My first time on the radio! My voice sounds weird!

Here I talk about my experience going back to Korea as an adoptee, try to describe the problem of normative models, and hopefully share some insight into adoption and how adoptive parents can help their kids. 

You need to be a lot more paranoid

—our pediatrician, giving, in his mind, general parenting advice to my wife.



BOOM! Here’s an all new episode of Fighting with Babies, now in glorious HD.

It clocks in at about 90 seconds, so you have no excuse not to watch it.

How do we teach kids to work hard?

It’s something I keep mulling over in my head. Megan Mayhew Bergman tried the example of the Olympics. It didn’t go over so well. Sigh.

I’m trying to transition from “Good job” to “Good try,” but I just want to hug my baby every time she does anything you could even remotely call a success.

You ate your food! Oh, how I love you!


In Training

We are sleep training.

Which, according to our sleep consultant, involves us being congratulated the longer we leave our son to work out his lack of self-soothing abilities in a dark room.

I’m sorry. I don’t mean to color this with emotion.

Yes I do. What else is there?

Here’s the biggest problem I have with this method (the method we avoided for 14 months, but is now all that is left): We are supposed to let non-sleeping babies lay. It doesn’t matter how dramatic their cries are (“protest cries, not I-need-you cries” we’re told). So, what’s the difference between sitting here being absolutely torn to pieces by this exercise, and not being present? Meaning, if we leave our baby alone in a room, and then go get dinner, it’s considered reckless and abandonment, but if we stay, it’s considered “good parenting,” and “the thing we all had to go through as parents.”

How is it training when I’m not supposed to DO ANYTHING?

The Parys Family + Sleep Consultant

I’ve been absent lately.

Part of it is the typical strain of normal-guy-trying-to-blog-with-job-and-toddler, but it’s also because I’ve felt a bit sheepish. Meaning: sleep around here has gotten so bad, I was afraid to admit anything to anyone for fear of looking like the worst dad ever.

About a month ago, we were desperate to move Alfie to his own room. A co-sleeper basically since day 1, we didn’t want to shock him. The result was that he was still waking up multiple times a night, but instead of nursing, I was bending over the crib, patting his belly and consoling as best as I could. It really did seem to be working. He would be back asleep in about 10 minutes. That slowly progressed to 20 minutes, a half-hour, and then an hour, leaving me with numb legs, an incredibly sore back, and a baby who wasn’t crying, but also wasn’t asleep. I’d take one step towards the door, and BAM, he was standing up, screaming full-tilt. There’s no going half-ass with this boy.

Two weeks ago, around 1:30am, Alfie woke up screaming. Before going to bed, my wife and I discussed what we figured was a level-headed strategy. If he woke up at 11:30, I’d go in and console. He’d been doing this pretty regularly, so we thought it’d be something to count on (WHY DO WE THINK WE CAN COUNT ON ANYTHING?). The point was, we didn’t want to bring him out of the crib and into the bed before 3am. So, when he woke in between our plan, we had no idea what to do.

I realized: We are officially incapable of making good decisions for our chronically overtired son.

The next morning, I googled, and found a sleep consultant in the area. We booked the most comprehensive package they had about as fast as it took to scroll down the list of options.

(More on the consultation later. It’s more cart-wheel than tumbl to include here.)

The point is: we had to admit we can’t do this. My hope is that every parent has something they’re terrible at, and when s/he looks around, notices that s/he seems to be the only one who “can’t do it.” Why am I paying someone to do something that everyone I talk to can do for free?

I’m banking on the fact that I’ll be a whiz-bang awesome something-or-other down the road. Like, I may not be able to sleep train my son on my own, but dammit if I can’t feed him an award-winning batch of orange-glazed tempeh.

That’s about the best I have to offer on my own at this point.