Tell us about your kids. What’s it like being a Dad?
I have two daughters – Zoe (7) and Isabelle (6). Having two girls is sort of like being on an amusement park ride that never ends – a little scary sometimes, a little surprising sometimes, but always a thrill in the end. They say and do things that melt you on a daily basis. Our girls are very close in age, and having them 16 months apart was the best decision we ever made. They truly are best friends. Everyone always asks me what my favorite age is in terms of development. There really isn’t one. Every year they mature is like starting over with a completely new kid. It’s similar to playing a video game, once you master one level…they take you to the next one.
Talk to us about your parenting style.
Structure. Believe it or not, kids get anxiety at a young age about unknown or uncertain things in their small worlds. Since they were a week old they have had structured sleep and eating schedules, and now that they are older they have full days from beginning to end. Zoe asks me every night when she goes to bed what is on the schedule for tomorrow- she wants to hear the whole thing planned out. When they have too much free time is when they get feisty and anxious and get into trouble. We also are trying to teach them the importance of punctuality. Most parent’s biggest problem is getting the kids ‘out the door – as my wife says, “it’s like herding cats.” If they are slow at getting ready I pull out my favorite phrase “It’s go time” and they know it’s time to jump.
What’s the one thing you cannot live without as a Dad?
Saturday morning bacon. My wife likes to sleep in…and in and in. The kids and I have a ritual of making bacon every Saturday. In fact, most Saturdays that’s all we eat for breakfast. Liz will ask me when she wakes up if the kids have eaten breakfast. We all answer “yes” simultaneously.
Summer is here, what do you do for fun with the kids?
The kids and my wife go out to Nantucket, and I join them there for long weekends. We FaceTime twice a day when I am away at work. We also spend two weeks in Kiawah Island in South Carolina, and every other year we take them to Greece to see my extended family. They love it in Greece because all the rules from home go out the window. It’s a completely different lifestyle over there and we let them get into a little. They get to go to adult dinners, stay up late because of the time difference, swim in the dark at midnight, and many other things. They love to travel and are good at i- they were on six round trip flights before their first birthdays…they love to fly!
Talk to us about living and raising a family in the city. Given your background, any advice on things to do/not to do?
Boston is great city in that you are never more than ten minutes from anything you want to get to. Use the city as your playground and don’t be shy about it. If there is a fire truck on one street, go and talk to the fireman and get the kids into the truck. If there is a construction site nearby, take them over to watch. When we take them out to dinner we have the waiter or manager take them into to the kitchen, they love this…Isabelle calls herself the “little chef”. There is a church three doors down from us (of which we do not belong to), and every Wednesday night they have traditional bell ringers up in the tower. I walked in one day and they were more than happy to oblige to have me bring the kids up to watch the ringing. Ever since, Isabelle now sits in the window seat in her bedroom every Wednesday night with the window open to listen, even in the dead of winter.
You are a leader in the Boston and Nantucket real estate development communities. What’s next for PEG?
We have several projects under construction in the South End at the moment. It seems like we can’t built them fast enough as the market is so hot at the moment.
You have a house on Nantucket. What are your favorite things to do/see with the family on the island?
The transportation seems to be the best form of entertainment. Between flying on the small Cessna’s or taking the ferry over is the girls favorite part of the vacation. Zoe always asks to sit in the co-pilot seat and she smiles from ear to ear. Our favorite activity once we are on the island is turtle hunting (actually catch and release). We go out to the dock at North Head Long Pond with raw chicken drumsticks tied to string. The snapping turtles latch on and then we pull them up to the dock. They could do this for hours. After that we go to Millie’s in Madaket for quesadillas and a Madaket Mystery (Daddy Drink). One last rule of thumb I live by as a Dad is that “we always stop for lemonade stands.” Summertime is the best.
For more on Peter and PEG Properties and Design, check out www.pegproperties.com.