March 29, 2013

March 28, 2013


Princess Teacup: "Daee! I want cracker!"

Me (grabbing the box of crackers): "Ok love."

Princess Teacup: "Yay!"

Me (breaking the cracker in half and handing her the two pieces): "Here you go baby.  Eat them one at a time."

Princess Teacup (promptly shoving both pieces of cracker into her mouth)

Me: "I said one!"

Princess Teacup (with her mouth full and spewing small crumbs everywhere): "Two! Three! Four! Yay!"

Me (holding my face in my hands and sighing): "What am I going to do with you?"

Princess Teacup (hiding her face behind her hands): "Boo! Yay!"

March 26, 2013

Princess Teacup: Lost in Translation (11-15)

As most of you already know, I have provided our readers with some basic words and phrases to keep them as safe as possible just in case they should ever find themselves alone with my daughter for some ridiculous reason.

Here are 5 more words and/or phrases to help you survive your time.  God speed.

"Fry Fry" - French Fries; one of the rare moments where you can figure out what she actually means based on context.  However, she may request french fries even when there are no french fries to be seen.  Especially if it is bedtime. I.E. "I want fry fry!"

"Check-Up" - Ketchup ; although phonetically similar to the actual word she means to say, she will attempt to confuse you so that her potential tantrum becomes justified. I.E. "I want check-up for my fry fry!"

"Pity Peas?" - Pretty please? ; a rarely seen moment wherein her desire for whatever you have supersedes her normally prideful sense of entitlement. Please note: not related to vegetable sympathy. I.E. "I want check-up for my fry fry! Pity peas?"

"Tea" - TV ; a rather lazy attempt to name the television.  Although technically a noun, it is also intended as a verb, commanding you to turn on the television and (no matter what time of day it is) make Melmo perform for her. I.E. "I want tea! Tea! Melmo!"

"I Can't Do It, Do It!" - "I can't do this particular task!  Please help me!"; straight-forward command.  Please note: most often used when the task she is attempting is especially dangerous; if you hear her say "I can't do it, do it!" quickly proceed to whatever room she is in at the time. I.E. "I can't do it, do it!" (while attempting to climb onto the middle of the dining room table to grab a butter knife).

March 25, 2013

The Bottlecaps and the 3 Bears

- Sippycup and his cousins (Cassidy and Chase) are raucously playing in their grandparents' living room - 

M.O.M.: "Ok guys!  How about we play a quiet game?"

Sippcup: "Like what?"

M.O.M.: "Why don't you guys pretend that you're out camping?"

Sippycup: "Yay! This is awesome!"

Cassidy: "Let's lie down in our sleeping bags!"

M.O.M. (whispering): "But you have to be quiet!  You don't want to wake up the bears that are sleeping outside!"

- Chase runs to the window and stares out intently -

Sippycup (whispering): "I love camping!"

Cassidy (whispering): "Me too!"

Chase (turning from the window): "Ain't no bears outside!"

M.O.M. (laughing): "What?"

Chase (quickly glancing out the window before turning back to us): "Ain't no bears gonna eat us! Ain't no bears outside!"

Me (turning to the M.O.M.): "Fantastic.  You've traumatized our nephew."

March 22, 2013

Happy Belated Birthday Mr. Rogers

This past Wednesday (March 20th) would have been Mr. Rogers' 85th birthday.

Like most of my readers and fans, I grew up watching educational programming on PBS. Whether Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Reading Rainbow or Sesame Street, I was always guaranteed free, high-quality, educational programming every single afternoon.

As a parent, I can now look back on those memories with a new-found sense of admiration and respect for the mission of PBS and Mr. Rogers.  At absolutely no cost to my parents, my sister and I were able to extend our learning beyond the classroom and into our home.

It is no secret that the educational system in this country is failing.  All of our various attempts to diagnose and address the problem have only resulted in clouding our vision and further complicating an already dense and complex issue.

I am not qualified to speak on our nation's educational crisis in any profound way; I leave the debates to the educators and policy makers.  Nevertheless, I cannot help but believe that we have turned away from the answers that are right in front of our collective eyes; that we are ignoring the solutions that have worked in the past.

In 1969, Fred Rogers appeared before the United States Senate, defending the value of PBS and arguing against the 50% cut to their funding proposed by former President Richard Nixon.  His speech is direct, eloquent and passionate and elucidates the value of PBS and their programming.

(Here is the 7 minute video.  Please watch it.  It is well worth your time.)

You see, the true value of PBS and their programming was not just the actual academic lessons they taught.  Yes, I was able to practice my alphabet, my phonics, my math and a host of other educational skills through the help of the Muppets and their friends.  However, the reason PBS remains truly priceless is the lessons that lay underneath the obvious ones; Big Bird and Snuffy taught me the value of friendship; Levar Burton taught me to truly love reading; and Mr. Rogers always reminded me that I was special and that he liked me "...just the way you are."

PBS worked in concert with my existing team of educators and parents.  Their programs taught me to embrace my curiosity; to expand my knowledge; to simply fall in love with learning.  They did not attempt to replace my classroom work nor to substitute the love of my parents.  However, for those children who were not lucky enough to have great schools in their neighborhood or for those children who were not fortunate enough to have great parents in their homes, PBS did the best that they could to address both their educational and emotional needs.

We owe it to our children to continue to work towards solving the educational crisis in America.  PBS did not contact me in any way nor do they have any idea that I wrote this post.  As a father and an employee of a national education nonprofit, I sincerely believe in the mission of the PBS Foundation and hope you will join me in supporting their efforts.  Please follow this link to donate directly to your local PBS station: Support the PBS Foundation.

March 21, 2013

Injury Timeouts

Me (prepping his lunch in the kitchen): "Sup buddy?  How was your day today?"

Sippy Cup (rubbing his forehead): "Hey Daddy.  It was good."

Me: "Did you like hanging out with Nina after school?"

Sippy Cup: "Yeah.  I always like hanging out with Nina.  And Nino too."

Me: "That's good.  I know he misses you a lot if he doesn't see you every weekend.  How about your sister?  Did she have fun at Nina's house too?"

Sippy Cup (rubbing his forehead again): "Yeah.  Sort of.  She got in trouble for coloring on the walls."

M.O.M. (to me): "Oh my God!  Your poor mother!  That little girl is going to ruin her house!"

Me (laughing): "So what did Nina do?  I hope she put her on timeout.  Did she reprimand her?"

Sippy Cup: "Yeah.  But when Nina told her that she couldn't color on the wall she started to cry.  And that made me feel sad.  So I made her laugh!"

M.O.M.: "Aww baby.  That's really sweet of you.  You're such a good big brother!"

Me: "What did you do to make her laugh?"

Sippy Cup (rubbing his forehead again): "I smashed my face into the fridge a few times. She likes it when I do that."

Me (kneeling down to pick him up): "And that explains the forehead rubbing.  Do we have any Children's Ibuprofen in the house?"

March 20, 2013

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (23)

Hey kid,

When we found out we were having your sister, I knew instinctively that you would be an amazing older brother.

What I was not prepared for was just how much you would help us with her.

Because of you, your sister knows how to count to ten in both English and Spanish.

Because of you, your sister enjoys reading books.

Because of you, your sister's vocabulary continues to expand at an advanced pace.

Because of you, your sister knows to say "Please" and "Thank You" and "Excuse Me".

By the time you read this, you both will have probably forgotten about these smaller moments in her development.

But I hope she realizes just how lucky she is to have you as an older brother.

And I hope you realize just how lucky I am to have you as a son.


March 19, 2013

Subway Lunch

M.O.M. (sitting next to him): "Do you like riding on the subway?"

Sippy Cup (looking out the subway car windows): "Yeah.  It's fun!"

- A middle-aged gentleman enters the subway car -

Gentleman: "Ladies and Gentlemen!  I'm sorry to disturb your ride!  I am not begging for money or asking for help! I am here offering help instead!"

Sippy Cup (turning around in his seat): "Why is he being so loud?"

M.O.M. (whispering): "Hush.  You're being loud."

Sippy Cup: "What's he talking about?"

M.O.M.: "Well baby, there are some people who aren't as fortunate as we are and they are forced to live in the streets.  This man is trying to help them by giving out some food."

Gentleman: "I have small sandwiches and apples!  If you're hungry, please feel free to let me know!  I'd be happy to help!"

Sippy Cup (raises his hand)

M.O.M. (aghast): "What are you doing?"

