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Anatomy of a Meltdown

October 2, 2010


My wife and I introduced solid food to our daughter a while back, and for the first couple weeks everything went swimmingly. One of us would spoon lumps of pureed fruits and vegetables into her tiny puckered mouth while the other captured every facial twist and messy chin on camera. Meals were cheerful events. We beamed every time she woofed down something new: Oh look, she likes carrots! I was so moved by it all I bought a video recorder online.

Then something happened. As we began experimenting with more new foods—banana, pear, turkey—her poopy diapers became less frequent, and then disappeared altogther. One day. Two days. We called our pediatrician who told us not to sweat it, that this was completely normal. If she goes five days without pooping, she warned us, call back. Read more…


Dad Jeans: Be Nice to Your Balls

September 22, 2010

Two weeks to the day after my daughter was born I marched into a tony clothing boutique, slapped down my credit card, and shelled out an obscene amount of money on a single pair of jeans. A pair of jeans that, I’ll admit, I wasn’t even that crazy about.

It was a statement. My way of saying to the world I may have spit-up splotches on my shoulders, but I’ve still got style. The jeans were folded and wrapped in tissue paper then placed into what was perhaps the finest shopping bag I’d ever seen. I hurried home, slipped past my wife, and hung them in the far end of my bedroom closet….where they remain to this day, some eight months later, unworn.

The reason? I care about my balls. That’s right. As on-the-clock dads we’re called upon to bend, kneel, crawl, shimmy, sprint, twirl, bounce, flip, flail, and perform any of a hundred other gymnastic maneuvers during the course of a day. And all that can be tough on the sack, even in the best of circumstances. Try worming after your toddler with raw Japanese denim clung to your cajones and you’re liable to rupture a nut.

Your new favorite term: Relaxed fit. Relaxed as in you can run a conga line down the space between your crotch and waist. You want the sartorial equivalent of a station wagon. You want—no, your balls want—dad jeans!

Look, even our president wears them.

Obituary of a Chew Toy

July 27, 2010

Sophie the Giraffe, who over the past eight months distinguished herself as the chew toy of choice for my daughter’s frequent car trips, beating out such sturdy competition as Wooby the Mango Monkey rattle and a plastic measuring cup, died today when she thrown from a moving stroller. She was 49.

Dubbed the “World’s Most Famous Teething Toy,” Sophie was born on May 25, 1961, in the small town of Rumilly, France, where she was fashioned out of rubber made from the hevea tree. She stood 18 inches tall and her long, spindly legs and neck were perfect for soothing hard-to-reach baby molars.

Autopsy results conclude that the giraffe suffered a broken neck and punctured squeaky hole from the fatal fall, which took place at around the 1.5 mile mark of Crystal Springs Trail in San Mateo, Calif., at approximately 11:23 this morning. When alerted of the tragic news, my wife asked: “What the hell happened to Sophie? Why isn’t she squeaking?” To which I responded: “She gone.”

Authorities have yet to determine a motive for the incident, but an unnamed source close to the victim claims that a falling out occurred after a Winnie the Pooh music box was introduced into the nursery last month, adding, “Poor Sophie just never regained her footing after that.”

Sophie the Giraffe is survived by a Dora the Explorer fun mirror, Sammy the Seahorse, and two dozen wooden blocks. A private memorial service was held in our living room this evening.

Sophie the Giraffe (top right) 1961-2010

Cliffnotes for kids

July 14, 2010

Writer and poet Jorge Borges once said that he “imagined heaven to be a kind of library.” Wistful words from a man who never felt the soft glow of an iPad against his face. Or left 700 plus Facebook friends frothing at the braces for his next status update. Truth is, reading—as in books, with actual pages—has become a quaint, 19th-century concept whose day has all but passed.

But what about reading to your child? Surely even your Pixar-addled four-year-old deserves some exposure to the classics, right? Plus, you never know what kind of arcane crap they’ll slap onto a kindergarten admissions test these days. Best to cover your bases.

Which is why I’ve prepared a series of Cliffnotes for popular children’s books. Books which, if read word for word, cover to cover, could take you the better part of ten minutes to complete. So get smart. Stop wasting time. Heaven is a place on earth, and that place is your couch. The goal is to get there as fast as you can.  Read more…

It’s 5pm and I forgot to brush my teeth

June 26, 2010

Which is ironic because the reason I forgot to brush my teeth—the reason I forget to do a lot things lately—can be attributed to a single tooth. Someone else’s tooth, or near-tooth. That tiny enigma of enamel that may or may not be sprouting from the gums of my seven-month-old daughter. It’s her first tooth and it’s ruining my life! Read more…