6 Awful Things I Do (or have done) To My Children

  1. Any time I’m in the car with them and they start talking to me, I slowly turn up the radio until I can’t hear them and shout “WHAT?!? I CAN’T HEAR YOU! THE RADIO IS UP TOO LOUD! WAIT, I’LL TURN IT DOWN!”. I then turn it down, wait for them to start talking and slowly begin to turn it up again.
  2. I put hot sauce on most of my food just to keep them from asking for bites.
  3. I tell them that the baddest of the “bad words” is the X-word. I also tell them anytime we pass a person pulled over by the police that the person the cop is talking to probably got caught saying the X-word and will most likely be going to jail for it.
  4. When I see them in a situation where they’ll most likely get hurt, I judge how bad the accident will be and if it doesn’t seem like it’ll be too bad I just sit back and see how it goes.
  5. Anytime I hear “Where’s Mama?” I tell them that she left for Hawaii (or some other far off location) and I that can’t believe that she forgot to say anything about it.
  6. I sometimes explain the most mundane of natural phenomenons in the most terrifyingly Lovecraftian way I can come up with at the moment, wait for the horror to really sink in and then tell them the truth.

At Least I Feel Better

I have to admit that lately the stress being caused by the baby’s new stage has started to get to me.

I’ve been angry.

I’ve been sullen.

I’ve been bitter.

I’ve started to act anxious  and paranoid.

Truth be told I’ve even been wondering if this whole having children thing is worth it.

Now on top of all this, these feeling have the audacity to make me feel guilty for feeling them.

Then, this morning, I ran across the movie There Will Be Blood on Netflix. I’d been meaning to watch it because it’s supposed to be a pretty good flick and I wanted to know for awhile now why so many of my friends threaten to drink my milkshake.

So I watched it.

If you haven’t seen it or know nothing about it, it is not, IS NOT, a feel good movie. But it made me feel better. It made me feel better because no matter how bitter, angry, paranoid and sullen I get, at least least I’ll never be as bad as the asshole that movie is about.

I mean… Just… That fucking guy. Wow.

No Baby!

That title? That has been the most commonly used phrase in my home in the last month or so. Also, “No baby don’t…!”, “No! Put that down!” and my personal favorite, “That’s not yours! It doesn’t belong to you! Just stop! Stop! For the love of god why can’t you just… Just…! No, no, NO!”.

So what I’m saying is that the baby’s going through a stage. A “if I can reach it, I will take it” stage.

And he seems to be able to reach everything. I guess he’s tall for his age. He also has figured out how to drag chairs around and use them to climb on counter tops and tables.

Oh, and he also has decided that clothes and diapers were made to come off. That’s another fun stage he’s going through right now.

That’s how, just the other day, I had to quickly run into the bathroom for a few minutes due to an unfortunate encounter with some “Mexican” food, to come out and find a baby, who was previously completely dressed, naked, standing in his own bodily waste holding a large kitchen knife.

I was in there for maybe, maybe, two minutes. But it was enough time for him to strip naked, pull a chair to the counter, climb up onto that counter, pull a knife out of the block, climb back down and then poop in front of the bathroom door.

I’m not sure if either of us will survive this stage.

Ponderings

At 3pm this afternoon my home will be getting visited by my four-year old’s soon to be kindergarten teacher.

The house looks as if the interior was devastated by the world most localized and driest tsunami.

I cleaned the house twice yesterday.

I obviously must clean it again today but at what time do I start cleaning as to finish it in time for the teacher’s visit but not give the children enough time to destroy it again?

Hmmm?

And just imagine, at one time I used to contemplate philosophy, science, religion and art…

The Mind Of An Angry Dad

Sometimes in the middle of an especially trying week one of your children, who has been especially whiney as of late, will have a very small part of one of his toys broken. This part is not broken in a way that would affect the ability to play with this toy but the reaction to this broken part is equivalent to the reaction you would expect a child to have from seeing a beloved pet gunned down in the streets by an angry drug cartel. (I guess Fido was into some shady business…) You, being the parent of this overly distraught child, takes the toy and fixes it as best you can with what you have on hand. Your child looks at the toy and says, “I guess that’s better than nothing,” in their snottiest, most privileged tone, snatches the toy out of your hand and walks away…

(Before I continue I want to state again that it was a really rough week.)

When the above scenario happened to me not so long ago what I wanted to do to my child was grab him by the scruff of the neck like he was shady Fido up there and be like “LISTEN HERE YOU UNGRATEFUL LITTLE SHIT, IF IT WASN’T FOR ME AND YOUR MOTHER YOU WOULDN’T EVEN HAVE THAT TOY! YOU WOULDN’T HAVE A PLACE TO KEEP THAT TOY! YOU WOULDN’T HAVE FOOD! OR A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD! FOR FUCK SAKE, YOU WOULDN’T EVEN BE ALIVE!!!!!!!!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?!?!?!? YOU WOULD BE DEAD IF IT WASN’T FOR US!!! DEAD, DEAD, DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

But that’s not what I did. No, I took a deep breath, reminded him that when someone does something nice for you the proper reaction is to say “thank you” and let him go and play with the toy.

It doesn’t always go this well but my reactions are never as bad as the things that go through my head when I get pushed just a touch too far. I’m really hoping this counts for something because if thoughts could make you a bad parent… Whew!

The Cupcake

“You really think it’s worth it for a cupcake?”

“Yes. Yes I do. It’s two dollar Tuesday. And this is my last chance to go.”

“Really? I mean ‘really you want to leave the house’ not about the last chance, two dollar thing. I don’t think he wants to go. And he can’t eat a cupcake because of the surgery this morning.”

“He feels better now and if he tears it into little pieces he can probably eat one. If that doesn’t work we can get him ice cream or a milkshake. And they’re really good cupcakes. The bakery won Cupcake Wars. We need to get out of the house anyway. A drive will do us good.”

“Whatever… I’ll go if you pick out their clothes.”

“Quit worrying. It’ll be fine.”

……………………

“What took so long?”

“He was freaking out, screaming and throwing himself to the floor because he didn’t want to go to the cupcake store. I told him he could try it and if it didn’t work we could get him ice cream and then he started freaking out about that.”

“So we’re not going now?”

“No, we’re going. He’s coming out the house. See?”

“You think this is a good idea?”

“It’ll be fine.”

……………………..

“I’m sorry you can’t eat your cupcake, but you have to stop screaming. It doesn’t help anything… No your brother shouldn’t stop eating his cupcake just because you… ”

“Well if we wanted to be fair…”

“What?”

“Nothing.”

“No, we’ll save your cupcake until tomorrow and… STOP SCREAMING!! We’ll stop for ice cream. You’ll be able to eat that. You’ll see. It’ll be fine.”

………………………..

“I’m sorry it hurts to… Stop screaming please! I’m sorry it hurts to eat ice cream. Just put… Listen! Stop freaking out and LISTEN TO ME! Just try to put a little in your mouth at a time and let it melt…”

“I guess he doesn’t like that idea… Hey! Don’t be so dramatic and STOP SCREAMING! Do you want me to be so distracted that I wreak the car and we all die a horrible flaming death?!?!”

“Now who’s being dramatic?”

“Whatever. You wanted to ‘go and get two dollar cup cakes‘. This is all on you. You were… SHUSH! ALL OF YOU BACK THERE! I swear if you y’all don’t quiet down none of you will ever eat AGAIN!!!!”

“I wonder where he gets it.”

“…”

“Oh so you’re not talking to me now?”

“…”

“…”

“…”

“Fine, I’m sorry, it was a terrible idea. Ok?”

“Yep… Well I hope the cupcake was worth it.”

“…”

“So how was it? Was it worth all this?”

“… It was fine.”

Off To War

So we, my family and I, went to Pennsic. Or more formally know as The Pennsic War.  This was at my sister-in-law’s request.

I didn’t really want to go. It sounded like a two-week long Renaissance Fair. And while I will admit to enjoying the one ren faire I had been to and that I’m not a complete stranger to geek culture (I’m a big Star Wars fan, love Doctor Who and even own a few comics ((The Walking Dead not super hero stuff))), my tolerance for the full force fanboys and girls, which are the kind of people I imagined being there, is pretty low. As is my tolerance for crowds. And people I don’t know in general. Also we would be camping, my wife and children hate the outdoors and none of them are afraid to share their feelings about a situation with me. What I’m trying to say is that Pennsic pretty much sounded like my own personal hell.

But I went.

And I really, really enjoyed myself.

Part of that was because I got to watch the kids have so much fun; they all came back sunburnt, scabby and with dirt ground in so deep we’re still trying to wash it, which in kid means that things couldn’t have gotten any better.

I also enjoyed it because I discovered, what I’ve started calling, “The Party Nerd”. Party Nerd’s are a hard group to describe; fully familiar, accepting and sometimes completely entwined within geek culture, while also enjoying the virtues of, as a good friend of mine from Alabama would put it, eatin’, drinkin’, fightin’ and fuckin’ (please read in your thickest Alabama accent for full force in meaning). Most people at Pennsic seemed to fit into this category and it led to me overhearing some interesting things, like:

INEBRIATE! INEBRIATE! Yeah, I’m saying inebriate like a Dalek! Whatta yer gonna fuckin’ do about it?!?! NOTHIN THAT’S WHAT! INEBRIATE!!!”

“If we get more drummers and maybe a bagpipe we can double the amount of belly dancers that show up. And there’s never too many belly dancers.”

And “Wouldn’t you know it, I have everything but D10’s [a ten sided die]. Oh well, I guess it’s margaritas and the bow range then…”

As my sister-in-law told me, “these are your people.”

I think she may have been right.