Book Deals, and the Deal with Books

By Rebeldad Brian Reid

Every couple of weeks, someone in the comments wonders aloud whether I'm fishing for a book deal. This week, I'd like to come clean: There is no book in my immediate future, much to my chagrin.

Initially, rebeldad.com was designed to be an open reference for a book about at-home dads. I was fortunate enough to get hooked up with a high-profile agent and I hammered out a proposal about three years ago. But, despite the best efforts of my agent, I couldn't find a big publisher to buy in. The comments I received were consistent: The writing was fine, the logic was sound, the topic was interesting. The problem? Guys don't buy parenting books. After two years of trying, I finally threw in the towel.

I still wander the parenting section of Barnes and Noble, wondering where the books about dads are. A couple of neat ones have managed to sneak through (I'm an especially big fan of Pop Culture, which came out last year), but in general, unless you're a celeb dad -- think Bill Cosby or Al Roker -- there's not much out there.

That drives me batty, not just because dads don't have worthwhile resources about fathering and the experience of parenting, but also because moms don't have access to those books, either. If you believe -- as I do -- that decisions about how to divvy up the opportunity to raise children are best made by both partners, it helps to have some common points of reference.

Books are one of those references. I dutifully read What to Expect When You're Expecting, to get a sense of what the whole pregnancy thing was about, and It's a Girl, to get a sense of what it's like to be a mom raising daughters, but there's not much I can press into the hands of my wife to explain life from a father's point of view.

The problem goes beyond just the bookstore. Without hot-shot authors, there's no one for the Today show to book as a fathering expert, no one for Parents or Parenting to call upon for a quick essay, no ready expert on a dad's point of view to weigh in every time the media jumps on the Mommy Wars bandwagon.

Of course, it goes without saying that there are probably some great resources for and about fathers that go beyond the Armin Brott books that I've managed to miss. Let me hear 'em.

Brian Reid writes about parenting and work-family balance. You can read his blog at rebeldad.com.

By Brian Reid |  January 18, 2007; 7:26 AM ET  | Category:  Dads
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I'm first. Ha ha

Posted by: Biggest Dork | January 18, 2007 7:30 AM

Maybe its because guys generally aren't overly obessive about parenting and less likely to doubt themselves. Frankly, I think chicks spend way too much time worrying about the every aspect of their existence and make it all worse.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 7:57 AM

As Jack Bauer would say "Dammit!"

Posted by: First Comment | January 18, 2007 7:58 AM

"Maybe its because guys generally aren't overly obessive about parenting and less likely to doubt themselves."

Exactly. Boys are socialized to be strong leaders. They rarely show weakness or self-doubt. They are not encouraged to talk things over. They are programmed to be providers and protectors.

The real irony here is that American men are quickly becoming irrelevent. Women are discovering that they can be also be providers and protectors and in some cases superior ones. A few trips to the sperm bank and their lives can be pretty much complete.

Millions of American women (and men)grew up in homes with fathers and husbands who were utter failures. You reap what you and your brethren sow.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 8:06 AM

Bet Jack Bauer doesn't read parenting books.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 8:07 AM

I can't agree with the second poster's broad brush opinion. We have a 10-month old daughter and my husband is the fretter in our family. I do the bulk of the research mainly to reassure him that her behavior and our approaches to it are within the realm of normality and not to be worried about. He got pretty engrossed with the AAP's babycare book when she was newborn, but mainly because he is a neurobiologist and the development sections were interesting.

The covers of most of these books (soft, cuddly images) make me think the publishing houses are the ones with blinders on. As fathers become more involved with child rearing, they will reach for books just as they do for do-it-yourself projects!

Posted by: MaryB | January 18, 2007 8:11 AM

Books? We ain't got no books! We don't need no books! I don't have to show you any stinking books!"

Bonus points if you can identify this parody.

Posted by: Gold Hat | January 18, 2007 8:15 AM

I also disagree with the second post. Are all the self-help books in B&N for women?? I don't think so. I think there are no "father" books simply because publishers don't believe there's a market. While there are more stay-at-home dads and fathers are generally more involved parents, I suspect the corporate execs are not among them.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 8:17 AM

to GoldHat: Treasure of the Sierra Madre, secondarily Blazing Saddles.

Posted by: MaryB | January 18, 2007 8:17 AM

The real irony here is that American men are quickly becoming irrelevent

Then why is there so much anguish shown by women not having a man? There have been more than an few comments from single mothers lamenting how hard life is by themselves. Maureen Dowd even writes about the pain of not having a man to share her life with.

Posted by: the original anon | January 18, 2007 8:19 AM

Very good Mary B.!

Most people mistakenly attribute this line to Blazing Saddles. Don't know which was the better movie.

Posted by: Gold Hat | January 18, 2007 8:22 AM

It is clear with my older kids that an involved father is a huge asset for them. (Not to dis people without the involved father, just to say that my kids are fortunate to have one.)

Posted by: experienced mom | January 18, 2007 8:24 AM

If someone wrote a book explaining what parenting is like from a male perspective, I'd buy it. My husband is wonderful, but it's like pulling teeth to figure out how he's feeling about us, our daughter, our recent miscarriage, or anything else that's primarily an emotional topic.

Posted by: NewSAHM | January 18, 2007 8:25 AM

This topic is of less interest than yesterday's menopausal yawn.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 8:31 AM

Um, perhaps the politically correct answer would be that male perspective parenting books aren't needed because the books out there right now are already gender-neutral and not biased only towards women. (Kind of like those "dear parents" letters that come home from school, usually detailing an exhausting list of extracurricular work to be done -- technically they're addressed to both of us, though somehow I'm the one who always ends up staying up until midnight baking the cupcakes.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that society TRIES to pretend that we're all interchangeable and that there's no difference between how boys learn and girls learn, how men parent and women parent, and (as we learned this year), how man teach and women teach. Frankly, I've been stunned at how different my daughter's male teacher's teaching STYLE is, compared to her previous female teachers. It's made me think A LOT about the differences between how men and women view the world, and how they parent and interact with children. As has your column, Brian. . .Personally, as a social scientist, I'd love to see a research project which followed a cohort of kids being raised by SAHD's -- to see if the kids turned out significantly different as a result (perhaps in terms of self-esteem, confidence, interactions with others, leadership, etc.)

Posted by: Armchair Mom | January 18, 2007 8:33 AM

My initial take on this is it is a matter of confidence. Some parents of either gender are just more confident than others. To overcome the lack of confidence, hospitals help the mother become confident before she leaves...or at least they try to help the mother, but not neccessarily help the father, maybe due to a lack of time, rather than a lack of interest. So the father could be less confident in the beginning due to nature or to circumstances. In either case, I'm not sure a book would necessarily help.

My second take on this was, other than business books, do men buy self-help books at all?

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 8:34 AM

Or it goes to say that women are more involved with their children.

Posted by: single mom | January 18, 2007 8:37 AM

I don't know if presumed lack of interest by guys in parenting book was the only reason Brian didn't find a publisher. His writing is also soo boring and little insightful.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 8:40 AM

Maybe what John Gray wrote about relationships in his book "Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus" spills over into the way men parent.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 8:41 AM

What? A man reading a parenting book? That's kinda like asking for directions. Men just don't do that.

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 18, 2007 8:42 AM

I don't think obessively reading parenting books and hanging out on a parenting blog all day makes one a more involved parent. Maybe dads are just going with their gut and spending time with their kids. I had a mom at a group last night who wished that there was a child psychologist at her pediatrician's office so she could find out what to do. When to tell them about death, when to tell them about sex... I was like, are you kidding me?

Posted by: moxiemom | January 18, 2007 8:43 AM

do men buy self-help books at all?

Only if they are written by Jack Bauer

Posted by: First Comment | January 18, 2007 8:45 AM

But when would Jack Bauer find time to write a book?

Posted by: DC lurker | January 18, 2007 8:48 AM

If someone wrote a book explaining what parenting is like from a male perspective

Most guys are in the fixit mode. If I can fix it, good, if I can't then I move on. If an issue is in the past and I can't do anything to change it, I do't obsess.

I also think that most guy take their parenting lessons from their dads--provided that dad was not a total smuck.

Posted by: A Guy's View | January 18, 2007 8:50 AM

But when would Jack Bauer find time to write a book?

That is the point! He can't so we don't!

Posted by: First Comment | January 18, 2007 8:52 AM

BTW, it does not bother most of us when we become our dads. Like in, I just can't believe that, I sound just like my mother.

Posted by: A Guy's View | January 18, 2007 8:54 AM

"provided that dad was not a total smuck"

Yes, there are many men who say they are going to be better fathers, etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 8:58 AM

I'm not sure that guys are somehow naturally more confident in their parenting skills. Or maybe some are confident but they can still be confidently wrong. Sort of a "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" attitude. Perhaps some women look to parenting books because they want to get it right the first time or to get suggestions on how to correct things that did go wrong. I don't think that looking to books for answers means that someone is lacking confidence in their own skills. It's like the asking for directions thing. Maybe you can eventually find your way without asking for directions but often you can reach your destination a lot faster without having to go the scenic route.

Posted by: Rockville Mom | January 18, 2007 8:59 AM

Ack! I'm a mother, so my opinion might not be that of the appropriate gender, but I TOTALLY agree that we need more excellent books that promote a father's perspective on parenting, and parenting well. How are we every supposed to get out of the current mess we're in if fathers aren't given an equal image with mothers as competent and complete parents? Just on symbolism alone, these fathering books are needed!

And Brian, I find your writing to be wise and interesting. The world was just not ready for a father-as-primary-parent book when you tried before. Wake up, world!

Posted by: equal | January 18, 2007 8:59 AM

The publishing houses are wrong. My husband has searched high and low for books by and for men about parenting. So far, he has only found the Armin Brott books. It really bugs him that there aren't more options. He's the researcher in the family. In fact, he read the pregnancy books, not me. And he's read a ton of more scientific books about child development. I think the publishers are wrong to think that men aren't interested in buying books about parenting. Can you self-publish and prove them wrong?

Posted by: DCGal | January 18, 2007 9:04 AM

Child comes into the house crying over a skinned knee. Mother dries the tears, cleans off the knee, kisses it and makes the child a cup of hot cocoa. Mother happy, child happy.
Child comes into the house crying over a skinned knee. Dad takes a look and checks to make sure the leg is still attached. He then pats the child on the head and tells him that it is ok and to go back outside and play. Child goes back outside to play. Father happy, child happy.
Same result - different route.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 9:04 AM

We bought two books designed specifically for dads. My husband has no interest in reading either of them. I read them both about 5 times. My favorite was Father's First Steps: 25 Things Every New Dad Should Know by Robert and James Sears.

Posted by: Monica | January 18, 2007 9:08 AM

Why don't you write a "diary of a stay at home dad." It could be part serious, part humor...and it might have appeal to both moms and dads. Just a thought.

Posted by: To Brian... | January 18, 2007 9:11 AM

Why don't you write a book for dads that reminds them that childhood is fleeting...and if they're too occupied with work, hobbies, etc. and don't spend time with their kids they just might miss the opportunity in the blink of an eye. Kind of like that song, "The Cat's in the Cradle" where the lyrics show how a dad missed his son's entire childhood by his inattentiveness...and in the process raised a son just like him.

Posted by: Or............................ | January 18, 2007 9:13 AM

Number of books lost in Katrina

Fredia:

Professional books 35
Self Help books 432

Fred

Professional books I might have had some
Self Help Books 0

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2007 9:13 AM

If you do write a diary don't forget to include the soap operas, bon bons and bloody marys.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 9:14 AM

Armchair Mom, if you don't think What to Expect When You're Expecting and It's a Girl aren't targeted towards women, you are fooling yourself.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 9:14 AM

"But when would Jack Bauer find time to write a book? "

Maybe not a whole book, but he could have written a Memoir while he was in the Chinese prison.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 9:16 AM

Fred, are you saying that Playboy isn't a self-help book? They have an advice column.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 9:17 AM

know any dads like "The Cat's in the Cradle"...too busy and occupied...constantly blowing off their child/ren? Just wondering how many of them there are out there...and were there more of them a generation or two ago, than there are today? Or has the number of inattentive dads stayed the same?

Posted by: Do you... | January 18, 2007 9:17 AM

Jack actually did but it was lost in the translation!

Posted by: First Comment | January 18, 2007 9:17 AM

Guys are not, by and large, as conflicted about things as women seem to be. I think part of it is because men don't usually see these things as an identity issue (e.g., does my work schedule make me a "good dad" or a "bad dad").

We're just dads. Sometimes we screw up - sometimes we don't. Some things you just can't agonize about - you gotta get on with it and keep doing what needs to be done.

And remember the "father's rule" - with kids, play IS important work.

Posted by: Older Dad | January 18, 2007 9:18 AM

I have not looked at a Playboy in years. But I will be about that only male to admit, I liked the pictures, who cared about the interviews.

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2007 9:19 AM

"Fred, are you saying that Playboy isn't a self-help book? They have an advice column."

KLB SS MD, unfortunately perhaps, that's gotta be filed under "fiction."

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 9:20 AM

Demos - are you saying they aren't real?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 9:21 AM

My FIL bought me "Father and Son" by Harry H. Harrison Jr. as a stocking stuffer. It has brief, practical advice and reads more like a little series of notes than a book. Example - "Make him understand that even a small lie makes him a liar." and "Take him for walks and introduce him to the world of bugs."

It goes in stages, from infant to boy to teen.

The author and his wife has a series of these, including:
Father to Daughter: Life Lessons on Raising a Girl by Harry H. Harrison Jr.,
Mother To Son: Shared Wisdom From the Heart by Melissa Harrison ,
Mother to Daughter by Melissa Harrison.

They are not groundbreaking literature or anything, but they have some useful thoughts that I had not considered.

Posted by: Proud Papa | January 18, 2007 9:24 AM

Brian,

You should make your book into a funny family book with advice for both parents. You could include a section or two about SAHDs and how to become one or how to live with one, etc. Just do a little re-writing and re-market it. I'd buy it because I know you through the blog. Other people might buy it because they are tired of the same old parenting books!

Posted by: scarry | January 18, 2007 9:25 AM

There are a few things for dads to read, but they are few and far between. "Daddy Needs a Drink: An Irreverent Look at Parenting from a Dad Who Truly Loves His Kids-- Even When They're Driving Him Nuts" by Robert Wilder is a funny dad's view of parenting. Also, there's a good parenting column and even an article from time to time in "Best Life" magazine.

The "for Dad" columns in Parenting magazines are great because they let us off the hook. If we smile at our infants once a day and tell our wives they are thin once a week, we've earned the "Best Dad" medal made of foil and glitter that Mom and the kids took on as a craft project.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | January 18, 2007 9:26 AM

"We bought two books designed specifically for dads. My husband has no interest in reading either of them. I read them both about 5 times. My favorite was Father's First Steps: 25 Things Every New Dad Should Know by Robert and James Sears."

