Fatherly Tidbits - Living Below Your Means

Given the current economic crisis, due in large part to a glut of trash mortgages on houses more expensive than buyers can realistically afford, I find it an appropriate point to pass along another fatherly tidbit to my son about economic responsibility. I think our culture is terribly consumerist and spoiled. We are taught to expect rather than earn, to put on credit rather than save.

"It is far more honorable to live below your own means than to live up to someone else's"


Stay At Home Dad, by Jon Lajoie


Fatherly Tidbits - Posessions and Self Worth

For generations my family has always had a keen talent of summing up broad and complex themes in a simple sentence or two. Regardless of what quandary anyone posed or what scandal happened to be in the news, they had an answer and a concise quip with which they set straight all the ills of the world.

Growing up I thought they were over simplifying things and just didn't understand what was going on. The swift and unapologetic answers to seemingly impossible quandaries made me question if they really understood the crux of the issues at hand. It wasn't until I got older that I realized they actually knew exactly what the issues were. 

It wasn't that they were over simplifying things, they just weren't over complicating them. They seemed impervious to the relativistic wishy-washiness, so rampant in today's culture, that causes many people to lose sight of who they really are. Their views stemmed from basic, sound principles and were often delivered in the form of a wonderfully aphoristic and boiled down one-liner. These one-liners left no room for misinterpretation and taught an easy to understand, hard to forget lesson. 

From time to time I will be writing "Fatherly tidbits" that I wish to impart to my son, and sharing some family aphorisms from which I still value as an adult. Granted my son can't even read yet, but I just want to make sure I don't forget them over the years, so I'm using this blog as my scratch pad.

The first concept that I would like to share with him has to do with physical possessions and how people tend to value themselves based on what they have.

"The more value you place on possessions, the less you place on yourself."

That's it, plain and simple. That concept has kept me from getting caught up in a lot of unimportant things in life, and I hope it will do the same for my children.


Oswald the Octopus is Kevin Arnold

While watching the animated cartoon Oswald on Noggin I realized that the protagonist, a blue octopus named Oswald, sounded quite familiar. The placid male voice was not one I had heard in a while, but it was kicking around somewhere in the back of my mind. I couldn't place it but didn't think too much about it.

I did not think too much about it, but when he called his side kick wiener dog "Wienie", I figure out to whom the voice belonged. "Weenie" sounded similar to "Winnie", the name of the unseen voice's counterpart in a decades old TV show. Then it clicked.

The voice of Oswald comes from none other than Fred Savage, the actor who played Kevin Arnold on the TV show The Wonder Years which aired in the late 80's and early 90's.

Interstingly, Savage notes in his bio on NickJr.com that his favorite books as a kid included Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny, favorites of my family and many of our readers.


Crocodile Creek Bibs Are Awesome!

Shortly after this picture was taken, most of the broccoli in my son's mouth left his lips and traveled down the front of him. To rinse out the taste of the newly introduced broccoli for which he clearly does not care, he reached for his little mug of water.

As you may or may not know, kids often don't really drink, they just temporarily store liquids in their mouth so that they may more easily transfer them to their own clothes, your clothes, the floor and the dog. That was the case in this instance and the water quickly came out of his mouth and chased the broccoli down the front of him.

I'm accustomed to pulling out a baby with soaked, food-encrusted clothing from his high chair at the end of meals, which is often the case. However, the new Crocodile Creek bibs our friend Tara recently gifted us prevented that from happening. The bibs have a cool little pocket at the bottom that catches errant broccoli and rivulets of drooled water. It keeps everything much cleaner than a standard bid and clean off easily after the mess making is through for the night. They're inexpensive, cute and well designed and I'm glad we got them. Check out the product carousel below or visit Amazon to pick some up.