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Parenthesis: The Best Of The Mom And Dad Blogs This Week

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This week in Parenthesis, Jim Griffioen dazzles (again) with his creative kid costumes, Charlie Capen looks back on his child-fearing days and Kristen Howerton provides a little comic relief.

Playing dress-up
We’ve seen our fair share of Halloween costume ideas over the past few weeks -- from clever concepts for families and ingenious baby getups to outfits that are straight-up inappropriate.

But as usual when it comes to dress-up clothes, Sweet Juniper’s Jim Griffioen is in a league of his own. The Detroit dad worked special magic this Halloween by enlisting the rest of his family to help make a “voyageur” costume (from musket to moccasins) for his son -- and an equally endearing “ring-necked pheasant” outfit for his daughter. “I didn't want her to feel like a kid in a bird costume. I wanted her to feel like an actual pheasant,” he writes. Success!

Baby steps
Readers of How To Be A Dad, the blog co-hosted by Charlie Capen and Andy Herald, might find it hard to believe that the good-humored, enthusiastic father Charlie was once afraid of holding babies. Still, he writes, that’s the truth. “I’ve admired children my entire life and usually sided with them,” he explains. “But the act of holding or carrying a baby scared the piss out of me.”

All for naught, it turns out. When it finally came time for Charlie to face his anxiety and hold a baby girl (around Thanksgiving, 2004), he immediately felt his protective instincts activate and his fear turn to “unyielding love.” “I wasn’t afraid of dropping babies” at that point, he writes. “I just didn’t know if I could be a father. I was afraid I wouldn’t let them go once they held onto me.”

TV break
Bloggers frequently turn to comedy to vent their frustrations -- with children, other parents or themselves -- and Kristen Howerton of Rage Against the Minivan is no exception. In a YouTube video, Howerton teams up with some friends who put their own spin on the familiar "Sh*t People Say" theme:

Howerton drew from personal experience as well as the collective wisdom of her commenters to come up with the dialogue, so the final product is a good reminder of the Internet’s potential for letting people share -- and laugh -- about the things in life (ideal or not) they have in common.

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