Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dad tip #64: DVR is your friend

Last night, I watched game 7 of the 2008 NBA Eastern Conference Semis between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers. At this point, that games is really just a footnote in the tale of how the Celtics won their 17th championship. However, it was a game I never actually watched due being in London for a business trip. So, it's great that I can go back and enjoy that game now because my lovely wife (who gave me a live play-by-play of the the last three minutes of the game) DVRed it for me.

I suspect 99% of the people who read blogs (or even know what blogs are) must know that DVRs are Digital Video Recorders. Apart from scenarios like the one I just described, there are many situations for parents of babies where a DVR is a luxury that we'd have a hard time doing without. Let me run down some examples:
  1. Your baby is make louding noises and you missed some key dialog in an episode of Boston Legal ... no worries, just rewind and replay.
  2. Oh no, the bedtime routine is running long and right into primetime or the middle of a Red Sox game ... no worries, with a DVR, you'll probably miss just enough to fast forward though all the commercials.
  3. Awww man! They shifted Lost to a 10:00pm time-slot and that's too late for us to stay up ... no worries, just watch it tomorrow.
DVR is your friend who can help you through all of these scenarios. HOWEVER, I will warn that Boston-area Comcast subscribers who are testing the Tivo software "upgrade" on their DVRs may find that while DVR is their friend, Comcast is just an incompetent jerk. But that's a story for another time and another blog.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dad tip #29: Babies don't need as much chaos as you do

Growing up, I have pretty clear memories of my father at his desk working on his computer, while reading articles on cell biology, watching the news on television, and sometimes also listening to some NPR-ish or classical music AM radio station. I suppose I am my father's son, except you'd swap "articles on cell biology" for "Geek Monthly Magazine", "the news" for "Lost" or "Celtics game", and "listening to the radio" for "playing guitar".

I'd like to think that in some fashion, this sort of media over-stimulation has made me a stronger multi-tasker. But, I'm also the first to admit that I think I'm a little ADD and not always the best listener.

That all said, with research out there showing that exposure to pretty much anything and everything can lead to your child developing ADD or ADHD, it certainly can't hurt to limit how often your baby is exposed to stuff like television and also how many different things you expose your baby to at once. I'm not saying ANY of the research is 100% correct or even 10% correct, but it does make you think.

Sure your kid needs stimulation to help with development, but isn't the best and most fun stimulation the kind that you're better off personally supplying as a parent? Now that I've said that, I'll try to do a better job walking the walk now that I've talked the talk. Hopefully I'm not doing too badly right now, but I can always do better.

On the other hand, if as a result of all the chaos, my kid turns out to be a geeky musician who loves the Boston Celtics, that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

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