Thursday, January 16, 2014

10 reasons why having children is like playing Monopoly with an asshole.

1.       Both endeavors start out fun- hell, making children is REALLY fun, and breaking out the ol’ Monopoly board always starts out with warm fuzzy intentions.

2.       You immediately begin to lose sleep and regret your decision to have children play Monopoly.

3.       If you stop paying attention for one second, everything goes sideways. Your cousin has been yelling ‘hotel, motel, holiday INNNN’ for so long you’ve mentally shut down and missed buying Marvin Gardens before the corner of dread that ends with Boardwalk and Park Place. (That your cousin of course owns)

4.       Getting to bed at a reasonable time is not an option with Monopoly or children, so you also miss the opportunity to look at yourself in the fucking mirror in the morning and go to work with a baby shit stain on your sleeve that is finally noticed by a co-worker at around 2 pm.

5.       There’s never enough beer and both endeavors leave you with a headache in the morning.

6.       Both activities teach you about not sharing. There’s always an argument over who gets to be the car and who has to be the shoe. When raising 2 children 17 months apart there’s an argument about, well…everything. And as the parent you always gets the shoe.

7.       You learn how to take an ass kicking. Before you know it, the rowdy cousin has bought every property but Baltic Ave- that 8$ rent is all yours baby- enjoy it.  No hotels for you. Do not pass go.

8.       With children, the ass kicking is not only financial but also emotional- you now read and cry with sympathy syndrome.

9.       All the money feels like play money. In one hand and out the other. At least the monopoly money has pretty colors.

10.   Regardless of the pain, you'd do it all over again and again.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Not to jinx it, but...

It's been a very long while since I've posted. I'd like to think in that time fatherhood has made me a better, more mature and patient person. Perhaps it has, but the internal talking and muttering I constantly engage in is as strong as it was a year ago. I try, I try.

The good news is that both of my beasties are alive and well- yes, I set the bar at a ridiculously low level. But I'm really excited to report that neither of my kid's has been driven to that fateful emergency room visit for broken bones or split heads. Not that we haven't had our share of hospital visits (mostly on vacation) for croup or other "expensive colds" as I refer to them - ask my wife about the time we were in Palm Springs and she was with my son in a triage bed when the guy next to them died at 4 AM- true story but given the location I like to assume he was 103 and it was time to go.

This is all not for trying- at least on my kids part. I'm amazed every day that I haven't gotten a phone call from school informing me to follow the noise of the overhead airlift helicopter to the nearest Harborview Medical Center. It's mind boggling how often they both put themselves at risk for great harm. My son can turn simple things like walking UP stairs into a reckless pursuit of stitches. His current strategy involves putting his feet at least 3 stairs above the rest of his body while hanging his upper body from the lower railing. I think it's kinda like watching a spider flipped on its back try to walk up a window- spectacularly slippery and mostly unsuccessful as a mode of transportation. This nor my yelling does not deter him.

Most of the time there is no ritual to witness such Darwin award winning acts. But there is morning school drop-off. There's time to prepare. I see it coming. Yet I'm never in control.

Our school is on a hill. Well it's a slight incline to adults but in regard to my daughter's dexterity at running it's more like Pike's Peak. Each morning we get out of the car with a stern 'no running' play- call by me. Inevitably a friend is spotted and gleefully down this incline my daughter goes. Every time I see this I stop walking, as if my lack of movement will slow her down or make her stop. The first few strides are generally ok. It's when her head slowly starts leaning forward that I begin to worry. It slowly takes over and the rest of her body follows, morphing into a posture similar to Usain Bolt crossing the finish line in the 100 meter dash, except she's moving as fast as my grandfather did while mowing the lawn, cocktail in hand.

We've been lucky as the title of this post says. She has yet to drive her face into the cement when her body cannot match the critical mass falling that is her head. But man, her little hands have taken some cement abuse.

I think I'll quit here, you know- not to jinx it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hold your Babies Tight...

Hi everyone-

I usually use my blog to examine the sardonic and cranky 'dad' point of view that many parents feel but don't actually articulate. I love my children and have had fun making light of the darker and not too sexy side of rearing kids. It's life, right? Fun and games.

Its my nature to be sarcastic, and this blog is a fun avenue to explore the other side of parenting. Some of you have said I have an ability to tell the story thats on your minds but not yet 'ready to actually say'. I've been lucky to have a little success in my style of writing but thats not whats on my mind tonight.

Friday's nightmare in Newtown, CT. shocked us all. There aren't words. I won't try. Anyone who has children is in the same foggy, fucked up, non comprehensive state that I'm in.

As I'm writing this its been 96 hours and the there have been thousands of editorial responses form gun control to mental illness (and everything in between) as to the cause of this tragic event.

I'm not going to wax poetic on my opinions- there are too many out there right now and I'm a dime a dozen that won't solve the issue alone or waste your time telling you what I think. It's a bigger issue than a single blog can solve. We've all by now read the statistics of our country, and conversely other countries regarding gun ownership and mortality rates. The same with mental illness and treatment or there lack of...  

My thought tonight is to use this shitty, unbelievable event to take stock and remember the simple things. Say 'I love you' every day. Kiss you children as much as possible. Look at them for a second longer as you drop them off at school. The moments you have with your family sholuld be cherished, really- just love in the moment.

I'll be snarky another day.

Hold your Babies Tight...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Come Hug Daddy in the Bathroom

In the early days, that is to say pre-children, I never thought for a second what joy could come of using a bathroom facility alone. All by my big-self. Now that I have children I understand those many, many years were wasted (ha!). I realized too late that it was a brief moment of solitude, a vacation I never took or even knew existed until the beasties came alive.

Post children, the first few months and even the first year I started to slowly realize that a minute in a bathroom without interruption, children, tasks or a wife was a golden opportunity to do absolutely nothing- just to think for a brief moment without feces, tantrums or orders being thrown at me.

That old job vacation time didn't roll over when my new career as a parent began in earnest.

I have adapted to a level that makes me appreciate and understand how we as humans slowly over hundreds of thousands of years shed our tails and slowly began to walk. And build fires. Even invent deodorant. My point is going to the bathroom now couldn't be any farther from the opposite of what I was used to for the last 39 years.

Given my new found adaptive techniques, I still try to sneak off and just go pee for a second. ALL BY MYSELF. It doesn't happen- ever.

All of the things boys and men have learned over adolescence and adulthood have gone by the wayside. Don't talk to a guy next to you while going to the bathroom?- Ruined. Look over at a guy (or worse, DOWN at a guy) while hes peeing?- Forget it. Touch a dude during the act- UNFORGIVEABLE...

When these cardinal rules were first broken I was unable to handle any of the offenses well. Miller would tear into the bathroom just as I was ready to 'go'. An ensuing stalemate occurred- lots of looking. Up and down. Staring happened frequently- for both of us. After a while it got cute- he would offer me some tissue after I was done. We do live with two ladies, I'll give him that...

Later phases of 'WFT' elevated into a bearhug around one of my legs in mid- stream. Staring was still the predominant action but the touching added a new level of difficulty to the task.

As for the adaptation, I'm equally proud and embarrased to have conquered all levels of potty terrorism my children have inflicted on me. A 5 piece Mariachi band could walk in on me these day and I wouldn't  blink an eye. Lets do shots, I say!

Come hug daddy in the bathroom...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Adult Costume Shopping.

It was beautiful Sunday. The Weather was sunny and hopes for a great day were high. The morning started off innocently enough and I even took the time to make eggs for the beasties. And toast.

Frozen waffles and syrup are for weekdays when we can run out of the house as the nanny arrives before the bath salts that are sugar kick in and faces get eaten. There could have been a tantrum or two before we got to the car and our routine 'weekend adventure' began but I was happily not taking notes as I hadn't yet been kicked in the groin.

First up was our family obligation to visit the University Village shopping.. 'Mall'?  It's basically an egregiously overpriced outdoor strip mall that carries 99% of the crap you can buy online. It DOES, however, allow you to drag your beasties along for the fun of it. Screw internet shopping. Plus they have a covered playground to expunge you of guilt for dragging the kids on a shopping trip. We do this EVERY weekend. FML.

After 30 minutes at Banana Republic (did I mention FML?) we boogied over to the playground for a bit of kid time activity. After about 20 minutes, I realize we'd worn our luck out and a kid on kid confrontation was imminent (that I'm going to run away from) So... It's lunch time! Yippee!!

Off we go- food is disposed of, some of it in my kids bellies, some of it on the floor, some inevitably in my lovely wife's purse.

Here's where the day turned into 'Dad's gonna get drunk tonight'....

We had a birthday party to go to the next weekend. It's a costume party. 1920's. There no faking that stuff. Its now close to 3:00. We decide to skip naps and forge ahead to secure costumes for my lovely wife and myself at the risk of putting our kids on tilt. In hindsight, boy did we.

Upon arriving at the 'Vintage Costume Shop' parking lot I noticed we were basically in a driveway. Like, someones house kinda driveway. There was a dusty redish Camaro and and a 1950's era Ford pickup quasi parked in front- both in questionable working order. I joked to Sarah that we were walking into the set of Paranormal Activity 4. That didn't go over well with her from the stare I got.

Upon entering the shop, which was in fact a dillapitated turn of the century craftsman home, I realized my assumption wasn't far off the mark. The place smelled like a homeless person took a dump in a bucket of horse urine, then paused to smoke a carton of Parliaments before throwing up.

To top it off it the owners had turned hoarding into a business. There was NO room in this place. Before I got my bearings, Miller disappeared. Literally, he was invisible being about 3 feet tall- there were little corridors carved into this hell hole and crap was either hanging or stuffed into shelves, ceiling to floor. By the look on the owners face, I know he at least got a glimpse of Miller- his furrowed brow told me as much.

 I spent equal time trying to find an outfit and trying to police the constant flutter of fabric that would swirl past me at waist level. After 30 minutes, I couldn't take any more of the madness and threw whatever I had picked out on the counter area- I had to get the kids out of there. My lovely wife was lost in another generation and in a fitting closet trying on 30 pound sequin flapper dresses- one painful outfit at a time.

The Beasties and I went out to the yard. They were in another dimension of rowdy, pissed-offness that I had not ever thankfully seen before. Miller was running around like a wild man while also trying to inflict as much harm on Quinn as possible. It reminded me of a swarm of bees, 3 minutes of spastic exertion followed by a flyby to swat his sister at full speed, followed by more spacsticness. rinse repeat.

I was doing absolutely nothing about this because a short while earlier, I remembered I gave Miller my keys when we first walked into the door. I had frisked him on the way out and he was clean.

I spent the next 10 minutes going inside to look for keys to back outside refereeing an MMA match on the front lawn. Quinn was in the wrong weight division but was putting up a valiant effort.

I was now on my hands and knees in the yard assuming Miller had flung the car keys away during one if his spastic episodes. Ah- HA! I found them and looked up at the progress of the grappling show- just to see Miller catch up to Quinn at a full sprint and whack the back of her head. By the time I got to her he had smashed her face on the grass so hard her lip was bleeding and I was seconds away from being a Jerry Springer candidate for reckless endangerment of my kids.

I don't recall the message I left on Sarah's cell once we were in the car but it did make her come running out to the car in mere seconds.

Costume shopping is for adults only.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Grass (or Hotdog) is always Greener

This is a little ditty that was recorded during a typical dinner with the beasties last week. It could have been recorded last night, or even tomorrow as its not remotely out of the ordinary. Quinn has dashed into her 'Terrible Two's' with gusto. While I do feel slightly bad for Miller's predicament, she has had a great muse and mentor to hone her skills, namely Miller himself.

What is not seen in the video is the rest of the hotdog that I put behind him on the dining room table- but Miller had already gone down the rabbit hole of hysterics and there was no saving him.

Enjoy....(I kinda did)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Caillou is going down

Caillou has become an institution in my sons TV library. I'm not sure how or when it started- possibly during the early years of complete parental ignorance and confusion, and having 2 children within 17 months might have contributed to it as well. There must have been a time where relative peace and quiet trumped quality of parenting. I hope my lovely wife and I were just too exhausted to pay enough attention to what we put on the TV for him.

Regardless, Caillou has infiltrated our household like methamphetamines has to Applachia.

Bottom line- I hate that little @#$% Caillou. 

First let me start with the name. There have been 108 episodes featuring that whiny flesh toned Jack in the Box. I guarantee there is not a child on the planet named after that kid. I think we parents have all learned from the iconic Johnny Cash song 'Sue' to not give our children ridiculous names (unless you're a celebrity, of course). And lets face it- 'Caillou' is impossible to spell. In fact, I had to look it up on the 'ol internetz for this post. And every time I mention the name again I have to look up and see how I spelled it the last time. (Close your eyes right now and try it- betcha' can't do it).

His name seems more appropriate as a character in Dances with Wolves. Perhaps as Kevin Costner's reliable but mute side kick. (Kevin Costner: 'Caillou, get the fire ready!' Caillou: mmmmmmmm'.) Maybe there's a sequel in the works. Run with it, Orion Pictures, this one's on me.

Now lets get to the looks. I'm not one for pointing out shortcomings of children but not only is Caillou a blatant rip off of Charlie Brown, but in a more dumbed down way. My son draws portraits of Caillou every day- accidentally. If you can draw a vague rendering of a circle and manage to leave a dot or scratch inside of it- you have a pretty decent likeness of Caillou. 

And man...does that kid WHINE. This is something I don't need any more of it in my house, we're at full capacity for that behavior as it is. It seems the only person having a good time on the show is the grandmother, who also happens to be the narrator. (read: not really in Caillou's presence, she's apparently in the sound studio doing voice over, so why wouldn't she be happy?)

I have an alternate and more realistic title for this show. How about 'Birth Control'. This seem to get the point across more effectively. At the risk of putting MTVs show '16 and Pregnant' out of business, just have you sex- aged children watch a few hours of Caillou and we'll nip this teen pregnancy crisis in the bud. Thank me later President Obama.

For the first time in my life, I rued the day DVR was invented. Caillou can be watched ANY TIME. Whenever I'm forced to pick up the remote and scroll around to find Caillou (its either watch whining on TV or experience it real time with my son) I am pleasantly reminded things could be worse.

He hasn't yet found Spongebob Squarepants. Who also should have a starring role in that Wolf Dancing movie, I think.