Thursday, December 22, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Funny stuff but what I feel I must say in return is that why would I want my kids to only behave three months out of the year because of a doll that watches for naughty behavior when I can teach them to be good 12 months out of the year? To think that people dedicate all their time to making this Elf real makes me wonder just where in the heck are they finding time for this stuff? Even just making a list of things you can do with the Elf seems like a colossal waste of time.
I commented on my friend's FB who posted this on her profile and she apparently deleted my comment. I guess it is because I am not Pro-Elf. Sorry, but I think that the best judge for who is naughty or nice should be the parents. We do all the work so why does Santa and this freaky position changing elf get all the credit? In our house Santa gets the kids things they need like toothbrushes and underwear. He's the go to guy when someone needs new socks not because his elves slaved away making tiny plastic parts in the frozen north.
Now I realize that doing something like this feeds into the magic of the season. I do talk about Santa a little bit but I never say anything like "Don't stick your sister's Barbie in the toilet because Santa won't bring you a Harry Potter Lego set" The Elf on the Shelf was created by two people in 2005 and they have made loads of money off this idea. I understand why I just find it baffling. I definitely think that a study is in order. I see a control group with Elves on Shelves, a placebo group with other things on shelves and a group of kids whose parents just teach them right from wrong and about consequences. Hmmm...I wonder . Merry Christmas everyone!
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Heidi is a week away from being one. It is winter and in the morning it can be 30-40 degrees outside. My morning consists of getting the kids ready for school, lunches, breakfast, and going to the bus on time. After that, I drive to the Y to workout. While at the Y, I have a two hour window before Heidi will have her morning bottle before taking another nap. So it makes sense to me to keep her in her PJs. So, sometimes I leave her in her fleece footed pajamas. SO WHAT!
Listen, people, these things are super warm. Trying to dress a baby that doesn't like her diaper changed is not so fun. Wake the kid up, give her some breakfast, and throw on a coat over her pajamas. She's a baby, she is not going to work on Wall Street. Give me a break. You don't have to say "Are you still in your jammies?" or "Did you just wake up?" No biotches, Daddy is just lazy and putting pants on a kid who is just going back to sleep in an hour is cutting into my squat time. I don't bust on your kid because he is wearing a Batman cape to school everyday. I don't ask you if you celebrate Halloween year round. You let him because it's cute and eventually they will lose that cuteness and become cute for different reasons.
Honestly, if it were socially acceptable I would wear footie pajamas all day. Maybe a track suit version with three stipes down the sides? Those things would keep my necessary parts warm son! Granted, they are not the most attractive article of clothing but people buy Snuggies right? Those are basically footie pajamas without feet. I know that Heidi is not going to be wearing these things forever and that this will fall by the wayside with the white onesie soon but for now it is working for us. Doubt me? Just try snuggling up with a baby in one of these...it will make you hypnotically sleepy. Nothing like a warm baby on a cold winter's morning.
Monday, December 12, 2011
As our "baby" gets older (she will be 1 year old in 9 days!) it is a little tough to admit that our kids aren't going to be babies anymore and that we are passing that part of our lives. I guess technically they will always be our babies but Adam, who is 6 and Sarah who is 4 don't like being called babies. I guess it is all that emphasis on being a big girl or big boy and letting them do things on their own. For now however, I will enjoy the hand holding while I can.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
My years of study at ISU taught me that when someone "cheers" you you have to drink so it is only natural that this came about. In Drink Baby Drink there are only three rules: You have to drink when your baby cheers your cup. You have to drink if the baby says cup or what you think is the equivalent to cup. Thusly, your baby will get you drunk in no time. Heidi only really says "cat" and "cup" so I am good to go. Oh, and the occasional "dada" but I think she is just trying to get my attention to pick up my cup.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I especially love those deep belly laughs. Today, she pointed to herself in the car and said "cat" which is what she calls just about everything and then she started laughing hysterically. Staying at home is a tough. More than once this week I have thought about what it would be like to go back to work teaching at some school nearby and then Heidi has to go and do something cute and remind me of what I would be missing out on. Darn you Heidi. They keep pulling me back in and I can't resist.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
That is why I say "Praise the inventors!" You have to love the jump seat that stores are starting to put in bathrooms. A five point harness that essentially pins your baby to the wall away from anything they can touch? Genius! This is a thing of beauty because you have suddenly become hands free and can help your daughter successfully navigate the pitfalls of the public restroom. I first saw this seat in a Wegmans grocery store and just today saw one in a Acme grocery store. KUDOS to you guys for being forward thinking. Even better? Wegmans installed flip up steps so kids don't have to cliffhanger the sink just to wash their hands.
