27 February 2009

Book Review: Daddy Goes to Work

When perusing the children's section of the library, my 4-year-old son D- loves to pretend he's picking his books completely at random, while he's actually fulfilling his intricate agenda to provide us with as diverse and challenging an array of reading material as he possibly can.

I welcome the variety of viewpoints, subject matter, and age-appropriateness even if it invites many questions whose answers involve almost nothing related to his carefully established knowledge of the world or its people.

Along with the usual traumatizingly graphic or outdated tomes that make you wonder who's monitoring the children's catalog, this child, who has absolutely zero religious education of any kind, has added classics like the following to one sub-series of his larger work entitled Why Did They Let Me Pick The Books, Again?The Best Eid Ever, Starlight and Candles: The Joys of the Sabbath, and K is for Kwanzaa.

He picked this latest one out one day while I was chasing his little sister M- back towards the kids' play area in the library. He later checked the books out himself at the self-checkout station, so I didn't see everything we'd borrowed till we got home.

I can't help but see his latest noteworthy choice as not only a heavy-handed and judgmental suggestion but an outright personal affront. It's called Daddy Goes to Work, by Jabari Asim.

Daddy Goes to Work by Jabari Asim, cover image courtesy of Amazon.com
This is the kind of unsubtle signal that only a small child or a complete asshole could so calmly provide to an unplanned stay-at-home father.

I'm thinking if he resigns from this tact, after the message seems to have flown right over my head, that I may find him digging through the shelves to find Daddy At Least Gets Off The Couch And Shaves Once In Awhile.

25 February 2009

A conversation with M-: Sounds like a mini bagel

The following is a conversation from this weekend, between my 2-year-old daughter M- and her beleaguered doll (seen here) who is definitely not voiced by me:

M- (announcing to the room, for at least the seventh time): That's your bagina! See that? It's your bagina.

Doll (with a suspiciously familiar, exceedingly high-pitched voice): Yes, I see that... can I have my pants back now, please, so everyone can stop looking at my "bagina"?

M- (not looking up from tending to the other doll in her arms): No you can't.

You may also enjoy my other (4 YO son) D- conversations, (2YO daughter) M- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.

23 February 2009

Your post title is on its way!

Upon reading the slip of paper (I can't even bear to call it "a fortune") hidden inside one of our fortune cookies recently, I knew I had to ridicule it in print, in the probably vain hope that whoever wrote it might know how much shame they have brought upon themselves and their already-pretty-pathetic profession.

As lame as the so-called fortunes usually are, given that they are often either blind guesses at facts about your present or past, or generic bits of reassuring advice, this one takes the stale cookie.

After barely rescuing this paper from the furious snatches of my starving litter of rabid fox kits, I had to allow my eyes a second chance to focus on the words before reading them again in disbelief. I was insulted with the following message, which isn't even worth adding "...in bed" to (as discussed in this past post):

Your fortune is on its way!

What is this, some kind of sick karmic IOU? Call me a self-absorbed, overreacting prick, but I declare this to be absolutely Unacceptable as a fortune. I reject it and demand a replacement, or at least immediate delivery of the actual fortune promised by this one.

Also, I demand a bag of free cookies to dull my rage, but not the awful ones-- the good ones that people are always expecting when they bite into a fortune cookie, assuming anyone still makes those.

I suppose I should be grateful they used the correct its... Otherwise police all along the multi-state cookie supply chain might be desperately chasing the aptly named Stale Cookie Impaler.

19 February 2009

Daddy's little girl gone wild

Consider this a teaser for today's post appearing over at Hot Dads, where I am now an occasional contributor.

While you're over there, be sure to check out some of the other contributors' (including a few LiteralDan readers) posts-- you'll be glad you did.

17 February 2009

Classic quotes, Vol. 11

Here is the latest batch of quotes from around here, this time from my 4-year-old son D- and my freshly 2-year-old daughter M-:

M- (irritatedly, after kissing my cheek): You supposeda shave!

D- (not holding a cup...): I'm very thirsty, that's why I'm drinking the 'drink in my mouth'.

M- (pointing to my bare chest at the breakfast table, reviewing a recent lesson from J-): THAT'S not breasts...*

D- (after fearsomely growling and punching the shower wall): Hey! Wow, that hurts!!

M- (in a cute, timid voice, while J- is lecturing her): Ummmm... I can do... whatever I want.

D- (anytime he's truly frustrated at an inanimate object): That's just IDIOTS!

* Yes, I'm aware that this is the second remark I've recently recorded of M- pointing at my bare chest, but what can I say? Shirts and socks are for people who leave the house.

Also, I want to note that it's good to know I'm still at least in good enough shape not to offer her any confusion on the breast issue.

13 February 2009

Stories for the newly hearing impaired

Well folks, it's Friday morning, which means it's time for me to grab my ear plugs and head down to the library for M-'s story time, where we all get to huddle on the outskirts of the crowd gathered in relative safety about 15 feet away from the (very nice) ringleader herself.

The first week, a few of the other 2-year-olds understandably plopped themselves down right up front when things started, but, being creatures who act on instinct at all times without care for others' feelings, they unsubtley hit the deck when the volume dial broke off at 11 and didn't let up.

It came right as I was wondering how they could take it while I was struggling all the way in the back of the tragically tiny room-- all three kids simultaneously threw themselves backwards (in that way little kids do) outside the blast radius of this woman's voice.

Every week since then, that radius has been marked out by a field 2-3 cushions deep, which this lady must lay out in the vain hope that she's offering plenty of room and comfort to that one special boy --half deaf in his one functioning ear-- who will drift in from one of the nearby parks, as foretold in the prophecy, beckoned to the library by the siren song of a children's book read at a volume that finally allows him to turn off his hearing aid.*

Lest you think she's just one of those rare perky people who's raring to go first thing every morning, I assure you she is far from it. Rather, I believe she simply has to keep shouting as loudly as possible in an effort to keep herself awake, or possibly not dead. Kind of like that stupid Jason Statham movie Crank.

