Dad for Beginners

Amateurism at its best

April 17, 2015
by Creed
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How to Placate a Woman in 5 Easy Steps

As a man, women enrich our lives in so many ways. Whether it is a wife, mother, daughter, or platonic relationship, the company of a woman is always sought after. However, in much the same way that a woman can be charming, alluring, and coveted, they also have the innate ability to erupt into a murderous rage with nary a warning sign. For the intellectual man of honor and chivalry, it is best to react quickly and decisively in order to counteract this unpredictable act of aggression. Countless men struggle to grasp the intricacies of defending and reversing the female meltdown, however no more do men need to live in constant anxiety. Below are five foolproof methods to placate a women in your life.

  1. Be emotional – Women love a man who can express his emotions eloquently. While this is not always the most easily accessible feature in many males, it is an extremely beneficial skill to learn for the man seeking to placate his significant other. Emotion is evident in lots of different ways and for the man just starting this pilgrimage of emotional awakening, it is wise to start slow until you become an expert emotion-er. Use cliché phrases to placate a woman like, “don’t be so emotional,” “calm down,” and “you’ll be fine.” These are great ways to show the woman in your life that you care. As you better hone your emotionally sensitive side, mix in some of the more effective signature lines like, “you remind me of your mother” and “I’ll be at the bar.”
  1. Don’t be emotional – Women like men. Like, real men. Like, manly men. So it is of paramount importance in any relationship that you, the man, not be an overly sensitive, emotional girly man when she is in need of comforting. Instead, exercise your masculinity by ignoring any and all emotion and instead go do something manly like chopping wood, eating an entire brisket, or randomly kicking things. Your woman will see the rugged and untamed wilderness man that she fell in love with and the emotional burdens she carries will melt away like gossamer in a light rain.
  1. Give her space – Sometimes an angry or irritated woman just needs space. For many women, there is simply nothing that you, the man, is going to say or do in order to placate her and it is best to just step back and let the storm run its course. You can still be the helpful beacon of altruism in your relationship by leaving household chores and responsibilities undone in an attempt to occupy her mind during this time of isolation. Placate a woman by leaving the dirty dishes in the sink, the laundry in the hamper, and although it may be challenging, refrain from cleaning the bathroom or any room at all for that matter. In doing so, you give your significant other the necessary distractions to keep her mind engaged while she sorts through her emotional crisis in solitude.
  1. Don’t give her space – Women need constant validation and when faced with a displeased female, the best tactic for a man is to be available and all up in her business. By smothering your woman to the point of physical and emotional suffocation, you’re displaying your awareness and concern for her fragile emotional state. Often the best strategic play for a man in this situation is to adopt a “lost puppy” mentality and simply follow her from room to room asking nurturing and productive questions like, “what’s wrong?” and “when is dinner?” By permanently attaching yourself to your mate in a time of distress, you can better prepare yourself for the remainder of your life together. The flawless logic behind this tactic is one employed in the natural world by male Anglerfish of the deep sea. The male Anglerfish fuses his body to the female, becoming permanently attached and thus a slave to her biological demands until he dies.
  1. Stop breathing – This final tip is a highly advanced relationship strategy used by only the most skilled and experienced husbands. When a woman is in any state of emotional discomfort, the most effective course of action for a man is to simply stop breathing. By ceasing to consume oxygen, your internal organs will rapidly begin to fail and your blood will become a useless sludge providing zero nourishment to your body. As you enter a comatose state that’s sure to result in a painful death, your significant other will gradually improve as you slip into eternal darkness.

Now go forth, men, and employ these flawless tactics in your relationships with the female species. You will assuredly experience a strengthened bond and a renewed emotional warmth. Placating the women in your life is difficult, but understanding how to execute the task with superior grace and integrity is not. You’re welcome.

April 7, 2015
by Creed
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Marine Iguanas and the “Terrible Twos”

Colloquialisms abound in the world of parenting. One of the more common is the term “terrible twos.” This popular expression serves as a harbinger for parents who have not yet experienced having a child between the ages of 2 and 3. The phrase signifies a stage in childhood development characterized by unpredictable toddler-esque rage and whimsy. The terrible twos is supposed to be a trying time for a new parent. One where the only thing more welcoming than pacifying your enraged and capricious youngling is perhaps the sweet release of death.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about being a new parent is how the actual act of parenting never really gets any easier. It changes over time, but as it changes it only promulgates itself in new, innovative challenges. In order to survive, parents have to be evolutionary and adapt…much like the marine iguana of Fernandina. Unfortunately, also very much like the marine iguana, the blood of an evolutionary parent wears thin quickly until eventually their muscles seize up and they lay incapacitated in a fetal state, unable to move until that which tortures them most is neutralized. For the iguana, it is the cold of the icy Pacific. For the parent, it is the tiny human.

terrible twos

The marine iguana isn’t smarter than you, they are just more evolved.

