August 30, 2010

Humor Is Reason Gone Mad

Lil Sippy Cup was having a hard time listening today.

Consequently, I had to reprimand him and remind him why "listening" is such an important "big boy" skill.

The entire time I was delivering my words of wisdom, Lil Sippy Cup was looking down at the floor, fidgeting with his hands.

I took this to mean that he was listening intently and deeply regretful of his actions.

I should have known better.

When I was done, he looked up at me.  This is what I saw.

He may have a hard time listening... but I love him anyway.

August 29, 2010

The Company You Keep

When your son's best-friends are this awesome, it pretty much guarantees he'll be pretty damn awesome himself.

August 28, 2010

Future Flashback

My hope is that, one day, they'll look back at this picture and smile.

August 27, 2010

August 26, 2010

Afternoon Karaoke

Lil Sippy Cup: "Ooooooh-Oooooh-OOOOOOH!"

Me: "Uhm..."

Lil Sippy Cup (a little bit louder now): "Ooooooh-Oooooh-OOOOOOH!"

Me: "Are you okay?"

Lil Sippy Cup (nodding and smiling): "Ooooooh-Oooooh-OOOOOOH!"

Me: "What's going on?"

Lil Sippy Cup (nodding, smiling and now dancing): "Ooooooh-Oooooh-OOOOOOH!"

Me: "I'm so confused right now."

Lil Sippy Cup (nodding, smiling, dancing and now clapping his hands): "Ooooooh-Oooooh-OOOOOOH!"

Me: "So...this is a song?  Is that what's happening?  Is this a song?"

Lil Sippy Cup (nodding, smiling, dancing, clapping and now hip-thrusting): ""Ooooooh-Oooooh-OOOOOOH-WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

Me: "And now it's become inappropriate.  Please stop."

Lil Sippy Cup (bowing): "Thank you sir, thank you."

August 25, 2010

Field Report (2) : Dirty Laundry

As previously mentioned, these Field Reports will be insider information from the front lines of battle, the kinds of stories that you have to live through to genuinely believe.  Nevertheless,  my hope is that you are able to live vicariously through my words and learn the lessons I learned as well.  These tales will not always be pretty but, then again, most true stories regarding parenting rarely are.  Consider yourselves warned.

This one recounts my first experience being left completely alone with my newborn son.  It is a rather lengthy story so click the jump for the full post.

August 24, 2010

Things I Never Thought I'd Have To Say (3)

"If you keep doing that, I'm going to get arrested.  Is that what you want? 
Do you want me to go to jail?"

August 23, 2010

Things I Never Thought I'd Have To Say (2)

"Do me a favor, take your hands out of your pants and finish eating your lunch.  Thank you."

August 21, 2010

Birthday Presents?

This afternoon, Lil Sippy Cup will be attending AJ's (of Bottle Caps fame) Birthday BBQ Bonanza.

Yesterday, I asked him what he wanted to buy his little buddy.

This is the list of possible gifts he prepared.

A Television
The real Spider-Man
An Air Conditioner
Some Light Bulbs
A Door
Some Chicken
Some Pasta
A Hat
Toy Story
A Sneaker

August 20, 2010

What I Learned Today (15)

Today, I learned that if your 3 year-old son accidentally drops a raisin on the floor without you noticing that he dropped it, when he picks it up and goes to eat it, you will (with every ounce of your soul, with every fiber of your being) genuinely believe he just took the time out to casually eat an insect.

August 19, 2010

Extreme Makeover

I have grown accustomed to the daily conversations/debates that I have with Lil Sippy Cup.

I have also grown accustomed to the fact that, even at 3 years-old, he has a firm grasp of logic and how to use it to his advantage.

However, I feel it would be wrong to not show the other side of the coin, the conversations that catch me by surprise, the ones where Lil Sippy Cup isn't just being a wise-ass but is, in fact, being a sweetheart.

Me (shouting from the living room): "Little dude, you're way too quiet, what are you doing?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Nothing!"

Me: "Yep, that means something.  Did you break anything?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "I'm taking my money out of my piggy bank!"

