Friday, January 29, 2010

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Will IM This to My Wife, Who's Sitting Across From Me on the Couch

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

At Least It's Not "Kitchen Sink Gangrene"

As if I don't have enough to worry about regarding my kids, now I have to worry about toilet seat dermatitis.

It's not, as the name implies, a dermatitis on the toilet seat, but rather a dermatitis you get from a toilet seat. It's not just dirty seats that cause this problem, a skin irritation, but also wooden seats and the chemicals used to clean them. It's suggested that you replace your wooden toilet seat, even though I don't think I've ever seen one and didn't know you could still buy one.

I'm pretty careful when it comes to Number Two. I always line the seat with a paper towel, making sure (as most public restrooms warn) not to flush them down the toilet. I never use the flimsy toilet liner, mainly because I like a warm seat, and that glorified tissue paper doesn't cut it.

Currently, Jackson has no problem taking a dump in a public place, whether it's a Barnes & Noble, Stop & Shop, or Nassau Coliseum, but I have to be vigilant to ensure he's not sitting on a seat that's been pissed on or worse.

Also in the news...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Also in the news...

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: Elizabeth Edwards might not be too keen on her hubby's illegitimate daughter meeting her other kids. But this columnist thinks it's a mighty fine idea.

  • If I have to buy another f*^%ing nunchuck...: Dad returns Wii Xmas gift after realizing the cost of all of the accompanying accessories.

  • Hey, brown eyes, gimme 20: Gym teacher at Texas school attempts to teach real-life lesson about racial-discrimination by -- more or less racially discriminating.

  • "Healthy" is such a relative term anyway: The advent of incessant snacking, and how we've become powerless as parents to stop it (or so we think).

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: Not only will her kids be traumatized, but so will everyone who clicks on this link: Tori Spelling lets her kids brush their teeth in front of her black-and-white nudie pix. Apparently Heidi Klum beats to the same drum, but hers might be a little more palatable (no offense, Donna Martin).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Share and Share Alike

The Globe and Mail interviewed the husband-and-wife co-authors of Equally Shared Parenting: Rewriting the Rules for a New Generation of Parents, a title that could have been shorted to Nifty Fifty-Fifty.

The authors claim that sharing responsibilities is easier — and more efficient — than you'd think. And by "sharing" they mean sharing each responsibility so that either parent can handle any task.

That's definitely not the case in our household. If I saw Jenn dragging garbage cans out to the curb, I'd think she was possessed by an efficient demon, while if I tried paying the bills online, we'd probably be eating dinner in the dark by next Tuesday.

Let's look at how some other chores are shared:

Laundry: I do most of the washing part, though Jenn picks up the slack when I'm lazy. We fold our own clothes.

Cleaning: I'll sometimes do the bathroom and some vacuuming and the kitchen floor, but mostly I just stay of Jenn's way because she does a much better job than I could.

Cooking: It's probably 50/50. I enjoy cooking, and I find it very 1950s when a dad doesn't know his way around the kitchen. Some people are amazed that I can cook. I'm like, "I followed the recipe. Do you know how to read?"

Dishes: I handle most of the dishwasher activities, mostly because I don't like the way Jenn puts stuff in there, like a shoving clump of flatware into one pocket of the rack, rather than sliding each knife/fork/spoon into in a different slot.

The lawn: Asking Jenn to fill the mower and weed trimmer with gas and start the pull-cord thing would be like asking her to change a flat tire without a jack or a spare.

A whole bunch of stuff that Jenn does to keep the household afloat that after all these years I have very little clue about and likely take for granted: Well, you can figure that one out.

Also in the news...

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: Doesn't everyone's mom take them out for mani/pedis in crocheted see-through nighties and hooker pumps (I'm sorry, "signature lucite heels")? Shauna Sands' daughter taps into her Lamas side, tries to pretend she doesn't know mom on the street (body language is everything).

  • Even kids are kickin' Obama to the curb: Time magazine poll finds younger generation not offering the president any slack.

  • PRODUCT ALERT: First hoity-toity Maclaren, now Graco: Stroller manufacturer recalls 1.5 million units after more finger amputations.