I'm thinking of asking the police department if they might be able to rig up their speed-monitoring trailer to instead measure decibels, so I could drag it into the back of the room like a scoreboard. I might be able to make some side money** wagering on this...

Hopefully I can make enough to cover the ear surgeries.

* And then ask her if she might speak just a little more softly.

** By side money, of course, I mean my only money.

11 February 2009

Developments at our house, Vol. 12

Here are more of the latest developments around here:

1. I've discovered that no matter how tasty a mangled Fannie May Buttercream found at the bottom of a box of Christmas toys looks, it should not be eaten a month after Christmas. Hint: It's no longer at all "creamy".

2. Recently, someone arrived here at the blog via the search "top reason to wash my hands". The top reason to wash your hands? How about so I can feel confident that you're paying enough attention to the many undesirable things your hands do and touch in a given day that I don't have to start retreating entirely from handshakes like Howie Mandel. I'd look as ridiculous giving everyone a Terrorist Fist Jab as I would having my head completely shaved.*

3. I found that if you're going to walk away from your two-year-old on the toilet, for the sake of your heart's health, it's best to remember upon returning that you had given her a down payment on her chocolate chip reward.

4. After gazing upon my bare chest at the breakfast table one morning, my daughter M- pointed and asked, "What's that nipple for?" Like the rest of humanity throughout history, I had to admit that I have no idea.

* This is apparently the chosen method of my subconscious to let me know that I think Howie Mandel is ridiculous inside and out. Who knew? I don't even watch his show.

09 February 2009

Or before G-H, as in "neighbor" and "weigh"

Now is the time on the blog at which I stop to mock someone desperately in need of mocking.

Some have expressed reservations about commenting here for fear of being viciously derided over spelling or grammatical errors, but I cannot stress enough how little you have to worry about that.

Unless you were to commit your errors in the course of making some cutting, accurate remarks taking me down a few pegs, then, yes, I might have to lash out in the easiest way possible.

Other than that, I will love you even if you write like whoever wrote up the error page for the Restricted Trailer site of the upcoming movie I Love You, Man.

It requires you to enter "your" name, age, location, and birth date before allowing you access, and it's apparently either broken or somehow smart enough to realize that Fyuck Eweman is not my real name.

We're sorry, we were unable to verify your information at this time.

Please check the information you submitted and try again.

If you are receieving this page after re-submitting your information - we are unable to provide you with access to this section of the site and we apologize for the inconvenience.

"Let's see... oh, man, I wish I hadn't slept through all of junior high...* I before E, E before I... why not both! It's genius! Now, I can finally get back to copy-editing Associated Press stories."

* Or attended an American school after 1970.

06 February 2009

A conversation with D-: The story of sugar

The following is an exchange I had with my son D- after he drank what is probably the second and near-to-last Capri Sun he's had in his 4 years:

D- (eyes wider than usual due to increased heart rate): Daddy, one day, I wanna make this kind of juice.*

Me: Oh yeah?

D- (looking at the front of it): Yeah... it's about "apples".

Me: Yes, it might be about them, but I assure you it's not made from them, so I wouldn't really call it "juice".

D-: (blank stare)

His word choice actually creates an appropriate comparison, since Capri Sun has as much of a connection to actual fruit as, say, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

* This means he wants to buy some but knows I'll say, "No, we don't need that," which I of course do quite frequently. He figures that by suggesting we make some ourselves, like the good, old-timey Americans we are, he might stumble through a back door to getting what he wants.

04 February 2009

Classic quotes, Vol. 10

Here is the latest batch of quotes from from my wife J-, 2-year-old daughter M-, and 4-year-old son D-:

M- (after sneezing): Bazoontight!

D- (when asked his favorite sport): Ummm... running around in circles.

M- (beaming, after being told she's a big girl): And you're a big daddy!

J-'s physical therapist (while J- was on her stomach doing "gluteal clenches"): Very good! You're doing much better with those-- you look like you're getting a really good squeeze there!

M- (after glimpsing a single raisin I earlier submerged in her cereal, with a tone, pitch, and volume not unlike a new Publishers Clearinghouse winner): Ooh-a-raaaisinnn!!!*

* I can't publish a quote like this without acknowledging the existence of the greatest source of raisin-related child enthusiasm, Steve at The Sneeze's gifts of raisins to his son on Christmas for the past three years.

02 February 2009

Tossin' around the ol' groundhogskin

In honor of this most somber of all major holidays, I'd like to set a moment aside to recognize the sacrifices of the many brave groundhogs who have fought and died for this country over the years, gnawing tiny paths to the heart of freedom so that its light might shine upon the darkest corners of the world.

Or, wait... let me read that page again... Nevermind.

In other news, congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers for coldly robbing the Arizona Cardinals* of their one triumphant moment in the accursed half-century since they turned tail and abandoned Chicago.

Sorry as everyone may feel for them right now after a remarkable postseason and a fantastic championship game, they knew what they were getting into when they hit the bricks for St. Louis (before moving on to retirement in the desert).

Regardless of all this ancient history, I was still a neutral fan this year, nursing a broken heart since my team, the Giant Foam Cowboys, didn't go all the way:
Rooting for the Giant Foam Cowboys in Super Bowl XLIII
And now, to instead honor the other Groundhog Day, you should read this post again, ad infinitum, until you Learn Something Important.

* My condolences, of course, go out to Renee, beth, and any other Arizona residents/Cardinals fans reading out there.