Fatherhood Dispatch

How to Talk to Your Child About Elon Musk

In this day and age, it can be hard to keep your child from being exposed to Elon Musk. Although you may do your best on the home front, they may inevitably stumble across a profile piece or news item on TV at a friend’s house or the computer at the school library. For that reason, it’s better to be prepared for your child’s eventual exposure to Elon Musk and to know how to respond to the questions you may be asked.

If your child asks why you’re not a billionaire like Elon Musk.

Tell your child that Elon Musk is highly unusual, as exemplified by his strange name. Tell your child that if your parents had named you Zambor Dweemoflux you might very well have become a billionaire too, but the fact of the matter is you’re stuck with Jim or Linda or Steve and a normal surname. This is a good opportunity to inform them that life isn’t always “fair” and not everyone gets a circus name like Elon Musk or Sepp Blatter that simply lends itself to being crazy wealthy.

If your child asks why Elon Musk seemingly generates amazing ideas on routine trips to the bathroom.

Tell your child that before he/she was born you too had a groundbreaking idea for a rainbow-powered washing machine. Let them know you were on the verge of getting a patent and becoming fabulously wealthy but then they happened. Tell them you selflessly let your dreams die so that you could focus on being a “hands on” parent because Harry Chapin’s Cat’s In The Cradle really freaked you out.

If your child asks why you’ve still failed to build a toolshed in the backyard while Elon Musk creates multiple corporations with the snap of his fingers.

Make sure your child understands that Elon Musk is an abomination created in human form – the love child of two ender-demons, Gorshak and Melkanor from the seventh circle of Hell. Tell him/her that he was born specifically to make everyone else in the world look like serial underachievers and feel bad about themselves. Tell your child that you are “The Chosen One” and that in order to prevent Elon Musk from his nefarious goal of spreading global unhappiness and dissatisfaction with everyone else’s relatively pathetic accomplishments they must never again acknowledge the demon-spawn’s profane victories.

If that doesn’t work, take away your child’s iPad until they stop bringing his name up.

FAQ: The Back Cover of Shel Silverstein’s classic, The Giving Tree

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The Giving Tree is Shel Silverstein’s 1964 classic children’s book which has been translated into over 30 languages. In it, a tree is so in love with a little boy that it ultimately sacrifices everything for him. To this day, it is perceived as either a tale of selflessness and undying love (the tree), or one of selfishness (the boy). The book is encased in a green dust jacket that features a large, terrifying photograph of the author on the back.
Is the terrifying photograph of the author a mugshot taken of the author after he was accused of murder or something?
No. This is presumably the 1960s publicity shot of the author, Shel Silverstein.
Who took the terrifying photograph of Shel Silverstein that the publisher decided should be on the back cover?
Hard to say. One can probably assume that the photograph was taken by someone who marketed themselves as a professional photographer, in the same way that Ashlee Simpson markets herself as a professional singer.
What is the reason behind enlarging a terrifying photograph of the author and putting it on the back of a children’s book?
Publishers do many things that neither readers nor authors quite understand. In this instance, the publisher decided that children might like to see that the man who wrote the book 40 years ago was somewhat intimidating and had chipped teeth. This could serve as inspiration to children that they too could one day scare children and write books for them.
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Book: Struwwelpeter (Shock-Headed Peter)

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A little over 150 years ago a German father decided that there were no good books to read to his son and endeavored to write and illustrate his very own. There were several lessons he aimed to teach his child and, being German, he didn’t beat around the bush. The lessons included things like:

  • If you play with matches you will burn to death and cats will cry on your ashes.
  • If you don’t eat your supper you will starve to death.
  • A tailor with giant shears will snip your thumbs off if you don’t stop sucking them.

And so was born Struwwelpeter (Shock-Headed Peter) a book I was completely unaware existed until a good friend said, “You really have to get this book.” I did, because I do everything he says, and I don’t regret it a single bit. In an age of sterile, soulless books for children this is a most refreshing one – and that goes for the adult as well. I’d much rather read about a boy suffering for his maltreatment of animals than I would anything shat out by the Baby Einstein empire. Not many books have morals like if you go out in a storm you will be blown to your doom.
The book’s title comes from one of the book’s stories about a boy who is poorly groomed – so no one likes him. Compared to the other tales he gets off pretty easy.
You can find Struwwelpeter on Amazon.


