It’s Monday. Take it on like a 4 year old tackling his first single track, dope ass ramp experience—full of enthusiasm and without a trace of fear. Thanks to the GoPro mounted on his helmet, The best part of this video, though, is the audio, so turn it up. Listen for his “oh yeahs” and “oh mans” as he cheers himself on. There’s an adorable miscommunication moment at 1:00 and a small spill at 4:07. Oh, to be four again.
My goddaughter came over recently and turned all our Kidrobot figures around to face our books. It got me thinking about all things literary.
Read this book. And to be a bit subversive in the process, don’t read it on an eReader.
By becoming a bookbinder and moving to Salt Lake City, according to Discover magazine, you’ll lower your stress level. But, I wonder, wouldn’t fretting about job security in an eBook world just spike it again?
If I were to self-publish, I’d do it here.
Speaking of my goddaughter, I recently got her this book and it rocks, and not just because it’s a kid’s book and has the word revenge in the title–the illustrations are exquisite and the moral, well, every New Yorker obsessed with real estate, or the lack thereof, should read it.
I am a soldier on my second tour in Iraq. During my 2 week leave (when I went home), I found out my 15 year-old step-daughter has started smoking during my absence. Her mother knows about it, but didn’t tell me (she knew I would be pissed – both of our fathers died from lung cancer). While my wife doesn’t like it, she isn’t doing anything about it, besides being “disappointed.” My step daughter is a fantastic person, nice, talented, pretty and popular and I love her to death. I just don’t understand this aspect of her.
I haven’t done or said much yet (I almost exclusively leave the discipline to my wife so I am not the wicked step-father). Should I learn to live with this, or go native on her (i.e. take away the cell phone, computer etc)?
I am also wondering if I am being hypocritical; while I didn’t smoke, I was pretty much the poster wild child.
I don’t want to jeopardize my relationship with my step-daughter, but I’m not sure I can tolerate this. In my mind, a line has been crossed.
Dear Anti-Marlboro Man,
I can see and feel your pain, even through all the smoke. As the daughter of both a current smoker and an ex-smoker I can tell you this: it’s virtually impossible to convince someone to quit who doesn’t want to quit. It’s an addiction and addictions die hard. Harder than Bruce Willis’ next sequel.
Now, your step-daughter is 15. There’s a good chance this is merely a new habit that hasn’t been escalated to monkey-on-the-back-status yet. My gut tells me your step-daughter is trying to rebel a bit, trying to plant a stake into adulthood, trying to be cool. A wild child in the making, shall we say. And there’s nothing wrong with her wanting to grow up, it’s just that this isn’t the best first step to take.
My advice is this: if she wants to dabble in adult games, you should respond in an adult manner. Don’t scold. Don’t ground her. Don’t engage in any punishment that would also be appropriate for a nine year-old. Tell her you think she’s a fantastic, nice, talented, pretty person. Tell her you love her to death. Tell her how your father’s death affected you. Tell her you want her to be healthy and happy and a non-smoker. Don’t delve into your past; this isn’t a conversation about your life, it’s about hers.
Then, if you don’t have one already, get yourself a Twitter account and follow@kidrobot. They’re donating 10-cents to anti-smoking charities for every person that follows them in May. Tell your stepdaughter you’re following them in her honor. And tell her she can watch a Labbit meet its cancerous death tomorrow, for shits and giggles.
Going forward, I’d make this about her health. She wants to join a health club? Too bad, smoking and treadmills don’t mix. She wants to go on a yoga retreat with her friends? Nope, namaste and nicotine don’t play well together. She wants 20-bucks for a manicure? No way, they’re yellow anyway. The more her ‘punishment’ for smoking aligns with actual repercussions of smoking, the more effective they’ll be.
I hope this works. Otherwise, you’re grandkids might end up like this little fellow:
My daughter doesn’t like to sleep in her crib. I get daily reasons of why the crib is “scary,” how she wants to sleep in my room, how she wants to get out of bed to clean her room, or how she just “wants a snack.” I’m terrified she is going to jump out and bust her 2 year-old vertebrae. Doctors say she has to sleep train herself, but I just feel so bad at bedtime. What would you tell her? How would you convince her that her crib isn’t so bad?
This sounds like a very frustrating situation. Luckily, I have a solution.
