All posts tagged: dads

La Croix: My Love for You is Pure

A few months ago, the re-vamped NY Times magazine ran a “letter of recommendation” (really just a blog posting, right?) about La Croix seltzer. I was shocked to read a silly, literary endorsement for something I already hold very dear. But when I’d finished the article, I realized the writer (Mary H.K. Choi) struck me as a cynic justifying her need to be cool. Her much cooler co-workers were addicted to my favorite drink, and Mary followed that crowd, but still needing to get in her self-serving jokes about her partying ways. (“Don’t worry. I’m not THAT uncool.”) Filled with millenial cliches lamenting her poverty and fabulosity, Choi didn’t write an ode to La Croix, she wrote an embarrassed confession. Eh, get over yourself, Gavin. You aren’t published in the NY Times. Brass tacks: I’m bitter because I loved LaCroix seltzer first; and my love is pure. I stumbled upon La Croix on the bottom shelf of Target. Immediate addiction followed. I conceded that Choi’s nod to the in-crowd is correct, “Everyone knows pamplemousse is …

4 of My Mom’s Parenting Traits I Hope to Leave Behind

My mom was the best. And she was doubly amazing for having raised me after my father died when I was 8. She devoted her very being, to me. I’m eternally grateful. Aaaaaand…as with us all, there are a few things I hope to do differently. I’m probably doomed (or blessed) to repeat what I see as mistakes, but are probably in my genetic makeup. KEEPING UP APPEARANCES Mom was perpetually preoccupied with outward appearances, be it state of the house or state of moods. She made Herculean efforts to present an “everything’s great” facade for the world. I just don’t feel like doing that.

Everyone is Having More Fun than Me

And by “everyone” I mean parents. Not Syrian refugees. Calm down. Most of the last year has seen me as a single father. My partner conducted and directed concerts across the country, and that meant many weekends away. I’ve been stuck, un-showered, with a double-stroller and the sinking feeling that everyone else is having more fun than I am. So I occasionally set myself up for bitter annoyance by trying to create a solo (with kids) “ideal Saturday morning.” Let’s go to Tribeca and play amidst the elite.


Certain events with the kids cause me serious angst: subway trips, birthday parties and plane trips. Subway trips mean we’ll be out for a long time. Beyond temper tantrums, this is what stresses me out: What if it’s a 105 degree summer day on the subway platform with 98% humidity and I get swamp-ass and people laugh at my wet khakis? What if the subway stops and we’re stuck inside for three hours without enough battery life on my phone to keep the kids quiet or enough goldfish snacks to keep ME happy? And then what if desperation drives me to pee between subway cars? Late on a Saturday night is one thing. But middle of day with other riders, my children and, well…sober? Would I get arrested in this extreme situation? Do the police want to deal with my screaming kids’ wrath?

8 Justifications for Childless Travel

Last February I frantically brain-stormed a last-minute timeshare getaway to warmer climes with the family. It would include our 2-year-old and 10-month-old. My stress over rising airline tickets and dwindling hotel availability prompted my partner to say, “You could just go on your own.” (Disclaimer #1: Getting away for an adult vacation wasn’t feasible. We don’t have family nearby on whom to foist two kids under 2 and we can’t afford 4 days of round-the-clock baby-sitting.) “What?” I sputtered. “Yeah, I mean it’s so much work to take the kids. It’s expensive, it’s a headache, and it’s not relaxing. I’m all about taking my own solo mini-vacation, later. You want to get away more than I do, right now, anyway.” (Disclaimer #2 True. I’d been very full-time daddy for the past couple months.) “So you just go for a couple days.”

First of my “Coping (in style) Cues”

Alright, folks. A new section I’ll call “Coping (in style) Cues”…my formula for how I keep my head above water and lessons I hope to instill in my sons. What gives me the right to dole advice? Eh. It’s my blog. For starters: It’s not a “conversation” if you don’t ask about the other person. Texting is not an appropriate way to apologize to a person or cancel an appointment. Call. (And then send a follow-up text.) The other person probably won’t even answer, anyway. The other person (and your reputation) is worth the effort. Eye contact and a smile (however insincere) go a long way. (Dedicated to the service industry of New York City.) You can never over-thank or over-apologize. (Well, sorry. You can, but that would have to be a seriously excessive amount. But even over-thanking or over-apologizing shows you appreciate the person you’re thanking or to whom you’re apologizing. Sorry about that. Thanks for bearing with me.) Pedestrian traffic is the same as car traffic. Don’t stop in the middle of the …


When Big E was seven weeks old, a friend invited my partner and me to an antique auction in Nowheresville, Connecticut. My first auction. I’m always game for “firsts”. There were hilarious (shocking) items for sale. Of note was a box of lawn boy/mammy figurines, including a 7-inch Aunt Jemima iron doorstop. Not all of Connecticut is Martha Stewartville. We ended up buying a 5-foot tall gramophone. It collected dust for two years, then we donated it to a flea market. But I digress. Big E got fussy, predictably, when serious bidding began. So I took him into an adjacent room where a woman sold hot dogs, coffee and cookies. She had a mullet half way down her back. On her sweatshirt was an airbrushed wolf howling at the moon. It was awesome. Not that I’m furthering rural stereotypes, but across the street was a drag racing track. Anyway. She ooh’d and ahh’d over Big E and marveled at me keeping him quiet. We made small talk about regular baby things: birth weight, sleeping, etc. …