October 30, 2012

Kid Is Asleep And Candy Is Gone

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

I thought I'd give you all a little treat for Halloween.

Last year, and the year before, I learned what a bitch it is having a baby/toddler who sleeps early on Halloween. Also I think that's horrible sentence structure right there but whatever.

Kids walk by, ring the door bell and are generally super loud outside your window...Which is normally cool on Halloween but so not cool if it wakes your kid.

So this year I'm going to try this sign and see how it goes...Feel free to use it too and let me know if it works. Sorry google crunches the size, you can get a higher res version here.

June 18, 2012

I was totally going to kill it...

The blog that is.

But I had an idea for some posts that I'll try out for as long as it amuses me...

Since I'm not killing it you don't get my goodbye post, which was not really going to be a full on goodbye post. In a way this blog is like that girl (or boy) you are dating and want to break up with but you can't seem to do it... You have every good intention on doing the "it's not you, it's me" thing.

Or you break up and then slide back, maybe even that same day.

I have a feeling that goodbye post would be good, except I didn't actually get enough time to sit down and write it.

It was going to consist of little summaries of posts that I was going to write but never got around to... So I can include them now.

There was the one from way early on when I was pondering how the first circumcision came to be. I know we say it's for hygiene but that's probably a side effect... I also know that it's ritualistic but who was the first person that said "you know what god would really like? He'd like if I cut that tip of my penis off... Seriously he sent me an email." My theory is there was some dad way back in the day who was giving his son a bath, and a knife fell out of his pocket... So the only excuse he could tell his wife for the kid's wiener being all cut up was that god was down with it.

I had another where I was going to blast gender neutral parenting... I don't normally blast the way people raise their kids but I think it's a load of hipster bullshit... We can debate if it's cool or not but people like to know if your kid has a penis or not... That's really all they are asking if you have a boy or girl. You raise your kid as you wish. For instance we didn't want MF to have a bunch of electronic toys so we told friends... And you know what? No electronic toys as gifts. You can do the same with dolls, trucks or whatever... But let people know if your kid is a boy or girl.

That might sound like I'm being a dick but... Well I am. However it was this article about one family that got me thinking.

Here's a quote:

Sasha dresses in clothes he likes -- be it a hand-me-downs from his sister or his brother. The big no-no's are hyper-masculine outfits like skull-print shirts and cargo pants. In one photo, sent to friends and family, Sasha's dressed in a shiny pink girl's swimsuit.

So what they're saying is it's ok for their boy to wear a shiny pink girl's swimsuit but not skull prints or cargos... Or basically their boy can wear super girly clothes but not boy clothes... Fuck you parents of Sasha... Hypocrites.

Our on a less snarky note I was going to write about that time that MF pooed with such a consistency and color that it was like watery split pea soup. I realize that happens to all kids but this first happened about three months ago and I thought that wold happen sooner or not at all... And I had to do the diaper with him standing in the shower... I thought we were lucky with not having that kind of situation.

Then I was going to attach my recipe for split pea soup... I augmented it from the Vegetarian Meat and Potato Cookbook. But I didn't write it... I will tell you the real deal to make the soup good is the croutons... Crusty bread or a good multigrain bread sauted in a ton of olive oil with garlic... Do that till it's crispy and browned.

Then there were a few times I really thought about what kids books are saying, aside from the Peter Rabbit thing.

But I decided I might not full on break up with the blog... I have an idea that I'll post soon. It amuses me, perhaps it will amuse you all... And maybe I'll get time to actually write the snarky posts in my head... Although I don't seem to have time for that now.

May 21, 2012

Hacking Sidewalk Chalk

Sidewalk chalk. The awesomeness of temporary art.

MF loves the stuff... He does his best at drawing fish, sharks, circles and monkeys (they all look the same) and has us supplement his Jackson Pollock-esque doodles with fish and other things... But mostly fish.

And it's up for a day or two then gone after a rain... As it should be.

But it could be a little disappointing because it's so faint... And so temporary... What if you could hack it and make it better?

That's just what we did.

It was an accident. We left the washable sidewalk chalk out during a storm and the box got filled with water... It stayed like that for a few days before we noticed...

Then came a nice day and The Kid wanted to play chalk... So play we did (although we really didn't play chalk we used chalk or drew with chalk or such) after I drained the chalk box.

The water gave the chalk an awesome consistency... And the color was amazing. The chalk rods (is that what you call them) were super soft and they almost melted into the concrete... I wish I took pics of them because the color was so vibrant and bright. I will and I'll update the post.

Anyway I drew fish like normal... One was an anglerfish because, well they're awesome... And I make little fish going into their mouths... And dude knows them as anglerfish which is one reason he's awesome. The other a normal fish...

And time passed and it rained... And the fish stayed, and it rained again and they stayed and a torrential rain and they're there...

The fish are faint but they've persisted... Faint but there... It's been about a month.

Happy blue fish
Sad super faint anglerfish
I tried to see if the chalk would come out with some scrubbing and it does...

The temporary chalk was hacked... The kids on our street love that there is still a shark on the sidewalk (it's obviously a happy fish and an anglerfish but whatever) and I created a new toy...

An awesome semi-temporary super saturated, super soft, super colorful sidewalk chalk...

I'm gonna figure out how long the chalk needs to soak and I'll do a tutorial soon.

May 14, 2012

Over Analyzing Peter Rabbit

We all know the story, right. A rabbit (who's a bit like me) doesn't listen to his mother and loses his clothes then get sick... Moral is listen to your mother.

But is that really the moral? I think not.

Let's walk through it a bit.

Peter ran off while Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail were gathering blackberries. Sure Peter should have stayed with his sisters but have you ever picked blackberries? It's tedious and prickly... No one in their right mind would blame him for ducking out...

I should mention here that in the board book we have they don't mention that Peter's dad was in a "accident" that lead to him being baked into a pie by Mr. McGregor... So much has been sanitized these days. I mean calling it an accident back in 1893 was still sanitizing it... You know he was hit by a rake, knocked unconscious,  skinned and then cooked in a stew or perhaps just on a spit over a fire.

Anyway when we last left Peter he was running away from a job that would have ended with a million cuts on his tiny little rabbit hands (brings down the value of a rabbit foot).

Then he squeezed under a gate and ate lettuce, beans (actually French Beans–fancy) and some radishes. Then he ended the meal with a bit of parsley. Not a bad meal... I say that not as a vegetarian but what I assume a rabbit would think... He had a pretty fantastic veggie plate... Most restaurants back in 1893 would have given you a piece of toast with chicken on it if you asked for a vegetarian meal... Same with most restaurants in Minneapolis now.

Then Mr. M saw the Peter and he bolted... That adrenaline you get after being chased is kind of awesome. Sure you think you'll get caught but once you're good you kind of float on air... No need to worry.

And then Peter lost a button. Really? We care about a button? Most jackets come with extra buttons. Also, SPOILER, dude loses the whole coat later so who cares about a button...

Then Peter gets stuck, meets some "friendly" sparrows, lost a coat, got wet, sneezes, runs and meets a mouse.

A mouse who could not answer Peter's question about a way out because she had a pea in her mouth. We accept this and think "whoa, sucks for Peter." You know what story I would have liked to hear?

The one where the mouses husband gets a call because his wife choked on a pea and the one animal that was able to help her out just walked away because she couldn't show him the door. How many kids did that poor mouse have? How many went hungry that night and maybe died? How did they grow up without a mother? Did they hate rabbits forever because of an "accident" that happened in Mr. McGregor's house?

