From the Department of “How Did I Never Notice…”

I just discovered that the guy who paints numbers on inappropriate things (often called the “Mad Painter” or the “Number Painter”) is Harry, the British neighbor on the Jeffersons.

Mind. Blown.


We went to the Oregon District today.

V looks at her reflection in a sign that reads “Our grief is not a commodity. DO SOMETHING” while news crews get b-roll in the background.

So like I mentioned before, V and I are in Dayton for a little while, visiting my parents. I had originally planned to take V to the Oregon district on Sunday or Monday, just to show her an important place where daddy grew up.

Then the shooting happened at Ned Pepper’s… Not a bar I frequented, but a bar I’ve gone to more than once.

My mom was a principal at a school in the Oregon District when I was in late elementary school. My best friend’s mom—he was best man at my wedding—taught at that school, and we hung out in the Oregon district on afternoons.

When I was older, in high school, I would sometimes go to a coffee house in the Oregon District. Gem City Records—which is now Omega Records—was there, probably my favorite record store in Dayton.

In my early 20s, I would go to the Oregon District for the night life. My favorite was the Southern Belle, but I’d hit different places on the strip from time to time, from the Oregon Express to Sloopy’s, depending on where the night would take me.

The parents of a good friend from high school later bought the Southern Belle building when they moved, and converted it to a house. It was crazy going over and visiting and seeing an old haunt so radically re-done.

By the time I hit my 30s, I wasn’t visiting the district as much, and wasn’t going out for nightlife as much. But I still always visit the Oregon at least once every time I come back home to Dayton. It was one of the first places I took My Colleague when she first came to visit my parents.

I’m not sure what to say here. I’m not trying to make the shooting about me. I wasn’t there, thank god. I am not trying to horn in on others’ pain or grief. And yes, I think that we are well past due for a talk about gun control, but frankly we have a lot more to take care of here—gun control would at best be a band-aid, though a sorely needed one. It’s sad that we can’t even get to the point where we get that fucking band-aid.

It makes you feel pretty dismal about our chances of taking care of racism and toxic masculinity and the stigma around mental health care and everything else that makes this bullshit happen.

And while I’m for gun control, I’m very pro second amendment, for the record. I just think we need some common sense here.

All I wanted to talk about is a sense of grief and loss that came over me when we walked down fifth today. There were camera crews and evangelical televangelists on the street. They’ll stay for a few more days before they move on to the site of the next tragedy.

V came up to the sign in the picture above. It was reflective, she could see herself. She liked that. I liked the message:


It was in front of a hat store, just feet from all the camera crews, and right across from Ned Pepper’s. Some ladies came out of the shop and asked if they could take her picture.

I said of course, I wanted a picture of it too.

Some of you who aren’t from the region might not recall, but Dayton was hit by a whole series of tornadoes a few months ago. It’s been a hard summer here. But Dayton’s been through a hell of a lot, over the years, from floods to race riots to the wholesale evacuation of industry. It abides.

I don’t want to feel like I’m a tourist in other people’s misery, as someone who has left the area. And I worry about being perceived that way. But part of me will always be here. This is home—not my daughter’s, but always mine.

I love the Oregon District. I love Dayton. I always will. That’s what I really wanna say, I guess. My heart goes out to everyone effected by what that asshole decided to do. And yeah, fuck him.

I stopped by Omega Music and bought a tee-shirt and a couple musical toys for V. We’ve gotta keep supporting local businesses, right?


“Fahts” from Ohio

I wake up with this view every morning while I visit my parents.

Test Subject V and myself are visiting my parents in Ohio, this week, while My Colleague is busy working at Very Prestigious University. It’s one of the best things about the whole online-adjunct/stay-at-home dad gig: I can do it anywhere.

So right now I’m in Ohio, visiting my parents and enjoying their air conditioning and their pool, and enjoying seeing my daughter interact with my side of the family for a change.