  • What do Vin Diesel, Chuck Norris, and The Rock know about bowel movements and timeouts? Top 10 reasons why action stars and kids don't mesh in the movies.

  • They're YouTubing and watching iCarly more than you're at work: Kids spend more than 8 hours a day watching TV, on the computer, and playing video games.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Also in the news...

  • WHAT IS GOING ON?! WHY ARE SO MANY BABIES BEING BORN IN THE TOILET?! Like this little guy. Or this cherubic British dude. This little lady, while she apparently never made it into the commode, did have the distinction of being birthed in a toilet cubicle of a petrol station. Potty training will surely result in some awful suppressed-memory trauma....

  • She should have simply instituted a "Poke" campaign against her parents (or, at the very least, defriended them so they wouldn't have realized she was pulling this crap): Teen starts "1000 to Get Tess Ungrounded" Facebook page after getting punished for drinking.

  • WTF, MOM AND DAD! For the last time, I TOLD you not to cook in here! Four Aussies arrested after meth lab found in teen's bedroom.

  • There's a silver lining to everything, even to being unemployed and po': At least my kids won't grow up to be genocidal maniacs.

  • Next time your teens bitch how unfair it is because they're not allowed to talk or text on their cell phones at school, show them this little nugget.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

And Why Not Wear Diapers Until Age 12?

For reasons I don't need to detail here, we (that is, my kids' mother) barely breastfed Jackson and didn't breastfeed Sasha at all. So we (again, by that I mean "she") didn't have to worry about when to wean the kids off the boob.

Fortunately for me and my eyes, I have never actually witnessed much breastfeeding, let alone the breastfeeding of a 3-year-old, LET ALONE breastfeeding of a kid aged 4 or older, but apparently that still goes on in exotic parts of the world, like Great Britain and the United States, as the Chronicle's "Mommy Files" blog reports.

The blog also delivers the news that some UK mom has written a book about how proud she is that she breastfed her daughter until the ancient age of 6-and-a-half, as if I'd need to read an entire book about this activity.

The name of the book is Breastfeeding Older Children, three words that should never run consecutively unless it follows the phrase "That's as crazy as."

I'm not a woman, nor do I claim to be unless it's Ladies Night at the local bar, but I think a few things would alert me that it might be time to stop breastfeeding junior:
  1. He bites my breast and loses a baby tooth.
  2. He tries to watch SpongeBob SquarePants while taking a drink.
  3. He brings his classmates around to have a taste.
  4. He asks Grandma what hers tastes like.
  5. >He asks for chocolate milk.
Or, as one commenter put it: "A kid that's old enough to make a sandwich on his/her own doesn't need milk on tap."

Also in the news...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm Shaving a Middle Finger on My Head

And now another kid is getting in trouble for having a stupid haircut. Joining that Texan 4-year-old whose mom wouldn't cut his hair is another Texas kid, this time a fourth grader, whose mom did cut his hair. Into a Mohawk. The kid got in trouble.

I guess in Texas, there's no pleasing some people.

Also in the news...

  • Why is Daddy puking after staying out all night? Mom, how come you hang around the house all the time now instead of going to work? From the annals of the Awful Library Books blog, a kids' guide to understanding their parents.

  • Doin' shots: Doctors brainstorm to ease kids' fear of the needle.

  • We haven't had an Onion headline in oh-so-long: Kids, your mom is ready to start f***ing again.

  • PRODUCT ALERT: Who says science isn't cool (or commercial): Popular Mechanics magazine joins up with Old Navy for cobranded nostalgic kids' T-shirts.

  • Go to your room, Toruk! I said NO, Neytiri! Parents naming their kids after Avatar characters (thank you, James Cameron).
  • Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    At Least They Didn't Use Stevie Wonder

    Though it's winter, I'm annoyed every day because I lost the clip-on sunglasses for the frames I wear every day.

    (Let's be honest. I'm annoyed every day by lots of stuff, but let's stick to one thing at a time.)

    I hate HATE that I don't have my shades for driving or just being outside, and I try not to think about what the sun is doing to my eyes. (Eating them slowly, I assume.) When spring rolls around, I'll likely break down and buy a new pair of clip-ons, but I'll still have to deal with my kids' sunglasses issues: they never fit right, and even when they do, I'm not sure whether they're really doing a good job.

