September 29, 2008

Seeking enlightenment

Dear Swee’Pea and TheMonk,

One of the things that most surprises me about being your father is how much I have learned from you both. As your father I thought it was my responsibility to teach you but, rather, you have often taught me about life. You have reminded me of the special magic that is created when sharing something with someone you love. You have reminded me that power of laughter and the wonder that exists at the eye level of a toddler. You have reminded me how discovering new things is still a wonder – even when you’re old and jaded like me. Yes, you have taught me so much.

But I gotta tell you. For all that you have taught me, my little ones, you absolutely suck at “hide and seek.”

Tonight we played our first all out “hide and seek” game and while I don’t like to brag, I kicked your little toddler butts. And while you may have taught me so much in the last few years, your old man proved tonight that he can still teach you a thing or two.

Like when you ask me to count and then stand by giggling? Hello?! I can totally hear you!

Or when you go hide and scream to each other where you think you should hide? I can STILL hear you!

Hiding under the covers is a great idea and I totally give you credit for that, but for it to work you have to lie still. Flopping around like a fish out of water is kind of a giveaway.

Oh, and just because you can’t see me? Doesn’t mean that I can’t see you. Hiding your head under the pillows with your little booty poking out, waving back and forth as you squirm in anticipation, is not going to cut it. I may be dumb but I’m not blind.

And finally, when you run through the house screaming, “DADDY! WHERE ARE YOU?!!!” because you can’t find me hiding behind the shower curtain in your bathroom, don’t expect me to just shout out, “Here I am!” No, you found out the hard way that I will scare the bejeebus out of you when you least expect it. It’s for your own good, really.

So, you might teach me a thing or two about life but every now and then I get to teach you a thing or two as well.

You learned tonight that if you want to beat Daddy at a game of hide and seek, you better bring your “A” game.

Just call me The Bus Driver. Because I took you to school.


September 27, 2008

The state of the economy trickles down

Told that it will be 45 minute wait to get their haircuts at the kiddie hair salon in the outdoor mall near our house, we decide to walk around. As we stroll the sidewalk, we come to the small, neighborhood toy store which, prior to entering, I explained to the kids we were only going to look and that we weren’t going to buy anything.

The store isn’t extremely busy but there are a number of families perusing the store with us. The kids rush from awesome toy to awesome toy, barely containing their glee at being so close to such wonderful pieces of molded plastic and synthetic hair.

TheMonk, spying a particularly cool yellow tractor, says out loud, “Oooh, Daddy! Look at that! That’s pretty! I want to buy that!”

Then, his face suddenly saddens and he says with a loud, matter-of-fact voice that everyone nearby can hear, “But Daddy, we can’t buy it because you don’t have any money.”

September 25, 2008

Taking a ride on the Honea Express

I was buried under a pile of work today so I wasn’t able to let you know that I am now part of an exclusive club. The “Guest post on the Honea Express so Whit doesn’t have to actually write anything” club.

So go on over and read about my apparent man crush (needless to say, I didn’t pick the title of the post) with Man of the Blogosphere, Whit.

Regularly scheduled programming will commence shortly.

September 23, 2008

Barack Obama or my Junior Prom?

An old high school friend surprised me last night by posting my Junior Prom photo on his Facebook page. A few things come to mind when viewing this photo…

1) I can’t remember the name of my date and I feel really bad about that. She was a very nice girl who I didn’t know very well and we had a nice evening but I don’t think we really ever talked much after that.

2) How 1980′s is my tux? You can’t tell in this photo but her dress was light pink and my cumber bun and tie matched her dress. I’m also digging those gray shoes.

3) I weighed about 135 pounds back then. I had like 2% body fat. I think I look much fatter healthier now that I’ve added forty-five a few pounds.

4) Is it just me or do I look like a young Barack Obama in this photo? (i.e. major ear protrudeness)

Be kind when commenting, please. I didn’t know any better back then.


September 20, 2008

Mama never told me there’d be days like this…

“Daddy, push my chair in! Push my chair innnnnnn!”
“Daddy, I gotta go poo poo!!!”
“Daddy, can you help me wash my hands?!”
“Daddy, I wanna go outside.  Now, Daddy!!”
“Daddy, I got a booger on my finger! Get it!”
“Daddy, I’m hungry. Can I have a snack?!”
“Daddy, Swee’Pea won’t share!”
“Daddy, I wanna watch Little Einsteins!”
“I don’t WANNA watch football!”
“Daddy, TheMonk’s sitting on me!”
“I want that, Swee’Pea!!”
“Daddy! I went poo poo again! Come wipe me!”
“Daddy, I squished a bug!”
“Daddy, come play with me.”
“Daddy, spin me like a helicopter.”
“Daddy, can we eat lunch outside?”
“Daddy, I dropped my grape on the ground.”
“Daddy, I ate the grape!”
“Can I have more grapes?”
“Daddy, I want to plant flowers with seeds.”
“Daddy, I want to play in the dirt.”
“Daddy, I brought you some dirt!”
“Daddy, can you wash my hands?”

September 18, 2008

I’m cheap and now I have moobs

When we first had the twins, being the cheap bastard that I am, I decided that I’d limit my Starbucks habit by preparing coffee at home. I even came up with my own poor mans mocha that I have continued to drink just about every day over the past three years.

This poor mans mocha consists of Instant Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Hot Water (duh) and some flavored syrup. It gives me my needed jolt of caffeine in the morning and, considering I can make about 50 of these for the same price of four Starbucks mochas, the savings appeals to my cheap ways.

But here’s the thing. Today I came across a study that shows that Instant Coffee has a very high concentration of a chemical called phytoestrogen. This chemical, apparently, is what teenage girls dream of.  You see, this chemical makes boobs.  And the worst part is it doesn’t care if you’re a man or woman.

So, while all this time I’ve been working out, hitting the weights, trying to turn my pecs into hard, chiseled, mounds of eye candy by religiously attending the gym, I’ve been undermining my efforts by ingesting large amounts of boob maker!

They say you get what you pay for and apparently I’ve been paying for a boob job over the past three years!  I’ve got man boobs!  I’ve got moobs! (Granted, they are not even A cup moobs. They’re training bra moobs.  They’re petite moobs.  Very small.  Not Playboy material at all.)

As far as I can see there’s only one solution to this boob producing problem.

Starbucks, here I come!  Save me from my moobs!

September 15, 2008

At which point I choked on my own saliva

It is a dark morning with the first rays of light just making their way into the kids’ bedroom. I quietly pull Swee’Pea out of her crib while TheMonk sleeps. I motion to her brother and whisper for her to be quiet. She nods in understanding and I carry her to the closet where she picks out her own dress to wear. I cannot help but notice, as I help her out of her pajamas and into her pretty pink Hawaiian dress in the quiet of the morning, that my little girl is not so little any more. Her maturity in the moment – understanding the importance of staying quiet, her ability to choose her own clothes, even the way her face looks as the shadows of the dawn stretch across her beautiful face, reminds me that she is, indeed, getting older. I lament this out loud as I sigh and whisper to her while nuzzling her soft cheek, “Swee’Pea. Please stop getting bigger. I am going to miss my little Swee’Pea…”

A few nights later, I am getting Swee’Pea ready for bed. I pull her pajama top over her head and as her face comes into view I am greeted with a serious look upon her face. A face too serious to match our usual bedtime routine.

Our eyes meet and I try and cheer her up with a bright smile. Swee’Pea however, with a face now tinged with sadness, ignores the smile and blurts out a melancholy statement that I cannot ignore… “Daddy, you said I can’t get bigger…”

I suddenly remember our early morning conversation from earlier in the week and I realize how my comment must have really bothered her. How foolish of me to hint to my daughter, who loves me dearly and certainly wants to please me, that she can no longer get bigger. How dare I plant a seed of remorse knowing that she is getting bigger when her father doesn’t want her to. I silently chastise myself for being so obtuse and I quickly think of words that can help explain my feelings in a way that she’ll understand.

“I’m sorry, Swee’Pea.” I say. “I know you are going to grow up. It’s just that I love every minute with you and I know I will miss you when you grow up to be a big, big girl like your mommy. I know you are getting bigger, Swee’Pea and it’s okay.”

I know my words have made an impact because her frown begins to fade. With a noticeable mood improvement in her demeanor she joyfull and loudly exclaims…

“Yeah, because someday, I’m going to get married and have a baby!!”

September 14, 2008

I’m not even a NASCAR Dad

This weekend I am relaxing upstairs when I hear TheMonk begin to wake up from his nap. Knowing that Swee’Pea needs a longer nap, I quickly head into the room that TheMonk takes his nap (not in the bedroom that Swee’Pea and TheMonk share – they don’t do naps well when sleeping together) and gather him up before he gets really cranky.

I take him to the master suite and turn on the television and snuggle up with a still-wakening Monk. I start to switch the channels to find something that might interest us both. I stop on college football but TheMonk vetoes this. I get another veto for baseball too. I then exercise my veto power with Spongebob so we continue to look.

We come across a NASCAR time trial on some channel that I didn’t even know existed. I try to ignore it and keep heading up the channel list. TheMonk cries out in a slight protest until we come across dirt truck racing.

Did you hear that? Trucks. Racing. In dirt. My God, it’s a 3-year-old boys fantasy come true.

Needless to say, I lost my veto power at that exact moment. So, there we sat. Watching trucks. Race. In the dirt.

And it’s not like I dislike dirt. I love seeing it on football players. I get excited seeing a baseball player with dirt all over his uniform. I don’t get excited when I find dirt on my SUV.

Finally, after watching trucks skid around corners, jump over hills (TheMonk’s favorite), and lots and lots of dirt, somebody won. I’d like to tell you who won but I haven’t a clue. I’m sure the winner said a lot of “Yee Haws!” and “Atta Boys!!”

TheMonk just may be the real winner, though. Because it just so happens that the race we watched televised was held less than two miles from where we live. That’s right. There is a world class dirt truck racing track in my own back yard.


Do you think TheMonk would settle for me revving the engine on my SUV real loud and then driving down a street that hasn’t seen a street sweeper in a few weeks?

I didn’t think so.

September 11, 2008

She Drives a Hard Bargain

I am sitting on the couch and Swee’Pea has just returned from using the potty.

She approaches me while I sit and places her head in my lap. I massage her scalp and wonder what has brought on this moment of affection. After a tender moment, Swee’Pea looks up at me with her big brown eyes full of sincerity and finally speaks…

“Daddy…” [blink long eyelashes. blink] “Can I have a cookie?”

It has been over a month since we stopped rewarding her for going pee-pee in the potty but this doesn’t stop her from asking. Especially since she detects a weakness that she can exploit. Me.

I can’t help it. It’s after dinner. The cookie in question is a “mini” vanilla wafer – which I bought knowing that if they ask for a cookie I could give them one and it would only be about 13 calories – so I figure, “why not?”

I get up to go to the pantry and she follows after like a little lapdog anticipating a yummy treat. She is so excited that she runs around my legs causing me to stumble over her as I reach the pantry and pull out the yellow and red box of vanilla-y goodness.

Suddenly, Swee’Pea’s mood changes as she squares up to me and announces loudly while showing me all five fingers of her little hand spread out for emphasis, “I WANT FIVE!”

Hmmmm. Apparently she is on to the “little cookie” plot. I laugh at her audacity as I tell her that there is no way in Hades she is going to get five (holding my five fingers out for emphasis) cookies.

Sensing that I’m serious, she quickly switches into negotiation mode. “How about three?” she asks, positioning her fingers into the very difficult three-finger pose. While I am admiring her willingness to negotiate, I also notice that she has left me with a counter-offer which I quickly pursue.

“Okay, how about two?” And, sensing that this is the end of the negotiation, I pull two out of the box.

Swee’Pea, realizing that she has now gone from a possible five cookies to a miniscule two cookies, remains steadfast in demanding three. But, if you ask me, her method is a tad immature.

“THREE!!! I WANT THREE COOKIES!!!!” she screams.

And, at this, I can’t help but laugh. While this appears funny to me, it is most certainly NOT funny to Swee’Pea. This becomes apparent when she throws herself to the floor and begins an epic tantrum of screaming and kicking. And screaming. And kicking. And… (wait for it…) screaming.

This little maneuver earns her a timeout which pisses her off even more. The screaming coming from the timeout step is quite loud but does nothing to earn her anymore cookies. Meanwhile, TheMonk, sensing an opening, announces, “I’ll have two cookies, Daddy. I like two cookies.” The dude ain’t subtle. But he is eating cookies and his sister is not.

Finally, after the 3-minute timeout is done, I explain to Swee’Pea why her bargaining skills were lacking. She finally apologizes for losing her cool and admits that two cookies are, in fact, quite generous. Which she eats quite happily.

But deep down, I know she is thinking, “I should have countered with four cookies, not three!”

September 9, 2008

Almost… but not quite.

You spend almost your entire first three years of parenting doing everything for your kids. You feed them, change them, wipe their noses, wipe their butts, mix their drinks… It’s frickin’ hard work!

But then, one day, you wake up and realize that you have little… indentured servants. I found this out quite by accident the other day when I realized Swee’Pea was closer to the light switches in our kitchen and I asked her to flip them off as we were leaving. “Sure!” she exclaimed and proceeded to turn off all the lights.

After this revelation I have begun to give them larger tasks with varying results. They can, for example, find their shoes in the morning. If they are left out in the middle of the floor. With nothing around them. And a large neon sign with arrows flashing. Otherwise, it’s still Daddy hunting for shoes behind the toilet, under the coffee table and in the pantry resting comfortably next to the containers of rice milk.

I thought I’d hit on the greatest use of little kid power when I thought they might be able to retrieve a bottle of wine soda from the fridge for me. Unfortunately this hit a slight snag when they proved unable to open the heavy door.

Just today I sent them upstairs to get a couch cushion cover that had been laundered due to an unfortunate potty accident this past weekend. I thought we were on the same page. I pointed to the large cushion that was sans cover. I explained where it was upstairs. They nodded. They were eager. They ran upstairs and came down with… a fitted sheet for their crib. *sigh*

Okay, so maybe I have to wait just a little bit longer to make them do my bidding. But oh the day will come. I wonder how they’ll do rubbing my feet.

Next Page »

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: