Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick Or Treat

So it's Halloween again.  The day you're forced by social convention to put up with other people's children.  A task I that I've been putting up with for years without complaint, but I'm starting to see my patience wane when dealing with some of these brats.  Now please believe I'm not trying to seem angry or bitter towards these children.  However if any of these kids got hit by a car on the way home, I don't think I could muster a tear. 

Aside from the aggravating children, the highlight of the night was seeing my son in action.  He's finally old enough that he gets the concept of Halloween, and it was wonderful to see.  Armed with his Elmo basket and pirate costume, he went up to our neighbor's doors without fear.  And while he may not have gotten out a "trick or treat" to everyone, they all did receive an unprompted "Thank You". 

We walked two blocks, and had a ball the entire time.  He then came back home with me, and helped give out candy for the rest of the night.  A task I believe he enjoyed more than trick or treating.  It was at this point that my pride in him reached to a new high, and my loathing for some of these other kids sank to a new low. 

One particular low point was compliments of a little girl who appear to be around 8 or 9 years old.  Now to set the stage a little, it needs to be known that in addition to candy, my wife and I give out glow sticks.  Our neighborhood has some heavy traffic, and no street lights.  So once the sun goes down, we make every child in a dark costume take a glow stick so they can be seen by oncoming cars. 

So while I was giving this future pole professional a glow stick, she attempted to dictate which one she would receive.  At first she demanded one our "lighting" glow sticks, the more expensive ones we use to light our walk.  I handed her a small one, and told he she can have this one.  Her response was to demand a different color, to which I replied "then you can have nothing".  She huffed, and begrudgingly  accepted the one I offered, while mumbling under her breath "I don't know why the others aren't for sale".  So I proceed to explain to her the difference between an item for sale, and something is giving her for nothing.  The was quickly followed by the phrase, "now take what I give you and leave". 

Not the most neighborly thing to do, but my mother in law was laughing for a while.  The fact of the matter is, that I don't take that kind of bullshit from my own children, so I'm definitely not going to tolerate it from some stranger's ungrateful little brat.  I mean this girls attitude was worse than my 2 year old, and he was an hour passed his bed time.  Oh well, I guess that doesn't matter.

Aside from a handful of other incidents similar to this, it was a nice evening.  Although I'm pretty certain, I'm gaining a reputation as the mean old man on the block.  If that's true, then I don't think I could be any prouder of it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What Is He Watching? (Part 2)

Let me make this clear right from the start, I have no psychological training whatsoever.  I did not study it in school, I've never spoken to a therapist, I've haven't so much as read a self help book.  The only education I have in matters of the mind come from television, and movies.  So with the being said, what the hell is up with all the crazy puppets on Sesame Street?

Another one of my son's favorites, I've been subjected to this show since he was six months old.  And to be truthful, I actually like Sesame Street.  I enjoy watching my son, laughing at the same segments I laughed at as a child.  But as I look at these characters through the eyes of an adult, I am seeing quite a few psychological disorders.

Let's start with my son's favorite, Elmo.  This furry red monster in my amateur opinion is clearly schizophrenic.  Just look at the evidence, he perceived reality is his head.  He receives the day's topics (a.k.a. his marching orders) from a goldfish.  Dorothy is speaking to him, and he is carrying out her wishes.  Let's face it, if Dorothy was a dog, Elmo would be no different then the Son of Sam.  And this is not even taking into account his inability to refer to himself in the first person.

Aside from Elmo, you can also see that obsessive compulsive disorder runs rampant on the streets of Sesame.  These characteristics can clearly be demonstrated by the actions of The Count and Cookie Monster.  Two people whose lives are completely consumed because of their respective addictions.

Grover displays delusions of grandeur, which culminate in the character "Super Grover".  Bert appears to be repressing his true feelings on his "friendship" with Ernie.  Ernie has an unhealthy attachment to an inanimate rubber duck (who also speaks to him), and Telly appears to have low self esteem.

