Archive for the ‘ Story Bucket ’ Category

One Million Moms Vs. The New Normal

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

The organization One Million Moms is calling for a boycott of the upcoming NBC drama-comedy, The New Normal, which features a woman who chooses to become a surrogate mother for a gay couple.

My question is, “Why can’t those one million moms be in control of what their kids watch in their own house?”

Coincidentally, Jim Henson, Co. and the mayor of Boston, as well as at least 4,000 people so far have signed a petition to boycott Chick-fil-A, after President Dan Cathy made a remark in an interview confirming his stance on the traditional model of marriage: one man and one woman.

(For many, that apparently translates as “our entire restaurant chain disapproves of gay marriage and homosexuals in general.”)

That’s right. Sorry, Elmo. No more Chick-fil-A for you.

These similar and yet opposite news stories remind me of a quote by Henry Steele Commager:

“The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.”

I’ve never been a fan of censorship or boycotting anything. I’d rather let the free market decide. Because it does.

Back in March, I correctly predicted that ABC’s “GCB” wouldn’t last, as it seemed to offend the very audience it needed to survive.

It lasted 6 episodes. No one had to ban the show because mainstream America decided on their own not to watch it; whether deliberately or subconsciously, we’ll never know.

I curiously think about the best case scenarios for the boycotts endorsed by both One Million Moms and those who oppose Chick-fil-A.

If The New Normal ended up being cancelled because enough people didn’t watch it, would it change the fact that homosexuals are still raising children in the real world, whether those gay couples are “legally married” or not?

And if Chick-fil-A suffers greatly as a business because its President opposes gay marriage, will he suddenly change his religious beliefs, even going as far as to open his restaurants on Sunday in honor of same-sex parents?

Imagine the great responsibility of only being able to consume the products and receive the services of the companies and organizations who share and reflect your exact belief system in every way.

So let the people watch The New Normal. If it’s a good show that happens to feature gay parents, like Modern Family, then it will last because people will naturally watch it on their own.

And let the people eat at Chick-fil-A. I personally won’t be participating, but that’s only because I’m a vegetarian.

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I, Too, Was Once An Angry Zombie Dad

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

20 months.

During the first 15 months of my son’s life, I was essentially in survival mode.

No matter how positively I narrated this thing, I felt like a souvenir mug that had fallen on the floor, shattered, and then was superglued back together. Everyday.

I was never really one of those dads who went around saying, “I love being a dad! It’s tough, but when you come home at the end of the day and see that ‘little you’ looking up at you with those big eyes, it makes it all worth it.”

Yeah, that was never something I said nor thought. (Especially because my son is not a mini-me.)

Ah, but then my son turned the magical age of 15 months old. My life instantly got better!

Since then, I’ve been getting a better understanding now of why people enjoy being a parent; not just simply learning to deal with their new, demanding responsibilities.

Everyone has their own struggles and “default sins.” One of mine is greed. Not really with material possessions, but with my time.

If you’re familiar with the popular book, The Five Love Languages, then it’s important to note that “quality time” is probably my main love language.

When you become a parent and begin caring for an infant, the concept of quality time basically ceases to exist.

I was so disgruntled by the fact that my wife and I had to sacrifice meaningful conversations that didn’t revolve around our son, as well as, just even getting to hang out with each other on the couch and watch a movie without hearing that annoying “baby buzzer” going off.

Despite being a very outgoing guy, I’d say I’m just as much an introvert as I am an extrovert. I require a decent amount of solitude to function properly, where my deep and random thoughts can be born. So yeah, that pretty much went out the window too when my wonderful son arrived.

But once we were brave enough to incorporate “the cry it out method for our son and he instantly started sleeping through the night, we began getting our lives back.

When my son turned 15 months old, he started making me feel validated as a parent. It was like on Lost, realizing that pressing the button in the hatch every 108 minutes actually mattered and did good.

I finally began seeing a connection between my input as a parent and his output as a child. Man, I needed that.

My zombie days are over. I paid my dues. I have earned the right to have a magnificent son who daily plays “Props” on Whose Line Is It Anyway? with me.

I get to watch him do weird stuff like put a plastic rabbit on top of a toy car as if it’s normal.

And he depends on me to fix his hair in the morning and scare him with a Spiderman mask during playtime.

Oh, and have I mentioned that he loves learning how to “go pee-pee” by watching me? I’m not sure if I’ve written about that before, but don’t worry, there’s plenty more “watching Dada pee-pee” material coming up soon.

But hey, I’d rather being an oversharenting parent than an angry zombie dad.

Grrrrrr! Sorry, just had a flashback…

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Playing Props On Whose Line Is It Anyway? Toddler Edition

Friday, July 20th, 2012

20 months.


Today a coworker walked up to my desk and said, “Here, you have a kid. Take this.”

He handed me me some random Spongebob Squarepants toy from the bottom of a box of Cheerios.

Turns out, the toy was a water squirter; which will be perfect for bath time.

My son can turn anything into a toy. And he does. Every day and every hour.

If he discovers a mop in your closet, then it’s time to push that thing around like it’s his toy lawnmower.

If he finds my socks at the bottom of the stairs, then he has to put them on, becoming his new moon boots.

Jack recently discovered my wife’s 3 pound hand weights. Yes, now they are magic swords, evidently. And they shoot lasers out the ends, too.

