Sunday, August 29, 2010

Great Moments in Bonehead Parenting


Welcome to a new segment at Busy-Dad-E called:

Great Moments in Bonehead Parenting

Let's face it, sometimes the chronic fatigue of parenting catches up to us and we start to or actually pull a "what was I not thinking."

I had once such moment here recently.

The entire family had gone out for frozen yogurt after dinner. As we were leaving, I was carrying Bab-E Brother.

Because he wanted to be carried Little Brother spontaneously decided he was unable to walk, and after Mom-E picked him up, that Dad-E would be his official carrier.

No problem. Mom-E make this kind of swap all the time.


Seeing Mom-E's arms chock-full-o toddler, purse, and bottle of water, I refelxively started to set Bab-E Brother down on his feet.

The only problem being that at age 7 months, he's unable to stand.

Oops. Sorry pal. Apparently you're very mature for your age.

Now go ahead and exhale, because--fortunately--I never let go of his arms, which would've doomed him to a certain fall and trip to the ER.

That near-miss earned me some Bonehead Parent points.

Apparently, I needed a nap.

So while I'm resting, I'd love to hear how I'm not the only Bonehead around.

Have a good week,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Straws and Mesh Bags

Happy Fatherhood Friday. When you're finished with your snack, be sure to check out the buffet of great bloggers pver at

So Bab-E Brother REALLY likes to eat people food from these little Munchkin-brand mesh bags

(Never mind that they're a royal pain to clean.)

The funny part is that he'll pretty much only eat bananas out of them. (Try to put anything else in there, and he'll spit it out, but bananas are like "crack for babies.")

Lately, we've also found that Bab-E Brother LOVES to hold a straw while he's sitting in the high chair. (It keeps him from trying to grab his spoon with EVERY bite, thereby flinging baby food all over himself and the surrounding county.)

Giving him a straw also buys you at least 5 minutes to get his food ready without any screaming.

The other day at the park, Mom-E did a little natural "experiment":
Bab-E Brother was already holding a straw.

Mom-E proceeded to put a banana in a mesh bag and presented it to him.

So what do you think happened. Did he:
a. Hold on to the coveted straw, ignoring the mesh bag.
b. Ditch the straw in favor of his banana baby-crack bag.
c. Spontaneously combust, being unable to decide between the two.

Note that this experiment is akin to:
Cats always land on their feet.
Bread always lands butter-side down
What happens if you drop a cat with a slice of bread strapped to its back, butter-side up?


And the answer is:
d. Fuss until Mom-E holds the mesh bag for him so that he can eat it WHILE still holding/playing with the straw.

(Never tried the cat/bread experiment.)

Oh man, babies are smart.

Master adult manipulator, already before the age of 8 months.

Have a good week,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Green Pepper Boys

Happy non-Wordless Wednesday (since dad-blogs hasn't posted such a link in a few weeks now)!

So instead of a picture today, I've decided to paint for you a mental picture.

Despite a prety high level of picky eating on the part of Big Brother and Little Brother (Bab-E Brother is still in that honeymoon phase where table food is all new and pretty good), the boys have always been champs about eating their veggies. Seriously.

And if there's a gene for liking to eat raw green bell peppers, I probably passed it on to the boys.

My mom used to tell stories of taking me to the store with her, and I'd ride in the cart, snacking on a raw green pepper like it was an apple, while she shopped. Apparently, that garnered quite a few odd stares from strangers. Funny thing is that I have vauge memories of doing that.

But the boys like their green peppers, too, although sometimes they need a little encouragement, especially Little Brother.

Lately, I've resorted to turning eating vegetables into a game, which seems to work well for Little Brother. Although admittedly my strategy has made might make for some awkward scenarios while eating in public.

The game is simple: pretend the green peppers are something else, and suddenly they're much more exciting to eat.

So far, we've turned green peppers into:
-Fingers (and when he takes a bit, I yelp in pain with "Ow, you just bit my finger!"
-Wolverine's claws
-Lizzard tongues



Hey, we have 3 boys age 5 and under. We deal with boogers in bulk. You gotta make 'em funny or die.

My favorite is to cover my nose with my hands while palming the green pepper, make a fake a-choo, and open them up to reveal a long green pepper "booger" dangling from my nose.

(I warned you it could make for an awkward situation in public.)

But the boys giggle so much with excitement, you'd think I was giving them chocolate.

Eat your veggies not your boogers
See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Milk Sign

One of my very first posts was about baby sign language.

If you're not familiar with this concept, it's worth checking out.

Mom-E and I have used baby signs with all 3 boys, and it's wonderful, both from a frustration-reducing and a babies-are-just-plain amazing perspective.