And there's the take-away insight for Leslie - write a parenting book "for dads" that really targets the wives that actually buy and read the things. There's likely a real market there.

Along those lines, Equal wrote: "How are we every supposed to get out of the current mess we're in if fathers aren't given an equal image with mothers as competent and complete parents? Just on symbolism alone, these fathering books are needed!"

Men don't - as a rule - go into family life questioning their competence. A new father may question his technical familiarity with particular procedures - changing a diaper or mix formula - but he generally won't question his ability to be a "competent and complete parent."

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 9:26 AM

Fred

Are you saying you don't have a porn stash of any kind? Very, very difficult to believe unless you are looking at your wife's lactation books.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 9:29 AM

"Demos - are you saying they aren't real?"

Let's just say that for most men, many of the "problems" would be better characterized as "aspirations." [How do I keep up with the Swedish triplets and still have the energy to get up and go to work in the morning?]

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 9:29 AM

On Jack Bauer: From what I can tell, he has plenty of time. One 24-hour shift every few months should leave lots of time for parenting. On the flip side, I'm not sure that he's done a good job of keeping Kim safe and secure ...

On Everything Else: I get that men might be less introspective about parenthood, but I'm hard-pressed to think of any other section of the bookstore where the target audience is so overwhelmingly female. Even the self-help section has something for us.

And to Armchair Mom: I am counting the moments until we have a gender-neutral media. But unless I'm reading the wrong books and subscribing to the wrong magazines, we're not there yet.

Posted by: Brian Reid | January 18, 2007 9:29 AM

didn't we cover this identical topic last week?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 9:31 AM

I think that there are few male parenting books because men take parenting less personally than do women. Their children are less of a personal reflection on them to their peers... meaning that crying or sick kids problems can be fixed according to dad, mom will look to the deeper meaning of things try to fix the root of the problem and fear what her friends may think.

For example, my child has wanted to wear the same halloween costume (very comfortable on) to school everyday this week (not wanting to bath, or even take it off to sleep). Its not that it gets dirty or there is anything wrong with it, but I fear what the other parents may say about my sending my kid to school dirty and in the same outfit. I only allowed it for two days, and we ended up having a knock down struggle last night. I think a dad would have just shrigged their shoulders and let her keep wearing it. Remember the movie with Adam Sandler 'Big daddy'?

Posted by: single mom | January 18, 2007 9:32 AM

Even if parents don't read self help books don't you think that any book that makes them a "better person" (crappy description but I think you know what I mean) is helpful? Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Album comes to mind as it is a wonderful story of a sports writer who lived to work. By spending time with his old college professor he learned about friendship and life and love and how to savor life. If he had been a father he would have been much better after his time with Morrie than before if only because he relished time and life and love.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 9:35 AM


Sharon wrote yesterday "The fact that an informative discussion could have taken shape here but was derailed by "regulars" chatting about BEER..."

Yes this blog does go off-topic sometimes and I am one of the "offenders". If you read a lot of other blogs, the regulars and "irregulars" stray from topic much more than this one.

We went off topic a few days ago to discuss the teenage pregnancy of that girl's aunt. The aunt was obviously upset about the situation Many regular and irregular posters had concrete ideas and sympathy for the aunt. I feel that the comments help make a positive difference concerning the aunt's matter. I learned that many colleges have specific programs for single mothers attending college. So, going off topic can be a good thing and just don't read the comments that bother you.

BTW, my vote is for Newcastle and Negra Modelo

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2007 9:36 AM

Fred

Are you saying you don't have a porn stash of any kind? Very, very difficult to believe unless you are looking at your wife's lactation books.

ha! ha! ha! No porn stash and never cheated on Fredia. Just like my father in that respect.

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2007 9:41 AM

"Make him understand that even a small lie makes him a liar." and "Take him for walks and introduce him to the world of bugs."

the second part is great-- but the first-- pretty harsh! My three year is constantly telling fibs. It seems like telling him that that makes him a liar condemns him forever and ever. I think "that's not a good choice" is fair less judgmental. If my husband were to say something like that to your son it would crush him. Or am i being too sensitive?

Posted by: goody two shoes | January 18, 2007 9:42 AM

My vote is still for mimosas and margaritas.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 9:42 AM

In my experience, my husband does read parenting articles, but in a much different way than I do. He does a lot of searching on a particular topic, say, ear infections, getting rid of the pacifier, getting your toddler to go to bed, etc., but not anything that is general. Maybe that goes to his "I'm a guy, I fix problems" thinking.

Sometimes women want to understand the deep rooted issues causing the problem or be prepared to handle future problems, which is why they may be more likely to read entire parenting books and look at the different theories before choosing their own solution.

So maybe a website is the better way to go or a reference manual. Maybe you should co-market it with the Home Depot.

Posted by: Marketing Mama of 2 | January 18, 2007 9:42 AM

True story:
Child sick - mother stays home from work; reads and plays with child, tucks child in, putters around the house for the day. Child gets well.
Child sick - father stays home from work; goes to the store, buys a pound of bacon; child and father cook it together, then eat it throughout the day. Child gets well.

Child (now an adult) still remembers dad's sick day routine. Lesson learned: love and caring come in all sorts of packages. In the end, it's the love and caring that count.

Posted by: pam | January 18, 2007 9:44 AM

Thumbs up for Negra Modelo. My beer preferences are insufficiently sophisticated for Newcastle.

I found it most interesting that a couple of weeks of posting can qualify one as a regular, at least for purposes of being a target of someone else's unhappiness.

Since this topic strongly resembles Brian's last column, I suspect it will veer off down another useful track long before 3. Not always a bad thing, as you note, at least IMHO.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 9:45 AM

NC lawyer, I agree - a blog can be like a conversation. One thing leads to another to another. Still interesting.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 9:47 AM

I could use a pitcher of Sangria...
Brian, maybe you could write a humorous book, ala Erma Bombeck...

Posted by: Missicat | January 18, 2007 9:51 AM

I guess the bigger issue is how do we get dads to buy books like the one you would write? Why don't they buy them? Surely, some psychologist out there has that figured out.

RebelDad, surely there are more guys like you out there! Wasn't there a time when publishers also said there was no market for books on motherhood because moms didn't buy books? We've proved them wrong, so maybe you could start a movement -- THAT would be truly rebellious!

http://punditmom1.blogspot.com

Posted by: PunditMom | January 18, 2007 9:52 AM

On the one hand, I agree that there aren't enough books, articles, what have you from the father's perspective. This might be because the idea of taking fatherhood seriously as a "job" is only a generation old, maybe two. I have friends who are father and still believe in the "I show my kids love by being at work 65 hours a week so they can have a big house" kind of parenting.

But on the other hand, I TOTALLY disagree with the concept that men are mechanical, tough-guy, don't-wanna-read-books kind of parents. I think the publishers are WAY out of touch, and so are a lot of the posters here.

True, men and women approach challenges differently. Have since the beginning of time. While I doubt a pink-covered, cloying book about fatherhood would take off, I think the right kind of book would be a huge success. Men read. Men want to do well. Men are happier when their wives aren't yelling at them. Everybody wins!

Posted by: CDoll | January 18, 2007 9:52 AM

Missicat, going on second date with my internet guy tonite.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 9:52 AM

Now there would be a good topic: How do parents start dating again?

Posted by: DC lurker | January 18, 2007 9:56 AM

Yeah - I'd be interesting in learning more about dating as a parent... seems to be tough to integrate in.

Posted by: single mom | January 18, 2007 9:59 AM

"Make him understand that even a small lie makes him a liar."

I don't think that the point is to *call* him a liar, but to *make him understand* that men feel a certain way about other men who lie, or even exaggerate intentionally.

Any guys with me on this? It's not that I dislike a guy who does that, but I certainly don't completely trust him on important things.

Posted by: Proud Papa | January 18, 2007 9:59 AM

Demos wrote: "Men don't - as a rule - go into family life questioning their competence."

I have to disagree just from my experience. All the guys I know whose wives are having babies are TERRIFIED of being a bad dad. They are worried about everything from dropping the baby to raising a "ho" (seriously, they wonder how to keep their daughters from becoming "sleazy" and the kids are 2!). That doesn't mean that I think they'd read a book about fathering, but I think they have a lot of the same fears that new moms have (maybe it's because we're still young, or maybe it's because they all have liberal arts--not science or math--educations. Who knows.

Posted by: Meesh | January 18, 2007 10:00 AM

KLB - good luck and have fun!

Posted by: Missicat | January 18, 2007 10:06 AM

The first time my wife read me excerpts of a parenting book, I just persisted in pointing out all the bad advice it contained.

For instance, I was told never, ever put a bottle in the microwave to heat it up. Not only do you risk burning your babies mouth, but I'm sure that formula and breast milk are the only substances on the planet that will result in cancer - causing toxins resulting from the microwaves.

I just shook the bottle afterwards and tasted the milk myself and shared the germs with my kids.

Germs are good don't you know and every baby should eat a pound of dirt to avoid allergies later in life.

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 18, 2007 10:08 AM

Hmmmmm. Not sure. I don't read pregnancy/parenting books because they freak me out. My husband & I usually just "ask around" to friends/parents/relatives when we're wondering how to get in a better sleep routine, etc.
That said, it doesn't really surprise me there isn't an audience for dad parenting books. Women are raised from the womb to buy into the motherhood thing - they [more often than boys] get dolls as children, work in nurturing jobs at an earlier age [babysitting], hear things like the "mommy wars" etc. etc. If there is something wrong with a kid, and a parent is going to be blamed, unless the father is abusive or completely absent, the mother is usually the first one blamed [hello? remember the refrigerator mom - autism alleged link?]. How often do you hear "being a mother is the most important job in the world?" I hear it much, much more often than "being a father is the most important job in the world." That isn't to say I don't think things are changing - I certainly think they are. But for people who are becoming parents now and were raised in the 70s and 80s, we are becoming parents with the mentality of remembering what it was like when we were children 20 years ago, and the cultural influences that come along with that time.

Posted by: SMF | January 18, 2007 10:09 AM

Dating after divorce/death is a GREAT topic!

I haven't "dated" since 1979. Things have certainly changed! How do you ask for the results of an STD test?

Posted by: DZ | January 18, 2007 10:11 AM

There is an audience for dad parenting books: mothers who give them to their husbands. It's the mothers who buy the books. Slap a picutre of a hunky dad on the cover, come up with a cute title, have a nice on-camera chat with Meredith (or if you are dreaming big, Oprah!) and you are good to go. Some publisher is going to figure this out -- and some dad is going to be hunky enough and write well enough to make it work. This book will be a bestseller, but it still won't mean more dads are reading about parenting!

Posted by: Arlington Dad | January 18, 2007 10:15 AM

Fredia brings home a book on parenting about once a week. She has pages for me to read. I look at the book, politely nod and go back to "24"

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2007 10:18 AM

"I don't think that the point is to *call* him a liar, but to *make him understand* that men feel a certain way about other men who lie, or even exaggerate intentionally."

It's not just men. I've got family members I love very much but don't trust as far as I can throw them, just because I can never tell when they're telling the truth and when they're exaggerating or twisting things or lying to make themselves appear in a better light.

Posted by: Lizzie | January 18, 2007 10:21 AM

DZ - just ask to see a copy of the lab results. I used to do that when I was still in the dating world, and it worked very well. Some were put off by it, but I figured that was an efficient screeing process.

Posted by: Ajax | January 18, 2007 10:24 AM

DZ, I would bring up the subject by offering to go get the tests done together. If he or she claims to already have results, then you can just ask to look at them. I did that a couple times.

Posted by: Meesh | January 18, 2007 10:29 AM

"My second take on this was, other than business books, do men buy self-help books at all?"

Dotted --

I know that men buy books on addiction/recovery. Don't know about other self-help topics.

Posted by: pittypat | January 18, 2007 10:30 AM

Ajax, I am just re-entering dating world so this is really new and weird to me. At what point do you have this discussion? Obviously well before you are undressed but how much before? Weeks? Days?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 10:30 AM

Well, condoms are effective. If you want to see test results, you may have to hold off on couplating until you are in a commited relationship and the request will not seem too odd. Also, you should get tested yourself so that you can provide that information on request.

Posted by: single mom | January 18, 2007 10:31 AM

Condoms are not 100% effective.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 10:35 AM

My husband is a know-it-all, so that puts an end to that. As to everyone else, get your nose out of the book and trust your instincts! Do you think Adam and Eve got a manual? But then again, they did raise a murderer....

Posted by: who cares | January 18, 2007 10:36 AM

to who cares - adam and eve also got kicked out of paradise... perhaps not the best mentors on parenting and resisting tempation.

Posted by: single mom | January 18, 2007 10:39 AM

KLB SS MD, well, it depends on the situation, and your personality type, I suppose. When you start to feel the dating relationship will probably go further, and you feel pretty comfortable with the person already, you can bring up the topic, say, after the first passionate kissing session. If you are less comfortable and still want to go ahead with the relationship, a cautions-condom session might be in order. Then you could point out that for things to get more interesting, you would need to see documentation. I adopted the latter approach with my now-husband, and it worked out well :-)

It's so hard to tell. For me, a general rule was always that, if I felt uncomfortable bringing up the topic, I shouldn't be having sex with that person anyway. But of course life isn't always so clear-cut.

Good luck! I can't even imagine how I would go about starting to date in this area!

Posted by: Ajax | January 18, 2007 10:39 AM

To Demos: I heartily disagree that all fathers waltz into parenting thinking that they are competent and complete parents. But I'm not talking about the fact that dads may worry less (or rather, leave the worrying to moms). I'm talking about the fact that parenting is considered the responsibility of mothers in our society, not equally shared between mothers and fathers. Fathers typically take a back seat and 'help' (or get out of the way) while mothers direct and control.

We need books that show men that parenting is just as much their domain (or can be) as it is a woman's. We need eloquent and funny male role models to make fully-involved fatherhood a sought-after and balanced way of life. We need to show the world that fathers can build lives as equally competent and complete parents, rather than bumbling 'helpers'.

Posted by: equal | January 18, 2007 10:40 AM

Do you think Adam and Eve got a manual?


Posted by: who cares | January 18, 2007 10:36 AM

This logic makes no sense to me. The world is just a tad bit different now. I'm sure potty training and curbing tantrums were high on Adam and Eve's list. They probably just whacked them upside the head and told them to keep plowing the fields.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 10:41 AM

If you search Amazon, starting with keyword "parenting" and then narrowing to "Parenting and Families," "Family Relationships," and, finally, "Fatherhood," you will find that there are 219 titles. Ten of the first 12 titles deal with parenting by fathers and/or effective co-parenting. (I didn't even go to the second page.) All of them were published after 1998, the majority after 2000.

