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Sep 042013
 

Last week was a big week for my five-year-old son. He started kindergarten, thus embarking on his public school experience. I remember kindergarten. It was actually a formative year for me. Plus I met my oldest friend.

We are fortunate to live in a great school district that prepares parents and students for the school year. We attended orientations and were invited into our son’s classroom to meet his teacher.

I picked him up after his first day and peppered him with questions, not taking into account that he’d had a long day.

“So,” I said like a bumbling fool, “Tell me about your first day!! Did you learn anything new?!?!?  Did you make any friends?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”

“It was good,” was all he said, like a ball-scratching, too cool for school teenager.

My wife asked him similar questions as soon as he walked in the door. Before he could put down his backpack, relatives were already calling. He continued with one, two and three-word responses. It finally registered that he was tired, and we let him be and retreat behind his iPod.

We tried engaging him again during dinner.

“What was your favorite thing you did today?”

He took a bite of watermelon.”I smoked a cigarette.”

He does this to get a rise out of us. Apparently, he’s been a smoker for some time, but I didn’t bat an eye. “Really? Did it make you cough?”

“Yeah. Dad, were you 20 when you smoked a cigarette?”

“Yes.”

“Was it gross? Did it make you choke?”

“It was and it did. My throat hurt for a month. It was a dumb thing to do.”

We’ve had this conversation before, and none of the above is true. I smoked a cigarette when I was 15, and I enjoyed it. I liked the smell of the smoke and the buzz caused by the nicotine. I felt cool doing it. Luckily, I didn’t continue.

“I also tried a cigarette at Papa and Grandma’s,” he continued.

“Was it before or after dinner?” I asked.

“Both.”

“So you had two cigarettes.”

“Yes. I literally had two cigarettes.”

“Did Papa and Grandma have any?”

“Nope. Just me.”

“Why didn’t you share?”

“They don’t like cigarettes.”

We tabled the cigarette talk and picked it up a few days later after school. He opened his Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtle backpack and yanked out some drawings. The first was a depiction of a hockey game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the alternate universe Cincinnati Dragons. The second was a basketball game somehow pitting the Miami Heat against the San Jose Sharks. Then he showed us this one.

Django Unchained

d

“Ooh, what’s that a picture of?” we asked.

“This is a picture of people in a movie theater. And they’re watching Django Unchained.”

From there, he continued to layout his tobacco plan. He’s a social smoker, yes,  but unbeknownst to us, our son is also the founder and CEO of something called the Five-Hour Cigarette.

“But I don’t smoke them,” he assured us.

“Oh good,” I said. “That makes me feel much better about your regular cigarette habit.”

Evidently, his imaginary friend and guinea pig, Brian, smokes them. He’s also a silent partner. I asked how business was going.

“Not so good,” my son answered.

“I was talking to Brian.”

“Well Brian smokes like ten five-hour cigarettes in one day!” He shouted proudly about this phantom.

“No he doesn’t.”

“Oh yes he does.”

“The most he could smoke is four-and-a-half because there’s 24 hours in a day.”

“Well he smokes ten. I saw him do it.”

“Why do you keep talking about cigarettes?”

“Because I love them.”

“Are you interested in e-cigarettes? They’re better for you. There’s no tobacco, just nicotine. Nicotine’s highly addictive and not the best thing for you, don’t get me wrong. But still, there’s no carcinogens, and vapor beats smoke any day. It’s a classic example of a new technology disrupting an existing industry.”

“Dad.”

“What?”

“I want to kick you in the balls.”

“Hey, I know you’re just joking about cigarettes. But for real, if you ever smoked one, you would be in so much trouble, okay? Do you understand?”

“Penis. Butt. Vomit.”

Ah, the voice of reason.

Aug 202013
 

The baby is sick, and it sucks because he’s in discomfort. When he’s in discomfort, he doesn’t sleep well, which means we don’t sleep well. I’d be fine with him suffering in silence, but it’s never that easy is it?

He’s either congested or flowing from his nose. He gets his snot everywhere: his cheeks, his clothes, his food, and on my hairless arms. When he laughs, he makes snot bubbles. Shame on him.

I prefer a runny nose because as messy as it is, the poison is coming out, and one wipe of a tissue makes cleanup easy. So the problem kind of resolves itself.

