May 31, 2010

What I Learned Today (7)

Today, I learned that creating a tent out of 3 dining room chairs and a blanket will magically transform the living room into a forest while simultaneously transforming Lil Sippy Cup from a tantrum-throwing toddler into, literally, a happy little camper.

May 30, 2010

Like a Beach Chair

Mr. Cufflink is not a big fan of holiday crowds.  However, he firmly believes that Lil Sippy Cup should not be forced to suffer for his father's lack of social skills.

In celebration of this fact, Lil Sippy Cup was treated with an unplanned and unexpected trip to Long Beach today.

Since dSLRs and sand do not play nice together, I used my point-and-shoot to document the day.

You know what else does not play nice together?  My skin and 5 hours of direct sunlight.  (For some reason, while adorning Lil Sippy Cup with several layers of Coppertone armor, it never occurred to me to apply some of the same protective measures to my own body.  But I digress.)

We had a great day.  Mostly because we got to play outside.  But also because I did not hit any traffic in either direction.

As usual, more pictures after the jump.

May 29, 2010


While going through my image library, I found this old picture from Lil Sippy Cup's 2nd Halloween.

It's seems obvious to me now that he's been a Jedi Master since birth. 

Apparently, this wasn't a costume (as I had originally thought) but, rather, a uniform.

I present to you Master Soda.

May 27, 2010

The Message

The other day, I warned Lil Sippy Cup that opening the refrigerator door was dangerous and, should I ever catch him in there again, he would get an infinity timeout.

He didn't say a word and slowly closed the door while I patted myself on the back for being an awesome Dad.

This morning I opened up the refrigerator door and found this.

I think the message is pretty clear.

May 26, 2010

Mind Tricks

If you have read any of my previous posts, you should know by now that I regularly lose mental tests of wit with my son.

If you are new to the site, then I should let you know that I am 29 years-old with over 16 years of a great education in my back pocket; my son, on the other hand, is 3 years-old and has not spent more than 35 minutes inside of a school (he went to visit his Mommy, who is a teacher, at work one day).

Needless to say, statistically speaking, I should win every single debate. 

Realistically speaking, I do not.

I was starting to feel pretty bad about myself until I stumbled upon a substantial realization last night: my son is a Jedi.

You see, anyone who has had a conversation with a toddler, can attest to the fact that they will, quite literally, talk about whatever they are thinking about.  Whether their topic of choice follows your original conversation stream does not matter.  Toddlers do not conform to any societal rules or social customs.  You can ask them their age and they will tell you their favorite color instead.

I used to think this was a direct result of their young age and limited educational experience.  In the case of Lil Sippy Cup, who has proven himself more than capable of charmingly socializing with adults on several occasions, I have realized that his sudden changes in conversational topics are a way to momentarily stun-gun my brain.  Rather than being a handicap caused by toddlerhood, it is actually a skill effectively mastered by a Jedi.

For example, here is a recent exchange we had, when I found him sticking bits of blue painters tape in a decorative pattern on the living room floor.

Me: "I'm pretty sure Mommy would not approve of what you are doing.  For the record, neither do I."

Sippy Cup (without looking up or stopping): "Dad, do you like apple juice?"

Me: "Wait...yes, I do like apple juice."

Sippy Cup (still looking down): "Me too."

Or the other night, when I stumbled upon him in the bathroom, casually tearing up bits of toilet paper to create confetti to celebrate a spontaneous potty parade.

Me: "Yep.  Here's something else you should not be doing."

Sippy Cup: "Huh?  Who?  What?!"

Me: "You can't tear up the toilet paper and throw it up in the air.  You're making a huge mess."

Sippy Cup: "A huge mess?"

Me: "Precisely."

Sippy Cup: "Haha! Daddy, you're funny!"

Me: "You know what? I am funny!"

As a result, I have created a protective helmet fashioned out of an old camouflage messenger bag and wax paper.  My hope is that the wax paper will reflect his Jedi powers.  And that the camouflage will help hide my brain.

Now please excuse me, I suddenly want to watch Thomas and Friends: Hero of the Rails.

May 25, 2010

Mr. Cufflink the Clown Slayer

On Sunday, one of Lil Sippy Cup's Bottle Cap friends celebrated his 3rd birthday.

