Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quitcherbitchin'!

Warning: This isn't quite my usual thing here.  I am posting a response to some crap that I had the misfortune of reading.  Aaw!  Who am I kidding?  This is exactly what I do from time to time and everybody knows it!


Every once in a while I have the misfortune of reading something that just really pisses me off, and my poor wife has to sit and listen to me rant about it all night, usually while smirking and giggling at me.  

Well, thanks to Chickpea, a really good friend of ours, last night was one of those nights.

She pointed out an NPR discussion or article, or whatever they chose to call it, to me, which I just had to read because I can’t help myself.  Once someone shows me something I have to find out what it is even if I am reasonably certain it is going to piss me off.

Anyway, this article was titled "Parenthood Got You Down?  You're Not Alone", and it was written by some jackal named Alan Greenblatt.  

The first thing I noticed was the picture of the happy family at the top, which was actually kind of cute, so I immediately assumed that this would be a cute, cheeky, and fun article that I might really enjoy. 

You know.  The kind of stuff that is just dripping with obvious sarcasm much like what the ladies from Mommyland, that my wife and I love so much, write.  

But, I was wrong to assume. 

It wasn’t cheeky and fun at all. 

It was just irritating, and normally I would just ignore the fact that I ever read it, but Chickpea, who my wife adores and I just moderately like now that she subjected me to this filth, wanted to know what my take on it was.  

So, here it is…get ready



The guy irritated me on a number of levels.

1 I wanna know where this jackal lives.

No, I don’t want to drive up to his house and kick his tish all over his own front porch.  I just want to know where in this country are there parents that at least try to be stoic because I want to go there.

I don’t know about where you all live, but around here it seems like the only thing that parents do is complain about their kids, and declare that their kids have ruined their lives.
It makes me sick, and I am tired of hearing that loaf of pumpernickel. 

If Greenblatt wants to hear selfish people complain relentlessly I will gladly trade places with him. 

In fact, I am already packing my bags.

2 “Parenting is miserably hard”

Most times when people say something like this they really mean, “It’s freakin’ hard to place someone else’s needs above my own because I am freakin’ self-centered and don’t want to have to deal with a little demanding bastard because I need my me time.”

Bull donkey!

I have said this before and I will say it again. You’re a parent.  

You lost the right to me time!

Your kids, especially the littlest ones, need you to be there because there are a lot of things that they can’t do for themselves yet.  You can’t ask a little one to console themselves when they are sick.  You can’t ask a little one to feed themselves when they are hungry.  You can’t ask them to clean up after themselves after they messed their draws either.

So, suck it up and deal with it! 

If you’re not capable of being there for your kids 24 hours a day and 7 days a week then you had no business having them in the first place!

Remember, they didn’t ask to be born!  They need you and you owe it to them to be there even if that means your life sucks because you are constantly cleaning up after them and hearing them scream.

What did you expect it to be like?

3 “Let’s be honest…there are times when the whole enterprise feels like a bad idea.”

Holy Donkey Kong!

When I got to this part of the article I almost lost my loaf in a rage filled, hair pulling tantrum.

Well…not really…but I was moderately annoyed.

I am going to keep it real here.  You all know as well as I do and as well as every other reasonably intelligent person in the world that parenting is not always going to be happy-go-lucky, sunshine comin’ out yer ass cool. 

There are going to be days when your kid/kids are going to throw massive tantrums, there are going to be days when they are going to make you question your self-worth, and they are going to wear you out completely. 

No, that is no fun for anybody, but it’s nothing you shouldn’t be prepared for.

Yeah, kids can be a major pain in the nethers, but what kind of selfish, self-centered prick would ever wish them away by saying something like “…the whole enterprise feels like a bad idea.”

What! Now, you’re second guessing yourself?

It’s a little late for that jackal!

So, there you have it Chickpea.  My take on the article you made me read.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Boy Usurper!

The past few months I have noticed a disturbing trend.  I know I have mentioned this before in posts like, "The Laws of Toddlervania," but the problem of having a harsh toddler ruler has arisen again.

There have been many heated battles between the boy and I over control of the house.  Usually, I end up with the realm safely under my control due to the fact that the boy gets bored and moves on fairly easily, but this morning was a different story.

He was persistent, and in the end he prevailed, which means  that once again I am the loyal subject to a power crazed toddler god-king. 

It all went down like this.

Like the crappy parent that I am, I allowed the boy to have cake for breakfast, which was a bad idea because that meant that one piece wasn't enough to satiate his hunger for it.

He immediately demanded a second piece, which I denied.

From there it was go time!


Look at his smug face! He may have taken me down, but
I will rise again!
He quickly sent out his cavalry led by a a singing dinosaur.


Talk about adding insult to injury!


Can you imagine the humiliation of being taken down by a dinosaur that's singing to you?


The shame was terrible!


He may look sweet, but he's a dirty fighter
and trash talker!
Then, to make matters worse, the boy sent in his trash talking ground forces to finish me off led by the dreaded happy vac!


While being viciously pummeled I was subjected to grave insults about how filthy I was and how I needed a good cleaning.


I've never felt so violated as when I was forced to lie still while the boy cleaned the filth from me with this vicious minion.
In a last effort of defiance I spit blood in his eye, the happy vac's.


That didn't make things better for me.  The ensuing torture was horrendous!







Then, I was forced to kiss the boy's feet while translating his new laws into my grown up speak. 


He even included an angry face
denoting his annoyance of my
continual defiance.






Luckily, they seem to be exactly the same as before, so I don't have to rewrite them. You can read them by clicking either here or clicking on the link at the beginning of this post.



Monday, August 29, 2011

Lessons Even a Child can Teach!

Every day I learn something new or at least try to.  Sometimes, what I learn is mind blowing, but most often not so much.   The important thing is that I try to keep an open mind and take in as much information as I can.

And, I am often quite surprised in what I learn and from whom I learn it.  

You know, back when I was in junior high I always hoped to have cute teachers with interesting assets, but that seldom happened.  Ok.  It never worked out like that at all because it  seemed that I always got stuck with the old crones that weren’t interesting in the least.  

Yet, despite this, I somehow floated through junior high school, then high school, and I even managed to get an undergraduate degree even when never having that ultra-cute teacher or professor that would be so interesting to listen to.  

Anyway, I never took into consideration all of the other teachers I had, like the hot girl in French class that taught me dirty jokes(she happens to be married to me now) or anyone else that wasn’t a “professional” teacher because they couldn’t possibly count…could they?

Surely, the lessons I learned outside of the classroom can’t possibly be as important as the ones  I learned within it.

Well, that mindset is wrong because the most valuable lessons I have learned in my 30 years had nothing to do with any kind of “professional” schooling.  No, these most important lessons were taught by my peers, perfect strangers, personal experiences, and maybe sometimes even my parents when I chose to listen to them.

Now that I recognize that anyone can teach someone something, I realize that I probably have the best teacher of all sleeping on my couch at the moment.  He may be short, he may be foul tempered at times, and sure he is only 18 months old, but don’t let any of this fool you.  

The boy knows how to live.  

And, I am learning a lot from him.

Here’s what I’ve learned thus far:

Sleep is Precious!

Holy crap is this an under statement for some!

It's not that I don't get a lot of sleep at night because the boy is pretty quiet in comparison to other rugrats, but it took having a child for me to really appreciate the idea of napping. 

Like I said, it is not like I don't get enough sleep.  I just never appreciated it before the boy came out because before then, sleep was just something that I did because I had to, and napping was a rarity.  

Now, sleeping and napping are things that I look forward to.  I mean, there is just something profoundly precious about being able to snuggle an ugly little newborn, or toddler in my case now, and go down for a nap.   (No, I don't think my kid is ugly...anymore.)

Anyway, napping while snuggling a little one of your very own is a wonderful way to bond, and, truthfully, I also look forward to the boy's daily naps so I can  have a few moments to take a crap with out little hands causing a ruckus! 

You can't plan for everything.

Surprises happen!

Within the first few days of becoming a parent, the boy was already busy teaching me that I could no longer make extensive, or any, plans really.

At the risk of sounding trite, I needed to learn to "live in the moment."  

Once I became a da it was clear that I could no longer schedule everything because, as you may well know already, kids work on their own schedules and have their own ideas of when things are going to happen.

I learned that the hard way as I was hell bent that I could in fact plan my days with a time schedule.

Stupid stupid stupid stupid me!!!

It didn't matter that I planned on having nap time between 8 and 10.  If the boy doesn't want to nap, most likely, he isn't going to fall asleep no matter how hard I try to get him to.

You know, the same thing applies to the stupid growth schedule thing that they give you at your kid's doctor's office.

Do you think it really matters to your kid if the doctor has a chart saying that he/she is supposed to do this or that at this specific age or that one?  

No, of course it doesn't!

Sometimes, your kid has to grow and develop at their own pace  and there's nothing wrong with that, which is something else I had to learn as I hadn't expected my 8.5 month old to start walking for another 4 months.  Now, at 18 months I can barely keep up.


Sometimes getting dirty is worth it. 

Who am I kidding?  

I already knew this.  I just didn't know how much fun getting dirty could really be before the boy showed me.