    I came across a product called Real Kids Shades, and I was intrigued: I have real kids! I'd like some real shades!

    Though it may seem silly to strap sunglasses on your infant, their eyes are at risk from sun exposure, too. (When I was a kid, if you wore a helmet while riding a bike, you would soon have that bike stolen from you, yet now it's the norm for kids to wear helmets all the time — but not, apparently, at the playground.)

    Though you might balk at the $19.99 price for something you can get for much less at Target, these sunglasses seem to be the real deal, unless I'm a sucker for advertising (thus spake the man wrapped in a Snuggie).

    The hard part will be getting your kids to wear them, as well as not losing them.

    The one weird thing about the product's Web site is this, from the rotating homepage:
    I'm not familiar with much of John Denver's work, and I'm sure most people will likely think first about the fact that Denver died from crashing a plane he was piloting, so I'm not sure this is the best way to promote an eyewear product. Or maybe that's just me.


    Also in the news...

  • VIRAL VIDEO: Hopefully they won't wash out her potty mouth with that industrial liquid soap that's usually found in school lavatories: Mom arrested for cussing out principal.

  • WTF, MOM! Well played, naked drunk shoplifting lady, well played: Mom who stripped for cops to avoid going to jail is -- going to jail.

  • See, it does pay to be uncool: Wired magazine's GeekDad picked as best parenting blog.

  • Talk about working up until the last minute: Ex-prostitute pimped out during entire pregnancy, ordered to parenting classes by court.

  • Can't say I wouldn't have reacted the same way if my own ravenous kids were screaming in the back seat: Woman punches through drive-through window at McDonald's that ran out of Chicken McNuggets.

  • Filed under "No Shit, Sherlock": Texas officials guess three pot-bellied pigs released in high-school hallways "likely a senior prank."

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: As if the movie wasn't freaky enough on its own: Catch a glimpse of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory's Veruca Salt, Augustus Gloop, and Mike Teevee—all growed up.

  • Binky bad-ass: 4-year-old calls police to turn in his pacifiers.

  • The Morgan Freeman of Korea: Teacher curses at students and beats them with shovels -- and they adore him for it.

  • Stripper pole dad doesn't like being called stripper pole dad: Pennsylvania patriarch asks for change of venue in underage drinking case.
  • Monday, January 18, 2010

    Also in the news...

  • VIRAL VIDEO: One of these budding thespians alone probably boasts a higher IQ than Snooki, Ronnie, and JWOWW put together: Youngsters reenact Jersey Shore.

  • This is not a typo: Parents have lower blood pressure than childless adults.

  • Kindle kids: When your 3-year-old can work his way around your iPod better than you can, you know you're dealing with a new generation of tech children.

  • Suri's not the only one facing a lifetime of bunions and hammer toes: The medical world frets over young girls wearing high heels.

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: Talk show host who's not the most: Montel's kids slam his parenting skills.

  • Because Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network just aren't enough: Discovery and Hasbro to launch "The Hub" children's channel.

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: Hopefully my kids don't read US Weekly, because I don't think their $5 weekly cheddar is going to compare: Michael Jackson's kids get monthly allowance bumped up to $60,000.

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: Being a douchebag probably doesn't help, though: Pats' Tom Brady insists being married and becoming a dad hasn't effed up his career.

  • 44 Gough Street, here we come! Truant kids in San Fran to be carted off to new "center."

  • Could it be any other way? More than three-quarters of parents say that video games are part of their family's life.
  • Friday, January 15, 2010

    Lesson One: Replace Silicone With Milk

    Also in the news...

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    NameVoyager Analysis: Antoine and His Phonetic Siblings

    I always wondered why parents would give their kid a foreign version of an American name, unless the parents happen to be natives of that country. Then again, there's no reason you can't think of "Anthony" and "Antoine" as separate names. "Antoine" does sound fancier than "Anthony," yet I'm not sure whether people would feel that way in regard to "Pedro" over "Peter."

