Modern Primate

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fatherhood

  1. cabbage patch doll

    I often wonder how many boys imagine being a father when they are young? You always hear that girls know they want to be mothers when they are young. They are encouraged to play with dolls and people remark at what a ‘good little mommy’ she is and how natural it comes to her, but what about a boy who happens to do the same thing? I want to believe that at this point on Earth parents are encouraging of their children to do what they want. If their son wants to play with dolls and be a ‘good little daddy’ they will foster that behavior. I know that’s not really the case for everyone. I was allowed to play however I wanted and I can thank my mother for that. She allowed me to be who I wanted to be.

    When I was younger I knew that I wanted to be a parent of at least two children – my dream was six (I was obsessed with The Brady Bunch which is kind of ironic now knowing that Mike Brady was gay). As I got older that dream I had as a child never went away. I imagine most high school aged boys assume that yeah someday I’ll get married and have kids, but this was part of my life plan. I wanted to be a young parent too, not like Teen Mom young, but not one of those parents who get mistaken for being a grandparent. I would graduate college, get a job, get married soon after, and have kids. I know being an only child definitely played a part in this dream, what I never planned for was how being gay would play into this dream.

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  2. ET1-600

    My mother, Stepfather, and I walked into the crowded movie theatre to see Raiders of the Lost Ark on what I assume was its release weekend. The show must have been sold out, because we ended up sitting in the first row – something I know they would never do. I think fondly of this image of me sitting in the front row looking straight up at a pit of snakes and what would become a lifelong love of the movies.

    When my two boys were old enough that I thought they could sit through a movie I started bringing them as often as a good and age appropriate movie came out. I would sometimes have to sell a movie that I thought they would like if it seemed a little different than Spongebob. You don’t even know how much I had to force them to see Brave and, of course, after they watched it, they loved it. I know as a parent there are many things and experiences that I have forced my kids to do (and will continue to force them) so they have this wide range of experiences; it’s what makes them well-rounded people.

    Let’s not get all crazy and say I force them to do everything –  I don’t. Like right now, as I type this, the second day of third and second grade is over and they are in their bedroom building with LEGOs, something they decided to do on their own, which I love. But the other day? The day before school started when it was pouring outside and all they wanted to do was marathon Spongebob, like I marathon House Hunters, I forced them to watch E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. This wasn’t the first time I forced them to watch a movie and I know it won’t be the last. I sometimes force (is ‘strongly encourage’ a better phrase?) them to watch movies, classics really, because I know it will make them better people. Here’s ten movies that I forced my children to watch that I watched growing up. I am pretty sure these movies will make them better people.

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  3. Birthday Party

    If there is one thing I dread getting in the mail more than bills are invitations to children’s parties. Always a cute little invitation with the day, time, and place that my children (two boys, ages 8 and 7) get really excited about seeing. Remember when getting mail was fun? Remember getting invitations to birthday parties? I loved going to them as a kid, I still love going to birthday parties for friends and family. My problem is going to birthday parties with my children’s friend’s parents. I don’t really know any of them and they don’t know me. I’m not a socially awkward person normally, at least I don’t think I am, but throw me into a room full of Moms and it’s like I am back in high school trying to decide where to sit in the cafeteria. All these moms seem to know each other and if they don’t they are best friends in the first five minutes of meeting each other. There must be some secret Mom language that I am missing out on. Occasionally, there are other Dads are at the party, but it’s no better – I’m not a regular dad, I’m a cool dad! I think.

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  4. girlsmadeof

    We supposedly live in an era where gender norms are to be broken, or at least regularly questioned. Young men are into My Little Pony, 7-year-old girls not only read superhero comics but criticize their portrayals of women, and it is a sign of being a decent parent not to force your kid to like whatever stereotypically boy- or girl-themed shows, toys, movies, or books happen to match his or her anatomy.

    So, as a father of a 5-year-old girl, I have tried to expose my daughter to a variety of possible interests, including things that are, according to some, “just for boys.”  While this has gone well at home and she has a diverse set of interests, the response when interacting with other kids remains the same as always: many boys her age don’t think she should be into Batman or Star Wars or whatever.  She should only be playing princesses and horsies and dollies according to them.  Frankly, I expected this response and can write it off as no big deal since they are other kids.  However, recently I’ve begun to notice the most annoying gendered assumptions and comments directed at my daughter aren’t those made by other kids . . . they are those made offhandedly by random adult women who have an occasion to talk to her.

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  5. kidstodaybtw

    A friend of mine, let’s call her Sheryl, has a son who’s 13-years-old. Let’s call him Mark. We try to include Mark in conversation as often as we can. At first I thought this was just for the sake of his self-esteem, but in no time at all I realized that Sheryl was raising a kid who was not only funny, but wise beyond his years. I mean, he’s still very much a 13-year-old; but every now and then Mark spits out one of these nuggets of wisdom that makes me realize that I could stand to learn a thing or two from “Kids Today.”

    So here, in what I hope is only the first installment of a series, I ask Mark what I thought were some basic questions, and get back some rock solid life advice.

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  6. merida2

    Disney/Pixar’s newest offering, Brave, was one of the most highly-anticipated, non-sequel, childrens’ films I can remember.  While the avalanche of pre-release buzz may merely be the current status quo of web-based marketing (witness: The Hunger Games, Prometheus, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, etc.), the anticipation hinged largely on this film being Pixar’s first release with a female protagonist AND a Disney Princess™ film that features a strong female lead.  Many film critics, along with parents like myself who would prefer our daughters not sit around crocheting doilies, practicing etiquette, and learning subservience until a suitable husband comes along, had hopes that this would finally be the movie that broke away from the narrowly envisioned, patriarchy-reinforcing, and traditionalism of past Disney princesses.

    So, does Brave‘s portrayal of Princess Merida really stand as a revolutionary, groundbreaking moment for Disney that will usher in a new era of strong female characters and empowering stories?  Not really.

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  7. Samuel J Bailey is onto something…

     

  8. This video from VSauce contains one mind-blowing factoid after another on the subject of human ancestry and molecular biology.

     

    via Laughing Squid
  9. birthdaysex

    Today is my birthday. In honor of that, I’ve decided to make you all very uncomfortable.

    If you were born in July, that means you were most likely conceived in October. And that means it’s entirely plausible that there’s something about preparing for Halloween that got your parents in the mood for making babies.

    The following is an exploration of the circumstances that might have lead to your conception, assuming the usual 9 month gestation period. Sorry premies. You don’t get to play.

    Born in July: Conceived in October

    Don’t let your beginning-of-summer celebration fool you into thinking you’re a child of the sun. With all the masks, costumes, and jangling chains, who can blame your mom and dad for getting excited?

    Born in August: Conceived in November

    Those puritanical parents of yours were SO THANKFUL for each other that they decided to show their gratitude with an extra side of stuffing! Maybe it was the reminder of how much they dislike their in-laws that brought them closer together. Either way, you’ll never look at a turkey the same again.

    Born in September: Conceived in December

    Have you ever noticed how your mom and dad seem to get extra handsy with each other each Holiday season? It’s might have something to do with the cold weather, or it might be the fact that your mom likes to be watched by old men who creep in through the chimney.

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  10. cockatoodevil

    Stacie Richie’s pet Cockatoo Larry Bird is something of a minor viral video star. Dancing to Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How to Dougie,” Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” and others has earned the bird’s owner over one million views on her Youtube channel. But Stacie’s mom and dad aren’t so keen on the Cockatoo’s taste in music.

    “We don’t support the beat. We don’t support that demonic sound and the repetition,” says Gary Richie, Stacie’s father.

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