FARGO — "Take time to be a dad each day." I read this tagline on a billboard somewhere around Fargo not too long ago. At first I thought it was a good notion but, ultimately, a bit pointless. I mean, how can you forget to be a parent when the realities of parenthood are brutally merciless? There's the constant worry. There's the everyday hassle of mealtimes and bedtimes and getting out the door. There's the constant mess to clean up and the vague, looming threat of "paying for college."
A couple weeks ago, as part of my job as human push notification and professional copy-and-paster for our media company's websites, I noticed one of our national stories gaining some serious traffic. It's a story about a company that sells and rents neoprene sleeves to schools and performance venues. When you enter a place that's using them, you put your phone into the sleeve, which is then locked so you can't use it there. You keep the sleeved phone, which is then unlocked when you leave.
If you get your news using Facebook, you deserve to know that the social media platform is changing the way it delivers that information to you. In a post Friday, Jan. 12, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is changing its news feed algorithm to reduce the amount of content you see from businesses, brands and media. You’ll see more stuff from your friends and family and less from pages you like and, most importantly, this news source.
FARGO — You meet a lot of strange characters on the journey to Sleep City. I've gotten smacked in the kidneys by the Kicking Clock and pinched on the arm by The Screamy Flopper. I've donned my Bedtime Armor to guard against blanket thieves and tussled with the Whirring Radon Fan. It sounds like a dream but that, unfortunately, isn't the case: These are the looming, macabre shapes you meet in the yawning gulf that exists between the Land of Parenthood and the soothing ocean of A Good Night's Sleep. All it takes to get there is sharing your bed with your children.
FARGO — Our children are at their most precious as they set off for the Land of Zzz's. Mom and Dad, smiling and happy and still wearing their unwrinkled daytime clothes read from a big book of fairy tales, sing a favorite lullaby, then lightly tousle their little one's hair as their eyelids grow heavy and they slip into deep, quiet slumber. Then Mom and Dad tiptoe out for an hour of TV and polite conversation before they, too, sink softly into the fuzzy bliss of... *Emergency Broadcast System alarm blares*
Last week, a father publicly denounced his son's white nationalism. While the moment was an example of strength as the nation reeled from the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the concerns this episode raise go deeper than the social and political. How do we prevent extremist ideologies from taking hold on our children? And if we see it happening, what do we do?
Right around the beginning of the summer our 2-year-old, Anton, began delighting us with a new phrase. While riding his trike or swinging in a swing, he'd exclaim "yeehaw!" We'd laugh every time. The little guy loves an adventure and wants to be sure we all know he's enjoying it.
FARGO — When most of us imagine a police car, we might think of a Hollywood car chase, or a worrisome situation down the street, or the anxiety of seeing one in our rearview mirror. But it's much simpler for police. For an officer, it's their office. Yes, it's an office that carries stop strips and something called "a hooligan tool." It's an office with a siren that sometimes has to go exceptionally fast or contain a particular individual in the back seat. But it's also just as likely to be the place where an officer eats lunch.
I recently discovered that my son leads a double life. It might sound like the premise for a spy thriller, but it turns out it's a common phenomenon among kids: having one personality at home and another one at school. Here's how I discovered his tightly guarded secret. A recent conference with two-year-old Anton's preschool teacher was going along swimmingly. "His language and counting skills are great," his teacher said. Yep, my wife and I agreed. "His gross and fine motor skills are coming along great." Sure are.
If you're like us, your household has recently had issues with a petulant crybaby who erupts in anger when he doesn't get his way, assumes everyone around him is completely beholden to his every whim, blames everyone else for his problems and refuses to see beyond his own staggering myopia to understand the basic principles that underlie human life. I'm speaking of course, about being a parent to a toddler.