The other day we drove down to Conshohocken, PA for a much needed IKEA visit. It’s not terribly far away, but I really wish they were closer. I’d be there every week.
Back in the day, a number of my best female friends used to make regular, excited trips to the local Ikea. They liked the quick, cheap food. They loved picking up cute, random household items. And at least one of them liked to stand in front of a large stainless steel refrigerator and throw the double doors open, dreaming of a day she could have one like it.
Although I enjoyed the occasional visit, it was all sort of lost on me.
Until I had a child.
As it turns out, IKEA wasn’t made for my fun-lovin’ single gal pals, it was made for parents like me.
I mean, just look at this handy chart:
Places that are not IKEA
|Baby Changing Station in Women’s restroom||
|Baby Changing Station in Men’s restroom||
|Lowered child-height urinal||
|Child safety chairs in multiple stalls||
|Super cheap kids food||
|Free Freakin’ Childcare (!!!)||
|are you kidding?|
I’m just sayin’.
Dear Baby Boo,
This is an exciting week for us, because this week we will finally be telling your grandparents all about you!
I can tell you right now that they are going to be SO thrilled to hear that you are on the way. You will be very, very special to them, just like you are to us.
This week is also special because we get to celebrate both Canada Day (Canada’s birthday!) and Independence Day (America’s birthday!) together. Mama and I are very fortunate that we were both born in countries where we have so much, when so many people in the world have so little. Some day you will really come to appreciate it too, I’m sure.
You’ve grown to the size of a fig! Figs are delicious fruits that are full of calcium, fiber and minerals, and were one of the first plants that human beings ever tended and cultivated. They also show up a lot in the Bible, practically right from the start.
Your mama and I have some good ideas for a special name for you, but we’ve decided that we’re going to keep your name a secret until the day you are born. In the meantime, we’ve decided to give you a nickname: Boo!
Mama can’t believe how quickly the time with you still inside her is going. Did you know you are already about 1/4 ready to be born? She thinks she may have even felt you kicking already! Was that you?
This past Sunday was Father’s Day, my third with Tucker and my first with you. It was a very special day for me. Mama and Tucker made me breakfast, and took me for a special lunch after church. I am so excited that I get to be your daddy, Boo, and I promise I will be the best daddy you could ever want. I won’t always be perfect, but I will always love you, no matter what.
You’ve grown to the size of a kumquat! That’s a funny word for a special kind of citrus fruit. If you’re anything like your big brother, you’ll love citrus. You are developing so fast, you even have teensy tiny fingernails on your teensy tiny fingers now. Amazing.
All of my life I’ve been compared to my dad.
It used to bother me.
In the time before I can even remember, people were saying I was his spitting image, and that continued throughout my childhood. If dad hadn’t still been alive, someone would have whispered that I was him, reborn. Some of my earliest memories are actually of being told how much I look like him.
We even had a similarity in posture. I remember when we went with some other family to some public event and everyone was snickering about how dad and I, seated side-by-side, were unconsciously doing the same arms-crossed, head tilted position.
Summer is here, and along with it comes grillin’ season.
When I first heard about this, it looked interesting but sounded a little… strange. Then I started making it. As I prepared the sauce the flavors were clearly going to be amazing, but it definitely started to look weird. Mayonnaise and cheese on corn?
I debated just sticking with butter and salt.
I am so happy I didn’t win that debate with myself. Served along some homemade steak fajitas and guacamole, this is seriously one of the most flavorful dishes I’ve ever made.
Yes, it’s messy. Very messy. But this is corn on the cob we’re talking about here — tea-time with the Queen, it’s not.
This has been a strange Father’s Day Week.
While the media spends most of the year rightly lamenting the plague of absent, uninvolved fathers, The Atlantic magazine took upon itself this week the opportunity to offer up articles on whether fathers are necessary at all and if we’re on the cusp of the end of men. Slate, meanwhile, offers up an exciting Boston College study which reports a huge increase in men’s participation in domestic and childcare responsibilities, and interprets it as further evidence that men are liars.
Now, to be fair, at least 2 of the 3 articles above are, on the surface, trying to put a positive spin on their attention grabbing headlines. Isn’t it great that women have come so far in a short period of time, as to be the majority of both job-holders and college graduates? And don’t you see? The silver lining to men lying about being involved dads is that not that long ago men would instead be lying about spending their evenings at the bar rather than be seen as the kind of guy who goes home from work and changes diapers!
Okay. I guess. You have to wonder a little at the timing though. I always figured Father’s Day was a chance to thank and encourage dads for what they do, not to marginalize their contributions to family and society AND call them liars. But maybe that’s just me.
