Month: October 2014

Versus

 

Ya know what never crossed my mind? The idea of my kids not getting along.  Shoot, I have sisters, and when we were younger, we never fought. Things were always amicable.

I think.

I don’t really remember. It was long time ago.

Anyway, when J was a baby, B would constantly say how much he loved her. He would treat her so well. I pictured them growing up together the bestest of friends (“I want to clean the bathrooms!” “No, J, let me do it this time!”). Maybe they’d be singers, and become the next famous brother/sister music group, like Donny & Marie, or Len ( Steal My Sunshine was da joint back in the day! I don’t know what else they’ve done, but at least they have that!)

Turns out, like pretty much everything else parenting-related, I was wrong.

Please don’t get it twisted. For the most part, B and J get along just swimmingly. Or as well as a four and two year old can get along, I guess. Sometimes, though, they just want to bring each other down.  Things could be going great, and then all of the sudden, one of them will try to one-up the other, and it will dissolve into bickering, fighting and whining. Oh yeah. Lots and lots of whining.

I’m not a child psychologist, or Marvin Gaye, but I do have my own theories as to what’s going on. See, before J, B was the only kid, so he ran the house. The King of Kings, ruling his kingdom.

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Did you see my episode of MTV Cribs, where I showed off my throne room?

 

Then, when J was born, there was suddenly competition to his throne, in the form of a little princess. It wasn’t an issue when she was a baby. However, now that she’s a toddler with a mind of her own, she’s a threat that must be stopped at all costs!

……Or something like that.

Now, from J’s perspective, she’s still a blank slate. Learning, developing and taking everything in. She sees B running around, doing his thing, so she wants a piece of the action, too. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Sometimes, however, just a piece isn’t enough. She wants it all, dang it, and she will stop at nothing to get it!

…..Or something like that.

I mean, I guess it is inevitable that children will butt heads on occasion. It’s just that, with mine, their games of one-upsmanship can be so…...petty, that I feel like I gotta get my Judge Joe Brown on, and make a verdict, to get them to knock it off. Lemme give you some examples. For added effect, have this playing while you read them:

 The scene: While getting ready to leave Grandma’s house, Grandma gave B and J cookies. B couldn’t help himself, and kept acting like a jerk. Habitual douchebaggery, as I’ve mentioned before. By the time we got to the car,  we got fed up, and took his cookie away. This made him cry. While in the car, J couldn’t help herself, and ate her cookie while saying ‘Mmmm!’ and ‘Yummy!’,  like it was the most savoury thing ever. This made B cry even more.

The verdict: J’s actions were probably unintentional, so she gets a free pass. B gets a court ordered lesson on what different expressions mean, starting with “don’t pour salt on an open wound.”

The scene: Bedtime. B was playing with a couple of Hot Wheels cars, on his bed. J heard this from her room, and wanted some cars too.  I got her three from the playroom, and then I left to go downstairs. B somehow found out that J had one more car than him, so he went to the playroom and got more. J, not to be outdone, went to get more, too. This caused B again to go and get more. J then grabbed a bucket and filled it up with cars (from downstairs, I could hear the plunk plunk sound of her dropping them in the bucket). Finally, I went upstairs to see what was up. B now had about 18 cars on his bed.

I had this convo with J:

Me: How many cars did I say you could have?

J (holds up three fingers): Three!

Me: How many cars do you have?

J (looks at bucket, thinks for a few seconds, holds up all ten fingers): Ummmm…..three?

The verdict: Easy. To paraphrase Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi, no cars for you…and you!

The scene: Lunch time. Eating fries. B found a small fry, and got excited about it. J then found a small fry. B said his was smaller. They then scrounged around their plates, and argued about who had the smallest fry.

The verdict: Whatever. Not guilty for both.  This wasn’t nearly as annoying as  the time when they were eating berries and got into a fight about which one of theirs was the ‘mommy’ berry.

The scene: Family movie night, our couch. Both kids wanted to cuddle with K, and bickered about it. When K suggested cuddling with me, they refused and freaked out, like I was the Boogeyman or a monster.

The verdict: That’s cold, yo. I don’t care. I don’t need their love and affection, anyway. Hey, how about I take away all of their toys? And clothes. And beds. Have fun cuddling the floor naked, suckers!

The scene: After movie night. I’m upstairs with the kids. B said to me ‘I love you!’ J then hugged me and said ‘My daddy.’ B, never to be overshadowed, said ‘No, my daddy!’ They then argued about who loved me more.

The verdict: Whaaaa? Aww, those guys are the best! Forget what I said before. Fighting for my love? No, please, don’t stop, keep on going. I sentence them to eating bowls of ice cream while taking turns telling me why I’m such a wicked dad.

Maybe a little bit of sibling rivalry isn’t so bad after all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Review – From The Rough

 

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Recently, I was contacted about reviewing the movie ‘From The Rough.’ Not going to lie, I wasn’t familiar with it at all. However, after a quick Google search, I figured, why not? While definitely family friendly, my kids are a bit on the young side to really enjoy it.  So after they went to sleep early one night, with no Bedtime WTFness (I know. I was scared, too), I was able to check it out.

