Category: bedtime wtf

Stolen Cars and Kidnapping Rabbits – An Easter Story

 

In terms of holidays, Easter is definitely on the “Mt. Rushmore of Best Days Of The Year”, for my kids.  Now, how this holiday has evolved from its origins to what it represents today is a thinkpiece subject for a far more intellectually stimulating site than this one. In our house, while Easter is mainly about family, it’s also about the Easter Bunny.  And truth be told,  B and J are all in on believing in that chocolate pimpin’ rabbit!  J believed so much, that she even concocted a harebrained scheme this year. Lemme explain.

It ’twas Easter Eve, and I was doing what any good parent would do – running out to the stores last minute, to buy some chocolate and presents. After scouring the picked over shelves, I did manage to find some decent treats along with some cool cheap gifts. The best one was a toddler sized basketball net that I found in the clearance section, for little KJ.  I also had been scouting the house out for days, looking for awesome spots to hide eggs for an egg hunt (plastic ones that I would fill with candy). So with everything I bought safely hidden in my car, and my mental plan in check, I headed home. All I needed was for B and J to go to bed in a good time.

However, in the week leading up to the big day, J also came up with a plan……

She was going to kidnap the Easter Bunny!

My sentiments exactly.

Now, K and I did try to explain how wrong this was. J was undeterred, though. She just wanted to see him with her own eyes.  As such, I would hear her plotting and scheming ways as to how she was going to get him. She’s been on a Looney Tunes kick lately, so I’m sure she thought capturing the wascally wabbit would be a breeze. To top it off, she even recruited B, to aid and abet in the plan.  After K and I fell asleep,  they were going to go downstairs.  They would “chill out and watch TV”, in B’s words, to wait for the bunny’s arrival.

This plan sucked, quite frankly. I’m all for the kids having fun and keeping the charade alive. However, similar to Christmas, the key is for the kids to be asleep, so the magic can happen. The last thing I wanted was for B and J to sneak up on me as I was setting things up. Thus, the stage was set. Me versus the kids, in a battle to preserve the legend of the Easter Bunny!

I wouldn’t look so smug if I were you, rabbit.

As K and I binge-watched Seven Seconds on Netflix that night, J passed out by 9pm. Unluckily for me, B was wide awake. K got tired around midnight, and headed to bed, at which point B ran in to join her. While the Easter Bunny had probably visited your house hours before, and you were enjoying a good night’s rest, I had even started anything yet. Plus one potential magic-ruining boy was still up.

I figured that B would be asleep soon. If I waited a bit, I could quietly start getting organized. So, eventually,  I grabbed my  keys, went to my car to get my stuff…..

AND MY CAR WAS GONE!!!

I must have looked like the biggest doofus, standing in my driveway for like 5 minutes, dumbfounded.  K had told me earlier that vehicles had been stolen off of our street that week. Apparently mine got taken, too!  What kind of A-hole plays real life Grand Theft Auto on a holiday? I was confused and angry. The kids were going to be bummed out, because the Easter Bunny didn’t come with anything.  Brutal.

I had to break the news about the carjacking to K, and by default B, since he was still awake in our bedroom. B was shocked, but when I told K, guess how she reacted?

With laughter.

April Fool’s!

Yeah, she pranked me, since it was April 1. She thought I would go grab coffee in the morning, so she moved my car around the block that evening, to make it look like a theft. She forgot that I had all of the Easter stuff in my trunk, though.  I can’t lie. It was a funny joke, bad timing aside.

I waited for B to settle before retrieving my car, but then I got to work.  As I put together the eggs in the living room, I heard J’s bed squeak upstairs. Panic immediately set in; I tossed a blanket over the stuff.

Then I heard little footsteps.

Then I heard our bedroom door open.

Then I heard J loudly whispering to B to wake up.

Then I ran upstairs to squash that noise!

I told her that I wasn’t going to bed soon, so she shouldn’t bother trying to be sneaky.

Then she fake slept.

That was good enough for me, so I headed back downstairs.

I still had to set up KJ’s basketball net. I immediately realized why it was on clearance. Picture trying to put together Ikea furniture, but with less instructions, and more hard-to-unpackage, ill-fitting parts, and you get the idea. After fumbling with that for a while, it was now well past 2:00 AM. I tapped out. Instead of an epic egg hunt, I was exhausted, so the hunt consisted of me lazily scattering the eggs in our living room and kitchen. Your dude was then able to settle in for a good night’s rest.

Sike!

B and J woke us up at 6:30am.

However, the day wasn’t about grownups. All three kids were happy with their haul, and the hunt, so that was all that mattered. J’s already vowed to catch the Easter Bunny next Easter, unfortunately.

Stay tuned for the sequel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleeping? Beauty!

Kids passing out in random places is hilarious, man. Like, I personally have never been so tired that I just had to curl up and sleep on anywhere but a bed, couch or chair. Well, except for the time when I fell asleep on my floor, face first, in a plate of Chinese food  But that doesn’t count, because I was DRUNK!

