Tag Archives: parenting

More of the same

1.  I love the list format but I can’t have two posts in a row with the same title.  I have standards.

2.  Every time I go through a McDonald’s drive-thru and they say, “Please pull forward and we’ll bring your order out to you,” because I’ve just ordered so much fast food that even the #1 fast food chain in the world momentarily grinds to a halt, it makes me feel sad.  That spot where you park up in front of the drive-thru is probably the most depressing spot in the world.  It’s where dreams go to die.  And you just know all the other people that get their food and leave are driving past with their noses in the air like “Oh I might wait five minutes for this shit, but I’m just too damn important to wait ten minutes like this miserable fucker here.”  Well guess what, other people, I’m trying to feed a family here.  So you go to hell, other people, you go straight to hell.

3.  After re-reading the previous paragraph, I think it should probably be read in an Andy Rooney voice.

4.  See, what’d I tell ya?  Right?

5.  Sometimes a quick glance at the baby’s legs as I walk in the door after work tells me all I need to know about the kind of day Kelly had:


The really scary part:  I don’t think this even made the top ten list of “things the kids and/or dog did to drive Kelly crazy today.”



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Fact and opinion

1.  Maybe I’m a little out of the loop but I just heard the Framing Hanley cover of “Lollipop” last week and my ears are still bleeding.  It’s just awful.  What the hell were they thinking?  What would make someone shit all over a perfectly good song like that?  The rule for deciding whether you should cover a song is simple:  if you can’t do it better, don’t do it.  The Framing Hanley amendment to that rule is:  seriously, just don’t.

2.  In other music news, the Decemberists just released their new album The Hazards of Love.  Hallelujah.

3.  Hilarious, but kinda pathetic too:

At about the 2:45 mark, it gets ugly:

Charles, Barack Obama is president of the United States today because of stupid, ignorant people who think like you do.  You pose — you and your ignorance are the most expensive commodity this country has.  You think you know everything.  You don’t know diddly-squat.

Is that any way to talk to a veteran?

4.  I can’t help thinking lately that I’m never going to be anything more than a parody of my dad.  And fighting it only makes it worse because that’s exactly what he would do.  I’m so screwed.

5.  A conversation I had with Smella this evening:

Smella (whining):  I can’t walk!

Me:  Why?  What’s wrong?

S:  I hut my weg!

M:  How did you hurt your leg?

S:  I bumped it and now I can’t walk!

M:  Well, come over here and let me see it.

S (walking across the living room, not even limping):  OK, daddy!

M (in my head):  You fucking with me?

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The story of my life

Tonight as I was bathing Boobers, Big D asked me if Smella could play Wii with him. A little voice inside my head screamed “Oh my god, are you out of your mind? Do NOT let the three-year-old play Wii!” but I quickly silenced it because I’m a moron. I figured she could try bowling because it’s not too hard. So she figured it out and even managed to get a strike in her first game and everyone was temporarily happy.

After I finished bathing the baby, reality set in. Boobers saw her playing it and decided that if she could do it, so could he. I’m sure he thought that since she’s only got a few inches on him, it wouldn’t be a big deal if he gave it a shot too. And I understand his logic, but I had to draw the line because he’s NINETEEN MONTHS OLD. So for the rest of the game, Boobers kept trying to wrench the controller out of Smella’s hand. This annoyed her greatly.

But what really annoyed her was when I told her that she had to stop playing because it was time for her bath. To clarify: by “really annoyed her” I mean “she screamed for a short period and then cried during the entire bath.” To make matters worse, the little voice inside my head got all cocky and started mocking me for being the world’s most clueless parent.

(I swear that this is the story of my life. It seems that no matter what I do and how good my intentions are, I will inevitably find a way to screw up any situation imaginable. I don’t listen to the little voice until its derisive cackling can no longer be ignored. I wish I was joking, but I’m not.)

Eventually, Smella quit crying and I briefly (very, very briefly) considered letting her play again just to smooth things over. Instead, I got her dressed, kissed the kids goodnight, and put them to bed. And everyone was temporarily happy again.

