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Innocence and Brutal Honesty

Tonight the Wife and I were slapped square in the face with some harsh reality…from our four-year-old.  While battling through yet another meal of brow beating M to eat something, she decides to pull a Maverick/Goose fly by of the tower. 

For those of you that don’t know M that well, she is the most loving little girl I have ever known.  I know this sounds like proud-parent-syndrome, but I am not exaggerating.  If there’s a chance for her to hug or kiss on Mom, Dad, or Lil B she is going to take it and she will run it into the ground.  In fact, tonight she licked me on the cheek as if she were a friggin’ dog, er…cute little puppy.   However, the over-licking and kissing are for another day.

So M is sitting at the table when she decides that, rather than take a bite of dinner, she will deploy her patented delay tactics and tell Mommy that she wants to give her a hug (one of multiple hugs deployed during any given meal).  M drops her ordinance of hugs and then, instead of  her typical reroute back to base (her chair), she decides that this mission is going to require the use of nuclear force.

Upon completion of the hug mission, M steps back from Mommy and drops this 5 megaton whopper, ” Mommy, do you have a baby in your tummy?”  After what seemed like an eternity of silence and several awkward wordless exchanges between Mommy and Me, I burst into a hearty belly laugh.  Meanwhile, Mommy is sitting at the table with fail-smile trying to figure out how to tell M that there is no baby in her tummy without letting on that this comment cut Mommy to the bone. 

So Mommy tells M that there is, in fact no baby in her tummy as she fights back a wave of tears. I am over across the kitchen belly laughing when M says to me, “Daddy, do YOU have a baby in your tummy?”  The laughing abruptly ends and Mommy and I enter a few moments of quite self-reflection while M awaits a response.  “No, neither Daddy or Mommy have a baby in our tummy.”  One would think that this would end the line of questioning and everyone would proceed with dinner.  Not M.  She disputes what we have told her and goes further to insist that Mommy does have a baby in her tummy.  This goes over like a lead balloon.

After adamant refusal from Mommy, M finally relents and goes back to pretending to eat.  The rest of the meal is a blur of sorts because both Mommy and I are locked away in the depths of our own self consciousness trying to assess the damage from the massive bombs that had just been dropped by our sweet, innocent daughter.  Not to be insensitive, but I felt how the survivors of Hiroshima must have felt as they crawled out from the rubble to see that their entire existence had been wiped out.  Fine, I am a overexaggerator.  Regardless, the seemingly innocent questions from our daughter had obtrusively opened our eyes.  Yes, Mommy and Daddy are severely out of shape…

Our evening ends with gentle hugs and kisses as the kids are tucked away in their beds (while internally struggling with issuing M a severe beating…we’ll show her little ass who’s out of shape!).  Mommy straps on her trainers and knocks the dust off the ole treadmill while I retired to the pool with my awesome sixpack…of non-light beer.  I can only assume that the next line of pregnancy questioning will be directed only at me…Cheers

Living Vicariously Through My Kids

Not long ago I decide that I am going to live vicariously through my children.  I am going to have them do all of the things that I did not get to do as a child.  I know that most of you already assume that I am talking about sports.  Don’t get me wrong,  I will probably do what most fathers who participated in sports end up doing for their kids.  I will spend thousands upon thousands of dollars sending my kids to sporting camps hosted by local pro athletes (who never actually show up at the camp).  I will bribe referees, coaches, and teachers in order to assure the maximum playing time for my kids.  Hell, I may even sabotage my children’s opponents.  Anything for mention of my child in the local gazette, right?  While I will, undoubtedly, do all of these things, there are other, more important things that my children need to experience…for me. 

As a child, I always wanted to be trained in martial arts.  I never got the chance because I was too busy stealing hood ornaments and pulling drive-by shootings with my paintball gun.  Naturally, I want my children to experience the confidence and discipline that is taught through martial arts.  My son is now almost 11 months old.  I have been training him to become a baby ninja since he was about 6 months old.  I am happy to report that he is progressing rather nicely.  He even connected on a roundhouse kick to the skull of his three-year-old sister the other day. (assisted by me of course, as he cannot yet walk)  It felt as if I were actually the one landing that sweet roundhouse to her petite, blonde noggin.  I must say, if dealing out round-houses to one of my kids…using my other kid were a drug, I would be Pablo Escobar.  This whole vicarious living concept is going to work out for me, I think. 

