5 random parenting tips

Here are a list of five different items that have occurred to me over the last four and a half years of being a Dad.  These tips might be helpful to some of you out there, others might say, “Yeah, no kidding,” and others may have something else to add.  Any input is welcomed in the comments section.  Disclaimer:  these tips are not based on science, expert opinions, or in-depth research, just things that have worked for my family.  Enjoy.

1) Judge your kids diet by their poop– a parent can go crazy worrying about getting their kid all the nutrients on every list of every “expert’s” book/blog. A stool with the consistency of peanut butter (either chunky or smooth) in a toddler shows a healthy digestive tract, which means everything is a-ok with the belly. Parents will definitely notice a change in the frequency and quality of their kids’ output when there is too much of one thing or not enough of another. If everything is running like the Jiffy train from Geneva, there shouldn’t be much concern little junior isn’t getting enough riboflavin, cobalamin, or LDLs.

2) Try to get your toddler to like soy milk – WAIT! WAIT! DON’T SKIP TO THE NEXT ITEM!! I’m not going to just go on and on about how soy milk is “better” than regular milk. Soy milk does not spoil as quickly, and can be consumed at room temperature.  Giving it to your newly-mobile toddler will minimize the amount of beverages dumped because somebody left a cup in the play oven for three hours.

3) Buy a ton of the same loud socks – Few things are as frustrating as being held up on the way out of the house due to missing footwear.  Buying 47 pair of purple polka-dot* socks will end the frustration of having seven different individual socks, thus making it necessary to pray to the heavens as a pile of clean laundry is fished through to find that ONE FREAKIN” SOCK!!  Buying the same loud sock will make them abundant and easy to find.  After proof-reading this paragraph, I realized this could be good advice for adults, too, but we are less likely to put one sock on a doll and the other in the dishwasher.

4) When nursing an infant, keep formula in the house – I’m no lactation consultant, but I do know that over-tired, stressed out moms combined with super-hungry, crying babies produces a situation where one feels feeding the other is necessary but physically not possible.  Having a can of formula in the house is a signal to Mom that her baby’s survival is not ALL ON HER.  Sometimes just knowing this allows enough relaxation to occur so Mom and baby can nurse together, or maybe Dad has to crack the can at 2:45am so Mom can get enough sleep to recharge.  Either way, the cost of having some around is much less than the stress of not having it.  And trust me, your baby will be fine if some formula crosses you’re his/her lips, even if those bullies at La Leche League will have you believe otherwise.  **

5) Don’t travel with white shirts – Stains on a toddler’s shirt are inevitable no matter where you are.  When you’re on vacation, doing your laundry is an inconsistent proposition.  Machines that are less efficient than at home, well water heavy in minerals, and limited access laundry services may make getting intense stains out impossible.  Darker shirts can hide that stuff (and the stains can even act as a cheap souvenir) if one of the above problems gets in your way.  There is no hope if a white shirt is muddied while hiking a mountain or playing an impromptu game of “pickle” with the cousins from Scottsdale on the second day of a 2 week trip.  Black, purples, and dark greens will hide any but the most drastic stains until you can get back on home turf.

* I just learned that this is the correct spelling of “polka-dot.”  I always thought it was “poka-dot.”  I could look on Wikipedia to see the word has anything to do with polka music and dancing, but I think I will resist the urge, and just tell myself the two are related.

** My wife is insists I add that this tip also makes the Dad feel helpful.  It is our (men) way of using the “hunter-gatherer” mentality to provide for our babies.

Five More Top 5’s

I am easing back into things after paternity leave.  Here are 5 more top fives.  I hope they’re a little better than the last effort.  Let me know if this shtick is getting old.  Enjoy.

 

Top five most random searches made on my phone:

“Price of horse apples” ($17.99 + $8.99 shipping)

Billy Squeir Songs

Fgknfdjk*

Is “public relations lady” from happy Gilmore the mom of three from modern family?  (She is.)

Did Marcus Webb wear #43?  (He wore #41.)

*If you are not busy, type in random letters in a search engine and see what you get. It’s funny to see “did you mean dhg ssu?” And then thinking, “well no, but if I did mean that, what would come up?” Like I said, when you’re not busy.

Top five coincidences that are completely pointless, yet somehow satisfying:

Being in a public area, work, etc, and someone has the same ringtone as you.

