Posted by mike On December 6, 2013
One of the funniest things that I’ve seen on Saturday Night Live was the digital short “Lazy Sunday”, by the Lonely Island. Two guys rapping about the boring, kinda wack stuff that they do? Somehow, it’s hilarious, for real! Along those lines, I realize now that kids can also turn the most mundane activities into memorable experiences. It’s cool, though, because that means that things are always interesting, for better or worse.
I remember one Sunday afternoon maybe a year ago. Me and B were chillin’ like villians. Some quality dude time minus the girls. B wanted to play downstairs (his exact words: ‘I want to play cars downstairs. I want you to play cars with me downstairs. C’mon man, I love you!’), so off we went.
After playing for a while, I noticed B was hogging all the fun stuff. I guess that is one way to always be entertained, to horde all the cool toys. That did nothing for my interest level, however. So, I did what any bored parent would do in this situation – I started being a jerk and taking things from him while he was playing with them. B, being an unusually aware toddler, immediately caught on and smelled what I was cookin’:
B(reaches into pile, pulls out a balloon) – ‘You swipe it?’
Me – ‘Yeah!’ (I take the balloon and laugh.)
B – (pulls out a toy guitar) – ‘You swipe it?’
Me – ‘Yeah!’ (I take it and laugh again)
B (pulls out a zoo play thing) – ‘You swipe it?’
More swiping and laughing by me.
B (pulls out a toy baseball bat) – ‘You swipe it?’
Me – ‘Yeah!’
B- ‘No!! I swipe you first!’
He then wound up like Mark McGwire and cracked me in the head with the bat. If it was a ballgame, he would have had a homer, easy. Serves me right, though, for being a jerk.
Stupid Poetic Justice!
Anyway, later, after my head stopped hurting, B suggested that we play hide and seek….except he didn’t actually know how to play it.
Me – ‘OK, turn around, count to ten. I’ll hide and you come find me!’
B (turns around, starts walking over to the couch) – ‘1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 10!’ (He stands beside the couch, in the wide open) ‘Come find me!’
I try to explain how it works, then we try again:
Me – ‘OK, I’ll turn around, close my eyes and count to ten. Go hide and I’ll find you!’
I turn around and count. I turn back around, B hasn’t moved, but is smiling huge. He then walks over to the same spot beside the couch that he was at before:
B – ‘Come find me!’
Yeah, this wasn’t going well. So we did some walkthroughs and B sort of gets the hang of it. And then:
Me – ‘OK, I’ll go upstairs, count to ten, and come back down and find you!’
I leave, come back, I hear B giggling behind a curtain. Minus the giggling, not a bad spot, right? I pull the curtain back:
Me – ‘Found you…….wait, where are your pants!?’
B – ‘Hide and Seek!’
He took his pants off and hid them……beside the same spot by the couch that he was at before.
Like I said, it is always….interesting, for better or worse.
Posted by mike On November 28, 2013
Those two words can bring a tear to your eye, for numerous reasons. Maybe it’s a tear of joy, because your team kills it for the week, or because that dude you took a flyer on off of the waiver wire has a career game and amasses a ton of points. Maybe it’s a tear of anguish, because your entire team has an off week and loses, or because that dude you took a flyer on off of the waiver wire gets hurt in the first quarter and costs you a ton of points. Maybe it’s a tear of disgust, because your significant other has no problem describing where they were, with vivid details, when Michael Vick’s 6 total touchdowns in a 2010 Week 10 game carried their fantasy team to victory…..but they forgot your anniversary. Maybe it’s a tear of indifference…well I made that one up, but let’s be real, a lot of people couldn’t give a flying Tampa Bay Buc about fantasy sports.
Nonetheless, a lot of people do care. Borderline religiously in some cases. Now, whether you’re a fantasy junkie, or involved with a fantasy junkie, you know that draft night is THE most important night. Who you draft shapes the entire season. All those hours of research and studying up, probably at the expense of quality family time, finally pay off. Hey you gotta get it right if you want to have a chance at winning! More importantly, if your draft is online, there’s no time for messing around. It’s non stop, so your undivided attention is critical. No distractions, straight up.