He finds value in inanimate objects by asking himself, “How can I make this a fun and entertaining toy for the next 12 minutes?”

It totally reminds me of the “Props” game on the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? where they had to come up with a believable use for some random object… on the spot.

Yeah, now that I think about it, Jack really is constantly playing that game!

Wow. I understand my son so much better now.

Thank you, Drew Carey.

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Will My Oversharenting Embarrass My Kid Later?

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

20 months.

This past weekend my son Jack and I were out behind the house and he saw a pipe dripping water.

In the normal way that a toddler feels it’s necessary to shout out every noun they recognize, or think they recognize, he proclaimed,


It was just days before that I had published the oversharenting-laced Toddler Potty Training 101: Father To Son, in which told how I am currently psychologically potty training my son by letting him watch me go potty.

If you haven’t read it yet, I invite you to. Especially if you want to feel a little bit awkward.

But it’s not like my son’s Elmo Goes Potty book gets very specific in showing little boys exactly how to go pee-pee. And if it did, that would be more than creepy.

Clearly, it’s my job to teach my son by example on this. Have you noticed how little printed info there is on a father teaching his toddler son to go potty?

I did. That’s why I wrote about it. I think it’s one of those things that is normal in the household but remains largely unspoken.

Needless to say, I have little shame when it comes to oversharenting.

But I think it’s because I just deem it as self-deprecation; which scores you “cool points” in today’s world of parenting.

While some parents oversharent by giving an hour-by-hour status update on their kid’s wet and dirty diapers, when I oversharent, it tends to either involve me being weird, like scaring my son with a Spiderman mask… or it involves him pointing (and laughing) at me in my birthday suit.

When I oversharent, I try to make sure it doesn’t revolve around my son, but instead, my own feelings of inadequacy or habits of non-kosher behavior, as a dad .

I’ll make fun of myself all day long, but it’s important to me that I don’t harmfully overexpose my son or my wife; despite sharing them with the world in 400 words 6 days a week.

Granted, Jack isn’t even 2 years old yet. It’s not like he’s going to remember any of this anyway.

I was recently asked if I’ve ever thought about how one day my son will be old enough to read what I write about him and that he might be embarrassed by it.

No, I haven’t really thought about it. But no, I don’t think he’ll be ashamed, either.

Not at all.

In fact, I think of how cool it would have been had blogging existed in December 1982 when I myself was only 20 months old.

I mean, I do have this awesomely retro picture below to speak a thousand words for me.

But I think my son will totally dig the fact that those “unrememberable” first years of his life will be preserved like Han Solo in carbonite. The funny things he does now, like think that a dripping pipe is going pee-pee, are innocently humorous and normal for his age.

Not strange or shameful or unmentionable. Not destined for censorship; not even by my son a decade from now.

If I thought something might embarrass my wife, or eventually my son, I simply wouldn’t write about it.

For me, that’s actually what constitutes as crossing the line.

I’m here to embarrass myself when applicable, not them. But even then, I’m wondering if I can actually embarrass myself in my oversharenting.

I have yet to reach the point of shame.

Stay tuned, though. I’m sure I can at least come close.

Especially as we venture further into potty training.




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Toddler Potty Training 101: Father To Son

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

19 months.

*Warning: Contains oversharenting.

Early this morning I was getting ready to leave the house to take my son Jack to his doctor at Vanderbilt when I explained to him:

“Wait, son. I need to go pee-pee first.”

I left the bathroom door open so I could make sure he didn’t charge towards the potentially dangerous staircase, which he never does. Instead, he walked up to me, standing just far enough away from the toilet to be in the safe zone.

Jack watched the “waterfall” go into the potty in amazement and wonder. I felt he needed a sophisticated commentary.

“See, son. Pee-pee is coming out of Dada’s… hose.”

Yes. Hose.

That’s the best I could come up with, given the lack of sleep I received because of him waking up at 3:30 AM due to his fever.

But hey, I was just trying to relate it to something he could appreciate. And knowing that Jack loves playing with the water hose, it made the most sense in that split-second, unplanned moment.

I saw the yearning in his eyes: I could tell that my son totally wants to “spray his hose” into the potty.

To seal the deal properly, as I flushed the toilet I waved goodbye to the potty water as I emphatically proclaimed, “Bye bye, pee-pee! Bye bye!”

(Because Jack says “bye-bye” to everyone and everything, I knew he would appreciate this.)

My wife and I are in no hurry to potty train our child. I just want to plant that seed in his mind, though. I want to him to know that when he’s a little bit older, he will have the privilege of getting to do what Dada does.

I want him to believe that he’s missing out. And after seeing his reactions to my recent habit of glorifying going pee-pee in the potty, I think my plan is working.

Here lately Jack is indeed growing more aware of “pee-pee” anyway. He has this new thing he will do at the house where he will announce to me:


He’s literally letting me know that it’s time for me to change his diaper.

But because of his inability to make all the vowel sounds so far, “poo-poo” is pronounced the same as “pee-pee.”

Either way, I’m impressed by his new trick. My toddler actually tells me when it’s time to change his diaper.

The days of me mindlessly changing his diapers and him being unaware of why I’m doing it are over. Now he knows why!

I think he deserves a trendy Pee-Pee Awareness ribbon just for that alone.

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