Friday, July 19, 2013


The problem with posting things publicly is that people read them. Sometimes, even your wife reads them. And she asks awkward questions, like, "how close, exactly, did you come to killing our child?" or "why are you trying to ruin this for me?"

All valid questions.

But, the thing is, as a dude, I just say stupid things sometimes. The things that pop into my head. The things that prevent me from getting raises or promotions (what does that even look like in my field?). But, as Paul Romer famously said, "a crisis is a terrible thing to waste."

Enter, the Sincerity-O-Meter:

Don't get used to seeing a "full" Sincerity-O-Meter.

I'm sure you have a few questions. So I'll do a quick Q and A while my wife finishes nursing the lad.

Q: Why is it called the "Sincerity-O-Meter." Wouldn't the word "Sincere" fit better?
A: All of my favorite meters use nouns before the suffix. Chronometer, odometer, speedometer (not to be confused with the elusive "speedo-o-meter"), pedometer... etc. So, even though "sincere" sounds and fits better, I'm sticking with the noun form of the word.
Q: Does it need the "O?"
A: I'm not exactly sure. It's just "there" with chronometer. I guess I really wanted to stress that this is a long vowel?
Q: How did you choose the colors?
A: Hot to cold? This is a silly question.
Q: Will you always post a visual measurement of how sincere a post is? Where can I look for it when I'm reading something that sounds too strange to be heart-felt?
A:  I'll post it when and where it communicates my intentions best. If I want you to know that I'm totally serious before reading my "writing," I'll post it at the top. Maybe I'll stick a few in throughout? Maybe I'll forget to post one at all, and you'll be unsure. This is a cold, dark universe we live in (note that important comma between cold and dark), and you need to learn to cope. Pronto.
Any more questions? Post 'em in the comments below.
The Management 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Detachment Parenting

My wife keeps hammering out these fantastic blog posts. Which blog posts? Blog posts like this:

Sleep / Training

Every time I hear the term "attachment parenting," a part of me winces. Like it's been poked. That's because I practice "detachment parenting." They key tenet of my philosophy is not getting so close (emotionally? physically?) that his casual cruelty and selfishness overcomes my self control. Oh, there have been times when the rage builds up and I have to scream into a pillow. I've punched mattresses. I've ordered sandwiches. Lapses in self control that have not, because of my detachment approach, resulted in the lad's death.

Can I get a medal for this? Are there doctors writing articles about how amazing it is that some dads manage to care for tiny children without succumbing to logical and natural violent urges? We have a crucial non-role to play in our children's lives, and we deserve some praise, I think.

And we're tired of sleeping on the edge of the bed, so hurry up and sleep through the night, kid.

UPDATE: For you students of dramatic irony out there, it is never a good sign when someone writes an up-date to a post about not killing their toddler.

Today, at around 4:30 pm, I nearly semi-eviscerated my 16 month son. When we open the dishwasher, he scrambles in an attempt to climb into it. We endeavor to close the door as rapidly as possible in order to prevent this. So far so good. Everything is very logical and non-criminal. Right?

He got too close. The door... well, it got him. In the belly. I felt the need to use rubbing alcohol.

That is a solid strike against my pledge to "kill no sons." I hope this doesn't count against me in June. It would be a pity if Clinton walked away with my award... again!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Requisite post about sleeping

I just set the kid (16 months today) down in his crib and read a book until he quietly went to sleep. There was a little fuss and play, but in the end it only took about ten minutes. This is a new thing, and I think I really like it. But we didn't start here!

Phase 1 -- Before he was born, friends bought us Harvey Karp's book and DVD, Happiest Baby on the Block. When the lad was born, I was ready. But it didn't work. He'd be pinned down on my knee, swaddled and screaming. And I'd be bouncing him and shhhhing at him like an idiot. I think it worked twice.

Phase 2 -- Then we discovered Baby Got Colic. I was done shhhhhing, and it worked slightly better.

Phase 3 -- Some other friends bought us a pink, butterfly swing. We would strap the little man into this contraption and crank up the Colic, and he would eventually stop screaming. Then, we'd tip-toe around and whisper for 40 minutes or so or until he woke up. We eventually got pretty sophisticated, adopting a sheet to cover it with (to block out distractions, he's particularly prone to distractions). For a while, it was in the bedroom, but we felt bad about leaving him in it all night. He'd be cold in the morning. My daddish heart trembles at the idea.