We need answers... And rabbits that think more about others.

Cat looking at fish. Yada yada yada... Peter runs home.

When he gets home he doesn't get to eat blackberries, bread and milk... He just got chamomile tea because he was sick.

And we're supposed to think this is horrible... Dude already had a fantastic meal of the finest fresh veggies that Mr. McGregor had in his garden.

So the moral of the story, if there was one, would be listen to your mom or such (Miloh if you're reading this listen to your mom).

But the reality is he had a sweet adventure... One that if he was a seagull they would have made a book on how awesome he was and called it Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

He also had a sweet statue made of him... They say in the book that Mr. McGregor made a scarecrow of his clothes but it was probably just a statue of the awesomest rabbit he ever saw.

And he got away from his sisters for awhile... And every kid knows that that is a good thing.

So was running away really bad? I think not... The story would have never endured if he went picking blackberries, got a cut on his hand and then drank some milk.

P.S. What's with all the tea drinking in children's books? Should we be giving our kids tea? Is the lack of tea for children going to be seen as the downfall of our society? Only time will tell.

April 29, 2012

A is for Asshole –or– I Don't Care That Your Kid Can Say The Alphabet

It seems like a lot of parents of toddlers biggest pride is their kid can recite the ABCs... They strut out like a trained seal and say "Say your alphabet."

I've been accosted by these alphabet spewing kids too many times to count... And it's freaking annoying. I feel like they're trying yo impress me... I feel like I should reach into my pocket and throw some spare change in the kid's hat... Too bad none threw one down before hand.

It means absolutely nothing. It's memorization. It's a song. A mnemonic but really it's a completely... Not like counting.

But I think parents feel that because their kid can say their alphabet that they are changing the diapers of the next Einstein.

This post isn't just about me bitching... Although I felt I had to throw that in so you all can spare the world of having to hear it...

It's about the other morning when MF was playing with his magnet letters... He knows a fair amount of them and Staci was working on the sounds...

B, Buh, Button.

L, Lllll, Lemon.

At some point she got to A, ah. And that's when I said "Asshole". I couldn't not. I was probably wrong but it felt so right.

That's when MF said "No daddy, A, apple. Not asshole."

He schooled me again.

Sidenote: this post was supposed to go up last week but I didn't hit publish... I didn't really know if MF knew his ABCs as a mnemonic because we don't practice it with him (maybe we're terrible parents). But this weekend he asked me to sing it and he sang along...

Next he asked me to sing the jumping song and then said it goes like this... And he proceeded to jump and then tuck and roll on the landing... No words (although apparently it has some)... The jumping impressed me.

April 16, 2012

I was going to write something else but this takes precedence.

We went looking for bikes yesterday... His legs are so super tiny that even most balance bikes are too small... Luckily if he grows about an inche he'll be able to ride the smallest Novara kid's bike...

But he was a bit bummed that he couldn't buy a bike... And so was I... And this crappy little skateboard was only $18 (in reality I'd never buy a regular board or bike from anywhere than a board or bike store. Toy and Big box store gear sucks).

We took it home...

He's still too young for this, can't balance while kicking and doesn't get the idea of kicking... But damn he loves it... It was his chair at the snack table this morning...

April 9, 2012

Freaking High School Kids

Since I can't get to sleep until it's quite late I find myself watching movies at night since post-prime time television kind of sucks... I should also mention that late used to mean 2 or 3 in the AM but now with the kid and my age it means midnight...

And I should mention that midnight is 12:00 which means it's actually morning... People always say things like "I need that by midnight tonight". There are two things wrong with that... People don't often say that and midnight would have already passed.

That being said an unnamed online streaming company keeps me entertained... Unnamed because they kind fo suck now that they spun off their DVD service and that they are now less concerned with streaming movies than TV shows even though 'flix' is in the name of the company.

Any how I find myself watching a lot of documentaries because real life is often more entertaining and less believable than scripts.

That's how I found myself watching a movie called FrontRunners... It's a documentary of an election for a high school council in an incredibly prestigious school in NYC... A school that only the kids who perform in the top of standardized tests get into.

And I was appalled.

These kids are supposedly smart and their political campaigns sucked. They had no marketing skills. They had horrible pamphlets they would hand out. Poorly produced signs. Laughable tactics. Bad music spouting from tiny boom boxes.

It was a sad display.

I have no idea if MF will ever run for class president... But if he does he'll surely have some kick ass marketing. I won't do it for him but I'll provide direction, show him some good inspiration and lend my thoughts on what he creates. He won't have some crappy photo thrown on to some craptastic 8.5x11" piece of paper and stand in some corridor with some crap music while looking like a goofball... Miloh, you're welcome.

April 2, 2012

Killing It With A Joke

I'm killing the blog... Kind of...

It all comes down to time and energy really... And while I love writing on this blog I don't feel that I have the time to write really good stuff anymore... And there are a shit load of sites out there with really crappy stuff on them and I don't want to add to the noise...

On a side note I find it odd that some of those sites with crappy stuff are quite popular... But I suppose one dog's crap is another dog's meal. I learned this lesson this morning as my dog was chomping on another dog's poo while leaving a little gift of her own on the lawn. The circle of life.

And I'm not totally killing it... I'll try to write one post a week and post it on Monday but if I have nothing good to say I won't post.

I have a few good posts in my head already so I know this isn't the last.

And I promised a joke so here it goes... kind of... It's the first joke MF told.

The setup: Staci was reading MF a book called Switching on the Moon that has short bedtime poems in it.

One of the poems says: "Goodnight, Tigger. Goodnight, Pooh." So MF looks over at Staci and says "Tiger poop." I should add here that for months he called Winnie the Pooh – Winnie the Kalli's Poop... Kalli is our dog.

Then he looked at me and said "tiger poop" and he laughed... And it was fucking hilarious so I laughed. So he said the punchline again "Tiger poop" while getting in Staci's face... And she laughed. Again he said it and we laughed...

Then MF said "squirrel poop" and we laughed some more... And then Staci kept reading.

"Goodnight, Ice Cream"... "Ice Cream poop." And I lost it... I laughed so hard that MF thought I was crying... And he asked me what was wrong... It's hard to explain to a kid that you're laughing so hard you're crying...

The poem was over and he got ready to sleep... Then he said "tiger poop."

March 25, 2012

48 Hours... And Ten Minutes

In some industries at the the last century 48 hours without an injury was probably pretty good.

That seems like a fact, probably is a fact, but I have no idea if it is... But it probably is. That doesn't really matter though.

The deal is Staci was gone for the weekend it is was a bachelor weekend for me and the kid... And we had an awesome time. Lots of park time, tricycle rides and some general boy stuff (doing things we shouldn't do).

And then on Sunday night I called my sister to see if she'd want to Skype with MF... The call went like this;  "Do you want to Skype? Oh shit he just jumped off the couch and split his lip. Lots of blood. Call you back."

Split lips always seem worse than they are... Lots of blood, little damage.

So I got a cold pack on his lip and we were back in action... As I was getting him water he grabbed my phone from my pocket, ran to the couch and jumped off.

Bam... Eye to the edge of our glass table.

It was only 48 hours into our boys weekend... Some damage done but a lot of fun too.

And he earned a badge (he'd have earned two if I could make a split lip one that didn't look gross, too womanish or just plain wonky).

