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Entries in parenting (23)


It's What's For Dinner

Son: “Dad, what’s for dinner?”

Me: “Pork chops in a pineapple-glazed honey sauce with jasmine rice and edamame .”

Son: “AWWWWWW!!! NOOOO Dad!!! Aw come-on!! Can’t we have pizza?”

And that’s how our nights begin these days.

The kids love rice. They love honey. They love pineapple. And if you put a bowl of edamame in the middle of a room and unleash the little bastards they’ll literally fight to the death until it’s all gone.

Feeding edamame to them is like tying down a small child and throwing it into a room full of zombies. Yeah…like that.

But when you lovingly toss it all together on a plate, gleefully place it in front of the troops, stand back and wait for the overwhelming cheers…all we get is the kid’s version of Chef Ramsay.

“Dad! What the fuck is this you donkey? Come here…taste this! It’s crap dad! Crap!”

I absolutely love cooking. There’s nothing better than cranking the radio, pouring a full glass of red wine and knocking out a killer meal. But with the birth of two little rug-rats we’ve fallen victim to the lure of eating out.

Sitting at a table, having beer brought to you on demand without having to lift a finger while plates of goodness are brought is such a wonderful thing. But damn that’s expensive.

And sushi is…make that “was”…our weakness. We LOVE sushi!!! But damn it’s expensive.

The boy has to learn to eat food that costs less than $50 to create. The girl…well, she would eat chicken nuggets and chicken noodle soup until the world ended.

So, we’ve taken the old school “we used to walk to school uphill both ways” philosophy of parenting.

Last night we fed them pork chops. They tried it. They hated it. They went to bed with empty stomachs. And, yes…I showed them the trash can with their food in it and said, “daddy listened to a story on the radio today where a lady who struggles for food said a good day for her is when she gets half a glass of goat milk and cornmeal soup for the day.”

To help the message sink in further, maybe weekend we’ll take the boy to a soup kitchen.

I won’t categorize the experience as learning through guilt. Instead, I chalk it up as teaching through reality.

I’ll know I’m successful when he cleans his plate and then says, “dad, can we volunteer at the soup kitchen again this weekend?”

OK, now I’m dreaming. So I’ll lower my goals and just shoot for the clean plate.


What's In The BOX?!!

A few weeks ago the talented and amazing animator JC Little (@LittleAnimation on Twitter), dropped a kick-ass animation based on this blog. You can see it here!

Yeah, I was blown away by not only her skill, but the fact she took the time to create such an amazing film.

But at the end, she did kind of leave us hanging. I mean, it was sweet. The kids and wifey gave me breakfast in bed and a gift, but damn it!!! I want to know what’s in the box??!!!

She must have been reading my mind because JC created a follow-up to the film. But she’s been dragging it out over the past week-and-a-half in her “Be Afraid” series, teasing this brother on her blog.

But today, she put us out of our misery and launched the answer to the burning question, “What’s in the Box?”

Yeah!! A snuggie!! Thanks JC….thanks for making me a star in my worst nightmare.

If you didn’t already know, I HATE the Snuggie. See!!

Well…now you know what’s in the box. As for me…I’m going to collapse in a quiet corner and cry myself to sleep now that I’ve seen my animated self sheathed in a pink nightmare of cock-blockness.

Now go check out JC’s blog and see what she’s saying about “What’s in the BOX?”!!


Cussing & the Kids

“Sit the fuck down and eat your damn dinner!!!”

That phrase has probably been on the tip of every frustrated parent’s tongue at dinner time since the invention of kids. It’s on mine nine time out of ten.

But at the last second, that tiny little filter kicks in, erases “the fuck” and “damn” and cranks out the appropriate, “Sit down and eat your dinner!!”

Cussing in front of the kids is becoming more and more of an issue for me the older they get. The boy is hearing the words at school and even knows how to spell them.

“Daddy, I know how to spell the ‘F-word’. Wanna hear it?”

This is going to shock you but I cuss like a goddamn sailor. As soon as the kids’ heads hit their little pillows I flip the switch off and just let it flow.

But recently, that switch has been a bit lose and I’ve accidently dropped an “ass” or “shit” here and there.  The boy is always quick to say, “daddy!!! You just said a bad word.” Or the wife quickly snaps her fingers at me as I feel my testicles cringe and the hair stand-up on the back of my neck.

