Archives for the month of: September, 2013

It’s the one and only Smush!  (BTW, the past couple weeks have sucked.  Worm is still bringing home germs from daycare…this time, I think it’s a stomach bug he gave me.  That or it was last week’s leftover chicken and rice I’ve been eating…God, I hope I don’t poop myself.)

Smushie is showing a strong personality these days.  I thought that she would model herself after her handsome and debonair father (It’s my blog.  I can write anything I want.) since she sees me every day as a larger than life superhero with a dangerous trio of wit, charm, and looks.  But, unfortunately that’s not the case.  She doesn’t even mimic much of her older brother whom she adores.  She’s got her own thing going.

I didn’t quite understand this colloquialism until recently.  But, it’s clear to me now.  My daughter is a pistol.  (I’m at least certain her head is made of metal.)  Let’s break this down.

I don’t have a hard head.  (Although my wife would beg to differ.)  My crown is a modern, thin-walled type that allows for expansion in the odd case I glean something useful from my time here on Earth.  The Smushter’s head is more Neanderthal in nature.  Read dense.  It’s a furry cannonball.  I’ve witnessed Smushie use her noggin to “examine” the antique bookshelf, the coffee table, her baby step stool and the kitchen floor.  Did she succeed?  No.  Did she cry?  Merely a whimper.  Did any of the contact leave a mark?  Nope, not even the corner of the bookshelf!  I thought to cut her myself to verify that she’s human, but I don’t really want to know.  (The mystery is somewhat exciting to me…and I need all the excitement I can get at this stage of my life.)

Smush, just like a gun, is fun and games until her energy gets directed towards something.  The trigger is pulled when something across the room is something she wants to obliterate inspect.  And once it is pulled, she’s unstoppable until she hits her desired target.  She will rip through anything to get at it.  (I’ve stood in her way and almost got my eyes gouged out.  More than once.)  We affectionately call her “Baby Bulldozer” when she’s in the zone and destroying everything in her path from point A to B.

Lastly, there’s a boldness and a brashness to the Smush.  (Pistols ooze boldness and make anyone holding them feel the same way, right?)  She’s got a fearless attitude and isn’t shy about showing us.  She dives off the couch and laughs about it…all while we’re thanking Tebow that we grabbed her in time from yet another neckbreaking dive into the carpet.  (It’s Berber, so it’s not really a crash pad, if you know what I mean.)  Even when we’re paying attention, she boldly smacks her mommy and I in the face during our ‘discussions’.  (We’re slowly getting used to her communication style.  It’s unorthodox, but I’m sure it works well in some management situations.)  Sure, she mercilessly pulls our hair to guide us left or right.  She’s not afraid to yank our hair out when we don’t do what she asks.  I’ve tried reasoning with her that sometimes crying just sounds like crying.  She disagrees.

All in all, we’re amazed at how far our littlest Smushie has come.  There are major differences between she and her brother even in these first 8 months.   I’m in awe that two kids raised in the same environment with similar DNA don’t do a damn thing I say  could be so different from one another and so unruly special.

Smushie, you’re a pistol (and more than occasionally, I think a loose cannon could better define you), and I love you for that!  You’re brave, confident, and dauntless.  Your zest for life is apparent and your unbridled joy is contagious.  At times, you can frustrate the hell out of me but you keep our days interesting (and some nights, as well).  When you put your head mind into something, you do so with every ounce of yourself.  If there’s anything that your fearlessness will show, it’s that you will break down walls in both love and life.  And that will take you very, very far.  We’re lucky to have you!  (There’s a reason why we call you “Double Happiness!”)

Sorry, Smushels.  I Keep Forgetting That You're In Charge Now, Not Me!

Sorry, Smushels. I Keep Forgetting That You’re In Charge Now, Not Me!

