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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bean Day

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)

The Bean: Age 8!
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife

OK - I'm back.  Sorry for the delay, holidays and all.

8 years ago on Christmas Day, the DW and I had agreed to host Christmas dinner.  This was no small undertaking for us, considering that both sides of our family along with aunts, uncles, and sundry friends would be in attendance.

And the fact our house could probably qualify for Government Aid as a National Disaster Area.

But somehow, we had the house and the cookin' ready with a couple of hours to spare.

So, we decided to have a talk.

Did I mention that the DW was 7 months pregnant at the time?

Would she go back to work after The Bean was born?  Would I try and get a job that didn't send me all over the world for extended periods?  Could we even afford a baby?

These questions were left, predicatively, unanswered.  Guests arrived.  Pleasantries exchanged.  Meals served.

The DW was feeling sick.  Probably something I cooked.

She went to lie down.

Did I mention that the DW was 7 months pregnant at the time?

She didn't just lie down, of course.  She went into labor.  On Christmas Night.

An emergency C-Section was performed on the next day and the Bean came into the world at a stark 3 lbs.  She had ten fingers and ten toes and was already perfecting the glare that only a little girl with the world's worst birthday could have.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Princess Paparazzi

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)

The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife

Apparently, you can get Disney Princess autographs.

The DW and I took The Bean and The Butterfly to Disney this Thanksgiving, eschewing extended family responsibilities.  

The Bean and The Butterfly loved it.  Particularly Epcot.  

You can drink beers from around the world at Epcot.  I did nothing to discourage their fondness of what was once considered the dullest of the theme park.

The Disney princesses would stand and people with their excited daughters would wait patiently in interminable lines for their turn to gather hugs and photo ops.

Pretty straight forward, right?

Wrong.  The princesses worked a schedule with specific, hard-lined cut off points.  You could wait patiently in the aforementioned interminable line, only to be cut off seconds before the hugs and photo ops could take place.


So what is a Superdad to do?

Wait 15 minutes in a line to see Sleeping Beauty, of course.  

Here's the kicker, though.  I was waiting in a line without a Princess.

She'd be right out, I was assured.  So I waited in a line for no Princess at all.  

For Sleeping Beauty, no less.  

And she hated me.

But The Bean and The Butterfly got to see their Princess, and the DW brought me a beer from France.

Sometimes I love being Superdad.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sleeping Beauty Woke Up on the Wrong Side of Bed

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)

The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife

The DW and I took The Bean and The Butterfly to Disney this Thanksgiving.  The girls, of course, had a blast.  They met all of their favorite characters had them sign their autograph books.

My next post will address some of the Princess Stalking that we did, but for now, let's focus on Sleeping Beauty.

That wench.

Well, it's not like I didn't bring it on myself.

I stood in an empty line (again, more on that next week), and ushered my girls up to the front.

The Bean whispered something into Sleeping Beauty's ear.

Sleeping Beauty glared at me.

The Bean giggled.

Sleeping Beauty pointed at me.  "I heard you downloaded a copy of my movie.  And that it didn't work in your DVD player."

I had no response to that.  "I have no response to that," I said.

The immortal words of The Alarm raced through my head.

I don't know why, no I don't understand
why you Sold Me Down the River...

I like that song.  Maybe I should download it.

Just kidding RIAA.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Getting Mad About the Mouse

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife
The Buffett Puppy

The DW has gotten a bee in her bonnet that we are blowing off Thanksgiving this year and going to see the Mouse. 

The Bean and The Butterfly will be so excited!  They will jump up and down!  They will give us three cheers!  Hip, hip, hooray!!!




Not right.

The Bean immediately asks if we can bring Buffett.  We tell her "No, Buffett will be staying at Grammy's house.  The Bean's eyes swell.  She starts to cry.

The Butterfly is confused by the arrangement.  She thinks we are leaving right then.  She disappears upstairs to pack.

