Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How to Make Sure Your Son Grows Up to Think Inside the Box

How to Make Sure Your Son Grows Up to Think Inside the Box

So when my baby turned two, I bought him a blackboard and some chalk. It was time for him to be creative. Sure, I thought, at first he'd just draw some lines, but with time those lines would turn into whatever he wants them to be. I don't know if he grows up to be an artist, but at least he will grow up with imagination and creativity and the simple magic of turning an empty page into a canvass.

And of course, as soon as I opened the box of chalks, he took one and started using it on the wooden bed frame.

And did I tell him what he did was beautiful? Did I encourage his imaginative thinking-outside-the-box? Did I quietly leave the room to let him explore his world alone?


I told him he should only use the chalk on the blackboard. The bed is for sleeping, and the blackboard is for drawing. And then I erased the chalk from the bed frame.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Really? I've never mentioned Child's Play x2 before? Sorry about that.

Some fathers (me included? Maybe) play this self-identity game once they become fathers. They look at themselves in the mirror and see a father where they once saw only a man. Maybe they feel a bit threatened by this new identity. Some fathers leave their jobs to stay home and take care of the children, and everything changes. Suddenly they feel they have something to prove.

While others, like Matthew, look at their children and embrace the change.

The sidebar for Child's Play x2 includes some of Matthew's favorite posts. This might be a good place to start. Or you can read his 100 Things list.

Or you can start where I started, with this amazing poem about the meaning of fatherhood.

Childs Play


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Storyville Librarians Give Fathers Parenting Lessons

Storyville is truly a unique place. It's a part of a library that's designed for kids up to the age of five, to interact with books and toys in different settings. There's a small kitchen, and a grocery store to play in, a theater where the children can try out costumes, and a little fake garden to dig in.

It's a place where one type of parent will lead the kid on to different activities, while another parent will watch as the child finds his way around. Both are good parents--it's all about the different style of parenting.

Now, I belong to a group of stay-at-home fathers who meet up once a week with our children. We go to parks, and to shopping malls, museums, and swimming pools. We are aware of the hardship of living in a society where stay-at-home motherhood is still the norm, but we do what's good for our children, and that's the only thing that matters.

Still, every once in a while, someone will say or do something that will upset, even enrage us collectively. This happened last week in Storyville.

I wasn't there, but a few of the more dedicated members of the group made the long drive to the library. The kids played together or explored their surroundings as the fathers talked to each other.

Soon, a librarian approached the group of fathers and told them Storyville was meant for interaction and that they should have interacted with their children rather than just watched them interact with each other.

When the rest of the group heard about that, it created many outraged emails, and at least one other blog post.

I emailed the library and expressed my frustration over this incident. The one question on everyone's mind was, Would the librarian berate a group of mothers? Mothers meet and chat there all the time, after all.

The second issue was that in my limited experience, standing on the sidelines and watching your child interact with the world is more common with fathers. This could create the impression that a father doesn't care about his child's actions, when in fact this is just a different style of parenting.

And furthermore, as not all the fathers from the group were in one area (some were indeed "interacting" with their children in a different area of Storyville), why did the librarian see fit to give all of them a lesson in parenting?

Judy Kaplan, the manager of the library, emailed me back. While part of the email was somewhat apologetic, most of it was condescending:

Early literacy and school readiness inform the guiding mission of Storyville. Though Storyville may look like a play area for children, it is actually a research based learning environment which incorporates the very important role of the parent as a child’s first teacher.

I guess I should thank her for the second lesson in parenting. She continues to describe the particular incident, where mothers complained to the librarian because unattended children were endangering others.

When appropriate and safe use of Storyville is compromised by the activities of unattended children, it is our responsibility to address the caregivers.

It still doesn't answer the question of why all fathers in the group were approached by the librarian, even though not all of them were together at the time. All fathers involved said the kids were constantly watched as they interacted with each other and with the many toys the place contained. No one treated Storyville like a playground.

Finally, by the end of the email, the issue of "interaction" is mentioned:

One of the comments you read, said, “My daughter and I have been to Storyville at least a dozen times during the last couple of years and not once was I instructed to “interact” with her, but only to make sure I didn’t leave her unattended.” This should not have been the case and I apologize to your group for this miscommunication. We will be sure our staff knows to be more informative, when welcoming visitors.