But when he’s stuffed up, it’s much harder because he obviously doesn’t know how to blow his nose. That means either my wife or I need to go in there and extract his mucus. Don’t feel bad for us though because we use a “nasal aspirator” to do this. That name, “nasal aspirator”, implies that the multi-billion dollar medical devices industry combined with the aid of modern medicine clearly has streamlined an efficient gadget to make this thankless and disgusting job easy. Right? I mean, the 2013 “nasal aspirator” must be an off-the-shelf solution equipped with a button you press that siphons the boogers out within seconds. Mustn’t it?

NO.

Instead, we must enter our son’s nose with this. BEHOLD:

20130820_200542[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what they call a “nasal aspirator.” Funny, because if I didn’t know any FUCKING better, I’d swear this were the world’s bluest micro-phallus attached to a severely gonorrhead uni-ball. And it works just as effectively, so I will call it what it is: The World’s Bluest Micro-Phallus Attached to a Severely Gonorrhead Uni-Ball. Or Bluest Micro-Phallus for short.

When I use the Bluest  Micro-Phallus, I—and I’m sure everyone else must do this—need an extra set of hands to tie down the baby’s arms and lock his head, because go figure, he doesn’t want the Goddamn Bluest Micro-Phallus shoved up his nose. Once we’ve got him good and constrained, and while the claustrophobia is blowing his mind, I squeeze the gonorrhead uni-ball to create suction to hopefully capture the plugged up snot. If I’m lucky, I get about 20 good seconds in and remove say…mmm…eight percent of the build-up.

Really, the best way to use the Bluest Micro-Phallus is to throw it in the motherfucking garbage, wait for the cold to develop into an ear infection, shell out $20 for the pediatrician co-pay and another $10 for the generic Amoxicillin that will kill the infection within 18 hours, rendering your baby as good as new.

I asked my doctor friends about alternatives, and the conversation went like this:

Me: As I’m sure you must agree, the World’s Bluest Micro-Phallus is just completely inept.

Doctor Friend: The what?

Me: Sorry. The “nasal aspirator.” Of the tens of thousands of other more efficient products out there, can you name like five?

Doctor Friend: Unfortunately, this is the best that’s out there. It’s what they use in hospitals.

Me: You mean hospitals in Port Au Prince, not America, the greatest country in the world.

Doctor Friend: Sorry man, I can’t recommend anything else.

Me: Go fuck yourself, DOCTOR.

Doctor Friend: CLICK

Me: Hello? Hey! I was just kidding!

A non-doctor friend offered an alternative called the Nosefrida. I had to know why it’s called that, so I Googled “frida” figuring it would be some medical root, suffix, prefix or affix relating to the nose, but instead I saw a bunch of images of Frida Kalo’s unibrowe. Evidently, Nosefrida is just a stupid name for a stupider product than the Bluest Micro-Phallus.

nosefridademo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture says it all, and all that it says is what’s utterly wrong about the Nosefrida. You are instructed to put one end of one tube to your mouth and the other in the baby’s nose. Then you suck the snot out. With. Your. Mouth.

In its own words, “Nosefrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator is an easy, natural way to keep baby snot free. Just use your own suction to draw mucus out of the “baby’s nose. The disposable filters prevent any bacterial transfer…”

Stop.

A disposable filter doesn’t make me feel any better. Put a softball in that tube between my mouth and the baby’s nose smoothie, and I’m still not doing it. I’ll stick with my friend, Emperor Bluest Micro-Phallus Maximus.

How is it possible that this is the best we have to offer? Labs are bio-printing ears, fingers, and organs for instant transplanting. There is a pill that can make you ejaculate farther. We have to do better than this.

Get to work, doctor friends.

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 062013
 

Apparently, my five-year-old son knows everything. Except he doesn’t.

I’m not calling him a liar; he just likes to say things that are complete bullshit. It’s nothing egregious, mind you. He’s not publicly denying injecting himself with steroids or spreading STD’s at his day camp. His untruths are benign and have no negative impact on society. However, I do get caught up in them, and I make it my business to call him out.

For example, he wanted yams for dinner the other night, just like the ones we had two nights before. We have more, he said, so he would like them. There were two problems here. Number one, we had sweet potatoes, not yams. Number two, we had none left. I addressed these items in this order while driving in the car.

Item 1

“A yam is a sweet potato,” he insisted.

“It’s like a sweet potato,” I said, “but it’s not the same thing.”

“It is the same thing.”

“They look the same and taste the same, but I’m telling you, they are physically different things.”

“No they’re not.”

I sighed. “Okay Jake, you’re right. They’re not. You know everything.”

“Are you joking?”

That is his way of asking if I am being sarcastic. “Yes. I am joking.”

