Surround Your Children With Good People and Watch Them Become Good People

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Sometimes it is just a very pleasant experience to sit back and think of all the good people in your life. Seriously, just reflect on the family, friends, and the people that blur that line. Even people that you don’t consider “close” can surprise you. Last weekend was my daughter’s birthday, and today was our annual March For Babies with the March of Dimes. Between these two events, the outpouring of kindness from others has been unignorable.

We have received birthday wishes and gifts from friends all over, we have gotten donations for charity from people who have no reason to donate other than the fact they are just beautiful people, and we have gotten to celebrate with people that we are proud to know. I try not to take these things for granted. We all have heard the old saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” My daughter is growing up surrounded by an amazing village.

It is easy to get bogged down in negatives, and the 24 hour news cycle that loves its atrocities certainly helps with that. However, I encourage you to take toll of all the people that just make the world of you and your family a bit better. This is not a nominal thing. We want our kids to be the people that create those moments of happiness for others. Not for any ulterior motive, but just because those are the kind of people they are. The best way to show our kids how to be these people is to surround them with these people.

I don’t have a very strict definition of “good” people. There are a lot of ways to be good in this world, and there are a lot of ways to make the world a more endearing place. The word “good” is intentionally loose and subjective, because it’s up to you to figure out who is best for your family. However, once you figure that out, make those people part of your life. Let your kids learn from them… and maybe even feel free to learn a thing or two yourself.

Thank you to all the good people in the life of my little family. You are appreciated more than I think you could understand.

How Having a Preemie Changed My Perspective…

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My father once said to me something that always stuck with me, and now that I have my daughter I understand it better…

“When you are single, your biggest fears are ‘What terrible things can happen to me?’ When you are married, your biggest fears are ‘What terrible things can happen to my wife?’… But when you have kids your biggest fears are ‘What terrible things can happen to my child?’ and the last one will be scarier than anything you can imagine.”

When my daughter was born premature, and her health and survival was not a given I realized what terrified felt like. I had been scared before and I had been worried a million times, but nothing like the night she was born as I was trying to understand and process what was going on around me. We had been to the doctors just a few days before and everything was normal, my wife was healthy, and she had followed the “rules” of a pregnancy to the letter of the law. Everything was normal, until it wasn’t.

So, as things went completely awry and I sat in that hospital hallway begging for scraps of information, I was helpless and useless. I couldn’t do anything for anyone. I couldn’t help my wife, I couldn’t help my newborn daughter… I wasn’t even allowed in the room during the emergency surgery, because I would just be in the way. It’s a rock bottom of emotion, and I hope I never come close to it again.

Now for the positive part of this. As my daughter got stronger, and we got further away from the scary beginning I started to realize some of the more abstract effects her beginning brought to my life. I realized the little things in life weren’t bothering me as much. I didn’t get as agitated by day to day annoyances like I used to, and in the event that I was upset about a minor thing, I could get over it much quicker.

I know this isn’t just in my own head, because my wife and some close friends have noticed it as well. It just takes a whole lot to get me real upset these days. The core reason is this… I’ve seen the worst thing that can happen to me. So the bottom line is this, if my daughter and my wife are ok, then in the end I will be ok. Most other problems are relatively fleeting, and I try not to get bogged down in them anymore.

I’m far from perfect, and I still get agitated at foolish things. That’s human nature, but my daughter’s beginning has helped ground me a lot. The nice part is that getting over the negatives in life faster has left me with way more time to focus on the positives. It’s made me a happier person overall, and that’s one more thing I have to thank my daughter for.

 

DadLunch Goes To The Movies: Zootopia Review

My wife and I decided that it was time for our kiddo to go to her first movie today. She had a great time, and is now pretty convinced that she is a bunny. I figure since it was her first movie in theatres, it may as well be my first movie review…

So without further ado, here is a DadLunch review of…

(Oh yeah… spoilers ahead)

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Zootopia starts off with our hero bunny Judy Hopps (played by the Ginnifer Goodwin AKA the woman who is constantly pregnant on Once Upon A Time on ABC… or just really loves winter coats 365 days a year), acting out a brutal mauling in her school play. This ketchup filled stage fight is our introduction to the world of Zootopia. Zootopia, itself, is a city in a world where animals have evolved past animal instinct. Predators and prey live together peacefully in society as a whole. This message of inclusion is a running theme through the whole movie, and without getting too political I think the timing for such a message is right on point.

