Category Archives: Toddlerhood


Happy Halloween from the Mystery Inc. crew!

Why Mama Shouldn’t Leave For Work Early

Exhibit H:  I skipped the normal shower and was getting dressed when I heard multiple crashes followed by crying. I ran out to the living room, my dad bod on full display, and saw Q on the back of the couch, with H nowhere to be found. Then I noticed the lamp was knocked over, along with a picture frame. H was lying on the floor behind the end table, screaming bloody murder. When I found her, she looked at me with eyes that said, “That hurt,” while simultaneously saying, “What the hell just happened?” Continue reading

Murphy’s Law: Scientific Data Collected By A Dad

It’s been awhile since the trials and tribulations of being a dad have elevated to blog post level, but recently my lovely wife went on a work “vacation” to Denver and my Super Dad powers were put to the test again. As the title states, things didn’t go according to plan. Continue reading

Shit Show

Captain’s Log – Day 1,604

We were awoken this morning at 6:32 by a small boy running past our quarters, seemingly in a rush to get to the toilet. Upon getting out of bed to inspect the situation, we heard whining from the kennel in the front room. Surprised that we had actually gotten an uninterrupted night of sleep – one of only a handful of times on this four-year journey – we realized the dog needed to go outside. My co-captain let the puppy out to do his business, and returned him to the kennel. In the meantime, the now naked boy jumped onto my bed, and I helped him find his clothes and sent him to the basement bathroom with the co-captain to finish getting ready for the day. I knew we were all awake for the day now, so I let the dog out of the kennel.

I heard some chatter coming from the little lady’s sleeping quarters, so I went in to help her from her crib. I noticed quite the smell coming from her diaper, so I got her changed and dressed. While on the changing table, the puppy kept coming in the room and whining, but as I had a naked baby on top of the dresser, there was not much I could do at the time.

After finally getting the toddler to sit still long enough to get dressed, we ventured out to the main living quarters. My nostrils were still picking up the scent of waste, but I knew it couldn’t be her – I had just changed her. As I came into the front room, I saw it. Over to the right, near the play tent, there was the unmistakable dark spot on the floor that could be nothing other than a small pile of dog feces. Upon further inspection, and much to my disgust, there were a few spots of poop inside the tent as well. I frantically called for my co-captain’s assistance but he could not be found. He was still in the basement with the boy, taking their sweet time getting dressed.

I set the toddler down to play while I grabbed the dog by his collar to lead him outside. Unfortunately, this made the puppy think it was morning play time. He had no idea he was in trouble, and just bounded right back into the house before the door shut all the way. By now, the co-captain had made it upstairs to see what all the commotion was. As I was assessing the situation, I hear the boy cry behind me “No babes, that’s not for you!”

Assuming this was another day starting off with the two of them fighting over a dump truck (mind you, we have 2 of these dump trucks now – another story for another day), I ignored it for the moment while I tried to gather up floor cleaner, rags and bags. As I kneel down to start the cleaning, the co-captain quickly runs into the room, bee-lining straight for the toddler. To be honest, I’m impressed with the speed of him at this hour of the day. I turn to see what has happened, and a scene from my nightmares slowly unfolds before my eyes. The co-captain swiftly grabs the toddler and lifts her from where she was playing on the floor, heading straight to the bathtub. My eyes pan down to a giant pile of dog shit that I didn’t see before, which clearly has toddler fist-sized gaps missing. I see dark brown smears on her clothes. By some miracle, the co-captain was able to grab her before it got any worse.


Needless to say, the dog got to experience a bitter cold Minnesota morning on the porch, the toddler got a bath, the boy got some quality entertainment, the co-captain got a quick workout, and I got real familiar with carpet cleaner.

But don’t worry. The tent lives another day.

Daycare Round 2 – Team Stein vs. The Universe

Last week was a big week in the Team Stein household. As summer came to a close and September rolled in, we were facing the end of an era. K’s final days (ever!) of maternity leave came to a close, and with that came a baby going to daycare for the first time, a toddler becoming a preschooler and making the switch to the big-kid room at school, a mama re-joining the workforce after a short break, and a dad just trying to keep us all from having major meltdowns at any given moment.

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The Dad Who Failed At Blogging

Once upon a time, there was a dad who failed at blogging.  He was supposed to be writing stories for random people on the internet about the trials and tribulations of being an adult, parental human being.  This dad lived across from a magical creek, near The Enchanted Internet Cafe, filled with grande drinks, water slides, sports balls, and free wifi connection.  But whenever The Dad Who Failed At Blogging attempted to slip between the brush and reach The Enchanted Internet Cafe, something pulled him back to The World of Real Life; an evil wizard called Laziness.  Whenever The Dad Who Failed At Blogging thought he had enough mental fortitude to sit down and write about the chaos in The World of Real Life, Laziness would cast a spell, forcing The Dad Who Failed At Blogging to watch TV, or drink a beer, or even sleep.  This happened day after day, week after week, month after month; until one day, The Dad Who Failed At Blogging figured out a plan to trick Laziness.  The Dad Who Failed At Blogging put on his finest pair of corduroy pants, he threw on a shirt made from shrink-resistant cotton, and he sat down on his porch. When the evil wizard appeared, The Dad Who Failed At Blogging jumped up out of his chair, reached into his pocket, pulled out a vile, and drank a mysterious 5-hour energy potion that gave him the strength of 27 dewdrops from the mountain.  His vitality increased about as much as his heart rate; and, The Dad Who Failed At Blogging began running in circles around Laziness. The wizard looked left, then right, but on this day The Dad Who Failed At Blogging was too fast to capture.  With a slow-motion jump straight into a pair of rocket-powered rollerblades, The Dad Who Failed At Blogging shot like a cannon through the thicket and into The Enchanted Internet Cafe.  Unfortunately, The Dad Who Failed At Blogging was unprepared for the power of free wifi.

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The Blue Spoon

There I was, standing in front of the mirror, getting ready for the day. Suddenly, the door flew open, nearly decapitating my big toe and narrowly missing the rest of my body. I was expecting to see Q, with a balloon in his hand and a smile on his face, ready to play before work and school. What I saw was pregnant woman with a look on her face that was a combination of “there’s hair in my mouth” and “someone just stole my burrito.”

“Are you ok?” I asked. Continue reading

The Great Escape

This past weekend marked a large milestone in the life of little Q…or maybe we should refer to him as Big Boy Q from here on out since he’s officially made the escape from the crib into his big bed. Yes, our baby is a baby no more.

Q spent his last night in his crib on Friday, with no idea that he was going to get a taste of freedom the following evening. I would say that he slept like a baby, but he was the baby who refused to sleep for 18 months, so that’s not quite fitting.  He slept like a “normal.”

big bed toddler

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