First Timer Friday: Where’s MY Jumperoo?

By | Daddy, Daughter, Development, Fathers and Daughters, First Timer Friday, Memories, New Baby, Parenting, Toddlers | No Comments

trw000468-1I’m not sure of the exact moment at which I finally felt like a “real” dad.

It may have been shortly after our daughter was born. But the adrenaline that takes over your body in the moments leading up to the birth of your child tends to stick around for a while, making it difficult to really soak things in and be reflective about the recent seismic shifts in your life. So I’m not sure it really hit me during those first few days after our bundle of joy arrived.

It may have been weeks later, after I had come to grips with the fact that a “good night’s sleep” was going to be an unattainable goal for quite some time. (Note: other parents have laughed at us when we talk about eventually sleeping through the night again, once our child is older. Apparently, parents don’t really ever sleep well, even when your kids are grown. That was news to me.). Adjusting to our daughter’s sleep pattern was certainly a new kind of challenge that reminded me of fatherhood duties but it wasn’t the moment.

I think I finally knew that I settled permanently into my new role as a “real daddy” the day I decided I had a good handle on all of the toys, items and supplies that have infiltrated and taken over our household.

The Boppy: It can always be found in our bedroom, the family room, or any physical space in which my wife and daughter might spend time. Wherever they go, the mystical Boppy isn’t far behind.

The Jumperoo:  A massive thing that looks like a halo ring attached to a giant spider. It has taken over a corner of our family room.

The Bumbo:  A stoic little contraption found in the dining room that left me puzzled, curious about its purpose.

There were so many tools with made-up names aimed at making our job as parents a little bit easier that it took five or six weeks into my life as a dad to finally have a good grip on the names and purposes of the gizmos scattered throughout my house.

But it wasn’t always that way. The infamous Boppy, Bumbo, and Jumperoo had been in our house for quite some time, even before our daughter was born. I just hadn’t taken the time to figure them out. And that was my first big mistake in my attempt to be a good dad to my daughter.

Maybe I was scared of the unknown, or perhaps I was still (childishly) resentful of the changes to my life as a childless, independent man that were looming around the corner. Whatever it was, it kept me from really engaging in the “child-is-coming-soon preparation phrase”.

I tagged along with my wife for the trips to pick our Baby Registry, but my enthusiasm was sub-par. I helped put together the nursery, but I could have been more proactive in coming up with ideas for assembling it. I had unloaded the baby shower gifts but I didn’t rush to figure out what they were and how they would help us as parents.

Some might think a Boppy or Bumbo or Jumperoo are better suited for moms – not true at all. If I had only known!

  • Besides serving its intended purpose of giving your arms added support when feeding your child, a Boppy can be an incredibly helpful pillow rest when wanting to catch a glimpse of SportsCenter while lounging.
  • The Jumperoo is a hip-happening lifesaver for any parent who wants to keep their child occupied but needs the use of – (gasp) – both hands. But I’m not going to lie; sometimes I wish they made a Jumperoo for adults. Not kidding.
  • And while I haven’t  thought of a grown-up use for The Bumbo which is instrumental in giving a seat – quite literally – to your child once he or she has begun to master the art of sitting up, I did try putting our family cat in it a few times, which was quite amusing.

First Timers, what “grown up” ways do you use your young daughter’s stuff for? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.

My adventure with these products could have been a smoother ride if I had embraced them much sooner. I can see where first-time dads, like me, might be hesitant to jump head-first into the world of parenthood and all the trips to Babies ‘R’ Us that comes with it.

But the hesitation only keeps us from starting a new chapter. It bars us from fully owning this thing we call “fatherhood”. It prevents us from being the best dads we can be.

So if you stop by our house these days, you can probably find me using some kind of device made by Tyco or Fisher-Price. I don’t hesitate anymore. The Boppy and me are tight.

It’s all part of my role as dad.

And I like it.

TheSellsDadandHadBWChristopher Sell is a first-time dad to an amazing daughter named Hadleigh, and a contributing writer at Daddy Daughter Time featured biweekly on “First-Timer Fridays.”