However, do you know who doesn’t know these important facts? Kids.
Take my draft night last year, for example. K went out, and left me alone with B and J.
My plan – put the kids down, get some beer and salty non-nutricious snacks, and draft away on the old computer.
B’s plan – to win another Bedtime WTF Award.
The nominees were:
1) Round 1 of the draft. B is crying, so I go up and check on him. He’s whimpering and grunting, holding his booty. Says he pooped and needs a diaper change. OK, whatever. I go to change him:
Me – ‘There’s nothing in your diaper. You….faked it???’
I rushed back to the computer, and notice that it’s my turn to pick, and I have like 1o seconds left to make it. I quickly pick the guy I had ranked the highest (Cam Newton) and didn’t notice that Drew Brees was still on the board. Off to a great start….
2) Round two of the draft, right before my pick, hysterical screaming from B’s room. I run to check on him:
B – ‘There’s a monster over there! He’s riding a boat!!’
I fake toss the monster out of his room. I leave, and get back just in time to again make another sucktacular selection. Regardless, B is cool until….
3) More hysterical screaming one round later. I open his door…no faking it this time. He took a dump. Almost my pick, so I tell him to wait and I’ll be back in a minute to change him. I make my pick, come back, but B isn’t in his room. B is in our room, though, with white flakes around his mouth.
Me – ‘What are you eating?’
B – ‘ I ate the blinds!!’
Me – ‘Why??’
B – ‘Because I’m funny.’ He then starts laughing like Dr. Evil. No really, like Dr. Evil.
4) After changing him, and putting him back down, silence for 3 rounds of the draft….and then crying. His Sleep Sheep music stopped, so I turned it back on. I kiss him, leave, then instant screeching.
Me – ‘What’s wrong now?’
B – ‘I don’t want a kiss!’
Me – ‘Uhhh….too late?’
B – ‘Kiss my back!’
What can I say to that? I kiss his back and leave.
5) Draft has ended. Yup, it was an overall mediocre effort selected by me. Not long after it ends, B is screaming for me to help him, of course. I check on him, and find out that his music stopped yet again. I turn it back on.
B – ‘This is my last chance!’
Me – ‘Last chance for what?’
B- ‘Last chance for music!’
I, as usual, have no clue what that means. ‘Last Chance For Music’ would make a great title for Britney Spears’ next album, though. What? It would, don’t hate.
That night’s winner – Definitely the other guys in my fantasy league. Playing my team that season was usually an easy win.
That night’s loser – me
Posted by mike On November 20, 2013
One skill that I get to work on a lot at home is negotiation. Nothing is easy with the kids, that goes without saying. However, B is in this phase where he’s always looking to cut deals, on basically everything. Eating meals, bedtime, getting ready, cleaning up etc… all this stuff is done once a mutually beneficial agreement has been arranged. Do you know hard that is to live with? To constantly be negotiating? Next time that there’s a hostage that needs to be taken down, gimme a call, I’ll send B over to take care of the situation.
Want an example? Alrighty yo. This conversation happened a few months ago:
Me – ‘OK, you can take three cars to bed tonight.’
B – ‘But I want to take lots of cars!’
Me – ‘No, just three tonight.’
B – ‘I want a few cars!’
Me – ‘How many is a few?’
B – ‘It’s lots.’
Me – ‘No, just three!’
B (picks up a car) – ‘I want this one, (picks up another) , this one (this goes on like twelve more times until he’s pulled out all of his Hot Wheels)
Me – ‘You’re not taking all of those, just three!’
B grabs as many cars as he can hold, and cradles them against his chest. And then:
B (picks up a car, adds it to his armful of cars) – ‘One. (picks up another, adds it). Two (and another). Three.’
Me – ‘Nice try! Just three. Here, I’ll pick them for you.’
I grab three cars.
B grabs two more – ‘And this one and this one?’
Me -‘That’s more than three.’
B – ‘But I want Stitch!’