When a bunch of toddlers are put in a room together, I’m certain they will share a lot more than toys.  (By the way, this was #1 on my list of reasons not to send my child to school!) One of the more popular things that got passed around last Monday was the common cold.  On Wednesday, my poor boy was oozing pounds of phlegm and using every inch of his clothing and body as a Kleenex.  The snot eventually got the better of him, and Worm took it upon himself to use Smushie’s head to dry off his slimy hands.  Two more days passed and by Friday (last Friday, not today. If I could only post these things faster…) we had two whiny, miserable phlegm balls to deal with.  (Lucky for me, Steph was home for two full days to share in this ‘experience’.  It’s times like this when I LOVE weekends…)

During the early part of Saturday, the kids were ok.  Worm and Smush were a tad crabby, but not bad considering the stuffy, runny noses we wiped all day long.  That was the calm before the storm.  Because when the lights went out for bedtime, Steph and I got hit by a hurricane…and though she be but little, she was fierce!

Smushie had problems sleeping all night and wasn’t afraid to let us know.  She couldn’t breathe through her stuffy nose at all.  And she made the choice that her pacifier was more important than air.  I only assume that the survival instinct slapped the pacifier out of her mouth as she started to lose consciousness in her crib.  The periodic shrieking let us know she was thankfully alive and well.  (I didn’t know how else to help her!)  The cycle repeated itself until (the already extremely stubborn) Smushie got so fed up that she fell asleep sat up screaming until daybreak.

The Worm fared a little better than she.  He woke up a few times in the night, but mostly to move to a dry spot on his mattress.  He heard Smushie’s outbursts, but was able to drown it out with his music box tunes.  He got the good deal with about 5 hours sleep.  I captured 3 hours for myself, and Steph managed about an hour’s worth.

So on Saturday, we decided that if we were to suffer a second sleepless night, we would at least treat ourselves to a nice big dinner beforehand.  (I was hoping to eat so much turkey that the tryptophan would get me to sleep through an earthquake.)

Where could I get piles and piles of food to swallow in self-pity?  At the Viejas casino buffet, of course!  It was the best decision our tired brains had made all weekend long!  (I didn’t eat enough to put the casino restaurant out of business, but I think I made them nervous!)

Three things I learned from this experience of having two sick children simultaneously:

  1. When a child is sick, he/she will focus their attention towards getting all family members to suffer in sickness as well.  They will hack, cough, sneeze, and slime you until your immune system succumbs or they get healthy again.  They will put fingers/boogers/etc. into your mouths/ears/eyes until you are diseased also.
  2. If I can have our family do one really fun thing (even with little to no sleep) while the kids are sick, the situation doesn’t seem so miserable when I later reflect back on it.  Fussiness can’t be spelled without fun (or sins, for that matter)!
  3. Red Jell-o cures grumpiness, tiredness, and sickness!
Cheesy Smiles on a Couple of Cheesy Guys!

Cheesy Smiles on a Couple of Cheesy Guys!

I got off the phone with mom and dad earlier.  And both of them agree with my wife that Worm should be in daycare more than once a week.

The three of them just don’t see what I see.  In our conversation, I just couldn’t get through to them that school (daycare, in our case) isn’t as good an idea that they think it is.  And more education is not the answer!  (Does saying that make me a Republican?)

Worm and I have a good thing going.  He loves to be with me when Trotro is not on TV and I love to be with him unless I’m Facebooking.  I’m a shark and he’s my pilot fish.  We need each other.  And if he’s away from me for too long, the parasites of boredom will come nibble at my body until I disappear into oblivion.  He keeps me from having my own life nothing to do!

I’ve heard it before that kids are like sponges.  Their tiny brains are making tens of thousands of connections daily.  More stimulation is better.  Social activities build character.  Blah, blah, blah.  I’ve no doubt that my son has a microprocessor of a brain.  He gets a lot of stuff already that I never thought he would understand at the young age of 2.45.  I never needed to explain to him that there weren’t any real people inside the TV, or that nothing has been proven to be faster than the speed of light.  He just seemed to understand.

So, I ask the question.  What’s there for him to learn at school?  Practically nothing, if you ask me.  School is a germ infested Petri dish of a soon-to-be reality show where viewers will gain weekly chuckles from watching toddlers doing dumb things like cutting each others ears off with scissors, or playing “Who can poop a pencil eraser”.  Every child that makes it through the day will have the chance to vote someone else off the playground.   And the last surviving cast member will get a lifetime (which will be shortened substantially by any one) of free soft drinks, cotton candy, and Ginsu knives.  I’m digressing, aren’t I?

