First there was a Man. Then a Woman. Then in quick succession, two cats, a confused dog beast, and two kids. I stay at home with them. I'm the Man

Friday, May 14, 2010

Would You Do It For A Scooby Snack?/ Serious question time UPDATE

We have this magnet up on our fridge.  It's a Scooby Doo magnet.  It dates back to before the kids were born.   Well before.  It was a simpler time.  An experimental time.  A time in my life when "passing a piss test" meant "not taking a piss test."

I had to stop all that for a job as a mailman though, and then the babies came, and so that was that.  Now, I often forget that that magnet is up there.

So imagine my surprise when the peanut came downstairs, sat in her chair at the kitchen table, and asked, "Daddy, can you get me close to some Scooby Doobies?"  

"Can I get you close to some Scooby Doobies?" I exclaimed.

My wife burst out laughing.

I thought I wasn't going to have to have that conversation until she was at least 16.  And preferably never.



Another thing.

My tiny, baby daughter visits her great aunt for a few hours about one evening a week.  She loves it.  They bake, and sing songs, and color, and dance, and play dress up, and eat, and bathe.   All the things I'm too busy blogging to bother with, basically.

Two weeks ago, when I picked her up at her great aunt's house. my tiny, innocent, baby daughter had teeny weeny, eensy weensy, pink polished toenails.  Her great-aunt (my wife's aunt) had painted them.  I was displeased.  I showed it in my face and tone, though I didn't make a big deal out of it.  Because, it isn't really a big deal, right?

The next day, the great-aunt emailed my wife and asked if she'd seen the toes.  My wife said yes, and then wrote words to the effect that the toes were ok, but that the great-aunt was absolutely not to do anything more drastic.  Haircut, pierced ears, etc.

This had to be spelled out, because in my wife's family, it's traditional for the grandparents in the family, in our case this role is being partially fulfilled by the great aunt, to do whatever the hell they want to the grandkids.  My wife's grandmother took her to get her ears pierced when she was one and a half without asking.  Her grandfather used to shave the heads of the boys in the family all the time.  Make-up, hair dyeing, teeth whitening, tattoos, plastic surgery, hair plugs, botox, high tech-fake fingerprints, tinted contacts. . . there is even a cousin with a cybernetic third limb.  3 Legge'd Steve, we call him.  Nothing was off limits.

I went to pick the peanut up at the great-aunt's house the other night.  This time she has teeny weeny, eensy weensy, pink fingernails.  A little pushy, right?  Like the aunt is playing a game of "I'm not touching you."

This time my wife wasn't happy either.  The toes were ok with her, but not the fingers.  She decided in the end though that the polish comes off, so no harm, no foul.  I'm still worried because a little part of me is afraid that the great-aunt will continue to push her luck.

Can I ask you guys, would any of you have a problem with this?  Am I being way uptight?  I just don't think my little girl needs those sorts of gender markers this early in life.  Does this make me a douche-bag?  Oversensitive?  A prick?  An ivory tower asshole?  Merely an overprotective dad?  None of the above?

Thanks guys


This post brought to you by Fatherhood Fridays at

Thanks for all the thoughtful comments you guys.  I really appreciate it.  Most of you folks have been really kind and honest and cool.  Couple of you--meh.  I mean, seriously.  Meh.  I'm not saying who.  Don't try to find out.  Now, I'm shaking my head.  Now, I'm getting excited because the coffee is almost ready.  Now, I'm blowing my nose.  Allergies.

Also, in the interest of fairness, he great aunt is really very loving and wonderful with the Peanut.  They love each other like crazy.  Finally, I'm writing this at 5:51 am before I've had coffee.  I take no responsibility for typos or anything else.  Thanks again everyone.



  1. Like hey, my son loves those Scooby Snacks too....this must be karmic retribution for my hatred of hippies!!!
    (yet, Ironically, I love hippie music, sandals, weed and rarely showering??? Go figure). Good stuff!!!

  2. Peanut is three; that's a cute age for polished toes and fingers. But I do think the great Aunt should ask before doing such things.

  3. ummm am I out of line if I disagree with you? (sorry in advance!)

    I am an auntie and I LEYYY OVEEE being an Auntie. I paint my nieces (plural) nails often. Its our "girl" time.. and she loves it. We love looking at fashion magazine and looking at cool clothes. Shopping is one of our favorite things to do. It would never cross my mind to ask permission! Of course I would never get her hair cut or do anything permenant.. but finger/toe nails? Really?! Seems the aunt is just having fun with the little girl! No biggie!

