Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best Posts of 2012 by the Dad Bloggers Group

The Dad Bloggers group has been active for less than a month, but we already have over 70 members, each with his own blog and his own unique perspective. Brent from Designer Daddy came up with the idea of bloggers sharing their best posts of 2012, and the response has been great.

Here are, then, our members' favorite posts of 2012:

Ask Your Dad -- Dear Hypothetically Gay Son

Dear Hypothetically Gay Son

DadScribe -- Why we have kids

Why we have kids

Rob Hatton's Blog -- Honoring Pearl Harbor

Honoring Pearl Harbor

DadDoes -- Top 10 Phrases That Will Reduce a Parent to Tears

Top 10 Phrases That Will Reduce a Parent to Tears

Designer Daddy -- Gays, Muppets, Chicken + Jesus

Gays, Muppets, Chicken + Jesus

ihopeiwinatoaster -- "May Your Song Always Be Sung"

May Your Song Always Be Sung

The Real Matt Daddy -- Saying Goodbye to "Campa"

Saying Goodbye to Campa

Ray's Blog -- The Upside of Timidity

The Upside of Timidity

Rather Be Shopping -- “Dad, Does Our “Elf on the Shelf” Have a Penis?” 

Dad, Does Our Elf on the Shelf Have a Penis?

Biggest Legends of The West in One Photograph: Fake or Real?

CuteMonster -- Toys Reflect Our Story

Toys Reflect Our Story

A Daddies First Miscarriage and the Feelings that came with it

Raising Children Without a Father of My Own

Mommy's Busy... Go Ask Daddy -- Spider-Man, My Kids, and the Kissing Episode

Spider-Man, My Kids, and the Kissing Episode

On holding hands (a meditation on being a father)

Luke, I Am Your Father -- A Sublime Parenting Moment

A Sublime Parenting Moment

The Parenting Wars... Starring Legos

Active Duty Dad -- Who's Shoes to Fill

Who's Shoes to Fill

The P Word -- Lessons from America

lessons from america

Ay yo, Be a Father -- The Intro...

the intro

Dads Round Table -- Giving From the Heart

giving from the heart

Daddy Blogger -- Rianne's Birth Story

Rianne's birth story

Father daughter big wheel

A Blogger and a Father -- Looking at my Boy

Looking at my Boy

Thanks to everyone who participated! If you're a male blogger with a kid (or if you're having one soon), whether or not you see yourself as a dad-blogger or as a blogger who happens to have kids, you're welcome to join. Click Here, and I'll be sure to approve you quickly.

Have a great 2013, everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Most Viral Post of 2012

In 2012, I tried to make a difference.

In January, I managed to be annoying enough to make Philips change the description of a parenting product from "Made for Moms" to "Made for Parents."

Made for parents

In February, I complained about Internet trolls who use every opportunity to criticize other parents.

internet trolls

In March, I tried to be positive by defending Huggies record when it came to dads.

defending huggies

In April, I dismissed the Terrible Twos myth.

terrible twos myth

In May, I attacked the idea that men are perverts unless proven trust-worthy.

men perverts

In June, I wrote about my problem with the Mr. Mom movie.

Mr Mom

In July, I wrote about my own inadequate parenting, and about failing to see the world from my boy's point of view.

failing dad

In August, I mentioned two companies that "got" fatherhood, portraying dads as normal people, rather than as stereotypes.

companies get it

In September, I wrote about the changing view of fatherhood.

changing view of fatherhood

In October, I wrote about what is still probably my proudest moment as a father.

proudest moment of fatherhood

In November, I made the case for calling out companies that offend dads, trying to look at marketing as a part of a bigger picture.

Dads Don't Babysit
Find out about the petition at

And in December, I wrote about the Dad Bloggers Facebook Group I started.

dad bloggers facebook group

And after all of that, what has been my viral post? Which of my posts has been seen by over 32,000 people? How DID I make that difference?

Unfortunately, it wasn't a blog post, and it wasn't anything related to parenting or to fatherhood. It was this picture of a bubblegum flavored apple I put on my Facebook page, taken while shopping in the supermarket.

Bubblegum flavored apple

By the time I got home, it had been shared 285 times on Facebook, and seen by over 32,000 people. The description of the picture was, "They sell bubblegum-flavored apples in the supermarket. That asteroid can't come soon enough." It was funny, because it was a couple of days before the end of the world, see... Anyway, I took the picture and continued shopping. And suddenly, by the time I get home, a man who could--and maybe one day would--live on nothing but Nutella, is seen by thousands of people as an advocate for healthy food.

Oh, Internet...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Daddy Skills

Daddy Skills
And get the outfit right 
And don't stress 
Don't want the people saying, 
"I think her daddy got her dressed."

Not mine, I'm afraid... But still an awesome video.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pushing My Buttons

My 5-year-old boy was talking, and the 2-year-old girl suddenly said, "Stop it!"

So he got really offended and started to cry.

I took him aside, and told him that he was a big boy, and that he shouldn't be offended by his little sister, because these were just words, and words couldn't hurt him.

Then I said, "Here, I'll talk, and you'll say, 'Stop it!'"

And it worked.

I started talking, and he said, "Stop it!"

I said, "See? Just words. I'm not offended and I'm not crying. Let's try that again. Now you say something really mean to me, and I'll show you I'm not offended."

So he said, "I don't love you."

And I got really sad.

Monday, December 17, 2012



A father goes to a "soft play center," which sounds like the English version of what we here call "A bouncy place" (well, that's what I call it). He's sitting there with his infant, in the infant-only area, when a 3-year-old gets in there and starts jumping and throwing balls around. The rest of the story is one of the funniest things I've read in a while, but also the saddest, because you know that kid is ruined. You can imagine what this kid's life will probably be like for the next 20-30 years, and you may be way off, and maybe that kid will grow up to be a compassionate human being. But more likely, he will treat his kids the same way he's being treated now, continuing the chain of heartless disregard for children's emotional well-being.

Read the rest of the story on BabberBlog, which is a blog written by a new dad in England, a country much like this one, only with more swear words on blogs.

And although that blog includes many references that people outside the island will not get, that blog definitely needs more outsiders reading it, because it's freakin' hilarious, and it's real. As someone who often feels like a sell-out for abandoning his more personal blog, I still search for real blogs writing real stories in a personal way. BabberBlog is definitely one of those blogs.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A blogging dads group. So crazy it just might work.

All For One

I've never seen myself as the guy who started things, but at some point, a person has to stop telling himself, "Someone should REALLY do something like that," and just do it himself.

The goal of the Dad Bloggers Facebook group is mainly to connect with other blogging dads and to help each other get more readers and bigger blogs. You don't have to be a cynical in-it-to-win-it blogger to want more readers. You write in a public space in the hope that others read it, after all.

The second goal, which relates to the first, is to create partnerships on giveaways. Many of us get emails from PR companies, hoping we'd review a product, and many of them also give us the opportunity to offer a giveaway of the product. Instead of one blogger reviewing the product and ending the review post with a giveaway, a group of bloggers from the group would be able to link to the original review post and to the company that sponsors the giveaway, and include the giveaway on their blogs. That way, the sponsors get visibility on multiple dads' blogs, while only giving away a single item. The bloggers benefit from that too, because readers can get more sweepstakes entries if they Like bloggers' Facebook pages, or subscribe to their feeds, for example.

While not all bloggers may be interested in including giveaways on their blogs, I believe the group can benefit all blogging dads. We can share each other's posts, leave comments, Thumb Up on Stumble Upon and Reddit, Like posts, share Facebook updates, retweet, and a lot more.

"Top 100 Blogging Dads" lists come and go on various websites. It's nice to be included in some of these and it's disappointing to be ignored by others. But really, the only thing these lists do is manufacture cliques for no reason. This group, then, is welcome to any blogging dad. That's all. You have a blog, you have a kid, you're male, you're good. I don't care where you are blogging from, how many readers, Facebook fans, and Twitter followers you have. The more members, the better it is for everyone.

That's it. One final note: I know some people hate Facebook. But Facebook Groups seems to be the best place for something like that.

Email me if you have any questions about the group, whether you're a blogger or a representative for a company.

Or simply go to the group's page and click the JOIN GROUP button. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What Do Choosy Dads Choose?

Choosy Moms Choose Jif
Now, what could possibly be my problem with this commercial? Haven't I been trying for years to get companies to include dads, and to show dads in a positive light?

Well, the easy way to find out what's wrong here is to look at Jif's other commercials and to count how many other dads appear in them.

I'll save you the trouble. It's zero. Well, one commercial has one faceless dad for less than a second.

What we do have here are moms making sandwiches, moms eating sandwiches, moms judging sandwich-making contests, and moms serving sandwiches to the men in their lives. And we have this young girl in the commercial giving a sandwich to her dad, obviously learning at a young age the difference between active males and helpful females.

I understand a company makes marketing decisions based on who actually buys a product. I understand more women buy Jif products than men do. But you went ahead and put an involved father in a commercial--so why do you still rely on lazy stereotypes? Why do you need to have the male building something while the female is only here as a helper--a server of sandwiches to her tired dad? Why do the other commercials include moms making sandwich, while the one dad in the commercial needs to be fed by his daughter? A truly involved dad can make a sandwich, you know.

Hey, it's their company and "Choosy Moms Choose Jif" is their well-researched slogan, I suppose. But neither dads nor parents of girls in general should applaud this commercial. If the company had a single dad making a single sandwich in any of these commercials, if father and daughter didn't act in accordance with gender stereotypes, if the Jif website acknowledged fatherhood in any other way than this dad-porn commercial that aims--let's face it--at mothers, then I would have applauded Jif for being inclusive.

Until then, next time you go to the grocery store, don't forget to ask your wife which peanut butter to get. You know men aren't capable of complex decisions like that.

Jif Choosy Moms

I emailed Jif about my problems with this commercial, letting them know I planned to write about it on my blog. Other than an automatic "We truly value your comments" response, I got nothing.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Five Pictures. Random Edition.