As far as our story goes, Judy is a bunny who dreams of being a big city police officer. However, no bunny has ever become a cop before, and she is constantly being told that she should give up. What follows is a relatively standard story of “You can be whatever you want if you try…”, but the message is presented in a pretty fun way.

The world of Zootopia itself is crafted pretty well. The city is split up into several zones (Rainforest, Arctic, Desert, etc), and seeing the how the animals live in their own little section of the city is reasonably entertaining and clever. The mice live in a very small part of town, the hamsters get to work via hamster tubes, and various other animals act as you would expect. All these things come together to make a fun little city. I wouldn’t have minded a little more on the world building end, but I understand that kids movies have to be pretty streamlined to hold their ever wavering attention. The fact that this one clocks in at about 1 hour 45 minutes is already pushing the limit for a lot of kids… and plenty of adults.

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The one thing that irked me a bit is the other main character Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman, who manages to somehow just be a fox version of Jason Bateman). Foxes in the movie are portrayed in a negative light, and are inherently not trusted by the rest of society. The first time we meet Nick we are shown that he is a two-bit hustler. Now, his character does go through a reasonable arc where we are shown a sad childhood story, and given context for his behavior. I would have just preferred that with all the negative talk about foxes in the movie (a pretty blatant analogy for some of the garbage minorities have to go through in this country), that the first time we saw a fox, it wasn’t fulfilling a pile of those stereotypes. I’m not sure what the better way of doing it would be, but I think there are other options.

The main plot of the movie is a mystery revolving around our Bunny and Fox duo reluctantly teaming up, then of course bonding. They end up solving a very convoluted plot around the city predators being turned back into “savages”. As not to spoil the entire thing, it’s not a mind blowing mystery, and there are some gaping plot holes, but it is serviceable. It does sort of feel like the creators don’t know where to end it, and it probably could be ten minutes shorter, but it’s not a major issue.

For the adults there is a cute Godfather reference, some Breaking Bad humor, and some other more adult themed jokes. It never strays too far off the beaten path though, and won’t leave you needing to see it again to figure out what you missed or anything like that. I did enjoy some of the cop show cliches that they ran with, the sloths running the DMV, and the running gag about bunnies breeding like crazy. All in all, it’s not painful for parents, but nothing you are going to fall in love with.

For kids, it’s a fun, but slightly forgettable romp through an interesting world. I just don’t think the movie had that one character kids will latch onto for months or years ala Cars, Frozen, etc. I don’t see a million kids dressing up like Judy Hopps or Nick Wilde this Halloween. That’s not really a knock per se, just kind of a note. That being said, I wouldn’t be stunned if when it came out on demand my daughter latched onto it as her movie of the month. I just don’t think it will be the one she watches 400 times in a year (“Let it Gooooooo…. Let it Goooooo…”)

Overall DadLunch Rating: 8 out of 10

One Year of Dad Lunch and Why I Keep Writing

 

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Caution: Slightly self indulgent post coming… you’ve been warned.

So a year ago I started this blog with a little post about me and my daughter baking a rainbow cake for my wife. I wasn’t really sure why I started a blog, or what I thought the outcome would be. I wasn’t sure how long I would keep with it, if anyone would read it, or if like so many other projects it would be buried under piles of “I’ll do it later…” and “I don’t have time…”

However, I didn’t let this get forgotten. Admittedly, I have had some consistency issues here and there, but I continued to try and create reasonably compelling pieces that people could enjoy on a frequent basis. I think part of what kept me writing is the responses I got from other parents. I’ve gotten some great e-mails, messages, and comments from people all across the parenting spectrum (and even some non-parents). This is all very important to me and definitely motivating. Still, there is another reason I feel the need to write about being a father, and that’s a little harder for me to discuss due to pride, or whatever you want to label it.

