Wednesday, July 6, 2016

7/6/16- Happy 4th of July with a dash of work stuff

So technically July 4th in the US was a couple of days ago, but I wanted to share with my friends and family something I learned over the holiday weekend.  Some toddlers are okay with fireworks that just spark, but as soon as the fireworks start making loud popping noises, and mom jumps while holding said toddler, the fun is over.  Yep, all of my friends and family with older children are nodding their heads yes, and thinking we could have told you that.

Well, I thought Bobby and I were prepared to ensure Jack did enjoy fireworks.  We didn't take him to the big, overhead displays, and we had chosen what I thought were just the fountain/ground fireworks that only spark, but don't make popping/loud noises.  We had gone through 5-6 fountains/ground fireworks, and he keep opening his mouth excitedly and saying again (image the seagulls from Finding Nemo but saying again instead of mine).

We got to the last one, and it was sparking along, no sound, and we thought it was over, but then POP, POP, POP!  More sparks and loud popping noises!  I was holding Jack, and I wasn't expecting the noise or the additional sparks, so I jumped a little.  Then Jack starting crying.  I rushed him away from the noise (to the side of the yard), and Bobby came over to comfort Jack (a hug from daddy goes a long way).

I think if I hadn't jumped, there might have been less crying at the noise, so note to self, don't jump, you know fireworks can make noises.  I think we should also consider the noise cancelling headphones for next year. I've seen other parents use them with their kids at 4th of July displays, and the headphones seemed to help their children with the noise and give the children viewing enjoyment. Or maybe next year, it's just the simple sparklers that don't make noise.  Because Jack really did seem to enjoy the sight of the fountain fireworks. (Note, last year he was 9 months and slept through all fireworks, including large in the sky ones, so we had no previous "how will he react?" history to use for this year; but I guess now we do have an idea for next year.)

Technically this picture is from Memorial Day; I forgot to take a 4th of July Picture

Also to note this week: I got a response to my letter (from last week, 6/30/16, about parental leave) from my company's HR Vice President. Their response was basically, thank you for your feedback.  We like hearing from our employees.  We realized last year we were lacking in this area (and wanting to promote a employee and family friendly culture), and thus why we introduced the one week of "Do Whatever You Want with It" time.  We want our employees to have flexibility to take time off for life events, such as paternity/adoption leave, elder or child care, or please don't come to the office with the flu. We've assessed the market/industry and feel we are pare with it.  Please keep up the great suggestions; we appreciate the feedback from our employees.

I'm just going to end by saying, I'm glad I got a response. It is good the higher ups at least responded. About the actual response: I think my company thinks they have addressed parental leave.  One week with your newborn child (as a father or adoptive parent) is totally enough bonding time, right? Just ask my company...

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