The terrible twos is to a parent what the frigid Pacific is to a marine iguana. It is an inconvenient and annoying feature but it is a function of an unchangeable environment and thus must be adapted to. It is in such a way that the parent can use the rationale that this inalterable circumstance is ceaseless and thereby create the perception that the terrible twos aren’t necessarily “terrible,” they are just weird. When viewed through a filter of eccentricity, it is plausible to underscore the sheer outlandishness of what two-years-olds will do or say or request. Most requests are odd things that no human would ever think are important to daily life, yet become of paramount importance to a two-year-old…things like demanding a bowl of strawberries each night right before bed or refusing to ride in the car unless there is a large shovel present on the adjacent seat.

terrible twos

This is a face that only a parent can love and hate and resent and hide from and slit their wrists to.

It is odd behaviors and bizarre requests that are perceived as unimportant by the parent that in reality, are of immense importance to the “terrible two-year-old.” These items, viewed as meaningless and ultimately denied, are usually what ignite the unbridled hostility in the two-year-old and eventually send the parent into a painful state of muscle seizures and immobilized affection. The weird requests of a two-year-old is the proverbial “icy Pacific” in the parenting world. It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to identify the potential for a flare-up in toddler rage and yet somehow we continue to blame the developing child for their moments of inevitable insanity. It’s the equivalent of a marine iguana attempting to warm the ocean with blow dryer. Not only is this an impossible task, but the iguana lacks hands and electricity…and a local Walmart. Yet somehow they thrive without labeling the ocean as terrible, because no matter how dangerous and unpredictable, the iguana knows that its survival is predicated on the very thing that can destroy it.

March 30, 2015
by Creed
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Dadvice – 5 Tips for Unparalleled Fatherly Success

It’s kind of scary, huh? You’re going to be a dad. You will be, at least partially, responsible for the life of a tiny, helpless baby. What a prospect! But fear not, new father, for contained within this one simple article are literally all the tips you’ll need for survival, as well as the survival of your new human.

