The shot of summer late this week reminded everyone of two things: first, Dad’s rules on using the air conditioning and second, summer Dad camp is not that far away.
This year was the first where we didn’t sign up them up for camps and then tell them where they were going. We let them choose. This might have been a mistake. Turns out most kids have no idea how to make a decision.
What seems obvious to us, dinner, wardrobe, book to read next. Is an almost existential crises for them. How can they pick a summer camp when they can’t pick a cereal?
Turns out I vastly underestimating the amount of skill and experience in making decisions. Sure, most of the decisions we make as an adult mean nothing. Pick something and move on. But to kids it can be almost paralyzing. At least my kids.
This will be the summer of choice. Perhaps empowerment. Perhaps regret. But they will choose. They will learn. Life is a series of decisions. They will be prepared.
It was one of those roller coaster weeks the seemed to consist of only parental highs and lows. One hour you are crushing it on Dad cruise control. The next hour you’re in the gutter and feeling guilty that you’re not doing enough.
I’m lucky that neither Michelle nor I fall into the guilt trap together very often. We have each other to pull us out, but God bless single parents. But that guilt. It’s impossible to avoid all the time. You might feel it for what you’ve done as parents. For what you haven’t done as parents. For what you think maybe you could or should or need to have done.
Here’s the thing: the guilt doesn’t help. Easier to see when you’re not in the throes of it, but it doesn’t make you a better parent. It only makes you feel worse. If anything, it takes a toll on you that makes it harder for you to actually get yourself out of that emotional spiral.
This Dad and Mom gig is hard. You have screwed up before and will screw up again. There’s not a lot of room for guilt. We have to focus on what we can do now. What we can change now. What we can tell them now. Hint: I love you, I support you, I’m here to help you.
That’s it. And it’s more than enough to feel good about as a parent.
I was surprised to learn that you don’t need to to autolyse your pizza dough. In fact, it may be detrimental. All the artisan bread recipes say you need a rest period, typically called autolyse (AUTO-leese) after the initial mix. That it is critical to let the dough rest and for the gluten chains to form. If it is so critical to good, well developed artisanal bread, then why is the step often lacking in pizza dough recipes?
It’s the end of vacation week here. Vacation for the kids, at least. Michelle and I still had to work. And while the girls spent time in New Jersey and Rhode Island, there were also days at the end of the week where they were at home. By themselves. With nothing planned.
Like some days of summer vacation Dad camp, they were able to practice an important skill: the ability to be alone. To entertain themselves. Or at least get comfortable with boredom.
It’s a critical part of life. Those who lack the ability to sit with their own thoughts are often miserable and prone to addiction and overstimulation.
If I’m honest, sometimes this is harder on me than it is on them. If they are home and the house gets too quiet, what do I do? I go check on them. Encourage them to do something. Tell them to go outside.
They need to be comfortable being bored and I need to be comfortable with bored kids.
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.
These simple, one bowl dark chocolate sugar cookies are a simple twist on the classic confection that come together quickly and offer a satisfying double hit for either a chocolate or a cookie craving.
I was on the hunt for a cookie recipe to bake for a neighborhood block party. I wanted something easy and quick but offered something a little unique. Something that went beyond the usual chocolate chip contribution.
There are many different kinds of pizza. Different doughs. Different toppings. But they are always squares or circles, right? What about rectangles? Narrow ones. I’ve been baking long, skinny Sicilian pies with Lloyd long pizza pans now since the end of January and my only regret is that I didn’t order more.