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Category Archives: Progeny

Those kids o’mine and their antics.

Fred Sanford of Sanford and Son

It’s the big one!

A man who ordered a prostitute to his hotel room collapsed when his daughter turned up at the door.

Titus Ncube from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, said the shock of seeing his 20-year-old daughter sent him to the ground.

The unnamed woman reportedly fled the building.

According to the Zimbabwe News, Ncube ordered the prostitute as he was experiencing marital problems.

“I am sorry for what I did,” he said. “I spoke to my wife and my daughter… I apologised for my actions because I just wanted my family back.”

Ncube said his daughter was no longer working as a prostitute and was planning to return to school.

“My marital problems are not over, but we have a marriage counsellor who is helping us to get over this most difficult period in our marriage,” he added.

On hearing the news, his wife said: “If it were not for my children, I could have divorced him a long time ago.”


April 13, 2012, 10:22 AM

Why French Parents Are Superior (in One Way)


Consider this: Our children are three times more likely to be overweight than French children. In fact, we lead the world in producing overweight children, but the French have one of the lowest rates of overweight children in the developed world.

The causes of obesity are complex (lifestyle, physical activity, poverty, food insecurity, genetics and obesogenic chemicals all play a role). But what we eat is undoubtedly a factor. Because of poor eating habits, the current generation of American children will suffer far more health problems — and perhaps have a shorter life expectancy — than their parents. We may be teaching our kids to eat themselves into an early grave.

The reason lies in how we teach our kids to eat. I say this from personal experience: together with our two daughters we’ve divided our time between France and North America for the better part of two decades. Our daughters been in school and daycare — and I’ve taught in universities — in both places. So I’ve seen French children in action from cradle to college.

Now, despite this, I don’t parent like the French. In fact, I think they could learn from us about creativity, empathy and individual initiative — traits that are not fostered by traditional French parenting (or schooling). I think North American parenting at its best is, largely, better for kids. But there is one exception: food.

French parents teach their children to eat like we teach our kids to read: with love, patience and firm persistence they expose their children to a wide variety of tastes, flavors and textures that are the building blocks of a varied, healthy diet. Pediatrician-recommended first foods for French babies are leek soup, endive, spinach and beets. (Not bland rice cereal — have you ever tasted that stuff?) They teach their children that “good for you foods” taste good (broccoli – yum!), whereas we often do the opposite.

The result is a nation of healthy eaters: 6 million French children sit down every day to school lunches featuring dishes like cauliflower casserole, baked endive, beet salad and broccoli. Vending machines and fast food are banned, and flavored milk is not an option. To introduce kids to a wide variety of foods, no dish can be repeated more than once per month. Food for thought.

French children are also trained to think about how to eat. The French won’t ask a child, for example, “Are you full,” but rather “Are you still hungry” — a very different feeling. This is one example of French Food Rules (as I call them): codified common sense based in a rich food culture, backed up by a century of science.

Another example: French kids snack only once a day. France’s official food guide emphatically recommends no snacking, and TV snack food ads carry a banner (much like cigarettes) warning that snacking between meals is bad for your health. Snacking, the French feel, creates unregulated eating habits that are difficult to change later in life. Given that our increased calorie consumption over the past 20 years has come largely from snacking, they may have a point.

Just in case you were wondering, diets for French children are relatively rare; few of them need it. Nor are they deprived of treats: “food is fun” is the Golden Rule of French eating. 
Moderation, not deprivation — along with viewing food as a source of pleasure, a fun family adventure — is the core of French food culture. The French worry less about nutrients and calories, and instead concentrate on teaching their children to love food; c’est normal!, given that food is one of life’s great shared pleasures.

We saw the results in our own family during the year we lived in France. Our children went from being absurdly picky eaters (we counted goldfish crackers as a separate food group) to loving many vegetables, from beets and broccoli to creamed spinach. They, in turn, inspired me to change the way I ate. When we’re not living in France, we continue (and adapt) the French approach to eating. This doesn’t mean we need to eat French food; why would we, when we have so many diverse, wonderful cuisines (and even terroirs) here at home? Rather, we’ve learned some useful life lessons about how and why to eat.