Me (walking into his room): "Why are you doing that?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "'Cause I want to buy something."

Me: "What do you want to buy?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "I want to buy you a house."

Me: "..."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Its going to have robots.  And the robots are going to make presents and sing songs and play games and make pasta and we can play with them all day and not do anything else."

Me: "..."

Lil Sippy Cup: "That's what I want to buy."

Me: "I love you."

Lil Sippy Cup: "I love you too Dad."

August 18, 2010

Field Report (1) : Introduction

On this site, I have avoided the temptation to give any parenting advice for various reasons.

The primary one is that this site is, first and foremost, a daily journal for my son to read when he's older, a way for him to re-live memories that he may no longer have access to within the cluttered confines of his brain.

The second reason is the fact that I am no expert on parenting myself and I will readily admit that.  I would feel rather obnoxious to sit here and pontificate on various subjects regarding discipline or what-not while, in the background, my son is busy painting his face with Dry-Erase markers.

However, it did dawn on me the other day that Lil Sippy Cup may have children of his own in the future and that he might come to me seeking professional counsel.  Along with this, I imagine that some people who visit this site may have plans to have children of their own as well and maybe a little friendly advice would not be such a bad thing to dispense.

You see, the entire "parenting industry" is a multi-billion dollar enterprise full of "experts", "experts" who prey on the fear and insecurities of new parents and seasoned parents as well.  However, the reality is that parenting is a learned skill.  It is a skill that requires patience, hard-work and a ton of practice.  The only "experts", in my opinion, are good parents.  I am more likely to listen to my grandmother's advice (who is a mother of 9) than I am to a talk-show guest.  And my grandmother is over 90 years-old and semi-senile.

All of this just serves as a background to a new set of posts which I plan to write titled "Field Reports".  They will be personal experiences that I have had with the little dude and the subsequent lessons I learned.  I will not create a "How-To" Guide for new parents because parenting is a one-to-one, one-of-a-kind experience.  Every parent is different, every child will require a new skill set and there is no universal experience when it comes to parenting.  There are, however, universal emotions: things like paralyzing fear, utter frustration and, most importantly, inexplicable and never-ending love. 

I have experienced each of these emotions in my journey to become the best man and father I can possibly be for Lil Sippy Cup.  Hopefully, you will be able to learn something along the way as well.

August 17, 2010

Apple Hootch

One night, while mindlessly flipping through the 800 cable channels that all manage to simultaneously broadcast absolutely nothing worth watching, I spent 10 minutes watching a show on the National Geographic Channel about the daily lives of prisoners in a federal penitentiary.

Since I had already made up my mind a while ago that I did not want to ever go to jail, I planned to change the channel quickly.  However, at this point, a "lifer" (n. prisoner serving a life sentence) explained to the television crew how he made a batch of "prison hootch".

I won't go into the specifics.  Suffice it to say that making "hard prison hootch" involved fermenting apples in a plastic jug for a good period of time while subsequently hiding this entire process from the correctional staff.  Also worth noting is the fact that really strong prison hootch can make you go blind.  I'm not kidding.

Why do I mention any of this?

You see, Lil Sippy Cup loves apple juice.  I'm pretty sure that at his next blood test, his pediatrician will draw sap instead of blood cells.  He drinks it out of his favorite red sippy cup (how meta, I know). 

He drinks so much of it as a matter of fact, that this afternoon when I was doing the dishes, I opened the sippy cup container and got assaulted by the sharp smell of alcohol. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Lil Sippy Cup has found a way to create his own apple hootch.

There is a good possibility that, for the past few months when I have been documenting the madness my son exhibits, the poor child has simply been inebriated. 

Hopefully, he has learned his lesson.  I know I have.  An apple a day may keep the doctor away but it may also get you wasted.

(Disclaimer: My son has never, intentionally or accidentally, created real prison hootch or drank any of it.  Nevertheless, the lessons learned remain the same: apple juice is dangerous and I still don't ever want to go to jail.)

August 16, 2010

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (5)

Hey kid,

There is a strong possibility that, by the time you read this, we have moved on in our mutual maturing processes and have reached that stage in our relationship where our conversations revolve around sports and the weather.