The more I watch, the more I start to think all of the puppets on this street is nuts.  You would think one could find stability and a sense of reality from the humans on the street, but they don't seem "normal" to me other. 

Just look at the adults, Gordon, Susan, Luis & Maria.  An African-American couple and a Latin couple, both of whom raised their kids in front of us.  But not once did we see these children get their asses beat.  No one got hit by a shoe.  No one got screamed at for coming home after the street lights turned on.  No one got chased down the street by a parent, clutching a belt, for using the word puta to describe their mother.  It just seems unbelievable to me. 

Add the crack staff at Hooper's Store (whom I've never seen them change the inventory), and Bob who walks Barkley, without carrying around a hefty bag.  Clearly he's not curbing that big ass mutt, so how disgusting is that block. 

Add that all up, I see a messed up street with crazy puppets, and flakey humans.  But you have to admit, it's still a great show.  And hopefully I will get the see the crazy passed on to the next generation.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Nightly Routine

Every night for the past few weeks, a pattern has manifested when we put our son to bed.

First we tell him "Night, night time" in which he immediately says no, and continues with whatever activity he was previously doing.

When we reaffirm that it's bed time, he stands up and starts crying, all the while repeating "No, No, No, No"

Next he tells us, he needs to use the potty, or is thirsty, hungry, etc.  Sometimes we let him get away with a few extra minutes, sometimes we don't.  

He will then hang his head, and march into his room.  There he get's read a book, or two depending on his behavior.

Then he will finally lay down and go to sleep.

This is the same every night.  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.  Is it me, or is my some demonstrating the five stages of death whenever it's bed time?  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I've Experienced Purgatory...

...and it was in the form of a Chuck E Cheese birthday party.  I would've said that I have experienced hell, but this came to an end after a couple of hours, so I've settled on Purgatory.

It was my nephew's birthday, so it was not one of those events that I could just send the wife to.  And even though I swore I was never going to bring my children there, you really can't say when a four year old asks if you're coming.  So while I was dreading this party for weeks, I have to admit found it to be fun, and very fascinating. 

The fascination was stemming from looking at all the adults that were around me.  All the parents who were sitting at these machines, tokens in hand, playing these games to win their kids tickets.  IT was completely depressing to see these neutered parents (mostly dads), cranking these games like they were sitting at slot machines, while their children was nowhere to be seen.  It was quite the sad sight to witness.

But aside from that, I did get a kick out of watching my son's excitement.  While he's never experienced anything like this before, he grasped on the concept pretty quickly.  He puts a coin in a machine, the machine gives him tickets, move on to the next machine, and that was all he understood.  He had no idea what the tickets meant, he had clue how many he needed, he just knew he wanted as many as he can get (the signs of a true capitalist). 

I even got the opportunity to teach my son to play the game I loved as a kid, skeeball.  An experience I soon regretted when my son couldn't comprehend the concept of an underhanded roll.  He threw that shit like he was pitching against Derek Jeter, and I learned two things:
  1. Skeeball now has hard Plexiglas shields to prevent cheating, and
  2. A hard skeeball will travel off that Plexiglas at an angle equal and opposite at the point of impact.
He threw that ball, and all I could do it pray: 

God, please don't let me have to pay for this machine.  And please
let this ball not hit me or anyone else.  I really don't want to get into
a fight in the hell hole.  This is where kids can be kids, they don't
need to see to grown men rolling around on the floor over a

Fortunately for me, he didn't break the machine, he didn't break me, and we got call for the birthday party.  
So it was now pizza time (a.k.a. tantrum time #1), and we left the game room.  We eat pizza, we sang happy birthday, and an employee came out as Chuck E Cheese himself.  He went around high fiving all the kids, all the while he's scaring the shit out of my son.  He may be the proprietor/mascot of that establishment, but to my son he was a 6 foot rat trying to touch him.  So when this Chuck E left, my son calmed down, at some cake, and played some more, and then got ready to leave.
My wife cashed in his tickets for a prize, (by my math it was $20 in tokens, to get that $2 plastic slinky), and we headed home.  The highlight of the experience, it wiped my son out and he slept for almost 4 hours.  That as it turned out was my prize. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Things I Never Thought I Would Say...

  • Son, don't drinking from the toilet.
  • Get out of the dryer.
  • No you can't have butter for breakfast
  • You don't fart on Daddy!
  • Why are you eating potting soil?
  • Where did you put your fish?
  • Son, are you always going to carry a purse?
  • I'm sorry, your heads to big for that box.
  • Stop licking the shower floor!
  • Bring me back my pants!
  • Why is Daddy's wallet in the garbage?
  • How did you fit in the pan?
  • A spaghetti strainer is not a suitable bike helmet

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

We've Reached That Time

It's finally come.  The time that I both anxiously awaited and frantically dreaded has finally come.  We have now started to potty train.  A task that I have to give credit to my wife for initiating.  If it was up to me, I'd leave the kid in diapers until he was old enough to change his own diaper.

In all honesty, this training actually started about 4 months ago.  My wife brought home a potty, just to introduce him to the concept.  Se explained it to him and at first it seems that he understood.  That is until we caught him dragging it to living room.  Apparently you don't know luxury until you've watched Dora from the toilet. 

Our next attempt was demonstrate using a toilet in from of him.  He would barge in on my wife  relieving herself, which resulted in my son using toilet paper to wipe his sack every time he sat down on the damn thing. 

Next up to bat was yours truly, who started demonstrating the standing up method.  This quickly went down in flames, when my son remembered how much he enjoyed running his fingers under an open faucet.

So a few months have passed, baby brother will be here in the next couple of weeks, and my wife decided it was time to try again.  And I believe she was right.  He now understands the concept, and what he's supposed to do.  It doesn't hurt, that she's created a reward system of M&M's (also known as beans by the child) to help motivate him.  2 beans for #1, and 4 beans for #2.  Fortunately for me (the person cleaning the potty), we've only had #1 but he's managing to use it regularly now.  All for the sake of getting those damn beans that he holds up high as if  were carrying the Stanley Cup.  His face beaming with both pride and a sense of accomplishment.  It's quite an adorable sight to see.

However, we have discovered a couple of downsides to the potty training:
  • Downside #1, he has discovered that it's also an effective stall tactic for going to bed.  He'll claim that he needs to pee, and he'll sit on that potty for as long a he can milk.  The little turd actually had the balls to ask us for a book one night. 

  • Downside #2, once he gets his mind set on those beans, he's not giving up until he gets them.  Whether he needs to go or not.  Whether he went 5 minutes ago or an hour ago.  Whether you are late to work or not.  On more than one occasion, I've had to pull a pissed off, bare assed boy out of the bathroom kicking and screaming.  This morning, I actually had to chase his diaper-less ass around the house. 

So here's to the good and the bad, and hoping he'll be out of diapers soon.  Because with two kids in diapers, would really suck and really stink.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


So my son, in his endless quest to perplex and bewilder me, has decided that he's bored of brushing his teeth like a normal human being.  He has discovered a brand new method that not only hits every tooth, it entertains at them same time.  His method, hold the tooth brush stationary and shake his head violently until dizziness sets in. 

I've seen this child do this 3 times already, and it just boggles the mind.  Why does he keep doing this?  He knows (from experience) that if I wasn't bracing him, he'd fall off his step and crack open his head?   I guess it's just one of the many things he does that makes me repeat my favorite prayer:

"Lord, please let this be only him being two and not an idiot"

{Prayer gets repeated until relief or shame kicks in}

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


My child is a boy, and I feel that as his father I have the responsibility to teach him how to play like a boy.  Unlike my wife who plays in a nice safe manner, when Daddy's playing it's going to be rough & tumble, head butting, wrestling on the floor kind of fun.  Now while my wife was initially against my manner of play, she saw the benefit to it while out with friends. 

