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?

DDQ&A: Armin Vit

August 4, 2011 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF

I met Armin Vit at Design Ranch, the awesomely hands-on creativity conference I attended earlier this year. Armin and his wife, Bryony Gomez-Palacio, led one of my favorite workshops, “Posters from the Ground Up.” Also in attendance were Armin and Bryony’s two adorable kids, who got crafty right alongside us and even strolled around the room, critiquing our work. In addition to being a designer dad, Armin (with Bryony) runs UnderConsideration, where they not only design, but tirelessly blog via sites like BrandNew and FPO. Originally from Mexico City, Armin and family now live in Austin.

Q&A with designer dad Armin Vit

Tell me briefly about your design business and what kinds of clients you have/what kinds of work you specialize in.
We’ve been in formal business since 2007, when my wife (and fellow designer and business partner) and I established UnderConsideration as an LLC and left our respective jobs. BUT, the core of our business — blogging — had been in place since 2002, but that’s part of a bigger story. In our first two years we did a lot of client work. Websites and identities for a good balance of for-profit clients and non-profits. In 2009 we sort of lost all our clients (thanks, economy!) and we were forced to figure out how to make money on our own, and we have transitioned into a strange “publisher” where we generate content online through our blogs. We’ve self-published one book and are in the process of another; we run one conference right now and are planning to run two next year; and we’ve established a couple of design awards that have attracted some really fantastic work.

Armin doing double duty as designer and dad.

How long have you been a dad? How many kids? Ages?
I’ve been a dad for four years. Two daughters — the oldest one just turned 4, and youngest one is 13 months.


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.


Babytalk: Diaperoke

February 17, 2011 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED

[dahy-per-oh-kee] noun

1. A form of amateur performance art, wherein a caregiver/diaper-changer sings to soothe or distract a child having its diaper changed. Often sung while under great stress or lacking in sleep.

Two common sub-genres:
a. Forget-the-lyrics-make-it-up-as-you-go Diaperoke. ex: “Hush little baby…papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring. And if that diamond ring don’t shine, papa’s gonna buy you some turpentine…”
b. Switch-out-lyrics-to-pop-songs-for-baby-related-words-or-to-omit-adult-material Diaperoke. ex: “All the stinky babies, all the stinky babies… Now put your legs up!”

See also: dinneroke, dressingoke

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!

DesignFail: baby-changing station

December 2, 2010 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, LESSONS LEARNED

O'Hare International Airport men's room, Terminal H

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday traveling (never again!), and while JJ did reasonably well, there were a few things that definitely challenged our patience — like the baby-changing station shown in the photo above.

Can you guess what’s wrong with the design of this changing table (other than it basically being a sign slapped onto a former handicapped sink)? I’ll give you a clue: it rhymes with spelectrical sproutlet.


Real men don’t change diapers

November 8, 2010 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, LESSONS LEARNED

Real men don’t change diapers. Now that I have your attention, let me say that I am a strong proponent of every father being an equal partner in doody duty. Unfortunately, most societies have long given all the responsibility of child-rearing (and rear-cleaning) to moms. But modern man needs to step up.

As part of a two father family, men do ALL the dirty work in our house. But I’ve found that each time I change JJ, I’m being told that It’s Not My Job. Or that I Don’t Know What I’m Doing. Or that I’m Just Not Worthy. By the WIPES.

You see, we use Safeway’s store brand wipes. They’re great quality, inexpensive, and come unscented (a lot of name brand wipes are overly mediciney, IMHO). But the problem lies in the brand’s name: Mom to Mom. READ FULL ARTICLE >>

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