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Children’s Shows I’d Like To See

Captain Reality and the Truthbots
Captain Reality travels the planet in his ship The Decoddler with his gang of non-bush-beat-arounding Truthbots and tells kids that we’re not all great or special and in fact some of us are horribly flawed.
Dora’s Parents
Dora’s mother and father finally appear and prevent their daughter from wandering the jungle alone, shouting at people in Spanish.
The Show That Has No Merchandise
Bop, giggle, wiggle and play in the wonderful world of Zabaloo! There’s Percy the Squid, Magic Muffin, Izelda the Talking Star and many more great characters – none of whom you’ll find in stores. And they don’t have live shows with $65 tickets and $15 snow cones. And they don’t endorse cereal or vitamins.
Baby Brainy
Filmed in a garage. An adorable dime-store puppet makes kids smarter by telling parents to turn off the damn TV and get their kids out of the house.

Crazee Mommy Outfitters

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We all know that germ-ridden supermarket carts have maimed and killed millions of children. In fact, it’s a wonder any of us survived those childhood trips to the supermarket. Fortunately those days are behind us. The Protecto Shopping Cart Cover takes our children out of microbial harm’s way so we can focus our worry on pedophiles and nut allergies. The Protecto is no more cumbersome than a large comforter, and no more embarrassing than shuffling through a town assembly with your pants around your ankles. Best of all it assembles in less than an hour, so it won’t detract from Purell and Clorox shopping expeditions.
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It used to be that when food was too hot to serve to your child you’d have to wait for it to cool down. And wait. And wait. Sometimes up to 2 minutes. With Mr. McCool, your waiting time is cut in half! Using patented put-this-in-the-freezer technology, the Mr. McCool actually turns cold when put in the freezer. Put hot food on it and it cools down. It’s like having a cold plate but it’s plastic and can’t go in the dishwasher.
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“Mommy? Can you put my juice box in a plastic container?” No doubt you’ve lost track of how many times you’ve heard that. Until now, children were expected to simply hold on to their juice boxes as they drank from them – like animals! Juice Pal holds your child’s juice box in a non-disposable plastic container, giving you something to carry around everywhere while at the same time allowing your child to avoid holding an actual juice box.
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We’ve all heard horror stories about children who drop spoons on the floor. That trauma is a thing of the past with Tetherspoon! By affixing your child’s spoon to the table the Tetherspoon prevents unpleasant spoon droppage, while at the same time teaching him that utensils are awkward to use because they’re affixed to the table.
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Soon, the holocaust of popsicle drippage will be but an unpleasant memory thanks to Drip Catcher. Simply attach to your child’s frozen treat and watch as the compressed sponge catches and absorbs every naughty drip! When your child is finished simply throw the drip-soaked sponge in a landfill and forget the whole thing ever happened, leaving your humiliated child’s shirt delightfully stain-free.
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All Crazee Mommy purchases come with Kneepadz to protect your child in case he accidentally crawls.