Given the above, I don't quite understand what Brian's point is. Perhaps there is not sufficient local interest to spur B&N and Borders to stock books on fatherhood and parenting. But here's obviously no dearth of them available.

Posted by: pittypat | January 18, 2007 10:43 AM

pittpat,
You are right, I forgot about addiction/recovery.
It seems to me most parenting self-help books, and I'm going by the titles alone, seem to focus on the 'worriers.' There are a few focusing on the facts. Those are the ones I bought. I like factoids. My husband is the same way.

snow day, no school.

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 10:45 AM

Why does everyone think today's world is so different? People were lucky they had children as so many died before their first birthday. Petty problems such as potty training and tantrums are ridiculous to compare what previous generations have endured.

Posted by: who cares | January 18, 2007 10:50 AM

I don't read self-help books--I mentally dig my heels in at the very idea. I'm more in what's presented here as the "dad" line, of researching specific problems and I'm all about making sure that the leg is still attached and moving on. I'm a woman, but I'm also gay, but my partner is more "mommy", so who knows?

As for dating and asking for test results, I had to get used to it when widowed some years ago after a very long relationship. Before you have sex (even with a condom; condoms are not 100% for all STDs) and well before you are naked, you bring it up. Mention that you have been tested and for what, and this can start the conversation going. And if someone 'fesses up to something you don't want to risk catching, then be kind about it.

Posted by: Historian | January 18, 2007 10:51 AM

I was a stay-at home father for 5 months with our infant. Everything, from books to parenting groups, was geared towards mothers. The sense of isolation and even disdain, that I felt made me want to go back to work even more.

Even though it's 2007, society does not want men to stay home and/or be sensitive and nurturing parents. However, I know that I want to be (nurturing, not stay at home) and think that many men would like to but don't know how, which is why I'm surprised that publishers wouldn't recognize that.

The only books I've ever found or received were the Bill Cosby book, which was funny but not very relevant, and the Dad's handbook or something like that, which only focused on how much money we should be saving to pay for college, adding to the stress. Anyway, I'd certainly buy your book and hope you stick with it because I think a market does exist...

Posted by: JDS | January 18, 2007 10:51 AM

Why does everyone think today's world is so different? People were lucky they had children as so many died before their first birthday. Petty problems such as potty training and tantrums are ridiculous to compare what previous generations have endured.

Posted by: who cares | January 18, 2007 10:50 AM

Oh yes things are exactly the same...haha. are you kidding?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 10:54 AM

King David messed up real bad as a father and he was "blessed".

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 10:55 AM

"I guess the bigger issue is how do we get dads to buy books like the one you would write? Why don't they buy them? Surely, some psychologist out there has that figured out."

This raises a couple of questions in my mind:

1) Do we know that reading parenting books makes women materially better mothers?

2) If so, do we know that reading them would make men better dads?

America is awash in self-help books - just visit any large book store if you're in doubt about this. Are they really improving our lives? Or are they more like the exercise machines that so many of us use as laundry racks?

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 10:56 AM

How did folks on this board find infant care? I'm expecting in May and will be going back to work in September. I am currently on a number of waitlists for infant daycare, but what if they don't pan out? How did folks find good infant care? THank you!

Posted by: NeedCare! | January 18, 2007 10:57 AM

"I think the publishers are WAY out of touch, and so are a lot of the posters here."

CDoll, I'm actually pretty in tune with my inner guy. I've been living with him for well over four decades.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 10:58 AM

Oh yes things are exactly the same...haha. are you kidding?

Posted by: | January 18, 2007 10:54 AM


No, I am not. We have it really good in comparison. Walk through a cemetary sometime. Feel the pain and grief of the parents who wanted a better life for their kids that didn't mean the latest gaming system, TV, cell phone, iPod or other over indulgent spoil!

Posted by: who cares | January 18, 2007 11:03 AM

" have to disagree just from my experience. All the guys I know whose wives are having babies are TERRIFIED of being a bad dad."

" heartily disagree that all fathers waltz into parenting thinking that they are competent and complete parents."

Let me make a distinction here (one that I omitted in my first post). Pretty much everyone feels apprehensive with that first pregnancy - in part, because it represents a transition to an entirely new role. This is true of both men and women.

But really, how many men are still asking themselves at their child's first birthday "am I a good dad?" I may not be able to express it well, but I'm convinced that there's a qualitative difference in the way men and women typically approach this. Men tend to say that they don't know how to perform a specific task, but they don't tend to ask the more existential question "am I a good enough parent."

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 11:04 AM

"I think the publishers are WAY out of touch, and so are a lot of the posters here. True, men and women approach challenges differently. Have since the beginning of time."

Pot, meet kettle. Hello, Kettle.

The irony of the last two sentences following the first one is amusing.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:05 AM

dotted, can you believe the kids got off school today? In my backyard there was a half inch of snow (in Apex), but there was nothing on the roads. Maybe it's because I'm from DC, but I think North Carolinians go crazy when it comes to snow.

In my office (which is open), over half of the people are working from home because of the snow, and a few of them live less than 10 miles away!

Posted by: Meesh | January 18, 2007 11:05 AM

"We need eloquent and funny male role models to make fully-involved fatherhood a sought-after and balanced way of life. We need to show the world that fathers can build lives as equally competent and complete parents, rather than bumbling 'helpers'."

Unfortunately, the children of the 1960's killed that when they drove the "Father Knows Best"/"Andy Griffeth" style of dad off of the airwaves. Or are you too young to remember that before the current sitcom "buffoon dads" the typical television program showed intelligent, sensitive fathers that loved their families and were involved in all their everyday problems and concerns.

Now, we get the profane buffoons of "Married with Children," "The Simpsons" and "The Christmas Story."

So much for 60's enlightenment.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:07 AM

"I hear it much, much more often than 'being a father is the most important job in the world.'"

That may be because you're not in tune with the language men tend to use. I've said over and over on this board that my children are more important than anything I could ever do in my job.

Paradoxically enough, when I do, I tend to get beaten up by women insisting that they are contributing much more to the world through jobs/volunteer work/social activism/etc. than by bringing another child into the world. I'm not attacking them, or their life choices. I'm simply stating my priorities, and where my values sit.

Posted by: Older Dad | January 18, 2007 11:14 AM

Who were the children of the 60's raised by?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:15 AM

"This logic makes no sense to me. The world is just a tad bit different now. I'm sure potty training and curbing tantrums were high on Adam and Eve's list. They probably just whacked them upside the head and told them to keep plowing the fields."

Yeah, but the stakes were higher then. Just think of all the problems created by that apple mess . . .

;-)

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 11:16 AM

Brian said:
On Everything Else: I get that men might be less introspective about parenthood, but I'm hard-pressed to think of any other section of the bookstore where the target audience is so overwhelmingly female. Even the self-help section has something for us.


Try the wedding department. I had to look all over the place to find a guy-oriented book so my husband could feel involved and empowered in the process . . . and even when I finally did manage to scrounge one up, he said "thanks", tossed it aside, and never looked at it.

Brian, I do think your book idea has legs, it's just a matter of finding the right publisher. Try sending to some of the smaller, more specialized houses, or as someone else said, self-publish . . . it worked for the "Eragon" kid!! You also might line up some interviews with respected male-parenting academics and others, to give the pitch more oomph. Or, on your website, put up a poll question about how many people would be willing to buy such a book (and get it going virally so you have lots of new visitors punching in), so you have numbers to back up your hunch that this is a potentially hot topic.

Posted by: NY lurker | January 18, 2007 11:16 AM

I remember looking at "dads" books before my first son arrived. They were all so lame: in a nutshell they went over all the biological stuff that general books covered, and said essentially "don't be scared and nurture this family."

I was hoping for sociobioligical tips, but all these books contained was common sense.

-----

As a hands on dad, I resent how raising a child is so female oriented. All my life I've been told to be gender neutral about EVERYTHING, and parenting and being the manager of a family is are the topics written from the most sexist POV I've ever encountered.

Posted by: foo | January 18, 2007 11:17 AM

The easier life becomes, the more selfish society becomes.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:17 AM

Try this - retitle your book "How Moms can teach Dads to be a better parent". Include the same information in your book, but appeal to the audience that buys parenting books. Good luck!

Posted by: jan | January 18, 2007 11:17 AM

Try the wedding department...to scrounge one up, he said "thanks", tossed it aside, and never looked at it.

I glad that he came to his senses. Weddings can turn into the most riduculous thing ever!

Posted by: the original anon | January 18, 2007 11:20 AM

"Who were the children of the 60's raised by?"

The men and women who made it through the Great Depression and won World War II. (Talk about problems that would make "balancing" your life a challenge!) And then had to put up with a bunch of snot-nosed kids rebelling against them.

But that's not the point. Television showed wise, loving dads who were involved in their kids lives. For whatever reason, we as a society decided that we prefer Homer Simpson.

D'oh!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:21 AM

Meesh, I didn't know you were a neighbor.

I'm from NY and am heartily glad to live in a state where a single snowflake is treated as sanction for working from home. I agree with you that this has nothing to do with road safety and everything to do with tradition.

My Mississippi-born husband built a snowman with our daughter with that 1/2 inch of snow -- just before the rain started. I'm glad she has one parent who takes the amount of snow we get here seriously.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 11:21 AM

"but I'm hard-pressed to think of any other section of the bookstore where the target audience is so overwhelmingly female. "

Try the romance department as well.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:21 AM

Meesh and NC lawyer - is that the "storm" that is headed our way (DC area?)
Do you get the same idiots flooding the grocery store buying milk, bread and tp whenever the weatherperson even thinks the word "snow"?

Posted by: Missicat | January 18, 2007 11:23 AM

"As a hands on dad, I resent how raising a child is so female oriented. All my life I've been told to be gender neutral about EVERYTHING"

Interesting. What is the purpose of gender? Why do we have it if it has no role in our lives? If there's any area where it is relevant, wouldn't it be reproduction? (As an aside, I'm convinced those bottle-holding harnesses that are designed to let a man "nurse" have to be one of the dumbest inventions on the planet.)

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:24 AM

"No, I am not. We have it really good in comparison. Walk through a cemetary sometime. Feel the pain and grief of the parents who wanted a better life for their kids that didn't mean the latest gaming system, TV, cell phone, iPod or other over indulgent spoil!"

EXACTLY- things are DIFFERENT. duh. the poster didn't say it was easier or harder- just different!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:24 AM

Brian - my husband has written a couple of books, and I can say that it is rare to make any money off them. It looks good on your resume, but isn't likely to buy the groceries.

The propensity towards action over fretting is what I like about guys. More and more I think the most important thing about Dads is that they be there.

In a misguided effort to raise my boys I once bought a 'manners' video. It opened with a fellow saying -

IF YOU WANT TO HIDE SOMETHING FROM A BOY -- PUT IT IN A BOOK.

Posted by: RoseG | January 18, 2007 11:25 AM

Try this - retitle your book "How Moms can teach Dads to be a better parent". Include the same information in your book, but appeal to the audience that buys parenting books. Good luck!

Hilarious!!! So true!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:26 AM

"the typical television program showed intelligent, sensitive fathers that loved their families and were involved in all their everyday problems and concerns"

Name 'em.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:27 AM

That's it, let's get men to buy into the idea that no matter what, they aren't good enough. Then, we can sell them books telling them how to be better. What's wrong with your instincts, your health care provider and your friends and family? Is it truly THAT complicated?

Posted by: moxiemom | January 18, 2007 11:27 AM

I have witnessed wives telling their husband's to "let me tell her, you don't know what it's like.." Each parent has specific roles and those roles do intertwine in a healthy relationship as a family unit. A mother's instinct is very real. However, many women deny that exists in their search to be "equals" to men. Men who want to be nurturing have derrogative attachments put on them. With all the negativity, we will be blessed that kids come out right at all. So explains the need for psychology and self-help books. Ask your parents about the stories they heard about their grandparents growing up. Take this is as advice.

Posted by: who cares | January 18, 2007 11:28 AM

NC Lawyer,

Where is hubby from in Miss?

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2007 11:31 AM

The Andy Griffth Show
Leave it to Beaver
Father Knows Best

All these males took an active part in teaching their children.

Posted by: to Jan 18 at 11:27 am | January 18, 2007 11:32 AM

And M*A*S*H

Hawkeye's dad raised him.

Posted by: to Jan 18 at 11:27 am | January 18, 2007 11:34 AM

Family Affair
My Three Sons
The Courtship of Eddie's Father
My Favorite Martian (OK a bit of a strech, Uncle Martin advised Tim)

Posted by: to Jan 18 at 11:27 am | January 18, 2007 11:37 AM

I considered writing a book for new dads, but...

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fatherhood

title has already been taken.

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 18, 2007 11:39 AM

The Andy Griffth Show 1960-1968
Leave it to Beaver 1957-1963
Father Knows Best 1954-1960

Not sure how "typical" these shows were and your conspiracy theory doesn't make sense. You'll have to go back to the grassy knoll.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:43 AM

So all of those books by William Sears and T. Berry Brazelton and Norman Weinberger (You Just Don't Duct Tape a Baby") aren't from a father's perspective? My husband and I read them and refer to them pretty much equally, and the authors' validity comes not just from their professional background (which is probably what got them the book deal to begin with) but also their role as fathers. I especially like Dr. Sears' giving his own personal perspective and approach to parenting, separate from that of his wife.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:44 AM

"The easier life becomes, the more selfish society becomes"

Don't know about society, but I am at the "easiest" point of my life since I was a baby.

I have more time, energy, money, skills and other resources to give now. When my life was dfficult, my options were much more limited.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:49 AM

Then there was the Brady Bunch and Eight is Enough.

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 18, 2007 11:50 AM

Hmmm...perhaps Chuck Norris could write a fathering book (ie, Chuck Norris' house has no doors, only walls that he walks through...If tapped, a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick could power the country of Australia for 44 minutes...and so on).

My husband read a few things (and he's not a reader) when I was pregnant. One was a magazine that showed photos of a developing fetus. The second (stashed in the bathroom) was a book for the first year called "The New Father".

I think reading material for men, honestly, shoud be structured for bathroom reading. If I want my husband to read something (and there's no promises he will), I stick it next to the toilet.

If I try to read him something or ask him to read it outside of the bathroom, he absolutely refuses and starts to get antsy. It's very bizarre to me because I am a huge reader. But my husband is exceptionally bright, probably more so than I am in typical "male" spatial and logical thinking skills! (That's a whole other argument).

Perhaps a magazine format might work better, with a more scientific/how-to twist.

Posted by: Rebecca | January 18, 2007 11:53 AM

I liked Petticoat Junction. How about that Dad?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:54 AM

Notice how most of these great fathers had pretty good jobs?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:55 AM

Yeah, NC Lawyer, we scoff at the amount of snow, but we'll be playing in it with the dogs when we get home (if it's still around). I don't miss the snow in the North at all, but my husband was up this morning taking pictures and staring out the window the whole ride to work.