Anyway, there’s no high-minded thought behind this post, just to say that I love seeing my daughter interact with her grandparents, and to share this little anecdote:

Test Subject V has a mild linguistic delay when it comes to her expressive verbal vocabulary. It’s common among kids who walk early, I’ve been told, and she was cruising at six months and walking at eight, so I’m not super concerned. She has learned the occasional word, but usually forgets them within a few days. The only words that really seem to have stuck are “dis,” “dat,” and “no.” With those words and a whole host of signs, nods, head shakes, and points, she’s pretty good at getting her needs met, so speech is just not really on her radar.

Anyway, this morning, shortly after waking up and snapping the above picture, V and I were in my room at my parents’ house getting ready for the day. I was sitting on the couch and bent over to get something, when I passed gas.

Test Subject V’s eyes lit up. She smiled and pointed at me, and said—clear as day — “FAHT!”

I looked at my progeny in disbelief. “Did you just say ‘fart?'”

Her reply was to giggle and nod.

“Can you say ‘fart’ again?”

This time, she shook her head gravely, ran to me, and pointed between my legs, before bursting out laughing again. I guess she decided I needed an explanation of where farts come from.

Test Subject V may not be speaking yet, but at least I know she’s got my sense of humor.


“Whose Street?”: On the Gentrification of Sesame Street

Below is a mildly edited version of a presentation I made at the New England American Studies Association on 8 June, 2019 at Fitchburg State University, in Fitchburg MA.

Hello, my name is Tad Suiter, I study the history of media and communications, and I hate Elmo.

…So I had a baby daughter about a year and a half ago.

Personally, I don’t try to eliminate screen time. I limit it, and I understand it’s dangers, but I do set my daughter in front of the TV sometimes, and part of the reason for that is Sesame Street.

I grew up on Sesame Street. Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and comic books taught me to read. While I had close relatives die earlier, the first death I remember was the 1983 death of Mr. Hooper.  I still get choked up when I think about it, if I’m being completely honest.

So when my daughter reached the age where Sesame Street was capturing her interest, I had no problem setting her down in front of the TV to watch “the Street.” That said, I had an issue—I, as I said before, hate Elmo. 

I can’t stand Elmo’s voice. Can’t stand how he is written, can’t stand the puppet’s design…  I did not want my daughter loving Elmo.

Of course, now she loves Elmo. Elmo is unavoidable. Elmo is everywhere. Elmo is life.

Elmo is insidious.

But if she was going to love Elmo anyway, I was at least going to track down old Sesame Street, pre-Elmo Sesame Street, to start her out with.

What I discovered was a small community of Youtubers (who exist in a legal gray zone, to be generous) who track down old VHS tapes of Sesame Street, digitize them, and upload and share them. There are occasional takedown notices etc, but they are a small enough community and I doubt they are worth anyone pursuing.

So my daughter and I started watching episodes from before 1988 or so. Before the ascension of Elmo. Cumulatively, we have easily watched between fifty and a hundred hours of vintage Sesame Street in the last year.

We also have HBOGo and Hulu both of which have episodes of the program that aired between 2004 and today—shows that aired during my adulthood, in other words. So eventually I gave up and started watching more recent episodes as well.

And what I saw was that my old television neighborhood was gone. My immediate impression was akin to seeing the impact of gentrification transform a neighborhood you once knew. We’ve all experienced this at one time or another. You used to live or work or spend lots of time somewhere, and you come back years later, only to find it transformed to the point where it’s unrecognizable.

Everything seemed cleaner, somehow. Hooper’s store was still there—they have free wifi now!—but many local fixtures have been replaced with hipper, newer options. Sometimes there’s a farmers’ market, and there’s a rooftop garden on the top of the brownstone at 123 Sesame Street.

Everything seems to have been repainted in brighter colors. You might see an occasional familiar face, but the folks you knew from way back don’t live there anymore. The demographics have shifted.