Me vs. Sesame Place

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
COUNTY OF NEW YORK
—————————————-X
BRIAN SACK AKA DAD
PLAINTIFF
VS.
SESAME PLACE
DEFENDANT
—————————————-X
Plaintiff, complaining as he does about many things, alleges as follows:
1. That plaintiff is a resident of New York.
2. That defendant, Sesame Place amusement park, is located somewhere in Pennsylvania, conveniently located only 90 minutes from Manhattan assuming you use your fancy GPS device properly.
3. That prior to incident, plaintiff had a long-term childhood relationship with Sesame Street, fond memories of Sesame Street, and considered Sesame Street a friend and by extension assumed Sesame Place was filled with friendly characters and honest Muppetry.
4. That on the morning of Sunday, 14 October 2007, plaintiff brought his three-year old son to Sesame Place with the expectation that they would have a pleasant father-son adventure away from home while giving plaintiff’s wife a well-deserved break.
5. That plaintiff first began to experience doubts and discomfort approximately eight seconds after arriving at Sesame Place, when he was charged $13 for parking in an empty lot.
6. That upon arrival at the front entrance to the park, plaintiff was financially assaulted and egregious harm caused to his wallet when Sesame Place removed $95.94 from it for admission for one adult and one child.
7. That when confronted, the be-pimpled ticketing clerk did say, “Yeah, I think it’s lame we charge adults the same as we charge the kids, especially since you don’t enjoy the rides.”
8. That upon entering the park plaintiff was immediately asked if he wanted a photograph for an undisclosed sum.
9. That while in the park, plaintiff was forced to carry his child’s unnecessary jacket and other items because storage lockers were rented for no less than $15.
10. That during lunch hours, plaintiff paid exactly $20 for: one hot dog with fries, one individual pizza with fries, one gelatin parfait and one bottle of water.
11. That the “individual pizza” was misidentified and was in fact a tablespoon of dough with a red stain on it.
12. That half the park was rendered useless because water-based attractions are somewhat unfeasible in October.
13. That carnival games such as “ring toss”, “fishing”, “whack a potato” and “ball toss” were $5 each to play.
14. That a video copy of plaintiff and son riding the “Vapor Trail” roller coaster was $13.95 plus tax.
15. That a bottle of water delivered via vending machine was priced at $2.50, while the same bottle of water delivered via overweight Pennsylvania teenager was $2.79.
16. That, during the time spent at Sesame Place, plaintiff felt in danger of financial assault at every turn and felt great concern that his son would see his father suffering financial abuse at the hands of Muppets.
17. That, having had his childhood Sesame Street memories shattered by Sesame Place, plaintiff has suffered emotional and financial trauma at the hands of Elmo and his fellow racketeers.
18. That, unable to endorse Sesame Street any further, plaintiff must seek alternate television programming to raise his son with. But not Dora the Explorer because she shouts at you in Spanish.
19. That plaintiff can no longer work or function in a normal capacity as a result of mental duress and serious injury to various and diverse parts of his person and that this suffering is of a permanent nature.
20. That plaintiff will forever seek psychiatric and financial assistance as a result of his visit to Sesame Place.
21. That plaintiff fears his son will suffer emotional trauma when he requests to return to Sesame Place and the request is denied.
WHEREFORE, plaintiff demands judgment against the defendant for indecent pricing, financial assault, exposing financial assault to a minor, reckless charging and unlawful pizza.
Dated: 18 October 2007

How I Spent My Weekend

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You can always tell your wife is in labor because she makes labor sounds like “Let’s go” and “You need to turn off the Xbox now.” If you listen closely to the wombish area, you’ll also hear her say “stop wasting time” and “I don’t want to deliver in the taxi.”
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Columbia Presbyterian’s Washington Heights location offers you a great view. If you look 160 blocks south you’ll see the part of Manhattan you wish the hospital was in.
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We chose Columbia-Presbyterian because their delivery rooms are state-of-the-art and spacious. The rooms at St. Luke’s and St. Vincent’s only have an abacus and just enough room for you and half a nurse.
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$300,000 worth of high-tech beeping equipment that you need six years of school to use, yet they still don’t know how to spell “maintenance” correctly.
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Our OB/GYN has been doing her thing since before I was born, yet hospital bureaucrats make her feel like a TGI Friday’s waitress by forcing her to wear this humiliating badge.
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This cart contains all the magical ingredients for an epidural. A man will look at it with indifference, but a woman in labor will say “put all of that in my spine right now.”
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Delivery is much faster the second time because the first child left hints. After the birth you are removed from the nice high-tech room and placed in the less nice recovery room. Mommy gets a nice bed and daddy gets this Saudi torture device.
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Baby gets put in the same kind of plastic bin I used to store tortilla chips in when I was a busboy at El Torito – hence the expression “Doesn’t he look like a pile of tortilla chips?”
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While your wife and child are recuperating you can take time out to capture egregious spelling errors in the neighborhood.
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…and wonder when exactly your wife had her affair with Dolph Lundgren.

