Bed wetting paranoia… is just paranoia. Or is it??!!?

She's cool as a cucumber.

She’s cool as a cucumber and stopped needing the diaper early. Not that it’s a competition.

This is perhaps the first post that AT might one day in her teen years actually be a bit pissed at me about. Please sweetheart, forgive me in advance and tell your therapist that I am not a monster. Recently, at the behest of her pediatrician, we setup a visit to discuss bed-wetting. This provider instilled a level of worry in my ex-wife that was slightly below the nuclear option. The provider thought we should come in to discuss “the issue”.

This started as a harmless 4 year check up appointment setting and the passing comment, “Is it a bit strange that she’s still wearing a diaper at night?”

She’s been sans-diaper all-day since before she was two, but she still doesn’t wake up in the night to pee… and she ain’t holding it.

Fina and I have experienced the failed experiment of just ripping the bandaid off – peeing her (as Pappa Goob says) before bed and hoping she doesn’t wet the bed. The result thus far is that we’ve been changing the sheets daily by letting her pee the bed night after night for a week. This as you might imagine, was not productive.

AT’s mom was smarter about it and just didn’t take the diaper off for sleeping; and the guilt pouring into her emails planning this emergency doctor’s appointment echoed that of a mom who woke up one day and realized it was probably weird to still be breastfeeding her 13 year old.

AT ended up having a pretty unnecessary, if not mildly reassuring, visit with a healthcare provider — but it wasn’t her pediatrician. He was a 20-something Doctor of Herbs and Massages (or Naturopath for short) from Bastyr. He was super chill, said don’t fret, and told us that if she was still doing it at 6 start trying some home remedies.

The ARNP that serves as her pediatrician (pretty great, so I guess busy) wasn’t actually able to see her when we went to the appointment that had been scheduled in the previous day’s panic. So, thankfully we’ll be back in a couple weeks for her actual check-up.

 

RockStar Podcast #4: My 4 Moms, Frozen-maggedon

In this 4th edition of RockStar Podcast we got right into the heart of pop culture: Frozen. It’s a phenomena like cholera: Frozen. AT also discusses a bit of the perception of her classmates at school re: 2 moms, 2 dads. Deep, yet completely surface.

Enjoy…

 

Announcing Podcast #1, Inaugural, First-one-ever: RockStar

Setting for the inaugural RockStar, like a rock star, included many locations and states of facial hair.

Setting for the inaugural RockStar. Like a rock star, included many locations and states of facial hair.

Some might say we’ve gotten to the point of saturation (saturation point, for short) in terms of channels to our fans. We’ve got the website, e-store, chiclet distributorship, garment factory consultancy, t-shirt gun, and on and on. To those people we say, hooey. The next natural iteration for Worlds Best Daddy (DOT O – R – G) is to launch a podcast.

AT decided on the name RockStar last night at dinner. No equivocations. It will be a mix of Ellen and Judge Judy with sprinkle of Telletubby. Please feel free to send us your questions or any subject matter you’d like us to tackle.

Please bare in mind that this is our first shot at this. And we only needed 1 take. So don’t worry if there is a couple (periods) of (20 seconds) of silence, it’s about to pick right back up. It’s good from there. Don’t even think of fast-forwarding. So, voila, enjoy, and you’re welcome! And thanks~ AT & WBD

https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/Rockstar1.mp3?_subject_uid=20128201&w=AADSqt5M0x4bU0I115AE4ZDyBMFoVdxKfKBy4Tgd1GgcIA

When should I Crush her Early Childhood Crush?

I think this is getting a bit ridiculous. Please someone correct me if my assumptions are way off, but I thought the obsession over boys or a boy in particular might not happen until her early teen years.  It’s happening now in preschool!

I always assumed that with our advancing modernity we could expect our kids to experiment with drugs earlier. However, the trend is actually going the opposite direction according to recent annual reports by the NIH – which shows kids are waiting longer to experiment with hard drugs and protecting their little underdeveloped brains to focus more clearly on boy obsession!!!!???!! I’m having a hard time deciding whether I’d prefer she started on bath salts earlier.