  1. Freak out as much as possible – One of the most important aspects of parenting is the overwhelming stress and increased anxiety. To ensure that you and your family maintain a heightened state of awareness at all times, be sure to freak out as much as possible over literally everything. A baby will get themselves into all kinds of improbable situations and the most constructive way to produce a reasonable solution is to totally lose control and fly off the handle at every waking opportunity. By channeling all your pent up stress and exhaustion and releasing it through routine panic attacks, you can become the benchmark of apprehension and a headache for everyone around you. Over time, those close to you will adapt to your continued outbursts and eventually minor accidents and temporary troublemaking that your child may get into will seem relatively pointless and trivial. The primary goal of your loved ones will be to do whatever is necessary in order to keep your familial rage and excessive worrying at ease. By making yourself the most annoying being in your household, those surrounding you will develop more tolerance for the irritating baby and thus making his or her life easier. Be the beacon of altruism in your home by embracing every opportunity to be as spastic as possible.
  1. Dress like a hobo – This tip serves two important purposes for a new dad, especially a married dad. By ensuring that your daily appearance is one of dishevelment, you’ll have no qualms about the sheer volume of bodily fluids that you’ll ultimately come into contact with every day. The average baby produces a garden variety of bodily fluids from a number of different orifices with precise regularity and by dressing like a vagrant, you’ll basically guarantee that none of your more pricey or prized clothing items are damaged. This tip has an added benefit for the married man. Since babies are virtual chick magnets in public, keeping your appearance uncouth and oafish will fend off those single hotties looking to pick-up a stud-stallion dad just like yourself. If you can add in a layer of fresh body odor or some type of oily skin grease, then consider yourself a proverbial impenetrable force to the female predator. Your baby will always attract women…but by maintaining a truly disgusting and loathsome physical appearance, you can focus your efforts on your child instead of the swarm of ridiculously attractive, single women looking to defile your innocence.
  1. Embrace filth – For many already sloppy and slovenly men, this tip might not be that radical of a departure from your normal lifestyle as a boorish dirtbag. However, it is a critical part of the parenting process that you accept and eventually embrace the complete and utter filth that you will be living amongst. From the moment a newborn enters your house, the tidiness and cleanliness of your living quarters vanishes. The probability that you will regain the ability to keep a fresh and hygienic household only declines further as they age. An infant is the epitome of filth and as your homestead becomes more and more soiled as each day passes, you will be forced to either accept the unkempt environment as the status quo or risk the rapid downward spiral into anal retentive psychosis until eventually you meet the sweet release of death.
  1. Intentionally argue with your significant other – This tip is yet another way for the caring and loving father to grasp the proverbial reins of familial altruism and strengthen the bond of the nuclear family. By annoying your wife or girlfriend through subtle but intentional quarrels, you’ll step in and again become the most annoying life form in the household. Infants by definition are useless and extremely needy and often times it takes all the willpower a new mother can muster to prevent her from throwing the baby off the third floor balcony. By standing firm as the pinnacle of domestic disagreement, the moments of agony that a newborn exacts on the mother will seem welcome by comparison. Another benefit to consistently taking an opposing stance to your baby mama is the atmosphere of caring it generates, as both parents will see in each other the amplified level of commitment each has to their parental values. The super-secret luxury benefit to the argumentative husband tactic is that by creating a spousal dispute, we as men can employ our ability to do what we do best to women – apologize. As you plot your journey through the terrain of disagreement, remember that the end game for you, the man, is to eventually cave in to the wife, become a complete shell of a man, and elevate your apology game to new heights.  This tip is an indisputable trifecta for the father that in no way can backfire ever.
  1. Unload your stress on the innocent – The final tip that will forever secure your status as an excellent father is to unload your stress and anxiety on anyone in the outside world. By doing so, you achieve several goals that are crucial to your sanity. Firstly, you’ll purge yourself of the overwhelming envelopment of taking care of a baby. That alone should be enough to validate this final tip. However, in addition to gaining a small window of temporary relaxation, your unbridled rage and intense hostility towards random and completely innocent people will eventually serve to keep them away from you no matter what your demeanor. By rampaging through the office for seemingly no particular reason, you are giving your coworkers less incentive to ask you questions or even speak to you at all. When you finally actualize your metamorphosis into the sociopathic cancer of the workplace, you’ll find that you can more readily embrace peace and tranquility and use your hours laboring at work for a more therapeutic purpose. When you return home, you’ll have exorcised all your stress and will be ready to dive right back into the anarchy of fathering.

Now go forth, dads. Go forth and employ these tactics in your life. You’ll instantly become a better parent but more importantly, you’ll feel better about yourself and the development of your child. Your significant other may not always appreciate or understand the nature of your behaviors, but as the father it is often our job to shoulder the burden in silence whilst maintaining focus on what is important. It is said that true genius is often misunderstood in its own time and these tips will surely manifest that prophecy. You already have an advantage as a father, now get out there and get your fatherhood game on.

March 28, 2015
by Creed
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Success Factors, pt. 1: The Psychopath

Some recent literature on dadforbeginners.com has focused on the topic of work and how to it relates to children and life in general. Topics included how to train kids to adapt to modern working society as well as how to explain the concept of “employment” to a child. A child’s daily life is whimsical and timeless. Perhaps the true indicator of adulthood is when you consciously become aware that your life has shifted from timelessness to scheduling. Adult life is stringently scheduled and almost always do adult schedules operate around the idea of work. Employment has become the primary determinant for scheduling other, non-work related adult activities such as vacations, personal appointments and even things as routine as dinner and watching TV. There are four kinds of people in the modern workforce: the psychopath, the delusional, the realist, and the apathetic. In this new 4-part series, we’ll look at each segment of the population as it relates to employment.

Part 1: The Psychopath

The psychopath is the individual who intentionally schedules every facet of their life around their career. This is the individual who will willing forego life events in favor of their career. For the psychopath, their career is their top priority…sometimes it’s their only priority. The psychopath is not the type of person who gets sidetracked and often works too late or too much due to volume of work. Indeed it is quite the opposite. The psychopath makes a concerted effort to focus the majority of their life on their career.

