Tag Archives: Kids

The Fear Begins Earlier Each Year

It is about this time of year that I begin to have “the fear”. As we approach the holiday, and thusly the gift-buying/excessive consumerism season, I battle with the skin crawling horror that I will, sometime around December 26th, be buried under an avalanche of tiny little plastic things; tiny little plastic things which are “sold separately” but will be purchased for my children en-masse. Please, help me.

I know that it is difficult to tell children that they cannot have something that, at that particular millisecond in time, they truly and terribly want. Trust me; I do it at least three to four times per hour, fifteen hours a day, every day of the week. I have found, though, that if you wait it out, like a craving for a second slice of pie or a second bag of Doritos, it will pass. Do not buy them those little globules of plastic.

My fear was triggered a couple of days ago by the arrival of the Toys R Us Big Book of Tiny Little Things That Will Become Lost in Your Couch and Will Someday, When You Least Expect It, Puncture Your Buttocks Through The Couch Cushion With a Tiny Crown or Little Plastic Foot… or something like that, anyway. I browsed through the hallowed pages, after prying it from my sleeping child’s hand, and was amazed at the new assortment of little animals, people, animal-people and robots that number in the thousands, each of them with their own playsets, vehicles, swimming pools and primary care physicians. When did these things get so TINY? I remember having an assortment of action-figures and cars as a child and they just were not so microscopically SMALL! My G.I. Joe figures would look at some of these things and be all “Damn, that thing is small!” and then they would jump into some slightly futuristic jet and go fight COBRA, because that is what they did when I was a kid. That is all they would do. I’m not kidding. They would comment upon the size of things and then go fight a battle. Seriously, it was kinda weird.

The other issue is that I’m not sure that each faction of little toy people can play together. Can you combine Littlest Pet Shoppers (which are no longer the littlest, by the way) with the Zoobles with some Squinkies and some Widdle Biddle Poopikins? (Okay, I made that last one up. But if they come out with one hundred little Poopikins and the Poopikin Play Castle, I want my monies, yo.) I’m sure their accessories and playsets aren’t compatible, because that’s how toy companies roll, but maybe just a couple of google-eyed puppies could come over to play with the robot penguin and miniature giraffe? It could happen, right? Right?

You know what? The next raving lunatic you see on the street going on about Batman and how Rainbow Brite is breaking up the unions is not crazy; he just finished looking at the Toys R Us catalog with his kid. Now, the person pestering you to sign some petition… Yeah, they are crazy. That crap never changed anything.


Baby Pigs, Doggie TV and Ukuleles

My youngest, Little Pink, has introduced a game of make-believe that can only be named, and described, as “Baby Pig”. Essentially, she takes to all fours and crawls around the apartment emitting little whimpers and whines which are, I assume, meant to resemble what an actual baby pig would vocalize. During this time, she will only answer when addressed as “Baby Pig” and she will only perform in such a manner befitting a baby pig.

I have no idea where this game came from or why it is so entertaining to her. This is not an occasional foray into Baby Pig-land, but an oftentimes lengthy sojourn that lasts for hours. This may lead to a young children’s book I am kicking around called “Spending a Day with Baby Pig”. It will be 87 pages of onomatopoetic pig noises.

My to-do list for the day involves: writing a little (and…done), bathing the children and dog (not at the same time, thanks.), and cleaning and preparing for the family camping trip this weekend. The dog needs scrubbed because, for one thing, she stinks and also because she will be taking her first visit to a “doggie hotel” during our trip. I call it a “doggie hotel” instead of a boarding facility or kennel when I mention it to her in hopes that she will be excited and happy about her little vacation. Ignoring the fact that she is a Pomeranian and that she has a brain the size of a walnut, I could probably call it “the doggie torture chamber” and she would respond with the same mouth-agape wide eyed face she always displays. Regardless, the dog hates camping. It is the complete opposite of what she finds entertaining and comfortable. Instead, we are giving her two nights in a deluxe suite complete with a comfortable cot and lambskin bedding, ample personal attention and an in-suite television tuned to “pet-related programming with all happy endings”. This is the description given to me by the all-too personable lady on the telephone. All the while I’m thinking, “I don’t think I have ever seen the dog watch television. I’m pretty sure she has never acknowledged the television’s existence”. But nothing is too good for our little Princess Walnut Brain.

Also on my plan for the day is waiting impatiently for UPS to deliver my new toy, a tenor ukulele. I am beyond excited and, like a doofus, have been clicking on the UPS package tracking site three times a day for updates on its progress. When it comes I will share my thoughts and maybe even offer up some samples of my virtuosic playing. Yes, you are that lucky.

