1. Two minutes before his swimming lesson starts.
2. When we should already have left the house 15 minutes ago.
3. In the middle of an amusement park ride.
4. Every time we walk into Target.
5. Just as our doctor enters the room for a check-up after we’ve been waiting 45 minutes.
6. At the beach.
7. When a server is about to take our orders at a restaurant.
8. The moment our food arrives at a restaurant.
9. On our way out of a restaurant.
10. Anyone’s house but ours.
11. At the park.
12. While I am sitting on the only available toilet.
13. While his sister is sitting on the only available toilet.
14. Three minutes after insisting he did not have to go while we were all in the public family restroom at the mall and each of his sisters dutifully utilized the toilet and changing table, but now we’re almost to the Disney Store on the other side of the mall.
15. While waiting in the McDonald’s drive-through line.
16. When he is on his bike five blocks from the house and claims to need to go too badly to pedal himself home and starts flipping the f*ck out and I somehow have to get his f*cking bike, his twin sister who is just too tired to pedal and her f*cking bike, and his baby sister and her stroller back home. Also, it is hot out. Continue reading
1. Telling them, “Okay, it’s time to go. Kids, please get your shoes on.”
2. Adding, “Kids. Get your shoes on.”
3. Acknowledging that, yes, I KNOW they’re drawing pictures, but like I said, it’s time to go. Like right now.
4. Yes. Right now. This very instant. This moment in time. NOW.
5. Telling them to stop claiming they don’t know how to put their shoes on.
6. Telling them Santa is watching.
7. Reminding them that our Elf on the Shelf is right over there. See?
8. Saying that I’m sure the Easter Bunny is taking notes, too.
9. Telling them, no, Easter is not for a few months, but the important part is getting their f*cking shoes on.
10. Reminding them that Jesus is watching, too. Surely Jesus would get HIS shoes on.
11. Telling them that Big Brother is also watching, and realizing that it is a reference they will not understand, and explaining that, no, they do not have another brother, but that they DO have…to put their f*cking shoes on.
12. Saying I’m leaving without them.
13. Telling them no, no, no, of course I would never leave without them…as long as they put their f*cking shoes on.
14. Asking them to stop crying, I’m seriously not leaving without you. But now that I have your attention, please put your f*cking shoes on.
15. Telling them their shoes are hungry for feet. Look! Their tongues are sticking out! Continue reading
The Twins first got their Nabi tablets about two years ago. We’re conscious of limiting their screen time, but I think anyone with kids can agree that anything that keeps them busy for more than 30 seconds can be a win for everyone at least once in a while. Lately, with both of the Twins sick with colds (and my son somehow contracting a mild case of pneumonia in the over-100-degree Arizona heat), the Nabis have been a fantastic distraction for them while they rest and leave Mommy and Daddy alone for five freaking minutes–maybe six If we’re lucky.
We recently added the YouTube Kids app to their playscape, and they absolutely adore being able to watch videos of grown adults opening toys and ill-conceived animated songs whenever they want, and Mommy and Daddy can rest easy knowing it has an excellent kid-friendly filter. My daughter’s favorite function of the app is the ability to search for videos with voice commands. Like most newfangled contraptions nowadays, she can simply press the microphone-shaped icon, vocally request what her heart desires, and through modern sorcery, the videos magically appear before her eyes.
As my wife and I had the pleasure of taking turns with two snot-nosed four-year-olds (and their boogery six-month-old sister) all week, I decided to compile a list of some of my very favorite YouTube searches I overheard my daughter barking at her Nabi. Feel free to search them yourself, but a fair warning: What you find may numb your mind, bore you to tears, or even disgust you (especially if you’re NOT using that YouTube Kids filter).
Here they are, in no particular order. As you’ll soon see, my daughter has VERY specific tastes.
1. “Superman and Batman costumes with people inside them wearing them singing songs”
Because it is important to clarify that there are people inside the costumes.
2. “Plain Hello Kitty surprise eggs with nothing on them”
When asked I her for clarification, she replied, “I don’t want the eggs to have any pictures on them, but I want them to have Hello Kitty toys in them.” (For those who don’t know, surprise eggs are exactly what they sound like. Think those Easter eggs that you can put stuff in. You’d be amazed how many of YouTube’s servers are filled with people opening f*cking toy eggs.) Continue reading
1. Opening a Bottle of Beer
2. Pouring a Bottle of Beer into a Darth Vader Pint Glass in such a way as to Minimize Foam
3. Drinking a Beer out of a Darth Vader Pint Glass
4. Taking a Picture of a Beer in a Darth Vader Pint Glass
5. Compiling a Non-Exhaustive List
1. Get into a fistfight over a Lego
2. Get into a fistfight over a sticker
3. Get into a fistfight over a toy we’ve bought two of so they won’t fistfight over it
4. Steal Daddy’s phone
5. Get into a fistfight over Daddy’s phone
6. Reply to emails from Daddy’s dissertation chair with gibberish
7. Break something, causing a fistfight
8. Break something, during a fistfight
9. Climb onto the kitchen table
10. Go streaking
11. Dump out the dog’s water dish and claim to be ice-skating
12. Empty the toybox I just spent a half hour filling while they sat on their asses singing “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere” and contributed a single toy between the two of them
One of the most thrilling perks of being a PhD student stems from the suspense of visiting the campus restroom. No, really! I’m serious. When you share a space with undergraduate students, you never quite know what you’re going to see when you walk in the door, making for an always-captivating mini-sightseeing adventure, right in the middle of the day.
For instance, creative undergrad use of the facilities often leads to fantastic signs I’d think would be appropriate for my two-year-old son, and NOT for the over-18 crowd. Consider this gem I found in the Engineering building:
Yes, that’s right. Engineering students were apparently having so much trouble with the physics of their own fluids that a visual aid was deemed necessary.
Additional fantastic signage can be found in this newer, more upscale campus restroom:
Again, I could see this as a valid reminder for my two-year-olds, who will climb on absolutely anything they can reach. Had there been a strategically-placed stepstool in this facility, this sign could definitely have applied to them (that is, if they could read). However, I’m not so sure what grown man in his right mind would decide to sit on this sink. Not only would said psychopath drench his ass and get in the way of fellow patrons…but…I mean…why? Sure, there’s some pretty nice marble on this particular sink (I’m not taking that for granite–HAHAHAHAHA), but didn’t hanging out in the boys’ room stop being cool in middle school? Apparently not.
Rarely do I experience more drama in my household than when the Twins are deciding which movie to watch. As the Movie Selection Committee consists of two highly opinionated two-year-olds, the deliberation process has been known to inspire tears, tiny fistfights, and even the occasional airborne DVD case. In fact, these pre-movie events often rival the actual movies in both intensity and entertainment value. However, once white smoke emanates from our chimney, alerting the throngs of onlookers and international press gathered on our street that a film has finally been chosen, my daughter invariably reminds me:
“I don’t like the Mean Lady.”
This is because in just about every movie we’re currently watching, she has found a female character that terrifies her, and the moment any of these Mean Ladies are onscreen, she’ll literally run away from the TV to find me (yes, even when I’m on the toilet) and insist that I “Skip this part. I don’t like the Mean Lady.”
This is my cue to cuss inaudibly as I frantically search for the stupid f*cking remote (I just had it thirty seconds ago!) and–once I finally extract it from inside the Lego house my son is building–skip the movie to the next scene, which is blissfully devoid of any and all Mean Ladies.
I’m not sure where this phobia comes from. Perhaps she feels that all women ought to be kind and nurturing (like her Mommy) and seeing the flip side of that flips her out. Of course, it doesn’t really help that kids’ movies tend to lay the evil on pretty thick with villains so that it’s unquestionably clear who’s the “bad guy.” At any rate, what follows is a breakdown of the Ladies my daughter finds to be particularly Mean.
1. Mother Gothel – Tangled
Mother Gothel is the original Mean Lady, the one who started it all with my little girl, and I have to say, I don’t really blame her on this one. The second she saw the beginning part where Gothel’s fugly screaming monster face abducted Rapunzel, I knew there was no turning back. While I’m confident Gothel wouldn’t be a real-life threat (her main weapon is long-term psychological damage) and that I could send her away crying like a little girl by mentioning she looked like she was looking a little gray today, I can understand how the devilish facial expressions and sudden changes in volume could freak out my two-year-old.