Tuesday, August 28, 2012


My older brother had this affliction. My kids have this affliction. I don't know why they all just can't get along but they hate it when their food is touching another food. This is a classic case of dintercourse and from a kid's point of view food mixing flavors is unholy.

I am not sure where they get this notion because they do like to mix Fruity Pebbles with just about anything. When I suggested that at dinnertime we make a Taco Salad instead of just having separate sections of food items they looked at me like I had a second head.

I am trying to teach them that sometimes the best recipes are created from combining two or more flavors together but they still seem skeptical. So, I tried to explain it in a language they would understand like DESSERT.

I asked them if they liked marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate by itself and then demonstrated the flavor explosion that a S'more has when combined. They were on board with this notion finally and then I tried to sell them guacamole.

The thing is, they love onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and lemons/lime. But the instance that the avocado joined the party all bets were off. Maybe it is the bright green color that lost them but my son wouldn't even try it. Oh well. I tried. Lucky for my I LOVE dintercourse so my guacamole is safe.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Was Mother Goose a nice lady?

My friend's daughter is named Lucy. Most of the time he refers to her as "Goose" because of the obvious rhyming. My 4 year old daughter, who is friends with her was talking to her brother the other day. My son asked Sarah what Lucy's last name was. Sarah said "That's easy, it's Goose!"

While at the park this morning we encountered real geese. Canadian geese I believe. Let me just tell you how vicious these things are. This is my youngest daughter's first encounter with a live animal. Our cat at home is named Butters. If that is any indication of his disposition I don't know what is. Mom and Dad used to be huge South Park fans, what can I say.

My youngest daughter was excited to see the ducks but then the geese came. Apparently, people at the park must regularly feed them bread because a gaggle of these came calling towards me and Heidi. I had no bread but Heidi was offering a succulent 20 month old finger to the head goose.

This thing appeared to me to be more velociraptor than bird. Immediately it was hissing at me and asking for bread, of which I had none. I started to wonder "Was Mother Goose really a nice lady?"

My wife works in an office building that has a pond. Apparently, the infestation became so bad that they ordered swans, which are the natural enemy to geese. I guess that the geese are craftier than they thought because they cut a deal with the swans and live together in the pond. Now they all crap everywhere they want. Has anyone had any extra special run ins with nature?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

To Leash or Not to Leash, That is the question

I was thinking today that I would head off with the kids on an adventure. Philly has a great Children's Museum called the Please Touch Museum. Everything is hands on and it makes for a great time and keeps the kids busy.

The problem is, that I am alone once again without my wife. During the week I usually am but with school being out I have three to contend with instead of two. If you have kids and are thinking that a third is right for you just know that you are going from one on one to zone defense. As a stay at home dad taking them anywhere means they are on a fast break and I am about to get posterized. I would just it rather not be a picture someone took of me on their cell phone while I am losing it in a public place. "Hey check that guy out, his head might explode!"

It's a situation I would rather not be in. Any chance my 19 month old gets, she takes off and gleefully looks back to see if I am chasing her. While this is fun running the circuit from our dining room to living room to kitchen it is not so fun in a crowd of surly Philadelphians who have also given chase to their kids and may or may not clothesline me on the way to mine.

If only there was some way to contain her...oh yes, there is ONE way.

The child leash. There is merit to such an idea though before I was a parent I would look at people who had their kids on these in disgust. It only really becomes an issue if you are treating your kids like a dog and not a child as is demonstrated by many still shots of parents at Wal-Mart.

It is clear that not unlike uncouth dog owners some parents abuse this child leash. You may not tie your kid outside a Starbucks while you go in for free Wi-Fi. If your kid is not following the command "come" you are not allowed to drag them ANYWHERE. Someone who did this was shopping for a cell phone case and apparently didn't want the bedazzled one that said "BITCH" to be picked up by anyone else. Your kid should not become a human Swiffer either. If your kid is not behaving pick them up and take them home, remove them from the situation regardless of where you are. Saving face is much better than losing your spot in the checkout line.

The leash is to prevent your kids from getting lost, snatched or harmed so you should in no way be using it like something that undoes all that. This is why this kid leash has such a bad rap.

A child leash can prevent the little person from accessing their favorite things at this age which may be open streets, crowds of people, exit doors that may alarm when opened, sharp objects, ridiculously long flights of stairs and a million other things I see in my head. I think that the makers realized that people might shy away from such an invention by attempting to soften it by adding a plush animal to the restraint and calling it a "backpack" that just so happens to have a cord attached to it for you to hold.