Pretty hard to find more damning evidence of mainstream culture encouraging underage marriage than Bratz! These girls are supposed to be teenagers!! All rights reserved by MsWatermelon813

Pretty hard to find more damning evidence of mainstream culture encouraging underage marriage than Bratz! These girls are supposed to be teenagers!! All rights reserved by MsWatermelon813

Continue reading

The World is a Classroom: Ukrainian Revolution Firsthand Account

The world is a classroom, as I am sure someone would say. No doubt about that. But what is this classroom trying to teach us? I have been thinking about this a lot recently because of the current events in Kyiv. These are heady days here, EUROREVOLUTION! Great opportunities to teach and be taught about the true meaning of democracy.

The revolution is here in Kyiv, Ukraine and it's a great learning opportunity of democracy in practice for Pappa Goob and his kids.

The revolution is here in Kyiv, Ukraine and it’s a great learning opportunity of democracy in practice for Pappa Goob and his kids.  Photo of 12/1/2013

Copyright All rights reserved by anagrudnyi  Check out his photostream, including amazing Ukrainian Revolution photos, on his Flickr.

And honestly I have felt much more threatened at demonstrations in other, more established, democracies than I have here. Here people aren’t trying to destroy the symbols of society, they are trying to get access to those symbols. The government has failed them and for the second time in the last 10 years, they want to hold someone accountable for that failure. Wow, awesome. Continue reading

Determining Appropriateness of Threatening Language, or…When is it ok to threaten someone’s child?

“Relax, it was an accident.”

“I’m about to have an accident with YOUR kid!”

That was the less-than-nice encounter we had as we were departing brunch last weekend. The tone of this blog is definitely tongue-in-cheek (and frequently foot-in-mouth) and I regularly like to sensationalize titles, but this was a genuinely weird moment caused by a parent’s fear for their own child’s safety. So… was it ok to threaten my child in retaliation?

I’ll set the stage a little better. We had just completed our meal at the lovely Hi Life in Ballard. A restored Firehouse in one of Seattle’s cooler neighborhoods that’s near AT’s interpretive dance/rolling-around class that has great and simple All-American food (specifically Brunch): Bloody Mary’s, Biscuits & Gravy, et. al. And the best part for my GFGF (gluten-free girlfriend), most of their menu can be had Gluten-free — which was the primary reason we went. Although thinking about the super-glutened B&Gs with a sunny side up egg is starting to make me lose my train of thought.

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Go to Sleep! …Please

AT likes her rituals. She demands an eggy-burrito nightly while she watches her programs (Macneil/Leher primarily) — and who am I to deny her this? I once ate a tuna fish sandwich every day for an entire summer when I was a big-wheel trucker in college and I never once got sick of it. The only reason I stopped was school started again and I needed to move on to eating a burrito every day. And I forcibly removed her pacifier at 3 months, and now she sucks her fingers, so I figured she probably might knows what’s best for her.

But recently, she’s taken up the habit of the never-ending bedtime ritual, and to parrot one of her favorite phrases, “I.don’t.like.it” (said through gritted teeth very, very slowly). This never-ending ritual starts with something she co-opted from me, the spell-it-out method¹ of saying what you intend to have happen long before doing it.

Up until very recently, I’ve found it particularly effective to spell out EVERYTHING the two of us will be doing together in advance, not only so I can later say, “SEE!” and “REMEMBER?”, but because it’s really the only proven tactic I’ve had for getting her to do what I want. One example of this is on a typical weeknight after I’ve picked her up from daycare. On these drives home, I always spell out exactly what we’ll be doing (eg. “we’re going home to make dinner, you can watch one episode of wonder pets, and then it’s bath, book, song, and bed — sound good?”). This has worked quite well, until just recently, when she’s been heading me off at the pass and using my method against me.

Instead of me dictating our night in advance, she will say things immediately after we get in the car like, “Just so you know, I’m not tired at all daddy and I’m not going to be tired later”… at 5:30 pm! Of course you aren’t tired you sweet little monster. What am I supposed to say to that?!

