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Archive for the ‘weekend edition’ Category

Chatper 11:  Time Out (A Story and Miscellaneous Videos)

I had a particularly tough professor in college.  Very straight-laced, and no-nonsense.  He worked for Westinghouse for a number of years until they closed his plant.  Then he went on to teach.  I doubt there was any question I could have asked him about my major to which he wouldn’t know the answer.  So I was very surprised my senior year when he handed out a copy of a story/joke before class began one morning.  I have no idea where he got it, but it gave me some insight into another part of his character.  Being that it was my senior year, and I had already been married for about 2 years, I could identify with the fellow in the story.  I lost my copy of that story and have just recently found it again.  I reproduce it below, something for my fellow Daddyhood Adventurers to enjoy.  Below the story are miscellaneous videos of the children.

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Let’s say a guy named Fred is attracted to a woman named Martha. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.

And then, one evening when they’re driving home, a thought occurs to Martha, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: “Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?”

And then, there is silence in the car.

To Martha, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t want, or isn’t sure of.

And Fred is thinking: Gosh. Six months.

And Martha is thinking: But, hey, I’m not so sure I want this kind of relationship either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I’d have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily towards, I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?

And Fred is thinking: …so that means it was…let’s see…February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer’s, which means…lemme check the odometer…Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.

And Martha is thinking: He’s upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I’m reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed – even before I sensed it – that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that’s it. That’s why he’s so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He’s afraid of being rejected.

And Fred is thinking: And I’m gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don’t care what those morons say, it’s still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It’s 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.

And Martha is thinking: He’s angry. And I don’t blame him. I’d be angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can’t help the way I feel. I’m just not sure.

And Fred is thinking: They’ll probably say it’s only a 90-day warranty…scumballs.

And Martha is thinking: Maybe I’m just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I’m sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.

And Fred is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I’ll give them a warranty. I’ll take their warranty and stick it right up their…

“Fred,” Martha says aloud.

“What?” says Fred, startled.

“Please don’t torture yourself like this,” she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. “Maybe I should never have…oh dear, I feel so…”(She breaks down, sobbing.)

“What?” says Fred.

“I’m such a fool,” Martha sobs. “I mean, I know there’s no knight. I really know that. It’s silly. There’s no knight, and there’s no horse.”

“There’s no horse?” says Fred.

“You think I’m a fool, don’t you?” Martha says.

“No!” says Fred, glad to finally know the correct answer.

“It’s just that…it’s that I…I need some time,” Martha says.

(There is a 15-second pause while Fred, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)

“Yes,” he says. (Martha, deeply moved, touches his hand.)

“Oh, Fred, do you really feel that way?” she says.

“What way?” says Fred.

“That way about time,” says Martha.

“Oh,” says Fred. “Yes.” (Martha turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)

“Thank you, Fred,” she says.

“Thank you,” says Fred.

Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Fred gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a college basketball game between two South Dakota junior colleges that he has never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it’s better if he doesn’t think about it.

The next day Martha will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification.

They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it either.

Meanwhile, Fred, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Martha’s, will pause just before serving, frown, and say: “Norm, did Martha ever own a horse?”

And that’s the difference between men and women.

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Okay, the first 2 are more of Liz and Jane getting haircuts inside the Magic Kingdom.

Immediately after the haircuts, it poured down rain!  Of course.  So, why not enjoy the wet.  Thank goodness for Croc’s!

Then there was the wait for lunch in the Liberty Tree Tavern whilst the twins and I entertained ourselves.

Finally, I present to you a chance to see double-double.  Yep, 2 sets of twins snack sharing, running in fear of me, and amazingly getting along!

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Chapter 10:  Daddy versus Pluto

I have 4 kids.  As such, I have and will continue to experience a fair amount of toys.  Kids toys.  And kids toys almost always need batteries.

*Crib mobiles (2 C’s)

*Specialty nightlight that turns and casts fun figures on the walls (4 D’s)

*Baby monitors (1 9-volt in receiver, 2 AA’s in transmitter)

*Talking chair  (3 C’s)                          *Handheld V-Smile (4 AA’s)

*Leappad 1 (4 AAA’s)                                  *Leapad 2 (4 AA’s)

*Hippo Flashligh (2 C’s)        *Walking, mooing cow (2 AA’s)

*Barbie Keyboard (4 C’s)                         *Pull along Pluto (2 AA’s)

*Every single piece of Little People toy with sound (2 AA’s)

And on, and on.

QUESTION:  WHAT DO THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR THESE ALL HAVE IN COMMON?

ANSWER:  “DO NOT USE RECHARGABLE BATTERIES!”

Yeah, I stopped believing in that warning during year three of Jane.  It reached the point where if the rechargables screwed up the toy, I’d be relieved.

QUESTION: WHAT 2 IMPORTANT FEATURES ARE MISSING ON 99% OF ALL TOY’S THAT REQUIRE BATTERIES?

ANSWER:  AN ON/OFF SWITCH AND A VOLUME CONTROL

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(Cue cheesy awards music) “And welcome back to the 2009 Adventures in Daddyhood Toy Awards!!  Again, I’m Turd Ferguson, your co-host for tonights show.  Ha, ha, we’re all glad your still joining us, and quite frankly, can’t figure out why you haven’t tuned out!  With me, as always, is Barbie.  Barb’s, what award is up next?”

“Well Turd, our next award is “The Toy Most Likely to have been Inspired by Satan himself“.  And this years award goes to:  “Jam with Elmo!!!!!!”

Jam with Elmo

The scene was a trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Imagine if you will, a young, happy couple with 1 daughter, age 1, driving 7 hours in a car.  Imagine also, the child develops explosive diaherra within the first 2 hours of the drive.  Along with her destructive derrière, she has brought a toy.  A toy with with no OFF switch.  A toy which knows only one volume level, and that level causes the windows to vibrate and grown men to weep.  A toy which screams, “JAM WITH ELMO!!!” whenever it’s touched for the next 7 hours.  Too horrific to be true?  Not here in the Twilight Zone.

Truth be told, it doesn’t scream “JAM WITH ELMO” everytime it’s touched because it started over again when you touched it.  So it really sounded like, “JAM WITH EL, JAM, JAM WITH, JAM, J, J, J, JAM WITH, JAM, JAM WITH ELMO!”  On the way back home I began to wonder if the toy was produced in the bowels of hell itself.  We had a mini celebration with it’s batteries finally wore out.  BE GONE THOU TOOL OF THE DEVIL!

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“….And kids love Elmo!  Right, Turd?”

“That’s right, Barbie.  And the next award is for the “Happiest Household Furnishing” and it goes to…………….Singing Chair!!!!!!”

DSCF5961

So, I’ve had to change batteries several times over the years.  With most toys it’s pretty straight forward: Flip the toy over, loosen the tiny philips screw, replace the batteries, and finish in reverse order.  The singing chair is a fine example, except that it takes 3 batteries, an odd numer, so I always have a leftover rechargable.  Couldn’t they have just made it 4?

DSCF5963

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“Hee, hee, I love being sung to when I’m in a seated position, don’t you Turd?”

“Well….um….I’ve never thought about……..pretty weird actually.  AND THE NEXT award is the “Most Like Veterinarian Surgery” and Barb, tell us who it goes to!”

“Actually, Turd, you should have said, ‘to whom it goes.’  And this years winner is:  Walking, Mooing Cow!

DSCF5958

DSCF5959        DSCF5960

This one is kind of unique.  I feel like I need rubber gloves, a mask, and be asking for a scapel to change these batteries.  Reminds me of that Operation game.  I hated that game.  I played it twice.  Every single time I went for a bone, that game board would buzz and scare the crap out of me.  EVERY time.   And what’s with the fat guy with the red nose?  Creepy.

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“And now Barbie, it’s time for a very special award.  Isn’t that right?”

“Yes, Turd.  It’s time to hand out the “Lifetime Achievement Award for Fatherly Foot Injuries“.  It’s a special award given to a toy in recognition of years of service in inciting expletives and bringing tears to grown men from pain in their feet.  And 2009’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to…………………..

Mr. Potato Head!!!!

potaohead parts

Side bar, your honor.  I know it’s off the “battery” topic.  Just a friendly warning to BEWARE OF MR. POTATO HEAD!  Oh, sure, he’s fun and you can switch his visible appendages and all.  Like these shoes.

DSCF5964

Sure, they look harmless  enough.  But, then it’s 2 AM.  A twin is crying and you go up.  The girls picked up every toy earlier, but somehow missed these shoes.  Your foot makes contact with them, and now you want to julienne Mr. Potato Head and fry him up for lunch tomorrow.  Why?  Let’s take another look at those shoes.

