Dad’s Clues

Jan
29
2014
by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids, Parenting

be A man

Act like a man!

What does that even mean?

Especially today.

 

It means A LOT.

Especially since I have two daughters.

 

It definitely doesn’t mean what I thought it meant when I was making that mysterious transformation, into becoming a man. That’s certainly because most old fashioned attitudes teach our young men to stifle who they truly are and make life changing decisions for often absurd reasons and superficial rewards. That sounds like the opposite of manly to me.

 

I saw the poignant but powerful documentary from The Representation Project on goodmenproject.com. Hopefully it will aid young boys in their transformative years. To teach them what  ”Act Like A Man” should mean.

And especially what it NEEDS to mean..for all of us

Dec
11
2013
by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids, Parenting

Esnow1Like everyone these days, not only does this Dad’s plate overfloweth but I haven’t caught a glimpse of the plate in weeks! So when my girls had a snow day yesterday, the old man in me grumbled something about pushing much of my to do list to yet another day.

 

Though my 10 year old couldn’t hold back from getting into her winter gear, she quickly learned that her older sister didn’t share that sentiment.

Needless to say, she was not happy with that..at all.

Esnow2

I’m not sure if my youngest thought the duo’s sleigh riding reign was officially over, but she was certain that she had reached “THE WORST day of her life”.

Esnow3

Far be it from me to allow her to believe such, so on went my ski pants and out the door we flew. Today, my to do list is just as long as it was last week, but I’ve got a ten year old that went to sleep with a big smile on her face.

Calvin & Hobbes illustration by Bill Watterson

 

Sep
26
2013
by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Parenting

robot“I don’t need you anymore Dad.”

Seriously. That’s what my (newly) 10 year old told me yesterday afternoon! I was, according to her, “too busy” when she returned home from school.

Working from home has allowed me to be privy to the overall snapshot of my girls’ school day, the daily dish of drama or, at least, allow me to assist with their quiz/test preparation. But after today, that’s all in the past.

A mere memory of a time long ago.

Apparently vocab review no longer resides within my job description. Surely I get sidetracked and the five or thirty minutes I took to check on some files I had to ftp, was not sufficient grounds to take away some of my parental rights. Or perhaps she too, is on that dark and lonely independent course, journeyed by her older sister. A road that used to be less traveled, in which there’s no need for the big guy to get bogged down in the minutiae of their lives.

I should now assume that their “Don’t worry Dad. I did it. It’s in my bag” is all the interaction necessary when it comes to anything within the confines of academia. I’m okay with that..no, really.Bookbag

 

I walked into the kitchen. Though I presently can’t seem to remember what exactly I was looking for, I saw her there. Doing her work at the kitchen table. I then learned that it wasn’t that I was obsolete, BUT I was being replaced!

Normally that wouldn’t sit well with me, especially since she’s my youngest! But what I saw made me smile.

My daughter had typed her entire list of words and definitions into my iPhone. This, I understood as Siri read each word aloud. My daughter continued to go through the words one at a time, pausing Siri after each word to deliver her answer, only to unpause to check if her answer was correct.

siriI’m not out of the game yet. But when I am, my replacement’s gotta be at least version 9.o!

Aug
06
2013
by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Parenting

13My oldest daughter turns 13 in five months

The fact that she’s almost a teen has been staring me down for some time now.

When I look at her baby picture on my desk..yup, almost there.

When I see her talk to friends using my very own mannerisms..yup, almost there.

When I do the final check of the house before going to sleep, amazed at how her toes already touch her bed’s footboard. Yup. There too

 

Well on Friday evening, she was going to see a friend perform in a show. Before the performance, she planned to meet two “old friends” who’d join her. A girl, who has little to do with this story..and a boy.

This b-o-y happens to be a couple years OLDER than my little girl who, just yesterday, would only wear sequined, crinoline tutus and pigtailed hair. 

It also needs to be mentioned that it couldn’t be any clearer that this boy enjoys my daughter’s company..very much

So, yes:

  • I agreed to send my daughter
  • without her parent
  • out into a dark theater
  • with a boy that really digs her

I knew this was it.

I’m gonna throw up!

 

The age that I started “dating” is completely irrelevant here! Or is it? Yes, it is..it is.

I felt as if I could have flown round trip to Fiji waiting for my daughter to return home that night. But when she finally came into the house I knew I could not..must not, blow the exchange, so I nonchalantly went about my business..let a second or two pass and then casually inquired about her evening.

 

Did I get what I got because that’s what I wanted to hear?

I don’t care.

Because she was happy and I was happy.

 

Any parental tips are gladly appreciated in the comments section below. In other words..HELP!

 

 

Jun
16
2013
by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues

Happy Father’s Day!

 

Thank you quotesgratitude.com

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads who take their title seriously!

Apr
23
2013
by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids, Parenting

tear

Our daughter crawled into our bed last night with uncontrollable tears. Damn math!

After years of practice, I’m pretty good at the pillow wedge (strategically placing a rolled up pillow between me & one of my kids to absorb an involuntary thrust of an elbow or a foot as we lay quietly asleep) but I thought those days were long gone.

I guess with Angela’s birthday approaching this week, my 9 year old was thinking about what her life will be like when she’s her Mom’s age. Since that will be her age now + X amount of years, it naturally got her thinking about Angela & myself at our present age + X

You see where she’s going with this, right?

I’m telling you, tears..uncontrollable.

 

Especially as a Dad..a guy. We’ve got to fix the problem..most everything can be fixed..should be.

But while verbally stumbling in an awkward attempt to find the right thing to say, I took a cue from my wife.

Sometimes there’s nothing that can be said to fix, you can only hold onto them so they know they’re loved.

 

Mar
04
2013
by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids, Parenting

Creativity - Angela's Clues

My daughter proudly showed me a little, balsa wood purse that she made at school on Friday. It had 2 tiny, decoupage buttons, a stubby wooden latch and a brown, imperfect shoestring handle which, when viewed from the top, formed a face.

 creativity

I like her smile” I said to my daughter.

What smile? ” unconcerned about what her arrangement formed when viewed from another angle.

Even though her crafted smile was not intentional, it was there.

 

There’s something about creativity that allows one to feel content or whole. But when many exit childhood, they often lose this emotional connection because they have drastically slowed down their creativity.

This is not to say that everyone needs to be creative or artistic. BUT if we go about our day without enjoying the work, which is often the case when one’s only concern is the end return/product, we are not much different than machines.

Creativity Robot

 

Machines have no need to smile..we do.

I think we can all agree on that  :)

 

[For more info on creative projects go to PBS]

Feb
19
2013

SuperDad

On a typical January day up North, one of our many SUPER talented contributors to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood went shopping at Home Depot with his son. And while typical of many that work in preschool TV, he was naturally dressed in a cape.

To be perfectly fair, his son rarely goes out without his cape & upon realizing that his Dad was without, he simply asked, SuperMan

“Daddy, where’s YOUR cape?” Hence, the matching cape (sans “F”).

The duo’s photo was taken by none other than Mom, and shortly after she posted the photo for friends, it went viral in no time at all. Far be it from us to disclose the secret identities of the fearless crusaders but let this be a lesson to all mortals:

• Super Dad did what he did solely for the enjoyment of his child

• His only incentive was Boy Wonder’s happiness

Take time out of your week to not act your age with your kid, because before you know it, they’ll stop asking you to wear a cape in Home Depot.

 

And to our Super Talented B–, “Sincere thanks for all you bring to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood & simply for the record, You ARE the man!!”

 

“The proof that the little prince existed is..that he laughed and that he was looking for a sheep. If anybody wants a sheep, that is a proof that he exists.”
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little PrinceThe Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

 

 

 

Jan
30
2013
by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids, Parenting

is-your-babysitter-a-thief

Is Your Babysitter a Thief?

As my daughter & I spun faster and faster on this metal, corkscrew-ish playground contraption, we chuckled at each others’ inability to control the speed nor eject ourselves from the ride. Our laughter erupted into uncontrollable hilarity. And for a brief second, I stepped outside myself to capture a mental snapshot of that incredibly beautiful image of her happiness, for what I hope will last forever.

She has the deepest, big brown eyes which were looking into me and overflowing with life and pleasure and love. To know that it was something I had done or shared with her to create such joy, caused my eyes to do more than well up.

That’s it..there’s no greater feeling.

Even though I knew this moment was fleeting, I had to get off before I threw up. So I essentially did some fall/jump combination and landed gracelessly on the ground, with my daughter’s butt immediately smacking me right upside my head. Laughter erupted again..transformed into the hiccups for her..resulting in further cackling from us while rolling on the ground holding our stomachs, from a case of laughter induced cramps.

is-your-babysitter-a-thiefSelfishly, it’s difficult for me to know that someone (aside from my family or close friends) could share similar, intimate moments with my daughter. But some time ago, when I learned that our sitter (of a few years) had been stealing from us, I was insensed.

I spent many years hating her. Not because of the money. That was the easy part..the known part.

I hated her because I let her in..treated her like family. And in return she showed me how careless I was.is-your-babysitter-a-thief

The big tough man, I would pretend to be, almost cried when I threw her out of our house. Why? Because I allowed such a stranger the opportunity to spend such time with my child..to say nothing of what my child might have learned from her.

Eventually, my hate turned to pity. And now I’m grateful that the experience forced me to see clearer & straighten out a few priorities.

 

[info: Babysitter Background checks]

 

 

Sep
20
2012
by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Parenting

Sept 20, 2012

Who knew that Dads Take Your Child to School Day was in fact, today? Or that there was actually a day set aside for it?

Last year 9,000 New York dads/significant male caregivers participated.

That being the case, get involved whenever you can & however you can!

Click HERE for more information on this cause