I Hate Mothers Day

Hate Mothers Day

I hate Mothers Day!

I am not a misogynist. Far from it.

In fact, I love and respect women –especially mothers.

Particularly my own mother and my wife, the mother of my children.

Yet, I hate Mother’s Day.

Yes, I do think mothers deserve a special day. Yes, I do believe that mothers are the glue to our society.

But I still hate Mother’s Day and here’s why. Continue reading

Bake Me a Cake

I will save you brown bananas!

I will save you brown bananas!

BR is a finicky eater. For a week straight, he will want a particular kind of breakfast and then get frustrated if we run out of the item. My wife in her desire to keep him happy and bulk up our too thin son will instruct me to buy extra of said item while food shopping. Well, BR’s fancy will pass and the item is left to be eaten by my wife or I or thrown out. One of his passing fancies is bananas, and they come in and out of vogue with no apparent rhyme or reason.

Due to BR’s latest passing fancy, there are five bananas that are turning browner and softer with each passing moment. The bananas are slipping away and will soon enter the realm of inedible.

Did  you know that according to an article in OnEarth Magazine, <http://www.onearth.org/article/how-to-wage-war-on-food-waste) “The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that Americans waste 30 percent of all edible food produced, bought, and sold in this country.”  This may be on the low side as “The National Institutes of Health (NIH), published estimates of 40 percent or more. Add up all the losses that occur throughout the food chain, the NIH researchers say, and Americans, on average, waste 1,400 calories a day per person, or about two full meals.”

Am I the only one who is thinking about a mother wagging a finger in a child’s face telling them to finish their food because there are poor kids starving in Africa?

My mother takes great pride in getting every ounce of every jar of food. To this day when my mother visits, she insists that I pass her the jar before it hits the recycling container. While scooping it out with incredible patience, she tells of my grandmother who apparently was even more gifted in the use of every ounce of food society. Due to this insistence to use every drop of food, the numbers noted above must sicken my mother. Please don’t tell her – I want my mom to stay healthy.

So what can I do to make sure that the bananas don’t become part of the 30 or even 40% of food that is wasted in America? In memory of grandmother and in honor of my mother, I can not let that happen. I must save the bananas. Move over Superman.

What to do? What to do? Hmm. I could push them on SJ who loves bananas. No, six is too much even for him.

I could make multiple peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Even I, who has eaten peanut butter nearly every day for lunch for twenty years, think that is crazy. Besides, the bananas would go brown and the sandwiches would not taste fresh.

I could drive over to grocery store and stand outside the door and sell the bananas at a reduced rate. Nah –not enough money. It is also a little too kooky for me.

I could freeze them. Or maybe I couldn’t. I don’t even know.

I know what I should do. I should make a Banana Cake. Me, the man who is a disinterested, impatient, and unskilled baker (and cook) should somehow make a cake. We have the ingredients, milk, eggs, sugar and of course bananas.

Yes, I will save the bananas and satisfy my sweet tooth. Unless – one of you could use some bananas? Let me know right away otherwise you will have to settle for a piece of cake whether it’s good or not.

P.S. I was recently interviewed by guys over at the Life of Dad blog as part of their 30 Dads, 30 Days series. Here is the link for those wanting to hear about some of my fatherhood thoughts and experiences: http://www.lifeofdad.com/blog_post.php?pid=11276

No One Said It Would Be Easy

One of the great things about blogging is community. My guest blogger today is Elske, and she and I have been following each other’s blogs for a long time now – mutual fans you can say.


Elske is a software developer by day, freelance writer by night, but her main job is being mummy to 21 month old Elisabeth. Her blog (elskenewman.com) focuses on her life as a first time mum and life in general. Her lifelong dream to become a successful writer.


In today’s guest post, Elske writes about her experiences when Elisabeth was first born.

About four years ago I went to the cinema with a colleague. This particular time we were going to see ‘The Young Victoria’, a film about the first few years of Queen Victoria’s rule and her romance with Prince Albert. Very much my kind of film.
While we were waiting for the film to start, we caught up on the work gossip and what was happening in our home lives. Because we were both very busy at work we had lots to talk about, and we initially didn’t notice that the film hadn’t started yet, it was late.
When the film finally started, we both stared at the big screen for a few seconds…..then looked at each other…….this was not ‘The Young Victoria’……we had gone to the wrong screen…….unbelievable………..what to do? We quickly decided  we would stick with the one we had mistakenly selected…..which was ‘Marley and me’………a film about a dog, not quite the same genre.


It turned out to be quite a funny film, I enjoyed, but it wasn’t until I watched the film again after having Elisabeth that I noticed a particular line. When Jenny Grogan (played by Jennifer Aniston) is having a particularly difficult day with her baby, she asks her husband (John Grogan, played by Owen Wilson) why nobody told them it was going to be so hard. His reply was: ‘They did, you just didn’t listen.’

This is very true for a lot of parents. You are given advice repeatedly:

your life will change dramatically,

you’ll be tired beyond belief

every task you performed pre-baby without thinking about it will become 10 times harder be proud of yourself if you manage to get up in the morning and get dressed.

Yet, you are still shocked when it happens.

I know I was. My sister had a baby 18 months before I did. I stayed with them for a few days when my nephew was only two weeks old and I saw them struggle through these early days. But even so, I didn’t realize the enormity of the task of looking after a baby until it happened.

The first day my husband went back to work, I didn’t get dressed until an hour or so before he got back home. Getting dressed was the only thing I did other than caring for Elisabeth. The second day I unloaded the dishwasher. I clearly remember feeling frustrated with myself as I saw my exhausted husband clean up the kitchen, cook me dinner, and tidy up without a single complaint. I knew he appreciated how tired I was from nursing, getting up during the night and generally just looking after our little girl. However, I felt like a failure.

It was a big relief when my sister told me that she didn’t do any housework for months after my nephew was born it. Knowing that my sister, who is an amazingly strong woman, had gone through the same thing made me relax a little. I wasn’t failing miserably (even though it felt like it), I was doing my job, which was (and still is) looking after Elisabeth. Everything else could wait.

After a few weeks we settled into a routine. I occasionally managed to get out, although it was quite depressing to tell my husband that we did lots. Then I started listing what we had achieved, and all we had done was gone to the shops around the corner. The first night we had dinner at the table together felt like a huge achievement. I don’t think my husband realizes how much he supported me by not expecting me to do anything more than make sure Elisabeth was ok. Not once did he look disappointed when he came home and saw from the state of the kitchen how bad our day had been.

During those first few fragile weeks, I felt like the whole world was expecting me to have a lovely time with this wonderful little creature we had created, and I felt bad because I wasn’t enjoying her as much as I thought I should. Every mother I met seemed more capable, confident, and happier. However, these confident looking mothers will tell you they had the exact same difficulties. You just hadn’t noticed because you were too tired to pay attention.

Now here is the truth, I love my daughter more than life itself, but having a baby is hard, very hard, and there is no shame in admitting this. Happy parenting everyone!

You Should Always Be Together

As they gathered around their aged and ailing mother, the sisters received a final piece of advice; you should always be together. The matriarch, my grandmother, my nanny, gave this directive to my mother and her sisters very shortly before her passing. This missive made a big impact on my mother and ultimately on us, her children. When it comes to her children, my mother is Perry Mason – never lost a case – always defends her clients. If I ever voice a complaint about my brothers, my mother will always end her impassioned defense with the following, “he means well.”  I shake my head and huff as I have not received my desired, “I understand.” My only comfort is that should one of them complain about me (yes, it is possible I have done wrong – hard as that may be to believe) they will receive the same response.

I always knew why my mother defended my siblings, but now as a parent, I understand. She wants us to get along, she wants us to be there for each other, she wants us to be friends.  When I see my two boys getting along and playing nicely with each other, I am thrilled and feel a sense of contentment – everything is right. No, it’s not just because I won’t have to hear whining or crying though that is an awesome benefit. I want them to be friends. I want them to build those bonds when they are young and for those bonds to grow as they get older.  Don’t we all want our children to be best friends with each other?

BR, my 8 year-old, is very much a big brother. He is dominant and can be moody – sometimes angry though more often generous and curious. SY, my 5 year-old who can be a bit whiny, is for the most part compliant and pleasant. SY will follow his brother pretty much anywhere, “I’ll do anything you want to do BR.”  He sits next to his big brother while BR plays computer games and cheers for him. If my wife or I call to BR for something which disturbs his all important video game, it is SY that tends to get angrier than BR (could just be that BR is much more adept at tuning his parents out) and tells us that BR is in the middle of a game. By the way, SY never even bothers playing the game.  The other day I asked BR do you ever let your little brother play. He said, “no, he never asks to play.”

“Do you ever ask him?”

He turned to him, “SY, do you want to play?”

“No, I just want to watch you.”

“See,” BR calls to me, “he doesn’t want to play.”

Sure there are those moments when it is best for all parties to have BR and SY in separate rooms, each with their own toys and television. However, in general, the boys get along. Yet, when other children get in the mix, the brotherly love often seems to fade into the background.  All of a sudden, they don’t have time for each other or don’t even want the other around. It is those times when the boys are part of a larger group that I as a parent want them to be there for each other even more. My wife and I have given both boys, particularly BR who is more capable of understanding, the lesson about having each other’s back. “Look out for each other,” we counsel.

I hope that the friendship that they already have for one another will continue to grow as they do. I hope that my wife and I have produced best friends or at least brothers who remember there is nothing like family. I wish that they will do just as nanny said – you should always be together.