Inappropriate Use of the Bjorn; Things you shouldn’t do with your baby strapped to your chest

Once you get used to having your baby strapped to your chest like a kangaroo, you’ll fall in love with the freedom that comes with hands-free parenting. (New marketing slogan for Baby Bjorn: Baby Bjorn, it’s like Bluetooth for your baby). Soon, you’ll begin to wonder if there’s anything you can’t do with your baby in a chest carrier. The answer is yes. There are things you can’t, or shouldn’t, do. Here are four.

First Person Shooter Games

Playing Wii tennis with a baby in the Bjorn: Cute.

Playing Call of Duty with the baby in the Bjorn: call social services.

Know the line and never cross it.

Downhill Skiing

This might sound like a no-brainer to most of you, but I actually had visions of skiing with my kid strapped to my chest. What’s even more disturbing, I’ve seen videos of other parents doing this very thing. The same rules apply for roller blading, ice skating, mountain biking…I think you could get away with nine holes of golf without doing any permanent damage though.

Cook Over an Open Flame

Okay, I’ve done this. A lot. And it can be a bit of a gray area. I’d say if you’re working with a charcoal grill, you’re relatively safe. But anything with compressed gas is questionable. Considering the number of times I’ve almost blown myself up trying to light my damn grill, it’s amazing my kids have lived to the ripe age of 2.5.

Flirt With a Woman Who’s Not Your Wife

Not even if the kid on your chest is sleeping. Have some class. Put the kid in his stroller and pull the sun shade down before you hit on the lonely stay-at-home mom at the playground.

 

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Five Things That Aren’t Awesome About Parenthood

Parenthood is magical, there’s no doubt about that. Sometimes, though, it’s more black magic than “kiss the frog” magic. Luckily, 87 percent of the time, being a dad is awesome. Here are a few things that inform that other 13 percent.

  1. Scraping poop out of big boy underwear…three times a day.
  2. The nasty looks that other parents at Mighty Might Gymnastics give you when your kid coughs on their kid. In my defense: I don’t care if my kid is patient zero with a wicked strain of chipmunk flu. We’re getting out of the house today!
  3. Fishing random objects out of the toilet with chopsticks. (Sidenote: chopsticks make excellent retrievers of floating cars, candy wrappers, credit cards…all the little things that end up in the toilet.)
  4. Suspecting your kid loves iPhone “Paint Sparkles” more than you.
  5. The constant fear that your two-year-old daughter is going to ask the waiter if he has a penis.

Injury Free Work Days: 0

Can we get through a single day without one of my kids throwing a toy truck at the other one? It’s amazing what my kids can turn into a weapon. You’d think a bubble maker would be pretty benign, but if I leave the kids alone on the porch with a small bubble maker, one of them will get water-boarded by the other. And my daughter thinks the only way her fairy princess wand will work is if she puts her entire body behind it. She’s like a ninja with that thing.

It reminds me of the intense “Chinese throwing star and nunchucks” phase I went through as a kid. I have no idea why my mother thought it would be a good idea to let a 10 year old have half a dozen pointy metal discs forged with the singular purpose of killing people from a distance. I didn’t question her decision at the time, but now that I have kids of my own, I’m a little suspect. Of course, this was before safety was a real concern. Apparently, kids raised in previous decades never got hurt. How else can you explain our lack of bicycle helmets and seat belts? And yet most of us survived somehow. It was probably all the hairspray we used back then. All that puffy, crusty hair was like walking around with an airbag on your head.

Looking back, it seems a little strange to go through a “throwing star” phase. I can’t imagine my kids getting into that sort of thing. But all Southern boys growing up in the ‘80s went through this phase. Like every other kid I knew, I spent a lot of time in the knife shop while my mom browsed the consignment store next door. It was inevitable that I’d come out of that shop with something sharp I could throw at other people.

Basically, childhood for me was just a series of weapons-based phases. A few other notable phases: bow and arrow phase. Homemade slingshot phase. Poison dart gun phase. Throwing pinecones at other people’s faces phase. Booby trap phase. The list goes on. It’s the result of the laissez faire parenting techniques of the time. A lot of people look back on the fact that our parents simply opened their back doors and made us go play outside as a sort of idyllic period in history. In a lot of ways it was—Last Child in the Woods and all that crap—but the truth is, we just spent most of that outside time trying to figure out different ways to maim each other with the tools at hand. We didn’t want to kill anyone, but if we could cause serious injury without getting into trouble, then we were game.

So maybe a nation full of video game children isn’t so bad after all. The first person shooter games may be disturbing, but at least they’re not literally playing war like we did, fastening makeshift bayonets to our toy guns and loading our backpacks with grenades (heavy rocks). You don’t know darkness until you trap your best friend in a ditch and pepper him with rocks and pinecones. But we weren’t fat, so we had that going for us.

Lucky Bums: Baby stuff for dudes with babies.

If you’re looking for some really cool last minute Christmas ideas, check out Lucky Bums. It’s outdoor gear for kids. No diaper bags here, but you’ll find vintage sleds, kids-sized sleeping bags, fishing vests, skis and snowboards. Basically, all the stuff you need to help get your kids outside and doing all the stuff we wish we did when we were kids. Personally, I regret all those hours I spent watching Brady Bunch reruns after school. I got the kids sets of toddler skis in hopes that this winter, they’ll take their first turns. We’ll see how that little experiment goes. Check out the site and see if there’s anything that inspires an experiment of your own.

 

Captain Nothing

I don’t know what I’m talking about. Seriously. Don’t come here looking for advice. Unless you have questions about ‘80s era sitcoms, I don’t have any answers. If anything, come here weekly, daily, neh, hourly, looking for self assurance. Come here to reassure yourself that you’re doing this parenthood thing better than I am. To reassure yourself that no matter how lost you feel, there’s someone out there that’s way more lost. Someone navigating parenthood with an outdated GPS, no map, and an overinflated sense of direction who’s too stubborn to ask directions. If I can give you that sense of peace of mind, that there’s a dad out there that’s more clueless than you, if I can help you sleep just a little bit better knowing that at least your kids aren’t being raised by a complete jackass, then maybe I’ve done you and the world a solid. You’re welcome.