B saw Lilo and Stitch a while ago, and he called one his cars Stitch. Why? I don’t know. I take a car away, and add Stitch.
B – ‘And Lilo!’
Me – ‘Who’s Lilo?’ I really didn’t know, I only know Stitch.
B (picks up an orange Chevy, adds it to the other three) – ‘This one.”
Me – ‘Is that Lilo?’
B – ‘No (picks up another car, adds it to the four). This is.’
Me – ‘That’s more than three! You can only take three!’
Anyway, eventually B did settle on three cars to take to bed. And that’s that, right? Wrong.
Half hour later, K went to check on him. I stupidly left the rest of the cars in the hall, and B sneakily went and got them. So, of course, K caught him playing with all his cars in his room. Naked, for no apparent reason too. I got him dressed, and had to lay the heavy on him:
Me – ‘So now we’re going to have to take all your cars away. Instead of three cars, you were sneaky, and now you don’t get any.’
And that’s that, right? Wrong.
B – ‘Can I play with my firetruck?’
Because, there’s always room for negotiation!
Posted by mike On November 14, 2013
My kids, they work hard, and they play hard. Sometimes, to the point that they exhaust themselves mid-play and pass out. I call those times the TKO (Toddler Knock Out). I don’t get it. Like if I’m tired and cooking, I don’t fall asleep on the oven. If I’m sleepy while playing baseball, I don’t collapse on third base.
Anyway, here are some TKO examples:
Why did B decide, on a perfectly good bed, that my head would be a comfy pillow to rest on? No clue. Why are we napping at 4:22PM, too? Yeah, no clue either,
Now this TKO made a lot of sense. This was when the fam was living in a college dorm room (that’s a whole ‘nother post). B decided that night, that he didn’t like his bed, and refused to sleep in it. K and me knew that he was in the hall watching our TV from there, instead of staying in his room. He was whiny for a while, and then he was quiet. We checked on him and found him like this. See? Clearly, he grabbed his pillow, and hit the tiles to relax. The tiles were cold, so he grabbed a towel to keep warm. He needed some company, to watch TV with him, so he also got a couple of stuffed animals. And his shoes…..yeah, I got nothing, I’m making it up. This didn’t make sense then, doesn’t make now.
Now for this one, B again didn’t want to go to bed (shocker!) and was being difficult about it. Again, we ignored his whines. All of his toys were put away, so we figured that he’d just get bored and go back to his room to read. Not so much. When it comes to entertaining himself, lil dude is like MacGyver/MacGruber, in his resourcefulness. We heard him talking to himself for a bit, and then silence, and then we found him as he is in the picture. What’s with the random objects lined up so meticulously, you wonder? I asked him the next morning what that was all about. He told me that he was bowling. The black belt thing was the bowling lane, the softball his ball, and the other things were the pins. The sandals on his hands were his bowling shoes. Lil Twinkletoes said that he ran out of breath while playing and had to go to sleep, whatever that means.
TKOs……I don’t get it. And I’m sure, when you see them with your kids, you don’t get them either.
Posted by mike On November 9, 2013
One night, I was listening to Samuel L Jackson reading Go The F**k to Sleep, with K. Great story, highly recommended. B must have been listening secretly and taking notes. That night’s Bedtime WTF Award nominees:
1) I put J on the floor in B’s room, and attempt to change B into his PJs. When I have him down to his diaper, he jumps up and starts doing laps around J.
Me – ‘Chill out! You need to calm down, it’s bedtime!’
B – ‘It’s not bedtime. It’s wake up and play cars time!’
I get him changed and settled. But then he gets on the floor and starts playing with a school bus:
Me – ‘OK, time to get into bed.’
B – ‘But the bus is just going to Ontario.’
Huh? While I’m looking at him confused, he gets up, pats J on the head, calls her a ‘handsome girl’, and gets into bed…..
2) but before I can leave, he hops out and starts screeching. Like loud, obnoxious, high pitched screeching:
Me – ‘Stop that!!’
B – ‘Does it hurt your ears?’