Phase 4 -- In the summer, I couldn't swing him because he wouldn't stand being swaddled in all that heat. So I started trying to get him to sleep while drinking milk from a bottle. With his lip tie, eating was such an exhausting process that he'd often pass out just a few ounces into his lunch. BUT, then I had to hold the bottle just so. He'd wake up periodically to continue eating. Sometimes, I could switch in a pacifier, but he's never really been any good at those. If he ran out of food too early, he'd wake up and refuse to sleep for several more hours. Ha!

Phase 5 -- If he didn't fall asleep eating, I had to throw him into the ERGO Baby and go for a long walk. In the summer heat. It wasn't guaranteed to work. I was often exhausted when he eventually nodded off. I got particularly good at knowing which sidewalks were flat, shady, and devoid of loud vehicles.

Phase 6 -- This was our longest phase. Somewhere over the summer, he started falling asleep in the car. It was an easy transition to stroller. So we tossed him in the stroller and drove until he passed out. Then, we'd either just keep walking (10 minutes to Forest Hills and back. Rinse and repeat) or try to get him up the creaky stairs to our second floor apartment. If I had the wife, I'd risk it (her boobs work sleep magic).

Phase 7 -- This phase sometimes overlapped with six. If the wife was gone during the evening (class or yoga), I'd have to put the lad to sleep without her boob-aid. I'd bounce him, dance to Goat Rodeo, sing lullabies, and eventually set him in to the crib. 5% of the time, he'd be asleep. Otherwise, he'd scream while I sat out in the darkened apartment hating myself. Eventually, I got good at holding his hand, rubbing his back, and singing incessantly. I developed additional verses to Baa Baa Black Sheep (there are more and more bags. Spoiler alert, The Master always gets the most, the Dame usually gets two or three. The Boy who lives down the lane? One bag. Every time. I think I'm teaching him about economics.).

And now this. This is much better. If it lasts.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pooping to glory

This post is a preemptive response to a blog my wife hasn't written yet.


My kid has a lot of interest in his potty. 

Accordingly, my wife is highly invested in his using it. You can't blame her, can you?

So, for a few days, my wife was listening to his sounds and  watching his actions. And when he seemed interested in pooping, gesturing toward his diaper or reaching for his potty, she was on hand to help him with his diaper and pants. And for a day or two, he was sliding a few bullets into the chamber pot, to coin a phrase.

She called me at work. We were very excited.

Then things got bad. Like they always do.

He realized that pointing at his diaper and grabbing for the potty was a surefire way to get his pants and diaper removed. Then, while mommy's hands were full, he was off! Naked!

For this story to make sense, you have to realize that babies love to be naked.

What do you do? Refuse to let him practice using his potty like a big boy? So pooping is just another way for him to manipulate us. Parent at your own risk.

Friday, May 10, 2013

RE: The Unintentional "Extended Breastfeeder"

The unintentional "extended breastfeeder"

My wife's May 7th post deals with her realization that, according to our culture's accepted definition of extended breastfeedin', she's doin' it. Not because this is all part of her (our) grand strategy. Because it feels right for her. And the kid. And that's the best reason to keep going, right? Right?

So what does this mean for me personally? Good question.

Turn's out, nothing.

But I've been "thinking" about what this means for the kid, and I feel that it looks pretty grim.

So... each kid is different. What works for one kid won't work for another. Unless you make it work. Make it work with every muscle in your body. Every kid is a special, magical peg that will fit into the square hole only if you push it hard enough. And we're just not pushing him into that hole. We're all, like, "Hey, you wanna be a round peg, cool!" But round pegs don't go to college. They don't work on Wall Street and buy their dads yachts.

Like I said: grim.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

See what I'm doing here?

So, my wife is mommy blogging. So far, I haven't really figured into the narrative. And that's just fine by me. I kinda like that. I like having a chance to sit back and occasionally get mentioned in the white knight capacity.

I've gotta ask, though, at what point does this whole thing start being about me again?  Before the kid came along, I could talk about myself for hours, and the wife seemed content to hear about my day or lunch. Or my job. Oh sure, there is something fulfilling about being a dad. But at what age do kids start to express an interest in hearing about how bad the traffic was this afternoon?

Two? Two and a half? I don't have to wait until kindergarten, do I?