If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my six years as a stay-at-home dad, it’s that establishing — and honoring — routine can save your sanity. Whether it’s a scarily complex bedtime routine, a daily walk, or a weekly family movie night, kids do really well when they feel like they have some comfort in knowing what’s in store.
As parents we like to have a plan, but a huge part of being a parent is thinking on your feet. Sometimes it’s how to answer a difficult question posed by a kid. Sometimes it’s figuring out how to clean up a major diaper blow-out with no wipes on hand. Sometimes it’s explaining to your curious toddler why that nice police officer just pulled you over. Sometimes it’s navigating the unspoken social contracts on playground. Sometimes it’s just doing whatever you possibly can to get your baby to sleep.
Yeah, you heard me. I’m “raging” against Amazon Mom again.
It’s been a while. It was August of 2012 when I last wrote about how nonsensical it is for Amazon to continue to insist that they have to use “Amazon Mom” for their program — aimed at busy parents who would like diapers delivered to their door at a discount — because their only other option is apparently “Amazon Primary Caregiver.” What’s wrong with “Amazon Family?” I asked. I never got an answer. I encouraged people to sign a petition, put together by my friend Jeffrey, asking for Amazon to consider the change. But it never took off.
I wasn’t the only one writing about the issue though. Almost two years ago today, my friend Oren wrote about the issue as well. It meant something to him. A lot, actually. And it’s in his honor that I (and others) have decided to take up the issue again.
Because it’s time for this to finally change.
This week, Similac released a new campaign video that has been getting a lot of attention, and with good reason. It’s funny, it’s touching, and it sends a fantastic message about parenting: that we’re all in this together, and judging one another helps no one.
It’s really quite fantastic… right up until the last second, when they drop the ball. At least, if the idea is actually to support all parents.
I may have mentioned on here once or twice about that my 6 year-old Tucker has, for some time now, had his sights set on a future career as an astronaut. The dream lives on, and so I was really excited to be able to share with him yesterday in the excitement over the successful landing of the Philae lander on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.
Part of the reason Tucker was excited about this mission is because the ESA (European Space Agency) created a fantastic animated series about it, that we have watched together a few times.
I don’t know why it just occurred to me to share this here, but if you have a kid who is curious what all the excitement is about, give these a watch together. You just might learn something too. 🙂
Part 1: Fabulous Fables and Tales of Tails
Part 2: Once Upon a Time…
Part 3: Are We There Yet?
Part 4: Preparing for Comet Landing
Now that Philae has landed on the surface, hopefully they put together some adorable animation about that too soon. If they do, I’ll be sure to add it here!
Leave it to Guillermo del Toro to produce an animated movie that looks unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in a major production. I just love the look of this movie, foregoing the recent “as photo realistic as possible” trend in animation and instead drawing deeply on the rich mythology and visual style of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) to make something truly unique and beautiful.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what director Jorge Gutierrez has put together. Word is that when he started work on this film, he said to his designers and animators that his goal was to have the final movie live up to the incredible conceptual art that he so often saw in “The Art of…” books for many movies, but never seemed to make it to the final screen. From the looks of things, he has succeeded.
I’ve had this new NyQuil ad mentioned to me a few times recently, and finally managed to track it down. It’s short and basic, but I love it and really wanted to share it with you all…
After my first, in Washington, DC, back in 2012, I was determined to get more involved with the organization and double-down my work on getting my own local dad group in the Lehigh Valley, PA area, where I lived at the time, off of the ground. I did that, and then shortly after, I helped the NAHDN redesign their website. Last year at the convention in Denver I was elected to the Board of Directors.
So you could say that when it comes to the NAHDN and the At-Home Dad Convention, I’m a big believer in what we’re doing.
All of my life, I have hated mushrooms.
My memories of mushroom-aversion run deep and wide, all the way back to that traumatic time as a kid when my gag-reflex over being forced to eat the mushrooms on my plate got me into what I thought was some terribly unjust trouble.
Over the years though, I came to start appreciating mushrooms’ culinary uses. Contrary to my long-standing belief that it was their ability to “absorb” flavors that was supposed to make them great — a claim I always found dubious — I found instead that they were actually an excellent source of flavor themselves.
Eventually I would find out why, when I came to be familiar with the concept of umami, the so-called “fifth taste” beyond those of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Sometimes it’s explained as “savory,” but the Japanese word actually translates to give a meaning more like “deliciousness.” Umami is something found in foods which are high in glutamates, and one of the highest glutamate foods is, as it turns out, mushrooms. With this knowledge — and frankly, having married a woman who loves mushrooms — I was happy to begin experimenting with using mushrooms in my cooking. As it turns out, they’re actually really good when given a chance. Who knew?
Their request? Come up with a quick and easy mushroom recipe, and encourage others to do the same, for a chance at winning $500 for the best recipe.
I’m more than happy to oblige!
Unless you’re one of those people who commits to never, ever using anything except the Queen’s English and proper scientific terminology with their kids — and actually follows through — as parents we all end up using our own lexicon with our kids after a while.
With a 5 and 3 year old, I long ago stopped with any semblance of real “baby-talk,” with the exception of when I am doing a funny character voice for a book or to bring a toy or puppet to life. But there are still a few “toddler words,” as I call them, that I use so often with my kids, that I am having a hard time breaking the habit of using when talking to adults.
A few hours ago I dropped off my oldest child for his first day at Kindergarten.
I know, I know, the last thing the internet needs right now is another verklempt parent writing about sending their kid off to school, wistfully mourning that their little baby is all grown up now and practically out of the nest. I actually thought I did pretty well, truth be told. No tears from either of us.
But dang. I had no idea it was going to hit me like this, hours later, sitting there at the park playing with his little brother (who starts preschool next week!), and wishing we could be playing right outside a certain kindergarten classroom window instead of down the street.
My boys wanted to do the #IceBucketChallenge to #StrikeOutALS. Stick around for some surprise guests!
Thanks to Auntie Melodie for the challenge!
Be sure to visit http://ALSA.org and DONATE!
When I think back to when I was a kid, science-fiction movies were my fertile imagination’s bread-and-butter.
Sure, there was Star Wars, which of course I loved. But it was about grown-ups who lived far, far away, a long time ago. What I really loved were those great standalone movies where kids (like me!) got thrust into the adventure: The Last Starfighter, Flight of the Navigator, Explorers, and of course, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. As I’ve grown up, new movies that play on the same theme have rocked my socks off, like The Iron Giant, and Super 8.
When I started seeing trailers for Earth to Echo I could tell it was exactly the sort of movie I would have gone gaga over when I was a kid. I’m so looking forward to watching it with my boys when they are old enough. Tucker has been enamored ever since he discovered that one of the characters is also named Tuck. 🙂
I first met Oren Miller in October 2012 at the At-Home Dad Convention, meeting that year in Washington, DC.
Prior to DC, he was someone I only knew online, mostly through his writing on his blog A Blogger and A Father. There he tackles a lot of the same things I do here on Daddy Doctrines — a healthy mix of personal parenting anecdotes, both sweet and funny, and commentary on modern fatherhood through the eyes of a stay-at-home dad. He was also one of the guys I learned to rely on to play Devil’s Advocate for me, after he took a contrarian’s view on the whole “Huggies Thing“ both before and after. I grew to respect him a lot.
Meeting him in person, like meeting anyone you have previously only known online, was a little bit shocking. Yes, there was the wholly unexpected strong Israeili accent, but more than that was his quiet, unassuming demeanor that held sway right up until a razor wit or ridiculously profound observance burst forth. Anyone who knows him will know what I mean.