When the Little Moments Outshine the Big Ones

When the Little Moments Outshine the Big Ones

I certainly expected that first drop-off to be more dramatic and emotional. So, after the first day was successfully in the books, I figured we were out of the woods. I was wrong.

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Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just About to Light Myself on Fire Inside a Wal-Mart

Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just About to Light Myself on Fire Inside a Wal-Mart

Sometimes after I drop off my four-year-old at preschool in the morning, the other two kids and I make a quick stop at the grocery store. Sometimes we go to Publix and sometimes we go to Wal-Mart, depending on how much self-hate I am harboring on a given day. 

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Just a Few Everyday Discussions With My Four-Year-Old

4 y.o.: You know what I wish?

Me: What do you wish?

4 y.o.: I wish that I could be a PJ Mask.

Me: Oh yeah? Me too. But I want to be the one that doesn’t dress up and just stays home and sleeps at night instead of catching bad guys.

4 y.o.: …

 ****

4 y.o.: I wish there were fireworks that you can just see but don’t make any noise.

Me: Yeah.

4 y.o.: Because then I wouldn’t be scared.

Me: Mm-hmm.

4 y.o.: That would be amazing.

 ****

4 y.o.: Why do they call these hands?

Me: That's just what they're called.

4 y.o.: Why do they call these noses?

Me: That's just what they're called.

4 y.o.: *asks same question for every body part*

Me: *falls asleep, wakes up a couple house later*

4 y.o.: Why do they call these shirts?

 ****

*Listening to 80s music on the radio*

4 y.o.: What does that mean? Everybody wants to rule the world.

Me: Like everybody wants to be in charge. Everybody wants to be king of the world.

4 y.o.: Why do people want to do that?

Me: I don't know. Power. Greed. Ego?

4 y.o.: Because it's nice?

Me: Sure.

4 y.o.: The Christmas train movie is my favorite movie.

 ****

4 y.o.: When will I be old enough to watch SpongeBob? I do like it.

Me: NEVER

 ****

4 y.o.: When you swim are you supposed to cover your nose and mouth with your hand so you don’t get water in them?

Me: I don’t know if that’s possible.

4 y.o.: But are you?

Me: Yes.

 ****

J: If we eat all the apples there are zero apples.

Me: Right.

J: If there are no trees left on earth there are zero.

Me: Yes?

J: If there is no sun there are zero.

Me: Ok.

J: I wish the sun would go away because it's too hot.

Me: But we need it or earth would be too cold.

J: But I like it cold.

Me: It would be very, very cold without the sun.

J: I like it very, very cold.

Me: Ok fine.

J: There is supposed to be a polar bear in the house at Christmas.

Me: ...

 

Don’t forget! My book, Fatherhood: Dispatches From the Early Years, is now available for immediate purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and pretty much all of your favorite online book retailers. Paperback and ebook versions are both available. Don’t wait…everyone is doing it! (And by everyone I mean more than zero people.)

Parents Take Three Kids Under Age Five to the Science Center and Pretty Much Survive!

Parents Take Three Kids Under Age Five to the Science Center and Pretty Much Survive!

You know those weekends in August when it feels like summer has been going on for about a decade? Like somehow there was a disruption in the space-time continuum and the calendar just froze in place for a few weeks or years? But the calendar is the only thing that is frozen because the temperature outside hasn’t dipped below 90 degrees in several months? However, on the plus side, you know autumn is right around the corner and you will start to feel an ever so slight freshening in the air in only eight more weeks? Okay, twelve weeks tops? You know those weekends?

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What We Send Our Preschooler to School With on Theme Days Versus What the Good Parents Send

Photo Credit: Sebastian Pichler (www.unsplash.com)

Photo Credit: Sebastian Pichler (www.unsplash.com)

Bubble Day

Us: One small bottle of bubbles

Good Parents: 10 bubble wands and an oversized jug of bubble liquid refill

Movie Snack Day

Us: Ziploc sandwich bag containing goldfish crackers

Good Parents: Individual snack packs for the whole class and/or two boxes of donuts

Valentine’s Day

Us: Box of cards (with stickers included!) purchased at 10:30 p.m. the night before at Wal-Mart

Good Parents: Home-made, personalized heart-shaped cards that say “O-Fish-Ally Yours” with individual packs of goldfish crackers attached

Puppet Day

Us: Finger puppets borrowed from a friend the day before

Good Parents: Full-scale replica of the Sound of Music goatherd puppet stage complete with the full cast of marionettes

*I may have exaggerated a little on one of these (only one), because our kid got sick and had to miss one of the days, but I'm pretty sure that's how it would've gone. The overall point stands: we seem to be doing this wrong.

 

Don’t forget! My book, Fatherhood: Dispatches From the Early Years, is now available for immediate purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and pretty much all of your favorite online book retailers. Paperback and ebook versions are both available. Don’t wait…everyone is doing it! (And by everyone I mean more than zero people.)

Fun Things to Do With Your Newborn

Fun Things to Do With Your Newborn

Having a newborn can be tricky. Primarily because at first glance (and perhaps second, third, and fourth glances) newborns don’t seem to do much of anything. I mean, not only do they not move around much or talk, newborns are even really terrible at holding their own heads up. Heck, I’m pretty sure I heard that newborns don’t even know that their hands and feet belong to them or something. So, what are you supposed to do when you’re in charge of someone who has no neck strength and can’t even figure out where their hands are?

Lucky for you, I’ve been through the newborn stage three times now and I’ve come up with a solid list of fun activities for you and your new bundle of joy to bond over.