I wanted to figure out what had happened to the show. Why it was so different. It had to be more complex than the simple passage of time. And because I’m a historian of media and my mind just works this way, I began a seriously deep dive into the history of Sesame Street. Because that’s what you get trained to do, when you do a PhD. You learn to obsess, to go down rabbit holes, to dedicate months of research to questions that other people would just shrug and forget about.

This is most of the Sesame Street books I’ve put together in the last few months. I’m already toying with the idea of going down to College Park MD to go through the CTW Archives.

The more I researched the show’s history and evolution, the more episodes I watched and the more I learned what was happening behind the scenes, the more I had my initial impression confirmed—Sesame Street has, in fact, been almost literally gentrified.

Over the years, the show has responded to economic pressures much the same way many cities have– by trying to “clean up” the neighborhood, force out minority communities, and thereby raise the metaphorical real estate values.

Sesame Street may be populated by monsters, but there is no single “evil developer” character to be blamed for the gentrification of the Street. Rather, it can be understood as a series of rational decisions based on audience response and funding.

The initial germ of Sesame Street can be found at a dinner party held at the Gramercy Park apartment of Educational Television producer Joan Ganz Cooney and her husband Tim. Among the guests was psychologist and Carnegie Corporation exec Lloyd Morrisett, who had recently marveled at how his daughter would watch test patterns waiting for the Saturday morning “kiddie shows” to come on; and how she would memorize a whole host of jingles and slogans from ads.

Morrisett and Coony, center, look to one another during an early CTW meeting.

Morrisett, whose work centered around children and education, asked if Cooney thought that television could be used to educate youngsters. Cooney replied that she didn’t know if it could, but she would like to look into it further. Cooney led a feasibility study, which led to a series of pilots—effectively iterative prototyping followed by outcome testing, which led to the series’s launch.

Empirical testing of educational outcomes has always been a cornerstone of the Children’s Television Workshop, the company that produced Sesame Street. (It has, in the 21st century, been rebranded as Sesame Street Workshop, but I will just refer to it as CTW from here on out for simplicity’s sake.)

But just as much as it has always been about learning the alphabet, numbers up to twenty, and lessons about sharing, Sesame Street has always been a show about representation. This was baked into the show from the beginning.

Sesame Street Season 1 cast sit on the stoop of 123 Sesame Street.

The show was funded in its initial season with grants from the Carnegie Corporation, the US Department of Education, and the Ford Foundation. It was the Ford Foundation that insisted the program target in particular inner city poor and minority children. Morisette and Cooney strike me as Great Society Democrats, I assume they were both very much on board with this decision.

It was Jon Stone, who essentially served as Sesame Street’s show runner over the show’s first twenty-some years, who had the idea to imbue the set with a sense of inner-city verisimilitude. If the program was to target young inner city youths, Stone reckoned the best way to do so was to present those children with a location that looked like where they lived. To that end, Stone demanded a “movie quality” main set—one with a much higher degree of detail than most television programs would have for their sets in the late 1960s. Trash cans and light poles, to that end, were scuffed up and grime-covered. There were signs of age and wear everywhere. The street set looked lived-in and real, in a way that children’s television at the time simply didn’t.

Jon Stone, center, with Ernie and Cookie Monster.

Thus, from the beginning, we see that CTW has two commitments—first off, there is a commitment to empirical research, to always testing and making sure the show is effectively teaching its curriculum. But there is another element that is just as key: a commitment to a specific vision, of television as a teacher, and specifically (though not exclusively) as a way of bridging educational gaps in early childhood that lie along class and race lines.

From the first episode, the African-American characters of Gordon and Susan were the emotional center of the show, serving as surrogate parents. They owned the brownstone at 123 Sesame Street, and served as hosts and educators to the children who visited, in their home or on the street.

Sesame Street Season 3 cast.