First Black Eye

March 22, 2012

Dear Delta, I Will Never Fly On Your Airline Again: A Post About Loss

I've been MIA this week because last Friday my grandfather died... He was an awesome man

I could write about him but that doesn't seem like the thing to do...

Instead I'll write an open letter to Delta about my experience booking my flights to Cleveland... Because it was ridiculously horrible and is why I will never buy a ticket from them again. And that's the loss that this post is about.

Dear Delta

My recent trip started with some shuffling of frequent flyer miles so I could book my wife and child's tickets with reward miles. My ticket was going to be a bereavement fare.

When booking a bereavement you have to do it on the phone so I called up your customer service line... I explained to the CS person that I wanted to book a bereavement fare for me and book my wife and two-year old's tickets with two different rewards miles accounts.

My wife, son and I were going to have the same outbound flight times/days but return days would be different.

I was told I had to book the rewards tickets online unless I wanted to pay a $25 fee for booking it on the phone... I asked to speak to a supervisor who told me the same thing... No care that it was connected to a bereavement fare.

I get how you justify that charge, you have to pay people, but I have no idea why you'd actually have that charge. You're basically saying that if a customer wants to speak to a real person, a person who can personify the brand, bring the personality and human touch to your brand, someone that will humanize the booking experience and help the customer connect with the people of your brand the customer is penalized.

If you want to be a low cost airline and nickel and dime folks like Ryanair or Spirit Airlines go ahead and charge folks... But if you want to look like a leader and justify your often higher prices then let people connect to people.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for websites... I design them... But sometimes human touch is nice... And when a person is already on the phone with a representative there is no rational reason to charge them to book another ticket. Unless your airline just hates people. Well maybe that's not rational, but it would be a reason.

So cash aside the experience went downhill...

I started to book my flight... Explained to the "supervisor" that my two-year old and wife would be on separate reward miles tickets and on a different flight from me on the way home... I had given him my cell number and then was put on hold.

And somehow we got disconnected.

And I never got a call back. No call back from a guy who was supposedly a supervisor. My freaking two-year old knows that you should call people back in that situation.

That "supervisor" had my contact info, knew I was frustrated, knew I had all the emotions tied to a bereavement fair and felt no reason to call me back to book.

Luckily that "supervisor" held my info and I booked my flight.

Then I hopped on to book my son's ticket.

While booking I got three error messages when putting in his info. Unfortunately I didn't screen grab them but they were something like:
Error in the gender field.
Error in the date of birth.
Error in the contact phone number.

For gender I chose male. It was a 50/50 choice. Since my kid has a penis I thought that was a good choice... Your site was telling me it was wrong. I checked him in case I was wrong... I've change a lot of diapers but you never know.

Upon a second look I confirmed that he did have a penis and was a male...

For the birthday I put in the info for his birthday. I thought that would be best practices as I had no intention on allowing him to drink on the flight so I saw no reason to add 19 years on the year.

For the phone number I put my phone number. It's the one I give out when people ask for my phone number... Your site was telling me I was wrong... I then thought I'd send an email to everyone I've given that number to... Then I decided to call that number. It rang. It was correct.

So I had to call the online help number. They said since my son was only two years he couldn't be booked on a ticket alone since we were booking with two rewards accounts... I was getting the messages because he was too young.

Here's the deal with error messages... They are supposed to inform the user... Generic message that really say nothing do not inform the user. They frustrate them. If I try to book a ticket for him without rewards miles I get a pop-up that says he's too young... Have that freaking message show up when booking with rewards.

And let's get back to my conversations with the first two folks... They knew that I was going to book his ticket on a separate rewards account... Yet they said nothing... Again your CS folks failed... And that "supervisor" should be fired... He should know how things work.

Yada, yada, yada the online support person help me book my son's flight... She had to fake out the system... I didn't have to pay the $25 fee...

You hear that? I didn't have to pay the $25 and I was speaking to someone... It was because the website was not allowing me to do what I needed and the first to CS folks failed me... But the important thing is I wasn't paying the fee, and I was freaking pissed.

While on the phone with the online support person I was asked to book my wife's flight so the online support person could undo what she did with my son's ticket (somehow attach it to mine) and then attach it to my wife's.

You understand what was going on there? I was on the phone with the online support person, taking up her time and booking my wife's flight online.

You charge people to book online with people. Having your folks on the phone while they book a ticket... Well that's free.

So two hours later I had three flights booked and you lost a customer...

In the middle of all that I decided to write an email to your Customer Care... It said this:
I was trying to book a bereavement fair. The guy got my cell number then hung up on me. He hasn't called me back. I am livid.
Pretty freaking simple right?  To the point.

This is the reply I got:

Dear Kenny Friedman, 
Thank you for your e-mail to Delta Air Lines regarding a bereavement fares.

Please accept our condolences for your recent loss. During difficult
times like this, we want to do everything we can to help you get where
you need to go.

Each airline has its own policy for assisting customers who must travel
immediately because of the death or imminent death of an immediate
family member. These fares can only be issued directly by a Delta
ticketing facility, and not by delta.com, travel agencies, or codeshare
partners. Although the bereavement fare may be higher than some
promotional fares, our promotional fares have restrictions such as
advance purchase, specific times and days of travel, limited
availability and ticket change fees.

For more information about bereavement fares, visit the following
location at delta.com:


You may also navigate to this information from our home page by
selecting the following links:

Planning Tools
Special Travel Needs

We appreciate your selection of Delta and will always welcome the
opportunity to be of service.


Adam Matthews
Online Customer Support Desk

Are you kidding me? This addresses nothing. I'd rather have no reply than one that is a total form letter that has NOTHING to do with my original email, aside from the keyword search you do to find a totally (in)appropriate response.

So Delta, you fail as a company that wants to separate themselves from others by having good customer service and human contact with their customers...

Or maybe I fail as a customer for thinking you want to have good customer service and human contact.

I know that, 99% of the time, I have a choice of who I fly with... I won't be choosing you.


March 14, 2012

And The Sickness Didn't Get Me

I've been doing a series of posts sponsored by VapoRub the last few months (my faves are when MF mistakes the inner ear for noodles and the story of when he became a teenage girl). Each one dealt with the fact that little kids carry a sickness like nothing else... And I got it each time The Kid was sick.

You hear about it all the time pre-kid... Parents talk of how crazy sick they get when their kid goes to school or daycare for the first time and brings home the most unnatural sicknesses ever. But it's hard to understand how bad it is.

And this time, I think, I kicked it... Technically I still have a cough from the last time I was sick but it's diminished. I decided to go old school.

Countless tablets of vitamin C and a ton of garlic have found their way into my life the last month in hope that it would stave off his next cold (or whatever that horribleness can be called).

And it worked. I'm happy to say his nose was running like crazy... I touched probably seven gallons of snot... He had a full on cold and got my wife sick (not happy that either of them were sick)... But I prevailed... No sickness to be found.

So I think I finally became a bit immune... But I'm sure there are other crazy diseases he'll mutate in his tiny little bosy and then pass on to me... I'm just glad round one is over.

Also I feel that since I'm writing this I'll probably be super crazy sick the rest of the week.

Anyway... That's it (hopefully) for my getting sick this season. That's it for these VapoDad posts. But before I end this they wanted me to let you all know of a sweeps they have going to win a Medicine Cabinet Makeover. It would technically be of no use to me as we have no medicine cabinet but I'm assuming they will let you stash the stuff anywhere you want.