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The Cat

We rarely see our cat Scout.  She’s never been crazy about the kids.  In fact, I believe she hissed at Big D every time she saw him from the day we brought him home from the hospital until he was about five or six.  It only made things worse when we brought Smella home.  But the last straw was when we brought Boobers home in May of 2007.  It turned out that three kids was the magic number that put her over the edge.  She gave up her hopes and dreams and decided to just live out the rest of her life in our bedroom like a convalescent hermit in witness protection.  Come to think of it, that’s what Kelly and I have done too.

So for the last year and a half, she has hidden out in our bedroom 95% of the time that the kids are awake.  After the kids go to bed, she’ll come out of hiding to stretch out a little and get a bite to eat.  Tonight, for some reason, she emerged from the bedroom at seven o’clock.  The kids are not in bed at seven o’clock.  I’m not sure what she was thinking, but the kids loved it.

“Is that her?”



“What is she doing here?!”

I think Boobers loves her the hardest though.  He’s pretty gentle with her most of the time.  But after a minute or two of soft and easy petting, he just can’t stand it anymore and is compelled to let out a delighted shriek (THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID) and try to hug the shit out of her.  And I can’t really blame him since he only sees her about once a month on average which means that he has only met her maybe four times that he can actually remember.  Sad.

Our kids act like they live in a house where the parents have refused to allow pets.  We’ve had her for ten years.  We’ve had other pets over the years as well, but she’s the only one that’s been here all along going all the way back to before we had kids.  I guess we shouldn’t complain about her wanting to get her hermit on too much.  After all, she used to be so bitchy that we were positive that her dying breath would be in the form of a hiss directed at Big D.  Now we know that she’ll die hissing at Boobers instead as he literally loves her to death.

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Mosquitoes and Negative Campaigning

Tonight, after the wife went to work, the kids and I played outside.  We kicked around balls and rode bikes and pushed cars and Smella and I were going to toss around the frisbee but on my first throw I nailed her in the space between the upper lip and nose which according to Google is called a philtrum.

After about half an hour, I realized that I was slapping at so many mosquitoes that the neighbors were probably thinking that I had recently taken up smoking crack as a hobby.  In hindsight, it probably didn’t help that I was dancing around, frantically swatting at my head, and yelling “The bugs!  Smella, do you see all the bugs?!”

I knew coming back in the house would be a hassle because it always is no matter how many times you explicitly tell the kids that they absolutely can only go outside if they promise not to freak out when it’s time to come back in and no matter how many times they nod and agree one hundred percent and insist that I’m the crazy one because they are waaaaay too mature to do anything as unbecoming as throwing a fit in the yard at the first mention of maybe it possibly being time to I don’t know go back in maybe.  Maybe?  Please?

So I quickly scooped up Boobers and took him in the house before he knew what hit him.  He cried but quickly got over it when I distracted him with a sippy cup full of ice water.

Smella did indeed whine and I could tell that she was thinking about making a run for it but I eased my way over to her and talked her down until I got close enough that I could reach out and grab her (Abra-abra-cadabra).  Honestly, it wasn’t that hard to convince her that we should go in because she had a look on her face that said, “OMG, mosquitoes, WTF?”

By the time I went back out to get Big D, it was already starting to sprinkle so that was easy.  We picked up the outside toys and went in to get drinks and cool down.  As I was pouring myself a drink, Big D asked if he could have some of my Coca-cola.  I told him that it was actually cherry coke.  He then begged me to give him a drink.  Smella was all “Me too!  Me too!” so I let them both get a drink out of my glass.  Then Big D asked if he could have a straw and I had to draw the line there.

Around 7:30 I got a phone call.  It came up as a toll-free number on the caller ID and I answered it because sometimes it’s fun to answer surveys.  It wasn’t a survey.  It wasn’t exactly a robocall either.  It was a real live person calling for the Republican National Committee and I could barely hear her at first so I asked her to speak up and she started over much louder telling me how much of a douchebag Barack Obama is.  Apparently his gay lover best friend is a terrorist, but, lucky for us, John McCain is a hero who suspended his campaign to fix the economy.

(I was thinking damn I need to stop getting my news from the internets because I didn’t realize the economy was fixed.  Last time I checked, the Dow was down about 25% over the last month.  Just think how hard they could be fixing it if they weren’t calling me or if John McCain wasn’t getting ready to debate Barack Obama in about an hour and a half or if Sarah Palin wasn’t planning a visit to the Indianapolis area on Friday.  Hell, she’s so smart I bet she could fix it all by herself if she would just take one little day off from the campaign to study it.  Right, Sarah?  You betcha!)

