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The Art of Manscaping

So my son gave me my first bitch-slap on Sunday. Father’s Day of all days!

Let me set the scene for you kids. I’m on a lawn chair, beer in hand, slight buzz, warm day, surrounded by a half-dozen or so friends at the pool they belong-to, grilling and having a damn good night.

Just as we’re all getting along famously, the boy rolls onto the scene. Sliding into the middle of the group like Tom Cruise in Risky Business, he takes over.

“So, hey. I’ve got something for ya!”

All the adults stop, turn and look at my little red-headed, gap-toothed freak son.

“Before we came to the pool, my dad had my mom shave his back and it was disgusting!!!”

Five years ago I would have immediately texted “my guy” and had the boy “taken care of” within five minutes.

All I could do was laugh. The little bastard had busted my balls in full display and he was right. My wife had totally manscaped my back a mere hour ago.

But three things happened with that unplanned announcement.

1)  I learned that my son has now entered into the phase to where he thinks he can bust my balls and not get payback.

2)  I am a seasoned “Payback” professional and he will cry!

3)  Manscaping is running rampant and women hate to be in charge of doing it!

The immediate response from the ladies in this awesome gathering of drinking folk was unanimous – “oh I feel your pain my dear! I hate having to shave my husband’s back!”

OK, so shaving your husband’s back isn’t quit the dream you pictured when that engagement ring was slipped onto the finger. I can’t apologize for it.

If I could pull a few favors with the man upstairs in the hopes hair would graciously NOT grow in areas we can’t reach, then I’d do it! But we guys are just hairy bastards.

So, it’s one of two things:

1)  Shave our back

2)  Let it grow and embrace the way the wind flows across our back like a Midwestern plain

But then there’s a secondary level to this manscaping dilemma.

Our wives already “own” us. So, why would they care if we’re walking around like Big Foot on payday? It doesn’t hurt them one damn bit.

Look, I’m definitely not a arm, chest, leg shaving dude. Not by any stretch. The day I start getting paid thousands of dollars to complete triathlons, then I’ll shave it down body-wide. Until then, I’m shaving in all the right areas.

I just want to be presentable. I don’t want to fight windstorms from lifting me up and carrying me away by my back-hair wings. I don’t want my cat to confuse me as a “fuck buddy” when I’m laying on my stomach.

So I beg you ladies…on behalf Guys Who Grow Back Hair, Some A Lot, Some A Little, Organization…know we love you, bite the bullet, and please – give us a shave!



Volkswagen Made My Daughter Mike Tyson

“Blue One”

“Red One”

That’s the kind of crap I’ve been hearing bellowing from my daughter’s mouth just seconds before she unleashes her tiny, knuckle-clad fist towards my old-man arms, legs, calf, back, or whatever is closest to her fury.

And it always happens when I’m in the middle of something and absolutely oblivious to what’s about to go down.

So the first time it happened I was cooking in the kitchen. Next thing I know I hear, “red one!” and WHAM!!! I feel something akin to a shot in the side of my upper hamstring.

“Ooooh…Macy…what are you doing?!!” I yell.

“Blue one!” she yelled as she slammed her right fist into my hip.

That’s when I realized she was reenacting the Volkswagen commercials! In my kitchen!!

Our kitchen only has two windows, neither of which over-look any street that might carry anything that could possibly even resemble a motor-vehicle. She was totally ripping off marketing genius to kick the ever living hell out of me.

My first reaction? Scream, “green one” and drop her to her knees.

But then, I remembered she’s my daughter…not my brother.

How could I get mad at her? She was victim to a catchy commercial that promotes pounding on someone because you saw a car drive by.

That’s like getting mad a Corona for its commercials showing the wife spraying lime juice in her husband’s eyes for watching a group of sexy ladies in bikinis walk by as he vacations.

I could never get mad at such a delicious frosty beverage. (Pppppssssttt…Corona….step over here…email me at whyisdaddycrying(at)gmail(dot)com to advertise yo!!).

Maybe I should be upset at myself for letting her watch a volume of TV that would result in her memorizing certain commercials. Or for forgetting to put my clothes in the drier last night so that could wear that sexy Hawaiian shirt with the hula girl on the front that I just know everyone loves to see me in.

Regardless…my precious angel was just doing what kids do – act as a sponge, soaking up every bit of information surrounding her, most of which without even realizing it.

Understanding that I kindly patted her on her head, bent down to her eye-level and said, “Macy…I love you baby. I understand you saw that on TV and are just repeating it. But it’s not OK to hit, OK baby?”

“OK daddy.”

Proud of myself I stood back up and watched her walk away. I’d knocked another killer parenting moment right out of the…

“Brown one!” and the feeling of a mini hammer coming down on my left quadricep almost dropped me to my knees as I noticed my son standing beside me.



Family Discussion: A Furry Little Shit

I came home yesterday to all hell breaking loose at the house.

Son: “But mommy I really really want one!”

Wife: “I know you do Grayson. We will probably get you one, so relax.”

Daughter: “Well if Grayson gets an animal I want a cat and I’ll keep it in my room and it’ll be all mine.”

Wife: “You can’t keep a cat in your little room all the time Macy.”

Daughter: “But MOOOMMMYYYY, Grayson gets to keep a hamster in his room, why can’t I keep a cat in mine?”

That’s when it all clicked in my head what was happening.

Me: “Whoa whoa whoa!! No one’s getting any animals. We have a cat and that’s plenty!!”

And then the water works started, followed by high pitched whining flavored with hardcore disappointment.

My son’s best buddy at school has a hamster. So naturally my son HAS to have one. And somehow, when I was away from the house for more than five minutes yesterday, my wife’s ability to slam any thoughts that another furry beast might enter this home permanently became weak. Our kids were breaking her quickly.

