The Negotiator – Training for My Next Career

I don’t know about you, but my negotiation skills have been tested to the max lately. It doesn’t matter the time of day, the circumstances, or location. There is going to be some form of negotiating taking place. I’ll give Sophia credit–and probably every other kid, too–they don’t quit. They will low ball you at every turn. They play for keeps. They play dirty. I really am getting plenty of practice and on-the-job training that I have a good idea that I’d succeed–or fail miserably–in a future career as a hostage negotiator or deal-maker/breaker. One of the two.

I’m gonna talk about the two instances that are daily back-and-forths. Mealtime and bedtime. Continue reading

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Video

Sometimes Ya Gotta Do Stupid Things For Your Kids

Sometime all it takes is a hint of a laugh to break a child from the midst of tantrum-hood.

Knowing what you, as a parent–and tantrum-breaker–can do to get that laugh is going to change from instant-to-instant. Hurting yourself is one way to get a laugh. I’ve gone to that well far too many times to count. Sometimes it takes singing out-of-tune (as if I can sing any other way). Or, telling a joke.

But, there are times, like in the above video, where you just do something completely stupid and it works like gangbusters. To set the scene: We were on our way home on Monday night and Sophia was clearly tired and wanted her cup of PediaSure, which she has every night at bed time. Well, we didn’t have any with us. And we had a solid 30 minutes until we’d be home. The whining started. It got worse. And it got louder. So, in that instant I blurted out that I wanted my milk, in the highest, most baby-like voice I could muster. And, what do you know? It worked. To the point that she clamored for me to repeat it ad nauseam.

I had no idea I could make that voice. Believe me, I’ve done a million voices in my lifetime and THAT was never one of them. I’m glad Sarah was riding next to me to capture it–without me even knowing she was recording it. Seriously, sometimes it just takes you doing the most stupid thing you can think of to snap your kid from sure tantrum into laughter.

What are some of the stupid things you’ve done to snap your kid from falling into a tantrum? If there’s video, share it! Let me know in the comments, on Facebook, or Twitter!

My Kid Said What?!

my kid said whatI wish I had a video camera recording at all times when Sophia speaks. Seriously, the girl says some of the most out of this world things. I’d also like to have a camera trained on mine and Sarah’s faces when we hear the things she says. Half amusement, half confusion, half concentration. One too many halves? Three halves make a whole, right? No? Oh well. I’ve written and “illustrated” some of the gems Sophia has come up with before, but there are far too many other times that I haven’t written down the stuff she says. Continue reading

Video

We Got The Moves, We Got The Dance Moves

I’ll be the first to admit it, when it comes to dancing, this guy doesn’t have the moves. Somehow, those gifts bypassed me, but not my siblings. Not cool, mom and dad. NOT COOL. But, what didn’t bypass me was my lack of shame. You see me on a dance floor at a wedding or when I get a couple drinks in me, and I’m gonna be dancing. Most likely terribly. And most likely I’m not gonna be caring. Being averse to shame will do that to you.

"Daddy should NOT be dancing:

“Daddy should NOT be dancing”

You know the saying: “Dance like no one is watching”? Yeah, I’ve taken that to heart. I love the looks of horror when I hit the dance floor. Typically they come from Sarah. One day, I’ll get those looks from Sophia and Maddie. The look on Sophia’s face in that picture over there? Yeah, that is one she’ll be making A LOT when she’s older. For now, though? She just wants me to dance and be silly. And I’m good with that. And I hope it continues forever. I don’t want her to be embarrassed by me ever, but I’m sure it’ll happen. After all, I’m her dad and it’s kind of in my job description. Continue reading

Why? Why? Why? The Unanswerable Question

"Why? "is the question of the year 'round these parts.

“Why? “is the question of the year ’round these parts.

Long before I became a dad, I had many run-ins with the phrase “because I said so.” I hated when I’d hear it. Despised it, even. I promised myself that I’d never be that dad that used that phrase. And then, the “Why?” stage hit. All bets were off.

Continue reading

Parenting’s More Fun With Friends

Some of my best friends, well before any of us were dads...

Some of my best friends, well before any of us were dads…

Has anyone ever told you that your life changes when you have kids? Oh, they have? Okay, I just needed to be sure that you were aware of this. It’s a funny thing, finding out you’re going to be a parent. Terrifying, even. You find out that in nine short months, you’re going to have this little life to care for, to nurture, to raise, to guide, to teach, to love.

You’ve never taken care of anything before in your life, save for a pet, most likely. So, what do you do? You read, you talk to other parents, and, really, you figure it out as you go. You realize that you and your spouse aren’t alone in this parenting game. For us, we’ve had the joys of having a good number of our best friends have kids in the same time that we’ve had Sophia and Maddie. Actually, almost all of my best buddies from college have kids now. Continue reading

Dad-flections – Three Years and Two Kids Later

Hard to believe I've been a dad for three years!

Hard to believe I’ve been a dad for three years!

WordPress did a funny thing the other day. It wished me a happy anniversary. I was confused. It’s not my anniversary until May! And then it hit me. They were wishing me a happy third anniversary for this blog. I’ve been doing this for three years?! I guess that shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering Sophia will be three tomorrow. WAIT, I’ve been a dad for three years?! THAT is the most shocking revelation I’ve had lately! In that spirit, I’m about to take you down the path of reminiscing and musing about the last three years of my life. Buckle up. Continue reading