September 22, 2014

Previously: Elmo Gangs of New York
Incarcerate Me Elmo

September 21, 2014

We sat the kids down and talked to them about spanking this week, and why we don't spank them, and why some parents--a lot of parents in the US--do. [Spank their own kids, obv, not ours.]

We explained that most people spanked because they were spanked. That when people become parents, they often follow the example they know best: their own parents. They ignore, or most likely don't know that research shows spanking doesn't work; it makes kids' problems and behaviors worse, not better.

They have heard each of us say we want to smack them, that we get so angry or frustrated or impatient sometimes, hitting feels like the only way to get those feelings out. But that we don't. We don't want to cause fear or pain, on purpose, to the people we love.

And we want them to make good choices for good reasons, not because we're bigger or stronger. And we believe that there are other ways to solve problems besides violence.

This is what we talked about with the kids. When I started writing this post, though, I'd planned on writing none of this, except the headline. Which is really what I'd say to parents.

The urge to hit your kid as punishment is fueled by your reaction, your perception, your emotion, your capacity, your desire to control. As parents we have a responsibility to be aware of ourselves, to be the grown-up in the relationship with our kids. And so before you smack your kid, you have the responsibility to acknowledge to yourself that you are going to smack him for you, not for him. And at that point, you should stop yourself and figure something else out.

This column by Charles Blow about spanking and abuse feels very important. This column by Jillian Keenan about spanking as a sex act, feels very disturbing, but if it makes you uncomfortable enough, or causes you to step back and question your intention to spanking your kid, then good. If that doesn't work, then read this weird trend piece on butts, too. Connect the dots, people.

UPDATE: DT reader Liz just sent along this essay from Jeb Lund, who contemplates becoming a father like his own, and all of his friends', and whether he can break the cycle.

On Spanking and Abuse [nytimes]
Spanking Is Great for Sex | Which is why it's grotesque for parenting. [slate via dt reader gabe]
For Posterior's Sake [nytimes]
Adrian Peterson and what our fathers did to us: we have not turned out fine []

September 19, 2014


By now everyone's read that Steve Jobs was a low-tech parent, and that none of the people who work in Silicon Valley let their kids have screen time during the week.

And now I'm like, well, at least Aphex Twin's kid doesn't use Garageband. Or pay for software:

Pitchfork: How has being a father changed you?

Richard D. James: You can't even begin to go into it. It's totally weird. They're like computer-programmed versions--clones--of yourself. They're making music now. My 5-year-old's made loads of totally insane music on his computer, and I'm just like, "What the fuck is that? What have I done to him?" He's using Renoise. I didn't tell him how to use it, he just downloaded a crack off Pirate Bay. Age 5! He set up a Bandcamp, and he's published some tracks on there. I've since showed him how to record his voice and stuff like that. I just can't believe that's what's happening.

It's in his DNA. The way they treat computers is just mindboggling to me. He's got quite an expensive Mac, and he just carries it around like [waves book in the air]. It's like part of his body, swinging off his arm. It's so weird. That's kind of what I was always dreaming about, in a way. Like a cyborg. We're almost there, aren't we. Halfway there.

Also, his kid came up with the name Syro. Now you know.

Strange Visitor: A Conversation With Aphex Twin [pitchfork via @martinlherbert]
Steve Jobs was a Low-Tech Parent [nyt]
Buy Syro, Aphex Twin's first album in 13 years, at Amazon [amazon]
image: Aphex Twin's "Come To Daddy," which is like freakout-level red right now

September 17, 2014


Seeing LAist's "favorite new Instagram account," DILFs of Disneyland, I was glad to see Bugaboo's still got some publicist product placement juice, at least with the older parents.

I also thought about the unsung heroes, the Disneyland dads who push strollers all day with one hand, while eating a giant turkey leg in the other. And I wondered who's 'gramming them? Where is their hashtag?

'DILFs Of Disneyland' Is Our Favorite New Instagram Account [laist via dt reader nathan]

September 16, 2014

Unidentified local tumblr subject has daughter.


Burning Man is over for another year, and by now, this dad has probably been reunited with the kid he traded for a magic wand and a 4-pack of Red Bull. [image: reno gazette-journal via dt burner nathan]

September 15, 2014

Having a kid can complicate even the simplest of tasks, like writing and recording a song every day since 2009.