Well, without further ado…here are 5 reasons why me, a professional SAHD, would rather my son learn from me than go to daycare/school:

  1. Communicable diseases – Sure, he’s licked everything in our house except for the dogs’ butts.  But these are germs that he knows and loves!  His body has accepted our microbial housemates.  At school, Worm could potentially lick other people’s dogs’ butts (indirectly, of course) and that could get him sick.  Besides, it’s gross.  It’s a fact that he can stay healthier here at home with me.
  2. Potentially dangerous toys – At home, I’ve analysed and spreadsheet-ed all the toys we own and provided a realistic probability chart of toy hazards, such as choke (eat), projectile (throw), drop on limb (gravity), and whether or not said toy poses a threat when laying on the ground (for example: jacks and ninja shuriken).  I’ve calculated that we’ve ruled out 99.5% danger using my algorithm.  The potential for harm at school is exponentially larger.  What if Worm sits on a hypodermic needle or falls from the ceiling fan?  School’s dangerous (hence, it’s why we don’t own a ceiling fan, either).
  3. Education – I’m smarter than two-thirds of the toddlers at Worm’s daycare.  (A strong assumption.)  What’s he going to learn from a child that can’t even complete a sentence.  Nothing!  So, if I want the best education for Worm, it’s going to be here with me.  We do ABCD’s every day…What do they do every day?  Paint?  That’s not learning anything except ‘How to make a mess and have someone else clean it up!’
  4. Peer pressure – I peer pressure Worm in positive ways.  (I get on my knees to talk to him.  The term ‘peer’ is more about making yourself look about the same size, not about actually being the same age.  It’s a common misconception.)  I get Worm to do things that are good for him.  I dare him to eat 20 pieces of broccoli as fast as he can and funnel a 12oz. of carrot juice.  At school, I’m sure his buddies will try to make my little boy do things like pull his pants down and pee in a corner, or convince him to put rocks in some poor girl’s mattress before nap time.  No one wins at school.  But everyone wins at home…
  5. Cool factor – What’s more rad than saying that you hung out with your dad…all…day…long?  Nothing that I can think of.  Well, maybe quantifying the forces of subatomic particles.  But after that, nothing.

So you see mom, dad, and wifie?  Those are some pretty convincing arguments against Worm doing more daycare.  The superior solution is more Honeydaddy time!  Just remember, he loves it just as much as I do!  And if he doesn’t love it, I just force him to!  School is very last century technology…

I'm Teaching You About Life, Worm.  Life!

I’m Teaching You About Life, Worm. Life!

Gavin – 27; Honeydaddy – 17 (If there’s one thing I can really teach you, Wormie…it’s to love, and be loved.)

The time has come.  I can’t believe it’s been two years since I started stay at home dadding for the Worm.  (I barely blinked, or slept for that matter, and here we are, two years later.)  And I sense that he is beginning to need a little more than what I can offer.  There’s only so many times that my son can play “Here, eat this birthday cake poopie.” under the dining table with his old man until it gets a tad stale.  (Not the cake, the game…I always eat the B.C.P. while it’s fresh and hot!)

We (the wife and I) made a decision to enroll the wiggly one in day care.  The plan was to drop him off one day a week, and if Worm really enjoyed himself, he could slowly move up to two or three days a week.  Back then, it sounded great.  But the reality is setting in tonight.  I picture Worm getting thrown into the den and the other wolf cubs devouring him like a steak in sheep’s clothing.  And we’d be indirectly encouraging the carnage of my baby by paying for it with a check or credit card.

I’m worried about him.  I don’t know how he will survive without me for a whole half of a half minus one twelfth of a day (which amounts to 4 hours for the ones that read my blog to escape from logical thought for a few minutes per diem).  Only last week, we were eating dinner at the local uber-kid-friendly pizzeria and I left Worm by himself in the kids’ play area for literally two minutes.  I came back to see him standing in the corner scared out of his mind and crying for his Honeydaddy.

It was two minutes!  How can I leave him for 4 hours?  He’d dehydrate from the fluid loss and drown in a pool of his own snivel and tears!

We’re bosom buddies without the lipstick and dresses!  We’re like Bonnie and Clyde without the guns!  We’re like Twins (but only if I’m Arnold and he’s Danny DeVito)!  We’re inseparable!  Or were.  I guess we’ll find out what each is made of when we’re not glued to one another at the hip.