Well, I supposed that's as far as I can expect them to go. This will definitely not make me feel welcome in that place ever again. I love to watch my son explore the world on his own. I stand aside and watch him learn. Apparently, this is not something I'm allowed to do in Storyville.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

"You fail at parenting"

The Internet is full of good people. It's true. Do you need advice on any subject? Do you need a donation to your favorite cause? Do you simply need virtual companionship? You can find all that and more. I don't know what it is about the anonymity of the internet that allows people to show their best sides. But people who spend their days avoiding other people will dive head-first into the Internet with a ready kind word and a virtual hug.

That same anonymity, however, allows us to be the worst we can be.

A 5-year-old kid asked his father to help him write a "Stay Out Daddy" sign on his door. The father wrote these words for his son to copy:

You fail at parenting

The son copied his father's sign. The End.

But what could be just a short funny parenting story, turns out to be a story about Internet comments.

Sure, while I think this is funny and harmless, some of you consider any type of lying to a child wrong. Santa and the Tooth-Fairy aren't real, the dog has been cremated, and a son's wish to keep his dad away from his room is sacred.

But would any of you, in real life, say anything like the Anonymous comments below?

(It seems like some of the really offensive personal stuff has been deleted, but between all the "Leave him alone. It's just a joke" comments, there are still a few gems left.)

Someday you'll show him this post and laugh. You'll laugh, but your son will then remember why he always used to think you were a retarded dick- because you were. How low can you go, you sick fuck.

I don't know if you are small and manipulative, but you sure come off that way in this.

Your son is 5 years old and couldn't write "stay out daddy" on his own? Not only do I feel bad for your child as it is obvious that he is lacking in educational development, but that his inane father doesn't help the situation any.

You fail at parenting, you fail at life and way to make your kid look like the jackass you are. Please, go have your genitals removed promptly.

wow thats sad..you gotta trick your son into loving you..thats horrible

It's not about whether or the kid can spell - it's pretty fuckin messed up that at 5 the kid cant read. Seriously - he doesn't know the dif between awesome and keep out? either he's retarded, or this whole thing is made up

Thursday, December 3, 2009


One day, as I was surfing reading writing Tweeting and generally minding my own business, I stumbled upon Jason from Out-Numbered and immediately asked, "Where have you been all my life?" Even though I'm a collector of blogs, I'm actually more or less alone here, because his blog is pretty well-known. Still, more people should read it, and I'm proud to do my part.

Apart from the fact that Jason is funny and a great singer/dancer, what I like about his blog is that there are no fillers. There's no "Here's a picture of a tree we walked by on our way to Daycare." Apologies to tree-picture-bloggers.

Jason makes sure each post stands alone and is worthy of the readers' time. There's the amazing Snack-Story Fairytale, the disturbing Thanksgiving post, the post that could help all parents answer life's hardest questions, and many other posts where Jason shows us what it's like to be out-numbered by the females in his life.



Thursday, November 19, 2009


I always start with the same sentence: many blogging fathers are already a part of a virtual community, often visiting and commenting on each other's blogs. But just in case you haven't had a chance to visit Spain Dad, go there now and congratulate Kelly and April on their newborn, Teo (that's him in the picture below, asleep in a bucket).

Kelly seems to be going through everything many other fathers are going through: First, being a husband of a pregnant woman, then questioning his self-identity once the first baby is born, dealing with the everyday struggles (and the rewards) of raising a newborn, and then finding himself maturing as a person.

This is stuff we all go through, but Kelly is also an expat. As an expat myself, I always find it easy to relate to others who seem at home in two places, while never fully comfortable in either. Now, even after reading his blog, I'm not sure he feels that way, but I can still relate to the idea of raising a family and creating a home far away from home.

Spain Dad


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November is National Adoption Month

About a week ago I got an email from AdoptUsKids.org, asking me to remind people that November is National Adoption Month in the US. I'll leave the rest to them:

November is National Adoption Month and AdoptUsKids, the federally funded project whose mission is to recruit and connect foster and adoptive families with waiting children throughout the United States, and the Ad Council are working to educate potential adoptive parents on the benefits of adoption.

There are many misconceptions about adoption. The chief requirement is that potential adoptive parents have the stability, compassion, and commitment to raise a child. There are 130,000 children who are available for adoption, and are waiting for a “forever family!”

Finally, many children wait for years to be placed permanently into a home. According to The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), 44.6% of African American children adopted from foster care have been in foster care for 5 or more years at the time of adoption.

The email also included ways to get more information:

That's all. Sorry for the delay in posting this. If you or someone you know is thinking about adoption and somehow stumbled upon this post, I'm happy I was able to help.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Quote by Annie Dillard

Young children have no sense of wonder. They bewilder well, but few things surprise them. All of it is new to young children, after all, and equally gratuitous. Their parents pause at the unnecessary beauty of an ice storm coating the trees; the children look for something to throw. The children who tape colorful fall laves to the schoolroom windows and walls are humoring the teacher.

-- From An American Childhood

I probably should add that as much as I love this quote, I'm not sure I agree with it. The examples of snow on the trees and dead leaves might be correct, but there are an equal number of times my boy has shown a sense of wonder. More than that, the sense of wonder is not limited to the New. A sense of wonder is shown every time a bus goes by. A sense of wonder, not bewilderment, is expressed when the neighbors blow bubbles around him. To a large extent, I see a sense of wonder every morning when he wakes up. The snow, the leaves, and the giraffes above might mean nothing to a child, but that only means he doesn't need us to guide him toward Wonder. He'll find it on his own.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Short Post About Love

Just wanted to mention that last week I wrote a guest post for the Baltimore Sun blog, Charm City Moms. If the controversy in the last post wasn't enough (I really didn't mean to be controversial), maybe a post about not loving my newborn son will do.

The short version of the post--and I hope you read it there and comment either there or back here, or both--is that the one thing the classes and the books and well-meaning parents didn't tell me was that I might not fall in love with my baby.

I think it's an important issue that should be talked about more, and whether or not my writing did any justice to this issue, well, at least now it's out there. And if someone stumbles upon this post or the one in the Sun, then at least they know they're not alone.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Neighbor Spanks Her Child

So we don't live in the best area in the world. Not even the best area in North-West Baltimore. This might be all the background you need to guess our neighbors' 2-year-old gets spanked a lot. A recent study showed a link between spanking and lower IQ, but really, there's a chicken-and-egg issue here. To be the kind of parent that spanks, you're probably not the kind of parent that spends too much time helping with homework later.

And my 22-months-old son, 6-months-younger than his neighbor, is in love. He doesn't care that she pushes him away, and he doesn't care that her hair smells like cigarettes, and he doesn't care that her mom is a heroin addict. And neither do I.

But when the girl is asked by her mom to share a toy with my son, but refuses, she gets spanked. When she pushes my son out of her way, she gets spanked. When she stands too close to the road, she gets spanked.

And I'm not talking about child abuse here. None of the spanking is done with anger, but none of it helps the girl learn either. And I don't want any of it near my son.

It's not an easy situation to start avoiding my neighbor and to stop my son from running around with his friend, but I can't deal with it anymore.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Daddy Forever

There are two important things I don't have in common with Daddy Forever. First, he has four kids. To me, at this point, with a single child exhausting me mentally and physically, there's no difference between having four kids and having 19 of them.

The second thing that's so different about Daddy Forever is that he and his family seem really happy. Now don't get me wrong--I'm fine, thank you. But to be happy like that there must to be some external, environmental pre-conditions that would create the basis--

Oh, they live in Portland... It makes sense now.

I've never actually been in Portland, but many people from my wife's family live there and can't imagine living anywhere else. It has mountains, and recycling isn't a bad word, and people don't look at you funny when you smile. Now, try smiling in Baltimore...

According to his "About" paragraph, the blog is a "Dad blog by a geek dad with 4 geeky kids. This dad blog features reviews, giveaways, and parenting advice that will ruin your kid's life."