Missicat, I think that you guys are safe, but don't take my word for it. I have seen those idiots here in NC as well. At least in DC they're stocking up for real snow. Here they're stocking up for freezing rain. And don't get me started on the drivers when it snows...

Posted by: Meesh | January 18, 2007 11:56 AM

What's a "pretty good job?"

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 11:56 AM

"Try this - retitle your book "How Moms can teach Dads to be a better parent". Include the same information in your book, but appeal to the audience that buys parenting books. "


Ick.. I am sure Jan didn't mean to be patronizing, but we women don't have a monopoly on better parenting and the idea that we have some sort of corner on wisdom that we need to impart to those poor idiot lumoxes is just so offensive.

moxiemom and who cares: As far as a mother's instinct, some mothers' instincts lead them to physical abuse, emotional abuse, plain ol' ignoring of their children's needs, and/or dating dangerous guys after the biological dad is out of the picture. If your instincts, your health care provider and your friends and family have good instincts, you'll turn out to be a great parent by relying on them. On the other hand, had I parented as my parents, my kids would be in serious trouble and we'd be saving up for therapy instead of college. Maybe the rule of thumb is to be sufficiently self-aware to know what you know and what you could improve on. I tend not to encourage folks to rely only on what they know. What's wrong with evaluating a variety of sources of information -- including parenting blogs -- gleaning the best of what's out there, and most applicable to your family and your values, and ignoring the rest?

Fred, Tupelo.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 11:57 AM

Oh, way up north!

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2007 12:00 PM

Fred, he would blanche at the sight of a reference to "north" in a sentence about him. :>)

but, I agree, to him the Gulf Coast is somewhere you vacation, and New Orleans is great for a weekend, but it's not where he's from.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 12:03 PM

Well, my guiding life philosophy is simple.

Don't live north of I-10.

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2007 12:06 PM

If I raised my kids like my parents raised me... I'd be serving time...

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 18, 2007 12:06 PM

NC Lawyer:
Parenting books are overrated. It encourages parents to be what others want you to be and Dr. SO and SO just can't be the parent of your child. My childhood was no bed of roses. Let's see, by today's standards: emotional abuse and neglect, physical abuse(we were spanked when no didn't work), abandonment, victim of parent's divorces, sexual abuse; the list is just too long. But I am a very good person with room for improvement. That came from this hardship as well as my parent's good points, too. Did you choose your profession based on your childhood injustice? I became a nurse, oddly, for children.

Posted by: who cares | January 18, 2007 12:12 PM

I've heard it is better to say "It is a bad choice to lie because people will not trust you- let's read "Boy who Cried Wolf" as an example" instead of saying "even a small lie makes you a liar." the last statement could cause the kid to just give up-- "I told a small lie so now I am a liar. Now no one will ever trust me." Focus on the action, do not judge and label the person. Don't want that label to stick! That is what my child's pre school teacher told me and it makes sense to me-- although it is difficult sometimes to remember.

Posted by: regarding lying | January 18, 2007 12:17 PM

Brian,

Have you tried self publishing your book and drumming up interest that way? I think there is a market, there if the celeb dads and write these books and they sell you can write something very interesting and insight full without a big name.

Posted by: caroldc | January 18, 2007 12:18 PM

who cares, I chose my profession to support my family. I didn't have the luxury of sitting around figuring out what would make me happy or what profession I would find fulfilling. My debt and (some would say) advanced age precludes non-profit work. I wouldn't call what I experienced childhood injustice. I'd call it emotional abuse by two very, very self-involved persons who didn't know any better. What's the well-known quote, "those who aren't familiar with history are doomed to repeat it"? My husband and I would prefer to take the "they didn't know any better" excuse off the table. I suppose you and I will just agree to disagree on whether additional perspectives are helpful or hurtful. That's all a parenting book is -- another perspective.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 12:21 PM

Tim Russert's book was about dads - Big Russ. It was a best seller - it had cross appeal, but it was NOT a self-help.

Sorry Brian, I think the publishers may have this one right - a father's self help book is a stinker. You might get initial sales through women that want to improve and change their husbands, but very few husbands would actually read it. You'd see it in yard sales across the country with all the inane autobiographies that get churned out.

How about a Golf book - there aren't enough of those (sarcasm). Or "How to golf with your father or father figure" - cross the 2 ideas? I'm all out of ideas.

Posted by: cmac | January 18, 2007 12:24 PM

"Not sure how 'typical' these shows were and your conspiracy theory doesn't make sense. You'll have to go back to the grassy knoll."

What conspiracy theory?

1) We had a mass media culture that provided models of caring, competent, involved fathers.

2) We had a generation or two that rejected authority - pretty much any authority, indiscriminantly - and our media culture changed as a result.

3) The new media culture models fathers as incompetant buffoons.

No conspiracy here. Just a cultural sea change that is often celebrated, but that in this case at least resulted in the virtual elimnation of positive paternal role models from our popular culture.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 12:29 PM

Picked my profession for one reason - NOBODY is ever gonna screw with me again!

It has worked very, very well.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 12:30 PM

chapel hill had about an inch. no school. All the kids in the neighborhood were out by 8:30 playing in the snow. I have to admit I disdain playing in the snow if the grass is higher than the depth of the snow. It is the first snow day in almost 3 years. sim

I don't know if it will just be rain by the time it gets to DC. It is already rain here.

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 12:30 PM

"Notice how most of these great fathers had pretty good jobs?"

So what's the point? That access to good jobs is important to parents and their kids? O.k. - I think we're all copacetic with that. You'd like more shows that deal with how strong, involved dads deal with economic adversity? That would be a nice thing too. I don't see how any of this undermines the fact that at one time it was routine to see good role models for dads on TV, and that it's the exception now.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 12:33 PM

I'm a mom and I really loved the Attachment Parenting philosophy of Dr. Sears and so did my husband-- but I am a little worried. We don't do the "Family bed" thing anymore-- not since the kicking because too much at 8 months old, but since we moved him from the crib to his twin sized bed, he will not fall asleep unless one of us is in bed with him. PArt of the problem may be that the room is a little cold, but I think a lot of it is that he just enjoys having the security of a parent next to him as him becomes vulnerable to whatever fears toddlers face as they start to drift off to sleep. After he falls asleep that parent comes back into our "marital bed" and mommy and daddy fall asleep. It's fine with us right now-- it works for our family-- but I wonder when and how he will eventually learn to go to sleep on his own?

It isn't easy for us to talk with our friends about it because it sounds weird-- but what is REALLY weird is that so many of our friends are doing the same thing for their toddlers!! It's like this whole underground story about parents who don't insist that the kids tough it out and learn to sleep on their own. Unfortunately I don't know any parents of older kids that can advise me on when this wraps up and independant sleeping happens.

Does anyone know what Dr. Sears has said about such nighttime parenting?

and does this sort of thing make people ineligible to adopt a child later? I assume it isn't illegal, but I know our peditrician at least is not supportive (easy for her-- she doesn't have kids yet!)

i should say that our son is utterly independant in every other respect-- stubbornly and insistantly so. He potty trained at 2.5, dresses himself, likes to help with chores around the house, etc. It's just that at the end of the day he wants one of us near and we just can't deny him that.

Posted by: regarding Dr. Sears | January 18, 2007 12:37 PM

I'm a mom and I really loved the Attachment Parenting philosophy of Dr. Sears and so did my husband-- but I am a little worried. We don't do the "Family bed" thing anymore-- not since the kicking because too much at 8 months old, but since we moved him from the crib to his twin sized bed, he will not fall asleep unless one of us is in bed with him. PArt of the problem may be that the room is a little cold, but I think a lot of it is that he just enjoys having the security of a parent next to him as him becomes vulnerable to whatever fears toddlers face as they start to drift off to sleep. After he falls asleep that parent comes back into our "marital bed" and mommy and daddy fall asleep. It's fine with us right now-- it works for our family-- but I wonder when and how he will eventually learn to go to sleep on his own?

It isn't easy for us to talk with our friends about it because it sounds weird-- but what is REALLY weird is that so many of our friends are doing the same thing for their toddlers!! It's like this whole underground story about parents who don't insist that the kids tough it out and learn to sleep on their own. Unfortunately I don't know any parents of older kids that can advise me on when this wraps up and independant sleeping happens.

Does anyone know what Dr. Sears has said about such nighttime parenting?

and does this sort of thing make people ineligible to adopt a child later? I assume it isn't illegal, but I know our peditrician at least is not supportive (easy for her-- she doesn't have kids yet!)

i should say that our son is utterly independant in every other respect-- stubbornly and insistantly so. He potty trained at 2.5, dresses himself, likes to help with chores around the house, etc. It's just that at the end of the day he wants one of us near and we just can't deny him that.

Posted by: regarding Dr. Sears | January 18, 2007 12:37 PM

"What's wrong with evaluating a variety of sources of information -- including parenting blogs -- gleaning the best of what's out there, and most applicable to your family and your values, and ignoring the rest?"

Nothing, as long as you don't let it turn into endless navel-gazing, undermine your self-confidence, or overrule common sense. Like many other things (say, economics) there are multiple theories, and ideas come into and go out of vogue. In the mean time, parents get on raising their families (just like people get on earning a paycheck, paying of mortgages, and starting small businesses).

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 12:39 PM

"The new media culture models fathers as incompetant buffoons"


This has been covered more than once here, but most of these shows are created by and written by MEN who say that the father characters are based a lot on their own fathers' traits.

Their fathers grew up with the 50's and 60's great TV dads, but in real life their fathers were pretty much Homer Simpson.

TV didn't change the men, the men changed TV.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 12:39 PM

I don't recall if this has already been brought up, so I apologize if I'm covering the same ground

My husband is a voracious reader. He'll read anything I give him (including my trashy and poorly written true crime novels). He is also open to taking advice, but only when it comes from an authority on the subject matter. He would look at a book written by Bill Cosby and think "What does Jello Pudding Pop know about parenting that I don't?" But if the book were written by a psychologist or doctor, he might be more inclined to buy it.

He's also more inclined to use the internet to fact-find. He's less likely to buy a book to learn something specific (what are the stats on germs in preschools) and more likely to look online. So maybe a Web site with links to factoids, artciles, and how-tos would be most useful.

Posted by: Meesh | January 18, 2007 12:42 PM

FYI, most literary fiction is purchased by women, age 20-60 who live between Boston and DC.

Posted by: Rita | January 18, 2007 12:43 PM

"regarding"

Don't agonize over it. Mrs. Older Dad and I insisted that our kids sleep in their own beds. It was a challenge at first, but worked pretty well for us.

That having been said, there's no one right way to do these things. Listen to the pediatrician, talk to other parents (including yours), then do what works for your kids.

I can tell you this - your son will learn to sleep by himself. If you ever doubt this, just remember - most teenagers can't even stand to be seen with their parents in public!

Posted by: Older Dad | January 18, 2007 12:45 PM

"Their fathers grew up with the 50's and 60's great TV dads, but in real life their fathers were pretty much Homer Simpson. TV didn't change the men, the men changed TV."

Did you read this one back to yourself? Did you really intend to compare the typical real life father to Homer Simpson?

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 12:48 PM

"most of these shows are created by and written by MEN who say that the father characters are based a lot on their own fathers' traits."

. . . and why should we think that you are a better judge of what these fathers were like than their own sons?

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 12:49 PM

One last question. Was your father an incompetent buffoon? Mine wasn't. He grew up in a different time and place, with different expectations and role models, but he consistently did his best for our family. He still does.

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 12:51 PM

Pittypat @ 10:43 --

Geez, there ARE a lot of dad parenting books out there.

Y'all take a look at pitti's post. What's Brian talking about?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 12:52 PM

There are some TV buffoons dads, but there is also a lot of culture that deals with dads trying to balance work and life. I speak particularly of the Christmas movie industry (think "Hook" and the "Santa Clause") that uphold an ideal of good fatherhood in which men leave work early to make their daughter's play or their son's baseball game.

Sure...Homer is an idiot, but then it's pretty unbelievable that Marge would continue to stay with a buffon that serially lies to her, produces public embarassment, and never lifts a finger around the house. I wish her martyr-like motherhood could be replaced with a swift divorce and marriage to someone else.

Posted by: Rita | January 18, 2007 12:55 PM

"It's like this whole underground story about parents who don't insist that the kids tough it out and learn to sleep on their own."

WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?? Talk about bumbling, incompetent parents!! Since when is it it "tough" for a kid to sleep on his/her own?

Sounds like you're raising a real wuss, just what this country needs. And great marriage material for the future.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 12:58 PM

NC Lawyer - I am generally speaking as the child of great parents so I know little about anything else. What I do see, is people who are good parents being made to doubt and overanalyze their every move because of these books. Its great to use it as a buffet and pick and choose what works for you but there is no concensus on how to raise a really, great, happy kid. However, these books tend to insist that their perspective IS the correct one and will often cite dreadful outcomes for non compliance that freaks out a lot of people and I think can make them worse parents. Overall, like most women's magazines, I think they do more harm than good.

Posted by: moxiemom | January 18, 2007 12:58 PM

12:58 - wow, you are really supportive and not judgemental at all. Please disregard that post Regarding Dr. Sears - what a nincompoop.

Posted by: moxiemom | January 18, 2007 1:03 PM

moxiemom, just for a little humor though, even the most sanctimonious author has nothing on posters like anon at 12:58 and one or two others around here :>)

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 1:07 PM

it's an underground story because the SIDS Nazis have convinced a vast majority of Americans that they're going to roll over their kids and smother them. Tell that to all the Asian and other cultures who've been co-sleeping for what centuries.

Please don't take the approach you're taking because you're too spineless to say, "no". Take this approach because you're in charge of what's best for your son and family and you've determined that this approach is best. For now. When you decide differently, consider telling him he's free to sleep on the floor next to your bed and when he tires of that, he'll appreciate the comfort of his mattress. Older Papa's 100% on the ultimate outcome.

Posted by: to Regarding Dr. Sears | January 18, 2007 1:12 PM

To Regarding Dr. Sears, don't sweat it. These things have a way of resolving themselves in the longer term. My philosphy with my kids has been to do what works for the moment (assuming it's not harmful... I wouldn't give them Schnaps to go to sleep, even though I am often tempted). If what you're doing now works for your family, why change it? There's no one right way, and a lot of this is cultural as well. US Americans have a pretty individual-based society, to say the least, so things like sleeping ALONG are valued. In a lot of other places, people wouldn't dream of letting their small children sleep alone in separate rooms.

Posted by: Ajax | January 18, 2007 1:16 PM

"The real irony here is that American men are quickly becoming irrelevent."

Irrelevant to who?

