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.

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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 #11: Bath Time Grateful Dead Tribute from a 5 Year Old

Grateful Dead, “Ramble On Rose” – Just before Jerry died.

Rich Stadium Orchard Park NY – 6/26/1994

Patience and Listening Go Hand-in-Hand. RIGHT?!! Are you LISTENING!!?!?!

2015-05-27 11.00.56

AT just turned 5 and has a bit of a mischievous streak. She is also someone quite comfortable wearing a crown/tiara. Here she is at her birthday circle at school.

I really have to start taking my own advice. Frequently, when AT gets frustrated or confused (or denied her precious “shows”) she lashes out and gets really upset, and I always try to calm her down by saying “take a deep breath”. My mom taught me this one and it works for pretty much any scenario where you feel stress. With AT, it works most of the time. Sometimes she even realizes that she has overreacted and apologizes for her misbehavior, which I think is pretty great for a newly minted 5-year-old. I’m really proud of her when she does that.

That being said, it feels like I’m constantly repeating myself, trying to get her to listen and pay attention and sometimes I break and I yell. I hate myself when I do that and I also feel like they are completely avoidable if I just “take a deep breath” before reacting to what I feel like is the end of my rope.

 

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Rockstar Podcast 10.1 Take 2: Coachella, Barbie Bikes, and Other Insights from a 4 Y.O.

Rockstar Podcast #10: Holiday Movie Guide; Home Alone, Danish Xmas, et al

After a brief hiatus of 6 months — taken as the on-air partners worked through both contractual and creative differences/mental sabbatical; RockSta®: the Podcast ©™ — is “back and better than ever imagined before”©!

On this return episode we tackle everything in 10 minutes from hard hitting local issues like the deep-bore(ing) tunnel/Big Bertha, to the holiday classic movie, Home Alone. We also introduced our new contributor; the strong/silent, Fini© – all the way from Denmark!©. We hope you enjoy! Happy Holidays!

 

Eatin' fro yo in the parking lot - apres' swim. Queen Anne, Seattle November 2014.

Eatin’ fro yo in the parking lot – apres’ swim. Queen Anne, Seattle November 2014.

The RockStar the Podcast talent (L-R): J, Tay-Tay, Fini

The RockStar the Podcast talent (L-R): J, Tay-Tay, Fini

Coaching: When to step in and help your kid against overzealousness

AT has been taking swimming lessons at the pool in our neighborhood and she has really loved it. The frolicking, the dunking her head on-command, the positive reinforcement from a real-life swim coach — swimming and learning with an expert that isn’t her dad. It’s been a really great experience except for those periods where she has been inconsolably bawling.

See, most of the staff at the pool is both adept at swimming and teaching, but also interacting with children. This is a hard job for someone that is really good at the former and not the latter.

The pool in question and prior to meltdown.

The pool in question and prior to meltdown.

Everyone of the coaches she works with except that one overzealous guy that CAN’T SEEM TO REALIZE THAT 3 AND 4 YEAR-OLDS LIKE IT WHEN KIDS YELL, BUT NO SO MUCH WHEN ADULTS DO IT!!!

He is great at generating looks of disgust and fear from his routine of excitedly showing how not-to swim gracefully (eg. flailing/splashing/yelling/thrashing/whipping his hair into their sweet little faces like a Merman). See, he’s really good at swimming, and he loves swimming, and see, well, GET IT? YEAAAAAAAAAAH!  HE’S GOOD AT IT!!!! SPLASH!! ALSO KIDS!!! THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO!! OK??!!

The last class was a couple of weeks ago and I had to walk over at a certain point and ask that Merman not be the one to work with AT as she was cowering in the corner and paralyzed with fear. She was the 2nd child to have to “hit the showers” early because Merman had scared them, yet Merman was blissfully unaware that his behavior was causing this.

I was going to really just let it go (in the parlance of our times), but recently Andie moved on to invididual lessons and appears to have developed a fear of all men in pools. Part of me thinks this is a fear I should foster, but only the irrational part thinking about teenage pool parties and 80’s movies.