While on a "play date" (God, I hate that phrase), my son and another little boy both wiped out on a tile floor.  While my son just  got up and shook off the fall, this other little boy stood their crying on the top of his lungs about his boo-boo.  So while she may not fully approve of our playtime, she does appreciate that it toughened him up, and prevented him from becoming a whiney bitch like all of the other little boys she know.

Now despite that fact that she may not object to how I play with him, there is still a threshold to her tolerance.  And while I'm fully aware of what she deems acceptable, my son is fun, he's fearless and I just can't help myself. So whenever Mommy's goes out and leave us home alone, my son and I like to take it up a notch.  Nothing really dangerous, but it is definitely something that might be frowned upon.  Not to go into too many details, but it usually involves a helmet (safety first), a wagon, and some interesting paths around the house.

I should have known to not try these things until he was older.  Until he was mature enough to keep a secret.  Until he could fully comprehend the situation, and the potential consequences of being discovered.  All it took was my son coming up to me and my wife one night, holding a helmet, and asking for "MORE!".  Before I could even look at her, I could feel her shooting me daggers while she asked me "What were you doing?"

I believe it's moments like this that can test your resolve.  You take a moment, analyze the situation, and weigh your options:
  • Option A: Come clean - Tell the truth, show her the video you made, point out the fact that he survived, and own up to it like a man.
  • Option B - Lie.  Lie like the man God made you.  Only that requires more thought.  Specifically, what kind of lie do you tell? 
    • Do you go with the dismissive lie? - "I don't know what he means"
    • Do you use the believable but unlikely lie? - "I took him for a ride on your bike.  Yes your pink bike with the flowery basket"
    • The unbelievable, but likely lie? - "Thought I would teach him to ride a bike, and I felt it didn't matter how dark it was"
    • The concerned lie? - "I mopped the floor and was afraid he couldn't stay off it, so to be safe..."
    • The ballsy redirect lie? - "ME?  WHAT WERE YOU DOING WITH HIM?!?!?!"

However as I learned, if you've been with someone long enough (and if you take to long to answer) they will know that you're trying to determine which lie to use.  She called me on it, I bitched up and was forced to take Option A.

Needless to say my son and I no longer engage in that type of play.  But there's always hope for his brother, and maybe that little boy won't narc me out.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Funny or Wrong?

Today I got the rare pleasure of receiving a phone call at work from my son.  My wife happened to be off, and decided to drop me a line.  Here's the recap:

{on speaker phone}

Mommy - "Say hi to Daddy"
Son - "Hi Dada"
Mommy - "Say Hi"
Son - "Hi"
Mommy - "Ok, give momma the phone"                 
                "Give Momma the phone"
                "Give me the phone"                 
                "GIVE ME THE PHONE"
                "HEY, GET BACK HERE!"

Son - {laughing}

{still on speaker phone}

Daddy - "RUN BOY RUN!!!!" 
              "SHE'S GOING TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM YOU!!! " 

She may have been pissed, but I got a good laugh.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

One Day

I see the way my son looks at me.  He looks are filled with awe and admiration. Even something as simple as fixing a toy, gets a level of appreciation that is boundless.  In his eyes, I'm a superhero and I can no wrong.

But one day, that image is going to change.  He'll start seeing me as I am, flaws and all.  And when that day comes, I'm going to be relieved.  Sure, he'll be crush and struggling with the realities of growing up, but I'll be free.  Free of the image, and work needed to keep it up.  The time consuming tasking of pretending to be the man, I want him to be.

It is only then I can go back to the man I was before he was born.  Go back to the man, I was proud to be, the man I worked hard to craft, and always longed to be...

... I can be an asshole again.