Is this some sort of poorly thought out application of John Nash’s non-cooperative game theory, where they just bet against the assumption that everyone else will be running fluff pieces about good ol’ dad? Maybe. Given that it scored “The End of Men” author Hanna Rosen a spot on the Colbert Report, perhaps it worked. They’re definitely getting attention.
And I suppose it’s better than the alternatives, like MomLogic’s annual Father’s Day Week reprinting of their 10 Reasons Father Doesn’t Know Best list, or their gift guides for stinky, couch potato, lazy, and deadbeat dads.
It occurred to me the other day that this past week marked the one year anniversary that my family and I moved across the country from greater Seattle, WA to Lehigh Valley, PA, where my wife had been offered a job. How time flies! We still miss the NW like crazy sometimes, mainly the people there, but we’re thankful that we’ve met so many wonderful people here and can honestly say we’re much more settled now.
What hadn’t really occurred to me was that it was only a few days after we arrived here that, my wife having started her new position, I officially started mine as the day-to-day, full-time, primary caregiver for our son.
And so to celebrate Tucker and my First Anniversary together, I humbly present the . . .
Top 10 Lessons of My First Year as a Stay-At-Home Dad
Today was a very special day, because Mama, Tucker and I saw and heard you for the first time!
We went to see one of the doctors that will be helping you come into the world. She was very nice. A special machine was used so that we could look inside Mama and see you there. We could see your whole, perfect little body, including your head, body, arms and legs. We even got to see and hear your heart beating. It was amazing.
You are doing an excellent job of developing, everyone agreed.
This week you are about the size of a grape. Now there’s something I love to eat! So does your big brother Tucker, and I bet you will too. In fact, here’s a little tidbit that shows just how quickly you are growing: grapes are big enough that when Tucker eats them we need to cut them into smaller pieces for him to be safe. WOW you’re growing fast!
The subject of “dad in the delivery room” has come up a lot lately and, surprisingly, it has often been by people saying they are against it.
They suggest a return to keeping dads out.
Some dads have written about witnessing the birth of their child having caused a loss in the spark of their marital intimacy with their wife. One “expert” claims that a man’s presence causes the mother to be more stressed out, prolonging labor and increasing the need for more drugs or c-sections. Another even suggests that if a man is there he can’t really do anything and ends up feeling like a failure of a father from the start — making him less likely to be involved later, his ego shattered.
For all of them, the answer is apparently to get men out of the room entirely, I guess to go sit with Don Draper in the waiting room.
Mama and Tucker and I went to the doctor’s office, so we could talk with them all about you. There are lots of very smart and helpful people there who will be doing everything they can to make sure you and Mama are healthy and safe. We don’t know which doctor will be helping on your Birthday, but we know he or she will do a great job.
This week the baby websites say you’ve grown to the size of a kidney bean. Baby, I’m sorry, I like them even less than lentils! But I LOVE you, so let’s think of something else that is the same size, okay? You’re now about half an inch long, which is about the thickness of a slice of good sandwich bread. Sandwiches are yummy, so that’s better!
Did you know that in Canada, the country where I and many others in your family are originally from, we use the metric system? It doesn’t use inches, so we’d say you are just about 1 1/4 centimeters long.
Don’t worry. It can be confusing sometimes, even for super smart people like Mama.
I saw Alton Brown make this on Good Eats last year and I needed to try it. I’ve done it twice now and it’s marvelous. If you don’t have (or don’t want to pay for) prosciutto, go ahead and use your favorite thin-sliced deli ham.
The recipe looks a little complicated, but it’s really quite deceptively simple once you wrap your head around how to construct everything.
If you’re confused, you can watch Alton make it here on YouTube (he starts the Pork Wellington at about the 4:50 mark).
This goes great with some good apple sauce or apple butter.
What’s the deal (if I may get all Seinfeldian for a moment) with the rarity of baby changing tables in men’s restrooms?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they are far more common now than ever before. But it still surprises me that so few places bother to install them in the men’s room at all.
“A man changing a diaper? Don’t be absurd!”
Maybe it’s just simply pragmatism by the business. There have been a number of times I’ve been changing my son in a public restroom and someone coming or going will give me a look that says (or they will actually say) that they’ve never seen one being used before. I’ve actually had men say “Oooh, that’s what that’s for.” So perhaps it’s just that the business has calculated that the expense to install/upkeep such a thing outweighs the few men annoyed by being denied the opportunity to change a diaper. Something tells me they don’t get a lot of complaints.