Archive for category Fatherhood

How I Made Dad Proud

After reading my dear friend Chuck’s account of his colonoscopy, I was reminded of an event that will forever be etched into my brain.  Although Chuck still has that portion of his brain intact that allows him to edit himself, sparing you all from the horrid details of his excrement adventure that day, I am lacking that function.

I was probably 14 or 15 years old when I had an excrement experience that will be etched into my brain until the day I die. It was summer and I had been on the picnic circuit for days — my colon was crammed full with burgers and dogs, BBQ chicken, chips, and all the other gastronomic delights that can be found at summer picnics at the Jersey shore. It had been at least four or five days since I had released a grunion, and I could tell that when the time came, it was going to be a workout.  Finally my water broke, and I knew that delivery was well on the way. I retired to the bathroom, sat, and prepared for battle.

The pressure was intense. I grunted and stretched my cheeks as wide as possible and tried to force the rabbit out of his hole; but I was unsuccessful. It felt as if it had a head on it from all of the back-up behind it. I pushed and hoped that my distressed sphincter would open wide enough to allow the thing to pass.

Now ten minutes in to the ordeal, I began to sweat and breathe heavily as it finally started through. I rested my head against the wall, gripped the bowl for dear life, and kept squeezing.

And then — it was moving! The head crowned and I could feel it starting to pass faster. It was exhilarating — one last grunt and the behemoth was out.

I was both afraid and extremely curious to look into the depths below at what I knew was lying beneath the water. I sat for another minute to regain my composure and slow my breathing to a normal pace. When I reached back to wipe my distended hole, I was amazed that there wasn’t any blood or hanging organs, and only very light skid marks. Another swipe or two and the paper was clean; so I stood and got my first look at the monster.

I couldn’t believe what I saw. On average it was as thick as a can of soda, and about 18 inches long. I could tell the length because it had fallen across the hole and didn’t go straight down it.

I flushed, hoping it would break and go down, but lady luck was being a bitch that day. Only the paper went down. The creature simply spun in the bowl like Satan’s Spirograph, leaving circular skid marks around the porcelain.

I tried in vain three more times to flush it away, but it wouldn’t leave. So I did what any 15-year-old would do: I got my dad.

Dad came in, looked in horror into the bowl, looked at me, looked into the bowl, looked back at me, and said, “Oh my god, are you OKAY!??!”

We shared a chuckle and he disappeared, returning armed with a piece of wood. We were laughing hysterically as he broke the beast into pieces so that it would flush.

Finally, Moby Shit disappeared into its watery grave.

To this day, more than 20 years later, my dad and I still laugh about it. I have not been able to reproduce that masterpiece since.

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Where Have All the Cartoons Gone?

I have an two year old son, and years from now when he is getting ready for school or just getting home from school, I wonder what will he will be watching? In the good old days, I woke up to Gobots, the poor man’s Transformers and as I got a little older came home to the original iteration of Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Let me state now that I still watch cartoons, so much like the 45 year old who tries to tell his kids that he still listens to the popular music of the time, I am trying to hold on as long as I can.

With my son turning two we are starting to get beyond just Sesame Street and moving on to other more “simply for fun” cartoons along with the standard educational stuff. I have got to tell you, it is pretty bleak out there. Dora the Explorer and Diego can’t light a candle to He-man and She-ra. Don’t even get me started on the reboot of the TMNT and Transformers cartoon franchises.

The major issue that I see is the ever-widening gap between kids cartoons and adult cartoons. Easy there boys, I am talking about the difference between things like The Wonder Pets and the recently released movie Nine, a visually stunning tale from Tim Burton. (A quick side note, this movie sold me on how awesome Blu-ray players are, check it out.) The animation was fantastic and the story was able to keep up.

I believe the rift began to form in September of 1992, the dawn of Batman the Animated Series helped along by Bruce Timm. I was 13 and along with turning me onto comics for the rest of my life, the show was ground-breaking. The animation was almost like reading a noir-style novel and Batman’s presence alone, voiced by Kevin Conroy, was enough to hook me. Here’s the thing, I could have been 13 or 36 and it still would have been great. It brought Batman back to life. Once company execs realized they could start appealing to people with disposable income, the rift began.

