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when/why my kids whine and cry

I think I made a psychological breakthrough today.

At the time of this writing, I have two toddlers who are 17 months apart, so for most of the year they were 4 and 5 year olds.

It seems that every 13 minutes or so, when they aren’t in school or sleeping or eating, they are either fighting, screaming, crying, or whining – sometimes they are doing all of the above at the same time. My point is that, seldom are they super friendly towards each other in the cute type of way.

I always ask myself, why do they whine or cry so much?

So here is my breakthrough moment;

I just identified the difference between expression and communication when it comes to my toddlers!

Lets say I bang my small toe against the corner of the door, and I scream curse words, I am expressing both my physical state (pain) and my emotional condition (embarrassment that I was so stupid not to pay attention)…

So I cry and whine as an expression. When this happens, there really isn’t any type of consolation or words that can truly help me, until the moment passes…

My youngest, Tobi, truly despises mornings. He lets us know every morning that he despises mornings. He expresses this by taking-as-long-as-possible to get dressed, eat, or anything else, and in-between are fits of crying and whining. I can’t tell you how much this upsets me!

It makes no sense why he has to cry because “…the pants he wants to wear are in the hamper…”

Lets pause for a second. Remember this?:

#failTip: Respond to emotion with reason or reason with emotion.

-via @mattmight on twitter

So when Tobi’s morning expressions are underway, I should not take it personal, and just let the little guy be. Yes, this too shall pass.

On the flip side of that, my Tolu is super sensitive – like SUPER sensitive. Sometimes when something is bothering him, he’ll bust out into tears. A lot of times I mess up because he is trying to communicate something to me, but his thoughts are bathed in tears – which frustrate me. Or he wants to get a thought across and he interrupts or whines…

So when he does this, I simply should acknowledge him, or listen, or ask questions…

I say all of this to say if you are in my demographic, and you are in the middle of a crying fit, ask yourself, is this kid trying to communicate with me or are they expressing themselves?

This way I can respond in a productive manner, and realize that it is not about me – and not take it personally.

Lastly, I think this applies to adults as well… seriously I think it does, but I am not going to go there.


The perfect space for (Cast & Crew) would allow us to:

do good: work
conquer: loneliness & solitude
be safe: emotionally & physically
do better: socializing & presenting & pitching & networking & performing

Comments Closed

We are always both free and destined

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

and it continues


A photo posted by Banksy (@banksy) on

looking for help…

So our little collective Cast & Crew (C&C) is growing. 2014 was a tremendous year for us.

But to be totally transparent, our biggest challenge is the balance of: selling vs. managing vs. delivering stellar web, apps, and design projects.

We (I) haven’t always been the best at achieving this balance. The fear is that; if C&C is successful, then we (the partners) will inevitably become project managers (full-time). This is especially alarming if I just want to engage the creative/technical work. If one wants to primarily focus on being creative or technical, then being a partner becomes a culture-crisis because most of the time – as a partner – will be spent doing administrative work.

This fear manifests itself as burn-out, frustrations, poor-quality work, and missed opportunities.

We obviously do not want to self-sabotage this beautiful thing that we have going on, so we are crying out for help. For WEEKS, whenever anyone asks how/what we are doing we replied with

…things are great, but we need help!

The obvious next question is “what do you need help with?” and the answer was never a good one – it was nebulous, scattered, unfocused, and un-employable. So I decided to take some time to write a job description for who/what we are looking for.

Administrative Help – Job Description

What we need in an administrator.

  • A Referee
  • A Conductor (as in a concert)
  • A Gate keeper.

Summary: Someone who makes sure that all questions are identified and answered, and all deadlines (dates and deliverables) are identified and met – by the C&C and the client.

A Referee:

As a referee, this person understands the rules, explains to all the parties involved, makes sure that everyone is playing by the rules (enforcer).

  • For example: if an invoice says NET 15 for payment, this person follows up with the client with a friendly/tactful reminder.
  • For example: if the contract states that C&C is liable for all bugs found within 30 days, our admin communicates who is liable and ensures that the contract is adhered to.

A Conductor:

As a conductor this person gets everyone on the same page. And removes (as much as possible) all assumptions out of the proposal and deliverable documents.

  • For example: setting up a photo-shoot. This person will need to coordinate with the photographer and the client. The location, collateral, etc.
  • For example: meeting-notes to communicate what we heard over here at C&C, and reconcile with the client to make sure that is what was meant
  • For example: was this website supposed to work on IE7?

A Gate Keeper:

As a gatekeeper, this person ensures that expectations are met – both ways.

  • For example: before a client gets a deliverable, this person ensures that the deliverable meets the standards outlined in the contract.
  • For example: we receive an email from the client, this person ensures that all the assets are the are present and functional.

Minimum Availability:

  • 3 days a week: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
  • 4 hours per day to help with production meetings & team sync
  • Infrequent travel to help with sales, presentations, and/or training meetings