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…
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:
- His brother’s shoes
- The small plastic baggie he found at “the bad park”
- A dead squirrel
- A live squirrel
- The bracelet with a pot leaf on it he found at “the bad park”
- Daddy’s pills
- The frozen placenta from his birth.
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…
Saturday morning was crisp. The skies were blue and the sun had already dried the dew from the grass where Arlo and I sat to watch Silas’ T-ball game. On our walk from the car to the field, Arlo had collected two small rocks, which, in case you didn’t know, are religious artifacts to three year-old boys. They’re worshipped, clutched and squeezed like a rosary in the hand of a dying Saint. But the toddler is also easily distracted by birds, the position of his shirt, and interesting leaves. As we watched the five year-old boys of summer fiddle with their giant mitts and fastidiously untuck their jerseys, I heard that phrase which every parent fears,
“Daddy, I dwopped my wock!”
I tried to remain calm. Continue…
I received an email this morning from SayYesToPixieStix@PantsOptional.org containing a transcript of my three year old son, Arlo, interviewing The Honest Toddler. As you might imagine, it gets pretty deep. I’ve copied it here, unedited.
Arlo: Any idea why my mom can’t make a sandwich while driving?
The Honest Toddler (HT): Maybe she didn’t hear you- ask again (louder). Don’t rule out that she dislikes you intensely and wants to see you suffer.
Arlo: How many books do they read to you at night? I’m averaging around 16 these days, eight of which are Clifford. Continue…
Most of the comments I get on my blog and writing on other sites are very nice and I love them. But a very small percentage are just impossibly ridiculous and annoying. I think if we all followed these rules, everyone would be better off and I could cut my Prozac dose in half.
1. Don’t Brag
It’s cool that you taught your non hearing impaired kid sign language (just for kicks), but please, for the love of Christ, Muhammed, and any Moon Diety I’ve forgotten, keep it to yourself. Oh, your son was born knowing how to do long division? Continue…
During my high school years, Sunday evenings triggered a festering pit of dread in my gut. My father would turn on 60 Minutes only to find that the “goddamn football game” wasn’t over yet. It was as predictable as the fact that the next morning would bring a new week of school, requiring me to wake up too early, only to fall asleep in geometry class, and awaken 40 minutes later with my cheek resting next to a shimmering pool of desk drool.
Now, 25 years later, Sunday nights bring, not only my favorite television shows — unencumbered by America’s favorite lite beer and nacho fueled homoerotic team wrestling event — but also a feeling of relief that the weekend is finally over and my family can get back to its routine: the boys off to school and various classes; I up to the confines of my office; and my wife, Lindsay, off to Trader Joes, or her “dance garage,” and after that, maybe an abandoned warehouse to angrily chop wood, or whatever else she does with the hour or two of free time she gets each weekday. Continue…