing boy.

I think my biggest issue about this whole thing, and why I’m writing, is that I’m just afraid of my kid becoming overweight to the point that I was. By the end of my senior year of high school, I was close to 275lbs, thankfully, my body distributed the weight well. I really don’t want him to have to go through the personal anguish I had with being overweight, when it just comes down to it. Luckily in college, I got poor enough to the point where I could afford a frozen bag of chicken breasts, top ramen, and bread. Well, and just as much or more money spent on booze as well. Along with a coach that worked us hard on the Field and Track team, I was able to shed 60lbs by the end of the year. Gained my confidence, and met the woman who would become my wife soon after.

So, my fellow geeks, I’m going to try harder to “Do as I do” instead of “Do as I say”. Instead of telling my son that my fast food burger and fries are “so yucky” (though they were delicious) I’m going to try and grill some chicken, with some veggies. Kids learn by example, and whatever you do, your kids will do also. Always remember that, it doesn’t matter how many times you tell them to do something. If you don’t do it too, there is a huge chance in hell that somewhere down the road, they will do everything how you did. So, while my wife and I are going to try and eat better, our biggest thing to work on is our swearing. Cause even though it is a little funny, it probably isn’t good that when your kid plays cars, he keeps calling the other cars “Stupid Assholes.” And beeps at them.

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