I Have a New Article on Cracked and Only a Few of the Comments are about my Baldness

When it comes to parenting, does nurture trump nature? This Cracked article decisively puts the nature vs. nurture controversy to rest forever and ever.


My latest article is up on Cracked, which has one of my favorite comment sections. (Seriously – it’s really thoughtful.) The article is about nature versus nurture when it comes to parenting. The readers are asking a lot of good questions and making some good points both in agreement and disagreement with my thesis. That said, these are my two favorite reader comments so far:

“Brought to me by a writer who looks like he’s been on COPS more than once. Fun.”

To which someone responded:

“Just because a guy is big and bald, doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with him.”

I’d like to buy that second commenter a steak.

Check it out: 5 Problems You Can’t Blame on How You Were Raised


I Was Right About the Women Wanting to Eat Babies Thing

I was right about people who want to eat babies.


It’s a phenomenon called “cute aggression,” and it’s what happens when people see something so cute they are overcome by emotion. Last year I wrote about the cute aggression of women who want to eat babies. Many women wrote to me to say, “Yeah, I do crave fresh human baby thigh for reasons beyond my understanding.” Now, thanks to someone who did some actual reporting, we know that this is an actual thing that people do, and we’re starting to understand why.

Via NBC News:

Many overwhelmingly positive emotions look negative, as when Miss America sobs while receiving her crown. Such high levels of positive emotion may overwhelm people. “It might be that how we deal with high positive-emotion is to sort of give it a negative pitch somehow, Dyer said. “That sort of regulates, keeps us level and releases that energy.”

They want to eat you because they love you.

Keep your heads on a swivel, little babies.


Baby Curls

This baby workout post is an excerpt from the book The Dadvantage – Stay in Shape on No Sleep, with No Time and No Equipment by Jon Finkel.

jon-finkel-lift-babyEditor’s note: This post is an excerpt from the book The Dadvantage – Stay in Shape on No Sleep, with No Time and No Equipment by some jerk my friend Jon Finkel. — Joe Donatelli

Babies are light. If they were dumbbells, they’d be those bright pink or pale blue ones that women use in their aerobics classes. They’d be the weights you grab three at a time from the dumbbell rack to move and make room for the heavy metal you’re lifting.

The thing is, if you had to pick up those three pink dumbbells about 40 times a day and hold them on your shoulder or in the crook of your arm for 10 or 15 minutes at a time, they’d suddenly not feel so light. With each lift they’d get progressively heavier, eventually tweaking small, rarely used muscles in your back, shoulders and forearms.

Welcome to the heavy baby phenomenon, where over the course of a day your child seems to turn into an Olympic shot put.

Until babies are old enough and strong enough to push themselves up and roll over, they’re pretty much dead weight in your arms. If you’re a righty, you’ll naturally hold the baby in the clutch of your right arm when you pick it up. What you’ll quickly learn is that you’ll need your free hand, which will be your left, to grab a bottle (formula or beer, up to you), make a sandwich or use the remote control.

If you feel uncoordinated doing these tasks with your left hand, you will most likely switch the baby to your left arm, freeing up your right hand to perform such important work as pouring a glass of orange juice for yourself. Either way, you’re delaying the inevitable, as both arms will eventually fatigue and you’ll position the baby so that its weight is on one of your shoulders. This will cause your lower back to tighten and you’ll switch to the other shoulder and then, eventually, you’ll put the kid down, feeling like you spent the past hour moving a piano up and down a staircase.

This is remarkable because your baby weighs less than 15 pounds. In the gym, 15 pounds might be a decent weight for a warm-up before a set of tricep kickbacks, but putting your kid in a onesie with a reinforced handle sewed into the back to use as a de facto dumbbell could be considered child abuse.

However, if you put your baby in something built to protect it from high-speed accidents and collisions like, say, a car seat, then suddenly lifting your child for a few reps becomes a safety exercise. This brings us to the first isolation exercise in our unconventional workout: car seat curls.

Once you become a parent there are many responsibilities you and your wife will divvy up. One of them will not be the Jon Finkel book covercarrying of the car seat. As the man, you will be 99 percent responsible for this.

It’s not so much that the car seat is super heavy (though it is surprisingly heavy) as it’s a giant pain in the ass to maneuver in and out of a car. Even if you have an SUV, mini-van or station wagon—which you probably will once you have a kid—nearly every angle involving the installation or removal of the seat with your child inside puts you in a position to throw out your back.

Take the uneven weight balance of the car seat, plus the hunched position you need to be in to click the seat into the base, plus the weight of the whole contraption, plus the quick jolt of force you need for the seat to “click” in and out, and there’s about nine different parts of the process where you can jack up your spine.

Of course, there are plenty of car seats available that stay permanently in the car, but they have a major drawback. If your baby has colic or is a light sleeper (despite the ‘sleeping like a baby’ lie) you will do anything for that kid to stay asleep if it falls asleep, and one of the places fussy babies actually fall asleep is in the back seat of a moving car. Once you get home, taking the child out of the seat will almost certainly wake her up. With a car seat that detaches, you can gently pick up the seat and carry it into a quiet room in the house and shut the door. If all goes well, you may have bought yourself some precious quiet time in the house. Might be five minutes, might be forty-five minutes. Whatever it is, you will savor it.

If you have a full-time job away from the house, the majority of instances when you’ll be taking the kid in and out of the car will be on the weekend, which is fine, because even in a normal workout week you’d probably only hit biceps once or twice.

In the beginning, your child plus the car seat will weigh in around 20 pounds. In a few months, the whole thing will weigh close to 30 pounds. You aren’t trying to get through these lifts as fast as you can; you want to go nice and steady, bringing the weight up and down while keeping the pressure on your bicep. This will increase the time under tension of the muscle and keep it growing. By the time your kid is 9 months old, you’ll have arms like Rob Gronkowski.

YOUR SCHEDULE: 2 Days a Week / 2 Sets Each Arm to failure each day

TIME: 2 Minutes Per Set

The Dadvantage is available on Amazon.


Wendy Molyneux asks strangers on the street to give her baby advice

My Twitter friend Wendy Molyneux wrote a funny piece for McSweeney’s in which she begs strangers on the street to tell her how to raise her baby.

My Twitter friend  Wendy Molyneux (you should really be following her) wrote a funny piece for McSweeney’s in which she asks strangers on the street to tell her how to raise her baby. Because parents just LOVE when strangers tell them how to raise their baby.

This is my favorite part:

“Yes, he IS crying, isn’t he? You are right. He’s probably hungry. Should I feed him? And if so, where do I put the food? His eyeball? His butt? What kinds of cuts of meat do babies like?”

Read the whole blessed thing here.

Adorable baby photo by Collin Harvey


Why do women want to eat babies?

It’s a national epidemic. Women want to eat newborn babies. I explore why.

I answer this very important question over at Babble.

Brief excerpt:

An adult and a baby make a great comedy team. Case in point: The Hangover. Babies are the perfect comedy foil; they’re always the object of the joke and seldom its source. Therefore, it’s funny to say you want to eat them. The stupider an adult acts around a baby, the more fun for everyone. This is why your parents, if they were any kind of parents at all, have a photo of you sleeping in a high chair surrounded by empty beer cans.