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April 22, 2008


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The Sound of Music can do no harm. The most that can happen is adult yodeling.

Dan McCulley

I'll trade my 3 year old who refuses to eat anything and spends hours in the tub and I swear has gills for your 3 year old that eats everything and refuses to bathe.

Rachel E.

How old do the kids have to be before we can stop trying to be a "good example"?


I highly recommend the every other night bath program. Another option on bath night is offering up the next morning fast shower as an alternative - this works well until they are actually in the shower. But the screaming only lasts about 30 seconds and they get relatively clean. And the screaming/whining is so much less annoying at 7:30 am than it is at 7:30 pm.

As for embarrassing concerts from one post ago, mine is going with a buddy to see Luther Vandross at the Gardenn while we were in high school. Two white 18 year old guys. We fit right in.


My kids all went through a spell where they loved a shower instead of a bath. They all love to play with shaving cream and make "pancakes" etc. If you are really smart try the bath foam that is sold in the kids bath section and they get clean too. They take cups and buckets into the shower and fill them up and pour them out on their heads. Whatever works, fine by me.


Ok, sorry about that. I have two toddlers and I have often wonder ALL of the same questions. Happy Meals are God's gift to parents, if He didn't want us to give them to children He would have stricken that freaky little clown down years ago! Also, one time my daughter pooped in the bath tub. Gross! and Why? Anyway they were terrified of taking a bath after that... um, you're the one who pooped! So I went to Target/Rite-Aid/Safeway/CVS all of those stores carry this 3 pack of colored soaps that look like paint. I'm not sure the brand but it has Sesame Street charactres on it, you get blue, red, and yellow and the kids dig it. The water will be the most hideous color of brownish/green and you will have to fight your child to get them out of the bath but at least when they are shreaking and splashing at you to avoid getting out they will smell delicious. And as an added bonus I have the MOST embarassing pictures of them covered in soap "paint" and "painting" each other.... I demand a good nursing home when I am old and crazy.


For every minute that my daughter stays in the bathtub, I toss her a McNugget. If she lets me wash her hair, she gets the fries.


"Why would anyone let their pre-school son get a mohawk?"
The other day I was out shopping and I saw a woman with twin boys in her cart. They looked like they were about 2 and they each had a perfectly sculpted, pointy mohawk. It took every ounce of my willpower not to roll my eyes at her and say "Oh, you're just soooooo indie!" Mohawks on anyone are obnixious. Mohawks on someone who cannot yet pronouce "mohawk" are criminal.

As for the bathing thing? I'm not starting every day baths until they start to stink on their no-bath days.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

How many times can a grown man watch "The Sound of Music" with his daughter before he completely loses his sanity?


Why do toddlers feel compelled to unravel an entire roll of toilet paper? Is the fun in watching it unroll or in watching your parents go completely bonkers?

Unrolling. Try it sometime.

Is baby perfume really necessary? Febreeze and scented baby wipes seem to work just fine for us.

Baby Perfume?

If you are otherwise happy with your nanny, should it matter that her cellphone's ringtone is Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me?"

It should ALWAYS matter if someone has that for a ringtone.

McDonalds Happy Meals: Ruthless case of aggressive fast-food marketing? Or greatest parenting tool ever?


Has anyone else gone into an important client meeting and taken out their laptop to do a PowerPoint presentation, only to find it covered with 50 Cinderella stickers?

No, but I don't have important presentations.

Is it really possible for a human being to greatly enjoy a food but then one day decide never to eat it again? Or is that done solely to drive one's father insane?

The latter.

Why do the worst tantrums always occur in the most public spaces with the most number of spectators?

For the spectacle.

The screaming and the whining. Does it EVER end?

Dear God, I fucking hope so.


forget baths - I throw my 2 older daughters in the shower and hose them down. they love it.


A bath every night? I would have shot myself years ago. There's a reason I still keep packages of wipes around, long after the boys stopped needing diaper changes.

"At what age do children learn to carry their own tissues and blow their own damn noses?" For a boy, age ten. Hopefully more like age 8 for Peanut.

I LOVE The Sound of Music...and Def Leppard! Sounds like a good nanny choice to me :)


And why do toddlers instinctively know which item in the entire room is the most valuable/most easily broken. (And how do they manage to get to the mantle to knock it down?)


I yelled at her for taking her sisters things. I overdid it a little. She cried for a half hour in my lap, saying, "I'm a pain" and "I'm a bad girl". I've never been so ashamed. It happened yesterday and I still feel like crying.


Way to get a kid in the bath: glow-stick. Crack the stick, throw it in the tub, the kid's in the tub in a flash. Add bubbles if you want the kid clean, instead of just wet. Or get some bath crayons that make bubbles. Or fairy bubbles (they make pink bath beads in crown shapes). Or magic dots (look like paper, but turn into bubbles). Or a wind-up submarine.


so the mohawk thing...I shouldn't do that? God, save my kid from me.


I take the toys out of the Happy Meals and hide them in my purse. Whenever the kids are misbehaving and I need them to shut up, I toss them a toy if they promise to be good. Funny part is that they only recently discovered that the toys were part of their Happy Meal. They never could figure out how I got them!

the mama bird diaries


You can never watch, "The Sound of Music" too many times. It's just not physically possible.


I would take 398075 repetitions of SOM over the same number of times we have watched Thomas the Tank Engine in a heartbeat.

Unless my son had the same aversion to hearing us sing along as he does when we start singing the Thomas theme music. (No! MY ba-da-ba-ba-BA!) It would be harder not to sing along with SOM.

Thanks for the hilarious list of questions.

oyama naku

On watching a favorite show over and over: My son watched winnie the pooh and other kiddie videos endless times. He's almost 21 now and he cannot remember a darn thing about any of them. (At least he feigns no knowledge to end the topic/conversation). Meantime, I can still remember episodes of most of these videos.


That song on your nanny's phone would only make her cooler to me--I was a child of the 80s, after all.

The potty training? I could honestly care less when mine are trained. Sadly, the daycare they attend cares enormously and won't let them move from the 2 year old to the 3 year old class without being completely trained.

The stickers on the laptop? Best laugh I've had today.

Jeremy (Discovering Dad)

Oh man, The Sound of Music is a favorite for my daughter too. The funny thing with her is that from the ages of 4-6 she was addicted to The Ten Commandments epic film, and she would beg to see "Moses". I must have watched that movie 300 times. I feel ya on the classic film addictions!


Bath toys work for us, they don't have to be fancy (or meant for the bath) we change them when the old ones aren't doing the trick anymore.
the new favorite is about five toddler sized fistfuls of plastic sharks, whales, and dolphins.
Maybe a trip tp the store to pick out special bath toys, "that can only be played with in the tub beacause they like the water" will help.
My mom just let us play with kitchen stuff, like measuring cups.

I have to say that a scalp lock is for us Mohawk people (we are still here), a symbol of being a warrior and of cultural pride- not traditionally for toddlers, but easier to get kids to do than grow their hair. (thinking long hair is for girls).
I know most kids/parents don't have this in mind, but just because it's different doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it. If they think they are being edgy of something hahaha.

oh, and my Mom taught us, never push first, but it's OK to push back, especially the second time. We won't always be around to kick that little girl in the nuts.


If I found out that our nanny's ringtone was "Pour Some Sugar On Me," I'd start wondering if maybe she was a stripper in her off hours!

Medium Bear

We draw with bath crayons in the tub. The crayola ones last a pretty long time.

I watched the Sound of Music many times as a child (not as many as Peanut, because there were no VCRs then!), as well as listening to the album. I grew up, went backpacking in Europe, and (like another poster above) astounded the other youth-hostelers by spending some of my meagre funds on the Sound of Music bus tour in Austria. Other than that, I'm fine.


Man, you really ask the good questions.

Will you guys kick me out of the club if I admit I think McDonald's is a life-saver? I mean, we don't eat there every day or even every week but, damn, it comes in handy. We've even eaten in the car on the way to someplace. My wife hates that. I think it's economical...


"Why do the worst tantrums always occur in the most public spaces with the most number of spectators?" Because you are in front of the Souvlaki place on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights and your child is channeling me 36 years ago?


My son watches Dora and Diego over and over but I use that time to blog, like now. It's a means to an ends. You have to pick your battles. You will be wishing for Sound of Music days when she is walking out the door on her first date. Man I'm glad I have boys.


Get used to all of the above.

Today, my eighteen year old was foolin' around trying to attach a lid to a plastic container. After stuggling with it, I asked him if he needed help. He said, "No, I'm just sitting here messin' wit it 'cause I know it frustrates you. It does, doesn't it?".

