My nine-year-old daughter brought forth the following question while we drove home from Hogwart’s Camp the other evening: why does boys call “them” “nuts”.

I had to stop from driving into a ditch because the “them” meant “nuts” and the “nuts” meant “nuts” and I was about to go some special kind of other “nuts” – something like an aneurysm – just thinking about all the potential ways I didn’t want to discuss this topic with the intelligent, funny, athletic and gorgeous nine-year-old in the backseat.

She’s still my little girl, after all (no matter how 50’s paternalistic that sounds).

And while I have no trouble imagining her as a respected lawyer or a talented heart surgeon, I have an incredibly hard time with her using the term “nuts” and then laughing like the child she still is. It just doesn’t jibe with what I know about her and what I’ve experienced about her personality over the past nine years.

(Her ENTIRE life!)

No one tells you these things when you become a parent.

“Oh, Seth, that first time your pre-teen daughter asks you about not-so-clever nicknames for boys’ genitals (nads, junk, twig & berries, balls), it’ll just be a hoot!”


They just lob sexist crap like “you’ll have to beat the boys away with a stick” or “you’ll have to lock her up” or “you’ll have to buy a shotgun“.

You get the gist.

I’m not sure the truth is any better than the trite lies. The real truth is that now I have to explain that boys use all kinds of words to describe themselves (and her). Don’t envy me.

In short: I was/am woefully underprepared for her tweenagedom and I’d like it to stop post hast, please and thank you very much.

That said, I want to inform her.
I don’t want to hide sex or sexuality from her.
I want her to be knowledgeable and comfortable and prepared in every way, shape, and form she can be.

I just didn’t realize I’d be the Urban Dictionary for genital slang to a kid who isn’t yet in double digits.

The actual definition conversation hasn’t taken place yet, but I’m actively using any forum I can think of to solicit feedback. I’d love to hear from folks about which “dirty word” or piece of filthy sex slang you learned first, whom you learned it from and when your parents had any form of “the talk” with you.

You know, for research.

I definitely dodged a bullet though, since we were pulling into the driveway when she brought up the topic (while my in-laws were visiting), so I punted saying I “didn’t want to get into it now” or some such parental excuse.

I can feel the “next time” coming soon though.
Sooner than I would have imagined or liked, but I don’t have to imagine or like her being uninformed – I can do something about that.

Which may be this: never trust your kid at a Hogwart’s Camp at a church. It’s unnatural the kinds of things (witchcraft, monotheism, “nuts”) they’ll pick up there.

Until next time, gentle reader, watch your nuts.

The Beginnings of Personality

In the life of any child – whether it’s your first or (in my case) your fourth – there comes a time when you can really start to see what they’ll be like as a kid or even an adult.

Our youngest, Imogen Rose, has just crossed that threshold at 10 months. She’s just on the cusp of walking, she babbles incessantly and she even waves “goodbye” if you ask her to.

This past weekend we spent nearly the entire 48 hours out on our back patio enjoying the gorgeous Spring weather and the sounds of our newly-repaired water feature. Imogen joined us in her UFC-style octagonal playplen and some interesting results emerged, photographic evidence below:





For those of you with children, this kind of behavior is pretty commonplace, but this was our first chance to see Imogen press her face against a surface. The more we smiled & laughed, the more she did it. The kid was an incorrigible performer.

She would also lean her back against the side of the playpen and fall backwards for the cradling effect of falling. She missed a few times as well – the backwards aim of an infant/toddler is unsurprisingly suspect – but she was having a blast.

In a crowded field, amongst her 3 older siblings, she seems sweet, silly and sure of herself.

I can’t wait to see what her little personality shows us next.

Happy Thursday!

The Call All Parents Dread

Today’s event(s):



“Hi, this is [redacted] from [also redacted], Owen’s daycare.”

“Yes?” (Feeling nervous now)

“We wanted to let you know that Owen had an accident, but everything is all right.”

