December 29, 2011

Ghost of Christmas Past

Sippy Cup is an extremely lucky little boy who is spoiled by his grandparents, relatives and even my next door neighbors.  For Christmas, he received an absurd amount of gifts and (after he had unwrapped all of them) we thought it would be a good idea to store some of the smaller toys to be opened on a rainy, boring weekend. We figured it would be an awesome way to extend the holiday season well into the summer. 

He, on the other hand, thought this was a terrible idea and has spent the past few days sneaking under the couch and into the closet to try and open his remaining gifts.

Me: "Hey, little guy, quick question: who opened the truck that was under the couch?"

Sippy Cup (shocked): "I didn't do it!  Nino did it!"

Me: "Really?  Your grandfather opened up a toy truck to play with it?"

Sippy Cup (nodding): "I told him not to do it.  But he never listens to me."

Me: "Oh wow.  He didn't listen to you?  That's not good.  I'm going to call him and find out why he didn't listen to you."

Sippy Cup (running to grab the phone out of my hand):
"No! No! Wait! Don't call him! Ha! You don't have to call him!"

Me: "Why not?  If you're telling the truth, it won't matter.  He'll explain it to me."

Sippy Cup (jumping up and down): "Look!  I'm exercising!  Where's my sweater?  I think I left it in my room."

Me: "Fantastic attempt at distraction, I must say.  Regardless, I'm calling him."

Sippy Cup (looking over his shoulder and whispering): "No, wait, it was a ghost!"

Me: "A ghost?  A ghost opened your toy truck?"

Sippy Cup (replicating a zombie's lopsided stroll): "Yes!  With his wavy arms!  Ooooh!  Ooooooooooooooh!  Look at my scary, magic, wavy arms!"

Me (sighing): "You want to try this one more time?  Who opened the truck?"

Sippy Cup (looking up at me): "I'm just going to go sit on timeout for a few minutes and think about it."

Me: "Good idea."

December 25, 2011

Questions of Etiquette

Princess Teacup absolutely adores her older brother.  There is no one in this world that can make her as happy as he can.  Their brother-sister relationship is beautiful, honest and organic and, like all sincere relationships, they seem to share secrets no one else in the world is privy to.

Earlier tonight, in the middle of one of their play sessions, I decided to test just how far he was willing to go for his sister.

Me: "You know, you have to protect your sister at all times.  It's one of the most important jobs a big brother has to do."

Sippy Cup (jumping around in front of her, to her obvious delight): "Yep, I know."

Me: "So, if you guys are in school together one day, you have to keep her safe from bullies."

Sippy Cup (still jumping): "Yep, I know."

Me: "So what are you going to do if you find some bullies picking on her at school?"

Sippy Cup (stopping to think): "Probably tell them that's not a good plan."

Me: "What?  That sounds awesome!  Like something from an action movie!  I like that."

Sippy Cup (going back to pantomiming): "Thanks."

Me: "But what if they don't listen to you?"

Sippy Cup (karate-kicking the air): "Then I'll kick them in the butt!"

Me (looking conspiratorially side-to-side, making sure the M.O.M. wasn't in the room):
 "In the butt?  Why don't you just punch them in the face?"

Sippy Cup (stopping all activity and staring at me in the eyes): "Punch them in the face?  That's rude."

Me: "Oh, so kicking them in the butt isn't rude?"

Sippy Cup: "No, because I'll have sneakers on.  Sneakers are soft."

Me: "Leave it to you to find a way to politely save your sister from bullies."

December 5, 2011

Stunt Cups

Sippy Cup (riding his scooter at full speed down the hallway and screaming): "AAAHHH!!!"

Me: "Right.  Please stop doing that.  Like, immediately.  Just stop."

Sippy Cup (after achieving maximum velocity, launching himself off of the scooter and doing a barrel roll all while the scooter slams into the front door):

Me: "Yep.  What did I just say?  That is super dangerous.  How did you do that?!  Why would you even think of doing that?!"

Sippy Cup (dusting himself off and picking himself up): "Because I'm a kid.  And it's fun."

Me: "...I honestly don't even know how to respond to that...your logic is air-tight..."

December 2, 2011

Christmas Miracle

M.O.M. : "Are you sure you want to prune the Christmas tree with a kitchen knife?"

Me: "Hush now.  I got this."

M.O.M. : "I really think I should do this. You're going to hurt yourself."

Me: "I said hush."

- 5 minutes later -

Me (while holding my thumb which is now squirting copious amounts
of blood all over the living room floor):

M.O.M. : "Seriously?!"

Me (running to the bathroom): "Where's the First Aid kit?!  Why do we hide the First Aid kit?!
Who does that?!"

Sippy Cup: "Mom?  Is Daddy going to die?"

November 29, 2011

Parent Teacher Conference

Lessons learned at my first Parent Teacher Conference:
  1. Sippy Cup helps the teacher by telling his friends when their behavior is "unacceptable".
  2. Sippy Cup spends his day playing, painting, reading stories and singing songs.
  3. Sippy Cup is a very well-behaved, friendly and mature little boy at school.
Lessons learned upon returning to the house after my first Parent Teacher Conference:
  1. Sippy Cup comes home and acts in unacceptable ways.
  2. Sippy Cup comes home and tells us that he did "nothing" all day long at school.
  3. Sippy Cup is a terrorist at home.

November 25, 2011

Black Friday Emergency

Sippy Cup (tearing through the house on his bike): "Dad, call the cops!"

Me (half-awake): "Yep.  Good morning to you too."

Sippy Cup (on his return flight): "Call the cops!"

Me (rubbing my eyes): "Wait.  What's going on?"

Sippy Cup (flying past me in the hall): "Dad!  Call the cops!"

Me: "Ok.  You win.  I'm scared."

** Editor's Note - For the record, he has since stopped asking me to call the cops. 
But I never found out what prompted his urgent request.  And I'm still scared. **

November 19, 2011

November 16, 2011



Me: “Hey, do me a favor, and start cleaning up this ridiculous mess you have in the living room.”