The cast expanded, and the neighborhood took on a diverse Latinx community as well as more Black characters. Season 3 introduced multiple Latinx characters, including Sonia Monzano’s Maria, Emilio Delgado’s Luis, and Raúl Juliá’s Rafael. Later in the 70s, the show would diversify in multiple interesting ways, including the addition of Native American folk singer Buffy St Marie, and the deaf actress Linda Bove.

There was even some diversity among the Muppets. Created and voiced by the original Gordon, Matt Robinson, Roosevelt Franklin was a little boy who would sometimes take over his elementary school classroom, teaching lessons that ranged from the amusing to the deeply Afrocentric, as in the picture here where he teaches a geography lesson about Africa being far richer and more vast than how it is portrayed in Tarzan movies.

Full disclosure: I freaking LOVE Roosevelt Franklin.

Roosevelt Franklin’s classroom was chaotic and anti-establishment, and all the students spoke in African America Vernacular English. This actually led to the segment’s downfall, as it was ultimately killed in deference to certain voices of respectability politics.

Over the years, economic pressures exerted themselves on the show. The grant funding that seeded the show eventually dried up, but merchandising was able to serve as a stopgap. The show’s dependence on merchandising deepened even further in the early 1980s as government funding shrank.

But this was not a problem, as the show was—from its first season—phenomenally popular. Dolls, books, records, and later videotapes all provided a lucrative source of income to supplement what dwindling funding could not.

Then, in 1992, Barney happened. The big purple dinosaur started eating into CTW’s ratings and their ancillary merchandise dollars.

It was in this environment that Kevin Clash’s Elmo became a breakout character. Elmo had been growing in popularity, especially in mid 1990s. Data showed that younger kids especially loved Elmo—he was especially popular with children as young as one or two, where the show had originally been targeted at 3 to 5 year olds. Perhaps not coincidentally, Barney similarly attracted children on the younger end of the five-and-under set.

The show got a major reprieve in the form of the Tickle Me Elmo Doll, which was propelled to success by the endorsement of talkshow host Rosie O’Donnell. That’s when the show’s producers went full throttle into Elmomania. By the end of the decade, the last fifteen minutes of each episode were dedicated to Elmo’s World, a segment where Elmo is the only character from the world of the rest of the show. 

In the same decade, many of the show’s original creators passed away or retired. Joe Raposo, who composed so many of Sesame Street’s most classic songs, died in 1989. Jim Henson died in 1990. Joan Ganz Cooney stepped down as the head of CTW the same year. Muppeteer Richard Hunt, who played many smaller characters including Forgetful Jones, Don Music, and Sully the silent construction worker, died in 1992. John Stone, the show runner, died of ALS in 1997.

This show, which had always been steered by both evidence-based testing and a crew with a shared vision for what the show should be, began to lose its institutional memory. The keepers of that oh-so-important vision started to disappear, replaced with a new generation.

And instead of being steered by data and vision, the show slowly came see data collection as a way to combat dropping ratings. Coming into the 21st century, we see the rise of smart phones and tablets, of streaming video online and health organizations increasingly advising no television for children under five. Ratings slipped further, as they did across television generally.

In 2015, Sonia Monzano (who played Maria) announced that she would retire at the end of the season. The same year, CTW announced that it would partner with HBO, granting first run rights to the pay cable network for a six month window. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show had operated at a $11 million loss the year before.

CTW angered many during this transition, not just by putting one of the most beloved public television shows behind a paywall, but by somewhat unceremoniously dropping the actors who played Bob, Luis, and Gordon. Bob McGrath had been with the show since the first episode, and the other two actors had been with the show since the 1970s. CTW later claimed that this was a misunderstanding on the older actors’ parts, and has invited them to make some brief cameos, but they are no longer part of the fabric of the show.

The show that Sesame Street has become is, as I said before, gentrified. It has literally been cleaned up—the original set was (unheard of for the time) a “movie quality” set, with an artificial but lifelike patina of urban decay. The set used today lacks the signs of use, wear, and damage. It uses more brightly colored paint, because these have proven more eye catching to young children.

