Sunday, September 30, 2007

Why Do Teenagers Have To Be So Weird Looking? They’re Scaring Little Kids

Blame it on global warming – maybe the melting glaciers are releasing mutant teenagers to live among us? Or it could be all that senseless booty rap and rock music on ‘the MTV’ they listen to these days.

Today I thought I would try out the kids club 'child care' program at my gym. There were 3 teenagers running the joint, 2 guys and 1 girl. I must commend the place on hiring the guys since most places discriminate against male child workers – I wrote about that here. Although, I think this place should be an exception.
After signing my daughter in, ready to leave for my workout, she starting tearing like I’ve never seen before. The look on her face was simply fear for her life. Shaking, holding onto my leg, looking up at me with completely red eyes like I was leaving her forever. Side note: my daughter is the biggest extrovert when it comes to strangers (which scares my wife and I on occasion…)

Daughter: No Daddy, don’t go. Please daddy! PLEASE (the BIGGEST puppy dog eyes I’ve ever seen -- what? Did they grow somehow?)

She wasn’t yelling either, just genuinely scared. All while a big tear slowly rolled down her cheek.

Then I looked up and took a good look at the place. This one teen guy nearby was wearing this huge 4 sizes too big beaten up Ozzy shirt, he was crawling on the ground with this dirty, crusty clown hand puppet (which was missing an eye) and had the biggest Asian fro I’ve ever seen (it was literally the size of 4 heads.) And he was calling my daughters name in this whisper “Hey, hey - come play with me…”
The other guy was wearing some kind of girl’s striped stockings up to his knees, with all black clothes and jet-black hair to match. I even think he was wearing eye mascara (who do you think you are? Robert Smith!!)
The girl had about 100 piercings - on her head alone! And her lizard tongue seem to be taking a swipe at the nearby flies. Or she was toying with her tongue hinge.

Where are all the kids? I hear them, but I only see like, 2.

I walked with my daughter over to the toys and play equipment – they actually have a lot of pretty cool stuff she loves - under normal circumstances. I walked with her over to this cute kid-sized Nantucket playhouse and inside we saw the eyes of about 6 kids huddled in a dark corner.
One of the kids said to me “please sir, get my mommy…”

We walked over the back room with craft tables and a normal looking woman was there with a little girl about my daughter’s age.

Me: Hello, please tell me you’re in charge here…?

Woman: Actually, I’m not. This is my daughter and she told me that if I left her alone, she would sue me when she’s 5. And by the way, that kid behind you is 'patient 0' and is infected with something I’ve never seen before…

I quickly turned around and this kids’ face was covered in booger crust (no joking!) and he was reaching for my daughters’ mouth in slow motion (I could hear his whistling nose get louder and louder with each breathe he made...) I yanked her away and told her to stay away from him.

OK, that’s it. I picked up my daughter and told the teenagers I was signing her out. The girl said “Are you sure, it’s really fun here” (as she was playing with her tongue piercing…)

Later my wife admitted that the kids working there are pretty scary but that our daughter knows how to play me to get what she wants.
I immediate shot back with “I think those kids in that playhouse would seriously disagree with you!!!”

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Help! I Think They May Take Away My Man Card

According to the great thinkers of our time (Darwin, Einstein, Hasselhoff...) the vast majority of men in this world are born with some type of innate natural abilities like fixing a stalled truck in the desert with only chewing gum and the belt around his waist, the ability to install drywall or ceiling fans perfectly without ever having been trained, or even the ability to fly.
And then there are those like me who have no such abilities in that department. But that doesn't stop me on occasion from thinking I do.

The wife went to a convention over the weekend, so after putting my daughter to bed for the night I thought I would do some household repairs I’ve been putting off for about 6 years.

My first job was fixing a running toilet (you know because that hiss can waste up to 487.4 millions of gallons of water- in just one day) I spent 2 hours replacing the entire innards of the toilet with a new “low-flow” system. After about 2 hour of swearing to the toilet gods, they finally listened and I somehow was able to put everything back together.
Feeling very proud of my work, I sat back on the bathroom floor, grunted in cave-man talk, flexed my muscles (kissed each bicep) and smashed a beer can on my forehead yelling "GWAR done GOOD!!!"

Yup, feeling pretty good until I turned the water back on and the toilet started hissing again.
“STUPID TOILET!!!” (Followed by much MUCH more than that…)

I turned the toilet off, made an “Out of Order” sign, and watched a movie.
That's my talent. And flying.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

When The Kids’ Halloween Costume Cost More Than My First Car, Something Is Seriously Wrong

When I was a kid (what seems like 80 years ago…) there were two ways to get a Halloween costume:

1. Made it the day of Halloween with “stuff” laying around the house, like boxes, old clothes; maybe modify new ones, and then had a simple idea like “a lamp” or “a ghost with a baseball bat.”

2. Went down to the local grocery market and bought one of those “fancy” $3.99 flammable lead costumes that came in a cereal-type box with a view window of a creepy flimsy plastic mask and a plastic jumpsuit (that went over your clothes) with a picture of GI Joe or a Care Bear jumping out of an airplane with a rocket launcher.

Actually there was the 3rd option: not dressing up at all.

A friend at work went out and bought her 5-year old daughter a Cinderella costume during lunch -- Total cost $128.

“What? Is she going to the Prom!?!?” I asked

The costumes these days don’t come with everything. The dress was around $50-60, but then there are the shoes, wand (she didn’t have one in the movie – I checked), gloves, purse (she didn’t have that either, maybe she left it in the coach) and tiara. She didn’t get the wig, because in her opinion “that was going too far.”
Isn't that kind of like eating an entire chocolate cake and then ordering a diet coke? I think ‘too far’ was spending $50 on a dress to get candy for 2 hours.

With my own daughter, I'm hoping on training her to think creatively (and economically) about her costumes rather than going out and buying one. So here are my kid costumes ideas with an emphasis on “cheap”-

Kids Costumes Ideas: Cheap and Simple
1. A giant box. Maybe address it to “My Real Mom and Dad”
2. Roll in the mud and go as a Pig
3. If they have long hair: Roll in the mud and go as “The Predator”
4. Global Warming Melting Glacier. Wear all white and pee in pants. Maybe borrow a toy penguin and put a sad face on it.
5. Wrap in tin foil and go as leftovers

Any more suggestions?

My wife has just informed me that my daughter wants a Sleeping Beauty ("BEEPing Booty" she calls her) dress. I think my wallet just screamed in pain...!
Things were so much easier when we just bought her a pumpkin costume on clearance. I wonder if she'll go for my suggestion of being Cinderella's pumpkin instead...?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Total Weekend Randomness: Because There Are Way Too Many Things Going On

O.J. Arrested Again!?
You know if I were O.J. and I killed my ex-wife and her boyfriend and then got away with it – I would be keeping a really low profile and I sure wouldn’t be doing anything fishy, you know like armed robbery.
I just find it odd that he could end up spending 30 years in jail for this and spent virtually nothing for manslaughter. Gotta' love the court system! By the way, I just got Jury Duty --again. That's always an interesting adventure.

Random Searches To Creative Type Dad
I get the weirdest searches here are a few recent ones (with commentary of course):

when do gummy bears come out and eat people – The day after Halloween, when they avenge the death of their fallen brothers
live monkeys for birthday parties – Monkeys really love to whack a banana-filled piƱata.
mayim bialik's bosom WHOA! Why would anybody want to see Blossom’s boobs?
i love to pee in my overalls! – Me too!
how to get alcohol smell out of mouth – I find KFC popcorn chicken usually does the trick
how to do facials for men – Rub motor oil on his face. But be sure to put pork grinds over his eyes first because motor oil stings like a mo-fo
midgets with mustaches - Can they be outlaws on horses? Or maybe playing poker?
how do five year olds act at chuck e. cheese? – like drunk frat guys

Sexual Harassment Training
I had to do 2-hours of mandatory training last week for work. Has anybody seen these training videos? They were actually very entertaining – almost like watching “The Office."

Conference room – Kayla stumbles in late and spills hot coffee on her white blouse
Bob: Whoa-oh - Wet t-shirt contest!!
(Bob, Steve, Larry all hoot like Arsenio Hall and high-5 each other)
Kayla: Bob, that was very unprofessional. I am a working member of this organization…
Bob: Hey-oh! From the looks of it, it just got cold in here too!!
(Bob, Steve, Larry all chest bump each other...)

(Scene freezes, gets partially dark and then a super-imposed gavel appears with text)
“Law and Order” Breathy Deep-Voice Guy: A real scenario - in 1998 Kayla took her case to a Federal Court, and her lawyer convinced a jury to award her $146 million in putative damages. Bob is now living in a cave in France and Steve and Larry are now prostitutes in Thailand.

Seriously, the videos were pretty ridiculous. I’ve known two cases of harassment at work at they didn’t sure happen like that.

My Daughter Was Either Very Angry With Mickey Or Was Afraid Because He Was 6 Feet Tall In Person
We went with some friends to Disneyland over the weekend, which was fun. Their daughter is a year older than mine and they play really well together. The park wasn’t too crowded, usually after Labor Day the crowds thin down significantly – the longest wait for a ride was about 15 minutes (kids rides of course.) But the line to see Mickey Mouse was crazy! It took us about 45 minutes to see him and when we did, my daughter unexpectedly yelled at him like he owed her money.

Daughter: NO MICKEY! BACK!
(she gave him dirty looks like he ate her puppy – maybe still chewing on it – Mickey looks sad, blows kisses, waves, dances..)
Me: What’s wrong? You wanted to see Mickey; there he is and now he’s sad because you’re not being nice. Don't you want him to make cartoons?
(Mickey Mouse clubhouse is her favorite show)
Daughter: (a little worried) Hi Mickey (blows him a kiss) Daddy - Let's go!

