[So, it’s been a loooong time since I’ve written here. I’ve got two lively children that can’t seem to sit still very long. A lot’s happened since! I’m trying to revive this blog and get some of the memories out of my head so that I can free up some space for learning a second language. Here goes…]

This is from approximately May of 2016…no joke!

I guess if both of my kids were similar, I’d get almost twice as much benefit from figuring out what just one of them was thinking. The reality is that the Worm and Mushie can come up with the oddest responses to my questions. They can even react differently to the same delivery of voice and facial expression on my part.

The Worm is a do-gooder. He wants to do the right thing. One of my goals as a parent, is to corrupt his little mind so that his future will be financially secure as a politician. But sometimes, the, um, “force”, overpowers Worm and he is paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong decision in a certain situation. It’s understandable. He’s only 5 and has not figured everything out yet. I get it. He’s got 10 more years before he becomes omniscient and refuses to listen to either of his parents. I digress.

Let’s take a simple situation. It’s the afternoon. I want Worm to take a nap. I send him back to his room and I tell him that I don’t want him coming out of there until after he’s gotten some sleep. The rules are clear. Stay in your bedroom until you’ve taken a nap.

He goes back to his bedroom, lays down, and eventually falls asleep. 45 minutes later, he awakens, unsure of whether or not he was just laying there or if Mr. Sandman sprinkled him with dream dust. He’s groggy and the only body functions he can manage are blinking and breathing.

Unlike he (or is it him?), I know the answer! Thanks to the magic of wireless baby monitoring (which, incidentally, I plan on using until they go off to college BECAUSE THEY WILL ALWAYS BE MY BABIES), I viewed him snoring heavily. And I did all this from a comfortable and fairly quiet corner of the living room. (Parenting must have been exhausting before baby monitors came along…)

The Worm will shake off some of the cobwebs, rise out of bed, and instead of coming out to the living room to ask me if he complied with my wishes, will head towards the hallway bathroom. He doesn’t signal for me or anything. He just criss-crosses his applesauce legs in the space between the sink and tub. Odd.

I used to wait a few minutes before rescuing the poor kid from himself. But I walked in once and found him softly sobbing…probably in anticipation of this judge finding him guilty and sending him back to bed for 3 consecutive naps with no chance of parole.

This whole scenario doesn’t happen all the time, but a couple times a week is more than enough. And that’s when I wonder where I have failed as a parent…

Is he afraid of me? How did that happen? More importantly, though, is how do I get him out of this mode and empower him?

Solution #1 – Yell at him like a drill sergeant and call him names to toughen him up. “The world is gonna swallow you up, spit you out, and pee all over your feet. Either get used to it, or wear a wetsuit and go swimming.” That phrase didn’t make any sense, but he’d be so terrified that chances are slim that he’d actually be listening.

Solution #2 – Bring chocolate and set in place the idea that sad children should eat sweets for comfort when they’re upset…because, well, food is a great substitute for love…and I’ll stop talking and just leave that right here.

Solution #3 – Relate. Make up some story about the time I was 5 years old and living in a house with a dirt floor and a straw bed. “Son, I had to be strong and face my fears! The dingoes tried to eat us at nap time.

My job as a dad isn’t to instill fear in my kids. I think that parents have a responsibility to form boundaries, encourage independent thought and action, and allow wiggle room for mistakes to be made. I feel like ruling my kids through fear is a great way for me to discourage independence and to get them to see me as a threat to their ability to thrive. Ideally, I want them to see me as a wise, handsome ally, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, the 37th greatest movie hero of all time, but minus the beard.

I decided to conjure up a solution #4 and do nothing. I can overthink lots of things. Luckily, I tire my feeble little brain out quickly and end up with the easy answer.

I let the Worm just be. If he wants to go sit by the toilet after nap and search for inspiration and contentment, so be it. If he wants to cry tears of sorrow into the porcelain god, ok. He can figure what to do. Sit. Think. Execute a plan that doesn’t require a YouTube instructional. It won’t hurt him. Until then, I’ll be on the couch waiting. Not saving him. And it’s all going to be just fine.



I can’t even type it. Sure, I can say it. But, the word floats from my lips and up into the clouds. It’s not real. For another 3 weeks.

I can’t promise I won’t cry on his first day of school. In fact, I’m crying right now. I need to slap myself in the face and snap out of it. Hello? Hondaddy? Worm is growing up. In another 3 weeks, I may just be Dad.

I’m not going to say that the past 5+ years have been fast and furious. Some days were fast. Some days were furious. Some days…well, the trauma to my psyche has thankfully caused my mind to forget.

But I’ve been lucky enough to be the stay-at-home parent. Lucky enough to be there to witness him changing (sometimes more quickly than his underwear, but never more quickly than his socks) every day. For that, I’m grateful. (Thank you for the chance to raise our children, Steph.)

Our house doesn’t fit him anymore. He’s bigger than that now…mentally and emotionally. When he’s home, I can feel the pressure against the walls that more needs to been seen, felt, heard, experienced. He knows it. And if he’s anything like me, more means everything from here to the moon. Who the hell am I kidding? He is like me.

So, this is it. Because pretty soon, there’ll be friends and play dates  hanging out with buddies, sleepovers, study sessions, homework, alarm clocks, schedules, calendars, plans, lists, organized routineness. College.

The luxury of 3 naps a day. Puree prunes. 10000 diapers. 8000 bottles. Staring at the baby monitor wondering if he was asleep or dead. The warm blanket of Wormie hugs on my skin just after a nap. Hide and seek in the house. Holding his own bottle. Standing up in the crib. Pulling all the couch cushions down. The 6am wake up call of “Could you play with me?” before I’ve reached for my morning tea. The mid-morning cuddles on the couch. Playing cars on the playground slides. Tiny bite-sized pieces of apples, grapes, and sandwiches. Philosophical discussions about Lego cars, planets, and Play-doh. Thursday hamburger day. It would take days to write down each experience, but I’m going to miss all of it (except maybe the couch cushions part).

I’ve gone through the range of emotions with stay-at-home parenting. It’s changed me. The initial idea of it was fluffy and had the smell of freshly laundered sheets. The reality, though, contained much more grit and the sour stench of sweat. I’m different now. As much as I’d like to be who I was 5 years ago, I can’t. A big part of me longs to wake up one day and be him again. That guy was awesome. But if we go back there, I would no longer be Hondaddy. And he’s sort of awesome, too…when he’s not wiping butts.

I don’t think I was very good at being a SAHD. If I was to rate myself from 1-10, I’d probably be a 7. I probably could have put more effort into it, I don’t know. (You could always use the excuse that you could have done more, right? If you didn’t die from the effort, you probably could have done more.) Either way, I hope I was good enough. I hope that one day Worm will think that I was good enough. I kept him alive and well long enough to get upgraded to care for a second one, didn’t I? (I didn’t get a pay raise to go with the extra responsibility, though…poor negotiating on my part, I guess!)

I didn’t love every minute of it, either. I didn’t cherish every. single. second. (If anyone tells you that they did, they’re kidding you as well as themselves.) Nor, did I plan a whole lot. I never wanted to inundate the kids with too many outings. We set up playdates here and there, but commitments were few and far between. Sometimes, all we did was kick a ball around the house, or paint watercolors. Yes, there were also days when we did nothing but eat, sleep, and poop. (Ok, maybe watched some TV too.) The important thing is that we were together. And that is what I loved.

The playfulness and free flowing whimsy of youth that I presently drink in will soon be portioned…and after Mushie follows suit, will completely stop.

I’m flooded with fear. Happiness. Sadness. Anxiousness. Nervousness. Uneasiness. Confusion. Sentimentality. Nostalgia. Hope. Excitement. Ready. Yes, I think I’m ready.

Bring it.

If there’s one thing I can accept, it’s change. It’s tough for me to adapt sometimes, but resistance is different than reluctance. Change is inevitable. (Where have I heard that before?) It allows us to grow as human and become what we were meant to be. It challenges us to do more, achieve more, be more in our lifetime. It’s a gateway to opportunity. And this is ours.