“What’s different?”

I couldn’t answer that, so I launched Wikipedia on my phone, driving slightly off-road.

“Babba. A derrra babba babba,” the baby had to say.

“Daddy, what’s different?”

The page finally loaded, and I l glanced at a table of differences between the two.

“Ah hah! Sweet potatoes have more beta carotene than yams.”

“What’s betacreeetin?”

“It’s, it’s, a vitamin, and if you have too much, you can turn orange.”

Item 2

“Well whatever,” he said. “I want to have sweet potatoes tonight.”

“Sorry dude, but we don’t have anymore.”

“Yes we do.”

“No we don’t.”

“They’re in the bottom of the fridge.”

I sighed again. Why do I do this with him? Because I want to win. “If we had sweet potatoes or yams, they’d be in the bottom of the fridge. But we don’t, so they’re not.”

“They are there.”

“Da da da da da da. Derr dra.”

“Is it possible that you hallucinated?”

“What does that mean?”

“It’s when you see things that aren’t real. I hear it happens during an acid trip.”

“I did not hallucinate.”

“Okay. When we get home, and I show you that there aren’t any, I shall be declared Supreme Ruler of the Galaxy, and you will be my subject.”

He strutted to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator door. I stood over him with my hands on my hips and my chin jutting out. I hooked the baby with my foot to keep him from entering the fridge. He closed the door.

“We don’t have sweet potatoes.”

I shot my arms up. “I AM SUPREME RULER OF THE GALAXY!!!!”

We had a similar experience on a recent Sunday morning, though the topic of debate was roadkill, not starch. I took the kids for a walk. I pushed the baby in the stroller while the five-year-old rode his bike. It was pretty routine–the five-year-old and I exchanged pleasantries, and I reminded him to stay to the right and keep both hands on his handlebars. I wasn’t prepared for what he had to say next.

“Are we going to see the dead baby lion?”

“What dead baby lion?”

“The dead baby lion what was on the street last time.”

“Oh you mean the smushed possum? They probably cleaned it up.”

“No, I mean the dead baby lion.”

“It wasn’t a baby lion.”

“Yeah it was. It had a tail.”

“There are a lot of animals with tails that aren’t necessarily lions.”

“Well, it was a lion. I saw it. Okay!”

His eyes grew wide, and he was getting upset.

“Okay. You’re right. There was a dead baby lion.”

“Well do you know what happened to him?”

“When there are dead animals, the workers come and clean them up.” I could have left it alone, but I couldn’t help myself. “Poor dead baby lion. First he gets uprooted from Africa, separated from his pride and brought here. He doesn’t land anywhere cool in the city like Old Town, Wrigleyville or Ukranian Village. He winds up here in Northbrook. Or maybe he did, and he got chased out. And then after all his turmoil he gets run over.”

“I want to go to Africa.”

“I don’t think you do.”

“Why not?”

“It’s not really your scene.”

“Have you been to Africa?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because Mommy and I went to Paris instead.”

“Why?”

“Well for one our chances of getting macheted in Paris were far less.”

“What does macheted mean?”

“A machete is like a sword.”

“COOL!”

“There’s a lot of them in Africa.”

“Oh I’m definitely going to Africa!”

“Make sure you bring your yams and a dead baby lion.”

“Are you joking?”

“Yes Duder, I am.”

Jul 212013
 

We shouldn’t bathe babies. Too many things can go wrong. It’s like going to a shooting range drunk (It’s the exact same thing!) There’s way too much downside. You can shoot your finger off or worse, shoot yourself in the face. What’s the best possible outcome? You get lucky and leave not dead, maimed, mutilated nor disfigured.

When you give a baby a bath, you are inviting danger. Let’s see. He could like DROWN. That’s it. No need to go on. I could stop here, but let’s consider the other possibilities. Let’s play some  Family Feud.

Top four accidents that could occur while giving your baby a bath! Survey says!!

  • Dropping him while carrying his wet slippery body out of the tub!
  • Choking on the drain plug as you fail AGAIN to pass that Candy Crush level!
  • Poisoning himself while ingesting a lethal combination of soap,  shampoo and washcloth!
  • Hypothermia!

Best case scenario: none of these things happen, and you have a clean baby that smells like fresh laundry. High risk, low reward. I’d rather have a filthy baby than a dead one. All you need to do is, on occasion, change his diapers and his clothes. If he smells, he smells. The homeless smell, and you still see them in the same place at the same spot everyday. They don’t die; they just stay homeless.