    I promise, there will be MUCH worse things to worry about in the future! (ie: older boyfriends, birth control, etc..) I'd say let the aunt have her fun! :)

    Hope you have a good weekend! I still leyyyyoveee your blog!

  4. To me, it's less what she's doing and more the fact that she did it without asking, and continued to after being asked not to.

    As for the uptight or oversensitive part, it's entirely within your right as the parent to know what you want for your child. I'm scared for the day I have to deal with this with my in-laws because I can see it inevitably happening. :(

  5. Myself? If it isn't permanent, who cares?

    Have you had control issues with this particular relative before? If not, you may be jumping the gun. And if your wife has her heart set on a milestone such as a 12th birthday for ear-piercing or whatever, she should perhaps verbalize that to the great-aunt. If you think the aunt would purposely go and pierce the kid's ears ahead of time just to show who is boss, then you've got a problem. But has she ever done anything like that? And why would fingernails be pushing it? If you didn't object to the toenails being painted, she would have no reason to think the fingernails were out of bounds. I wouldn't have thunk it.

    Personally, I find all make-up on little girls abhorrent. But I still let my teen daughter paint the little girls' nails - it's a bonding experience for them and the stuff comes off.

  6. bwahahahaha @ scooby snacks. That's funny.

    I don't see the big deal about painted toe-nails and finger nails. I also pierced my daughters ears at 3 months. So maybe I'm the wrong person to ask.

    I'd hate if someone else had pierced her ears without asking though.

    The painted fingers nails and toe nails? Not so much. My son use to come home with them painted all the time after visiting his aunts house...

  7. Oh, SC -- it isn't the wife with the rules. I'd have pierced her ears already if he'd let me. This is all daddy -- sorry to sell you down the river, honey.

    In fairness my aunt can be a little pushy. Still, I don't believe it's a malicious, "I'm the boss," kind of thing. She was rather nervous in the email about the toes and has been generally respectful of our wishes.

    I do, however, think she gets a little boot from tweaking HM. But I think she sees it as playful rather than subversive. And in equal fairness, he can be a little controlling.

  8. In full disclosure, I do have a weird thing against piercings and the like. I just feel like why not wait til she's old enough to decide for herself? I'm Amish.

    But my wife, the above Tumbleweed, did have a problem with the fingers. You weren't thrilled, honey. Remember? you sat stonily for like 5 minutes, burst out into tears, punched the cat in the face, and let out a string of curse words that would've made Richard Pryor throw up in his mouth.

    You don't remember that? Probably because of the 3 day bender that followed.

    So I'm uptight. So sue me.

  9. The early ear piercing thing always bothered me...I'm with you there. Why no wait until she can decide herself? But nail polish? It comes off, no lasting damage (unless it gets in the eyes), right? But absolutely, the great aunt should respect your wishes. Or maybe you should sneak in while she's asleep sometime, shave her head and eyebrows, pierce her bellybutton and see how she likes it.

    And I'd like to learn the words that could make Richard Pryor throw up in his mouth.

  10. I think I wouldn't want to have anyone put paint on my baby's fingers and toes since those tend to go in the mouth all the time.

  11. My daughter used to paint my fingernails. Thank was always a hit with execs I used to schlep for.

  12. Well, I figure I better chime in on HM's behalf, at the risk of sounding uptight. I would be a little bent out of shape if someone else, relative or not, painted my small daughter's(or son's) nails without asking first.

    I know it's harmless, etc but I think three is too young- I'm not saying save it for the teens, but maybe at least 6, or 8? I'm old-fashioned and think babies should look like babies, and if they get the nail polish, lip gloss etc. too early, what's there to give them later on to fob off the 'real' makeup years?

    Ok, I just read what I wrote and I do sound like a douche. My kids had to wait until 10 to get their ears pierced (when their dad said double-digits he meant 13) but after that there weren't too many battles fought over personal style. They cut, shaved, dyed and dreadlocked their hair, got tattoos and piercings other than their ears. I just think little kids can wait for some stuff, and that makes it a little more special. /sermon over

    And did Peanut really want to get close to Scooby, or was she asking for Scooby Doo clothes?

