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.


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