How did his parents mark the occasion?  By staging a full-scale carnival in the backyard. 

That's right.  A carnival.

There were games, a moon bounce, a hot dog cart, a cotton candy machine, an airbrush fake tattoo artist and a cake covered in M&Ms.  Yes, that's right, M&Ms.

Lil Sippy Cup, as expected, nearly lost his mind from the over-abundance of awesome.

And I learned a very important lesson as a parent: always make sure your parent friends are way cooler than you.  It'll keep you humble.

More pictures after the jump.  Prep your eyes for the awesomeness.

May 24, 2010

It Takes a Village

Lately, Lil Sippy Cup and I have become semi-professionals at doing things completely last-minute and on a whim.  In celebration of this new-found appreciation of unplanned adventuring, we decided to have a picnic on Saturday. 

Without even checking the weather, I invited everyone on Friday afternoon.  We bought all the supplies and food Friday night.  By the grace of the weather gods, the Northeast was not hit by a hurricane on Saturday, which I will safely assume is what would have happened if I had actually planned this event in advance. 

This post could easily have turned into something sappy about the importance of family.  You see, my best-friends are, in fact, my cousins.  Not guys that I just call cousins because we're so close but actual, bona-fide, shared-DNA cousins.

I remember writing in an earlier post (here) that the true measure of a man is the company that he keeps.  It's thanks to these people that I've become the man that I am.  And that Lil Sippy Cup will surely follow in my footsteps.

More pictures after the jump.  Have fun.

May 23, 2010

Captain Obvious

As a father, one of my more important responsibilities is to keep my son safe. 

And alive.

This is especially difficult since he has a limited understanding of what is "dangerous".

And even more so since he has a thorough understanding of what is "sarcastic".

Like earlier today, when he was leaning against the elevator door on our way down to finish the laundry.

Me: "Dude, get away from there.  That's dangerous."

Lil Sippy Cup: "No it's not.  That's the elevator door."

Me (slowly shaking my head and whispering): "Damn it."

May 22, 2010

What We Do Best

I am not sure if I have made this obvious by now but I love New York City.  A born-and-bred New Yorker who still lives here, in spite of the obvious expense, is a rare breed these days.  But we're a proud bunch and I intend to raise Lil Sippy Cup with the same sense of pride.

Yesterday, once again on a whim and motivated by the gorgeous weather, Lil Sippy Cup and I jumped on the train and traveled into the city.  We had no real destination in mind but, as expected, we were able to have an amazing time. 

We found a new playground (Vesuvio Playground), ate fresh fruit for lunch, got into a heated debate over what brand of water to drink and then read "Thomas and the Magic Railroad: Diesel 10 Means Trouble" together as a sign of renewed peace.

My words could never capture how important these moments are for me.  Actually, my photos probably can't either.  Nevertheless, there are more pictures after the jump.  Enjoy.

May 21, 2010

Flashback Friday

This is one of my favorite pictures of Lil Sippy Cup. 

He's been an awesome little dude for a while now.

But I may be a little biased in my opinion.

May 20, 2010

The "No, You" Rebuttal

One of the miracles of watching your son grow up is that you are able to chart his meteoric rise through the various levels of youthful witticism, skillful debate and flat-out smart-aleckness.

Lil Sippy Cup's latest accomplishment?  The "No, You" rebuttal.

Its genius lies in its simplicity.  He simply repeats whatever I've just finished saying to him, placing an emphatic "No, you..." before it.

Here's an example from earlier today:

Me: "What up champ?  You need to start cleaning up."

Lil Sippy Cup: "No, you need to start cleaning up!"

Me: "Wait, what?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "No, you wait what!"

Me: "I'm not even sure what's going on right now..."

Lil Sippy Cup: "No, you what's going on right now!"

Me: "Ok, that definitely doesn't make any sense."

Lil Sippy Cup: "No, you doesn't make any sense!"

Me: "Right.  I'm just going to walk away now.  I'll be back in 5 minutes."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Ok!"

I'm slowly starting to realize that it is extremely difficult to discipline a little boy with a set of logic skills that would make Aristotle proud. 

May 19, 2010

Shame on You

As it turns out, Ol Dirty Bastard was not speaking entirely metaphorically in his eternal classic "Brooklyn Zoo".

This past Monday, completely on a whim, Lil Sippy Cup and I decided to go to the Prospect Park Zoo.

We both enjoyed the day immensely, especially since the zoo was mostly empty at 3pm on a Monday afternoon.

We learned a lot about wildlife, "red-butt monkeys" (a.k.a "baboons" in Sippy-speak), and I was able to further my cause for having earned the grandest suite at the retirement home when the time comes.

There are more pictures after the jump.  Hope you enjoy them.

May 18, 2010

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (1)

Hey kid,

You may never know this but, every single time you cry, whether its because you're frustrated and tired or whether its because you've run into some stationary object or another, it breaks my heart.


May 17, 2010

What I Learned Today (6)

Today, I learned that Lil Sippy Cup's desire to be naked is directly proportional to the amount of time that he has spent outside with his clothes on.

Since we spent more than half of the day outside today, I can only imagine that this means he is planning on sleeping in the nude tonight.

Its going to be a long night.

May 16, 2010

Block Party

One of the greatest benefits of living in New York City is that, during the summer, there are literally tons of free events held outdoors where you can soak in some sorely missed sunlight while simultaneously having a blast with your 3 year-old son.

Yesterday, Cafe Habana Outpost in Brooklyn, "New York's first eco-eatery", held a block party right outside of their restaurant on Fulton Street.  There was free live music, arts & crafts for the kids and, even though we didn't get a chance to try the food ourselves, I have heard nothing but positive reviews of the place.

Lil Sippy Cup is a devout balloonist.

There were tables of activities for the kids and even a Moon Bounce on the block

Lil Sippy Cup loves scissors.  I especially like them when they aren't sharp.

Biggest surprise for me?  Lil Sippy Cup sitting still for his body art session.

He chose both the design and location of his fake tattoo.  Clearly he's going to be a gangster insurance salesman.

Although we didn't eat at Cafe Habana, we did end up grabbing some lunch...

...with these awesome people...

...and then Lil Sippy Cup tried to steal her...

All in all, I could not have asked for a better way to spend a Saturday.

May 15, 2010

Ghost Hunter

I am not a paranormal "believer".  Years of being a jaded New Yorker make me mistrust almost all factual evidence of anything.  I still think the microwave is the work of the devil and that gravity is just an extension of magic. 

Nevertheless, I enjoy those paranormal reality shows that pop up on the SciFi Network (SyFy is an absurd spelling, I'm sorry).  Their theories are interesting and their footage can be exciting and slightly convincing.

Why do I mention any of this?  Because I turned into a Ghost Buster the other night. 

As the alpha male of the house, one of my more menial responsibilities is to make sure all of the lights are turned off when we go to bed and that all the locks are securely locked on the front door.

The last light to be turned off is the living room light, whose switch is right next to the front door.

A few nights ago, I turned off the light and one of Lil Sippy Cup's toys made a noise.  It was the sound of a firetruck siren blaring and, since there was a toy firetruck on the dining room table and no actual emergency vehicles outside the window, I calmly assumed it was set off by coincidence.

The following night, I repeated my nightly routine, locked the door, and switched off the light.  The sirens went off again.  "Hmm, that's odd," I thought to myself.

The very next night, wash, rinse, repeat, the light goes off, the sirens blare and I go running into the bedroom at full-speed.

At this point, I start to create my own theory as to why the apartment is haunted by a deceased firefighter.  I blame several factors, including 9/11 and my son's obsession with firetrucks.

I resolve to bust this ghost on my own the next day and make a mental list of required items.  These include a cross-bow, Holy Water, a half-dollar, and a wire hanger.  Obviously, I don't really pay attention when I'm watching those shows but I was committed to protecting my family from the paranormal attacks we were enduring.

That same day, I also found Lil Sippy Cup playing with a toy puzzle.  Its a cute little wooden thing, with various trucks and vehicles on it.  Its pretty awesome because, when you place the correct piece on the appropriate image, the truck or car will beep its horn or the ambulance will sound its alarm or the firetruck will blare its siren...

And, just like that, the ghost was busted. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I had been preparing myself to wage war with a puzzle whose sound sensors are set off when covered by a puzzle piece.  Or when the lights go off.

May 14, 2010


It is a bittersweet moment when your 3 year-old son outwits you.  On the one hand, you're proud of him because he just outsmarted you.  On the other hand, you're pretty embarrassed because he just outsmarted you.