DSCF5965

Yes, it is a soft plastic, but it still hurts like the dickens.  And almost every Mr. Potato Head piece has that epidermis piercing prong.

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“We’re down to our final award here on tonights show.  Turd, tell us what it is and who our final recipient is!”

“Thanks Barbie.  And as always, it’s been a real thrill to work with you again.  Tell Ken I said, ‘Hello.’  Tonights final award is the coveted “Most Like a Prostate Exam” award.  And this years final winner is:    Pull-Along Pluto!

DSCF5954

This past week, it was requested of me (repeatedly) to change the batteries in Pluto here.  No problem.  But then I find out where the batteries go.

DSCF5956

I mean, isn’t there anywhere else the batteries could have gone.  Anywhere?  The chest, maybe? Please?  And yes, for effects, I did snap on the gloves and told poor Pluto to “just relax” and “it’ll be over shortly”.

DSCF5957

Just kidding, Dear, I didn’t really do that.  My best ideas always seem to come too late.  Oh, well.  Until next years awards, this is Daddy signing off.  Goodnight everybody, and be sure to tip your waitress!!!

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This video is from Springs visit to the Magic Kingdom.  Jane needed a haircut and was, as always, repeat, always, nervous about it.  So, we hoped maybe the barbershop in the Magic Kingdom would make her less nervous.  It is the Happiest Place on Earth, after all.  Liz went first, to help with the convincing.  Towards the end of Jane’s cut, the Barbershop Quartet came in and sang us a tune.  Very cool.  Notice towards the end of the song when one singer spooks Jane and she won’t look at him aftewards!  Classic!

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CHAPTER 9:  DADDY VS. MURPHY’S LAW

Maybe it’s because I’m a guy.  Maybe it’s because I was forced to take so many math courses in school (2 short of a Mathematical Minor!  Woo-hoo!).  But for some reason, I tend to see life in percentages.  Especially daddyhood.  Percentages and war/battle terms.  For some reason, I also find myself naturally using war lingo when talking about my kids (“It’s us against them!”).  I did this with my wife a couple of times before she finally lost it and asked me why I talked about our children as if we were in a fight-to-the-death with them.  I hadn’t really noticed my rhetoric before then, but that’s why God linked me with her: She’s not afraid to point out my weaknesses.  My wife has come around a little bit, though, as a term we often use about our days is: Survival.  How was your day, dear?  I survived.  How’s it going dear (I call from work)?  I’m in survival mode here!!!  Yeah.  But I have toned down my war-talk some.  Now, how’d I get here?  Oh, yeah, percentages.  Below is just a minor list of some of the percentages/probabilities I have noticed over the few years of daddyhood I have had.

 

  • When you just sit down on the toilet, needing to take care of some business, and your wife is at the store, leaving all the kids at home with you, there is a 70% chance someone will call.
    • If someone does call, and you have children over 4 years of age, there is an 85% chance they’ll answer the phone.
    • If they do answer the phone, there’s a 50/50 shot they’ll end up at the door, wanting to hand it to you.
    • If you do take the phone, there is a 40% chance it’ll be a charity, 20% chance your spouse, 20% chance other family member/friend, 20% chance other.
  • When it’s bedtime, there will be an 80% chance your child will be hungry.  This increases by 5% for every additional child you have (4 kids=95% “I’m hungry.”).
    • If they do say, “I’m hungry,” there’s an equal percentage (95% in my case) you’ll want to scream, “Why weren’t you hungry an hour ago?!  Why’s it always hit at bedtime?!?”
  • If, after changing a diaper, you decide to blow on their belly (Why?  Because it’s there and it’s cute.), and you’re wearing glasses, 8 out of 10 times your glasses will be either knocked off your head or smashed into your face.
  • When you’re on the phone, approximately at the 2 minute mark in the conversation, there is a 99% chance you kids will suddenly become loud, unmanageable, have an overwhelming desire to find you no matter where you hide, and in general scream for no reason.
  • 7 out of 10 times, as soon as you sit on the toilet, the kids suddenly decided to fight, hit, and scream.  Okay, make it 8 out of 10.
  • 50% of the time, when you get home from work, the kids will be acting crazy and your spouse will say, “Gee dear, they were just fine until you got home.”
  • When you leave the house and forget a diaper bag, there’s at least a 70% chance someone will unload in their pants.
  • Just because your older 2 kids never pooped in the tub, does not mean there’s “no chance” your younger 2 won’t.  (A triple, maybe quadruple negative in that sentence…I apologize.  I’m so disappointed.)
    • If they do do a doo-doo in the tub, there’s a 70% chance it’ll scare them out of their wit
  • 6 out of 10 times, as soon as you tell them good night, and turn to leave their room, someone will be thirsty. 
  • When I’m home alone with the kids, it is a mathematical certainty that whatever I cook will take 2-3 times longer than my wife takes to cook it.
  • When you (I) lie down on the floor, 100% of the time your kids will want to climb on top of you.  Unfortunately, 75% of the time they’ll climb, knee, head-butt, and/or stand on your (my) groin.
  • No matter the age, they WILL splash water outside the tub while taking a bath.
  • Okay, and I can’t let the dog get away:  When you’re watching a movie or TV show and there’s only 5 minutes left, there is a 75% chance the dog will need to go out

 

Well that’s my list.  Adjust the percentages accordingly to match your kids.  Feel free to add any that I missed. 

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CHAPTER 8:  DADDY vs. TRYING TRADITIONAL

I love my wife.  With all my heart.  And I want to help her and try to the best I can.  I accomplish this with “Yes, dear” and by doing whatever I’m told.  My first employer once told me “Happy wife, happy life.”  I’ve tried to heed his warning advice.  So, when my wife began talking to me about diet changes, I listened.  And I asked questions when needed.  Some of it made sense, like not eating packaged and processed foods from the grocery because of the chemicals and preservatives.  Some of it was a little harder to swallow (semi-pun intended), like raw milk.  Yeah, she had to do some serious convincing for me to be okay with that.  But she can break me down much the same way my children can (who are also girls):  Repetitive Petitioning.  Yes, that’s right, Chapter 7’s phrase of the week. 

 

Anybody remember the term “Psy-Op’s” from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?  It’s short for “psychological operations” and had to do with dropping flyers and playing taped messages from speakers on vehicles as they drove through the neighborhoods, etc.  Messing with the enemies mind to help in defeating them.  Here’s an example my elder sibling picked up while over there.

 

 

I don’t have a clue what they say, but I can get a good guess from the pictures.  The reason I bring this up is that I feel like “Domestic Psy-Op’s” is being used on me at home.  A lot.  And because I’m pretty simple, it usually works.  I guess Repetitive Petitioning is just one method of Domestic Pys-Op’s.  As soon as I figure out the others, I’ll let you know.  At least, I think I will?  Hmmm.

 

-So it’s a “starter” for sour-dough bread?  And it’s a “living” organism?  What?

Raw milk?  Alright dear, I can tell you feel strongly about this.  (I won’t drink it, anyway.)

Make our own bread?  Sure, I like fresh, homemade bread.

-Grind our own grain for the bread?  By hand?!!?  Okay, sure, I’d love to turn the crank.

-Make our own yogurt?  Really?  Sure, have fun with that.

-No, I don’t think it’s cool how the sour dough starter “breathes”!

-Frozen, whole chickens?  Uh, okay, let’s get some.

-Join a CSA?  What’s that?

-The electric grain mill costs how much?!  Fine, just as long as we get rid of the hand crank.

-A dehydrator?  For how much?!  For a dehydrator?!?! I don’t think we can…homemade beef jerky?  Oh, okay. 

-Yes, I’d love to build you a Square-Foot Garden.  I’ll go get the wood for that today.

-I hate to tell you this, but I think your “living organism” is dead.

-Dear, what’s in this jar?  I don’t know, it’s white and gooey.  Yogurt or kefir what-ir?  No thanks, you smell them!

Why are we doing all this again?

 

But, I did reach my limit.  Chickens.  You keep your own chickens for the eggs in your back yard.  You build a movable pen, they eat the grass, lay some eggs, and you move the pen.  But I’m pretty sure chicken manure is the worst smelling manure in existence (excluding a number of fresh diapers I’ve had the honor changing within the last few years).  And we don’t much time left to mess with it.

So, we’ve been doing this for a few years now, and I’ve gotten used to it, to some degree.  I know we’re all healthier in the long run.  The salsa is awesome, too.  Looking back over the list (which doesn’t include everythings that’s been thrown at me), I have to wonder what the next few years will bring.  Whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll be an Adventure!

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I was cleaning up supper, when the twins started shouting at each other.  The older two were already in their room playing.  So, I turned and saw what you’ll see in the videos below. 

Allow me to translate.  Twin on the left is crying like a baby.  Twin on right is yelling, “No, no, no baby!”  Of course, as soon as I shut the camera off, they switch roles.  So I turned it back on. 

In case you’re wondering, Cee-Cee is the one on the right.  She has to be the most giggliest 2 year old girl in the WORLD!  Ahhhhhhh, adorable. 

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Chapter 7:  Daddy vs. Nancy Drew

 

So, I saw this game online that looked interesting.  Nancy Drew and the Haunted Carousel (and to make it legal, it’s by HER Interactive, available now, online at www.herinteractive.com). 

 

 

 

haunted-car                                              car-1

 

 

 

Anyway, I could get a free 1-hour trial.  I like mystery games, so I thought, “Why not?”  Long story short, I ended up buying it.  The girls (the older 2) saw me playing it one time, and as usual, begged to play what I was playing.  At first I said no.  But, as only kids can, they broke down my resistance with their non-violent, psychological methods.  The primary technique used, which is not taught in any class, but is somehow genetically imprinted into the psyche of the little people who range in age from “just learning to talk” to “finally moved out, got a job, and my own place to live”, is Repetitive Petitioning. 

 

Notice the base form of the question: “Daddy, can I play your Nancy Drew game?”  Again, it’s not taught in any class but somehow they instinctively know how to do it: they slightly altar that question each time they ask it.  Let’s start with the base question again, and work our way from there.

 

“Daddy, can I play your Nancy Drew game?”

“Daddy, when can I play your Nancy Drew game?”

“Can I play your Nancy Drew game now, Daddy?”

“Daddy, please can I play your Nancy Drew game?  Please?!?”

“Daddy, you know what I would really like more than anything else?  I would really like to play your Nancy Drew game, please?”

 

Notice, also, how manners (i.e. “please”) is instinctively injected as their pleas turn more desperate.  Interesting, is it not?  Now, because I have a 7 and 8 year old, I had the begging times 2.  Actually, in this case, it felt more like begging2.

 

So, I thought about it.  I’ve read a few of the Nancy Drew books with them.  Nancy doesn’t swear, doesn’t dress provocatively (but always fashionably), is a good friend, is smart and determined, is not too interested in boys, doesn’t believe in ghosts or monsters, is non-violent, and last but not least, adores her father.  The game was pretty much the same way.  The carousel isn’t really “haunted”, and it’s not really scary.  And there’s even a “Junior” mode for younger players.  So, I considered myself soundly defeated, and let them play.  Oh, poor Daddy, if you only knew then what I know now.

 

“Daddy, what does this mean?” 

“Daddy, what does that mean?”

“Daddy, I don’t understand this.”

“Daddy, can you help me?”

“Daddy, can you please help me, please?”

“Daddy, you know what I would really like?  I would really like you to help me with the Nancy Drew game.”

 

That’s right; all new questions begin, yet somehow sounding so familiar.  They liked the game, sure enough, but they didn’t have a clue about using the resources given in the game to solve puzzles.  I think, maybe, the amount of reading was a challenge for them.  And, the games they’re used to are primarily motor-skill games (using hands and fingers) instead of using their minds for deductive reasoning and logical thinking.  So, in one way, it was actually a good experience for them.  And, I got to spend time with them, helping them learn how to think and deduce for themselves. 

 

Sure, it was trying at times, but they enjoyed themselves.  And since I liked it, I waited, looked, and found a deal at Best Buy where I got 4 more Nancy Drew games as a bundle for $20.  Yeah, I felt good:  $5 a game, which normally sell for $20 a piece. 

 

 

nan-ultimate-dare        (Sorry, no longer at Best Buy, but you can get it at www.half.com, Amazon, etc.)

 

 

 

But since I had waited a while before buying them, the passage of time had rubbed from my mind the endless questions and the begging for help. 

 

So let’s please end this post, please!

You know what I would like?  I would really like to end this post now.  Please!