Thanks inventors for being considerate of us parents with kids in tow and thanks for the closer parking spaces. You rock!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Many of you have probably read Peggy Orenstein's "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" and while these portrayals in the long run may hurt our daughters I say embrace your little princess while you can. It's cute and your daughter will love playing princess with her Daddy King. Being a teacher who has taught K-8 kids and later high school kids that transformation from your little princess to hardened Daria-type teenager may eventually happen. What is important now is that you establish a bond that will transgress time and maintain that bond with your daughter through the years.
My favorite princess is Belle because she loves books, believes in the good in all people, and she is an independent thinker. You can take what you see are good attributes in these princesses and highlight what is important. Listen, every girl loves to be a princess. It starts with prom, cotillions, weddings etc. Millions of grown women who tuned into the Royal Wedding at 3-4 in the morning can't be wrong. There is just something about that fairytale mystique that draws us in. It's true that media portrays a false sense of identity for women today. Lots of girls will look at themselves and compare what they see with what they think society is deemed beautiful. It's our job to stress to our daughters that it is important to be ourselves and not change because other people want us to look a certain way.
In the meantime, I am going to enjoy my little princess while I can and even though she won't want me to call her that in 10 years at least I can think of this time we have together in our royal court.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Playdates, they are kind of like actual dates only for kids. I really hate this term because when I was a kid we just called it playing. We used to just call up friends on the rotary phone and say "Hey Brian, can you play?" "I'll ask my mom...MOM! CAN I GO PLAY AT CHRIS' HOUSE? I'll be right over." I mean this happpened when I was old enough to call on the phone but I don't really remember (though I am sure it happened) my mom carting me over to a friends' house for a couple of hours.
Note: Of all of the playdates I have had with my kids I have only had one bad experience. All of the moms whom I interacted with in Rochester, NY were awesome and accomodating to a new stay at home dad. So to Shea, Melissa, Amy, Michelle,Tracy,Patty and Heather, thanks for showing me the ropes.
All playdates that I have had with other stay at home dads were awesome. Finding another Dad is key. To Dave, Steve, Luis, and Todd, thanks for the support, the subs, and the man time. These are the opportunites to talk about the stuff that some stay at home moms don't have an opinion on.
So, if you are new to this whole "playdate" concept let me give you some advice:
1.Don't take offense:
You're a dude. Most of the parents who stay at home are moms. They may feel weird about dropping their kid off at your house for two hours when they hardly know you. Not to mention that you may or may not be a gigantic scary looking human being to their small child. It's all about comfort levels.
2. Keep it neutral :
Choosing your house for the "first date" is going way too fast. Meet up somewhere public like a playground so if it doesn't go well there is no pressure to reciprocate.
3. Set a time limit:
Standard times are 2 hours for kids who can sustain play by themselves without parent interaction. This may include your child if they are 4 and up. Kids who are younger than 4, trust me, an hour is going to be plenty.
4. Set parameters :
Talk to the other parent about expectations if they are coming to your house. Give them a time to drop off and pick up. Once, I didn't do this and the parent showed up 3 hours later. Apparently, she went to see a movie that she didn't have time for usually and thought that was acceptable.
5. Exchange digits :
If parents are dropping off make sure you have cell phone and home phone in case something happens. Also, make sure that they have yours in case they get stuck in traffic or hung up somewhere.
6. Ask questions :
Ask the parent if the playdate has any allergies or restrictions. Maybe they don't eat a certain kind of food or are deathly allergic to something you think is commonplace.
7. Don't be offended:
If the parent that you invited to the playground suddenly has her friends show up by "surprise" let it go. She wasn't sure of you my friend and having backup to talk to about girl stuff will probably make her more comfortable not to mention that you just met more stay at home moms. Everyone wins and while you are comfortable with other kids they may not be until they know you more.
8. Pay attention :
Watch the interaction between your kid's new "friend". Does this kid share? Do they play well together? Does the kid offer to clean up without issue? Does the new friend scream when it is time for it to be over? These can all be things that make or break the playdate.
9. Chat her up:
Don't talk about football constantly. You may want to get her take on whether Julio Jones is going to score any fantasy points for you this week but that is not good form. Ask her about her family and share information about yours. While the kids are getting to know each other so should you.
10. Give it some time:
Kids will rarely get along perfectly the first time. Keep trying these public playdates or meetup at an indoor playplace. Once you become more comfortable with their child you can offer to host them at your house. Once you establish this repoire with them you can trade off dates. Eventually you will have established a routine that allows for either of you to get some time to yourself without worry.
Go forth men and make me proud!