Still, despite the threat of catastrophe, we bathe the baby. When I give him a bath, I have one simple goal: keep him alive. My record is stellar. I am undefeated.

Where I struggle is getting him dressed afterward. Like his brother, the baby does not like to keep still. He graduated from immobile pudge to urgent crawler overnight.  He’s already taken his first steps, and he’ll no doubt be walking this month and shaving shortly after.

When the bath is over and I lift him out, all I want to do is wrap him in his bear towel, so he’s not shivering. I lie him on his back on the towel, and he immediately flips over and takes off for the base of the toilet.

“Come on.”

I pull him back and messily wrap him in the towel. He fusses and squirms and looks at me as though I’m going out my way to cause him discomfort.

“Ehhh.”

“I need to dry you off.”

He fights me but I am stronger than him (barely), and I wrestle him into his towel, his fat feet dangling out the bottom.  In bathing product commercials, like for Johnson and Johnson, this is a touching and peaceful scene where the baby calmly smiles at his father, allowing himself to feel safe and protected. The father looks satisfied with a proud smile. There’s no moment like that here. Right now he is annoyed with…he hates me. I’m the world’s biggest prick.         Search the land high and low, and you won’t come close to finding a prick as big as my dad. Oh boo hoo, your dad ignores you! Wah, your dad doesn’t feed you! Sniffle sniffle, your dad abandoned you, your big sister, and your mother, who has alopecia! You know what my dad did, motherfucker? He FUCKING DRIED MY FUCKING HAIR AFTER MY FUCKING BATH!!!!!!!

All this, and I haven’t even dressed him in a clean diaper and pajamas. Since I last wrote about that process, it’s gone from difficult to pretty much the hardest thing ever. At this point, the baby is out of disparaging thoughts. All he has left are sounds, and they are worse than his thoughts. Chainsaw noises blast from his lungs: Ihh…AHHHHHH!..Ihh…AHHHHH!..Ih…Ih…Ih…Ihh!…AHHHHH!

And we’re only at the diaper at this point. I’m despondent because we have to put on pajamas next, which, according to him is super child abuse.  I’m holding his feet like a vice in one hand, and centering the diaper with the other. He’s twisting his body furiously counter clockwise, but his head is still. I’d really appreciate it if he stopped. This image is disturbing. What if he unscrews his own head?

His diaper is on, but he’s still screaming at me. He sees his pajamas, and he knows that I’m going to commit the unspeakable act of clothing him so that he stays warm. I slide them underneath the baby, and his face–you should see his face right now–is sphincter red and darkening. He is eerily silent, but I know he will erupt. When you stub your toe there are a few inexplicable seconds of zero sensation before throbbing pain. I guess it takes that long for the pain receptors in your brain to connect with the nerves in your toes. After four seconds, I hear the loudest scream of the baby’s young life. He is not in pain. When he gets shots he maybe yelps. He screams twice more, and these are followed by intermittent cries and more screams.

This would be much easier if only he’d give in (and ultimately had we chosen not to conceive).

“Make it easy on yourself,” I implore.

But he has no plans of going quietly. He is strong as hell, and he fights me and fights me and fights me. I have 160 pounds on him, but he has greater determination. He kicks out of one pajama leg and then the other. I blink, and he has swatted off his diaper. He swims out of my grip and takes off for the door, shaking his naked tush the whole way. He stops in the doorway to turn to me and grin.

I sigh. “Victory is yours.”

Jul 162013
 

Now that he’s five, we decided our eldest can start doing things on his own. I want to teach him to drive, but there are laws against that. We’ve started a little slower.

He can shower on his own, dress himself, put his toys away, and play with our smart phones without assistance (and click on ads that link to Swedish massage videos. Yes, this has happened.)

Though we’ve encouraged this self-sufficiency, we haven’t forced it on him.. The biggest mistake parents make–other than having children–is inflating their expectations of their young kids. You can’t rationalize with your five-year-old. “Please behave calmly,” doesn’t work with your child when you’re at the mall. You’re 35, and you’re not being practical. You’ve already experienced your childhood. When you were at the mall and over-stimulated by the towering movie poster stands and alcoholic and pedophilic santas, you were a beast, too. I’m not saying that your little daughter isn’t a horrible person. She is. But you can’t expect her to flip a behavior switch that she’s developmentally incapable of doing. Just take a more practical approach, and do what I do. When she’s out of earshot, say,”You are the biggest piece of shit that breathes.” You will feel better, and your spouse, however begrudgingly, will agree with you.