We explain that we won't be leaving for, like, a week.


The Bean is now over the dog and is concentrating on the number of days we'll be there.  We say 3 and she's furious.  She wants 5.

Grammy has an expression she likes to toss around - "Ungrateful wretch".  Fitting, no?

The DW has had about enough of this.  She collars up Buffett and disappears into the night rain.  The storm outside is nothing compared to the one brewing at our dinner table.

And I'm left with two "ungrateful wretches".  I send them to their respective rooms.  It's Monday and I have football to watch.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Drop Dead Gorgeous Part II

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife
The Buffett Puppy

Guest starring Grammy and Grumps

The DW and I convinced The Bean to wear the pretty polka dot dress for the Nordstrom Fashion Show.  She looked, of course, amazing.  The Butterfly looked amazing as well.

Now would there be any unexpected catastrophes to unhinge the festivities?

Not really.

Many of the children had issues with the Catwalk.  Some cried.  Some hid.  Some were too frightened to prance along the Red Carpet.  One wouldn't leave the Red Carpet until she'd strutted her stuff 3 times.

The Butterfly in her Blue Cheetah dress was all business.  She marched up and back down, blowing a single kiss to the DW as she returned behind the curtain.

The Bean walked out slowly, arm-in-arm with a crying girl.  She hugged her and essentially drug her along the path.  She did manage more than a few hair flips and and executed a perfect U-Turn at the end of the carpet.  Her companion ceased her tears and wiggled along to the safety of the curtain.

So, nothing funny happened.  A shame, really.

I was in a state of shock.  How did The Bean manage to smile and wave at the crowd without pitching a fit?

The Bean learned a valuable lesson about being a child runway model.  "You don't have to be happy," she explained.  "You just have to pretend to be happy."

In the end, she liked the dress.  And Grammy and Grumps were there to make sure she got to keep it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Drop Dead Gorgeous Part I

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife
The Buffett Puppy

Before I get started on this blog, I would like to thank all those who have become my readership.  Daddy I Want... just exceeded 500 Facebook Fans.  I am speechless.

Enough of that.

I am really good at picking out clothes.  When I shop with the DW, it is me who scours the racks, pulling multiple colors and sizes, then finding matching accessories.  I pick out nearly all her clothes.

The good ones, anyway.


So on Wednesday, I was presented with a new challenge - picking out clothes for The Bean and The Butterfly.  They are supposed to be in a fashion show at Nordstrom, so they must look their best.

Am I becoming one of those Stage Moms, er, Dads?

I pick a navy blue dress a subdued leopard print for The Butterfly.  She looks amazing in it.  She says she looks like a Blue Cougar.  I convince her that a Blue Cheetah might be more age appropriate.

For The Bean, I spy a brown strapless with a lilac polka dot pattern.  Unfortunately, her heart is set on a pink dress.  It's the kind of dress that a bridesmaid might wear.  If 2nd graders could get married, she'd be ready to raise a Champagne flute of Sprite.

She likes Sprite.  It fizzes.

She does not, it seems, like polka dots.  When pressed for a reason, she counters with "They're not pink!".

The DW steps in.  She talks to the lady at Nordstrom about maybe The Bean could wear the bridesmaid dress instead.  

The Nordstrom lady says - - - - - "No."

The Bean hits the Catwalk tomorrow morning.  As of right now, she doesn't know she'll be modeling a dress she hates.

Stay tuned for Part II.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Daddy I Want My Tooth Back

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife
The Buffett Puppy

The Bean returned from school the other day as pleased as she could be. She showed me a small red box.  Then, she showed me the contents of the box.

The Bean has lost a tooth.  A canine,I think.  I don't know much Biology.  Or much about the French I took, for that matter.

When the DW comes home, The Bean is all smiles and pulling down her lip to highlight the new vacancy.

"I'm going to put this under my pillow," she announces, "and the Tooth Fairy will come and give me money."

