when did the School of Hard Knocks become first prize?

The straight up skinny on spoiling children versus breaking the poverty cycle.

“Growing up, my mother used to frequently say, “Money is the source of all evil.”

Not only was money evil but it was a personality killer, a relationship ruiner, and a poison to all things good and decent and fluffy in the world. Because of this, there was quite a shortage of things in my house: running water, reliable electricity, food…”

The Pride of Poverty and Spoiling Your Kids – Damn, Girl. Get Your Shit Together.

nobody tells you to buy stock in wet wipes

From a father in the trenches: 26 things he would have liked to know before becoming a parent.  Pass them along.  Add your own.  The grown ups have to stick together.

1. Putting children to bed two hours late means getting up two hours earlier the next day.

2. 90% of parenting is arguing over pants, basic hygiene, and how toast is cut.

3. The fact that shoes come in pairs means that God hates parents.”

26 No Bullsh*t Realities Of Parenting – Scary Mommy

Life before DVRs? Shocking, I know.

Yes, it’s another post about what kid life was like “back in the day.”  But it’s pretty damn funny.  Go have a laugh.

When I was a kid…

6. Everyone watched TV at 7:00

And we all watched the same TV shows at the same time, so we would sit at the lunch table the next day and talk about last night’s 90210 and how Brenda and Dylan broke up and no one at the table would yell, “NOOOOOOO, don’t tell me, I haven’t watched it yet!!!!”

When I was a kid – Baby Sideburns

the best of eavesdrop parenting

Most of you know I love a good eavesdrop.  It’s a great way to pass the time when you’re waiting at the pharmacy or get stuck with the slowest cashier on the planet.  Chilling before church, out for dinner, at the movies – basically anywhere you find mass humanity you’ll also find outstanding eavesdrop opportunities.

Granted, sometimes you end up with an earful of bunion complaints.  But sometimes you strike parenting gold.


junior: A couple of us are going for pizza and [mutter mutter mutter]…

mom: You think you’re gonna do what with your friends?! Boy, I’m never gonna be deaf enough for you to slip that one by me.


mama:  Stay with me, Tommy.  With me.  Right here.  Do we need to leave?  Then you have to – Tommy!  Get over here!  Touch the cart.  Yes.  Our cart.  Now hold on to the side.  You need to stay with mama – Tommy!  Where are you?!  Do we need to leave??



kid:  I hate applesauce.

dad:  Fine, then just eat the chicken.

kid:  I hate chicken nuggets.

dad:  What are you talking about, you ate them last night.  And every other night this week.

kid:  Well, I hate them now.  Hate them hate them hate them hate –

dad:  Fine!  Just eat the fries.

kid:  But I don’t feel like fries.  Or applesauce.  Or chicken nuggets.  I hate everything they make here, I don’t even know why you made me come when I really wanted to go to –

dad:  Ma’am! … We’ll need a to go box here.  And the check, please.  As soon as humanly possible.


preschooler:  But I don’t wanna go!  I wanna go down the slide ten more times and swing on the swings and climb through the tunnels and do the monkey bars but this time upside down, too, ’cause Kim hung by her knees and it was really cool so I want to hang, plus I still haven’t built a sandcastle or jumped hopscotch or done the tire swing or –

mama:  We’ve been here over an hour.  You have exactly 5 minutes before we leave so I guess you’d better get busy.

preschooler:  But I don’t –

mama:  4 minutes and 55 seconds left.


teen:  Oh, a biscuit!  I’m starving.  This is perfect, thanks.

mom:  ….

teen:  But you said I could hang out here during service, and I was really looking forward to it.  Why do I have to go in? … But why? … But you already said –

dad:  Don’t argue with your mom.

teen:  But she said I could hang out here, and I was really looking forward to just sitting on the couch and eating my biscuit –

dad:  You should be excited to sit with Jee-sus!

[omg, that is the absolute best line I have ever heard.  “You should be excited to sit with Jesus.”  Bwahahahaha!!]


learning curves: the ultimate parenting payback


The learning curve is real.  Really real.

For real.

Things I learned After Having Kids | All In A Dad’s Work

My kids are not me

Oh hell… Who am I kidding.  They’re more like me than I care to admit.  From “I had it a minute ago, I don’t know where it is now.”  To all the broken things.  They could tear the hinges off of Hades if only I hadn’t torn them off when I was their age.  However, they are more headstrong than I remember myself being.  I was a go-with-the-flow kind of kid.  These two are not.  They know what they want and they are not afraid to ask for it.  Or ask Nanny for it.  They’re also not afraid to argue their point of view.  They haven’t figured out this household isn’t a democracy.”

gratitude: Thanksgiving, a prelude

Half a step past Halloween and we’re solidly into NovemberDecember.  I’m calling it this from now on because there’s no point in kidding ourselves – November isn’t some sweet spot in fall when leaves slowly change as we sip hot apple cider.  December isn’t a leisurely waltz into winter either.  These two months combine into the holy grail of activity as families revolve around each other.

Yep.  Welcome to NovemberDecember.

On the way home from school last week Bear asked me which holiday was my favorite and, like a typical mama, I turned it around on her.  And she told me – wait for it – that most of her friends say Christmas is their favorite because of gifts (duh), but that her favorite is Thanksgiving.  Because Thanksgiving makes her think about being together with everyone she loves.  Thanksgiving is about family and good food.

It may or may not be because we’ve started watching This Is Us, but that answer?  That one made me just a teeny bit weepy.  It’s all the feels.


mistakes accepted but not forgotten

Parenting.  The place where perfect people go to crash and burn.

Seriously, I’ve yet to meet a parent who says they knocked it out of the park.  I mean, a bunch of us think our kids are turning out pretty great and all, but there’s always that one thing…oh hell, who am I kidding, there’s usually a bunch of things we look back on and think huh, would’ve done that one differently if I had the chance.

As I’m constantly telling my kids, though, we deserve grace.  We need to be gentle with ourselves, accepting we did the best we could at the time with the knowledge we had.  I’m doing pretty well on this particular front…but that doesn’t mean certain mistakes haven’t dug a little deeper into my memory banks than others.

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just remember, it’s a real person in there

Certain things in life carry long term consequences.  Defrauding the government.  Murdering your ex-wife.  Maxing out then defaulting on six credit cards.

When it comes to kids, though, they’d argue that the name you hang around their neck affects them for life.  No pressure but, you know…tread gently.

“So without further a-doo-doo, here are a few baby names that maybe you shouldn’t name your newborn:


When your baby won’t sleep more than 16 minutes straight and she’s sinking her piranha jaws into your calloused nips and you feel like you’ve entered a hell you never knew existed, suddenly it might dawn on you that naming your newborn “heaven” spelled backward was the opposite of brilliant.  Here’s an idea, maybe you should have named her lleh.”

A few baby names you probably shouldn’t choose, just sayin’ : Baby Sideburns