Just like Worm will be taking another step in his life, so will I. We will learn and adapt to our new future together, and our new future alone. Plenty of tears, hugs and kisses will be exchanged and as we let each other’s hand go and wave goodbye one last time before the teacher finally kicks us out, I’ll watch as he floats up into the clouds and grabs that K (and the rest of the word) with both hands.


I’m proud of you, Worm.



The awful passport pictures from the last blog post were so unforgettable that Unka Wey, rising rap music mogul, decided to grab the Worm and see if he could turn him into the next Lil Bow Wow, P-Nut, or MattyBRaps!

Meet Lil’ Wormie. Here are the lyrics to his debut single, Junkfoo’! (Please use Notorious B.I.G. Juicy instrumentals as background beat.)

It’s all good baby, baby!

With cookies and cream,

I used to drink cold milk wit’ my team.

Gummi bears and sharks up in the limousine.

Hanging pictures on my wall

Every Saturday, Froot Loops and Frankenberry Cereal!

Bubble tape got rocked, til my tape stopped.

Smokin’ gum cigarettes, sippin’ on soda pop!

Way back, when I stole the red and black treats from Brach!

With Spice Drops to match!

Remember Candy Blox? Duh-ha, duh-ha

I never thought that junkfoo’ would take it this far!

Now I’m eatin’ Star Brite cuz I rhyme tight.

Time to get paid, blow up like Fun Dip Lik-m-aid.

Born sinner, the opposite of a winner

Remember when I used to eat veggies for dinner.

Peace to Starburst, Pixy stix, chewy spree,

Double Bubble, Crunch, Oh Henry!

I’m blowing bubbles, you thought I would.

Call the crib, same number same hood,

It’s all good!

And if you don’t know, now you know…

The next Vanilla Ice Cream Or M&M! Yo Yo! All About the Chedda Goldfish!

The next Vanilla Ice Cream Or Caramel M&M! Yo Yo! All About the Chedda Goldfish!

I’m not the best photographer in the world.  (If you’ve seen my blog photos, you’d never mistake me for a professional.) I’d say that I’m in the lower tier of picture takers, about two steps above “How do I turn this thing on?”

So when I had to take the kids somewhere to get official passport photos done, I put great faith in their abilities to take an excellent picture. I mean, if you have a big freaking sign on your window saying ‘PASSPORT PHOTOS HERE’, I have no choice but to imagine that there’s some degree of competency in this field.  As I would find out later, my imagination needed to stretch a whole lot more….

Store 1 (A fairly popular franchise postal store) –

“Hi, I’d like to get some passport photos done.”

“Ok, come with me.”

“Well, it’s for my kids.”

“Oh, we don’t do children passport photos.”

“Um, why?”

“They’re features are smaller and harder to get on film.”

“Ah, ok.” (Translation: I think they’ve been adequately capturing children on film for over 100 years, but maybe those were baby gorillas. I don’t know.)


Store 2 (An even more popular postal, printing, and shipping store)

“Hi, I’d like to get some passport photos done for my kids.”

“Sure, we do that. Hold on while I get the camera.”

She pulls out a big gray box the size of a bowling ball and leads us to the white screen. It takes her a minute to set up and I focus on trying to get my kids to smile for the shot. They smile beautifully and I’m excited to be done with this before lunch time.

The box prints out the photos 2-3 minutes later. (It was a knockoff Polaroid.) I think about how amazing it is to have the technology of that big camera packed into a cell phone…and then I see the pictures that came out.

“Sir, the images are too light.”

“Well, can you set it up so that it adjusts the white balance automatically?”

“I really don’t know how to use this camera.”

“So, what do I do? I thought you guys did passport photos?”

“Well, you can go to XYZ and have them do your photos. We won’t charge you for these.”

“Ok, thanks.” (Translation: Really? You’re not charging me for photographically removing my son’s nose and daughter’s shoulders. That’s kind of you!)


Store 2 and the mysteriously disappearing body parts…


Store XYZ (The holy f’ing grail of passport photography)

“Hi, I’d like to get some photos of my kids for passports”

“Ok, follow me.”

He pulls out a standard point and shoot digital camera, you know, the kind people would carry in their purse or pocket before the phone cams’ drastically improved. I think to myself “Well, it’s better than the last camera we saw. At least this one uses transistors instead of vacuum tubes.” and we walk over to the familiar white screen.

