I don’t know about all you other football fans out there but, at my house, Daddy doesn’t miss his games. Of course, for day games this is fairly easy to manage because the kids can be sent out to detail Daddy’s truck, or simply locked in a closet while Daddy straps on his football rig and lets the sporty nectar send him into a pigskin-induced coma. However, evening games have proven more difficult for Daddy to get some “Me time” (not the me time you fellow porn addicts are thinking, but I like where your heads are)
Needless to say, after seasons of experimenting I have come up with something that gets those frisky kids to bed by kickoff so that Daddy can get his fix. I call it Emergency Football Drill. The EFD is a complex combination of skilled parenting moves that has taken a couple of years to perfect. In a show of good will towards my fellow football folks out there, I am going to share with you my secret formula.
The Emergency Football Drill
Step 1) FEED THE LIVESTOCK: Getting the kids fed, and fed quickly is essential and this single event can make or break whether you are seeing kickoff or reading Goodnight Moon . The recommended dinner for the kids on game night is fast food (easy to grab on your way in from work and no prep required) Of course, this is not the most healthy option for your livestock, so any foods that can be prepared quickly will also work (grilled cheese, mac-n-cheese,etc). The point is to get them fed quickly. This is also where you start to set the tone for the next step.
Step 2) LIE TO THEM: Let’s face it, small children literally have no sense of time. It is easy to hurry them along by telling them that it is late and that they need to get a move on. This starts with Step 1 and continues through Step 5. Always keep them rushing. If you let them get sidetracked with cartoons or toys for even a few minutes, then you are putting yourself at risk of missing that first snap!
Step 3) CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO…: Bath time with toddlers can be the ultimate time waste if you are not diligent. When possible, put them in the shower. We have trained our toddlers to shower (with our aid) and this saves many precious game night minutes. Showers are genius in that they do not offer the opportunity for kids to play. There are no bubbles and no toys…and no time is wasted…efficiency by definition…If you are really pressed for time, take a hose to them out in the yard…you can almost hear that national anthem now, my friend.
Step 4) STORY TIME: Ahh story time…yet another sand trap that is easily played into by unsuspecting parents. Do not let the squid pick the bedtime story(s). You know the short ones, don’t act like you don’t…this is the time to use those short books to your advantage. Close all curtains so that the kids time awareness remains “in the dark”. This step should not be completely rushed through as this is some good quality time with your little ones. Read the short stories, snuggle and tickle…but be mindful of the time…can you feel it? You are sniffing the goal line of kid-free game watching buddy…soak it in…
Step 5) DISCIPLINE: Game time is minutes away and your kids are calling your bluff. They are in and out of bed, crying for water, wanting extra hugs…you name it, they are gonna throw it at you. You have to maintain discipline. Be stern, be strict…hell, if it’s your favorite team, be mean, but you must get them in to stay in those beds…It’s okay to mildly beat them in this circumstance…
Good work! In addition to your Father Of The Year nomination, you have just secured yourself an evening of uninterrupted football watching. Give yourself a pat on the back, open that tall boy and kick those feet up on the coffee table. You have earned it my friend…What? What’s that? Fold laundry? Go to the grocery store? OMG…we forgot to check the wife…This is where a step 6 would come in handy…I’ll be hiding in the garage…good luck boys!
