Thursday, November 20, 2008

Covering the Basics

"Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina." - Kid from "Kindergarten Cop."

I realize that I am now that guy who you dated for a few months, had some great times with, and then stopped calling you. And now I'm ringing you up for a bootie call. Why should you give the time of day to someone who's been MIA for almost three months? Because this is a good story.

Bud has gotten the whole girl/boy thing down. She turns to me tonight and says "Daddy is a boy and mommy is a girl." Duh! Then, we quizzed her...What's Jacob?...a boy...What's Ali?...a girl...What's Nana...a girl? She went 9 for 10 (and the 1 may read this so I am not going to say who it is). Then, she proceeded to list everyone in her class, and their gender.

She then decided to brush my hair, and give me a headband. As she put the headband on, she said, "there you go big boy." And not "big boy" like in the way a tranny would say it...more like the opposite of what Newmommy says when she puts the headband on her: "there you go big girl". In other words...she's starting to get it.

Now, how to I convince her to stay away from the boys until she's twenty-one?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Back to School

It's quite a day: Bud turned two, and started preschool. It's hard to imagine that just two years ago yesterday, I was trying to fall asleep on a hospital floor while awaiting Bud's first appearance, and today, I was sitting in a mini-classroom, trying to squeeze my ass into a bright yellow kid's chair. Neither was comfortable...and I wasn't ready for either. But, like life and parenting, you've always gotta keep moving forward.

6:40am, and I was still feeling the effects of yesterday's second birthday party. No, not a hangover, not from alcohol, at least. Running around chasing kids, while manning the camera, and putting down pizza and cake (more than I should in an attempt to justify what I was paying for!) followed by opening and assembling the new toys will take its toll on anyone. By the way, the toys have moved from music-y, block-y, plastic-y baby toys to girl-y, princess-y, ballerina-y girl toys. Newmommy wakes me up. I'm taking today off from work, but yet, I'm waking up at the same time.

7:35am, we wake up Bud. The wake up routine is somewhat easy: we look at her, she looks at up with a big "Hiiiiiiiiiii. Have good dre-ams." We sing happy birthday.

8:25am. We give ourselves an extra 15 minutes before the trip to the preschool for pictures. What is this, a friggin' wedding? Bud alone...Bud with mommy....Bud with daddy. Daddy with the backpack....Mommy with a bagel, etc. 30 pictures total..what did they do before digital photography?

8:55am. Bud's running through the school towards the classroom, not realizing that her two-decades full of studying, tests and state capitals are awaiting her at the other side of the door.

9:00am. Studying, tests and state capitals are obviously a long way off. This year it's dress-up, blocks manipulatives and art. She begins playing with an animal/barn set very similar to what she has in her own playroom. She seems to like it.

9:15am. Bud shows little interest in the art project, but seems to be slowly acclimating to the environment. A bit hesitant, until the teacher announces that we're heading outside to the playground. She said the magic word.

9:30am. Newdaddy asks his first neurotic-parent question of the teacher: "How can you watch 12 kids in such a big playground." Answer: we're more spread out than usual because we have the parents here...but we usually focus on a smaller area. When more classes are out here, the teachers take "zones." OK, acceptable answer.

9:45am. Snack. Bud is very interested in Cheerios....and drinking water out of a cup. She got about half in the mouth and half on her dress. That teacher better improve that ratio before June! 10am. We leave. It's a short session today, parents admitted. On Wednesday, it's a full day, parents optional.

When Bud gets up from her nap, we're going to celebrate in a more traditional style: with some ice cream. All in all, I think Bud did great. Newmommy...well, she has more adjusting to do! I'm sure she'll do great too. That is, of course, until it's time to drop her off at college. But that's a few years away!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Things I Learned in Pre-School Orientation

Bud starts pre-school on Monday, which also happens to be her second birthday. This past Thursday night, I attended pre-school orientation. Here are some things I learned.

1. "Peanut Free" is different from "Peanut Aware." When asked if the school is "Peanut Free," the administrator responded, "no, but we are peanut aware, meaning that we don't serve peanuts or anything with peanuts, but don't control what kids bring to school." Nobody I knew growing up had a peanut allergy- how is it that this has suddenly become such a huge issue?

2. Pre-Schools have their own "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. If you kid gets bitten, you are notified, but they won't tell you who bit your kid. Isn't that unconstitutional...isn't there something in there about confronting your kid's biter? The administrator did point out, however, that the kids usually tell their parents who the culprit was.

3. Toys are now called "Manipulatives." The pre-school gives kids the opportunity to stack, sort and play with "manipulatives." Back in my peanut-loving preschool days, they were called "blocks."

4. The kid of the parents in the row behind me is potty trained. Honor student. I hope they grade on a curve here.

In all seriousness, this school looks like it's going to be really fun for Bud. If you were to close your eyes and picture a nursery school teacher...her new teacher is what you'd come up with. The place looked to be run very professionally (much more than I expected from a nursery school), which made me feel like we made the right choice. On Monday, Bud's formal education begins...and I'll be taking the day off.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rock On...

Yesterday, while trying to find Bud's latest favorite episode of "Little Einsteins," on OnDemand, I stumbled upon The Karaoke Channel which conveniently had a "Kid's Karaoke" option. I put on "Twinkle, Twinkle" and Bud's wheels began to turn. During the first pass through the song she was pointing out letters, "B for Baby", "D for Daddy"...and she started singing the song on the second pass.

Karaoke has got to be a great activity for kids- not only can they rock out to their favorite songs, but it also must be helpful in develop reading skills, as the words light up as they sing them.

Of course, at the end of the song, an announcer says, "For more information, visit our website..." For some reason, Bud became obsessed with this part, and went the whole day asking "for more information." Or more like "Good Morning, A Mission..."

(For more information about Karaoke, please visit the Karaoke Channel website, or go to K-Town in NYC and rent a private room.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Scariest Word

Today I heard the scariest word from a woman since Newmommy said "Ring." The word is: "Mine." Yes, two weeks shy of the second birthday, Bud has used that oh-so-common word that declares to the world the sense of self. And that pretty much nothing else matters.

Not that Bud hasn't declared her sense of self already. She is now regularly telling us what to do ("Daddy, sit for you!")...what she wants ("More strawberries!")...and to leave her alone and let her do it herself ("No hands, daddy!"...."[Bud] do it!!").

And, she absolutely insists that we play her favorite games, which so far consist of "Looks Like So Much Fun" (which is pretty much just spinning around in circles saying "looks like so much fun") and "Restaurant", which is basically asking her what she would like, and giving her pretend French toast. I win every time.

Bud starts pre-school in two weeks (I know, right...) Her teacher sent the class postcards welcoming the kids to her class. Bud wanted to play with this "teacher book", and when we took it back to go in the upcoming scrapbook, Bud yelled, "Hold it! Mine!!"

Uh oh.

Monday, July 28, 2008

4 Year Old Manipulation

I was having lunch at a friend's house recently, when his four-year-old daughter began taking chips from an open bag on the kitchen table. My friend asked his little girl to stop taking the chips, and she complied momentarily. Then, as if to "challenge" her daddy, she slowly stuck her hand in the chips while staring directly at my friend, and grabed a chip.

Angered, the daddy asked, "why did you take a chip while looking directly at me??" As if to ask, "you know what you're doing is wrong...and you know that I know what you're doing is why did you do it??"

Not missing a beat, the little girl replied, "because I love you."

Game. Set. Match.

How do you argue with logic like that?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What is Love? Baby don't hurt me...

Bud dances now. But when she does, she really only moves her head around. I think I've seen that dance before...
While she danced the other day, I started to sing the theme song, until I realized that the last thing you want your kid repeating in public is "don't hurt me."

We Don't Throw Food...

...except that one time in college when me, Bluto and Pinto wanted to get back at those damn Omegas...wait that was someone else.

There are a few sure signs of adulthood...if being thirty-two years old isn't enough. Preferring VH1 to MTV is one. Appreciating history (damn, that John Adams series was good!) is another. Knowing that Freddie Mac is not a McDonald's character is another. And saying "We Don't Throw Food" more than ten times in a week is certainly one.

Yes, my friends, we have entered what some might call the "Terrible Twos," although I cringe when I hear people use that expression much in the same way I've been cringing during those damn Mohegan Sun commercials. "M-m-m-my Mohegan....shut up!!"

Until now, we haven't had many "behavior" issues, so this is my first brush with being a disciplinarian, and I sort of feel like the principal in You Can't Do That On Television...("OK, Moose, for your detention I'd like you to copy pages 5 through 1,523 of this dictionary..." ) Tonight, as we walked into a Mexican restaurant, Bud threw her sippy cup at the hostess and grunted "Meeh!" We had to explain to her why that type of behavior was not right, and broke out the big guns when she refused to eat and kept throwing her watching her Grover DVD tonight.

Part of me feels like a real A-hole because Bud really doesn't understand and fully appreciate all of life's rules. So, it must be really hard to be doing simple things like dropping her fork, or pulling her straw out of her drink or dipping her crayon in the guacamole, or dropping her peach in my morning coffee, and constantly being told "No!" On the other hand, she has to learn the rules, and the only real way to learn is to be constantly reminded.

I considered whether the food-throwing is a behavior "problem," but I figure that all 22-month-olds act like this in some way. So, for now, I've gotta be a cop and constantly stop Bud when she breaks the rules. I'm sure she'll get it. Until she goes to college, I guess, and then all bets are off. Still, I've got some time before I have to worry about that.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Daughter the Frat Boy

Sign my daughter up for a frat.

Friday night, she walks into our family room, "watch the Yankees." Not Elmo...not Dora...the Yankees. "See Joe De-a-magio." OK, a few years too late...but the right idea. At least she knows "De-lick Je-ler."

Saturday morning, Newmommy asks, "What do you want for breakfast?" "Beers." The fact that she said beers...plural...made that priceless. Not 'till you're fifteen.....

Today, we told her we were having a bar-b-que. All day "" Of course, by the time the grillin' was almost done, she was, as Newaunt would say, a "hot mess," so we needed to put her down for a nap. First thing she said when she woke up: "hot dogs! hot dogs!"

Sports, alcohol and meat. Damn, I'm a good father.

[N.B.: No...of course I don't give Bud beer. But, I do give her hot hot dogs...(what kind of dad feeds kosher hot dogs??). And, I expose her to the Yankees like all good fathers should.]

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

World's Best Dad My Ass...

Dear Guy-at-the-beach-on-Sunday-wearing-the-"World's-Best-Dad-T-Shirt,"

You sonofabitch.

