The Measure of a Year

The Measure of a Year

On numerous occasions this year I inexplicably felt an overwhelming sensation of walking barefoot on the beach by the water. With every step, I felt the sand slipping away from under my toes. I felt the tide pulling away a few grains at a time. Shifting the balance of the earth under me slightly, almost imperceptibly, so that it was both difficult to discern the change, but impossible to deny it.

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Win at Yolf and Avoid Being Ridiculed by Strangers Passing By

Win at Yolf and Avoid Being Ridiculed by Strangers Passing By

When I was a kid, one of my favorite activities was yolf. In case you don’t know, yolf is a contraction of yard and golf and it is golf played in one’s yard. My two best friends, brothers who lived in my neighborhood, and I invented our version of the game when we were around eleven or twelve and we continued to play it with varying levels of commitment until we were like twenty-one. We were very popular in our youth.

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A Few Facts About My 3-Year-Old's Teacher

B with dragon.JPG

As conveyed to me by my 3-year-old. **

  • She is allergic to cats and butterflies.
  • Her school is the building by Mommy’s work.
  • Her dad is a firefighter.
  • She lives at the firefighter place.
  • She likes to say “twinkle twinkle twinkle.” 
  • Her favorite color is pink.
  • She likes to break things.
  • She told him to do homework on the computer using WiFi. 
  • She gets her Christmas decorations out right after Halloween because she’s one of those people.
  • She chews with her mouth open.

 

** My 3-year-old has never attended school.


For more from Explorations of Ambiguity by Andrew Knott, like us on Facebook and sign up here to get the latest updates right in your inbox! My book, Fatherhood: Dispatches From the Early Years, is available at Amazon.

I Found Out Why People Still Go to Malls

I Found Out Why People Still Go to Malls

Before last week, it was entirely unclear to me why malls still exist in the year 2017.

I mean, why would anyone voluntarily choose to leave the comfort of their home, drive across town through ridiculous holiday traffic, circle the giant parking lot in search of a parking spot, and walk around a crowded building just to buy things that are readily available on the internet?

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An ER Visit and How My 6-Year-Old Reminded Me I Wasn’t a Terrible Parent

An ER Visit and How My 6-Year-Old Reminded Me I Wasn’t a Terrible Parent

My 3-year-old broke his foot the day before Thanksgiving. He was “skating” around in his socks and fell. He might have hit it on furniture (that’s my guess at least), but it’s unclear because no one really saw it. He says he just hit it on the floor, but are you really going to believe that guy?

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We're In the Thick of It

We're In the Thick of It

I know having three young kids is a lot. How could I not? No one lets me forget even if I want to.

“Well, you certainly have your hands full,” says every well-meaning (if unoriginal) person I cross paths with anywhere in public when I have my kids with me.

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It's Almost Laundry Time

It's Almost Laundry Time

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the kids to be in bed tonight so I can pop open my dryer, grab huge armfuls of warm, fragrant clothes, toss them into a huge pile on my bed, and get to folding. I live for laundry.

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My Middle School Was Named After Andrew Jackson and That’s Not the Worst Part

My Middle School Was Named After Andrew Jackson and That’s Not the Worst Part

Several months ago, a certain person made some typically dumb comments about Andrew Jackson and his role in the Civil War (spoiler alert: Jackson died long before the Civil War). My first thought, though, when the news cycle spun out of control after the stupid tweet was “Oh no, now I have think about middle school for the next month or so.”

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The First Rule of Lego Club

The First Rule of Lego Club

If you’re looking to shake up your fitness regimen, I can’t recommend Lego Club highly enough.

All you need is to consult your local public library’s activity schedule, locate the correct room when you arrive at the appointed time, and bring along a 1-year-old. This last part is key. If you don’t have a 1-year-old handy, just let me know. I’d be happy to lend you mine.

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How to Buy a Car When You’re an Introvert

How to Buy a Car When You’re an Introvert

My first car buying experience came when I was twenty years old and it taught me one thing: buying a car is the worst. My parents and I traded in my hand-me-down Mustang (trust me, it’s not as great as it sounds) at one of those car sales dealers hold in strip mall parking lots. After about seven hours of distress, we drove away in a shiny new, forest green Mazda Protégé.

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Simplicity vs. Connectivity: Parenthood and Childhood in the 80s and Today

Simplicity vs. Connectivity: Parenthood and Childhood in the 80s and Today

As the parent of three children under age six, I often wonder what parenting young children was like before the internet and technology took over the world. Now, when I am home with the kids—ages 1, 3, and 5—particularly on the seemingly endless and oppressively hot Florida days, we spend more time than we probably should watching the limitless supply of television shows and movies available on Netflix and YouTube or playing with tablets and other electronic devices.

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The Unexpected Anxiety of Fall Festival Season

The Unexpected Anxiety of Fall Festival Season

You know it’s coming. For some of you, it might already be here. Or maybe, wherever it is you live, perhaps it’s already passed. If so, congratulations. Here in Florida, though, it’s just about to start. Fall festival season. Also known as the time of year when my anxiety about disappointing carnival workers and going broke buying 25-cent stuffed animals for five dollars really starts to ramp up.

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How a Ubiquitous Parenting Mantra Can Mess With Your Head

How a Ubiquitous Parenting Mantra Can Mess With Your Head

Sure, there are moments of enjoyment and fun and wonder, but such moments are often overshadowed, if not completely overwhelmed, by the relentlessness of mundane household tasks and childcare necessities.

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I Took My Kids to Story Time at the Library and It Has Forever Changed Me

I Took My Kids to Story Time at the Library and It Has Forever Changed Me

I checked the library schedule by the desk. I kind of side shuffled over all nonchalant while watching 3-year-old and 1-year-old coloring on the paper-covered table. I didn’t want the librarians to think I was up to something. Like looking at the schedule, for example.

As I suspected. Preschool Story Time was happening. And the next session started in ten minutes.

BOOM.

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Family Dinner or Wild Bachelor Party?

Family Dinner or Wild Bachelor Party?

When you have three little kids, family dinner is a much better idea in theory than in practice.

Perhaps we’re just doing it wrong and we have no control over our children—I am more than certain this is what the internet will think—but our family dinners tend to be more wild bachelor party and less Leave It To Beaver.

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The Power of Siblings

The Power of Siblings

As I watched my three children — ages five, three, and one — play with and around each other in our living room on a sleepy summer afternoon, I thought about the central role sibling relationships play in imprinting indelible aspects of our selves. These relationships, our earliest and most visceral, shape how we place ourselves in the world, both in the present and future.

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My 3-Year-Old's School Is Scheduled to Arrive This Week

 Photo Credit:  Michelle C Photo

Photo Credit: Michelle C Photo

My 3-year-old said his school is wrapped in wrapping paper and is flying in the sky with his friends and teachers inside. It’s scheduled to arrive in our backyard this week, where it will land and take up indefinite residence. He doesn’t know his teacher’s name, but, not to worry, she knows her name.

The school has several very large garages that house all the school buses. Importantly, it also has lots of bathrooms and toilet paper. I thought last week was an Interesting week, but this week promises to be something else.

If you love this post, I have some good news. My book, Fatherhood: Dispatches From the Early Years, is available at Amazon. And if you haven’t, don’t forget to like my Facebook page.

 

What Is It That I Do Again?

What Is It That I Do Again?

I once told my therapist that one of the most difficult, or at least confusing, things about being a stay-at-home parent is that although I always feel tired and vaguely busy, it sometimes seems like I never actually accomplish anything. Like, at the end of the day, when the kids are all tucked into bed, I often have a hard time pinpointing exactly what I did to fill all the hours.

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Baseball and Other Boring Things

Baseball and Other Boring Things

Strangely, as I’ve gotten older, my attention span has tended to decrease rather than increase. I believe this shift is largely driven by technology. I have a hard time watching a television show without checking my phone. My mind wanders easily. I’ve open and closed at least five different tabs on my computer while typing this paragraph.

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Thoughts on Riding Out Hurricane Irma in Central Florida With Three Kids

Thoughts on Riding Out Hurricane Irma in Central Florida With Three Kids

The days before Irma’s arrival were typical for Florida under threat of hurricane. I’ve lived here all my life and if there is one thing you can count on it is that Floridians prepare for hurricanes with flamboyant zeal. It is our state’s favorite pastime. Boarding up windows, buying water and snack foods, hoarding batteries, filling up our cars and seventeen plastic containers with gas: We love that stuff! In most cases, the preparation goes to waste when the storms veer off into the Atlantic or swerve into the Gulf of Mexico. Perhaps it’s a bit macabre, but you can almost feel a whiff of disappointment in the hot, humid air when the hurricanes turn away and leave us to consume ungodly amounts of granola bars in our air-conditioned homes.

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