I felt genuinely stupid about pulling her out of class because let’s face it, my generation is a bunch of wimps. Can you imagine what 4 or 5 generations removed from the greatest generation will be like? I’ll tell  you, they will be ineffectual, afraid of Mermen and other mythical man-creatures, and pretty much afraid of everything. I’ll be tying her shoes when she’s 40 and living in my basement (which is really my parents basement).

Thankfully, these kids will probably get to adolescence and live through a terrible economic depression and World War IV to strengthen their resolve. I was never that lucky and part of me really wishes I was.

In all sincerity; it is a fine line  between tiger-daddying and letting our children learn that people can  be a bit scary, yet harmless. The Merman was definitely harmless and I could even see a flicker of acknowledgement when I had to ask that he stay away from my precious daughter.

This is what AT envisioned when she thought a Merman would be teaching her how to swim.

This is what AT envisioned when she thought a Merman would be teaching her how to swim. Oh how wrong she was.

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 (visions or viz-ians) Eurostyle Story Telling Podcast #3

This most recent podcast was much more disjointed and significantly longer than any other podcast we’ve ever done. The format and feel are reminiscent of an experimental art rock band’s first show – with a dab more angst. It’s pretty deep. If you don’t like it it’s probably because you can’t appreciate art.

Rockstar Visions #3 is a 3 part experiment with 3 distinct elements: 1) Do’s and Don’t’s of Rockstar (hint: something you shouldn’t do on a plane), 2) Eatin’ Burgers and Talkin’ Bout Life (cousins in Ukraine), 3) The marriage of the married girl Elsa to King Diamond (with exciting sub-story about our brothers and sisters of the animal kingdom, the majestic Giraffe). ~ Enjoy

 

Rockstar Visions Co-host A-Tay swinging - Eurovisions-style.

Rockstar Visions Co-host A-Tay swinging – Eurovisions-style. Photo: ALT

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

Neezy gets on my nerves more than the rest, because he’s just like me

I have been meaning to write about my 6 year-old for a while now. I look at him and I see myself. What is it about this that makes me so angry about this. I have two other children, both girls, one 3 the other 8. They do not make me angry in the way that my son does. I take that back, RAT, my 8 year-old can make me plenty angry. But it takes longer. And since she was evaluated for ADHD my tolerance for her sheer and utter relentlessness has increased. But with NAT it seems to be going in the opposite direction.

What appears to be cute and playful is really just a little helion version of me

What appears to be cute and playful is really just a little helion version of me

My partner thinks the two are related. On the one hand it can’t be easy to have RAT as a sister (she pushed him down the front steps the other morning, he didn’t hit his head, but it was close) and on the other hand it doesn’t help that he makes things worse by being so irritating.

There, I said it, he is irritating. Not always, of course. In fact he is wonderful to be with when you are one on one. He is in the process of discovering that he is Canadian (He was born in Sweden, but we are living in Kyiv, Ukraine. His first language is Swedish, although I have always spoke English with him. But now his best friend is from Cah…na…da. As a Californian I can’t even pronounce it the way that he and his friend do.) His personality and interests have doubled in the last year. He is growing like a weed on a spring day. All this is great, wonderful actually. But there is a back side to
this development.
He doesn’t take criticism well. (Who does, for that matter, this is a stupid point) Okay, he doesn’t respond to anger, he just gets more crazy. (This is good, ’cause in the long run I should learn how to deal with his moods, instead of just getting angry.) He does what he wants, when he wants to do it, but doesn’t want to do it himself, he wants me to do what he wants for him. He is an emotional roller-coaster, a 12 year old in a six year old’s body. And all this comes back to his sister as well. She has been the center of the family since her birth and NAT was born to exist on that periphery. And maybe that just doesn’t suit him so well. Good on him, because I as parent have to see and respect that. Hope I can…