Papa's Got To Write His Song | Song A Day #2079 [youtube/therockcookiebottom]
Here is a song 'Song A Day' guy Jonathan Mann made last week in collaboration with his son Jupiter. []

September 11, 2014

One of the hardest things to wrap my own head around as a new parent was that the kid was going to forget all this stuff anyway. All these milestones, exciting moments, encounters, activities, all of it, would be gone by the time she was like, 4 or 5.

It's called Childhood Amnesia, or Infantile Amnesia, and it's believed to have to do with the way the kid's brain, self, and/or language develops.

Of course, that doesn't mean you're off the hook, or that whatever happens to a kid from 0-5yo doesn't matter. Just the opposite; you do it for the development. For the moment, not the memories. There's a phase in a kid's life where the parents have to be the ones storing the memories, which you can relay later as embarrassing stories.

Metafilter recently hosted a long, fascinating thread where people started sharing their earliest memories, and discussing things I'd never considered, such as the blessing of being able to forget an abusive or horrible childhood.

Childhood Amnesia [metafilter]

September 9, 2014

wh faceplant

"When you grow up, this could be your office, too."

"When I grow up, the earth will have been fracked into Venus."

[image Lawrence Jackson via The White House flickr feed, thx dt photo dt]

September 5, 2014


No way I'm gonna leave that depressing car story on top of the blog all weekend. Ima go with this depressing car story instead.

You, I, and all our friends were all too slow to buy this sweet c.1978 Marimekko cars & trucks sheet from etsy's AuntSisterPicks, and now we'll just have to look for one somewhere else.

Twin flat sheet 1978 Marimekko by Dan River, $12, sold [etsy via @langealexandra]

You know, it's like a freakout in that it will still ruin your weekend, but the new DT Friday Funk is just too depressing to freak out over.

And it's the guy who left his kid in the back seat of the car all day, and he died. But it's not the guy who did it accidentally; it's the other one, the one who got arrested, and who apparently had been trying to get kid-free, and had been sexting randos, and had gone back out to his car earlier in the day, and didn't tell police about that trip, which was caught on surveillance, the one who is now charged with murdering his 22-month-old son by leaving him strapped in the car all day.

Father Charged With Murder in Death of Boy in Hot Car [nyt]

September 4, 2014


It's hard to be grumpy around LA artist/renaissance dad Dallas Clayton. For example, here's how he's selling this onesie:

If you're buying this, chances are you are in a pretty amazing place right now. You've just had a baby, or are about to have a baby, or someone very close to you is having or has just had a baby. Isn't that just incredible! A brand new human being. One that never existed before. I wonder what that baby will become. I wonder how that baby will go on to change the world forever.
You see? Now it's like the only thing I can complain about is that more of his t-shirt designs aren't available on onesies!

One-piece and t-shirts from Dallas Clayton's shop, $28 []
the Dallas Clayton web presence []

August 31, 2014


There's also a pop-up book. [amazon via dt reader brandon]


One of the 1,200 high-end culture experiences on the globally curious digital storytelling platform Nowness is a short film about visceral artist Elias Hansen, who is not one of the Hanson Hansens, obviously, but who does chop down saplings with a bowie knife and shoot arrows with his kid on his back when he's not making blown glass and tree bark sculptures for art fairs.

This high-end culture experience was released last November, which probably means it was shot last summer, which means that kid's probably already kill't himself a bar by now.

Shorts on Sundays: Elias Hansen | Escape to Upstate New York With The Rough-Hewn Modern Sculptor, by Jeremy Liebman [nowness via @nowness]
Elias Hansen portfolio site [eliashansen]

August 27, 2014


The Zara Kids t-shirt which was supposed to have been inspired by old-timey Western sheriffs' badges, but which ended up looking like Nazi concentration camp uniforms has been removed from whatever countries it's being sold in and "exterminated" [!] and the company has apologized in various languages.

All within five hours. Thanks, Twitter, for bringing this final solution so quickly!

