Tag Archives: humor

11 Things Dads Should NEVER Say in the Delivery Room

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The delivery room is a strange, scary, and spectacular place. There are mystical wonders to behold, a multitude of wires attached to your loved one getting ready to deliver, and a cacophony of beeping coming from unfamiliar machines that leave you unable to decipher good from bad. It is where miracles happen, memories are made, and life is brought forth into the world.

Unless she kills you right there in the birthing suite because you’re one of the brainless jackasses who says something irreversibly stupid at the worst possible moment.

Having talked to L&D nurses, read humorous (yet cringe-inducing) accounts of ridiculous things said inside the delivery room, and having written about a semi-related topic in the past, I thought it best to get specific. In my ongoing quest to help fathers (not just fathers but anyone who plans on being in the delivery room) improve, I think this list is important simply to keep people alive.

Everyone processes emotions differently in stressful situations, and many people (myself included) resort to attempts at humor as a defense mechanism. However, your latest pun might not be well accepted as the mother of your child is attempting to pass something the size of a watermelon through a hole the size of a lemon.

I thought long and hard, consulted a few mothers in my life, and came up with this list. And I added animated GIFs so hopefully the women reading this will laugh instead of instantly try to murder their partners who undoubtedly said one or more things listed below.

Continue reading 11 Things Dads Should NEVER Say in the Delivery Room

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Parents at Playgrounds on Phones Are the Worst People Ever

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I’ve been waiting for a chance to use this picture for three years!

There are some bad people out there.

The world is full of liars, cheaters, serial killers, rapists, pedophiles, and New York Jets fans. Unfortunately, the derelicts are living next to us, conversing with us, and subversively poisoning our way of life as they chip away at society’s common decency. They’re right under our noses, yet because there’s no readily identifiable mark of evil to witness, it’s impossible for us to tell the good guys from the dregs.

Until now.

If you’re not familiar with the worst people on Earth, I’m not surprised. No one has ever actually seen what they look like, because their faces are perpetually pointed down. Yup, that’s right — we’re talking about parents at playgrounds who use their smartphones!

I know. Savages, right? I mean, these are our children. Our babies. Our future. But sadly, you can’t throw a dead Angry Bird on the Internet these days without coming across another heartbreaking tale of innocent children being shamefully neglected by smartphone wielding monsters. Seriously, it’s an epidemic.

And you thought ISIS was bad news.

I’m sure you’ve run into their ilk at the local playgrounds. It’s always the same horrid scene. Kids happily cavorting and scampering around the playground, instantly making friends with other kids as only children can do. They climb the climbing walls, slide down slides, and cross the monkey bars while enjoying some exercise and the outdoors. On the surface, everything seems fine until you see the parent sitting on the bench tapping away on a phone.

Make no mistake, these people are what’s wrong with society.

Don’t approach them, as they probably won’t notice you anyway. Because hell, they’re already missing every single precious moment of their baby’s life and clearly prioritizing technology over their own flesh and blood. Instead, just make a mental note of everything they’re doing wrong, and shame this abomination on your blog as soon as you get home.

These people are so dangerous because they’re not thinking about the children. I mean sure they could be a stay-at-home parents who devote every waking second to the kids all day long up until this point and now they’re searching Pinterest for a dinner recipe while their kids get exercise, but that’s beside the point.

And yeah, I guess this could be a working parent returning a quick email because she negotiated a flexible schedule and the ability to work remotely so she can see her kids more often instead of coming home from the office after they’re asleep, but that’s neither here nor there.

And yes, there is an infinitesimal chance the dad on the phone needs just five minutes to himself to check Facebook or read the news while his kids play, because he hasn’t had an adult conversation in more than a week and he fears his brain is turning to mush. But that’s hardly relevant.

What is important is shaming these parents without knowing anything about their personal circumstances.

After all, if your head is buried in your phone how can you ensure your kid’s safety? Didn’t you watch the incredibly frightening video about child abduction??? Anyone with a furry creature and a warm smile can steal your kid at any second. I mean yeah, technically that video uses erroneous statistics and only 115 “stranger abductions” a year are reported in the US. And it’s true the world is actually statistically safer now than at any point in recent history. But the point is, PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR KIDS!

