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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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!

Discipline, Kids, and You: My Reaction to the Adrian Peterson Story

APUnless you’re living under a rock, you’ve heard, seen, or talked about the Adrian Peterson story. How he used a switch–a tree branch with no leaves–to give his 4-year old son a “whooping”. Why did his toddler son deserve to get beaten, bruised, cut, and scarred with a branch? He pushed one of Peterson’s other children. He was indicted in Texas by a grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child.

You are also probably aware that the Minnesota Vikings deactivated Peterson from Sunday’s game against the Patriots. And then on Monday, decided it was the right thing to do to activate him again, stating ” they will let the legal process play out before deciding on further action.” Continue reading

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

Uncomfortable Positions In Parenting

You want me to be real? As a parent, you find yourself in the most uncomfortable positions known to man. Seriously, man, I’m not kidding. From the moment you bring your screaming bundle of joy home from the hospital for the first time, you need to condition your body to get into some insane positions–all for the comforting of your little ones. Contorting my body is a daily occurrence ’round these parts. It honestly doesn’t matter what it is that I’m doing, my body is going to have contort in ways that I didn’t know were possible.

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Which is Best For You? Stay-at-Home Parent vs Working Parent

Sophia more than two years ago, while I was a stay-at-home dad

Sophia more than three years ago, while I was a stay-at-home dad.

Jan 14th, 2011: The day I lost my previous job.

February 24th, 2011: The day Sophia was born. Also the day I became a stay-at-home dad.

The topic of stay-at-home parenting can be a hot-button issue. I realize that. Frankly, I don’t understand why it’s really anybody else’s business if you decide to stay at home and raise your kids or if you decide to work. I’ve seen this more between moms than between dads, but it can be downright brutal. Really, I just want discussion, respectful, of course, about the topic. Continue reading

My Daughter Is Just Like Me As A Kid–And It’s Driving Me Nuts

When I was a kid, my mom used to say “I can’t wait until you have a kid and they are JUST LIKE YOU. Paybacks.” That’s a true story. You know what else is a true story? The fact that she got her wish. From the day Sophia started being mobile, she has been non-stop. I mean NON-STOP. Talking all the time? Check. Running around non-stop? Check. Never wanting to sleep? Double-check.

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The Nickname Game

A show of hands for those of you who have at least one nickname. Ok, by my count it looks like it’s almost the entire class. Good, good. Me? Throughout my life I’ve had approximately 1,674 nicknames. I can’t think of a time I haven’t told a friend, co-worker, family member, or total stranger a story of how I got one of my many nicknames. The longest running ones: Brownie–a play on my name; Duck–a nickname I earned in seventh grade; and Tittles–my nickname since college, that many, MANY people only knew me by. But, what about our kids? I’m sure if you have older kids, they’ve already earned plenty of nicknames in their lives. Chances are you’ve given them at least four. And, their friends have probably given them even more.

Soapbox and Mad Dog

Soapbox and Mad Dog

We’ve already given Sophia and Maddie their fair share of nicknames at this early stage of their lives. Sophia has been known at different times as the following: Soapbox, Sopha-rope, Boo Boo, Tornado, Sophia the First, and Miss Sophia B. Maddie, at the ripe-old age of 11-months already has earned a fair amount herself: Mad Dog, Maddie Moo, Moo Moo, Mo Mo, Magoo, and someone once called her Fatty Maddie (I’m lookin’ in your direction, Zach-O). Continue reading

Back to School Season! AKA Nothing Changes Here

For some reason, we’ve been seeing a ton of back-to-school ads, commercials, and sales already. It’s not even August yet. But, with those commercials, it is clearly a sign that the summer will be winding down in a month. The kids will go back to school, buses will again block me from getting to work on time, and everyone will get a year older. It also means, that outside of the buses stopping every 10-feet to pick up kids for school, my life will not change one bit. Nope, not even a little bit.

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As June started up and hit mid-month, many people started talking about school letting out, taking their kids to camp, and heading out for vacation. Some complained about having to find stuff to do with their kids. It’s an outside view of what our life will be like in a few years when Sophia starts school. But, again, currently, the end of summer brings no changes to our lives.

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What Do You Mean My Kids Won’t Be The Same?!

No dad, we aren't the same.

No dad, we aren’t the same.

You have one kid, go through all the ups and downs in their time as a baby, into toddler-hood, and beyond. They learn at their own pace, as do you. You become accustom to how you did things with them. How they slept. How they ate. How they reacted to being sick. How they interacted. Their general disposition. And in your mind, you think “when we have a second kid, it will be just like this all over again”. Totally logical line of thinking. Wait, what?! Continue reading