The other reason is that it has also has helped me with one of my personal issues. I am constantly afraid that I am not doing a good enough job at things. I never was the best at sports, I wasn’t the best student, I’ve never been the best looking guy, I’ve been ok at some jobs and impressively bad at others, and I’ve never felt like I stand out in any particular activity. This constant feeling of not being good enough  is not something I talk about very often even to people close to me, but it’s something I deal with constantly.

I don’t feel that way about being a father. I honestly believe that all in all, I am a pretty solid dad. I’m far from perfect, but I think on a day to day basis I give that little girl a happy home, and a pretty good life. Still, the nagging voice comes back sometimes and reminds me of how much more I could be doing, but I think this blog helps me work through some of that. If the only noteworthy thing I do with my time in this world is give her a good foundation so she can succeed, then I can handle that.

With all that being said, writing about fatherhood has at allowed me to touch the massive range of emotions you get while being a parent. As parents we all get happy, sad, scared, confused, etc. As dads we really don’t talk about these things. Gender roles, social awkwardness, whatever it is, the bottom line is that men as a whole don’t talk about feelings with any frequency or depth. I’m guilty of this as well, but at least with an outlet here I have some place to work through those feelings.

Lastly, I write to convey a pretty simple message, and I hope this message is clear through the majority of my writing. Being a dad is awesome. It’s just the best. Time with my daughter is the most amazing part of my world, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Parenting is exhausting, difficult, frustrating, and at points downright infuriating. Parents joke about being tired, broke, losing their minds, etc. Yes, there is honesty in basically all humor, but in the end all the hard times are worth it a thousand times over.

So I will continue to write, and try to figure out the all encompassing absurdism of parenting. I hope people continue to read it and find some enjoyment in my musings. And since all things come full circle, here is another rainbow cake.

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Not Just a Box: A Guest Post (and Video)

The sun rises in the east, the Road Runner evades Wile E. Coyote, Nickelback is the worst, and children love cardboard boxes.

The last one is a truth that I only learned by being a new dad. Even though I have heard other parents joke about their child or children loving toy boxes more than the actual toy, or that the best present is the box it comes in, I did not believe it until I saw it with my own eyes. My son Louis is now fourteen months old, and like many children that came before him, he loves boxes–Usually the bigger the box the better. But why?

Maybe it is because cardboard boxes provide children with something new and tactile to explore–as they can climb in and on and through them. Maybe it’s because through free play they can exercise their creativity and imagination. As a 2005 inductee, the National Toy Hall of Fame has the following to say about the cardboard box:

“With nothing more than a little imagination, boxes can be

transformed into forts or houses, spaceships or submarines,

castles or caves. Inside a big cardboard box, a child is

transported to a world of his or her own, one where anything is

possible.”

Instead of just giving Louis a small refrigerator box to play in, which he would have been super excited about, my wife Nicole and I decided we should have some fun with it too. Nicole sketched out a rocket ship design, which came to life after spending six hours (when Louis was asleep of course) cutting, taping, and painting.

We knew it would take a long time time to make this rocket ship, so we decided to take photos are regular intervals to then create a stop- motion video capturing our hard work. When Louis wake the following morning, he had a new toy to blast off with…

Written by Seth Kroll

 

Dear Entertainment Industry: Your Sexism Is Costing You Money

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Dear Entertainment Industry,

My daughter wants a pair of Batman underwear without a pink Batman logo. It turns out that 3 year old girls cannot have this. I do not recall the issue of Batman where he runs around with a pink logo on his chest so I am not sure why you would put it on my daughter’s underwear. So please just make cool Batman underwear for little girls so I can give you money. Because, as it currently stands, I am going to make her Batman underwear myself (and with my artistic ability it is going to be more like “Rorschach Test” underwear).