The Bean and The Butterfly get off to bed, and now the scheming begins.

"OK, give me some money," says the DW.  "It's time for the Tooth Fairy's visit."

I give her a look like a cartoon character without any money.  

She sighs.  "All I have is a twenty.  The Bean is not getting a twenty.  The tooth market is inflated enough as it is.

She has a very good point.  The Bean and The Butterfly each get five dollars.  Back in my day, I got a dollar.  My parents were the proud recipient of a quarter.

I'm guessing their parents received a warm handshake.

So, we do the unthinkable.  We snatch the tooth and replace it with a handwritten note.  A Tooth Fairy IOU.

The next morning, The Bean brings me the paper and asks what an IOU is.

I explain that the Tooth Fairy must have run out of money and will be back tonight to "settle up".

The Bean is unimpressed.  She wants her tooth back.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Worst. Halloween. Ever.

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife
The Buffett Puppy

And guest starring, Halloween Griswold

The Bean has a thing for Halloween.  She always wants to be the villain.  Last year, she frightened the boys as Catwoman.  

This year, she opted for the White Witch of Narnia.  Why a cute little seven-year-old would opt for such an obscure costume is not exactly beyond me.  I dressed as Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange a few years back.

I temporarily glued my eye shut while applying a false eyelash.

But I digress.

The Bean dons the costume, complete with evil wand.

The DW fashions a crown out of poster board.  This raises The Bean's height to about five-and-a-half feet tall. 

She is scary.  And nothing can scare her.

Except for possibly our neighbor.  He takes Halloween seriously as well.  Imagine Clark Griswold from Christmas Vaction, except he is trying to outdo his neighbors with Halloween decorations.

He has built a Haunted House in his front lawn, complete with chainsaw killers, axe murderers, strobe lights and a smoke machine.

Yes, a freaking smoke machine.

This already isn't the greatest Halloween night of all time.  It is raining cats and dogs.  The Trick-or-Treat baskets get filled with water, and the Bean's crown is soaked, causing it to droop over her eyes.

We arrive at the Haunted House and it becomes pretty clear, pretty fast that The Bean has no interest in going inside.  Halloween Griswold is at the entrance, decked out in a full body gorilla suit and skull mask.

This scares The Butterfly greatly.  She ain't going inside.  

We ask The Bean to accompany her little sister in, but The Bean is crying hysterically.  Her white makeup is running down her face.

She is inconsolable.  Halloween Griswold steps outside and removes his mask.  This, for some reason, does not seem to help.

The Bean's mean old Daddy won't let her have any candy unless she goes through, so we abandon this stop.

After about an hour, The Bean finally stops crying.  She wants to try again, but only if I go with her, and only if I yell at Halloween Griswold.

So we try again.  This time Halloween Griswold leaps through the door and startles The Fragile Bean.

More tears + more rain = Sad Bean.

Years from now, she will be talking to a therapist about the Worst. Halloween. Ever.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Daddy, Did Julie Newmar Marry Adam West?

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife
The Buffett Puppy

Guest Starring: The Boyfriend

One of the first things the girls noticed about Australia is they only have 4 television stations.  This made them homesick.

Where was Dora the Explora? Where were Max and Ruby?  Where was Lazytown?  Where were the Wiggles?

Actually, the Wiggles were there.

So through the wonders of YouTube, The Bean and The Butterfly were introduced to Batman.  Not the tough, new gravelly-voiced Dark Knight.  No, the 1960's camp-tastic Caped Crusader.

Holy Spandex, Batman.

The Bean fell in love with Catwoman.  Check that, she wanted to be Catwoman.

Excerpts from an actual conversation - 

Me: Who do you want to be for Halloween?

The Bean: Julie Newmar.

Yes, knew which Catwoman she wanted to be.

