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
I watched the sun as it crawled toward the horizon through a line of palm trees just off in the distance. Despite it being early October, the temperature was still in the mid-eighties, meaning a t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops were the only way to go. A cool breeze blew through my toes as I finished off my Philly cheesesteak and glanced at my wife and kids around the table.
No, we were not on vacation. We were not at the beach. In fact, we were actually sitting outside at a restaurant only a few miles from our house. This is Arizona’s “Fall,” and after four months of 110-degree weather, it reminds us every year the real reason we live here.
Gazing at the orange sky silhouetted by palms, I told my wife, “I know you grew up here, but every time I see a sight like this, it still feels like I’m on vacation.” (I was raised in Connecticut, where it was not uncommon to expect snow on Halloween.)
“Yep,” she replied. “This is like the best time of year. And it goes by so fast.” She’s right. As soon as the weather cools off, it always feels like a dead sprint through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
But this evening, with autumn still new and shiny, time seemed to stand still.
“Are we still getting ice cream?” asked my son, who had just finished his chicken nuggets.
“Well, yeah, Buddy,” my wife replied. “We are, but we’re still waiting for Sister to finish her dinner.”
My son eyed his sister, who was leisurely nibbling on her fries, with plenty still piled on her plate. He grimaced. “Is this a dessert place, too?”
“No, Buddy. They only have chicken nuggets and French fries and Mommy and Daddy’s cheesesteaks.” (And yes, in case you’re wondering, cheesesteaks followed by ice cream were, in fact, my pregnant wife’s idea. Boo-yah.)
Looking up from her fries, my daughter chimed in. “I saw cookies inside.”
The Pseudonymous Family is moving to a new house this week. Although our current residence has served us well, it leaves little space for my wife and me to chase our little Ewoks around and has an air conditioner that was installed around the time Return of the Jedi was released. This does not bode well in the 115-degree Arizona summer, as it runs constantly and sh!tily and still does not sufficiently cool the house.
Accordingly, we’re very much looking forward to our new place’s additional square footage, reduced electricity bill, and gargantuan master bedroom closet organizer (a feature my wife literally dances about at its mere mention).
As we’ve been packing up the house, the Twins have been in rare form, no doubt thrown off by the disturbance in The Force due to their constantly-changing surroundings. While my daughter has fully integrated the word “No” into her vocabulary (Yeah. I’m in trouble.), my son has begun to test physical boundaries, exploring the limits of both furniture he’s allowed on and his own body. In fact, once we’d emptied the bookshelf in his bedroom the other day, we discovered a new talent of his, as illustrated by the following footage:
If there’s one thing I learned while growing up, it’s that–in the words of the great philosopher Hoots the Owl—“You gotta put down the Duckie if you wanna play the saxophone.”
I’ve since devised lifehacks allowing me to defy this nocturnal avian jazz musician’s First Law of Multi-Tasking, deftly blowing the perpetual 12-bar solo that is being a husband, dad, and student while still keeping a firm grip on the duckie that is this fine publication. However, during the month of July, the song’s tempo sped to a breakneck punk rock moshpit pace, and as I attempted to keep up with the chord changes, the poor little duckie came flying out of my hand.
Since I know you hang on my every Twincident, O Loyal Reader, I’m sure you noticed things have been considerably quiet ’round these parts. I’ve always told myself I’d never let writing about being a dad get in the way of actually being a dad, and the past few weeks found me in that very position. While writing is a deep passion of mine, I can’t let it jeopardize my sax life.
I had to huck the duck.
Now that summer is in full swing, I know many parents are looking for ecstatically fun activities to keep the kids entertained. Well, be not afraid, O Loyal Reader, for I’ve got yo’ back. Despite my incredibly busy schedule, I went to the trouble of compiling a list of enjoyable pastimes sure to keep you and your children free of boredom during these long summer months.
Granted, I’m no expert, but speaking from my own experience, the Twins and I have together agreed on several occasions that we like to do the following:
1. Eat, eat, eat apples and bananas.
2. Ate, ate, ate aypples and banaynays.
3. Eat eat, eat eeples and baneenees.
4. Ite, ite, ite ipples and baninis.
5. Oat, oat, oat ohpples and banonos.
6. Ute, ute, ute upples and banunus.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, an additional option that we sometimes enjoy is to:
7. Yte, yte, yte, ypples and banynys.