Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Correctional Instruments

I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website,, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is of my friend Phil Collins (really) and his daughters, taken in the old playhouse he had installed in their backyard. Like me, he’s the only male in the house and we share many of the same life stressors! And the joys and rewards, too, I should say.

Here’s a short excerpt from a chapter I wrote yesterday about daughters and dating:

“As you might guess, I’ve already ruled out eight out of ten boys having a future as my son-in-law by the third question. The remaining few are sweating bullets by then, and if anyone makes it to question number six, everyone in my house knows to stand clear of the door should I not like or be convinced of the answer I receive. Honestly, I’m always surprised when other dads are surprised I ask that question.

He (Ray DeStefano) then told me of a large wooden spoon that hangs on the wall in his daughter’s bedroom.

Of an Italian heritage, he told me his grandmother, and later, his mother, used a large wooden spoon for stirring their carefully prepared sauces that simmered in a large pot on the stove. When his conduct merited it, the spoon also conveniently served a secondary purpose as a 'correctional instrument.'

Years later after his daughter was born, he happened into an old kitchenware store and spied on a shelf, a dusty wooden spoon similar to the one that had effectively kept him in line as a young boy. He bought it, cleaned it up and hung it on the wall. When his daughter inquired why, he explained, 'When you start dating, I’m going to have a chat with every boy that comes into this house. If I don’t like his answer to any of my questions, I’m going to whack him with that spoon.'”

I wonder if Phil has such a spoon, too.

I crossed the 36,000 word milestone yesterday, and thought I’d give you a little insight into the news, problems, habits, and obsessions I’ve developed along the way:

1. I’ve increased my coffee consumption by two cups a day.
2. Sitting six hours at a time before the keyboard has made my butt flatten.
3. At the end of the day, I have a cramp between my shoulder blades; I’m an awkward typist.
4. I edit myself in my dreams.
5. I’m so worried about a computer crash, even though I have data recovery software installed, I make a backup copy of the book each evening and store it in a secure place.
6. The girls censor me to make sure I leave out details they have deemed to be life-threatening in their embarrassment potential.
7. Jill is angry that I refuse to include a chapter in the book about Princess.
8. I’ve lost five pounds this week, not because typing is an exercise but because I get so focused I forget to eat lunch.
9. My agent is happy with the sample I sent out on Monday; no word yet from my editor.
10. When I get stuck and can’t get another word out, I just hang out with the kids. They are, after all, my source material.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!


Ginny said...

Hi, Greg!
Just wanted you to know that I'm enjoying "watching" the progress! I would just like to add that, while my dad said very little to or about the guys I dated, my brother would look them in the eye and simply say, "Not with my sister, you don't!" That's all...nothing more. He's 6'3" and played HS football...enough said! :)

puteh said...

Pray tell what are the 3 ( or 6) questions ? My hubby is going to have to have something to work with when our daughter starts dating too !

tin-tin said...

hahahaha. i had fun reading your progress report. heheeh ;p