Within the last week, Bab-E Brother has started to (pretty consistently) make his first sign--MILK (what else would it be)--before the ripe old age of 8 months. (Every child is different, but most make their first sign somewhere between 7-12 months).

Long gone are the days of trying to keep track of the timings of his feedings, to figure out if he's crying because he's hungry.

Now, he just tells us. It's awesome.

And he doesn't just make the sign for us. He uses it with the lady who watches the boys when Mom-E and Dad-E are both at work, too.

And it's amazing, given that his current verbal communication consists of making raspberries until everything in a 3-foot radius has been completely liquified.

But this nonverbal communication is a refreshing sign that his hamster wheel is spinning just fine.

The key with Baby Signs--and the key to most things in life, for that matter--is persistence. Every time Mom-E fed him for the last 2 months, she'd make the milk sign when she had his attention.

And now that persistence is paying its dividends.

The next signs we'll add will be "EAT" and "MORE".

(Although technically he already says eat, because putting him in his high chair usually elicits a response of MMM...MMM...MMM...)

Have a good week,

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Happy Fatherhood Friday. When you're finished perusing my site, be sure to go spy on the other great bloggers at

So recently, Mom-E and I joined the local Family Y

It makes me feel old, but when I was growing up, I knew the Family Y as the YMCA.

And so when I talk about the Y, I still sometimes refer to it as the YMCA.

The funny part is that Little Brother can't say YMCA. He refers to it as the See-Eye-Aye (who knew the Y was also performed intelligence ops), which we can't help but find amusing.

When Mom-E goes to workout at the Y, Little Brother goes to one of the childcare rooms.

And when Mom-E picks him up, we can't help but laugh when he describes all of the things he did at the See-Eye-Aye.

"I played with toys at the See-Eye-Aye." (Maybe some cool new spy-gadgets?)

"They don't have snacks at the See-Eye-Aye." (Apparently he was on a stakeout?)

And my personal favorite:
"I went poo-poo at the See-Eye-Aye. They wiped my butt." (Intelligence redefined.)

To boot, the See-Eye-Aye informed Mom-E that Little Brother has a "very good vocabulary."

This is funny, because Mom-E takes him to the 3-5 year-old room because they have better toys even though he's not quite 3.

Would they be even more impressed with his vocabulary if we told them he's not even 3 yet (or just kick him out of the room)? But you'd think that the See-Eye-Aye would've already figured that out?

Have a good weekend,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Walking to School?

Dad Blogs Wordless Wednesday
Big Brother drew this picture at school last Friday. He denies that it has anything to do with having to walk to school, but Mom-E and I thought otherwise.

Happy Wordless Wednesday!
See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friday the 13th

Here at Busy-Dad-E, we had a memorable Friday the 13th.

Nothing disasterous, but memorable nonethe less.

The day started off well. Was up before 6am, and had a good workout at the gym. I got in my car, started driving to work, and things pretty much went downhill from there.

I realized that I'd forgot the lunch I packed in the fridge. Would've gone back home, but had to keep going lest I end up late for an appointment at the start of the day.

When I'm about 5 minutes away from parking at work, I get a call from Mom-E. We I forgot to put Big Brother's car seat back in the minivan.

There's no way I can get the carseat home before school starts. And there's no way Mom-E can drive the minivan without it.

So their only option is to walk. Fortunately, will only live about 1 mile from Big Brother's school.

At first, Big Brother pitches a royal fit about having to walk, but not long into the sojourn, he gets kinda excited about the idea.

Still, I can picture Mom-E pushing Little Brother and Bab-E Brother in the stroller, stocked full with Big Brother's backpack and lunch, with Big Brother waltzing along by her side.

No doubt she's cursing me under her breath every step of the way there (and back). And Mom-E doesn't swear.

Meanwhile, when I'm about 1 minute away from parking at work, I get a call that the (important) appointment can't happen because of a (rather foolish) "mistake".

When I get to work, I brew my tea (I'm a tea junkie, can't stand coffee--sorry), which I proceed to spill down the front of my shirt.

(At this point, I give serious consideration to coming down with a "gastrointestinal illness", calling it quits for the day, and going home and sleeping for the next 16 hours--OUTSIDE, IN THE DOG HOUSE, OF COURSE, FOR FORGETTING BIG BROTHER'S CAR SEAT.)

But instead I trudge on, hoping that I've passed the "dark cloud" of Friday the 13th on to someone else.

Unfortunately, apparently I passed it on to my family.

Later in the afternoon, I make a trip home to return Big Brother's carseat. While I'm en route, I get a call from Mom-E that we have a major ant invasion in the kitchen. Fortunately, we're able to get an emergency appointment for pest control service.

At this point, Mom-E tells me that one of our family members, who is 24 weeks pregnant with twins, was not feeling well and had to go see the doctor (fortunately all is okay.)

Mom-E also tells me that Gramm-E overslept for work. And to boot, when she got up quickly, she got the worst charlie horse ever in her life.

Here's hoping your Friday went more smoothly than ours. But if you didn't, please let me know, so we can commiserate.

Have a good week,

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Kindergarten Woos and Woes

Happy Fatherhood Friday. Your homework this weekend is to check out the great bloggers at

Dear Big Brother,

You started kindergarten this week! You've reached yet another milestone. This has been a week full of pride, excitement, and trepidation for Mom-E and I.

On the one hand, it's been wonderful to witness the growth of your talents and abilities. And this will most certainly be a year of tremendous growth for you physically, mentally, and socially.

On the other hand, it's bittersweet to know that, more and more, Mom-E and I will share time with friends and other activities. But I'm sure that we'll continue to enjoy our "dates" together.

And Mom-E and I aren't the only ones affected by the start of the school year. Little Brother is also adjusting to more time without the Big Brother that he so frequently emulates and looks up to. It is my hope that this will be good for his independence, as well as his bonding with Bab-E Brother.

You were SO excited about the start of the school year (even if I did have to practially drag you into your class during Open House.)

But overall, the week has been pretty good, with both some Woo (hoo's) and Woes

1. Monday (Woo)
When asked about how your first day of kindergarten went, your reply was "So so so so SO so GOOD!"

2. Tuesday (Woe)
Despite many efforts to explain the plan, you thought Mom-E was picking you up immediately after school (instead of going to the After School). And the school did not use the current/updated (aka correct) contact info, and so were not able to get ahold of us. You cried for about an hour, before one of the teachers bought you some cookies.

(On the bright side, when Mom-E came to pick you up, you were playing Super-Why on the computer and didn't want to leave. We were just very sorry that we didn't have enough ESP to know that the form we filled out saying "After School on Tuesdays and Thursday; Car MWF" wasn't clear enough.)

3. Wednesday (Woe)
Big Brother: "I don't like kindergarten. It makes me throw up."

Busy-Dad-E: "Why?"

Big Brother; "My class is hot. I'm ALLERGIC to hot. Hot makes me throw up."

Busy-Dad-E: "Oh, I'm sorry. DId you actually throw up?"

Big Brother: "No."

Busy-Dad-E: "What else are you allergic to?"

Big Brother: "Kangaroos."

Busy-Dad-E: "Oh."

4. Thursday (Woo)
When I dropped you off at the Before School program, as I was leaving, I saw you skip about 3 times as you were headed off to play, but not before waiving.

I can't believe that you're old enough to get out of the car, and then walk in to the school building by yourself.

But I'll always be there to hold your hand.

I love you, buddy.

Have a great school year!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Big Brother Explains Manners

Dad Blogs Wordless Wednesday
The other day--out of the blue--Big Brother started drawing pictures about good manners.

Couldn't help but share this gem of wisdom: "Don't go #2 on the floor!"

See you on Fatherhood Friday,
Keep it clean,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Family of Floor Sleepers

So I’ll admit to being a little envious of Big Brother.

Methinks the boy could sleep through a nuclear warhead going off.

Recently, he’s also been the only family member who consistenly sleeps IN HIS OWN BED all night, Bab-E Brother excluded.

While we’re “adjusted” to the chaos of having 3 boys age 5 and under, come bedtime for the boys, Mom-E and I are chronically exhausted generally tired.

Fatigue + Lying down to read bedtime stories = Recipe for disaster

I can’t tell you how many times Mom-E and I have fallen asleep at the same time as the boys, ON THE FLOOR of their rooms.

There’s nothing quite like passing out before 9, only to wake up at 11pm or so to the realization that our “imaginary maid” has not done the dinner dishes, packed lunches, folded laundry, or put away straggling toys.

Does it still count as 7 hours if you fall asleep on the floor for 2 hours, wake up and do 2 hours of “chores”, and then sleep in your own bed for another 5 hours?

(Somehow it doesn’t quite feel like it. And the residual fatigue makes it easier to fall asleep on the floor again the next day.)

And to make matters more entertaining, not long after those post-late night nap chores are done and Mom-E and Dad-E are FINALLY closing our eyes in our own bed, Little Brother has a tendency to wake up SCREAMING (which in true chain reaction, wakes up Bab-E Brother).

Like a zombie, Little Brother fervently tries to climb his way into our bed.

After a concerted effort to try to consistently get him back into his own bed, Little Brother “evolved” in his strategy.

We started waking up in the morning to find him either
1. Asleep in our bed
2. Asleep on the floor near our bed, or
3. Asleep in the hallway outside our room.

The first few times #2 and 3 occurred, we darned near stepped on him, having no idea or expectation that he’d be there.

Apparently, he stopped screaming upon awakening, and instead would silently sneak around.

All the while, Big Brother is cozily snoozing in his own bed.

And while I like to think that once the boys go away to college that we’ll finally sleep in our bed all night, I’m sure by then I’ll have periodic insomnia from them not being around.

Have a good week,

Friday, August 6, 2010

What Boys Need

Happy Fatherhood Friday. After you finish here, be sure to fight and rumble your way over to the great bloggers at

So a co-worker, who herself has five children (a mixture of boys and girls, several of whom are grown and out of the nest), was asking me about my boys.

After an update, she paused for a moment—no doubt reflecting on the accumulated wisdom of her many years of parenting—and said, matter-of-factly:

“You have boys. Boys are easy. All you need are WEAPONS and a PLACE TO WRESTLE.”

I laughed pretty hard.

Perhaps the funniest part is that, very generally speaking, she’s right.

Fast forward to Wednesday evening.

Mom-E left the boys and I to our own devices to get a haircut.

After dinner, we headed outside to play for a bit, Big Brother hoping to simultaneously ride bikes, play ball, and color with sidewalk chalk; Little Brother refusing to wear shoes; and Bab-E Brother strapped to my chest in the Baby Bjorn.

10 minutes into our play, we’ve brought out the oversized plastic set of golf clubs and a fat bat, which are being used as Thundercat swords.


Big Brother and Little Brother, to the cry of “Buttercats-Ho” (Little Brother can’t say “Thundercats”, he calls them “Buttercats”) begin to engage in swordplay with the golf clubs, leaving me holding the fat bat to protect Bab-E Brother in case of any errant strikes.

To my extreme amusement, Bab-E Brother finds the clashing of swords ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS, cackling with laughter each time they collide.

To boot, he laughs even harder the closer Little Brother gets to striking a blow to Big Brother’s head.

Mind you, this is the first time Bab-E Brother has seen his older brothers sword fighting, and instead of showing fear at the commotion, would squirm out of the Bjorn and join them if he was ambulatory.

Apparently my co-worker was right. It’s just innate boy behavior.

When Mom-E got home, I took advantage of the fact that she was satisfied with her haircut to ask if we could modify the guest bed into a wrestling ring.


Have a good weekend,

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ostrich Boy

Dad Blogs Wordless Wednesday
(Disclaimer: Little Brother put himself to bed this way. As soon as this was noted we said "hey get the camera, this is too funny" we removed the pillow from his head allow him to breathe more freely.)

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Brotherly Love

So I may have mentioned before that I'm an only child.

(Of course, I consider Aunt-E and CY-Aunt-E sisters, but there's a distinction between that and having spent your childhood in the same house with someone.)

One thing I've observed about Mom-E, Aunt-E, and CY-Aunt, is that, emotionally, their relationships are very intense.

That is, I've seen them get so mad--no wait, mom said only dogs get mad, people get angry at each other, that if looks could kill, they'd all be dead.

But I also know that they'd kill use the killing look against anyone who (even tried to) harm one of their sisters.

I can very much see my boys being the same way.

Fortunately, right now we're just seeing those brotherly bonds continue to form.

And it makes my heart smile to see how Bab-E Brother is being initiated in their "circle".

I give Big Brother a tremendous amount of credit here as being an amazingly kind and gentle soul.

Down the road, being 5 years apart will be nothing. When Big Brother is 25 and Bab-E Brother is 20 I will be REALLY old, they'll be each others' wingmen.

But when you're 5 1/2 and 6 months, a bab-e brother could be, well, pretty much a nusiance that steals away Mom-E and Dad-E's attention.

However, Big Brother doesn't see or treat Bab-E Brother that way at all.

In fact, their favorite recent pastime has been for Big Brother to make giant towers of blocks just so Bab-E Brother can play the role of Godzilla and knock them down.

It's very sweet (and fun to watch), and smiles abound.

Not to be outdone, Little Brother can make Bab-E Brother laugh at times when everyone else gets screams and crocodile tears.

The other day, we're at the store. We're encroaching on bedtime. Everyone is unbelievably freakin' hyper getting tired and fussy. We're waiting in the checkout line.

All of a sudden, Little Brother pulls Bab-E Brother's binkie out of his mouth (it's attached to his shirt via a little strap, so it doesn't fall on the floor), and in a silly voice says "BOOP!"

Suddenly, "BOOP" is the greatest game ever invented. And each round elicits from Bab-E Brother those deep gutteral belly laughs that, as a parent, you want to videotape and bottle-up because they make you smile no matter your circumstances.

Let me tell you, only a big brother like Little Brother could get away with de-binking Bab-E Brother and make him laugh about it.

But such is there brotherly love.

Lord help Mom-E and I.

Have a good week,