So only promote self-sufficiency if your kids are ready. But parenting is not that black and white, is it? There are wrinkles. What happens when your kids think they’re ready to do something on their own, but they clearly aren’t?

Our son has been potty-trained for a few years now. He poops and pees on his own, though on occasion he’ll Jackson Pollack the toilet rim and tank with urine, but that occurs in the middle of the night or when he’s acting out. When he poops, he thinks he’s able to wipe himself, but he can’t exactly.

When he’s done with a deuce, he’ll call out for one of us: “Mommy, can you wipe me?” Or “Daddy, can you wipe me?” This usually happens during dinner, and it’s not beneath me to help him while I’m chewing my food.

One day we forgot about him until he walked out of the bathroom with his pants around his ankles and a wad of soiled toilet paper in his hand.

“I wiped myself!” He beamed, while showing us his work.

“Good boy!” We said.

Then he turned around. I gave him some notes:

  • Use more toilet paper so you clean all the doody out
  • Stay in the bathroom because if you walk around, your doody will get everywhere
  • Keep trying. You’ll get there soon enough!

He has responded.

  • He uses so much toilet paper that it absorbs all the water in the toilet bowl.
  • He stays in the bathroom and summons us for a second opinion when he’s done wiping. When I enter the bathroom he is bent completely over so that it’s impossible for me to see nothing else
  • He’s almost there!

His newly found independence doesn’t stop with his anus. This kid now wakes up, goes downstairs, and fixes himself breakfast. He can access the cereal boxes and milk! All we need to do is leave his bowl, spoon and cup out the night before, and he’s on his own and good to go first thing in the morning.

He also likes variety and will look past his bowl for other things left on the counters that he can reach. One morning, I found him at the table eating Golden Grahams out of a measuring cup. Another morning he’d filled a very thin pinot noir wine glass with Rice Chex, grapes and milk.

“Where did you get that?”

“Hi Daddy.”

“Where did you get that?”

“You left it out on the counter.”

“Oh. Okay, good point, but you can’t put cereal in a wine glass because it’s dangerous. The glass could break.”

“Well, you left it on the counter.”

“I know, but a wine glass isn’t a cereal bowl.”

“Well, then don’t leave it on the counter.”

I now put wine glasses and all other hazardous materials away at night. He has resumed the use of his cereal bowl.

We’re growing up.

 

May 092013
 

I forgot what it felt like to see a baby smile, his face lighting up just for me. I forgot the incomparable sound of laughter that comes from a baby when he’s tickled. I forgot that sense of comfort shared by both father and son when he squeezes my finger.

I also forgot that babies are assholes.

Tonight was TACO NIGHT!  TACO NIGHT! Is great because those of us who can eat solid food in our household love tacos, including my five-year-old, who can be a picky dick at dinner. My wife makes them with ground turkey, low fat cheese and low fat sour cream, which means I can eat seven tacos and not feel guilty.

I just finished my second taco, and I was entering my taco groove—the chemical reaction in my brain that makes me crave more tacos. Taco construction is almost as enjoyable as eating the taco itself. I get to stuff as many low-fat ingredients inside, until right before the shell cracks. Nothing stands between me and my taco.

Except a crying baby.

I’d been ignoring the buildup, which began with mild moaning and metastasized into fussing, snorting, redness, flailing and all out infant howling.

“Can you wait?” I asked.

No, he couldn’t wait because the selfish blob had to be fed his bottle and put down in his crib so that he could grow and develop. I sighed and shook my head to see if I could shame him, but he just said, “A bah da da da da.”

“Yeah okay. Whatever.”

I picked him up and put him over my shoulder, his ass an inch from my nose. Right away I could smell the shit in his diaper.

“I think he pooped,” the five-year-old said.

“You don’t say.”

“Yeah I do. He smells like deuce.”

I walked away from my taco in the middle of my taco groove, which is like stopping in the middle of sex. I stomped my way up the stairs, hoping to evoke some contrition from the baby, but he just smiled at me. I laid him down on the changing table and prepared myself. Babies have inexplicable strength. My son is just over two feet, weighs 20 pounds but thrashes like one of those super-sized fucking catfish that that dipshit with his fucked up English teeth pulls out of the water on River Monsters. Luh at that! The contours of his wiskus mean he’s at least thu’ee yeas old!

But unlike the catfish, the baby was not distressed; he just likes to be difficult because why the FUCK should any single Goddamn part of parenting be easy?