Sippy Cup: "I'm hungry!  I want a sandwich!  Or maybe an apple!  I didn't know they gave out food on the subway!  This is fun!"

M.O.M. (grabbing his hand): "Oh my God!  Put your hand down!"

Sippy Cup: "But he asked if anyone was hungry!  I'm an "anyone"! And I'm hungry!"

March 15, 2013

Rock. Paper. Scissors. Shoot. (Part Tres)

Sippy Cup (pounding both of his fists at the dining table): "Rock, paper, scissor, shoot!"

Me (trying to eat my breakfast): "Uhm?  Relax?  Thanks."

Sippy Cup (shaking his fists in the air): "Rock, paper, scissor, shoot!"

Me: "Much better.  Thank you."

Sippy Cup (still shaking his fists in the air): "Rock, paper, scissor, shoot! Aw man!  I lost!"

Me: "What's that now?"

Sippy Cup: "I lost."

Me: "Uhm? You lost what?"

Sippy Cup: "In 'Rock. Paper. Scissor. Shoot.'  I lost! I never lose!"

Me: "Wait.  Who were you playing against?"

Sippy Cup: "Myself!"

Me: "So how did you lose?"

Sippy Cup: "I was the right hand."

Me: "But, since both hands are yours, you also won."

Sippy Cup (staring at me, visibly concerned): "Are you crazy?  There can only be one winner.  Only.  One."

March 14, 2013


M.O.M.: "Ok baby.  It's pajama time."

Princess Teacup (shouting from her room): "No!"

M.O.M. (walking into their room): "Yes my love.  It's 8 o'clock.  It's bedtime.  You and your brother both have to go to sleep."

Princess Teacup (sitting on the floor, arms crossed): "No!"

M.O.M. (crossing her arms as well): "Excuse me?"

Princess Teacup (looking up): "No!"

Me (standing at the door): "I'm pretty sure she's entered the 'No' phase."

Princess Teacup (standing up and walking over to me): "No!"

M.O.M. (trying to stifle a laugh): "Is that your plan you little monster?  Are you just going to shout 'No' to everything?"

Princess Teacup (walking out of the room and whispering): "No."

March 13, 2013

Angelic Intervention

Me (staring at a photo of Adriana Lima): "Oh look.  It's your girlfriend."

M.O.M. (peeking over): "Damn.  She's hot."

Me: "I don't know.  I think Alessandra is hotter."

M.O.M.: "Nope.  As usual, you're wrong."

Me: "It's just that, with Lima, she's almost too pretty.  I don't know if that makes sense."

M.O.M.: "It doesn't."

Me: "It's almost too much.  Like too aggressive and in your face.  See, you're pretty-"

M.O.M. (holding up her hand without looking at me): "Let me just do you the favor and stop you before you go any further."

Me: "No, wait, let me finish my thought. It'll make sense, I swear!"

M.O.M.: "I'm pretty sure that you think that it will.  But it won't make sense at all.  So I'm just trying to help you out and stop you before the stupidity comes pouring out."

Me: "You're pretty too!  But your beauty-"

M.O.M.: "But I'm not too pretty?  Because that's the logical conclusion.  Do you see that now?  Do you see how I tried to help you?"

Me (suddenly nervous): "But that's not what I meant!"

M.O.M. (sighing and patting me on the shoulder): "You poor, poor man.  It's never about what you actually mean.  It's about what I think you meant."

- 5 seconds of silence -

Me: "I love you?"

March 8, 2013

A Memo To Future Parents (2)

To: Future Parents

From: Mr. Cufflinks

Date: March 8, 2013

Re: Parenthood

Regardless of what you have seen on television or on your favorite Pinterest boards, being a parent will never be a slow-motion game of tag through a wheat field or a series of ridiculous photo-ops in barnyards.

Parenthood is ugly.  Parenthood is scary.  Parenthood is difficult and trying and will push you beyond your limits.

Parenthood is dealing with a 5 year-old who can't fall asleep because his stomach hurts.

Parenthood is being terrified because you don't know if his cries of pain are just whining caused by a need for affection or if they are sincere cries of pain caused by appendicitis.

Parenthood is having your body destroyed by a combination of strep throat and bronchitis and still searching the term "Pediatric Stomach Pains" on your iPad with your right hand while rubbing your son's belly with your left hand at midnight.