They'll stock you with Vapo products, Nyquil stuff and Nature Fusion stuff. I will say I got a box of goodies from them in December and that Vapo Cream they have right now is the bomb... It's like VapoRub but it leaves no grease... Mine is almost gone. Anyway if you want to win head to the Facebook page and answer the question “I know I’m getting better when I can finally smell ______."

For me the blank would be baby/toddler poo... True story that one of the times I was sick this year the first thing I was able to smell when my ability came back was horrible terrible toddler poo... I'm having flashbacks right now.

March 12, 2012

No Rinse, Just Repeat

I never understood the repeat button/option on a radio, mp3 player or such... To be totally sexist and ageist I always saw it as a thirteen year old girl thing... Perhaps that's just stereotyping people not really being sexist/ageist.

I never used the button as a kid... In college on of my roommates actually had a rule against playing a song then repeating it right after it finished... It was really quite and ingenious rule and saved my sanity until I switched rooms and lived with a kid who just broke up with a girl so he needed to copy down the lyrics of some Depeche Mode song...

This was before wiki-anything so playing and rewinding tape was the only way to get lyrics... I forget which song it was but I should remember as I was in the room when he was doing this... Whatever song it was it made me hate Depeche Mode... Also I should say that the guy with the no repeat rule actually broke it once... I could be wrong but I think it was There She Goes by the La's... But the timing on that doesn't work out because it came out a few years earlier... Guess we'll never know.

But while I strayed a bit the point is the repeat button is horrible...

I didn't even know I had one in my car until I accidentally pushed it... Funny thing is the option stares me in the face... But I had no need for it...

Then the kid came along... And he turned two... And he started liking certain songs.

We try not to be a slave to his musical whims but sometimes it's just easier to put on what he likes (if the song doesn't suck... And that's when I found the repeat button.

That's also how I know I live twelve and a half I'm A Little Coconuts from the bookstore.

March 6, 2012

Oh shit... It happened... He's me.

I've mentioned this before but my mom always talks about the time she knew I'd be a super independent person... It was when I was in a parking lot and she asked me to hold her hand. I grabbed my own and walked away saying "I hold my hand."

Today I called my mom and asked her about how old I was... She guessed three.

That means we're screwed. At just over two years old MF pulled this one on my tonight. Same scenario... I reached out for his hand and he walked off saying "I'm holding my hands."

I'd guess that every kid says this but I haven't heard of any others doing it... My sister didn't, probably because she wasn't as smart as me... Or maybe because she was thinking of the probability that she'd be hit by a car... Which is actually quite low (I'd guess) so that gets into the not as smart as me territory... Not to say she's not smart, she's a Statistics and Analytical (and other) Math professor... She's just not as smart as I am (I'm guessing.) She also reads this blog so we're all good.

The thing is you always want your kids to do/be better than you... At least that's what I hear. People want them to learn from their mistakes and come out "better" in some way.

And I'm the same... I want The Kid to succeed in all he does. To shine. To learn from my mistakes, although to make his own because really that's the only way we learn.

And I want him to be smarter than me. Funnier than me (not really because I'll be jealous but I want to pretend that I want him to be funnier than I am). To be more of a pain in the ass than me... Not toward me though... MF don't be a pain in the add to me... But you can be a minor one to your mom (she totally loves when I am) and certainly to other people...

He's already starting the pain in the ass thing with us by telling us "I'm busy" when we ask him if he wants to read a book... When really he's not busy he's just playing with one of those plastic things where you push two buttons on the side and a monkey goes around a trapeze thing...

Or when he tells his mom "shh mom, I'm talking now" when she was talking in the first place...

Or when he says "don't do that" when I'm singing... I'm an awesome singer... Except when I'm singing.

Then he's schooled his mom about not packing enough soup in his lunch... He said he cried.

But damn... Him pulling this "I'll hold my hands" BS before me kind makes me think he's going to be more independent and more sly than me really fast... If he isn't already.

The really weird thing is that I see how much like me he is... I mean he looks nothing like me aside from the shape of our eyes/brows but damn... He's totally me.

March 5, 2012

Call for First Gen Dads

I've gotten some good feedback from my First Gen Dads posts and I wanted to let everyone know that I'd love others to participate.

While I work on a mission statement for it here's a short summary.

The idea came to me after I realized that it's kind of hard figuring out the does and don'ts of fatherhood when you didn't have a dad around to see in action. I chatted with some other First Gen Dads who felt the same way so I decided to do the feature.

Usually when you hear about dads who grew up without a dad you her bad things... But I wanted to celebrate these dads.

So if you want to participate it's pretty simple. Answer a few questions and fill out a short QA. Check the other posts for that info.

You don't need to be a blogger to participate... Everyone is welcome and that's what can make this cool.

So if you're interested email me.

And if you haven't seen the original posts check mine here and Don's here.

March 2, 2012

That Time MF Was Wearing The Same Pajamas As The Kid On CSI

When I saw Cloverfield I was kind of psyched when I noticed one of the characters was wearing a shirt I owned... I'm sure it happens a lot but in this case it was this grey Gap tee that had a purple 7 on it and it was about 5 years old... So my guess was that it was hiding in some stylists closet for years...

Two nights ago I was watching CSI and there was a kid who was abducted... The kid had on a pair of green dump truck PJs from Gap... They were the same ones that MF was wearing... It was kind of odd for a moment... Not as cool as when I saw my shirt on the big screen.

I'm a bit of a CSI, Criminal Minds and Law & Order SVU junky. And for so long I wasn't really watching TV so I had to catch up.

I caught the season of SVU that I missed and I realized something... I see the show totally differently now that I have a kid. Basically I want to kill anyone who even looks at MF...

One day after watching a few episodes of SVU while the kid slept we headed to the book store to play with trains... Because we live in the suburbs and that's entertainment...

There was some parent there with his kid and he said hi to MF, like any normal parent would (by the way I say hi to no kids unless they approach me first and stare). When that dude said hi I wanted to call him out as a perv... Not even kidding.

I've watched enough TV to know that there's a 99% chance the kid with that guy was abducted and that their trying to abduct another kid... OK maybe that 99% chance is only in NYC so I'll drop it to a 97% chance for the Twin Cities.

The point is being a dad changes the way I see the shows... And the show makes me hyper aware, which is probably a good thing as long as I don't call random guys hanging with their kids at a bookstore pervs.

February 29, 2012

I'm Just Waiting For HIm To Kill Me And Stab His Eyes Out

He's totally in a mommy phase... It's actually been a few months now although I thought it had ended. I really wish I had written down his phases... I think we're on the third mommy phase with me trailing with two daddy phases.

It's funny and heartbreaking all at once... The fact that I can't change a diaper is in someways a blessing... But the screams of "no, mommy do it" when I come near him to do so get old.

An incomplete list of things I'm not allowed to do (depending on the day/time:

  • Change diapers
  • Put him to bed
  • Read a book
  • Get milk
  • Make dinner
  • Play legos
  • Draw fish
  • Sleep in my bed
  • Use my pillow
  • Brush his teeth
  • Brush my teeth
  • Put him in his car seat
  • Drive him anywhere
  • And more
I realize it's a phase and like I said sometimes it has it's pluses (real smelly diapers) while sometimes it's just frustrating... But really I'm so bummed I didn't log the times he's in a mommy vs a daddy phase... Would have made a great graphic... Although in teen years it will probably change hourly with a majority of the time being a no-parent phase.