My First Sober Concert

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The number of concerts I have seen is minimal. My brother says this is because I hate music. I don’t hate music, really, I just can’t be bothered to listen to it that often. An iPod is out of the question as I need to hear the phone conversations of those around me. I do not own a car. And putting on a CD, like cleaning the shower, seldom crosses my mind. Even when I worked for a radio station I rarely attended their live music events. I hated the dismal playlist and tuned in only to hear how my comedy bits turned out. Overall I’ve never been a music buff and the idea of sitting or standing still and watching a band is so painful that I have avoided doing so as often as possible.
My first concert was Madonna, and for that I am ashamed. Even though the Beastie Boys opened for them I still can’t get rid of the taint. I hit a snowbank and trashed my car on the way to see Rush. In my lifetime I have seen the Smiths, Beautiful South, Divine Comedy, B-52s, Elton John, Cousteau and a few others I can’t recall. I saw Shawn Mullins and John Mayer only because I knew them, which makes seeing a concert more interesting. The fact of the matter is I pretty much can’t stand concerts and to tolerate them requires that I drink a lot.
Unfortunately this is not possible when seeing the Wiggles. The Wiggles are a children’s act, and as a result I will have a child with me. It would be unbecoming to be slurring the words to Hot Potato with a child in tow.
The Wiggles consist of four men: Jeff, Murray, Anthony and Greg. They each have a color and a shtick: Jeff wears purple and is narcoleptic. Murray wears red and plays guitar. Anthony wears blue and overeats healthy things. Greg wears yellow and likes to do magic tricks, like a non-gay David Copperfield.
The troupe is accompanied by a pirate who doesn’t rape and kill but rather tickles people (Captain Feathersword), an octopus that likes to dance (Henry) an intelligent dog (Wags) and a dinosaur that eats roses (Dorothy). They have some dancers. They make incredible sums of money.
In the cesspool of children’s entertainment the Wiggles are quite tolerable. In part this is because they appear organic – not the product of a corporate boardroom meeting. That would be the opposite of the terrifyingly insincere and creepy Barney or the Wiggles rip-off The Doodlebops – a soulless pre-fab show with two flaming gents with mops on their heads and a chubby girl dressed as a piano. Everything about The Doodlebops suggests it was designed to sell albums, concert tickets and merchandise.
The fact that the Wiggles aren’t awful means that I am willing to pay $69 a ticket plus a $10 service charge to see them, sober, in concert with my son. $158 gets me two seats, front and center, purchased via Craigslist from a woman whose husband I will wind up shushing halfway through the show. He was bellowing at length to a friend about a PowerPoint presentation, and for the money I paid I want to hear lyrics like “Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga, Big Red Car.”
Popcorn is $4.50 for a cereal-sized box. My son takes a great liking to it. This is because he has never had popcorn before, and that is because he’s not old enough to eat popcorn. This is something I did not know until later when I told my wife what the boy ate during the show.
A liter of Coke is also $4.50 – giving me yet another reason not to see concerts. Despite it being a children’s show the vendors passing by us do not appear to have food or drink for children. I believe this to be more of a Madison Square Garden rather than Wiggles oversight. As a result of the venue’s apparent juicelessness this will also be my son’s first experience with large quantities of Coke (a.k.a. diabetes juice).
A woman announces that the Wiggle named Greg is ill and back in Australia. I can’t remember if he’s the yellow or blue one. The audience moans before giving up a round of applause for the replacement, Sammy.
After the co-stars dance to a medley of Wiggles songs – most of which we’ll be hearing in the next hour and fifteen minutes – the four main characters arrive on stage in the Big Red Car, a car that is big and red. The lyrics have cleverly changed to reflect that it’s Sammy driving the Big Red Car and not Greg who’s illin’ in Oz.