Me – ‘Yes!!’ He picks up a toy ladder and starts banging his bed with it.
B – ‘Does that hurt your ears?’
Me – ‘No.’
B – ‘So I can keep doing it?’
Me – ‘What? No! It’s time to go to bed!’
3) J is crying now, so we leave and close his door. B starts screaming frantically that he has to go potty. He never wants to use the potty, but what am I going to say? I let him out, and off he goes. I go back to J. B is quiet for a few minutes. I start to change her into her PJs, then all of the sudden:
B – ‘Daddy! I’m pooping!’
I turn around, and B is walking towards me, bow legged, like he just got off a horse, with his diaper in his hand! I run to him:
Me – ‘No, you have to go in the potty!’
I get to him, and look down his pants expecting the worst……but nothing. Phew! Glad I avoided that mess.
B – ‘I pooped in the potty! I get a treat!’
Well this just keeps getting better, right? No mess, and he went in toilet? Sweet! So I go to his potty to check…..and nothing. Well, nothing but a roll of toilet paper which he unrolled and jammed in it!
4) B refuses to go to bed, and STILL says that he needs to use the potty. OK, whatever. J is still screaming, and half in her PJs, so I leave him again. And again, more silence for a few minutes. I get J changed and settled, and go check on him. B is sitting on his potty, grinning, with his pants and the potty toilet seat on his head. It looked like a ghetto tophat. Or like something a princess would wear to a wedding.
5) I get B dressed, and he goes back to his room. He starts whining for his toy police car that he likes to takes to bed, and tells me that it’s downstairs. I go downstairs, he follows. I look around, no luck. Then B tells me it’s in our bed. Upstairs we go. I look around our room, nothing. B starts crying. I walk by the bathroom, and notice the shower curtain is pulled back. The police car is in the tub.
B -‘Why’s my police car taking a bath?’
He goes back to his room. I leave, he’s cool for a while. Then he starts screaming for me, so I check on him again:
Me – ‘What’s wrong?’
B (looks at my feet) – ‘Where are your socks?’
Me – ‘I took them off, my feet were hot.’
B – ‘I need socks. My feet are hot.’
Me – ‘No you don’t, and no they aren’t.’
B – ‘Is a spider wearing my socks?’
And I, as usual, have no idea what that means.
Tonight’s winner – we’re going to need more toilet paper, so maybe Shopper’s Drug Mart?
Tonight’s loser – Me
Posted by mike On November 5, 2013
No doubt, one of the cool things about being a parent is exposing your children to those things that you enjoy. You devout a lot of attention to their interests and activities, so it’s fun to hang out with them every once in a while doing something that you like. Me? I like sports. Basketball, football and baseball mainly. I’ve been pretty excited since my kids’ births to be able to take them to some games with me.
Last year, an opportunity came up to go the last game at Ivor Wynne Stadium. The Hamilton Ticats (of the CFL) played there, and were moving into a brand new stadium that they were having built. Figured that it would be dope experience for B.
One day, I’m sure that he’ll thank for me for taking him…..not that day, though. .Here are the Sportscentre highlights:
Pre-Game: While holding his hand walking to our seats, his little hand started pulling mine to his face, and then to his nose. So I could pick his nose for him. Gross. I pull our hands down, we keep walking for a bit. Out of nowhere, some lady yells at us “His pants!” I look down, his pants are around his ankles. How long they were like that, no clue.
First Quarter: B is sort of into the game for about two minutes, then wants popcorn, and only wants popcorn. I give in, get us some. He tells me that he’s going to eat it all, and spends the rest of quarter hogging it.
Second Quarter: B wants to go home by now. However, he does ask me at one point why the game is stopped. I tell him there’s a timeout. In B’s world, a timeout means that you’ve done something bad, and you need to sit on the stairs or something. B is really interested as to the reason why the ‘football man’ got a timeout, and what he did to get it. I try to explain the different meaning to him, but he doesn’t get it. Even that night, hours later before bed, he asked me why the football man was bad. I gave up, just told him he gave another man an ‘ow boo boo’.