So we don’t need to parent like the French. But we should be asking ourselves what we could learn from them about children and food. It’s a conversation worth having, because a lot is at stake.

Karen Le Billon is the author of “French Children Eat Everything.”


I was made aware of this post by a friend via Facebook. I loved it and read it while looking up at my daughter multiple times while she slept soundly in her bed. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have.

I was in tears as I read through this list, as I’m sure many grown daughters will be. Mothers – bookmark this list of rules and encourage your daughter’s daddy to read them, memorize them, and put them in to action. And, to all you Dads out there – be sure you pay close attention and heed these wise words.

About Michael 
Michael Mitchell is an (almost) thirty-something dad who blogs daily tips and life lessons for dads of daughters at He spends his days practicing the arts of fatherhood and husbandry, while attempting to be a man of God and a professional raiser of philanthropic funds. On the rare occasion he’s not tied up with the aforementioned and other pursuits of awesomeness, he enjoys fighting street gangs for local charities and drinking from a cup that’s half full. Bookmark Life To Her Years, follow Michael on Twitter, and “like” him on Facebook for more “rules”.

1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.

2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.

4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.

5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.

6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball. Make her proud to throw like a girl… a girl with a wicked slider.

7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.

8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.

9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.

10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.

11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”

12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.

13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday. In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.

14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.

Photo Credit :: Danielle Rocke Toews

15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.

16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.

17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.

18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.

19. Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.

20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.

21. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive.

22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.

23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.

24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.

25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.

26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.

27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often. She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.

28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.

29. If her mom enrolls her in swim lessons, make sure you get in the pool too. Don’t be intimidated if there are no other dads there. It’s their loss.

30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.

31. Teach her to roller skate. Watch her confidence soar.

32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.

33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.

34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.

35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.

36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.

37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.

38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.

39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue.

40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.

41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.

42. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.

43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.

45. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.

46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.

47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.

49. This day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.

50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.

Photo Credits can be found at the bottom of Michael’s original post.

**9/15/11**This post has resonated so well with daughters and fathers, mothers and grandfathers, and has received many beautiful and heartfelt comments. As much as it pains me, I have had to disable the comment feature. If you have a comment you would like for the author to see, please contact him via his blog, or email me directly at christineATfromdatestodiapersDOTcom and I’ll be sure to pass it along to Michael.


The women of Beit Shemesh respond to Ultra-Orthodox-Violence.

Good for you girls!

My daughter wants beautiful long hair like her friends and cousins with french braids and accessories, but her mother has a habit of cutting it. If my daughter’s mother knew how to cut hair it probably wouldn’t be so bad, but alas it looks like an uneven disaster area every time. If her mother would just leave my daughter’s hair alone, I could eventually take her to a stylist to fix. The reason why she does it is a different matter here.

In any case, I am trying to figure out how to take care of my daughter’s hair without hurting her every time I brush it. When washing her hair, I use a combination shampoo and conditioner. When she’s done, I don’t dry her hair; I take her out and make sure that the towel is sitting around her neck and back. Then I take her hair while still soaking, knead a detangler cream into it, and begin brushing it. It seems to work till she gets into bed. When she wakes up, that’s the hard part. I again knead the detangler into her hair and brush it, but, although much better than when she woke up, her hair still looks unkempt.

Would braiding her hair loosely before getting into bed work or would it just make her hair frizzy and with even more tangles? I am a little hesitant about it because I don’t want to put pressure on her roots. I tried looking this up on the net, but everyone has a different opinion. I guess that I’m just going to have to deal with trial and error here. Perhaps I need to comb her hair when it’s wet rather than brush it. I would appreciate any and all help in this area.