 

I’ve beaten all four games.  The younger has made it through 2; the older, 1 ½.  Through this Month O’Nancy, there has been:  arguing and yelling between the girls, sometimes hitting between the girls (one insisting on helping the other when the other doesn’t want to be helped), incessant begging for help, incessant whining for help, spells of crying in frustration and hopelessness when I couldn’t help right away, and to top it all off, endless petitions to play the last two games.  Enough was enough, and I declared no more Nancy Drew games until after school is over!  That will buy me some time while still giving them hope.  Surprisingly, they accepted that without argument (at least to me).

 

Nancy, dear Nancy:  I love ya, but who knew you could cause a father early ulcers and thinning hair that was already so thin, it’s almost non-existent?

 

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I like to call this one “Cute Birthday Wishes to Mommy!”  Who knew cake could be so exciting!

 

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Chapter 6: Daddy versus the Awkward Potty

 

Do you remember Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books?  I used to love them as a kid.  I must have read over 30 different ones from the library.  I have pondered, at times, that they should publish a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book for new dads.  Better yet, a whole series, with each book dealing with a different aspect of Daddyhood.  One of them should include a section on going potty.  Oh, no, not the child going potty; it’s the dad going, or trying to go, with kids in the house. 

 

The scene is your bathroom, nothing special or fancy about it, just an ordinary bathroom.  Your child (children, in my case) are somewhere between 12 and 18 months of age.  Walking age.  Mommy’s gone, and you’re at home, playing with the kid(s).  Suddenly, your bladder announces its fullness.  You hop up and run to the bathroom.  Thus your adventure begins as you enter that room of relief. 

 

Choice 1:  Shut the door or Leave it ajar?

Since your offspring is just walking and not yet talking, you leave the door open.  If they happen to walk in, you think, they won’t really know what’s going on anyways.

 

Choice 2:  Sit or Stand?

Since you are a new dad (or in a hurry), you choose to stand.  Now the fun begins.

There you are, standing, door open, relieving yourself of 2 cups of coffee.  And you don’t hear them coming. 

 

AWKWARDNESS #1:  You feel a tug from behind on your pants.  Someone is steadying themselves using your pant leg.  “Hurry up and finish” is your only thought. 

 

AWKWARDNESS #2:  With curiosity piqued by a strange splashing noise, and not satisfied with the view, your child maneuvers around to the side of the toilet.

 

Choice 3:  Stand still or Sway?

 

Again, being new, swaying isn’t even a thought, so you stand still.  Hence,

 

AWKARDNESS #2a:  Your child, in my case, a girl, is standing at the side of the potty.  She begins staring intently at…it…and watching the stream of processed coffee to the water below.  In your mind, you hear her inner voice say, “Oooooh, what’s that thing?  And what’s it doing?”  All the while, you’re freaking out because of intent little eyes watching, and because she’s gripping the edge of the toilet. 

 

Choice 4: Stop and sit or Finish?

You are soooo close to being done, so you just decide to finish it out.  Which leads to…

 

AWKWARDNESS #3:  Your child begins to “reach out and touch someone.” THE END

 

Okay, that’s not an ending I want.  Let’s redo Choice 4 and “Stop and sit”.  (Choosing “Sit” for Choice 2 leads you here, too.)

 

So you sit, and watch as your child, grinning ear to ear, comes toddling towards you.  No problem, you think, just relax and finish. 

 

AWKWARDNESS #4: she puts a little, COLD hand your thigh.  Yeah, suddenly I’m tense.  Maybe other guys don’t have an issue with this, but I’ve never had anyone’s hand on my thigh while peeing, and it made me a bit tense.   But, she’s only 18 months, no big deal.  Relax.  Okay, things are flowing again.  She’s watching you, and decides to move between your legs. 

 

AWKWARDNESS #4a: Tension again with a cold, little hand on each thigh.  Still, you plow on, almost done, when suddenly, she makes a dive between your legs to see if she can get a hand on that thing on which you have your hand.  THE END

 

I want to win this thing, have a happy ending and all, so let’s go back to Choice 3 and “Sway”. 

 

As you feel your child begin to move to the right, you start to sway to the right.  Your child pushes and tries to get around, but somehow, you fend her off.  You feel her go back toward the middle, so you sway back, too.  Then you feel her head left (you feel her because she’s using your legs to steady herself the whole time), so you head left.  Pushing again, and a grumble of frustration, but you hold her off.  She gives up on the left and heads middle.  You smile in slight satisfaction, thinking victory is near. 

 

AWKWARDNESS #5: You relax for just a moment, and at that very moment, you feel a head beginning to poke through from between your legs.  THE END

 

Rats, that’s 3 losses in a row.  This leaves changing Choice 1 and “Shut the door”.

