Introducing the Men’s Only Reading Club

Zachary-Reading

As a stay-at-home dad, I don’t get a lot of downtime.  If my newborn son is asleep or chilling in the swing, my daughter is likely to be painting the walls with strawberry yogurt or balancing atop a rocking chair to reach an out of reach picture frame.  Conversely, if my daughter is down for a nap or watching Wild Kratts, my son is screaming for a bottle or whining about being in his saucer for too long.  It’s exhausting, and accelerating the graying of my luxuriant hair.  But every so often I do manage to get a bit of a break—even when little Zachary is awake.  So what did I decide to do with that precious time?

I created the Men’s Only Reading Club.

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Where Have All the Naptimes Gone?

Audrey and Zachary

In the weeks since my son arrived on the scene, many terrible events have taken place within the confines of my normally peaceful abode.  Awful stuff.  Horrible things!  But none have been as bloodcurdlingly life shortening as my 2-year-old daughter’s recent decision to stop taking naps.

This is because those of us that are parents realize one ultimate truth:  naptimes are like precious mana hand-delivered by the gods themselves to us, lowly peasants that we are.  They are precious.  They are joy.  They are what we need to survive.

We also realize another, equally important truth:  when our kids don’t take naps, all hell breaks loose.  And trust me friends, it is getting mighty hot at home these days.

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Daddy-Daughter Book Review: Edward the Emu

Edward the Emu

So a package arrived the other day from my Aunt Claire.  Like most parcels these days, it mostly included stuff for my soon-to-arrive son and already well established daughter.  Amongst this particular treasure trove was a book.  An Australian book to be exact.  And inside said book was a note; a request to review it right here in this ol’ blog o’ mine.

Challenge accepted Claire.

Now if you’ve read my previous book reviews you know that I often find myself reading the same books over, and over, and over again.  It can get to be tiresome.  And as a result, I have learned to be a bit critical with their content, ranking them on the following dad-centric criteria:

  1.    How fun is it to read?
  2.    What is the quality of the artwork?
  3.    How high is the reading level?

If a book scores highly in all three, I’m much more likely to indulge Audrey’s book reading whims and drive a particular book into the ground.  So with that in mind, let’s peck our way into Sheena Knowles’s “Edward the Emu” and see what tasty nuggets we find inside.

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Silence is Terrifying!

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So there I was, doing the dishes dutifully in the kitchen, when it hit me:  MY KID ISN’T MAKING ANY NOISE.

Those of you without children will not understand the terror this normally welcome occurrence can induce in a parent.  You see, when a child is silent…it’s probably DEAD.  That’s because kids are never quiet.  Especially mine.  Her mouth runs at a speed Usain Bolt would envy.  And her volume puts Pantera to shame.  I never worry about where she is or what she’s doing because I always know where she is and what she’s doing.  That’s because I can hear her.

All the time.

Wherever I am.

No matter what.

So this time–suds on my hands and fear in my throat–I darted away from the kitchen sink to locate my dear 2-year-old and ascertain her situation.  I quickly swung my head around the door frame and looked into the living room.  And there she was.

Reading a book.  Just reading a book.

I was suddenly stopped dead in my tracks by a toddler doing the last thing in the world I expected her to.  I mean, she loves books.  I read to her all the time.  It’s one of our favorite things to do.  But her alone?  Without provocation?  Surrounded by toys that beep and whizz and fizzzzblop-a-dop?  As a wise man once said:  “Inconceivable.”

But golden nonetheless.

Daddy-Daughter Book Review: Mister Seahorse

Mister Seahorse Cover

I spend a lot of time reading to my daughter.  It’s one of our favorite pastimes.  But despite the dozens of books we have on hand at any given moment, Audrey has her favorites.  And those favorites, well, she makes me read them over, and over…

And over again.

It can get to be tiresome.  And as a result, I have learned to be a bit critical with their content, ranking them on the following dad-centric criteria:

  1.    How fun is it to read?
  2.    What is the quality of the artwork?
  3.    How high is the reading level?

If a book scores highly in all three, I’m much more likely to indulge Audrey’s book reading whims and drive a particular book into the ground.  So with that in mind, let’s dive into Eric Carle’s “Mister Seahorse” and see what we find.

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Out of the House Round-Up: What Not to Say to an At-Home Dad, the Pressure of Being One, and Dogs in Cars Again

Go Dog Go

All this staying-at-home has made me a little stir crazy. Let’s take a look around the internets, shall we?

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