How dare you wear a T-Shirt that says "World's Best Dad" on Father's Day? Father's Day is the one day out of the year when all of us fathers get to stop, look at our families, and take pride in what we've accomplished for our children. It is a day when we get to bask in the pride and admiration of our wives and children. And you have the nerve to publicly announce that you're better than the rest of us.

Are you really the World's Best Dad? Who made that decision? I am unaware of any international committee that tabulates research results or surveys from all over the world to arrive at one person who can truly claim the title "World's Best." And even if there was, I would question their methodologies...I doubt any group can truly and accurately obtain and sift through all of the world's information regarding fatherhood, and arrive at one certain "World's Best." But, I don't think you were chosen by any committee. Methinks your kids just bought you the shirt, without doing any friggin' research at all. That's pretty presumptive.

Plus, I saw you spending most of your time on the blackberry. I am pretty sure that the World's Best Father would spend zero time on his blackberry while lounging with the kids. In fact, World's Best would probably not even OWN a blackberry...he would spend all of his non-office time with his kids.

I award you no points, and may Gd have mercy on your soul.



Saturday, June 14, 2008

Goin' to the 'po...

I don't get you Home Depot dads...these guys who spend every weekend morning at the 'po (as my former boss used to call it) and every weekend day doing a house project. I spend my weeks busting my ass in the office; I can't imagine spending my weekend re-siding my house, extending my garage two towns over, or putting in a new anything. I spent my afternoon today putting together a small plastic climby-wall-thing-with-a-slide for Bud, and that was a pain! Plus, every time I go to Home Depot, I end up getting the wrong thing, and having to turn around and go back. No, I don't bring home a toilet flusher when I was going for a lightbulb...but, without fail, every time I buy anything, it's always 1/8 inch off.

Someone asked me, after I gave this rant, if the problem is that I'm just not handy. I don't think it's that, although I've never really tested out my skills in that area.

Two exceptions. One...electronics. I can wire a stereo together pretty well, add speakers, etc. Of course, if I need to rewrite the outlets or install speakers in the wall...I'm out. grill. I love that friggin' thing...ever since we got it earlier this summer I've been addicted to grilling burgers, hot dogs, chicken, you name it. A moth landed on the grill as I was cooking last night...and I thought, just for a moment, that it wouldn't be so bad to see how that would come out blackened...!

I realize that grilling has nothing to do with being handy...I just wanted to bring it up.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The "L" Word*

*No, not that "L" word.

Almost every population has an associated slur that's typically offensive to that type of person. Races, religions, nationalities, disabilities, people who excel at certain activities, people who are prone to certain thing they all have in common is that at some point, someone dreamed up a word to offensively describe them.

And, today, I learned that little girls are offended by the term "Little." Let me explain...

Bud is in the point-out-everything-she-sees phase. Playground. Slide. Pizza. Today, we were at the playground, and Bud sees a little girl. She said, "Little girl." The girl whipped her head around and said, "I'm not little. I'm a big girl 'cause I'm four!" My one-year-old offended this girl! The little big girl turns to her father and says, "Daddy...she called me little!"

Uh, oh. Seems like I have to sit down with Bud and explain to her that she just can't go around spouting ageist slurs like that.

Let this be a warning to you all. I wasn't aware that this was offensive. The next time you're in a bar and the population is predominantly women under the age of seven, make sure you avoid using the L-word.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Newdaddy! Hall of Fame

The Newdaddy! Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have provided substantial support or advancement to the field of parenting. And today, I honor, Professional Family Portrait Photographer from the Babies-R-Us I Went to Last Weekend.

Only someone with patience and dedication can truly put up with an anxious father looking to get the perfect mother's day present, a twenty-month-old who can't, won't and has no interest in sitting still for a fifteen-minute photo shoot, and the proud-yet-embarrassed mother wanting perfect photos from the prettiest yet most squirmy little girl in the world.

Only someone with cat-like speed and reflexes, and the timing of a Superbowl quarterback, can capture the millisecond-held smiles between the frowns and cries. Only someone with an advanced degree in child psychology and the experience of a hundred grandmothers can figure out how to get an upset, tired, hungry child to even put on those smiles.

Professional Family Portrait Photographer from the Babies-R-Us I Went to Last Weekend, welcome to the Newdaddy! Hall of Fame

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Memories

Happy Mother's Day!

Today makes me think of Mother's Day two years ago, when Newmommy was pregnant with Bud, and I didn't get her a present or otherwise acknowledge the day for her, thinking that Mother's Day didn't apply to pregnant women.

As it turns out, Mother's Day applies to pregnant women.

Make a note.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Get Your Hibachi On

Newmommy and I went out on a limb tonight and took Bud for hibachi. We figured it would either be really cool or a complete disaster. Bud is going through something of a whiny phase, and if you mess with her eating routine it only gets worse. It turns out- hibachi is a great place to take your young kids.

First of all, its loud, and the sizzling of the hibachi and clanking of the knives drown out any whining, crying or loud talking. Second, the "show" keeps kids occupied. Third, they serve a variety of food over the course of the meal, so if the kid doesn't like one or many items, there are still others to choose from.

Well, that was a pretty good seventh grade three-point-argument paragraph.

Bud did really well- she was in somewhat of a bad mood when we first got there. (Today was particularly tough as we spent the morning taking professional family photos. More on that later.) But, when the food started coming, she was trying everything and loving it...miso soup, fried rice, noodles, steak (I am so proud, she loved it!), chicken...this chick really went to town. She did get a bit freaked out when they lit the fire, but handled it very maturely...turning away, no crying, and clapping her hands when it was done. Oh, and she ordered rice from the waitress...looking at her and yelling "RICE!"

I recommend giving it a try.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I Suck at Blogging

Wow, do I suck at blogging. This thing started with the proverbial "full head of steam," and now I realize that this is the longest intermission between posts since I started. No, I'm not looking to give it up. To avoid sounding like an erectile dysfunction commercial, I've been under a lot of stress lately...really busy at work. Of course, that's a total lie. Well, not a total lie, as I am quite busy at work, but I actually do have time to write...I've just been, how you say, hella-lazy. I have been watching the developing train wreck that is the 2008 Yankees (yes, I do realize they have a better record then they did at this point last year, but I also realize that you can't make a serious run with only two-and-a-half pitchers in your starting rotation.) Newmommy turned me on to Facebook, and I've reconnected with a whole bunch of high school friends...if by "reconnected", you mean accepted them as a friend, wrote one e-mail back-and-forth, and then recommenced where we were immediately prior to the Facebook discovery.

I guess part of it is a temporary lapse in good post ideas. Bud's doing amazing things every day, so that really shouldn't be the case, although a lot of times I can't think of a good "spin" for the story, and I don't report to avoid simply pouring details about my kid. Like George Carlin said, "We'd don't care about your kids, that's why they're your kids."

But, now that I've gotten the blood flowing through the fingertips, I hope to get back on the blogging horse, and not put a tent around it on the track.

I think Abe Lincoln said it best, when he said, "Be excellent to each other. on dude."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bud Knows the Alphabet...all Twenty-Seven Letters

She picked it up from the Sesame Street Sing-a-Long DVD, which goes:

"A, B, C, [...], L, M, N, O, P, everybody, Q, R, S...."

So, now, between P and Q is the letter "bali."

But, more importantly, she's starting to learn the real basics. Ask her who's in her "Yankee Book." "Joe Di-a-magio." Hey, close enough. Oh, and "Derek Je-ler."

I'm sure there's a "Big Poopie" joke somewhere in there, but I'm too lazy to look for it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Bread of Affliction

Trying to get a one-year-old to sit through the entire Passover seder is a bit of a challenge, but Newmommy and I figured we'd get as far as we could. Apparently, someone had tipped Bud off to the fact that the first seder marks the beginning of eight days without bread or food with any sort of leavening. Early in the seder, the leader holds a piece of matzah and declares, "this is the bread of affliction, that our forefathers ate in the land of Egypt." As soon as those words left my mouth, my daughter, on perfect cue, replies, "Pizza."


In all fairness, she did enjoy everything on the menu. And I mean everything. This one-year-old eats chopped liver (but we already knew that), gefilte fish, stuffed cabbage, brisket, and anything else that comes out of a Jewish grandmother's kitchen.

P.S. We welcome A-Rod (back) to the Newdaddy club; he and his wife had a baby girl last night. Now, let's try decorating that chick's room with a world series trophy!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Le Superparent

Apologies for my neglect, I was on a two-week business trip to Europe. One of my stops was Paris. I had the opportunity to do a little sight-seeing over the weekend and found myself at the Arc de Triomphe. The view from the top is pretty amazing. Anyway, to get to the top of the Arc, there is no elevator, one needs to navigate this long spiral staircase.

Not an entirely amazing feat- even your out-of-shape humble narrator was able to do it. [Sidenote: I went jogging two weeks ago, and on the jog tried to figure out when the last time I worked out was. I think George Bush (W., not H.W.) was President, but I can't promise it was during this term.]

At the top, I saw this.

That is "superparenting," folks. Someone brought a stroller to the top of the Arc. That means that someone dragged that thing up that long spiral staircase and, in all probability, brought a stroller-age kid to the top. Bravo!

Time to get my Matzah on...Happy Passover.

Monday, April 07, 2008

That's Not a Dirty Diaper...that's just Beans 'n Rice...

I'm not sure where Mountain View is...and I'm not sure I want to know.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Bud's a Singer...and she's British

...she's ready to join the Spice Girls. Wait, are they still around? Man, I'm getting friggin' old.

Bud now belts out full songs. Highlights include "Twinkle, twinkle," "Ring Around the Rosy," and the ABC Song. (Which is the same as "Twinkle, Twinkle", but it's pretty cool that my baby knows her ABCs....) She also sings songs from her Sesame Street DVDs. There's nothing like hearing an eighteen-month-old randomly belt out "Old McDonald." "Eee-Yayyy-Eee-Yaayyyy-oooohhh!"

And, she's British. She was watching some show a few weeks ago with some British kids growing potatos. One kid says, in a very thick English accent, "We're growing po-tay-tos." Then, yesterday, Bud walks over to the mulch in our front yard landscaping, picks up a bunch and says, "tay-tos...tay-tos." How very worldly.

P.S. Even though we got rained out today, it's good to see baseball back in full swing! (It's also funny to see the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in first place. I'm sure that will last.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Weekend Off...and a Clear Favorite

Much to the amusement of our friends, Newmommy and I had a mini "vacation" to New York City this past weekend. I used the quotes around "vacation" (and, had I been talking to you in person, I would have done the "air quotes") as, technically, a trip to NYC is not a vacation to a Jerseyite. Still, it was a great time...had "lights" and "darks" at this bar, got a chance to finally see a movie in the theater (Borat was the last one Newmommy and I saw together), and, most importantly, got a chance to see this guy at a comedy club (no, not Larry David, the other guy, who was hysterical).

The end of the weekend comes, and we are reunited with Bud. Bud's face lit up when she saw us...and then, for the rest of the day, it was all about Mommy. Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Hey male provider, who the heck are you?

Now, I'm not surprised. Newmommy spends every day with her; and I only get weekends and a sliver of time on weekdays if I manage to catch a decent NJ Transit train home, and the train has no delays (ha!) Still, it's tough.

I don't want to come off as a complainer's not like Bud doesn't get excited to see me. (Yes, I see the double negative...shut up.) The best part of my day (on the days Bud is awake) is when I get home and see Bud. Bud jumps up and screams "DADDY!" like fifty clowns, twenty Elmos and Dora the Explora herself came through the door. And, if I'm there when Bud wakes up, "Daddy" is usually her first word. So, I guess Bud's not really playing favorites. But it is hard to compete when you're competition is a woman who spends her entire day feeding and entertaining your child.

P.S. Finally, finally, finally...a new baseball season begins tomorrow. The Yankees don't start until Monday afternoon, but in the meantime, at least for tomorrow and at least in Japan, I'll be an Oakland fan. GO A's!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Book Report: "Elmo Visits the Denist"

It's been a while since I've done one of these, but I felt the need, given the sensitive subject matter of this book. "Elmo Visits the Dentist" is a story about a young Elmo who completely sells out his friends to help out a known terrorist.

As the book opens, we find the Big Bad Wolf of pig-house-destroying fame in pain with a toothache. Elmo, rather than bask in the glory of a local criminal receiving some form of comeuppance, helps the bastard out and takes him to the dentist where, sure enough, his toothache is cured.

Why would Elmo do this? Some psychologists have suggested that Elmo has such a strong desire to be liked, it doesn't matter where that approval comes from. Still, this is no excuse. Sure, the two little pigs who chose to build their homes of straw and sticks were not really wise in their construction plans, but is this any reason for an f-ing wolf to destroy their homes (and, in some versions of the story, eat the pigs)??? I don't think so. If it were up to me, I'd say...let that wolf suffer. He's caused enough pain.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Looks and a Brain Too

While changing Bud tonight, I asked, "Whose pretty?" Not missing a beat, Bud looked back at me and stated, very matter-of-factly, "Smart." As if to say, I'm not just a cute face, love me for my brains, daddy.

Unfortunately, she doesn't practice what she preaches. At today's Purim carnival (she dressed as a ladybug...very cute...) she was having lunch with one of her friends from pre-pre-school, when she smiled at him and then, while he was off-guard, swiped a piece of his pizza. Using the looks to get what we want, are we? Then again, that move was rather smart....

Looks and a brain too. There are so few of us out there.

Although, I could have done without her insisting on me reading (and then re-reading) the back of the Elmo DVD tonight. "Enjoy these easy-to-sing songs with your child, blah, blah, blah." I tried to get her to stop asking for me to read it ("Again! Again!" a friggin' Teletubby) by reading the disclaimer. Nope. Maybe she'll be a lawyer like her daddy.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Your Son Crapped His Pants

Dear Father-on-the-trampoline-at-the-birthday-party-I-was-at-today,

Your son crapped his pants.

I smell it. You smell it. The woman at the front desk at this kiddie gym smells it. Hell, the whole party smells it. So why are you letting your son continue to jump on the trampoline with a full bowl of pants pudding?

Perhaps something is wrong with your olfactory system. Still, can't you see everyone picking up their child as they jump by you, smelling their butts and then sighing in relief that it's not their kid with the trouser chili?

Are you waiting for your wife? Fair enough, I, in fact, pulled that this morning...Bud dropped a deuce (actually, it was more like a deuce-and-a-half) right around the time mommy was about to take over...why should I go through the trouble of changing the diaper? (No such luck, though, I lost odds-or-evens, 2-to-1.) In any event, there's a time limit for letting your kid sit in fudge tracks.

Your son crapped his pants. Please change him.



Thursday, March 06, 2008

Mispronounced, but cute

My wife's cousin (does that make him my cousin?) warned me to enjoy the "cute words," those words that are cutely mispronounced, now, because by the time the kid hits three, they're gone. (Or, I guess they're not cute anymore.) Here are some of my favorites:
  • Mes-a-min (medicine)
  • Mi-na-mi-na (banana)
  • Pladaloo (proud of you)
  • Bippy (Grampy)
  • Ba-bay-bees (strawberries)
  • bu-bay-bees (blueberries)
  • C'lay-ma-loom (play room)
P.S. If your four-year-old wants to get drunk before going to school, tell her it's "not a good idea."

Sunday, March 02, 2008

What Kind of Mortgage Rates are they Offering Two Year-Olds?

This outdoor playset costs $122,730. There are houses cheaper than that. Until now, I had never seen a jungle gym that actually required taking out a mortgage. Now, I'm no expert, but I do believe that children of jungle gym age would be considered the sub-prime market, no?

While checking out this website, I also found a "tuffet." I didn't realize, in all this time, that was actually something! Screw this...I'm going to get me a fat bowl of curds and whey.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


No, not to the South Harmon Institute of Technology.

To pre-school.
Dear Newfamily,

Welcome to the Newpreschool Family! We are pleased that your child has been enrolled in our program for the 2008-2009 school year. The following information confirm's your child's place in our program. Class assignments will follow over the summer with additional parent information.


On behalf of the Newpreschool, we thank you for choosing Newpreschool and we look forward to seeing you in September! [Emphasis Added]

Very truly yours,

Vernon Wormer

No, it's not one of those fancy pre-schools which required an interview. Yes, I think they accept all applicants. But, yes, Newmommy cried.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

It's an Inside Joke...You Wouldn't Understand...

On Tuesday, I took what a former boss of mine would call a "Mental Health Day." I took the day off to spend time with Newmommy and Bud, and to take part in the activities I typically don't see (which included a trip to My, not my gym, I'm not much of a workout guy, I mean My Gym.)

By the end of the day, I realized that Bud reserves certain words & phrases for if they are our own little inside jokes. When I'm gone, Bud will repeat them, but then say "Daddy." Here's a few:
  • "Yeeee-haaaa!" I think I said this once in passing, but you haven't lived until you've seen a seventeen month-old cowgirl.
  • "Amazing!" When Bud started walking, I said, "Wow! That's Amaaaazing!" Now, whenever she does something she knows is right; she'll turn to me and say "Amazing!" I think that's a Mets catch-phrase, so we gotta get that in check before April. (Along with her mis-pronunciation of "Excuse Me", which sounds an awful lot like "Do Me." Who do you think you are, Bel Biv Devoe?)
  • "Ball" Yes, I'm teaching Bud to throw a ball. It's never to early to learn the basics.
  • "Chaoup" (a chomping sound). I pretended to eat her nose once, and she's been trying to get me back ever since.
She's also counting to ten now, and sort of spelling her name. She gets very excited when she gets to ten (as do we), but she won't count on cue. You just need to be there. As far as spelling her name, I think it's more our repetition than anything, but it's still cute to hear.

Oh, and there is one more thing she says to me often: "Daddy Home." It's cute, but then I realize that my being home is relatively unusual for her, considering I spend most of 5 days out of the week away from her. That's a bit depressing.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Can I Get Some Service Over Here?!?!?

One of the most fascinating things about parenting is watching your child suddenly make a connection: they realize a fact of life (no, not the kind with Tottie and Blair) and immediately change their behavior to account for it. We had one of those moments this morning.

Up until today, Bud's wake-up routine was pretty easy. There would be a good thirty-minute or so period where she would wake up; grunt and moan for bit followed by some quiet talking, followed by some louder talking. The talking was happy and content, so we let her wake up during that us time to do the same. I think those days are over.

My guess is that last night, Elmo came to Bud in a dream and said (in that annoying high-pitched voice...) "Hey, Bud, do you realize, you can call your parents in the morning and they will come and get you?? That way, we can get to playing much quicker!! Elmo loves you!!"

7:00 am: "Moooooooooooommmyyyy! Aaaaare you???? Daaaaaaaaaaaadddddyyyyy! Aaaaaare you??? P-lay, p-lay, p-lay."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Swiper: An Other?

Bud is a toddler.

I'm not sure what it means to "toddle," but I'm sure it involves the regular repetition of the words "No," "Play" and some form of "Playroom" (C'lay-ma-loom). As I've noted earlier, when Bud is done eating, she declares "All Done!" and then proceeds to sing the "Clean Up" song while throwing on the floor whatever food remains in her tray. She really does think she's helping...thanks, Bud, but..uh, no thanks. All this is an attempt to get back to the playroom as quickly as possible.

She also has entered the age where she's obsessed with Dora the Explorer. Just in case you've been living under a rock, Dora the Explorer is a show featuring a Spanish speaking little girl, Dora, and her monkey friend, Boots, who together go on adventures. They find their way with the help of a character creatively named "The Map," all the while trying to dodge a masked fox named Swiper who's always trying to Dora-jack them. This Swiper is a real asshole, in one particular episode, Dora is helping a ladybug bring a cookie home to feed her ten (!!) children, when Swiper grabs it and throws it into the forest. Like I said- a real asshole. It's bad enough that this ladybug has ten kids; and you know it's a really bad situation when she needs to go deep into the forest to get ONE cookie to feed all ten kids. (Let's not even get into the questions of the nutritional value of the cookie as sustenance for even one kid...we can also skip the question: where was the ladybug's husband this whole time??) But Swiper didn't even eat the cookie: he just chucked it into the forest like that kid in camp when I was five who took my lollypop and threw it onto a rotten banana. Someone ought to kick that Swiper right in the junk.

I learned today, however, that the voice of Swiper is also the voice of the Map. Coincidence? I don't know about you, but I think this has the makings of a "Lost" plot...the Map has been one of the Others the whole time, secretly gaining the trust of Dora and her friends. And now, that her guard is down...he can direct the team right into the hands of Swiper.

I'm still working out how Dora can get into the Jack-Sawyer-Juliette-Kate situation.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Is There An Echo In Here?

Bud is talking up a storm. She perfects her mastery of a word or phrase by repeating it over and over and over...

Here's an example: "Good Morning." I don't know where she picked it up, but she spent a good part of yesterday saying it. As we passed the front desk on our way to swimming, Bud says to the receptionist, "Good Morning." Then to everyone in the locker room..."Good Morning, Good Morning." Well into the afternoon. I don't really fault her for that, she doesn't wear a watch.

Example number two: Doctor. She went to the doctor today, and received a doctor playset over the weekend. She sounds like a scene out of "Spies Like Us." "Doctor, doctor, doctor, doctor."

Three: Talk. Newmommy and I are driving home from dinner at a friend's place last night, when Bud requests that we turn her CD off. We do, and she says "talk." "OK," we say, "what do you want to talk about?" We talk about Nana and Papa and Auntie and whomever else she raises in her "rollcall", Elmo, Ba-beet (Big Bird), etc. Then, we're quiet for five seconds. Suddenly, we hear...."talk!"

And, tonight, about a week late..."Touchdown!" "Touchdown!"

She rules.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I'm Not Perfect...No I'm Not...

Those are lyrics to the Laurie Berkner song, "I'm Not Perfect," a song that Bud, much to the dismay of Newgrandma, has taken to singing. (She believes that her granddaughter is perfect, which is, of course, true, if you disregard her throwing her French toast on the floor while singing "clean up, clean up...") OK, Bud's not perfect...but she's pretty good at sports pics, apparently, with a solid 3-0 record so far.

But you know who's really not perfect? The New England Patriots.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Let's Get Some Shoes

In honor of Bud's gradual mastery of walking, today we took her to get her first pair of shoes. As parents with their "first", we made a huge deal about this otherwise ordinary trip to the shoe store. Bud's feet measured a '6', and I have the photographs to prove it. Yes, the shoe salesman thought I was crazy for taking pictures. (Yeah, like I'm the first over-proud daddy to take his kid for shoes.)

After we bought the shoes (which, by the way, were double the price I was expecting...), we decided to try them out by walking around town. Bud was great on her first outdoor walk...she made it down to the end of the block. Bud walks like a drunken sailor on downers, wobbly and slow.

On the ride home, she kept playing with her shoes and saying "" It's a lot funnier... as is the title of this post...if you've seen this. I guess Bud's a fan. She seemed she knew that getting shoes is something reserved only for the illustrious "Big Girls."

Oh, and by the worked last I'll take the long-shot and try it again:

Bud's Superbowl pic:

New England Cheater-McCheatties vs. the Giants of Jersey

Upset- Giants by a field goal.


Friday, February 01, 2008


"Having kids is great, you can teach them to hate the things you hate." - Homer Simpson

You can also teach them tricks. I've noticed that Bud is picking up so many words, mannerisms and facial expressions without any instruction. I figured, with some instruction, surely she can learn some cute...I hesitate to use the word..."tricks."

I decided to teach Bud "earmuffs" from the movie Old School. For a few days, I would say "earmuffs" and hold my own ears. Then, for a few more days, I would hold her ears while saying "earmuffs." Then, I took her hands to hold her own ears.

Last week she sort-of got it. I said "earmuffs," and she put one hand to one ear. Great, halfway there. This week, the response is both hands over her mouth. I'm not sure if that's a step forward or back, but I think I can have her doing this by the end of the month. Won't that be great at parties?

Oh, and she's full-on walking now. And when I say "full-on", I mean 15 to 20 steps, followed by a fall.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

What is a Good Father?

I visited a friend of mine this weekend (himself a newdaddy with an eight-week-old), and it came out that I have this blog (it's not the first thing I tell people and, believe it or not, a good number of my friends have no idea I do this). When I told him it was about parenting, he was surprised, as he assumed it was a blog about how to be a good parent (and I, having only done this for about sixteen months, am in no position to be giving anyone parenting advice). I quickly explained that it was more a "blog-u-mentry" about my experiences as a new father, but it got me thinking: am I a good father? And, if so, or if not, what is a good father?

And here's my answer: I have no idea. But, let me take a crack at it anyway. (After all, I do have the audacity to call some people bad parents.)

A good father simply needs two qualities: first, they have to care about being a father; they have to care about their child and want to be a good father. Because, obviously, if you don't care about your child or your role in their life, you're never going to be good at parenting. Second, you need to have good judgment. No parent knows what they are's all guesswork. For example, at three weeks, when the baby is crying at 2am and they won't stop, do you give them a binky? Some say yes, as it soothes them and encourages a regular sleep pattern. Some say no, as it will get them addicted and screw up their teeth. I've got a view on the subject; but neither answer is correct. But, to be a good parent, you need to consider the issue and come to a decision based on what you think will ultimately be better for your child. And that really is the best you can do.

Of course, what do I know, I've only been doing this for sixteen months. And, believe me, I'm not saying I'm a good parent...I'd like to think I am, as I know I have the first quality, and think I have the second.

But, then again, this is coming from a guy who lets Bud watch an Elmo DVD regularly...and we all know what doctors say about watching TV before age 2!

P.S. New quote on the sidebar. Also, check out "Life After People" on the History Channel.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Name a' Bud-orat

I don't know who taught her the word "nice", but she's using it to describe just about everything, and she sounds just like Borat..."Niiiiiice!" This is my friend Azamat Elmo...

P.S. Who'da thought Bud would be so dead on with her sports pics? She's coming with me to Vegas next time I'm out that way!! (Although, I thought for a moment there we were on the verge of the next Ray Finkle! Laces Out!)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bud's Weekend Football Pics

Last Sunday, during the Giants-Cowboys game, Bud (after being prompted to do so about twenty minutes earlier) reached her hands up into the air and yelled "Tud-don!" Close, but there was a flag on that particular play. And the ball was nowhere near the end-zone. But, to be fair, I think it will be a while before Bud says "False Start. Offense. Five Yard Penalty."

Anyway, in honor of the new essential vocabulary word, I give you Bud's pics for this weekend.

In the professional football contest where the Giants of New York will take on the Packers of Green Bay.

The Giants will triumph by kicking an oblong ball made of pigskin through a big "H", and it will be a most ripping victory.

New England Closest Thing In Football to the Red Sox vs. the San Diego Chargers.

Too many disappointed games rooting against New England. Going to go with the Patriots on this one, but I think San Diego will cover. (Spread as of now is 14.)

And, there you have it...if you are so inclined to go with the picks of a one-year-old, I'm glad Bud can be of service.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Very Special Newdaddy

Today marks two significant events in my journey through fatherhood. First, this is my two-hundredth post. I know, I've been a bit of a slacker lately; I was gently reminded today by an unnamed reader who asked: "What's going on with my niece; I can't seem to find out from your blog!" (I may have taken a bit of creative license with the quote...which calls into question why I felt the need to italicize it, but, whatever, you get the idea.) The drop-off in posting comes primarily because my commute has lengthened since the move. I am now one of those guys who stands outside waiting for the train, alternating between looking at his watch and down the track, every so often switching to his blackberry and letting out an annoyed sigh. Yes, it's true, I am turning into that guy: I even say things like, "The Journal had an interesting article about front-running today." (Which, by the way, it did, earlier in the week.) Thank G-d for Bud; she allows me to temper such statements with "no, no, no, candles are not for eating!" (Are they?)

So, I get home later, and I'm tired-er, and, well, I'm getting lazy. But, don't worry...I'll put in a conscious effort to ramp back up.

The second: well, Bud said "I love you" for the first time. And I am going to pretend it was to me and she intended to say it. I'd say there's a 50/50 chance of that being true. She has been pretty good at the "fill-in-the-blank" game with songs, I will sing part of the song and leave out the last word, which she will fill in (or something that sounds like it). Lately, I've been doing that with "Love Me Do." Love, Love You know....I'ya'you. Out of nowhere, today she looked at me and said "I'ya'you." Maybe she was remembering the song.

Or maybe, just maybe, she was respecting the fatherhood skill of Newdaddy. Happy 200 posts.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Play That Funky Music 1-Year-Old

Newmommy pointed out that I am way too into Bud's toys. I didn't hear her, as I was trying too hard to figure out how to play "Alex F" on the xylophone. (I have already mastered "Ridin' Dirty"). I guess she's right, but in my defense, Bud has got some cool toys.

The instruments do me in immediately. I never thought I had a musical side: I played the trombone briefly in middle school, although lugging that thing around became somewhat of a liability, especially on bus rides. I also wasn't very good. The next closest thing to a musical instrument was a DJ setup in college, although that hardly counts. So, you can imagine my surprise seeing myself go right for Bud's drumsticks and trying to bang out "Wipeout" on her letters-and-numbers-foam floor. It's fun, because Bud will jam with me. You haven't heard music until you've heard a sixteen-month old (!!) rock out on a bumble bee-shaped maraca.

Bud's into music too. "Mu-gick On. Mu-gick On." On the low end of the tolerance spectrum is Elmo-music (he speaks with improper grammar, people!). Although, Bud loves it, so naturally, it is an essential part of our collection. Sesame Babies is next, semi-tolerable in small doses. Then comes the tolerable Laurie Berkner, who gets regular play in our house and car primarily because her stuff is catchy as hell.

And then there are those infrequent wonderful times where Bud gets her groove on to my ipod.

P.S. Newmommy reports 8 unassisted steps, followed by 10 unassisted steps. I think Bud may have walked today too (rim shot...)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

And now...a guest post from Newaunt

The following is from an e-mail Newaunt (or as Bud calls her...Ah-tee) sent to some of her friends, updating them about Bud's recent escapades. I'm posting this, as I think it would be interesting to get someone else's perspective up here, and, well, I am busy watching the NFL playoffs today and am too lazy to post something. Here you go....

"I spent Christmas with Newmommy, Newdaddy, and Bud. When Newmommy fed Bud Spaghetti O's (which they call pasta soup, or as Bud says "poop"), Bud kept saying "macaroo" (macaroni). Newmommy kept correcting Bud as she fed her to try to get her to acknowledge that it was soup or Spaghetti O's, and not macaroni. Bud knows the difference between tortellini ("lini") and macaroni, so Newmommy thought Bud would quickly master this.

However, Bud continued to say macaroo. After a while Bud looked at Newmommy and said "maracoo keys" (macaroni & cheese). Newmommy said, "Do you want macaroni & cheese?" Bud's eyes lit up and she said "Yeth! Puleeze!" 15 months old and not only does she request specific foods, but she asks nicely.

After dinner, Bud said, "Lap, story." Newmommy put Bud in her lap and said, "Which story would you like, Elmo, Numbers, Quiet Loud, or Blankie (all books that Bud has heard a million times). Newmommy waited a few seconds and Bud stated "Elmo." The girl knows what she wants!"

Yes, it's true. Bud now says "please", "toomi" (which I think is 'excuse me,' as it's used in proper context), and I could have sworn she said "bless you" when I coughed yesterday, although I'm not sure about that one.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Three Unassisted Steps

Well, that didn't take long. It was only a few days ago I was pondering whether '08 would bring Bud's first steps and, about sixteen hours into the new year, it turned out to be true. Bud took three unassisted steps from her toy kitchen to me.

I'm recovering from last night, so I am a little short on witty remarks. I'm sure I'll think of something as soon as I hit 'publish.'

Happy New Year everyone!!