Month: August 2014

Quest for Milk o’ the Breast

During our pregnancy with Big E, I researched breast milk sources. Doctor friends told us it would be the greatest gift we could give our newborn. We were lucky that a friend had twenty pounds of frozen milk in Denver just after Big E was born in Colorado Springs. We packed it on dry ice and overnight’d it to New York for $100. There had to be another way. I’d already learned that milk banks weren’t the way. For starters, I figured there was a milk bank in every major city in the country. There are fifteen. For us, a place in Massachusetts would have shipped 4 oz of milk at $7/ounce plus shipping. Worse, milk banks pasteurize. They kill all bacteria (which is good for the baby’s immune system). Plus, they refuse donations from moms with colds or any benign sickness. But sick mom milk is the best kind for growing babies…full of antibodies. There had to be another way. Another Google search led me to “Human Milk for Human Bodies” (HM4HB), a global …

Working My Gender

Walking to the playground, today, with Little C in the stroller and Big E on his scooter, I noticed an inordinate number of adoring expressions from passing women. I recognize that pursed lip, upside-down smile simultaneously showing sympathy, adoration and appreciation. I know my kids are cute. I also know that most mothers don’t receive that look from other women. It’s because I’m a man. People think it’s sooooo cute when a dude’s got two kids. We’re not supposed to be capable of such feats. So I look like a hero. I know it. I appreciate it. Sometimes I resent it. Nannies, especially, can’t believe my partner and I are raising kids without help (aside from our wonderful, regular babysitters). When I’m on the playground on a Wednesday afternoon and I’m the only man (often the only white person…a funny detail about raising kids in Manhattan), I’ve had many conversations with nannies asking, “Your nanny is off, today?” “Is your wife sick, today?” “Are you the nanny?” Heaven forbid a nearly 40-year-old man take his …

Bag Project Chapter 5: Too Inexperienced to Fail

So I’d secured a designer and validated a dream. Next? The only business class I took in college was “International Marketing.” My group’s project was to open a bagel shop in Buenos Aires. One of the justifications for its projected success was the relatively high Jewish population in Argentina. That was my idea. Armed with that fantasy-world business experience, I concocted my first few steps in this bag-building venture: Design the bag. Build the bag. Peddle the bag in baby boutiques in New York and Brooklyn Develop a website for online sales Watch the money flow in. Easy enough. Though no money had been spent, I could taste anxiety trying to derail me with every decision. Everything felt debilitatingly critical: where should we bank? Can I still consider myself an “occupy wall street” wannabe if we bank at HSBC? When we secure a website, should we purchase the .info and .org domains as well? What about when .xxx is released? When I’ve made $10 million, should I buy a yacht? Will the “Amazing Race” ever …

Poopy wedding

Ambitiously, I took 18-month-old Big E, to a friend’s wedding reception. It took place on one afternoon in NYC. I traveled with only my (unstylish) diaper bag and him in an ergo carrier. There was a beautiful and (mercifully quick) ceremony in Fort Tryon Park, followed by a reception at the nearby New Leaf. Everything was gorgeous. But about me. Everybody coo’d over Big E. I was a star daddy for having ventured, on my own, to the wedding with a baby. Then I smelled poop. This was a doozy. I mean, pungent shit that other guests “admired”. Before heading to the buffet line, I ducked into the bathroom. There was no changing table in the microscopic men’s room. I asked a waiter if there was a changing table anywhere. “Ummm…not that I know of,” he said, blankly. “Nowhere?” I asked, snidely. “Ummm…not that I know of.” I got huffy. “So is there a place to change an extremely smelly diaper besides on the restaurant floor?” “Ummm…outside?” he offered. I wanted to kick him in …

Bag Project Chapter 4: What’s a diaper bag for? Sunglasses.

During our meetings to discuss mission statements and blankets and company names, James and I of course discussed aspects of diaper bags. He’s not a father, so I told him the basic needs: “We need pockets. Lots and lots of pockets. We need to feature the pockets whether or not people use them. I mean, I don’t use pockets. I’m not that organized. I dump things into my bag. The only time I actually organized the contents was taking a flight, and even then, the contents spilled out during security screening, proving my point that there’s no point in organizing the insides of a bag. Still, pockets were a selling point for me and they will be for prospective parents.” James laughed. I went on to make a personal point, “However, I did use the pockets on the outside of the bag. There was quick access for a bottle, for pacifiers, and – I’m a little embarrassed to admit – a pocket for my sunglasses.” “The important things,” James laughed. “Happy daddy makes a happy …