The Missing Sock Epidemic

The Missing Sock Epidemic

Hidden deep in the warmth of your clothes dryer — along with that giant ball of fuzz — he lurks. His sole mission to slowly steal away your socks. And your sanity. Do you doubt his existence? Are you a non-believer? Well then explain to me how come every time I go to dress my son or one of my daughters why I can never find any socks?! Correction: Why I can never find a matching pair of socks? Did a sock get dropped on the way from the dryer to the clothes drawer? Did my daughter play sock basketball and lose a sock under her bed? Maybe the dog ate it? I’ve seen socks develop holes in them, usually at the heel — maybe the hole got so big that the sock became all hole and just vanished into nothingness? Whatever the case may be, you’ll find little more frustrating as a parent then trying to find a matching pair of socks in a hurry. You might as well attempt to spin silk into gold. My household doesn’t suffer alone, missing socks seem to be a universal plight. Some have even taken to calling it Missing Sock Syndrome. Search the internet and theories abound as to why socks go missing, even those which turn to Quantum Mechanics for an answer. The Whirlpool Institute offers up so called ‘real explanations’ for sock disappearance . Or maybe Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is onto something when he describes socks as escape artists. All good theories. All wrong. I know where all those missing socks are, they’re in the belly of the beast!...
Robot Invasion: Teaching Kids to Code

Robot Invasion: Teaching Kids to Code

The robots are coming, the robots are coming! I can’t wait. Last November I came across a crowd funding campaign from play-i, now Wonder Workshop, to build programmable robots with the goal of teaching kids to code. Now, a year later, the robot invasion is nearly upon us and the world is about to be changed forever. For the better! As the robot army prepares to span the globe, children all of the world are about to step into the world of programming without even realizing it. Learning through play, it’s the best way to learn. The relationship between plan and learning in children is well documented. But how many of the thousands upon thousand of toys marketed towards your children really look to take advantage of this relationship? At Wonder Workshop they believe kids too often get told the right and wrong things to do. They believe that too often their success level is measured by standardized tests rather than their creativity and individual ingenuity. They are on a mission to empower children, to encourage them to create, to learn through play, and to become “shapers of their own world” rather than passive bystanders. We should be running to join them on this mission. Schools should be running. I am a father of 3 and I am a coder so the Wonder Workshop Mission really hits home. We live in an increasingly digital, computer driven world. Should we not teach our children the language of the world? I spend my days building websites, databases, and custom solutions with computer code. It sounds dreadfully boring, right? Because computer programming...
The Secret to a Happy Family:  Kids Discipline Themselves?

The Secret to a Happy Family: Kids Discipline Themselves?

What kind of parent do you want to be? For most parents the quick answer to this question is easy: a great one. Or at least hopefully that’s where most begin their journey. I think it is. But what happens next? What does it really mean to be a great parent? How will you navigate through the turbulent waters of parentinge? How will you handle it when your kids don’t listen? Have you really thought about what it takes? I’m talking about more than just the effort you will put forth. I’m talking about your parenting philosophy, your core values, those things that will anchor you when the weather gets rough. Because it will. The reality is this: we all want to be great parents, but the road to well adjusted young adults is a long one, it’s elusive, it’s fraught with unexpected pitfalls and challenges that didn’t exist yesterday. And around every corner? Parental exhaustion. It would be nice if when you left the hospital they handed you a road map to parenting success and that was all the guidance you needed, but that’s simply not possible. Destination unknown. Your journey will be unique. But with your core values serving as your north star, and a little luck, you’ll hopefully still get there. Just be sure to buckle up because at times it’s going to be bumpy! The good news is there are an abundance of resources and opinions — professional and otherwise — to help you navigate your way. Some of these will certainly be helpful to you. The bad news is that sometimes this avalanche of...
Rock Island: The Awakening

Rock Island: The Awakening

We stood alone among the rocks and oyster shells, surrounded on all sides by water. Somewhere beyond the water lay the land and the noise of the daily grind, but here now the only sound was the gentle lapping of the slow rising tide against the side of our tandem kayak which was moored to a large piece of driftwood a few paces from where we stood. Beneath our feet was Rock Island, as we had become accustomed to calling it. Presently it was no more than 100 feet at its widest point, a small patch of algae covered rocks, shells, and mud peeking forth from the surface of a small creek, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. But soon, as part of the daily tidal dance, it would again sink back beneath the surface like a giant sea turtle returning to the depths after rising for a breath of air. Rock Island was just a short paddle from the house where I grew up and just a little further from the house where I presently lived with my wife and kids. I had stood on this very spot many times before, but not for several years. When I was a child the island used to be much wider, even containing green grass, but now it was diminished, devoid of greenery, and only surfaced at low tide. Weathered by time and climate change, at high tide the island was now a ghost, its presence below the surface only marked by the tattered solo white flag someone had staked to its center to warn passing boats. The island was not...

People with no kids have no idea!

People with no kids have no idea. Not a clue. They think they know, but they don’t. I don’t say this without any degree of condescension or arrogance, simply as a statement of fact. A statement I’ve earned the right to make after years of sleep deprivation and thousands of changed diapers. Some may dispute it, but parents won’t possibly refute it because they know the regular chaos that can swirl around a toddler filled household. May have tried to describe it. Few in funnier fashion than standup comedian Michael McIntyre. It’s funny because it’s...