Sure, the clean up process is often a drag, but the act of getting completely filthy is often worth the trouble of cleaning up later despite what mommy says.

Dirt is an essential part of growing up!

But, remember this.  You make the mess.  You clean it up.   

That means, that I, often being the cause of so much filth, have a lot of explaining to do once the wife comes home and sees the mess I made that isn't cleaned yet.

What can I say, but...


Hey, poop happens!

Yes, this is a lesson I learned prior to becoming a daddy as well, but it seems more appropriate lately.

I can honestly say that the idea of becoming excited over a bodily function happening in the correct place never occurred to me before the boy came around. 

Now, I literally give a cheer and do a little dance each and every time a certain little man drops a dookie or a peepee in the potty.

Hey!  Don't judge me!

That shit's a huge freakin' deal!

Sure, as a matter of fact, I do have to deal with a lot of misfires, but the excitement of the hits on target make up for the fact that now our couch smells a bit funny, and our carpet is often gooey and sticky.  

But, don't sweat the small stuff right? 


You've got to take the time to play!

This is perhaps the biggerest and bestest lesson that I have ever learned!  And, to think that it took a toddler to teach it to me.

Maybe it is just me, but there is nothing like some good ole' fashioned play time that puts things in perspective.  Playing with the boy and my wife, either building sand castles or crashing trains or whatever, really helps me to understand what's important.

That is spending time with the family, learning and laughing together.  Playing with the two loves of my life make everything worthwhile, and I never feel more important as I do when I am with them.

Oh...I also like play time because deep down I just need an excuse to play with the boy's super cool toys.   




Ps.  I would have included how old the little man was in each of the photos, but, to be truthful, I can't remember and can't be bothered to find out either.  Sorry.  I'm a horrid father I know.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Playdate Update

Yesterday, my wife shot me a website that was supposedly designed to make it easier for parents to arrange play dates for their kids.  

That's not the feeling I got from it, however.

The first thing I noticed was that all the photos were glamour shots and had the myspace angles thing going on.  I am not going to lie.  I was kind of creeped out.  


I remembered all the times my mom and dad threatened to sell me to the Gypsies when I was a little one.  Just think of how easy that would have been for them had the internet been around then and sites like this one were up and running


Anyway, after being completely horrified by that evil website I decided that the only way for the boy to actually learn to play with other kids was to go out to where other kids play.


This is the view of the science center from where we parked.
So, since it was a rainy day, I decided to take the boy to the science center.  


I had no idea what to expect, but I assumed it would be a miserable experience for me.


There is just something about screaming scads of children that makes me shudder!


But, I did some mental preparation and walked bravely, or how I would like to think as bravely, into the building with an overly excited little man.


It was nuts!


There were all these little brats running around and screaming.  The parents all looked shell shocked, and the young lady who took my money upon entrance gave me a look that screamed "Help!"


I won't lie.  I was scared!


By the end of the day he ended up getting in the water tub
 twice!
It turns out that I didn't need to be because this place rocked.  I think that I had as much fun as the boy did. 


Well, probably not, but close.




Within the first few moments he found one of the water exhibits!


At first, he seemed to be the only one that wanted to play in the water, but before we knew it there seemed to be dozens of little kids splashing and screaming and laughing along with him.  It was pretty great...right up until the point my boy climbed up onto the tub and started splashing people.



Then I decided it was time to move on, which we did at high speed.  


I am not sure how we ended up at another water feature, but we did.  At least this one was outside, so I didn't really mind when he decided to get right into it and splash around until it was time to go home and he was dripping wet.


I can't believe how much fun we had and how many new friends we made both big and little.  We even have a play date there scheduled for tomorrow.




Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Look!!! There's a Pizzly!

I stole the bear photo from slate.com
Thanks to my wonderful wife, I have come to a realization that my boy may not be human after all. 

He just might be a Pizzly!

What's a Pizzly?

Don't feel bad I didn't know what it was until a few days ago myself. 

A Pizzly is none other than a Grizzly bear and Polar bear hybrid, and according to Christine Cyr Clisset, who wrote "Pizzly Bears...," this Polar and Grizzly bear "hooking up" thing happens in the wild too, not just in zoo's and other artificial environments like everyone thought. And, they can and have produced viable offspring.


Awesome!



Do you know what that means?!



It means there's an awesome new bear called a Pizzly Bear! That's what it means!



Anyway, this knowledge of a new breed of bear sparked a discussion between my wife and I, and we somehow determined that the boy must be a Pizzly!



I mean come on look at him. 


He's glow in the dark white, hairy, and occasionally has a bad attitude!



He has to be a Pizzly!



But, that would make my wife and I bears too, which leads to the question of who is what bear.