For those of you who change diapers, you understand that one false move can mean disaster. If you step away to close the door or take a sip of wine from that glass you couldn’t enjoy during dinner, your baby could roll off the changing table and fall to the floor. Or, if you don’t cover your son’s penis, he’ll hose you.

And for those of you who don’t change diapers, go fuck yourself.

When I change the baby, he does everything except cooperate. He grabs my sleeve and fingers with his River Monster strength. He stiffens his legs or bends them at the wrong times. He tries turning over. And he has so much fun doing it, smiling and laughing, that it is hard to get mad.

You can imagine how interesting things get when feces are involved.

He smiled, kicked, and cooed.

“Wgh ghee!”

“You have a lot to say.”

“Ehh ahh…wgh ghee!”

“Yes! Yes you do have a lot to say! Yes you do! You stink. You made a stinky, didn’t you? My little budgie made a stinky.”

I unsnapped his onesy, pulled it back, and slid a clean diaper under the dirty one.  I unfastened his diaper.

“Okay, let’s see what we’ve got…oh fuck, Jesus Christ!”

The smell, volume and mess were so distracting, that I allowed him to dip his foot in it.

“No! Don’t do that.”

I quickly removed his sock and got shit on my fingers. I cleaned it off with a wipe and sighed over my taco growing cold downstairs. That’s when I realized I hadn’t covered his penis. Remember what I said about one false move? Well, I committed many. He power pissed, and it hit my chest before arcing and landing on his throat, creating a urine necklace. Still, he was all smiles.

“Wgh wgh ghee.”

He had waste on both ends. Three minutes earlier he was in his clothes, clean as a whistle. Now he looked and smelled homeless. I didn’t know where to begin the cleanup. Shit smells worse, so I dug in, using eight wipes to clean the stuff off his butt cheeks, thighs and the crevices, but not before covering his penis because they are never done. I stuffed the wipes in his dirty diaper and rolled it up like a shit burrito or shit naanwich (you pick). With my left hand providing a barricade for his body, I stretched as far as I could and dumped the dirty diaper in the garbage. Of course this released a waft of festering foulness from the existing contents, making me wretch and gag.

It was time to finish the job. His neck needed cleaning, and I had to put the clean diaper on. I took a deep breath, adjusted the clean diaper, and before I could fasten it, he flipped over and peed again. The diaper absorbed it all, but still, I felt like an impossible nimrod. I removed his soiled onesy, and he cried out of discomfort as I wiped down his neck.

“You’re crying? How is that fair? I should be the one crying.”

“Ehhhhhhhh. Ehhhhhhh.”

“Shit man, then don’t pee on yourself.”

Saving some kind of face, I put his new diaper and clean onesy on rather quickly.

“Okay. Alright,” I pep talked myself.

I put him over my shoulder, finished cleaning the changing area, and grabbed a pair of jammies. We went into my room because I thought a change of scenery would be good for all of us. I was wrong. I struggled mightily (surprise!) to put them on. They make infant pajamas with zippers and snaps. Snaps are impossible because there are 20 of them, which means there are 20 steps to take to do the job of one zipper. This would be easier if my son were a fat, sedentary fuck, but he’s not. He’s a River Monster, and River Monsters don’t hold still. And snaps won’t snap when River Monsters thrash.

“Seriously, why the fuck do they make these cocksucking fucking things like this?”

I looked at the baby. “Does this make any Goddamn sense?”

He stuck his tongue out at me. Each time I aligned a snap with its slot, he kicked.  I couldn’t get past four snaps.

“Fuck this.”

I picked him up, through his jammies across the room and rummaged through his drawer. All I found were ones with snaps and a Lego Chima figure that his brother must have put in there. The jammies that I flung mocked me. Somehow—I think the baby just wanted the whole ordeal to be over with—I snapped all 20 snaps, fed him the rest of his bottle, and lowered him in his crib.

Downstairs my taco lay on its side, leaving a short trail of turkey meat next to it on the plate. I slid it back in the shell, and it felt surprisingly warm. I bit into it and smiled. I felt a small hand press on my foot. My five-year-old looked at me from under the table.

“What took you so long, Daddy?”

Jul 222012
 

I’ve been hearing a lot of the annoying refrain: get your sleep now while you can; enjoy your last bit of freedom.

I’ve blocked out the noise because those tend to be the words of pussy-whipped husbands. Plus, I’m already a parent, and I’ve experienced the chaos of bringing home a newborn.  My sleep is inconsistent anyway, and I’m a slave to my son’s needs. Check that: wants, so I won’t be losing much freedom.