Get used to it.
Give up now. Surrender. They just suck the life right out of you.
Have more! Go ahead, I dare ya!

Litte Bird

Your nanny listening to "Pour Some Sugar On Me" is only a problem if she's not at least 30. If she's under 25, worry.
And tantrums in public places are payback for smugness on planes.


the bath thing... i don't reccomend bubble bath. that crap can be hard on little girl's sensitive areas.
my little one has a "special bath potion". we bought this lovely antique perfume bottle. i put highly concentrated food coloring and water in it. we use the stopper to drop a few drops in the bath, and the water turns pink. as soon as i say, time for bath potion, she gets very excited. there are also pellets you can buy that disolved in the water and make little bubbles. all kinds of fun girly stuff. take her to bath and body and let her pick out Peanut specific bath goodies. it may totally turn her around on the bath thing.

Tyler @ Building Camelot

Now that I have stopped laughing I'll throw in my 2 cents.

The toilet paper thing? I'm 100% they do it to see our faces!

You can feel smug - ur...proud that your kid is not crying on the plane!

You're not the only one to endure boring kid stories so you can tell your own...we can only really love our own children.

No Cinderella stickers on the laptop yet but my daughter is only 2 so I'm sure it's coming.

I doubt the screaming and crying ever stops. It just changes form when they get older.

Nice article! Gave it a thumbs up on StumbleUpon.


Man, we've got "Monsters Inc." and "Horton Hears A Who" (Don't ask...) on seeming loop play. Although we've managed to leverage "Elf" in there.
And having a kid with zen grace while the other knee-biters are going ballistic is one of the few times we really get to feel that way, legitimately. Get your smug on!


Well, since she was so good on the plane, she has to have somewhere to unleash her aggression...i guess that just happens to be in front of everyone. Atleast, you aren't confined to the tiny plane!


Q: By constantly telling kids to "use their words," are we raising the next generation of wussies?

A: Yes. I believe so. In my book it ranks right up there with other parenting gems like, "If you feel like hitting something, just push a wall" and telling a 4year old to "read people's body language." (Both of which, btw were said by a mother at my son's pre-school- http://serenitynow006.blogspot.com/2007/12/your-son-is-bully.html )

mortimer's mom

I watched the Sound of Music 5 times per year for my entire childhood (before VCRS!!!). I ended up doing a student exchange to Austria, majoring in German literature, and then becoming Jewish..... I'm not sure how it's all related, but it is.


"How many times can a grown man watch "The Sound of Music" with his daughter before he completely loses his sanity?"
That depends...are you wearing lederhosen?

"Why do toddlers feel compelled to unravel an entire roll of toilet paper? Is the fun in watching it unroll or in watching your parents go completely bonkers?"
Because they can. And it's fun. All of it. Try it. You'll see.

"Is it wrong to feel completely smug and self-righteous when your kid is the only one not screaming and crying during the entire 5-hour plane ride?"
Yes. Karma baby. All smugness will be repaid in two fold.

"Why does everyone freak out about potty training? Do you have any adult friends who 'just never quite got the hang of it?'"

"Why do the worst tantrums always occur in the most public spaces with the most number of spectators?"
Again. Because they can.

"The screaming and the whining. Does it EVER end?"
My kids are 6 and 9. It hasn't ended yet. Sigh. Excuse me. I must go bang my head against the wall now. I'm hoping the ringing will cover up the whining when the children arrive after school.




Hei MD. I've been following your blog for a few months now, and my goodness, you are hilarious! Just to let you know that you have a loyal reader here, all the way from Malaysia! My only complain would be that you update your blog way too slow!!

ps: I watched The Sound of Music for about 15000 times since I was born and your entry had me thinking about watching it again this weekend.. haha.. yes, i'm a girl, and no, my dad is not insane, but my bf might be...

the weirdgirl

OK, I'm glad someone else (besides me) wrote a post like this because three... not so much fun! They're always whining and then you start whining; it's just a horrible cycle.

I have a bath tip for you. My son went through a sudden bath aversion, too. I found those little capsules where they dissolve in warm water and a foam animal emerges... do you know what I'm talking about? You can find them at Walgreens or sometimes Target. Anyway, totally fascinating to a three-year-old. And they can ONLY be used in the tub! At least that's what we told our son. He's quite happy with baths again.


