Boob tube.  Idiot box. Ahh television…I limit myself to Hells Kitchen and football Sundays (I’m gonna have a whole entry on that topic).   My youngest hasn’t discovered it’s beguiling siren song yet but my eldest would sit in front of the tv all day if left to his own devices.  (I reckon that’s why they have parents, right?)  He watches cartoons on PBS while eating breakfast and is currently a big fan of Curious George.  Also I have discovered the magic of the Internet which means he can request SpongeBob at any time of night or day and know that he can enjoy the wacky adventures of that cleaning implement at a moment’s notice.  Back in my day we had to wait for our shows to come on and blah blah blah uphill in the snow both ways ….

The question is: How much is too much?  I’m sure that I could find a million studies that would back up any sort of opinion I might have.  Despite what the studies might say, I think you can tell when it’s become too much.  Turn off the TV at any point during a show that your child is watching and watch the reaction.

  • If the child just turns away without any reaction then they should definitely watch more TV. Also, are they eating enough candy bars?  After all, you don’t want your child to be some kind of social leper.
  • If the child says “Oh Dad…” and goes about their day, then that’s just right.  Congratulate yourself on being a kickass dad and crack open a cold one after the kids have gone to bed.
  • If the child says “C’mon Dad !!” and then bursts into tears then you probably need to cut back a bit.  Try 10 min less a day until you reach stage 2.
  • If the child screams  ” Oh God NOOOOO……….” then proceeds to destroy the house through the power of their mind then you blew it.  Have another kid and this time try not to let then watch so much TV.

Allright, I’m glad we could have this little talk. Lemme know what you think


Mac and Cheese and Broccoli Recipe


  • 1 lb whole wheat macaroni (try penne or rotini too)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2  tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 1/2  cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 7 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 7 ounces swiss, shredded
  • 1 big ole tree of broccoli, chopped super-fine
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Stir in 3/4 of the cheese and the broccoli. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni (or whatever) into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Probably gonna take about 45 min to cook.  Wait til the panko starts to brown.

Well-Disguised Broccoli

Well-Disguised Broccoli

Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Broccoli is Stinky

The secret to cooking for kids is hiding broccoli.  Look, nobody likes broccoli.  I don’t like it, you don’t like it, your kids don’t like it.  Now I know that there are those of you out there who are thinkin’ to yourself, “Oh no, I like broccoli fine.”

Stop it.

Just stop it.

Broccoli is a tolerable vehicle for other things, like nacho cheese or butter, but it is not good.  There is always something better than broccoli to carry your cheese or butter.  For example, chips and lobster.  When you go to a ball game they sell tortilla chips with cheese not broccoli with cheese and if you were given the option between the two the stadium concession stands would be left with mountains of these seedy green things.

That being said;  broccoli is unbelievably healthy:  Broccoli’s noteworthy nutrients include vitamin C, vitamin A (mostly as beta-carotene), folic acid, calcium, and fiber.  As well it’s part of the cruciferous family and might help with not gettin the big C.  So of course it’s good for you and you should be cramming trees of this stuff down your little ones’ gullets.  Well I don’t know about your little people, but for mine anything green is about as popular as leprosy.  So here’s a little recipe that we use at our house all the time. It’s got a truckload of the green stuff but you can’t see it or taste it. It’s recipe number 1 in our recipe section. ENJOY !!!!!


One of the things that I had a real tough time with was the all of a sudden lack of privacy when you start havin a toddler following you everywhere around the house.  In particular when it came to toilet time.  I’ve always been a private pooper.  I want total seclusion and total privacy, preferably with a fan to drown out any noise.  I like to take my time with a section of the newspaper and enjoy my brief respite from the workaday world.  Then came the children.  A toddler has no sense of boundaries.  He gets into the shampoo drawer, climbs around the tub, gets behind the toilet, finds an old sock and tries to pull your underwear from around your ankles all the while you are in varying stages of concentration.  I’m not sure what the solution is for this or even if there is one, I just wonder when we learn that it’s not ok to touch someone’s knee when they’re doing their business.  Hopefully soon.  Unfortunately, I think this paradise is already lost.  My sanctuary is violated by busy hands and curious critters and once violated the peace will never return. *sigh* Oh yeah, don’t forget that your toddler will want a good long look at the fruits of your labor and will want to send it on it’s way.  I guess you wouldn’t want them to have issues, right?  Anyways, amusing anecdotes are welcome and I hope you can find some kind of peace when comes that time.

Pax lavatoria

Who do you Trust?

Vaccinations are a big issue for me.  I’ve got both my boys vaccinated but it’s hard to know if it’s the right thing to do.  I’ve read the reports from the CDC and various other medical publications and even glanced at some of the more original theories from random websites.   Even the most hardline anti-vaccinator would have to admit that the virtual elimination of polio has to be a good thing.  Think about it, how many people do you know have polio? If you lived in the 50’s you would probably know one or two personally.  Polio didn’t go away because we started eating at Taco Bell, it went away because there was a nationwide effort to get all children vaccinated.   With this one I’m gonna trust my pediatrician.  I mean this guy has (theoretically) studied this right?   He looks at sick kids all day and keeps up on the latest info.  Hopefully he knows more than some corn-holin’ bourbon drinker from some compound in Idaho with an axe to grind and internet access.  In summary, if you don’t trust your pediatrician more than a faceless stranger on the Internet then maybe you should find another doc.