From the beginning it becomes clear that my son really enjoys popcorn. He eats handfuls of it, and despite having a $79 seat of his own chooses to sit on my lap while doing so. In the row in front of me is a large woman, her son and her husband. The large woman is very, very excited about the show. I come to this conclusion after watching her shout, jiggle and generally get way too into the whole scene. She’s about three clicks of the dial short of a Beatles on Ed Sullivan level of enthusiasm. It is too much enthusiasm for me to feel comfortable in her presence.
My son is unusually placid, eating popcorn and taking in the scenery. I would have to say that the show was 35% of the reason he stayed still. The remaining 65% was his newfound love for popped corn.
Each Wiggles character has songs specifically about them, and we’re treated to most of them – which makes sense. If you’re going to fly a woman in a rose-eating dinosaur outfit over from Australia you’d better sing about her. I have to keep reminding myself not to be judgmental – that lyrics like “fruit salad, yummy yummy” aren’t meant for me.
This being my first Wiggles concert, I am unaware that many individuals approach the show in the same manner as the Rocky Horror crowd. People bring roses for Dorothy the Dinosaur and bones for Wags the Dog. This gives the cast a chance to dash out into the audience to mingle as they collect the tributes – something that excites many small children and the large woman in front of me. “We love you Jeff! We love you!” she screams at one point. At another she frantically waves a rose in my face, desperate to catch the attention of Captain Feathersword standing in the aisle behind me – ostensibly for her child’s benefit, but really for her own. For the bulk of the show her husband sat quietly, no doubt pining for a slimmer, rational wife who didn’t go batshit crazy for lyrics like “quack quack quack quack cock-a-doodle-doo.”
During the course of the concert I realize how pervasive the Wiggles are and how they have completely infiltrated my life. I know all the songs. I know all the lyrics. I haven’t memorized lyrics since 2000 when my take on Eminem’s The Real Slim Shady topped the now defunct mp3.com charts. But now here I am, able to sing along like the crazy lady in front of me and a lot of other folks. But I do so very subtly, primarily because I’m a fairly normal non-toddler who is easily shamed.
Children dance in the aisles, and it should be noted that all children – regardless of race – lack rhythm.
The show has all the necessary things to appeal to children: bubbles, a disco ball, large screens, spotted dinosaurs. Lyrics like “see him dance in his pirate pants” are amusing – for my sober self anyway.
Again, what sets the Wiggles apart from an abomination like Barney is a sense that this is a labor of love, not profit. The performers crack each other up and generally seem to be having a good, not-very choreographed time. That said, they’re making a fortune, not only through ticket sales but souvenir junk like programs, apparel and $15 flashlights. But there’s a reason I am at a Wiggles concert, and it’s because they’re the only folks I think I could stomach. Besides, the only other show my son watches is the 1974 debut episode of Sid & Marty Krofft’s Land of the Lost – a special effects suckstravaganza I’ve effectively committed to memory by now.
After a little over an hour they announce the last song and offer the obligatory “You’ve been a great audience!” At other concerts, like when I beer-slept through the latter half of Elton John, this all would have been a blur. But tonight is a special night and I haven’t had a smidgen of firewater. I can recall the whole show and if I had a car I could drive it.
The last song ends, and so does the show. Lots of applause. The crazy lady in front of me wraps up her seizure. My son completes his popcorn eradication program. Unlike most concerts there is no encore. This is great because I always hated the idea of encores. When you are finished singing I do not want you to hang out backstage and make me labor for your return. I want you to exit, so that I may begin making my way out of the venue. That’s exactly what happens. Show over, lights on, and I join the throngs of parents running the gauntlet of $15 tchotchkes to make their way home – presumably for a beer.