  13. Dude. It's nailpolish! She's not vajazzlinging your daughter for Christ's sake.

    I can totally understand not wanting to push the limits with haircuts, ear piercing, etc. I got yo back on that one.

  14. My kids grandparents on my wife's side are ex-hippies. So the most damage they can do is dress my daughter in t-necks and ill fitting pants. The kid likes to get her toe nails painted when my wife does hers. I'm not ready for the ear piercing. My parents did it to my sisters when they were infants. It was done as tradition and also so you could tell it was a girl and not a little boy. I would probably be out of sorts if some family member took it upon themselves to pierce her ears without asking. Hopefully you won't get any more surprises on your next pick-up.

  15. Sorry but I am laughing my ass off (sort of at you - but with love, not hate). or is this a trick? You aren't seriously worried about pink nailpolish are you? I would say videotape it - take pictures of it and love her loving her pink piggies. All too soon you will realize that SO SO SO much time has passed SO SO SO fast since she just loved her pink fingernails from her Great Aunt. As for what it teaches re: gender. Dude - that is all in the blood. I don't care what anybody or any book says. Nature nurture?? All bullshit and I could fill this comments section with proof but I won;lt because pizza is done and cold beer has arrived :)

  16. Let me add that piercing or anything permanent, etc is a COMPLETELY different story IMO

  17. I'm kind of with you on this. She'll have plenty of time for that stuff. Plus, you guys asked her to chill and she went ahead and kicked it up another notch. I'd be annoyed too.


  18. Keeping in mind that I am not a parent (sorry Fifty) I think that painted nails and toenails on three year olds should only be done with the parents wishes. Too many little girls looking like mini Britneys and GaGas. It freaks me out. She's going to want little boobies next.

  19. As the mom of 4 girls, I think 3 is just the right age for nail polishing to start. One excellent thing is that while the nails are drying there is enforced sitting for said 3 year old. That's a good thing, no?
    Great Aunt should've asked first, but it's easily removed - no harm, no foul. Make sure she gets it that permission and a little discussion ahead of time is key and I think you'll all be ok.

  20. I guess I probably wouldn't have a problem with fingernail polish and toenails, but that's just me. I completely understand a parents desire to have control over what influences their kids have contact with. If you are a person who is concerned about gender markers (as you put it) then it's totally understandable that you'd have a problem with nail polish. That's just a parenting style so nothing's wrong with that. The great Aunt probably doesn't understand your aversion to it and as a result sorta sees it as a game rather than something you take seriously. I'll bet she's just innocently jabbing you a little to see what happens.

    I read your follow up comments on it, and if what you say is right, that this woman is really loving and friendly then she wouldn't mean harm, just harmless fun. It's my impression that she just needs to know that you don't consider it harmless.

    Anyway, that's my opinion.

  21. The nail polish would not have bothered me. Maybe if it had been blue or Hooker Red (actual color) I might have been upset. I vote that if you don't like it, tell Peanut that it has to come off at bath time when she comes home, offer to take a picture of her 'all prettied up' before removing the evidence to soften the blow.

    My children's own great aunt does hair cuts, and has actual changes of clothes and shoes for my kids at her house that I don't approve of...but she loves them, and they love I vote, 'no harm, no foul.' The mouth piece that I now need for grinding my teeth to keep from opening my mouth, is just collateral damage.

  22. I painted my daughter's toes when I painted mine. Just one came off pretty quick.I thought about painting her fingernails, but she still puts too much crap in her mouth and I might as well just pour the bottle into her mouth...or let her suck on the brush applicator.

    I'm with you on the ear pierced until they want it business. My husband said when they do ask he'll get his pierced with him. I'm not sure if that is a threat or encouragement thing.

  23. UM!!!

    EXCUSE ME!!!


  24. Don't have this issue exactly, but I've had to get pretty pushy with my mom about her in, if you'd like to come stay with us for the weekend and spend time with our kids, you need to get quit.

    I'm pretty sure my 2 and 4 year old boys would love to have their toes painted.

    We have a number of questionable magnets on our fridge. I'm gonna be sad when they come down.

  25. No you are not being a douche bag. You are the parent and it is your job to raise her however you see fit. The aunt should ask and not take it for granted that she can do these things. It's not fair to you that she does.

  26. You're being a conservative daddy!
    My dad was worst, we couldn't wear tight/figure hugging jeans until teenager! The aunt was just having harmless fun...just be gentle with her ok!


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