Parenthood is having to get up at 4:45am to start getting ready for work and still getting up to take care of your 2 year-old daughter while your husband consoles your son while simultaneously using the iPad to attempt to diagnose his stomach pain at midnight.

Parenthood is realizing that neither you nor your wife are trained pediatricians and should not be trusting a website to diagnose your precious son.

Parenthood is making the decision to take him to the emergency room because you can no longer stand to see him in so much pain.

Parenthood is getting him dressed and having him wait on the couch while you get yourself dressed.

Parenthood is finally getting yourself dressed only to come out and realize that he has vomited on the couch and, as expected, is suddenly feeling "...a lot better Daddy".

Parenthood is stripping the couch covers and throwing them in the wash at 12:15am with a slight smile on your face because, in spite of the terrible exhaustion you and your wife will feel in a few hours, your son is feeling better and his health and happiness is the only thing that truly matters.

Parenthood is ugly.  Parenthood is scary.  Parenthood is difficult and trying and will push you beyond your limits.

But you can do it.

Because your kids are amazing.  And, if you don't do your job, then who will?   

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment below or email your regional manager at

March 7, 2013

Pillow Talk (2)

Me (peering out the window): "Wow, it's really windy outside."

M.O.M. (in bed, reading a book): "Yeah, it sounds scary."

Me (crawling into bed next to her): "I don't remember it sounding this bad during Sandy."

- a few seconds of silence - 

M.O.M. (putting her book down): "What is wind?"

Me (laughing): "What?"

M.O.M. (laughing as well): "No, seriously.  What is wind?"

Me (still laughing while sitting up): "What are you 4 years old?"

M.O.M.: "Why? Do you know the answer?"

Me: "Well, uhm, not like the precise answer.  But isn't it like the movement of air through currents and slip streams caused by the rotation of the Earth?"

M.O.M.: "You don't sound like you know what you're talking about."

- a few seconds of silence -

Me (getting up from bed): "I'm going to go look it up.  Because, knowing him, he's going to ask me a million questions about the wind tomorrow."

M.O.M.: "I don't understand how we're responsible for raising two children and we don't even know what wind is."

March 5, 2013

A Memo to Future Parents (1)

To: Future Parents

From: Mr. Cufflinks

Date: March 5, 2013

Re: Sick Days

When you have children of your own, please know that your "sick days", "vacation days" and/or "personal days" no longer belong to you.  

They belong to your children and will be used for "tummy aches", "teething pains" and/or "flu symptoms".

"Mental Health Days" spent watching Netflix and making terrible dietary decisions are a thing of the past.

Please note: this also applies to any "Holidays" that coincide with "School Holidays"; in other words, all holidays.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment below or email your regional manager at

March 4, 2013

Rock. Paper. Scissors. Shoot. (Part Deux)

Sippy Cup (smiling): "Hey Dad, let's play 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' again!"

Me (putting my book down): "Ok.  But I should warn you, I've learned from our last game.  I'm playing by your street rules now."

Sippy Cup (still smiling): "Ok!"

Me (nervous): "Your smile worries me.  But let's do this!"

Sippy Cup (pounding his little fist into his open palm): "Rock, paper, scissor, shoot!"

Me (holding up a finger gun): "Ha!"

Sippy Cup (holding up his palm, similar to a traffic cop directing traffic to stop): "Ha! I win!"

Me: "What? How is that possible? You held up paper! I'm pretty sure a gun beats paper!"

Sippy Cup (switching his hand to a palm up/"low five" position): "Nope, this is paper!"

Me: "So what was that other thing?"

Sippy Cup (reverting to his original palm forward position): "This?  This is a bullet-proof vest!"

March 1, 2013

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (22)

Hey kid,

Right now, you have a few innocent crushes on at least three different girls in your class.

However, if by the time you're reading this, you've figured out that you like boys more than you like girls, then make sure you tell me.  

Because although I will want to know, I absolutely won't care.

Are you humble? Are you honest? Are you loyal to your family and friends? Are you true to your word? Are you respectful of your mother? Are you protective of your sister? Are you living up to the potential I have seen in you since the moment you entered this world?

Did you answer "yes" to all of these questions?

Good. Then go finish living your life.  Because you have become the man I expected you to be.

And who you love is your business.

And I don't blame him for falling in love with you.