Every mom and dad knows the only way to be truly great at parenting is to spend 100% of your time and energy on your kids and always put them first at all costs. That’s just science.

You need to follow them around the playground and be a shadow.

Is junior having trouble climbing the ladder? Help him immediately. Is your little girl in the middle of a nonviolent disagreement with another child? Step in as soon as possible and resolve it for her. Do your children have trouble playing independently and need you helicoptering around them at all times? Then congratulations, because you’re winning the parenting game.

In a world where the bad guys often look like good guys, it’s comforting in a way to have a common despised enemy. That’s why it’s not enough for you to parent your own kid and let other parents handle things in a more hands-off way. You have a responsibility to point out perceived shortcomings of others based on little to no actual information, and use it for blog fodder and just making yourself and others feel better about themselves in general.

In a world gone mad with terrible dangers like parents with smartphones and deflated footballs lurking around every corner, it’s up to you, super parent, to continue to fight the good fight.

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Why Our Favorite ’80s Movies Couldn’t Be Made in 2015

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One of the best parts of becoming a parent is reliving our own childhoods with our kids. For some that means joining Little League, rediscovering old toys and playing with them again, and — especially for me — watching the movies I loved as a kid with my boys.

I know I’m probably biased, but I consider the 1980s (and early ’90s to an extent) to be best time period ever when it came to movies. They were kooky, crazy, adorable, hysterical, adventurous, gut-wrenching, and heroic.  And since I was a kid myself at the time, I especially gravitated toward the movies that also involved kids. Anything coming of age or including an awesome adventure was OK by me, and since my parents were pretty liberal with what my brother and I were allowed to watch, we took it all in.

Now that Will is 7 and getting old enough to appreciate more than Saturday morning cartoons, I’ve started slowly introducing him to some greatest hits from my youth. Except…well, I came to a startling realization.

Barely any of these movies could be made today.

It’s only been 25-30 years or so, but watching these movies and being reminded of how life was then is startling. What is called “free range” parenting today was simply called “parenting” in the ’80s. Kids did stuff all the time, often unsupervised, and no one batted an eyelash. Was it as safe then versus now? Probably not. But it sure seemed a whole lot more fun.

With that in mind, here are eight movies from back in the day, and why they just couldn’t be made in today’s climate.

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8. The Breakfast Club
First of all, look at the reasons they’re in detention. Claire skipped class to go shopping, which parents these days would likely excuse and then scream at the principal for doling out a detention to their precious cherub. Andrew taped Larry Lester’s buns together, which would probably result in a lawsuit instead of detention. Bender pulled a fire alarm which is a much bigger no-no now than back then, and might get a kid expelled. And Brian was found with a gun in his locker! Even though it was a flare gun, if that happened today the school would (justifiably) be on lockdown with a SWAT team close behind. Also, I bet one of those kids had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch in the library, and no way is that allowed anymore due to allergies. I just hope they didn’t have Oreos, because then they’d all REALLY be screwed.

7. The Sandlot (yes, I know this is from the 90s)
First of all, there’s no way all of these kids would be let out to play alone all day. Second, some safety obsessed parent is going to take one look at that field and get the city health department down there in a heartbeat to condemn it because it’s not up to code. And PETA would not take kindly to the treatment of Hercules. But sadly, the biggest reason this movie wouldn’t be the same is the scene with Squints and Wendy Peffercorn. Faking drowning just to get a kiss from a gorgeous lifeguard would not be looked upon kindly today. Instead of considering it capricious hijinks, Michael “Squints” Palledorous would be labeled a dangerous sexual predator, and he’d never marry Wendy, have nine kids, and own the local drug store.

6. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If it wasn’t the parental GPS tracker in his phone that told his parents where he really was, any modern day Ferris would no doubt give himself away on Periscope when people started taping him on the parade float. Also, holding hands with those kids in the art museum would’ve ended with charges filed. But the good news is you can still go to Wrigley Field and watch the Chicago Cubs lose.

5. Stand By Me
First of all, what parents do you know who would think nothing of their kids just disappearing for 2-3 days on end without a word? Second, they’d probably end up in trouble when they find the body on the tracks and take incriminating selfies next to it. But I’m sure in this version that would all be forgotten when Verne and Gordy go viral and become famous after Teddy captures the train dodge on video and puts it on YouTube.

4. Dirty Dancing
Why can’t Dirty Dancing be made today? Oh, I don’t know. How about BECAUSE JOHNNY IS 35 YEARS OLD AND BANGING A 16-YEAR-OLD GIRL?!?!?! Nobody puts Baby in the corner, but somebody is going to put Johnny in a jail cell. However, sadly enough, the options many women have concerning their reproductive rights are still as disgustingly limited today as they were then.

3. Lean On Me
Principal Joe Clark can handle the poverty, hopelessness, disrespect, and decay of the educational system in inner-city schools. But this movie can’t be remade because he would’ve quit after just one day of dealing with Common Core.

2. The Goonies
This remains the absolute, hands-down favorite movie of my youth. I watched it 742 times and I still can’t get enough of it. However, you can’t remake Goonies. First of all, I think the developmentally disabled community would have a much bigger problem with the portrayal of Sloth than it did 30 years ago. But mainly, some huffy parent in Astoria would call the police to report a roving gang of young children who shouldn’t be out alone. Then, when the police investigate, they’d find none of those kids were wearing a helmet while biking. That means the Goonies never get into the Fratelli’s basement, don’t get to go on the treasure hunt, never find One-Eyed Willie, and Mikey’s marble bag is heart-breakingly empty when the bulldozers come to turn their home into a new golf course. Which is a moot point anyway since Mikey and Brand’s parents would lose custody due to the lack of bike helmets, and Rosita would be stuck raising the boys in addition to her own family. Yeah, like I said, I watched this movie A LOT!

1. The Karate Kid
The 1980s version of this all-time great movie is filled with things that just wouldn’t fly today. In this version, Daniel-san would likely never get to complete his training. Why? Because suspicious neighbors alerted CPS that a minor was sneaking into an old Asian man’s house everyday, and was made to do manual labor in exchange for a free vintage automobile. But mainly, this movie would be ruined in 2015 because of the end. Imagine watching Daniel-san doing his crane kick, beating Johnny, besting the Cobra Kai, triumphing over evil, and then — no winner is declared because everything ends in a tie and everyone gets a trophy. No thanks.

Alright you ’80s movie nerds, tell me which ones I missed and why they wouldn’t work today!

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7 Horrible Parenting Moments No One Warns You About

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Parenting — especially in the age of social media — requires spending ample amounts of time wading through a superfluous amount of bullshit.

I’m not sure why it happens, but parents routinely lie to one another without hesitation. Perhaps it’s because we’ve all been force fed fairy tales of how happy babies should make us 100% of the time, and we feel guilty saying “truthfully, some of this really sucks.” But the fact of the matter is, some of it does suck. And in the very beginning, I’d argue MOST of it sucks.

I know you love your kids. I love my kids too. Kids really are fantastic, and in the end it’s all worth it. But it’s not all fun and much of it is really, really hard. Denizens of Facebook and Pinterest already see all the good moments (since that’s all most parents put out there) where babies fart rainbows and spit up sunshine, so here are a few distinct moments of terror most parents face but seldom discuss.

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7. The Moment You Realize It’s All on You
When my oldest was born in 2008, I was over the moon. First kid, tons of excitement, the novelty of the childbirth experience — the adrenaline from all of that combined was enough to get me through the craziness of the first week. But then the nurses were gone. The family members lining up to hold the baby so you could take a nap were nowhere to be found. I distinctly remember holding Will during a crying fit late at night and not being able to calm him down, as an insane thought crept into my head — I’m in charge of his life. I know it seems like something that should already be clear, but it’s not. It doesn’t happen in the delivery room. It happens at 3 am when you’re sleep deprived and the reality that life as you know it has forever changed because every decision you make now affects another human being and it’s your job not to screw him up and parenthood is FOREVER! Eventually this is a positive turning point, but in the moment it’s a tsunami of fear and anxiety.

