Month: January 2016

A Friend Named Fingers

Today, I’d like to introduce you to someone.  This is an individual who, against all reasonable explanation, seems to be really admired by my children.

Are you ready?

OK, here he is!

 

 

 

 

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A picture of a hand?! #anticlimatic

To most people, that is just my hand. But to B and J?

It’s Fingers!

You see, one day, when B was three years old, we were watching Sesame Street. Well, B was watching, anyway. I was bored, to the point that I began to stare at my hand. I then started to think about how funny it would be if, instead of a puppet, a character was just a plain hand who talked.  And from that idiotic idea, Fingers was born.

Fingers is literally just my fingers. His voice is my normal speaking voice. He’s just a goofball.  B immediately got a kick out of it, and Fingers has come in handy (no pun intended) ever since. B would come up with all sorts of crazy, imaginative scenarios for them to do together.  He would confide in Fingers stuff that he didn’t even tell me.  Man, if B hurt himself, sometimes “Dr. Fingers” was there, to cheer him up with a silly diagnosis, or prescribe a dose of tickling (laughter really can be the best medicine!).

I assumed Fingers would only be a thing for a few weeks, and then he’d be ghosted.  However, B’s six now, and he still likes to play Fingers on car rides, when it’s just the two of us. On top of that, J’s picked up on it now, too.  Any drive that I take with her isn’t complete unless Fingers is involved.

J  also doesn’t treat Fingers the same way as B does.  Whereas she still sees him as a friend, B’s evolved him to the point that he is a friendly rival.  They both come up with really far out situations, though, which require my imagination going into overdrive.

Let me give you a couple of recent, seperate examples, both occurring on drives home:

J, WITH FINGERS:

  • J asked Fingers to help build a treehouse. They decorated it, in specific detail.
  • J invited their friends over to a party. The friends were Curious George, John Cena, Princess Elsa, Princess Anna, and Swiper The Fox from Dora The Explorer (note: I had to play the roles of all of these characters, complete with ringing the doorbell, so J could ask who was there, to let them in).
  • An evil witch pretending to be a pizza delivery girl arrived (note: I was the witch).
  • Despite everyone individually warning him not to, Fingers went to get the pizza.
  • The witch turned Fingers into a pizza.
  • J used her superpowers to throw the witch into the ocean. The crocodile from Peter Pan with the ticking clock (note: yes, this was also yours truly, tick tocking away), arrived, to scare the witch off.
  • J turned Fingers back to normal.
  • Everyone watched a movie.

B, WITH FINGERS

  • B wanted to play “Basketball Fingers”.
  • B and Fingers took turns picking 10 players each, to their NBA teams. B was the Golden State Warriors; Fingers was the Phoenix Suns (note: 19 of the 20 players were voiced by me. The other player was B).
  • Without listing them all,  the notable picks by B were Steph Curry, Kobe Bryant, me (note: I’m not a baller!) and Will Smith, because he was the best player for Bel Air Acadamy on The Fresh Prince.
Sorry, Carlton.

Sorry, Carlton.

  • His last selection was a little boy named Ben.
  • Fingers coached, but did not play. His notable picks were Lebron James and Kevin Durant. His last pick was someone of equal skill to a little boy, in B’s mind……”the worst player on the Philadelphia 76ers”.
  • Before tip-off, B and I ran back to the locker room, to put on our magic shoes (if you’ve seen the movie Like Mike, you’d understand).
  • Fingers mocked Ben, and laughed as he missed shots before the game. Ben then went to get his ball autographed by Kevin Durant. While doing this, Durant and Ben accidentally switched basketball talents (if you’ve seen the movie Thunderstruck, you’d understand).
  • Ben was now amazing, while Durant sucked, much to Fingers’ disbelief. Fingers kicked Durant off the team. B signed him. Ben gave Durant his skills back, making him amazing again, much to Fingers’ disbelief.
  • B and I kept doing high-flying, highlight reel plays of the day.
  • B – “Pretend Fingers gets mad that we’re good, so he tells Kawhi Leonard to hurt me and he gets technical fouls, but the referee (note: a ref? Nice. Another person for me to be!) heard Fingers tell him, so he kicks Fingers out.”
  • After getting kicked out, B called Fingers’ mom (note: keep the people coming). She told him that he was in big trouble for his naughty behaviour. B and Steph Curry took Fingers home.
  • Fingers had all of his toys taken away, except for his radio. He sadly listened to B hit the game winning, buzzer-beater three point shot.

While your car rides with your kids probably involve conversations about politics or world affairs, mine involve me doing more impersonations than the cast of Saturday Night Live.

Combined.

I’m not complaining, don’t get it twisted.  Hey, I know that all weird good things come to an end. One day soon, my fingers will stop being so interesting to my kids. Then they’ll go back to being just a boring part of my hand.

Until that day comes, Fingers lives on. And all things considered, that’s pretty cool. Right, Fingers?

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Right!

 

 

 

 

Six Pieces of Advice For New Parents (That I Got From Some Wallpaper)

From time to time, I am asked by friends who are either expecting or already have little children, for parenting advice. And to be honest, I struggle for answers when  these questions come up. I think that I’m doing the best that I can, as a dad.  I definitely don’t think that makes me an advice-spewing expert on the subject, however.

I was pondering this the other day, while staring at the motivational sports quotes wallpaper that we have up in our house. The wallpaper is in a bathroom, so there’s lots of time to stare and ponder. #TMI. Anyway, to my surprise, a bunch of the quotes were pretty relevant, as they pertained to parenting.

Here are six of the ones which I feel are most useful for new/expecting parents. These tips are way more succinct than anything that I could ever come up with on my own:

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I find that it’s easy to get caught up in focusing on the end results for my kids, without appreciating what it takes to get to those results. It’s not just that your baby learns to walk; it’s the moments you spend watching them try. It’s not just about them making the basketball team; it’s the fun you have with them goofing around, shooting hoops in the driveway. Stuff like that.

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I don’t know about you, but my social media feeds are full of people proudly  posting about their childrens’ accomplishments.  For the longest while after B was born, my feed kind of gave me an  inferiority complex, no joke. My friends’ babies were hitting “milestones” before B was, and it had me straight trippin’ (OMG! Becky just posted a video of her one year old reading The Catcher In The Rye. B can’t even say The Catcher In The Rye! What’s wrong with him? What’s wrong with me?!). Looking back, I realize now that I was straight stupid. Stuff will happen when it happens, and things work out in the long haul, usually. There’s no point in worrying about it, and there’s definitely no point in comparing your kid’s development with your friends’ kids.

Along those lines:

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Being a mom or dad is H.A.R.D. It’s unlike any other job in the world. There’s no quitting this job, though. And yeah, there are times where I feel like a lousy piece of parental garbage.  However, as bad as those lows feel, they have been hugely outnumbered by the highs of fatherhood. The feelings of those highs totally make the occasional low worth it. So nope,  I’ll never give up. Not on myself, and not on B and J.

 

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Easier said than done, no doubt. I’m sure anyone who’s tried the “cry it out” method understands this well. Regardless, as much it sucks sometimes, you gotta do it, for your benefit and theirs.

 

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No amount of planning can really prepare you for what is involved with being a mom or dad.  Nonetheless, having some sort of plan to deal with the various stuff that happens is a must. Hey, you might get lucky and your little boy or girl will fully potty-train themselves, for example. Chances are that probably won’t happen.

And finally, my favourite:

 

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The other night, at dinner, I made a rookie mistake –

I gave B and J different forks.

J, displaying typical three year old girl logic, immediately tossed her fork across the table. She wanted the fork that B had so badly, she started crying. I’ve never seen someone so passionate about utensils before.  B, bless his heart, gave his fork up to her. Then, displaying typical six year old boy logic, he decided that he didn’t want J’s fork, either. He went and grabbed another one from the drawer. While he did this, J decided that her fork had germs on it, and needed to be washed. Not washed in the kitchen sink, however, but the bathroom sink.  She left, and didn’t come back for a long time. Maybe she was pondering the sports quotes wallpaper, I don’t know. Her mood had changed drastically, though, to happy, when she returned. So happy in fact, that she offered to give her freshly washed fork up to B. He politely declined.  J politely offered again. This was followed by another polite refusal from B. After some more polite arguing, J decided that she didn’t want the fork at all. She just wanted the fork that I gave her initially (the one she tossed). I handed it to her, and she used it to happily eat her dinner.

The point of this story?

I don’t really have one. I just thought it was funny.

That’s all for now. Hopefully this post has been of some assistance (for a change). Later!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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