The first thing I would do is get a nice bottle of Barolo and sit down with your daughter. Over a couple glasses, explain to her that there are much scarier places in the world than her crib. In a gentle and soothing voice, let your daughter know about these places. Tell her about office cubicles, tell her about sorority houses, tell her about flying coach, about the witness stand, about the Herald Square DMV, about the dressing room at Loehmann’s. If she can take it, don’t stop there. Tell her about Florida, tell her about Fox News, tell her about high school reunions.
The idea is for her to see her crib as it truly is: a blissful oasis in a truly frightening world.
Now, I’m not a parent. The last thing I want to do is misguide you, so I checked in with a friend of mine who is a mother. According to her, I’m way off base. She thinks a 2 year-old doesn’t have the palette to really appreciate a Barolo. It’s too bold. She says a Syrah is a more age-appropriate choice for this sort of child-rearing endeavor, and she recommends putting it in a sippy cup.
I’m a huge fan. Huuuuge. I know I am putting this heavy question in good hands.
My boyfriend, my partner, my everything moved to another freakin’ continent for a new job and other I-live-in-a-foreign-country glory. The plan is for me to follow ASAP. My friend said, “That’s great. But what are you getting out of it? He moves. You follow. Where’s the 50/50 in that?” I think she has a good point. But the only answer I have is: I love him. And he’s going to let me name our first-born child Tito.
Am I blinded by love or am I seeing clearly?
–Tito’s future mom
Dear Tito’s future mom,
Does your friend pay these guys $14.00 a month to maintain an advice column? Did she pay this guy a tidy sum for an awesome logo? Did she have these guys make her some gorgeous letterpress calling cards? I doubt it. Beware of taking advice from a non-branded, non-professional.
I have a few questions. First, how attached are you to this freakin’ continent? Do you love yourself some North America? Do you have trouble seeing yourself living in one of her sister continents? Or, to the contrary, when it comes to your Canadian, American and Mexican brethren, can you take us or leave us, at least for a temporary spell? Let’s say you were single and an amazing opportunity arose for you in a different place, is it something you’d go after? If not, you may want to stay stateside. But if so, I think it’s fair to say you have an adventurous personality, adventurous enough to take this leap if you want.
But, before you pack your bags and schedule the going-away festivities, I have another question. You say the plan is for you to follow ASAP. Is this your plan, your everything’s plan or a plan that belongs to you both? Is your boyfriend finding a place for you to live, either with him or on your own? Is he scouting out people, places and things that’ll make your life there fun? Are you investigating job or school or other vocational activities in said continent? For this to go well, I think it has to be something you both want very badly.
Now, before you break your lease and sublet your place, I have yet another question. Can you make this move benefit your life in some way? Can you find a great job or a great academic program? Can you learn a new skill that’ll take you further in life? I don’t know what you do, but the dreams and goals you have for yourself can’t be put on hold or squelched by this move. You need your own live-in-a-foreign-country glory, too. This is where the 50/50 comes into play.
I disagree with your friend. I’m not saying you should go, but I am saying there could be something good for you, too, in this intercontinental mission, should you choose to accept it. If you go, go for yourself, go for an adventure, go for an experience, go to add some glue to your relationship; don’t go for your boyfriend, don’t go just for love, don’t go to save your relationship. See the difference? And know that if you choose to move, you two might break up, but you and Paris or Singapore or Capetown, wherever it is, might always stay together.
I should add, the romantic in me really wants everyone to find the yin to their yang, the lid to their pot, the ball to their chain. If there are two people in this world who want to name their first-born Tito, and if these two people have actually found each other, then I think crossing a few international borders in order to stay together is the least they could do.
My husband and I have a friend who is a single woman in her early 40′s. About 4 years ago, she decided to have a baby with sperm donated from a sperm bank. We were very supportive and excited about the “new addition”. Skip to 4 years later. The child is adorable most of the time but both she and her mother, our friend, insist that she be the center of attention at every single gathering. She even wants to bring her to our daughter’s engagement party when we specifically, albeit delicately, told her that it’s an adults-only event. She even asked if people would be “mad” if her daughter didn’t come! Many of our friends and family members have expressed frustration and it’s affecting our friendship. How do we fix this without hurting our friend’s feelings?
First, I would like to commend you on your grammar; many don’t know the difference between affecting and effecting. Second, I love this question. It has all the juicy parts of life in it: sperm donation, single motherhood, an adorable child and adult-only events.
