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I'm A Hypocrite Father

“I love you Grayson.”

That’s what a little piece of yellow paper had written on it that the boy found under a book on his desk. My 9-year-old third grader had a little lady falling for his redheaded ass.

A part of me wanted to high five him, do a chest bump and let him take a swig of my beer. But the father of a daughter in me took over and immediately I began to fume.

My hypocrisy regarding my views of youth and relationships was already beginning to creep its way into real situations sooner than I’d anticipated.

Since the day we saw the sonar of our precious little wienerless fetus on the screen during the pregnancy, I knew the day would eventually come when I was standing with a shotgun in front of the daughter’s bedroom door while tossing a pack of condoms to the boy.

Since the day the wife spat our little daughter into the world I’ve been randomly polling the women in my life regarding how their father’s dealt with them as teenagers.

The responses:

“My dad wouldn’t let me date till I was 18.”

“My boyfriend snuck into my bedroom constantly at night.”

“I had my first baby when I was 17.”

I stopped asking after that last response.

Next, I quickly decided I should make a list. That’s what the old school 80s After School Specials always recommended… “when you’re in a pinch on a tough decision, turn on some Poison and make a list!” So I did.

How I Will Treat Relationships the Boy & Girl Have As Teenagers

Boy: Lend him my quality porn collection so he can learn how to handle himself in the sack.

Girl: Show her medical videos of people with horrific cases of gonorrhea and syphilis.

Boy: Provide him with condoms so he always has protection.

Girl: Sleep on the floor next to her bed with a shotgun so that she’s always protected.

Boy: Make sure I don’t cockblock him when he has a girl over to watch a movie.

Girl: Sit on the couch next to the daughter’s male friend and drink a bottle of whiskey while cleaning my chainsaw and staring at him as they watch a movie.

Boy: Explain to him he should be free, enjoy his youth and not lock himself down with a girl for years.

Girl: Drill into her head that you don’t really understand love and relationships till you’re 29 so she should just wait till then to kiss a boy or anything else ookie like that.

It was at this point the wife ripped the sheet out of my hands, balled it up, slapped me and said “get a grip you gap-toothed idiot. We’re going to treat them the same, give them both the exact same tools and opportunities. We’re going let them screw up and learn from it. We’re going to support them through the whole thing and arm them as best we can to make good choices. We can’t guard their every move.”

And she’s right. It’s the only thing to do. I don’t ever want to look back and know that I was too overbearing and sheltered them from becoming who they truly are. I want them to make mistakes, have their hearts broken and learn all the amazing and sometimes painful facets of love.

I touched the wife’s shoulder, smiled a “you’re right” smile at her, then stopped by the girl’s bedroom to make sure all the hidden cameras had fully charged batteries in them.


What I Learned In Two Weeks

Two weeks. I survived two freakin’ weeks as a single, stay-at-home dad. No, wifey hasn’t left me…yet. She does work part-time though. So, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. I was the lone individual responsible for keeping two, insane children alive and from killing themselves, or me.

So here are my thoughts and some snapshots of what went down:

1)  Stay at home moms fucking rock. And! Single parents should be given full-tax breaks and awarded Pulitzer Prizes of Awesomeness made of diamonds.

2)  My daughter is absolutely head-over-heels in love with Patrick from SpongeBob.

3)  My kids watch too much SpongeBob.

4)  Watching my boy interact with strangers on a sledding hill brings the biggest, dumbest smile to my oversized face.

5)  Checking out the view from the top of the Sears Tower is kick-ass and makes wifey poop herself.

6)  It becomes painfully difficult to find time to masturbate when children are in your life 24/7.

7)  Wait…I mean…#5 is something I heard on Oprah.

8)  Shit – I swear I did not start watching Oprah over the past two weeks. I hate that woman!!! But seriously, her holiday episode…I mean…SHIT!

9)  I get my period when I’m alone with the kids for that long of time.

10)  I found myself standing in a room at least once a day, with absolutely no idea why in the fuck I walked into it.

11)  I went grocery shopping twice with a list of over two dozen things and came out with only beer and popcorn.

12)  My daughter thinks she’s iCarly and wants to kiss a boy.

13)  iCarly is banned from this house for the next 13 years until she goes off to college.

14)  Parenting with a hangover is really really really hard.

15)  When my kids are lying on the couch, entranced with a movie, and not moving—they are the most adorable fucking things on this planet.

16)  My wife wonders what I “do all day?”

17)  I’ve learned how to turn my phone off all day, then when the wifey asks “what’s up with your phone,” I use my brand-new, off-the-shelf mid-western accent and say, “Ohh geeze…the battery died so I had to plug it in to charge and forgot to turn it back on-okay! Sorry yah!”

