Not a Pinterest Dad

So I’m on Pinterest all the time. I use it mostly for inspiration & tutorials for photography and for keeping up with gadgets and innovations. However, there is no escaping the multitude of examples of parents doing amazing things for their children. The one you see the most are the parents who make their children’s meals look like works of art! You’ve seen this: plates of vegetables in the shape of a face, Disney shaped pancakes, or watermelons carved in the Matterhorn. They make the meager pancakes that we feed to our children look like crap that we peeled off the bottom of a donkey’s butt. Who are these people and how do they have the time to create a mini bits of art work on the baggies that they pack their kid’s lunch in (and actual thing. Observe.)? I barely have enough time to reheat the pancakes I made a few days before. Or do I? I decided to stage an experiment:

Lady C likes the same thing every morning: pancakes. Sometimes we add fruit but it’s pretty much pancakes – Monday through Friday.  So I tried something new. Every morning I cut up her pancakes and arranged them in a pattern. I even added fruit and and stuff to jazz it up. Check it out:

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So do you want to know what I found out? THE KID COULDN’T CARE LESS!!!  Never once a mention of “Hey Daddy. That looks like a sun” or “Wow Daddy! That’s a cool pattern”. Nuffin!  It proved one thing to me: most of the time when parents are putting in all this effort, the children don’t really care. So Lady C is back to having her pancakes cut into eights randomly on the plate. She’ll be fine without the Picasso impressions.

What’s your opinion? Are you a Pinterest mom or dad? If you are, how do you carve out the time?

Fearless Scaredy Cats!

So we’ve discussed Lady C’s crippling fear of all things creepy crawly (Update: she’s doing much better. Freak outs are to a minimum now). The kid is a afraid of bugs like ants, things that you can squash with a pinky finger. But that’s where it ends. The things that I would expect for her to be afraid of, she is fearless with!

We were in the subway one time and Lady C points out an ever-present member of the vermin population of the underground and says, “Awww look at the cute rat!” Really!!??! Ants freak you out but this brown scurrying, long tailed, scourge of NY travelers doesn’t phase you? (side note: I am typing this through fingers covering my eyes and Lady C sitting on my shoulders. If only we had furniture!) And her sister is the same way by the way!

Lady C and H both love dogs. That’s fine and cute but it’s not just the little lap dogs. It’s every dog and in every size. I took them to the park to fly kites and Lady H makes a beeline to some dogs that she sees:
Now I’m a grown man and I can tell that these aren’t small dogs so my protective instinct kicks in. The absolute opposite happens for my two girls! Forget the kite, let’s go pet the dogs!! As they get closer, they start to realize that the dogs aren’t just big dogs, they’re HUGE!!  No matter. There’s PETTING to be done!

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As you can see these dogs are taller than they are and are curious. I don’t know about you but if I ran into an animal that was taller than I was and looks like it could swallow me, I’d be cautious! Nope! Not these two. They pet them, the dogs licked them, and at one point I think someone asked to ride one (can’t take them nowhere).

Any-Ole_Chocolate-Way, the moral of this story is that kids can be such Scaredy Cats in one instance and be totally fearless in another.

Do you have similar stories or are my children strange (rhetorical question, of course)???

Daddy Problem #4 – The play dates

I’m an involved dad. I don’t babysit my kids. They’re my kids. When they’re with me, they’re with their parent so it’s not babysitting. It’s that mentality that is ever present whenever I leave the house with any one or both of my girls. I will admit though, I am hypersensitive to when people apparently treat me differently when I am the parent present. Sometimes I think people are trying to figure out whether I’m the manny or if that’s actually my kid (gasp! A black father taking his kid out and having a good time! Alert the propaganda machine!).  Anyway, there is situation where I am not imagining things: getting invited to play dates.

Frequently, my mother, mother-in-law or my wife take Lady C to the park, museum, playground, or somewhere with other children.  It is guaranteed that they will be approached by one of the parents of the children that Lady C is playing with to have a follow-up play date. We have had many conversations about the reason that she was in such high “demand” for play dates but that’s a blog for another time. Whatever the reason, Lady C had a very busy social calendar thanks to the playground connections.

It is a different experience when Daddy takes Lady C to the playground!! Well, not on her part. Definitely on mine though. Lady C interacts with as many kids when she is with me as she does when she was with the women but I never receive an invitation to have a subsequent rendezvous. Frankly, no-one even speaks to me on the playground! And it happens everywhere I take the kid.

I’ve wondered if the man in the playground is creepy? Were the women with children afraid to invite Lady C lest they invite a strange man into their home or give their number to one? I never get an invitation from strangers and even got shaded by one of the parents in a program that Lady C was in. She knew me as the person who dropped Lady C off all the time and wanted her to have a play date with her child. She mentioned it and then asked WHO she should talk to to set that up. ME, I replied!! ME!

Women, have you ever approached a father in the park to set up a play date? Am I imagining things? Fathers, have you experienced the same thing? Soon I will have the same occasions with Lady H. Is there any advice to avoid this happening again? Looking forward to your comments.