The rationale for this behavior is two-fold. In some respects, financial gain drives the psychopath to continue their diligent work habits to extremes. More commonly, the psychopath is the type of person who has trained their mind to believe that there is some intrinsic value in their career. The psychopath model of employee fits brilliantly into the construct of capitalism. Although work has no inherent value as it relates to the human experience, the psychopath has evolved in such a way that they extract more pleasure from overwhelming professional stress than they do from things like family, recreation, or tranquility.

This person is labeled as a “psychopath” because the learned behavior of placing such extreme priority on work closely mirrors the DSM definition of a psychopath. You’ll find that traits readily identifiable in a diagnosed psychopath are easily spotted in the so-called “workaholic” as well. In fact, the average human the rate of psychopaths in normal society is about 1% however that figure rises to 4% of CEO’s and business leaders. The reason for this is because the characteristics of a psychopath are the very same characteristics that benefit capitalist society. Do you know someone who’s perceived as professionally successful and married to their job? See how many of the below criteria are found within that individual’s personality.

  • Cunning/manipulative behavior
  • Lack of empathy
  • Glibness
  • Grandiose sense of self-worth
  • Impaired interpersonal functioning i.e. lack of intimacy
  • Shallow affect

Yet outside of the clinical definition of psychopath, is the colloquial one. The common references to psychopathy do not typically describe a diagnosable mental instability, but attempt to highlight what the average person might call “insanity.” Although insanity is strictly a legal term, it’s been morphed into a word used to describe someone who’s apparent lifestyle choices represent a departure from normalcy. For the workaholic psychopath, their conscious decision to minimize the variety of life experiences in favor of work may appear insane to someone else.

What this really boils down to is utility. When the bulk of your adult life is spent engaged in your career, where is the utility there? When aspects of your existential being that formerly made you…YOU, have vanished in favor of your career, are you still able to have a sense of utility? If your day job is now your sole source of personal identity, then you’ve reached this point of insanity. If you have effectively trained your mind to believe that whatever it is you do all day for money is somehow the nexus of your entire existence, then you are the psychopath, either clinically, colloquially, or both. Congratulations.

March 10, 2015
by Creed
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Obsessed with Breasts

There is no denying that the feminine physique is a work of art. While the image of man is carved in a grotesque and utilitarian way, the arches and curves of a woman flow naturally, embodying the pinnacle of human physical perfection. Within that form, the female body has the inherent ability to nurture and nourish another body whether through the womb or through breastfeeding. The male body is far more useless. Men’s bodies are not capable of nourishing anything. Men obviously can’t carry children but in perhaps the ultimate anatomical irony, men have certain parts similar to that of a woman, but with absolutely no purpose. Nipples are a prime example of a trait shared by men and women. One that is useful in one sex and nothing more than a novelty on the other.

Nipples on a man are rudimentary and purposeless. They are nothing more than chest décor on a useless area of the male body. Perhaps the only reason we are so accepting of male nipples is because we’ve just excepted them as normal. There is no other part of the exterior of the body that is so obviously visible and yet so completely pointless. Male nipples, perhaps because of their obscurity, have not been subjected to as intense scrutiny as female nipples. It seems that everyone has just accepted that nipples on men exist for no reason and left them alone. In the rare instances where male nipples are sexualized, it is usually for only a brief moment and is somehow connected to some larger picture of sexual deviancy on the whole. In short, most people don’t want to look at, touch, or really have anything to do with the male areola.

breasts

Just like a dog in a sweater or the phrase “it is what it is,” man nipples are useless.

Female nipples, on the other hand, are a cornerstone in the promulgation of the sexual deviancy of the developed world. In fact, the entire female chest is highlighted in so many aspects that it has become the polar opposite of its male counterpart. While the male breast area is a region of extreme indifference, the very same area on a female is exactly the opposite. But can anyone really explain why this is? The only real difference between male and female breasts besides the appearance is the usefulness of female breasts with regards to feeding an infant. Other than the general shape and ability to produce nutrients, the biological blueprint of human breasts in general isn’t all that different

However, as we are all well aware, female breasts have been sexualized to such an extent that the average person (chiefly, but not exclusively, men) gaze upon them lustfully without so much as a thought as to their real purpose. With the attention breasts have been given aesthetically, women have furthered the sexualization of their baby-feeders by intentionally highlighting them and using them to their advantage. The modern sexualized breast isn’t merely a device for feeding or a tool for attracting a mate, it has permeated almost every aspect of modern society to the point that it has become a means to help acquire employment, fleece the law, or save some money. It has become a source of personal validation for the narcissist, a means to boost self-esteem for the self-deprecating, and a challenge to prove superiority against the challengers in the female community.

breasts

Just like every other mammal in the animal kingdom, this little dude is having a meal. What exactly is the issue here?

