April 29, 2013

What I Learned Today (24)

Today I learned that, once your baby daughter learns how to climb out of her bed, you will find her quietly sitting in her stroller at 6 in the morning and it will scare you half to death.

April 26, 2013

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (25)

Hey kid,

My grandfathers passed away when I was very little.  I never had the good fortune to meet them, to get to know them, to play with them the way only little boys and grandfathers know how to do.

Thankfully, I can't say the same for you.

Today is Grandpa Nino's birthday.  And I want you to know that you two have been "partners-in-crime" since the day you were born.

They say a man learns to appreciate his father so much more once he has had children of his own.

Now I know why.


April 23, 2013

April 19, 2013

Party Training

Me (calling out from the bedroom): "Hey little girl!"

Princess Teacup (calling out from the living room): "Daee! What want?"

Me: "I want you to come here so that I can change your diaper."

Princess Teacup (running into the bedroom) :"Kaaay! Hi Daee!"

Me: "Hi baby.  Come here."

Princess Teacup (pointing to her diaper): "I pee! I pee Daee!"

Me (picking her up so that I can lay her down on the bed): "Yes, I know.  And it sounds like you're ready for potty training!"

Princess Teacup (both arms in the air): "Yay!"

Me (smiling): "Aww! That's so cute! You're excited abo-"

Princess Teacup (pumping both fists): "Party! Party! Party!"

Me: "No love, I said 'potty'! Not par-"

Sippy Cup (running into the room): "Did someone say 'Party'?"

Princess Teacup (jumping on the bed): "Party! Party! Party!"

Sippy Cup (dancing next to the bed): "Party! Party! Party!"

April 18, 2013

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (24)

Hey kid,

Last night, I read an article about parenthood and aging by the British author Simon Kuper.

In the article, Kuper writes "You are only a family for a relatively short time -- usually about 20 years. In that time, much of what the family is trying to do is lay down memories. The aim is to leave all family members, but especially the kids, with snapshots of happiness for them to look back on after everyone goes their own way."

If you ever wonder why I worked so hard on this site, there's your answer.


April 17, 2013

Recycling Masks

Me: "Hey little dude.  How was school today?"

Sippy Cup: "It was fine.  We learned about recycling."

Me: "That's cool.  So, tell me, what's recycling?"

Sippy Cup: "Uhm, well, recycling is when you take something that you were going to throw away and turn it into something new."

Me: "That sounds about right."

Sippy Cup (grabs a marker and starts drawing on the back of his empty juice box): "Like, see this juice box?  It's empty.  But it's not garbage anymore."

Me: "Oh really? What is it now?"

Sippy Cup (turns it around so I can see the smiley face he drew on it): "Now it's a mask!"

Me: "Uhm. I'm not sure you understand how recycling works."

Sippy Cup: "And I'm not sure you understand how masks work."

April 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Sippy Cup

Roughly six years ago, I came home with this...

...and, while I was admittedly biased, I thought he was awesome right from the start.

Time passed and he grew older...

...and hungrier...

...and naked-er.

He discovered best-friends...

...and his own sense of style...

...and, after 6 years together, I still don't have the words to explain just how much I love him.

Happy Birthday Little Dude.  Here's to another amazing year full of love and laughter.

April 11, 2013

DIY - Bedtime for the Princess

As fans of this site already know, Princess Teacup has very precise ways of doing almost everything.

The other night, while trying to get her ready for bed, I introduced what I felt were improved (albeit improvised) processes to her bedtime routine.

Needless to say, this ended in catastrophic failure.

So, once again, I asked the M.O.M. to prepare detailed, step-by-meticulous-step instructions as to the proper procedure to meet our monarch's bedtime expectations.

I did not anticipate a 15-step process.

1. Place a clean diaper, 3 wipes, the bottle of lotion and a set of pajamas on the master bed.

2. Prepare her evening bottle of milk.  Set it aside on the dining room table.  Place her pacifier next to the bottle of milk.  Please note: you can only do this within a 10-minute window of beginning the bedtime process or else the milk will cool beyond the acceptable limits and she will adamantly refuse to drink the now poisonous substance.  

3. After her milk has been prepared, announce it is "Jama Time!".  You have to make this announcement in a voice full of excitement and joy because Pajama Time is supposed to be fun!  On some nights, she will allow you to hold her hand as you walk to the room.  However, if she does not offer her hand, do not attempt to hold it; you have been deemed unworthy of such a honor probably because of some transgression from earlier in the evening.

4. When you walk into the bedroom, she will run away.  This is a fact.  You have to let her run away at least once.  Pajama Time is a game.  And she is the only winner.

5. After retrieving her from one of three possible "hiding spots" (in the corner of the master bedroom, underneath the dining room table or behind her hands), pick her up and say "I found you!".  Do not say this in a "scary voice".  A "scary voice" is any voice that scares her.

6. Gently place her on the master bed and start to change her diaper.  She will attempt to roll away.  This is part of the game but you are allowed to stop her.  However, your attempt to save her life as you stop her from rolling head-first off of the bed cannot be too forceful.  Or else you will anger her.

7. Take one of the 3 wipes and give it to her.  This will distract her and buy you enough time to finish changing her.  Say "Feet!" when you want to put her pajama pants on.  Say "Arms!" when you want to put her pajama top on.  Try and make sure she doesn't eat the wipe.  She's older now and should know better but, every so often, she likes to throw a curve ball to make sure you're paying attention.

8. Once she is fully changed, pick her up.  You are no longer allowed to put her down for the remainder of the evening.  Hand her the previous diaper and carry her to the kitchen so she can throw it out.

9. Now it's time for her to tuck her brother into bed.  On your way towards his room, turn off all of the lights in the living room, tune the television to The Cooking Channel, grab the pacifier from the dining room table and hand it to her.  She will smile and thank you.  Alternatively, she may grab the pacifier and throw it.  She finds this option particularly amusing.

10. Allow her to say goodnight to her brother.  They have their own Special Goodnight Process.  She will give him a high-five, followed by a kiss on the cheek and then they will give each other an "Eskimo Kiss".  Walk to the bedroom door and close it gently.  But do not close it fully.  She will need to open the door one more time so that she can blow him a final kiss and wave goodbye.  This will complete their Special Goodnight Process.

11. Grab the now perfectly warm bottle of milk and sit down on the couch together.  At this point (and only at this point) take the plastic cap off the bottle.  Hold the plastic cap in front of her.  After a few seconds, she will remove her pacifier and place it in the plastic cap for safekeeping.  She will then grab the bottle of milk and start drinking.  Please note: you are not, under any circumstances, allowed to remove her pacifier; she needs to complete this step herself.  If she does not remove her own pacifier, the bedtime routine has been irrevocably destroyed and she will spend the next hour reminding you of your arrogant incompetence.

12. When she finishes drinking her bottle of milk, she will not say a word but will simply hold out the bottle for you to take from her.  Do so immediately; if not, she will simply drop the bottle onto the floor and it will roll underneath the couch.  Hand her the plastic cap and allow her to retrieve her previously stored pacifier.  Once she has grabbed the pacifier, quietly replace the cap.

13. These next moments are the most critical.  She will be in the hazy, blissful confusion caused by the magical combination of milk and sleepiness.  Do not make any sudden movements or noises.  If she has decided that she wants to fall asleep in a position that is uncomfortable for you, just deal with it.  The terrible pins and needles of your arm "falling asleep" under the weight of her head is nothing compared to the terrible sound of an angry and sleepy baby monarch.

14. Only when her breathing has become regular and heavy are you allowed to check to see if she's sleeping.  If you attempt to check if she's sleeping prior to her actually falling asleep, you will anger her.

15. Once you are positive that she is fully asleep, figure out a way to stand up from the couch and transfer her to your shoulder without killing yourself in the process.  Walk her to her room, lay her down in her crib and quietly back away.  If the mood should strike you, stand at the door and admire the precious little angel who has deemed you worthy enough to be her father.

April 10, 2013

Last Night in the Cufflinks' Household

8:30pm - Bedtime for Sippy Cup.

8:45pm - Bedtime for Princess Teacup.

9:00pm - Bedtime for the M.O.M.

11:00pm - Bedtime for Mr. Cufflinks.

1:38am - Princess Teacup shouts out for "Daeee!"  Mr. Cufflinks checks on her.  She is perfectly ok.  She even tucks herself back into bed once she sees his head in the door.

2:42am - Sippy Cup enters the master bedroom, whimpering.  Mr. Cufflinks asks his beloved son "What's wrong champ?" Sippy Cup responds that his "..back is itchy."  After explaining to him what physical ailments constitute emergencies and justify tears, Mr. Cufflinks scratches his back and he scampers back to bed.

3:03am - Sippy Cup re-enters the master bedroom, whimpering.  Mr. Cufflinks informs him that his "...back better not be itchy..."  Sippy Cup decides to walk over to his mother's side of the bed and tell her that his legs hurt again.

3:14am - Princess Teacup wakes up again.  The M.O.M. and Mr. Cufflinks try their best to ignore her pleas.  She escalates and tosses everything in her crib out of her crib.  The M.O.M. checks on her and she calmly tucks herself back into bed when she sees her mother's head in the door.  Mr. Cufflinks is convinced Princess Teacup has conveniently forgotten that she has already verified object permanence through marathon sessions of "Peek-A-Boo".