‘From The Rough’ is based on the true story of Catana Starks.  She went from coaching Tennessee State University’s  successful women’s swim team, to becoming the men’s golf coach.  As the first African American woman to ever coach a men’s college golf team, the movie shares many of the personal and professional obstacles that she overcame. Out of necessity, she recruits a bunch of underprivileged yet highly skilled kids from around the world. Despite them having to overcome obstacles of their own,  and having to use some really ghetto clubs, she ultimately lead her squad to a record-setting showing at the PGA National Collegiate Minority Championship.

Starks is played by Taraji P. Henson, who is usually on point in her roles (word to ‘Hustle and Flow’!).This one was no exception, as she kills it as the tough but caring coach.  Why this woman isn’t a bigger star in Hollywood, is beyond me.  Actually, the acting overall was solid, as almost everyone did a believable job with their characters. They were really engaging, which really helped me get into the movie, and stay with it. My ‘Man, this part is boring. Hey, that guy looks familiar. I’m going to Wikipedia him right now!’ count was minimal.

I can honestly say that I really liked this movie.  Yo, I’m a sucker for those films about underdog sports teams that beat the odds. This was easily one of the better ones of that genre which I’ve seen (I mean, it’s no ‘Happy Gilmore’,  but then again, what is?). Is it perfect? Nah, of course not. Regardless, if you want a family friendly movie about perseverance and standing up for yourself (no flex zone!),  you could do a lot worse than ‘From the Rough‘. It’s just these types of inspirational, entertaining hidden gems which warrant more attention, which is why I don’t mind recommending that you check out this flick.  It’s a movie worth watching about a woman who’s story deserves be told. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that!

 

 

DIY Craft: A Puppet Show Stage!

As I’ve mentioned on this site several times before, the bedtime routine in our house is a constant losing battle. It’s not all bad, however. In fact, one of the small joys of my day is reading the kids a story before bed.  Or, you know, reading to them when they’re supposed to go to bed, to be more specific.

We usually let B and J pick the books. Unsurprisingly, this has lead to some interesting selections. Take the other night, for example. It’s October and autumn is in the air, so that can only mean one thing…………it’s time for a Christmas story!!!!

#sepiafilterfornoreason

#sepiafilterfornoreason

Yep. B chose Franklin’s Christmas Gift, because, well, WTF.

Whatever, though. I read it, tucked B in, and left his room.

Minutes later, B came out of his room, holding three pieces of ripped up cardboard.

Inspired by this part in the Franklin book (NOTE: SPOILER ALERT! SKIP AHEAD IF YOU PLAN ON READING FRANKLIN’S CHRISTMAS GIFT AND DON’T WANT THE ENDING RUINED. OK, OK, I’M NOT SERIOUS. A SPOILER FOR THIS BOOK? HAHA. C’MON MAN! ):

 

 

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B wanted me to make him a puppet show stage. With a door.

Now, the one thing I should note is that I have the  artistic ability of Milhouse’s dad on The Simpsons.

It's dignity! Don't you even know dignity when you see it?

I drew this. It’s dignity! Don’t you even know dignity when you see it?

 

On the other hand, I also didn’t want to say no, and disappoint B. I kinda worry that if I, the father figure in my childrens’ lives, reject them too much, they’ll start looking elsewhere for a strong male presence. Like, from a gang, or a group of travelling buskers, or something along those lines (Yes, I realize B and J aren’t even five and three years old yet.  In my lame defense, gangs recruit ’em young, and I’ve seen some toddler-aged jugglers at fairs before. I think).

With that in mind, I got the creative juices flowing, and made a puppet show stage that you too can make for your kids!

SUPPLIES NEEDED

1) A piece of cardboard, ripped into three pieces. Any cardboard will do. They’re little kids. They don’t really care. Despite owning a lot of toys, B found a chunk of cardboard in a set of new sheets that we bought. He had been having a blast playing with that, even after he ripped it up.

2) Masking tape.

3) A writing utensil. B had requested an orange crayon. After searching in vain for one, I remembered that I don’t live in a Crayola factory, so we settled on the next closest colouring device – a blue pen?!

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Take two pieces of cardboard and fold them into L shapes.

2) Fasten the bottom parts of the Ls to the third piece of cardboard using the tape. Use as many strips of tape as needed, until it forms a sorta firm U shape.

3)  Hand the stage back to your kid. Give them the writing utensil and tell them to decorate it.

4) Voila!

If you’re lucky, your stage will look like this (please, hold your applause):

 

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Yo, what did you expect? A mini Apollo Theatre? I told you that I suck, artistically.  We don’t even own puppets, so creating an elaborate stage for non-existent puppets is weaksauce, for real.

Besides, the only opinion that matters is B’s. And he…….didn’t seem to hate it. I heard him playing with the crappy, sorry-looking taped up cardboard contraption for a bit.  Aw, kids. They’re so easily amused sometimes. Anyway, eventually, he passed out for the night, instead of running off and joining a gang or a group of buskers. So to me, this craft is a win.  Holla!

 

You're welcome!

You’re welcome!

 

 

 

 

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