Dutch Wonderland
Every year we go to Dutch Wonderland, where I take a picture with my great-grandparents, Jebediah and Merriam Webster.

The Blues
Play the blues, Girl. Play the blues.

Goat Pettin
Some goat pettin'

I'm not gonna lie to you, iTunes. I didn't read ALL 62 pages.
Lost Control
I kind of lost control of this situation

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Case For Calling Out Offensive Companies

In early October, I went to the At-Home-Dads Convention in DC. I've been home for nearly 5 years, and I even got a ride from Baltimore, so it was really a no-brainer.

I had a great time, meeting some of the people I felt I had knew from blogs/Twitter/Facebook/Google+ (just joking. I don't know anyone from Google+), and attending some interesting sessions. I've met Chris from Daddy Doctrines, Matt from The Real Matt Daddy, Lance from the NYC Dads Group, and OF COURSE, John from Daddy's in Charge?, who does in fact look like his LEGO alter ego. It was definitely worth the trip just to meet these guys.

Two sessions stood out most for me. The first, which I'll mention in a later post, was given by Jeremy Hilton, the U.S. Military's first male Spouse of the Year, and truly an inspiring person. If you think coming to terms with your masculinity as a stay-at-home-dad surrounded by women in the playground is challenging, try doing it in a military base... I'll write more about him soon.

The second session I wanted to mention here was about the image of dads in the media, especially when it comes to advertising. Obviously, as any reader unfortunate enough to read any of my I Have Opinions posts knows, I've been pretty vocal about this issue. I've been harassing companies that ignored dads and fatherhood, and attacking those who've been using lazy stereotypes to try to define fatherhood in generalized, harmful ways.

While I've been on both sides of some of these issues--defending Huggies when many other attacked them, and not joining the attacks on P&G (following their mom-only Olympics commercials)--I understood where the attacks were coming from, and appreciated the passion behind them. 

Just a quick note about the P&G Olympics commercial: My mother bought me a soccer ball when I was 5. She played soccer with me for hours until the day I started playing with the other kids on the street. Even though I am now a father of two future gold-medalists, who will thank me and buy me houses after their first Nike campaign, I'm also the son of a mother, and that side of me won the internal argument, so I wasn't going to fight a mom-helped-me-become-an-athlete commercial. It was personal.

Now back at the conference, not everyone in the room appreciated the fight against offensive brands, and someone in the crowd even used the argument-closing word WHINING.

To be clear, I understand where this argument is coming from. Annoying/offensive ads offend dads, and in a way, that's where it ends: people get offended. So what?

Well, my answer is that it doesn't actually end with people getting offended. Media portrayal is important because it defines the ways dads are viewed by society, and if even one dad decides not be involved with his kids, or one dad decides not become a stay-at-home-dad because he's been socialized into thinking of himself as a secondary caregiver, then it becomes a real issue.

In the end, we all have different issues we're passionate about, and using a word like "whine" ends the conversation instead of advancing it further. Maybe our fight to portray dads in a positive light will help other dads, who see custody issues as the main problem dads face nowadays. After all, these dads depend on old institutions catching up with a changing society, and advertising helps shape that society.

While we attack brands and PR companies who remain behind the times, I think we should note positive signs of progress while we can. In the past, I've applauded Giant Food for their campaign featuring a father-and-young-son making food together, especially as it avoided the lazy stereotype of a grill being the only cooking item a real man can use. Other sites, like 8BitDad, also search for positive signs while never shying away from attacking those who should know better.

I believe change in the way brands and marketers feature dads will come from this combination of positives and negatives, but I also believe this change is a starting point rather than a goal. If we want society to change, if we want dads or future dads to realize staying home would not make them less masculine, and if we want courts to judge fathers and mothers equally, then we must change the perception of dads in society. One of the first steps of doing that is calling out those who stand in our way of changing that perception.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Parent Rap

"You know money doesn't grow on trees
Why buy the cow if the milk is free
This won't hurt you as much as it hurts me
If you want desert, eat another veggie"??? 

Respect on the rhymes, yo!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Cigale Meshel's Drawings

When we were kids, my insanely talented sister was drawing, and I was all over the place: playing on my Commodore 64, kicking a soccer ball, teaching myself my favorite songs on the keyboard... Never really mastering anything. Obviously, 30 years later, her drawing improves every day while I remain all over the place.

Here are some of her more recent drawings, mostly done for children's books in Israel. You can find more drawings on her Shown'd page.

Really, she deserves to be rich and famous, so if you know someone looking for book illustrations, drawings from photos, or graphic design (she also made the small blog logo at the top of this page), or if you're looking for any of these things yourself, let me know! If not, I'm still sure you'll enjoy the drawings here and on her page.

Cigale Meshel's Drawings

Cigale Meshel's Drawings

Cigale Meshel's Drawings

Cigale Meshel's Drawings

Cigale Meshel's Drawings

Cigale Meshel's Drawings

Cigale Meshel's Drawings

Cigale Meshel's Drawings

Cigale Meshel's Drawings


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