5 Ways Little Kids Wash Their Hands

January 13, 2015 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF

5 ways little kids wash their hands

They don’t call this the dead of winter for nothing. Bitter cold. No sunshine. Cooped-up kids tearing the house apart as you slowly tear out your hair. No new episodes of The Walking Dead  for nearly a month.

And the sickness – the never ending cycle of sickness.

Mid-winter is always rough for families with kids, and this year has been particularly infectious. Aside from getting a flu shot, the most effective way to prevent illness is to wash your hands. Every doctor, childcare professional, teacher, parent, and educational Muppet has been drilling this into your kids’ heads since birth. And yet, based on personal experience of how regularly my child practices responsible (unassisted) hygiene, it’s a wonder we’re not in the midst of a full-blown toddler zombie apocalypse. Here are five reasons why…


A gay toy that pees. You know, for kids!

August 23, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, LESSONS LEARNED, THINGS MY KID DIGS

A wee bit ago, I got my all-time oddest product review request. It was for UBBAS bath toys, which are essentially rubber cups — somewhat people-shaped — that can hold hands, hug, and pee. They come in four varieties: Papa, Mama, Brother and Sister. Did I mention the peeing part? Because Papa and Brother UBBA pee straight out, while Mama and Sister UBBA pee straight down.

Yup, a gay toy that pees. I told you it was odd.

I OF COURSE SAID YES. Who better to review a cleverly-designed toy for kids with gay parents?


The family that pees together, um… I got nothin.

UBBAS Bath Cups
were created by designer Rob Spalding as a tool that offers a fun, loving representation of family for kids of same-sex parents. Each is sold separately, so I got 2 Papas and 1 Brother, natch. It’s also meant to open dialog with your kids about their bodies. You know, because of the peeing.

Now I’ve been griping since before JJ was born about the lack of books, toys, shows, etc. that portray kids with same-sex parents. It’s a large part of what motivates me to blog or do any of the advocacy I do – to make sure JJ sees other examples of families like his, so that he’s confident and well-equipped to answer questions or deal with conflicts he might face because of his unique family makeup. But I’ll admit to being a little weirded out by this toy. I’m a fairly liberal guy, but the thought of mixing same-sex parents, bath time and peeing just sounded skeevy. Not to mention a tough sell to mainstream America.


A (not so) Brief Note

December 10, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, LESSONS LEARNED, THINGS DAD DIGS

We’re currently trudging towards the epic milestone of bowel autonomy. JJ had one rapturous success, got derailed (understandably so) by our trip to Italy, and has yet to regain his commode momentum. We’ve employed several potty training tools, which so far have produced squat in the way of results. But I thought I’d share them with you since I think they’re fun. And who knows — hopefully they’ll work for someone else in the same, um… poodicament*.


DC Super Friends in POTTY TIME POWER!

This book is all kinds of awesome — each page features a different DC superhero explaining some aspect of potty training (Superman blows away a giant stack of diapers! Plastic Man shows how much toilet paper is the right amount! Flash warns to give yourself enough time to get to the can!) Many of the pages have flaps for your child to reveal more fun and action, and there are 2 full pages of stickers! The book is nice and thick and well-laminated to avoid any bathroom mishaps or accidental drops in the tub/sink/commode. ($8.99 on Amazon)

And oh yeah, my man Aquaman gives a lesson (kind of) on the importance of washing up afterwards!

So far the book hasn’t “worked,” but its repeated use has helped JJ’s spelling. And the fact that it’s chock full o’ heroes makes it a wee bit more bearable for me to read over and over and over.

Sit Happens: Potty Training

February 8, 2012 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED, THINGS MY KID DIGS

We’re not in full-on toilet training mode just yet, but it’s just around the corner. Every time Papa or I go to the bathroom, JJ runs in after us shouting “PEEPEEPOOPOO! PEEPEEPOOPOO!” He then sits on his own ‘lil training seat (below), hops up in a few seconds, then pulls its lever to “flush.” Isn’t that just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? Yes, I realize I may change my mind once it has actual urine and feces in it…

JJ’s other potty duty dooty is flushing the toilet for us, and then waving “Bye bye pee pee!”, closing the lid*, and then washing his hands. So far all of his bathroom experiences have been pretty non-traumatic (other than trying to flush a full roll of paper) which I hear is key in a successful transition to big-boy pants.

So you can imagine my alarm when my Mom sent me this photo, asking if we wanted it for JJ.

This monstrosity is my Dad’s training toilet, unearthed while my parents were going through my recently deceased Grandmother’s things. Last used during the Truman administration, it looks to be made entirely of dark wood, with a faded Dick & Jane-type illustration on the back. While I’m all about vintage furnishings, I couldn’t see us using this for anything except maybe an outdoor planter. Or perhaps if we lived in the American Horror Story house.

I mean seriously — faced with the daunting task of pooping on your own for the first time, which would you prefer? The bright-and-shiny, super-smiley “Cheer for Me! Potty? Or the miniature electric chair? I don’t know how anyone survived childhood before Fisher-Price…

*We also recently purchased these awesome toilet seats (I know, I’m getting excited about toilet seats…) that close slowly so as not to smash baby’s fingers. We even got one that’s called “Next Step” and has a smaller training seat magnetically attached to the lid that can come down to aid in potty training. Ain’t technology grand?

How’s that Poopy-Changey stuff working out for ya?

September 8, 2011 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED

While they never fail to entertain with their ads, Huggies are not the brand of choice in our household. So please know that I am not endorsing this product, but merely showcasing it’s funny-ass TV commercial.

This spot for Huggies Slip-On Diapers features four kinds of change-resistant children: The Rolling Pin, The Acrobutt, The Streaker and The Booty Scoocher. Funny ideas all, but none (save The Streaker, which seems to have been replaced by The Escape Artist in later versions of the ad) would be the best way to describe our little poop machine. I offer a few monikers that — if not nearly as TV-friendly — are certainly more realistic.

The Kamikaze
Given a single untethered moment on the changing table, JJ attempts to hurl himself to the floor to escape the horrors of a clean diaper.

The Cock Blocker
Once the diaper is open, JJ will put his hand — or whatever happens to be in his hand — in the way of that which needs to be cleaned and re-diapered. This has included pacifiers, a teething biscuit, rubber ducky, his pants, Daddy’s shirt tail, and an actual block.

The Ball Buster
JJ has grown some enormous feet to match the thunder thighs he’s had since birth. Perfect for twisting around and kicking Daddy in the nads.

In all honesty, JJ is generally pretty good about having his diaper changed. But I know there are many of you with juicy (ewww) horror stories that you’d just LOVE to share. So what nickname would you give your diaper-intolerant tot?

Captionpalooza 2011: The Winners!

August 1, 2011 | By Brent Almond | MAKING MEMORIES, THINGS DAD DIGS

At long, long, LONG last, here are my top pics for each photo from Captionpalooza 2011. Thanks again to all who participated — I’m honored to have such creative (and sarcastic) readers!

Photo 1 winner: Ryan W

No officer, I don’t know what happened to Papa Smurf.


Potty Breaks: commercials about diapers

January 26, 2011 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF

Sorry for the long span between posts, but I’ve had some form of child-borne illness off-and-on for the last week. So in honor of that, here are a bunch of ads about poop.

Luvs Leakguards
I first watched this online and thought, “I can see why they wouldn’t put this on TV.” Needless to say I was unpleasantly surprised to see it on air two days later. And pretty much every day since. Dumb, gross, and poorly animated. Okay, I admit “Poop! There it is!” is kinda funny.

Huggies Little Movers Jeans Diaper
I saw the print ad first, and was — ashamed to say — intrigued. I even checked my mental calendar to see if there were any western-themed parties we’d be taking JJ to that would justify buying these things. “The coolest you’ll look pooping your pants.” Awesome tag. The TV spot, however, takes the concept from humorous and mildly tacky to just plain weird. If my child went “poo in blue” I’d be calling the pediatrician.

Huggies Little Movers: Enjoy the Ride
These two ads feature Dad in charge of doody duty, so of course I’m a fan. Okay, so he’s kind of out of control in both cases. But I thought they good-naturedly showed Pops struggling, while accurately capturing the joys and challenges of fatherhood. “Enjoy the Ride” — another great Huggies tag line.

Pampers in the Women’s Lib 70s…
And finally, in honor of the upcoming Super Bowl, here’s an oldie but a goodie — Dad and his buddy watching the big game and chatting about diapers! Props to Pampers for not having the fathers defer to their wives as the main diaper-changers. But watch out Papa! You almost clocked baby girl with that over-the-shoulder pass!

MINI Cooper. Maxi lame.

January 4, 2011 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED

I saw this TV spot a while back, but hadn’t been able to hunt it down until now. It annoyed the hell out of me and I wanted to share  — it’s a prime example of how advertisers think it’s funny to show men as inept when it comes to parenting. Take a quick look:

MINI Cooper Countryman: Emergency

Seriously? Why is that funny? Because there’s pee in it? There are certainly examples in my own life where I can look back on a pee (or poop) mishap and laugh — I’m not saying pee ain’t funny. What I’m saying is that three grown men losing their minds because a child needs to use the bathroom and they have no clue what to do other than pull over and hold the kid out so he can urinate into the air — is just lame. A cheap joke. And it perpetuates the concept that dads get a pass on basic parenting skills and responsibilities. Like remaining calm under pressure. Or changing diapers.

And from an advertising perspective, I don’t see how this commercial makes anyone want to buy this car. The description says “The brand-new MINI Countryman provides yet another good use of its four doors…” That’s the selling point? That is has four doors? And that they work? Seems like they pissed away good money on this ad.

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