The ultimate irony surrounding sexualized breast is that the inherent purpose of it has become stigmatized. Public breastfeeding is a far more controversial topic than public lasciviousness. In fact, one can easily examine the public world throughout the course of daily life and see sexualized breasts virtually everywhere yet witnessing the actual act of breastfeeding in a public venue is a rarity. Where breastfeeding in certain public arenas is openly chastised, the exposure of the same part of the body for other purposes, sexual ones, is championed and encouraged. Even media, television, and publications that traditionally have nothing lewd or sexual about them use the female breast to increase their marketability or revenue. Sports Illustrated has run an annual swimsuit issues for 51 years and for what reason? The scantily clad female physique has nothing to do with sports. But being that the target demographic of such a publication is predominately male, sexing it up once a year is a retention tactic. Restaurants specializing in large breasted waitress are more popular every year. And while it’s true that places like Hooters do serve milk, it’s generally the kind that comes from a cow and I can only assume the majority of their female employees are not actively lactating. But I’ve been wrong before.

breasts

Stop looking at my eyes, my breasts are down here.

Although it is typically agreed upon that the female form is generally a more artful and gracious one than its male counterpart, there are vagaries in the separation of art and sex that were once clear yet have become muddled over time. Modern culture has virtually ceased to make a distinction between art and smut when it comes to nudity. Yet there remains a very clear distinction between art, smut, and motherly exposure as it relates to public perception and acceptance. As the discourse of the nipple continually manifests, redefines itself, and manifests again, two things remain clear: that male nipples are a waste of everyone’s time and we have no idea how to coherently articulate the social space of the female nipple. But what do I know? I’m just another lustful, testosterone driven, dirtbag male. Now let’s see them titties, girl.

March 7, 2015
by Creed
0 comments

The Modern Capitalist Parent

Many years ago, I was a child to a stay-at-home mother. From my conception well through my 20th birthday, my mother was never employed. It was only after my younger sister and I were grown and moved out that my mother acquired work. However, by this point in her life, it was more out of domestic boredom than the need to accrue additional finances. Modern society has evolved in such a way that most two-parent homes indeed have two working parents. It is more common in this day and age for both parents to be employed, often full-time.

How do you explain the concept of “work” to a toddler? Toddlers know nothing of work nor do they need to. The life of a toddler revolves around his or her basic needs i.e. food, shelter, sleep, social interaction, etc. Additionally, the cognitive development of a toddler is dependent on its environment and in scenarios where both parents are working full-time jobs, the child is rarely exposed to both parental entities simultaneously. The crux of this issues is contained within the following question: When your child wants to know where you go all day, what do you say?

Another, perhaps easier way to examine this question is to ask: If aliens landed on Earth and asked the question, “what is work for?” what is the appropriate response?

The lone function of employment is to generate personal income. The political and capitalist class has twisted this around and through many years of benign, clandestine direction, and coerced most people into assigning value to their work. Value that is supposed to generate intrinsic pleasure. The remarkable success of this ill willed guidance has created generations of people who have been trained to believe that what they do all day for money actually enhances their happiness. Ask yourself this: if you didn’t need money, what would you do all day?

The only real reason people endeavor to excel professionally is the potential for more income. Outside of the possibility of a financial raise, there is nothing to gain besides maintaining the reputation you’ve established for yourself inside your place of employment. When there is no potential for a salary increase, workers excel based only on the potential backlash from stigmatized mistakes. The capitalist leadership calls this motivation or productivity. What it really is, however, is a fundamental system of guilt based on predetermined rights and wrongs within a particular industry. After all, without the potential for a financial boost, there is genuinely no incentive for the average person to exert any effort into their job. By creating a system of stigmatized mistakes accompanied by penalties and transforming it into an ideal known as “pride” or “motivation,” employers can cultivate a pseudo-intrinsic happiness based solely on the ability of the employee to escape consequence. The weaker the consequences for errors, the less incentive an employee has to perform at a high level. Through years of conditioning, employees learn to excel based on professional pride and eventually, they reach the point where a false happiness is achieved simply by doing someone else’s definition of a “good job.”

Because we live in an economic system based on cyclical debt in exchange for goods and services that we are unable to generate ourselves, the only rationale one can give for work is to accrue fiat currency in order to intentionally promulgate our own personal debt in exchange for items that are essential to our existence like food and shelter. The system of work only exists insofar as individual households are not self-sustaining. As society continues to devolve in this way, people have less and less personal utility over the availability of essential goods. It is within this construct that the fabricated “intrinsic value” of work is at its most malicious. The average person is willing to knowingly accrue more debt, even with the knowledge that they are not going to be compensated in congruence with their performance at work. Because the false happiness of “a job well done” is alive and well in so many conditioned workers, they forget that the sole purpose of work is based on the need for income and suddenly, employer expectations sit right alongside financial goals in the eyes of the brainwashed employee. This deceit has escalated so quickly and been embraced so wholly, that fathers are missing the births of their children because they had to work.

This simple observation from an admittedly simple mind is in no way suggesting a means for change or improvement, however it does give one an adequate answer to the question of a toddler. When your youngling has reached the age where they can understand that you go somewhere for something all day, be sure to explain to them how the entirety of the developed world has been co-opted by the capitalist underbelly into assigning value to something that is inherently valueless. And as you reach for your jacket on your way to work in the morning, be sure to look your child in the eyes and explain to him how important the approval of your superiors are. So important, in fact, that you’ll spend 1/3 of your life away from their development, laboring for greenbacks and the approval of people who wouldn’t care if you died after your shift, as long as you were productive during it.

January 25, 2015
by Creed
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Toddler Language

My son has finally begun to make the transition from tiny parrot into petite human. His relative size and strength, however, are not what’s causing this transformation, it is the ability to acquire language and retain it. He is no longer squawking aimlessly, he’s legitimately talking. For the past 18 months, the sounds being emitted from my son’s face were exclusively gibberish and always incomprehensible. However, he’s reached a point in his development where coherent words are audible and even the occasional broken sentence slithers out. It was an exciting moment for exactly 17 seconds…before I realized that the talking never stops…ever.

Being a parent to a toddler is a lot like being married. At first, every new event and occurrence is exciting. But as time wanes on, those very same scenarios that once upon a time had you blushing with glee, will have you trying to scratch out your own eyeballs. Toddler talking is one of these events. It is absolutely adorable the first time a toddler strings together a semi-acceptable sentence that actually makes sense. However, the initial joy fades rapidly, particularly when your child is standing at your knees, asking about the structural integrity of the shower curtain while you’re trying to move your morning bowels. There is nothing more distracting than toddler babbling during a morning poop.

A toddler’s ability to retain linguistic material is uncanny. Often times, hearing a word or expression only once is enough to retain it and use it properly at a later time. Understanding this truth is especially critical for the vulgar and borderline inappropriate adult. As adults, we’ve become so accustomed to routinely using similar language, that often we forget the degree of acceptability in our daily vernacular. Recently I came to the realization that “Watch it, fuck face” is my favorite and most commonly used expression whilst driving. However, since that moment of recognition, I’ve adjusted my behind-the-wheel lexicon to include more appropriate phrases like “move bitch” and “what a d-bag.” Parenting is all about being a role model.

Once you realize the ease at which toddlers acquire new language skills, it becomes fun to use everyday life to help them continue to master new words. A toddler will take a seemingly innocuous sentence and turn it into a learning moment. The ease and ability with which they develop new linguistic abilities is simply astonishing. With that in mind, I’ve taken charge of my son’s verbiage and begun teaching him some key phrases for social success. Things like “true dat” and “pass the gravy.” After all, one cannot cruise through life on good looks alone.

Which each passing day, a new word or series of words continually reminds me that this tiny creature is always listening. Always. Being the aforementioned excellent role model that I am, remembering to treat each and every moment as a learning moment is crucial to my son’s vocal success. The most dangerous thought that can cross a parent’s mind is the belief that your toddler won’t remember or understand something. They are always listening. Watching. Even when you’re just trying to pinch one off after your morning coffee.

January 17, 2015
by Creed
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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Icon of an Indifferent America

The third Monday in January is annually celebrated as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Most hardworking and thrifty Americans embrace this day by taking off from work and remaining clueless as to why Martin Luther King Jr. is revered. The principle cause for celebration is an extra paid holiday in a month where there is typically little else to smile about. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is always observed on the third Monday of January, even though Dr. King was born January 15th. Oddly enough, Dr. King’s given name was Michael, not Martin. So instead of celebrating Michael King Day annually on January 15th, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day annually on the third Monday of January. Make sense? Ok good.

Dr. King is well known throughout our nation as a Christian humanitarian who championed civil rights and the advancement of black people in America. Yet for the vast majority of Americans, that is literally all they know about King. He was a black religious guy who did progressive things for other black people. Well done, public school system. The more elaborate truth is that King was a landmark figure in almost every outlet of society in 1950s America. His breadth of influence touched everything from civil rights and religion to the Viet Nam war, inner city poverty rehabilitation, family planning structures, and a wide variety of local civic programs primarily in the deep south. He was also the first person to unequivocally identify the Loch Ness monster and he once saved a three-legged squirrel from drowning.

Much like our 16th President Abraham Lincoln, King is perhaps best known for one particular moment, his infamous “I have a dream” speech delivered on August 28, 1963. Orated from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King called for an end to racism in America in front of a crowd of a quarter million. The legendary speech is ranked as the top speech of the 20th century and solidified Dr. King as an icon of 1960s America. It’s a little known fact amongst historians that Dr. King once delivered a similar presentation to his 6th grade class in 1941 entitled “I have a wet dream” specifically focusing on the influence on puberty in a generation of young men in the greater Atlanta area.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK delivering his infamous “I have a dream…” pictured here clearly wide awake.

Like many other champions of the civil rights movement, Dr. King died a young man surrounded by questionable circumstances. King was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 39 under auspicious conditions. As the years have passed and his death has become more scrutinized, it has become more plausible to view the death of King in a similar light as the deaths of John and Bobby Kennedy as well as the radical black Muslim, Malcolm Little. Modern historians liken all four assassinations in a similar vein, highlighted by potential U.S. government involvement in their killings. An autopsy of Dr. King revealed that although he was only 39, his cardiovascular health was that of a 60-year-old, due to years of unbridled stress working within the movement. The gunman in the King murder was identified as James Earl Ray, who was convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison where he would eventually die from Hepatitis C. King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, famously described Ray, recounting, “a bitch is a bitch” which would later become the theme to a popular 90s hip hop track by gangsta rapper Ice Cube.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Alleged King assassin James Earl Ray. Not to be confused with James Earl Jones.

Dr. King’s groundbreaking movement of peaceful disobedience paved the way for millions of oppressed black Americans. King remains a legendary figure in American history who’s memory is tainted only by how little we know of him as a public. Modern history has largely forgotten the peaceful civil rights movement, as new paradigm suggests that the more violent Black Power movement was far more influential to the eventual political autonomy of black citizens in America. Nevertheless, Dr. King is a figure worth remembering. So this year, be sure to do what the hardworking and tireless King would do on this day: take the day off, get intoxicated, and keep your collective blinders on. Always a pleasure, America. Perhaps one day we will rise up and live up to our creed, but today is not that day.

January 12, 2015
by Creed
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Reconciling Dystopia

Becoming a new parent is overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, that new parents may feel a bit bipolar at times. Occasionally, sordid and evil thoughts permeate your brain. Harming your child is not a realistic option, although at times it seems to be a very vivid and attractive possibility. Early on in parenthood, taking stock of your new lifestyle is strikingly similar to witnessing the carnage of a twenty car pile-up unexpectedly wreaking havoc on a quiet, residential avenue in a kid-friendly neighborhood or retirement community. While the frustration of parenting is intense at times, it’s relatively easy to stifle your urge to strangle your new baby. As your baby matures into a toddler, you’ll soon learn that the majority of your effort will be spent saving the child from injuring itself. You’ll no longer be forced to harbor the shameful thoughts of potential infanticide, as toddlers are remarkably well equipped to find danger on their own virtually everywhere.

Michael only dangled his kid over a balcony. Jeez people, it’s not like he actually dropped it!

A toddler is always in peril. Babies and toddlers live their lives in a constant state of physical danger which is only enhanced as they grow older and become physically capable of exploring new heights. Toddlers are fearless. The good news is that they are soft and flexible and can easily survive minor, self-inflicted blunt force trauma. The transition a young child makes from baby to toddler is paradoxical for a new parent. Only a handful of weeks ago you were legitimately considering tossing the baby off the balcony. Now no longer a baby, your toddler is most likely climbing the balcony railing alone whilst you do everything in your power to keep he or she safe. Amazing how quickly the tables turn.

You wish you could forget about your child sometimes. Nic Cage wishes he could forget all the time!

A toddler will find danger where seemingly none exists. Modern parenting gurus have adopted the term “baby-proofing” to reference the extravagant lengths parents go to in order to protect their younglings from household perils. What a parent of a toddler will quickly learn is that there is no such thing as baby-proofing. The creativity and innovation of toddlers is truly impressive when it comes to successfully seeking danger. Because of this astute ability to constantly locate risk, toddlers would probably have similar insurance premiums as most geriatric smokers with heart disease. Toddlers are small, clever, and can fit into narrow spaces, which would surely make them an attractive asset to potential employers.

There is only one way to relieve yourself of the burden of being a new parent constantly on patrol. Acceptance. In order to find more extensive and appropriate moments of tranquility, you must accept that whatever lifestyle you maintained as a childless adult has gone up in flames. You are a lifeguard now. All the time. You created this dystopia.

Of course your new baby is annoying. Human babies by definition are helpless. Deal with it. Accept it. Only through the armistice of acceptance will you find serenity. Just don’t bask in the serenity of acceptance for too long…your toddler is about to pull a cast iron skillet off the stove top onto his head. RUN!

December 13, 2014
by Creed
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Santa’s Lap

The seemingly age old tradition of small children sitting on Santa’s lap and asking for presents is so engrained in our society that most parents think nothing of it. For decades it has been commonplace to take your younglings to a venue where they can perch atop the lap of the jovial fat man of the season and tell him what they desire for Christmas. It has become as normal as any other American holiday tradition.

Parents buy into this more than kids. It is the parents who promote this idea of Santa’s Lap. Over time, children accept the notion of Santa and of the seasonal custom of sitting on a stranger’s lap during the winter months, however it is the parents who initially instigate this bizarre tradition. Any other time of year, parents would scream in horror if their children willingly sat on a fat, bearded, strange man’s lap and asked him for things. All stereotypes aside, most people probably don’t want anything a bearded, fat guy has to offer anyway. Unless you have a thing for Werther’s Originals and perhaps a cigar.

There is nothing more disconcerting than placing your young children on the lap of a stranger who has an uncanny resemblance to most homeless. Sans the red suit and hat, most Santas are barely discernible from bums. Similarly to hobos, most Santas are outwardly disheveled, overly hairy, and probably drunk. If that very same man lost the suit and approached your child in a windowless panel van offering candy, you’d run for the police. Yet somehow putting a red suit and a furry hat on even the creepiest individuals changes their aura altogether. So much so that parents enforce their child’s closeness to this seasonal being.

Santa's Lap

Odin, father of Thor, Allfather of the Gods, Ruler of Asgard, the original Santa, and a lookalike of every homeless man ever. Quite a resume.

The annual tradition of handing your children over to an obese, elderly codger in a red suit has become as natural as eating turkey on Thanksgiving or dressing as a hussy on Halloween. The normalcy associated with Santa’s Lap is easily one of the most paradoxical qualities of an already hypocritical time of year. Santa’s Lap is only Santa’s Lap insofar as the individual is perceived as jolly, rotund, bearded, and dressed in red. It is perhaps the ultimate irony that parents will relentlessly protest the presence of a sex offender in their neighborhoods but will nary express a concern about encouraging their impressionable children to climb upon the lap of a complete stranger…especially one with such lofty career ambitions as “mall Santa.”

Santa's Lap

Sinterklaas, based on the original St. Nick. Nothing strange or creepy about this guy at all.

Happy Holidays, kids. When mommy and daddy push you towards the bearded geriatric at your local mall, just remember this. Santa is fictional. And that guy dressed as the conjured deity of childhood materialism…he hates you, he hates all kids. The only thing he needs besides a real job and probably some hydrocortisone for his fake beard rash is to be left alone whilst in line at the soup kitchen.

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