"Women are discovering that they can be also be providers and protectors and in some cases superior ones. A few trips to the sperm bank and their lives can be pretty much complete."

So? A man, like anyone else, can be a unique and worthwhile human being. :) He can still be one even if someone else can take survive without depending on marriage to him!

"'Books? We ain't got no books! We don't need no books! I don't have to show you any stinking books!'"

"Bonus points if you can identify this parody."

Blazing Saddles?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 1:18 PM

I bought a book titled "Chicken Soup for the Teenaged Soul" for my now 16 year old son (a big reader, by the way). He never opened it. He said, "Why? I'm fine the way I am." And this was a book heavily recommended by the school district, etc. etc. etc. I believe many girls read it. My boy was just not interested.

I imagine it is the same with adults.

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 1:21 PM

I thought I had made it pretty clear that I am comfortable that we are doing the right thing for now. We aren't doing this because we are spineless-- despite what others may think. I'll try it again-- I'd like to hear from parents who accommodated their toddler's request to stay with them until they were asleep. At what point do the kids say-- "bug off, I can do this myself." Does it ever happen? or will we need to be more proactive? I guess I shouldn't ask these questions in a this type of format because i know my child better than the rest of you all, right? And I'm 90% sure that in the future this will work out with no harm done, and perhaps even a message of trust and love and sacrifice is instilled in him.

Perhaps I should just ignore the anonymous poster but I have to say that since my schild is, as I said before, utterly and stubbornly independent in every other aspect of toddlerhood, I suspect that not only will he not grow into a "wuss," he will even be man enough to not post insults anonymously. (You can't even come up with a screen name? What are you so afraid of?)

Posted by: Regarding Dr. Sears | January 18, 2007 1:29 PM

Well...I wouldn't want to read one of those "Chicken Soup" books either. Give me a novel any day.

Posted by: Rita | January 18, 2007 1:31 PM

Wow, celebrating the true differences between men and women. Saying we can be equal without being the same. Saying that a mere generation of attempting to rewrite millennial old gender roles doesn't erase things, regardless of fervency.

I even read "The propensity towards action over fretting is what I like about guys." Will miracles never cease?? :~)

Seems like I could have written (or have already written) about half or more of the things I've seen here today. Are you sure y'all are the same people on the blog, since I on occasion get blasted for heresy over such things?? :~)

Now on the topic.

Like Meesh's husband, and also quite a few other men, I am also a voracious reader.

But as other's stated, if it is marketed more as a compilation of specific tips to help solve specific problems than to being just another "self-help" parenting book, guys might be more apt to read it. I agree with the description that men tend to try (and frankly are expected) to be fixers. So if it is perceived as navel gazing, it will not do very well in the men's market.

NC Lawyer: I agree with your comment about appearing patronizing that women have all the parenting answers.

Further (and more off topic, perhaps) I have also always thought that is it generally foolish for women to think that you can "train" men to be different at a basic level. Men are often civilized to some degree by their female partners, at the least to their preferences. But men (and leopards) don't change their spots. For example, it astonishes me that battered/abused women or wives of alcoholics can fool themselves into thinking that they can "change" their men at a fundamental emotional level like that--and keep putting themselves back into such situations to get hurt once again. Any man sorry enough to hit a woman should never be given a second chance to do so. That kind of problem just doesn't cure itself, yet so many women think they can do it. Changes like that only come from internal desire to change, not external influence.

Fred: I LOVE your I-10 philosophy! Two thumbs up!!

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | January 18, 2007 1:33 PM

andy griffith. are you for real? a show about a small town in north carolina that was 100% white.

most of the shows listed where the dad was great was because there was no mom around. father knows best & leave it to beaver being the exception because people didn't die or divorce in the 50s. could it be that the men who wrote the script for those shows purposely didn't include a wife. the dad was caring because he had to be. it wouldn't be believable for a dad to be caring if he had a wife to pick up the slack for him.

Posted by: quark | January 18, 2007 1:41 PM

Opie had Aunt Bee for a mother figure.

Posted by: to quark | January 18, 2007 1:43 PM

'I had to look all over the place to find a guy-oriented book so my husband could feel involved and empowered in the process'

This sounds like more of women wanting their men to be somehow different than they are. Did your husband express any interest in becoming more "involved and empowered in the process" and, if so, why didn't he look for his own book?

My husband's philosophy on our wedding was "Whatever you want, whatever makes you happy, will be fine with me". He did have input and preferences regarding wedding rings, the tuxes, and the honeymoon. He also stated an interest in the songs sung during the church ceremony. Everything else was completely up to me. He was as involved and empowered as he chose to be.

Posted by: huh? | January 18, 2007 1:46 PM

to Posted by: | January 18, 2007 01:18 PM

No, not Blazing Saddles, BS was a partial parody of the movie the quote was from.

Posted by: Gold Hat | January 18, 2007 1:46 PM

"Opie had Aunt Bee for a mother figure"

Right, but Andy couldn't get any nookie from Aunt Bee!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 1:46 PM

"In a lot of other places, people wouldn't dream of letting their small children sleep alone in separate rooms."

In a lot of other places, people's homes don't include more than one bedroom either. Co-sleeping is as often about lack of space or resources as it is a parenting choice or cultural preference.

It's only in the last thirty years or so, as the number of kids in families in the U.S. has dropped to two or three kids, that kids have their own bedrooms from day 1. Used to be your older brothers and sisters had to leave for college or marry before you got your own bedroom. So maybe you didn't sleep with your parents, but your brother or sister was in the room with you. Let's not have revisionist memories of the way we were raised, or slept, in those wonderful 50s and 60s.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 1:47 PM

Regarding Dr. Sears;

I've always let our kids sleep where ever they wanted. For the most part they prefered to sleep in our bed until about 3 or 4. When they began bullying for space or kicking, I would slowly push them off the edge of the bed where they would either sleep on the floor, go to their own bed, or try to find some space back in our bed.

As of now, our 15 year old sleeps either in her bed or on the couch. Our 11 and 9 year old always sleep in their own bed, and the 4 year old sleeps about evenly between his own bed, older siblings, or us.

I call it convenience parenting. I've never had to fight the bedtime battle. Bedtime means TV / computer off, brush & floss teeth, grab a book and I'm going to bed. Goodnight!

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 18, 2007 1:49 PM

Sharing a bedroom was bad but one bathroom for 5 people was the norm. I am not sure you could sell a house around here with only one bathroom.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 1:49 PM

In the 80's we had Bill Cosby as a role model for fathers, and the Keatons (Family Ties) as well.

As for parenting books, I have read several of different genres telling very different things. the best I found is to pick and chose and do what is best for both you and your child. If it does not work, then fix it.

I co-slept with my child until she was 5 months, neither of us slept well after that. She now sneaks into my bed in the middle of the night. I figure she will stop when she is ready.

Posted by: single mom | January 18, 2007 1:51 PM

The 60's also brought "Peyton Place" - The first prime-time soap. The public introduction of flaws in the family - infidelity, etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 1:52 PM

What would have happened if you didn't feel like planning the rest of the wedding? A world in which everyone could be as involved as they wanted to be would be a nice world to live in.

But what about this situation? Susie want to be involved in the making of dinner, not in the doing of dishes. Her husband doesn't want to be involved in doing dishes either. So who does the dishes? We all have things in our lives that are not a matter of desire but of necessity, and I imagine parenting's one of them.

Posted by: to huh? | January 18, 2007 1:53 PM

Regarding Dr. Sears, my husband and I co-sleep with our 18-month-old son. We enjoy it for the most part and feel that perhaps "indulging" him now will prohibit lots of fearful night waking in the future. Maybe not. But even so, I think sleeping with your children (if it works for you) conveys a sense of protection, love, and acceptance to the child that is invaluable.

Our son currently will not go to sleep unless my husband and I both lay in bed with him. Sure, it's limiting. But is it a beautiful, valuable wind-down to the end of the day that we will cherish having done after he grows up? Yes! We both work during the day and love this snuggle time at night.

Everyone has their own way, and I'm just saying this way works for us right now. I do agree that if the child is happy and healthy, go with what they seem to need at that moment. Follow your instincts!

By the way, my husband and I shake our heads at those people who must sleep with their dog(s) but consign their newborn baby to sleep alone in a separate bed in another room down the hall. Frankly, that's just bizarre if you think about it.

Our dog sleeps in the room with us, but on his own bed. We prefer sleeping with our happy and independent son versus a hairy, slobbery, snoring beast (who we love also, but still!).

Posted by: Rebecca | January 18, 2007 1:55 PM

"In a lot of other places, people's homes don't include more than one bedroom either. Co-sleeping is as often about lack of space or resources as it is a parenting choice or cultural preference."

I'm not sure how true that actually is. For a lot of developing countries, lack of space probably plays a role. But for other high-income countries? In Japan, babies tend to co-sleep.

"Let's not have revisionist memories of the way we were raised, or slept, in those wonderful 50s and 60s."

I don't know who you were raised or slept in the 50s or 60s. Or in the 70s and 80s, for that matter. I only got here in the 90s. No need to revise memories.

Posted by: Ajax | January 18, 2007 1:55 PM

To Dotted, who said ... "My second take on this was, other than business books, do men buy self-help books at all?"

I think that is a very good question. My comment is that no, men do not buy self help books (not generally in our nature), but we DO buy "how-to" books, whether they be financial, construction, landscaping, child raising, etc. I know, it is a subtle difference, but it matters.

Just my opinion ...

Posted by: Balt Dad | January 18, 2007 1:57 PM

The "Family Bed" also painfully reminds some people of the horrible slums and ghettos in Europe and elsewhere.

Posted by: DZ | January 18, 2007 1:58 PM

dotted,

come on now, do you blame your son? The recommendations of educators and school librarians tend to be limited to books with what they think is a positive moral message, e.g., we are all superstars in our own way and we can be anything we want to be, or some such nonsense, or books devoid of violence, drug consumption and foul language, as if the absence of all objectionable content means a book is good. maybe your son just wants a good read without someone else's idea of a wholesome message. now for the necessary caveat: not that there's anything wrong with those insipid chicken soup books, or at least nothing that a big bag of cheese curls and a beer or 3 wouldn't solve.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 1:58 PM

To regarding Dr. Sears:

I have 3 boys. You said your son is 2.5? Each of them at that age wanted me to stay in bed until they fell asleep. They eventually outgrew it. I dont see what you are doing as wrong at all. Now at 5,7,9 they dont need it. I believe it is nighttime fears/toddler transition. I actually enjoyed the time with them at this stage - especially after a long and busy day some quiet bonding was soothing for both of us. Now I still spend time with each one of them at bedtime - it actually is a time to talk quietly and they tell me things they may not want to say at dinner, in front of their brothers. I think you are doing fine.

Posted by: jessker26 | January 18, 2007 2:00 PM

Regarding Dr. Sears--after cosleeping with my DD until she was about 11 months old, she wanted/needed one of us in her room to go to sleep for a while, but eventually was fine on her own. By the time she was three, I know she was sleeping entirely on her own (with occasional forays into our room after a nightmare or for an early morning snuggle). It wasn't an "o.k., mom, now I'm fine" moment. It was a gradual process--when she was still a baby, she'd want us to hold her and rock her, then just to be in the room with her until she was fully asleep, then to be in the room for a little while when we first put her down, then just to check on her after a little bit. Like your child, she was always unusually independent during the day--she just needed lots of closeness and reassurance at night. She's eight now and still somewhat the same--she happily goes off on new experiences without looking back, never hesitated on the first day of school, always raises her hand when they want a volunteer from the audience, etc. But at night, she wants a little snuggle before I turn off the light (although recently she told me she only needs to snuggle when there's a full moon) and in the morning she snuggles against me on the sofa for a bit before getting dressed. I really think it's a personality thing--I was amazed when my son came along and always wanted to sleep on his own from the get-go--hated cosleeping when I tried it, always goes to bed on his own and pushes me away after a couple of hugs at bedtime.

Posted by: Sarah | January 18, 2007 2:00 PM

NC lawyer, I just have to take exception to your continued dismissal of the Cheese Doodles and margarita as the perfect cure. Please reconsider and apologize as needed.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 2:02 PM

I vote for beer nuts with the 3 beers!

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2007 2:02 PM

"What? A man reading a parenting book? That's kinda like asking for directions. Men just don't do that."

Sure we do. Not in front of women, mind you ... but we do ask! ;-)

Posted by: Balt Dad | January 18, 2007 2:02 PM

'What would have happened if you didn't feel like planning the rest of the wedding? A world in which everyone could be as involved as they wanted to be would be a nice world to live in.'

Then we would have been married in the courthouse, which was his original suggestion. Since I was the one who wanted "the wedding", I didn't mind doing everything to make it happen.

'We all have things in our lives that are not a matter of desire but of necessity'

Exactly, and a wedding is a matter of desire, not necessity. So, again, I don't see why it is necessary for one of the parties to be more "involved and empowered" in the other person's desire.


Posted by: huh? | January 18, 2007 2:02 PM

We had one bathroom for 4! I never thought it was wierd until I went to college and everyone talked about how they hated having to "share" a bathroom with their sibling. We live in a city, so bedroom sharing is a must, but I think it's a good thing to do when you can and if you want to - the kids learned early on that they had to learn to live with each other or life was going to be really rough.

Posted by: Room for 4 | January 18, 2007 2:03 PM

Isn't that why navigational aids were invented - so you don't have to ask directions ever again?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 2:04 PM

Ajax, glad you're so young. Not sure why you felt the need to broadcast it, but if it's working for you, good.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 2:04 PM

thanks Father of 4 and Rebecca!

I'm still a bit worried about how this all will look if we want to adopt a child down the road. i fear that if you don't follow the APA doctrine to the "T" you aren't considered a good parent by the adoption agencies.

Great point about the dogs on bed thing-- when our son was a baby and co-slept on especially cold winter nights our two cats would also climb onboard. Very cozy!

Posted by: Regarding Dr. Sears | January 18, 2007 2:05 PM

But I don't think children are simply "someone's desire". A fancy wedding is optional, parenting your kids shouldn't be. Men should do it, and if they need to learn how to do it, they ought to consult the resources at their disposal -- websites, books, friends, parents.

Posted by: to huh? | January 18, 2007 2:06 PM

Question for co-sleepers (this is definetely my own ignorance, so apologies if it is incredibly stupid), but how do you make time for, um, intimate time with your spouse if you co-sleep with a kid?

Posted by: Personal Question | January 18, 2007 2:08 PM

"Ajax, glad you're so young. Not sure why you felt the need to broadcast it, but if it's working for you, good."

Huh? I'm 37. I didn't ARRIVE in this country until the 90s.

Posted by: Ajax | January 18, 2007 2:09 PM

Personal Question,

Other rooms in the house. other times of day. Sometimes we got our son up in the morning, settle him in front of his cereal bowl, and return to the bedroom. This has been a complete non-issue for us and sex is frequent.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 2:13 PM

Sarah and jessker26 thanks! I am humbled by all the wisdom. i feel so much better-- not that i felt bad, mind you! Just . . . curious and a tad concerned. My parents never co-slept (neither did my in-laws) and so the grandparents are horrified by the entire concept.

it is so interesting to think that our next kid mayy be totally different-- they really are their own little people from the get-go, eh?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 2:13 PM

I never commented about children and fathers and parenting. I only commented on someone looking for the wedding stuff for the husband-to-be, which, to me, is a weird thing to do.

When I had my children, neither of us consulted books. We parented based on our experiences as children of our own parents, using what we liked and discarding what we disliked. We also remembered things done by other parents such as aunts, uncles, parents of our friends and also our friends who became parents before we did. If there were things we had questions about, we consulted our mothers and the pediatrician.

Any of the resources you mentioned are fine, but the idea that you must consult all of them is a little over the top, in my opinion.

Posted by: huh? | January 18, 2007 2:14 PM

Actually, I don't blame my son for not reading the chicken soup book. I blame myself for 'chickening' out and buying the book in the first place! I was just pointing out how boys/men aren't interested in that kind of thing. I'm not sure what Brian would write, but warm and fuzzy explorations on fatherhood would be the same kind of book my son rejected.

I guess I need to stock up on root beer for my boys, eh?

Shared a fine white last night with girl friend: luna di luna italian. I'm not sure if the conversation made it fine, or if the wine made the conversation fine...but it was fine.

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 2:15 PM

Brian -- my vote is keep trying. Dads (and moms) need a comprehensive, funny dad-parenting book badly. I think you are the one to write it. It would be worth it to keep banging your head against the wall b/c one day the plaster will crumble. You are just a little ahead of your time...

Posted by: Leslie | January 18, 2007 2:16 PM

Leslie,

Good comment to Brian but where do you stand on beer?

Posted by: the original anon | January 18, 2007 2:18 PM

To Regarding Dr. Sears - first, can you pick a new shorter name? Secondly, I think the most important thing that you do is look at the situation and see if it is working for you and your child. If it is then you are not making a psychopath. However, if it isn't working for either of you then you should probably work on changing it. I'm a SAHM and my dh and neighbors call me the sleep Nazi. My kids have been on their own since 10 wks. and neither have ever slept in our bed (mostly because they will not stop talking and go to sleep). This is because I have been with them all day and I am DONE and comfortable with the arrangement and frankly I NEED them to go to bed and have some time to myself. Others are different and don't need that or prefer other arrangements. If you get to the point where you don't want to lay down with him until he falls asleep then that is a perfectly valid reason to stop it too. My kids lay in bed before they go to sleep and sing and read to wind down. They go to bed willingly and stay there all night. Do what works for you.

Finally, if you are considering adoption you might want to get the boy out of the bed before you have a new addition unless you want to have 2 kids in bed with you, lest you make your son feel he's being evicted by the baby. My 2 cents.

Posted by: moxiemom | January 18, 2007 2:27 PM

I think I could write a parenting book just by writing down the quote of the day from one of my kids.

Just yesterday, my wife was driving my 4 year old son over to her sister's place. there are a few twisting, hilly, country roads along the way. After going over one my son made the observation:

"Going over that hill made my penis dizzy."

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 18, 2007 2:27 PM

KLB SS MD, I had complete confidence that you would never feel the need to read a Chicken Soup book and, hence, failed to include your preferred survival snack combo. I owe you a sincere and heartfelt apology. The Cheese Doodles and Margarita combo is Combo #6 and is on the backside of the I Survived Reading A Chicken Soup Book menu. I can forward you the monthly issue of Guideposts that my mother insists on sending me, if you need additional inspirational reading material. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, as they say.)

I understand that beer nuts may be substituted for any snack served with beer, for an additional $1.50.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 2:29 PM

NC Lawyer, apology accepted as I can tell it was from your heart. Beer nuts aside - have you tried wasabi/soy sauce roasted almonds?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 2:31 PM

I like that menu!

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 2:32 PM

Father of 4, maybe one day we can have a blog devoted to funny kid quotes, if that's not too cheesy and unrelated to work-life-balance. I bet we could come up with a pretty amusing brochure in the end!

Posted by: Ajax | January 18, 2007 2:33 PM

The finest complement to my 3 hefewizens in the evening is popcorn.

Michalob Ultra does for when I don't want the calories from a wheat beer. It's really not that bad for a light beer!

Posted by: Meesh | January 18, 2007 2:34 PM

I do miss reading foamgnome's postings. Where is she? She always comes through with such incisive, coherent views!

I also miss Emily.

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 2:34 PM

"Brian -- my vote is keep trying. Dads (and moms) need a comprehensive, funny dad-parenting book badly. I think you are the one to write it. It would be worth it to keep banging your head against the wall b/c one day the plaster will crumble. You are just a little ahead of your time..."

Leslie,

I posted earlier today about a quickee survey I did on Amazon that demonstrates absolutely no shortage of daddy books on parenting. There are scores. My Amazon search, after suitable narrowing, came up with 219 titles.

So . . . I'm just not sure what Brian is talking about.

Would you care to comment, since you say that such a book is "badly needed"?

Posted by: pittypat | January 18, 2007 2:35 PM

NC Law:

Not to hijack the topic, which has already strained rather off course, but what have folks in your neck of the woods been getting these days on the Duke Lacrosse debacle?

And how is that presecutor (Nijang?) that finally recused himself being played to those in the area??

Have any personal thoughts from having seen it more up up close than most of the rest of us?

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | January 18, 2007 2:36 PM

"andy griffith. are you for real? a show about a small town in north carolina that was 100% white."

O.k. - I gotta bite on this one. Just what does the size and/or ethnic composition of the place where a man lives have to do with how good a dad he can be? Were all fathers in small, predominantly white North Carolina towns per se bad?

Is Bill Cosby irrelevant to caucasian men in small towns because he's an African American living in an urban setting?

Just what kind of point were you trying to make?

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 2:37 PM

dotted, either root beer or a fine sparkling apple juice. If I recall correctly, Laura/Mona might be able to recommend one or two good vintages. Your wine recommendation will come in handy this weekend when we have our first date since (I think) October. Not that he'll drink wine. More for me :>)

I agree that the warm, fuzzy, sentimental approach doesn't tend to work for guys, but, you know, I don't think it works for alot of women, either. We're just put in this "sensitive" box and since there's nothing else out there, we read what's available. What else are you going to do when you're in the ob/gyn or pediatrician's offices for the 10th time in as many weeks?

Regarding Dr. Sears, Our son moved to the floor at 10 and out the door at 11. Our daughter only joins us for monumental bad dreams - maybe once every other week, at most. Such different personalities and needs. Everything we thought we learned with our son is of no use whatsoever with our daughter. Sigh.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 2:39 PM

Nifong hijacked this case from day 1. I know some of the players, though not the ones accused of a crime. These are good kids. So they had a stripper over...I'm sorry, but so what? That isn't a crime. The underaged drinking is a crime, but that is it.

As my husband, and I number of friends said, there but for the grace of god go I...They hosted bachelor parties, etc. This kind of case makes relations between various camps more difficult at best. Needless to say, I wouldn't have voted for Nifong.

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 2:40 PM

I've come up with a title to a parenting book that men might read:

"Why Good Dads Get the Best Sex"

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 18, 2007 2:42 PM

NC Lawyer, anything you learn with one kid will be useless for the other. Fredia and I have 4 and they all are different.

My younger son (now 15) takes perverse delight when I tell him that he use to kick me in the back at night. He used to stay in the bed and nurse alot when he was a baby.

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2007 2:43 PM

Oh...Fo4...you're good when you're bad.

And the chapter titles are?

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 2:44 PM

Moxiemom he IS in his own bed! As I said before, he just wants us to lie down with him until he falls aspeep! he slept in our bed when he was tiny baby, but once he started kicking too much, we moved him into his crib and when he got too big for the crib, into his twin sized bed and ever since he got into that bed he wants one of us to stay with him until he is asleep.

And by the way, I only recently went back to work. I totally get what you are saying about wanting time alone and it sounds like that works for your family. But I wasn't doing the co-sleeping thing because I needed more time with him-- I did it because our son wanted to and it was pleasant for my husband and I --it actually felt safer to us then having him down the hall.

to the curious one-- we would have sex after the kid fell asleep by moving him into his bassinet beside the bed. he would often sleep there for hours afterwards, then wake up wanting to nurse and we'd move him back into bed to nurse.

Posted by: how about just "Sears", moxiemom-- is that OK? | January 18, 2007 2:46 PM

Parents have sex after they have a kid?

Posted by: What??? | January 18, 2007 2:49 PM

Pitty, I have to agree with you about men and parenting books. I believe the all-time best selling parenting book was written by Dr. Spock.

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 18, 2007 2:50 PM

Sorry for the confusion! I promise to read more thoroughly next time.

And yeah...I agree that people don't have to be too prolific in their research as long as they find something that works.

Posted by: to huh? | January 18, 2007 2:51 PM

Oh, Rebecca, your husband is my boyfriend. He'll read FHM or Maxim, he's got them stacked up and in order in his bathroom. Me, I'll read anything. I could spend all day in a bookstore. I bought him a book for his birthday. When he opened he said, "Whew--short chapters." And yes...it's in his bathroom.

Posted by: Mona | January 18, 2007 2:53 PM

WAIT! No, Rebecca, your husband is NOT my boyfriend. Your husband is LIKE my boyfriend. Sorry. Should have hit "preview" instead of "submit."

Posted by: Mona | January 18, 2007 2:54 PM

Dotted:

Chapter 1. Pregnancy: 9 Months, No Down Time!

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 18, 2007 2:55 PM

Chapter 2: It comes out of where?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 2:56 PM

OK guys - STOP! My coworkers are starting to look at me strangely....trying not to laugh out loud. Mona, I know you didn't intend to be funny, but that was comedy gold...

Posted by: Missicat | January 18, 2007 2:59 PM

Thanks. Dotted.

What about local coverage of the Gang of 88 Professors, who would seem after get egg all over their faces, are now trying to reinvent history, along with what they said...or is that an unfair rendering?

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | January 18, 2007 3:01 PM

I have to agree with Missicat on that one... Mona, that was hilarious!

Posted by: s | January 18, 2007 3:02 PM

"your husband is my boyfriend"

Laura/Mona, I am laughing so hard, my sides hurt. this was the funniest typo this blog has seen! since, as I am sure you've guessed, I tend to ignore the preview button, there but for the grace of God go I.

KLB, wasabi/soy sauce roasted almonds? sounds divine. doesn't sound like a good match with margaritas, though. Do you shift beverage preferences when partaking?


All, along with foamgnome and emily, bring back mr.honda. we don't have to all agree. I appreciate a diversity of thoughtful contributions.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 3:04 PM

"Dads (and moms) need a comprehensive, funny dad-parenting book badly."

Why? Do these books really help all that much? Or do they just make us crazy?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 3:06 PM

to 03:40,
I gave a can to a co-worker who walked into work the next day and simply said "I hate you" to me. If you start eating the almonds you can't stop until you are full. I plan to call A&E for an intervention. Beverages are interchangable.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 3:08 PM

Fred,

my experience has been that 15 year old boys will take perverse delight in most anything.

(Of course, I was a complete idiot at 15.)

Posted by: Older Dad | January 18, 2007 3:08 PM

"If you start eating the almonds you can't stop until you are full. I plan to call A&E for an intervention. "

Honey roasted. The salty-sweet taste is irresistable.

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 3:10 PM

The gang of 88 are now saying their writings really referred to local/national racism/sexism, rather than to this case per se. Except for 1 professor who seems to be standing by what she wrote and the case itself. So I wouldn't classify it as egg of their faces, but it is close.

Duke/Durham relations are terribly rocky, and they are worse now. I wouldn't blame those students for not returning to Duke. As long as Nifong can liberally choose what to prosecute, these kids are like big target signs. The big gotcha was the testimony by the DNA expert saying Nifong told him to without exculpatory evidence. whooaaaa.....

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 3:11 PM

I don't even remember when I was 15!

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2007 3:11 PM

Demos, All I can say is talk to me after you have tried these. Used to love honey roasted but those days are gone.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 3:11 PM

Honey roasted..mmmmm...definitely go well with beer.
Almonds are good for you, right???

Posted by: Missicat | January 18, 2007 3:11 PM

NC Lawyer--great memory! :-)

Might I recommend Welch's sparkling white grape juice? Heheh...you may have a hard time finding it now that the holidays are over. I hope to find some for my boyfriend when he comes next week...he stopped drinking because he's in training and I'm planning a romantic dinner, and I'm not sure Sprite will create the right atmosphere. ;-)

Posted by: Mona | January 18, 2007 3:12 PM

withhold, not without

now it is my turn to hit submit too soon...Mona's was the best though.

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 3:13 PM

Well, Nifong was reelected and then dropped charges! You have to remeber that DA are just another political animal!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 3:14 PM

Missicat, Yes, almonds are good for you (in moderation) - I cannot in good faith recommend a whole can at each sitting as healty food.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 3:14 PM

"The gang of 88 are now saying their writings really referred to local/national racism/sexism, rather than to this case per se. Except for 1 professor who seems to be standing by what she wrote and the case itself. So I wouldn't classify it as egg of their faces, but it is close."

Uh huh. And just why did they release their first statement at that particular time?

Context can be important. The faces are indeed covered with egg - they're just trying to make a brazen it out and ignore the egg while walking off stage as quickly as possible. [Egg? What egg? I don't see any egg . . . Sorry, gotta run, I hear my mommy calling.]

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 3:14 PM

Sears, sorry for the typo I kind of jump in and out while I'm doing other stuff so sometimes I don't read posts as well as I ought to. Also, didn't mean to imply that the co-sleeping was about you wanting more time (although I hear that a lot) it was really about me NOT wanting more time - does that make sense.

Father of 4 - I like your book title. We touched on this last week - nothing sexier than a good dad OR a hot guy with a cute puppy OR David Beckham but I'm really digressing now. Really if men knew what a difference that would make in how their women see them, they'd all coach the soccer team. I say write it!

Posted by: moxiemom | January 18, 2007 3:15 PM

I'd recommend Dr. Mike Riera's "Uncommon Sense for Parents of Teenagers" and "Right From Wrong" for any parent. He is a practicing psychologist, educator and generally thoughtful human being, as well a dad. He's spoken several times at my child's school, and I think any Dad would appreciate his insights.

Posted by: lifermom | January 18, 2007 3:16 PM

Off-topic alert for Sharon, et al:

Texas Dad of 2, didn't mean to ignore your Duke postings. I'd like to not draw any conclusions from either DA press conferences or defense/advocate filings. Briefs in support of motions to dismiss charges and keep out evidence are not intended to be, and are not, objective recitations of facts.

