Secrets of Healthy Dads: They dance

IMG_7456

I started running crazy mad distances to A. keep my blood pressure down, and B. keep up with this kid.

She is non stop. And I love it.

As I get older, I admit I’m getting more and more worried about being there for her as she gets older. So to keep my blood pressure in check, I run, lift weights, eat well (mostly), and rarely refuse a game of pickup soccer or baseball in the backyard.

I also, apparently, dance.

This is a new one for me. I didn’t realize I had it in me, but seeing the video, I have to admit: I’ve got a future. The kid may not think so. But I don’t think she knows what she’s talking about.

Head over to my Facebook page to take a look at how we sneak in crazy fun, healthy times around the house.

Thanks to Anthem Blue Cross, who sponsored the campaign, for including dads in this important discussion about family health care. My views are based solely on my experience as a parent, and not as a medical professional.

 

Come on. It’s just a shirt.

sexist bullshit

It’s just a shirt, they tell you.

Lighten up. Have a sense of humor.

Oh geez, they say, it’s just one ad. Or just one pair of pajamas.

It’s no big deal. Everything is so PC nowadays.

Just a shirt, just an ad, just a pair of pajamas, just a different playing field, just a way to keep girls interested in science, just a pay disparity, just a ceaseless, subtle societal messaging system that says A. women are lesser and B. lighten the fuck up about it.

No big deal really.

This is a roundup of all the sexist bullshit I found on Facebook this week alone. It’s meant to simply connect a few dots because my feed was filling up with example after example of messages that subtly, or not so subtly, degrade girls and women — with all the obligatory comments about chilling out about it all.

Viewed in a vacuum, I get it. One shirt isn’t so bad. Ha ha, very funny. I also enjoy easy, tired jokes from time to time myself.

But view them all together — again, just one week’s worth of bullshit — and tell me there’s not an incessant, pervasive messaging system that is so powerful we often overlook it or laugh it off as completely normal.

Exhibit A

safe_image
Target (which, for the record, had been doing well at offering T-shirts for girls with the same sporty slogans as boy shirts) decides to sell pajamas in which the boy babies can grow up to be heroes and the girl babies can grow up to … date them. Because girls obviously will never want to be powerful super heroes themselves.

But, you know, it’s just one set of pajamas. Chill out already.

Exhibit B

original

Walmart. Here we’ve moved up in age from pajamas for babies who can’t read anyway so just let parents have a little fun in sexualizing infancy to shirts for teens who can, hopefully, read. And yet the message stays the same. Boys can be heroes. Girls can marry them.

Again, I hear you: Lighten up, asshole, it’s just one shirt.

Exhibit C

1013227_787436831299696_1269128396569122235_n

This is my favorite. If T-shirts and pajamas don’t tell you something’s wrong with how society treats girls and women, how about this: a sign. A sign that fucking spells it out for you.

It’s from the Carnegie Science Center working with the scouts.

But oh yes, I hear you already: It’s just a way to get girls interested in science by using something they’re interested in! After all, we’ve spent a lifetime telling them their only merit comes from appearance and spousal ability so now we’re stuck with girls who couldn’t give fewer fucks about STEM and this will set them right again!

Exhibit D

turf-abrasions
You probably hear this phrase a lot: Even the playing field. As a metaphor, it means treating women and men equally. In this real-life example, it literally means even the playing field. Professional women soccer players had to file a lawsuit just yesterday to be able to play the World Cup on grass next year instead of artificial turf. Hold just about any men’s friendly match to drum up support for the game and FIFA will go to great lengths to cover the field in sod. The next two men’s World Cups will have grass, including the 2022 tournament in Qatar. Grass for men. In a drought-ridden desert.

But hold the premier event for the women’s side, and it’s turf for the first time ever. Of course.

And don’t even get me started on news of women’s soccer. Upload the ESPN FC soccer app and you can get coverage from bumblefuck B leagues in Ecuador and Sweden. You can get news about the Johnston’s Paint Trophy. But no scores or news about the women’s national team. You probably know the team. It’s the one that actually wins. It’s the one that should have loaned Megan Rapinoe to the men’s side this summer in favor of hammer footed Michael Bradley and maybe we would have had a chance.

But I digress. And I’m sure I could keep digressing on example after example.

This is, after all, just one week’s worth of bullshit. And you get the point.

It’s ironic that these examples popped up in my feed just a few days after social media went atwitter at Emma Watson’s amazing speech last week on feminism and equality.

It’s also amazing that these discussions about just one shirt, or just one bad message, continue day after day and year after year. For instance, I wrote about the shitty messages of sexist T-shirts years ago. I offer this only to say it’s nothing new. It’s continuous and plague like.

But it’s just a shirt, they still tell you.

Lighten up, they say.

It’s just a constant, subtle messaging system that is so pervasive, degrading, and normalized that we can’t even tell it’s bullshit anymore.

5-minute microwave chocolate chip cookies

DSCF4120

My latest over at Parade Magazine online comes just in time for the weekend: 5-minute microwave chocolate chip cookies.

As you’ll see, I offer up some recipe leeway to get it just right — and by all means, feel free to tinker: add some oats and raisins, for instance, or stir in a half tablespoon of almond or peanut butter. If you like bananas, why not just go jump off a cliff and do the rest of us a favor? Because no one likes bananas in their cookies. No one. But some walnuts or even caramel chips would be ok.

Despite being super delicious, the cool thing about these is that the kiddos can do them all by their lonesomes. (Can you pluralize lonesome? Huh.)

So offer up the guide, step back, and rejoice in the fact that someone else is making you cookies. Unless they have bananas in them.

DSCF4100

 

Ingredients

  • 1 coffee mug (any size is fine and dandy)
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted. Yum.
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3-4ish Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp chocolate chips
  • Pinch salt (I like Maldon or kosher because you can feel it)
  • Cap of vanilla
  • Ice cream (optional, but don’t be foolish: Go for it.)

Directions

  1. Melt your butter in your mug.
  2. Add your sugars and your salt and stir.
  3. Now add your egg yolk and vanilla and then stir some more. You should be in smell heaven right about now.
  4. Flour. This causes all manner of debate in our house. I say just about nearly 4 tablespoons, while my wife prefers a little less. So add in somewhere between 3 or 4 tablespoons of flour and stir it around until you think it resembles cookie dough. I like my cookie slightly denser, so I always add close to 4. My wife prefers less tasty cookies, so she uses even less. But no less than 3 tablespoons. We’re agreed on that. Tinker around a bit with the recipe to get your own flour proportions just right. I know, tough work.
  5. Now add your chocolate chips and stir. Use as many as you like or as little as you like. (If it’s late and I want the girls to go to bed sometime in the near future, I only let them use, say, a tablespoon of chips, and it works just fine.)
  6. Now, microwave. I recommend 45 seconds. My wife recommends 40 seconds. Again, household debate. The cookie will appear almost wet and sheeny after 45 seconds and you’ll think it’s not done, perhaps. But it is.
  7. So now you have a cookie in a mug and very little mess to clean up. If you’d like, add a couple dollops of ice cream and enjoy the front row seats to delicious.