Posts Tagged ‘ daddy blog ’

Using Subliminal Messages On My Toddler Son

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

20 months.

I lied.

A few days ago I said I wouldn’t be eating at Chick-fil-A because I’m a vegetarian. But after the past week of seeing a sporadic flow of sarcastic eCards dissing “waffle fries cooked in hate and bigotry” there was a particular part of that phrase that just got stuck in my head:

Waffle fries.

So yesterday I totally went to Chick-fil-A and got some large waffle fries. When I was there I saw a poster advertising their new peach milkshake and now I can’t stop thinking about that.

Yeah, I know today is the official “Chick-fil-A Appreciate Day” (AKA “Support Free Speech Day”) endorsed by Mike Huckabee. I’m not going there today because of the political movement that is happening.

I am going there because I want a peach milkshake. I want the milkshake because of the sarcastic eCards about waffle fries that made me start thinking about waffle fries.

In other words, despite certain Facebook friends’ efforts to get me to think that Chick-fil-A supports hate groups, I have now not only found myself not caring what the CEO of their company said (or didn’t say) but even more ironic, buying Chick-fil-A when normally, I would have never thought to go there.

(When you’re a vegetarian, going to a fast food joint is basically pointless. Until you start thinking about waffle fries and peach milkshakes.)

I have been intrigued by the concept of subliminal messages ever since I saw that episode of Saved By The Bell where Zack Morris gets all the girls in his school, as well as A.C. Slater, to fall in love with him after playing a subliminal message-laced song over the school’s PA system.

As much time as my wife and I spend deliberately teaching our son to do certain things, I give little thought to the lessons we teach him by accident.

The boy loves to vacuum.

Sure, he’s using the extension nozzle and it’s not actually attached to the vacuum cleaner. But hey, it’s no different than how musicians in music videos play their electric guitars which are not plugged in to an amp.

He also enjoys helping Mommy make dinner. Yes, he thinks it’s fun to mix the ingredients together.

But I also do my part to intentionally plant subliminal messages in his head. Last night we were trying to introduce him to some organic, blueberry-flavored applesauce. I could tell he was weirded out by it being a different color than normal.

“More? More?” I said into his ear as my wife drove the spoon to this mouth.

Yes, I gave him the idea that he would want more of it before he even tried it. And it worked.

But now he’s learning to use subliminal messages in his favor, too. He has picked up on the fact that when I ask him if he wants to do something, like read a book, and he says yes, I immediately respond with “okay.”

Here recently, he will ask me for something, like to have a snack right before dinner.

“Snack? Tay.” He asks for a before-dinner snack, then immediately attempts to say “okay” which comes out as “tay.”

Yes, he is pre-approving the question for me. How thoughtful of him.

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7 Tips On How To Start A Baby Blog

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

A year and a half. 

It was a year ago yesterday that The Dadabase officially premiered on with “Welcome To The Dadabase.”

Today, I want to share some advice with any mom or dad out there who is considering, or at least curious about, starting their very own mommy or daddy blog.

If you’re wanting to start blogging about your kid mainly just to share with friends and family, then I simply recommend going to and get to typin’. That’s all the advice you need from me.

But if you are like I was back in April 2010, recently having found out I was going to be a parent and wanting to be the best darn baby blogger I could be with hopes of “going pro,” then this article is perfect for you.

Here are my top 7 tips on how to start a baby blog:

1. Be both personal and international. You want to engage two different types of necessary readers: Friendly Followers-family and friends who read your stuff because they love you and your cute kid. And Cosmic Crashers- people who don’t care who you are but want to learn about some buzzing new topic you’re covering in the world of parenting.

2. Be different. Before I started my blog, I was determined to find my “schtick.” I wanted to be the first ever daddy blogger who documented his thoughts from the moment he went public with the pregnancy, on a weekly basis.

Even now, I don’t know of any other dad who has done this. You can go back for over two years and find between one and seven blog posts each week about my son and my thoughts as a dad. What’s your schtick?

3. Be willing to be wrong. I am constantly wrong when it comes to my opinions and viewpoints regarding all those polarizing, controversial parenting topics from circumcision to raising a vegetarian child.

Not only am I wrong at least half the time, I’m totally cool with it. I don’t mind being crucified one day and praised the next. I am both the good and the bad guy.

4. Be consistent. Can you commit to writing at least one blog post per week? If not, stop reading now because this isn’t for you.

Just like with advertising, your work needs to be omnipresent. And just like with the news, it needs to be fresh.

5. Be egotistical. Speak with authority. Assume your story is interesting, then prove it. Ever heard of what’s called “the blogger’s ego?” Well, I depend on it.

6. Be weird. In the midst of sharing the chronologically predictable advancements your child experiences each week, make each event special by pointing out the strangest aspect about your kid learning to eat solid foods or learning to walk. “Quirky” sells.

7. Be named well. You have to come up with a really cool name for your blog; one that represents you well. Consider your kid’s name or your last name or something people won’t be able to forget.

Good luck and may the force be with you.

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So I Married A Daddy Blogger: 3 Questions For My Wife

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

16 months.

Since my first daddy blog post on April 13, 2010, my wife Jill has been highly visible yet never heard; other than in short one-sentence quotes in my stories. Well, after nearly two years, that is going to change.

Today, I am handing the mic (actually the Mac) to the feminine side of The Dadabase.

After all, it’s basically because of her that my blog (on WordPress at the time) was eventually picked up by Jill sent an email to American Baby magazine about my daddy blog “Dad From Day One” a few months after I started it; then they decided to feature my blog in their October 2010 issue; which randomly is the cover featured at the top right side of this screen, underneath the header Family Fun.

That started a short chain of events leading me to this point. But not only do I have my wife to thank for getting me this kind of exposure; she also serves as my daily editor.

Anything too stupid, aimless, or chauvinistic-sounding; she either helps me decide to redirect it or nix it all together.

Without her, The Dadabase would be a bit different. (In fact, it would simply be “Dadabase.” She suggested the “the.”)

Now, let’s do a little interview.

If this blog were The Mommybase, how would the tone and topic material
differ as you cover your version of parenting Jack?

My version of The Mommybase and parenting would emphasize my realistic
perspective of it, whereas I see The Dadabase as your positively
optimistic and often abstract perspective. Parenting is one of the
most difficult journeys I have been on in my life– it changes you so
much in ways you’d never know until you had the opportunity to parent
a child.

It’s just like when we used to laugh about how other parents
would give us advise when I was pregnant and we’d think, “Sure, that’s
not gonna happen to us,” and then a few months down the road, it did!

I think The Mommybase would also serve as a place where mommies could
find answers to those everyday questions like, what should I be
feeding my 12 month old and do cloth diapers really work? It would be
a place for mommies to relate to one another in the loving moments, as
well as the frustrating ones (because we all know that comes with the

What has being exposed to my daily articles on fatherhood taught you
about the mind of a dad?

That dads love their children just as mommies do and have a high
regard for caring for and nurturing them the best way they know how.
Granted, the best way they know how is often coming up with bizarre
antics to entertain them! Daddies sincerely want to help, but may not
know how and just need some gentle guidance from a patient mommy to
make the household peaceful.

You have the last word. What do you want people to know about you as a mom?

I love my little boy with all of my heart and thank God for his
presence in our lives. I’m not always going to do or say the right
thing and I completely acknowledge that, but I’m learning as he grows
and I would just hope that others saw me as a good mommy to him.

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4 Ways Dads Gets Their Man Cards Pulled

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

One year.

In this highly anticipated follow-up to Losing Man Points Vs. Being a Good Dad, I will help society identify what is considered as crossing the line from being an active and admirable dad to just another “look at me!” Tweeting tool who happens to have a kid.

Based on my research, it pretty much all comes down to this: An active and involved dad ultimately loses man points when he is not discreet about his fatherly role; when he abandons the art of being subtle by either A) making a dramatic production of the event or B) trying to make it look too easy. Accordingly, when a man loses enough man points, he gets his man card pulled.

But thanks to my scholarly work published here on, I am actually earning man points by helping to prevent other men from becoming “that dad.” Here are the top 4 ways that dads lose so many man points all at once, they get their man cards pulled:

1) Telling other men “cute” stories about their kids. Recently I did a post which told about how my son’s KinderCare teacher threw a Baby Birthday Party; cutting out a paper crown for him and having his toddler classmates thumbprint it as their signatures.

Granted, I have pictures of the event hanging up at my cubicle at work. But you better believe I didn’t go around to the other guys telling them the story behind the pictures. I told the few women that I work with, but not the men. Because men don’t tell each other cute stories!

Men just spit out the basics to each other, like “Hey, my kid is learning to walk this week.” Not, “OMG! So right now, little Carter is totally trying to figure out this whole walking thing. He’s like, “Daddy Bear, I’m not sure about this…”.

2) Using “baby talk” in public. First of all, no man should ever say to his kid, especially not his son, “You want your passy?” Allow me to be too frank; “passy” sounds (and is spelled) a lot like another word used to describe what you are if you’re a man who uses the word “passy” in public. Also off-limits are “sippy cup” and “boo-boo.”

3) Abusing social media. It is not acceptable for a dad to Tweet each time his kid eats a new food, needs a diaper change, or is having an “off” day. Even worse, daddy bloggers should not be allowed to use the phrases “I just need a place to vent” or “I have to blow off a little steam.” No, no you don’t. Sack up.

Dads don’t throw pity parties. Instead, they distract themselves with sports or have some kind of hobby that doesn’t require men to look directly at each other for more than five seconds at a time.

4) Making it look too easy. Parenting is hard for guys. How are we supposed to remember the difference between a onesie and sleeper? In which of the 13 compartments of the diaper bag are the wipes?

If you’re the exception to the rule, then secretly I envy you that your brain is able to successfully function as both a man’s and a woman’s- because I’m sure that totally scores man points with your wife. Just don’t rub it in the rest of our faces.

Pretend you’re still trying to figure this dad thing out like the rest of us, Mr. Mom. Help us look good- or we’re taking away your man card.

Reminder: Mail me your family’s holiday card and end up on my fridge. You’ll be entered for upcoming drawings here on The Dadabase.

Nick Shell c/o The Dadabase

300 Seaboard Lane #5

Franklin, TN 37067

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How Not to Be “That Mom” or “That Dad”

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

One year.

There are basically two ways to be “that parent.” You can be over-involved in your child’s life; actually encouraging separation anxiety for them by drawing out goodbye’s by petting them and crying with them whenever you leave them at daycare.

Or you can be under-involved; letting your child run free in the grocery story, occasionally tossing them empty threats of “time out” when you get home.

Neither extreme is good. That’s why we normal parents do our darndest not to be “that mom” or “that dad.”

But this gets complicated because it’s no secret what a challenge it is to balance our parenting expectations with practical reality. It seems that to some degree, we all are “that parent.”

It’s necessary that I turn the question to myself: How am I “that dad?”

I am weird because I won’t let my son watch TV until he’s at least two years old. Plus, I am really strict about what he eats: No processed foods- that means no fruit juice.

Oh yes, what a cruel, demented, over-the-top man I am to keep my child from things I had when I was his age back in 1982. But I’m not going to change; I’m always going to be kooky like that.

So I guess I fall into the category of “over-involved.” Some of my critics could probably say that I am ironically depriving my child in a subconscious effort to declare my authority as an active and effective father.

Maybe I am. Because I don’t want to be “that dad.” I mean, the other kind of “that dad.” The kind I’m not. Or at least the kind I think I’m not.

As long as other parents are critiquing my parenting style, which they always will, I will always be “that dad.” I would say that I don’t care what other people think of me anyway, but I have observed that people who usually say that actually really, really care what people think of them.

It’s like a 14 year-old girl who says, “I’m so over him now.” No, no you’re not. If you were, you wouldn’t have to go around saying that to your friends, who are all wearing black Breaking Dawn t-shirts.

So in conclusion, I believe no matter what you do, you are “that mom” or “that dad” to the very parents who you yourself perceive as “that mom” or “that dad.” Get it?

In other words, the title of this post is misleading. There is no way to refrain from being “that parent.” You already are.

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