When he isn’t writing his thoughts about fatherhood, you can find Chris serving as an Internship Developer for Michigan State University, helping students connect to opportunities within industry. He is also the founder of the Wednesday Wake Up, a blog about leadership and life, which he created in 2010.

Find Chris on Twitter @ChrisFSell or on LinkedIn.

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Music Monday: Hearing Your Daughter For The First Time… Again

By | Activities, Daddy, Daughter, Development, Fathers and Daughters, Growing Up, Guest Blog, Memories, Music Monday, Parenting, Personality, Relationships | No Comments
By Jim Davis

Next year, it will be twenty years since the release of the album “Cracked Rear View” by Hootie and The Blowfish.

TWENTY!  (Feeling old, yet?)

There are people who do not know who “Hootie” is.  Many of these are the very same people that own and sing along with Darius Rucker albums.


That album is cemented in my teenage brain as much as any other.  “Vitalogy” by Pearl Jam, “Dookie” by Greenday, and Metallica’sBlack Album” also spring to mind, but “Cracked Rear View” probably got the most spins in my CD players and Discmans.

You laugh, but that was the bomb.  That album was the bomb-dot-com.

I look back on it and remember skipping over the very songs that catapulted it into one of the best selling records of all time.  “Hold My Hand,” “Let Her Cry,” and “Only Wanna Be With You.”  I probably skipped those songs as many times as I listened to them.


That is not to take away from what was a VERY good album from start to finish…  and there are still tracks that I pull out TODAY and sing along to.  “Hannah Jane” is one of the best opening tracks I have ever heard (and I still don’t even know what it’s about).



But, as I was singing “Time” this past week at church, it got me thinking about the way we skip the songs that first captured our ears…  The ones that we USED to play FIRST.

They eventually wear thin.  We either let those songs play through, barely even noticing they are on, or grow irritated with them.  Sometimes we just get to the point where we find ways to avoid them altogether.

Pastor Brady Nemmers was asking us “What are you doing with your time?”  “Who are you spending it with?”  And I started thinking about my little girl, Harper.

The very things that first caught my heart and made it jump out of my chest, and the moments that could make me laugh out loud as she began to test her limits, to experiment with her abilities, and string words together…  those things had started to become like tired tracks from my favorite album.

Sometimes I forget that these cherished moments are even happening.  They have become so “normal” that my attention is focused elsewhere.  It’s like I have tuned out her little darling voice because it is so frequently playing on repeat in my Discman.

Nevermind, (Nirvana pun?) that it’s my favorite album ever…  Some tracks just stop registering.

Sometimes I even anticipate them coming and try to skip them.  I start to change the way I parent in hopes of skipping some tracks with Harper.

But you know what?  As I sang “Time” and as Brady was teaching on what to do with our compounding minutes, I couldn’t help but think of my adorable daughter.  Like a great album and those Top 40 hits, there are reasons you fell in love with them.  They made your foot tap.  They made you smile.  They gave you perspective and could change your mood.

Sometimes we forget how much we loved those pieces of the whole before they became annoying.  But when you remember it as you first experienced it, and when you allow it to remind you of the first time…  it changes you

You start to hear the “music” as you once did.  You start to remember the first smile, the first laugh, the first steps, and even the first “no.”  The giggle becomes new and the parenting becomes fun again.

That message reminded me to pay attention; to hear things new again.

It reminded me to appreciate the things that first caught my ear…  to not let them grow old…  and to never skip the tracks that might be overplayed.  Each moment…  like each song…  is a chance to experience something for the first time again.

Harper has done all of those things for me.  She has me hooked.  In every imaginable way, Harper has her Daddy tuning in to see what’s next.

I still love those songs.

Thanks, Harper.

Thanks, Hootie.


Jim Davis & his daughter, Harper

Jim Davis & his daughter, Harper

Jim Davis is a contributing writer at Daddy Daughter Time featured weekly on “Music Mondays.”  After 20 years of trumpet playing and 7 years teaching middle and high school band, Jim now leads music at Keystone Community Church.  His posts aren’t always about specific songs or artists, but music has shaped who he is and he has long said that his daughter “makes his heart sing.”