LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND

LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND

Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...

SHE'S A SCREAMER: FODDER 4 FATHERS' TOP FIVE HORRIFYING HALLOWEEN SCREAM QUEENS (OR OTHERWISE)


"The Scream," Edward Munsch, 1893


I don't know about those of you with sons, but as a first time father of a 20-month-old daughter there was one thing I wasn't quite prepared for... the screaming. And, no, I'm not talking about screaming out of shock, or fear, or pain, or even for something that she really wants- I'm talking about SCREAMING for the sake of SCREAMING!

Just the other day we were playing hide and go seek in the basement and she snuck up behind me and scared the living sh@# out of me. The dogs run in terror. My wife's gone deaf in one ear. And I'm always looking over my shoulder, because, if you ask me, my daughter has inherited both my wife's flair for the dramatic and her father's need to sh@# disturb... and that's a bad combination. So on this the eve before the spookiest day of the year (unless you're my niece and that would be the day you woke up to see Grandma without make-up on), I'd like to count down my picks for the top 5 scariest screams in the history of pop culture---hoping as I research the videos that I'll be able to drown out my screeching daughter who just refuses to go to bed.

THE CALL OF DOODIE: 4 THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK (FATHERHOOD) - WE SALUTE YOU!


Since I began blogging, there have been many occasions where I have focused on the fears of first time fatherhood but few where I have discussed the joys of being a dad. Today I was reminded of why I do what I do - both being a hands-on father and choosing to write about it. To me, there is nothing better than being a dad. Sure, it has its moments- the ones where I walk through the door at the end of the day and a want to turn back around and walk right back out- but I don't try to escape because I recognize that I'm part of a team, and when my partner (my wife) needs to tag out I'm her only relief. It works both ways, but I have to say, if the roles between mothers and fathers have blurred over the last several decades, I'm as good an example as any that a father can do it all (with a little help).

FODDER OF THE WEEK- HALLOWEEN EDITION: IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD... IF THAT VILLAGE ISN'T RUN BY IDIOTS!

Image Courtesy of GhostBusters, 1984
If you ask me, it's hard to imagine that certain people could actually get any more messed up in their thinking than they already are- but it happens, everyday. Like France's recent announcement that they'll be banning ketchup in their schools in order to "preserve their heritage." Okay, but as a student of history, I don't think that's a nice message to send to all the tomato paste producing countries that actually saved your ass during WWII, allowing you to preserve a culture that isn't, well, German. And what about the American school banning chocolate milk, claiming it's the evil cousin of Soda Pop? Was that an actually study, or did someone come up with that while drinking a Yoo Hoo? And let's not forget the Scottish for banning Father's Day cards in their schools, leaving an entire township of well deserving dads wondering why they only got the tie this year because the school board didn't want to make a handful of kids without fathers feel bad.

Who are these people, and when did we give them the right to be our moral compass? Did we not learn anything from "Footloose?"



Look, when I say I believe it takes a village to raise a child, I don't mean Shirley Jackson's village.  But, if you ask me, I believe he who casts the first stone to start banning anything and everything from hugs, to dancing, to the dictionary (I kid you not) in our schools should actually get to be next in line to be stoned himself.

What, we told people they couldn't burn books anymore so jump rope became the next logical thing on their hit list? When does it stop? It's one thing to make our kids walk through a metal detector to search for guns, but now our kids are being strip searched at the door for Pogs?-  and they're not even popular anymore. But what really gets me- the thing that makes me so angry that I want to take a yard stick and shove it so far up some one's ass to remove whatever obstruction (or pickle) is up there- is when people take the fun out of childhood for our kids. So when I hear Halloween costumes are being banned in our schools because it's viewed by some as a "religious holiday" (source article: The Huffington Post) I want to find Mr. Weatherbee and tell him to grow a set of balls at the next P.T.A. meeting.

If Halloween's still a religious holiday then witches still exist and we should be able to bring them to trial for these kinds of sadistic acts against our children. Because if you believe Corporate America is a religion you shouldn't be heading up a child advocacy group- you should be getting your f-ing head examined (it's the Devil, duh). Cancel Halloween? It's a bunch of kids running around the halls enjoying them selves and playing make-believe for Christ's sake. It's not a Pagan ritual (anymore).