The new 2011 Toyota Brathauler

I cannot stand this kid or his stupid car.  That fine-ass wood paneled Buick Roadmaster wagon is cooler than that boring hunk of Toyota crap could ever hope to be.  Style and personality beat out doucheness and conformity any day o’ the week.

Is this what passes for clever advertising nowadays?  I think that a little more brainstorming could have generated something better than “Smug twerp who needs haircut enjoys boring suburban transportation”.

End Rant.

Regarding Germs…

The following exchange happened at the park this morning while the girls were spinning on a tire swing..

Big Pink: What about our butts and the germs of other people’s butts?
Me: You mean your butt touching things that other people’s butts have  touched when sitting down?
BP: Yeah…
Me: That’s really not something you have to worry about.  The main thing is your hands touching things other people’s hands have touched.  That is the way germs are spread.
BP: Hands have germs and not butts?
Me: Well, people touch a lot more stuff with their hands, so yeah, kind of.  That’s why they have hand sanitizer.  You haven’t heard anything about butt sanitizer have you?
Big Pink and Little Pink (in unison): Butt Sanitizer! (Followed by thirty minutes of continuous, uproarious laughter).

And this is why you should let me teach your children science.

Fatherness Flashback: What Goes Thump…All the Time.

Last bit o’ filler whilst I “kick-it” on the beach. Fear not, I will make up for this upon my return with many pictures of me sunbathing.  To put this old post in perspective, the 19-month-old is now a 3-year-old.

In the past week, my youngest daughter has fallen down the stairs and fallen in the yard. The stairs left her with some bruises but no damage. The fall in the yard was a bit bloodier, and resulted in a panicked call from my wife who was worried about a broken finger. Though it wasn’t broken, it was cut up pretty badly. That injury taught me that putting a band aid on the little finger of a 19 month old is probably akin to fitting a chipmunk for a tuxedo. Even the prospect of a princess adorned band aid did not persuade her.

I suppose I am writing this more for my benefit. Just in case anyone sees my daughter in public and is tempted to call children’s services. Trust me, she is that accident prone. You should see the danger we actually manage to keep her from.

Although she did eat poison berries from our shrub, twice actually, we are generally pretty good at showing up in the nick of time. She is just overly curious. Our oldest, Big Pink, did not have that interest in the least. You could have placed her in a room with a ball, a box of thumbtacks, a box of matches and some exposed electrical wiring and she would have rolled the ball back and forth for half an hour. Little Pink would have managed to roll the ball, covered with tacks, into the wiring, causing electricity to arc and ignite the box of matches. At that point, she would look around with a look of mild concern on her face and announce “Uh-oh!”  At least she recognizes danger once it actually happens, even though she is completely oblivious to it beforehand.

Fatherness Flashback: Tubthumping

Still on vacation.  Still more old stuff.  Still about home repair.

I admit, with no small amount of surrender in my voice, that I have been repairing our bathroom shower wall for the last three months.  I am not proud of that fact.  In a better sense, the shower and I have been locked in mortal struggle.  It was just yesterday that we both managed to capitulate, with truly neither of us being the victor.

There is no longer a gaping hole in the wall, nor is there a large sheet of plastic covering that hole.  This is my boon.  However, no one will assume that Norm Abram stopped by with his bountiful knowledge of homes and repaired our wall.  They may assume that we hired a contractor stricken with Parkinson’s.  Probably because we like to support worthwhile causes; like the local chapter of Kitchen and Bath Contractors with Parkinson’s Local 254.  This is what I am going to tell people.

But in all honesty, it was me.  I did it.  Fifteen trips to various home centers and hardware stores, stupid amounts of money spent on stupid tools that didn’t stupid work, a person without the proper skill or knowledge to merge 1930’s building materials with modern day materials, all things which did not come together to create the symphony of success that you might expect.  At the end of it all, covered in mortar and grout and ceramic dust, I had pretty much given up.  Frankly, as long as the kids didn’t have to go to their Aunt’s house to take a bath, I would be happy.  Ok, maybe not happy, but sated.

This morning, lying in bed, I hear our 3-year-old go into the bathroom.  I waited for her inevitable leap into our bed to rouse my wife and me with demands for food, or stickers or whatever it was we bribed her with to get her to sleep last night.

Just before the flush, I hear her call out “The tub looks good, Daddy”

This is my daughter, a three year old who has seen enough defeated looks on her father’s face over the past few months to know that it will please me more than anything for her to say something about my work.  It does, very much.