Did We Start the Fire or Not? (First Concert Memories)

Did We Start the Fire or Not? (First Concert Memories)

I went to my first concert in July 1990 when I was nine years old. For those of you who know me, it might come as a surprise that I was so young. However, the concert was Billy Joel, so now it probably makes more sense. 

Read More

Fulfilling Our Destiny: A Solo Road Trip with Children

Fulfilling Our Destiny: A Solo Road Trip with Children

I recently took my three kids (ages six, four, and two) on a road trip from Florida to North Carolina without my wife because I am a crazy person. A funny thing happened, though; it turned out okay. Maybe I’m not so crazy after all (nope, my wife has confirmed that I’m still crazy).

Read More

Sameness

Sameness

We must have been hanging around by the muddy lake for at least two hours, but it might as well have been four hours or six or ten. We were well-equipped with two plastic grocery bags filled with Cheez Its, a few bananas and apples, thermos cups filled with water, bread for the minnows that swim near the lake’s shore, and two plastic cups to catch the minnows. The essentials. 

Read More

A Pop Song, a Volcano, and a Frog

A Pop Song, a Volcano, and a Frog

One of my 6-year-old’s favorite songs came on the radio on our drive home from my parents’ house. The car was dark and my two younger kids were already sound asleep as he crooned along, terribly off key. 

Read More

Spending Quality Time With My Kids is Great, But Fatherhood Sure Can Be Awkward

Spending Quality Time With My Kids is Great, But Fatherhood Sure Can Be Awkward

I’m always looking for fun activities to do with the kids after school and on weekends. It can be difficult, though, because it’s hard to come up with things a one-, three-, and six-year-old will all enjoy. 

My wife was out of town for a few days recently and suddenly the need for fun (time-killing) activities felt even more urgent. Don’t get me wrong, because I’ve been a stay-at-home parent for more than six years, I’m as equipped as anyone to solo parent for a few days, but really, no one is suitably equipped.

Read More

The End of the Day

The End of the Day

Often at the end of the day, which I define as when I’m finished getting the last child I’m responsible for to sleep and can be any time between 8:30 and 10:30 depending on how things go, I take stock of the day that was.

Read More

Waiting is Overrated: A Day at the Beach

Waiting is Overrated: A Day at the Beach

There are two primary seasons in Florida: wet and dry. This year, the wet season descended upon us with fury. It rained every day for more days than I can remember.

Read More

Landscaping with Children: An Update

Landscaping with Children: An Update

Before you read any further, check out Part I of this story.

I know you’ve all been wondering, so an update is long overdue. The landscaping project is still going wonderfully. Thanks for asking!

It’s nice to be seen for once. Our house is tucked away at the end of a cul-de-sac, so we don’t get much casual traffic. And even when we had a large number of people over—earlier this month for a kids’ birthday party—literally no one commented on the upgrades to the front yard.

Read More

Dirt is My Parenting Kryptonite

Dirt is My Parenting Kryptonite

My children do plenty of annoying things, but perhaps the one that quickens my pulse the most is playing in the dirt. I have no idea why this is. On its face, it is a relatively benign activity. No one is in danger of getting hurt (for the most part, more on that later) and I don’t have to do anything until the fun is over. They have never once asked me to join them in their filthy games, which is a true blessing.

It is inexplicable why this mundane activity is my parenting kryptonite, yet here we are.

Read More

Technological Jealousy: A Dad’s Lament

Technological Jealousy: A Dad’s Lament

On several occasions recently, my six-year-old has had me film him doing something fascinating like drumming on couch cushions, scaring his sister, or hitting golf balls in the yard so we could upload the video to YouTube and watch it back on our TV.

I can’t blame him.

Read More

Puppets to the Rescue

Puppets to the Rescue

Recently I found myself at a local Barnes & Noble with my four- and six-year-old boys on a weekday afternoon. On most occasions, I would have been less than thrilled about this situation. This time, though, we were supposed to be playing putt-putt and an unexpected rain storm had saved me from that fate. 

Read More

Eight Years of Tired

Eight Years of Tired

Today is my wedding anniversary. It is also my wife's wedding anniversary. It's ours. Together.

I swear. For the life of me I couldn't come up with a way to phrase that more succinctly. "My wife and my anniversary?" Sounds weird.

Read More

Landscaping With Children: A Cautionary Tale

Landscaping With Children: A Cautionary Tale

It was a beautiful early April afternoon. The temperature was only in the upper seventies and the sky was a piercing blue. Early April is typically late Spring in Florida, when the mercury in the thermometer starts to push its way toward ninety almost every afternoon and the prospect of six full months of simmering heat and dampness begins to haunt my thoughts.

So, on such a fine day, there was little choice but to rush outside immediately after we returned home from picking up the kindergartner on his weekly early dismissal day.

Read More

How I Overcame My "Super Dad" Complex (via Fatherly)

I met a dad at the park recently. It's not unusual for me to run into other dads out with their kids, particularly at the park late in the afternoon, but I usually do little more than nod or say hello.

This time, though, we interacted because our kids were the same age and they started playing together immediately. This guy was extremely outgoing and energetic. He was calling my kids by name after just minutes and later coordinated and participated in a hide-and-seek game involving our four children and several others.

Later, he spun the carousel the kids were riding. When he did, he sprinted and jumped onto the back of one of the seats, holding himself parallel to the ground as he went along for the ride.

At one point, he vaulted over the perimeter fence as he ran to help his 3-year-old at the water fountain.

Read on at Fatherly.com


For more, like my page 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. Please leave a review on Amazon if you are so inclined. It is very helpful!

To My Second Born on His Fourth Birthday

To My Second Born on His Fourth Birthday

I remember your mom texted me while she was at work the day you were born. She’s a labor and delivery nurse, of course, and she was working in the hospital where you were to be delivered, so I guess if she had to be working when she went into labor that was the best possible place to be, but still, it was pleasantly quirky and remains a fun story that I sometimes think about telling people when I’m mingling at my numerous imaginary social gatherings.

Read More

A Good Walk Toiled

A Good Walk Toiled

I went for a walk around the neighborhood with the kids yesterday because it was such a beautiful day. As is always the case, it began with high hopes. All three started out riding scooters or bikes. What a lovely outing! Soon enough, though, things regressed to the mean. We made it to the farthest point in our loop, about half a mile from the house, and the youngest two ran out of steam.

Read More

The Things We Carry

The Things We Carry

A Paw Patrol jet plane, a pirate ship, a faded yellow tennis bag, a Publix bag containing a green Tupperware container of goldfish crackers and two thermos cups of water, one brown blankie, one gray blankie, and a giant toy boat.

Read More

Tips for Surviving the Obsessive Stage of Toddlerhood (But Mostly Reflections on the Trolls Movie)

Tips for Surviving the Obsessive Stage of Toddlerhood (But Mostly Reflections on the Trolls Movie)

One of the more confounding child development stages is the obsessive stage. There you are, minding your own business, and suddenly your toddler becomes fixated on climbing in and out of a box. She will literally climb in and out of that box for three straight hours if you let her. And, why wouldn’t you? Just think of all the free time you now have while she is boxing!

Of course, as you probably know, there is a darker side to the obsessive stage: movies.

Read More