Yes, there are reviews, but they all seem honest. And yes there are giveaways. And yes there is advice, but I'm not sure it will ruin my kid's life. Maybe it will. So I'm not supposed to teach my son to fart like a dragon?

Daddy Forever


Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Night Without My Baby

A Night Without My Baby

This is the first night in months that I will spend without the baby. I've been waiting for this night for so long, that when it's finally here I feel like I'm betraying him; like hoping for a night away from him makes me a terrible father. What other kind of father, after all, wants to stay away from his son?

Well, it's one night.

And in my defense, I miss him. I missed having dinner with him and I missed telling him good night. And now, even though he would have been asleep, I miss knowing he's in the other room. I miss being responsible for him, even when he sleeps.

Tomorrow night he'll be here. Maybe he'll throw food off his tray. Maybe he'll scream. Maybe he won't go to sleep for a while. Maybe when he finally does, he'll wake up every two hours. Maybe eventually I'll bring him upstairs, where he'll spend the rest of the night pulling his mother's hair and kicking me.

But tonight, I'll just have to kick myself to sleep.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I give up. I have a Twitter account.

It's not because Rick Sanchez has one, and it's not because Rachel Maddow has one, and it's even not because Larry King has one. Oh, and it's definitely not because Ashton Kutcher has one.

It's because I'm curious about it, and because I think it might add another dimension to the blog by allowing me to get to know more fathers and maybe by them getting to know this blog.

So go to my all-new Twitter account, and follow me there. And if I haven't followed you yet, leave me your Twitter link in your comment.

BloggerFather Twitter


Sunday, July 26, 2009


I started reading blogs because I wanted to discover honesty that was often lacking elsewhere. Maybe it's the relative anonymity of blogging, or maybe it's the acts of solitary writing and--no matter how many people read your blog--solitary reading. And reading Nordquist Blog, I'm reminded of the feeling of discovering the honesty of another human being, and the instant connectedness we can allow ourselves to feel.

There are posts in Brett's blog that make readers cry. There are posts that make people laugh. There are many posts that will make you realize you have a lot in common. I have read many posts today, and each post has moved me, which is the reason I started reading and writing in the first place. I mean, what's the point of writing if you can't move people?

Some of the blogs I had written about before are already known to many other bloggers, especially those who write about their experiences of fatherhood. I'm always glad to find a blog that not that many people know, and I hope I have done it justice here.

And I hope you give it a try.

Nordquist Blog


Sunday, July 19, 2009

DadLabs (and peepee teepees)


It's been almost two months since I got the email about DadLabs. They asked me to have a look, see what I thought. I write a blog about fatherhood, after all. And here was the book--maybe I'd be interested in that too?

So of course I said Yes, but then I left the country for a couple of weeks. And then I had to write about Playtex because I get annoyed at stuff, and me getting annoyed at companies that don't know fathers exist trumps everything else, because I left my zen on the mountain top.

And then it was time to have a look at the site and at the book. And I was scared. What if I really hated it? They try to look at fatherhood from an honest but humorous perspective, which could mean a disaster on both ends...

So of course I was very happy when I actually got to the site.

There are relatively serious videos about fatherhood issues like co-sleeping, there are product reviews, conversations with the kids (in this one, we learn poop smells delicious), Michael Bay movies, and peepee teepees.

The peepee teepee video, by the way, includes Sebastian Maniscalco, whose stand up show on Comedy Central you may have seen. I did. Twice. But for the record, peepee teepees don't work. You know how Goofy goes to fix the water pipe but it explodes and water shoots up and Goofy finds himself in the air, being held by the fountain? Now imagine Goofy is the peepee teepee.

And finally, the book, which you can get (and read more about) here, is just as funny and honest as the videos. You know Jon Stewart's America: The Book? Well, that's the fatherhood version. It aims to discuss things you don't dare discuss because you think you're the only one with questions (as a person who's never held a baby before I held my own, I know how that feels), and it discusses things you know all too well about, but in an original way that aims to show you that, again,

You're not alone.

DadLabs Guide to Fatherhood

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Playtex: Designed For Mom

Here's a part of my letter to Playtex:
I recently went with my wife and baby to Babies ‘R’ Us to buy a new cup. I found one of your cups (The Insulator) and read the back, to make sure it was BPA free. In the back, it said this cup was “Designed for Baby,” which means the baby will find it easy to hold and drink on his own. However, and this is the reason I write to you today, the following line said, “Designed for Mom.”

Now, as far as I know, I’m not a mother. And as your “Designed for Mom” section said nothing about breastfeeding, I assume you simply don’t want fathers to use this cup.

My wife followed me and pointed at the Playtex cup. “What about this one?” she said. I told her the reason we couldn’t buy this cup would be clear by looking at the back. “Why would they do that?” she asked me, immediately noticing the offensive writing.

Well, I didn’t have an answer. Maybe you do.

So on June 14th I got a letter back from Playtex Consumer Affairs. What was going to be inside? An explanation? Maybe even just them saying, "Women buy more baby stuff than men, so leave us alone." Anything would have been better than what I actually got:

Thank you for contacting us with your comments . . . We would like to assure you that your comments are important to us, and all of us . . . are continuously looking for ways to improve our products. . . . In appreciation of your time and effort in contacting us, please accept the enclosed coupon good toward your next purchase. . . . Thank you again for sharing your comments with us, and please feel free to contact us again.

Now, I know I skipped some parts, but trust me, a form letter is a form letter, and the skipped parts were just space fillers that said nothing about my original letter.

So thank you, Personal Care Representative Carol Crawford, for taking the time to put my name on the top of your form letter, and thank you for the $7.99 coupon, which--I assume--I'm now supposed to hand over to my wife.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


They tell us it's all gonna change, so we fear for our creativity. Without free time, will our soul still have an outlet? Never mind the price of daycare--Can our soul really afford this baby?

Marty Coleman, like many others, has discovered his creativity later in life. I love his story:

The Napkin Dad Daily began as a series of drawings and quotes on napkins that I put in my daughters' lunches during their middle and high school years, most every day from 1998 -2004.

I started doing the napkins while I was unemployed and making their lunches for school. I did 3 a day, one for each daughter. After many months I felt sort of depressed because, as funny as it sounds, it was the my main creative outlet, the only artwork I was doing at the time, and they were all being thrown away every day. 'Oh well' I said, and went about doing them until the end of the year.

I'll stop there. But if you have a chance, read the rest of this story that has led Marty from depression to Time Magazine.

And as for me, sure, the baby needs me. And he's sure demanding. And even now, when he's asleep and I finally get my time for myself, I still type quietly. Still unable to forget myself in writing.

But he's also an inspiration. And he's a constant reminder, maybe because our eyes are similar, that the spark of creativity I had as a child is still there, waiting.

The Napkin Dad Daily


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Guest Post in the Baltimore Sun

Charm City Moms
Just a quick note.

I got an email on Tuesday from Kate, who writes a parenting blog in the Baltimore Sun website. She asked if I'd be interested in writing a guest post, and of course I said Yes. Now, it's not every day that you get to write a guest post, so naturally I couldn't limit myself to one subject. I had to get it all in.

Which means there's a paragraph about Nina from Sprout (nothing about Star. She's really too good for him).

And a paragraph about learning from my son.

And one about my son falling off his crib.

And one, of course, about 1-800-Flowers.

If you have a chance, visit the site and read the post, and even leave a comment as a Father's Day present for me. I don't care if you just say Hi or if say you completely disagree with me, and that Star is really the reason you watch Sprout. To each his own.

Nina and Star 
And just one more thing. On Tuesday, between 6pm and 9pm, Kate will be at the Windup Space in Station North for what the Sun is calling a Tweet-Up, which I assume is like a meet-up, only--I don't know. I don't get Twitter. So let's call it a meet-up. In the email, she writes, "We'd love to see you and other bloggers there, so spread the word!"

So if you're in Baltimore or around Baltimore, or not even near, but have access to a train or an airplane, I might see you Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What to tell a pregnant woman who hates you because she's suffering and you're not

My wife didn't have an easy pregnancy. In fact, she had the most horrible time a human being can have, apparently. And just in case this pregnancy thing happen again, I need to remember to avoid saying, "I know how you feel." You've never seen rage until you've seen a woman who has been puking every day for 40 weeks and now the baby is feeling pretty comfortable where he is, thank you very much, for at least two more weeks, and her husband says, "I know how you feel." I swear, for a second, her eyes turned bright red.