Effects Of Toilet Water On The LG VX-7000 Cellular Phone

Hypothesis:
An LG VX-7000 cellular phone dropped into a toilet by an overly-mobile 9-month old will probably not function well.
Explanation:
The prevailing theory among scientists in this field of study is that non-water resistant electronic devices are harmed by immersion in water – whether it be from a toilet bowl or the Hudson.
However, rather than pass a sweeping generalization over all non-water resistant devices, it has been decided that all such devices should be tested individually for the sake of full scientific understanding.
In this case, the LG VX-7000 cellular phone.
This is one in a string of tests of electronic devices conducted by 9-Month Old Scientist, coming right on the heels of the groundbreaking Effects Of A Hardwood Floor On The Logitech Harmony Remote Control, the notable Aerodynamic Properties Of Battery-Operated Devices and the memorable Potential Hazards Of Diaper Cream On Sony Portable CD Players.
Details:
The test was initiated by 9-Month Old Scientist while the Elder Scientist was fetching a bath towel. The decision to proceed came after 9-Month Old Scientist developed the ability to crawl into the bathroom while holding an LG VX-7000 cellular phone, stand with the assistance of a toilet, and deposit said phone into the toilet bowl.
A Ka-Plonk noise served as the indication that testing had commenced.
Upon hearing the testing commence, Elder Scientist attempted to conclude the test and determine the results as quickly as possible.
9-Month Old Scientist then began to study the physical properties of toilet water with his hands, an unrelated test.
Observations:
The LG VX-7000 cellular phone, when deposited in water, becomes wet.
Removal of the LG VX-7000 cellular phone from the bottom of a toilet bowl is a potentially unpleasant experience, as the size of the phone makes it liable to lodge tightly in the bottom of the bowl. This requires extended hands-in-toilet time which many consider objectionable.
Upon removal of the LG VX-7000 cellular phone, the phone’s lights flashed and the phone vibrated as if a call were incoming. There was no incoming call, and the phone did not cease vibrating as would be considered normal.
The phone powered down without use of the on/off button, again unusual.
When powered up again, the phone began to vibrate. Again, no incoming call, and the vibration would not stop.
It should be noted that the phone was not set to vibrate anyway.
Buttons on the phone did not seem to be responsive, and the on/off button did not produce the desired result. This required a new method of turning the phone on and off, which involved removing the battery entirely.
A decision was made by Elder Scientist to let the phone sit overnight in a temperature-controlled environment, such as the top of the air conditioner. This was done in the interest of removing additional water from the interior of the device. 9-Month Old Scientist was then bathed.
The following day, when 9-Month Old Scientist started work at 5:25am, Elder Scientist re-assembled the LG VX-7000 cellular phone and resumed the test.
It is believed that water has had a detrimental effect to the LCD screen, as it suffers from what can be called “LCD blotching.”
The screen which protects the LCD is now somewhat fogged, like the windows of a 1987 Chevrolet Cavalier.
The phone’s tendency to randomly power-down is troubling.
The camera seems to function normally until you attempt to take a picture. This results in a powering-down of the phone which is not normal, and does not produce a picture.
The voicemail function works and will allow you to leave a message telling people not to call your toilet phone for the time being.
The speaker works when the phone is on – which is sometimes, as it powers down at random.
The Number 7 key is now Speed Dial.
The Number 8 key produces no number 8.
Conclusion:
The LG VX-7000 has a low tolerance for toilet water, and is not a suitable toy for 9-Month Old Scientists.

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Message Threads From The Negligent Parent Forum

How can I stop my baby from teething?
Where’s a good place to learn my kidren?
How do u prevent malnourishment?
Goats nipping newborn when he sleeps. Any suggs?
My 7 year old wanta go to school she ready?
WHAT FOODS ISN’T SOLID?
Baby cold. Cry. Frostbite?
Sleeping 38 hours solid and counting!
Trying to homeschool, but homeless. Solution?
bitch dont shut up
Baby dont got no teeth, bubblegum ok?
Homemade crib got splinters. Help!!!!!!!!
Baby allergic to poison ivy.
How much Ambien for a colicky 9 week old?
Lost him. Now what?
safest time to leave baby unattended
Cold out – sweater?
baby scared of screams
Posion Control open Sundays or should I wait?
diaper don’t fit over pants
Baby seems selfish.

