Babble Voices



Doug French is a father of two boys who writes his personal blog Laid-Off Dad, co-founded the Dad 2.0 Summit, and co-parents When The Flames Go Up with his ex-wife.

New strategy for Debate No. 2?

Watching the first presidential debate through non-voting-age eyes

In a bolt of unmitigated cruelty, Wednesday night I made my boys stay up and watch as much of the first presidential debate as they could stand. Most adults tune into these debates with the baggage of their political convictions and 18 months of inane campaigning. So I was especially curious about how my 10-year-old MORE »


Turn “go brush teeth” into “let’s brush teeth”

If you’ve followed along this thread of posts extolling the virtues of giving your mouth a nightly sanitizing mega-rinse, you know that I’ve tried to inspire my children through song, and lamented that my kids are growing up too fast. And I’ve been especially mindful of that last revelation over the last couple of weeks, MORE »

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Scouting’s anti-gay policy is undercutting parent support–and thus itself

Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean … and withering away. The other night, the organizing committee of our Cub Scout pack had a really dispiriting meeting. As we gathered to discuss the fall schedule, fund-raising, and community outreach, we first had to address a stark reality: our numbers are way MORE »


Mouthwash is taking my children away from me!

Sure, the headline sounds hyperbolic. And alarmist. All I can ask is that you hear me out. A few weeks ago, my sons and I received a package of dentally hygienic goodness in the form of two Reach toothbrushes (festooned with the faces of Phineas & Ferb), and two bottles of Listerine (pictured). I wanted MORE »


Proud sponsor of nonDads!

Note: This is not a sponsored post, nor is it an anti-sponsor post. It’s more of a “Hey, sponsor. Why you gotta be like that?” post. Did you see that post I wrote about not watching the Olympics? That held true for the first week, when my boys and I were staying in a converted MORE »


“If the sink is blue, then …” something [TBD]

I, like many fathers, have kids. And these kids, like many kids, think it’s a super-awesome idea to spend less time brushing their teeth than they do blinking an eye. Until now, I’ve trusted my kids to conduct their evening ablutions unsupervised, because I’m usually elbow-deep in dinner dishes, and relied on the age-old Smell MORE »

Saluting the Olympics, edibly

A surefire way to enjoy these tape-delayed Olympics

The XXXth Olympiad is in full swing, amid all the pomp and circumstance, the thrill of victory, and the agony of having to avoid all social media outlets so you can be surprised when the event finally airs several hours after it took place. And I have to admit that I’m not enjoying them. I’m MORE »


If divorce can be “no-fault,” then custody can default as equal

By now, you’ve probably heard just about enough about The Great Huggies Redemption of 2012. The story is more than three months old, and I’m sure everyone, including Kimberly-Clark, would just as soon move on, lessons learned and understandings reached. I’m down with that. I want us all to move on with this story fresh MORE »

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I Don’t Want to Burn Down the Boy Scouts to Save Them

The other day, my ex-wife sent me an e-mail with the subject line “Please reconsider” and a link to this article about how the Boy Scouts of America has reaffirmed its ban on homosexuals. She then wrote this post, outlining in no uncertain terms that she doesn’t want her sons to have anything to do with MORE »


Four ways I try to respect my kids’ privacy on my blogs

Tomorrow, I’m traveling to Park City, Utah, for my first Evo Conference, where I’ll speaking with Helen Jane and Asha about blogging, relationships, kids, and privacy. I’ve been doing two things to prepare all week: 1) reading a lot of my favorite parent blogs, and 2) HYDRATING. Because I hear the altitude and the time change MORE »

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