The contrast between the original set, above, and the contemporary set, below, is dramatic.

It is also much less of a recognizable, organic-feeling urban community. The human cast in the show’s early years felt like a community that might exist in a neighborhood in a large city—it was a mix of Latinx folk, African Americans, white creatives like Bob (a voice coach), and Mr Hooper—a Jewish shopkeeper with a distinct accent who had clearly lived there all his life, and who let his customers put groceries on their tab.

The contemporary cast feels very much symbolically multicultural—a “one from each column” approach—while the majority of screen time goes to the Muppets, especially to newer characters who are coded younger, as the show’s core audience is now much younger. (It is also worth noting that CTW has almost never created merchandise that centered on the human cast members. Muppets can be marketed, muppets can be sold.)

…And all of this makes me sad, not just because of nostalgia, but because it means that the new Sesame Street looks a lot less like the neighborhood I am raising my daughter in. 

You knew I was going to bring it back to her, right?

I grew up in a former sundown town of under five thousand in rural Ohio. My neighborhood did not look at all like Sesame Street. But I kind of wished it did. When my wife and I moved to Massachusetts, we gravitated to a small, densely populated, urban neighborhood in Salem with a large Dominican and Puerto Rican community, where kids still play in the street and nobody calls it “free range parenting.” And part of me wonders if Sesame Street doesn’t have something to do with that.

Because far more than any other media I can recall from my youth in the early 1980s, Sesame Street presented an aspirational vision of a utopian urbanism… And did so when most cultural representations of urbanity were viscerally dystopian. Sesame Street took place in New York City, but the New York City it represented wasn’t at all the same “Fear City” that much media presented us with in flyover country. There was a superabundance of hope on Sesame Street. And cooperation, and love. And counting.

And I want my daughter to be able to watch episodes of Sesame Street where she can see a neighborhood that looks like the one she is growing up in: where the actors look like our neighbors, and the street looks a bit like our street.

And thanks to Youtube video archivists, she can. The fashions are a bit dated, a few of the technological references are pretty outmoded, but at the end of the day, Sesame Street has aged very well. The lessons, from letters and numbers to accepting and loving your neighbors, sharing, being patient—these things are timeless.

She loves Elmo, sure, and we both enjoy the new “Cookie Monster’s Foodie Truck” segments. But that in no way detracts from her enjoyment of the old episodes. She doesn’t care about the lower video fidelity or the fact that some of the old episodes are incomplete. She gets to live in a world with multiple Sesame Streets.

And I guess that’s the next best thing.



Girl loves playing basketball.

Test Subject V loves basketball. We live within a few blocks of at least five different basketball courts, so she has ample opportunity to watch the teenagers playing in the afternoons.

In the mornings, though, the courts are pretty dead, so My Colleague and I decided to get the kid a basketball of her own. You can see it in the pic above. She can’t dribble and her shots only go a few inches over her head, but we figured it’s never too early to instill a love of the game. And she loves it SO MUCH.

I’ve been impressed at how welcoming some of the older kids have been, too, when confronted with a one-and-a-half-year-old who wants nothing more than to get in on their game. They’re generally very good humored and encouraging.

We were talking with one such kid the other day, who I’d guess was— maybe a fifth grader? He looked a little bit like a young Lil Yachty. Really sweet kid, very gentle with V.

Anyway, a rebounding ball nearly hit V in the head. Little Lil Yachty said something along the lines of “Oh, we’ve gotta be careful! That ball nearly hit her!”

My reply, something I’ve been saying a lot lately, was “It’s okay, with kids this age, falling down and getting hit by things is how they learn.”

Little Lil Yachty got thoughtful for a sec. “You know, my sister says, when you fall down—that’s when you grow.” I was seriously gobsmacked at this moment of #KidWisdom.

And then, a couple days later, I came across this video from Vox about the Adventure Playground movement:

It’s something I hadn’t heard of before, but it really jibes with my own beliefs about children, and about what was advantageous and beneficial about my own youth as opposed to today’s. (For example, acceptance of greater risk, and allowing more autonomy and movement for kids.)

Which is of course not to say that everything was better when I was a kid back in the 80s. I am thrilled to see that today’s kids are much more nurturing of one another, seem to be less casually accepting of bullying, are much less constrained by toxic masculinity and the notion of limited roles for women and girls. I’m certainly not a reactionary.

But I’m trying to raise Test Subject V in an environment that isn’t so risk adverse, and where she doesn’t think that My Colleague and I will intervene whenever she hits a bump in the road at school or on the playground. (Not to say that I won’t go into full-on Papa Bear Advocate mode if needed. But I’m going to try to resist that as the default.)


I’m back. And I’ve been thinking about Sesame Street.

This blog has been inactive for about a year. Test Subject V started cruising at six months and walking at eight. Everything since then is kind of a blur. I’ve been very, very busy, very happy, and very tired. I now live from playground to playground. It’s a good life, although a tiring one at times.

But I am going to be posting here again, hopefully on a regular basis. My interest in Sesame Street has become a full-fledged research interest, and I’ll likely be posting here about my many, many, far too many thoughts on Sesame Street.

This past weekend I presented at the New England American Studies Association (NEASA) conference. I hope to post my presentation here shortly, after a few minor revisions. It was about the Gentrification of Sesame Street.

When I was getting my PhD in American History, “So What” was a popular question among the professors. It’s an important question to ask sometimes, but at the same time, asking a student that at the beginning of research means that you aren’t letting them discover the importance of their topic by researching about it and writing about it. And that can be an important way to discover meaning!

I decided that, now that I’m no longer either a grad student or (technically even) a historian, I’m going to let myself be okay with that ambiguity, with that process of discovery by writing around the topic. That’s always how I’ve best found meaning and import, anyway.

So I’ll be talking here about my adventures as a parent, again, and also I’m hoping to have a healthy dose of Sesame Street news and analysis, as I’m thinking this might eventually make its way into a book project.

So on that tip, I wanted to draw attention to this item in Deadline, that says that Bo Burnham, whose Thirteen I absolutely loved, and whose standup I find… Fine, I mean, he’s fine. He’s funny sometimes… Bo Burnham has been tapped to pen some songs for the upcoming Sesame Street movie project.

I grabbed this image from Deadline. I hope they don’t care, I’m just using it to draw attention to an article that I’ve linked there.

Burnham, as I said before, is definitely funny, at least some of the time, and I hope his contribution is primarily lyrical. I haven’t seen much that indicates he’s any great musical talent. Of course, I love the songs in the Muppet movie that the Flight of the Concords guy gave us, so you never know. And even Harry Nilson (and Altman and Feiffer and Robin Williams and so many others) couldn’t make Popeye any good, so you never know.


One of the Many Small Indignities of Parenthood…

V, watching Sesame Street: Da-DA!!

Me, paying attention to something else: Wha? No, baby, that’s not daddy, that’s a pig playing a banjo!


Great Piece in the NYT on Mom Shaming

I was hoping to find a stock photo image of “mom shaming,” but came up short. Instead, here’s an image from “Bad Moms,” a movie that really does seem to respond to some of the same pressures on contemporary parents.

There’s a great op-ed about mom shaming in this Sunday’s New York Times. Kim Brooks makes some great points.  This passage, in particular, gave me pause:

These women’s critics insist that it’s not mothers they hate; it’s just that kind of mother, the one who, because of affluence or poverty, education or ignorance, ambition or unemployment, allows her own needs to compromise (or appear to compromise) the needs of her child. We’re contemptuous of “lazy” poor mothers. We’re contemptuous of “distracted” working mothers. We’re contemptuous of “selfish” rich mothers. We’re contemptuous of mothers who have no choice but to work, but also of mothers who don’t need to work and still fail to fulfill an impossible ideal of selfless motherhood. You don’t have to look very hard to see the common denominator.

