Is there a cure for “Mommy Brain"?
I recently caught my wife reading a book that had nothing to do with parenting. It was a thick tome about disease and migration, so I was very pleased to see her interests broadening beyond happy topics. Reading about miserable human conditions can only mean one thing: recovery from “Mommy Brain.”
Is he a harmless old dude, or a weirdo?
The other day I took the family out to lunch at In-N-Out burger. For those of you outside of California, I highly recommend a trip to In-N-Out burger sometime during your next visit to Disneyland. California might be financially (and morally) bankrupt, have terrible air quality, and be overridden with gangs and drugs—but we have darn good cheeseburgers.
Anyway, while we were eating, an elderly couple sat at the table across from ours. Immediately both the man and woman couldn’t take their eyes off of our twins. It started with, “How precious!” We said “Thank you,” and of course we agreed. Our kids are precious. Certainly worth the hassle of keeping them from shoving French fries down their milk straws. The old dude asks, “Twins?” and we say “Yes,” though I felt like saying, “Duh.” Then he starts trying to talk to my kids. On the surface, it was a completely friendly, warm interaction. But that didn’t change the fact that this older guy was seriously setting off my “creepdar” (creep radar).
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m prone to paranoia. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of nuts running wild in this world. How do I know if this is just an elderly gentleman who wholesomely appreciates the innocent cuteness of children, or if he’s some sicko who shouldn’t be within five hundred yards of a youngster? I found myself getting very defensive, especially when he said, “Wow. What incredibly beautiful children.” Again, his comment was probably completely innocent. But I gave the guy a really hard “I’ll kill you glare,” just quick enough so that he was the only one who saw it. My wife and his wife were oblivious to the fact that my hackles were up.
Then the guy gets up, walks away, and returns twenty seconds later with two In-N-Out paper hats. He hands them to me and says, “Your kids will like these.” I politely said thanks, and sure enough, my kids did enjoy playing with the paper hats. I backed off a bit and told my kids to say hello to the man and his wife.
I didn’t like that I got aggressive, albeit subtly, towards that guy. But I can’t trust my creepdar. Almost everyone I don’t know seems a bit weird to me at first. And when it comes to interacting with my kids, strange old dudes are guilty until proven innocent. I’ve seen too many episodes of Family Guy to think otherwise.
How can parents deal with constantly conflicting health studies?
A new report says that sunscreen may actually cause or accelerate the development of skin cancer, rather than prevent it. Great. I was just starting to settle into the fact that eggs were healthy again. Now another study comes along destroying the illusion that I’m doing everything I can for my kids' well being.
They’re lucky Guantanamo doesn’t have a play place
My wife and I had a very important letter with a very important payment in it. We carefully set the envelope containing the letter on the table near the door. It’s a place we commonly use to put letters and other things we need to remember to leave the house with. On occasion we’ve left the kids there.
Watch out all you biological baby-mamas, here comes our first ever stepmom POM!
This month I am proud to introduce Briana Bucks, our first ever stepmom POM. Brianna and her family live in San Angelo, Texas. Forget those fairy tales about wicked stepmothers. Brianna is the most loving parent in the world. And she’s not a pushover either. Just try faking a stomach ache in her house and see how far it’ll get ya.
Let’s get to know a little more about Brianna and her family:
Selective attention is the sign of a maturing parent
An important test of where you are in your parenting maturity is if you’re able to make love with a baby monitor on in the background. I’m not saying to ignore your child just for the sake a re-connecting with your spouse. By all means, if you hear crying and screaming through the monitor, go attend to your child. But the real question is: Can you get busy if child chatter is blasting through the baby monitor?
My kids learn that when it comes to getting attention, any dad can get the job done
If I’ve ever needed another reason to hate travelling now that I’ve got kids, I have it. This past weekend, my wife had family in town. Normally, when one of my travel weeks coincides with a week that her family’s around, I consider it a bit of blessed synchronicity. I like my wife’s family, but it’s just that they’re better than my family. Most of my wife’s relatives are doctors, and most of mine are on prescription medication. You’d think that’d make for a nice balance, but every time I see them, I feel like I’m constantly being diagnosed.
This time my wife’s cousin, who is actually a cool dude and a good father in his own right was in attendance. And apparently my kids glommed onto him, repeatedly asking this other dad for “super” (our family’s term for tossing a toddler in the air and then catching him).
I’m happy my kids were having fun at a family event. Given my lineage, that’s real progress. I want my kids to be happy, and to receive attention if I can’t provide it myself because I’m away on business. But I must also admit that I was very jealous to learn that my kids were being tossed in the air by another dad. I thought that “super” was our thing.
Although, it’s probably good for me to realize that at some point my kids will stop thinking that I’m the most amazing human being on the planet. No doubt as they grow up, my kids will have friends whose dads are “cooler” than me (though I can’t imagine how). I know that when I was a kid, I thought my dad was awesome because he’d yell at the waiters when we went out to breakfast. But my friend’s dad drove a sports car, which blew my mind, and was way cooler than verbally abusing service employees—at least in the eyes of a child.
More than anything, I just need to be happy that my kids were happy, and don’t take it personally. Oh, and I’m also coming home with brand new footballs for the kids (that I purchased twenty minutes after my wife relayed the “super” story to me). Let’s see who they think is cooler now. I don’t see that other dad buying them any footballs.
Why a corporate management structure will keep you from looking like a moron in front of your children
If you were to think of parents as corporate managers, I would be the equivalent of the boss who isn’t the real boss. I might have the corner office (i.e. the head of the table), but my kids know that while they might report to me, my wife is the real decision maker. They probably assume I got the job as dad because I’m related to someone.