And as luck would have it, The Bean's boyfriend (gasp) was going to be Batman for Halloween.  And he was not going as the tough, new gravelly-voiced Dark Knight.  No, The Boyfriend was going as the 1960's camp-tastic Caped Crusader.

Pow!! Zap!! Crack!!

"Daddy, Did Julie Newmar Marry Adam West?"


Monday, October 26, 2009

One Batty Family

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife
The Buffett Puppy

The DW is in the Halloween spirit.  OK, The Bean and The Butterfly are in the Halloween spirit and The DW's just along for the ride.

We have spider web stuff on our bushes.  Now that it's rained, it looks like someone rolled our house.

We have skeletons and witches pasted in our windows.  At any given time, one or more of them could be drooping to the floor.

We have ghosts the size of shuttlecocks hanging from our trees.  Some are about 3 feet off the ground.  The Buffett Puppy hasn't noticed them yet, but he will.

And now for the bats -

The Butterfly has determined that bats are cuddly little creatures who wouldn't hurt a fly "except for that's what they eat".

The DW bought a set of 3 bats - one big, one medium & one small.  "It's a bat family," The DW explains.

"Nnnooooooo!!!!" The Butterfly screams.


"That's not a bat family!"

"Sure it is," The DW soothes.  "See - Daddy, Mommy, Baby."

"That's not a bat family.  The baby bat needs a baby sister."


"Baby Sister!! Baby Sister!! Baby Sister!!"

Back to Target it is...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pop + Sizzle = Wrinkled Nose

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife
The Buffett Puppy

When The Bean was but 1 years-old, I first exposed her to Coca~Cola.

Cautiously, she took a sip.  You could tell that the carbonated bubbles were bursting inside her nose.  She made a face.

Then she wanted more and more until I had to take it away from her.  I thought better of a caffeinated 1 year-old on a sugar high.

At New Years Eve that year, I tried a similar experiment with Champagne.

The DW wasn't thrilled at the prospect of either a drunk or hungover 2-year-old.  My argument that it was really good Champagne didn't stand up all that well.

Fast Forward.

We met Miss K, The Butterfly's Pre-K teacher out for dinner last week. 

The reason Miss K had Pop Rocks with her in the first place is somewhat mysterious.  The fact that The Bean and The Butterfly really liked them is less so.

I suggested to The Bean that she put a big handful in her mouth, then take a big swig of Sprite.

The DW glared. 

Apparently, she didn't think that was such a good idea either.

Good thing I didn't suggest she chase them with Champagne.


Friday, October 16, 2009

You're Not Paying Attention

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife
The Buffett Puppy

Oh, the things we wish we could say...

For some reason, we went to a restaurant on a school night.  We tend to avoid doing this because the DW works pretty long hours and The Bean and The Butterfly still insist on the full battery of computer time, television programs and lullabies.

But there we were awaiting appetizers and chocolate milks to be delivered to our table.

We weren't exactly getting world class service.

The Bean's Sprite tasted a lot like water.  This is because it was water.  So our waiter vanished from our view and returned utterly astonished that the offending H20 had not miraculously transformed to Sprite.

Water to wine I'll buy.  But I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't do a lot with carbonated beverages. 

The Butterfly let her opinion known.  "He's not paying attention," she said.  She didn't exactly whisper.

"Shhh!" said the DW.

"Why?" asked The Butterfly.

"It's impolite."

"But he is not paying attention."

"It's still impolite.  What if he hears you and feels bad?"

"He won't hear me because he's not paying attention." 

Game.  Set.  Match.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Now We Are Six

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife
The Buffett Puppy

In a previous post - You're Not Coming to My Birthday Party - The Butterfly announces that The Bean isn't invited to her party.  Yes, she's going to have a party at one of those jumpy-around places while The Bean is to sit at home and cry and not go to the jumpy-around place and have cake.  In this scenario, The Bean will wish she was a better big sister.  

That was The Butterfly's plan.