Do I have the right to be upset? You're damn right I do! Children used to have choice (or at the very least, their parents did). But somewhere, somehow, we relinquished all our rights to the so-called "experts" and the advocacy groups and the politicians and the loudest, most obnoxious people in the room because we just couldn't be bothered to look up from our computer screens, or smart phones long enough to see that we were giving these people the power to make all our choices for us.

Well here's a thought... tell these people and their asinine ideas to go f-ck themselves; to leave our kids alone, and go and take a good long look in the mirror to figure out what the hell is so wrong with them that they need to destroy all the fun of being a child (and for that matter- being a parent) for the rest of us. Let them sit at home and think about it while the rest of the world, myself included, take our kids out for the most magical night of the year- then steal half their candy.

Happy Halloween!


Related Links on School Bans:

Hey Mom!: How's This for a Creative Way to Rap About Potty Training?


Recently, I've noticed some big changes in my daughter's behaviour. She's a lot angrier than she used to be. She's asserting herself more, demanding her independence, and frankly she's using a lot of slang terms I just don't understand. She says "No" a lot and refuses to wear anything other than a pink valour sweatsuit, sunglasses, high top sneakers and a big time piece around her neck. I'd swear it's just a faze, as what 19-month-old doesn't try to test her parent's patience? But, it's more than that. It's like she's trying to find her voice- an artistic outlet to speak out about the trials and tribulations of what it's like to be a toddler. So, being the kind of forward-thinking father that I am, I wanted to help her embrace this independent, artisitic streak and help her find the right platform from which to launch her new found passion for... rapping.

FODDER UP! PART XIIII: A FATHER'S TOUCH - MASSAGE FOR THE NEW MOTHER IN YOUR LIFE

Scene from National Lampoon's, Van Wilder
Okay, I'll be the first to admit that giving a massage is not my thing. If anything, I've gone out of my way to try to convince my wife that I'm the worst massage "giver" on the face of the planet. My reputation is so bad that during prenatal classes when the instructor told us to pair off to practice relaxing massage techniques on our wives, my wife offered money to anyone who would switch partners with her- no takers, male or female. So, I've taken it upon myself here to suggest to you, those husbands that don't enjoy sleeping on the couch, that maybe a few lessons in the art of massage might not be such a bad thing to help your wife both lighten the load while pregnant and lighten up after the baby is born. It's time to Fodder Up! This weeks installment: The Art of Massage.

FODDER OF THE WEEK: 10 THINGS NEW DADS SHOULD NEVER HAVE TO DO

"Oh, no. What's this dumbass getting
 us in to this time?"
If you ask me, moms like to think they have the market cornered on the whole "poor me" concept after the birth of a child. Granted, men don't have to carry a baby for nine months, push it out of a sensitive orifice, or spend another nine months or more trying to look and feel the way they did before the whole ordeal began, but we do suffer certain hardships that only a man would understand. So when I came across a list entitled "10 Things All New Moms Should Not Have to Do" I couldn't help but come up with a very special list of my own.

So, while our friends at Conscience Parenting seem to have the market cornered on the mom's perspective of post-pregnancy hardships, we'd like to present you with a unique list of our own (in no particular order), from a man's point of view.

DUDS 4 DADS: TOP 5 WORST FILM FATHERS

Scene from the "Shining"
As someone who never really got along with his own father, I often measure my dad against some of the worst dads to ever make an appearance on the silver screen. These are, in my opinion, the worst of the bunch. So, if you're looking for good examples of selfishness as opposed to selflessness, you've come to the right place. Here are our picks for the Top 5 Worst Fathers in Film:

DON'T ASK. DON'T TELL: HELPING NEW DADS DEAL WITH A WORLD OF UNSOLICITED ADVICE


As a new parent, there are many cliches I don't have the time for these days. For instance, "think outside the box" or "it's the thought that counts"- if people actually believed these sayings I'd never feel obligated to ever buy anyone a gift ever again; but they don't. They are just sayings. They are just empty catch phrases that people use, having no clue what they really mean. Another one I'm not too fond of is the whole "it takes a village to raise a child" concept." I don't much care for this idea that a child is raised by an entire society. And, I'll tell you why...

FODDERHOOD 101: ENROLLMENT INFORMATION - APPLY TODAY!

When I started this blog, I had no idea where it would go. Like most dad bloggers, I just needed a place to put my thoughts on paper- a place to make sense of this thing called "fatherhood." I didn't know what I was doing. I knew I loved to write; I was just waiting for a subject I was passionate enough about to write about every single day. And the more and more I write about the importance of father-involvement in all aspects of a child's life, the more it becomes clear to me that I may actually be able to make a difference.

FODDER UP! PART XIII: TAKING A STAND AGAINST INFANT EAR PIERCING - NEW DAD STYLE

Now, take a deep breath, calm your mind, and listen to the story I am about to tell. It's about a little girl, only a few months old, who has been kidnapped and taken to the parking lot of a nearby mall. The kidnappers, two women in their late twenties/early thirties, drunk on power, unable to listen to reason, drag this little girl from the backseat of a minivan in to the mall. Inside, they make her do unspeakable things - they take her to a shoe store; a cosmetics counter; they even make her watch as they try on dresses... for fun. And then, if they hadn't destroyed enough of her innocence already, they inflict their final insult; their most heinous of horrific acts; their most evil of underhanded atrocities- they get her ears pierced...

FODDER OF THE WEEK: THERE AIN'T NO FLIES ON US - A PSYCHOLOGICAL ARGUMENT AGAINST SPOILING YOUR KIDS ROTTEN

If you were to ask Abraham Maslow (good luck, he's dead) what all human beings require to thrive, he would tell you there are five basic to advanced needs we all should strive to satisfy. Pointing to the findings of his now famous 1943 paper entitled, The Theory of Human Motivation, Maslow suggests there is a hierarchy in which these needs should be fulfilled in order to be the best person you can be.  These needs are as follows:

DON'T MIND ME: DAD ON DUTIFULLY DOING THE MIDNIGHT ROUNDS

As a first time father, I always seem to find myself checking up on my little girl while she sleeps. No, it's not because I'm worried that something will happen to her if I don't- I don't have those types of irrational fears- I just like to watch her. It's peaceful. And if you want to know the truth, to me, it's one of the best things about fatherhood.

FASHION WOES: WHY DAD CAN'T CHOOSE HIS LIL' GIRL'S CLOTHES

If you ask me, the worst thing about being a dad of a daughter is having to answer to the "fashion police" every time you are tasked with creating an ensemble for your little girl to wear out of the house. Now, luckily my wife isn't one to worry so much about the cost of my daughter's clothes, or brand names, or labels, but she is quite emphatic about making sure that when my daughter steps out of the house that one thing will be indisputable- her gender. I'm not saying my wife makes me throw a dress on my daughter every day, although she is oddly obsessed with trying to get my baby girl to wear pink headbands (to no avail). However, she does demand I adhere to a few simple rules...

DESPERATE DADS: WHEN THE REJECTION OF MOMMYITIS IS TOO MUCH TO BARE

"Please, I don't want you to see me like this..."

In life, we all suffer through our fair share of rejection. Me, I've been struggling with it my whole life. There was the time I tried out for the school play in grade nine ("Um, Mr. Dolgin, we don't think your rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is cutting it, so we ask that you leave the stage...Now!"). There was the time I ran for class president ("I was just trying to say we should serve healthier eggs in the cafeteria, I didn't mean you should throw them at me"). And there was the girl that got away... in grades nine, ten, eleven, and twelve (same girl, just didn't want to be a quitter). So, if you think about it, I should be used to rejection by now- I've been kicked out by ex-girlfriends, been bitten by my own dog, and even my own mother left the country to get away from me. But I've taken the pain, pushed it deep down inside and carried on with my life. But not this time! This time it's really personal...

FODDER OF THE WEEK: IS THE PARENTING EXPERT EXPLOSION ERODING YOUR COMMON SENSE?

"Snake Oil For Sale!"
I'm not much of a reader. Oh, I've read my fair share of textbooks on everything from psychology to marketing to communication, but that doesn't mean I enjoyed it. Call it the curse of a creative mind, but if you give me a novel I'll be rewriting it in my head by the third sentence. It's just how my mind works. I like to think for myself. I like to see a problem, break it down to its main components, and put it back together in a way that makes sense (at least to me). I'm a hands on learner. I learn best through trial and error (with some guidace/insight from those who have gone before me). I don't read manuals. I don't read self-help books. And the only parenting book I ever read gave me the most pertinent information in point form. So, if you ask me what I think of the so-called parenting "expert" book boom, I can't help you, but I can point you in the direction of someone who can...