“Now you sit right there. Great.” Click!

“Now you can come over and sit down here where your brother was. Great.” Click!

Um, WTF? No direction. No smile. No prep. No anything. If I didn’t prompt my kids to smile, it could have been much worse…no, actually it couldn’t get any worse. They both look like they’ve eaten a handful of rotten brussel sprouts.


They’re cringing from so much happiness.

I was pretty damn angry at this point. The dude didn’t even look at the photos he snapped. Nonchalantly, he rang up the total. I paid the $26 bucks for the photos and left, knowing that I shouldn’t have paid a cent for them. But had I stayed in XYZ one more minute, I likely would have grabbed a toilet brush from the shelf and crammed it into this fella’s ass ear. My head was going to explode. It was now lunch time and I had just spent 2 hours trying to get some pro passport photos of my kids realizing that my dog could do better…and he’s got no thumbs.

We finally had to make an appointment with a “government subsidized” postal company and even after the lady’s exacting methods of chin tucking and head tilting, the official shots still look better when viewed in complete darkness.

The bar is now set really low for the kids’ next passport pics. On the bright side, we’re ready for a real family trip out of the country!




We went the route of letting our children potty train themselves. There are other methods, but this one required the least amount of effort on our part. (With two small children, we’ve got plenty of other things to worry about…) Did it work? YES!

The goal was to get them both out of diapers before high school, so I pat myself on the back for a job well done! Though, I thought that once kids were potty trained, the diapers disappeared. That’s not the case. Strangely enough, little bladders are still fully functional at nap and bedtime. We’re almost there, though!

Now that Mushie isn’t wearing diapers anymore, leaving the house is stressful. We could be walking out the front door to the car and she will have to go pee. Or we’re at the park and the homeless people bathroom is the only one available and she has to take a dump…in the dirty stall with no toilet paper. She’s not the type that “wants” to see every bathroom facility in the southwestern part of the U.S. She’s the type with impeccably inconvenient timing for potty breaks. My bathroom monologue when we’re brave enough to be out-and-about goes something like this:

“Don’t touch anything! No, get away from there. Don’t touch that either. No the toilet won’t flush you down it. Why are you wearing two dresses? No, you can’t take off your shoes. Sorry, it’s too loud in here. There isn’t any other bathroom for us to go to. Why would you pick that up? Stop touching stuff in here! Yes, the person next to us farted. Mushie, stop talking to them. Let them potty in peace. Ok, now sit. No, it won’t flush by itself. Just go potty, Mushie. It’s just a toilet! Sit! Don’t touch anything. Stop bouncing. Don’t try to jump off the toilet! Just stop moving! Yes, you need the paper between your butt and the toilet seat! Don’t take it off! Are you done? Now, don’t do anything. Stand right here. Don’t sit on the floor. Ok, now let’s go wash our hands…”

Even if Mushie has to go twice in a 10 minute span, I’m singing that same song while internally writhing over all the strep, staph, hep, and leeches preparing to launch themselves simultaneously onto her bare bum bum. (In case you were wondering, the toilet seat typically isn’t as germ-laden as the sink, the faucet, or any handle in the bathroom that gets touched often. Thank heavens that not everybody washes their hands, otherwise the sink would be riddled with even more germs!)

Yep, it’s great to have both kids potty trained….sure…yep, great. At least I’m not carrying a diaper bag around these days! (I’m sweating sarcasm here…)  

I'll wipe their butts until they're 20 as long as we don't have to use the public potty ever again!

I’ll wipe their butts until they’re 20 as long as we don’t have to use the public potty ever again!

The Mushmonster is 3 years old. Well, technically she’s 3 years and a few months old. I’d like to say that those extra months have been insignificant, but they’ve given Mushie a lot of time to develop. A lot. Also, I’ve pretty much forgotten what happened at her 3rd birthday party…some fuss about pizza, cake, beer, etc. The first few kid birthdays are a blur. Kids screaming. Dogs barking. Parents hovering. Noise. Candles. Wishes. Crying. Bedtime. And hopefully we got the good parts on tape video.

My blog posts have been sparse, mainly because the kids are active…not like walk in the park active, but more like do one triathlon after breakfast and a marathon before bed. And if I’m not watching or participating, there’s hell to pay! So I apologize about the late post…but as with all things having to do with the second child, I just don’t care as much…just kidding. I have to get this post out before the Worm turns 5!

She’s lovely. I can’t say that she’s always been this way because she’s very, um, fickle. In fact, I didn’t really like her much early on. And I think she felt the same. Our timing was off from the beginning. I wanted her to sleep. She wanted to play. She wanted to sleep. I wanted to do some chores. When I didn’t time her meals or naps right, she let me know in buckets of tears. When I would forget to leave the house with extra diapers, she’d let me know by squirting chocolate pudding from her baby carrier…and conveniently up her backside.

Worm and I had a groove going before Mushie…you know, a connection. Me and him. Him and me. Then, Mushie basically shot down the proverbial slide hollering “Whee! Look at me!” and proceeded to literally crash every boy’s party we held. And she’s been trying to steal center stage, since.

The Mushmonster is not really quite like her brother. I feel that when she was born, she broke the mold, ate some of it, and then tried to stick a piece or two into the nearest electrical socket. If I were to use three words to describe my daughter it would be: messy, loud, and unpredictable. There’s always a trail of food crumbs when she eats. I can hear her from a mile away (unless she’s up to something mischievous). And when you need someone to think outside of the box, she never disappoints.

All of these characteristics make Mushie, well, my Mushie. My life would be pretty boring if I had two well-behaved children that listened to me and did as I instructed. I know that. Besides, who doesn’t want to be a hero by rescuing their child twice a day for the rest of eternity the unlimited reward of ‘mooches, hugs and kisses!

I didn’t think I’d like a little girl much, but this one’s neat.

She’s rough and tumble, spicy and sweet.

I don’t understand everything she does.

But, man, can she eat!

The girl has heaps of strong character traits that don’t work well for someone uncoordinated, less than four feet tall, and still forming neural connections. “I DO IT!” she’d say. And I’d reply “You can’t reach the gas pedal yet.” “NO, I DO IT!!” And then I’d strap her down in the back seat and explain to her that she doesn’t have a driver’s license.

She’s as willful as they come. What does one do with a toddler that has no sense of fear, pain, or self-preservation? The only option I see is a professional fighting career. We each have suffered a busted lip at the expense of her little hands (well, it was her head, but you get my point).

“Though she be but little, she is fierce.” – Shakespeare

Mushie, If You're Going to be a Fighter, You're Going to Need to Learn How to Cook!

Mushie, If You’re Going to be a Fighter, You’re Going to Need to Learn How to Cook!

Me: “What’s wrong, lovie? Why the sad face?”

Mushie: “My belly hurtin’, Hondaddy.”

Me: “Aww baby…I’m sorry.”

Mushie: “Hold me!”

Me: “Come here sweets…uhh, oh, hey…mmph!”

Greaaaaat, a piece went in my mouth.

If there’s anything more gross than noticing baby poop under your fingernail while taking a bite out of your own handcrafted sandwich, it would be tasting someone else’s vomit.

There’s an old saying that goes “Holding a young child is like being forced to juggle balloons filled separately with pee, poo, and puke…while holding a razor blade between your fingers.”

Kids are a molotov cocktail of bodily fluids. Bad things can happen when they throw themselves at you.

I’m starting to believe that this whole parenting thing is one big joke and we’re being recorded and broadcast in an alternate universe for shits and giggles.

I’ve basically seen it all…or at least 98% of it all. (I’m ok with leaving the last 2% to imagination!) And thus far, one carpet steam cleaning, a bath, and a good night’s sleep has all but erased every disaster from the day before. So far…

The warm, fuzzy feeling of hugging my venom-spewing adorable children has been lost. I may be experiencing some mild form of post traumatic stress disorder, because I get flashbacks of  upon hearing them hiccup in my arms. But that’s ok, they’re getting too old for hugs anyways…

This is my reward for getting stomach acid in my face and mouth...hooray, parenting.

This is my reward for getting stomach acid in my face and mouth…hooray, parenting.



%d bloggers like this: