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Daddy Daycare (cont’d)

 9:45am Pulled out the FAO Schwartz “Big Piano” for her to play.  Neighbors lovin’ us right now.

9:52am Piano didn’t occupy her for long.  To the kitchen we go!  Pots and pans are all over the floor.  Our next homecooked meal will have a hint of baby feet.

10:05 First signs that it might be naptime.  Rubbing the eyes.  Getting a little irritable.  But I’ll be OK.  Where is Sabine, by the way?

10:11am Sabine goes into her room and closes the doors behind her. AND, turns on her white noise machine.  If I can get this kid to change her own diaper and cook her own meals, I’ll be golden.

10:21am Was attempting to make some notes for my commencement speech to the Clark Atlanta class of 2014.  Sabine has crawled halfway into the fireplace.  Hands are black with ash.

10:30am Is Mickie Mouse always on TV this much?!?!  Good lord.  He’s the Anderson Cooper of the Disney Junior Channel.  Oh, I should probably change her diaper, huh?

Daddy Daycare

I just cancelled my entire week.  No meetings, no events, no appearances, no travel.  Instead, I’ve been handed an assignment that will require my full attention.  And her name is Sabine.

This is our first child care emergency, I suppose.  We got late word that Sabine’s regular daily caregiver would have to be out for the week.  So, it’s on me.

But so far, so good.  Right?

8:20am Marilee leaves for the day.  I immediately hear Sabine say, “it’s on now, Daddy!”  (Though it’s baby babble, I’m pretty sure that’s what she said.)

8:45am Sabine has been in front of the TV the past half hour watching “The Bible” miniseries on BluRay. (Don’t ask)  I’m able to write a few emails and finish writing an article in that time.  This calm will not last.

8:55am Been chasing Sabine between the bedroom and the living room.  She can’t seem to decide if she wants to watch “The Bible” which is playing on the TV in the bedroom … or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse which is on the TV in the living room.

9:00am If I hear Mickey’s damn “Hot Dog” song one more time, I might actually have a breakdown.

9:23am I just heard the “Hot Dog” song again.

9:35am Sabine attempts a somersault off the couch.  She sticks the landing.

Best Date Night Ever

What a night!  I was anxious to get back home to New York after 3 days in Washington, DC. The weather has been beautiful lately in NYC and lends itself to dining alfresco.  A night out at one of my favorite restaurants was in order.  No need to make a reservation.  They know us well there.  “How many in your party tonight, T.J.?”  “One and a half,” I replied.  “And, can we have a high chair, please?”

The two of us have been out to restuarants together plenty of times before.  It’s always fun and interesting, but we’ve always done breakfast or lunch.  Her age, bedtime, and mood often dictate that she can’t be out so late.  On this night, we were making an exception.  This was actually our first ever dinner date.  Just the two of us.

And my little dinner companion was a hit.  We sat at a great table situated on the corner of 3rd Avenue in Manhattan.  With the steady stream of pedestrians, we made a lot of new friends who kept stopping to check out my date’s big smile, big blue eyes, and bigger-by-the-day hair.  I always love when people are impressed by my date!  This was a little different, however.

It was all a little different.  This date didn’t mind that I ordered for her, or that I cut up her food into little pieces.  The conversation was good and constant, even though we speak two different languages. (English & baby babble)  And, at the end of dinner, there was no awkward moment over who would pay the bill.

A few years ago, I might have been racing home from an out-of-town trip so I could hook up with (fill in the blank) for a date night of dinner and drinking, with every intention of taking her back to my place.  Well, last night, at the end of the night, I took my date home.  Took her home, changed her diaper, put diaper rash paste on her butt, put her pajamas on, read through her “My Itsy Bitsy Spider Tab Book,” and rocked her to sleep.  What a night!

I wrote an article a few months ago about giving up my perfectly good bachelor life.  Who knew that giving it up would eventually lead to much better date nights.

Ladies, we only need two minutes of your time

It will take you longer to read this article than it takes nearly half of all men to finish having sex.  And this is a fairly short article.  But consider, if two people start having sex right now, the man will either be asleep or smoking a cigarette by the time you read the last word I’ve written here.

Two minutes, ladies. That’s all you’re going to get from a lot of guys.  Two minutes.   

I imagine a few women just exclaimed, “No s—, TJ!”  The fact that many men don’t last long during intercourse isn’t necessarily worthy of a breaking news alert.  But, new analysis is shedding more light on the situation, and men’s sexual shortcomings. (Pun intended)  READ MORE

Messed Up a Perfectly Good Bachelor Life

“It’s funny that when a man hasn’t anything in the world to worry about, he goes off and gets married.”  — Robert Frost

What the hell was I thinking?!  I was 31, single, making good money, & living in Atlanta, a city that’s been described as “happy hunting” for a single guy.  I was living the life my grandfather told me, as a small child, to live: “Why get married and try to make one woman happy … when you can stay single and make them all happy?”  Granddad would have been proud. READ MORE

Lessons learned that helped me make it to my 4-year wedding annivesary

1) The engagement ring is worth every penny.  It’s the one thing that will remind her of you every single day.

2) Don’t let your miserable married friends or your single friends give you marriage advice.

3) Stay in touch with her family without being prompted to do so.

4) Don’t ever put her in a position to have to track you down.  She should always know where you are.  You’re not “checking in.”  You’re being considerate.

5)  Don’t be annoyed, but appreciate when other men check out your wife or want to be around her.  It’s a compliment to you. READ MORE

Where the rules went wrong

After a debate erupted on twitter yesterday when I posted the Rules of the Modern Gentleman, I thought I’d call my mom for a little perspective.  She, afterall, is the woman who raised me.

“You are not going to win that argument,” Momma Holmes told me.  And, this is where she said I went wrong: not looking at a calendar.  “It’s 2014, baby.  It’s a different society, a different world.  It’s not what it used to be.”

Of course, I didn’t expect unanimous agreement from people on every one of the 30 “rules.”  And as the originators of the list (@TMFMag) tweeted me yesterday, “unfortunately, many take them (the rules) too seriously…they are just basic foundations…not an all-encompassing manual.”  Still, I didn’t expect some people to so fervently disagree with a couple of them. READ MORE