February 24, 2012

I Don't Even Know Why We Have A Fucking Bedroom For The Kid

So yeah... We've been cosleeping... And not because we're some freaking hippies that think that's the only harmonious way to keep our family close.

Because that's how I saw cosleeper families in the past... And maybe how I see them currently. Not that I have anything against hippies or anything but as a totally non-judgemental person I like putting people into buckets and then judging them without really knowing all the facts... I'm an American.

It all started when we went back to the way that actually helped put him to sleep consistently. We'd read a few books and then lay with him in his room until he dozed off. But things changed a bit... 

First off every night he'd wake after 2-6 hours and want to come in our bed... It's so much easier to grab a kid's things and plop him in the middle than to deal with screaming for hours... Especially when you're half asleep... Plus it's kind of nice to have your kid sleep with you.

And he slept so much better and later... He became happier at school because he was rested... We were rested it was a win win.

Then he started hating me. I mean not totally... Just in any way that dealt with me putting him to bed. So if it was my turn it would inevitably become a huge crying fest which led to Staci having to save me... Once when he was so riled up we let him go right to bed with us... I should add he was also sick so that was a factor but still...

Plus I watch him as tries to sleep and I see his struggle and I sympathize for him... He has a really tough time going to sleep and he does some of the same things I remember doing; running up a wall... literally his feet 90 degrees up the wall, he bats at his pillow, or plays with his hands or other things I used to do because my mind was rushing and I couldn't sleep. I couldn't bare watching so bringing him in was easy because we thought it would soothe.

It was the tiny hole in the damn that made it impossible to stop. And so now he goes to sleep with us and his room is unused.

I should just throw his stuff out of the room and make it a little zen place for us... Because at this point I need one.

Or I could just put a bunch of pinball machines in his room. There are a few I'd love to get but we don't have the space... If he stops sleeping in there I'll pick some up and fill the room with them. And really he'd be able to sleep under them anyway so it makes sense. 

But I've kind of hit a wall. Three nights ago I fell asleep at 8:30 while trying to get him to sleep... Yeah I was rested but actually too rested. Two nights ago it was the same but I woke at 10:30 and was able to adjust... Yesterday I woke at 1AM... I'm going nutso.

It all hit a head tonight when he wouldn't sleep. We let him go to the alcove and play but he brought Legos in the bed. Then he tried to bring in an art thing. Then more toys... He was so hepped up. And I just wanted to go downstairs, take the dog out and read a book. Now it's freaking late for the dog to go, it's cold as F outside (not his fault) and I'm too hepped up to read. And netflix sucks (also not his fault).

Staci was able to get him to sleep as I brave the super cold with the dog... And almost got frostbite on my ear I think... Seriously it's cold. 

I feel that if he was in his room he'd still be hepped but he'd play and go to his bed and not bother us... I don't know. But we can't figure out how to get him in to sleep in his room.

Cry it out absolutely works for him... It takes three days of complete hell but then he goes to sleep... But a week and a half later he cries again so that's out.

We tried melatonin at a doctor's suggestion. That totally worked but it was meant to be temporary and I feel really uncomfortable giving him something that his body should learn to produce on it's own.

Ferber and all that crap does not work on this kid.

Really that reading and waiting for him to sleep thing was best... But we screwed the pooch on that one by letting him sleep with us that first time... Where's a hot tub time-machine when you need one?

I don't know what is going to happen. What we'll change. But I know this isn't working. It's riling me up now so I can't sleep and it's letting a good room go to waste.

The Tale Of Two Boys –or– I Get The Elephant

My penultimate post in my Vick's VapoRub series that ties to their feel better friend campaign... And this one naturally fits quite well as you'll see in the end.

The kid got me sick again. Crazy sick. Sicker than I have ever been. So sick that I should really take this time to apologize to my wife for not totally understanding how crazy sick she was getting the first few years she started teaching...

Kid's breed super crazy diseases...

And the thing is you'd think that if I got sick from him we'd have the same thing. And that if we have the same thing we'd be feeling pretty much the same.

But while we both had super runny noses, stuffed up heads, coughs and random bouts of sneezing he was a total ball of energy. He's been brought down by sickness maybe twice. But usually he'll be crazy sick and have all the energy he usually has... For instance the time he had pneumonia but was bouncing off the bed.

And while he was jumping all around I felt I was on my death bed. Thankfully Staci was there to take care of him. If she was gone for some reason it would have been him and the dog hanging out.

On Saturday I didn't put pants on until 4:12PM. Now you're thinking of me naked and you're wondering if that's what I look like. Think the physique of Lou Ferrigno in the Hulk days... But less green. And less of a unibrow, and better hair. And less pants. I realize he didn't have a lot of pants when he was Hulk but pre-4:12 I had none on.

Also I should take this time to mention that he rocked as the Hulk. No CGI. So superior. He was a real dude who was super strong and had extra super strength...

While I was sitting in my bed like the guy from Barenaked Ladies was lying like Brian Wilson I had an epiphany. One that would change our country and economy for the better.

We need to create a department of government that delivers free brownies to sick people. There would be at least three types of brownies; plain with powder sugar on top, walnut (with a walnut on top) and frosted. People would get one a day each day they were sick. The awesomeness of this is if you're kid was sick you could get eat the brownie if you didn't want them to have sweets.

I worked out the numbers on how this would affect the economy and such. First the Happiness Quotient (something I just made up) would go up 600%. Also we'd have more people working and would bring the unemployment to under 2%. Plus it would be self supported as brownies would be available to be delivered to non-sick folk for a cost of $4 a brownie. That might seem like a lot but they would be really good, made with good ingredients and would be kind of big.

After I solved the world problems it was time for me to go back to sleep. Also time for the kid to go to sleep... And it's a long story but basically we had to become total hippy co-sleepers because really that's the only thing that's working for the kid right now... So while we were putting him to bed he looked to me and said "here daddy" as he held out his elephant stuffed animal to me...

He knew I was sick and he's getting empathy which is really cool to see evolve. Also the elephant is huge in his mind. He usually won't give it up.

So he became that feel better friend person in my life which was awesome.

Then a bunch of hours later when I woke up at 3AM Sunday morning I went totally delirious... Whatever crazy thing he gave me was taking over my mind. I can't even really explain what was going on but basically I took some acetaminophen and pseudophederine and thought that I had to strategically decide where the meds would go in my body. And if I didn't do it right I wouldn't get well. It was as if I was a commander in a war and needed to tell the troops where to go. Plus there were all these rules, like war, that made it so hard to figure out.

I was not dreaming this. I was completely awake and completely delirious...

The kid got me good... But I'm finally feeling better.

February 22, 2012

I Got A Fish Guy

I think if you have "a guy" for certain things your kid will look at you like you're cool. Because you're in the know.

Some people have bike guys, some have guys to help them tear down a house (I have one of those too) and so forth.

But the one that MF cares about right now is the fish guy. And the kid asks me to call him any time we pass the pet store so we can see if the fish are awake.

Miloh will yell up to me, Call the fish guy. And I'll grab my phone... And the conversation will go like this.

Me: Hey fish guy it's Kenny
Fish guy:
Me: Yeah, pretty good. You?
Fish guy:
Me:  I was wondering if the fish are still awake. We'd like to see them.
Fish guy:
Me: Oh, they're asleep because it's dark out?
Fish guy:
Me: Well tell them MF and I say goodnight.
Fish guy:
Me: You too... Bye.

