Category Archives: Fathers

A tale of two feet

Claire’s feet: 1990

Those of you who have read Birth Day will recall this image of my daughter Claire’s feet from her birth record.

Here’s their owner, all grown up at her graduation from UC Davis yesterday…

That went way too fast…

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Filed under About the photos, Birth Day, etc., Fathers

Don’t forget: Dads get depressed, too

Dads get depressed, too.

Lest we forget…it’s not always about mom’s mood. Paternal depression can have worrisome effects on a child’s mental health, too.

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Filed under Development, Fathers

One thing I do really well…

…is hide Easter eggs. I just found this one in the back yard.

Like father, like son.

Contents: Melted jellybeans (2).

I inherited this talent from my dad. He’d hide real eggs so well we wouldn’t find them until July, when the full power of an Illinois summer sun at last released their sulfuric essence.

Barney Sloan

Barney Sloan, 92, master egg-hider

Picture a half-dozen Sloan kids, circa 1963, pointing and gagging…

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Filed under etc., Fathers

Good news for old dads!

Well done, my child.

A new study from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute suggests that kids born to fathers in their 50s do just as well in school as those with 30-something dads. This contradicts a previous study which showed that geezer-dads had a negative academic impact on their offspring. Take that, whipper-snappers!

No word from the Institute, though, about the impact on an older father’s IQ (and self-esteem, for that matter) from trying to help his middle-schooler with his digital arts/robotics homework…

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Filed under Fathers, School

Daddy news

It's all down hill from here...

Well, it’s finally official: fatherhood puts a damper on testosterone production. This isn’t exactly new-news–I wrote about it in the “Daddies” chapter of my book, Birth Day. But previous studies had a chicken-and-egg problem: no one knew if fatherhood itself somehow depressed hormone production, or whether men with lower testosterone levels were simply more likely to want to become involved fathers in the first place.

Now we know.

The cause? It isn’t clear yet, but it could be due to stress, interrupted/nonexistent sleep, or some other factor. I suspect pheromones–sneaky chemical messengers that waft through the air from a baby (or his mother) to father–designed to keep the big lug involved with his kids. Sounds like a win-win to me: good for babies, good for daddies.

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Filed under Fathers