Way back in 1985, my family made the very long drive from Toronto, Canada to Orlando, Florida for a magical summer vacation together.
To help fight boredom during the drive, dad had picked up several books on tape.
One of these was John Wyndham’s post-apocalyptic novel Day of the Triffids, in which large plants (in my memory I always think “alien” plants, but strictly speaking this is not the case in the novel) take over the world. I actually remember little else about the novel, having been too scared by what I heard to ever pick it up for an actual reading, except that there were giant killer plants and that they were terrifying. Also, lots of people were blind.
Anyhow, while we were in Florida enjoying Disney World or Epcot, at some point, somewhere — the details lost to history — we came across a farming display of some kind that featured giant sunflowers.
To my 9-year old imagination, nothing I had ever seen could possibly have looked more like a giant evil killer plant than a giant sunflower, with it’s looming height and empty, soulless face.
They gave me the creeps.
That was when I made the mistake of saying out loud what, in hindsight, I should have kept to myself. I told my family that “those giant sunflowers creep me out.”
Over the years, my loving family has never let me forget it. The details or my reasoning behind why I said it hasn’t mattered. It went from “giant sunflowers give Chris the creeps” to “Chris is scared of sunflowers” rather quickly. In fact, it’s probably second only to “It’s like I’m afraid of that sandwich!” (a whole other story, there) in the pantheon of Things My Family Won’t Let Me Forget. I’m pretty sure that at some point my sister even got me a birthday card with a sunflower on it just to see my reaction, and I’m glad to say I let her down by not even noticing.
Anyhow, all of this is to say, sunflowers and I have a long and complicated history.
See Update Below!
I saw this posted earlier today, and, like the person who posted it, I was really happy to see a commercial where an at-home dad (or any dad at all, frankly) is shown as a competent person, capable of taking care of things at home:
Pretty good, right?
I mean, yeah, the whole “haha he’s a dude yet he knows how to braid hair” thing is a little cheap, but it’s cute and pretty funny and I’d WAY rather see humor based on how good a guy is at something domestic or child-related than how he’s a bumbling buffoon, whose place in laundry commercials is only to be the guy who shrank or discolored something. Again.
So, in that vein, I want to make this really clear: I honestly believe that this commercial exists because someone (and very likely several “someones”) at Tide really is conscious that there are dads out there who care about doing their laundry well, and are trying to present at-home dads in a positive light. Maybe it’s just recognition of an untapped market-segment, rather than an attempt to be progressive as a company about parenting roles. I don’t know.
But I appreciate it. I really do.
Then I saw the name of the clip, as titled on YouTube by whoever at Tide (it was posted by Tide) does their social media: “Tide – My Tide TV Commercial – Dad Mom Short Version.”
Something didn’t feel right.
What the heck is a Dad Mom?
We’ve always been really lucky when it comes to our boys and their sleeping.
There are definitely challenges, but we’ve been quite blessed when it comes to the whole “sleeping through the night” thing, and in general bedtime is not a struggle as long as we honor the routine. For the most part, lack of sleep for myself has been due mostly to being a night-owl who stays up way too late, rather than because I am woken up really unreasonably early by one or both of the boys.
Since baby Coltrane (9-months old) moved in to share a room with his big brother Tucker (now 3!), however, mornings have been starting earlier and earlier.
Pediatricians say there is a very specific order in which baby teeth should arrive; however, as most parents can tell you, not everything with your baby can be predicted quite so easily.
Has your baby been afflicted with a Baby Teething Order Disorder?
Like most (?) toddlers, my oldest son is rather enamored with quesadilla.
We play around with ingredients, but even just plain old’ cheese is almost always a surefire hit for lunch or dinner.
So, one day I decided it was high time I tried making my own tortillas, and boy am I ever glad I did. This hasn’t ended up meaning we never buy tortillas, but these are an easy way to make a meal that much more delicious.
I was a little intimidated about it since I don’t have a tortilla press, but, at least for this sort of tortilla, I was fine without. The final product is almost naan-like with its delicious char, and would work for just about any application where you’d use a tortilla or flat-bread, be they quesadilla, tacos, fajitas, wraps, gyros, or even mini-pizzas.
Several weeks ago, I was contacted by the audience coordinator at the Martha Stewart Show, asking if I was interested in bringing some of the guys from Lehigh Valley Club Dad to NYC to be in the audience for the taping of a SAHD-centric episode.
The idea was to fill the audience with just dads and their kids — initially aged 3 – 13, but they eventually dropped the age to 1 month. It sounded like a lot of fun, and a bunch of us decided to get tickets. The taping was this past Wednesday, and I thought I’d share my experience.
Tucker and I joined four other dads and their kids for a day trip into Manhattan from the Lehigh Valley for the show. The trip itself was quite the adventure; driving into Jersery City and taking the PATH into the Big City for the first time was fairly painless, and now that we’ve done it once next time would be even easier. We did get a little turned around trying to find the studio, but not too badly.
Even cynical New Yorkers couldn’t help smiling at the sight of all us guys with little kids walking together.