Scooter Finally Takes Some Steps

Our 16 month old son was taking his sweet time walking. We nicknamed him “Scooter” because he was fond of scooting across the floor and not interested in walking at all. So when daycare sent a video yesterday of him taking his first steps, it was momentous and caused tears of joy (and jealousy) in the Taylor household. It’s hard as a parent to feel like your kid is behind, and it didn’t help that his pediatrician was “concerned” that he wasn’t pulling himself up 6 months ago, or walking as of yesterday.

So f-you to all the haters, all those other much younger kids that have been walking for months, and especially his concerned pediatrician. You suck.

Pandemic Parenting and Inequality

We now have 3 children. The third came over a year ago. All the males in the Taylor household were born within a week of each other in late August, and all the females were born within a week of each other in mid-May. What does this mean? Hard to derive much meaning in anything these days, except to say it’s a strange coincidence (and perhaps there is something about tryptophan that creates XY chromosomes and the dog-days-of-summer that creates XX).

Pandemic Summer Roadtrip to California. Ventura, Ca 2020.

I feel guilty because now all 3 of them are able to go in-person to something. Most friends and colleagues have their kids at home full-time while they work. We kept the boys out of daycare for the first 2 months of the pandemic, and AT (now 10 and in 5th grade) has been out of in-person school since March. We brought the boys back to daycare after 2 months because it was impossible to have them at home. They are monsters.

AT is going to an after-school program that was previously unavailable to us because we didn’t sign her up in time. She used to go the Boys & Girls Club and complain about it mightily. They have expanded hours (now all-day), very limited enrollment (10 kids max per grade per day), and a much higher price than before ($775 per week for 3 days, $975 for 5). Dropping her off the first day really drove home how unfair the ‘demic is.

We split the cost with ATs mom to make it more affordable and daycare is more expensive than our mortgage, but everyone knows kids ain’t cheap. We can afford this luxury, and in turn our kids get to be with other living, breathing humans that are their age. AT basically has access to most of her public school, when everyone else is stuck at home. That doesn’t seem right, but we take advantage none-the-less.

Daycare has been weird about the whole pandemic and the state hasn’t helped clarify. When the stay-at-home stuff happened, the Governor proclaimed all K-12 and colleges had to go remote, regardless if it was public or private. I know that California only allowed essential workers to bring their kids to daycare. But in Washington, they never explicitily closed daycares or mandated it was for essential worker childcare only. It was weird.

There was a period of time where I thought the daycare was going to go insolvent, so we were going to pour money in month after month without sending the kids, only to have them go bankrupt. This was unfounded, as they have done a good job thus far with limiting exposure, and many of the families never held their kids out. Again, this is a luxury and we are fortunate to take advantage.

My hope is the ‘demic will force us as a society to hit rock bottom, so we can start taking care of each other. The social safety net of my wife’s native Denmark is something America should take a serious look at. Yes, they have high taxes, but everyone gets an education, no one goes bankrupt from medical expenses, and they basically take the months of July and August off every year. I know that’s over simplification, and we are much much bigger, dispersed, and libertarian by nature, but I’d trade my cheap gas and groceries tomorrow.

Whoops I did it again….

I feel like I may be recycling this title. Dejavu and short term memory loss are like…. and what not. Oh well, I can’t remember much these days anyway. Fina is due on 8/17, so the new baby will arrive any day now. We are “going blind” on the gender and don’t have any names really picked out. I recall something about needing one of those for the birth certificate they have you sign right after the baby comes. Winging it and running on fumes BEFORE a baby arrives is probably not the way to approach it, but it’s the only way I know how.

Fina is an inspiration and is still doing crazy stuff like SUP-boarding at 9 mos pregnant


That’s how scared I am on a scale of 1 to 10. I suspect this is mostly because I’m bad at forecasting things and self-reflection. I feel like I should be more scared, based on the way all of my Dad friends ask me how I’m preparing for the impending 3rd child. The common refrain is, “dude?!… followed by a stuttered, “Uh, uh, are you… r-r-ready for this?”

With previous kids I’ve sired, it was more like 7 or 8 or 12.

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Let’s blame the children

I haven’t written anything for a long time and that is based on a combination of a couple of factors/excuses:

  1. My personal laptop is dead.
  2. Work is busy.
  3. I’m lazy.
  4. We have a 8 month old and an 8 year old (who acts like she’s 16).

I’ll unpack each of these, but want to put it out there at the outset that my lack of writing spring’s mostly from #4. I can appreciate that having children is a gift and I derive a ton of satisfaction, fun, and self-worth from them – but they are a tremendous time-suck. *** I just had to step away from this to change the 4th diaper of our baby today, who is home sick (day 3 of this) from daycare  ***


This poor guy has had pink eye, fever, cough, etc… from his first week at daycare. He’ll only sleep on one of us.