Using it places like Disney, airports, and just about any vacation destination I can think of has merit but what will people think when they see my kid in one? I mean, this kid looks like he is building some serious muscle. Maybe I could attach a parachute to the end of this thing for some resistance training.

I didn't end up going but I probably will tomorrow and without a kid leash. I guess I am old school like that plus, I do need the exercise. Unless someone can convince me otherwise I am going to let my kids run free.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

This year I am attending the National Stay at Home Dad's Convention in Washington DC. While I can afford to go by myself there are many that cannot. I invite you to help at-home dad, Carl Young, so he can attend this year’s At-Home Dads Convention in Washington, DC. He lives in North Dakota and deserves a little break and chance to meet other at-home dads!

The Scholarship Committee has already awarded two scholarships. And at this time does not have enough funds in the account to help Carl.

Log on to his website to make a donation.


For those people who wish to claim a tax write off, you can make a donation in Carl’s name through “The National At-Home Dads Network” website at www.daddyshome.org. The DONATE icon is at the top right-hand corner of the Home page. All donations above what is needed to help Carl will be bequeathed to the At Home Dad’s Scholarship fund to help other at-home dads attend the convention.

Here is an excerpt from his nomination submission, in which we ask the at-home dad to write why he would like to attend the convention:

My name is Carl Young and I’m a proud at-home dad. My wife Malette and I live in beautiful North Dakota. We are the parents of five children….Elizabeth, Kelsey, Cole, Tanner and Marc.

Marc is adopted, and was a special needs adoption. He was born addicted to meth and a host of illegal and legal drugs.

It hasn't been easy adopting a child like Marc. Marc has been diagnosed with anti-social behaviors (conduct disorder), a traumatic brain injury, fetal alcohol syndrome, reactive attachment disorder, facets of autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and severe ADHD.

We pursued adoption in part because I was adopted along with my brother and we felt it would be good to continue the tradition.

I want to further network with other fathers to find unique ways to serve stay at home dads. However, we don't have extra money for a trip to the convention. I have started to do some fundraising, but not sure how successful that will be.

Currently I serve other parents, especially dads, a number of ways.

1. Whynotfathers.com, which is showing dads that it is ok to talk about how they feel.
2. Through service on the board of directors for Family Voices of North Dakota.
3. I was appointed to the board of directors for North Dakota Committee for Protection and Advocacy.
4. I am a recent graduate of Partners in Policymaking, which was led by our regions ARC.
5. I also volunteer as a parent participant in the annual review of Title
V Block Grants for Region VII.
6. Currently I also serve on the "Task Force on Seclusion and Restraint."

I look forward to the opportunity to network with other stay at home dads.

Thank you for your consideration.

Carl Young
Chief Blogger

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Passing down vital information

What I pass on to my kids is going to be vital information for them to survive in this world. Heidi, who is only 19 months can operate a smartphone...sort of. She is learning how to manipulate an iPad through my favorite app to keep her busy...iMommy where you get a baby and can take care of it by clicking or dragging special parts on screen. Learning this new technology is fine and good but what I want to pass on to my kids more than anything is how to replace the toilet paper...correctly.

I want to ensure that they are not going to backwards roll. If they want to fold the corners like Merry Maids was just at my house then that would be an added bonus but there is nothing worse than doing your business than to discover that the kids left you high and dry without sparing a square. Luckily, I have the wingspan of an American Condor and was able to procure a roll from the vanity without leaving my nest.

Bathroom etiquette seems to be a good place to start. Just the other day while taking Adam to the bathroom while on vacation he encountered his first full length urinal to which he replied "WOW! Fancy!" Yet, he still stood dangerously far away from an apparatus that can't really fail you. It made me realize that just maybe I need to revisit this whole peeing like a man thing. I wonder what he would think if I took him to a Cubs game. Ew. Luckily I am a Sox fan, because peeing in a trough while rubbing elbows with the guy next to you who has been drinking Old Style since 12 noon is just not the kind of bathroom experience I want to expose him to. His grandfather has already showed him up in the Adirondacks how to pee like a man in the woods, his favorite spots, and peeing off the dock which was in itself a Kodak moment.

I didn't potty train him myself but maybe this is my opportunity to impart some man knowledge on him about the bathroom. It can be a dicey place sometimes and some of it I don't even understand like why old guys have to hold onto the wall or how some guy could go no hands at all! I must teach him about urinal buffer zones, spacing and when a conversation is appropriate and when you should just stare straight ahead. I need to teach him about the two shakes rule and why sometimes there are urinal cakes or sometimes ice.