Third/Fourth Quarter: Treats and a noisemaker work for a bit, but B really wants to go home. Eventually he gives up asking. Then he decides in the pouring rain, freezing cold, and among like 20 something thousand screaming people, to curl up and go to sleep. Stays asleep until we leave.
Post-game: While walking out, he sees an ambulance. Starts freaking out excitedly at the ambulance. Later, when asked what his favorite part of the game was, he replied ‘the ambulance!’
We also thought that it be fun for him if we took the “Ticat Express” bus to and from the game. On the bus ride home, at every stop, he asked me why we had stopped, and I would give him the same answer (a red light). Finally, I get tired of him asking:
B – ‘Why are we stopped for?’
Me – ‘Why do you think we’re stopped?’
B – ‘Are cows are crossing the road?’
Me – ‘Uh, no, there aren’t any cows.’
B – ‘Are there goats?’
Guess I shouldn’t have asked.
Anyway at least the ambulance was memorable for him. He’ll thank me for that one day.
Posted by mike On November 1, 2013
Do you ever like something, but have no clue why you like it?
Around Halloween last year, B randomly started using the word ‘favorite’. Thing was, I don’t know if he knew exactly what it meant. Driving him to daycare one morning made it seem like he was lovin’ life:
B (in his carseat while we pull into a Tim Horton’s drive-thru): ‘Look! A blue car! Blue is my favorite colour!’
Me – ‘Me too.’
B – ‘No! Your favorite colour is orange.’
Me – ‘Uhh, ok.’
B – ‘Heyyyy! What’s Shari’s car doing? That’s my favorite green car!’
I look around, and, yup, he spotted our old neighbour Shari’s car from across the parking lot.
B (now really excited) – ‘Look!!!! A black truck! What kind of truck is it?’
Me – ‘Uh, it’s a beat up old Dodge pickup truck.’
B – ‘That’s my favorite black truck! Look over there! That’s my favorite white car! What kind is it?’
Me – ‘A Sentra. Hey, What do you want to eat? A cinnamon bagel?’
B – ‘Yeah! That’s my favorite breakfast!!!’
I ordered and we drove to his daycare. Along the way he saw his favorite school bus and pretend-fed his favorite toy bear his bear’s favorite snack – celery and timbits (?!)
We got to daycare, and B noticed the pumpkins on the front steps:
B – ‘I’m just going to look at them!’
He took off, tripped going up a step, and smashed his face on a pumpkin.
Me – ‘Are you OK??’
B (rubbing his chin) – ‘I’m OK. Kiss my chin, daddy. That pumpkin is my favorite pumpkin!’
Posted by mike On October 27, 2013
Independent thinking is an important trait that should be ingrained early on. So as a parent, you try to mix things up. You know, instead of just telling them what they want, or what they should do, you give your kid some options and let them decide on their own. Then if their decision sucks, they learn to do better next time, hopefully. You have to be careful, however. Kids are tricky like that, so there’s always a chance that you get played for a fool. Or that’s what has happened to me, anyway. Many times. I’ll tell you about those experiences at some point. For example now, though, after dinner one night a few months ago, I figured that I’d ask B what he wanted for dessert. Simple right? Not so much:
Me – ‘What do you want for dessert? A banana, or peach applesauce?
B – ‘A bananee!’
Me – ‘OK, a banana?’
B – ‘No! Not banana. A bananee!’
Me – ‘I don’t know what a bananee is. Do you want a banana or peach applesauce?’
B – ‘Peach.’
Me – ‘OK, you want peach applesauce?’
B- ‘No, a peach.’
Me -‘That wasn’t a choice. We don’t have peaches.’
B – ‘Why?’
Me – ‘We have to buy them at the store. So do you want a banana or peach applesauce?’
B (long pause) – ‘I want a pear.’
Me – ‘We don’t have pears! That wasn’t a choice either!’
B – ‘We have to buy them at the store?’
Me – ‘Yeah.’