Looking back, I have quite fond memories of the first day(s) of school. What’s not to like from the kid’s perspective? You get to rock new clothes, new backpacks loaded down with supplies (which sucked ass for kids that walked to/from school), and new super hero-themed lunch boxes. Properly supplied, the Sis and I would climb into Mom’s Cutlass Supreme, she would crank up the Queen, and we would roll straight 80’s pimp-style to elementary school. And yes, my mom rocked the perm…
Throughout junior high and high school the first days only seem to get better. Super hero lunch boxes give way to designer shoes and jeans, and the selection of the perfect jacket/coat plays a more important role in ones wardrobe (so long velour-lined jean jacket, you will be missed…then burned). As for the backpacks, they remain an unfortunate necessity. The story remains the same in that we as kids provide our list of demands and hold our folks schedules (and wallets) hostage until all demands have been met…
Throughout all of those years I never thought once about the stress or the cash outlay that was placed on my awesome parents, nor did they throw it in our faces like they could have…should have. Hell, Sis and I were so spoiled that if we didn’t get to go out-of-town-school-shopping you would think the world was ending…such little assholes we were.(Don’t worry, we gave the folks a break eventually…I took to dealing drugs and robbing liquor stores and Sis took to whoring to pay our way through college…)
Fast forward to the present, the first day of Kindergarten for my baby girl, M. With a closet full of designer clothes (I looked for iron-on shirts, but apparently these are a thing of the past); a personalized/matching backpack and lunch box set (super heroes are not cool enough for this diva) and new shoes (that blink and flicker enough to send an epileptic scrambling for a tongue depressor). All topped off with her first missing tooth, lil miss thang is ready for school…Like her mom and dad, she is oblivious to what we have gone through over the past couple of weeks to ensure her first day happiness…In fact, she had the nerve to bitch because we didn’t send the proper snack in her lunch box! (I know someone who is about to be snacking on the back of my hand!)
Needless to say, my feelings of first day nostalgia are quickly being replaced with feelings of unappreciated tiredness…and it’s only Kindergarten…WTF are we gonna do when she’s a junior in high school? (hopefully my backhand still packs a wallop by then as I fear I am going to need it…)
Happy First Day to all of you unappreciated parents out there…Now go fix your kids lunch…and iron some effing clothes while your at it you worthless bastards…
Hello blogophiles! Yes, I am still alive…barely. My apologies for not posting recently. Hopefully you will forgive me as I have been busy solidifying my position as the Christian Grey of our new home. If I can just get the wifey to sign those non-disclosure agreements…
Anyway, what I would really like to do is update you all on the little ones since the last installment was purely rodent related. M & Lil B are doing quite well in getting adjusted to their new digs. In fact, they have almost become fully acclimated to cleaning the additional square footage of the new crib. In fact, they are becoming more efficient and are quickly working their way toward getting 3 full hours of sleep each night. This is a great milestone and it gives me confidence that they will be able to keep the new house clean while still keeping up with their regular yard work duties. For a minute, I thought that we were going to have to have another child to supplement M & Lil B. Thank God the wifey is a Tiger Mom and she runs a tight ship…I don’t know if I could handle having to purchase fast food for an additional mouth…the thought sends chills through my gelatinous body…
As a reward, of sorts, for the kids taking on the added chores, we have let them get a pet. Cats are out because of allergies. Dogs are out because you actually have to interact with them. Farm animals are out because my therapist does not think I am fully rehabilitated yet. This leaves us with boring old fish…That is until we are at the Stepfordville Mall one day making the kids do some power walking to increase their chore productivity, when we stumble across the perfect pet…Crabs. That’s right, we’ve got crabs!
May I just say that these crabs have been the perfect pet thus far. They just sit there in their little sand-covered prison cell and all we have to do is keep some water in there for them and feed them now and then. (I am now fully qualified to be a prison warden! Feed ’em, water ’em… execute ’em!) The best part about having crabs is that the kids have a pet to call their own and caring for the crabs does not take away from their chores! This is waaaay better than the last time I had crabs…
In addition to the giving the kids crabs, we also allow 30 minutes of television per week (assuming all work tasks have been completed to our satisfaction). One might think that M & Lil B would choose to watch cartoons, or one of the preteen shows on Disney, but not my little workers. They spend their TV time watching Cake Boss! If you haven’t seen it, Cake Boss is a reality show featuring an entire family of overweight New Jersey Italians making kickass cakes. Obviously, they eat a lot of cake too…Needless to say, the kids now walk around the house spouting off in their best Jersey-Italian accents. It is funny to hear a 5 and 3 year-old tossing around terms like fondant, “butta cream” and “I’m the borse” Next thing I know they will be watching Snookie blow some dude in a bathroom on Jersey Shore…God help us…Why can’t they just watch Nickelodeon? Now it’s just me that watches Victorious and Wizards of Waverly Place…alone in the dark with my scented lotions…don’t judge me…
Hello lone reader! I am sure that after 50 posts involving my children that you are as sick of them as I am. That being said, I want to offer you a little light reading that actually does not involve my spawn…mostly. No, this a story of great personal struggle and ultimate triumph. I am telling you, this is the stuff of which great movies are created. I am talking about rats…Yes, I know you are already seeing the title of this movie twinkling on the marquee outside your local theater. “Rats, the Musical”…or “Rats, it’s What’s for Dinner”…or “Debbie Does Rats”…(I am particularly fond of the latter.) Ahh, I can almost taste the showbiz life now, and as they say in the biz, the show must go on…
Fade In on a 1974 ranch home in Suburbia, USA: Enter the Generic family, our main characters. The Generics have come down with a serious case of new home fever, or technically house envy. Some friends of theirs have recently built a gorgeous home in Stepfordville, and before they have time to think twice, the Generic house is up for sale. Naturally, in a terrible real estate market, their home sells in 4 days. The Generics are left wondering, “What the hell have we just done?”. Regardless, their house is sold and they embark on building a home near their great friends. Gotta keep up with the Joneses, right?
