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Geeze Daddy!!

Grayson: “OK Daddy!! Geeeze!!!”

That’s the shit I’ve been hearing religiously these days.

All it takes is me telling the boy for the second time to please put his shoes on so we can take him to school.

Or to please take a bite of his cereal that’s been sitting there for the past 10 minutes.

Or to stop telling his 5-year-old sister that he knows she’s lying about the fact she dreamt about a unicorn and when she woke up it was standing in her room.

It’s contagious as hell too. Yesterday the wife happened to catch me walking naked to the bathroom so she immediately threw what she was carrying to the ground and screamed, “fine – let’s do this, let’s just knock it out – geeeeze!!!”

The life of a 7-year-old can be so hard, having to always feel entitled enough to throw-down in a split second claiming you’re owed so much more than what you’re getting.

The boy honestly believes the world is against him these days.

Grayson: “What’s for dinner tonight daddy?”

Me:Hamburgers chief. Hamburgers, salad and corn-on-the-cob. Good eats my man!”

Grayson: “Awwww come on daddy!! You know I don’t like hamburger…geeeze”

At this point he’s walking out of the room like I told him I was going to run over his bike, kill his fish, and smash all is trophies.

Me: “Grayson…seriously? It’s hamburger. What kid doesn’t want a nice, juicy organic meat hamburger? I’ll even throw some cheese on that bad boy for ya!”

Grayson: “Can’t we have sushi?”

Me: “Seriously? Really Grayson, sushi? Are you buying? We can’t afford that Monsieur! Would you like some champagne with your meal?”

Grayson: “STOP DADDY!!! Not everyone likes the same thing!! Macy likes hamburger, I like sushi! GEEEZE!!!”

I don’t know what the solution is.

We put the smack-down on the boy from ever saying “geeeze” ever again. We’ve told him the world is not holding a major conference in downtown Chicago under the theme “How To Make Grayson’s Life Unfair, Unjust and Just Down Right Sucky.”

He’s a work in progress…like the girl…like the wife…like myself…like the blow-up doll in my basement that still wants me to take her out for dinner before we “get it on.”

A work in progress…



The Puke Plague

Sick, sick and more sick.

And I suck when I’m sick and in dealing with the sick. Which has made the past few days random snippets of hell.

After a week watching my son strategically wipe gallons of green and yellow goo from his nose all over our furniture, carpet, and clothes, we took him to the doctor only to find he has bronchitis. Two days later I woke up around 4 a.m. feeling like that douchebag on the Internetweb Machine Thingy who takes a flaming shot and catches his mouth and throat on fire.

I’m the biggest baby on the planet when I get sick—shocker, I know. I have these long, green boot-socks that I put on and I walk through the house silently letting everyone know I’m officially ill and to please back-the-fuck off. And then I disappear to the bedroom for a day.

This past Saturday the wifey and I had the most magical of nights planned. A friend of ours (@momomatics) and us got a joint baby sitter. Kids were sleeping over at their house. I bought 439 candles to light throughout the bedroom. I paid a 36 piece string band to play in our bedroom. Shit, I even emailed Al Green to see if he’d show up to add some extra mojo to the ole love palace. Game was on!!!

We dropped the kids off and the four adults hit the town hard. Beers and shots were flowing, tons of laughing in the air, I was busy razzing the waiter, and I occasionally I’d write little love notes on napkins and slide them over the wifey’s way.

We roll into a 9:30 p.m. showing of Shutter Island and settled in. Exactly one hour later I go pee and I’m standing there as the phone vibrates (cause yeah…I listen to the pre-movie stupid dancing phone douche that tells me to put my phone on vibrate). I look down and it says I’m getting a call from @momomatics.

So I answer, “What woman?!!!”

And I hear, “ummm…this is the babysitter and your son is throwing up.”

And I’m all, “Are you sure? Like, did he just choke on something by accident and he’s better now? Or maybe he’s just pranking you. You should go check and call me back in a few hours.”

She says, “No…no I’m pretty sure he’s sick. There’s a lot of it. And, please tell Ms. (@momomatics) that her toilet is clogged and won’t flush.”

Yeah…that’s how my super sexy, kick-ass, romantic night came to a screeching halt. Half-a-movie, kid puking, and visions of a puke-clogged toilet.

By 11:15 p.m. we had both kids back at our house, son face-first in the toilet, and me, selfishly in a corner holding one of the 439 candles crying and asking “why baby Jesus…why??!!!”

And now…as of last night…the wifey is now getting a microscopic view of the toilet as she “talks to Ralph on the big white phone,” and the boy has started round two of the pukes.

Please let the daughter and I be the last people standing! If not…let it hit me so hard that I drop at least ten pounds…the last ten I need to lose before increasing my running pace by 20 seconds a mile.


Time To Get Off This Spot

It’s been some time since I last updated on my current situation.

The summary…Big-eared, gap-toothed freak gets job in Chicago, lives in empty house on air mattress alone in Chicago while his family tries to sell their house in Virginia, four months later said family moves to Chicago, freak works at new job for exactly18 months before being given a choice to stay at half the salary or leave and get full salary for three full months…gap-toothed freak decides to leave after searching soul and talking with friends, colleagues and family.

December 1, 2009, was the first day of unemployment and the beginning of a pretty incredible internal journey. I woke up and had nowhere to go. The kids went to school, the wifey headed off to her job, and there I was…disheveled, hung-over from feeling sorry for myself the night before, scratching myself, and looking around the house thinking, “OK…now what?”

