1.Avoiding getting up
Dead-tired much of the time, Magary developed a plan for when he heard the sounds of his baby waking through the monitor. "I didn't move a muscle," he wrote. "My strategy was twofold. For one thing, I thought to myself: If I just stay still, then the baby will forget I exist and realize she has no one to cry to, and then she will stop crying (NOTE: Babies do not fall for this). For another, I thought if I lay still long enough, my wife would get up and go feed the baby instead of me. I was awake, but I didn't want to be awake any longer. So I played dead."
Singing a baby to sleep
Once when his daughter was an infant and was crying, Magary decided he would go the lullaby route to get her back to sleep. "I tried singing to her, in my most delicate singing voice, to calm her back down. I thought it would be a really beautiful moment between us. 'Hush, little baby, don't say a word...' 'WAHHHHHHH!!!' 'Daddy's gonna buy you a mockingbird. And if that mockingb-' 'WAHHHHHHHHH!!!' 'All right! All right! I'll stop.' She kept on crying and jerking her head around."
Love of school buses
Early on in her life, Magary says his daughter had two main interests: school buses and car washes. "FLAPS! FOAM! ROLLING THINGS!" he wrote of the appeal of the second to toddlers. "It's the closest they'll ever get to being inside a working spaceship." Magary bought his daughter a toy school bus, and she named it Charlotte and began sleeping with it. "I took her inside a real school bus once and it was like a grown man being led onto the field at Yankee Stadium," he wrote of her love of buses. "She was awed. She treated the rows of cheap green vinyl seating like church pews, making a point of sitting in every single one."
Once, Magary was leaving to exercise on a trail, planning to walk through woods that were near a creek. His daughter asked to come and the two walked together, each listening to their music players. Magary was pleased at the bonding time. "We'll do this every day and one day she'll become an Olympic race walker even though she was gifted with no athletic genes of any sort," he imagined. "Power moseying will become the girl's passion. She'll never want to watch TV or play a video game again. She's just gonna be all about the moseying. And we'll forge an unbreakable bond and never fight again. We might join forces and become a pair of power walking spies, chasing down rogue agents with our relentless four-mile-per-hour pacing."
Magary loved making pizza for the family's dinner, and one night his daughter said she wanted to help. Unfortunately, when she rolled her rolling pin over the dough, it tore, and when she tried to spread the sauce, it got more on the counter than on the pizza. He told himself to let it go and had her put on the cheese. "It wasn't even close," he wrote. "There were slabs of cheese hanging over the sides. The spacing between slices was all uneven. She would jam the cheese into the dough and drag it around, creating holes – HOLES – in the crust. My pizza – my masterpizza – was being ruined in front of my eyes. It was like watching someone put his foot through a Van Gogh."