(Que first person narration)
“As we are preparing the “old” house for inspections and whatnot, we come to the realization that we have a critter or some such that has taken up residence in our garage. No big deal, right? This happens all of the time to all manner of folks. This is where the story takes a slight turn (the plot thickens and the villain is introduced) The wife comes to the realization that some form of Rodentia is or has been getting into her vehicle. At first, I laugh at her naturally and go about my internet porn studies. (There is just so much material to absorb…I feel like I am constantly learning…a porn sponge if you will) Roughly a week after her initial approach, the wife comes to me again, this time in tears. She produces forensic evidence of some massive rodent activity…in her car. Okay, now she has my attention…By the time I get home that evening she has taken matters into her own hands…A quick trip to Home Depot by the wife produces $200 worth of mouse-catching paraphernalia. (Note to self: Do not let wife EVER go to HD alone…EVER). We outfit the garage and wife-mobile with more rodent traps than a shady (insert ethnic group here) food restaurant.
In fact, Wifey-poo actually goes on to set mouse traps in her own car…SEVEN traps to be exact. There are more mouse traps in this car than room for passengers! You may expect me to tell you that we caught a mouse that very night…but you will, one again, be let down by my underwhelming-ness. Those effing traps sit in her car for over a week and the only thing that is caught are kids shoes and wife’s handbag collection. We start to believe that the little critter(s) is long gone and go back to our normal lives mostly (aside from the trap display in her car…that stays with no chance of ever leaving). Another week passes and we find fresh chocolate drops in Wifey’s car…i.e. rat shit…We know this is rat shit because the shit itself is bigger than a mouse! These effing turds are so big that I shuttered to think that she had been binge eating chocolate chips during her commute! We also note that all of the little mouse traps in the garage have been picked clean. FYI do not buy those little sticky pads that claim to catch rodents. All we were doing with those sticky pads is providing a plate for that effing rat. Between the garage and the car, that bastard was living like a Kardashian. Now it’s serious… Dump mouse traps, upgrade to rat traps: $50 at HD. (Notice that the cost per HD trip goes down significantly when I am involved)
This rat may have won the first battle, but we are preparing for war. We were like those lanky blue bastards in Avatar with our harmless spears, but now we have heavy artillery! We even bought a rat trap that will electrocute the pest! (After all, we do live in Texas…FRY EM…YEEHAW!) We place a few traps in Wifey’s car and a few in the garage. Now properly armed, it does not take long to see some action. During my routine hourly patrol of the “hot zone”, I check the too-many-to-count garage traps- All Clear. I make my way to the wife-mobile and check the front seat traps- All Clear. I move to the rear and see one is untouched and one I can’t see for some reason. I angle my flashlight around and still do not see the trap anywhere. WTF…Where is that effing thing? When I unlock the car and open the back door, I am greeted by a huge white rat that has been executed by our new badass traps. Take that sky people! Don’t ever eff with us lanky blue bastards!…
Over the next couple of days we manage to execute 8 rats total. I even got one in the “electric chair” trap! While no additional rats were ever caught in Wifey’s car, she refused to set foot in that thing ever again other than to drive it straight to the dealership and trade it in. I hate to think about the poor old lady that bought that ride and the potential stowaway(s) that probably came with it. As for us, we will eventually get over the war with the rats…eventually…As we pulled our troops out on our last day of occupation in that ranch house I bowed my head to honor those rodents that had given their lives in effort to scavenge from my family. Who am I kidding…I danced a jig as I thought about the next rat invasion and how I would be long gone from this place…Good luck new owners, you’re gonna need it!…effing rats…
I stole the general concept of an interview with M from my good friend, Maddie Powell’s blog, so please pay her site a visit as well (madpo dot blogspot dot com). That being said, hopefully it reads with as much fun as I had interviewing my baby girl. Enjoy.