By now the middle-ground cartoons are gone. We’ve got Bob the Builder on one end and Family Guy on the other. Stewie may be a baby, but I don’t want him talking to my son. I used to visit Best Buy every Tuesday for the new releases, but with the family bills I can’t show up every Tuesday any more. One Tuesday I can guarantee I will be there is when Marvel and DC release there new animated feature films. The Avengers, Wonder Woman, Doc Strange, they have all been good, but in no way can I watch them with the kids. They can be incredibly violent like the Wonder Woman release or just be way too dark like one of the Batman releases which would give some grown-ups nightmares. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed all of them, but for kids, no way.

As I get older I realize one of the more enjoyable experiences is sitting around with the crew, having a few beers, and reminiscing. You talk about what you did when you were younger. We all grew up watching cartoons. I am just wondering if for my son, years from now will they argue about what cartoon was the best when they were all average.

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Why I Don’t Have Kids

I’ve compiled a list of reasons why we don’t have kids. Here they are:

  1. Kids are money-leeching, whiny little germ factories. Ask any parent.
  2. So I can keep having sex, smoking cigars, drinking, and swearing. I am sure my life will be shorter, but alas, I will fortunately miss out on those miserable last 10 or so years of life where every bathroom visit starts with, “Ohhh, it hurts to pee”.
  3. We love sleeping in on the weekends, or sleeping in, in general. Enough said.
  4. Money. Cruise last year? Paid for in cash. Trip to Europe this year? Cash. Monthly supply of booze and cigars? Cash.
  5. For the Environment. Lifetime energy use per American over is 20,000 kJ. I have no fucking idea how much that is, but I’m sure it’s a lot. The average American will use 32 gallons of water a day, 5 pounds of food per day, and 1,025 gallons of oil per year (sources available on request). This means I can still do good for the environment all while buying an SUV and selling baby seal pelts out of the back seat.
  6. So I can keep gaming. Still looking for a good MMO that isn’t just like every other damn MMO ever made.
  7. So I am not tempted to put my kid on the phone. Parents, please don’t have your kids answer the god damn phone. Although you understand them just fine, and I’m sure they’re making progress with their language acquisition, no one else understands what the fuck they are saying at age 4, nor does anyone else care. Even worse is when you tell them what to say because you think it’s cute. Besides, I called to talk to you, not to that drunken midget of yours you call a child.
  8. We don’t have to be the people who bring the crying kid on the plane. I am a firm supporter of child sedation for travel, by the way.
  9. Because we like to have nice things. Cigar Humidor? Spotless. And, have you ever taken a look at the inside of a parent’s car? I cringe at the thought.
  10. So I don’t have to teach them “responsibility”, or whatever.
  11. Not needing to have a gun collection to show off to my daughter’s potential dates. You think I’m kidding? I’m not.

I’d like to hear if anyone else has good reasons why they don’t have kids. Put them in the comments below.

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The Cheese Touch

Last night at dinner my boys, aged 7 and 9, started doing something called “The Cheese Touch”. With fingers crossed, they would poke each other in the chest or shoulder and say “CHEESE TOUCH” and then laugh uncontrollably. Then the other one would do the same thing back and the process would repeat itself. Being the typical un-hip, out of touch Dad that I am, I inquired as to what the hell was going on. They informed me that if you get hit with the cheese touch, you immediately smell like stinky feet cheese and will continue to do so until you pass the cheese along to another person. The only way to block the cheese touch is to resort to the usual, “UH UH, my fingers were crossed” defense, thus nullifying the odoriferous attack. Interesting. I was forced to improvise other ways to defend myself and since I was half in the bag on cheap chardonnay at the time, I came up with “Wine Thumbs”, whereas a new counter attack could be unleashed by touching the attacker on the head with both thumbs. The boys were stunned and didn’t know how to counter the deadly, dizziness inducing, and newly invented counter-offensive. I then completely breached protocol and hit the two of them with “Cracker Elbows”. Yep, Cracker Elbows. This is where I would touch both of my elbows simultaneously to their temples and they would be immediately rendered immobile. At least that was my plan. The older one looked at the younger one and together they reaffirmed that dad was a bozo and resumed their fun without me. This silly game eventually evolved into what they called a “sissy fight” where they would slap each other and then into a full out, good-natured brawl on the kitchen floor. Eventually they returned to the table and finished dinner but not before a vein stood out in my forehead and I had a moment to think back to some childhood silliness that I engaged in.

