Essential Guidelines For Naming Your Baby

(Unsplash/Jon Tyson)

Ernest Hemingway once wrote a six-word short story—For sale: baby shoes, never worn. In a sentence like that every word is doing some lifting. It’s almost poem-like—so much meaning crammed into so small a space, no room for error. I feel this weight everyday between the time my wife tells me she’s pregnant and I’m holding the new little so-and-so.

I have heard of two accounts recently in which couples went to the hospital for delivery without having solidified a name and left the hospital still without a name. This is probably not the most uncommon thing ever, but come on, seriously, get it together. You have nine months to come up with two words or three or four if you’re hyphenating. Who needs that stress post labor?

Don’t procrastinate

It is never too early in the process to start vexing your partner. My wife says to me, “I’m pregnant.” I say, “That’s great. How about Ernest?” “Babe, can you hand me my water bottle?” “Maybe if we can name the baby Cormac,” I say. It is a battle of attrition, a battle that you really cannot afford to lose. Trust me, my first son was nearly named Kohan.

First things first

Maybe it’s because—it definitely is—I’m an English major, but every part of a name has to mean something, which automatically cuts out anything like Braxton, Daxton, or Crackerjaxton. One thing to remember: A hell of a lot of people had to survive wolves, military service, and swine flu to allow you a chance at naming this thing. Don’t screw it up, and maybe throw them a bone. Your great grandfather Rex pushed a handcart across the plains? Bring Rexy back. Your second aunt Sylvie marched during the Civil Rights Movement? Endow that child with some strength.

Not another Andrew

Another thing to consider is you don’t want your kid to have the same name as every other kid in the second grade, which means no Liam, no Noah, and definitely no Andrew. You also don’t want to pretend you’re coming up with an original name because you spell it incorrectly, which means no Leeum, no No-uh, and definitely no Anzdroueue. There are thousands of names. Pick one that you hear maybe only a few times a week. Also resist the urge to add Xs and Ys.

No words

Please remember you are naming a child, not wording a child. Use actual names. Tree is not a name. Feather is not a name. Bong is not a name. Give your kids the opportunity to choose for themselves if they want to smoke pot; don’t force it on them.

Passing it on

I was once told that the meat goes in the middle. Thanks, Tom, my favorite sandwich artist. The middle name provides a wonderful opportunity to link generations. At some point your kid is going to hate you, and if you’re a Kevin and you name your kid Kevin (God forbid), he’s going to eventually change his name to Topher or some shit to spite you and make you feel worthless. So if you really want Kev to keep on Kevin’, put the K-word somewhere he can’t find it. Remember, kids are dumb.

Dick jokes

Of course, things can’t be quite that easy. You have to look down the road to about seventh grade and think about all the ways the students at your kid’s school are going to shape your child’s name into some kind of sexual activity. So, we’re cutting Venus and Dinah, no Dolores, and no on Lana, nothing like Mildo, not Dusty Mambone. Initials are also dangerous, so absolutely no Beverly Jo.

(Unsplash/chuttersnap)

This isn’t about you. It’s about the kids. They are the ones who have to look up every time you shout their name at a Wal-Mart. Give them something good and decent. Give them a fighting chance. Personally, I’ve got a name picked out that nobody can eff with and seven months to talk my wife into it: Wu-Tang Clan.

Crocs Just Released High-Heels And People Are Losing It

(Tradesy)

Love them or hate them, Crocs are a staple of the dad community and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

However, in a recent turn of events, the infamous clog company released a surprising new model of footwear: the high-heel.

(Crocs)

Attempting to balance comfort and sophistication, the shoe looks about as glamourous as it can while still retaining the traditional Croc characteristics, and people are very split on whether or not they should exist.

Despite harsh reviews from critics and fashionistas as well as the steep $55 price tag, the newest version of Crocs are already selling out all over the place!

“Get all the fashion without sacrificing the comfort. Dress them up or down, and enjoy wherever the day takes you!” Crocs claims about the radical new heel. What do you think? Do these belong in a flaming dumpster fire or are you already eagerly buying early Christmas gifts?

The new ‘Cyprus V Heel’ is selling fast.

(Crocs)
(Crocs)

Some versions already selling out!

(Crocs)

 

And opinions vary quite a bit.

Grab a pair here now while you still can! Or do your best to erase this knowledge from your memory forever.

You know, either/or.

 

Father Figures: Timeless Toys

“At the ages of 8 and 10 years, my two boys became immersed in Cartoon Network’s “Hot Wheels Battle Force 5.”

They asked if I had the same cartoon/action figure fun when I was their age and I was happy to say yes.

I shared with them my 1980’s memories of MASK and how close the two toys lines followed each other. Our journey started there.

The three of us were able to return to my childhood home and venture through the attic storage, and we found the 80’s treasure right where I left them 25 years ago. We brought the collection home and cleaned the items up by hand, using the internet as a resource to match each character with his vehicle.

The journey continued as I watched the boys blend the two generations of toys together in their own universe, fueled by imagination. We were also able to find the DVD versions of MASK and HWBF5 and still sit down together to watch.

I couldn’t think of a better way to spend time with my boys and blend the two generations together.”

– William Phillips

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Custom Watermelon Slicer Looks So Terrifyingly Awesome

(reddit/u/Texas12thMan)

If a guy with a missing finger told you he built a custom watermelon slicer that includes over a dozen massive kitchen knives, would you try it?