Last night we went out with friends, who all have two kids, and one guy was telling me how difficult it is. I brushed him off, but he got to me eventually. When we got home,  I washed up, took a shit—which usually puts me to bed (I don’t sleep on the toilet, though that would be convenient)—and laid down to a pounding heart.  On the eve of the birth of my second child, the anxiety mounted me. Pretty…no VERY soon my lifestyle is going to blow up like it never has.

Our office once stood here.

Everyone close to me knows that I need my routine. I don’t like to be uncomfortable. Remember in Rainman when Dustin Hoffman starts hitting his own head because he might miss the People’s Court? Yeah, that’s me, but I kick shit, too.

Yes, I was derailed when Jake was born, but I worked to establish a new routine, and even on Jake’s worst days, there are two parents and one him, and we have strength in numbers.

“You get no break. It’s brutal for the first year, but it gets better,” this friend said.

You get no break.

That’s the line that got to me. That’s what revved up my heart and brought on last night’s anxiety attack. The meaning of no break is already taking shape: I’ve turned down invitations to stay in the city to rage and crash at a friend’s. The band that I’d kill to see in concert next, Mumford and Sons, is playing the Chicago Theatre in August. I can’t go. Wah.

As a side note, the upside of being an anxious person is that I know how to get over an anxiety attack. Last night’s was far from my first rodeo. I know it won’t kill me. That’s why I’m happy when normal people experience them for the first time. They don’t know what to do with themselves. They feel a complete loss of control. They’re powerless. They think they’re going to die. That’s funny.

Our parents made having two children seem standard. It appeared very normal to them. Even though they may have felt it, they never pointed to us and said, “Do you realize what we’ve sacrificed for you?” I have with my son, you know, just to try to out. He just responded by challenging me to a lightsaber fight.

Bags packed for our next getaway: the hospital. FML.

Now that I’m a grownup and women work and do more impressive things than their husbands, growing your family seems very hard. I think we can do it. We have to. I could use some backup, though. Our family will help of course, but I’d like to be able to afford an obedient nanny, who’d be imperfect enough so that my sons would still love me more.

An empty-nester recently told me what kind of reaction to expect from Jake when we bring the baby home.

“Imagine if Amy were to bring home a hot 25 year-old man and say, ‘He’s living with us now.’ How would you feel?”

While I do have the occasional gay dream, it would make me very jealous.

However, now I wish that could happen to gain a 3-2 advantage.

Mar 242012
 

That question is from babycenter.com, which typically sends us weekly updates about the growth and development of Baby Rolf and not vaginal discharge. Usually, we read about the size and shape of the baby and what he is doing in the womb.

I would be more understanding if this post  came from vaginaldischarge.com, but it did not.

I think this one may have slipped past the editors. Either that, or a guy wrote it to be funny. It’s important that I share it with you because it’s a doozy. It doesn’t paint a very flattering picture of the vaginas. The League of Vaginas will be offended and should take to the streets.

In this entry, I break down the update. And in case you’re wondering, my vagina is discharging no more than usual.

It’s common during pregnancy to have more of the odorless or mid-smelling milky discharge that you may have had only occasionally before.

I just threw up in my mouth.

I also just learned something new: milk comes from cows and vaginas. That must mean that there’s skim vagina milk, 1% vagina milk, soy vagina milk and almond vagina milk.

How do you make milk out of almonds? Out of almond vaginas?

k

Chalk it up to your body’s surging estrogen levels and increased blood flow to your vagina and cervix.

Well there’s your answer. Vagina milk origins explained.

d

The discharge is made up of secretions from our cervix and vagina’s old cells from your vaginal walls and normal vaginal flora.

Wow. Vaginas do a lot.

Call your caregiver if the discharge is causing you discomfort such as itching or burning, or is foul-smelling, frothy or yellow, green or gray.

Foul smelling. Frothy. Hey, Ricky Santorum. Gays aren’t gay because they are Satan’s children. They’re gay because of foul-smelling, frothy vaginas. You sweater-vest fuckhole.

These are all signs of infection.

No shit.

Coping with excess vaginal discharge, you can wear an unscented pantyliner to absorb the discharge if you wish.

There are officially coping mechanisms for EVERTHING: chemotherapy, divorce, post traumatic stress disorder.  Discharging vagina.

I say go all the way. Don’t be a pussy. Fuck the pantyliner and embrace your discharge. And discharge everywhere, on everything and everyone. Goddamn it!