Nevertheless, I want you to know that today, as I sat here typing this, you turned to me and asked "Dad, can you play with me?"

I don't know how often I will get to hear them when you are older but I still want you to know that I will cherish those six words, now and always.


August 15, 2010

Master of Disguise

Lil Sippy Cup is a big fan of the costumed alter egos of his own invention.

I have mentioned "Naked Boy" who is his favorite and also the easiest to transform into since it involves no clothing whatsoever.

There is also "Cool Guy" who is the daredevil he turns into whenever he dons his bicycle helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, and sunglasses.

Today, I'd like to introduce you to "General Tool Fixer", the tough little old man responsible for fixing all broken appliances and toys in the house.

August 14, 2010

Fight the Power

Yesterday, I mentioned how Lil Sippy Cup refuses to pose for pictures.

Today, while digging through the digital vaults, I discovered this photo from 2 years ago.

I quickly realized that his photographic protests have been staged for quite a while now.

Clearly, he is dedicated to his cause.

August 13, 2010

Posing Is Futile

I asked Lil Sippy Cup to pose for a nice picture today.

This is what I got.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

August 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Princess

You've met this lovely little lady before ( here ).

She is the Beauty to Lil Sippy Cup's Beast and (just as important) she is my niece.

Today is her birthday.

This is our way of telling her that we love her and that we hope she has an amazing day and evening full of building "ninja princess ballerinas" at Build-A-Bear, eating ice cream cake super late at night, and keeping her parents up until the wee hours of the morning because, damn it, it's her birthday and she can do it if she wants to.

Have a great day sweetie.  We love you.

August 11, 2010

Sippycup Shogun

Lil Sippy Cup takes a daily afternoon nap.

On almost every occasion he wakes up from said nap yelling out a list of demands; for example, "Dad!  I want some apple juice!" or "Dad!  Turn off the AC!".  Since he generally naps for 45 minutes to an hour, I am often prepared for his boisterous announcements.

This afternoon, however, he decided to play it a little different.

Whether it was a spur of the moment decision or a premeditated move, I am not sure, but this afternoon Lil Sippy Cup woke up without making a single sound and quietly crept into the living room where I was sitting on the couch watching TV and flipping through a magazine.  I didn't notice he was there until I felt a tiny presence to my left and happened to glance out the corner of my eye.

Now, I am almost certain I suffered a mild heart attack as a result of this surprise.  My left arm still has the "pins and needles" feeling most often associated with cardiovascular attacks.  Then again, the "pins and needles" could be a result of the mild injury I suffered when I jumped up in surprise and subsequently banged my forearm on the coffee table.

At this moment, I am seriously considering tying a small bell to his ankle to prevent any future surprises.  However, Google has informed me that I may or may not be breaking several state and federal laws if I do this.  So I don't think the bell is a viable option. 

Nevertheless I know that my afternoons of quietly watching television and reading while Lil Sippy Cup takes a nap are, without a doubt, over.

August 10, 2010

DVD Policies

Lately, Lil Sippy Cup and I have been having a disagreement over the proper way he should store his DVD collection.

I think he should take out only the one movie he plans to watch and then neatly return it to its case once he has finished watching it.

He, on the other hand, feels it is much easier and more practical to take out every single DVD in his collection and then leave the entire messy pile on the floor for an underling to rearrange at a later time.

Me: "Ok, remember what I said, one movie at a time."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Sure."

Me: "And, remember, you return it to the case and then return the case to your bookshelf when you're done."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Yep."

Me: "Just like a library."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Just like a library."

Ten minutes later, Lil Sippy Cup enters the living room carrying at least two-thirds of his DVD collection.

Me: "Uhm, didn't we agree on one DVD at a time?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "You said it was like the library."

Me: "Exactly!"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Well, we take out more than one book when we go to the library!"

August 9, 2010

We All Scream

How do you make a 3 year-old happy on a really hot summer evening?

It's simple really.

You take him here...

...and then help him turn this...

...into this.

Yep.  I'm awesome.

August 8, 2010

What I Learned Today (14)

Today, I learned two very important things:

(1) it is nearly impossible to have a functioning conversation with your 3 year-old son when he is wearing the following on his head


(2) it is unbelievably dangerous for fully grown adult males to attempt to put one of these on their own absurdly sized skulls.

August 7, 2010

Way Too Early

Me: "Little dude, time for breakfast.  Do you want some cereal?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "I want five!"

Me: "Ok, it is definitely too early to start confusing me."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Yes."

Me: "Yes, you want the cereal?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Twelve!"

Me: "Just say yes or no please."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Yes or no please."

Me: "Yes or no."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Yes or no."

Me: "You win."

Lil Sippy Cup: "I win!"

August 6, 2010


Remember this post?

Here's the proof.

Please lower the volume on your computer speakers, my dear readers, as Lil Sippy Cup was rather animated during the recording session.

August 5, 2010

Flashing Lights

A few minutes ago, I found Lil Sippy Cup quietly staring out the window into the semi-dark street.

Curious as to what he was doing, I peered out the window myself and saw nothing.

Me: "Little dude, what are you looking at?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "The night time."

Me: "Fair enough.  Shouldn't you use something to help you see a little better in the dark?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "I do."

Me: "Oh really?  What do you use?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Firetrucks!"

Me: "That doesn't make any sense and you know that."

Almost as if on cue, a firetruck comes racing up the street, horns blaring and various lights flashing.

Lil Sippy Cup: "You see?  When the firetrucks come, its not dark anymore.  They have a lot of lights on the truck!"

Me (shaking my head) : "Good job little dude, good job."

August 4, 2010

Career Day

This morning, just out of curiosity, I asked Little Sippy Cup "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

His response?

"A firetruck!"

Sometimes, I worry that my time at home with him has had an adverse effect on both his education and his career aspirations.

August 3, 2010

Miniature Golf

The other day, I asked Sippy Cup what he wanted to do for fun this summer.

His response?  Miniature golf.

My first reaction was to ask him how he had even learned of miniature golf but I decided against that and opted to just enjoy his response instead.  I figured, if Wii Sports Golf is any indicator, I am a certified professional golf player, so I might as well grace the local green with my skills and also bestow many important lessons to my golf heir as well.

As it turns out, Randall's Island is home to the Randalls Island Golf Center which has an 18-hole miniature golf course.  Little Sippy Cup had a great time, choosing to completely ignore all of my free lessons on proper form and course etiquette, and simply picking up his ball and placing it in the cup at the majority of the holes.

PS - As it also turns out, Wii Sports is not an indicator of any actual skill in a real-life version of any sport.  Just thought I'd put that out there.

As always, there are more pictures after the jump.  Enjoy.

August 2, 2010

Nany Nany Photo Shoot

So remember how the other day I mentioned a professional photo shoot? (Click here)

Here's the story.

There is a children's consignment boutique in the neighborhood named Little Closets.  As their website explains, "Little Closets is a children’s consignment boutique selling new and gently-used clothing, gear and accessories for children and parents..."

Last week, they were offering free photo sessions with a local photographer named Arianys Wilson who has a website of her own at

While we signed up for the shoot just to give Lil Sippy Cup another fun activity to do over the summer, the results were phenomenal

I have learned, from experience, that if you try to get a child to sit still and pose for a picture, you are just going to embark on a fruitless journey into hair-pulling frustration.

Children's photography requires a subtle combination of patience and creativity and Arianys manages to combine both skills gracefully, engaging the children in play while carefully capturing the small, intimate moments.  I was utterly amazed at how she was able to transform my little war chief into a smiling, happy and adorable 3 year-old little boy.

So, Arianys, if you are reading this, thank you.  Thank you so much.  The pictures are amazing and we had a great time at the shoot.  To some, photography is a way to capture the truth in a moment; to others, it is a way to create art in a moment.  Somehow, you manage to do both.

There are more pictures after the jump everyone.  Enjoy. 

August 1, 2010

Window Into My World

Right now, at 10:15pm on a lovely Sunday night, Little Sippy Cup is walking around the house, semi-dressed, banging on a war drum with a massive salad spoon chanting, repeatedly: