All posts by mike

Scenes from Saturday + Skillets & Curiosity

I watch a lot of Jeopardy. It is my relaxing cup of tea at the end of the day. Never cottoned to the Wheel but something immediately clicked with its sister show. Maybe it was the resemblance to flash cards.

A lot of other people have been watching lately with the big runs by Matt Amodio and Amy Schneider. Including my kids. At first, I think it was just the allure of the television being on during a weeknight, but now they genuinely want to watch.

Most people think to be good on Jeopardy that you need to be smart. Or, really good on the buzzer. Or, have fast recall. Those all certainly help but I think the biggest key to Jeopardy success is to be curious.

We don’t have control over what kind of brain our kids were born with. But what we can influence whether they’re curious. We can encourage the ask questions and seek answers. We can cultivate this instinct until it becomes part of their personality.

And, of course, like a lot of parenting, we can demonstrate it by doing it. It’s a two way street. Explore what they are curious about but also have them engage with you and what you’re curious about. A curious Dad is both a good parent and a smart parent.

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Scenes from Saturday + Pizza & Time Warps

I often complain about the kids in this blog, in a humorous way, but still usually some chiding complaint. I thought I should at least offer a positive story once in awhile. Just not too often. Don’t want them to get inflated egos.

Cecilia didn’t do well on a test (sorry, can’t call them tests anymore – check-in) earlier this year. To be fair, given the email we received from the teacher, many kids did not do well (which might make me think about the teaching methods…). I digress.

Cecilia latched onto this group failure as her life preserver. Sorry, not going to work, in school or life. You will make mistakes. Nobody is perfect and we all make our fair share of mistakes. Even Dad bloggers. Maybe one or two a year.

However, if you do not take responsibility for the mistake and do your best to correct it, then you are committing a second mistake. You can probably picture me telling her this. Or you probably have given your own kids similar advice. Take responsibility. Do the right thing, even though you may feel embarrassed by your previous actions. Don’t compound the error.

You also probably walked away wondering if any of that sank into their teenage brain.

Well, last Wednesday, I received an unexpected text that Cecilia was staying after school for extra help to prepare for a te-, eh, check-in the next day. She listened! She didn’t compound the error! She still rolled her eyes when I picked her up, but I’m sure she was smiling on the inside.

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Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Maybe your New Year’s resolution, like many, was to eat healthier. Well, don’t stop with just you. Don’t forget about your pets. Homemade pumpkin peanut butter dog treats are a nutritious and tasty way to treat your pup and start their New Year off right, too.

These pumpkin peanut butter homemade dog treats are quick and easy to make. 4 ingredients. One bowl. They are sure to put a smile on your dog’s face and a wag in their tail.

So much of what is sold in big box pet stores is filler and junk. It’s easier, simpler, and more nutritious to make your own.

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Scenes from Saturday + Cider & Hot Tubs

If you’ve got New Year’s resolutions or goals, I hope the first week went well. If not, I hope you were easy on yourself. Progress, not perfection.

If one of your goals was to be a more patient and understanding parent that didn’t say ‘No’ all the time. Well, that snow day on Friday probably didn’t help, but just a reminder that parenting is friggen’ hard.

Remember, Queen Elizabeth found it easier to run the British empire than deal with cranky kids.

Also, if you’re feeling a little down about letting your kids watch Netflix all day and eat edible cookie dough for lunch… don’t be. Most of those parenting rules are just other people making things up. Most modern parenting today is not supported by any data (other than the universal dispersal rate of glitter guaranteeing that it ends up in your bed).

Take it easy on yourself and don’t get strong armed by expectations, Instagram, or other people’s judgements.

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Scenes from Saturday + Life & Lazy Days

If you’re contemplating resolutions for the new year, remember the key is a willingness to be bad for as long as it takes. This is something that I feel I’ve gotten pretty good at over the years. How? Curiosity, stamina, and a joy of practice.

It isn’t so much that geniuses make it look easy; it’s that they make it look it fast. And this is where I’ve found the toughest hurdle for kids.

Kids already think they are great at everything. And why would I discourage that? I love their very irrational confidence in almost all things. But the switch toward real improvement, through practice and discipline, is admitting that you’re maybe not so great and you want to get better.

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Scenes from Saturday + Tinsel & Time

When you become a parent, your relationship with time changes.

We can’t wait for them to start walking, to start school, to make their first flash card, eat their first slice of pizza, to jump into life with both feet. But this also means that they’ll never again be what they are right now. Blink, get distracted, pick up your phone, take it for granted? It’s gone. You’ve missed it.

I did my best to remember that at 5 a.m. yesterday when the wrapping paper was flying, the tinsel was underfoot, and the caffeine hadn’t kicked in.

Tempus fugit. Time flies.

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