Heee Yah!


I never got a tattoo as a young person.  Naturally, I do not want my kids to miss their window like I did, so I got M inked.  I didn’t want to take her to one of those trendy tattoo shops with their fancy artists and sterilized needles like all of the punk college kids.  I found a homeless man the other day that had a sign that read, “Will Tattoo You For Food”, so I hired him.  Turns out that he was not looking for food, so after a fifth of $7 whiskey he was ready to get started on my three-year-old daughter’s tat.  We are pretty happy with the results and after a brief hospital stay and a bout of tetanus, the tattoo is healing nicely.  What a gift for both M and Me! 

I am not completely irresponsible


I think that my children are going to grow up with the sense that they have lived life to the fullest.  I can’t wait for tomorrow’s experience where I…er my kids get to go skydiving!

Has Michael Jackson Risen?

I am feeling like a change of pace is needed, so yesterday I decide  to pick M up from school in lieu of the baby.  On the days that I get to pick her up, the conversation typically involves her ratting out all the bad things that the other kids did at school that day.  However, yesterday’s commute-versation hit me with the surprise of Tyson’s roundhouse to Alan in the Hangover. 

"I can feel it comin' in the air tonight..."

We are not two minutes out of the school parking lot when M says to me, ” Daddy?  Did you know that Michael Jackson died and then came back to life?” 
“Uhh…where did you hear that?”, I mumble as I am trying to wrap my head around what my toddler has blurted out.
“My teacher”, she says with confidence. 
Still confused I rebut, “Well, Michael Jackson did die…but he did not come back to life…Do you even know who Michael Jackson is?”  This is the moment that, when I look back, I should have changed the subject.  Instead, I grab my shovel and started digging myself into a nice little hole that will take the rest of the night from which to climb.
The conversation quickly high-centers on whether or not the king of pop has risen from the dead when, finally, I am able to convince her that Jesus is the only person that has died and risen.  Reluctantly, she accepts this and quickly moves back to Michael Jackson.  The next round of questioning involves how he died, where he died, and why he died.  I am completely dumbfounded and yet I continue to have this conversation. 
I proceed to tell her that Michael died from drugs.  “What are drugs?  Do they crawl on the ground?”, M questions with a furrowed brow of concentration.  This leads us into an in-depth conversation of me trying to explain what drugs are to my toddler. Where do I even start?  “Drugs” is such a broad term.  I start by explaining that there are two kinds of drugs.  The good kind, and the bad kind.  The good kind of drugs are the medicines that we take.  “What are the bad drugs?”, she asks.  I then mention heroin as an example only to have that followed up by a barrage of questions ranging from what is heroin, where does it come from and where did Micheal get it.  “No, no, no…Michael Jackson did not take heroin.  He died from the good kind of drugs”, I stammer as I attempt to steer this rapidly downward-spiraling conversation.  I had to follow that statement up by explaining that Michael just took too many different medicines and it killed him.  By this point I am floundering in this conversation.  The realization that I should have ended this before it ever really began has come and gone and I find myself gnawing at the last bit of leather from the boot that I am currently eating.
Once we had determined that Michael had died from “too many medicines”, as M would put it,  and that he had died in his bed…”in the sheets”, to be exact, the next round of questioning begins with, ” Who else died?”  Since we were on musicians, I rattle off Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin.  I explain that Elvis allegedly died on the toilet, which gives M a huge laugh.  Thankfully, we are nearing home at this point.  I have never been so happy to see our driveway.  I liken it to how Columbus must have felt when he landed at the New World.  I jump from the car and prayerfully kiss the ground.  I am free of this dreadful conversation!…or so I think.
We get into the house and M wastes no time in telling Mommy about Michael Jackson and Elvis.  The look that Mom gives me would lead you to believe that I had just given M her very own heroin rig and taught her how to use it.  I quickly defend myself by telling Mom that M picked all (well most) of what she is rambling about at school, and most certainly not from her innocent Daddy.  Leave it to Mommy to lay down the law and forbid death talk, which seems to work until I am tucking M into bed.
As I pull the sheet up around her and tuck her in, she holds up the edge of her Disney princess sheets and says, “Did Michael Jackson die in these kind of sheets?”   Here we go again…

Into The Wild: Installment 4 (Homeward Bound)

My wayward child has returned!  I did not realize how little I missed her until she finally showed up.  I kid you not, in less than 3 hours our house looks like a bomb loaded with shrapnel of washable markers and books went off.  BOOM!  It’s like a rainbow exploded over a construction paper factory.

It is easy to forget how much damage a toddler can do to a house in a short time.  If I were a military man, I would be recruiting daycares for my soldiers.  But I am an eater, not a fighter…

Seriously, it is awesome to have my baby girl back home.  It has been a long (quiet) week with her gone.  Little B is still so young that he is in bed and asleep by 7:00 PM.  The rest of the evenings have been spent Skyping with M and GG.  It was almost nice to come home to the sounds of a three-year-old tearing my house to shreds today…almost.

I could swear that little B was a girl, or a fire alarm device with the way that he shrieked at the site of M.  He was so dang excited to see his big sis.  At first, I started to evacuate the house when I heard him going off, but soon realized that he was just overjoyed to see M.  It was a great moment…if I had ear plugs…

I have learned how quickly the habits and discipline that we have worked so hard to master with our daughter can be tossed to the wayside.  We are going to have to put some time in to get her de-GG-ized.  Apparently grandparents have no rules and young toddlers are allowed to rule the roost.  Well, M got a taste of this princess life and I hate to be the harbinger of bad news, but look out cause here comes the pain train…WOO! WOO!

All in all, we are very happy that our baby girl was able to sustain a week away from her omni-parents.  Had we been betting on how long she would last without us, we would be washing dishes at the Belagio.  She was a champ for six days, and it is kind of scary because she is very independent, and very intelligent.  Without proper guidance, this can lead to bad things…we don’t want to end up with a little politician for Christ’s sake.

Perhaps I will do a “reconstruction” blog chronicling the extents that we had to go through to get our sweet baby girl back to the way in which we had originally brainwashed her.  At least she his home now. Like the great Abe Lincoln once uttered, “Let the reconstruction begin.”

Into The Wild: Installment 3 (The End is Near)

Mom and Dad are really starting to miss our little angel.  We both get home from work this evening and all that we talk about is that we both have gone from enjoying the spare time that we have had to wondering if GG has fled the country with our baby.  We scarf dinner down so that we can jump on Skype with M to see how her day went (and to see if she shows any sign that she recognizes her birth parents).

First things first; I must congratulate Skype, or the operators of our respective computers for a first attempt connection this evening.  So, we make the connection and after a several minutes of looking at the ceiling in GG’s house, we actually see M’s adorable face.  The adorable face that is burned into our memories is not exactly what we were met with this evening on the computer, but under the greasy hair and yogurt-caked face we see our little baby.  Both GG & M look equally zombie-like to their appearances last night, but something else is different tonight.

Our normally untamed spirit of a daughter is looking sulky and is kind of quiet.  We tell her that we miss her and she is quick to tell us that she misses us too in a whiney, tired voice.  This statement is followed by a hug…yes, she actually hugged the computer.  It was the sweetest thing that she has done since she has been away from us.  Mom and I exchanged tear-filled glances knowing that out daughter’s time at Club GG is nearing an end.

We are regaled with the tale of today’s adventures mostly by GG as M lie quietly on the sofa.  Our little zombie must have just fed on some fresh brain (which has the same effect on a zombie as turkey does on a live human) because she was beat.  GG spells out that M is, “M-I-S-S-I-N-G  Y-O-U” and our hearts melt.  In a wierd way, we feel loved by the daughter that so quickly abandoned us and hurled potty names at us just last night.  Speaking of potty name-calling, you will be happy to know that M decided not to insult her dear parents tonight.  I don’t know about you, but we are thinking that the end is near.

Of course, we are taking her lapse of love to be merely tiredness for the time being because we have been burned by this bluff before.  We will see how M feels in the morning when she awakens to a full schedule of swimming, shopping, or raiding third world countries for their jobs (see Installment 2  We have the eerie suspicion that we will be having bathroom insults hurled at us by day’s end tomorrow.  Stay tuned…

Into The Wild: Installment 2

We are recovering after the rough shelling that we took on D-Day.  M hit us with enough emotional shrapnel to make our hearts look like Swiss Cheese.  Thankfully, and this is probably the only time that you will see me type these words, but we were able to go back to work today which helped take our minds off of our bruised parent-egos.  We sit though dinner this evening mostly in silence.  Each of us wondering what tonight’s Skype call with our wayward daughter is going to bring.  Will she want scream and cry on the webcam begging to come home?  Will she hurl bathroom word-laden insults at us again?  It’s time for the call.  (If you would like to catch up on Installment 1:

Our stomachs are in knots as the Skype gods decide how many attempts we have to make before getting the webcams on both ends working.  The gods say 3 times tonight (it was at least 5 times last night).  Immediately we can tell that GG and M have had a long day.  They both look like our Skype ringtone woke them up.  Half-closed, drowsy eyes stare blankly back at us.  We pepper them with questions about Day 2 and quickly find out why they are a heartbeat away from being zombies.  They went to M’s great grandparents, they went to the mall, they went to build-a-bear.  Apparently there is a store where you go and build your own stuffed animals.  (What would the Taiwanese sweatshop workers say if they knew that rich Americans were out to get their jobs?).  They went to the lake beach again,  and finally they went to the park.  A pretty lazy day…if you are a marathoner, or triathlete…

Once again M showcased that she does not possess the ability to miss her dear parents (or primary care givers, as it probably sounds in her mind)  During the 2o-minute call we saw her little face a total of 5 minutes at best.  The other 15 minutes consisted of GG’s glossed over haze-eyes all the while there’s a purple blur shooting to and fro in the background.  One thing did improve in the fact that ony one of us gets to be called a bathroom part.  Yes, it was me and I get called “Daddy Butt”.  The rest of the conversation from M revolves around her panhandling for Mom and Dad to make funny faces.  I think that we may be raising a future homeless person.  She does not seem to care where she lives, and apparently she is already mastering panhandling skills.  I say that she is mastering begging because when we sat through that 20 minute Skype call with our tongues out and making pig noses.  If she were on the street she would have just earned a cool five bucks for “gas money”.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment which is now a quest for our daughter’s affection…

Is My Daughter A Nudist??

A disturbing trend has begun in our household.  My 3 year-old daughter is becoming a nudist.  The first symptoms began as rare instances when M would somehow end up clothes-less on a random weekend day.  Soon, like the spread of AIDS in an African village, the instances became more and more frequent.  Now, it seems that M somehow ends up stripped down to her panties almost every day after we get her home from school.  The reasons for shedding her clothes range from understandable to complete nonsensical.  For instance, she sometimes spills her drink on her   shirt or dress.  Naturally, she doesn’t want to sit around in wet clothes, so she takes them off.  The problem is that the wet clothes never seem to get replaced with dry clothes…or any clothes.  Instead, she would rather lounge around in Dora the Explorer panties munching goldfish.  If she were a balding, unshaven, beer-bellied man, you would only need to replace those goldfish with a Pabst Blue Ribbon and you would have yourself a textbook example of trailer trash.  I suppose you might need to replace the Dora panties as well…maybe not.

Lately, it’s gotten so bad that if so much as a drop of juice or a smidgen of ketchup hit her clothes, they are off and she is free…I fear that, at the rate we are going, she will have dreadlocks and be living in a tent in the back yard by the end of summer.  Her name will change from Merrit to Moonbeam and she will craft the finest hemp products that she will trade for organic food and non-animal tested-products.  I can still be a proud daddy…

So, I ask you fellow parents, Is this a phase, or is this just the inner hippie in my daughter coming out?  Is this something that all toddlers go through? Embarrassed parents just toss this tidbit into the pile of bones in the closet to save face during those  “look-what-my-toddler-can-do” conversations they have with other parents. You know those conversations with those annoying parents? Mine would go something like this: “Little Jimmy can write his own name and he’s only 6 months old”, says one proud (but lying) parent. I rebut, “Well, my little Moonbeam just fashioned this blanket from the grass clippings in our yard.” 

I suppose in either case, it’s not the worst thing a little girl could do…thank GOD she finally got through her cocaine phase…