18)  Trying to do a cartwheel when you’re naked and alone to celebrate the children going back to school is not a good idea. The cat attacked Mr. Small-Time and almost made it Mr. No-Time.

19)  I hate…hate…hate my fucking cat. Lazy, furry, cozy, snuggle buddy. I mean..that asshat.

20)  My son and I became closer than we’ve ever been and it makes me weak in the knees.

21)  All I have to do is look in my daughter’s eyes for a split second, and she’s scrambling to sit next to me…grabbing my arm and laying it around her and across her chest.

22)  My wife has the ability to make me do whatever in the holy hell she wants me to do and I have no control over it. I painted our bedroom and hallway, and went to Ikea all in a two-day span. And I didn’t even know it happened until it was over.

23)  Three days is the limit for me not taking a shower. After that…even I’m writing myself hate-notes and slipping them under my pillow.

24)  A lot of employers don’t post available jobs during the holidays.

25)  Despite all that’s absolutely and totally fucked right now…I love my life and those who are in it.


My Kid's Gotta Big Schtick

My kid throws himself on the ground on purpose and it makes me wanna kick kittens.

Phew.... There, I said it. But damn it I don’t feel better. Not at all.

Everywhere we go the boy HAS to take his entire body and just throw it to the ground. Walking down Chicago streets – BAM. Grocery shopping – BAM. Walking out of his school – BAM. Watching Emeril Lagasse on TV – BAM.

It’s as annoying as listening to Miss Teen South Carolina 2007, Lauren Caitlin try to order cheese fries at a drive through with her window up.

 For a while I thought it was a tick. I thought he might have inherited my Tourettes. I’ve also wondered if maybe this was the beginning of some kind of insane fetish that would blossom into having to hide anything covered in leather or that has zippers.

Then, I picked him up from school yesterday. And being the deadbeat, outta work dad that I am, I was late. As I walked up to the school yard he was standing with three other kids talking and then he threw himself to the ground. Then just as I was about to throw a park bench through a school bus, I noticed all the kids were dying laughing. Ten seconds later he was on the ground again—more laughter.

How the hell did I miss this? This was his shtick. This little budding hack comedian has developed his first shtick and has been trying it out in downtown Chicago, grocery shoppers, school mates, and Emeril Lagasse. BAM!

I walked up, told the little dude to gather his things, ogled a few of the moms, made note that the boy had just ripped a hole in his band new jacket from his physical comedy routine,  and headed home. I was so conflicted.

I spent my entire life doing stupid shit to try and get people to like me. I wore only a red thong in the middle of a dorm party. I shaved a line down the middle of my chest at a wedding reception. I put two pairs of tube socks down my pants as a teenager and went into convenient stores to buy beer. I stole random bras from dryers in college and wore them in public. I was an I-D-I-O-T. Actually…the wifey would argue that I still am.

But regardless, the boy was just reacting to the really distorted genes I’d infected his body with. He was trying to be the class clown. He was trying to make sure everyone liked him. The beginning stages of the dreaded two words, “people pleaser.”

Go ahead….Google it…you’ll find a picture of me standing in a room filled with people with a big stupid grin on my face agreeing with everyone and making sure nothing controversial comes out of my mouth so that at the end of the day everyone’s thinks, “that big-eared gap-toothed idiot-boy we met today was really just a swell guy!”

So now I begin the process of trying to establish a balance for the little guy. A balance between allowing him to continue being unique, original, and true to his personality vs. showing up to school in his father’s red thong and nothing else while agreeing with what everyone says and does because he’s afraid of having even one single person not like him.

Just another item in the growing list of challenges that is parenthood. BAM!


My Wife is the Antichrist in the A.M.

Holy shit what a dangerous dangerous time of day the morning is in this house. You’d think it would be because of the kids…but it’s not….it’s the wifey—the angriest, most volatile human being on the planet in the morning. There are so many things that astound me about her mornings that I just don’t even know where to start.

She never sets an alarm clock. That in-and-of-itself would keep me from ever falling asleep for a second. I’d pick my massively oversized head up off my slumber cushion every two seconds to cast my eyes on those evil red digits on the clock checking…making sure my deadline hasn’t yet hit.

I go to sleep with two alarms set for shit-stake. That’s how mental I am about schedules.

Now, before unemployment grabbed me by the balls and dropped me to my knees, I used to get up at 4:30 a.m. to run every morning. Now…. I’ve got all day to run, so I sleep in!

By 6:18 a.m. it’s time to begin the lovely adventure of waking the wifey up.

We’ve been married for over a damn decade…you’d think I’d have thick-skin over this issue by now. You’d think I’d have some kick-ass routine down by now. No…I don’t….and it hurts. It hurts my heart….