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Countdown: Less than 24 hours

We are scheduled to go into the hospital tomorrow morning to start an 8 am induction process. The boy is a week “overcooked” and Fina’s provider recommends either inducing at that point, or ultrasounds and other tests to make sure he is ok. There ain’t much space in there, and Fina is done with being pregnant. We planned on this if he was a week late, but I know it feels a bit odd to her to schedule a time to come in to give the birthing process a push out of the nest.

We went for our regular evening stroll through the neighborhood last night and happened upon a woman just as she was leaving a house that we had spent some time in. A friend/one of the instructors at our grad school program rented this house to Fina’s family the first time they came and visited, and they stayed for a month. This was our first exposure to the neighborhood we live in now and it is always a bit bizarre to walk by the house and not know the people that currently occupy it. Anita sold the house probably 4 years ago.

This woman was very friendly and excited to say hi. It just so happens, that she is a doula, who was visiting her clients 8 weeks after their baby was born.  My experience with doulas, including leading up to, and at the birth of my daughter, was not always positive. Doulas are not medical professionals, they are consigliere’s to the mom during the birthing process, and ostensibly I like the idea of a doula acting as a trusted advisor. They can help to ensure that the birth plan is adhered-to as much as possible, and that the OB/GYN’s that may have a tee time to get to, don’t rush you into the operating room.


When she saw Fina’s belly, I could smell the sales pitch coming and she eagerly asked, “so mama¹, when are you due?” Fina said that we have an induction scheduled for Friday morning. OH NO! THAT’S SOOOO PAINFUL. DON’T DO IT. IT’S REALLY THE LONGEST AND MOST PAINFUL WAY TO GIVE BIRTH. CAN YOU CANCEL IT? OH GOD!!! PLEASE NOOOOO. JUST START HAVING LOT’S OF SEX, OK? DON’T DO IT.

As you might imagine, this really upset my already pretty distraught wife. We had just been with her OB who walked us through the options and we came to the conclusion that was what was best. Why did the doula say this at that point? Regardless, we are excited to meet our new little guy this weekend and will keep you all posted.

smoking mom

I have seen a pregnant woman chain-smoke, and I am by no means advocating that.  Doulas may recommend it though, to take the edge off.

I have seen a pregnant woman chain-smoke, and I am by no means advocating that.

¹Why do Doula’s call pregnant women who have not yet given birth, Mama? She is not your mother.

Dragging his heels

This baby is really dragging his heels, mostly into the side of Fina’s insides. I’m no medical expert, but it feels like the waiting game is bad for my health, and it’s possible he is doing this to torture us. Uncertainty and fear of the unknown shouldn’t be weighing me down, not because I’m the World’s Best Daddy™ with experience in both child-rearing and child-birth-observation, but because most of this early stuff should be pretty easy for me. I’ve already packed my cigars for the waiting room. I’m taking my companies paternity leave and plan on working on my golf game (it’s for work, honey!) so that I can maximize my provider-ability for my burgeoning family. I jest. I plan on being an active father and making the recovery from child-birth as smooth as possible for my wife.

cigar ad from the 50s

When men were men and could wait impatiently in the hospital waiting room or nearby watering hole for their spawn… Now all we get is access to our own epidural and the chance to support our partner through a phenomenally difficult thing.

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Oh Boy

We found out a couple of weeks ago that your humble-blogger, WBD, will now be the father of a boy. I’d like to say that I wasn’t extra excited about the prospects of teaching this unformed XY chromosomer how to throw a curve ball, but then I remembered that I’d have to learn how to do that myself. For someone that thinks of themselves as a jack of all/master of none, this was going to provide some complexity on the teaching-front.

From a clueless male’s perspective having a little girl is actually quite easy. The bar is set so low that anything I provide seems instantly valuable and useful. When I was solo-parenting it was amazing (and a bit off-putting) how frequently I garnered praise for the most mundane action (WOW, YOU CAN KEEP A CHILD IN A GROCERY CART WITHOUT ACCIDENTALLY RUNNING OVER IT!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! YOU CAN GET A BABY THROUGH THE SECURITY CHECKPOINT AT THE AIRPORT ALL BY YOURSELF!! YOU’RE A HERO!!), while on the flip-side of that, I observed a mom who was juggling toddler twins with a newborn strapped to her chest deftly navigate a post office at Christmas, receive not a word of encouragement or affirmation. Perhaps I looked like someone that needed help, but who is going to help me when there are macho dude things to teach?

I thought I’d endeavor to create a list of my “manspirations” to remind me that I have quite a few “dudes” in my life that can help me teach my unborn child to be masculine (assuming said unborn actually wants this).


Dear-ol’-Dad is and always will be a dichotomy; a bookish-intellectual who loves yelling at the TV just as much as the next guy. He taught me about building trellises in the garden, how to throw an elbow playing sports (or catching BART), and the value of being seen and not heard. I didn’t learn that last one very well, but perhaps my little guy will. AT has nicknamed herself “chatter box” so this may be a genetic flaw too great to overcome. “Fortune favors the bold” is something I’ve never actually heard him say, but know that’s what he believes. I’ll pass that bit on.