Sippy Cup (under his breath): “Bowleesto.”



Me: “The way I see it, you have two choices: you can either listen to me or you can sit on time-out until you’re ready to listen to me.”

Sippy Cup (sighing): “Fine! Bowleesto.”



Me: “Hey buddy! It’s time for your bath!"

Sippy Cup (screaming from the room): “BOWLEESTO!”

Me: “Bowleesto to you!”

Sippy Cup (coming out of the room with a shocked expression):
“Dad! You can’t say that! That’s a bad word!”

Me: “So, wait a second, all of this time that you’ve been saying it…”

M.O.M. (nodding): “He’s been cursing you out. That’s right.”

Me (sighing while looking at him): “How do I discipline an imaginary curse word?”

Sippy Cup (sighing while shrugging his shoulders): “Bowleesto?”

November 9, 2011

Code of Conduct

Me: “Listen, I don’t think you should be ‘wrestling’ in school.”

Sippy Cup: “Well, he pushed me first.”

Me: “It doesn’t matter. If somebody pushes you or hits you, you have to tell the teacher first.”

Sippy Cup: “What if I tell the teacher and they don’t stop?”

Me: “Well, then, I guess it's up to you to tell them to stop.”

Sippy Cup: “And what if they still don’t stop?”

Me: “Then, fine, at that point I guess you can defend yourself.”

Sippy Cup: “Ok. Got it. I tell the teacher..."

Me: "Excellen-"

Sippy Cup: "And then I hit them."

Me (sighing): “I’m going to get so many phone calls from your school…”

Sippy Cup (in an impressive crane kick position): "HIII-YAAA!"

September 13, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Me (sitting at the dining room table):
"Now that you've started school, we should probably go over some basic info."

Sippy Cup: "Ok."

Me: "So, do you know where you live?"

Sippy Cup: "Yeah.  Here."

Me (sighing) : "Good job."

September 11, 2011

The 5th Stage

Mutts © 2002 Patrick McDonnell
** Editors Note ** - In 2002, after a full year of trying to make sense of what I had experienced, this cartoon strip gave me the best advice possible.
I clipped it, kept it and now share it with my son and with all of you. 
I hope, in whatever small way, it helps you too.

August 25, 2011

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (14)

Hey kid,

Today the weather was rather nasty with random bouts of thunder and lightning passing through the city.

We spent the day inside, huddled on the couch, eating popcorn, watching cartoons and laughing like two lunatics.

In a few weeks, you will be starting Pre-K and, while I am looking forward to the misadventures this new chapter in your life holds in store for us, I know that I will miss these days terribly.

I have spent the past 2 years at home with you and, in that time, you have taught me more about what it means to be a "man" than anyone else in my life.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: I love you.  And, more importantly, thank you.


August 8, 2011

Birthday Presents for Uncle Anthony

Sippy Cup: "What are we going to give Uncle Anthony for his birthday?"

M.O.M. : "You're going to call him and say 'Happy Birthday'."

Sippy Cup: "That's not a present."

M.O.M. : "Yes it is.  He loves talking to you."

Sippy Cup: "How about we get a box..."

Me: "Here we go."

Sippy Cup: "...a really big box..."

M.O.M. : "A huge box?"

Sippy Cup: "...and then I hide inside it..."

Me: "I know where this is going."

Sippy Cup: " wrap it with wrapping paper..."

M.O.M. : "Uh-huh."

Sippy Cup: "...and when you give it to Uncle Anthony I jump out and yell 'Happy Birthday!'."

M.O.M. : "You're sweet."

Sippy Cup: "Yeah.  That's a better idea."

Happy Birthday Uncle Anthony

August 4, 2011

Choking Hazard

Sippy Cup (with his mouth semi-full): "I finished my waffles.  Can I watch cartoons now?"

M.O.M. : "How did you finish your waffles so quickly?  Didn't you just have 3 pieces left on the plate?"

Sippy Cup (swallowing): "I did.  I stuffed the last 3 pieces in my mouth."

M.O.M. : "Fabulous.  Next time, please don't do that.  You have to eat slowly.  You have to eat one piece at a time.  Because if you stuff them in all at the same time, you can choke."

Sippy Cup: "Well, I stuffed them all in my mouth this time and I'm not choking."

Me: "Ha!  You see what you miss when you're at work?"

July 26, 2011

Stretch It Out

Me (stretching after a workout): "Hey buddy, want to stretch with me?"

Sippy Cup: "Sure!"

Me: "Ok, just do what I do."

Sippy Cup: "Ok."

Me (squatting down to stretch my quadricep muscles): "Ok, just make sure you do it slowly so that you don't hurt yourself."

Sippy Cup (squatting down slowly): "Oh crap. I gotta poop!"

Me: "Fantastic."

Sippy Cup (running down the hall): "Ha ha! Stretching makes me poop!"

July 12, 2011


Sippy Cup: "Mom, I want that spider."

M.O.M. (looking around nervously): "What spider?!"

Sippy Cup: "The one that bites you."

M.O.M.:  "Definitely not."

Sippy Cup (pinching the space between his thumb and forefinger on his left hand):
"You know, the one that bites you here."

M.O.M.: "Once again, these details aren't helping you."

Sippy Cup: "I want that spider."

M.O.M.: "Of course you do."

Sippy Cup: "It only takes one bite."

M.O.M.: "That's one too many."

Sippy Cup: "So that I can be Spider-Man."

M.O.M.: "And now it all makes sense..."

Sippy Cup: "The real Spider-Man."

M.O.M.: "Obviously."

Me (yelling from the living room): "Welcome to my world!"

July 8, 2011


Before we brought Princess Teacup home, we were a little worried that the prince of our castle would be jealous of all the attention and affection his baby sister would be receiving.

Clearly, our worries were unfounded.

Of course my concern is that now, he's training a sidekick.