@n-rothschild via nyt]
After Social Media Uproar, Zara Ditches T-Shirt That Looks Like Nazi Camp Uniform [nyt]
UPDATE: because "exterminated," holy smokes, people

August 26, 2014


I got pulled into skater/photographer Jerry Hsu's tumblr this morning from another direction entirely, and I found it as disturbing as it is compelling. He captures all these fascinating moments that make me really glad not to be living in LA. And he also has a thing for stroller oddities.

Though the beauty of his pictures is that they make a Matrix Goth dad pushing an umbrella stroller seem like the most normal thing in town. []

August 25, 2014


We are on our way home to the US, and are enjoying the hospitality, if not the utter lack of signage at crucial moments, of the Geneva Airport.

Daddy Types commends the nursery and playspace within the terminal as one of the best of its kind. There are many giant plastic ride-on toys from Magis of the type that seem inconceivable to stock retail or to ship. There is a nice play kitchen, an activity table, and a comfortable, well-stocked reading corner.

No shoes are allowed in the attended space, though parents are offered booties. There is a not entirely necessary stroller parking area outside. Daddy's Types appreciates the gesture.


August 23, 2014

The kids spend so much of their time in a peanut-free environment they've come to see peanut butter as precious as Nutella. The idea that there is a peanut butter cereal might just blow their fragile, little minds.

Jif Cereal is basically Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch and I don't care [dadtherapy]


We spotted a little stack of nice, plain shirts pour bebe In an antiques store outside Cavaillon the other day.

They're just cotton and tie in the back. Some had little crocheted collars, but otherwise they were pretty simple, unlike just about every piece of lacey 19th c bebe froufrou I've ever seen around here.

August 22, 2014

How could anyone guess that bringing a 1yo kid to McDonald's at 10pm, and then ignoring him completely while you eat, might lead him to screaming fits for food, attention, bed, whatever? These things just happen. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I know everything is a phase, every single thing, but holy crap, when is this phase gonna end and how could whatever comes next be any more exhausting?

August 18, 2014


These creepy Mickey Mouse nightstands in Isle sur la Sorgue are definitely the find of the trip so far. So wrong in so many awesome ways, including the price: EUR1480 each. As if you could imagine ever breaking up the set.

The image.jpg bench is more conventionally awesome, though it is also molded plastic that'd make me a little nervous about loading it up with too much weight (i.e., an adult's). It was either EUR600 or 900, I can't remember.


Isle sur la Sorgue is full of antique malls, which, on a slow (week)day feel a little like a strange zoo, where each dealer gets to decorate his or her own cage.

Anyway, this little table and chair was sitting by the delivery truck, with what looks like a fresh coat of blue paint. Basically everything was stripped, blasted, refinished or distressed.

August 15, 2014


We went exploring in the Camargue today, the Meadowlands to Arles' Manhattan. In the best way possible, of course.

Anyway, we drove to the end of the road past Salin de Giraud, which has the last publicly accessible restrooms for 25km, btw, and it dead ended in a vast, salt & sand spit, covered with caravans and tents. It was Black Rock City by the Sea, minus the body paint, and plus wild horses and flamingos. So win win. Except, again, for the bathrooms, which were more Mad Max than Burning Man.

On the way back we stopped to take in a view of some. Massive salt mounds and evaporation fields, and I spied this awesome wagon, one of many rough and ready Land a Rover Defenders chugging their way around the South of France. So far, though, this is the only one with a Citroen 2Cv-style rollback sunroof. Strip the livery and send it home, please.

August 14, 2014


Sometimes it really IS the little differences. The cherry tomatoes in her Happy Meal have converted K2 to France.

August 13, 2014


This random 70s school chair was the only kid-related item of note in today's brocante. Well, if you don't count the flimsy wrought iron bassinet in the back which seemed, at best, like a novelty planter.

I'm definitely feeling rusty at turning up interesting kids design in the wild this trip. If this keeps up, I'll be forced to post photos of French dad's pushing strollers through gravel.

August 12, 2014


I spotted this very petit school desk in a brocante in Sault, while trying to find a cheap pair of scissors so the kids could go gleaning lavender from the just-harvested field we passed. The desk had a little more designed feel in person than in this photo, though, where it looks pretty spare/plain. As for the lavande, the kids just ended up using their fingers. We paid them 5 sous and a crust of bread for their day's labors. The one who gleaned the most got a spoonful of Nutella.