“What happened?” (Feeling more nervous now)

“Owen fell and cut his head pretty badly.”

“Is he OK?” (Freaking out a little)

“He’s fine. The paramedics are here now and they’re seeing if he needs stitches or not.”

“Is he conscious?” (Freaking out)

“He’s laughing and smiling now. They don’t think he’ll need stitches.”

“I’ll be right there. Don’t let him fall asleep!” (Freaking the fuck out)

While I may have taken some liberties with the dialogue, there’s more truth to this story than the average Mike Daisey monologue.

What really shouldn’t surprise – being the father of four and being a recipient of two concussions myself – is just how small the injury is relative to the blood it was said to have generated.

Photographic evidence that makes everyone, especially me, breath a sigh of relief.


The funny thing is no one, not even Owen himself, could give me a very specific account of exactly how the injury occurred. One minute he’s riding a trike outside, the next he’s on the ground, bleeding and clutching his head.

Reports of a collision, a prat fall and sudden stop all seem to contradict one another, but maybe I’m not imaging the creative destructive capacity of your average Pre-K boy.

The worst part of the whole ordeal? Washing the boy’s hair in the shower. Nothing says “awesome Tuesday night” quite like shampooing a flesh wound.

Better luck tomorrow, I suppose.

My Daughter’s New ‘Do

I’m not going to include a picture because I don’t have one available. Think of this an informational post. Research.

My eldest daughter got a new haircut/hairstyle/hairdo this week and, since she’s been staying with her grandparents, last night was my first chance to see her.

First, it took an 8-year-old girl and made her look so much more mature and worldly that I could see well past the tweens and straight into her adult self. It was off-putting, breath-taking and pride-making. She seemed elegant, spoke more eloquently and had this air of poise about her.

Funny how a new look will do that to a person.

I also noted that she looked just like Veronica Lake (only with her hair swooping in the opposite direction).

My wife had no frame of reference but both my in-laws instantly smiled and shook their heads knowingly.

Maybe I’m just a proud father and – out of context for me – willing to draw attention to my daughter’s beauty (I prefer to tell her how smart or athletic she is [both true] as opposed to complimenting her appearance).

Anyhow, I’m still not posting a picture [don’t get creepy] but I will link to some Veronica Lake photos.

Veronica Lake
Veronica Lake

I’d very obviously prefer it if Raelyn didn’t become a schizophrenic, alcoholic 3-time divorcee but I do like this quote from Lake:

“I was always a rebel and probably could have got much further had I changed my attitude. But when you think about it, I got pretty far without changing attitudes. I’m happier with that.”

So while I don’t want to solely focus on Rae’s beauty (except for the purpose of this post), I do hope she becomes a strong, confident woman willing to stand by her convictions. I should be so lucky (and I’m already pretty lucky).

Love you, Raelyn.

Great Moments in Parenting

Every so often being a parent affords me the opportunity to reference pop culture to my children (and my wife) to mostly oblivious results.

Two recent examples worth blogging about:

Driving to work last week:

Owen: Look at that wood on the truck! (Pointing excitedly out the window from his car seat)
Jenn: Wow, that is a lot of wood!
Me: That’s what she said.

This joke never gets old for me and is still way above either of the kids’ heads.

Please to watch this compilation from The Office that includes all the utterances of said phrase. Old meme but definitely funny.

Second, an exchange I had over the weekend with young master Owen on the topic of having his diaper changed:

Owen: I don’t want to take my clothes off! (He was afraid we were going to switch him into his jammies and put him to bed.)
Me: You don’t have to take your [pause] clothes off, to have a good time.

Sad but true. Video evidence that I’ve been unduly influenced by 80’s music videos.

So there you go. Using my own touch points and memories to confuse my kids and make my spouse roll her eyes since 2003.

Happy Thanksgiving Week! (I’m thankful for YouTube, btw).