Don’t douche. Douching can introduce air into your circulatory system through the vagina, which can cause serious complications.

And serious queefing.

 

In conclusion, the vagina is super awesome and powerful. I think I’ll hang on to my penis, though.

 

 

Mar 022012
 

I’ve learned the hard way that kids remember everything you say and that they throw you under the bus in the most fantastic ways.

If, for example, you one day say “Hitler” within earshot of your son, he will no shit tell the row of passengers sitting behind you on your Southwest flight,

“I love Hitler. He’s a really funny guy.”

On that same flight, if you happen to say “fuck” because you’re afraid the plane might crash during hellacious turbulence, chances are he’ll, without context, yell “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” two days later to his great grandmother you’re all flying to see.

With those hard lessons behind, we’ve entered the stage where I spell words out rather than speak them. It’s really an awkward way to talk, but it’s been in everyone’s best interest to so in Jake’s presence:

Discussing the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Amy: I like Kyle the most. She’s not as bad as the rest.

Me: Oh please. She’s such an awful C-u-n-t with that fachatca hair and botox.

About our exorbitant state income tax

Me: F-u-c-k the state of Illinois.

The Motherfucker who just cut me off

Me: That motherf-u-c-k-e-r!

l

Douche Almighty

Jake’s not an idiot. He looks at us strangely when we do this. Clearly, he knows were up to shenanigans.

As kids do, he’s catching on. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives makes me angry, and I mentioned what an a-s-s Guy Fieri was. Jake then said, “A-s-s.” Amy and I turned to each other quickly. Our ruse was thwarted. The jig was up. Three and even four letter words were history, but there are always workarounds.

The next day I came home, shot out of a cannon over my commute. I hate the train because people next to me are either sick or loud.

 

I barged in the house.

“G-o-d-d-a-m-n    c-o-c-k-s-u-c-k-i-n-g    f-u-c-k-i-n-g     c-o-c-k-s-u-c-k-e-r-s   I ride the train with!”

Jake didn’t blink. I was in the clear. Yes, I have to compromise the way I communicate, but at least it helps me practice my spelling.

f

Despite our best efforts, sometimes Jake’s mind goes to the gutter (he’s my son). On our way back from dinner in the city, I created a new game on the spot (because I’m a genius) with Jake. It was simple yet brilliant. I’d say “Jake!”, he’d say, “What?”, and I’d say something totally random. Then we’d just keep going and going and going.

“Jake,” I said.

“What?”

“Telephone.”

“Jake.”

“What?

“Toothbrush.”

“Jake.”

“What?”

“Elevator.”

I had to pause to think about what great noun I’d use next, and then Jake took over.

“Daddy?”

“What?”

“Penis.”

“Daddy?”

“What?

“Hamburger, firetruck, vagina.”

“Daddy?”

“What?”

“Han Solo’s cheeseburger’s vagina.”

“Daddy?”

“What?”

“Penises.”

“You already said that.”

“No, I say penises.

“Uh, okay.”

d

So what happens when I’m not the perpetrator of foul language?

The three of us were in the car leaving Target like we do every Goddamn Saturday, and the song “Rape Me” by Nirvana came on. I figured if regular terrestrial radio played it then it was safe to hear with Jake in the car. Also, it’s Nirvana, man. The song begins with:

Rape me
Rape me, my friend
Rape me
Rape me again

“I don’t think we should be listening to this,” Amy said.

“It’s okay. It’s Nirvana.”

“Come on.”

“It’s Nirvana. Don’t worry. It’s not like Kurt Cobain’s going to scream it a lot at the end of the song.”

Of course he does.

Instead of worrying about the lyrics, we had one of those  fascinatingly rote bullshit conversations that married couples with kids have that centers on one or all of these topics: Costco coupons, Bright Start, plumbing, my inability to put folded laundry away, and windshield wipers.

Jake had some things to say.

“I don’t want to go to nap when we get home.”

“You don’t have to; it’s not time yet.”

“Can I have milk when we get home.”

“Sure.”

“Can I fight lighstabers with…”

Rape me! Rape me!
Rape me! Rape me!
Rape me! Rape me!
Rape me! Rape me!
Rape me! Rape me!
Rape me! Rape me!
Rape me! Rape me!
Rape me! Rape me!
Rape me!

As Amy’s fingers worked frantically to change the station, I turned the volume up because it was Kurt, and because I’m an asshole.

It’s been a few days, and Jake hasn’t broached the subject of rape. He’s probably saving it for the next flight or when he sees his Bubbie.