August 11, 2014


It's been out in Europe for more than five years, but today was the first time I've ever seen a Concord Neo stroller in person. It was at Les Baux de Provence, a gorgeous tourist trap on top of a mountain. And the Neo was a lot of stroller. Seriously a lot going on, detail and engineering-wise. Like Yakuza dekotora minivan levels of things and pieces.

Also the canopy is the same kind of spongy neoprene as much of the rest of the fabric. Nice finish, a bit unusual. 50 SPF, according to the company's website, but what opaque fabric isn't?

It pushed smoothly, though I only saw it in the village, not traversing the rocks and gravel of the ruins nearby.

check out the Concord Neo at the Spanish company's site []

August 9, 2014

It's a little quiet around here while we are on vacation, visiting family in Provence. Posting will be light, the submissions queue will grow a bit, and hopefully kids all over the place will be well-behaved and sleeping as they should.

August 6, 2014

It's like, Oh, it's gone! laying in the corner of the tank, but then it pops up and swims sideways with a desperate vigor, Oh no, I'm fine, I was just resting! and then it plops down into another corner. And on and on, and the kid had to write a note for the fishwatching neighbor to txt us in France, please, in case it dies and I'm like, let's say a proper goodbye now and flush it? No? OK.

August 5, 2014


If the intellectual property lawyers for the Walt Disney company see this, there are going to be serious consequences.

August 4, 2014

I'm still waiting to find out that "Ugly" is Norwegian for "adorably hip," like how "Die Bart Die" is actually German, and just means "The Bart, The." Because otherwise, the Ugly Children's Clothing Company has long outgrown its apparent "crazy uncle" origins, and now they're making some cool stuff. For Norway.


Right now, when the sun never goes down, the ugliest they can manage is probably the Hawaii print onesies and stuff. And those aren't even that ugly.


This denim dress is downright awesome, though charging EUR50 for an "Activist" collection to celebrate the hardworking men and women who came before us, does hint at the harsher, if not uglier, side of capitalism.


For that kind of money, maybe it's best to stick with the classics, the Norsiest thing possible, the iconic Marius sweater, made into bodysuits and rompers, in red, white, or blue merino wool. You could park your kid & his stroller on the patio for the entire year of your paid paternity leave, and he'd be warm as toast.

The Ugly Children's Clothing Co, of Norway []

August 1, 2014


So I was just looking for Cy Twombly's place in Roma, because Horst P. Horst had taken this great photo of Twombly and Tatia Franchetti's son Alessandro there in 1966.


And whaddyaknow, the first thing that pops up on Google Street View is a guy pushing a Stokke Xplory toward the Piazza Farnese. Still looking for the Twomblys' though.

Piazza Farnese, Roma [google street view]


It's funny because they arrest protestors all the time for wearing masks on the street, but they don't use that same 19th century law to arrest the tourist-harassing character hustlers.

As long as we can produce slideshows like this in the Wall Street Journal, though, our society is just fine. Or at least accurately documented.

Photos: Elmo Goes to Work In Times Square [wsj via dt reader heidi]

July 31, 2014


@ekmathia: Young boy in #Gaza pretending to be a journalist with his home made flak jacket, had to lend him my helmet.
I don't know if it's the cuteness or the futility of this kid's flak jacket, but it's wrenching me right now. [via Swedish TV journalist JoMa Sammarstrom's twitter]

July 29, 2014


One unfortunate trend begets another. Redditor. druishprincess99's pregnant wife, obviously the brains in this operation, didn't want to take glam maternity photos. So Druish, apparently the looks, hired the photographer and posed himself. There are many more photos in the set, which cannot be unseen.

