Giving My Middle Child a Few Moments in the Spotlight Was So Worth the Effort

Giving My Middle Child a Few Moments in the Spotlight Was So Worth the Effort

All my children are experiencing a much different kind of childhood. One lived as part of a small tribe. A tribe that is peaceful and united one moment and engaged in all out civil war the next. I can only imagine how different it is to share the spotlight every day of your young life. But perhaps it is most different for my younger son, our middle child.

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Parenting Slumps Can Be Spooky

Parenting Slumps Can Be Spooky

There’s no getting around it. I’m in a parenting slump. I’ve experienced such downturns before, but they are spooky every time they return. At least this time my parenting tailspin is seasonally appropriate.

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I Sign My Kids Up for Activities for Me

I Sign My Kids Up for Activities for Me

I’ve come across a lot of articles recently about the dangers of overscheduling your children’s free time. And while I get it, overscheduling is not something I worry about. Sure, it’s important for children to have time for free play and to wind down from school and other structured activities, but in my experience, underscheduling can be problematic too.

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I Talked to a Stranger at the Park and I Guess I’m an Extrovert Now

I Talked to a Stranger at the Park and I Guess I’m an Extrovert Now

The kids and I went to the park one day recently and I met someone. Honestly, it was kind of magical. He was a grandfather with shaggy gray hair, glasses, and a mustache like a silver comb. His granddaughter was a peppy little girl with icy blond hair and bare feet which were dirty enough to suggest they had been there for a while before our arrival.

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Sometimes Back-to-School Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be

Sometimes Back-to-School Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be

For stay-at-home parents, no day on the calendar is more important than the first day of school. Sure, holidays are cool (I’m particularly partial to National Coffee Day), and birthdays are fine and good, but the day my children start back to school is the one I circle in red ink.

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I Write About My Children Because My Memory Is So Unreliable

I Write About My Children Because My Memory Is So Unreliable

I know she won’t remember it when she’s grown, and I likely won’t either, but right now, in this moment in time, my daughter thinks I’m the funniest person in the world. Now, her brothers or her mom might argue this point, but this is my story and I am the ultimate judge.

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When Do I Stop Writing About My Kids?

 When Do I Stop Writing About My Kids?

For parents, children growing up is always a bit confusing. You would think we would get used to it—after all, our kids get older literally every day—but it never seems to get more comfortable. Though I try to avoid it, I often look at Facebook memories, most of which feature pictures of my children, and every time I do, I feel a twinge of melancholy as I emit the contractually required “Aww.”

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Waiting for the Storm to Pass

Waiting for the Storm to Pass

Another year in central Florida, another brush with a hurricane. Two years ago, Hurricane Irma crashed through and disrupted our existence for a week or so. This year, Dorian stumbled by, brushing by the coast to our east.

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Travel Back in Time and Other Next-Level Parenting Advice for Parents Who Aren't Satisfied with Good Enough

Travel Back in Time and Other Next-Level Parenting Advice for Parents Who Aren't Satisfied with Good Enough

Sleep when the baby sleeps…and at all other times

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How Many Dishwasher Cycles and Car Line Drop-Offs Make Up a Life?

How Many Dishwasher Cycles and Car Line Drop-Offs Make Up a Life?

We got a new dishwasher recently. That might not sound like a monumental event worth recording for posterity, but…wait, who am I kidding?

If getting a new dishwasher isn’t a life-changing event, I don’t know what is.

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Vacationing with Kids Means Sickness Is Almost Inevitable

For now, he sleeps. His thin, lanky body tucked under the covers. His shaggy hair matted against the pillow. Three days of endless fun came crashing down with a stomach ache that arrived slowly at first and then swooped in ferociously.

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I'm a Parent but I Still Do Interesting Things

I'm a Parent but I Still Do Interesting Things

I recently went to the dentist for the first time in several years. I have no excuse for my prolonged absence. Well, I have several, but I'm not sure any are particularly persuasive. Dental health is important (at least that's what Big Dentist wants us to believe) so I should get over my fear of making appointment phone calls and the sheer annoyance of having to physically go somewhere that's outside my normal routine.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Starring 5-Year-Old and Dad

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Starring 5-Year-Old and Dad

I’ve started reading the Harry Potter books with my 5- and 7-year-olds this summer. We’re getting on well. In fact, we’ve even taken to recreating scenes from the books/movies with a few upgrades. Here are a few excerpts from our screenplay…

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Surviving Summer with Young Children Is All About Letting Go of Control

Surviving Summer with Young Children Is All About Letting Go of Control

Ah, summer! There’s nothing quite like the heat, sun, tremendous thunderstorms, and long, languorous days. Of course, those days seem even longer when you have a toddler in the house.

I have one toddler left — a recently-turned 3-year-old to be exact — so I still have to get creative to help us avoid a summer swoon. Actually, that’s not true at all. I don’t get creative; I let my 3-year-old get creative and I follow her lead.

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My Children’s Stubborn Commitment to Ritual Can Be Frustrating, But I Admire Their Resolve

My Children’s Stubborn Commitment to Ritual Can Be Frustrating, But I Admire Their Resolve

Recently my 3-year-old daughter asked me to play a game with her. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse — literally, she was holding me hostage — so we went into her brother’s rooms because that’s where we keep the board games scattered around on the floor.

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We've Graduated: After More Than Seven Years, I’m Done with Diapers

We've Graduated: After More Than Seven Years, I’m Done with Diapers

Some graduations don’t require caps and gowns. Rather, all it takes is some comfortable toilet paper, a copious supply of Peppa Pig underwear, and a pile of very absorbent towels.

As of this week, I’m done with diapers. It’s been more than seven years, but now it’s over.

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The Tree and the Honeysuckle Vine

The Tree and the Honeysuckle Vine

“Hey, daddy! Look! There’s a turtle sitting by our front door,” one of my children announced excitedly on a hot afternoon in May.

Florida is wild. You can hardly set foot outside your front door without stepping on something squirmy or slithery. And while most people probably know about the alligators, the turtles, the humidity, and the Florida Man, if you don’t live here, you’re probably not as familiar with our vegetation.

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First Family Beach Day Means Summer is Here

First Family Beach Day Means Summer is Here

Around these parts, summer doesn’t officially start until our first family beach day.

I wrote last year about how we had to wait out a week of subtropical rain storms before we could kick off our summer. This year, there were no such weather delays.

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Sibling Bike Riding Rivalry

Sibling Bike Riding Rivalry

Learning to ride a bike is a big event in every child’s life but it’s an even bigger event when you just turned three a few days before and your five-year-old brother just learned to ride without training wheels a couple weeks before that.

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