It usually only happens when I’ve broken something, or hit my massive noggin on something. I always feel awful after I say it, too.

I follow it up with, “Grayson and Macy, you know you’re not supposed to say those words right?”

“Yes daddy, we know.”

I have a buddy who has “Cuss Friday” with his two boys that are 7 and 12 years old. Every Friday he allows them to say any cuss word they want. The rules:  they can only say it to their father, their mother can never know (even though she does), and if they ever cuss in public or to another person the privilege of the game is over forever.

At some level I can appreciate that. It’s like controlled cussing in a way. But, then I envision what that would be like with my son and me.

Me: “What’s up motherfucker?”

Son: “Not much cock-smoke. Can I have some goddamn juice asshole?”

Me: “Shit yes you can. Go get it your fucking self.”

Son: “Fuck you old man, you go fetch it ass-bag.”

Me: “Don’t be a dick son. I’m not going to get it.”

Son: “FINE!! Goddamn it. I have to do everything!!”

After I play that through my mind I just can’t do it. I think I’ll stick with the modern version of the way it used to be: father works on lawn mower, scrapes knuckles along bolt, says “shit!!!!,” wife who is gardening near-by says “Walter!! The children for goodness sakes!!,” and father says, “sorry kids. Daddy shouldn’t have said that word. That’s a bad word and you should never say bad words.”



This Ain't No Griswold's Vacation

I ‘m over at my other gig today… the kick-ass website Dad Revolution where I blog along side a great group of dads every few weeks.

Today I’m writing about how after starting a new job I’m unable to do a family vacation – Griswold-style - because I haven't earned enough vacation hours yet. Instead, we’re pulling together bits and pieces of weekends to create a memorable summer of mini-vacations we hope the kids will always remember.

So check out my latest post on Dad Revolution: This Ain't No Griswold's Vacation.


Our Neighbors Think We're Heathens

My neighbors think we’re horrific parents.

I’m convinced of this is fact.

It’s spring, everyone’s outside, windows are open, wind’s blowing in the right direction…life couldn’t be better. We live in a very urban area – I can almost touch my house and my neighbor’s house at the same time.

So, I’m outside drinking wine and watching the kids live-out their childhood. Occasionally I’ll wave to a neighbor with that calm, collective, “what’s up man! Life’s good…just relaxing with the family” kinda wave.

Usually that’s the kid’s cue to go absolutely ballistic.

Immediately the boy yells “I said no Macy now STOOOOOP!!!!” Then rides away on his bicycle towards the corner of the street inches from going into traffic.

As I’m running down the sidewalk carrying wine, yelling “HONEY…GRAB MACY…SHE’S BLEEDING” I happen to notice half the neighborhood stopping mid-discussion and turning towards our rabid family.

“WHAT?!” my wife screeches from inside the house.


This is where I bring the scene to a screeching halt and reveal that we are actually the “older” family on the block. My kids are almost 6 and 8. The average age of the rest of the block’s children… 1.7 years old. So they’re standing there in horror as they watch elements of parenthood unfold that they have yet to experience.

As they gather their children and herd them away from the scene with disappointing looks on their faces I can almost hear them mumbling “we’ll never be like that will we George?”

“Never Marcia. We’ll never parent like those heathens!”

The neighborhood air is consistently filled with the loving ramblings of our family-of-four as sentiments such as these come flying out our house windows regularly:

 “I said GO BRUSH YOUR TEETH!!! How many times do I have to ask you?”

“I AAAMMMM finishing in the shower…geeeeze!!

“OOOOWWWW daddy!!! Your pulling my hair, let me comb it!!!”

“Mooooommmyyyyyyy Macy won’t stop snoring!!”

“NO! You cannot have a chocolate bar while you go to sleep!! That’s just insane! Now go to bed!!”

“But honey!!! I thought tonight was really going to be ‘the’ night!?”

I think back to before we had kids and I remember the many times in the grocery seeing the mother say to the little boy, “stop touching things on the shelf. Do you hear me?! One more time Mr. and you’re in BIG trouble.”

And I always thought…I’d never, NEVER talk to MY kids like that. Guess it goes to show the number one rule as a parent is never say “I’ll never.”

Now if I can get my wife to stop talking to me like that in the grocery…