Baby in Peril as Father Looks at Cleavage
Another in a series of emails to my expectant brother who wanted child-rearing advice
You may think you have a sharp mind. You may think you have the ability to sustain focus and concentration. You are wrong.
In July or August after her first birthday, you will take your daughter to the public pool. You will set her in the kiddie play area, and you will hover over her as she explores this new world. You will think that you are keeping a close eye on her.
Then you will realize that you have been looking away. You will look back to your child, and she will be standing, bent at the waist, with her head underwater. Continue Reading…
Playing the Incompetence Card
Man Accuses Wife of Lawn Care Arson
Wives often accuse husbands of playing the Incompetence card when it comes to household chores. In my house, I choose to see it as I am not incompetent; the Wife is exceedingly particular.
As the stay at home dad, many of the household chores rightly fell to me. But the Wife reclaimed the laundry after accusing me of intentional incompetence. It wasn’t enough for me to separate the clothes into whites, darks, and colors; to use the right washer and dryer settings; to sometimes use dryer sheets and sometimes not; to put delicates in a zippered bag and never in the dryer. No, she wants me to know which individual articles of clothing go in the dryer and which are to be hung up.
Somehow, she knows this, but I view it as impossible to know. I’ve tried. I’ve looked for common qualities among the clothes in each group. But there are none.
100% of my son’s and my clothes go in the dryer. But the wife’s and the clothes-hound Principessa’s and the filth-embedded clothes of Thunderfoot? There is no rhyme or reason to what gets the hot air and tumble treatment.
The wife can see it as my purposeful incompetence, but it ain’t so.
Today, the Wife played the Incompetence card. Continue Reading…
The Sound and the Fury
I love the pitter patter of little feet. We have a loud house and hardwood floors. As soon as Junior moved from crib to bed, which was between 2 and 2 ½ [He was a big boy, and already climbing out of his crib), we would hear him get up before us on weekends.
We would hear him run—in search of one of us—to one side of the house. Not finding us there, he would run to the other side of the house. The Wife and I would look at each other and smile. What a delightful sound—quick, tiny steps on a wood floor—the clichéd pitter patter of little feet—and we loved it. Continue Reading…
A Sophie’s Choice for Dads
Next in the series of letters of advice to my brother who is about to have a baby.
You can’t protect them both. It would require too much mental energy, and there are physical constraints. So, you need to make a choice, because they both will come under attack, and if you’re not prepared, they both will get hit. I’m talking, of course, about your nuts and your nose. Your baby is going to assault both areas. Let’s look at these vulnerabilities one at a time. Continue Reading…
The Gift That Keeps On Taking
Local Man Resents Family for Nine Years and Counting
Your child comes to you and asks for a gift. This is your kid’s pitch:
- The gift/toy will cost between $600 – $1000 up front.
- Ongoing maintenance costs will be another four or five thousand dollars over the next ten years.
- I will rarely play with the toy after the first few weeks.
- Even if not using the toy, it must still be maintained on a daily basis.
- I will lose interest in maintaining this toy almost immediately.
- After I stop maintaining the toy, you will be responsible for maintaining it.
- I will not learn how to get the toy to function properly.
Sound good? Would you buy this toy for your child?
As you can probably figure out, I’m not talking about a toy. I’m talking about a dog. Continue Reading…
One Kid, Over Easy
Another in the boring series of letters to my brother, who asked me for baby advice
Sometime between year one and year two, your baby will develop the core strength to twist about and lean while you are holding her in your arm. You will be holding her in one arm, with something else occupying your other hand. She will lean back. You will feel the imbalance, and try to correct it. Your instinct will be to float your arm out to get her butt under her shoulders, and then gently guide her back to your shoulder. But your instinct is wrong. Continue Reading…
Bullying Conformity into Children
Skip to Your Heart’s Desire
Junior is six. I am watching him skip through a park. He is singing to himself in the sweet, high-pitched voice of a little boy. My joy in witnessing his pure, self-created bliss is soon replaced by the thought, “How long ‘til some sadistic little pecker ridicules this behavior out of him?” Continue Reading…