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Honestly though, sniffing my baby's behind like I am a bloodhound in Shitshank Redemption is the only way to ensure that I know Mr. Brown has come to town. It will look strange to people to see a grown man hoisting his offspring in the air like he was presenting Simba to the pride only to take a big, old whiff of her backside. I have been fooled one too many times by baby gas or the other kids dealing one out only to find a mysterious vacancy in my baby's diaper. How many times have you said this: "I could have sworn I smelled poop!"
If you have tried to change my baby you will know why I am a butt sniffer. She is more difficult to change than it would be to ride a bucking bronco who is having an epilleptic fit. She doesn't hold still and if you have seen my other posts about this, poop has a tendency to go where it wants. Think back to Jeff Goldblum explaining Chaos Theory in Jurassic Park. Shit finds a way. Huggies makes these wild claims like "no leak" but it is just not possible. I hate getting faked out by baby gas for this reason. It's hella hard to get her changed. You would think a guy who is 6'7", 228 lbs could wrassle a baby of 8 months. She has more moves than Rey Mysterio and I am pretty sure she tried to 619 me. If you don't know wrestling, look it up. For this reason I will continue to be one of those people. A dirty diaper butt sniffer and proud of it!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Tomorrow is V Day. No it is not the ever important Valentine's Day but rather Vasectomy Day. It's a little scary to think that tomorrow, someone is going to cut open my junk, pull on my vas deferens and sew them closed. I face this day with a mixed bag of emotions. First, I have to think about how good God was to me and my wife and how blessed I am to have three beautiful children all of whom are healthy and special in their own ways. For that reason, I know having kids is a special kind of experience. You can tell people who are going to have kids or thinking about having kids that it will change them in ways you can't describe. It's a feeling that you can look back on and remember the high and low points of having a baby and think, I am never going to experience that again.
And that is when I think..is this really it? Is this the end of my run? I guess this is what Brett Favre was thinking when he retired those three times. It did take some convincing of my wife, a career woman who never thought she would want kids, to get her to come to the dark side. Obviously, I have some power and influence there and unlike Favre, I threw conceptions and not incompletes. But unlike Favre there will be no press conference or cell phone pictures to follow. However if you see me walking like I just rode a horse into town, give me a high five or pat me on the ass for a job well done beacause tomorrow, I retire my boys for good. No, I am not kidding Favre. For good. It's permanent. I will be retired.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
When it came to the women holding the baby or at least making some kind of contact with the baby it didn’t matter if they had kids, were thinking of one day having kids, or have just ever seen a kid. There was definitely no holding back for the women in the office. When I used to work in a high school and people would bring their new babies in while they were on maternity leave word would spread like wildfire. You would hear on the way to the lunchroom “Did you hear so and so’s baby is here? I’ve got to get down there and get my turn holding her!” As a single guy at the time I didn’t understand why women would sacrifice their paltry 20 minutes of lunch time just to hold a baby. Of course, I was more interested in loading up on carbs than baby crack but then I see guys now and I still see the same reaction.
As men, we acknowledge that YES, it is a baby and we say something like “She’s cute” and immediately slink way like she is the soup Nazi. We seem to think she’s cute from a distance but the instant you hand her over to us, our internal hot potato clock kicks in. Babies have a tendency to be ticking time bombs in that they will at some point be emitting something foul in your general direction. Maybe as a stay at home dad I will change this perception. The fact is, babies are only babies for a short time and there is no other substitute for holding one. I hope that when my kids are grown I jump at the chance to hold anyone’s baby. So next time a baby is thrown your way guys jump right in there. You never know, you could become addicted.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I thought that once I taught my kids how to go on the big potty that these kinds of accidents were behind us. No pun intended. Now, I can't go anywhere without a back up pair of underwear in the hopper and at least a backup outfit. My daughter changes so many times you would think that she is hosting the Oscars. I have instituted the "Go before you Go" rule. You are not allowed to leave anywhere without first "going". I have limited water intake at night. I have scheduled regular potty trips, but still they wait. I am thinking that I must somehow demonstrate the beauty of a good #1. Maybe exaggerating by leaning my hand against the bathroom wall and loudly exclaiming "Oh man, this feels so good" when they are within earshot. Maybe I should take them to a Cubs game only for my son to experience "The Trough" and to hear the exultations of drunk baseball fans who have been holding it through eight innings of Old Style.
For my daughter, maybe seeing an insane line for the woman's room would teach her that you are not going to always have an open potty available. I mean, she has four to choose from and always runs to the worst possible choice. I have peed my pants only once in public. It was at grade school and I had to walk to the nurses' office to borrow some loaner pants. They were polyester, and checked and they had to the cinched with a huge brown belt. Loaner pants. I never did that again. Even as an adult I will know where my bathrooms are. Forget the exits in a theatre. Did you scope out where the john is? Then I am golden. I just wish they would get with the program too.