1. How does Daddy make you laugh?
“When you dance in the kitchen with our dress-up clothes and toy guitars” (Don’t even think that you sick bastards will be seeing any photo evidence of this!)
2. How tall is Daddy?
“7 feet tall” (This was her scientific response after looking me up and down for at least 30 seconds)
3. If you become famous, what will it be for?
“A famous singer like Justin Bieber” (God help us all…)
4. Who is your favorite Singer?
“Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift” (Those two
should hook up…they would be the caucasian version of Jay-Z & Beyoncé)
5. What is Daddy really good at?
“Making corn dogs” (Seriously? That’s what I am noted for? She must be so proud…Guessing she will be “sick” on bring-dad-to-school day)
6. What is Daddy not good at?
“Saying bad words” (Bullshit. What the fuck is she even fucking saying!)
7. How are you and Daddy the same?
“We both have light skin” (Wow! Silly racist, the Klan ain’t for kids)
8. Who is the President?
“Has George Hamilton died? I think it’s George Hamilton” (WTF?)
9. And where does George Hamilton live?
“In the White House in George Washington” (This is what we get with her private school tuition)
10. Do you think that people have been to the moon?
“NO!” ( emphatically stated as if I were stupid to even ask that question…My little conspiracy theorist)
11. What are hotdogs made of?
“Milk and chewy stuff “ (Yeah…keep tellin’ yourself that, sister…In fact, why don’t you cram another “milk dog” into your mouth while I tell you what they’re really made of)
12. How do you feel about the current gas prices?
“I think it’s not so much money” (I’ll show you not so much money when your allowance suddenly dries up)
At this point, we were having so much fun that I had to keep going with her. Here are a few responses from our word association game in which I would say a word and M would have to follow-up with the first thing that came to her mind…She is like the Karl Pilkington of the pre-K community…
Led Zeppelin: Bread
Twisted Sister: Mermaid
The Beatles: Lady Bugs
So, now you have all been inside the mind of a 5 year-old. It’s not roomy, but there sure is a lot going on in there. I had so much fun doing this with M that I am sure to do it again. Perhaps you all should suggest topics and I will get the “expert” opinions of M & b. Until then, thanks for reading. I am going go get my David Carradine on!
Strap on your cone-shaped bras and come rummage through Time’s closet in my latest article for The Music Initiative. Page 18-19
I am proud (or embarrassed) to present the final installment of the Holiday Season Series. So sit back, drop your pants, tighten that belt around your neck one more notch and try not to lose conciousness before you “finish”.
Ah Christmas, the culmination of a long journey that is the holiday season. Complete with enough glitz and glam to impress even little bearded baby Jesus, who just happens to share a fake birthday with our favorite day to celebrate capitalism. It’s funny really when you take a step back and look at how we have bastardized what was once a holy day to many. Frankincense and Myrrh have been replaced with PS3 & iPad. Saint Nicholas is now a fat ass cookie-gobbling home invader, and the traditional nativity scene now comes with Yoda as the baby Jesus. But hey, at least we are winning the war on terror… Suck on that Bin Ladin! However, I admit that I, too am to blame for the capitalization of Christmas, but screw it, I like blinky lights and boxes wrapped with shiny paper just as much as the next guy, which brings us to Christmas and my family.
