Daddy-Fail

 

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Shortcake began Mother’s Day Out this morning.

We spent a majority of the weekend assembling all the items she’d need, labeling them and getting ready to make the first day as easy as possible.

That is, until, we had an epic Daddy-fail!  See, Daddy was in charge of lunch and snacks. So last night, we assembled the snacks and lunch, carefully labeling each Ziplock bag with the proper information and getting them ready.  But instead of Daddy putting all the baggies into Shortcake’s lunch box, he only put in the components of lunch.

Fast forward to this morning.  We made a special first-day breakfast, had the proper outfit picked out, got the items together to take to school, and headed out the door for our big adventure.  Pictures were taken (before it began raining, no less!) and we dropped off Shortcake in her new classroom.  Only to find that Daddy had been so focused on getting everything else done that (Epic Daddy-fail!) he forgot to include the snacks!

Feeling like a contender for Worst-Daddy-EVER, we scrambled to the local grocery store and purchased more snacks and a new box of Ziplock bags.  All pieces quickly assembled, we dropped ’em off and everything is good, except the feeling of epic Daddy-fail.

The good news is that when I dropped off the snacks, it allowed me to see that Shortcake had adjusted to her new adventure and was having a great time.  (Dropping her off, she  burst into tears when Daddy put her down so he could discover his epic Daddy-fail).

 

 

A Change (Would Do You Good)

In the months leading up to Shortcake’s arrival, I used to see a promo for an upcoming show on TLC that looked at how families were integrating a new baby into their lives.  At one point during the ad, a parent-to-be proclaimed, “This baby isn’t going to change our lives.”

I haven’t seen that ad airing much lately.  But I often wonder if the parent-to-be was able to make that proclamation come true or not.

Because pretty much from the first time I saw Shortcake’s little heart beat flickering on the sonogram, my life was irrevocably changed. Continue reading “A Change (Would Do You Good)”

Never Thought I’d Post About Soccer

An article in USA Today caught my attention.  A girls’ soccer team has several participants that have short haircuts.   The article says they want to mirror their heroes, Abby Wanback and Megan Rapinoe.

Their hairstyles have drawn ire, mocking and criticism.  But not from kids their own age.  Instead, it comes from opposing team’s parents and coaches and referees for the game!

They’ve been ridiculed by opposing parents, coaches, even referees, all of whom refused to accept that they were not boys. At tournaments, they have been asked to prove their gender, and were told they didn’t deserve medals.

But instead of giving in and growing their hair out, the girls, with the help of their parents, coach and soccer club, are sticking with each other — and with their look. After a summer hiatus, they’re preparing for a new season beginning in September.

The article also says the girls play an aggressive style of soccer that is (as their coach says) “the way the game is supposed to be played.”

I applaud the parents, coaches, and girls on this team in Milwaukee who sound like they have a lot more grace under pressure than I would.  I also have to ask the other grown-ups who encounter these girls — WTF?!?  Once again, here we are trying to reinforce how a kid should or shouldn’t look or act in order to reinforce gender stereotypes.   And it really irritates me.

With women consistently paid less to the same jobs as men, we seem to be letting that trickle down into childhood as well.

I guess I’ll be a rebel and raise Shortcake to be whatever she wants to be and teach her that she can excel at anything.   And that she can wear her hair however she wants and shouldn’t get mocked.  At least not by adults.

My Daughter Is Not a Kardashian!

Saw an article in my Google reader this week discussing one of the members of the Kardashian family and whether or not she had pulled off the short-shorts look this summer.

Just seeing the headline brought to mind a rant I’ve had for a long time when it comes to picking out clothes for my daughter.

Simply put, there is a huge difference between the quality and the implied message of clothing for girls and clothing for boys.  While boys’ clothes have things like reinforced knees (because clearly girls don’t crawl, run around or fall down), pockets and adjustable waists, girl’s clothes apparently are made to subliminally send the message there is only one acceptable size and body-type.   Apparently, if you’re a girl, you don’t need a drawstring in the waistband (there’s a bow included, but it’s decoration only!)  and you clearly don’t ever carry anything in your pockets since they too are only on there for decorations.

Oh, and the only styles of shorts available are short-shorts that will barely cover your diaper.

Lest you think I was shopping at some crazy, hip, young store, let me tell you that was not the case.  The store, in particular, was Carter’s, a company that I figured might be a safe haven for allowing us to pick our clothes that didn’t make my daughter look like a Kardashian.

I don’t want to single out one store or brand. I’ve noticed this across multiple stores and brands that are aimed at children.

As a father, this is just distressing.  Shortcake isn’t even a year-and-a-half-old and we’re already sending her messages about what the “ideal” type of body is.  I don’t want her to dress like someone who voyaged to the new world on the Mayflower, mind you.  I just want her to have clothes that are comfortable, well-made and allow for some sense of modesty.

I want her to grow up to be a woman, not a Kardashian.

Is that asking too much?