MF: Call the fish guy again
Me: Hey it's me again. Just checking to see if you're sure they're asleep.
Fish guy:
Me: They are... Oh but they said goodnight to us before going to sleep?
Fish guy:
Me: Maybe we'll stop in later this week... Goodnight.

So the fish guy might not technically be real... But it makes the kid happy that I have a fish guy... So we're going with it.

February 16, 2012

First Gen Dads: Don from Adeline's Daddy Blog

When I the idea for this First Gen Dad thing got in my head I thought it would just be some super light QA questions focusing on dudes who are stand up dads even though they didn't have a good influence... But as I started writing my QA I realized I needed to add a little background... These are questions I get asked every once in awhile from folks... I usually blow them off with short answers but in my post I decided to answer... And in Don's words "it got real".

So I really have to thank Don for being my first guinea pig after me.

Here's a little background on him from my POV... He's a dude I met on twitter and probably a guy I'd hang with if we lived in the same city... unless he thought I was an ass or such.

Don's a designer, one of the reasons he gets a plus in my mind, and a really good one at that... He's makes sweet little tattoo flash inspired shirts, design blogs (I'm talking sweet designs that I should probably hire him for except since I design sites it would be weird but it's hard to do your own stuff) and more... And he's got sweet tattoos.

But aside from that he's writes a super honest and humble blog about being a dad. I read few blogs... Like a really small number... But he's on that list and should be on yours. And of course he's a dad... to his daughter Adeline.

Really I have to thank him one last time because this is personal stuff and I'm honored that he was willing to share.

Oh, and I really quickly should announce a new thing–I'm trying to lose money on my blog. Most folks use them to make cash but the way I see it is if I can't make millions I should just make nothing (or at least $10 a year for the domain name). Therefore I see free ad space as negative cash. So find a link to his blog design thingy in my right sidebar.

That being said every month-ish I'm giving someone free ad space... Someone that designs something or such (totally committal with that description) And so Don get's it this month. It's a value of $1.17 a month.

And now his story:

Why wasn't your father around when you were growing up?
My Mom and Dad had me as a sort of "love child". My mothers parents didn't want my Mom to Date or see boys at her age (15), after 3 years of childhood love they decided to get pregnant on purpose so they would have to get married and have their strong love accepted. Looking back, I don't think they had any idea what the hell they were doing, and I know that when I was 18 I would have had no business getting married and having a child. After 7 or so years of a abusive marriage, my mom only decided to leave when the abuse turned from her to me. My memories of my Dad after divorce seem to entail him coming to get me for a visit and just killing time until I had to go back to my mom. I didn't really have a bad relationship with him, I'm not really positive if my Dad actually wanted a kid, or even understood what a relationship is between a Dad and child.

Do you have a relationship with him now? How is it?
Over the years I have seen my Dad in very spaced out, sporadic times. He seems like a very different person from what my Mom described to me. But, he definitely hasn't been involved in my life any time recently. I'm not sure when the last time I saw him was, but it was definitely years, he also has never seen my Daughter and that is something I really don't understand. I think that is part of who he is that I will never get.

Before you were a dad what did you look forward most about being a dad? What was your greatest fear?
My Mother and I were very close growing up and I have always felt like a male version of her when it comes to relationships. After my Mom was remarried she had 3 children that were much younger than I was, and I really enjoyed being around them as they grew. At times I almost felt like a parent to them. That experience actually made me look forward to the time that I had a child of my own. I had worried at times that I, like many people, was caught in a cycle of being a bad husband and a bad dad. I've never met my blood Grandfather because of a similar experience between him, my Grandmother and my Dad. I am thankful that much of who I am came from being around my Mom and a lack of a Father figure, I had to make up for it myself. I really think that a lot of my life experiences and path was a learning experience of me basically teaching myself about life and how relationships work.

Are you the father you thought you'd become?
I'm not sure that i had a vision of the type of father that I would be, but I had envisioned myself being something that I would have liked. My Daughter is still very young, and I don't think that I can rate my own efforts. But I will say that since the first time that I felt her head as she was emerging to the world for the first time, I could feel the desire to give her the best Dad that I was capable of. The clichés were all true for me, and I realized it right then and there, I didn't realize what that love would feel like until it was there in our birthing pool in our living room resting on our chests. How has fatherhood changed you? • It's strange to try to explain this, but as much as the whole experience has changed me, I really feel like the same person I was 10 years ago. I guess now when I jump around like a moron or hit myself in the head with a ball, my daughter is there to laugh at me.

Is there anything you wish your father knew about you as a father?
I actually don't feel like I have anything to prove, my main thoughts on proving myself as a father are reserved for my Wife and my Daughter, they are the ones that really know if I'm doing it right.

Any wisdom for new dads?
I've tried in the past to think of good advice to give to other dads that are newer to the game than I am, but I think that every experience is as unique as the person themselves. I will say that you can try to plan and envision what you would do in certain situations, but until the time actually faces you, you really don't know how you will handle it. My Daughter had a time when she had trouble going to the bathroom (we're talking number 2 here) and it turned out that the only time she could go comfortably was when she was in a nice warm bath with me. I didn't hesitate any time that I could see a discomfort that I became a pro at spotting… I would strip both of us down and hop in the tub and prepare to catch whatever came out. On paper in the past this may have seemed ridiculous, but that is my point, be prepared for things that will come up that you wouldn't envision… and be prepared to do some crazy shit.

And now part two Q&A...

Clickity Click to see larger

February 14, 2012

I just can't mourn the death of a crack addict

This should probably be filed under "maybe this make's me an ass but..."

Yesterday morning on the way to work I heard a medley of Whitney Houston songs... It's not my style of music but I can objectively say she has an amazing voice. The thing about the songs is I had heard them all pre-1997... Because since she started doing crack she hasn't really produced any notable music... I realize she might not have been on crack but she was a fan of the drugs...

And she probably smoked some crack.

Perhaps I'm callous but I'll always see her as a crack addict... Michael Jackson will always be a child molester... But I don't listen to either of their music so it's easy to separate it.

Although Andrew Wood, lead singer of Mother Love Bone who died days before the scheduled release of his first album from a heroin overdose, will always be a fool and I think of it every time I listen to their album... While for some reason I always see Kurt Cobain's death as just sad.

Why we posthumously hold people like Whitney and Michael up on pedestals blows my mind...

It's weird to compare deaths of folks but I think that's what we do as humans... And one recent death that hit me this year was Sarah Burke, the freestyle skier. Her name was a mainstay on the X-games winner pedestal... She progressed the sport in a huge way... She died too young doing what she loved and that to me is sad. She wasn't destroying herself.

Her death did get some press. The X-games had a great memorial for her.

I realize action sports get less press than music... That she probably "touched" fewer lives. But as a father people like Sarah are the ones I'd rather mourn. Because who, and how, we mourn will show our kids who to look up too...

And action sports aside I want MF to look up to folks that aren't crack smokers, child molesters or heroin addicts.

February 13, 2012

I'm not saying I deserve a medal or an award but...

It's well documented that I was completely freaked out by kid before MF was born... And a whole gaggle of kids made me completely nutso and uncomfortable.

And really while I've changed a bit I still feel pretty much the same. Unkown kids freak me out. A gaggle of them is one of the most uncomfortable situations I can possibly be in... And for the record I probably don't like 97% of kids and still think 99% of babies are ugly (I just add that because it's true and I feared I would changed after we had a kid).