She ran out like she saw a Doodlebop with a chainsaw...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

“Stop It! Because I Said So!” And Alternative Forms Of Discipline

Growing up, I would hear lots of “No’s!” without any explanations. I eventually started asking “Why?” but got that classic parent answer “Because I said so!” I hated that.
Now that I’m in the parenting role, I’m taking a different approach - I’m making it a point giving reasons why.
Actual scenarios when my daughter does something she shouldn’t:

Wife: Don’t stand so close to the TV
Me: Move back! If you stand too close your eyes will burn from the radiation, and then you’ll never get into college and become a princess.

Wife: Don’t eat that!
Me: Drop that! It could be bird poop and if you eat it you’ll turn into a bird and then you’ll never be able to eat Chicken nuggets without being called a cannibal. And nobody likes cannibals. Nobody!!

Wife: Don’t pull the dogs' tail
Me: Stop that! He doesn’t like it when you pull his tail. He told me last night after you went to sleep.

Wife: Put that toy back, it’s time to go
Me: That toy has lead in it; if you hold it too long you’ll grow a third arm. And trust me, you’ll have no control over it.

Wife: Get in your car seat so we can go
Me: If you don’t sit in your car seat the police will arrest mommy and then you won’t have a mommy anymore. You do want a mommy, right?

Somehow I can just imagine when she has kids she'll probably tell them "Because I said so!"...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Daddy Weekend And A Message To All Of Those Spoiled Kids Under 30

The wife was away this weekend for a conference, so that meant my daughters’ hair looked more like Don King’s than that of a 2-year old girl. No matter how hard I try, it just gets worse.

On Friday night I did what any Dad would do - took her to an adult dinner party at some friends’ house. Of course she was the only one there under 32 (these friends seriously need to start breeding soon – you know who you are… my kid needs somebody to play with at these things!)
Around 9 o’clock she just pulled out her stinky blanket and lay right down on the floor; that was her way of telling me “I’m tired, let's get some chocolate ganache cake and leave please!”

The best part of the weekend was taking her to my dentist appointment on Saturday morning. She was on my lap while my crazy Dentist was being all-weird again ranting on about my Invisaligns and then about the government. Until my daughter started “tootin’" – then the dentist let me go! I’m definitely taking her with me next time.
Overall a really fun weekend of Gymboree, drawing, swimming, playground, and yelling at the ducks in the lake.

Spoiled Under 30 Crowd
A friend of mine sent this to me Friday – I couldn’t stop laughing. I don’t know who wrote it since there was no author attached, but whoever did it is pretty right-on

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning ... uphill BOTH ways. yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it! But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of thirty; I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

And I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it! I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email! ! We had to actually write somebody a letter ...with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music; you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ's usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!
And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the ph one rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn’t know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like "Space Invaders" and "asteroids" and the graphics sucked ass! Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens; it was just one screen forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! . Just like LIFE!

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed!

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no onscreen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on!

You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up. We had to use the stove or go build a frigging fire ... imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot.

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

The over 30 Crowd

I personally can think about 20 things to add, what about all of you?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It Was One HOT Labor Day And Adults That Swear Around Kids

It was 106-degrees in my neighborhood on Saturday. Want to know what that feels like?
Close your eyes and imagine shrinking down really small (to like Gary Coleman’s height.) Now imagine standing in your oven (next to that Velveeta casserole.)

I’m very thankful for modern inventions like air conditioning (thank you Easter Bunny...)
I think I took around 14 naps over the weekend. Or at least I tried when my daughter wasn’t asking me “Sleep Daddy? Daddy go night-night? (tap-tap-tap on my head)”

My wife didn’t get to take very many naps since she began graduate school last week. Man, do they know how to give homework – she had a 10 page minimum paper to do and then had to figure out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop and then divide that by the national gross product of Brazil.

So to give the wife some study time on Monday, I took my daughter on a day-trip about an hour and a half away to my family’s labor day BBQ (it’s a good thing I was well-rested.) My daughter loves seeing my cousin’s kids; they’re all under the age of 7 and there’s like 60 of them (well, not really – only about 11 – but give them 2 or 3 years and I’m sure they'll hit 60…)
The only downside to my family’s get-togethers is that “the men” like to start arguing about why their “team” is better than everybody’s else’s after a few beers. And that usually leads to heated debates, lots of arguing, and a whole lot of swearing. This all happens when the kids are running around. But the guys don’t pay attention – you know because its football, and you better not say anything bad about their imaginary friends (disclosure – I’m not a sports guy, I wrote about it once here.)

Usually that language doesn't bother me, except around kids and at work. Adults should know better, but sadly some don't - I finally said “Hey Guys! The kids can hear you…. if my daughter starts swearing, I’m having her cuss you and your mama out first!”

They laughed, probably realizing who their audience was and calmed down. Then about 10 minutes later started yelling about the 59ers/Lakers/whatever game again. We left soon after.

What do you all of you do when people (friends, family, strangers) swear around your kids? Do you say something? Or maybe this doesn't bother you at all...