Wifey in college sleeping...look how calm & delightful she looks, but evil lurks below.


I start by nudging her gently, “wifey (I actually use her real name) …it’s time to get up. Come on, it’s 6:18. Come on, wake up…”

“OK!! I hear you….Jesus I hear you, stop touching me and talking!!” are the words that come out of this delicate little flower as she flips over in bed.

“Did you just call me Jesus? Wow..that’s the kindest thing you’ve said in….”

“Ha-fucking-ha funny man…SHUT UP!!!”

I then get up, go in the boy’s room, lay in bed with him and slowly, lightly tickle him till he wakes up laughing his ass off. Then lay out his clothes, then head back into the lair.

Grabbing the wifey’s shoulder lightly and applying pressure, “hey – it’s 6:35. You need to get up honey.”

“I know!! You told me once, now, you’re telling me again. I liked it a hell of a lot better when you were running right now….I know how to WAKE UP!!”

Actually, this is where I need to leave myself a note every morning that reads:

Dear Idiot-Boy:

Well hey there sunshine!! Good morning to ya! Hey, I know you’re just crawling outta bed, eager to crawl into the basement and begin another day of hopeless job searching, but guess what slugger? Yeah!! You gotta wake up the wifey!!

Oh, she’s a finicky one…so taker easy. Poke her with a stick and run like hell man!! She’ll eventually wake up, and when she does…all she’ll want is more pillows and her blanky so she can sleep sitting up! Once that’s arranged, don’t say shit. Just keep on keeping on. Eventually….she’ll slide outta bed, turn around, and lean over so she’s still be supported by the bed, blanky, and pillow, but here’s where the bonus comes in…her buttocks clad with skin-colored panties will be poked in the air…BUT DON’T TOUCH!!! Just look. If you touch…she’ll cut you!

Now…here’s where you engage her in conversation to help her wake further. It seems like you’re not “telling” her to wake up, you’re “assuming” she’s “awake.”

You know how to take it from here. Good luck slugger….you’ll need it. And hey, make sure you put that cup on…..believe me…you’ll thank me!




My Son's Balls Are Making Him Competitive

Everything is a freakin’ competition with the boy these days. EVERYTHING!!

Going to the car. Daughter gets elbowed from behind and face-plants as the boy flies by to be the first to a door that is still locked and holds not a single trophy for him on the other side.

Walking down stairs….it’s like watching a murder scene in slow motion as he plows by me, throws his sister against the banister and jumps the last five steps so he can crash himself to the floor and claim victory as carnage and blood drip down the stairs in his wake.

Taking a shower. Within two minutes of walking out of the bathroom, I’ll hear the water cut-off and “daddy I’m finished!!!” echoes through the house till it finds my vulnerable eardrums a mere three seconds before ultimate relaxation comes over me. I vow to tape record this so when he’s a teenager and spends a half hour masturbating washing in the shower, I can prove that he has the ability to take one quickly.

Drinking his milk. The daughter doesn’t even like milk…so who the fuck is he racing? He’ll choke it down…white shit spewing from his nose, eyes watering like hell, slam the cup on the table and announce, “finished!!” while still breathing hard and sporting one kick-ass milk mustache. And for what?!

Playing Wii. I’m gonna just throw the damn thing away. I’m determined not to let him win all the time so that he learns to be a respectful loser, but damn….it’s like getting kicked in the nuts every two minutes. It’s painful and makes me cry, fall to my knees and want my mommy to hold me.

I’m competitive, but nothing like this. Is it the red hair? Is it his balls? That’s what it’s gotta be…those tiny little marbles of his are probably working overtime growing, expanding…. It’s like Donald Trump moved into my kids sac, started building skyscrapers everywhere, and decided to run for mayor, start his own TV show, take over the circulatory system, and overthrow his brain chemistry all in one foul swoop.

And the daughter totally provokes it. We’ll be on our way out the door to go somewhere and the boy will be off chasing something shiny in a corner. Then the daughter gets that evil grin and says, “Grrraaaayyyssooonnn….. I’m gonna be first to the caaaaarrrrr.”

And his head will poke up from behind the couch, and immediately he springs to his feet, vaults the ottoman, ducks and slides under my waiting arm to stop him, slams his sister against the front step railing, falls on concrete but turns it into a tumble, and slams into the car door, flipping around claiming victory! And behind him is a pissed dad, a mother picking up a bleeding, crying daughter, and a cat slowly slipping out of the house through the wide-open door while everyone’s distracted.

I just hope someday his competitiveness can be brought under control, harnessed, and used to make mommy and daddy rich beyond their wildest dreams. Until then…..I’ll I guess I’ll just write about it.