I had a brief explosion of support from my kick-ass Twitter peeps. I pimped my resume far and wide, and met and talked to some really great, helpful people.

This is a really bad comparison, but I imagine this is kind of what it’s like when you lose someone close to you. You find out who your true friends are and they rally around you. And, for a short time you feel like you can conquer the world. But then they leave because they have their lives to live. They have their families to take care of…

Then I found myself one early morning seven weeks later standing there, disheveled, hung-over from feeling sorry for myself the night before, scratching myself, and looking around the house thinking, “I have absolutely no place in this life.”

What used to be 5 a.m. daily runs have turned into 6:45 a.m. snooze-bar workouts.

I drink more than I should at night because…well because fuck it, I don’t have to work tomorrow.

I didn’t shave or cut my hair for weeks and was introduced by the wifey to the term “beard funk.”

My son was sitting on my lap the other day and reached out and poked my stomach.

I find myself regularly and randomly telling the cat secrets and make him “pinky-swear not to tell!!”

After interviewing for what would be my dream job, I got an email letting me know they’re “pursuing another candidate.”

Last week I spent the day with the executive director of a great organization here in the Chicago suburbs. I’ve worked with her since I’ve been in Chicago and she wanted to discuss a new position being created that she wants me to take. She has to go through the motions associated with advertising it, but when all is said-and-done, she says the job is mine. Of course I won’t consider it mine till the paperwork is signed and I’m on board, but still it’s a huge relief.

And as phenomenal and fortunate as that is, I’m still here in this spot. The spot where I’ve stood since the day I was let go. Watching life pass by each day. A ghost of me interacting with my family and friends. Self pity lurking in every corner ready to be grasped as an excuse when needed.

So why am I not happy with this very fortunate news? And I realized, I’m ecstatic with the news, I’m just not happy with myself and how I’ve handled this situation. And even more so—I think I’ve been waiting for someone to come by and pick me up, fix things, show me the new course to follow, then pat me on my ass and say, “now go get em tiger!”

But life doesn’t happen like that. Life’s going to continue with or without me—that much I have learned. And I’ve got such a great group of family and friends—but they all have their lives to lead too.

All you parents out there who’ve seen Nemo 4,398,219 times remember the scene when Marlin and Dory are with the turtles riding the East Australian Current and little Squirt gets tossed out into the still water. Crush, the father, says, “let us see what little Squirt does flying solo.”

It’s time for me to move off this spot. It’s time for me to cut the hair, trim the beard, get back in my regular routine, and leap back into the wild ride of the current of life I’ve ignored for too damn long. No one’s going to come out there and grab me and pull be back in. I’ve gotta do it on my own.


Wifey & I Discuss Our Daughter's Future Sex Life

The wifey and I have been watching the Showtime series Weeds like it’s crack. And during that time I’m watching teenage girls hooking up and can’t help but shudder at the thought of my precious little angel ever…OK, I just threw up in my mouth.

Anyway, during one such episode, I hit the pause button and said to the wifey:

Me: “Seriously…Macy can’t ever have sex.”

Wifey: “Here we go…”

Me: “No seriously…guys are assholes. She’s gonna get some douche that’s gonna totally hit on her and view her as a conquest and then bolt leaving her and us with a damn baby.”

Wifey: “Our daughter is not a mountain you idiot. She’s not something you ‘conquest’.”

Me: “You know what I mean. Like, take you for an instance. You were all new to the school…with your sexy tight white jeans… You came walking into class that first day and immediately I’m throwing on my hiking gear, phoning home to let mom know I’m headed out for a multi-month expedition and lining up my Sherpa’s.

Wifey: “You seriously liked those white jeans?”

Me: “Boy Scout’s Honor – I still have those jeans in a super secret hidden spot and touch them often.

Wifey: “Number one, you were never a Boy Scout and number two, you’re a sick bastard.”

Me: “I love when you talk dirty to me.”

Wifey: “Really? You’re gonna be THAT dad and deprive our daughter of a great teenage childhood all cause you think the entire male population thinks like you?”

Me: “Sweety…the entire male population thinks with their dicks!”

Wifey: “At what point does that change cause you’re 34 and I see no shore-line off in the distance!”

Me: “You’re feeling awfully frisky tonight…you wanna ‘go’ woman? You seriously want me to take off my shirt right now don’t you?”

Wifey: “Just don’t hold our daughter back from living her life and learning life experiences. We need to just make sure we remain involved, communicate, and teach her life lessons.”

Me: “Are you reciting an After School Special to me right now?”

Wifey: “Seriously…let her learn, experience and become a woman.”

Me: “Baby jesus I love when you talk like that. How can you be all calm and just sit there when I’ve just taken my shirt off for you?”

Wifey: “Oh baby, you look hot. Oh baby, I must have you now. Oh baby, oh baby.”

Me: “One day you’re gonna wish you were much nicer to me.”

Wifey: “So sum it up …what exactly do you want for Macy?”

Me: “I want every one of her dates to walk in the door and see me cleaning my gun. I want them to shake my hand, sit for at least 5 minutes with me, and give me the respect due to appreciate the fact you’re taking out an amazing piece of my soul and heart.”

Wifey: “That’s sweet honey, but pretty far-fetched. But you know what? I’m with you…cause she deserves the respect.”

Me: “Yeah she does. Let’s chest bump to that shit!”

Wifey: “Ummm…I gotta pee and will be right back for that chest bump…I promise!”

Me: “So awesome…I’ll be right here waiting baby! Miss you already!!!”


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.