6. The First Time You Use Google for Medical Research
Everyone talks about how scary it is the first time your kid gets sick. That’s a no-brainer. But something that is under-discussed is how terrifying it can be if you plug your baby’s medical maladies into Google and spend the next few hours getting sucked down the hypochondriac’s rabbit hole until you’re nearly catatonic because you’re convinced your kid’s slight rash is actually lamellar ichthyosis, and he’s going to start shedding his skin like a snake at any moment unless you get to the ER, stat! If you think your kid is sick, don’t trust the yahoos answering questions on Yahoo! because you’ll make yourself crazy. Talk to your trusted friends or better yet, just call the pediatrician. They’re used to first-time parents being unsure and scared, and they’ll guide you through it.

5. The First Explosive Public Poop
June, 2008. Boston Beer Works right across the street from Fenway Park. Father’s Day. That was the first time Will had, what I now refer to as, a “World Ender.” It’s wasn’t so much that he pooped, it was that he summoned all the poop that was, is, and ever will be and released it upon the world using some sort of infant physics I’ll never understand, which allows that much shit to come out of a space so tiny. The diaper never stood a chance, and the poop went everywhere. Every. Damn. Where. As new parents, we were unprepared for the possibility our son could suddenly become a shit demon, so we didn’t bring a second outfit. Suddenly we found ourselves in the middle of a crowded bar with a baby covered in shit, carseat carrier covered in shit, clothes covered in shit, and my hands covered in shit from picking him up. I honestly can’t describe the panic in my heart having never gone through that. I looked around frantically, not knowing where to go or what to do. Panic. Pure panic. If you find yourself in such a situation, let me give you the answer — throw everything away. Well, not the baby. Keep him. But the clothes? Toss ’em. Don’t even give it a second thought. I don’t care that it’s the special outfit your Aunt Marjorie gave the baby. Fuck Aunt Marjorie right in her face if she doesn’t understand. It’s just not worth it. Trust me.

4. The Toxic Sippy Cup/Bottle
This is similar to the poop situation, but possibly more disgusting. You see, you’re going to go through tons of bottles and then sippy cups. Some of those will inevitably turn up missing. You’ll find it eventually, because your car or house will start to smell like a skunk died in a swamp filled with rotten Indian food. Now because you’re new parents and no doubt financially strapped, you might be thinking “Well, I’ll just suck it up and wash it because I don’t want to be wasteful.” Ignore that voice. That is the voice of inexperience that has never suffered through the unimaginably putrid ordeal of unleashing that hazardous material out into the world. Throw the cup away. Or bury it. Or better yet, find that little bastard Frodo and pay him to dispose of it in the fires of Mt. Doom. And never, ever talk of it again.

3. The First Time You Drop the Baby
Sometimes it’s a drop, but not always. You might be changing her on the bed or couch and she rolls off, and you SWEAR you only turned your head for a second when — THUD! You will feel fear the likes of which you never thought possible. This is a legitimately traumatic moment because not only is your baby hurt, she’s hurt because you weren’t being careful. I get it. I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. Obviously if there’s bleeding or your baby isn’t responsive, go get help immediately. But nine times out of 10, these falls are nothing. I don’t know why, but babies are like rubber. That doesn’t mean you should experiment on them or anything, but their elastic bodies are far less fragile than you think, and tougher than you can imagine. Trust me, you’re going to beat yourself up and make yourself suffer more than your baby has because of the fall.

2. The Moment You Worry Your Marriage is in Danger
There often comes a time, usually a few months after having a kid, when you will look at your partner and freak the hell out because you suddenly realize you have a roommate where a loving spouse used to be. For us, it was complicated even further by MJ’s postpartum depression, and I will NEVER forget the tidal wave of emotion as I realized this was not what I wanted in a marriage and I had no clue whether or not it would change. Parenting is an all-encompassing endeavor and it’s extraordinarily easy to focus all of our energy on the new baby while failing to attend to our partners. No one is saying you’re going to live the fancy free lifestyle you had before kids, but you do need to focus on each other after a baby — although that’s easier said than done. Give the kid to a grandparent or relative. Pay for a babysitter. But for the sake of your relationship, make some time for each other and reconnect as two people who love each other, not just two people taking care of a baby.