Manternity Pics [ via neatorama thx @heideland]

July 28, 2014


Failed States is the title of a book by artist Jill Magid, and it is also the title of her 1993 Mercedes 300TE station wagon, which she had armored to B4 level protection, and exhibited last year at the Texas State Capitol:

In training [in Texas to embed with US troops], I learned that in Afghanistan, we would drive around in a 'hard car'-- an armored vehicle, usually a Mercedes, that invisibly blends into traffic. I thought of my used 1993 Mercedes station wagon back in Brooklyn that my husband and I had bought when our son was born, and immediately wanted to armor it.
And who wouldn't? Failed States by Jill Magid []


After hearing about a 5-yo who shot his 2yo sister, Amsterdam-based photographer An-Sofie Kesteleyn set off to understand American families where little kids get guns.

After scouring shooting ranges around the country, she found and photographed fifteen kids for her My First Rifle series. She also asked the kids to write down their biggest fear, which, frankly, seems a little heavy-handed.

But after looking through the small selection of Kesteleyn's images of kids posing in their bedrooms with their guns, I can say that my biggest fear is trigger discipline. WT actual F, people.

Oy: Bubblegum and Bullets: Kids With Guns []

July 25, 2014

Oh my gosh, how outrageous is this, the exact opposite of the buy-your-kid's-way-into-socialite-preschool story.

Tunette Powell writes in the Washington Post about discovering that her sons were getting suspended from preschool like crazy, for what amounts to age-appropriate behavior, behavior for which other [i.e., white] kids were not getting suspended for.

The problem is not that we have a bunch of racist teachers and administrators. I believe most educators want to help all children. But many aren't aware of the biases and prejudices that they, like all of us, harbor, and our current system offers very little diversity training to preschool staff.

A recent study published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that the subjects -- mostly white, female undergraduates -- viewed black boys as older and less innocent than their white peers.

Powell's solution: get more involved at school, and engage with teachers, administrators, and fellow parents to increase understanding and deepen relationships. Which, in the absence of broader awareness and institutional policy shifts, is about all you can do.

My son has been suspended five times. He's 3. [washpost]

Here is a CNN story about the Preschool Admissions Diary, the NYT Motherlode blog series about Judy Batalion's account of applying for preschools in Manhattan. Amazingly, there's not even a link to the Times itself.

The numbers don't lie: expensive, private preschools are expensive and small. Large populations of applicants are trying to get into tiny classes.

People also have no idea what they're supposed to do, and the process is fraught with anxiety, anxiety which is fed by articles about articles like this one. [I guess technically, this is now a blog post about an article about a blog post, so mea culpa.]

There are admissions consultants who prey on this population, and while I'm sure there is much advice that is actually useful, exactly none of it appears in this CNN story. Instead, we have a consultant talk about having ten clients hitting up Bill Clinton for a letter of recommendation, and one asking the Pope. Without knowing how old such anecdotes are, we can't determine how effective such letters might actually be. For example, far from helping, I'd think a letter from Pope Benedict would probably hurt your kid's chances of getting into the 92nd St Y.

The message, I think, is that if all you have to throw at the problem is money, you're doing it wrong. And then if you don't have money to throw at the problem--by which they mean your kid and her entire future, which is now on the line--you're expected to feel even worse.

Anyway, this is not even the season for preschool admissions, so at this point, six months after Batalion's weekly saga began, this is all basicaly angst gossip, preschool admissions snuff porn. You don't need to pay it any mind until the fall.

How New York's 1% get kids into preschool [cnn]
Preschool Admissions Diary by Judy Batalion [nyt]

Jesse Rosenfeld's reports from a maternity ward in Gaza were published yesterday in the Daily Beast. Premature births are up since the bombing began, and incubators and oxygen are not functioning when the power goes out and the generators run out. "These tiny beings--too tiny even to open their eyes--never see the world they were born into."

It's probably just as well at this point, since if they made it home, they'd probably get blown up in their house anyway.

Born in Hell: The Gaza Maternity Ward []

July 24, 2014

Alright, Peanut Butter Cheerios Canada has just made a sequel to the greatest commercial the second largest land mass in North America has ever seen. And it stars a dad who we don't know if he's named Joe or not, but he's Canadian, and that's close enough.

Also as he proves right here, it IS pronounced aboot. So I'm glad we got that cleared up, even if it did take 14 years. []


This gorgeous glass & wood preschool by Christoff : Finio is proposed for the corner of Driggs Ave & Fillmore Place, the only landmarked block in Williamsburg.