B – ‘OK! Let’s go to the store!’ (He starts trying to wiggle out of his seat)
Me – ‘We’re not going anywhere! You’re having peach applesauce, OK?’
B – ‘OK!’
So I get him a spoon and the sauce. J is crying now, probably at the ridiculousness of this conversation, so I turn around to tend to her. I turn back around soon after…..B hasn’t touched the applesauce. He’s using the spoon to slurp milk from his cup, though, with the biggest stupid grin on his face.
Lesson learned…..sometimes kids don’t know what they want, even when you tell them what they want.
Posted by mike On October 25, 2013
You know what you can’t do, when you have little children? Leave stuff lying around your place. Inevitably, said children will weigh their options, and do the worst option with your stuff. Call it curiosity, skill development, exploration, or whatever. I call it kind of annoying. K took up knitting recently, for example. B and J are constantly playing with and misplacing the needles, and getting tangled up in the yarn, like little colourful mummies. B got his foot caught in a roll once, then ran all around the living room and kitchen, somehow unraveling it so that it was caught on all sorts of furniture. By the time I caught him, the place looked like it was rigged with an alarm system laser maze.
Experiences like that just teach you a lesson to be careful with your possessions. For your sake, of course, but mainly for your kids’ sake. I remember another time, last year, we went up to check on B. K found him sitting quietly in our room, calmy eating some of her scented body lotion. We thought that it was high up on the back of her dresser. Apparently it wasn’t that unreachable. How he got it, no idea. In his words, though, he was just eating dip. We had to go all Law and Order on him, and interrogated him to figure out WTF he was thinking:
Me – ‘Did you eat a lot?’
B – ‘Yeah, a lot’
Me – ‘Or a little bit?’
B – ‘Yeah, just a little bit.’
Me – ‘So did you eat a lot, or a little bit?
B – ‘A little bit.’
K – ‘So you didn’t eat a lot?’
B – ‘No I ate a lot.’
After going back a forth like this 5 more times, we switched up the questions:
K -‘So did you swallow it, or spit it out?’
B – ‘I spit it out.’
Me – ‘So you spit it out because it was yucky?’
B -‘Yeah. Yucky!’
Me -‘And you didn’t swallow it?’
B – ‘No I eat it. It was yummy in my tummy!’
Did I mention that neither us are cops?
After getting nowhere, I finally called freaking poison control. I had no idea how toxic that cream was, so better safe than sorry. (” Uh, my son ate some perfumy body lotion, maybe, and I don’t know how much because he won’t tell me. Is he OK”). They asked a bunch of questions, gave me some advice and that was that. B was just fine, too, don’t worry.
Yet another lesson was learned on our part, however, in being careful with our stuff.
The best part of the ordeal? His breath smelled great for a long while after, as well.
Posted by mike On October 23, 2013
Remember that show, where Bill Cosby would talk to some lil’ children, and the kids would say the most random things? Sometimes, that stuff was hilarious, just straight jokes. I used to think that the kids must have been actors or something. However, I understand now that, nah, they weren’t actors. Just from talking to B, and then being around other kids (birthday parties, school, sports etc. You know, those places that you probably wouldn’t be around very much if you didn’t have kids that you had to take there), you realize that children are….random. Sometimes (OK, a lot of the time), I have no clue WTF B is talking about. I remember one time, when B was two, almost three years old. K was at her baseball game, and B wasn’t feeling it when I was telling him that, so we got into an argument about it:
B- ‘Where’s mommy?’
Me- ‘I told you, she’s at a baseball game.’
B- ‘No! She’s at work!!’
Me – ‘What? I never said that. She’s playing baseball.’
B – ‘No! She’s at work!’
Me – ‘No!’
B – ‘ YES!’
Me – ‘Ok ok, she’s at work.’
B – ‘Daddy? Where’s mommy?’
Me – ‘She’s at work!!!’
B – ‘No! She’s playing baseball.’
Me – ‘ARRGH!’
B – ‘Daddy?’
Me – ‘Yes!?’
B – ‘Are you mad?’
No B, I wasn’t mad. Thanks for the Cosby moment, though.