So anyway, the caller rushed through her spiel practically yelling the whole time and I’m pretty sure she never even took a breath.  This being my first call of this nature, I was under the mistaken impression that we would maybe have a little discussion time after her initial introduction.  I thought that perhaps it was a push poll and I could at least answer a question at the end.  But apparently that’s not how it works.  After they blurt out thirty seconds of bile, they just hang up.  Cowards.

It sucks trying to write and watch a debate at the same time.

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I totally outsmarted a second grader…Yay?

We have a nightly ritual around here at bedtime.  When I announce that it is time for bed, the two oldest kids run and hide.  Every night, Smella says, “You can’t catch me, Daddy!”  Then she runs into the laundry room and faces away from the doorway like that somehow makes her invisible.  The only exception to this is when I say something like “Hey Smella come here real quick” before she has a chance to run away.  She then comes over to see what I need and I scoop her up while declaring that, yes, I can in fact catch a three-year-old.

Big D, though, he’s wily.  He likes to run into the kitchen and try to get me to chase him around the table.  I usually have to resort to blocking the path around the table by pulling out chairs so he’ll have to move them out of the way, or at the very least, trip over them and require a trip to the emergency room.  Sometimes he just hides instead of making me do the table chase.  Last night, while I was putting the two little ones to sleep, he hid.  Let me correct that.  He didn’t just hide.  He hid well.  I walked around the house making a lot of noise trying to get him to giggle and give away his position.  Nothing.  Not a peep.

(WARNING:  This is the part where I come off as a true douchebag of a parent.  Again.) After making my first sweep of the house, I had a bright idea.  I would flush him out by scaring the shit out of him.  Brilliant!  I started going back through the house turning all the lights out as I went.  I heard a few muffled noises but I still couldn’t tell where they were coming from.  It was just a matter of time.  Finally, after I turned off the last light and stood waiting in the pitch black kitchen for about ten seconds, I heard him coming out.  He flew out of his room, flipping on the hall light as he ran to and swung open the front door, and looked out to see where I had gone.  Because that’s what I do.  I routinely forget to put him to bed and instead decide to turn out all the lights and go for a walk or something.

He was not amused.  In fact, he might have been on the verge of tears.  On the verge.  That’s not so bad, right?  I mean, he never shed an actual tear or anything.  The moral of the story is:  don’t hire me as a babysitter.  The other moral is:  it’s always better to risk physical injury to your child than to cause him emotional harm.

I’ll let you know how the trip to the ER goes tonight.


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Milestones they don’t mention

When the wife was pregnant with Big D, our first kid, I thought that I could just skim through the What to Expect series and learn pretty much everything I ever needed to know about raising babies. Not quite. Don’t get me wrong, these books are very valuable resources (which I’m pretty sure the wife has read about five times each). They cover the big milestones like rolling over and sitting up and walking and talking to reassure worried parents that their baby is perfectly normal. But there are so many milestones that the books never tell you about. Some of them may seem a little trivial, but they are all important in their own little ways. Here’s my top ten list:

1. Wiping their own asses: This is a HUGE deal. It may be even bigger than walking.

2. Trying to tell a joke: Although this can be pretty painful, you gotta appreciate the fact that they are even attempting it.

3. Successfully telling a joke: Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide. Good one, Big D.

4. Climbing on the furniture: This isn’t necessarily a good thing but the kid enjoys the hell out of it.

5. Realizing they farted: What was that, Daddy? Why, I didn’t hear anything but the sound of angels sighing.

6. Realizing you farted: Daddy, what’s that smell? Ummm, I believe that’s some especially pungent Limburger cheese, son.

7. Dropping the f-bomb: This always happens sooner than expected. Sometimes they even use it in the appropriate context which is even more disturbing.

8. Taking a shower by themselves: Right up there with wiping their own asses.

9. Using a straw: This means you don’t have to pack a sippy cup everywhere you go ever again.* Awesome.

10. Fixing a bowl of cereal: Mommy and Daddy are gonna sleep in a little late this Saturday.

*ever again=until the next kid comes along.

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