May 31 2012
To this story that was just posted on the McSweeney’s website about baby photographer Anne Geddes who is fond of taking syrupy sweet pictures of little ones inside giant eggs and perched on large tulips, I just have to say yes, and more yes, and amen.
Together, we the Anne Geddes babies ask: How many sets of triplets must be stuffed into matching terra cotta pots freshly plied with breast milk and in a state of undress before enough is enough? How many oversized props must pile up in studio corners, snails upon bird baths upon acorns, before we recognize the monument we have built to poor self-image and willing infantilism? How many more toddlers must be kicked to the curb as they approach sentience and can no longer be easily crammed into a gourd before we assert that impossible puzzles are a marker of intellectual stasis? Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 20 2012
I pride myself on being a hands off/free-range kind of dad, especially when it comes to the playground. I attempt to emulate my neighborhood moms in most ways, but I cannot fathom heading out into the jungle gym myself, unless explicitly invited by my daughter. The reason is twofold. Selfishly I want that time to space out or blissfully stare at my daughter from afar. (And yes, I will cop to furtively sneaking glances at my smart phone.) And unselfishly, I really feel that it is her space, and I want her to learn to navigate it.
I recently got a friend to take her to the playground so I could play frisbee in the adjoining park. This is easily simultaneously one of the geekiest and jockiest things I do. Appropriately, I injured myself on the first day of the season, diving underneath a fellow player, a medieval-bearded-kind-of-dude named Duvid, to intercept a pass. He landed on a part of my body that I didn’t realize could be injured, the meaty small of my back on the left side. Essentially, my love handle. I had the wind knocked out of me, but got back in for the next play, and promptly re-injured it, so I hobbled over to watch my daughter, who I had been feeling extremely guilty for leaving, anyways.
I found her on the swingset. At this point, pushing my daughter on the swing was not an option, so I obeyed my inclination to hang back. I saw her at the center of a group of moppets. I couldn’t hear her voice, but her pantomime was clear. The group of fellow 4-year-olds hoisted her in the air, like a group of moshers helping someone crowd surf. As her cohort pushed her, I saw a look of beaming pride I have seen few times on her face.
I felt completely validated in my hanging back to give space. “She doesn’t need me,” I practically purred. There are some family stories involving nameless relatives of mine lining up all of their playmates and giving detailed instructions of how they needed to play, but this was different. Ronia was the instigator, but was happy to give others a turn. I stood there, aching with love for my charismatic spark of a daughter.
Mar 19 2012
My two kids.
Last week was all about the dudes on Kveller, and all this man-talk got me thinking.
In May 2008 and then a scant 18 months later in December 2009, I grunted and screamed and threatened to cut my OB and openly prayed that I wouldn’t lose my shit all over the delivery table I lovingly gave birth to my two children. I breastfed for three and a half years. I’m clearly a Mama. But over the last five months, I sometimes feel like I’ve stepped out of that role and into the traditional male role. In my high heel hooker boots.
Who’s your daddy? Yes I am. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 16 2012
Why isn't it Amazon Parent?
People seem to think that my husband is an anomaly. He has spent the last three years splitting our parenting duties evenly, spending a day a week with our children and working the other four days. He took advantage of a program at his company that allowed him to have this schedule and, when he left it to start his own business, we made sure that he was still able to do it. He builds ramps out of cardboard boxes, teaches my son about cooking, encourages my daughter to cruise by tempting her with Cheerios, and adds little quirky things to our lives like “Twinkle Alligator” (the creative version of “Twinkle, Twinkle” that we sing to my son every night).
To me, none of this seems so strange. What does seem strange is when my husband comes home from dropping our son off at preschool and tells me that a woman stopped him on the street to congratulate him for spending time with his child…again. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 15 2012
The following piece is written by the husband of frequent Kveller contributer Cara Paiuk. Cara has written about the ups and downs of her fertility treatments, and here, Alejandro offers the man’s perspective.
“Do you have the specimen?” the pretty nurse behind the counter asked me. I timidly handed over the plastic jar with my name on it. “Ummm, I noticed that on this form here it says that we weren’t supposed to use lubricant. Uhhh, I didn’t know that. Is the, er, specimen ruined?”
A few moments later, she handed me a new jar and told me that I had to try again. And so, my one contribution to my wife’s fertility treatment I had managed to screw up. I felt embarrassed to be in that office, embarrassed of what I had to do next, and embarrassed that I had somehow let Cara down. Read the rest of this entry →
5:05 a.m.: The baby screams. She does this sometimes–wakes up, realizes it’s still dark, then goes right back to sleep. A second later, I hear her snoring. Baby-snores! The awesomest, most disruptive sound in the universe. She’s like a tiny tyrannosaurus.
6:00. I’ve been lying in bed for nearly an hour, awake, trying to force myself back to sleep. That’s my limit. I leap out, pass my still-sleeping wife, grab my laptop off the floor. We watched our token episode of TV together on it, The United States of Tara, before crashing last night. That was a few hours ago. It was our couple-time for the night. Basically these days, Toni Collette is the third person in our marriage. (I’m the token non-Australian.) The screen’s still up, and it makes a momentary loud noise before I close that window. My wife stirs, then falls back asleep. Whew. Read the rest of this entry →
I am a (soon-to-be) divorced dad. What this means on a practical level is that I parent day to day without the input of anyone else, for the most part. Of course I have plenty of role models, but on the ground, I am winging it without another adult.
My daughter Ronia is 4, and though she is a curious and highly observant individual, she does not really pepper me with questions in the matter of some kindergartners in literature. Nor does she really respond to my questions/reveals in an outsized manner. When I warned her I was applying for a job with super long hours (I am fortunate enough to have only worked full-time for one month of her life) her reaction was: “Does that mean I can have more sleepovers with [her friend from school]?” Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 14 2012
Early in life, I think it’s easier for men to make friends than it is for women:
Kindergarten: I like soccer. Me too. Let’s be friends.
Middle School: I like girls. Me too. Let’s be friends.
High School: I can burp the periodic table. Me too. Let’s be friends.
College: I like beer. Me too. Let’s be friends. Read the rest of this entry →
We’ve introduced you to the JDILFs. You’ve gotten your latest issue of the Dad-Dish. And now, it’s time to test how much you know about those celebrity Jewish dads.
Who’s married to who? What did they name their kids? Who makes the most money? (Just kidding, we don’t really ask that.)
In honor of Dude Week, take the Famous Jewish Dads Quiz on Kveller today!
Gentlewomen of the jury: I used to spend time with my kids. Honestly. Lots of time. Backyard-soccer-and-creating-family-newspapers-and-weird-board-games kind of time.
Don’t do that so much anymore.
Nowadays, when we do fun stuff, like this Gordon Family Pie Fight, it has to be scheduled after office hours or on the weekend.
Y’see, for the last decade or so, I had been a freelance writer and editor, working most of the time at home. Then, in January 2011, I got a full-time office job.
Back in the vocational day, I pretty much always had time to drop off and pick the pishers up at school. I would also hang out and have a cup of Keurig Coffee with our day school‘s cool admissions officer (Boker Tov!) in the mornings. My kids and I would play endless games of run-from-the-monster on the playground afterschool. If someone forgot a book or a lunch, I could easily tear back home and deliver it to the appropriate school locker. Read the rest of this entry →