Fortunately, the scale and design are nice, and the site is a crappy vacant lot right now [GSV, above], so chances for their application with the Landmarks Board are probably good.

They're certainly better than your chances of getting your kid into the Reggio Emilia preschool when it eventually opens in Fall 2016; there are just three classrooms, one per floor, and a rooftop play area. Get those applications ready!

The Architects' Newspaper has more info and many more sexy renderings.

Unveiled> The School at Fillmore Place [archpaper via @HawthorneLAT]

We are back from the competitive, comparative parenting petri dish that is my family's annual gathering on the Outer Banks. And we survived. It is truly fascinating to watch a dozen+ cousins growing up in clumps and waves and to see the similarities and differences emerge. It is also illuminating to see how we and my siblings and their spouses approach parenting.

Such is the stuff sitcom pilots are made of.

July 23, 2014


For the shooting brake enthusiast for whom the custom Aston Martin DB6 wagon is too predictable, there is this: the Allard P-2 Safari Estate.

To say it was in production between 1952 and 1954 is a bit generous, since only 10 were ever made. Unlike the DB6 shooting brake, the 2-door Allard actually had seating for six in a 2-1-3 configuration that featured a rather ridiculously scrunched up jump seat.

Such an odd, motley, amusing, and relatively cheap car, especially for being so rare. So rare and so cheap, in fact, that the one above didn't sell at Classic Car's auction in 2012. For all we know, it may still be punting around Newbury with a FOR SALE sign in the ash-framed window as I type.

Lot Number: 52
1954 Allard P2 'Safari' Estate Car, unsold
P-2 Safari Estate [ via the estimable estate espion, DT]
Previously, tenuously related: A Family Vehicle of Obvious Utility

July 22, 2014

You know how the one grandmother in Sixteen Candles opens a box of donuts with a knife and goes, "Voila, breakfast is served!" This is the prequel, only with naptime. The grandparent who winds the exhausted toddler up together stays awake past bedtime together.

Aimee Bender in the NYTimes:

Most picture books would close with that old lady -- that's the balanced choice. But we see the stars and feel the air -- we've been sure we're staying in but now we're floating out. Why? And then back in for the ending of "Goodnight noises everywhere." This, the last page? At first, I looked for another page -- why end here? Isn't it a little abrupt? But (after a few more readings), isn't it also the way for us to close our eyes metaphorically with the bunny and be in that state right before slipping off to sleep, that magical drifting moment after floating out with the stars and the air, when we only hear noises and next is sleep? The story has moved so close to the bunny as to become an experiential mirror of his drift and fall. How much deeper and more elegant that is than the neat symmetry we might expect.
I am as in awe of the pairing of "Goodnight nothing./ Goodnight mush." as the next guy. But at this point I think we have to add coming to terms with Goodnight Moon to hospital selfies, sleeplessness, and no sex for six weeks to the new parent's rite of passage.

What Writers Can Learn From 'Goodnight Moon' [nyt thanks rolf]

July 21, 2014


OK what, this Buzzfeed article about the anonymous, disembodied hands behind DisneyCollectorBR, a YouTube toy unboxing and play demo channel is utterly bonkers.

Apparently the 55 million views/week translates into between $1 and $13 million per year in ad revenue sharing. I hd no idea that the vast population of parents who let their preschoolers surf YouTube sidebars unattended for two hours at a time was so attractive to advertisers:

Elizabeth Olsen, a Portland, Ore., mother of two, said her 6-year-old daughter, who is learning to read, has taught herself to use the iPad's microphone so that she can use Siri to search Disney Collector videos on her own, a solution to spelling struggles. From there, she said she navigates to more videos through YouTube's sidebars, and though she sometimes ends up watching another channel's videos, she usually finds her way back to Disney Collector. "Unattended she could probably watch for two hours," Olsen said.
SRSLY PPL what the hell is going on here? YouTube's Biggest Star Is An Unknown Toy-Reviewing Toddler Whisperer [buzzfeed thanks dt reader nathan]

That Point In The Family Vacation Where Two Of The Twelve Cousins Open The 3,800-Piece LEGO Death Star On The Coffee Table

July 19, 2014


A small British child descended from immigrant stock has survived his first year on government support. [via bbc]

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