Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Parent of the Week: Trey

May I have a drum roll please...Avant Garde Parenting proudly presents the very first DAD Parent of the Week! I give to you Trey. Trey is a stay at home dad who’s had a wealth of experiences and is just an overall fun guy raising a fun son. Oh, and he blogs over at Daddy Mojo. Enjoy!

Tell me a little about you- Who are you? What do you do? Hobbies? Do you dance in the car?  
Me.  My name is Trey Burley and I'm a stay at home dad. In my spare time, as it may be..., I do PR, writing and social media work for a couple organizations.  One of the organizations that I do social media for is Captain Planet Foundation, a nonprofit that teaches children about the importance of being environmentally responsible. Still being able to work is great because it keeps my mind fresh and the working skills somewhat current for when I’ll go back into the professional world. There are some nights where I just want to lay on the sofa with a blanket over my head, but thankfully those nights don't happen too often. 

Prior to being a SAHD I worked in radio for stations in North Carolina, Florida, Japan and Italy. I also taught English in Japan for a couple years and traveled around the globe before settling down in Georgia. I do miss being immersed in a foreign culture and will teach our child a bit about languages and geography.  In Georgia I worked in the import/export business and did fundraising/PR for an animal shelter. If you've seen the ‘It's Me or the Dog’ episode that took place at an animal shelter the bald dude who set up the events to Victoria Stilwell was me.

When I 'm not working or caring for Baby Mojo, I love to cycle, read, play in the garden and study. I don't dance in the car.  My wife was lucky (or unlucky...) to have me dance at our wedding.

Tell me about your kiddo.
Jake is what I imagine I was like as a child. He looks identical to me at that age, it’s amazing. He’s almost 15 months old and has been walking for the past three months. I have learned that the toddler age is one where they laugh and laugh, then fall down, cry, babble basic words and seem to learn right before your eyes. Jake is quite the bookworm. Ever since he was an infant he loved to stare at books, now that he’s walking around he’ll find certain books bring them to us and point. His current favorites are 10 Apples up on Top, The Foot Book, anything by Sandra Boynton and I Love you Through and Through.  Whenever he’s fussy or stumbles and cries all we need to do is pick up one of those books and it quells him very quickly.      

What one tip would you give other parents?
Relax, its fun. It’s a ton of work, but it’s also very fun. You get used to the workload and lack of sleep, then it changes again when they go to a different phase. Embrace change and enjoy change, because it will and you can’t stop it.

How have you had to be Avant Garde as a parent?
As a stay at home dad you sometimes have to make up your own fun. The local ‘mommy’ group is just that, for mommies. They said that dads weren’t allowed to join. I found that to be a bit odd at first, but it’s their right to draw up their own rules. To that end, I’m starting my own ‘parents’ group in my area of town in the beginning of 2011. I also try to rely on my experience as a teacher when I’m with my son. We touch lots of objects, smell flowers, read every sign that we can and I behave the way I want him to. That means lots of please, thank you’s and conversations where I initiate things. I want our son not to be afraid to introduce himself to others, in addition to being comfortable playing solo. My wife is great at meeting others and she taught me the art of meeting strangers and injecting conversations.


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