Where are the boys? Not in this picture. Because it’s dancing. Dancing is for girls.

$#@- you summer camp.


Sunday mornings

This morning, C woke up and wanted to listen to music. For some reason, while I detest pop music, I have no problem enabling my daughter’s love of it. I guess that’s parenting.

So there we are working through the Katy Perry cannon. And you know what? Its awful, but, BUT, I guess I can get behind it as Katy Perry – and please appreciate I have no idea what I am talking about here – seems to be one of the few women acts whose self described values don’t wholly orbit around finding relationships with men. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I recoil from thinking my daughter’s aspirations need to be limited to being accepted by a man.

So there we are. Listening to Katy Perry. And its 9 am and we have pancakes on. And C is telling me that she also like Shakira, and, against all odds, I am excited about this.

Stray cats

Last week I had to run into the office on the weekend. I had C, so I asked if she would like to join me. She was happy to do it…but only if she was dressed as a cat and would walk on a leash.

This happened. I had to scratch her head occasionally.

God I love being a dad.


When Cecilia gets nightmares, I sleep on her floor. She says her nightmare are about ants. Sometimes spiders. They don’t happen often, but she yells for me, and I get my pillow and sleep next to her tiny bed. It makes me feel good that this helps her. That is makes her feel safe to have me there. I sleep pretty well despite the hardwood floor.

When she gets sick, I sleep in her bed. I think its the congestion that scares her – makes her feel like she is suffocating. Before she was 4, she would sleep face down on my chest, legs dangling down my body, when she was sick. Now she’s pretty big, so I sleep next to her. This us usually a night or two, until she’s out of the acute phase of the illness. There is more snot in parenting than is advertised.


So, its getting bad. Yet I am powerless to stop this. My 6 year old is taking an interest in music, and despite my lengthy campaigns to saturate her growing tastes with The Beatles, Stones, Talking Heads, David Bowie (early), hell, even Edith Piaf, youth’s relentless tendency toward awful has won out.

There we are on a 45 minute drive out to Walnut Creek. I make the mistake of plugging my phone into the dashboard. Its too late. She senses weakness. “Daddy, can we listen to music”. Seems harmless. “Sure sweetie, good idea”. “Dad, can we listen my my music”. Oh, that seems adorable. She is developing her own tastes. And I, an encouraging parent, want to see that rewarded. “Of course love”. “Can you put on ‘I’m Glad you Came'”.

Are you *$&(ing kidding me? I mean, where does she find this *&%^? I spent the last decade of my life avoiding any club that would even OWN, much less play this pap.

But I am a Dad.

“Sure sweetheart”

It gets worse. I mean, of course because there is nothing a 6 year old loves more than bad boy band music than repetition, we listen to it 5 times. I know I am going insane because I am starting to like it.

But then, she tells me she wants to save the next listen for Nana’s house. What? God yes, let’s!

” But Daddy, can you put on ‘PonPonPon’. I ran a search. This is a thing. Now, this is more than a thing. HOW THE *$#&^ DOES MY DAUGHTER EVEN KNOW WHAT J POP IS!?

Oh, good Christ. So I am typing this from the basement with a loaded 9mm and a bottle of scotch and shaking hands trying to cleanse this out of my memory.

I love you sweetheart. Even enough to listen to:


It started off innocuously enough.  I asked C what she wanted to do for her 6th birthday party.  “Sleepover” she said.  Great idea really.  So I told her she could invite as many as 4 girls over.  But then her Godmother got into me, and convinced me 10, maybe 15 was reasonable. And for some reason I agreed.

So I invited every girl in her kindergarten class.  And it wasn’t until the RSVPs came rolling in that I started to go cold.  What had I done?

The parents were all very grateful.  They also asked if I was insane.  Many of the girls had never done a sleepover before.  Several get night terrors.  But F it.  Go big or go home.  We were pot committed and we rolled out the celebration.  In fact, since C and I basically share a birthday, I thought that one bad decisions deserved another and rolled my birthday party into the same night.  What could possibly go wrong?

Actually, I kept my invites on the light side (9 all told, plus family).  And the ides was having some extra adults to rub backs and sooth kids would be a good idea.

The girls started to arrive at 4.  By 4:15 it was earsplitting.  But I force marched the girls to the trampoline and made them bounce.  My only hope for bedtime.  Meanwhile, I had ribs sharing time with pizzas in the oven.  My friends came in at 5:30- I showed them to the back yard.  At 7, girls were eating pizza, friends were having cocktails and adult food.  Rolled out the cake at 8.  I’ve learned and already informed who would get the flowers (pro tip – when getting a cake made, get one flower for each girl or you will be hurting).  They really only eat the icing.  Some girls went with the green tea mochi option, which is a whole other story.  They sang happy birthday to C in Spanish, English and Japanese, because San Francisco.  Then they watched Annie.  Not the PC Annie with Jamie Foxx.  No, the one with racially insensitive “Punjab”, an over sexualized Carol Brunette, and Tim Curry who still creeps me out.

They are 6 and pajamas are awesome, so no problem getting them all dressed.  Then I told them they all needed to use the potty.  I never anticipated that all 11 of them would try and go in there at once.  I am a smart man.  I didn’t even try to corral that, stop that or intervene.  I just let it roll and prayed for the best.

So, around 9:30, I read three books – even rolled out Where the Sidewalk Ends for old times sake.  Then G, K and I turned the light off and rubbed backed like whack a mole.  Girl pops up, rub.  Someone is restless- rub.

We had 2 defectors.  Both first time sleep over.  “I want to go home”.  F that.  No one is going home. I had to spoon one.  The other we switched rooms.  They were out relatively easily.  All told 30 minutes and we had 11 snores.

So I went down stairs and had birthday bourbon.  And chatted with friends will 1.  I did it.  Largely.  At 4am, one gets up, freaking about her lost dolphin. I contained the wildfire through, tossed her into my bed with K, found the dolphin and we all slept until 7.  The girls weren’t that bad.  Fed them waffles and it was great to see the parents and have coffee at 9.

Not a bad day.  Happy Birthday C.  6 is awesome.


The other night Cecilia was all hopped up on play time. She turns to me and says,

pretend you’re my daddy”. I love the fact that make-believe is so important to her that she even wants to make believe reality.

Or maybe she knows something that I don’t know.