 

You shut the door. 

 

Choice 5:  Lock the door or Leave it unlocked?

Let me cheat.  Leaving it unlocked is okay, until she learns how to turn door knobs.  Then, you just go down all the other paths listed above and lose.  So, I pick to “Lock the door”. 

 

Now, no one can disturb you.  Peace at last!  Until the knocking on the door begins.  The whole time you’re in there, until you open the door again, it’s nothing but, “Daddy, what you do in dare?  Why?  Why?  Daddy?  DADDY!!!!!!”  Consistent and crescendo-ing knocking.  So, the best you can do in this Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book in the Daddyhood series is a partial win.  Next volume, please.

 

 

 

 

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CHAPTER 4:  DADDY VERSUS THE DISNEY PRINCES

 

Insanity.  My kids have it.  From where did it come? 

 

Editors Note: Notice how the preposition “from” began the sentence and did not end the sentence.  A preposition should never end a sentence.  No matter how much I see it in our local paper, or in my kids school textbooks.  Please make a grammatical note!

 

It all started with Seinfeld.  You may have hated the sitcom made famous for being about nothing.  Or, you may have loved it.  But the fact remains that some aspects and characters from the show have permeated our culture.   The foundational fabric of our free, flourishing, fellowship, if you will.  One such lovable creature is the Soup Nazi.  Eh?  What’s that?  Never heard him?  Hmmm.  Well, here’s a small sample.

 

 

Anyways, as this story goes (and it goes this way because I’m telling it), over a dozen odd years ago, in high school (or shortly thereafter), I was at a friends house.  Being dorky kids, he went off on a tangent, impersonating, from the sounds it, an arabian sheik, who was trying to get a woman to dance for him.  Good grief, I feel brain cells dying just typing out that last sentence.  The impersonation went something like this:  “You dance for me?  You no dance for me?!?!  No soup for you!!!”  That’s all.  Mainly those 3 sentences repeated for about 5 minutes.  Yeah, I know, but it did seem funny at the time.  I guess in this situation, the quote fits: “You had to be there!”

 

Skip ahead several years.  Almost to the present time, but not quite.  For a gift, for some occasion, one of my oldest, or maybe both, received the Disney Prince’s Playset Figurines.  Oh sure, they’ve gotten nearly every princess there is, pre- and post-Walt.  But what, I ask you my brethren, is princess without a prince?  Now the imaginative scenarios are exponentially multiplied.  And that is where I found myself, wanting to spend time with my daughters, and they, wanting to play with the Disney princesses and princes.  I was forced to be a prince.  Go figure. 

 

disney-princes

 

I tried to be a good dad/playmate, really I did.  I mean, at least it wasn’t Barbies, right?  I don’t know if there is anything more difficult, more ridiculous feeling, then a father trying to play along as the side-kick male in a female dominated franchise and a female dominated playtime (2 girls versus 1 Daddy.  They win.).  Like I said, I tried to play along, but between the two of them, they kept changing the story situations faster than Bugs did to Daffy in “Duck Amuck”!

 

 

So finally, out of boredom laced with humiliation, I took my prince (I think it was Prince Charming, or maybe Alladin…I have too much respect for Prince Philip), trotted him up to the nearest princess, and declared, “Will you dance for me?  No…then no soup for you!  Would you like to see ME dance!?!?!”  Then I began to swivel the upper torso of my prince (they swivel at the waist, for reasons unknown), and shouted gleefully, “A-do-ti-do-ti-do-ti-do-ti!”  All this, of course, to the loud laughter of my delighted children.  I should have known then that they’d be asking for an encore.  So, I did it again.  But since then, I have never picked up another prince.

 

A few months ago, the older two say they have a dance they want me to see.  I’d love to see it, I tell them.  Then I get the video camera out, because these are the moments to save for future embarrassment of teenagers.  And this is what I get.

 

 

Notice, if you will the scared look on Brie’s face the ENTIRE TIME!  Yeah, I was nervous, too.  Also notice Cee-Cee starting to shake her head, too, toward the end.  The insanity before me was both humorous and breathtaking.  They’ve repeated their performance on different occasions since then, so I think its a favorite. 

 

Now, where was I…oh, yes.  Insanity.  Yep, there can be no doubt: They got it straight from me. 

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