I have purposely waited 2 months to publish this entry because it has taken this long to recover. I still shutter at the mere thought of a Christmas tree. Once upon a time Christmas could quite possibly have been my most favorite time of year. My folks were blessed with the good fortune to be able to afford to buy my sister and me pretty much anything we asked for, and believe me, we asked for a lot. I think at one time I had enough G.I. Joe paraphernalia to invade a small country and my sister had a enough Barbie dolls to recreate Hugh Hefner’s wildest Playboy Mansion shindig…that is until we turned all of those plastic bitches into Pope-shredding Sinead O’Connor doppelgangers! It’s safe to say that my sis and I loved us some Christmas.
Fast forward from prepubescent, kung fu grip-enthusiast to 37 years old, married with kids. Now I am getting a glimpse behind the shimmering, happy happy-joy joy facade that is Christmas and I don’t like what I see. I used to look under the ole Christmas tree and I was instantly transformed into a present-hoarding Gollum, or Smeagolif you prefer…my precious…Now when I look under that same tree I see boxes wrapped in my money and an ever-worsening toy infestation problem in our home.
I don’t know how my folks did it. It seems like my sis and I had a ton of toys and somehow my folks managed to keep the toys from taking over their home. I can’t walk through my house now without stepping on a Zooble (WTF is a Zooble??), or having to clear the furniture of stuffed animals and books just to sit down. In fact, we once had a guest room in our house that is now overrun with Elmo and his gang of Asian-made marauders. And this Christmas is no exception.
Since Francine, our Elf on The Shelf, came to live with us a couple of years ago, we have ceased to travel for Christmas. The original thought of setting up the Santa crime scene was endearing…until we realized that “some assembly required” means that you will spend endless hours putting together toys that your kids will play with for about an hour on Christmas morning. Those same toys are never to be seen again once they are shuttled off to the confines of Elmo’s World…er the playroom. Still, with the dexterity of South American sweat shop workers we assemble toy after toy. We are about half-way through a handle of Crown when I notice that the decals are going on a bit crooked, but screw it, we are on a mission and we will not be delayed by drunken decal-ing! It is about midnight and I am putting the finishing touches on Lil B’s new basketball goal when in walks a groggy M. We just freeze like a child caught with their hand in the cookie jar (who the hell has an actual cookie jar?). The wife suddenly breaks herself from the Crown-induced haze and shields M’s eyes from the harsh reality as she whisks her back to her bed.
Amazingly, M has no recollection of waking up that night and is fully surprised on Christmas morning…thank you Rohypnol!- (When simply being an irresponsible parent just isn’t enough)
Christmas morning goes as expected, or at least my hangover-hazed memory tells me that it did. M walks into the room calm and collected. She makes her way through the maze of toys that “Santa” painstakingly set up and she is silently taking inventory. The first thing from her mouth is not, “YAY!” or screams of delight. No, M remembers exactly everything that she asked for and she is mentally scratching each item from the list as she makes her way around the tree. Upon completion of her rounds, she simply looks at us with a sad little face and says, ” I didn’t get the Zhu Zhu Palace”…(WTF is a Zhu Zhu??)
To add to our toy prison overcrowding problems, our kids just happen to have some of the best grandparents in the world. With the undying love of grandparents comes…you guessed it, boxes and boxes of toys arriving almost daily throughout the month of December. My neighbors must think that our house is acting as an overflow distribution center for FedEx. It got so “bad” this year that if there was no box on our porch when we went to check the mail, that my greedy kids thought something was wrong. The toy situation is so bad that we have to cull through the post unwrapping carnage and sneak as many of the toys away as we can to be hidden away and used for bribes during the coming year. (I highly suggest this if you have the room to hide more toys)
Despite the fact that we are prime candidates to make an appearance on Hoarders, this Christmas goes off with little incident. We are thankful and lucky to have such great grandparents and an Elf on the Shelf that knows how to regulate. I am starting to feel the stress of the holidays melt away as we edge ever closer to spring. In fact, I am already making a list of toys to get the kids next Christmas. Actually, my list is not toys, but rather a list of those to be executed. Three guesses as to what bearded, fat-bellied bastard is at the top of that list.
Feeling blue? Come wallow in your bluesy sorrows with us!
The not-so-boring history of music in film from the silent era to the mega soundracks of today.