Screentime: I Love The Many Adventures Of Winnie-The-Pooh, And You Should Too

(YouTube)

Last week we were watching The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh and just as it was coming to a close, my daughter turned to me, sighed and said “Daddy. I luff Winnie-a-Poot”.

This is unprecedented. Normally movies are demanded or rejected, but rarely commented upon, and certainly never “luffed”. This is an expression of love usually reserved only for Mommy, Daddy, and blueberries.

What is it about Winnie-a-poot than inspires such high praise? Such devotion and admiration?

There’s a lot to enjoy in the 1977 Disney feature. The plot is airy and pleasantly free of high stakes or melodrama. The animation is beautiful. The songs are subtly hummable, quietly catchy. The nostalgic childhood feel is painted with a realistic, but light touch.

But none of these things inspire real love. What inspires love in my daughter is the characters, and it isn’t hard to see why. They are all proper role models of people she could/should grow up to be.

Rabbit

Take Rabbit, for example. Rabbit is a fussy, self-important scold. He spends his time in the movie alternately trying to minimize the impact his friends have on his well-ordered life, or complaining about the mess they’ve made of it. He’s basically the same character as Zazu from the Lion King, but not as funny. The kind of human you’re most likely to find working behind the desk at a Post Office. Wait, that isn’t right. Let me try again.

(YouTube//WinnieThePooh414)

Tigger

Let’s use Tigger as our example. Tigger is pretty much the exact opposite of Rabbit. He’s chaotic and energetic, relentlessly positive. Always bouncing, always happy. If he had Facebook it would be wall-to-wall inspirational memes. The kind of guy who you bump into when he’s out jogging, he talks a mile a minute about all the great things going on in his life, while jogging on the spot and checking his heart-rate on his Apple Watch, then yells “Gotta go! It was great catching up!” as he’s already running away.

Damn, I did it again.

(YouTube//Walt Disney Animation Studios)

Eyeore

So these descriptions aren’t exactly the most positive ones, fine. I may have been channeling Eyeore a little. But they still show why these characters inspire real love in my daughter and me. Because they feel real. They aren’t cursed princesses or crime solving mice, they’re just people, muddling along. We all have a friend or family as controlling as Rabbit or, as irrepressible as Tigger. We all know someone like Eyeore; always pesimistic, always expecting the worst.

And the movie knows this. Unlike Zazu in the Lion King, Rabbit’s fussiness isn’t treated as a joke, or as an inherently ridiculous trait. Sure when he tries to control Tigger, he gets his comeupance, but his trepidations about Pooh’s appetite prove correct. Tigger’s positivity and Eyeore’s negativity sometimes come in handy, but also sometimes get them into trouble. These characteristics aren’t presented inherently good, or inherently bad, they’re just presented as inherently human (or rabbit, or donkey or…uhh… tigger I suppose).

(YouTube//ZoeLove 199)

Owl

But of course, just being presented in this way isn’t enough to inspire the adoration of everyone from two to ninety-two. There’s one more ingredient that makes these characters truly loved: They are kind. Despite their quirks and foibles, despite their irritations and annoyances, the characters of Winnie-The-Pooh invariably treat each other as kindly as they can.

When Pooh shows up at Rabbit’s door, Rabbit freaks out, panicking over the mess he knows Pooh will make of his perfectly organized life. But Rabbit offers him lunch anyway. And you get the impression that, despite everything that happens, despite Pooh eating every ounce of honey in the place, despite his blocking Rabbit’s door for weeks, if Pooh showed up again the next day with an expectant look in his eye, Rabbit would offer him lunch again.

This kindness goes a long way. Owl’s longwinded, indulgent speechifying, is rendered harmless and even enjoyable by his offer of an accompanying lunch. (It’s telling how often this kindness involves food: something well understood by your average two-year-old). And this kindness is repaid ten-fold in Eyeore’s finding Owl a house, albeit Piglet’s, and in Piglet freely gifting him that home.

(YouTube//Walt Disney Animation Studios)

Piglet

These characters, you see, are truly friends. They love each other not despite, but because of their idiosyncracies. Piglet, more than all of them, understands this. He understands that without his friends he is helpless, tiny, too timid to succeed. He understands, too, that this is true for each of them. Without Piglet & Eyeore, Owl would have no-where to live. Without Tigger, Rabbit would never learn to bounce. Without Rabbit, Pooh would have gone hungry.

(YouTube//Daniel Boyle)

Pooh

And when we see their true, unswerving friendship to each other, we feel part of it. They become our friends too. We love them for their self-importance, and for their impulsiveness, and for their lack of brains. And no matter how ridiculous Pooh’s latest scheme is, no matter whether we’re disguising ourselves as rainclouds or hunting Heffalumps, that friendship keeps us invested. We’d follow them anywhere.

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