Thankfully, we now have a study that will help us comfort the soon-to-be mothers.

Morning sickness linked to smarter babies

Children born to mothers who have morning sickness may be smarter than those whose moms don't have nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, suggests a new study.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Ever since that whole parenting thing started, I've been noticing new things. And I'm not just talking about my baby pointing at a familiar tree and me realizing there's a bird's nest up there. No. What I mean in this case is prioritizing self-identity.

Even though I write a father blog here (and there), and even though I stay home with my baby, and even though I spend much of my day chasing him around with a spoon full of YoBaby, I consciously try to define myself in my own terms first, and in relation to my family second.

Kevin, at Always Home and Uncool, defines himself first by using the most undefinable phrase in the history of humanity: a Gen Xer. If I got anything by reading Douglas Coupland's book, Generation X, it's that Kevin and I are lost, but we get by. We even get by happily most of the time.

It's a funny blog for all Gen X fathers out there, who worry sometimes that they're supposed to give their kids some kind of direction, but knowing there's no one true way, settle on the next best thing: making sure their family is happy and that they're doing the best they can.

I know it sounds corny. But in our Gen X world, where everything is fake and ideologies are manufactured and then tossed away, our families' happiness is actually the one truth we can be sure of.

Always Home and Uncool


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This Mother's Day, skip 1-800-FLOWERS

Before it's too late, I wanted to share an email I got from a 1-800-flowers rep. It started like that (and I'll spare you the rest):

Hi, my name is Allison Blass and I wanted to drop you a note about something I’m working on for 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. They recently launched a new movement for Mother’s Day called Spot a Mom. The Spot A Mom movement celebrates all the unique types of Moms in the world.

Now, as long as we're talking about 1-800-flowers, let me just say that I will never buy anything from them, and I don't recommend anyone else does.

Last year they had a different Mother' Day campaign, which also included all the unique types of Moms in the world, one of which was this guy in the middle:

And if you hovered over that picture with your mouse, you'd have gotten this:

So good for them for not including the fabulous fella in this year's collection of mothers, but they still haven't replied to the email I sent them last year, which means they haven't apologized yet to fathers who don't necessarily see themselves as fabulous or as "moms."

So Ms. Blass, thank you for your email, but I'm going to pass this year and the next. There are plenty of local flower stores that don't portray me as a stereotype of a fabulous fella called "Mr. Mom."

Friday, April 24, 2009

28 months

I was in the supermarket the other day, and a mother asked me "How old?"

"16 months," I said. "And how old is your boy?" I asked, because it's part of the protocol.

"28 months," she said.

Which got me thinking.

At what age can I stop doing the whole month-thing? 28 months seems excessive, to be honest. I actually had to do a little calculation when she said that.

So I told my wife about it, and she said we could probably tell people our son is a year and a half, even though he's only 16 months.

But that's a different problem, because we were in a restaurant, and a couple with a baby asked us The Question. My wife immediately jumped on the opportunity to say "A year and a half," and I immediately panicked, because now people were going to think he was slow to develop, maybe even say, "Ours talked a lot more when he was that age."

But that's what we do. We panic. We panic when we wait for the milestones, and we panic when the babies take their time reaching the milestone. And we panic when we compare our babies to other babies. And we're scared of the idea that someone might look at us and think, "That baby would have been better off with other parents."

Or maybe it's just first time parents.

Or maybe it's just me.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


You know what, I don't even know how I find these sites anymore. I guess it started with one site linking to another, then another, then I followed some comments and found other sites . . . and before I knew it I landed at Looky, Daddy!

What did you do before you became a stay-at-home dad?

I taught middle-school Algebra. It's one of the few professions in the world that makes raising kids seem preferable.

