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.
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.
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.
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.
Sometimes the things that my boys end up fighting about are astounding.
“He told me to put in PANTS!”
“He keeps singing ALONG with me!”
“He said I’m NOT a NINJA!”
“He ALWAYS gets to hold the Costco receipt!”
“But I wanted to finish lunch FIRST!”
And of course
“HE HIT ME BACK!”
What crazy things do your kids fight about most?
Bedtime prayers are something we do every night around here, and it was certainly pretty special when the boys both started saying them on their own. We encourage them to not just say something by rote, but to actually think about what they are thankful for, or what they want to talk to Jesus about.
Of course, sometimes this backfires…
Tucker: “Dear Jesus, please please pleeeeease don’t let Coltrane have any dragons. Amen.”
From even before the time my boys were old enough to start brushing their teeth, we’ve had a little routine around our house about how we get it done before bed.
And like most things around here, it relies on a fun and memorable song. My wife and I being who we are, we even throw in some harmonies:
I see her as we approach the red light and slow to a stop. I don’t know her name, but in my mind I always call her Jane. We’ve never spoken, though I have seen her many, many times through my windshield.
Fingers tight together, she’s waving with one raised hand, like the Queen from her carriage to her loyal subjects. She smiles a huge, toothy ear-to-ear smile that makes her eyes squint just a little and gives off a feeling like she is on top of the world. Arms, face, and hands are deeply tanned from the sun, and the wind flutters her billowy pants and tied-back mousy hair. In her non-waving hand she holds a cardboard sign where in crude black letters it says:
“Desperate and Alone. Please help.”
Now that Mother’s Day has come and gone, the slow trickle of dad-stuff is about to begin, as advertisers and marketers and the media in all its forms start looking for ways to move the focus onto dads. (At least for a couple of weeks.)
Sadly, this usually means a whole lot of (perhaps) well-meaning discussion about dads that still present one of the many falsehoods, fabrications, and outright lies about fathers that just won’t seem to die. Some of these things are annoyances. Others are actually incredibly harmful to families, to kids, and to the dads themselves.
Since we’re still early in the Father’s Day pre-season, I thought I’d nip these in the bud right away.
I shared this earlier, in a private group online, but the feeling was that it’s too good to not share with everyone. So, here it is (slightly edited). Of course moms totally deserve a day to be celebrated, but it is nice to see that most of these kids clearly have such active and involved dads. It’s really encouraging that they are growing up in a world where they see mom and dad as equally valuable parenting partners. Also, it was pretty cute, and hilarious sitting there watching the teacher’s face.
I was parent-helper this morning at preschool, and with Mother’s Day coming up their “Circle Time” was, of course, themed all about moms, mommies, and mamas. Teacher Annie (not her real name) read a few books about moms, they discussed the upcoming “Muffins with Moms” event, and then the kids were asked to share some of their favorite things that their moms do for them. The idea was to get them thinking about what sort of things they might want to write in the Mother’s Day cards they will make (shhh, it’s a surprise!).
When not a lot of hands shot up, Annie offered a few nice suggestions to get them thinking. Things like: “Who brings you to school? Who makes your lunch? Who reads with you? Who gives you lots of great big hugs?”
“My mom does…” said one kid. “And so does my dad!”
Mother’s Day is, as you may have heard, coming up quickly. My friends at Starbucks and Life of Dad have put out the challenge to see who can wrangle his kids to show their mom just how awesome she is, and prove himself the real #LatteRomeo. And what better way than with breakfast in bed?
Sometimes you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to the whole “boy toy” and “girl toy” thing. I thought maybe we’d reached Peak Pink, especially with that McDonald’s “chief diversity officer” just last week announcing that:
It is McDonald’s intention and goal that each customer who desires a Happy Meal toy be provided the toy of his or her choice, without any classification of the toy as a ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ toy and without any reference to the customer’s gender. We have recently reexamined our internal guidelines, communications and practices and are making improvements to better ensure that our toys are distributed consistent with our policy.
Apparently that doesn’t mean they have figured out the ridiculousness of this sort of thing though.