Are you kidding? No way.

What if that guy is your dad?

Oh, then absolutely. Here, let the kids try it first.

Wife’s dad built this watermelon slicer. from gifs

15 Hilarious Photos That Prove Kids Can Sleep Anywhere

(flickr/Pete Souza)

Not only are kids spoiled rotten with their near endless opportunities to nap, but most of them have the innate ability to fall asleep anywhere.

Seriously. ANYWHERE.

Here are 15 amazing photos of kids who just couldn’t wait to start counting those sheep.

A whole new meaning to "layover."

(Imgur)

What kind of masochistic napper is this??

(Imgur/dreadpirateciv)

To be fair, those White House chairs are super comfy.

(flickr/Pete Souza)

When you're so tired, even stopping to lay down is too much work.

(Reddit)

Let's be honest. If any of us could fit on a dog like this, we'd sleep there too.

(napshappen.net)

The tranquilizing effects of retail.

(Instagram/godsbella)

Eating yourself to sleep? That's the dream, kid.

(Reddit/zWeApOnz)

Don't eat the meatballs.

(napshappen.net)

The vampire snoozer.

(napshappen.net)

So close, yet...

(napshappen.net)

Either he's exhausted or that window smells amazing.

(Instagram/simwebb)

Sometimes you don't even have the energy to take your shoes off.

(napshappen.net)

You've heard of a "bed & breakfast," but have you ever tried a "sleep & shower"?

(Instagram/meaganjoy)

Have you tried sleeping at a 90 degree angle? It's all the rage with the kids.

(Imgur)

I mean, it's not like anyone else was using it.

(Instagram/katiebssydney)

Tweet Roundup: 10 Hilarious Tweets About Taking Your Family To The Beach

(Getty)

Sunshine. Seagulls. Fifteen-minute walks to the nearest toilet. Nothing like a day in the sand with your family. Tuck that wallet in those sneakers, here are 10 of the funniest tweets about taking your family to the beach.

Ahh, the beach.

Great for spending quality time with the kids.

But be sure to schedule this trip wisely…

and pack accordingly.

Now that you’re settled in, why not build a sandcastle?

Or make some new friends?

Maybe bury a loved one in the sand?

If they’re busy, a family pet will suffice.

If you’re gonna take a dip, safeguard your belongings.

And finally, always leave with a souvenir.

10 Times Baby Monitors Captured The Creepiest Things Ever

(Getty/MartinPrescott)

In theory, baby monitors are a great idea. You get to move about your house freely while keeping a watchful eye on your little bundle of joy.

But technology isn’t perfect. Between the grainy black and white night vision cameras and finicky audio channels that randomly pick up other frequencies, you’re bound to witness some creepy and, occasionally, inexplicable footage.

Here are 10 moments caught by baby monitors that totally creeped us out.

It's time to play "Is That A Bundle of Blankets Or The Ghost of Long Dead Infant?"

(Imgur)

Spines are supposed to bend that way, right?

(wikimedia)

Ok. Ummm, nope forever.

He gets his black, soulless eyes from his mother.

(wikimedia)

Is this a lulluby or exorcism situation?

The weirdest part is mom casually referring to her child as "stink bottom."

Oh, what beautiful eyes you have, possessed infant.

(reddit/u/Lynoctis)

Please tell me he has a twin... please tell me he has a twin...

(Instagram/siljewoods)

This is fine.

(Instagram/sweetmigliore)

His four demon eyes aren't weird. They're "unique."

(Pinterest)

 

Father Figures: Driving Lessons

“I’m a terrible driver.

No testament to my grandpa, who taught me how to drive – he was a teacher through and through, both by trade and by soul. He was forever clipping articles out of the paper that he thought would teach us something, and that got passed down to my dad naturally.

Neither were overly emotional men, preferring to demonstrate how much they loved us through teaching us things, rather than simply stating it. Just as valuable, not as obvious. 

One day my dad and I were sitting in the driveway in his Honda Pilot, ready for a driving lesson (my grandpa was busy that day). He tried to calm me but I was nervous. I mixed up the gas and brake pedals and – in slow motion yet also at lightening speed – drove straight through our garage door. 

Yeeeeeah. 

The splinters and beams rained down around us, I think I was screaming, my mom came rushing out of the house. My dad got out of the car, calmly took my hand and led me down to our basement, where we sat on the couch and hugged and he told me it was okay. For this minute, it was just us in the basement and nothing outside mattered and everything was going to be okay. 

Fifteen years later, my marriage had fallen apart. I was living in another city and unreasonably petrified to face my parents and talk it through. Pulling in their driveway, it probably really was slow motion as the tears started to roll down my cheeks at the thought of rebuilding my life and having to explain to them what went wrong. 

My dad met me in the driveway, wordlessly unbuckled my daughter from the car seat, handed her to my mom, took my hand and led me to the basement. 

‘It’s okay,’ he said, voice wavering slightly. My eyes spilled over and I sobbed into his chest as he rocked me the way he had so many years ago. 

‘It’s okay. Right now, it’s just us down here. Nothing out there matters. It’s going to be okay.’ 

Nothing I expected, everything I needed. I love you Dad.” 

– Liz Vetrano

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com