I have to say, more and more this is becoming a common topic among my circle of friends as more and more of them pro-create. And I will caveat my answer with the full-disclosure that I don’t have a kid. However, I’m well aware there is a time and a place for everyone. For example, I wouldn’t bring my father to a gyno appointment. I wouldn’t bring bring my boyfriend (if I had one) to a bachelorette party (unless he offered to jump out of a cake or something.) And I wouldn’t bring my boss to a job interview. It’s about logic…and logic is something your friend seems to be lacking these days.
I get the distinct feeling your friend can’t identify herself outside of motherhood. It seems she treats her daughter as her significant other, her +1, her partner in crime. A child is not a date, it’s an accessory. (This may seem harsh, but let me finish). Let’s say your friend were to wear a big red boa to the engagement party. Everyone would be oohing and ahhing over it, asking questions about it and wanting to touch it, maybe even try it on for themselves. Well, red boa=kid. The kid sucks up all the attention-attnetion that should be going to your daughter. It’s her night.
I suggest you say something like this to your friend, and be firm: “Friend, we really hope to see you at the party. We’re excited about celebrating our daughter’s engagement and having everyone who loves her around. Let me be clear, though, this is for adults only. This means Kid can’t come. She’s just so cute she’d take the focus away from our daughter and the real reason everyone is there. Plus, wouldn’t it be great for you to have a night off, you can come and let that inner-vixen out.” Then you might make some babysitter suggestions, if you have any.
Now, a few things might happen. Your friend might not come to the party. This is her choice, do not let it make you feel guilty. Or, the day before the party she may call and say she can’t find a sitter, then linger on the phone waiting for you to say it’s OK to bring the kid. Do not give in; the firmer you are now the easier it will be in the future. Lastly, and hopefully, your friend will come alone and have a great time. Reinforce her adult side that night if you can, talk about adult things, ask her about herself, her job, her dating life, a book she’s reading, who she might vote for…anything that gets her talking about herself more as a woman and less as a mom. She might just enjoy the break and have a fantastic time. Good luck.
I love your name and I’m thinking of naming my baby Piper. I’m worried about kids making fun of the name. Did kids make fun of you and if yes did it bother you?
Viper, sniper, hyper, diaper, griper, wiper. Did kids make fun of my name? Yes. But kids will make fun of anything that’s different about another kid. In hindsight, I’m glad to have been name Piper, though, because it was the easy target…had I been named Dawn (the runner-up name my parents were considering) then the kids would have probably made fun of my unique physical characteristics: the big mole that used to be on my nose, my lack of height, my badunk-a-dunk. So, my name kind of saved me.
As an adult, I have to say, I love being a Piper. There are no pre-conceived notions about what a Piper should be. A Tiffany should be girlie. A Kate should have a good head on her shoulders. Candy, well, she’s gonna spend a lot of time on her knees. But when you have a name that comes without a stereotype, you get to make it your own. It’s the ultimate exercise in creativity. So please, go right ahead and bring another Piper into the world.
I have been with my boyfriend since we were 18. Now we are 23. We have lived together since we graduated high school. We have a 4 yr old son. My boyfriend is about to buy a house but I don’t wanna move in unless we get married because I’m tired of him getting the milk for free. But what if I don’t move in and he moves on? What should i do?
Dear R Confused,
First of all, I want to commend you and your boyfriend for staying together and raising your child as a team. You two started a family at a very young age and many couples may not have stuck together this long.
Now, let’s address your question. You say you don’t want your boyfriend to continue getting the milk for free. Is he? If you two are maintaining a household together now, and if he’s buying a house with the intent of having you and your son move in, I have to disagree with your terminology…this doesn’t sound like a free ride on the dairy train to me. He seems to be pulling his weight and taking care of business.
But, you want to be married. I see no problem with that. I just hope you want to get married for more reasons than the one you listed. I hope you want to get married because you love your boyfriend, because you want to be a family (which, in my mind, the three of you already are). I hope you want to get married because you want to take your relationship to the next level. I think you should share with your boyfriend the reasons behind your wanting to be his wife. He might not be down with the idea right away, but give him time. I also think you should move in no matter what your boyfriend says about marriage; your child needs stability. If the little tyke is used to the two of you being together, the continuation of that lifestyle is in his best interest.
I should add that all this advice is given under the assumption that the relationship between you and your boyfriend is pretty good. You didn’t say otherwise. If, however, the two of you aren’t in love and if there are dire problems between you, everything I’ve said here is null and void. If that’s the case, write me again and we’ll do a ‘do-over.’