Me: “Grayson, what is it you want to get?”

Son: “Oh…daddy, it’s a teddy bear hamster. It’s really furry and really cute and it has long fuzzy hair all over it and I want it so badly daddy. I will take such good care of it and will name it Ted.”

Daughter: “And if Grayson gets a hamster mommy said I could buy two new Zhu Zhu pets!”

This is the point where I look at the wife with a “what in the holy hell are you thinking woman” look on my face.

Wife: “Don’t look at me like that. I pretty much promised Grayson he could have one.”

Me: “But we already have cat shit to clean up. We have a fish in the boy’s room that refuses to die. And now we’re gonna have a small animal that needs it’s wood shred thingies changed, food, water and the boy’s gonna let it get lose at least once and the cat will try to eat it and I’m already freakin’ exhausted….”

Wife: “Pipe-down childhood ruiner and quit over exaggerating. I had two as a kid and loved it. Let the boy have this.”

Me: “Whatever… I’m gonna need you to sign this document nullifying any and all involvement I might have in handling, touching, cleaning, observing, chasing, smelling, acknowledging, petting, and  any other word ending in “ing” that might involve Bob crossing paths with my daily life.”

Wife: “His name’s Ted idiot-boy. Get it right.”




Last week I was cruising home soothing my news junkie DTs by listening to NPR when I heard an amazingly touching interview with author Brad Meltzer.

Known for his mystery/thriller books, Meltzer started writing a book eight years ago after his first son was born. He was slowly creating a list of people he felt were heroes.

Miep Gies, Dr. Suess, Meltzer’s mother, Mother Teresa, Dan West, Jim Henson, Roberto Clemente, and more. The book is called Heroes for my Son.

It was heart-warming listening to him discuss the process by which he wrote his first non-fiction book. He took his true talents and applied them to a noble cause…to instill in his children the knowledge that no matter who you are, you hold within yourself the ability to impact lives in a positive, forceful way.

I drove past my home and went straight to the book store. Later that night I started reading the book to my kids.

It forces you to engage them, explain to them why things were the way they were. Why a black man was sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit in Mississippi. Why Anne Frank and her family had to hide for so long from the Nazis. Why giving away everything you have to help others can be so rewarding.

How the simplest act of doing what you believe is right can sometimes impact the lives of three….sometimes millions.

The journey of a parent is always changing, filled with twists, unknowns, and lots of stiff drinks.

When your kids are babies you instill the basics of life…walking, making sure they don’t choke on their food, and the glorious pooping in the toilet trick.

A little later it’s “no biting,” “we don’t use our hands for hitting,” and “it’s not OK to run around the neighborhood naked.”

Lately for me, it’s clear that I’m now entering the phase of molding a young man and woman’s mind. I’m guiding the creation of a person, their beliefs, their decision-making process, and the impact they make on society.

Praising diversity, instilling respect for those who’ve laid the foundation for the spoils of today, and listening to the questions, comments, and responses from my children along the way – that’s what I’ve spent the past few nights doing as we read this book.

It’s why I bought it. Because I was so thankful for the creation of a tool that would allow me to engage my kids in conversations surrounding the ideals and beliefs my wife and I hold so strongly and have always wanted them to learn.

The last page of the book allows you to write the last chapter of the book – a chapter about your hero.

I plan to leave it blank for now. And years from now, use that space to explain to my children why each of them are my heroes.



Birthday Cake & Boobies

Last night I laid in bed with the boy like I always do, shooting the shit, making him laugh, making up stories...

Ten minutes later the wife hopped in bed to say good night. One minute later the daughter jumped in too.

For the next 10 minutes “boobs” were focus of this unique impromptu family gathering. And here’s how it went:

Daughter: “Grayson, you remember the story about you pooping and getting a birthday cake?”

Me: “You mean when we promised brother we’d give him a whole cake if he ever pooped in the toilet instead of his diaper?”

Wife: “And he did!”

Daughter: “Why didn’t I get any of that cake daddy?!!”

Me: “You did. Trust me…you were a baby, mommy chowed down on that cake and you got it through mommy’s milk!”

Son: “Hahaha you drank birthday cake through mommy’s boobies!! Haha”

Me: “Umm soo did you chief. For 13 months you drank from mom’s boob.”

Son: “NO I DIDN’T!!!”

Daughter: “Haha Grayson drank mommy’s boobie!”

Wife: “So did you dear…for six months you drank from my boobies.”

Son: “Yeah!!!!! See Macy…haha…you drank on mommy’s boobs, too!”

Daughter: “Yeah, but I got birthday cake!”

Son: “Daddy did you get any birthday cake through mommy’s boobies?”

Despite my natural desire to want to answer the question with exaggerated stories surrounding the glories breasts of my wife, I (for once) looked at my wife and reacted accordingly to her “say one word and I’ll cut you” glare.

Me: “No son…I have never, nor will I ever have cake from mommy’s boobies.”

Wife: “That was one of the most painful things you’ve ever done wasn’t it?”

Me: “You have no idea. I need to be alone for a while.”

Wife: “Just make sure you clean-up afterwards.”

Son: “Why does daddy need to be alone mommy?”

Wife: “Your daddy really really LOVES birthday cake and talking about it really made him want some.”

Daughter: “Do you have birthday cake in your boobies right now mommy?”

Wife: “No dear, mommy’s boobies have all dried up and are purely ornamental at this point.”

Son: “Your boobs are like ornaments on a tree?”

Wife: “Ummm…yeah, I guess that’s one way to put it.”

Son: “You’ve got big ornaments mommy.”

Wife: “OK…and with that let’s go to bed kids!!”


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