The Team Approach

Getting any almost 5 year old to stay focused and not be distracted is a challenge. With Thing 3 it’s impossible.

A seemingly simple request to go upstairs and put his pajamas on turns into an endless string of diversions. He is distracted by so many shiny objects along the way, by the time he gets upstairs he forgets why he went there in the first place.

Then he gets mad, because he can’t go in the basement, because his pajamas aren’t on, so he goes back upstairs and the cycle starts over. Meanwhile, his brothers had their pajamas on long ago and are playing in the basement.

Today I came up with a new approach. I call it the team approach. I said to Thing 2 and Thing 3, “You are a team. The team goes in the basement when the team has their pajamas on.”

I knew this would have no effect on Thing 3. He was already onto a new shiny object. But for Thing 2, this was the motivation I was looking for. He went upstairs with Thing 3, picked out his pajamas, and pushed on him to put them on.

Instead of being a new distraction for Thing 3 and getting silly with him, Thing 2 kept him focused. Thing 3 listened to his brother way better than he ever does with me. And I didn’t even need to be upstairs!

Why didn’t I think of this sooner? I am a genius. Wait a second. I’ve thought that before and it always backfires. There must be a flaw here but I’m not seeing it.

Advice To Expectant Dads: Don’t Ever Do This

As a semi-famous dad blogger I get a lot of public relations pitches for products and services that may be of interest to my readers. I ignore most of them unless a) I get something cool for free or b) I think it might actually interest you.

I got one this week on the topic of Push Presents. If you aren’t familiar these are presents given to women after giving birth. I highly recommend that you give your wife a push present, especially if you are a first time expectant dad. This is definitely one of those cases where “no” really means “yes”, and “I don’t care” also means “yes”. Incidently, not being told about a desired push present is not an excuse for not getting one. As an expectant dad you don’t win. Get used to it.

Back to the PR pitch. It started by quoting a survey that found 38% of new mothers received a push present and 55% of pregnant mothers wanted one. I feel really bad for the husbands of those 17% that wanted one but didn’t get a push present. Good luck with that.

Apparently the most popular form of push present is jewelry. Nothing surprising there. SuburbanMommy got some nice new jewelry a couple of times.

Instead of jewelry, why not give your wife her body back? With new mothers on average taking 3-4 months to lose all the baby weight, it can cause some frustrations. Additionally, it can be very difficult for new mothers to get back to the gym within the first few months as they are taking care of their newborn. For fathers who are looking for the best push present without diamonds, Premier Fitness Camp, a five star fitness resort, has created a special ?Body Back? package which reflects a 30% savings off the original price. Starting at $4,550 for 7 days new mothers will receive the following treatment and be able to shed the baby weight fast.

First of all, if you are an expectant dad and planning to spend $4,550 on a push present, I strongly suggest you spend it on jewelry.

But more importantly, you do not give a pregnant or recently pregnant woman anything that may call attention to her weight, her body, or having anything to do with weight loss!

I might have some experience in these matters. I might have once given a Wii Fit to a pregnant woman for her birthday after she told me she wanted one. I might still be paying the consequences for that colossal mistake.

What Life Is Like With 4 Kids

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have 4 kids? It’s not all that unique to your daily life if you have any number of kids. Just more of it. I’ll take you through my day today, which is pretty typical, and see if it’s anything like you imagined.

If I had to describe my days in one word it would be: non-stop. Every day is a continuous flow of doing one thing immediately followed by another. There is no break. No time to think. Organization, planning and logistics are paramount, which does not bode well for me since none of those are my strong suit, but luckily SuburbanMommy excels at them.

My day starts shortly after 5 am. Continue reading What Life Is Like With 4 Kids

The Real Reason To Avoid Fast Food

I was flying solo tonight with the four Things – pick them up at school, give them dinner, baths, put to bed. In these situations, there are only two realistic options for dinner: pizza or fast food drive through. I went with the fast food. Four Happy Meals.

There are lots of reasons why McDonalds has sold a gazillion burgers. It’s cheap, quick, and kids love it. The marketing tie in with Rio the movie was a huge hit.

But now I’m regretting my food decision. Sure it’s not the healthiest choice. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let’s see how you manage an evening with 4 Things on your own, and what you serve them.

That’s not why I regret it. The real reason to avoid fast food is the smell it leaves in your car after hauling 4 happy meals home. I know the smell will still be there in the morning to make me nauseous. I should have gone with the pizza. One word: delivery.

The Problem With Holiday Gifts

It happens every year at this time. The holidays are over and we’re left with lots of new toys, games, books, crafts, silly bands, coloring books, dvd’s, and other stuff. Some of the stuff will used daily. But some will be used once and forgotten, or it will be broken after a single use.

Then there is the dreaded stuff that has a million pieces which are scattered throughout the house by Thing 3 and Thing 4 and never to be found again, rendering the game/toy/puzzle useless. If you are one of our beloved friends or family who gave one of these gems, thanks, and expect payback someday when you have kids.

And while we’re on that subject, please, please don’t get us any more toys which make constant, loud, annoying, impossible to shut off, noises. These toys will have the batteries removed by the anti-Santa. Haven’t heard of him? He’s the guy who comes at night after the kids are asleep and removes batteries.

The worst part of all the new stuff each year is finding where to put all of it. It’s not like we had all this extra room a week ago. Drawers, shelves, and buckets are already filled to the brim with stuff. And now we have all this new stuff to find room for, most of which is crap, junk, broken, or forgotten already.

I’m considering a new “zero sum” Santa policy next year. For every present he gives he also takes an old one away of equal size. So you better be careful about how many things you ask for.

The Secrets To Potty Training Revealed

I am by no means a potty training expert, but I do have a fair amount of experience. We’ve been through it already with Thing 1 and Thing 2, neither of whom were what you’d call a quick learner, so we had to try many different approaches. Thing 3 has basically been potty training for the last 6 months with only limited results. And I’ve been answering questions on the Pull-Ups facebook page all year so I have seen and heard it all.

Now I’m ready to reveal the secrets to potty training.? Follow these easy steps and your life will be so much easier and your child will be using the potty someday. Continue reading The Secrets To Potty Training Revealed

If Only It Were That Easy

This morning we turned the clocks back. Fall back, Spring ahead. An extra hour to sleep in, right? Wrong. Not if you are a baby.

After living through this each of the last 6 years, I can confirm that babies will still wake up at the same time no matter what. In Thing 4’s case, that means we were up at 4:30am today instead of 5:30am. At that hour there are far fewer options on TV other than infomercials.