Penelope and Clementine are 6-months old. When they were first born, the pediatrician extolled the virtues of nursing, but acknowledged the difficulties and limitations that mothers face today. The pediatrician concluded her spiel by encouraging Michelle to stick it out for at least six weeks, at which point the girls would have received most of the known benefits of breast feeding. For the past four months, Michelle has been managing her psychology practice, while pumping in between patients. There were many days when she was exhausted, but resisted another cup of coffee for the sake of the girls. There were also many evenings in which she wanted nothing more than to settle down with a glass of wine, but had to continue nursing and pumping to keep up with the increasing demand. She wanted to stick it out for a full year, but I told her that she was overdoing it — milking the boobs at both ends, if you will. As the stay-at-home parent, I’ve been slowly transitioning the girls from boob to bottle. After sacrificing her body for 15-months, Michelle is finally free to ingest caffeine and alcohol at will. The feeling is bittersweet, I’m sure. Clementine seems content with the transition, but Penelope isn’t going down without a fight.
“Daddy, I gonna miss nursing with mom.”
“Sweetie, we’ve been supplementing for months — you guzzle it down just the same.”
“Daddy, it’s not about the f****** milk!” Continue reading Goodnight Boobs
I absolutely love reading to Penelope and Clementine. As a stay-at-home dad, I try to read to them at least three times a day. Before introducing them to the wonderful world of children’s books, I read them some adult-themed non-fiction: “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”; and “In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin.”
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. Now that their vision is fully developed, I’ve switched to more age appropriate material. Reading to six-month olds often feels like a pointless endeavor, but apparently it contributes to the development of their growing brains. The girls usually lose interest whilst I’m reading, and either roll over or start chewing on the book. Nonetheless, I make it a habit to finish — always the positive role model. One book that usually holds their attention is “Duncan The Story Dragon” — a wonderful picture book about the joy of reading — suggested for children age 4 – 6. The girls seem captivated by the book’s colorfully vivid illustrations. Continue reading Duncan The Story Dragon (An important lesson for parents)
Twin of the Week – Clementine: Penelope and Clementine are officially American Euro mutts — Italian, Austrian, Irish, and Swiss. My dad was the child of Italian immigrants, my mom, of Austrian immigrants. I’ve always identified as Italian — raised on a steady diet of mob movies such as The Godfather, A Bronx Tale, and Goodfellas. My wife is half Irish, half Swiss. She grew up performing as an Irish dancer, so naturally she has always identified as Irish. If Penelope and Clementine are interested, we’ll gladly tell them all about their ethnic heritage, but otherwise we plan on indoctrinating them as Americans. In the mean time, there’s been a surge of racist, misogynistic, and anti-Semitic intimidation and harassment since Donald Trump’s presidential win — prompting Clementine to barrage me with a series of questions about our family heritage.
“Daddy, are we Jewish?”
“Ooooh, um, that’s complicated, sweetie.”
“I’m stuck here on my tummy, daddy. I’ve got nothing but time.” Continue reading Raising Girls in Trump’s America