Partially my response to this is seasonal, it’s summer after-all and we live almost as far north as Alaska, so it’s generally quite bright when I’m trying to get her to fall asleep at 8(ish), and so I say, ok, let’s read another story, or hang out while daddy gets his at-bat in softball.

But when it’s pushing 9:30 and she is adamantly not tired (yet yawning violently), I’ve tried everything to combat this objection:

Image

Even this weighted vest I strap onto her for added exhaustion during post-school play hasn’t worked to tire her out! Photo courtesy: DennisSylvesterHurd

Aggressive post-school play. I love to take her to Greenlake or Wallingford Wading Pool and try to tire her out as best I can after a long day of running around at daycare. I have her run win sprints with a weighted-vest with the parachute attachment. Doesn’t Help.

Sugar-rush! I’ll admit this may at first blush appear completely counterintuitive, but I read something recently that stated that the “sugar high” is actually a complete fallacy, so I thought perhaps if I just seceded to her every chocolate whim, perhaps she’d do me a solid and go to bed when I ask. Nyet Chance, and chocolate stains the $hit out of her PJs.

Scalding Hot Bath. You know what makes me sleepy? Hot tubs make me really sleepy. I thought perchance if I ticked up the temp on her bath right before bed it might make her conk out. So far it has only made her look slightly oompa loompa-ish and strengthened her resolve not to go to bed because in her words, “I’m soooooooooo not tired right now because of that bath.”

These 3 seemingly brilliant ploys to tire her out have only made the ritual seem that much more feeble and pointless. Perhaps I should just turn on the TV and let her watch it until she falls asleep? This would free me up to go to bars and dog tracks and other things and then come home to a sleeping toddler (and blaring TV) and I’m sure there wouldn’t be many long term repercussions, and I might make a bit of money. Continue reading

Dilemma: Help now or forever miss capturing the action for posterity?

I just encountered a scenario that briefly called into question my own internal standing as Worlds Best Daddy (WBD) and I’m eager to see what my loyal subjects, I mean followers think about how I handled it. I’m confident you’ll agree WBD did the best thing for both the internet and of course my child.

Setting the scene:

It was a dark and rainy night, very Film Noir (well I guess it still is because it just happened), and I had just picked AT up from daycare. She was as happy as ever to see me – meaning she was really dissapointed that mom wasn’t there, but that’s besides the point. You don’t get to be WBD by worrying about what your kids want.

Anyway, her daycare is quite nice and in the new “tech ghetto” of Seattle, South Lake Union. There are a ton of people crossing the street and  couple that with the awfulness of Seattle drivers, and it’s really nerve-wracking and you have to be extra careful, especially in the rain, with a screaming 2.5 year old in the car demanding “MORE CRACKERS NOW DADDY!”

So as per usual at this time of night, in this part of town, with this weather, I was a bit distracted (also, I was trying to send a text message and look at google maps, but that’s neither here nor there). When out of nowhere, my precious angel changes the cadence of her scream and I can tell that it’s not about crackers. I look back and AT has spun a Chinese Finger Torture (that’s probably not very PC, sorry) with her hair and it’s cutting off the circulation to her right pointer finger.

Backing up a bit, AT regularly spins her hair and it kinda drives me crazy. I used to work with a woman who I’d consider one of the dumbest and most annoying people on earth and she used to twirl her hair constantly. I associate it with stupidity and it absolutely freaks me out that my little uber-intelligent-smarty-pants could have such a “tick.” I choose to believe that there is no correlation and that the dumby I used to work with was just doing it to antagonize me personally.

As Andie was obviously scared and in pain, I pulled over immediately to rectify the situation and help her untangle, but then I had a thought, perhaps she’d want me to take a photo of it?  I’ve done all kinds of dumb stuff as both an adult and an adolescent, so I’m sure I must have done even dumber things as a child, yet there is no photographic evidence of this. I’d like to have photo evidence of that bean I stuck in my nose, but I’ll admit that I’m not a normal person.

So her finger was getting pretty purple at this point and I don’t feel great about it, but here’s the photo.