However, The Butterfly realized that there would be less presents if The Bean was not in attendance.  Surely an exception could be made, even for the most horrible of Beans.

It should be noted that The Bean and The Butterfly are generally simpatico.  They play together daily.  They sit together on the bus.  They hold occasional sleepovers in one another's room, although these don't always go so well.

But still.

The Butterfly is now 6 years-old and knows where her bread is buttered.  It would upset Grammy greatly if The Bean were denied entrance to the festivities.  It might even result in getting a lesser birthday gift. 

And we can't have that.

So The Butterfly bites the bullet.  She sacrifices a slab of cake and a juice box for one more wrapped box with frilly ribbon added to her stash.  She wants one more Barbie added to the collection.

So The Butterfly is nice.  For about 48 hours.  Once the party is over and the loot collected, she reminds The Bean what a horrible big sister she is.  She informs The Bean that these are HER toys and there will be NO sharing.

The Butterfly had discovered a loophole in the process.

God save us if she becomes a lawyer.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

You Can Do Magic

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife
The Buffett Puppy

About 3 years ago, we were at a Wendy's somewhere between Helen, GA and civilization.  And The Bean was on a tear.

She had been introduced to the concept of the Frosty a time or two before, so she was pretty focused on getting one.  Not focused enough to eat any chicken nuggets or even French Fries with extra ketchup.  But focused all the same.  This was driving the DW crazy.

Like a lot of restaurants, Wendy's takes the opportunity to take easy listening rock, such as Dan Fogelberg or Fleetwood Mac, and make them even easier listening by stripping out the lyrics.

They did the same to America's You Can Do Magic.

Unfortunately for the DW, I knew the words.

I serenade The Bean with the song.  This does not help matters in the least.

"You can do magic," I sing. "You can have anything that you desire."

The DW was getting perturbed.

"You know darn well, when you cast your spell, you get your way..."

"You're not helping," warns the DW.

The Bean was digging this.  Her Daddy is serenading her with a song about how she will get anything she wants. And she wants a Frosty.

I am giggling uncontrollably.  The Bean will be getting her frozen dairy whether she eats her chicken nuggets or not. This is, perhaps, not the best parenting technique.  But her eyes have grown expanded from pretty blue orbs into really, really big pretty blue orbs.  She probably doesn't enjoy my singing voice, but her 4-year-old mind is wrapped around the lyrics.

"Do you really want her to grow up thinking," the DW chides, "that all she has to do is smile and her Daddy will give in to her every whim?"

Well, yes.

"Fine," the DW concedes.

As if on cue, the song ends and the Eagles follow.

Pretty (sic) girls just seem to find out early
How to open doors with just a smile...

That Bean.  She is going to make some poor sap miserable.

And he'll have her Daddy to blame.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Butterfly Rage or Constructive Mess?

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife
The Buffett Puppy

The picture probably says it all, but I'll give you the background anyway.

Act I

The Butterfly gets off the bus.  She's happy because school is out and The Buffett Puppy and I are waiting for her at the bus stop.

OK, maybe she's just happy to see The Buffett Puppy.

"It's ballet day!" I cheerfully announce.

And away we go...

"I don't want to go to ballet!  Ballet is stupid!"

"But it's Wednesday.  Wednesday is always ballet day."

"Not this Wednesday."

"Your cousin will be there.  Don't you want to see her at ballet?"

"No!  I want to eat Pop Tarts!"

As documented in Ballet Hair, I have a bit of a problem with ballet day as it is.  So I'm feeling both a sense of guilt and one of relief, when she says this.  OK, mostly relief.

I give her Pop Tarts and call the DW, who, for some reason, answers her phone.

"The Butterfly doesn't want to go to ballet.  She just wants to eat Pop Tarts." 

The Butterfly gets to talk on the phone.  Actually, she just screams into the phone and hangs up.

I assert my manly stature.  "OK, you don't have to go to ballet.  But no TV for you.  You can go to your room."