It’s harder for me than I thought it would be.  I’m sad because I won’t be there to pick him up when he falls, to make him smile when he’s sad, or to pull his finger out of his nose.  For four whole hours!  That’s an eternity!  Worm is my baby boy.  I love him enough to make myself cry just thinking about him.  But, I also love him enough to know that he must grow up.  And he’s got to spread his proverbial wings.  And he must learn to pull his own finger out of his nose.  I just thought it would be nearer the time he would be old enough to drink alcohol.  (Legally.  I mean drink it legally!)

I know it’s a bit selfish of me, but I love, love, love that he looks to me for comfort and companionship.  I’ve gotten used to being his whole world.  But I also know that if I keep holding him so tightly, he’ll never properly relate to mankind and will have problems becoming a functional member of society.  And he’ll live with his mom and me for the rest of his life, never leaving the house to do more than check our mailbox six days a week.  (Ok, that’s sort of a stretch.  But, it’s still a worrying possibility!)

So Worm, go ahead.  Meet some kids your age.  Explore!  Discover!  Learn!  Share your birthday cake poopie with your classmates.  Cut a piece for all of your friends.  Go laugh and play and take those first steps towards figuring out this great big wonderful planet we live on.  I’ll be here for you when you’re ready for me again…and if there’s any leftovers, I’d still love to have you share some cake with me too.

Who Can Turn Down Fresh B.C.P.?  Thanks Wormie!

Who Can Turn Down Fresh B.C.P.? Thanks Wormie!

Worm, this post is for you.  Your sister doesn’t talk back to me yet and I don’t really want her to model herself later after your current communication style.  Your head’s getting more dense, literally, and unfortunately, figuratively as well.

When I ask you NOT to do something, what I really mean is “Don’t f#*@ing do it!  Or else I’m transferring another dollar out of your college fund and into my rum fund!”  (The return on this fund is better than a treasury bond right now.)  The following responses are unacceptable:

  1. The sideways looking squinty-eyes with half smirk – You look possessed when you do this.  You also remind me of Chucky from the Child’s Play horror flicks.  I know I shouldn’t be afraid of demon children and dolls, but I grew up with those movies and they still haunt my psyche.  If you continue with this, I’ll have to call the exorcist on you…and for good measure, have him release any evil from your stuffed animals and possibly Frodo.  So stop doing it, because you’re freaking me out!
  2. Pretending you don’t hear me –  The doctor checked your ears.  Twice.  And I was standing right there watching the whole time.  You’re not deaf.  You can hear me when I say “gummy bunnies” and “lollipop” so I know you hear me when I tell you to stop jabbing the coffee table with your fork.  Maybe you’ll hear me better if I say “Don’t gummy put bunnies play-doh lollipops in doughnuts Sissy’s seaweed mouth!”  (Yes, Worm loves to eat seaweed.)  Maybe I’ll pretend that I don’t hear you when we’re at the toy store and you’re asking me for more Tow Mater toys and a new bicycle.
  3. “Nonono!” – This is my least favorite reply.  What’s worse is when you wag your finger at me like I’m the bad little boy and you’re the grownup.  What’s crazy is that neither I, nor your mom taught you to do this.  What’s even more crazy is that your delivery is so convincing and assertive that for a split second, I DO feel like I’m the one that did something wrong and I SHOULD be scolded!

It’s still makes me cringe when I hear it…hence the reason why I don’t say it to you.   Lucky for me, your nonono is seldom said.   Seriously though Worm (in my stern dad voice), you’ve got to start listening to me more often, and not just when I tell you that we’re going to the playground.  But, for more important things, like “Don’t run out into the street!”, “Stay away from that ledge!” or “Get me a beer from the fridge!”  Listening to me when I make one of those statements may one day save your life!

(Imagine a situation where I’m ready to ‘tan your hide’ and you bringing me a beer…instantly, the world is at peace and your butt avoids seeing the light of day.  Listening to me pays off, see?)

Attaboy!  That's More Like It, Worm!

Attaboy! That’s More Like It, Worm!

Gavin – 27; Honeydaddy – 16 (This one bugs me.  But, if I don’t find some more effective techniques, it has the potential to spiral out of control…Worm, I do have some valuable things to say, I REALLY DO!)

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