Cutting Down "Thankful Trees"
Thanksgiving is all about being well, thankful. Adults are usually thankful for health, happiness, friends, family, food, and other various generic things. Children on the other hand are thankful for very specific things. My daughter is no different. She expressed these things in 2 separate “Thankful Trees”. The first one was assembled by my wife.
Typical Pool People
I had written this a couple months ago but my editor was unavailable to edit more "current" pieces this week. Hope you enjoy...
I took my daughter to the local pool over the summer and while we had fun I couldn’t help but notice the same cast of characters always appear at the pool. Below are some profiles to be on the lookout for.
Clueless Grandfather- This guy is typically wearing JORTS (Jean shorts), a large hat, and a T-shirt from a place he vacationed. Now the “clueless” part of the description isn’t from his wardrobe choices, but the fact that he is walking around the wet zones with a high end camera hanging off his neck and cellphone hanging on for dear life from his belt. He is trying to capture the “precious” moments of his grandchildren when children carelessly splash near his Best Buy purchased equipment. But I guess if he stayed far away taking pictures, he might be arrested. Either way I think I’ll visit Branson, MO. The T-shirts are killer.
My wife suggested I take both kids to look for a costume for my 8 month old son. This is how it unfolded….
12:15pm Put son and daughter in car seat. Drive out of driveway
12:16pm Drive back to house, put stroller in trunk. Leave for iParty.
12:30pm Arrive at iParty and stare at the wall of costumes for what seemed like hours.
12:50pm Find a business man costume which could made into a gangster costume (because you have to be creative).
12:51pm Take a picture and send to wife. Wait for hours for a response.
12:56pm Purchase the costume.
1:00pm Get in the car and start driving to Spirit Halloween, get a text from the wife saying she doesn't like it. “Too late, you took too long to respond. And it's going to be awesome.” you text back.
1:10pm Make it to the mall, park in the back, put one child in stroller, hold hands with the other one, navigate the endless cars.
1:15pm Get inside the mall and try to find the “pop up” halloween store that took over the failed Brookstone space, thanks Amazon…
1:28pm Walk into the nomadic Halloween store. This naturally triggers the “ I have to go to the bathroom” request from your 3 year old daughter.
1:45pm Wander aimlessly looking for the mall directory to find a bathroom because the mall owners apparently have a sick sense of humor. Decipher the color coded map. Sprint to the bathroom. My daughter holds herself and my son stares wide eyed as we swerve through slowly walking, carefree shoppers.
1:55pm Arrive at the bathroom. Family bathroom is occupied. Go into the dreaded men’s bathroom with both children. Calmly shriek out instructions “Don’t touch anything!”, as you try to disinfect any part that she could potentially touch. End up cleaning the entire bathroom.
1:59pm Leave the bathroom while lightly spritzing everyone in purell
2:05pm Return to the store and start looking for a mustache binkie and toy gun that will tie this costume together (in the name of creativity).
2:10pm Daughter says “I have to go to the bathroom again”. In complete shock and unwilling to negotiate with a 3 year bladder, we return to the bathroom.
2:15pm Put her on the toilet and wait for hours.
2:17pm She announces she doesn't have to go now. My head explodes.
2:22pm Return back to the store and search like you’re searching for food on the Oregon trail.
2:40pm With no luck you ask a “cheerful” goth clerk if they have any mustache binkies, her dead eyes said it all. “No”. You die from dysentery.
2:42pm Pull out your phone and find one on Amazon and order it.
2:43pm Come to the realization that Amazon must have been invented by a parent so to never have to take your kids shopping.
3:01pm Get back to the car. Load kids into car. Put stroller in trunk. Daughter starts to demand a snack. Remember you left it on the kitchen counter. Obscenities fly in my mind as I dig through the diaper bag looking/praying for something. Crushed pretzels, perfect.
3:10pm Now I need to find a gun... a toy gun!
3:30pm Drive to the dollar tree store and actually find one! However it's the wrong color, damn it. Babies carry black guns, not desert sand colored ones. Buy some glow sticks and other unneeded things because everything is only a dollar.
3:45pm Leave store, put kids in the car, load up the stroller. Feels like Groundhog Day every time I get back to my car.
4:05pm Arrive at Lowes to get some black spray paint. Pushing my luck now as I've blown through nap time and my sons 4 o'clock bottle (which is sitting next to the snack).
4:10pm Unpack stroller and kids, roll into Lowes. Blow by the greeter because speed is all that matters now. My daughter looks at me but my new goth glare tells her not to ask for the bathroom. Get the paint, finally a easy win for me.
4:18pm Back to the car, pack up the kids and stroller. Leave the parking lot in silence.
4:19pm My son starts to cry. He continues for hours
4:43pm Arrive home. Realize why so many people “go for it” when crossing the river on the Oregon Trail, especially when there’s a baby crying in the wagon.
4:45pm Unpack car and take in the kids inside. Leave the stroller in the trunk because it doesn’t have to eat.
4:53pm Feed the children, everyone (the children) is happy.
5:01pm Look for some whiskey, none found. Head explodes again.
5:30pm Wife comes home, casually asks “how’d it go?” I show her my goth glare that I’ve perfected.
On Halloween I put my son into his costume and took his picture, many times. This is the best one….
You might have thought there is only one way to change a diaper but you’re wrong. There is the Regular Way and the Man Way. The Man Way is much more in depth and takes considerable planning. If done correctly, you will be a better person, and will have a sense of accomplishment when it is all done.
Prep: Make sure there are multiple people in the house, if not skip to the end.
Step 1: While holding your baby you notice a familiar, unpleasant smell coming from them. No matter how pungent, don’t make a face indicating you’ve realized the brown train has arrived in the station and is assaulting your nose. The baby will think it's got you in it’s brown trap. A lot of first time fathers make this mistake: They say “oh my god you smell” or think there is something unholy in that diaper. This is the equivalent of a crocodile spooking a near by antelope with a loud splash, putting all eyes on the crocodile. If all eyes are on you it makes the next series of steps very difficult.
Step 2: Causally look around to ensure no one noticed that the child has pooped. Much like the game of hot potato the one holding it last loses. Then put the child down somewhere on a playmat...but not in anything that could help create an escape hatch through the diaper. You may consider trying to pass off the baby immediately to your wife: Complete rookie mistake. It might work a few times, but your wife will catch on and then forever be suspicious whenever you try hand her a baby. Not worth the look you’ll get. Trust me.
Step 3: Some dads might try and leave the room, house, or state after bailing on the mini human time bomb. However the child probably will develop a complex and have major daddy issues… So you must say something to another person in the house like “Oh, the baby has this HUGE smile on their face, you’ve got to take a look” or “I think the baby just said your name” or my personal favorite “The baby can do subtraction when you pick him up”.
Step 4: Now that you’ve set the pieces in motion for your master plan, you can’t stay around for the potential fallout. You then decide to accomplish your “honey do list”, thus creating an escape route out of the room and into the Base Of Operations (garage/basement). As long as it's away from prying eyes you’ll be fine. If you’re really talented, you can snag a beer on your way but don’t be greedy. That’s an expert level move that requires months sometimes years, of practice. My skill level only allows me to snag a juice box running at full speed to the Base of Operations.
Step 5: Regroup in the Base of Operations for as long as it takes for the person changing the diaper to the open Pandora’s brown box. The bigger and smellier the diaper, the longer you need to stay away. While you kill time, you might want to start the “honey do” list, because if you don’t nail the next step you’ll need something to fall back on. This is up to you, I don’t want you to be overextended.
Step 6: When you come back into the room and the recent poop event is shared with you, you’ve got to reach into you acting bag and nail this performance, (if not, you will never get to leave the room without being put on Poop Patrol). The basics of a good performance- eyes widening, mouth hanging open (hopefully the smell has dissipated) and saying something like “Really? I thought he/she just did that a little bit ago,” or “Ok, I’ll get the next one” (knowing full well you can repeat these series of steps and always be on the “next one”). Feel free to get creative here. If you give a mindblowing performance you could be interviewed by James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio for a Father’s Day Poop Special.
Digest these steps, Study them like a college final, internalize them like Bible passages, to the point you can do it with your eyes closed (sometimes the smell is that bad). Follow them and you will successfully change a diaper the Man Way.
Or simply tell your wife you’re leaving the room because the smell is so bad that you need to write a blog post.
Married with 2.5 children (2 kids and a dog)...I know very unique family structure