Cats Do Not Like Change

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Cats do not like change – which explains why they do not like being relocated to new houses and why they rejected Kerry’s message, overwhelmingly voting for Bush in the recent election.
With their preference for routine, it’s quite understandable that many cats are troubled by the appearance of new humans in the household. When presented with such dramatic change they react in one of two ways:
1. They hide under the bed or behind furniture.
2. They eat the dramatic change.
To determine the course of action your feline acquaintance has chosen is easy: look under the bed and behind the sofa. If your cat is not found there, odds are he’s considering the consumption track.
Furthermore, if your cat is seated three feet from the new human and looks pensive, he’s more than likely abandoned a defensive posture and is instead developing a plan that may contain a tragic eat-your-child scenario.
If your cat has reached this state, you’ll need to sit down with him and have a chat – which is French for “cat”, ironically enough.
Reassurance is key here. If you can ease a cat’s fears that he’s being moved to the side, he is more likely to accept the new addition and adapt to it – rather than devour it during naptime. Even though all your actions speak to the fact that he is indeed being put to the side, it should be easy to convince him otherwise – he has a brain the size of a fig. He lacks fully developed logic and reasoning, like a press release from Barbra Streisand.
Use a soothing voice, reassuringly put your hand on one of the cat’s thighs and explain to him why he should not eat your child.
Try reason: I put a lot of work into this child, and I would appreciate you not eating him. He is very nice.
If reason fails, try bargaining: If you do not eat the child, who is very nice, I will give you extra tartar-control snacklets.
When all else fails, you may have to threaten: If you eat this nice child you will get a serious misting from the spray bottle, and you hate that.
It is important to remember that all you are doing is buying time. At some point, hopefully, the child will develop defensive and offensive capabilities. He will also be too big to eat.
After the umpteenth time your cat’s tail has been treated like the starter-cord from a lawnmower, he will realize – too late – that he should have acted on his initial impulse. The ability to see long-term is what separates us from animals that chase light from laser pens.

The AMS Sleep Prevention System

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In the old days, if you wanted to get up at a certain time you’d use an alarm clock. You’d drift off to sleep only to be awakened rudely some several hours later by a buzz, music, or 1010 WINS traffic report. Sure, you’d make your flight or your business meeting – but is that really the way you want to start your day?
Enter the AMS Sleep Prevention System. With AMS, there’s no sleep to wake you from! That’s because the AMS Sleep Prevention System features an advanced technology that actually detects when you’re about to drift off and dream.
Your fading consciousness triggers the patented No Worse Sound On Earth alarm – guaranteeing no sleep comes your way. That means you’re ready for your 7:30 flight at 2:00! Have an audition later in the day? With AMS, you’re ready the day before, no matter how exhausted you are. You can’t oversleep if you can’t sleep – and that’s the AMS guarantee.
Specifications:
The AMS Sleep Prevention System runs on two 34D batteries.
Alarm Modes: Grunt, Advanced Grunt, Fidget, Coo, Weep, Wail, Ear Piercing Shriek.
Random Snooze Modes: 3 minutes, 23 minutes, about an hour, close to two hours.
Self-soiling.
The AMS Sleep Prevention System is guaranteed for about a year, so it seems.
No returns.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Labor & Delivery

THE EARLY STAGES
Nobody really expects their baby to arrive on the due date, which is why the night before it’s perfectly normal to go out and have many adult beverages with your friend while your wife stays at home groaning with pregnancy-related pains and annoyances.
That said, you should not be surprised when she calls you at 2:15am the date of expected delivery to tell you she doesn’t “feel well.” This is in fact woman-code. Rather than alarm the male by screaming “It’s happening!” the female has learned over thousands of years to simply hint at being “unwell” so as to encourage the male to finish his mojito, pay his bar tab and return to the domicile.
Unlike movies and television suggest, the beginning of labor is not an occasion to rush to the hospital at 100 miles per hour. Rather, it is time to prepare oneself mentally for the coming event: the $24 taxi fare. It is also not unusual for impending parenthood to cross your mind.
Childbirth classes encourage those in early labor to mill about the house, take a long stroll, do laundry or even as we’d been told with a straight face, “see a movie.” Unfortunately for us, Alien vs. Predator was not playing anywhere near us in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Instead, my wife cleaned the kitchen while I repeated “Are you sure? Are you sure?” until I was able to catch a quick nap, its quality greatly reduced by the aforementioned adult beverage consumption.
Eventually there will be a moment when your wife believes, quite strongly, that it is time. No matter how much the male asks “Are you sure? Are you sure?” the answer becomes and stays “Yes!” delivered with an increasing amount of confidence and belly-holding. At that point, no matter how much of a nap he is wanting, the male must concede defeat and assume that his partner really is sure. To the male this means he is soon to be a father. To the female it means she is soon to be a mother, married to a drunkard.

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