Lil Sippy Cup (calling out from the kitchen): "Dad!  Can I have an ice cream pop?"

Me (from the bedroom): "Wow, you actually asked?  I'm grateful.  And, yes, you can have one."

Lil Sippy Cup (excited giggle): "Thanks Dad!"

Me (feeling pretty awesome): "No problem. Remember I said just one."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Ok!"

This conversation is followed by 10 minutes of uninterrupted silence which, as you should know, is 10 minutes too many for Lil Sippy Cup.

I walk into the living room and find him sitting on the floor with the entire box of popsicles in his lap and 4 empty wrappers and a pile of popsicle sticks neatly placed to the side.

Me: "Uhm...I definitely said one."

Lil Sippy Cup (nodding in total agreement): "Yes."

Me: "This is not one."

Lil Sippy Cup (looking at me clearly confused): "Yes it is.  It's one box of pops."

May 13, 2010

Interesting Facts

Did you know that your bath tub will, literally, turn into an ice skating rink should you ever dare to take a shower immediately following your son's afternoon mega-bubble bath?

I was not aware of this interesting fact.

On a related note, here's another interesting fact: when you have a near-death experience, your life does not flash before your eyes. 

What does flash before your eyes are all the commercials for Life Alert you and your idiot friends used to laugh at while in college.

May 12, 2010

Mutual Respect

Before Lil Sippy Cup was born, I remember hearing all sorts of advice (both requested and unsolicited) about the hurdles and burdens of parenthood.

One of these pearls of wisdom concerned the distinction between being a "friend" and being a "parent".

While I will not let myself stand on any soapbox and preach to others about how to raise their children (clearly, after reading a sampling of my posts, I am not qualified to do so), I will say that I do not believe that being a "friend" and being a "parent" need to be mutually exclusive.

To me, as a father, I want to be my son's best-friend, his confidant, his secret source of information regarding the alien gender (a.k.a women).  At the same time, I do not want to be the guy furiously typing on a Sidekick, wearing baggy jeans and a bedazzled tee-shirt at his school functions. 

I have to distinguish myself from his friends so that he can respect me as his father.

While I know that it is difficult, I have to establish my role as his father, his provider and his protector and, unfortunately, this means that I will have to be the bad guy sometimes.

However, being the "bad guy" does not mean that he should be afraid of me.  If he is afraid of me, who is he going to turn to when his hooligan friends are trying to pressure him into doing something idiotic?  Or, just as likely, when he is the hooligan friend trying to pressure some other innocent kid?

The trick is learning how to raise another man who loves you and seeks your advice while simultaneously respecting you enough to listen to and follow the advice when it is given. 

The easiest way to accomplish this?  I need to respect him and love him just as much as he needs to respect me and love me.  

There will come a time, I am more than sure, when Lil Sippy Cup will challenge my status as the alpha male in the house, questioning curfews and other rules of style and decorum. 

But, in a strange way, I welcome this because, honestly, I am not raising a cadet, I am raising a man.

A man I will be proud to call my son. 

And a man that will know that I command the holy power of Mt. Olympus if I should ever catch him sneaking out of the house.

May 11, 2010

Life is Like a Hurricane

In an effort to establish a sense of financial responsibility at an early age, I have begun to speak to Lil Sippy Cup about money.  My lessons are simple and direct, often involving dollar bills and a pile of coins that would make Scrooge McDuck proud.  Lil Sippy Cup enjoys these lessons immensely, most especially when he is able to put the money into his own piggy bank.

Nevertheless, he seems to have missed a key point in the concept of earned income.

Me: "Okay, so we're good?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Yes."

Me: "Okay. So you understand why mommy goes to work?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Yes."

Me: "Good."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Mommy has to go to work to buy money."

Me: "Uhm, wait..."

Lil Sippy Cup: "And then she gets me surprises!"

May 10, 2010

Summer Breeze

When I look at this picture, I like to imagine The Isley Brothers' cover of  "Summer Breeze" playing in the background.

In reality, there were 2 ambulances screaming down the street but I prefer my song choice a lot more.

What song does it make you think of?  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section.

May 8, 2010


It doesn't happen often, but, there are times when Lil Sippy Cup is able to parent himself.