1. The Fleeting Moment You Realize You Genuinely Hate Your Kid
Because parents only want to talk about the good times, I had no idea it was possible to hate your kid. When that baby has kept you up for weeks on end and refuses to stop crying and is having trouble latching and never seems satisfied no matter what you do and you’re a zombie who can barely function anymore, there comes a moment when all of that anger and frustration culminates into a single moment of pure disgust — and you hate him. It doesn’t last long, but in the moment it’s real. And it’s scary as hell to have those thoughts about someone you love so much. That’s when you tap out and go get your partner. If you’re a single parent, leave the kid in the crib for a few minutes while you walk away and calm yourself down. The baby will be fine for a bit in the crib, but not if you let that feeling consume you. And also, realize it’s pretty normal. Show me a parent who says they never felt that way about their kid, and I’ll show you a liar. Just be sure not to act on those feelings, and if they don’t go away find a counselor or doctor and get the help you need.

I know these aren’t all pleasant and this stuff is often difficult to talk about. But it’s also pretty important to discuss, because too many parents (especially new parents) think they’re the only ones who feel this way. But in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

So, did I miss any? Leave some other suggestions in the comments.

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Why I Prefer Parents With Messy Houses

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How many times have you gone over to someone’s house for a play date and before you’re even through the door you get “Please excuse the mess in here. It’s been a DISASTER but I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to clean it?” 

As a father of two precocious boys, I nod knowingly and walk in to find — nothing! Not only is there no mess, the place is freaking immaculate. Floors you could eat off, carpet freshly vacuumed, no crumbs on the couch, and not a speck of dust to be found. The throw rugs are all perfectly aligned, there’s no dirty laundry draped on the banister or hanging from light fixtures, and — wait a second, did they — yup, someone has put all the DVDs in alphabetical order.  The family has three kids and a 90-pound Labrador, and yet this house would pass inspection from even the strictest drill sergeant our fine Armed Forces could produce.

It’s like a museum, and I’m immediately uncomfortable because I’m wondering if anyone has ever sat on that white, pristine couch. And since there are no scuff marks or fingerprints on the walls, I start questioning if this is one of those rooms that no one is allowed in unless company is over. Then I wonder why anyone would have a room no one can go in! But mostly I’m afraid I, along with my rambunctious clan, will ruin anything we come in contact with.

Truth be told, I prefer a little mess because it puts me at ease.

I’m not talking about hoarders or people living in their own filth, I just mean I tend to gravitate toward parents with domiciles that — you know — actually look like a family lives there. And it doesn’t mean I automatically dislike or distrust the Mr. and Mrs. Cleans of the world, it’s just…I don’t get it.

The big things I realized when I became a parent included 1) how much STUFF babies come with, and 2) how messy life gets. Even with one kid, the mess factor is incredible. Little kids pull stuff out of cabinets and off tables. They spill drinks you forgot to pick up, and smear food everywhere but their mouths. Even older kids come with problems like leaving their clothes everywhere and littering the floor with an ungodly amount of toys.

So when families have more than one kid, the mess increases exponentially. Throw in a cat or a dog, and fuhgeddaboutit.

Honestly, even a stay-at-home parent would have trouble keeping up with cleanliness on the immaculate scale. That level of squeaky clean can only be maintained by constant vigilance and an unimaginable force of will. It would have to entail either not letting your kids and dogs outside, or wiping them down each and every time they come into the house. It means you’re following them around with a Dustbuster (did I just date myself??) and tailing them to put everything back into place once they’ve blown through like a hurricane. I just can’t see any scenario in which the highest levels of cleanliness can be consistently maintained without sacrificing time to actually parent and enjoy what’s happening.

Which is why I prefer a messy parent.

Messy parents understand spills happen and a few stains are the price of doing business. They don’t follow their kids around with the vacuum, they chase them because they’re playing tag or pretending to be a superhero. They know muddy footprints in the kitchen are just evidence of fun times had out in the yard — at least they hope it’s just mud. And they’re OK with some pet hair on the couch because that’s where they cuddle with the dog after the kids go to bed.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my hang-ups. When Sam flings his food around it gets to me, because I have a weird thing about dirty hands. And I cringe a little when MJ paints with the boys in the kitchen, but then I get over it because I see how much fun they’re having. And I can only speak for myself, but the fun is fleeting so we’re going to enjoy it. Even if that means putting off some chores and letting the mess win for a while, it’s worth it.

I’m a proud messy parent, because I believe a home is meant to be lived in and enjoyed. After all, life is messy. And messy can be a whole lot of fun.

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