I am of the opinion that, whatever the outcome, the entire affair has set rape victims back about 50 years.

One's opinion of the Gang of 88 tends to follow one's politics, particularly on issues of race. I am fairly certain that you won't be surprised that I don't have a problem with the original ad they signed. If your newspaper hasn't printed the entire text, but has paraphrased it, go look for the ad and read it for yourself, assuming you haven't done so.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 3:16 PM

"Demos, All I can say is talk to me after you have tried these. Used to love honey roasted but those days are gone."

O.k., will do at first chance. I love the wasabi peas.

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 3:16 PM

Moxiemom - then you must have enjoyed the World Cup as much as I did. :-) Are ALL the players goodlooking??? Not to mention in great shape...
sliding waaaayyy off topic here.

Posted by: Missicat | January 18, 2007 3:17 PM

Meesh - Since I have nothing more to say about self help books for dads/men/dr spock/dr sears (don't even know who he is) or anything even remotely related to today's somewhat mundane topic - I will agree with you on the Mic Ultra. I am a Bud Light fan too. Even though I love the wheat and guinness - I do count calories - so when I indulge heavily most of my consumption is lite. Just not Y-lite.

Posted by: CMAC | January 18, 2007 3:19 PM

hey, just in case that post didn't strike the right tone, I'm really not trying to go down the race path today. The Duke case, IMHO, requires a 12-pack and a face-to-face conversation unless two people really just agree on every aspect of it. I respect all differing views on this one and am not trying to provoke anyone.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 3:20 PM

Okay, I gotta jump in. Two things: LOVE wasabi peanuts. Never tried the almonds. Peas are good, but prefer the peanuts. They go best with (naturally) sake. Anyone ever tried a sake bomb? Same as an Irish car bomb, only instead of Guinness you use Asahi or Kirin Light or some other light Japanese beer, and instead of Bailey's you use sake. YUM. The only problem is they are stronger than they taste, so you can drink many, and next thing you know, ker-plop--face down on the floor until the next day.

Another thing I have to say is that you guys are awesome. I had no idea how unintentionally funny my post was till you guys started laughing at it. :-) Now I'm laughing at my own joke that I didn't even mean to make.

Posted by: Mona | January 18, 2007 3:20 PM

"One's opinion of the Gang of 88 tends to follow one's politics, particularly on issues of race."

This is almost certainly true. The problem here is not so much the words but, speaking metaphorically, the crowded theater in which they shouted them.

NC Lawyer and I may have different views of the current state of race relations and the most just and equitable ways to address them - those are great topics for serious, respectful discussion. No matter how reasonable or measured the text might seem when read in isolation, however, in the specific context of the Duke rape charges and Nifong's political campaign that first ad was gasoline thrown on a fire.

The professors are foolish if they don't realize it - or think we're foolish if they believe they can explain it away.

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 3:22 PM

"hey, just in case that post didn't strike the right tone, I'm really not trying to go down the race path today."

Appreciated. Let's not fight over it. Wasabi is a much more enjoyable object of discussion.

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 3:24 PM

Demos, I man after my own heart. Wasabi is something on which we can ALL agree!

I hope we don't have any posters whose religion forbids wasabi.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 3:29 PM

Pistachios are my weakness. It's food you have to work for, but that's part of the addiction.

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 18, 2007 3:32 PM

My religion endorses wasabi wholeheartedly.

Posted by: Missicat | January 18, 2007 3:32 PM

Moxiemom, you said you were a Sleep Nazi because you were with them all day. But that just doesn't follow-- you were/are a Sleep Nazi because that is what works for your family. We co-slept because that worked for our family. Maybe it worked for us because my child's personality was more aloof during the day than your child(ren) so being there for him when he was feeling vulnerable at night was an opportunity to "parent" that wasn't available during the daylight hours. Maybe you didn't co-sleep because your kids are so much more chatty than my kid.

People, don't assume that co-sleepers are just absent parents trying to make up for lost time-- I personally know it is not true and it is not fair to make such an assumption. I don't believe all the Dr. Sears stuff saying that this is what is best for most kids-- "why just look at how it is practiced all over the world and for thousands of years." All that matters is what works for your kids and your family. I bet your kids are better off for having a Sleep Nazi mom, but i think it may have damaged my child.

Posted by: Sears | January 18, 2007 3:33 PM

wasabi fuels this household

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 3:35 PM

"I hope we don't have any posters whose religion forbids wasabi."

Is wasabi kosher? Hallal? It's basically an herb paste, isn't it?

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 3:35 PM

Thanks Dotted, NC, and others.

If it were proven that the DA purposely withheld or instructed someone to withhold major exculpatory (like DNA) evidence, what is the range of possible sanctions?

Criminal/civil prosecution? Disbarment?

As for the Gang of 88, I did read the original posting recently, mostly because of their attempt to reframe their doings.

As another poster pointed out, the nature and the timing of what they did while passions were running high certainly must have added to the caustic atmosphere, and poisoned the well of public opinion, hinting that there is a massive overall problem at Duke, at least when viewed from this distance. It seems more than just a little self serving to now try to get away with saying no, they didn't mean what it clearly seemed they meant, particularly in the context of the normal environment at that campus (which they seemed to indict). How else could they possibility have thought their original posting would be received by those not as close to the subject as they were?

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | January 18, 2007 3:38 PM

Moxiemom, you said you were a Sleep Nazi because you were with them all day. But that just doesn't follow-- you were/are a Sleep Nazi because that is what works for your family. We co-slept because that worked for our family. Maybe it worked for us because my child's personality was more aloof during the day than your child(ren) so being there for him when he was feeling vulnerable at night was an opportunity to "parent" that wasn't available during the daylight hours. Maybe you didn't co-sleep because your kids are so much more chatty than my kid.

People, don't assume that co-sleepers are just absent parents trying to make up for lost time-- I personally know it is not true and it is not fair to make such an assumption.

I don't believe all the Dr. Sears stuff saying that Attachment Parenting is what is best for kids-- "why just look at how it is practiced all over the world and for thousands of years." All that matters is what works for your kids and your family.

Now I wonder if the adoption people are of the same mind . . .

Posted by: Sears | January 18, 2007 3:38 PM

Sears, I am puzzled at the changes between post 1 and post 2 at 3:38. What's your question or suggestion with respect to "the adoption people"?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 3:42 PM

Chapter 4
The silent minority - Your wife is a nympho. Now what? (Skip if this does not apply to you --will probably not apply to many)

Chapter 5
A year without sex (for those who skipped chapter 4). The tragic, untold story of fatherhood.

Chapter 6
The laundry wars. How to get away with doing as little as possible without risking divorce

Chapter 7
Enlightenment - Laundry as foreplay. Housework and other aphrodesiacs to stimulate your wife's sex drive

Posted by: Emily | January 18, 2007 3:44 PM

As usual, much water had flowed under the bridge before I could get my comment posted.

Thanks as well to Demos, those were interesting insights. Your description of the Professors seems dead on--

"The professors are foolish if they don't realize it - or think we're foolish if they believe they can explain it away."

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | January 18, 2007 3:44 PM

Emily: She swings, she SCORES!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 3:45 PM

Nifong is under investigation by the NC State Bar. He could be disbarred. The lacrosse families are lining up to file civil litigation (from the 60 minutes interviews).

Of course, there is a problem in Durham, not just at Duke. Duke kids aren't from Durham. Just like Georgetown kids aren't from Georgetown. But Durham isn't in the middle of a big metro area like Georgetown. That makes this case so...pungent. It isn't good for anyone.

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 3:46 PM

"Chapter 6
The laundry wars. How to get away with doing as little as possible without risking divorce"

This is a short chapter. Leave a pen in your pocket once when you do a load of "lights." My wife will not allow me to do laundry any more.

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 3:47 PM

Oh Emily...I missed you!

Chapter 7 is a riot.

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 3:48 PM

You guys are hilarious today! Makes it feel like a Friday at work :)
I really want a copy of this book ...

Posted by: TakomaMom | January 18, 2007 3:52 PM

What do you do if one parent wants co-sleeping and the other parent wants the baby in the crib in their own room?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 3:53 PM

"Of course, there is a problem in Durham, not just at Duke."

As long as we can at least agree that there IS a problem at Duke - maybe no moreso than at other elite, predominately white schools immediately adjacent to or inside predominately black, struggling cities. There are one or two schools in NJ and elsewhere in the Northeast that struggle with similar town/gown issues.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 3:53 PM

This is what is going on in Durham vis a vis Duke...just so you know what is going on locally.

http://www.heraldsun.com/durham/4-810195.cfm

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 3:53 PM

"As long as we can at least agree that there IS a problem at Duke - maybe no moreso than at other elite, predominately white schools immediately adjacent to or inside predominately black, struggling cities."

Which one? White racism? Apparantly false accusations of rape? Apparant prosecutorial misconduct? Black racism and white guilt that fueled the presumption of guilt in this case?

It's not a slam dunk in my mind that #1 is the worst of the problems.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 3:56 PM

Cute, emily, glad to hear from you.

Did we miss Chapter 3, Milk and Honey?

Posted by: Father of 4 | January 18, 2007 3:57 PM

Dotted, thanks again. There appear to be many issues here that aren't clear to those far away and know little about Duke and the Durham area. I appreciate your insight.

I am getting a better glance and handle of the difficulties now. It's bad enough about the circumstances of the alleged crime and DA misconduct. Adding class and other appearantly long simmering community (including racial) resentments must make this very unpleasant for those living close by.

Sadly, that would appear to have made the Professors actions even more reckless under those circumstances, regardless of their intentions (then or now).

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | January 18, 2007 4:01 PM

anon at 3:56, I'd say the problem is collective, except for "white guilt" which is an odd phrase to include in a discussion of the Duke lacrosse story and also is out of place in the context of town/gown disputes. When most of the public thinks that an exotic dancer is a hooker and gets what she deserves, there's not alot of white guilt muddying up the waters. Maybe you're projecting your racial views on someone else's headlines? Have you ever lived in a university town, in particular a university town with economic issues and an elite student body?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 4:07 PM

Sorry for the double post-- I didn't realize the first one went through.

As I wrote earlier, i feel fine about what we are doing-- but I am worried that "adoption people"-- who ever whose people are that place children in adopting homes, may not consider us fit parents because our son is a toddler and not sleeping independantly. I always wondered why people didn't adopt more often-- now I'm suspecting it is because they don't want their parenting judged by outsiders. i think we are good parents, but i am worried that others may not think so and they are people that have the power to allow us to adopt. Maybe an adoption agency would say, "It's fine that you think it is safe, but the APA doesn't support this and we can't risk something bad happening so we aren't going to allow you to adopt."

what to do if one parent doesn't want to co-sleep? Do what works for the family in toto. That boils down to what ever causes the least grief to all concerned. if the child constantly screams and one parent is saying "i don't care how long the child screams, I will not tolerate a child in my bed" then THAT parent gets to figure out some other way to placate the child. If the child doesn't want to co-sleep, then surely the parent that wants to do so will see that c0-sleeping is an imposition on the others and will let it go. If the kid wants to, maybe the parent that is willing to co-sleep does so in anouther bed away from the other parent. Luckily it wasn't an issue for us.

Posted by: Sears | January 18, 2007 4:10 PM

whoa, nellie, can we return to Wasabi and Father of 4's and Emily's book? Much happier karma coming out of those posts.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 4:10 PM

"White guilt" is relevant to the group of 88 - and all of us who assumed from the getgo that "yeah, that bunch of spoiled frat boys probably did it."

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 4:12 PM

All you moms need to take a page from the dads [pun intended] and stay out of the bookstores. You already have the answers as no one knows your child better than you do. Some author certainly can't know what's best for your child. Go with your instincts. You don't need any pathetic books!

Posted by: Just Me | January 18, 2007 4:15 PM

One chapter should be devoted to what I think of as the "bait and switch" of parenthood. You know - when you first bring that tiny baby home, they love to sleep. I remember going out to eat with my wife and setting the baby carrier in the middle of the table while we enjoyed dinner - it makes family life feel wonderful.

Then a couple of months later they discover their voices. The world changes.

Posted by: Older Dad | January 18, 2007 4:16 PM

To anon poster at 3:53:

Maybe I put my foot into it by asking about this topic, but what do you feel Duke is guilty of?

And am I alone (or foolish) to not be familiar with the phrase "town/gown issues"?? I have a guess aobut what this might mean, but I'd appreciate elucidation.

Maybe this is why NC lawyer wanted to avoid the topic. But for me, I am just trying to understand. You folks from the area or who have followed this more closely than I seem to have interesting things to offer.

Frankly, other than for basketball, the only thing I knew about Duke before all this is the TIPS program they run for accelerated/gifted grade school kids.

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | January 18, 2007 4:18 PM

I forgot the chapter on Milk and Honey. Definitely a must.

There are so many others.

One chapter could be "Earning those pregnancy brownie points - how to help when the hemorrhoids and other pregnancy woes kick in." (This is when I decide that my husband was definitely a keeper.

There could also be a chapter on tips, pitfalls and precautions:

1) Don't boast about how you never complain about the extra pregnancy weight, even two years after she gave birth.

2) The family bed routine - Get a king sized bed and revel in togetherness

3) The family bed routine part 2 - Don't be a bed hog and learn to share with the baby

4) The family bed routine part 3 - Try not to move into the spare room if possibe

5) The family bed routine part 4 - Invite your wife to the spare bedroom for a date night

Posted by: Emily | January 18, 2007 4:20 PM

Here's a true wasabi story, about a boss I had years ago, as told by her. (She was a great person and a pretty good boss.) I'll call her Jane.

Jane had never had sushi before but was quite keen to try it. She went with a friend to a sushi bar and was pretty intimidated by all the items she couldn't identify.

Her friend ordered for them, and when the sushi arrived, none of it looked real appetizing to Jane. Then she noticed a pretty mound of pale green stuff that looked tasty and cool. (It was a hot day.) So she took a heaping spoonful and ate it.

I don't need to tell you what happened.

She lived to tell the story, and she actually adores sushi. But her first time was HELL.

Posted by: pittypat | January 18, 2007 4:22 PM

NC lawyer also wanted to avoid the topic because she is a lawyer and knows better than to prejudge. We all prejudged before and we're all still prejudging. I just happen to think this time we could be more 'right.' chuckle. Let's let the state look at it and decide what to do. The facts will come out, if there are any more facts to know that is.

Besides, Anybody but UNC is a common bylaw. The other one is Anybody but Duke.

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 4:23 PM

"When most of the public thinks that an exotic dancer is a hooker and gets what she deserves, there's not alot of white guilt muddying up the waters."

