Month: January 2015

Deep Thoughts from my 18-month-old

Colton is in a blissfully frustrating time at 18 months. He understands, “Want to brush your teeth? Take a bath? Stack blocks?” He runs to said item and is ready to brush, wash or stack. Soon he’ll be talking for real. Before that happens, I still like to imagine his thoughts: Wait, have I awoken? Yes. I’m still behind the bars of this bed. I shall make shrill sounds that force that tall one to come into my room. Cry! Ah. Hello, tall, haggard one. I’ll be quiet now. Wait. Let me collect three blankets and my paci before you pick me up. Fine. I’ll sit with you. Why would you deign to thrust this small car in my hands? Wait. Are your eyes still closed? Ugh. I’ll go entertain myself. I see a sippy cup under a chair. Four days of bacterial build up. Deeeee-lish. Tall, neglectful one? Take this sippy cup. Now. Wait, are you standing up? Cry! Blocks? Oh, fine. I’ll indulge your silly obsession with stacking blocks. Stack again. Oh, tall, …

We’ve Entered the FROZEN Tundra

What is it with Frozen? I know people with 4 -6 year-olds went through this last year, but my 3-year-old is quickly catching up. He is obsessed with Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and that insidious song. I mean, do any adults think the movie is amazing? How on earth did they craft something so addictive for kids? Is it immediacy?…that we can conjure the song on phones and parents couldn’t have done that with The Little Mermaid? Would we have gone ape-

3 1/2 Ways to Teach My Toddlers About MLK, Jr.

On this Martin Luther King, Jr Day, and after a conversation I had with some narrow minds over the holidays, I’m choosing to think of lessons from MLK’s life in three segments: Have empathy for people who feel down-trodden Don’t condemn an entire population for the actions of a few. Racial issues are more about socio-economics than skin color. I’m imagining discussing this with my 3-year-old:

#ferguson #icantbreathe

“So how do you feel about all this police business going on?” I kept a poker face. Quite a set-up. My partner and I visited his old family friends over the holidays. I asked “Don’t we need to call these people and let them know we’re coming?” “No, Gavin. It’s small-town Connecticut. We just drop in.” (I’d be livid if people interrupted my frenetic Christmas preparations.) The police question was popped by an 83-year-old man, a friend of my partner’s parents. I’ll call him “Big Al” and his wife, “Little Alice”. They’re salt-of-the-earth people. Big Al was a painter, by trade, Alice a stay-at-home mom (of 4 kids). And, by the way, they’re “all about” gays and kids.

Quality Time With My Dog’s Anus (Canine Crisis: The Final Chapter?)

OK, folks. This one’s crude. I’m not catering to my legions of fraternity readers with potty humor. It’s straight-up facts. Maddie is walking and running. She seems unperturbed when her hips occasionally slip and slam on the ground. She just keeps going. The only thing I desperately hope for, by this point, is control of her bladder and bowels. Dear doggy lord: my Maddie is running adequately. I’ll trade further progress in the leg region for any control in her nether regions. We’ve had to “express” her bladder since the beginning of her FCE ordeal. She grows a 3-inch balloon in her gut. We put our fingers behind her ribs and squeeze back and in. Something triggers and her back legs shoot straight out while urine sprays out of her with the force of a super-soaker. Not difficult, merely annoying. But nothing’s as bad as the poop. Before walking returned, the poor dog soiled herself. Bowels emptied onto her tail and legs and she’d try to drag her paralyzed hind-end away. Daily baths were the …

3 Logical Arguments About Religious Extremism (for my Toddlers)

(My kids are extremists. About hot chocolate. Hence the pic.) When I was in college (during the era of dial-up and Toad the Wet Sprocket), I took a lot of philosophy classes. This was at the height of political correctness in Boulder, CO, where the students would rather give up beer and bongs than offend with words. Most courses, regardless the title, would include discussions of universal truths; e.g. “What’s absolutely right or wrong?” My professor for Ancient Philosophy argued that the only universal truth (or universal wrong) is: “Rape, purely and solely for the pleasure of the rapist is wrong.” It’s not that we justified murder, burglary, or playing Miley Cyrus songs in public; but in philosophical logic, if one instance disproves an argument, then it’s no longer a universal truth. Example: Killing is wrong (universal truth) A person runs at you with a knife You kill them in self-defense Therefore, killing is not always wrong (no longer a universal truth) Since the horrendous attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, I’ve thought a lot …

Canine Crisis: Chapter 4 (of 5)

Happy 2015! On our drive to pick up Maddie, my partner and I discussed our worries. “What if she’s no better? It seems a real possibility.” “I don’t know. Let’s wait and see. But I can admit, I don’t want to have a paralyzed dog. We aren’t going to configure wheels under her hind end.” “Nope. That’s no life for her. Or for us.” “But do we?…” “Let’s just see.” We walked into Wizard of Paws. There was Maddie. Her head popped up and she tried to drag herself to us. Frankly, I couldn’t see any difference. Poor dog still soiling herself and dragging legs behind in her own filth. Deb (the Wizard) enthusiastically welcomed us. “Come on in and see what she can do.” She carried Maddie to the mat corner. There, Deb propped Maddie between her own legs. True: Maddie stood. Definite progress. Then Deb supported Maddie on a kidney-bean therapy ball. As we held the contraption still, Deb said, “See? It’s just like human therapy. With these balance balls, all her tiny …