Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What do they call you anyway?

Great post recently on Daddyshome.org (by Shannon Hossman who has his own blog as well) regarding the naming of Stay Home Fathers. What are we and what should we go by? Check out the full entry here. Here are the cliff's notes:

I'm not a Mr. Mom or a house-husband. Stay at Home Dad as a moniker is OK, but the acronym (SAHD) doesn't work because I'm actually very happy. Bypass the shortcuts and nicknames if you can, but if you must use one... let's go with Behavioral At-home Domestic And Safety Specialist (you work out the acronym). With that said, my wife can call me anything she likes, I like to think I'm her "trophy husband".

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quote for today... Please remove the labels.

“Once you label me, you negate me”
 ~~Soren Kierkegaard

What if we give you a positive label though, Kierkegaard?

I really like this guy's flickr stream. View it here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

TSA wants to see my tasty bits?!

My first attempt at an Xtranormal cartoon. Since I spent the time to post my serious thoughts about T.S.A procedures and security in general, I thought I would also make fun of the situation which is probably much healthier... or at least a lot more fun. Enjoy, critiques are welcome.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bad Apple

"Wow, did you just feed that to her off the ground!? (laughter) See that's the difference between mothers and fathers I think."
I had a mother recently say this to me after seeing me pick up an apple slice (correction- my last apple slice) from the ground at the park. I blew it off, wiped it well and examined it for any visual signs of dirt before handing it back to J. Bean, who happily and noisily chomped away at the slice. Now the mother is a friend and really wasn't disapproving so much as just noting the difference in philosophy. Personally, I think it's more about different parents' styles than fathers vs. mothers. I recently read an article, from Slate which hits on this topic and I thought it was very poignant. The article is entitled "Modern Parenting.If we try to engineer perfect children, will they grow up to be unbearable?". It's worth a read, relevant excerpt below.

"Apparently, there is, from a sensible scientific point of view, such a thing as being too clean; children, it turns out, need to be exposed to a little dirt to develop immunities, and it seems that the smudged, filthy child happily chewing on a stick in the playground is healthier than his immaculate, prodigiously wiped-down counterpart. I like this story because there may be no better metaphor for the conundrum of over-protection, the protection that doesn't protect."

Monday, November 22, 2010

A note on safety (odds of dying)...

I don't often post about items that move into the realm of the political, though I do have strong feelings about politics and I do feel that our political environment and elections have consequences which will deeply affect our children so occasionally I will post issue-based discussions about political goings-on while still trying to distance my blog from a "partisan position"... it is after all about the issues which could affect our children not the (D) or the (R) next to a person's name.

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself— nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." ~Franklin Roosevelt.

Did you know the 1-year odds of dying in a car accident is about 1 in 6500 and the lifetime probability is about 1 in 83? What about walking across the street? A 1-year risk of 1 in 48,500 and a lifetime risk of 1 in 625. The chances of dying from being struck or bitten by another mammal in your lifetime is 1 in 51,550. Drowning? A 1-year risk of 1 in 88,000 and a 1 in 1100 lifetime risk. In a fire? About the same as drowning. Murder? A 1-year risk of 1 in 16,500 and a lifetime risk of 1 in 210. Being struck by lightning? A 1-year risk of 1 in 6.2 million and a lifetime risk of 1 in 80,000.

Despite this information, we get in cars every day, some with our children and some while texting, eating, reading, talking on the phone and some of those people also wear no seatbelts. We cross the street while glancing quickly from side to side without a thought. We and our children swim and some of us buy pools to keep in our yards. We sleep in houses that could burn, some of us even smoke which raises the chances of a fire. We walk the streets and go about our business knowing that murderers could lurk amongst us. Some crazy people even walk outside in the rain or drive in a storm as if lightning never crossed their mind. We could outlaw driving with any potential distractions and create mandatory screening before driving for all Americans. We could shoot any animals that come near us though it would surely increase our chances of being killed by a firearm (currently 1 in 4,317). We could ban all bodies of water. Murderers? Why not take away all weapons from everyone and mandate daily psychological screenings for those people who wish to leave their house? Fire? Don’t get me started… we could outlaw candles and electricity or maybe we could sleep outside on the ground, but that would just increase our chances of being hit by lightning. What are we to do?!

What is important is we keep danger in perspective, right? What about figures on terrorism? Well, if we count only the attacks that have succeeded we are talking figures much lower than the odds of being struck by lightning, but in this area we feel the need to take action by allowing TSA’s to view us naked and touch parts of our body that we teach our children should never be touched by a stranger? The logic is lost on me and I can’t support the screening/patting system as is. Choose one day a month not to drive your car and you’ll decrease your odds of an untimely death by more than any screening methods in an airport ever will. Stop smoking and slow down consumption of cholesterol and you’ll up your odds against an early demise beyond the complete elimination of terrorism. Yet we don’t allow the government to tell us what to eat or how to cook, because we feel the freedom to choose amongst these vices is our right.

I agree with the assertion that the only way to defeat terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized. We live in a world full of danger, we do what we can, reasonably, to avoid the dangers and we go about our lives trying to enjoy them. We will all die some day and most of us will face death earlier than we should because we didn’t eat right, we drank too much, we smoked too much and we didn’t exercise… not because we didn’t allow bureaucrats to check out our private parts. In the end, our odds of dying are 100%... so what I tend to find more important is how we live.

Sources of my info and some of the ideas behind these statements:
Cartoons from http://chimpplanet.blogspot.com/2010/11/tsa-cartoons.html & http://kylesdailybulletin.wordpress.com/

Short attention span.... plague or progress?

Yglesias makes a good point regarding the questions of how technology may be affecting children. Is the fact that our children may be wired differently than us a bad thing or just part of progress and the evolution of learning and thinking? Check out his comments and potentially the NYT article he is referring to if you are interested-- here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Talk...

Still eons away from "the talk" (I hope), but this is a very entertaining story of the kind of problems and questions that can arise! Happens to include a great little short as well, titled... Good Vibrations.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What we've got here, is failure to communicate...

This video illustrates perfectly why it is hard to teach language to your children. "Yes, J. Bean, that is a rail but not the kind a train runs on, it is a hand rail and I am trying to train you to hold it. I know, yes, you have finger nails on your hand. No not a hang nail... well yes, the rail is hung by a nail. Listen just hang on to the rail... the train is leaving the station. Yes, trees have leaves... nevermind."

WORDS from Everynone on Vimeo.