like a girl

How to Raise a Girl to be Like a Girl

like a girl
Any day now, I will be the father of a baby girl and I’ll be honest, I’m terrified. As a stay-at-home dad, it has become soberingly clear that the responsibility of raising this little girl is resting on my overweight shoulders. I’m a boy. I have a boy. I’ve been raising my boy to be like a boy. But a girl is not a boy!

Raising a boy is easy. My boy thinks that atomic elbow drops are hysterical. When either of us makes a fart noise, we’re the funniest two boys on the planet. Is this all going to change when a little girl comes into our daily routine? Can I give a girl an atomic elbow drop? Is it alright to teach her how to make fart sounds? Or actual farting. Can I fart around a baby girl?!

These are legitimate parenting concerns for a boy that has been raising a boy and any day will be raising a girl. Continue reading

4th of july

5 Things Every Kid Should Know This 4th of July

4th of july

As our American holidays continue the slow decline into commercial bliss, I try to take the time to consider the message I am conveying to my children. The 4th of July is a celebration of a free nation, a place where ideas can be challenged freely and change can be implemented. Does it work perfectly? Of course not, it’s something I constantly take for granted and I want to remind myself why it’s important, so I can pass it along to my children. Here are 5 things every kid should know this 4th of July.

Be thankful for what you have

Kids don’t know how good they’ve got it. When I was growing up I had to beg to get call waiting and chose poorly in my BETA/VHS gamble. It can always be worse, ask the people who lived through the Great Depression. Be thankful.

instagram is down[Source: Quickmeme] Continue reading

The Dad Brothers Go For a Walk

The Dad Brothers Go For a Walk

A nice walk outside has never failed to teach me something about life. Sometimes I learn a new little nuance of the world. Other times I learn that if you let your guard down, your two year old will choke you for fun while your hands are occupied tying their shoes.

Everyone needs to go for a “walk” sometimes and get away from the responsibilities that nag at us in the daily grind. Pat and I go on a yearly vacation with the four guys we lived with in college. We bicker and we moan and we love every moment of it. Why else would we keep doing it?

For a couple of days, the Dad Brothers are a plane ride away from their children and pretending they’re the same age as when they met. Meanwhile, Pat is wheezing up stairs and I am complaining about the restaurant booth hurting my back. Needless to say, we were the life of the party.

In college, we strove to be the life of the party. No one wanted to be the first one to go to sleep. Now, I want to take a nap and tell my pride to get back with me when I wake up. Having never been to Denver, CO., we were warned to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water. I knew Pat would do neither of these things, so I nagged him relentlessly because he sweats like a shower and listens like my two year old.

I tease because I care.

Pat did great the first two days. On the third day, we got roasted in the bleachers of a baseball game. Our buddy Miller noticed Pat slumping. Since fake fainting resides in Pat’s comedy arsenal, we told him it wasn’t believable and to stop messing around. He did not answer. Pat was never that good of an actor.

When the paramedic told us how low his blood pressure was, I feared for my friend’s life. I didn’t care that my friend had not listened to me, I cared only that he was alright. Continue reading

The Boy Who Cried iPad

meltdownMy youngest son has been going through a “phase.” I don’t know when these things start or if they ever end, but whenever this one feels like ending it’s welcome, too.

My wife and I were on our porch the other night speculating about the many reasons why our 2 y/o was acting like such a child. I generally blame teething and will continue to do so in to his teens. As if on cue, we hear the piercing scream of our youngest child. It was not the “I’m trying to get your attention” cry, it was a full on “My life in danger parents, assist me!”

We rushed to his room to find a hysterical mess. He sobbed as we asked repeatedly, “What is wrong?” We encouraged him to use his words, but then he began to wretch. We have rushed our children to the bathroom enough times to look like a well-oiled machine. We made it to the toilet puke-free and began the parent list of diseases we have recently seen on the news. It appeared as if nothing was wrong, but the extreme need with which he wailed sent my parenting radar off the grid.

He stood up. He sat down. He pulled out half a roll of toilet paper.

I said, “I want to help! Use your words, I can’t help if you don’t use your words!”

Through a desperate heave my youngest says, “Words.”

“Yes, words! Words. What is wrong?”

With a pitiful gasp he said, “hipab.”

“I don’t…”

“HIPAB!”

“What are you…”

“I PAB”

“iPad??”

“HIPAB!”

“Phase” doesn’t do justice for the boy who cried iPad. Then again “love” isn’t quite big enough either.

My Wife the Cheese Eating Vegan

Cheese eating vegan memeEating meat does not keep me up at night. I think I would be capable of hunting and gathering my family’s dinner in post-apocalyptic Texas. I also think, my two and four year old boys should make their own breakfast. I’m not sure which I’ll find the answer to first.

A while ago, my wife tells me at the dinner table she wants to be a vegan. My oldest son says, “What’s a began?” His younger brother also gave her a quizzical look while smearing ketchup in his hair.

“Vee, Vv. Vegan.” I replied.

“What’s that?” he puzzled.

Approaching age 5 my oldest son is starting to ask questions. He’s always done that, but now he’s actually remembering things that we have talked about before. It’s great, except that I have to be more creative about making snide remarks.

My wife interjected, “It’s a person who doesn’t eat meat, only yummy vegetables.”

He cocked one eyebrow and said, “Why?”

I took of bite of my chicken and nodded in agreement. I’m not against vegans; I’m against a house full of vegetables that my kids won’t eat. Maybe I’m a bad parent. Maybe my kids don’t like vegetables.

I said, “Ok, fine by me.”

She glared as if she had heard, “Fine by me if you want to quit eating delicious meat. You won’t make it till lunch. I’ll have a double baconator with cheese waiting for you.” (For the record, I did NOT say that and I do not appreciate feminine telepathy.) She knew that I had my reservations, but she assured me that she would fight the self-righteousness newly bestowed upon her and that I could eat all of the death-meat I wanted.

I never doubted her being able to give up meat. It’s the cheese. She knew by becoming a vegan she would have to give up delicious, stinky, funky, blow your socks off cheese. I love my wife dearly, but I have never known her to be a “stick-to-it” person. In nine years of marriage, she has purchased books for the South Beach, Adkins, Hollywood, Blood Type, and Morning Banana diets. I recently had a garage sale and I offered a dollar to anyone who would take them from me. There were no takers, but somehow I ended up with a copy of P90X to complete my collection. Continue reading

Wooden Photo Paperweight

IMG_0191

As a stay-at-home dad, I often send cute pictures to The Wife while she’s at work. After hearing her say, “I miss that face,” so many times, I thought she should have many of his faces at work. So, I got a small wood cube from a craft store and transferred some photos of his face onto each side. Then, while she’s at work, she can turn the cube around and see six of his faces. Continue reading

The Dad Brothers Do Spring Cleaning

The Dad Brothers Do Spring CleaningApril is known for showers and when it rains, it pours. In the past week Pat and I have collectively had an immobilizing strained back muscle, a meltdown on an airplane, Mimi dislocating her shoulder, a pee catastrophe in the airplane bathroom, my stupid cat ran away, and good friends of the family lost their 26 y/o child. When it rains…

Sometimes we’ve got to clean out the cobwebs. Priorities are the base of our best existence, should we not check occasionally where they are at? It’s tough for me to turn the light on myself, but thankfully, I’ve got a Dad Brother to do that with. I guess I’m looking at spring cleaning as more than a mop this year.

There is nothing wrong with admitting your own faults. Look at Pat. He’s wrong almost all the time and I’m still friends with him. In fact, that’s why old friends are so great to keep in our lives. They see the person you have been and the person you are trying to be. They take the good. They take the bad. They take them both and there you have…the facts of life. Continue reading