I don't know what else to write, because everything I write, this guy can write better. It's a really funny blog, and it's touching, and it's full of love, and it's politically correct (in the sense that his politics are correct), and he writes things like that sentence below, which is honest and real and painful while being funny and accepting and taking things in perspective (because what else can you do?) at the same time.

Last year we discovered she had epilepsy, which was very rude of her but what can you do? Kids today have to have hobbies.

He's so funny, I might even forgive him for having a Twitter account and a Blogher ad. I don't get Twitter.

I looked fora while for a picture of his children, and only managed to come up with his daughter's self portrait.

Looky, Daddy!But then I found this one.



Friday, April 3, 2009


I can see where Luke's dad is coming from. I read one post and then another, and the similarities are everywhere. Like me, he has the best son ever and the world's best wife to boot. And like me, it seems he wasn't ready. I imagine him, like me, dismissing those who said, "Everything is going to change." And then I imagine him, like me, admitting they were all correct, but in a totally different way. Because it does change everything, but it also allows us to experience an entirely new dimension in the world.

I think Luke's dad gets it.

He understands that although we don't have time to do the things we did before, when we do find the time everything becomes special. And of course doing something I like to do is fun, but doing it with someone who's experiencing it for the first time is so much better.

So he complains every once in a while. But even while his son is running headlong into the Terrible Twos, Luke's dad knows to keep things in perspective, take a deep breath, and say, "Ahhh, this parenting gig is a hell of a lot of fun...."

Luke, I Am Your Father


Saturday, March 21, 2009


I don't remember where I saw it, and really, it doesn't matter. But I did see a blogging father describe himself as a WAHD, a Work At Home Dad, and it got me thinking.

Most fathers who stay home with children refer to themselves as SAHDs, Stay At Home Dads, and I have to believe most of them see their time with the children as important work.

What I'm trying to say is that it seemed a bit--I don't know--like he was making himself look better than those fathers who don't make money working from home.

But doesn't that defeat the whole notion of the change we're (slowly) embodying?

By choosing to stay home with our son while my wife goes to work, I already silently declare that staying at home with my baby and giving him my constant love (and occasional frustration) is just as important to our family and to our society as if I were out there, in some call-center.

And if the blogger who describes himself as a WAHD agrees with me and sees his time at home as important work, then why does he feel the need to single himself out as a WAHD rather than as a mere SAHD?

Maybe I'm reading too much into it. Not sure.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Say it Loud, Say it Proud, I'm a Stay At Home Dad!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Dads and Daughters focuses on the relationship between fathers and daughters. It sounds pretty straightforward, but there's a lot there. For example, the latest post calls for signatures to petition the return of Dora the Explorer to her former adventurous self. For a long time, she's been a character boys and girls could relate to because she was more interested in adventures than in shopping, but apparently this is quickly changing. Getting girls to read maps isn't as beneficial to to Nickelodeon as getting girls to buy stuff. (Here's the petition).

There are more articles about the positive influence fathers can have on their daughters when it comes to sports, education, social skills, self-confidence, and more, as well as articles on online resources specifically designed for girls.

It's a great website, especially if you have girls, and especially for fathers, but mothers and fathers of boys can find a lot to identify with and to think about here.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009


We worry. Sometimes I think we had our baby just to have an excuse to worry. And as he grows up and achieves his milestones, we find new reasons to worry. How come it's been a year and he still doesn't have his teeth? Okay, here they are. A cousin's baby is a month younger and already walking! Okay, he's walking now. But does he get enough protein? Are we hurting him by raising him vegetarian? He fell on his face. Again. Should we call the doctor?

But then I read this blog and my own worries seem so trivial.

Robert's daughter suffers from a rare disease that has left her speechless, and had initially left him with nothing but guilt.

Robert's blog, however, is not about guilt, but about his transformation into a father. In a way, it's about that old Hero's Journey that puts a heavy load of responsibility on the unsuspecting person, and as he learns to overcome and cherish that responsibility, he finds his role.

Through this blog, we see Robert's frustration and joy. His struggle and achievements. The never ending journey of fatherhood.

And we see his beautiful daughter. About the picture below, Robert writes,
If you want to know Schuyler and how she takes on a mean world that she nevertheless loves without limits, here she is.

fighting monsters



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