    "Antoine" enjoyed a peak ranking of 278 in the 1980s, the same decade where "Anthony" ranked 20th and "Tony" ranked 80th.

    What becomes curiouser is the proliferation of phonetically spelled versions of the name starting in the 1970s. Two versions include "Antwan":

    And, less popularly, "Antwon":

    I'm not sure what started the phonetic-Antoine craze. Either parents were looking for a twist on the name (like "Jaxon"), or they thought people might end up pronouncing "Antoine" as "an-TOYNE," or perhaps they themselves didn't know how to spell the name correctly. Of course, is there really an "incorrect" way to spell a name?

    Many well known Antwans happen to be football or basketball players (we also can't forget Steelers receiver Antwaan Randle El), but Outkast's Big Boi's given name is Antwan André Patton. Fortunately, the "André" seems to have the hyphen in the right place unlike the sticks-in-my-craw spelling of "Dre'" (an apostrophe, not an accent mark), which is another issue entirely.

    Also in the news...

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: Sadly resigned to a childless life, are we, Speidi? Heidi Montag won't have kids till she becomes a "pop star."

  • With family like that, who needs enemies? Parents of Royal Bank of Scotland's CEO think he's paid too much.

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: Marky Mark's Funky Bunch just got a little bit bigger: Wahlbergs welcome fourth child.

  • PRODUCT ALERT: I'm too sexy for my onesie: GAP introduces boyfriend jeans and skinny jeans for toddlers and infants.

  • This could prove somewhat confusing: Identical twins born in separate decades.

  • PRODUCT ALERT: Wooden slats replaced by clear acrylic: Innovative new crib design.

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: *NSYNC with population propagation: Joey Fatone welcomes baby girl.

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: Van Morrison, you are NOT the father! Singer to sue over paternity reports.

  • PRODUCT ALERT: Bonkers for binkies: Plug up your babe's maw with these crazy versions.

  • At least her parents won't have to pony up tuition for some fancy-schmancy university: Meet Haileigh, a 3-year-old snake charmer.
  • Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    I Guess the "Your Kid Looks Like a Girl" Tactic Didn't Work

    There's been quite the to-do in a Texas town lately, where a boy is serving a suspension because of his unruly hairstyle.

    The boy is 4.

    According to the dress code in the school district of Mesquite, a town that I'm guessing must have decent barbecue, "boys' hair must be kept out of the eyes and cannot extend below the bottom of earlobes or over the collar of a dress shirt." The boy's mother, who has a different last name than her son (not judging, just sayin'), has been ordered to put the his hair in upbraids.

    The mom claims that in trying to braid the kid's hair, "the scalp will actually bleed," so the best she could do is tie it up into one big ponytail atop the center of his head.

    As someone who's had a number of struggles during the process of styling his daughter's hair — an easier task would be putting tube socks on a small boar that's under the influence of PCP — I can't imagine what this mother is doing that is making the scalp bleed. Unless that kid has a very delicate scalp, I can only image what kind of tools the mom is using to twist her son's hair (an outboard motor propeller?).

    The poor little fellow, who likely doesn't quite understand what the hell is going on, has been serving "n-school suspension — assigned to a teacher's aide in the library, far from his classmates." This is obviously an excellent use of that teacher aide's time, who has to answer questions from the boy such as, "Why can't I sit with my classmates?" If I were the teacher's aide, I'd take my chances and just braid the kid's hair myself.

    That being said, and understanding freedom of expression or whatever Bill of Rights thing can be cited here, let's be honest. It's a boy. Just cut his hair. With Jackson, we have him buzzed down almost to the skull when the weather gets warm, which in this case is any temperature above 60 degrees. The hair (what little exists) is easy to wash, dries before he even steps out of the tub, and requires no styling. Plus, he seems to act more civilized when his hair is shorter.

    I've been wanting to shave Sasha's head ever since her hair grew out as an infant: it's difficult to wash it, let alone get all the shampoo out; if you don't spray it with detangler and brush it immediately it becomes a knotted mess; and the next morning she refuses to let us put it up, and she arrives at daycare looking like she was raised by polecats.

    So, lady, just cut the kid's hair. Based on your defiance this early in your son's life, you'll probably have plenty of other battles with the school district to worry about before he enters junior high.