July 6, 2011

Precious Moments

Princess Teacup is roughly 16 days old.

Which, of course, means we haven't really slept in 16 days.

But, when she makes faces like this, none of us really care about the lack of sleep.

July 4, 2011

Captain Sippy Cups

Today, Sippy Cup solemnly swears that he will be spending the day defending us against all enemies, foreign and domestic, real and imaginary.

Which, of course, means I'll be spending the day running away from him.

Happy Independence Day everyone!

July 1, 2011

But You Don't Know What You've Got...

Dear Sleep,

We miss you.  So much.  So, so very much.

All of Us (except Princess Teacup)

June 24, 2011


Me (with Sippy Cup sitting on my lap): "So what are your jobs again?"

Sippy Cup: "Respect Mommy."

Me: "Ok."

Sippy Cup: "Respect the baby."

Me: "Good."

Sippy Cup: "Protect Mommy."

Me: "Next?"

Sippy Cup: "Protect the baby."

Me: "Uh-huh."

Sippy Cup: "Love Mommy."

Me: "And?"

Sippy Cup: "Love the baby."

Me (tousling his hair affectionately): "Good job kid."

Sippy Cup (hugging me): "Thanks Daddy."

June 22, 2011

What I Learned Today (20)

Today, I learned that running a half a mile while carrying a duffel bag in your left hand, a booster seat in your right hand and your 4 year-old son on your shoulders is the quickest way to get to your ZipCar before a surprise thunderstorm can strike.

As it turns out, it's also the quickest way to finally convince your neighbors that you have, indeed, lost your mind.

June 19, 2011

Ahoy Matey

Sippy Cup (yelling from the room): "Daaaaad!"

Me (sitting at the dining room table reading): "Yes my liege?"

Sippy Cup (yelling from the room): "You have to come see what I found!"

Me (refusing to fall for his trap): "How about you bring it here and show it to me?"

Sippy Cup (running): "Haha!  This is awesome!"

Me (my head buried in a book): "I'm sure it is."

Sippy Cup (standing, stark naked, in the living room): "Look!  I found my pirate parts! 
I found my pirate parts!"

Me (putting the book down): "First of all, I didn't know you had lost them.  Second of all, I'm pretty sure we've know what?  I'm not even going to correct you.  High-five!"

Sippy Cup (trying to close one eye): "Aaaarrrrghhh!"

Happy Father's Day everyone

June 17, 2011

WWE Rumblers

One of the unexpected outcomes of writing this site has been the fact that a good number of people have come to respect Sippy Cup's opinion.

The majority of these people are our friends and family who find his brutal honesty hilarious and tend to ask him what "...he really thinks of his Daddy".

However, a few weeks ago, I received an email requesting Sippy Cup's opinion on something completely different: Mattel's line of WWE toys and action figures.

I will admit that (for a split second) I hesitated, simply because I wanted to remain true to the original intentions of this site. 

But then common sense kicked in and reminded me that a free toy is a free toy and Sippy Cup's honest opinions can be worth more than just laughs for my friends.

So, thanks to the good folks at Mattel, we received a package in the mail the other day containing two different toys: the WWE Rumblers Blast & Bash Battle Ring and a WWE Defining Moments Figure.

WWE Rumblers Blast & Bash Battle Ring

I tend to judge the popularity of a toy depending on how long Sippy Cup plays with it.  As a 4 year-old, Sippy Cup has the attention span of, well, a 4 year-old so most of our purchases are popular for a few hours at most.  However, even though a few days have already passed, Sippy Cup is still playing with his Rumblers Blast & Bash Battle Ring.

The play set includes the ring, a mini-breakaway table, a mini folding chair and 2 WWE Rumbler Figures (John Cena and Sheamus).  The concept is simple and straight-forward: by pounding on the ring paddles, kids can "blast" their respective opponents into the air and out of the ring where, with the included accessories, the mayhem can continue.

The ring is made of a very sturdy plastic and the ropes have enough resistance to replicate "jumps from the top rope" rather effectively.  The mini figurines are highly detailed and poseable, allowing for intense and terrifying wrestling matches and photo-realistic winning poses following the match. 

I will be honest and admit that the ring paddles are rather noisy; nevertheless, wrestling is supposed to be a loud and raucous event and Sippy Cup embraced all of the sound effects he was making with joy and enthusiasm.  He LOVES this toy.

The second toy included in the package was the "Macho Man" Randy Savage Defining Moments Figure. 

"Macho Man" Randy Savage Defining Moments Figure

The untimely passing of Randy Savage just a few weeks ago made this moment particularly bittersweet for me as it brought back all of the fond memories of growing up in the heyday of the World Wrestling Federation.  I remember my Saturday mornings were spent watching WWF wrestling matches and trying my best to replicate the flips and tosses on my twin-sized bed.  I can vividly recall the rush of adrenaline that I would get when the Ultimate Warrior's entrance music would start playing or whenever Macho Man would scream out his trademark "Oooooh yeah!"

The figure features an incredibly high-level of detailing, great articulation on the arms and legs, high-quality fabric for the costume and a display stand.  It makes a great gift for the older wrestling fan or anyone who is into sports memorabilia.  So, in other words, it makes a great gift for the Dad in your life. 

Now, if there was only some sort of holiday dedicated only to Dads on which to bestow such an awesome gift...

June 10, 2011

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (13)

Hey kid,

Right now, it's 9:45pm on a Friday night.

Just a few years ago, right at this time, I would have been waking up from a quick nap, jumping in the shower and getting ready to go out to a bar.

Tonight, however, we spent a full hour playing Picture-Words Bingo with the M.O.M. and your grandparents.  It was an absolute blast.

Our life changes in ways we can never anticipate.  But embrace those changes. 

More often than not, they'll be for the better.


June 9, 2011

A Letter to "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant"

Dear I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant,

Thanks to your lovely and educational program, my son thinks his baby sister is going to be born in a toilet.

Mr. Cufflinks

June 7, 2011

Bad For Your Health

M.O.M. (yelling from the living room): "Excuse me, you'd better come in here and clean up this mess!"

Sippy Cup (yelling from the room): "You better told yourself before you rep yourself!"

M.O.M. : "What?"

Sippy Cup (still yelling): "You better told yourself before you rep yourself!"

M.O.M. (to me): "What in the world is he saying?"

Me: "Uhm, I could be wrong, but I think he's trying to say 'You better check yo self before you wreck yo self'.  But I could be wrong."

Sippy Cup (strutting into the living room): "You better told yourself before you rep yourself
because my foot in your butt is bad fo yo health!"

M.O.M. : "So this is what you spend your time teaching him?"

Me (blank stare): "Amongst other things..."

June 4, 2011

Saturday Morning Cartoon (3)

(click image for larger version)

** Editor's Note: This guy is still pretty damn awesome. **

May 30, 2011

Animals in Brooklyn

Last summer, right around this time, Sippy Cup and I took a trip to the Prospect Park Zoo.

This year, once again on a complete whim, we decided to repeat the trip but to drag a very pregnant M.O.M. with us as well (apparently a lot of walking is encouraged when you're ready to get rid of the 8 pound bowling ball you have tucked away in your stomach).

Whether through coincidence or good timing, the baboons in the zoo had recently had babies as well.  This led to a few interesting anthropological discoveries as the M.O.M. and I learned just how similar our parenting techniques are to those of wild animals. 

At first, we were a little taken aback by this discovery. 

Then we both realized that when your child is a wild little monkey in his own right, then baboon parenting tricks are just the thing he needs.

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

May 23, 2011

M & N Pastries

When we aren't busy raising children, this is how the M.O.M. and I pass the time.

It keeps us sane.  And it's a lot less expensive than therapy.

M & N Pastries

May 22, 2011

Commercial Break

Believe it or not (in spite of the fact that I spend most of my day playing video games with my son), I am still able to string complex sentences together at times and sound semi-eloquent.

This is especially true when I am expressing an honest and sincere sentiment.

I have been a fan of Me In My Place for quite a while now. This weekend, I finally figured out why and I decided to contact the creator and let them know of my epiphany.

As it turns out, they agreed with my opinion/theory and decided to publish my email.

I know that Me In My Place (kind of NSFW...but in a really beautiful way) may seem to have absolutely no connection to my adventures in parenting.

Nevertheless, if you read through my email, you'll see that it does.

I am going to be the father of a little girl in a few weeks. The thought of her ever having to struggle with a poor self-image breaks my heart.

I can only hope that sites like these help to remind her that, no matter what she looks like, she will always be the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world.

Please click the link and spread the love.

Received this nice email yesterday…

May 21, 2011

Sign of the Times

I am pretty sure that this conversation counts as a sign of the pending Apocalypse.

Sippy Cup (laughing): "Dad, remember that time we were in the supermarket and you dropped
all the little tomatoes everywhere?!"

Me: "That was random.  But, yes, I do remember.  I remember you and your mom laughing.  A lot."

Sippy Cup: "Yeah!  It was funny!"

Me: "Yeah, I guess it was pretty funny."

Sippy Cup: "Yeah.  I gotta put that on Facebook."

Me: "Say what now?"

Sippy Cup: "That story.  I have to put it on Facebook."

Me: "Wait a second.  How do you know about Facebook?"

Sippy Cup (shrugging his shoulders): "I don't know.  I just do."

Me: "So then why do you want to put it on Facebook?"

Sippy Cup (laughing): "Because it's funny!  Come on, Dad!  You said it's funny too! 
Let's put it on Facebook!"

May 16, 2011

In Cloudiest Day

With the upcoming premiere of the film Green Lantern on June 17th, the good folks at DC Comics, Warner Bros., Mattel Inc. and BSM Media invited Lil Sippy Cup and his friends to play with the toys and actions figures that are to be released in conjunction with the film.

Although it should go without saying, I want to make it perfectly clear that we received no compensation for this party.  While this site is primarily a journal for my son to enjoy when he's older, I felt that this would be an exciting opportunity for him and, as an awesome additional benefit, he would be able to play with some fun toys. 

Needless to say, he and his friends had an amazing time.  The toys were bright, colorful, easily shifted and posed and, most importantly, incredibly durable. If they survived the mad genius of Sippy Cup's fiendish imagination, then I am pretty sure they can survive anything.

The kids all watched a Green Lantern feature-length animated movie, played with the toys, flipped through the hard-cover illustrated novels and enjoyed a custom-made cake courtesy of yours truly and the M.O.M.

All in all, it was a pretty awesome way to spend a cloudy and rainy weekend in New York City.

As always, please follow the jump for more pictures. 

May 10, 2011


Today was a very special and important day for me.

Today, Sippy Cup chose his own outfit, without any parental assistance or input.

Much more importantly, he didn't look like a complete lunatic when he was finished.

I present to you, my son's first solo outfit:

Red chambray shirt.  Blue tee shirt.  Brown cords.  Red Chuck Taylor's.

Most dads brag about their sons hitting home runs or scoring touchdowns.

Today, I finally know what that feels like.

May 4, 2011

The Food Pyramid

Lil Sippy Cup recently learned about healthy diets and the food pyramid.

Like most of us, he learned this thanks to The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food.

As you'd expect, it took him all of 1 week before he put his newly acquired knowledge to good use.

Sippy Cup: "Dad, I want a snack."

Me: "Sure.  What would you like?"

Sippy Cup: "Candy! Candy! Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaandddddy!"

Me: "Right.  But you already learned that candy isn't good for you.  Remember? 
You should pick out a snack that has good stuff in it.  Like vitamins."

Sippy Cup: " carrots have vitamins?'

Me: "Yes sir.  Do you want a carrot?"

Sippy Cup: "Nope.  Does milk have vitamins in it?"

Me: "Yep.  Do you want some milk?"

Sippy Cup: "Nope.  Does cheese have vitamins in it?"

Me: "Yes.  It's made from milk.  So, since milk has vitamins, cheese has vitamins too.
Do you want a string cheese snack?"

Sippy Cup: "Nope.  Does chocolate have vitamins in it?"

Me: "I don't know.  I don't think so.  Dark chocolate has some vitamins.  But I'm not sure about milk chocolate.  That bar is milk chocolate.  So it has some milk in it."

Sippy Cup (jumping up and down): "Then I want milk chocolate!  I want milk chocolate! 
Chocolate has milk!  Milk has vitamins!  So, milk chocolate has vitamins!"

Me: "Yeeeeaaaah...I walked right into that one."

April 26, 2011

Sundays with Nino

Sippy Cup: "Nino, does Jesus have a car?"

Nino: "No, I don't think so."

Sippy Cup: "So then how does he take the candy to the children on Easter?"

Nino: "Uhm.  I think he has one horse."

Sippy Cup: "So Jesus is a cowboy?"

Me (shaking my head): "Thanks Dad."

Nino: "What? He asked me a question!"

Sippy Cup (whispering in shock): "Jesus is a cowboy!"

April 23, 2011

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (12)

Hey kid,

Earlier today, you reached up and turned on the bathroom light all by yourself.

You did this without having to use your step stool.

I know this may seem like an insignificant moment to you.

But it wasn't to me.


April 20, 2011

Super Hero Birthday Party

This past weekend, Sippy Cup celebrated his 4th birthday in grand style at Long Island City Kids Gym.

The kids played, the parents ate and everyone sang songs of praise and glory.

Or maybe it was just "Happy Birthday".

Either way, it was a blast.

As promised, here are some pictures chronicling the event.  Follow the jump for even more fun.

April 18, 2011

Thank You

As you all know, Sippy Cup celebrated his 4th birthday this past weekend and, while I will get to the pictures documenting all of the shenanigans later this week, I feel it is very important that I share the following story first.

You see, for the past few weeks, the M.O.M. has been meticulously planning this event.  She picked out the theme, ordered all of the necessary supplies and found the location.  She bought favor bags, goodies to fill them with and organized a musical play list of age-appropriate music for the day of the party. 

While all of this would have been impressive enough, she took it a step further. 

She designed cardboard lunch boxes for the kids (complete with a crust-less sandwich, a snack, a juice box and a pack of crayons to decorate said box) and even crafted individual super-hero capes for all of the children to take home.  These capes were personalized with each child's initial, cut to size (i.e. 1T, 2T, 3T, etc.) and included velcro fasteners on the neck loops to make sure they fit snugly and comfortably.

The M.O.M. is the sole bread-winner in this house.  She works 40+ hours every week and commutes via the lovely NYC Mass Transit system every single day.  She is also 31 weeks into her pregnancy.  In spite of her busy work schedule and often hectic commute, she would come home, every single night, and prepare some aspect of this party.

I am so often humbled by the compliments I receive in the comments sections about how I am such a great father and how Sippy Cup is lucky to have a dad like me in his life.  While I do agree that I work hard as his dad, it is important that everyone reading this realize something: I pale in comparison to his mother. 

We are a team.  I am the father that I am because she is the mother that she is.  And I shudder to think what my life and my son's life would be like without her in them.

I am 4 years older than the M.O.M.  I outweigh her by 70 pounds.  I even exercise 3 times a week as compared to her 0 times a week.

And yet I still know, without a doubt, that she is stronger than I will ever be.

Thank you, M.O.M.  You made our son's birthday spectacular.

April 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Sippy Cup

Hey guys.  Sorry we couldn't post today.  We are out and about celebrating Sippy Cup's 4th Birthday.

Please feel free to leave us a message after the end of this post.

We'll return to our regularly scheduled madness on Monday.

Take care,
Mr. Cufflinks and Lil Sippy Cup

April 14, 2011


Me: "Hey, little man, you're getting to be pretty big now and I think it's important that
you learn the meaning of the word 'respect'."

Sippy Cup: "What's that?"

Me: "Well, 'respect' means when you treat people the way you would want them to treat you."

Sippy Cup: "Huh?"

Me: "Well, let me see if I can explain this.  Uhm...what's your favorite toy?"

Sippy Cup: "Uhm...I don't robot?"

Me: "Ok.  Your robot.  What if you were playing with your robot in the park-"

Sippy Cup: "Why would I take the robot to the park?  I wouldn't take my robot to the park. 
It could get dirty.  Or break!"

Me: "Ok, calm down.  Let's just imagine that you take it with you to the playground for some reason. 
What if you were playing with your robot in the park and some little boy came and took it from you? 
For no reason whatsoever, he just comes over and takes it from you?"

Sippy Cup: "I'd get up, punch him and take it back."

Me: "Well, no, you see that's not nice.  Would you like it if he punched you?"

Sippy Cup: "Why would he punch me?  He took my robot!"

Me: "Well, let's say you took his robot and then he got up and punched you."

Sippy Cup: "Well, if I took his robot, then I guess it's ok if he punched me.  Then I'd give it back to him."

Me (sighing): "Really?  Even with this one?  You just couldn't sit there and learn something, could you?"

Sippy Cup: "That's why I don't take toys to the playground.  That way, no one gets punched."

April 12, 2011

Sippy Cup Sold Dreams

Recently, Lil Sippy Cup magically transformed one of his toy play sets into an entrepreneurial enterprise. 

I thought it was a fantastic opportunity for him to practice some basic math skills. 

As with everything I plan, I ended up being taught the lesson and not the other way around.

Sippy Cup: "Dad!  Come to my bodega!"

Me: "Oh, this is a bodega?  I thought it was a castle?"

Sippy Cup: "No, see, I have a potato, an apple, a banana, a piece of bread, some chocolate and some candy.  Oh and a cell phone!"

Me: "Ok, I don't want to know where you found that cell phone. 
Speaking of which, how much is the cell phone?"

Sippy Cup: "The phone is $1 dollar!"

Me: "Oh, wow, that must be an amazing phone.  So how much is the bread?"

Sippy Cup: "The bread is $2 dollars!"

Me: "Wait a second?  In your store, a phone is $1 dollar but bread is $2 dollars?  That's ridiculous!"

Sippy Cup: "No it isn't!"

Me: "Good response.  So how much is this candy?"

Sippy Cup: "Oh, that's $35 dollars!"

Me: "$35 dollars!  That's absurd!"

Sippy Cup: "No it isn't!  I like that candy!"

Me: "So your pricing scheme is based on the personal value you've attached to the items?"

Sippy Cup: "I love candy!"

Me: "Clearly.  You do realize that you are capitalizing on the current economic situation
in this apartment and have created a monopoly?"

Sippy Cup: "I know that!  It's my bodega!  Soooooo...are you going to buy something or not?"

April 10, 2011


Yesterday afternoon, Public School 295 in Park Slope, Brooklyn hosted a fund-raising event called "Touch-A-Truck".

At the event, children were invited to climb aboard a variety of different trucks and city service vehicles, including dump trucks, cement trucks, ambulances, garbage trucks and (always the crowd favorite) fire trucks.

Needless to say, the little dude had an amazing time, dancing in the street, exploring fire safety equipment and driving a moving van (Yep.  A moving van.)

Even more important, since New York City's Public School arts program is severely under-funded, all of the proceeds of the day's event went directly to P.S. 295's arts program.  This, my friends, is what you call a win-win.

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

April 8, 2011

Brain Teasers

Me: "Alright little dude, let's do some school work."

Sippy Cup: "Nah, I want to watch some cartoons."

Me: "Dude, you've been watching TV all morning.  That's not cool."

Sippy Cup: "You're crazy.  Cartoons are great."

Me: "They are.  But too much TV isn't good for you either.  If you don't do school work, your brain won't get any exercise and then it'll get fat and mushy and slide out of your ears."

Sippy Cup (eyes wide with terror): "WHAT?!"

Me: "Yep.  Your brain will, literally, slide right out of your ears."

Sippy Cup (head sideways, jumping up and down, tapping his ear as if he has water stuck in it)

Me: "Uhm, what are you doing?"

Sippy Cup: "I want to see if my brain slides out!"

Me (sighing): "Fantastic.  Grab your book bag when your done."

Sippy Cup (still jumping): "I'm going to grab it!  When it slides out! 
I'm gonna grab it and push it back in!"

March 31, 2011

Job Opportunities

Sippy Cup: "Dad, I want to be a weather man when I grow up."

Me: "That was random.  But still awesome."

Sippy Cup: "Yeah.  And I want to shoot guns too."

Me: "Uhm, well, no, that's not cool."

Sippy Cup: "No, no, no.  I want to shoot guns at bad guys."

Me: "I thought you wanted to be a weather man?"

Sippy Cup: "I do.  And I want to shoot guns at bad guys too."

Me: "Sooooo, you want to be a crime-fighting weather man?"

Sippy Cup: "Haha!  Yeah!  Like Batman!"

Me: "I don't think Batman predicts the weather.  But, either way, I totally call the movie rights to this idea."

** Editor's Note - "Tonight's forecast?  100% chance of JUSTICE!"  It writes itself really. **

March 28, 2011

Bathroom Routine

Sippy Cup (banging at the bathroom door): "Dad!  Open up!  I've got to pee!"

Me (brushing my teeth): "Hgo hahead.  Hit's not slocked."

Sippy Cup (rushing in and dropping his shorts immediately): "Thanks Dad!"

Me (rinsing out my mouth and washing my face):
"No problem.  And a very good morning to you as well."

Sippy Cup (preparing to sit on the toilet seat): "That was a close one!"

Me (drying my face with the towel): "Uhm...what are you doing?"

Sippy Cup: "Peeing!"

Me: "Right.  But why are you sitting down?  Little boys don't sit down to pee."

Sippy Cup: "What?!  Why not?!"

Me: "I don't know why not.  You just don't."

Sippy Cup: "You're crazy.  Why would I stand up when I can sit down instead?"

Me: "Well...because...uhm..."

Sippy Cup: "When I sit down, I don't get tired.  And I don't make a mess!"

Me (sighing): "I really have no response for you."

Sippy Cup: "All finished!  Yay!  High-five! What's for breakfast?  I want chips!"

March 25, 2011

Field Report (5) : The Change

My son was born in April 2007 when I was 25 years-old. To be completely honest, I was utterly unprepared for the level of maturity and responsibility my new role as a “father” would require of me. While I was physically 25 years-old, emotionally I was roughly 16 years-old. Prior to having my son, I had never done a single load of laundry (something I had actually bragged about with pride to my herd of fellow brutes) and my culinary expertise was in preparing the most delicious bowl of cereal you have ever enjoyed (it’s all in how you pour the milk my friends).

Like most young fathers, I had the distinct impression that my world was going to irrevocably change; the previous version of me, the young, cool, well-dressed and completely unfettered bachelor would now be replaced by this slow, dim-witted, fat and terribly dressed “dad”. I had nightmares of receding hairlines and expanding midsections, of minivans and car pools, of ill-fitting jeans and hideous sweat pants. At the same time, I was equally horrified by the newer generation of “hipster dads” I saw popping up all over New York City. The kinds of dads who treated their children as if they were the latest fashionable accessory, who bought the most expensive and cumbersome strollers (“Look, it has a heated coffee cup holder/iPod charging dock and it’s also weather-resistant and bulletproof and it comes in an ironic black color pattern!”) and who named their children after Aztec gods (“His name is “Quetzalcoatl” but we just call him ‘Q’ for short”).

Today, I am 30 years old and I have the wisdom and clarity of vision afforded by hindsight. The truth is, when you have a child, your world does change. This is a statement of fact. No one can refute this. Prior to having my son, babies were just a vague “concept” to me. I knew they needed to be fed, changed, burped, and put to sleep. What I didn’t know was that these routines were not set in stone, were subject to change at the child’s sole discretion and would be completely useless at 2:30 in the morning when all you want is just 5 minutes of uninterrupted, deep, blissful sleep.

However, while your world does change, it does not have to happen in extremes. You do not suddenly have to wake up and be “Doofus Dad” wearing sweat pants as evening wear and completely disregarding your need for personal grooming; nor do you have to suddenly become “Hipster Dad”, an advocate of organic baby toys and hemp diapers. Here’s a secret few people will admit to: you can and should remain the same person you were before you had a baby. You can still enjoy football and beer and well-tailored suits and R-rated movies. You can still have a life outside of the four walls of your house. And with other people too! People who do not have to have children of their own. The trick is to find the balance, to walk the fine line between who you were before you had a baby and who you are now as a parent.

Here is an example to illustrate my point: when you have a baby, you can still go out and hang out with your former herd of brutes; however, while “hanging out until last call and sleeping off the hangover the following day” used to be the norm, you should probably be aware that your new baby does not care what you were doing the night before and will wake up for his morning feeding as per the usual custom. Here is another example: when you have a baby you can still go out and hang out with your former herd of brutes; however, while “conversations about the frequency and consistency of dirty diapers” are the norm at home, there is a very high probability that your herd of brutes is not interested in discussing this particular topic.

My point is that neither extreme is appropriate. You should never lose a sense of who you are as a person just because you are suddenly a parent. At the same time, it should be said that you should never forget that you are a parent just because you are hanging out with your friends. It is easy to get caught up in missing your former self, in remembering the fond nights of disorderly conduct encouraged by alcohol, in looking back and reminiscing about the time you and your best friend stole that huge potted plant from the hotel lobby. However, if you spend your time looking at the past, you’ll miss all of the amazing opportunities that now present themselves to you: the smile on your son’s face when you put him in a swing for the first time, the sound he makes when he is content and snoring, the discovery that waking up at 8:00 in the morning is no longer a blasphemous thought and actually means you have a longer day to enjoy in the sun. You have to find a way to walk the thin line between the two extremes and do your best, whenever applicable, to merge the two worlds.

When I was a 25 year-old brute, I was an avid fan of nice clothes, good food and great company. Now, as a 30 year-old dad, I am still an avid fan of nice clothes, good food and great company. The difference is that I have compensated for the addition of a new little brute in my herd. This little brute is developing his own taste for nice clothes (anything with a super hero on it), good food (chicken tenders and French fries) and great company (his own growing herd of fellow brutes). I bring him with me whenever I go shopping, whenever I want to go to a museum, whenever I want to just go outside for a walk. I want him to be a part of my world. I want to introduce him to all of the things I have come to love and cherish. At the end of the day, I realize that my world has changed. And it has changed for the better.

March 23, 2011

Self-Preservation (2)

** Editor's Note: Remember this guy?  Turns out he's pretty damn good at graphic design as well. 

Introducing our new logo.  I will be incorporating this into the website very soon.  Stay tuned. **

March 22, 2011


As I have mentioned, Lil Sippy Cup and I have embarked on a new daily activity: "Daddy School".

Sippy Cup has proven to be an eager and enthusiastic student and has progressed successfully through the pages of his workbooks.

In order to reinforce the lessons he learns while at "Daddy School", we incorporate educational games into our daily routines.  For example, while walking to the playground, I may ask him to point out all the objects he can find that start with the letter "S" or to count how many red cars he can see.

I was waiting to see how long it would take him before he would use his newly acquired knowledge to make me look like a fool.  It didn't take him long at all.

Sippy Cup: "Dad, the word 'Bunny Rabbit' has the letters 'R', 'T' and 'E' in it!"

Me: "Well, you got two out of three right.  The words 'Bunny Rabbit" have an 'R' and a 'T' but no 'E'. 
Good job though."

Sippy Cup: "Yes it does.  It says BUNN-EEEE."

Me: "Well, you're right, it sounds like the letter 'E' but it's actually the letter 'Y'.  It just sounds like 'E'."

Sippy Cup: "That's crazy.  It says BUNN-EEEE.  Don't you hear it?  BUNN-EEEEEEEEEEE?"

Me (grabbing a piece of paper and spelling the word out):
"No.  Look, this is how you write it. B-U-N-N-Y."

Sippy Cup: "Really?  So the toy with a string and a ball?  Is that a EE-OH EE-OH?  Noooooo!  It's a Yo-Yo.  Yuh.  Yuh.  That's the letter 'Y' sound."

Me: "Right.  I know it's confusing.  But when 'Y' is at the end of some words, it sounds like 'E'.  Do you understand?"

Sippy Cup (grabbing the paper and writing a capital E): "This is 'E'.  This is what it looks like. 
Do you understand?"

Me (sighing): "Yes.  I know.  But it ends in a 'Y'.  Just trust me. 
It sounds like 'E' but it ends in 'Y'.  Got it?"

Sippy Cup (nodding his head): "EEE-ES."

Me: "Really?  You're really going to do that?"

Sippy Cup (smiling): "EEE-EP."

March 18, 2011

Field Report (4) : The Secret

I have a terrible secret to share with you: for the better part of my life, I was a jerk. Picture in your mind every single jerk you have ever met. And then imagine that amalgamation of jerks had a mentor. I was that mentor. The kind of man who was the archetypal reference point in Greg Behrendt’s He’s Just Not That Into You. The kind of man who would have reveled in being Tucker Max’s wingman - beer and hell, here we come. The kind of man who would do anything, anything at all, just for the sake of having a great story to tell his friends.