Lil Sippy Cup (shouting from the room): "Dad, don't come in here!"

Me: "Right. Ok. Why not?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Because I made a big mess!"

a few seconds of silence

Lil Sippy Cup: "Do I have timeout now?"

a few more seconds of silence

Lil Sippy Cup (sighing): "Ok, I have timeout now."

May 7, 2010

What I Learned Today (5)

Today, I learned that when Lil Sippy Cup comes running out of the room, yelling "No!  Go Away!", it's not because he's being chased by a monster but, rather, it's because he doesn't want me to walk in and see the 4 foot tower he's managed to construct out of books, DVDs, a kitchen stool and 2 pairs of sneakers.

May 6, 2010

Where The Wild One Is

Earlier today I found this little creature, sitting in the room, quietly reading a book...

Feeling curiously courageous, I approached it with caution, trying my best not to startle it...

Oh crap...

This is not going to end well...


May 5, 2010


"An insatiable appetite for glory leads to sacrifice and death, but innate instinct leads to self-preservation and life." - Jose Marti

In our case, self-promotion and self-preservation are kind of the same thing.

May 4, 2010

A Letter to Mr. Cufflink

Dear Mr. Cufflink,

At one point, you were That Guy who would play his music loudly on your sub-par audio system in your sub-par vehicle.

At one point, sir, you sucked.

I believe they call this an epiphany.  Or karma.  I'm not sure.  I wasn't a philosophy major.

Mr. Cufflink's Memory

May 3, 2010

A Letter to That Guy

Dear That Guy,

It's not so much that I don't appreciate the loud music when played on the sub-par audio system in your Cadillac Escalade.

It's much more that I don't appreciate when you do it during Lil Sippy Cup's nap time.

Now, instead of sleeping, Lil Sippy Cup is dancing on the bed.

Thanks That Guy.  You suck.

Mr. Cufflink

May 2, 2010

Audience Participation

Let's try something different...

With this post, I am going to try and encourage some participation from you guys.

Here's the idea: suggest places where you think Lil Sippy Cup will have the time of his life.

That's it. 

Pretty simple huh?

Publish your ideas either in the comments section of this post or on the Facebook fan page.  You can also feel free to send us an email:

We'll take the suggestions and, time and weather permitting, we'll do our best to visit them one by one.

If this doesn't earn me an awesome room at the retirement home, I don't know what will.

Weekend Awesome Weekend

This weekend, the gods saw fit to bless New York with awesome weather.

Since keeping a child indoors on a beautiful spring day is tantamount to torture, Lil Sippy Cup was greeted with a trip into the city on Saturday afternoon.

We went to Central Park...

...and walked around...

...until we found Narnia.

Then we went to get some food at Crif Dogs.  They wrap hot dogs in bacon.  It is culinary eloquence.

We followed the instructions carefully...

...and then we went to Tompkins Square Park where we found a pirate ship...

...finally, Lil Sippy Cup came home and slept for 12 hours.  Which means I slept for 12 hours.  Which means this is the most I've slept in 3 years.  Which also means it was the greatest day & night ever.

May 1, 2010

Genetic Predisposition

Earlier today, I walked into the room and found Lil Sippy Cup in the middle of a terrible fist fight with an invisible foe.

Me: "Uhmmmmm, what are you doing?"

Lil Sippy Cup (swinging his tiny fists): "Fighting!"

Me: "Yeah, I figured that part out.  Who exactly are you fighting?"

Lil Sippy Cup (still swinging violently): "The bugs!  The bugs!  I'm fighting the bugs!"

Me (all sense of manhood leaving me): "There's a bug in the room?!"

Lil Sippy Cup (letting out a yell eerily reminiscent of John Rambo): "Aaarrgh!  Yes!"

After carefully assessing the situation, I realized that I was clearly the adult in the room and therefore the "responsible one" so I summoned up the courage and walked over to the window. 

And that's when I saw them.

Drifting through the sunlight, there were dust particles flying through the air.  Tiny, almost microscopic, particles of dust, visible only when they floated in the rays of sunshine entering the room.

Yes, that's right, my son was literally locked in an epic battle with dust this morning.

On a related note, Lil Sippy Cup may or may not have inherited Mr. Cufflink's hatred of dust.  More reports from the battlefield are sure to follow.