Why I’m More Excited About the New Doctor Than Usual

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It only took three decades for John Nathan-Turner’s prediction that we’d have a female Doctor to come true.

In the weeks since it was announced that Jodie Whittaker will be my favorite Time Lord’s next incarnation, I’ve been excited by what this news means for my favorite television show.   With a co-production deal with China ensuring we’ll have new Doctor Who for at least four more seasons, I’m excited and intrigued to see where the changes in creative staff both in front of and behind the cameras will take the series in the next several years.  Doctor Who is a series that’s been defined as much by the person crafting the scripts behind the  camera as it has by the person who brings those scripts to life in front of the camera. Find the right combination and you’ve got a winner on your hands.  Find the wrong combination and you’ve got, well, a mess on your hands where the behind-the-scenes drama is almost more interesting than the finished product on our screens (I’m looking at you, the Colin Baker era, where you had a great actor with a tired script editor and the quality of the stories declined). Continue reading “Why I’m More Excited About the New Doctor Than Usual”

Red Alert

My sleep was interrupted last night by an alert from the Emergency Broadcast System.  With a forecast of potential thunderstorms and severe weather, I rolled out of bed to make sure we didn’t need to head to our safe spot.

Weather wasn’t the issue.  The alert was sent out for an Amber Alert for a missing child.

At that moment, I felt relieved that it wasn’t severe weather bearing down on us and a sense of heartache at what a family must be going through at that moment.   It reminded me of how delicate life can be and how things can change in the blink of an eye.

I know I can’t save Shortcake from every type of pain and heartache that is headed her way (heaven only knows the number of times she’s fallen down recently as she tries to put together the logistics of walking).  But I also know that as a parent I have a huge responsibility to make sure she’s safe as we face the world together.

I’m probably being over-protective, but there have been a few instances in the last month that put me on high alert. Continue reading “Red Alert”

A Thousand Books?!?

As an avid reader, I wanted to share my love of reading with Shortcake as soon as possible.   Not only are there benefits for her brain development but it’s a special time to bond.

Some of my fondest memories growing up involve read with my parents.  My dad and I used to have a tradition of reading the Sunday comics together (the weekly Spider-Man comic strip was a favorite and the smell of coffee often brings back memories of those Sunday mornings) and my mom read several books onto cassette for me so I could listen to them over and over and over again.

Early childhood educators and experts recommend reading 1,000 books to your child before he or she starts kindergarten.  And while that can seem like a LOT of books, our local librarian reminded us that most kids have close to 2,000 days from the time they are born before they enter kindergarten (so you if you miss a day, you don’t have to get too stressed out about it).

goodnightmoonShe also said that you don’t have to read your child a 1,000 different books before kindergarten, just a thousand total books.  So when your young toddler demands that you read Goodnight Moon every night before he or she goes to sleep, each time you read it counts toward the total.

As a good father, I want to ensure not only that Shortcake reads 1,000 books before kindergarten but that she’s also exposed to some of the classics, including some of my favorite characters and universes from pop culture.  (In other words, I want to sow the seeds of geek-dom early and often).

Thankfully we live in a time when books that celebrate and expose little readers to some of their parents’ pop culture favorites are plentiful.  A few of my favorites include:

startrekoppostiesThe Star Trek Book of Opposites:   Taking images from the original (and still the best) Star Trek, this board book covers things like calm (with an image of Spock) and surprised (with an image of Captain Kirk holding up his hands with a surprised look on his face).  Clever and colorful, this book is designed not only to amuse young reader s but also to the people reading it to them.

Doctor Who Meets Mr. Men and Little Miss series:  This mash-up of Doctor Who and the Mr. Men books is delightful for young and old readers.  Currently there are books with the first, second, fourth and seventh through twelfth Doctor either on shelves or on the horizon.  And since Shortcake will sit up and turn her head toward any television set playing the Doctor Who theme, I imagine these will  be read a LOT in our house.

xfiles.jpgThe X-Files: Earth Children Are Weird:  While you may not want your kids to watch The X-Files just yet (it’s kind of dark and scary), you can introduce them to Fox Mulder and Dana Scully with this delightful book.  Young Fox and Dana are camping out in the backyard when they discover weird, wild, possibly alien stuff going on around them and being to investigate.  (If you’re such a nitpicker that you point out that Mulder and Scully never met as children, remind yourself this is just a children’s book and enjoy it.)  Great illustrations and a clever story with lots of homages to the series have made this one of Daddy’s favorite books to read to Shortcake.

DC Superhero Series:  Share your love of superheroes with your young one with these delightful board books, including the heroes and villains of the DC universe.  So far, we’ve only read My First Wonder Woman (which also provides the opportunity to feel things like Wonder Woman’s magic lasso!) but I have a feeling there will be more of these in our future.

Those are just a few of the books/series that I’ve discovered during the first year or so with Shortcake. I’m sure there are others that I’ve either forgotten or overlooked. But I’d love to hear what you recommend we read together on our journey to a thousand books.