Anyway, children are different. I used to find B in the weirdest positions, which always made me chuckle. J, unfortunately (fortunately?) has picked up on this habit, too, recently. Check it out!

We had come home late evening, and J had fallen asleep in the car. When we got to our house, she took off her coat and shoes, and went to the couch. She was so exhausted, however, that she only made it to the one end, and collapsed. She ended up in this awkward state, dangling off the side, partially upside down.  Apparently she is half five year old girl/half bat?


I apologize for the lousy lighting, as I found her in her closet like this one night.

Yeah, that’s right, her closet.

As far as I can tell, instead of going to her nice, comfy bed, she made a nest out of clothes on her closet floor. Hungry from her nesting, she then pounded back an apple sauce packet, without our permission. Finally she contorted her legs in an awkwardly flexible manner, against the door frame, and fell asleep. Apparently she is half five year old girl/half Gumby?

 

I…..I can’t even.

I can only speculate on what happened here, but I’ll give it a go.
J had a bath on this night, hence the bath toys. Afterwards, feeling so fresh n’ so clean (word to Outkast!), she naturally decided she needed to go on a trip. This required busting out the globe. I guess she’s half five year old girl/half Dora The Explorer? After deciding on a destination, she packed her Frozen backpack with just a few books, including her school yearbook. #kindergartenmemories

The destination must have been to a sunny resort, to escape the Canadian winter. The books must have been for reading material while she lounged on the beach. It was probably going to be a short trip, since she didn’t pack any clothes. Anyway, next, she must have called an Uber, to take her to the resort (I never said geography was her strong suit). Wanting to take full advantage of the door to door service, she most likely requested that the driver pick her up at the door of her choice; in this case, her bedroom doorway.  JUST the doorway, though, so that’s why she put down the STOP sign, to keep the driver from entering her room. While waiting for her Uber to arrive, she got tired,  grabbed a blanket and pillow, and fell asleep.

What? It could have happened this way!  The logic of a little kid is straight bananas sometimes, so you never know!

Awww!  No halves here. This is just 100% adorable, homey!

Big bro, lil sis, cuddled together after story time and a visit from the Sandman.   Why can’t every night be like this?

That’s all for now. Sweet dreams, everybody!

 

Bedtime WTF – Elvis Presley, Ghost Hunter Edition

  • monster

 

I’m a liar.

What? I can admit it.  I’m not always entirely honest with my kids.

I mean, I do strive to be as forthright with them as possible. Sometimes, however, a little white lie or two is required. Yo, I’m not trying to be that deceptive; it’s just, on occasion, it’s best for everyone involved to keep  B and/or J on a need to know basis.

Take the other night, for example, when our house was invaded by monsters.

Or, more specifically, J’s room was invaded by monsters,

Or more, more specifically, J told us that her room was invaded by monsters.

Basically, the monsters were a figment of a four year old girl’s imagination.

Nonetheless, J was legit terrified. As such, I tried the forthright approach. Monsters weren’t real, I told J. They don’t exist. Unfortunately, she wasn’t buying what I was selling. After arguing back and forth, J asked if we had any monster spray. I then did what any parent who was tired of fighting with their child would have done – I fibbed and said that we did.

After rummaging around for a bit,  I managed to find some Monster Spray (a.ka. Febreeze with “Monster Spray” scribbled on the label).  The monsters were under her bed, so I gave them a good spraying, destroying them all.  J then crawled under the sheets, went to sleep, and that was that.

Well...no, I guess not.

Yeah, right!

For real, like 5 minutes later, J came out of her room, insisting that there were now GHOST MONSTERS under her bed, which couldn’t be sprayed.

How the heck do you kill a ghost monster?!

I had no idea. I’m not a Ghostbuster. Anyway, J was petrified. She ended up refusing to go back to her room, and fell asleep in the loft instead. #parentingfail

Let’s flash forward to next night’s bedtime.

J once again refused to go to her bed, because of not only ghost monsters, but GHOST WITCHES! I then did what any parent who was tired of fighting with their child would have done – I went to the basement and got this:

20161027_153919

 

Hey, don’t be cruel! It was the first thing that came to mind. See, J still believes in stuff like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and, obviously, scary monsters. So I decided to fight her sense of reality, with her sense of reality.

After I grabbed Elvis,  I took J to her room, and improvised the “story” of this particular doll.

Back in the day, after I moved out of our old home, my mom also moved into a new place on her own. Being alone for the first time in her life, she was scared. That first night, she couldn’t sleep, because she was afraid of monsters and creepy things in her bedroom, just like J was. So, the next morning, she went to a special store and bought this Elvis doll. It had secret powers that protected you at night from bad things while you slept. I reminded J of how when we used to go visit grandma, she still had this by her bed. I wasn’t sure how it worked; maybe he came alive at night and fought off the monsters, who knows.  All I know is that we never saw anything scary at grandma’s place. After my mom passed away, I took Elvis and kept him tucked away, in case his powers were ever needed again.

