Tell Dr. Sears to walk the plank. Sears is just an old-school, milktoast, let-the-child-express-his-feelings sort of child-rearing expert, and it’s time for some fresh opinions. We can’t think of anyone fresher than Cap’n Dan, the co-owner of Captain Dan’s Pirate Pastry Company in Lincoln City. The Cap’n raised three children of his own, and all but two are still speaking to him. Plus, he spends his days playing in frosting and trying not to eat all the cookies – that has to stand for something in the field of child psychology.

To learn more about Cap’n Dan’s theories on raising children in the 21st century, we asked our readers to submit their burning questions and toughest problem, for our next installment of our popular series, “Ask a Pirate.”

Dear Cap’n Dan,

I’m an expectant father, and I’m really worried about my lack of skills. When we bring our brand new baby home, how will I know how to change diapers? Or how to put the baby to sleep? Or when to feed him, or how much. Help!

Ready, Able, Scared and Hysterical

Dear RASH,

Brand new baby? Aren’t all babies new? And they don’t come with a brand, although they should. That way, there might be a guarantee, or a manual, or at least the fine print that says “Not Valid in All 50 States.” A baby is the only important thing you pay a lot of money for, that doesn’t come with a manual of any kind. They really should. Just the basic stuff like “This side up,” “Wipe when wet,” and “Objects may appear a bit larger when they are thown at you.” I guess it doesn’t really matter. You can’t send them back to the factory when they are defective.

Dear Cap’n Dan,

I have trouble getting my children to behave, and to eat well at dinner. Do you have any helpful suggestions?

So Worried Everyone Eats Toast


Children are like little pirates, running around looking for treasure. Dubloons, pastry, pie a la mode, it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s a treat, for an accomplishment. A reward. So if they do what you ask, give them a pastry every day. Pirates love rewards, and if it’s a cookie, you’ll know your little pirate has been eating all the food groups, except vegetables and meat. No alcohol. That’s part of a grown-up pirate’s food pyr-ARR-mid.

Dear Cap’n Dan,

My children are constantly tugging at my sleeve, saying “Mom,” over and over. Sometimes I answer after the first “Mom,” and they keep going. What is this about? How can I get them to learn the art of conversation?

Someone Help Us To Understand Parenting


Here in our pastry shop, I hear that all the time. Mom? What. Mom? What. It’s like a ping pong game! I don’t think you should bother answering at first, because even if you do they will keep going. They’re thinking, “Wait! I have five more Moms to go! I haven’t used up my allotment of Moms!” The volume increases, and the clothes-tugging gets more urgent. What if mothers were naked? How would a kid ever get her attention? Being naked would get the kid’s attention. It would get everyone’s attention.

Dear Cap’n Dan,

How will I know when my child is ready to be potty trained? Surely, it’s any time now.

Papa Overwhelmed with Odor

Dear POO,

At what age should you potty train them? When you can no longer get into the bathroom? But there’s no strict time table, so long as they are out of their diapers before they get their driver’s license. It’s very embarrassing to get pulled over, and try to find your wallet in that wet diaper. And when you do train your child, limit their toilet paper consumption. That reminds me of my favorite diaper rash treatment: rum, a healthy dose of rum on each cheek. That’ll teach the little darlins’ not to do it again.

Dear Cap’n Dan,

Should I be worried if my child doesn’t speak by age 2?

Silly, Histrionic Housewife

Dear SHH,

Consider it a blessing. Then remove the duct tape.

Captain Dan’s Pirate Pastry Shop is located at 5070 SE Hwy. 101 in Lincoln City and is open from 8:30 am to 3 pm every day except Monday when hours are 8:30am to noon. Closed on Tuesday. Find them on Facebook, or call 541-996-4600.

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