DoD relaxing in some type of body of water. I inherited the ability to do this really well– and plan to pass it on to my unborn son.











DJ MnBn:

Here is a photo of my brother, another male role model in my family. Despite his appearance, he is a great dad, has a good job as a lawyer at a Swedish agency that helps immigrants settle in Sweden (some even deservedly-so), and a loving family. Because of his appearance, we have nicknamed him DJ MnBn (vowels removed to protect the innocent).

DJ Mn Bn took time away from his busy international DJ lifestyle to take my nephew to a scouting activity. This is both inspirational and a small token of basic parental responsibilities that I too plan to embrace.














This is the group I’m counting on to both teach me and reign me in.  Sammy, you will teach me to build stuff like an addition to our tiny home. Daniel P, you will teach me how to ride a motorcycle and how to best enunciate with my hands. DK, you will teach me some baseball things (and hope that Jr. doesn’t inherit my uncanny ability to get injured). Nate, you will teach me how to fly fish and Eagle Scout level camp. Blanch, you will teach me high finance. The list goes on an on of things my friends will teach me, that I will someday hope to teach my son. Thank  you in advance!

Here’s something that my mom taught me, that I will pay forward.

“Easy as pie” BBQ chicken recipe that is both a little bit country and lotta rock n’ roll:

1) Brine the chicken with a mix of apple juice and salt, 2) put chicken in that brine, 3) let soak for 30+ minutes (more than 2 hours is great), 4) BBQ that chicken, 5) don’t over or under-cook it. Guestimate is hot fire (400 degrees, covered) for 20 minutes. 6) let it rest for at least 10 minutes before cooking it.

Last Night’s BBQ Chicken and Purple Broccolini.

How to be Good, the Inspirational “Velfie”

In this installment of steal-your-dad’s-phone and record an inspirational velfie (video-selfie), AT provides some words of wisdom on how to be good. Give it a listen and do some learning. It’s really not that hard, plus you’ll be a gooder person for it.

Throwback Post: Is My 3-year-old a Gold Digger?

I started writing this post when she was 3 because of her propensity for gender stereotyping herself, but then, like all kids, she transitioned to a new phase and suddenly it felt irrelevant. Now as she has immersed herself in Kindergarten and seemingly become much more well-rounded. She loves sports and has sworn off wearing dresses, and I wanted to remind myself of what she was once like. My little princess.


Her favorite color is gold or sparkly. I guess I can be happy she didn’t say platinum.

Her favorite type of food could definitely be qualified as “artisan” (read expensive, locally produced and probably grass fed or free range uber-organics).

Her favorite accessory is flashy, albeit currently plastic, jewelry. And lot’s of it.

She wants to be dripping in bling.

The girl likes money.

Photo from when she was 3 illustrates the juxtaposition of the job she wanted (Princess) with the job I was pushing her to want (MD).

Photo from when she was 3 illustrates the juxtaposition of the job she wanted (Princess) with the job I was pushing her to want (MD).

She only deviates from expensive things when it comes to transportation. Her preferred method of transportation is a city bus. She is still a 3 year old after all, and giving up the social interaction and weirdness that occurs on a city bus for more luxurious confines would be a major sacrifice for someone her age.

She did however, really seem to enjoy the private plane ride she took with her mom a couple of weeks ago. In the photo her mom sent me, she looked like she was waiting for the flashbulbs to go off.

If you’ve seen the opening scene La Dolce Vita, the model’s face as she exits the plane is pretty analogous to the face AT was making in the photo. I’d call it subdued beaming, the ultimate oxymoron for the elite, and extremely prideful. Yikes. She looked both thrilled and like it was completely de rigeur.

I’m pretty nervous about this, as I was really planning on her making all the money for our family. The pageant circuit is too slow and arduous. Sending her down to Los Angeles to go on auditions seems too tedious and a long-sighted (never my style). I’m going to have to keep thinking about what I can do to simultaneously create a life for her that is as opulent as she desires, while also teaching her the valuable lesson that she is the one that should be making the money for her old man. It’s a conundrum, for sure.

Rockstar Podcast #12: Japanese Immersion Kindergarten, Soccer, and New Beginnings

There was a bit of apprehension on the first day of the Japanese Immersion Kindergarten Project.

There was a bit of apprehension on the first day of the Japanese Immersion Kindergarten Project, but as evidenced by this edition of Rockstar Podcast, she is diving in.

This week’s episode (as opposed to the last episode which occurred close to 15 weeks ago) covers some pretty neat and highly deep topics like: early childhood education, the Japanese language immersion project, Soccer (Fùtbol Kindergartneränø), and other amazingly interesting topics for you. Thanks for listening to our podcast and we hope you enjoy (nnnñññññññññyoy) it!!