How to Wake Up Feeling Enthusiastic

This morning I got out of bed at 5:30 to make that cartoon you see above. I am not a morning person.

Here’s how I did it.

(1) I went to bed early.

(2) I woke up naturally at 5.30 and, instead of going back to sleep, which I am very good at (thankfully), I thought, “YAY! I get to make a cartoon!” This was mostly a lie. I was not that excited to get up. But my fake enthusiasm actually worked. I got out of bed and went to the bathroom, and by then I was awake.

I’ve used this technique before. I usually work from home here in Philly, but about once a week I get up at 5am to go to the office in New York City. When the alarm goes off at 5, I think “YAY! I get to go to New York City today!” Again, the overblown enthusiasm helps.



If you’ve checked out this site recently, you’ll see I’ve partially added back the “Happy Grownup” branding.

You see, I’m planning to move it back to the domain. I’m just trying out the branding for a couple weeks before I plunge ahead with the technical changes.

WHA?? Didn’t I just move the site there, only to move it back?

Yes. I guess it’s just my method. I rearrange things until they feel right. I use the same method when rearranging my living room.

I think I have a better idea about the purpose of this site. The value that it provides is giving grownups a laugh or something to think about. Clear branding doesn’t detract from that, it enhances it. Right?

How Do You Get Your Kids to Go Pee?

Cartoon: Do You Need to Pee?

How do you get your kids to go pee when they’re doing a serious peepee dance? Asking my four-year-old if he has to pee doesn’t seem to work. The answer is always no.

The only thing that seems to work is — literally just like in the cartoon — telling him he looks so uncomfortable that it’s making ME uncomfortable. Surprisingly, this appeal usually works the first time I ask.

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Is It Poop?

Cartoon: Is It Poop?

Kids have a difficult time telling pee and poop apart. This is good to know if you’re just getting into potty training.

At first, they have no idea what’s what. Gradually, they become able to tell the two apart.

It seems to take months, though, so don’t worry if it’s taking your child a long time to figure out.


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How to Teach Kids to Set the Table

Cartoon: Teach Kids to Set the Table

Setting the table is a good way for kids to contribute to meal preparations. Our kids (currently 4 and 2), and I expect most kids, have trouble remembering where to put each utensil. I say this because I sometimes forget, myself.

My wife came up with a good way of teaching our kids (and me) how to set the table — it’s a rhyme, and it goes like this:

Fork, knife, spoon, see ya again soon!

Get it? That’s the order of the utensils from left to right. Good old mnemonics.

Or you can go with this option.

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