When the water on my leaky Bulgarian faucet would drip in sync with the seconds of the clock

Showing up to a restaurant or event at the same exact time as the people you are meeting up with

Having the peanut butter and jelly running out at the same time

Pulling into a parking space as a song ends

Top five albums that I can hear any point in any song and pick up the lyrics, and air instruments, immediately without missing a beat

Beck – Mellow Gold

Raffi – In Concert

Allman Bros Band – 2nd Set

Grateful Dead – Workingman’s Dead

Beastie Boys – License to Ill

 

 

Top five food items I have changed my opinion about later in life**


Bulgar wheat / tabouleh

Anything with mint and chocolate combo

Shrimp***

Rye bread

Swiss cheese

**I wonder if my opinion has changed because my tastes change, or I am just willing to accept that I don’t have to give everything the old college try, and it’s possible to not like something without seeming uptitght.

***Shrimp is the only item on this list where my opinion went from negative to positive.

Top five favorite memes

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Thanks for reading this, everyone!!!

 

Rock on!!

4 Half-Baked Ideas

After a little hiatus, I am back with a post!!  I figured during a major move, with a baby set to arrive in a couple of days, and a kid recovering from a tonsillectomy, something had to give, and the self-imposed deadlines I have here for weekly posts can probably be a little flexible right about now.

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This is a compilation of different ideas I have been trying to work into their own posts, but no matter how hard I think on them, I can never seem to get more than a paragraph, but I still think they are ideas worth sharing.  I hope they give you something to think about during your day.

1)  If I were the owner of a terrible baseball team (Astros, Twins, the Indians from “Major League”), I would shorten the fence in my ballpark. Is there I reason why this hasn’t happened yet? I did some research and there are minimum requirements for right, center, and left field fences, but a couple of the newer stadiums don’t exactly adhere to them, and the teams have suffered no consequences.  Why not make center field 375′ right field 300′ and left field 325′? If you have no chance of making the playoffs any time soon, doing this would get people talking about your team, would make every home game exciting, and would give Craig Counsel a chance at breaking the all-time home run mark.  I would invest heavily in groundball pitchers (Derek Lowe, Dan Quizinberry, r.i.p.) to try to limit the damage opposing teams present. The goal would be to have every game potentially end with a score of 15-12, with the hope that my team would be on the lucky end more offer than not.  Everyone reading this would watch / follow whatever team did this.

2)  There has got to be a way to invent a small hydro-power turbine thingy that can attach to the pipes in houses and harness the energy created by flushing toilets and shower drains.  I’m sure as the technology evolves, and components become smaller and more efficient, this can be explored.  There has to be accommodations made to avoid major clog-age, but with all this water running all over the place everywhere, every day, we could take advantage of this for a greener tomorrow. 

3)  I have a conspiracy theory that the makers of shower liners are in the pocket of the big soap companies. This may be a little dated due to innovation in shower design, but the classic liner we all know and love has the soap dish positioned DIRECTLY in the way of the water coming down from the shower head. The water barrages the bar of soap while it’s not being used, shortening its life dramatically. To make things worse, there is nowhere for the water to go after the shower, so the bar of soap sits and stews in a pool of its own demise. Ask yourself, “Who benefits from soap being washed away quicker than it should?” The realization that got me thinking of this is the fact that that dish could be moved over 10-12 inches to the left, and could be reached by someone sitting in the tub. There is no need to put the soap dish right there, it doesn’t make sense. Why would they do that? Payouts by big soap?  I don’t know, just asking a question.

4)  What are the Patriots going to do with Aaron Hernandez’s number?  It will certainly be made into a big deal by the media the next time someone wears it, no matter how many years from now it happens.  They can’t officially retire it.  Maybe they could have a funeral for it, where, instead of the usual hoisting the number triumphantly to the rafters as John Cougar Mellencamp sings about how small the players home town is, they could have some Gregorian chants, and one Ukrainian Orthodox priest fill Gillette Stadium with incense (anyone who has been to an Eastern Orthodox funeral knows that this is possible).  All former Pats players who wore #81 could be on the field next to The Undertaker from WWF as they throw dirt on it, or burn it or something.  Or maybe a banner with #81 could start to get hoisted to the rafters and the Patriot reenactors could sit there and blast the banner with musket balls until there is nothing left of the number…  I guess that would be a little ironic, shooting up a representation of Aaron Hernandez.

 

Like the title says, these are half-baked ideas, I’m just getting the ball rolling, spit-balling, whatever.  Leave a comment if you want to add something, disprove something, or support something.

Thanks for reading.  Rock on everyone!!

 

 

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