I do not want to mislead anyone; this is not a cautionary tale nor is it a moving story of my eventual redemption. My wife has dealt with the tumultuous road of my maturing and it is reflective of the strength of our relationship and her faith in me that we are even married at all. The reason I mention this previous version of me (the “beta version” if you will) is because this shadowy figure has followed me into fatherhood and it is time that I dealt with him, once and for all.

I am the proud father of a beautiful 4 year-old little boy. He is intelligent, sincere, sweet, honest and utterly affectionate. Every single day, he amazes me with his wit, his humor, and his sense of curiosity. Like all parents, I have the highest expectations of him. And this is where the problems generally begin.

My wife feels that I expect too much of him. She has a professional background in education and a degree in Early Childhood Education and Development. By default, she knows when our son has reached age-specific milestones and when my expectations of his growth and behavior are simply beyond his age group.

I, on the other hand, don’t think that I should ever lower my expectations of him. As a stay-at-home dad, I spend nearly 10 hours alone with him every weekday and have seen how attentive, responsible and mature he can be. Whenever he is having a moment where he is not listening, when he is making the “wrong choices,” or when he is simply being a precocious toddler, she understands the underlying reasons for his behavior. To me, he is simply being bad. And I will not tolerate or excuse bad behavior simply because he’s young.

While I have always believed that my counter-argument was based on logic and empirical evidence (believe it or not, I have documented observations that he can be a well-behaved little boy), my militaristic standards for appropriate behavior for a 4 year-old are actually based on one fear. I am afraid that he will grow up to be me.

I look at my son and I see all of the amazing qualities that he has. And, yet, I want more for him; I want more from him. And now I worry that the shadow of my former self is stopping me from becoming a better father. My fear motivates all of the negative attributes that I have recognized in myself as a father. All of the times when I am impatient with him, when I don’t listen to his explanations, whenever I do not take the time to explain why his behavior is inappropriate, it is because I am terrified that, if I lower my expectations of him, then he will lower his expectations of himself. I push him, harder than anyone else in his life, because I am afraid that he will not live up to the infinite amount of potential I see in him.

As parents, we all carry what is probably an unhealthy amount of fear with us every single day. Some is justified as part of our instinctive need to protect our children. But how our fears manifest can impact our children negatively. Worrying that my son will grow up to be an unforgivable little jerk has engendered my unattainable expectations of him. For other parents, it can be the fear of their child getting hurt that prevents them from letting their child take part in certain sports. For others, it can be the fear of finally letting go of their child that prevents them from allowing their child to stay on-campus during their college years.

At the risk of sounding like a daytime talk show host, I do strongly caution parents to check their motivations when making decisions for and about their children. I have always maintained that parenting is an individual experience, shaped by the specific traits and needs of each child. Nevertheless, at the same time, as parents we do share universal emotions: joy, love, pain, pride, and (biggest of all) fear. Never let fear guide any of your decisions. And most especially when it comes to your kids. Your fears will place a stricter restriction on their potential than any lack of effort from their part ever will. In trying to do the best for them, ironically, your fear will establish boundaries for them and limit their experiences. For me, I have realized that in forcing him to listen to me and do things my way, I am only ensuring that he will grow up to be just like Daddy; in trying to make sure he would live up to his potential, I have prevented him from having the very experiences that would guarantee he would surpass my expectations.

The other night, exhausted after a day spent reprimanding my son and cleaning up after the numerous messes he had created, I prepared myself to go to bed. As is my habit, I crept into the room to check-in on him before going to sleep. The room was cold and I carefully pulled up his comforter to make sure he was warm. The door was open a bit and, as the light fell on his face, I was amazed by how angelic he looked while he slept. I gently kissed him on the forehead and realized that, no matter how much of my blood is in him, he would never grow up to be a jerk like me.

March 17, 2011

Sippy Cup J. Frog

Today was the first truly beautiful day New York City has seen in quite a long time.

Naturally, we celebrated this glorious occasion with a trip to a local playground.

While on the swing set, I noticed a strange pattern in my son's behavior.

You see, when we are all alone, Lil Sippy Cup is an incredibly mature, witty and intelligent little boy.

When he is in front of strangers, however, his behavior is a bit...different.

We are alone in the swing set.

Me: "Are you having fun?"

Sippy Cup: "Yep.  It's such a beautiful day."

Me: "It is.  We needed it."

Sippy Cup: "Yes we did.  Hey Dad, did you know that a giraffe cleans its own nose with its tongue? 
How awesome is that?"

Me: "Wow.  I'm not sure if I knew that."

Another set of parents enters the swing set.

Sippy Cup: "Yep.  I wish I could clean my nose with my tongue.  I also wish I had a tail."

Me (trying to ignore him as the other parents stare at us): "Yep."

Sippy Cup (noticing that I'm ignoring him and raising his voice): "I SAID I WISH I COULD CLEAN MY NOSE WITH MY TONGUE AND I ALSO WISH I HAD A TAIL!"

Me: "Fantastic."

Parents slowly and carefully walk away.

Sippy Cup: "Wow Dad.  Look at how tall those trees are!"

Me: "Yeah they are pretty tall."

Sippy Cup: "They don't have any leaves.  Maybe a Diplodocus ate all of the leaves? 
 Diplodocus was a herbivore so he only ate leaves and plants."

Me: "Wow, that's amazing!  Where did you learn that?  On Dino Dan?"

A new set of parents enters the swing set.

Sippy Cup: "Yeah.  James thinks we should eat some leaves too."

Me: "Uhm, I don't think that's a good idea."

Sippy Cup: "James?  Did you hear that?  Daddy said it's not such a good idea.  Yep.  I think your Daddy is right.  Leaves probably taste funny.  Haha!  James you're so funny!"

Me (talking to myself): "Perfect time to start talking to yourself kid."

Sippy Cup: "Dad, be careful, James is standing right behind you."

Parents cautiously look behind me.

Me (waving): "Hey, how you doing folks? Gorgeous day, isn't it?"

** Editor's Note: This is our 300th post.  Awesome. **