This is a microcosm of a much larger issue. Throughout the years there has been a line in the sand between toys for girls and toys for boys. Boys have an iron grip on the dinosaur, comic book, vehicle, science, and action figure market. Girls get princesses, pink versions of some boys stuff, cooking toys, dolls, and cleaning supplies. This has been documented many times, and although it is slowly changing, we really should be further ahead than we are.

So, entertainment industry, I am asking you to change. Now, I don’t expect you to change based on any major swing of morality, or a sense of obligation to the American public to convey a positive message. I don’t expect that at all. We get it, you have proven time and time again that gender roles can only be bent temporarily in mass media. I am not naive enough to think you are doing any of this for some sort of greater good. I am asking you to change, because your current marketing is fiscally irresponsible.

Let’s take two of the highest grossing movies of all time as an example (very minor spoilers follow). The Avengers and Star Wars: The Force Awakens were absolutely huge at the box office, and smashed records domestically and globally. Last I checked, I’m pretty sure we had to invent new numbers for the amount of money Star Wars has made so far. Both of these films feature strong female protagonists who are every bit as cool, tough, and necessary as their male counterparts (in the case of Star Wars, probably more so).

Not only have you created these characters that are by all accounts a roaring success, you have opened the door to a segment of the audience that did not used to watch these films in large numbers. For the first time that I can remember, large numbers of young girls are into Star Wars and Comic Books. You did it, entertainment industry. You absolutely did it, you got young girls to like historically male dominated intellectual property… now stop squandering it.

When The Avengers and Star Wars came out respectively there was an avalanche of merchandise. Toys, games, backpacks, costumes, etc. However, there are two glaring omissions. First, is The Avengers… Scarlett Johansson (who’s name I spelled so wrong the first time, that Google could barely help me) as Black Widow was functionally absent. There is even a tumblr dedicated to all the stuff she is not in here.

Second, and most recently is Star Wars. Arguably the main character of the movie Rey, and certainly a major spoke in the wheel of the Star Wars Universe to come, is largely missing from merchandise. I won’t say it is non-existent, because there is definitely merchandise with her on it, but compared to Finn, Po, and Kylo Ren it is far harder to come by. This is despite the fact that Po is not a main character at all. In fairness Disney, you seem to have more Rey in the newest wave of collectibles, and I am hoping this was the plan all along. However, the cynic in me sees it more reactive than proactive.

In short, I do not understand this. You people already did all the legwork, you made great films, and you didn’t write soft female leads. You managed to dodge making either of them seem forced or just there to buck trend. They are both well developed characters that girls can get behind. This is all good stuff, and I applaud you (sappy and completely unneeded love sub-plot for Black Widow in Avengers 2 aside).

You’ve taken great strides to break down the gender walls that you spent the last 100 years building, and making it cool for young girls to like comics and Star Wars. Now, please let them have the toys and other merchandise to go with it. So, I implore you, since you won’t do it for any altruistic reason, do it for the reason you exist in the first place.

To generate heaping piles of cash…

Thank you,

A Fiscally Concerned Dad.

 

 

5 Things I Learned About Parenting in 2015

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Sorry for the delay in updates. Blame it on a combination of holiday buzz and a broken laptop. However, I am back!

For my last post of 2015, I thought it would be appropriate to do a “Year in Review” type thing. So here are some things I learned in 2015 about parenting…
Parenting Things I Learned in 2015:
 
1) Three is a Tough Age
 
Three is a difficult age. It’s the age where kids develop that wonderful “mind of their own” you hear so much about. They also develop an unbelievable ability to not want the thing you are suggesting, even if the thing you are suggesting is a free unicorn pony of their very own. Some parts of three are really neat. My daughter has become extremely into art, artists, and painting. It’s great to watch her explore the things she is into, and to see her grow so much as a little person.

The less enjoyable parts are the massive meltdowns over minor things. Unfortunately, this is very common at this age, and there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it. Most days it is not a huge issue, but the days where everything is a meltdown causing indiscretion do leave you exhausted and wondering about your overall prowess at this whole parenting thing.

2) Dad’s Need More Support Outlets

I wrote about this a month or two ago, but it bears repeating. There are a lot of support groups, sites, etc. for moms out there. It is great that these exist, and I would just like to see more of this for fathers. The overarching issue is that a lot of men, myself included, tend not to talk about feelings. We are taught to bury anything difficult and just move on. This may work for most things, but it doesn’t work for raising kids.

Parenting gets extremely hard sometimes. This can be for a variety of reasons, but the “Why?” is largely irrelevant. There are problems that only dads face, just like there are problems that only moms face. Some of these issues are fairly minor, but some are huge emotional life changing issues, and there is simply a void in our culture when it comes to support for fathers. Hopefully this is something we can work on improving going forward.

3) There is a Hierarchy of Kid’s Shows

We try and limit my daughter’s TV time to mostly weekend mornings. I don’t believe that all TV is bad, or it is a complete waste of time. I actually think it can be a decent gateway for kids into figuring out topics they really enjoy, or vice versa. For example, my daughter is art obsessed, and there are a few shows that expose her to art, and various art styles.

With this in mind, there is absolutely a hierarchy of kid’s tv shows. I’m never really upset if my daughter wants to watch Creative Galaxy, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, or a few others. However, when she start’s requesting Mickey Mouse Clubhouse; I let out an audible groan. That’s not even the lowest tier, there are shows like Caillou (does that kid ever stop whining?) that are just banned in my house. I never thought I would have strong opinions on which kid’s show is less mind numbing, but I absolutely do.

4) Don’t Get Too Attached to Material Things… Because Your Kid Will Break Them

My daughter is pretty non-destructive as far as three year old’s go. That being said, being the least destructive three year old is kind of like being faster than me. For those that don’t know me, let’s just say it’s not a major accomplishment. Therefore, although my daughter doesn’t destroy everything in her path, she still manages to do a number on various things around the house. The crowning moment of this year being when she managed to turn my relatively new laptop into the world’s most expensive brick via an unscheduled shower.

I really didn’t even get upset with her. She wasn’t doing anything inherently wrong, and getting mad at her for being a kid seems kind of counterproductive. The point is basically that kids will break things. Hopefully not too many things, and preferably less expensive than a laptop… but make no mistake, they will break things. Just try to take a deep breath, and as long as it wasn’t done with malice or wanton disregard, do your best not to lose your cool over it.

5) I Have a Really Good Kid… You Probably Do Too.

My daughter does all sorts of three year old things that nobody in their right mind would qualify as “good” behavior. She throws fits, argues completely inarguable things, says way too honest things to strangers, etc. However, at the end of the day, she is a really good kid. She has a big heart, is constantly learning, and really is turning into a wonderful little human. I have seen really difficult kids (usually, not always, but usually accompanied by really questionable parenting), and my daughter just is not one of them.

When we have days that are complete disasters, I try to focus on this. I encourage other people to do it as well. I won’t pretend that I don’t go to bed frustrated sometimes after a particularly challenging day, but it really is good to focus on the positives. In the great scheme of things, I have a pretty awesome kiddo, and I would be willing to bet that most parents reading this do as well.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

HAPPINESS AND GOOD HEALTH TO YOU AND YOURS IN 2016!

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Don’t Be Scared: Raising Kids in a Fear Obsessed Culture

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The last few weeks seem to have people more on edge than usual. I’m sure this is a combination of the horrible events in France, Mali, and Nigeria and a media that is obsessed with atrocity. I usually try to stay away from anything too politically charged on here, but I need to talk about this trend I am seeing all too much of on social media, and unfortunately in casual conversation. Lately, people are looking for groups of people to fear with little to no provocation (the entire republican presidential primary has been dominated by it). This is a dangerous direction for us as a population.

First, I know that fearing what we don’t know or understand is hardly a new human phenomena, and I also understand that we will always have a level of racism and bigotry in our society. Some people would rather just hate, and we can’t fix them. All we can do is make them the outcasts. My issue is the current willingness of otherwise intelligent and generally moderate people to default to the position of fear seems to be growing. Whether it is Islamophobia, homophobia, racism, sexism, etc. the idea that one group of people needs to be feared due to the actions of a few is a breeding ground for disaster.

Now this is a blog about parenting, so let me frame this in the light of how we bring up our children. Teaching your children to fear what they do not understand as opposed to learning about it is raising the risk of sentencing them to a life of seclusion, ignorance, and hate. As parents we have an obligation to our children to help them explore our world and its people. The “gated community” mentality will not suffice in modern times. Your children will reach out to the world and find people, they need your guidance so the people they find are positive influences. Send them off with the idea that Muslims are going to hurt them or black teenagers are criminals, and I promise they will find awful people looking to lure them into embracing those ideals. Luckily the inverse is equally true. Give them an open mind, and they will find wonderful people from every possible background who will enhance their lives.
The argument I keep seeing is safety and/or protection in regard to our children and communities. This is simply an illegitimate reason, and often just used to justify the thinly-veiled bigotry. Of course we want our kids to be safe. I don’t know many topics that all decent parents would agree on, but I am sure that the safety of their children is on the top of that list. With that in mind, teaching your children to fear large groups of people does not make them safer. What we can do is teach our children to be wary of situations around them, and judge individuals as individuals. Then they can assess whether or not a situation is a safe one to be in. This is a far more valuable skill than blocking off large portions of humanity.
As we have seen time and time again, we cannot rely on media to help with this lesson. Different groups are simply not portrayed equally in American media. This is your job as a parent. You need to explain to your kids that people of all types are good or bad, this is determined by their own character and nothing else. Make no mistake, they hear how you talk about everyone around you, and they will shape their world in a similar way. Teach them to question what they see or hear and form their own well thought out views and opinions. That’s the best way to equip them for the future.

So, I offer this, instead of looking for reasons to fear what is different, I encourage you to look for ways to appreciate it. Next time you see a story of a horrible extremist of any kind doing something terrible, search for a positive story. Show your children (and yourself) all the good in the world. Just as evil is not limited by race, culture, or religion; neither is good. So find the good, and instead of being afraid of the monsters, try to be inspired by the humanity.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoy DadLunch, please take a moment to like us on Facebook here… DadLunch.

 

4 Things That Parents do That Drive Non-Parents Crazy (and Why We Do Them)

OK, let’s clear the air. Non-parents, I know you find us parents insufferable sometimes, and to be fair, I’m sure we are. However, we generally aren’t trying to be impossible to spend time with. We just are a little oblivious since most of our day is split between work and trying to select the right color bowl for our child (a choice that has consequences on par with Indiana Jones trying to select the right cup at the end of Last Crusade). With that in mind, I just wanted to explain why we do some of the more aggravating things that we do. So here it is…
4 Things That Parents do That Drive Non-Parents Crazy (and Why We Do Them)
4) We Never Go To Social Events
I wrote a whole article about this (Here). However, to summarize, it is not that we don’t want to be part of your event. It’s just really difficult to make it to most social occasions. We have to be willing to leave our kid after a long work week, find childcare, and find the last shred of energy in our body if we want to leave the house after 6 PM.
I will offer this though. If you tell us that something is important to be at, we will make a legitimate attempt to attend. We do care about you, and we do want to be there for important events… just don’t expect me to be at Free Fish Friday’s at O’Malley’s Pub.
3) Talk About “Parent Only” Topics
I try to somewhat avoid doing this in groups with a lot of non-parents, but I fail miserably. Here is the problem… I only know about parenting stuff at this point. I do not party, and I keep only a fleeting grip on pop culture and/or sports. My life is consumed by things like “What is the best kindergarten for an art obsessed hippie-kid?” or “How do you get apple juice out of Shih-tzu hair?”
As my daughter has gotten a little older, I have definitely been able to get back into my hobbies more. This allows me to carry-on at least 6-8 minutes of real adult conversation. It’s great to be doing and talking about things I enjoy again outside of parenting, but this is a pretty new development. So non-parents, if the parents in question have a child under two, they aren’t intentionally leaving you out of conversation… they just have no idea what to talk if it isn’t a diaper genie.
2) Post Too Many Pictures on Social Media
I admit I post a lot of pictures of my kid (I even this out by posting no food or meme pics), and I also admit that some people probably overdo it. I try to avoid my daughter being the only thing people see anytime my name pops up on their Facebook, but there are three main reasons I post a lot of pictures…
First, posting pictures is about the best way for me not to lose them. I am not a super-organized person (basically, I call it a win if I know where my pants are at any given time), and I will lose things that I do not save. Modern technology is a gift when it comes to instantly saving something, and posting is one of the really easy ways to do this.
Second, most people have family that are not close by. Posting on a mass social media sites is a nice way to let them see pics of your kids since they don’t get to see them in person very often. I’d rather post one pic than text or email several people.
Third, my kiddo is awesome, and you guys need to see this awesome thing she did. All kidding aside, my daughter is by far and away the best part of my life, and I want to share the best parts of my life with people I care about. So I’m sorry that I care about you that much (repeat this to yourself in a Jewish Grandmother voice whenever you are annoyed by a kid pic, and enjoy the ride on the guilt trip train).
1) Complain About Parenting
If I haven’t made it abundantly clear, I absolutely love being a dad. My daughter makes me the happiest person in the world, and I wouldn’t trade being a dad for anything. With that being said, parenting is really difficult. It’s like having a full time job on top of having a full time job, only instead of being paid it is exuberantly expensive.
So sometimes, parents vent. To non-parents, I’m sure this can be annoying. We made the choice to be parents, so I can see complaining about it being frustrating to our friends without kids. Give us a minute and we will probably get it out of our system.
Just remember, as soon as we leave the room, you can vent about us to everyone else.

Who Are You, And What Did You Do With My Baby?

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I had a baby once. She was little, she couldn’t talk, and we were very excited when she did things like roll over, or wait more than 27 minutes between pooping. However, something very strange has happened. I can’t find this baby anymore, and instead I have a little girl. This little girl has a plethora of likes, dislikes, wants, needs, etc. She also has no issue explaining them at great lengths. I can’t figure out exactly what this little girl did with the baby I had, but the baby is missing.

I looked all over for my baby. I looked for clues under the ever growing pile of painting supplies that a certain little girl is constantly using to express her blossoming love of all things art. I looked under the sketchpads, paintbrushes, and watercolors.

No, there were no signs of a baby there.

Just a pile of beautiful drawings and some odd little creations that could only make sense in the ever expanding mind of a kid.

Then I figured I would check the basket where we kept her baby toys, but those too were gone. Now it was filled with puzzles, games, and other things a baby would never know how to play with. Definitely no clues about the missing baby there.

Next, I decided to look in the room where my baby used to live. I looked in the drawers full of jeans, t-shirts, and dresses. I looked under the Lego workbench where this little girl had built all sorts of towers, airplanes, schools, and whatever else crossed her racing mind.

Still, nothing leading to my baby.

Finally, I looked in the bed to see if my baby was hiding under the covers. All I found were stuffed animals this little girl had named (and given backstories)… this wasn’t even my baby’s crib. This was the bed of a little girl.

As I walked downstairs, I decided to check one more place. I looked in the kitchen, to see if I could find any proof of a baby there. After all, it’s where we kept her diaper bag for so long. We would leave it right by the door, so we never forgot the plethora of things we needed every time we left the house. Maybe something there would point me in the direction of my baby…

When I looked by the door, it started to sink in. My baby was gone forever.

By the door, where we used to keep the diaper bag, I saw another bag. It wasn’t for diapers though… it was for books. Babies don’t need book bags. Little girl’s need book bags so they can go to school and fill their brains with all sorts of amazing things. Any evidence of a baby in this house has been relegated to photos, small reminders, and memories.

This is now a little girl’s house. A wonderful little girl who will keep growing, playing, learning, and amazing me at every turn.

Still, if only I could figure out where this little girl came from…