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2009 July | giggle blogs | giggle Blogs

Archive: July 2009

July 29, 2009

Free Books You Say?

Even though I’m quickly approaching the age of which we dare not speak, I’ve embraced the digital world completely with open arms. Capital of Bulgaria? Google it. Need a doohickey for that whatchamacallit on your desk? Amazon to the rescue. Heard a great song on the radio? Download it from iTunes. Out with the old and in with the new.

So on this rainy summer Wednesday with a six year old quickly edging towards the precipice of “spoiledville” with an accelerating onslaught of “I’m bored,” what’s a parent to do? Panic? Good start, but ultimately not helpful. Punish? Short term relief spoiled by years of therapy bills. Any more TV or computer time and his brain could turn to mush (according to Hulu). There’s no delivery service for rainy day entertainment (in my budget at least) so we need an outing!

Trying to be good parents and encourage some modicum of learning over the summer, we’ve done bits of math and reading here and there. My ever present guilty conscience tells me not enough though, so what to do? Being out in the country, our options are limited. Playdates don’t run a plenty out here and more TV is off the table. What about that place where they have books, magazines, movies and even computers to use? What’s it called again? Oh, that’s right. The Public Library!

Load up the car and five minutes later we’re browsing kids books, animal books, and even a movie or two. Plus the added bonus of a gold star for an educational outing. I have to admit that’s it’s been a while since I’d been to the library and I’m sure there are parents out there screaming at me through cyberspace saying “Duuuhhhhh – everybody goes to the library!” Well, why didn’t you guys tell me, then?

In a digital world of instant gratification via TVs, DVDs, iPhones, downloaded movies, Xboxes, Playstations, Wiis and the like, the public library is one to remember. An outing with a payoff in all respects! Heading out the door with books for reading (one for me too!) and even a movie for later, smiles lit up the cloud covered sky and disaster was averted, if for one more day.

For you New Yorkers, check out all the good stuff at the New York Public Library at http://www.nypl.org/. Everyone else – Google (or even Bing) it of course!

July 28, 2009

Head First In The Deep End

Today was a big day and I didn’t even know it was coming. My son has been taking swimming lessons at the local community center this summer. Having progressed from Level 2 to Level 3 they are now working on the freestyle or “crawl” stroke. I figured the two weeks would be filled with lessons on swimming with big arms, kicking, breathing and probably some work on the backstroke. But today, the kids were told they were heading to the deep end of the pool. The deep end?!? Are you kidding me? We just started the crawl four days ago. Who’s running this show?

I was sure I could hear the thoughts running through my son’s head a million miles a minute. “The Deep End? Nobody warned us about this! I’m not ready. Dad?”

All I could do was nervously sit and watch as the kids swam one by one into the deep end. Unphased, my son just swam right in and climbed up the ladder ready for more.

Next they were told they were going to learn how to dive. Diving? What’s next? Navy seal training? Night drops from helicopters into heavy seas? Man, this is getting hairy and fast.

Low and behold, those five kids just lined up and learned how to dive into the deep end. Sure there were belly flops but no one cared. It was all good, belly flop or tentative dive, these kids were jazzed even with nervous parents staring wide-eyed from behind the pool fence. And when it was time to end the lesson, kids with big smiles came out to get wrapped in brightly colored beach towels by proud parents.

As I sit back and think about it, my son may have learned to swim in the deep end and dive today, but I’m the one who got the lesson.

July 28, 2009

Who’s That Man?

Sitting at the playground on a Tuesday morning watching my two year old playing in the sand. He’s old enough now so I’m not hovering but still close enough to quickly jump in to prevent sand eating or some other interesting maneuver in his bag of tricks. My parental spidey sense on high, I’ve got the weird feeling that someone is watching. I scan the playground and notice that a group of nannies seems to be keeping an eye on me. Hmmm? I’m here with my kid, isn’t it obvious? I guess not.

That was about five years ago in San Francisco, but I’ll bet the same scene plays out in any playground. A man on a weekday without a female chaperone was enough to set off the silent alarms for the “regulars.” I’m no trailblazer and have met several stay at home dads who did it long before me.

Five years ago, though, a stay at home dad? Come on, just taking the day off, right? Wife sick today? Out of town, maybe? Nope, I stay at home with our son and my wife works.

My friends thought I was the luckiest man in the world. Wives at the playground thought my wife was the luckiest woman in the world. Good news is that they were both right. Bad news is that they were both wrong.

Watch the kid, do the grocery shopping, cook the meals, clean the house, wait a second – this is hard work. Hey mom! How the heck did you handle all those jobs with two kids? How the heck did grandma do this with four kids?

And my wife…a full time working woman who is the CEO of her own company with a small child a home? That will be one full serving of guilt with a side of male bias and throw in a dash of that female disapproval over here please. Perfect.

There’s no magic formula, no secret sauce. What’s best? Who knows? So when you ask, “Who’s that man?” Probably same as that woman there, or that couple over there. Parents who are juggling like clowns on roller skates who are just trying to make it work.

July 22, 2009

Flor’d

I’ve become a fan of the Flor company, they’ve taken a commercial product and made it cool for home. Their catalog is always a pleasure to look at because it’s so well styled, mixing classic and modern together in unexpected ways. Their new graphic rug tiles are really great and I think would be such a great add to any nursery. The Alexander Girard tiles are of course beautiful, but even their funny “find a face” tiles would be a super cool touch to any hip nursery. I’d love to see a black & white themed nursery with the “hello down there” rug kit. So fun!

"Find a Face" Flor Rug Kit

"Find a Face" Flor Rug Kit