I placed Mr. Presley high in J’s closet, and told her that if she ever felt scared that night, then all she had to do was look at Elvis, and remember that her, and grandma, would keep her safe.

As I told her this tale, J’s eyes were wide, like I stepped on her blue suede shoes. She totally believed me, though (no suspicious minds here), and fell asleep in her bed not long after.

Aight, aight. Perhaps I exaggerated the details a wee bit.  I’m a liar, I already admitted that. Truth be told, I never asked my mom what the deal was with Elvis. He was her favourite singer, and this doll was randomly displayed prominently in her bedroom. I’m sure the real story behind it wasn’t so crazy…..but what if it was?

Regardless, for one night anyway, Elvis Presley saved me a ton of drama.

And for that, I say thank ya. Thank ya very much.

 

All Play, No Work

Make no mistake about it, the bedtime routine in our house still kind of sucks.

Sure, there are occasions where B and J, when told to go to bed, will happily oblige, settle down for the night, and be asleep in no time.

There are also occasions where February has 29 days.

This occurs about as often as an easy bedtime for us.

See, what usually happens is that when B and J know  Mr. Sandman is coming, they’re like Olympic runners nearing the finish line. They get one final adrenaline rush, and to quote Fat Joe, go ALL THE WAY UP! 

Unfortunately, some of these ALL THE WAY UP nights are so bananas , that I gotta give them their own category, which I’ve dubbed The Bedtime WTF Awards.

The other night was one of those nights. Ladies and gentleman, your nominees are:

1.

K left to pick up some stuff, so it was just me with the kids.

Before going to bed, B and J were assigned a very straightforward  task- clean up the playroom which they had spent the afternoon destroying:

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The first thing that they decided to do?

Instead of putting on pyjamas, they stripped down to their underwear.

2.

I went downstairs to do some tidying up. After a few minutes of silence, I heard footsteps, followed by B screaming, followed by laughter. A few seconds later, there were footsteps, followed by J screaming, followed by laughter. I went up, to see what was going on:

Me – “What are you doing?”

B – “Oh, we’re just pretending that we’re walking by and don’t know we’re there, and jumping out and scaring each other.”

When you were little, did you a play a rousing game of “half-naked creeper terrifies innocent bystander?” Of course you didn’t (but if you did…….how are you reading this from your jail cell?).

Anyway,  I squashed that game, and told them to get back to cleaning.

3.

Note this for later – J smelled delicious. Her and B  told me that she put some scented hand cream on, because J wanted to smell nice for work, or something like that.

4.

I supervised them for a bit, and watched them put toys in a big toy bin. Things were going well, so I left them alone. Not long after, I heard the sound of something being dragged.  Confused, I went up to check.  The toy bin had been emptied, and J was now sitting in it, with B using the rope handle to pull it along.

B – ” I’m just taking her for a ride!”

pulling

While impressed by B’s strength for a six year old boy, I was also annoyed.  The playroom was now messier than before. I squashed their rousing game of  Toronto rickshaw tour driver, and once again told them to get to work, in no uncertain terms.

5.

I monitored them for a few minutes, to keep them on track. Satisfied with the progress, I decided to leave, to resume my cleaning.  After a good long time of blissful, shenanigan-free silence, I came back to the playroom, to see how it was looking.

When I walked in, B was bent over to the top of a shelving unit, butt in the air.

J, meanwhile, was holding a fly swatter, as if she were about to hit him in the underwear with it.

I didn’t even ask what they were doing.
I just cut their rousing game of 50 Shades of Grey short, and told them to get clothes on ASAP.

6.

After about an hour in the room, here is how B and J made out on their mission:

20160727_190048

The playroom looks exactly the same!

Hey, it doesn’t look exactly the same! Do you see the toy microphone that was in the first picture? No, because they put it away!

Regardless, after this lacklustre effort, K eventually came home. The kids’ mission was deemed a failure for the evening, and they were sent to their rooms. While upstairs, K asked about the smell. I told her that J got into some hand cream.

After more inspection, we realized that she didn’t just get into the cream.

She got the cream into one of the toilets. As in, she smeared it all over the inside of the bowl.

quote

That night’s winner? The toilet. It smelled like candy canes for days afterwards.

That night’s loser?  Me.

Bedtime WTF – Flaming Panties Edition

flame

One of the cool parts about being a parent is the never-ending string of learning experiences. Not just by your kids, though, but by you, too. It’s always something, man.

Take the other night, for example, when my house was almost set ablaze by a pair of underwear.

Yeah. Some things you just can’t make up.

 

It all started off so uneventfully.  It was just me with B and J for the evening, as K was out. After doing our usual bedtime routine (I tell them that it’s time for bed, and they proceed to defiantly cause a ruckus. What? I didn’t say that it was a good routine),  the kids went off to their rooms, to get their pyjamas on.  I said that I would come back soon, to check on them. Now, on most nights, I usually head downstairs and do whatever. On this night, though, I decided to stay upstairs in our bedroom, to put some laundry away.

Five minutes later, a warm, sweet-smelling scent filled the air.

My initial reaction was that someone was making cookies. Nice!

My next reaction was, wait a minute. No one else was home….who was making cookies!!!!???

 

I may or may not have thought of ghosts.

I may or may not have thought it was the ghost of a Keebler elf.

I headed down to the kitchen, to investigate. The stove was off. No cookies. No scents, as well, which didn’t make sense. Confused, I realized that the smell was emanating from upstairs. I went back up, and narrowed its origin down to either B or J’s room.

The kids don’t have Easy-Bake Ovens, so I knew they weren’t creating any late night goodies. After taking a nice big whiff, I figured out that the odour was definitely coming from J’s room. I walked in, and found her sitting on the floor, doing a puzzle with her stuffed animals. I asked why her room smelled so delicious. She had no idea. I looked around and I couldn’t figure it out. I searched under her bed, in her closet, and in her ceiling light.

Nada.

It then dawned on me that the lamp on her bedside table seemed darker than normal.

Bingo!

I discovered the culprit:

20160411_205119_HDR

No, someone did not forget to wipe.

This is a pair of J’s underwear which were cooking on the light bulb in her lamp. See, when J was changing into her pyjamas, she took off her underwear and flung them towards her laundry hamper. However, they somehow ended up landing in her lamp (Breanna Stewart, your job is safe for now). Then, instead of moving them, she left them there to bake, because, well #kidslogic.

The messed up part is that these were the charred remains after just a few minutes on the light bulb. Can you imagine what would have happened if I hadn’t stayed up in our room? What if a fire had broken out? Scary stuff, dude. It’s amazing how the most random things can potentially cause serious consequences.

The end result?

A valuable lesson about fire safety was learned.  The importance of understanding flammable hazards in the house can not be understated, for real.

And yes, in case you were wondering, cookies were had by me afterwards.

Be safe, y’all!

 

 

 

 

Talk That Talk

 

talktalk

I don’t discuss it very often on here, but getting the kids to go to bed remains an ongoing problem for us. The struggle is real, man. At this point, I probably have a better chance of winning the lottery, than I do of telling B and J to go to sleep and have them happily oblige, with no shenanigans.

Take the other night, for example. I’ll give you a quick back-story first, though. See, we recently got J a new ‘big girl’ bed, because she had outgrown her other one. When we told her of our plans to get a new bed, she was excited. Her bed game was gon’ be on fleek, yo! She couldn’t wait to sleep in it!

And then we we actually got the bed.

The first night, instead of rushing off to test it out, she refused to sleep in it. She argued that she wanted to sleep in our bed. Who needs a big comfortable spread to yourself, when you can be uncomfortably wedged between two adults? #kidlogic

Anyway, over the next few days, K and I came to the unfortunate realization that the only way to get J to go to her bed was through bribery or similar tactics. This brings me to the other night.

When the big bedtime moment came, J agreed to go to sleep in her bed, BUT with one condition – I had to sit in her room with her, until she dozed off.  Well, shut the front door! She seemed pretty tired, so I would probably be outta there in 15 minutes, I figured. I tucked her in, pulled up the rocking chair, and waited.

There was one other thing, however – J wanted to talk to me as she fell asleep. OK, cool, whatever.

Turned out, she had a lot of stuff on her mind. No joke, here is what she talked about, in chronological order:

  • She recapped the movie Cinderella, including numerous small details.
  • She recapped the movie Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, including numerous small details.
  • She recapped the movie Scooby-Doo And Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery, including numerous small details.
  • She wished upon a star.
  • She fired me, just because.
  • She discussed what she wanted to have for breakfast the next morning.
  • We discussed why pudding isn’t a breakfast food.
  • She discussed what she wanted for dessert the next evening.
  • She insisted that I had to sleep in her bed, or else I would be in big trouble (side note: no, my daughter isn’t Michelle Tanner).  
  • She recapped what she did at daycare, including numerous small details.
  • She wondered if she was three years old, or three and a half years old. When told that she was three and a half, she listed off all of the important events which had to occur, before her next birthday. These included Halloween, Christmas, family members’ birthdays, and, uh, Thursday.
  • She invited me to her birthday party.
  • Apparently she was playing with a GPS or something, as she gave me precise directions on how to get to Grammy’s house (side note: if I followed her directions, I would not have gotten anywhere close to Grammy’s house).
  • She told me that she had a dream about Monday, Tuesday and Saturday. It was a scary dream.
  • She asked if “Fingers” was awake (side note: Fingers is a character I made up years ago, to entertain the kids. It is just my hand speaking in my normal voice, but B and J get a kick out of it. Some parents use puppets or toys; I use my fingers. Some parents are more resourceful and creative than me).
  • We had this exchange:

J (singing) – Fingers is bad! Fingers is bad! Daddy? I have to tell you something.

Me – What?

J (singing) – Fingers is bad! Fingers is bad!

  • She sang some real songs to herself quietly, before finally fading and passing out.

The 15 minute waiting time that I estimated was off by by about two hours. It was all good, though, as at least she was in her own bed!

I went to sleep not long afterwards. At 3:00AM, to my dismay, I was woken up……by J. She had come into our room, and was standing beside my rested head:

J – Daddy! Daddy! You are in big trouble!

Me – Why? What did I do?

J – You said you would sleep in my room, but you’re not. Now c’mon!

I honestly didn’t remember making such a deal. However, at that time of the night, exhausted and barely conscious, I wasn’t in the mood for a fight. So, I got up, stumbled down the hall, and snuggled up with her, in her bed.

Here’s the kicker: the next morning, when I woke up, I was alone. At some point, J got up (again), and went and slept in MY bed!

As comfy as my sleep was, it was obviously a less than ideal scenario. Yet, that’s how it goes in our house on a regular basis. #bedtimewtf

The struggle is real, man!

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! ):

 

 

IMG_20141005_213303_919

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):

 

IMG_20141005_212855_603

 

IMG_20141005_212916_284

 

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!

 

 

 

 

7 Tips For Getting Your Children To Go To Sleep

MPD

 

Mr Perfect Dad (MPD): Hey there, dear reader!  Mr Perfect Dad, here. I am a parenting expert.

Mike (M):  Sup, y’all. I am Mike……and I am not a parenting expert. If you’ve read my older posts, you know that, though.  That is why I invited Mr Perfect Dad over, to give me some advice.

MPD: Honored to be here! I’m going to share with you 7 tips for putting your children to bed. Follow these, and even the most difficult dilly dallyer will become a sleeping beauty in no time!

M: You had me at difficult.  J’s passed out, but B is up. Yo  B, come here! Mr Perfect Dad is going to put you to bed tonight!

TIP 1

MPD: Routine, routine, routine! Kids thrive on repetition and familiarity. Get into habits, and stick with them every night.

M: This is true. B and J routinely find new and creative ways to stay awake.

MPD: No, good routines only! For example, you could start the evening off by telling a story as a family. I’m fond of improv, where one person says a line to begin,  then someone else says the next line, and so on. Whose line is it, anyway? Haha.  Hoho.

M: Fun! Like, there once was a man from Nantucket….

MPD: No.

M: There once was a small piano, and tiny pianist…

MPD: No!

B: Weiner! Weiner!

MPD: No! No! Let’s move on.

TIP 2

MPD: A common stall tactic that wee ones like to employ is going potty. They hold their tinkles or doodoos in, and use having to go to potty later on as a way to get a second wind.  A second wind means more precious seconds spent goofing off, which should be spent in dreamland. Thus, to get around that,  force your children to empty their bladders and bowels before being put down for the night!

Me: It’s just that easy, huh? Alright, let’s try it on B.

(Minutes later)

MPD: See? He went, and now he has a fresh pull-up on. There’s no reason for…..wait, what’s that smell? Are you pooping? Why aren’t you using the potty?

B: Because it’s Thursday and I can’t see and I need a light to see.

MPD: What does that mean?!

M:  Eww. Hold your breath, you don’t want to get a whiff of that second wind. What else do you got?

TIP 3

MPD:  Kids are experts at entertaining themselves. To minimize stimulation at night, remove all toys from the bedroom! When left to their own devices, they are more prone to pass out from boredom, than if they have fun objects around to amuse them.

M: One night, B played hide and seek in his room with some socks. The socks couldn’t find him in his closet, so I guess he won. Do I need to take out all items, or just toys?

MPD: Is that a serious question?

(Later)

MPD: Whoo! Do you hear that? That silence is the sound of a toddler running out of steam. Soon he’ll be asleep…. aww, what are you doing? You’re supposed to be in your room!

B: I need to find my cousin.

MPD: What?

M: Haha, he’s going to the playroom to get a car! Yeah, guess his cousin is a Hot Wheels. Uh oh,  now he’s going back for a bucket of cars. Must be a family reunion! Yo, it’s getting late. So far, your tips aren’t working, El Perfecto.  You don’t look so happy, either. Got any other tricks?

TIP 4

MPD:  Yell!!!! Yelling is an effective form of communication! Sometimes,  fear needs to be instilled! Do you have a Freddy Krueger mask?

M: Whoa. Chill out, dude. You’re not scaring my kids.

MPD: Err…my apologies for losing my cool. What I meant to say is that children are intelligent, so appealing to their sense of reason in a stern voice can go a long way in getting them to settle down for the night.

M: Whenever I try to reason with B, and even J, I get outsmarted.

MPD: I…..I…don’t know how to respond to that.  But let me show you. Is he drumming now? This is ridiculous! Hey, YOU!  You are being too LOUD, be QUIET!

B: I’m not loud, I’m clicking! See? Click click click! This is loud! (Marches around drumming)

MPD (covers ears): He is right….that is loud.

Me: Well, you sure told him. Oh, great,  he woke up J. What advice do you have for putting down two kids at the same time?

TIP 5

MPD: This works on two kids simultaneously. For small toddlers, soothing, soft sounds are a parent’s secret weapon. Sit beside their bed, stroke their little heads, and whisper sweet nothings over and over.

M: You mean, like saying Beetlejuice?

MPD: No. I don’t mean that at all.

M: Yeah, because if you say Beetlejuice too many times, he might appear. And that guy is noisy! No one can sleep around him. Speaking of which, J is still crying.  It’s keeping B up.

B: She is crying! She is too loud!

MPD: Thanks, Captain Obvious. I just need some more time.

(Much Later)

M: Your secret weapon isn’t working. Maybe try some ocean noises or something.

B: She is too loud! It is making me angry!

MPD: Thank you, Captain Ironic! And silence, all of you! I’m the expert! Any other household, and my advice is foolproof!

M:  You’ve been trying your tips  for hours,  and haven’t done any better than I normally do.  So who is the fool, exactly? Anyway, more advice, please!

TIP 6

MPD: Bribery! When all else fails, bribe them! What do your kids like? Toys? Movies? Candy? Hey children, I will buy you a chocolate factory if you go the F*** to sleep right now!

M: Easy there, Willy Wonka.  I don’t know about that.  Rewarding them to combat defiance doesn’t seem like good parenting.

MPD (sobbing):  J won’t stop crying.  B just turned the dishwasher on. Why did he do that?  BLARGH!!!

TIP 7

MPD: A long car ride can do wonders!

M: That worked when they were babies. It will work on bigger kids, too?

MPD: I meant for me. I’m out of here. I need a drink or two or a six pack. Nights like this are why I decided to never have kids.  Bye.

M: See ya.  Thanks for the tips! Maybe they’ll help someone out there. Or not.  Doesn’t matter.  C’mon B and J, let’s go lie in my bed and wait for Mommy to come home.  Mr Perfect Dad was a real downer, eh? Sheesh.

 

 

 

MPD2

(NOTE: While mainly a fictitious post, the actions of B and J that evening were 100% real.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deuces

 

deuces pic

 

I thought that things would be different.

Getting B to go to bed occasionally borders on ridiculous. Some of his exploits have been legend – wait for it- dary (word to Barney Stinson!). He’s a non-stop maniac.

Conversely. J has such a chill personality. I figured that once she hit the terrible twos, by comparison,  getting her to hit the sack every night would would be Easy Street.

As usual, I was wrong.

Take the the other night, for example. K had gone out, so it was just me with the kiddos. My routine evening was then, of course, interrupted by the Bedtime WTF Awards! The nominees are:

 

1) To encourage the kids to use the toilet before bed, we’ve been giving them little treats if they go potty. What a foolproof system, right? No possible room for loopholes.  So, with the promise of chocolate, B dutifully took a duty in one bathroom, and J took a tinkle in the other bathroom. After I gave them their chocolate, B said that he had to go again. He clearly just wanted another chocolate, and held in some poop, so he took off to the bathroom J was in previously.  Yeah, Maybe my system isn’t so foolproof, I know. J, upon realizing that there was a chance for more chocolate,  ripped off her diaper and took off to the bathroom that B was in before. I helped her onto to the toilet and had this conversation:

Me – ‘Do you have to pee?’

J (smiling, in a sing songy voice) – ‘Nooo.’

Me – ‘Do you have to poop?’

J (same goofy grinning singy voice) ‘Noo.’

Me – ‘So why are you here?’

Silence. Blank stare. Then she hopped down and walked away.

Huh.

Logic: 1, chocolate loving toddler: 0.

2) After the kids’ bowels were empty, it was story time! I asked B to pick a story. He looted his book shelf…and selected the one book that wasn’t a story. It was some educational phonics workbook. I told him to try again. He did some more looting…and, with a smirk, handed me the same workbook, but upside down.:

3) I figured that I’d stay upstairs and get some important work done. And by important work, I mean stretch out in my bed and watch Lebron James work his magic. The kids were in B’s room. Suddenly, J walked into my room. She had her nightie lifted up and was wearing a pull up diaper in such a way that it somehow looked like she had crotchless panties on. I walked her back to B’s room, and saw that B was trying on different pyjamas and pull ups. I don’t know, maybe he was walking the red carpet later and wanted to pick the right outfit.

Unfortunately for B, we were out of gold body paint, for his red carpet premiere.

Unfortunately for B, we were out of gold body paint, for his red carpet premiere.

4) Anyway, I got them dressed proper after that, and left.  All was quiet for a few minutes. J then walked in my room again, but with B following her. She closed my bathroom door,  closet door, and then my bedroom door behind her as she left. I got up, went to follow them, and saw that every door was closed upstairs.

Me – ‘What is J doing?’

B aka Captain Obvious – ‘She closed all the doors, dad.’

Me – ‘Why?’

More silence. More blank stares.

5) After getting them tucked in, I left to go back to my game. I could hear the kids talking. Not long after, B ran into the playroom. Said that he wanted a couple of toys. OK whatever. Not long after that, J walked by pulling this:

IMG_20140513_210101_535

 

I saw her loading it up with a bunch of random things. Cars, stuffed animals, a box. She then walked back with it to B’s room. Weird. At the next commercial, I went to see what the deal was. To say that it was a disaster would be an understatement. They had took apart a shoe rack from B’s closet. B had put blankets and pillows on a couple of rack pieces. He actually stacked two pieces so that one end was elevated up a bit. I have no idea what J had in mind. She had the pull toy on top of her rack, on top of her pillow. I stood there in shock, like my name was Jay-Z and my wife’s sister suddenly started pummelling me in an elevator. B climbed over the mess, wrapped himself in a blanket, and lied down on a rack:

B – ‘We made fancy beds!’

Me – ‘No more playing! No fancy beds!’

B – ‘But where can I sleep?’

Me – ‘In your bed!’

 

We tidied up a bit. Shockingly enough, they were fast asleep a few minutes later.

That night’s winner: Lebron. Doesn’t matter what the competition is, Lebron always wins.

That night’s loser: Me.

Old School Style

 

 

I need to come clean about something.

Not too long ago, our family was homeless. We were homeless for quite a few months, actually.

 

 

Wait.

I need to come clean about that. 

See, an opportunity came up which we thought was too good to pass up, to purchase a brand new house,  built from scratch. The catch was that we needed to sell the home that we already had first, to go towards the funding of  it.  When we completed the sale, construction of the new house started,  but the closing date on it was like six months later.  So, after we moved out, we were technically homeless until we could move into the new place; we didn’t have a fixed address.

For a couple of months during this period, we stayed at my father in-law’s house.  He was cool with it, and I’m sure he liked the company. Nonetheless, that was still the definition of super-imposing. Taking one person in is a big commitment, let alone four.  If you look up super-imposing in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of my father in-law standing at a window frowning, as K, J, B and I walked up to his house carrying our suitcases.  To be honest, the situation felt like the premise for a bad sitcom.  Just watch the hilarity when a grownup daughter moves into her neat-freak dad’s place, with her wild n crazy kids and her smooth,  funky fresh, fine, wise-cracking husband who has a heart of gold!

No, Chris Rock, you're not going to play the role of me.

No, Chris Rock, you’re not going to play the role of me. It’s not a real show.

Obviously, we couldn’t stay there for the whole six months. And this put us in a bind. We didn’t have any other family to turn to, so where do you live when you’re only looking for something for a few months? We looked at apartments, but everything required a one year lease. We looked at home rentals, but the only places that we could find were crazy expensive, or crazy sketchy (I checked out one house, and then as I was leaving and going to my car, I walked past a prostitute. Pimpin’ ain’t easy, but that’s not a lesson I want to teach my kids yet). We looked at the YMCA (I heard it’s fun to stay there). We looked at hotels. We looked at running away and joining the circus or becoming carnies. No go to them all.

 

Finally, K found out that the local college rented out its dorm rooms in the summer, and that they had a long-term resident program. Each room had two bedrooms, a kitchenette and two TVs.  Housekeeping, as well. It was near the important shopping areas, and parks, too, for the kiddos. No long term contract, either, just pay by the month.  So, yeah, man,  that’s right, to avoid living on the streets, the four of us stayed in a dorm room for the summer!

And honestly, it wasn’t so bad.  The kids had a blast. They got a kick out of living in a ‘hotel’. They especially loved going to the ‘movie theater’ on our floor and hanging out there. Plus, it wasn’t like the place was crawling with partying, beer ponging, keg-standing students, either.  It really was quiet most of the time. Met a ton of nice people, too.

It wasn’t all fun and reliving my younger scholastic days, though.  On the real, kids are creatures of their environment.    B basically acted like he was on vacation the whole time. Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn, say what! The summer was spent with him seeing how far he could push us,  which was way more than usual. I needed to adapt my parenting methods accordingly.

Awww, who am I kidding.

The only adapting I did was, instead of pushing the buttons on the elevator myself, I let the kids do it. Regardless,  in such a confined, unusual setting, you do what you can as a parent, in terms of discipline and control, but you can only do so much.

