A collection of 57 posts

When One Plus One is Way More than Two

parenting 3 min read When One Plus One is Way More than Two

In the beginning, and yes, there was a beginning, I was the father of a single child. I moaned and complained about the difficulties and boredom of being a parent. I made excuses for why I didn’t have enough time during the day, why I didn’t get enough sleep, why I had every reason to be depressed. When the second kid came along, I paid for all those earlier lies, and I paid mightily.

Early on, people often asked, “Is two harder than one?” And I would laugh and say, “Not really.” It was the truth. Aside from

Soap Opera Mysteries

parenting 2 min read Soap Opera Mysteries

The stereotypical housewife of my youth was an avid Soap Opera watcher, or so I heard. Even my own mom, before she went back to school and work, watched at least a couple hours of those superbly written, wonderfully acted, not-at-all-melodramatic dramas daily. And yet now, as I stay home with my kids, anxious to waste away the day folding laundry and enjoying the same episode of SportsCenter for the sixth time, I want simply to ask them: how did you do it?

As it is, I rarely find myself in front of the television. I chase kids around all


parenting 1 min read Absorption

The call rang through the house.

"Daddy!  Daddy!"

It was Smartypants, age 5, beckoning from an upstairs bathroom.

"Daddy, I need more toilet paper."

And so Daddy fetched a new roll of toilet paper and delivered it to the bathroom.

"Thanks, Daddy."  Smartypants smiled faintly, seemingly concerned, but she took the toilet paper and finished her business.  When she stood, she stared as though puzzled at the unflushed toilet.

"What's wrong," Daddy asked from the hallway.  "Flush the toilet."

"But there's a problem."

"What's that?"

"There's toilet paper in the toilet."

"That's because you went to the bathroom."

"Not that

The Repository of What We Miss

parenting 3 min read The Repository of What We Miss

In all the lore of humankind, where might one discover the repository of missed steps, forgotten moments, and nonexistent memories? I ask only because it must be a wonderland of smiles, brimming with laughter, perfumed by the aromas of baby lotion, spilled milk and dirty diapers, overflowing with moments of pride, joy, tears and hope. I ask because I want to peruse that repository. I want to locate all the mispronounced words that have escaped my child’s lips, to find all the awkwardly worded sentences that so often make me laugh, to hear all the unanswered cries for Daddy

Cat Kitty Crying

parenting 2 min read Cat Kitty Crying

I hear her. The agonized meow of a stuffed cat. She calls to me through the silence, begging to be held, longing to purr in the arms of anyone.

She is Smiley's favorite little friend. Her name is Cat Kitty.  I don't know why.

If you squeeze Cat Kitty's head, she meows. At least, that's the way she's supposed to work. But, as any toy whisked around by a two-year-old child is apt to become, Cat Kitty was dirty, and so we gave her a bath in the washing machine. Smiley said, "Kitties don't like baths." Apparently, she was correct.

Rebranding Smiley

parenting 3 min read Rebranding Smiley

Once upon a time, nothing short of a grin touched the face of my tiniest and youngest monkey. Whether she was yanking fur off the cat's back, tossing cheerios across a room, plummeting down the stairs, or leaping like a daredevil from the arm of a couch, she was all smiles. Giggly, gleeful, overjoyed by daily discoveries. That was Smiley.

I remember the morning she earned her moniker. The sun was up, but barely. My eyes ached, my ears throbbed, and my head rattled with pangs of exhaustion. And yet the calls echoed from a room down the hall. "Daddy,

The Future Ms. Smartypants

parenting 1 min read

It seems, during these restless summer days of vacationing and celebration, Smartypants has spent her leisure time contemplating the future and its myriad possibilities.  She's apparently working under the flawed assumption that Daddy won't eat the universe any time soon (see post below), but we'll forgive her.

Last week we watched the Space Shuttle launch on television.  She called it a spaceship.  She wanted to watch it fly through space.  I sensed an intense curiosity, and so I asked her a question:

"Do you want to be an astronaut when you get older?"

Without hesitation, she answered, "No."

"What do

Eating the Universe

parenting 1 min read Eating the Universe

It seems Smartypants, with her insatiable thirst for knowledge, has, in her eternal pursuit of understanding, developed a rather bleak view pertaining to the end of the world, and I would like to share with you her stunning take on the destruction of the universe.

The fundamentals of her philosophy became apparent to me in the car yesterday, when I complained I was hungry.

"What will you eat?" she asked.

"Maybe some pizza."

"We don't have any pizza."

"What do we have?"

"We don't have any food.  We're in the car."

"Ahh!  Then I'll eat the car."

Here she giggles