Well, at least it will give me enough time to practice till she’s old enough to wash and take care of her hair by herself. Good thing that I don’t have to worry about this with my son. He may forget to wash behind the ears at times, but he’s pretty independent in the shower, not to mention that his hair is short enough not to worry about combing.

There is a song in Hebrew “Children are a Blessing” by Joshua Sobol, also known as Yehoshua Sobol (יהושע סובול), describing the wonders of children. Here is the song with my translation (if someone notices a mistake, please let me know so that I may correct it):

Have two have three

Have four children

You’ll get a home with an entrance and a kitchen

And two small rooms

Have four have five

Have six children

You’ll get benefits(joy) and respect from your relatives

You love children

תביאו שניים תביאו שלושה

תביאו ארבעה ילדים

תקבלו שיכונים עם כניסה ומטבח

ושני חדרים קטנים

תביאו ארבעה תביאו חמישה

תביאו ששה ילדים

תקבלו הנאה וכבוד מקרובים

אתם אוהבים ילדים

Children are a joy

Children are a blessing

And you have a heart of gold

It is written in the Bible

Perhaps in the Talmud

Go and ask the Rabbi

ילדים זה שמחה

ילדים זה ברכה

ולכם יש לב של זהב

כתוב בתורה

אולי בגמרא

לכו תשאלו את הרב

Have six have seven

Have eight children

It’s not a joke

Israel needs many lovable young children

תביאו ששה תביאו שבעה

תביאו שמונה ילדים

זאת לא בדיחה

הארץ צריכה הרבה צעירים נחמדים

Have a dozen and why not live it up?

Have twenty children

G-d will provide

Social services will as well

Whatever the children shall need

תביאו תריסר ולמה לא חי?

תביאו עשרים ילדים

אלוהים כבר יתן

הסעד גם כן

מה שצריכים ילדים

G-d is great

It is difficult for Him to tolerate

That one will receive everything

To one He burdens with money, power and fun

And to you he provides children

אלוהים הוא גדול

קשה לו לסבול

שאחד יקבל את הכל

לאחד הוא דוחף כסף, כח וכיף

ולכם הוא נותן ילדים

I wonder if this woman would still be so cool if she had twenty children do what these two adorable little darlings have? Oh my gosh!

My son asked me to tell him the names of very large numbers, so I did a little research and have discovered the names of large numbers up to 10180.

The names are based on United States and modern Brithish usage. The traditional British and traditional European names differ. Here goes:

The Suffix -illion is 103(n) + 3

M(i) + illion is 103(1) + 3 = 106

B(i) + illion is 103(2) + 3 = 109

Tr(i) + illion is 103(3) + 3 = 1012

Quadr + illion is 103(4) + 3 = 1015

Quint + illion is 103(5) + 3 = 1018

Sext + illion is 103(6) + 3 = 1021

Sept + illion is 103(7) + 3 = 1024

Oct + illion is 103(8) + 3 = 1027

Non + illion is 103(9) + 3 = 1030

Dec + illion is 103(10) + 3 = 1033

Un + dec + illion is 103(11) + 3 = 1036

Duo + dec + illion is 103(12) + 3 = 1039

Tre + dec + illion is 103(13) + 3 = 1042

Quattouro + dec + illion is 103(14) + 3 = 1045

Quin + dec + illion is 103(15) + 3 = 1048

Sex + dec + illion is 103(16) + 3 = 1051

Septen + dec + illion is 103(17) + 3 = 1054

Octo + dec + illion is 103(18) + 3 = 1057

Novem + dec + illion is 103(19) + 3 = 1060

Vi + gint + illion is 103(20) + 3 = 1063

Un + vi + gint + illion is 103(21) + 3 = 1066

Duo + vi + gint + illion is 103(22) + 3 = 1069

Tre + vi + gint + illion is 103(23) + 3 = 1072

Quattouro + vi + gint + illion is 103(24) + 3 = 1075

Quin + vi + gint + illion is 103(25) + 3 = 1078

Sex + vi + gint + illion is 103(26) + 3 = 1081

Septen + vi + gint + illion is 103(27) + 3 = 1084

Octo + vi + gint + illion is 103(28) + 3 = 1087

Novem + vi + gint + illion is 103(29) + 3 = 1090

Tri + gint + illion is 103(30) + 3 = 1093

Un + tri + gint + illion is 103(31) + 3 = 1096

Duo + tri + gint + illion is 103(32) + 3 = 1099

Tre + tri + gint + illion is 103(33) + 3 = 10102

Quattouro + tri + gint + illion is 103(34) + 3 = 10105

Quin + tri + gint + illion is 103(35) + 3 = 10108

Sex + tri + gint + illion is 103(36) + 3 = 10111

Septen + tri + gint + illion is 103(37) + 3 = 10114

Octo + tri + gint + illion is 103(38) + 3 = 10117

Novem + tri + gint + illion is 103(39) + 3 = 10120

Quadra + gint + illion is 103(40) + 3 = 10123

Un + quadra + gint + illion is 103(41) + 3 = 10126

Duo + quadra + gint + illion is 103(42) + 3 = 10129

Tre + quadra + gint + illion is 103(43) + 3 = 10132

Quattouro + quadra + gint + illion is 103(44) + 3 = 10135

Quin + quadra + gint + illion is 103(45) + 3 = 10138

Sex + quadra + gint + illion is 103(46) + 3 = 10141

Septen + quadra + gint + illion is 103(47) + 3 = 10144

Octo + quadra + gint + illion is 103(48) + 3 = 10147

Novem + quadra + gint + illion is 103(49) + 3 = 10150

Quinqua + gint + illion is 103(50) + 3 = 10153

Un + quinqua + gint + illion is 103(51) + 3 = 10156

Duo + quinqua + gint + illion is 103(52) + 3 = 10159

Tre + quinqua + gint + illion is 103(53) + 3 = 10162

Quattouro + quinqua + gint + illion is 103(54) + 3 = 10165

Quin + quinqua + gint + illion is 103(55) + 3 = 10168

Sex + quinqua + gint + illion is 103(56) + 3 = 10171

Septen + quinqua + gint + illion is 103(57) + 3 = 10174

Octo + quinqua + gint + illion is 103(58) + 3 = 10177

Novem + quinqua + gint + illion is 103(59) + 3 = 10180

Googolplex (1010100 or 10,000,000,000100 or 1010,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000) is the only recognized name designated for the largest “simple” number that I could find. If I did not make any mistakes, then a googolplex, when written out, will be a one followed by 185,185,185 lines of zeros like the one below:


If you can find a name for a larger “simple” number, please let me know (I have heard about the googolplexian, but I don’t know if it is recognized).

The 4Rs and the 5Es are two different schools of thought on how parents help their children better deal with health issues/problems. Which one are you subscribed to and which one do you prefer?

The common parental condition toward children is:

The 4Rs:
Rescue (Preventing children from making mistakes)

The less subscribed to path of parents who want to help their children is:

The 5Es:
Experience: The road to wisdom is paved with mistakes. Mistakes made early in life are far more “affordable” than mistakes made later in life.
Example: Kids learn far more from the examples we set than from the lectures we give.
Empathy: Empathy allows kids to learn from their mistakes. Anger allows them to blame us for their problems.

  • False praise can lead to disrespect
  • Use questions, not statements.
    • No: “Good Job! I’m so proud!”
    • Yes: “Good Job! I bet you’re really proud of yourself. How do you feel?”
  • Smiles, hugs, and enthusiasm.


  • Avoid: warnings, worry, criticism, pessimism and disappointment.
  • Express high but reasonable expectations.
  • Give children the “can do” message.


For more information, go to:
Another, more general site, is:

A renewed attempt at maintaining a chronicle that I have promised myself about a year or so ago.

*OUCH* My daughter is watching the following video, climbing me as she does, while I write this entry.

Life doesn’t get much better than this.

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