One of the  main ongoing problems was (SHOCKER) the bedtime routine.  J would  need to be put down for bed early,  yet she shared a room with B.  If  we sent B to his room to play, he would inevitably get too loud and wake J. Or he would inevitably get bored of playing and find new ways to amuse himself, which typically involved getting into things, or trying to hang with K and me.

One time, he came running in all excited, just to hold his arm out and tell me how long it was. I mean, it’s not that I don’t care but………wow, I don’t know how to finish that sentence. Oh come on, don’t hate. When your kid does something not very interesting, you nod and mumble ‘good job’, too.  Never, ever bash them to their face, but deep down, you wish that they’d stop jumping up and down, or spinning in circles, or clapping their hands, or whatever regular thing they’re doing that they’re making you watch them do.  I know I’m not alone on this.  Now, if they were spinning circles while jumping and clapping hands, that’s different. Congratulations, too. If you’re looking for a circus for your little acrobat to join, message me, and I’ll refer you to some contacts that I found.

Do do dodo dodo do do dooo, do do dodo dodo do  do dooo

Do do dodo dodo do do dooo, do do dodo dodo do do dooo

 

For all I know, one day in the future, B will be holding out his arm to show me his new tattoo, and I’ll miss the days when he was just excited about showing me how long his arm was, and I’ll start singing ‘Cats in The Cradle’ because the full meaning of that song will hit me at that moment, and B will walk away from me  shaking his head in confusion and hop on his Harley hovercraft or whatever people will be riding in the future, and float off into the sunset, and…….

Whoa, sorry,  back on topic.

B realized early on that we were screwed at how we could control him, while living in rez (yeah, the hip kids call residence rez.  Gimme my hip card! ).  He had some moments there that were real doozies (no one says doozies anymore? Hey, where are you going with my hip card?).

Take one eventful evening, for example.

Ladies and gentlemen, that night’s Bedtime WTF Awards:

1) Lying in bed flipping through channels, I passed Criminal Minds on a French channel (in Canada, we have some French channels on our TVs):

B – ‘Hey, I like that show! I like that police car!’
Me – ‘You’ve never seen that show. It’s in French, too. You don’t speak French.’
B – ‘Yeah I do (he stands up, starts yelling) BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!’
Pretty sure that wasn’t French…

2) Nothing on TV, plus B was hanging out in our bedroom. I figured I’d watch a totally kid friendly film….Semi Pro. Wait, it’s not appropriate at all!  So that didn’t last long. Before I turned it off, though, B did find his microphone and sang along to ‘Love Me Sexy’ by Will Ferrell. Later, he also jumped on my back and sat on me like a horse a bunch of times:
Me – ‘Why do you keep doing that?’
B – ‘Because I like this movie.’

bedjump

Next time you’re sitting and enjoying a video with a friend or significant other, randomly start to ride them like they’re Seabiscuit.  Why? Because you like the movie.

3) And no he didn’t like it. B got bored, and watched Curious George on the Playbook instead. At some point, he noticed that George had a TV tray, like his, and he went off to find it. He was giving me the play by play while’s looking for it (‘I’m going to look for it!’ ‘I found it!’ ‘I’m going to carry it!’ etc). I kinda tuned him out, because he’s no Al Michaels when it comes to giving the play by play. At some point, I thought he said that he was going to set it up by my feet, at the end of the bed. Anyway, I should have paid more attention. I go to stand up later, and yup, I stepped on the tray, and hurt my foot. Ouch.

4) J woke up screaming, so I went to the kid’s room to calm her down. She was wide awake, not going to sleep anytime soon,  so I chilled with her in the bed in their room. B sauntered in eventually:
B – ‘Now, if you need help calming J down, just let me know and say my name! And I will come and help you.’
Huh? Who’s the parent here?!  Literally 10 seconds later, J started  whining, so I called the dad in training over:
Me – ‘OK,  B, can you come help me calm her?’
B (in a serious voice) – ‘No.’
He left and  closed the door behind him.

5) It’s flippin’ midnight, and J was still up but fading.  B strolled in again:
B – ‘OK, Dad, I’m turning the TV off. It’s past your bedtime.’
Me – ‘Go to bed! It’s past YOUR bedtime!!!’
B ended up sleeping in my bed, with K.  I end up in B’s bed, in his room. The joys of parenthood, for real.

6) Instead of waking up to my usual obnoxious alarm (that week: WWE wrestler Fandango’s theme), I woke up to a loud thump and crying at like 5:30 AM. B fell out of our bed.  Didn’t hurt himself, don’t worry!

That night’s winner? Esprits Criminels? That show has a new fan, apparently.
That night’s loser? Me.

Anyway, we did move out of rez life before the school year started, and eventually into the house that we currently live in, which ended our homelessness.  And B and J have adapted just fine. No more nonsense, for real.

OK, OK, I need to come clean about that, too……another time, though.

Mohawk_College

 

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