But the other day I picked the kid up from school and two of his classmates were there... And as I was looking at the fish tank Staci suggested I read a book to him... In hindsight I think she knew what would happen.

I grabbed a book and sat down to read to him... And then I was encircled by the two other kids in his class... Like drippy nosed hyenas with big puppy dog eyes and smiles they sat waiting for me to read a book.

And so I put my fear aside and rocked it...

Between them pretending to eat everything on the page (something MF no longer does because he says that pictures aren't real) and then showing me they each have a belly button and that they can each flip over and showing me that they each like a different fish than the others do and then bringing book after book to me to read I somehow survived... And it made me stronger.

I'm not saying I'm ready to open a kid's book store and have story time but one small step (although I still have gross flashbacks of three runny noses staring at me).

And I'm not saying that I deserve an award because this is something other folks do naturally... But I believe in my heart that future generations will look at this moment and see that they should create an award for this kind of situation and then name it after me.

February 6, 2012

I guess it's probably my fault

If you missed my post from November in which MF is watching a bike video you should check it out. We still limit screen time for him but I always cave when it comes to that video or another of Danny MacAskill's videos.

Really though he's not just watching... He's participating...

He's moved from casual observation to full on mimicking... But without a bike.

Not sure how this came about but he loves it... I should mention in the first video he was supposed to be laying low as he had pneumonia... It didn't stop him. It did slow him down a bit.

On the second one we were getting ready to go to an indoor skatepark for the first time to watch the kids... He had a ton of fun while we were there but this is what we did to get ready. It's a small slice of a larger video which includes me bopping him on the head when I jumped over him... But I lost some weight and those pants were falling off... No one wants to see crack.

I'm still hoping to get a long version of just him. I thought I'd have it last week but that's when he asked me to join.

January 31, 2012

Evolution of the Sick Day

This is another post in my Vick's VapoRob VapoDad series. I should do a little update for you. On the first post I announced that I was in a fantasy football league and although I know nothing about football I was kicking but... Then I announced that Drew Brees was the Vick's VapoDad.

Ironically that week my team played a team with Drew on it... I lost miserably and then my team spiraled down to a total fail...

Sick days... I've found that the idea of them has changed drastically since I was a kid.

Back in the day, unless you were deathly ill, they were great... Especially if they were only a day or two long. If you were out for more your parents might make you do school work to catch up and that's just ridiculous.

But one day out for me meant The Price is Right and hoping that I'd get to see that guy drop in the Cliffhangers game

It also meant my mom would make orange Jello with sprite and pineapple inside... It was awesome then but now I think of what's in Jello and it's just disgusting to me but still it was all good.

And I'd usually get an Archie digest... If I was going to the doctor I might get a double digest but the single was ok for one day.

Then came my teenage days... Not as awesome on the homefront because there comes that time in which you're old enough to be home alone and take care of yourself... I'd make my own soup or whatnot, no Archie comics but I still had TPIR. But I had a job so sick days meant I didn't have to work... It also meant I didn't get paid.

And sometimes they meant if I had something going on I could call in sick to work and have a free day... I didn't so that often but it happened a couple times.

College is when sick days stared sucking... It's not easy to miss classes, at least it wasn't for me, so sick days involved me dragging my but to class and getting everyone else sick... Basically getting experience for later on in life. No professor cares that you missed a test when you're sick... I actually missed one because I got my wisdom teeth pulled and the whole city was out of codeine (not even kidding) and I got dinged huge for taking a test late.

Then you get a real job... There are three kinds of adult sick days...

The one where you're sick as a dog and you go to work anyway because you have so much stuff going on that you can't miss... And everyone else did the same so you're just passing germs back to some other poor sucker.

There are the ones where you're super crazy sick and really can't go to work... And life is miserable because no one is making you soup. You're too sick to go to the drug store to get the meds you're out of  them. Side note, and I'm not saying this they're sponsoring this post, Vicks sent me an awesome care package of their products and it was awesome because I was out of everything and a day from leaving on my Mexico trip... Nyquil and Dayquil were to the rescue... As much as I'm a dude who rarely takes meds I seriously love that stuff.

And since you're going no where you can't get an Archie double digest and if you did it might look like you're creepy or a loser since you're too old, and they probably lose something when you're almost 40...

But you still might see the Cliffhanger game on TPIR, even though it's old, however you'd have to sit through Drew Carey's semi-awkward hosting duties...

Those are the first two... I guess I could add the fake ones... In full disclosure I've pulled one of those as an adult but it was to go snowboarding and it was a day that nothing was really going on so it's all good.

The last kind of sick day is when people with kids are taking sick days to be home with their sick kid...

If you're like me you think this is the greatest scam ever at least I thought to pre-kid.

First off who knows that the kid is sick anyway... Second, remembering from my days of youth, I was a perfect angel when I was sick and so when my mom stayed home it was like a vacation for her.

And so I kind of envied these people who took days off to look after their "sick" kid.

Then MF started getting sick. All. The. Time.

It happened in correlation to him going to school... The problem was I was relatively new to my job so taking time off might not look great. And Staci was at the end of her school year which is really important and hard to miss (then at the beginning of the year after the summer break when he had a relapse of being sick All. The.Time.)

She got him on the summer days, I took a lot of the other days. And let me tell you, as you know if you have toddlers... Sick days suck.

The first sick day I took off with MF I can remember him not even trying to sleep. He didn't want to watch Kipper, his favorite show at the time and a fave of mine. He just wanted to run around like a maniac even though he was crazy sick. He wanted to eat everything but had nothing. He would have moments of awesome cuddling but that would last maybe two minutes at a time then we'd start all over again...

It was nuts... It was not relaxing... It got me sick... And so the second day I had to do the same running around while my head felt like it was in a vice while I was underwater.

I can't wait until we get to the good days I remember... When we can watch TPIR, probably hosted by Russel Brand by then, and eat some fake vegetarian Jello, or real vegetarian fake Jello and read some Archie comics...

But for now we're in the stage where something that was so great became something so not good.

January 28, 2012

Inaugural Edition of First Gen Dads: Smonk You

I've Back in June I wrote a post called First Generation Dad that touched on how I feel to be a dad when I didn't really have a good father figure of my own. And I got an idea but didn't have time to flesh it out... Six months later and I finally had the time.

I'm starting what I hope to be a new feature and calling it First Gen Dads. The idea is I'll invite other dads who, for whatever reason, didn't have a father around when they grew up.

Stealing some words from my first guest (coming up next month) it's an important topic.

I think it's one that's not thought about much.

One thing that really got me thinking about this came a few months after my aforementioned post. It was a letter that a radio morning show guy wrote to his soon to be son. First I should mention I only listen to that morning show not that station. Second what got me about the letter is when he talks about all the things his dad taught him...

My father taught me nothing... Seriously nothing. The closest he got was the time he bought me some ridiculously expensive remote control car that we were going to build together. We opened the box and checked out the parts... We were going to put it together the next few times I saw him... He put it together that night... And I was only allowed to play with it once because a piece broke.

However while he taught me nothing I learned a lot from him... I learned what I didn't want to be like as a dad.

The format of this new thing is a few questions and then a lighter Q&A. The questions on that first part are mostly things people have asked me... But when asked I'd always kind of blow them off and answer in few words...

Things get a bit more real when you really answer...

Hope you all enjoy... And the only way this is going to become a thing is if I can get other First Gen Dads to feature... So if you know any send them my way, on twitter or email or telepathy.