It's a no brainer!


                      Mama Bear (Polar)

My wife is obviously the Polar Bear not because of her cold heartedness but because of her stunning good looks, awesome brain power and self-proclaimed "mad skillz yo!"



With that in mind she's a natural as a Polar Bear!




Papa Bear (Grizzly)


That would make me the Grizzly Bear by default, but that's ok. It seems to fit me pretty well because besides being big and hairy I am often stubborn, often grumpy, and I am clumsier than a Polar Bear.



And, between the two of us we've created the perfect amalgamation of Polar and Grizzly Bear in human form.


                                  Baby bear (Pizzly)



He's smart, super cute, incredibly cranky at times, and, as you can see in the above picture of his back, he's working on being a hairy little devil.

Yep. He's gotta be a Pizzly. A vicious vicious Pizzly!




And, together, we are a Beary happy family!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Illiterate, the "Douchey," and the Normal!

Click here to go to their site!
On Saturday the wife and I decided to take the little guy to the zoo to view the elephant extravaganza!  

Overall, we had a great time!  We got to see a couple of really close friends we haven't seen in awhile, and we got to look at animals.  

But, on the downside there were other people there, and if you have ever been to the zoo on a nice day when it was crowded you know how irritating other people can be.

From what I understand, there are only ever three types of people that go to the zoo.

1. The illiterate:

These are the people that go around and tell their kids the wrong names of the animals that they are seeing even though their is a placard right in front of them that states the correct name.

This is perhaps one of my largest pet peeves.  Just because you don't care enough to find out what the real name is doesn't mean that you should lie to your kid and say that it is something else.  

2. The "Douchey":

These people really are the people I despise most in life, not just at the zoo.

These guys somehow think that the world revolves around them and that common courtesy and good manners doesn't apply to them. 

They don't pay any attention to what's going on around them, they're not above shoving their way in front of other people, they certainly would never help anyone even if it is as simple holding a door for a parent who's pushing a stroller.  And, they never seem to be able to control their kids.

So, while you are trying to trying to get your kid close enough   to look at the lions you have to contend with these little bastards that are determined to make you lose your already frazzled mind and their obnoxious parents who refuse to wait five seconds to view anything and are trying to shove, not just you but your toddler too, out of the way so they can get a closer look.

These people just seem to be heelbound on making me apeshit insane!

Seriously, I watched a Shovey McShoverton push an older gentlemen with a toddler out of the way so Shovey could look at monkeys.  

What the hell is that about?!

The older guy tried his best to shame Shovey McShoverton, but it didn't work.  

He said, "Gee sir, I am sorry that I felt like I had a right to let my granddaughter look too.  I guess I should have known better!"

Shovey's response was priceless! "Oh...don't worry about it buddy.  It's cool." 

To be honest, this may not have been the exact conversation, but I am fairly sure it is pretty close.  

Anyway, I knew that Shovey McShoverton clearly didn't get it, which is sad, because the jerk quickly tried to do the same thing to us at the lions.  


I ended up picking the little man up and waiting at the back of the line for a few minutes before I gave up and decided to take a photo because that was likely to be the only chance my little one would have of seeing the lions that day.

3. The Normal:

The little man and his mama, who is decidedly "Normal." 
The normal people are kind of the non-nondescript ones at the zoo or anywhere really.  They don't push and shove, don't let their kids run wild, they don't annoyingly call animals the wrong names, and are primarily considerate and helpful, sometimes annoyingly so.  

Overall, these normals just seem to be common, everyday decent people that are really trying to raise their kids to be good folks.

It's just too bad that normal people aren't so normal anymore.  It seems like everyday more and more normals are getting recruited by douches.  I fear that soon we will all be douches, wondering where all the normals have gone.  

On second thought, we won't wonder at all because douches are incapable of thinking or caring about anything but themselves.


You know, of the three categories of people at the zoo, I would like to think of myself as a normal, but I am not sure if that is correct.  I am getting to be quite douchey in my old age, and at best I am a mixture of normal and douchey and sometimes illiterate.  It just seems like the harder I try to be normal the douchier I feel, which, in turn, makes me less inclined to care about whether or not I am telling the boy the correct names of all the animals.

I guess that just goes to show you that there really aren't any firm lines when it comes to categorizing people's personalities.  Perhaps, the best we can do is recognize when we are being jackholes and try to not be anymore.


P.s.  The boy did get a chance to see the lions after all, but, sadly, was not impressed.  He largely preferred the noisy siamang apes in there outdoor exhibit.  

P.p.s. Shovey McShoverton is still out there probably being an inconsiderate asshole.  You've probably seen him, or her in some cases.