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Party of Five

Party of Five

So far, so good. About a week into this third child thing and everything is going pretty okay. Perhaps the best part, which I stupidly didn’t even think about until the new baby arrived, is that I can now refer to our family as a party of five. This is really great for one reason and one reason only. Party of Five is one of my all-time favorite television shows and I’ve been really sad for the past sixteen years since it was canceled. I guess you could say this new family nickname is the first step in my healing process. It feels good.

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18 Things to Do the Day You Bring Your Third Child Home From the Hospital

18 Things to Do the Day You Bring Your Third Child Home From the Hospital
  1. Panic.
  2. Drive from your house to the hospital. You were at your house because you still have to spend some time with the other ones. When you get to the hospital, open the trunk to your family vehicle and realize you have left the baby's car seat at home. Drive back home. Repeat; this time with the car seat. Don't sweat it too much because these minutes in the car are the last ones you will spend by yourself for the rest of your life.
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6 Things to Do the Day Your Wife Has Your Third Child

1. Watch wife have the baby.

2. Go home and get kids 1 and 2 to sleep.

3. Stop in Dunkin Donuts outside the hospital at 9 p.m.

4. Look on quizzically as a guy walks in to the otherwise empty store, tells the cashier he used to eat at the store 25 years ago, and immediately starts to show off pictures of himself with various celebrities including Lebron James, Mariah Carey, and Floyd Mayweather. Shrug and smile awkwardly as he asks each of you in turn if you know someone or something named Pretty Boy Floyd.

5. Stand in line at hospital security. Hand over ID to security guard. When he asks boy or girl, answer girl. When he asks first? Answer no, third, two boys before. Smile awkwardly as he tells a meandering story that seems to suggest he might have recently participated in the murder or maiming of a friend's sister's estranged boyfriend. Nod in agreement that yes, it is good for a girl to have brothers for protection not because you have a strong opinion on the matter, but because you're a little scared right now. Instantly regret answering his questions with more than yes or no.

6. Hold your baby girl and think about not leaving the house after dark anymore.

May the Twelfth Be With You (Did I Do That Right?)

May the Twelfth Be With You (Did I Do That Right?)

OK. I think it is time I came clean about something. Some people in my life know my secret, but at least a few of the seven of you who will read this probably do not. I know that what I am about to confess will be viewed by some of you as an inexcusable moral failing. I sincerely hope we can all move past this in due time, but I am not hopeful.

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A Quick Note to My Sons on This Mother’s Day

A Quick Note to My Sons on This Mother’s Day

Boys, come over here real quick. I need to tell you something important. Seriously, you can take a break from watching Octonauts and parachuting off the stacks of couch cushions and arguing about pieces of foam for just a minute. That’s all the time I need, one minute. I need to tell you something about your mom.

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The Happiest Place on Earth?

The Happiest Place on Earth?

I decided to take my two boys (two and four years old) to Disney World by myself because I am an idiot. I mean, the original plan wasn’t so dumb, but the ultimate outcome was just stupid.

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Reflections on Life and Performance Art on the First Anniversary of My Birth

Reflections on Life and Performance Art on the First Anniversary of My Birth

I feel like my whole life has been but a rehearsal for this moment. All those hours spent toiling in solitude–well, as much solitude as a guy can get when there’s always a giant person chasing you around and interrupting your process–are about to pay off. It is finally my time to shine.

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Poop on a Stick

Poop on a Stick

I posted on Facebook a few months ago a picture of my then 3-year-old feeding green beans (I think) off his plate to his 1-year-old brother with the caption: “That moment when you find that person in your life who will eat your green beans for you.” That was definitely a great moment for my son. Frankly, I knew it would be difficult to top. When you’re a picky eater and your brother turns out to be a human garbage disposal, that’s pretty huge. However, I think last week we might’ve surpassed it.

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Heart on a Wall

Heart on a Wall

To all the parents out there, a question. Does it sometimes feel like your kids have your heart pinned up on a wall? Just stuck up there. Way up high where you can’t reach it without standing on the couch or reaching for it with a broom or something.

You know what I mean?

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Living With Small Children: A Series of Vignettes

Living With Small Children: A Series of Vignettes

Over the past few weeks I’ve been collecting some snippets of daily life to share. Because, no matter who you are, it’s always good to remember how ridiculous living with small children is. So, without making any attempt at creating any flow or narrative arc, I’m dumping them here for your reading enjoyment (or not). You might have seen some of these on my Facebook or Twitter, but let’s be honest, no you haven’t. Also, some are more or less word-for-word accurate and others are livened up a little. You can decide which are which.

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Preschool So Far: What We Know and What We Don’t Know

Preschool So Far: What We Know and What We Don’t Know

Our four-year-old is about two weeks into his preschool experience. Somewhat surprisingly, so far, so good. Maybe he’s not so much like me after all. Yay, him!

Perhaps the best part of preschool from the parent side is trying to piece together what exactly goes on from the time we drop him off until the time we pick him up. Attempting to account for that three hour window is definitely still a work in progress. Here are a few things we know and don’t know.

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My 4-Year-Old's Restaurant

Well, I can't say I'm too surprised he got some negative reviews. I mean, my most recent dining experience looked like this...

But hey, looks like he's doing something right!

Yelp Reviews

(Thanks to the editors at Razed for running with this!)

By a Nose

By a Nose

It finally happened. My four-year-old broke my nose with his head. Let’s be honest, we all knew it was only a matter of time.

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Best of 2015: An Explorations of Ambiguity Year in Review

Best of 2015: An Explorations of Ambiguity Year in Review

2015 was quite a year for the Explorations of Ambiguity team. And, of course, by Explorations of Ambiguity Team I mean me. At the end of the day, it really is all about me.

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