Why wasn't your father around when you were growing up?
I think my father was out of the house when I was 11. Then I had to see him for a bit because of visitation... But I stopped going when I was around 14 and he didn't seem to care, although one year he sent me some a cassingle of Mike + the Mechanics - The Living Years in hopes I'd be moved... I wasn't.

He was never a father to me. He was emotionally abusive to my mom... That affected the whole family. He's an ass and was never really a dad... It's why I feel I was fatherless even though he was around so long.

He also, legally, didn't have to pay any child support... That's because my grandfather gave him part of his business and he then had to pay him to go away... Legal stuff aside that's just morally wrong... To have nice cash and not care to give a cent to your kids... So if he's reading this I'd ask him to take some of his ill gotten cash and set up a college fund for Miloh.

Racking my brain I can only think of a handful of memories of him... One is him giving me a pretzel on Passover (you're not supposed to eat that stuff and at the time I was observing it). The other was when my mom changed the locks and he came over the house and tried to change them back... I innocently asked if I could see his tools then through them in the neighbors bushes and into the sewer so he couldn't continue. Anything else is really just a story not a memory.

Me with my grandfather who is the
closest thing I have to a dad really.

Me and the dog I never really cared for.
My boots and sunglasses rock.

Do you have a relationship with him now?
No. I haven't had any contact since I was 14. He stopped sending birthday checks when I was about 22. The last one actually paid the cost of my name change.

He's looking for me though... A few years ago he asked my sister about a Kenny Friedman that lived in Minnesota and one in New Jersey or such... I got a strange call one that leads me to think he found me... But I didn't lead on that I was who the caller was looking for... He's super computer savvy so I'd bet if he did he's seen this blog.

Before you were a dad what did you look forward most about being a dad?
I'm not really sure. I think I always wanted a little me... And to give said little me a good father figure. I think I got that kid and I'm trying my best to be the dad he deserves.

What was your greatest fear?
The concept of a father has always been incredibly abstract to me. I knew my friends' fathers but I couldn't grasp the idea of having one for myself... And I had good male role models like my grandfather and such but it really didn't translate to what being a father meant...

So it was/is the fear of a total unknown for me and I don't want to fuck it up.

Are you the father you thought you'd become?
Like I said above I didn't grasp what a dad was and had no expectations... I knew I would be the opposite of my father... I think I've been accomplishing that.

How has fatherhood changed you?
I'm more patient... MF has made me super patient about stuff that would drive me nuts before and he's made me more chill... Being around him calms me because I want him to be in a good place.

Is there anything you wish your father knew about you as a father?
Not really. He doesn't mean anything to me so I wouldn't share anything with him.

Any wisdom for new dads?
Forget what you already know*. I think a lot of people have tons of plans and expectations, I had a few. They all change super fast because you have to react to the kid you have and not to the kid you expect you'll have.

Something I learned from Staci's (my wife) world of Montessori is they observe the child and that's how they know how to guide them. I try to do that... Observe MF and figure out what I should do.

*I feel like that quote is from something and the only thing I can find is a Jason Mraz song... I never listened to him so that's not it.

And now part two Q&A... I wish there was a better way to show this on the blog, you'll have to click it to see it larger.
You probably need to clickity click to read

January 24, 2012

His Last Free Ride... Unless He Becomes A Pilot... Or Wins A Trip... Or Needs To Travel For Business... Or... Part Two

If you missed part one of my two part series on our trip to Mexico you really missed nothing.

Something I forgot to mention that happened day two was that I bought my first can of Axe body spray. I forgot deodorant and everything I found had anti-perspirant in it and I don't know all the facts but I know that if you use you get a phone call right after then you die seven days later...

The only non-anti-perspirant stuff was a lonely can of Axe. So I tried it... And I can tell you the commercials lie. Not one angel fell from the sky.

Also I should mention that there was a ton of pool time the first few days but and in one of those days a dog bit an orange ball that was at the pool... We heard about it from MF the rest of the week.

Day Four:

You can get falafel in Isla Mujeres... At Mañana (a cool little cafe that has a mini used bookstore in it). Said falafel rocks... And the hot sauce is awesome.

As a general rule the hot sauces in Isla were awesome and so different at every place.

MF likes iguanas but calls them guanas.

I don't know what this graphic means... It's from an elevator. I get the gist it's just not done well.

We went to an area with a little Mayan ruins... They had great warning signs.

Pretty normal falling rocks sign
Don't hold up the cliff
Don't stand perfectly still at the edge of a cliff
Then we headed to lunch...

On the ocean near the restaurant there was a nurse shark in an underwater pen... For a couple buck (no idea ho much) you could get into the pen for a picture of you holding the shark... This is so freaking cruel and ridiculous... NEVER do it.

I have an another awesome pic of MF on the beach from the trip... I hesitate to put it on the site though, sorry to tease. But maybe I will when I get the photo our friend took while I was shooting the great pic... They look cool together. Any way he liked the ocean but only went in up to his knees...

I only got a Pina Colada but someone at the table got vegetarian tacos... The octopus in them made them extra vegetarian in Mexico.

That night we went to a restaurant in which the men's room only had a urinal... You could not sit if you needed to... Luckily I didn't need to.

Day Five:

We went snorkeling. I brought the WG-1 for this because we went to a place where they have underwater sculptures. It's called MUSA. It was really freaking cool... My pics were just eh because they made us wear lifejackets. I think part because there were a ton of boats around and they probably had no insurance... And it was crazy choppy.

So choppy I came seconds away from offering my breakfast to the fish to enjoy.

B;ah, blah, blah... More guacamole, pool time and pina colada's... This is when being a vegetarian started to really freaking suck... But I knew that was going to happen soon enough.

Day Six:

This is where I really gotta thank the folks at Pentax for humoring and giving me the camera.

Half underwater awesomeness
More food... It was another place with inch thick pancakes... MF was not a fan of the camera.

Putting my lens cap on... I love these shots and have many

Yada, Yada, Yada another great meal then we put the kids to sleep (with good company to watch over them) and headed to the square for their New Year's celebration. It was super fun but really you know what those are like.

Day Seven:


In camera panorama that isn't so bad

I went around shooting random stuff...

A beautiful beachfront hotel... Not where we stayed.
Sunset happened and I finally caught some pics

Some random girl

Sunsets plus fill light equals awesomeness 

The night for the kids ended with MF and his buddy, who he now calls his brother, reading books.

Day Eight:

Headed back to the states... I got a Mexican Coke in the can, so much better than Mexican Coke in the bottle... But they don't need to list the ingredients there which is odd...

And then I went to Johnny Rockets in the Cancun airport to get an order of half fries half rings. I also ordered a bottle of water. While waiting for my order they called our flight and I grabbed the goods but forgot the water... So if you find yourself in the Cancun airport head to the Johnny Rockets and ask them for my water... You're welcome.

Then we headed home... The flight was uneventful because MF slept... Oh I guess you could call the whole thing where we couldn't take off because a guy locked himself in the bathroom and then when he finally came out he was super sick and fainted so we had to head back to the gate eventful. You could also call it a run on sentence.

Moral of the story: The trip was great but I forgot to mention that every day we had to walk MF around to get him to sleep in his stroller because he wouldn't sleep in the bed. It got old... Traveling with a two year old is really really hard but I'm glad we had the experience.

Took awhile... Here's an infographic of MF's first year

I finished this about a year ago just for my personal use but thought I'd share it. It's a visualization of MF's first year in n...