Because it is gendered, isn’t it? Women have their parenting practices policed far more than men. Part of that is, I’m sure, due to the fact that men still don’t do their fair share of active day-to-day parenting, and other parts are doubtless due to the fact that “motherhood” is seen as something intrinsic to  what it means to be a woman, where for men, being a good father is seen as almost extra credit. I mean, the shaming is not exclusive to women. I have definitely felt some eyes on me when out in public, have been chided for things that are not the business of anyone but myself, My Colleague, and Test Subject V.

But women get it worse. And women get it earlier on—so many mothers I’ve known have had trouble breast feeding and not one of them has ever said “well, thank god that random woman from the mom’s group made me feel guilty about my choices! The baby would have starved otherwise.” A friend has actually described the urge to shout out to strangers  at Target that the bottle she was feeding her newborn was breastmilk, not because anyone was even giving her any grief, but because there’s a panoptic quality to the shaming that mothers get today.

So yeah, while I might feel the eyes of judgemental parents on me, that pressure is demonstrably worse on women. To whit:

At this point you might be wondering, “What about the dads?”

Dr. Sarnecka, the cognitive scientist, has an answer to this. Her study found that subjects were far less judgmental of fathers. When participants were told a father had left his child for a few minutes to run into work, they estimated the level of risk to the child as about equal to when he left because of circumstances beyond his control.

I love the way this finding makes plain something we all know but aren’t supposed to say: A father who is distracted by his interests and obligations in the adult world is being, well, a father; a mother who does the same is failing her children.

This is so messed up. And it puts me, as a stay-at-home father who considers himself a feminist and has aspirations to raise his daughter in as “free range” a manner as possible, in a position where I have to ask myself some questions:

  • If I, as a male parent, benefit from male privilege in being less likely to be shamed or even arrested for perceived “neglect” of my children, how can I use that privilege as a responsible ally to women to try to change this situation?
  • How is that made more complicated when the people shaming mothers or calling the cops are, themselves, women?
  • How does all this relate to the idea I’ve been struggling to define—that of “parenting in public?” Does it help to subvert or subdue this urge to police women’s parenting? Or does it just result from my own inherent privilege?

I don’t really have answers, here—I’m just hoping some readers might be able to give me some guidance, or help start a conversation.


Today’s Activities, And Two Takeaways

Test Subject V kept me company today through a variety of tasks

Just for the sake of brevity, I’ll only account my activities between noon and 8pm today:

  • Took Test Subject V to the new mom’s group I’ve been attending: socialized, played, and empathized.
  • Went to the grocery store to pick up a few items.
  • Fed the baby once I got home.
  • Did the dishes.
  • Cooked Dinner.
  • Ate said dinner with the wife and the baby.
  • Cut my wife’s hair.

Two takeaways from this:

  1. Being a stay-at-home parent is a full-time job. And it doesn’t just end after eleven hours when your spouse finally comes home. So many of the moms I talk to are reluctant to ask their husbands to help out because “he’s been working all day.” Yeah, well, so have you. Own it.
  2. There is something to be said for marrying someone who isn’t super-invested in traditional gender roles. Just ask my wife: she got home from work with dinner cooking and got a free haircut after.

Most North Shore Thing Ever

When My Colleague and I first moved to the North Shore, we were surprised and confused at the region’s obsession with Roast Beef. Every pizza place sells not just pizza, but fried seafood (makes sense, it’s the coast) and roast beef sandwiches (what?). Every little town has a few Roast Beef shops.

I still don’t know why it’s so big up here, but I have learned the joys of good three way roast beef sandwich. (For people not around here, that’s a giant pile of roast beef, topped with melted cheese, mayo, and barbecue sauce between some onion rolls.)

ANYway, all this is just a lead up to saying that this shirt may be the most North Shore thing EVAR: