365°

We were trying to get out the door, and Arlo was one shoe short of a pair. In these situations, I wander aimlessly, often looking in ridiculous places so that perhaps I might heroically discover a missing mitten in the back of the freezer. It’s never worked. Lindsay always finds the missing item because her goal is to succeed, and mine is to be amazing.

I was searching the fireplace when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the shoe behind the ottoman. Lindsay had already searched this room to her satisfaction, so not only had I found the shoe, I’d also found it in a place she’d already looked. Continue…

Sometimes when our matriarch grows weary of repeating herself, she makes a sign. That way, it’s impossible for us to misunderstand her intentions. Here are some of my favorites. Feel free to use them on your own husband, wife, lover, partner, child, dog, ferret, etc.

#1

Despite many friendly requests for me to stop, I continue to use the wrong milk on my cereal. You see, sometimes we have multiple cartons in the refrigerator, and occasionally I ignore the one that’s already open so as to experience the joy of tasting pure, fresh, cold, crisp, new milk on my 9pm bowl of Marshmallow Oaties. Continue…

Our family has endured some heavy changes recently: we moved to a different state where we don’t yet have a house; we lived with my mother-in-law for a month, only to transfer to a furnished apartment that smells weird; Silas (my 6 year old) started first grade today at a new school. Clearly we’re under some stress, and we’re all behaving badly as a result. We generally communicate better than this, but I must admit the exchange below is rather common. Note: I have a very difficult time multitasking—especially while searching through Netflix.

Silas: Can I watch another Power Rangers?

Me: ………. Continue…

We recently moved from my mother-in-law’s house into a short-term furnished rental in the downtown Linden Hills area of Minneapolis, which allows me to walk to my temporary office at my sister-in-law’s house (can you tell how f-ing homeless we are?) Before that, I rode a “Nice Ride” bike.

You see, Minneapolis is kind of like the Netherlands in that bikes are simply available for the taking. But, unlike the Dutch, Americans (even the agreeable, liberal Midwestern kind) cannot be trusted with the honor system, nor can a municipality thrive fiscally by providing free bikes. As such, there is a smattering of Nice Ride stations throughout the city where people can swipe a credit card, and on a keypad where the numbers are frequently offset, enter their phone number and zip code to unlock a bike. Continue…

Awesome morning. We all got up late—late enough that we had to rush so Lindsay and the boys could make it to a music jamboree-hoedown-puppet extravaganza, and drop me off at my temporary office on the way. I went from full-on REM sleep to being in the car in around nine minutes. Immediately after pulling out of the driveway, Silas and Arlo began bickering about the windows being up or down (Arlo wanted his down, but Silas wanted his up because he was “freezing”) We’ve tried the “Only mommy and daddy control the windows” thing, but that’s always resulted in infinite fuss. Continue…

Over the past couple of months, a few companies–I can’t remember which–ran advertisements portraying dads as ridiculous but adorable morons who fumble diaper changing duties because they’re distracted by a shiny Trans Am pulling into their neighbor’s driveway (I made that up, but it’s in the spirit of these ads). And in a predictable and somewhat tired manner, many fathers, especially stay-at-home dads, got their grown-ass-man-panties all twisted up over the lack of respect: they want it, and the media isn’t giving it. Men aren’t taken seriously as caregivers, and some of them simply can’t handle a gentle, good natured, socially inconsequential ribbing. Continue…

Reading to your child is one of life’s greatest gifts. But sometimes, as a result of fatigue, even a sweet opportunity can feel like a curse. Consider the following questions: Have you read your child’s favorite book a hundred times? Is it making you insane? Do you frequently get caught trying to skip pages so you can get downstairs and eat cheese for thirty minutes while watching Netflix? You’re not alone!

My three-day seminar provides all the tools needed to turn a thirty-six-page story into a twelve-page story. Start giving your free time the respect it deserves!

HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE SEMINAR’S HIGHLIGHTS:

The Two Page Turn: Children are extremely susceptible to slight-of-hand. Continue…

airport

I don’t remember the exact order, but I seem to recall that “moving” is right next to “spontaneous combustion of one’s hair” on the list of life’s most stressful events. At least when your hair is engulfed in flames, there’s a quick and easy fix, and even if you can’t find a bucket of water, heavy blanket, or construction helmet in time, the panic subsides rapidly, leaving you with no other choice but to wait until it grows back. It’s physically painful, but logistically pretty straightforward. Moving across the country, though—especially when you have a house, two kids, and three cats—is a month long festival of stress, culminating in a splendorous display of emotional flames. Continue…

The key to show-and-tell is to bring something significant, but not so cherished that it can’t be lost or barfed on. My wife usually ends up saying something to Silas like, “Think really hard about it and choose something really special to you. Sorry, no. You can’t take ice cream. Nah, probably not your pillow either.” Here are some slightly more inappropriate things:

  1. His brother’s shoes
  2. The small plastic baggie he found at “the bad park”
  3. A dead squirrel
  4. A live squirrel
  5. The bracelet with a pot leaf on it he found at “the bad park”
  6. Daddy’s pills
  7. The frozen placenta from his birth.
  8. Continue…

Between the syncopated machine gun pops of Silas stomping on bubble wrap, I heard a flyer slide under the front door. “What’s it say?” Lindsay asked. “Either a sale on snow tires or a high school cupcake drive,” I responded. My kids started dancing, “CUPCAKES!”

”No, no, I was kidding.” And then a silence fell over the room. Even my dad was disappointed. So I broke my “never entertain hand-delivered offers” policy, and read it aloud.

“Victims of the Madoff Ponzi scheme have been forced to auction off their FINE PERSIAN RUGS at greatly reduced prices! Don’t miss this opportunity to get your very own FINE PERSIAN RUGS Continue…