Cooties – I remember running from girls on the playground because they had cooties. Although I felt justified at the time, I realize now that what they had was not called “COOTIES” but “COOTERS” and that I want to get them ALL THE TIME.  If only I had known.

Kill the man with the ball – This was also known as “Smear the Queer” and probably the dumbest game ever invented. The guy holding the ball gets the shit kicked out of him until he drops the ball or begins to spit blood. My friends and I would play almost daily in the summer on my front lawn and it was in one of these scrums that my buddy got his nickname, Johnny Whimper.

Blind Darts – We would lay a dartboard on the floor and stand at the bottom of the stairs and blindly toss darts up the stairs and try to hit the dart board. What makes this more stupid was that we positioned the board in such a way that you couldn’t see it from the bottom of the stairs and only the thrower was at the bottom. Everyone else stood around the board. Brilliant, huh?

Red Light / Green Light – I once ended up in the ER after a fast and furious game getting stitches in my chin. That’s right, the fat kid tripped running up the porch and cracked his face on the top step. Go ahead and laugh, I’m used to it.

Can’t wait to head home and see what the kids have in store for me tonight. Maybe it will be “chase your little sister with a booger” or my personal fave, “shit, close the lid and don’t flush”. Late!

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Andy and the Jets

Let me set the back drop by saying that the lunch special at work this day was beef lasagna. It was a slice of lasagna about as wide as a  floor tile with a dinner roll – how could I resist that? Unfortunately, as I have aged, pasta sometimes sits like a rock in my stomach. It kept churning around like a thick magma and I continued to re-taste it about every 15 minutes – the gift that keeps on giving.

Anyway, my son’s last track practice of the week was at 5:15 that day and when I got home I found out that it was coaches/parents vs. the kids. I was pretty pumped – here was my chance to show my kid that his old man still had the jets. I took him to practice and was ready to run. When I got there I found out there was a shortage of parents so I had to double up and run two legs of a 4x100m relay. Just to remind you all, 100m = about 109 yards. That’s longer than a football field. So I sprinted 218 yards in about a 3 min span. That’s a greater distance than I have sprinted in about the last 15 years combined.

So I am the starter in the first leg and I take off like a bat out of hell – just destroyed the 7th grade girl in the lane next to me by at least 30 yards. I felt pretty good – the old man still had the jets. So I hand off the baton with my team well in first place and am pretty winded but not too horrible. Then I go to get into position to run leg #2. I start off pretty good but about half way through the legs start to get a bit rubbery – I still beat the little snot next to me, but not by as much.

Now I’m pretty winded and need to catch my breath. It takes a little while and I do get my breath back, but something just isn’t right. I really didn’t feel well at all. I tried to walk it off and chatted with some other parents, but I just felt like crap. I decided that maybe it would help if I walked to the car and sat with the AC on for a few minutes. I think deep down, I was a like one of those wounded animals that just needs to find a place to crawl off and die – some place secure and away from the all of the other animals. Anyway, after 5-10 minutes in the car, I become honest with myself and admit that I really just need to puke – that lasagna was not sitting right at all. So I got out of the Santa Fe and walked around to the back of it, out of view of everyone else, and just spewed like Vesuvius. Chucks of beef lasagna everywhere, including stuck in my nose. I walked around to go back in the car and clean myself up when another wave hit and I spewed again. This time was worse, not only because  I could have been spotted, but because when I opened the door, my friggin ice scraper fell out of the door holder and right into ground zero. Dammit!!! Anyway, I found some old Wendy’s napkins (all sprinters consist on Wendy’s) and cleaned myself up and drank some water.

Suddenly, I felt 100% better – as if I had been healed by the touch of God. After a thorough check that I had no incriminating spew on my body or clothes, I went back down to practice and had a nice rest of the day. Of course when practice was over, I had to fess up to the boy as there were those large vomit lakes by the car. He had a good laugh – I let him enjoy his laugh and didn’t mention to him until we got home that that he was sitting on the very Wendy’s napkins I used to clean myself off. The best laugh is the last laugh.

Several of the boy’s friends did tell me how great I looked running – probably just being nice but my ego is taking them at their word. When we got home, I started hitting  my son with the “Your old man’s still got the speed” line to which he replied “To go along with a lot of vomit”. He did finally give me a nice backhanded compliment of “Well, you certainly are fast for someone who looks like you. Fast enough to beat a 7th grade girl. Good job, Dad”. I think I made my point with him – case dismissed.

So although the cost was high – a $5 lunch special I will never get back – I was able to defend the pride of Dads everywhere. And that, my friends, is priceless. Well, I guess the price was actually $5, but who’s counting.

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Andy vs. The Pootomac

Well, my relaxing Saturday was shattered by the sound of my son shouting “Hey Daddy, the toilet is exploding!” I’m sure most parenting experts would agree that this is a bad sign. So I ran upstairs and saw about a ½ inch of water on the bathroom floor with varying sizes of feces floating around. And more was gushing out of the toilet. It looked like the engine room of the Titanic except that instead of seawater it was toilet water and there were turds in place of icebergs. From the manner in which the rest of the family was looking at me, I knew it was one of those nasty jobs that everyone expected Dad to fix. (Sure to be forgotten by the time Fathers Day comes around). So I walked in, gagging from the floaters and the smell and turned off the valve to the toilet.

Now the flow of water was stopped but I needed a mop and bucket to clean up the floor. You would have thought that I had asked for a rod of plutonium. I ask for the mop and bucket and everyone scatters… and never return. I’m waiting… waiting… waiting… all while standing in the middle of this vast Pootomac. Finally my wife comes back and hands me a mop… but not a real mop, mind you. It’s a mop handle with an old towel attached to the bottom. My Mother-in-Law, God bless her,  is one of the few human beings whose cheapness rivals even my own, and this “franken-mop” is one of her cost savers. Let me tell you, it did a great job of just swirling around the poo-water and creating nasty little currents around my feet. But, it didn’t do much in terms of soaking up the water. Without any other option, I kept at it and in about 20 minutes I had the floor generally dry.

But the most formidable task still remained…picking up all of the loose crap from the floor. I asked for gloves, wipes, and bleach…and again I waited…waited…waited… until someone finally brought me what I needed and I started to work on cleaning up my personal “Craptrina”.  While I’m doing this, I start to wonder who the actual Poopetrator might be. My son of course claimed innocence, saying he just took a pee and that the toilet was “already filled” with crap. Hummmmm, do we have a Ghost Pooper? My brother claims to have a Ghost Cat, so I suppose a Ghost Pooper is possible. But I believe a key part to solving this mystery appeared when I lifted up the toilet seat and saw the top of the bowl covered with partially digested corn remnants. There is only one person in the house who has a favorite meal of “Mashed Potatoes, Corn and Ketchup” and that is my son. He still claims innocence but as they say on CSI, “Follow the evidence.”

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The Next Generation

No, this is not a Star Trek diatribe comparing and contrasting the numerous iterations of the series, movies, favorite captains, sexiest aliens or worst plotlines.

Image credit: christiangates via flickr

Image credit: christiangates via flickr

This is about our own time machine, our memories, and how our children are experiencing a new world. The other day, I read an article on Wired.com titled “100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About“. It was definitely well thought-out, and relied on feedback from their readers. Reading it was a combination of nostalgia and pensively wondering what my own children will encounter. I’m 40 now, so half of my life has been lived as an adult, and the first half arguably as a child. My wife, family, friends and therapist may all disagree, claiming emphatically that I am still a child on many levels. I can live with that.

So the Wired article had me thinking about so many other things my kids may not know about, all of which I encountered as a child (in the physical sense of the word, not the mental sense, mind you.)

Here’s just a few…

  • Going down to the “record store” to buy a “45″, “album” or even “CD.” (Give the CD a few more years.)
  • Going to an “arcade” where you can play video games, and they only cost a quarter.
  • At the same arcade, there was a section dedicated just to giant machines called “pinball.”
  • Talking on the phone in the house meant staying within a 3-foot area, literally tethered to the wall by the phone cord.
  • The biggest taste of freedom ever experienced was when Dad bought a 30-foot telephone cord.
  • Actually dialing a phone meant that there was a dial on the phone, and dialing someone took longer than the resulting conversation.
  • Driving anywhere out of your neighborhood meant you had to have a list of surrounding streets, landmarks and the conversational know-how to ask the local gas station attendant: “How do I get to Juniper Street from here??!!”
  • Communication among people was limited to two things: spoken word or written letters. OK, three: hand gestures… and we all will still use them forever.
  • Video games against opponents consisted only of the person sitting next to you, and never involved teams.
  • Board games never needed batteries.
  • Going to get something for home repair, a fishing trip, sports activity, or your dog meant going to a store usually smaller than your own home.
  • Making ice cubes was a manual process.
  • Hot meals had to be prepared and cooked for a long time.
  • Making popcorn involved popcorn kernels, oil, butter and salt.
  • Throwing out garbage was a very streamlined process.
  • Getting a sunburn sucked for about a day, and it took around six hours on the beach to get one.
  • Watching a TV show meant being in front of that TV, with all snacks at the ready, bladder empty, exactly when the show was starting.
  • That show would not be seen if the antenna wasn’t just right.
  • Toys never moved on their own, unless we were testing the effects of velocity on static objects.
  • Toys had lots of small parts.
  • Most toys were made out of wood or metal.
  • Chemistry sets actually had chemicals in them.
  • Movies about the future all had lots of blinking lights, almost no explosions, vehicles that hovered, bitchin’ sunglasses and very shiny clothes.
  • Portable music players involved lots of breakable parts, the music was loaded manually, and you had a good 30 minutes or so of enjoyment.
  • Paper was used for everything.
  • To flip through photos meant to use your hands, plus you kept the blurry ones… after waiting two weeks to get them developed.
  • Flying on a plane meant you could get to the airport about an half hour before the flight, and you didn’t have to feel nervous about security.
  • Sesame Street was relevant.
  • A fax.
  • You could lend a book to a friend or family member. (OK, maybe not my kids, but definitely my grandkids.)

Well these are just a few of the ones jogged from my feeble, aging memory. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast, so there’s a ton more. Seriously, I can’t remember what I had for breakfast. So tell me in the comments what else I forgot!

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Firsts and Seconds

We go through thousands of firsts in our lives. The first kiss, the first love, the first time you saw an acid base reaction, wait that one is just me. I recently took my son to get his first haircut, no tears by the way, and it got me thinking about all the other firsts we all go through. Most of which take no more than a few minutes and all of which affect who we ultimately become.

My first great sports moment took place when I was ten years old. I hit a grand slam over the fence for my little league team. My dad wasn’t there, and the other people had to tell my mom what was happening, but I’ll never forget it. The team was so dominant; 20 and 2 for the entire season and years later I made a Nintendo All-Star Baseball team copied exactly from the squad. We couldn’t be beat. It was so close to the original team that one of my best friends to this day who was on the team could still hit better than me. Welcome to living your life through video games! All that being said, hitting the grand slam and running around the bases took no more than 60 seconds.

My first life defining moment took place around the age of twelve. I was asked by a neighbor to come and hang out with the “cool kids.” Being a life long geek, I was easily lured to see what all the fuss about. In the process, I basically blew off my boys, friends of which I have now known for 20 years, and with being 29 years old, that is really saying something. Inevitably, things went bad and I was expunged from the the realm of “coolness.” I went back to my crew, tail between my legs, and was taken back with open arms. For this I will be eternally grateful. My neighbor asking me to roll out with him to hang with a different crew, 30 seconds. My friends taking me back with open arms, two minutes.

The first time I realized my geekdom was something I enjoyed, was my freshmen year in high school. Our history teacher was a little off the wall, but she loved the ancients. The other history class ended with the printing press, we ended with Augustus Caesar. The class took months, but I was hooked during the 15 minutes she talked about Alexander and his horse, Bucephalus. Her love of the ancients and mythology directly translated into my love of comic books and current day mythology.

Knowing my girlfriend might just be my wife to be took three seconds. She looked at me and said, “good call.” Our first real date was going to see a movie together. We got to the theater and a few movies were playing. We hadn’t decided prior. I was all about seeing this hyped, but not explained movie… “No one can be told what The Matrix is, they have to see it for themselves.” My date alluded to seeing some romatic comedy, but wasn’t firm in her conviction.   So I went and bought tickets for The Matrix, for which I got the look of, “I am the woman and I can’t believe you just ignored my hint towards seeing a chick flick.” We sat through 20 minutes of previews with barely ten words said. Then the movie started. About five minutes into it, Trinity kicked a cop in mid-air, and my future wife looked at me and said, “good call.” Three seconds and that was enough for me to know.

trinity-matrix-kick

The birth of my son, my first child, as any parent knows, was earth shattering. Two minutes before he was born I started losing it, but I kept it together. The docs told me it was a boy, I saw him, and about a nanosecond later my world was changed forever.

My son’s first haircut was only a week ago. It lasted no more than ten minutes. He got his haircut and I brought him home. It was only a little while until people started referring to him as a “little man.” He is less than two years old and he is already a little man.

I chose a few examples from my own life, but the idea is consistent. I have been around for almost 30 years, but the majority of who and what I am has been formed in a little over 3000 seconds. We have all been through tons of firsts, but the most important points of all of these moments probably took no more than a few seconds.

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Fat Guy Runs a 5K

Back in February, right around my 38th birthday, my oldest son told me that he wanted me to run my town’s “Father’s Day 5K”. Initially, I was less than pleased about it. You see, my motto in life was simple, “Only run when being chased.” For me, to get my fat ass off the couch and train for and complete a 5K without catching a myocardial infarction would completely go against my entire philosophy in life. Now I’m sure many of you out there are scoffing at my complaints. “WAAAHHH, my kid wants me to run a 5K, WAAHHH!” Trust me, I hated myself for feeling that way. So I decided to commit to the process and train for it. Here’s the skinny:

February – bought running shoes at Kohl’s. I have really wide feet and New Balance makes wide widths. I also didn’t feel like spending hundreds on real running shoes. My wife tells me that my feet look like Fred Flintstone feet. She’s a riot. I consulted with a friend who runs marathons who told me about the “Couch to 5K” program. Perfect. Just what I needed. If only the couch had wheels.

WEEK 1 – I walk carefully over to the local park and stretch for a few minutes and start running. The “Couch to 5k” program is simple. Three times a week, go running. Start with running for 60 seconds, walking for 90. Repeat for a total of 20 minutes. Warm up and cool down walks on either end. Simple. Thought my lungs were going to explode and my shins and feet disintegrate from the abuse. Can fat get sore after a workout? Yes it can. Considered taking the boy to the mall, buying him an Orange Julius and an Aunt Annie’s Pretzel and leaving him there.

WEEK 2 – Run for 90, walk for 90. Starting to get into it and liking it, sort of. Feels good to brush the chip crumbs off my chest and get off of the couch. Try to start eating better. Not being too successful with that.

WEEKS 3 & 4 – Really getting into it now. Running 3 – 4 days a week, alternating between the treadmill and outside. Pushing myself to run more than the program says. My already-bloated ego tells me that I’ll be doing the Ironman by August.

WEEK 5 – Went on vacation to Myrtle Beach with the brood and brought my running shoes. They never left the suitcase. Ate everything in sight and drank A LOT of BEER. Decided that being a fat sloth was more fun.

It was at this point that my training took a turn. I was inconsistent at best. Some weeks I ran three times, other weeks I skipped altogether. However, I did start running longer distances on the treadmill. Did two miles in 23 minutes on a Wednesday in May and then ran 5K (3.1 miles) on the treadmill on Friday in 33:30. Was very proud of myself. Considered me to be done with training and was ready for the 5K, even though it was still a month away and I had never actually run the thing outside. So that weekend I decided to try to run the course. Not good. Really thought I was going to puke at the 1.5 mile point. Stopped and stole a bike off someone’s lawn and rode it home. By the way, my 4 year old, loves her new Barbie Island Princess bike with the training wheels.
Fast forward to the week before the race. I’m running like a fool on the treadmill, hoping for the best but expecting to embarrass myself and my kids on Sunday. The day before, I go to bed early, try to deny my wife nookie to “save my strength” but once she sets her mind on something, there’s no stopping her. I reluctantly give in, quoting lines from Raging Bull about “Not before a fight, Vickie” but she doesn’t get the joke. I wake up early the next morning to pouring rain. I figure that the run is off but I wander over to the park anyway and there they are, all set up. I register, get my number and try to look like I belong there. It felt like high school again. “Hey, look at the fat band geek trying to hang with us cool people!” I guess it would have been better if I didn’t fall into a puddle while stretching my quads.

So we line up for the race in what the lead race official calls “heavy fog” and the gun fires. I start running faster than I should but I felt good. Two seconds later, as I’m being passed by, well, everyone, my ego kicks in and tells me to stop being a pussy and pick up the pace. I spot my goal, a fat woman in pink spandex. I catch up to her and pass her. About five minutes into the run, I realize that my pace is way too fast and I’m going to die if I don’t slow down. SO I slow and get my pace to where it should be. Two minutes after that, Pink Spandex passes me. I feel ashamed but resign myself to the fact that I’ll probably be pacing with this woman. Her ass looks like chewed gum. I’m surprised that her thighs didn’t catch fire. She’s breathing like she has asthma but then again, so am I.  Yes, I’m angry and taking it out on her.  She probably has a glandular problem.  Anyway, things are going fairly well even though I’m soaked to the bone. The race goes right past my house and as I turn the corner, I see all my kids and wife on the lawn cheering me on. On the house they had big signs “GO DAD!!” and “OUR DAD ROCKS”. I was hoping for a “BJ AFTER THE RACE” sign, but the wife must have forgotten to hang it up. Seeing the kids excitedly cheering me on brought a tear to my eye and made me realize why I was doing this. And then the faggoty trainer who was running with bubblegum ass in front of me turned around and ran backwards and said “AWWWWWWW!” Screw you Fruity McGee, pay attention to the Jabba the Hutt-ish looking Teletubby that you’re torturing and stop trying to check out my soaking wet crotch. I digress.

The rest of the run goes smoothly, except when I spilled water all over me at mile two. How the hell do you drink from a cup while running? Didn’t matter, I was soaked anyway. I had a nice rash on my corpulent thighs from the rubbing.  I crossed the finish line at 33:42 and didn’t have to stop once to catch my breath. Not bad considering I hadn’t run the 5K outside before. I considered having a Rocky moment,  “Yo, Adrian, I did it!” but was too tired. All in all it was fun and I’m glad I didn’t quit. Hope to do another one before the summer is over. I’ll let y’all know how that goes.

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They Grow Up So Fast

fingerI have two children. My daughter is seven and my son is four. I have the “rich man’s family” but I am still waiting in earnest for that rich part to happen. They bleed me dry, I tell you. From an unbiased opinion, they are smart, beautiful and funny children. This opinion has been verified and seconded by my wife, so it is true. She and I do whatever we can to teach and nurture them so they grow to become the best children and, ultimately, adults they can be.

We give them more choices than most children have, reinforce right from wrong, encourage creative thinking, feed curiosities and laugh at the funny stuff as much as we can. As any parent knows, there is the balancing act along any of these. Case in point, as we all know, bodily functions are funny, no matter the age. Despite the burps, farts, nose-picking and crotch grabbing by a four year old being hysterical to us, we walk across that tightrope and try not to show them our laughing… mainly so he won’t be “That Kid.” You know that kid. He’s the one who farts in the restaurant, picks his nose on stage, burps when it’s his turn to read to the class, or grabs his junk for a tender family photo. If it happens, it happens. On that rare instance, it’ll be a source of high-level amusement years from now. Maybe even when he brings a girlfriend over.

So all of this background leads up to something my son did this past week. It was Saturday, a wondrous day off from work, full of yard work and horsing around. It was a break time and I was sitting at the kitchen table eating a sandwich. My daughter was with me eating, whatever it is she actually does eat, my wife was checking email and my son was chilling on the couch watching something Disney. Basically a time of relaxation and reflection for a little while.

My son gets off the couch, walks in the kitchen, stands next to me, and nonchalantly sticks his index finger to my nose and yells out, “Smell my finger!”

Without thinking, I did. His finger smelled like ass.

Before I could recoil, yell out or instinctively fire out my fist at the offender (I wouldn’t hit my kids, but I’m talking this is instict here, people), he turned on his heel and walked back into the living room. My jaw hung slack, and as he walked, his finger went to his nose, and I swore I saw a smile on his face.

I sat there staring at him realizing many things in a very short amount of time:

  1. He caught me completely off guard, and as such I can never trust him again
  2. I had absolutely nothing at all to say to him
  3. His smile was definitely one of malicious amusement
  4. My son gave me the stink finger, which I had managed to evade my entire life up until that moment
  5. I was appalled at what just happened
  6. I was a very, very proud Father

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