Category Archives: Intuitive Parenting

My new, crunchier Meetup Group!

After waiting two days to be “approved” by the team leaders, I found out just now that I have been accepted into a new Meetup Group for stay-at-home-parents. Hooray! Actually, it’s mostly for SAHM’s, but, hey, at the end of the day, we’re all doing the same thing and mostly dealing with the same issues, so…I can hang with the ladies just fine.

Unlike my rocking once-a-month Meetup Group on the Westside (last month we went to the beach in Santa Monica and Greta and I had so much fun we ended up staying all damn day!) and the other, less-awesome group that dumped me, this new Meetup Group has over 375 members! Yikes! The coolest thing about them though is that they meet all the time in all different parts of the city, Glendale, Pasadena, Los Feliz, Burbank, the Westside, you name it, they’ve had a Meetup there!

The only thing I’m a little worried about is that the group is called “Crunchy Moms”, meaning, all-natural, organic-eating, cloth-diaper-using hippie moms and dads and little hippie kids. Now, coming from Santa Cruz, that is totally cool with me, I mean, I can get my hippie on with the best of them, but, I dunno how genuinely crunchy we are as parents.

Sure, Greta eats healthy stuff, we recycle practically everything we use, we try to buy safe, green toys when we can and hello, we drive a hybrid! So, that should count for something, right? Judging strictly from their pictures and profiles, the group seems to be populated with some very cool, totally non-judgmental chicas on all ends of the crunchy scale, so, hopefully, we’ll fit in just fine.

Oh, and did I mention that there are exactly two other SAHD’s in the group? Yep, two other dudes like me (one of them is even a writer!) in a group of 375 members. Hmmm…I’m either gonna love this group to death or they’re gonna burn me at the hemp log stake for letting Greta play with Barbies. Either way, it should be an adventure…

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Filed under Daddy stuff, Intuitive Parenting

Unsolicited Advice

Hey again. Nope, I’m not dead, I just feel like it. Had a very fun, but very eventful Labor Day weekend and I kinda just wanna sleep for the rest of the week. But, seeing as that’s not really an option…I might as well blog about what’s on my mind right now. And what’s really chapping my hide at the moment is the age-old phenomenon of unsolicited parenting advice.

I know it might seem like I talk about it a lot, but, I don’t talk about it nearly as much as it happens. I mean, shit, if I had a nickel for every piece of unsolicited advice I’ve been given over the past two years, well, I’d retire now and move the family to the tropics. Seriously, we’d be billionaires.

I don’t know why it is, but, when it comes to child-rearing, everyone wants to weigh in with their ever-so-helpful advice. For the record, there have been times when I’ve sought that advice, and, in that case, well, bring it on, sister or brother, or whoever. But, if I’m not asking for your opinion on something, then, seriously, your job as a good human being is to shut the hell up. Especially when my toddler is throwing a fit or crying.

My favorite is: “Wow, she’s a handful!” which is almost always uttered when she is, indeed, being a handful. It’s like looking up into the pouring rain and saying: “Wow, it sure is raining!” No duh! I mean, seriously, if you ain’t helping me put out the fire, then step the fuck aside, because anything else you say or do at that moment is just more fuel for the flames.

And it’s not just tantrums that bring out people’s inner early-childhood-expert. Pick a topic, any topic, and we’ve been given advice on it, sometimes by total strangers. A woman at Von’s once corrected the way I was putting Greta into the shopping cart. Yep, she said I was doing it wrong. And random strangers are one thing, but when advice comes from someone you love and respect, it’s even worse.

I’m not naming names, but, earlier this summer I was almost reduced to tears by the harsh, totally judgmental parenting “advice” that flew out of the mouth of one of my favorite people. It just about killed me, and it was then that I realized that I was totally done listening to other people’s advice about how to raise my kid.

If my daughter is happy and healthy and bright and beautiful then we are obviously doing something right. So, whether you’ve had kids or your own or not — yep, even the childless singletons give free parenting advice these days, which is just insane to me — please, for the love of God, keep your unsolicited parenting advice to yourselves.

Until you’ve walked a mile in my Crocs, you don’t know my pain, baby. So, zip it!

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Filed under Crazy Relatives, Daddy stuff, Good Baby, Intuitive Parenting

The cure for troubled sleep?

OK, so, we’re only a few days into our vacation up here in Oregon and suddenly Greta is sleeping like a dream…actually, better than that. What’s better than “like a dream”? Um, like two dreams? I dunno, but, the point is, she is sleeping like crazy and it is totally awesome.

I don’t know if it’s the fresh mountain air or that hideous sleeping bag of hers, but she falls asleep and stays asleep almost the minute her tiny head hits the pillow.

Who knows, maybe she needed this vacation as much as we did? Either way, sleep has made a very welcome return to our lives…yay!

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Filed under Daddy stuff, Good Baby, Intuitive Parenting, Mommy Stuff

Family Road Trip Rule #1: When in doubt…bribe!

Hit the road last week for our annual road trip to Oregon to visit my wife’s family. It’s a long-ass drive, but we love road trips (yes, even with a two-year-old in tow) and the time spent just hanging out with the niece, nephews and assorted brothers and sisters-in-law on the family farm is kind of, well, rejuvenating. I don’t know if it’s the country air or what, but, man alive, do we go home relaxed!

Anyway, I firmly believe that a huge part of the adventure is the actual act of driving there — seriously, we have found that even short-jaunt road trips are great for the soul — and since no one wants to have their soul-cleansing road trip ruined by a screaming toddler, I give you, Family Road Trip Rule # 1: When in doubt…bribe!

I don’t care what your kid’s favorite thing is (be it a food item, a beverage, toy or DVD) but secretly pack a lot of them in your car before you leave. Emphasis on the secret part, if they know how many you’ve packed, your screwed. Bribery only works when your child thinks that the desired item they will do anything for is in very limited supply. So hide your loot well!

Right now, Greta will do almost anything you ask her to for a Trader Joe’s Organic Fruit Leather. I don’t know exactly why she loves them so, but she’d seriously take a bullet for the strawberry variety…it’s crazy.

So, we packed 25 of them in a secret stash in the car, and the minute she acts up or won’t finish her meal or, well, any time she’s just being a typical two-year-old on an eight-and-a-half hour car ride, we bribe her. “Greta…if you do blank, we’ll give you a fruit leather.” we purr in her screaming, red-faced direction, and she calms down almost instantly.

If I wasn’t so happy it worked, I might be a little freaked out by it, but at the end of the day…it works. Like a fucking charm. Every. Single. Time. So, who cares why?

With order restored in our car, we crank up the tunes and resume our lovely road trip in peace…or, you know, until the next big blow up.

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Filed under Bad Baby, Good Baby, Intuitive Parenting, Terrible Twos

Quote of the day: Eddie Vedder

Got my haircut today and while flipping through the magazines in the waiting area, read what just might be the best quote ever in “Rolling Stone” magazine.

Eddie Vedder was being asked about his ecclectic musical tastes when he was growing up, and the interviewer asked whether or not Vedder hid his huge James Taylor fixation from his punk-rock friends  at the time.

Not missing a beat, Vedder replied: “Oh, I didn’t give a shit at all. Punk rock is saying what you want and not giving a fuck.” So. Damn. Awesome. Now, apply that same quote to parenting and I think you could start a serious movement, baby.

Judge this Stay-at-home-Dad at your own peril, haters…I might act like I care what you think, but, trust me, most days, I just don’t give a fuck. Punk rock parenting forever!

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Filed under Daddy stuff, Intuitive Parenting

Slightly less troubled sleep…

Hooray! The good news is that Greta fell asleep in her own bed tonight after only three very calm (on my part) “back-in-the-crib” with you interactions. The bad news is that that third time was a fucking killer, man! Yikes…

The minute I chucked her back in her crib, our little angel climbed out and screamed and shook and pounded on her closed bedroom door until it sounded like she might just rip it from it’s hinges — I’d apologize to my upstairs neighbors for the noise, but their kids were way worse than Greta at her age, so I figure it’s Karmic revenge — so, what did we do while all this mayhem unfolded in the next room? You guessed it, we totally ignored her.

It wasn’t easy — her tearful pleas to sleep in “Mommy/Daddy’s bed” were the most heartbreaking — but we stuck to our guns and sat together on the couch with the Tivo on pause as she screamed and cried for almost eight minutes. And then, something amazing happened…Greta stopped banging on the door, climbed back into bed and fell asleep on her own. Just like that.

So, we are either the worst parents on earth or the savviest. Either way, we’re all sleeping much, much better tonight…

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Filed under Bad Baby, Daddy stuff, Intuitive Parenting, Terrible Twos

Troubled sleep…week two!

I dunno what sort of developmental phase she’s going through right now, but we just finished our second week of major sleep issues with Greta. Lately, it doesn’t matter what time she naps (early, late afternoon, no nap, we’ve tried them all), when the time comes to go to sleep, she WILL NOT SLEEP.

And I ain’t talking delicate, little, “Let me just lay here for a while Daddy, I’ll fall asleep eventually.” I’m talking, screaming, shreiking bloody-murder, Gandalf-esque “You shall not pass!” refusals to even try to sleep. It’s insane. And, as you can imagine, it has done wonders for the sleep patterns of the other two people who live in this house.

It got so bad tonight that my wife actually threatened to leave if it didn’t stop. No word on where she would go (for the record, she is not a great planner on little or no sleep) but she did promise to leave a note when and if she does leave us. And, if you think I’m kidding, you obviously haven’t dealt with a surly, sleep-deprived two-year-old…or her surly, sleep-deprived mother. Yikes…

Short of spiking her last sippy cup of the night with Jim Beam, anyone have any ideas to help out? I was kidding about the Jim Beam (we’re more of a tequila household these days), but, we will seriously try anything at this point…so, please, comment away!

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Filed under Bad Baby, Daddy stuff, Intuitive Parenting, Terrible Twos