What are you smoking? "Most of the public" assumed those boys were guilty as sin. This was depicted in the national news media as an outrageous example of spoiled athletes who were out of control. NO ONE is (or was) arguing that the supposed victim was a hooker who "got what she deserved." Plenty were hoping those young men would get what they "deserved." (Of course, now I'm hoping they get the exoneration that it appears they deserve - and Nifong get's what he deserves, too.)

"Maybe you're projecting your racial views on someone else's headlines?"

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 4:25 PM

Wasabi is horseradish - a root vegetable (does that make it better?). One of my docs said the peas were better (this of course without trying the almonds). I am now owed a can of almonds after I brought him some.
Chapter (8): Doing the dishes (subtitle - putting them in the sink doesn't count)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 4:25 PM

"You already have the answers as no one knows your child better than you do."

That settles it. Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, Courtney Love, and Joan Crawford had all the answers. Reproducing evidently makes you instantaneously wise.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 4:25 PM

horseradish - another favorite condiment...

Posted by: Missicat | January 18, 2007 4:26 PM

"Wasabi is horseradish - a root vegetable (does that make it better?)."

I think it increases the odds that it is kosher and hallal (unless you're southern, and fry it in pork fat).

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 4:27 PM

It's a wonder how the human race thrived for hundreds of years with no books on how to raise children.

Posted by: Think for yourself | January 18, 2007 4:28 PM

Chapter (8): Doing the dishes (subtitle - why DOES she wash them before putting them in a dish washer?)

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 4:28 PM

Missicat - I LOOOVED the World Cup. Very off topic, but very yummy.

Sears, I really was not trying to indict you. I hope I wasn't misinterpreted. I was simply sharing what we do in our home and our motiviations. My intent was to be supportive of your choices - maybe that didn't come across in type like it did in my head.

Posted by: moxiemom | January 18, 2007 4:29 PM

So we are in agreement that wasabi is good! First time?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 4:29 PM

Demos, make your own chapter ;-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 4:30 PM

Chapter 9 - if you smell it you change it.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 4:31 PM

"Chapter 9 - if you smell it you change it."

Didn't you know that all dads have an almost completely atrophied sense of smell? (Don't know why that happens - sad, really, when you think about it.)

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 4:33 PM

Chapter 10 - Minding your manners. When farting in front of your wife is no longer a sign of intimacy,

Posted by: Emily | January 18, 2007 4:34 PM

"Chapter (8): Doing the dishes (subtitle - why DOES she wash them before putting them in a dish washer?)"

Demos --

When my husband and I were first together, I thought his habit of unpacking and repacking the dirty dishes in the dishwasher (which I had initially packed) was kind of odd.

Since then, however, I've read many anecdotes about wives whose husbands don't like the way they pack a dishwasher and will redo it to satisfy some internal organizing principle. (Probably something like packing the car trunk for a vacation.)

Anyway, there is a serious male subculture out there that takes the proper packing of the dishwasher as its mission. Beware. You don't want to run afoul of these guys.

But maybe you know the secret ritual?

Posted by: pittypat | January 18, 2007 4:35 PM

Well, Demos, this would certainly explain chapter 10, wouldn't it?

Posted by: Emily | January 18, 2007 4:36 PM

"But maybe you know the secret ritual?"

We love three-dimensional "packing" puzzles. That's why we always insist on putting the luggage in the trunk.

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 4:37 PM

"Well, Demos, this would certainly explain chapter 10, wouldn't it?"

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 4:39 PM

When I was a kid we didn't have a dishwasher. My father and I took great pride in seeing who could stack them the highest in the dish drainer. I still do.

Posted by: KLB MD SS | January 18, 2007 4:41 PM

Chapter 11: Peeing in the shower is not sexy.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 4:42 PM

"You already have the answers as no one knows your child better than you do."

That settles it. Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, Courtney Love, and Joan Crawford had all the answers. Reproducing evidently makes you instantaneously wise.
**
I didn't know Susan, Andrea, Courtney and Joan were posting here. . .

Posted by: Just Me | January 18, 2007 4:45 PM

Fred, we're waiting for your comment on proper dishwasher packing technique.

"Chapter (8): Doing the dishes (subtitle - putting them in the sink doesn't count, but it's significantly more appealing than leaving them on the table or around the house for the Dishwasher Elves to retrieve)

and to anon at 4:25, author of: "NO ONE is (or was) arguing that the supposed victim was a hooker who "got what she deserved," Actually, I have quite a few people to introduce you to some time. Taking race out of it, there are a lot of people who are not predisposed to convict a man of any interaction that occurs between a guy and a woman who is either a stripper, an exotic dancer, or a hooker. You can talk about the legal issue being "consent" until the cows come home and it just doesn't strike many people as "rape". Does that mean that the average person thinks that Collin Finnerty, a kid who several weekends before the alleged incident beat up a homeless guy in D.C., is a nice guy and upstanding citizen? Heck no. I calls 'em as I sees 'em. I just don't feel the need to use all caps.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 4:53 PM

I get it. Only this blog's posters are instantaneously wise. The rest of the world maybe has a thing or two to learn, but not us holy, educated parents. I wish someone had told me this months, no, years ago.

Posted by: to Just Me | January 18, 2007 5:00 PM

but nclawyer -
I gave you a throwaway line and you didn't take it...boo hoo

anybody but ...

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 5:09 PM

I don't think any self help parenting book could have helped Andrea Yates. I don't know enough about the others to comment.

Let's not confuse normal, parenting dilemmas with very serious criminal and mental health issues. Apples and oranges.

Posted by: Emily | January 18, 2007 5:09 PM

dotted, I'm trying sooo hard to be good today, it's exhausting my ability to respond to good-natured abc and abd comments :>) clearly, I need a margarita, as KLB would say.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 5:14 PM

NC lawyer has a point. Even though a rape victim isn't on trial, she might as well be. People will prejudge anything perceived as remotely unseemly about her character, even though that isn't the issue.

On more light hearted note, how can VA Tech beat Duke and UNC? It's shameful no matter which shade of blue you root for.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | January 18, 2007 5:17 PM

"Chapter 11: Peeing in the shower is not sexy."

Now that's just getting ugly.

Posted by: Demos | January 18, 2007 5:22 PM

"I just don't feel the need to use all caps."

Hey, the shift key is there for a reason. Used in moderation, it simply gives you another way to provide emphasis. Sure, it's annoying when overused! Just like ending every sentence with an exclamation mark! But heck - anything can become annoying when overdone!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 5:23 PM

Product of a Working Mother -- shameful is the word. Surely there is a verse in the Book of Revelation that indicates that VA Tech beating Duke and UNC is the first sign of the apocalypse. I was not a fan of conference expansion, and look what it has wrought. arrrggggh.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 5:23 PM

Strangely, while I'm asking those closest to NC about the Duke thing, the Andrea Yates thing happened right here in my backyard.

Now that was a tragic story all around, and we heard more things down here than were generally reported in the national media. I even know a psych nurse that had some interesting anecdotes about her level of care before the incident.

Alas, it's getting late and no one reads the blog much after this time. But if anyone is actually interested, I can offer up some other tidbits about that tragedy another time.

As a teaser for now, most of the folks down hear blamed the Dad in that case in a big way, and felt rather ambivalent at Yate's conviction. Her retrial at least ended with an insanity verdict.

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | January 18, 2007 5:26 PM

"Even though a rape victim isn't on trial, she might as well be. People will prejudge anything perceived as remotely unseemly about her character, even though that isn't the issue."

Yeah, but in this case it doesn't appear that the accuser is the primary victim of being prejudged.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 5:27 PM


It's premature to decide who the victims are in the Duke scandal. We might best let the dust settle before hanging labels.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 5:39 PM

I don't know much about the gang of 88, but a few things seems that seem to be missing from the above discussion include:
- The truly horrifying email one of the other lacrosse players was expelled for writing.
- the racial epithets exchanged outside the house which I thought were witnessed by possibly (even likely) more reliable neighbors.
- the fact that Duke already had plans to change the use of the lacrosse house property for the next year because of complaints from the neighbors. (Though this problem is sometimes just caused by college students keeping such different hours than their neighbors. In many cases the college students would like a no lawn mowers before noon rule!)
- I think the lacrosse team also had more judicial issues on campus than any other team.

Even if the D.A. should be disbarred and the students are completely innocent of this crime it does not necessarily follow that is wasn't the right call to fire the lacrosse coach or that the racial problem isn't real. The email and what was yelled outside are things that should be addressed by an institution of higher learning even if they are not legal issues. My conjecture (I am not a lawyer) is that the legal case is horrendous... BUT I still think a good fraction of the team was likely behaving in a way that should not have made their parents (or professors) proud.

Aside: On many D-1 campuses sports are more professional than scholastic & the athlete-scholar model is *not* what it is in D-3. I imagine at Duke many of the profs resent it. There probably was some underlying tension on this front that was waiting to burst on this front- similar to the Harvard brouhaha last year... What should athletes be allowed to get away with if they are bringing in D-1 national titles?

Posted by: to Texas Dad of 2 | January 18, 2007 5:49 PM

TD of 2 - that is a teaser:

As a teaser for now, most of the folks down hear blamed the Dad in that case in a big way, and felt rather ambivalent at Yate's conviction. Her retrial at least ended with an insanity verdict.

Did it have to so with the pregnancies one after another, homeschooling (I think the kids were homeschooled) or not getting her help? Honestly - Why is the father perceived to be much of the problem in TX?

Posted by: cmac | January 18, 2007 5:58 PM

to to Texas Dad of 2, one small quibble, and in the whole scope of your comments, it is truly small. Larry Pressler, Duke's former lacrosse coach, was not fired. He resigned. There's never been any suggestion that his actions were improper or that he is anything other than a fine lacross coach. The closest one could come to criticism is to note that many good coaches exert more control over the players' off-field behavior, but reasonable people could differ over whether "nanny" is part of the job description of a collegiate coach.

http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/426276.html

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 5:59 PM

there is no proof the email was actually written by a lacrosse player-the terminal was accesible by others.
the racial epithets were not said by the accused according to the documents filed by the DA.
Duke is selling off a whole block of houses. The block does contain the lacrosse house, but the block contains many other houses. This has been planned for years.
however, the racial/sexual issues stand. That is why I say Durham, Duke and this team have problems, regardless of how this case plays out. If one wanted to bring a real case, this may not have been the one to bring.

Sympathy for Andrea and not the husband? What goes with that?

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 5:59 PM

whoops. Mike Pressler, not Larry. Confusing my celebrities.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 6:00 PM

Texas Dad,
I would be interested in your Andrea Yates info. Interestingly enough, from the little I know about the case, my kneejerk reaction is to assign the dad with most of the responsibility, especially since he had to know how sick his wife was. I find it incredibly irresponsible of him to leave his small children in her unsupervised care. What a horrible story.

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | January 18, 2007 6:01 PM

On second thought, never mind on Andrea Yates. Even thinking about this makes my skin crawl. It is just too unbearable a subject for me.

Posted by: Emily | January 18, 2007 6:02 PM

if only Andrea Yates' husband had read a good parenting book for dads.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 6:08 PM

To 06:08 pm
Actually, had he done so, he may have read a couple of paragraphs about post-partum depression.

Posted by: aging mom | January 18, 2007 6:32 PM

Yeah, maybe, but he would have just concluded that they should pray it away.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 6:40 PM

Andrea Yates killed her children in June 2001. She had been treated for postpartum depression since 1999. Her first psychiatrist urged the Yates not to have more children, as it would "guarantee future psychotic depression". Three months after the birth of her fifth child, she was experiencing another bout of post-partum depression. Her next psychiarist expressly advised Rusty Yates not to leave his wife unsupervised.
Without informing Andrea's psychiatrist of Rusty's plans, Rusty announced to friends and family just before the murders that he had decided to leave Andrea home alone for an hour each morning and evening. Andrea's brother told Larry King on Larry King Live that Rusty expressed to him in 2001 while transporting Andrea to Devereux treatment facility that all depressed people needed was a swift kick in the pants.

In any event, I don't believe that Rusty Yates' lacked knowledge of post-partum depression, whether gleaned from a book or otherwise.

Texas Dad of 2, You're the expert. I'm sure I missed a couple of things so please weigh in.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 6:44 PM

Yup. Rusty is the one who should be in jail.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2007 6:48 PM

NC Lawyer - I think the Yates situation is a very good example of the failure of treatment of mental health in this country. As ghastly as what she did was, I have nothing but pity for that woman. I wonder if men had PPD if it would be better covered and treated?

Posted by: moxiemom | January 18, 2007 6:50 PM

NC lawyer, I went on my date and had margaritas - so far so good. He is a nice man. Divorced with two young boys (10 and 13). New territory to me. He spends alot of time with them which is endearing to me. I am at the age where I don't need all of his time. Is that good?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 7:30 PM

The reason that I load the dishwasher is that is where I keep my porn stash. Wait a minute! Maybe that is why I cannot find it!

Posted by: Fred | January 18, 2007 7:53 PM

Fred, maybe that is why your dishes are DIRTY!

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 7:54 PM

KLB, In my book, a nice guy who spends a lot of time with his sons garners good points for maturity and values. What more can you ask for on an early date (along with politeness to wait staff and decent to good tipping)? oh, plus a couple of margaritas.

probably too much information, but the only guy I ever dated that I know lied to me was a divorced guy who claimed he was unavailable every other weekend because those were exclusively spent with his daughter. He later admitted this was, ummmm, baloney and he was dating other women on the "daughter weekend". So my unasked for comment is, trust, but verify.

A good date is always a reason to celebrate. They don't happen that often. Do they?

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 7:55 PM

NC lawyer, thanks. I hope that all is well - he seems very straightforward so I hope I am not being conned. We talked for a week on-line before meeting so our first date and second have been very very comfortable. This is the first time I have done this and was/am very apprehensive but figure at my age (51) I just have to get out there and damn the torpedoes - full speed ahead (with some common sense thrown in of course).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 7:58 PM

KLB SS MD:
you go girl!

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 8:04 PM

Thanks dotted. I can't believe how hard it is to get out ghere again. Even tho I am a "growed woman" there are times that I feel like a teenager. This guy is really nice and so easy to talk to. We have alot in common. I am figuring that easy to talk to beats hot to trot at this age, right?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 8:08 PM

He's just as likely to be as 'scared' as you are. It is tough to get out there for both of you. Damn the torpedos, but watch yourself. You are important.

Posted by: dotted | January 18, 2007 8:11 PM

Thanks again dotted. He has taken me out to dinner twice now. I invited him to brunch on Sunday at my house. Wish me luck, KB

Posted by: KLB SS MD | January 18, 2007 8:14 PM

KLB, I am in awe of you. (I was always a good girlfriend - never a great dater.) Easy to talk to is key. I'm so glad dates one and two have been good! Third date has so much less baggage, at least once you're over the age of 20.

Posted by: NC lawyer | January 18, 2007 11:22 PM

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