    Also in the news...

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: Beats waitressing: Tobey Maguire dresses up as Spidey for kids' parties in his downtime.

  • PRODUCT ALERT: Did you really think they'd make her look like Julia Child? New Barbie gets her own cooking show.

  • Dude, meet me at Chuck E Cheese with a six-pack of Similac: Friends first casualty of fatherhood.

  • Making sure no one stays contentedly childless by imposing brittle coxals and vertebrae on conscientious abstainers: Popular birth control causes bone loss.

  • "Play it again -- NOW!!!" The age of instant technological gratification.

  • Now you know why your kids get the munchies after naptime: Teddy bear found stuffed with marijuana.

  • There for the grace of God go I: 3-year-old rides bag belt at airport, goes through X-ray machine.

  • RECESSION SPECIAL: Bad economic times make people do the craziest things: 12-year-old robs store with toy gun.

  • What kid doesn't love a good robot?
  • Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    I Would Take My Chances With the Soothing Warmth of Wealth

    I am obviously quite ignorant about things happening in England, and I prove this every time I blog about the goings-on going on over there.

    The woman in the middle, Camila Batmanghelidjh, whose name I can spell thanks to the copy/paste function on my computer, runs a kids organization of significant value, but I can't imagine the two gentlemen in this photo conducting any kind of business without cracking up. (Then again, they're British, so it's all stiff upper lips.)

    I wish I knew more about British politics to fully enjoy the caption that claims the guy on the right is more controversial than Ms. Batmanghelidjh.

    Also in the news...

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    If I Were Mormon, I'd Have to Choose a Favorite Wife

    There are a number of things I could bring up to bore a therapist, but complaining about my parents playing favorites isn't one of them. My brother and I were born 51 weeks apart (I was born exactly a week before his 1st birthday), but we were mostly treated as twins. Though I received much hand-me-down clothing, we usually got two of everything as gifts, and we were punished rather equally, often even if only one of us was misbehaving.

    So I don't find myself fighting the issues that affect the people mentioned in Psychology Today's blog. The post cites the work of a couple of university researchers who say that "meeting the needs of one of your children is far more acceptable to the other children if they perceive the 'special' treatment as fair."

    Well, no kidding. Of course, the parent probably doesn't see the perceived favoritism or considers it temporary or justified, so it's important to explain to the other kid why you're spending that extra time with his or her sibling.

    So far it hasn't been (to my knowledge) much of an issue with my kids. It helps that Sasha is 3, so she's either oblivious or retarded to what's going on most of the time. That they're different genders will probably also help in the long run, because there won't be as much apples-to-apples competition. But as of now, I can't see myself actually favoring one over the other, though each has a way of making me dislike him or her more than the other from time to time.

    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    Also in the news...

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: She probably wore potato sacks while preggers and looked fabulous: Heidi Klum designs maternity line.

  • Oh craps: Indiana law would deny casino winnings to deadbeats owing child support.

  • The Cadmium Conundrum: Banned from using lead in kids' jewelry, China makes the logical decision to swap in more-dangerous transition metal instead.

  • My son's already embarrassed to enter the ladies' room with me -- and he's only 5: Scotland mandates that kids under 16 must be escorted by parents to restrooms in public places.

  • We're not the only ones freezing our asses off in the Americas: German parents make record run on sleds.

  • WTF, MOM! No other cars in the parking lot might have been the tipoff: Mom drops off two small kids in freezing temps at school that was closed due to inclement weather; drives away....

  • WTF, MOM! ...Buuuuut you can at least (maybe) call the previous mom's screwup an absentminded mistake. This Jersey Shore wannabe who left her kids in her subzero car to go get her tan on is a different story.

  • I've had a few Sue Sylvesters in my own scholastic career: Canadian study determines that bad gym teachers can ruin sports for kids forever.

  • Hell hath no wrath like that of an 8-year-old scorned: YouTube bombarded by pornographic uploads after removing child's channel due to age restrictions.

  • The kindergarten curriculum sure is advanced these days: 5-year-old girl helps deliver twins.
  • Friday, January 8, 2010

    Also in the news...

  • WTF, MOM! Shopping list for 12-year-old's birthday party: Cake -- check. Popcorn -- check. Korbel and Mike's Hard Lemonade -- um, check.

  • WTF, DAD! Gives new context for "Daddy's going to work": Burglar busted -- by his own kids.

  • WTF, DAD! When these kids grow up and tell their own kids how they had to walk a half-mile through the snow with no shoes, gloves, or hats, they won't be exaggerating: Dad arrested for driving drunk, walking children through snow after ending up in ditch.

  • They've decimated our checking and savings accounts already -- why not our 401(k)s, too? Survey finds children wrecking parents' retirement funds.

  • WTF, DAD-TO-BE! Half of all men who have vasectomies don't go back to doc to make sure the procedure worked. On a side note: Those who didn't follow up were more likely to smoke and (ahem) have four or more kids.

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: In perhaps the most ambivalent declaration of family planning yet to be issued from Tinseltown, Khloe Kardashian tells radio show she and hubby "aren't doing anything" to keep her from getting pregnant.

  • Well, two out of three ain't bad: Slow, free-range, idle parents can increase kids' IQs,, happiness levels.

  • "When you’re in a sensitive position, when there’s hundreds and thousands of students around, you shouldn’t have them things on your phone.” Well said, school board member Ron Angle: Teacher's nude photo on cell phone gets sent to everyone on her contact list -- including her students.

  • Damned if you do...: Kids born to moms who took folic acid supplements during pregnancy at increased risk for asthma.

  • Irreconciliable differences? I don't think so: Kids take parents to court for divorcing, dumping them.
  • Thursday, January 7, 2010

    Here's the Situation

    YES I WATCH "JERSEY SHORE." So I know the context of the story in Us magazine where some people are complaining that Snooki went on Jay Leno's show and declared she would "change the world" by putting a tanning bed in every home.

    (The complaints were about the tanning beds, not the fact that Snooki went on Jay Leno's show, though I'd be complaining about that, too.)

    The article quotes the author of a parenting book called Bringing Up Geeks, which will likely be followed by Ways to Comfort the Bullied Outcast Geeks You Brought Up, who "says 'parents need to know' that the show is promoting unsafe behavior." I'm pretty sure everyone knows that.

    Also in the news...

  • VIRAL VIDEO: Don't distract Martha, kids -- she's got a wicked buzz going: Bus driver sentenced for taking kids on wild, drunken ride.

  • Corporal punishment in da house! Study finds kids who are spanked grow up happier, more successful. Obviously, the study has many detractors.

  • I thought they were acting a little loopy: Kids who take medicine using kitchen spoons (up to 12 percent larger than the appropriate measuring implements) at risk of OD'ing.

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: Duh: Gosselin kids not doing so hot.

  • Nervous about your kids participating in concussion-inducing sports? Keep them away from football, soccer, and -- cheerleading?

  • WTF, MOM AND DAD! Granted, it was difficult to keep the kids entertained over the holiday break. Taking them to a cockfight never really made it onto my to-do list. For the parents of the dozen or so young spectators at this rooster smackdown, however, it was a viable option.

  • What's most interesting are the indignant reactions of the bodega owners who sold this stuff: Kids got wasted off of "Nutcracker" concoction over the holidays.

  • PRODUCT ALERT: A post-holiday purchase worth looking into (perhaps with a creepy Eastern European kid thrown in for good measure): Vintage Czech slot cars.

  • Take away their DS systems, send them to their rooms, ban playdates for a week -- and if those punishments don't work, this dad has an even better idea.

  • PRODUCT ALERT: Apple targets the next generation: iPod touch like "an iPhone with training wheels."
  • Wednesday, January 6, 2010


    The Wall Street Journal's Juggle blog has an interesting post on the "zombie hour," defined as "that stress-inducing transition when you arrive home from work and start the evening’s activities with the family."

    Apparently, in double-income families — where each parent comes home to the kids — the moms make out much better: "Through the evening, fathers spent more time alone, while mothers spent more time with children."

    My house is so tiny that there's nowhere for me to hide once I walk in the door. In fact, I'm often bombarded by my kids before I get out of my car — even tonight, in sub-freezing weather, Jackson came out to greet me (wearing no coat) to tell me that one of my favorite SpongeBob episodes just ran. (For what it's worth, it's the one where Plankton is able to swap roles with Mr. Krabs, and he realizes that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.)

    Of course, my kids are still at the "love Dad unabashedly" stage, so it's easy to take for granted that it'll always be this way. Once they get to the "my parents are sooo not cool LOL WTF" phase, it'll take more effort to make that daily connection.

    Especially if he's no longer watching SpongeBob SquarePants.

    Also in the news...

  • We're totally with you, Lion Dad: Cub gets on father's last nerve. Too bad he can't take away the lil' kitty's Wii privileges.

  • Dog also boy's best friend: Golden retriever saves young Canuck owner.

  • It's hard enough to keep tabs on child porn pervs on the Internet. Now we have to worry about them working the scanners at the airport, too?

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: Livin' la Vida loca: Matthew McConaughey and Camilla Alves welcome daughter.

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: Kendra beat ya to it, but some are still interested: Kourtney Kardashan shows off baby Mason.
  • Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    They Should Put a "Keep Children Away From Me" Tat on Each Parent

    Ever go through one of those phases where you wanted to do something that seemed really cool at the time, but your parents forbade you from doing it, then years later you wanted to thank them from preventing you from doing that thing whose soft coolness shell would evaporate, leaving an enduring center of stupidity?

    Like, say, trying to get that tattoo. Sure, at 16, you might want to show your loyalty to a particular athletic celebrity, but when the 21 century rolls around, that 1980s-era Hulk Hogan tat that covers your entire back will look, in retrospect, like a spot of folly.

    Of course, you might have permissive parents who allow you to get tattoos. You might even have the really permissive — some might say lawbreaking — parents who will tattoo you in the privacy of your own home with homemade equipment. Such is the case in Georgia, where, you may be surprised, it is not only illegal to operate an unlicensed home-based tattoo parlor but also against the law for anyone under 18 to be permanently inked.

    A couple in the Peach State got themselves arrested for tattooing several of their children, some of whom are not biological (don't ask), all with the same needle, which was made from a guitar string. The 7-year-old escaped the fate of his siblings and quasi-siblings because the couple considered him too young. (At least they drew the line, not literally, somewhere.)

    The kids all wanted tattoos because the parents had them, but just because Jackson thinks the scar on Dad's knee is pretty cool doesn't mean I'm gonna start sharpening my knife on his patella.

    These two geniuses didn't know that they broke the law. As ParentDish notes: "not knowing the law is not a defense, or as lawyers put it, Ignorantia juris non excusat."

    Emphasis on ignorantia.

    Also in the news...

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    Spare the Rod, Spoil Your Rod-Thrashing Arm

    You could argue, as some professor at a Michigan college you've likely never heard of does, that a spanked child is a better-adjusted child. You could think of spanking, as this professor does, "as a dangerous tool, but there are times when there is a job big enough for a ­dangerous tool. You just don’t use it for all your jobs."

    You could counter, as some other expert does, that "no good can come from hitting a child.... The law says adults hitting adults is wrong and children should be ­protected in the same way."

    But what you shouldn't do, as does, use this as the photo/caption combo to illustrate a story about spanking:

    Is this image of a woman spinning (possibly flinging) her (or someone else's) child as another child (parent uncertain) watches supposed to illustrate "divided in opinion," "smacking," or "good for your child"?

    (Or, perhaps, "or not"?)

    Also in the news...

  • CELEBRITY ALERT: A modern-day Brady Bunch: Rosie O'Donnell, already saddled with four kids of her own, is dating lady with six.

  • Not now, honey -- go ask the DVR: Study shows parents too busy to teach kids to talk.

  • WTF PARENTING: The MacGyver of tats: Parents brand six of their kids with homemade tattoo needles made of guitar strings.

  • WTF PARENTING: Sir, checkout was at 11 -- and you were supposed to take your kids with you: Couple arrested for gambling bender at hotel while daughter slept in room.

  • We agree -- clowns are scary! Swedish parents losing their meatballs over school worksheets featuring Ronald McDonald.