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Like Father, Like Daughter

Twin of the Day — Penny: I’ve spent most of my life struggling to overcome a crippling anxiety – my own personal Anxiety Whack-A-Mole that includes sleepwalking, claustrophobia, nocturnal panic attacks, and OCD. My anxious disposition was evident as early as age three. — On summer evenings, we’d drive out to the country to get “real” ice cream. Despite my deep affection for frozen treats, I’d often beg my dad to turn around before we reached the end of our street. Around the same age, I’d run inside the house if a stiff wind caught my breath. ——— My twin girls are only three months old, and it’s already clear that Penny takes after dad (anxiety), and Clementine after mom (depression). I was trying to keep this revelation from Penelope, but someone tipped her off.

“Daddy, who’s Dean Jr?”

“What, sweetie?”

“I know the truth, daddy. You and mommy have been referring to me as “Dean Jr” behind my back.” Continue reading Like Father, Like Daughter

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Buzzed Parenting

Twin of the Day – Clementine: My wife and I attended a friend’s wedding this past weekend — without the girls. After surviving my first month as a stay-at-home dad, I decided to tie one off. I planned on front loading my drinking, so that I’d be sober by the time we relieved the babysitter. On such occasions, I prefer to have a couple drinks before eating… to get a good buzz churning. However, I did not account for champagne to be flowing during the ceremony itself. I then enjoyed two negronis at cocktail hour — the rest of the evening was a blur. The next morning, I got an earful from Clementine. Continue reading Buzzed Parenting

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Make America Great


Twin of the Day – Clementine: Despite the current political climate, Clementine is thankful for the privileges that attach to her status as a citizen of America — the greatest country in the world — on paper. As she likes to say, “The proof is in the pudding!” In practice, she believes the country has a long way to go towards achieving its ideal of “equality for all.” With the “Obama Era” coming to a close, she’s also been wondering if it was premature to declare the nation’s “triumph over race.” As Michelle Alexander points out in Clementine’s favorite book, The New Jim Crow: “The fact that some African Americans have experienced great success in recent years does not mean that something akin to a racial caste system no longer exists. There have always been ‘free blacks’ and black success stories during slavery and Jim Crow.” In fact, exclaims Clementine, “The notion that we have triumphed over race has blinded us to the realities of race in our society!” — “More than half of the young black men in America are currently under the control of the criminal justice system (or disenfranchised), and the child poverty rate is actually higher today than it was in 1968. Employment rates in black communities rival those in Third World countries.” Notwithstanding this bleak depiction, Clementine is hopeful. She’s particularly inspired by her father who spent years as a trial attorney fighting for the underdogs of society. She’s also a huge fan of daddy’s comedy, but sees it as a petty pursuit when he has so much to offer in the fight for racial justice. She’s heard a lot of great things about mom too! She’s especially impressed with mom’s giant (utilitarian) breasts.

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Top 10 Most Adorable Baby Mammals (Humans?)

Mammals are easily the cutest of all animals. In honor of Penelope & Clementine’s 3-month birthday, I’ve compiled a list of the 10 cutest baby mammals on the planet. As the father of twin girls, I acknowledge my biases, but in compiling this list, I tried to remain as objective as possible. — Based on which photos brought the biggest smile to my face. — Feel free to give your two cents.

Continue reading Top 10 Most Adorable Baby Mammals (Humans?)

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Gender Neutrality

Twin of the Day – Penny: The polls are closed and the results have been tabulated. — It’s official: Penny is a cutie-pie! However, random people on the street often often mistake her for a boy — “What a handsome little fella.” Once we clarify the gender, we usually receive a swift apology along with a gender ‘appropriate’ compliment such as — “Beautiful!” or “Watch out daddy, she’s gonna be a diva!” This confusion is not surprising — Babies are androgynous. However, Penny has started asking questions.

“Daddy… I’m a girl! Isn’t it obvious?!”

“No, sweetie. It’s not… especially if you’re fully clothed and wearing gender neutral attire. — Would you prefer to exclusively wear pink?”

“No, daddy. — I don’t even understand why some colors are girly and others boyish.” Continue reading Gender Neutrality

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Leisure Time

img_8777Twin of the Day – Penny: At eleven weeks, Penny is now rolling over consistently — from her stomach to her back. She’s also holding her head up for extended periods of time, which allows for prolonged eye contact with mom and dad. Her big smile indicates that’s she content — at least for now. But she’s ambivalent about the future.

“Now what, daddy?!”

“What do you mean, Penny?”

What’s next? I’ll learn to crawl. Then I’ll be walking… and then I’ll have to go to school and get a job! Continue reading Leisure Time

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Children Are the Future

Twin of The Day – Clementine: We recently purchased a floor mobile for the girls to help foster the development of their motor skills. Clemmy was immediately drawn to the various hanging trinkets, but was frustrated with her inability to reach the objects. About a week later, she finally connected — solidly knocking a bird with her hands. We were thrilled! When it comes to your baby, every new accomplishment is exciting to watch. However, parental involvement is also key to helping kids form accurate, healthy self-perceptions. As children grow, you want to build their confidence, but also want them to have a realistic view of the themselves and their limitations.

“Daddy, look! — The birdie is swinging! I did that!” Continue reading Children Are the Future

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Trumpettes

Twin of the Day – Penny: Penny’s vision is maturing at a developmentally-appropriate pace. It’s my understanding that human babies can see color at birth, but their vision is blurred, so they can only distinguish contrasting colors such as black-and-white. Throughout the first two months or so, they have difficulty distinguishing similar tones, such as red and orange. Now that Penny is nearly three months old, she’s able to distinguish most colors — which recently led her to a shocking discovery — mom and dad have been dressing her in mismatched socks.

“Daddy, have I been wearing these wretched things my whole life?” Continue reading Trumpettes

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Fame! I’m Gonna Live Forever

Twin of the Day – Clementine: Mom recently went out with her friends for cocktails — her first night out since the girls were born. I insisted. It’s important for her mental health. I even encouraged her to flirt with other men to prove to herself that she’s still got it! So, after mom pumped enough breast milk to keep the girls satiated through the night, I gave her some words of encouragement, and pushed her out the door. I was excited to have some time alone with the girls — my first opportunity to start cultivating an alliance against mom.

“Girls! Who’s ready for a slumber party?!”

PENNY: “Isn’t it time for bed, daddy? Mom has us on a schedule.”

“Well, your mom’s a stickler for LAW & ORDER — Dad is all about FUN & GAMES!” Continue reading Fame! I’m Gonna Live Forever

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Women of the 21st Century

Twin of the Day — Clementine: Clementine is thankful for the privileges that attach to her status as a woman of the 21st Century. As a student of history, she realizes that in the not so distant past, women were treated as mere possessions or second class citizens. BUT, as a modern woman, she is free to follow her wildest hopes and dreams — whether it’s raising a traditional family in the suburbs, dedicating her life to public service, competing as an MMA fighter, or even traveling across the cosmos as an astronaut surgeon.

However, she’s a little anxious after overhearing a conversation between mom and dad. I, somewhat facetiously, expressed how happy I was to have girls — “We don’t have to worry about them playing football and suffering brain damage!” Michelle quickly shot back, “What a relief! We just have to worry about eating disorders and being raped by football players.”

“Daddy, didn’t you play football?”

“Yes, sweetie.”

“How many women did you rape?” Continue reading Women of the 21st Century

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“The Boss”

Twin of the Day – Penny: I recently introduced Penny to the “savior of rock n’ roll”, Mr. Bruce Springsteen. She was inclined to distrust my taste after I first tried to get her on board with the Dave Matthew’s Band, which she compared to the sound of “fluffy kitty cats scratching a chalk board.” “I guess they’re an acquired taste — like beer,” I shot back! “Oh, I totally get the analogy”, said Penny!

To my delight, Penny was immediately drawn to “The Boss”. “I love his gritty baritone voice,” she said! She’s particularly intrigued by his early stuff, which more prominently features playful, often nonsensical lyrics. And his trademark “wordless wails” reminded Penny of her own hunger pangs. Continue reading “The Boss”

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Death Traps

Twin of the Day – Penny: The girls are two months old, and mom’s getting ready to go back to work — so we’re considering daycare options. Clemmy is content with daycare centers, but would prefer to stay at home with a sitter. On the other hand, Penny is totally freaking out! She’s totally opposed to daycare, and isn’t too keen on sitters either. I assured her that New York has strict regulations for “center based” child care — the staff to child ratio for infants is 2:1 — “Just like when dad’s at work, and mom’s the only adult at home.”

“It doesn’t matter daddy! I want to be cared for by people who are with me because they love me — not because they’re getting paid to watch me.”

“Honey, of course, that would be ideal. But times have changed — that’s not the society we live in. It hasn’t been that way for awhile.”

Penny romanticizes the past when extended families lived together on farms or in small towns or villages. She always refers to our friend Parag who was raised in India as an infant — in a house with mom, dad, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma, and grandpa.

“That’s the ratio I want daddy! The love ratio!!” Continue reading Death Traps

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Flirting is Healthy for Marriage… and Divorce

Twin of the Day – Clementine: We recently took the girls from New York City to Cleveland via Amtrak to meet their extended family. Traveling across the country with 7-week-old twins is serious business. For our sake and that of the other passengers, we splurged for a sleeper car… which had just enough room for the four of us to rest our large and tiny bones. It was a long passenger train, which also included a dining car and a bar.

After dinner, Penny and I went back to the room to settle in for the night. Clementine was a little fussy, so mom took her on a soothing walk across the length of the train. Along the way, mom stopped at the bar for a night cap. Later that night, I was awakened by the stirs and cries of my darling Clementine. As I brought her in close, she said she had a secret to share. She was upset because she saw mom flirting with a man at the bar. Without knowing the details, I quickly assured her that mom was probably just making polite conversation.

“What’s the difference daddy?” Continue reading Flirting is Healthy for Marriage… and Divorce