3:38am - Sippy Cup can be heard crying in his sleep.  Mr. Cufflinks goes in to check on him.  He is sound asleep.  Thinking that his son may be having a nightmare, Mr. Cufflinks wakes him up.  Sippy Cup informs Mr. Cufflinks that he is"...sleeping..." and rudely asks "Why are you shaking me?!"

4:08am - Sippy Cup sneaks into the master bedroom and asks for a glass of water.

4:48am - Sippy Cup re-enters the master bedroom to announce that his birthday is just a few days away and that the lack of any hidden presents in the house is troubling.  Mr. Cufflinks tucks him back into bed.

4:50am - The M.O.M. wakes up to get ready for work.

5:02am - While the M.O.M. is in the shower, Princess Teacup has decided that she has had enough of sleeping in her crib and demands that Mr. Cufflinks take her to his bed.

5:17am - The M.O.M. kisses Mr. Cufflinks goodbye.  This is their sole moment of daily intimacy.

6:42am - Sippy Cup has discovered that his sister is in the "big bed" and climbs into the master bed, kicking him in the shin in the process.

6:45am - Mr. Cufflink wakes up to get ready for work, leaving his two beautiful monsters comfortably asleep in his bed.

April 8, 2013

Rock. Paper. Scissor. Shoot. (Part Fizzle)

Sippy Cup (sitting across from his mother at the dinner table): "Guess what time it is? It's time to play 'Rock, Paper, Scissors'!"

M.O.M.: "Ok.  But I think I'm fully prepared for this round.  I have bullet-proof vests and RPGs too!"

Sippy Cup: "Ha! Ok! Let's do this!"

Round 1

Sippy Cup: Rock

M.O.M: Paper

M.O.M: "Boom. I win Round 1!"

Round 2

Sippy Cup: Scissor

M.O.M.: Rock

M.O.M. (smiling): "I'm on a roll!"

Sippy Cup (brow furrowed in concentration)

Round 3

Sippy Cup: Karate-chop hand

M.O.M.: Paper

Sippy Cup: "Ha! I win!"

M.O.M.: "Again with the new weapons? What was that?"

Sippy Cup (smiling): "A knife!"

Me: "Faaaaaaantastic."

M.O.M. (turning to me and then back to him): "Uncle Anthony again?"

Sippy Cup (laughing maniacally): "I AM THE BEST! I AM THE BEST!"

Princess Teacup (pumping her fists): "Best! Best! Best! Nana?"

April 5, 2013

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month.  

Sippycup and I will be spending the month learning more about autism and about what we can do to support the research into the causes, prevention, treatments and (ultimately) cure for autism. 

If you are interested in doing the same, please follow the link above to learn more.

April 2, 2013

A Memo To Future Parents (3)

To: Future Parents

From: Mr. Cufflinks

Date: April 2, 2013

Re: Weekends

When you have children of your own, please know that (similar to "sick days") your "weekends" are no longer yours to claim.  This is true year-round.  But especially during the warmer months of spring and summer.

Your "weekends" now belong to your children and will be used for "Little League Baseball", "Birthday Parties", "2 Hour Trips to the Playground" and a myriad number of other activities.

Please note: while you may be able to secure a babysitter for a "Saturday Date Night" with your spouse, you will both be exhausted from the day spent pushing a two year-old on a swing for 2 hours and will fall asleep at the club after 30 really intense minutes of drinking, laughing, dancing and swearing to each other that "...we have to do this more often!"

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

April 1, 2013

Rock. Paper. Scissor. Shoot. (Part Quattro)

Sippy Cup (sitting across from his mother at the cafe): "Mom. I'm bored. Let's play 'Rock, Paper, Scissors'!"

M.O.M.: "Ok.  But your Dad already told me about all of your tricks."

Sippy Cup: "Ha! I'm awesome!"

M.O.M.: "And I'm smarter than your father.  So let's do this!"

Round 1

Sippy Cup: Rock

M.O.M: Paper

Round 2

Sippy Cup: Scissor

M.O.M.: Rock

Sippy Cup (smiling): "Ok. I got you this time!"

Me: "Brace yourself."

Round 3

Sippy Cup: Clasps hands together, forming a double finger-gun

M.O.M.: Scissor

Sippy Cup: "Ha! I win!"

M.O.M.: "What was that?"

Sippy Cup (smiling): "An R.P.G."

Me: "Sweet mother of...who taught you that?"

M.O.M. (turning to me): "Gee.  I wonder who?"

Sippy Cup (laughing maniacally): "Uncle Anthony!"

M.O.M. (shaking her head): "Lovely."

Sippy Cup (pumping his fists): "I win again! I AM THE BEST! I AM THE BEST!"

Princess Teacup (pumping her fists): "Smash! Smash! Smash!"