Whatever you do, don't let her see Singing in the Rain.


Too funny. Our baby just made the transition. Last week, she smelled like peaches and cream. This week, she smells like rotting poop and morning breath.

andrew goulding

Doesn't everybody watch The Sound Of Music that often?


Kevin Sturm

Answer #1: Apparently more than you...look at the bright side...what if it wa a son putting you through it.

Answer #2: Apparently it has the affect of either speeding up or slowing down time since it would take about 7.5 years to watch that movie....you should tell NASA I'll bet their interested.

Answer #3: Both

Answer #4: If you buy baby perfume you have too much money and too few brain cells.

Answer #5: I'm sayin' it's awesome if Grandma likes Def Leppard!

Answer #6: Great parenting tool! Is anybody else a little freaked out by the toys in Happy Meals?

Answer #7: Go for the nuts.

Answer #8: Nope...just means you're a better parent. Unless it's my kid and then I'm convinced your kid is a mute.

Answer #9: That's funnny, but you should here what Bubba did yesterday...

Answer #10: Always have and always will think it is a stupid thing to say to anyone...especially your kid. Read to them instead...it's a better way to use words.

Answer #11: I think it is parents who really wanted a mohawk themselves but never wanted to look that dumb so they make their kid look dumb in the name of appearing cute.

Answer #12: Crap!

Answer #13: I have one...can be a real bummer to hang out with.

Answer #14: Give options. Bath or time out. Bath or no play time. Bath or no movie. It also worked for me to do a "stand-up" bath like daddy. Mixes things up.

Answer #15: Hmmm...tissues...I'll have to remember that. I figured every dad had snot on the hem of their shirt all the time.

Answer #16: Note yet.

Answer #17: Insanity.

Answer #18: My car smells like stale cheerios and fermented apple juice...so I'm not sure what a car smells like anymore.

Answer #19: So overly concerned grandmas can stare at you like you're stealing the baby.

Answer #20: Based on the tone of this post apparently not.


At what age does farting become gross rather than cute.

Will books always have pages missing?

When does $1000 in toys become more interesting than a free mobile phone?

Kevin Sturm

Oh...and sorry for the their they're screw up. Its hard not too make that mistake when there are more then to ways two do it and I planely no the difference.

lisa k

How I WISH I could get my kids to watch SOM. My husband saw it on tv a few months back, and actually asked me, "What happens in this movie?" Wha??? How can I promise to spend my life with someone who has never watched The Sound of Music?

Godzilla vs. his gazillion enemies are the movies that a played ad nauseum in our household, recently replacing Star Wars. If only they were set to music...


I'm totally late to this party, but having older children I feel I should share what I know.

The answers are yes, no, hell no, OMG what were you thinking?!? and dude, no way.

In whatever order works for you.

Also good luck with the nose blowing -- we're STILL working on that.

Susan Getgood

Sound of Music -- be glad you aren't subject to Power Rangers, Ben 10 and a whole range of anime shows, most of which make NO sense and seem to have something to do with decks of cards.

McDonalds - mostly a good thing.

Potty training -- Absolutely. Everybody gets it eventually. Reading is the same. Barring learning disabilities, most kids get there, some faster than others.

Screaming and whining? Hers? Or yours :-) Sometimes I'm the one who wants to throw the tantrum...

SAm Crea

i have 2 kids, 2 and six and have never seen The sound of music, snow white or The wizard of Oz..

You need to get you some boys!

Mind you, I have seen the new Transformers movie 1,247 times...

Not that I'm counting..


Cracking up here! These are all absolutely true. I particularly relate to the public humiliation of pulling out something important and finding that it's been "marked" in some way. I teach at a University in California and one night pulled out my notes for a graduate seminar only to find that my daughter had drawn little pictures of "Hello Kitty" all over every last page. In hot pink marker. At least my students were amused.

It's like I say--it's a good thing they're cute!


Water balloons and/or squirt toys (see: http://www.orientaltrading.com/application?namespace=search&origin=searchMain.jsp&event=button.search&Ntt=squirt+toys&x=0&y=0&Ntk=all&Ntx=mode%2Bmatchallpartial&N=0)
Nothing like a good water balloon fight to make a good bath. No?

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