Parental Advice for an Infant on a Sunday Morning in Chicago

The wife and I took our 5.5 month old daughter to the 2012 version of the local watering hole - Starbucks - early on Sunday morning, to kill some morning hyper-baby time and to get some coffee for me.  As we sat outside enjoying the early morning breezes, I felt that it was an appropriate time for me to provide my daughter with some unsolicited parental advice.  Let me recommend this to any parent: give advice to an infant who can't object, respond, or intentionally laugh in your face.  Providing words of wisdom to my older children these days usually elicits roars of laughter, comments that I can't understand, or immediate posts on Twitter.

The advice I gave the baby was intended to be directed to a girl rather than a boy (obviously) and was a result of things I saw or encountered during our morning coffee break, but should not be discounted because the suggestions were given to an infant.  Feel free to share the wealth:

1.  If you are going to smoke cigarettes, please don't drive, smoke, and talk on your cell phone at the same time.

As we sat at our outdoor table, I saw a woman drive by in an SUV smoking a cigarette, talking on her cell phone and reaching with one hand to throw the cigarette butt out the window while still maintaining total control of the phone and her conversation.  I know that kids smoke and there is a possibility, however remote, that you may smoke some day.  The problem with the woman in today's example:  She maintained no contact with the steering wheel while the car continued to travel forward at about 30 mph.  I am in favor of multi-tasking, just not in favor of multi-tasking yourself and your Chevy Suburban into an oak tree.

2.  When you grow older and if you are out jogging in public, do not wear a sports bra top if you have a fat, jiggly belly.

Yes, this is a chauvinistic, neanderthal type comment, but I was merely trying to provide helpful advice to a female from a male perspective.  Props to the woman who jogged along the street getting her work-out on, but I would give the same advice to a boy baby.  Man or woman, if you've got a flabby gut - cover it up; the whole world doesn't need to see that.

3.  Do not date (or marry) a man who wears sandals.

Men's feet do not belong on public display.  Period.  They are gnarled, hairy, ill-groomed, and not visually appealing in the least.  This morning, as a 30-something man walked across the street to Starbucks, he stopped, dug his fingers inside his leather sandal, grabbed a pebble and flipped it out onto the street.  Hey buddy, you're feet are ugly and you wouldn't be digging in your toes if you were wearing shoes.  If you're a guy (or a woman for that matter) and you disagree, check out the latest issue of Esquire Magazine's discussion on summer shoes for men. They don't like sandals either.

4.  Root for the White Sox

 (logo courtesy

As I shoved my White Sox hat in front of her face, I reminded my daughter that her four siblings from my first marriage were all Cubs fans.  Where I erred as a parent, I'm not sure, but I was blessed with one more chance.  So, I pleaded with this wide-eyed infant to make things right.  I think she heard me on this one.  Stay tuned.

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