If it’s any consolation AT, I really believe you’ll be happy that I caught this for posterity. And thankfully, we were able to save the tip of your finger… and your hair. Actually cutting your hair was my first inclination, but then I remembered you have picture day tomorrow and I can’t deal with the wrath of your mom if you show up looking like some weird hipster.

 

The moral of the story is that we are all winners. I was able to save her hair, her finger, and the image for eternity.

The Currency of Potty Training

Kate Fox, Toddler-tips-and-tricks.com

Anyone who has potty trained a toddler knows you need a few things to be successful. First, you need a willing and ready toddler. Second, and almost equally as important, you need an equally willing and ready parent. Some idealist would stop right there and feel ready — but this combination alone leaves out a major player in American potty training. Do you see what’s missing? That’s right…. candy!

Now, most of the time I’d vilify candy just as much as the next person for being the empty calorie, cavity-promoting, dinner-spoiler that it is. But in the realm of potty training, candy is king. Think about it, we’re talking about convincing a toddler to excrete on a giant, flushing bowl of water rather than in a soft, absorbent diaper! Do you really know of a vegetable with the motivation power needed to accomplish this? I don’t.

Just because it works for you, doesn’t mean we endorse it for your children until they have that paper route when they’re 10.

The trick with using candy is to know exactly how to use it. You give too much candy and your toddler isn’t left wanting more. You don’t give enough and your toddler feels the reward is not worth the effort.  You have to find that perfect balance. Maybe it’s two Skittles for going #1, three Skittles for going #2. Maybe each bodily function deserves its own type of candy: M&Ms for pee, a Starburst for poop.  And then you’ve gotta figure out the reward for going on strange toilets. How much is going on the self-flushing toilet at the library worth? Or the spider infested one at the park? Wait… scratch that last one. How much to get the kid to pee behind the tree instead?

It’s a delicate balance, but somewhere in the midst of the successes and the failures, a “big kid” emerges looking pretty similar to that little munchkin you still like to call your baby. And you can’t help but think how much more painful of a process it would have been without the sugar!

Kate Fox is a contributing author at www.toddler-tips-and-tricks.com and, as you can tell from her post, the master of child-rearing-slight-of-hand. You can reach her at marketing@toddler-tips-and-tricks.com

Tempo is like, real important… According to Goob, World’s #2 Dad (and my brother)

Tempo. It’s what I am looking for when I am with my kids. It’s not about hurrying, or stressing. That just makes things worse. It’s about moving things along smoothly. Anyone who has worked as a waiter can understand this. If things move too slowly, the plates stack up in the kitchen or tables get irritated waiting. If things move too quickly, no one has a chance to digest or the food fails to be plated properly. No good.

The same goes for solo parenting. Tempo is important when you are co-parenting as well, but not as important. If things slow down, one of you can pick up the slack. If things go too fast, then your partner can shift gears if need be, slowing things down. That’s harder when you are on your own.

Tempo is unfortunately about preparation. You need a plan. I think this used to be called routines. “Children like routines” I’ve heard it said. Really? Who likes routine? Well I do, but that’s because I am anal. But I would prefer not to pass that along to my children.

No, not routine, tempo. First one thing, then the next, then the next, moving smoothly along. It’s not about time, its about feeling. Routines are about time. At this time we do this, at this time we do that. That can be problematic with children under 10. Never know when they might start playing nicely. Don’t want to break that up because of routine. (Maybe I can find 20 minutes to read my book and drink a cup of coffee…)

Tempo is about overlapping occurrences that lead to group harmony. Food preparation that can be done when pictures are drawn. Then the table is to be set, so everyone should wash their hands. Maybe a short TV session while the dishes are being done, then it’s outside and the park. Maybe do the shopping while the kids play with the neighbors. You get the point. Tempo.

Q-tips are great for tempo, just don’t let them be put back in the box

The biggest downside to tempo is that it is exhausting. Who wants to be so planned-out all of the time? I don’t have the stamina to do it every day that the kids are home. Nor would I really want to for that matter.

Going to try to contribute to WBD as often as I can, just to make sure that kungfoolery gets some competition for the title of World’s Best Daddy…