"I don't want to go to my room!  I want to go to ballet!  I want to see my cousin!"

It is important to note that ballet is about 20 minutes away, and it takes me about 20 minutes to get her dressed.  Ballet Hair not included.

Oh, the class has already started and we're still at home.

"It's too late," I say.  "Ballet will be over by the time we get there."

"You're an idiot!" she screams and slams her door.

Time passes.  The Butterfly calms down.  She emerges from her room.  She is sorry she pointed out the fact that I'm an idiot.

Act II

Apology accepted.  On with the TV.

It appears that The Buffet Puppy has eschewed all his toys and chewed up a roll of paper towels.  I, get this, look for the vacuum cleaner.

This is when I notice The Butterfly's room.  It looks like a bomb went off.  The DW is not going to be thrilled at my household management.

But instead, the DW helps her clean the mess and discovers that about half her clothes no longer fit.  She packs them into bags.  She is gearing up for consignment.

Butterfly Rage = Consignment Sale = Cash In Pocket.

Such a smart girl, that Butterfly is.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Who Are You?

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife
The Buffett Puppy

Ok, so I won an award!

The Crazy Baby Mama is a fellow blogger and selected mine as one of her 10 favorites.  Thus, the Honest Scrap Award.  Read it out loud.  I think that's the idea.

So, breaking from typical tradition, I'm going to take some time to tell you some things about myself.  This shouldn't be too hard.  I am one of my favorite subjects.  I'm also going to alert you to 10 other blogs written by people more talented than myself.

1) I was born in a cross-fire hurricane (Jumpin' Jack Flash - Rolling Stones)

Actually I was born in Georgia Baptist Hospital during the Summer of Love.  The only drugs I got to do in the Sixties were Baby Aspirin.

2) A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On - (A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On - Elvis Presley)

In the year 2000, I found out the hard way that I am epileptic.  After ten or so doctors, I finally found one who could control my seizures and the resulting depression.  I take eleven pills a day, but I really love my life, my wife and my family.

3) My mama loves me. She loves me. She'd get down on her knees and hug me - (Loves Me Like a Rock - Paul Simon)

To this day, my mother is my best friend we talk several times a week and she begins every phone conversation with 'What are you doing?'.  So much so, that I now launch preemptive queries when the phone rings.

4) Take this job and shove it.  I ain't workin' here no more - (Take This Job and Shove It - Johnny Paycheck)

I have been on both sides of this equation more than a few times.  The great thing about being a writer is no one can sack you.  Of course, no one has to pay you either.

5) And I haven't seen my girl for fifteen thousand miles - (Mekong - Refreshments)

One of my recent employment stints found me working in Brisbane, Australia, exactly 12 time zones away.  I lived in a house with a crazy Serbian, a Swedish college student, and a New Zealander, but I was never quite sure what she did (other than lots of pills).  We were the most international house on Ross Street.

Two reasons I came back after only 6 months was the fact that The Bean and The Butterfly asked The DW if I was dead and The DW advised me that she could handle being a single mother.

6) When you say Bud, you've said it all - (Budweiser theme song)

My father worked at an Anheuser-Busch distributorship for 36 years. When I moved into the dorms Freshman year, everyone showed up in their vans, their station wagons, their U-Hauls.  I had a beer truck full of all my junk.

7) Your Mother is the only other woman for me - (Little Miss Magic - Jimmy Buffett)

Before The Bean was born, I could best be described as a selfish ____.  But something happened watching that nine week preemie develop that caused a change in me.  When she emerged just a hair over three pounds and spent nearly 2 months in the NICU, it became apparent just how precious and fragile life really is.

Obviously, I've had to amend the lyrics now that The Butterfly has joined our ranks, but with these three women in my life, I shall never need another.

8) I wish I was a girl so you'd believe me - (I Wish I Was a Girl - Counting Crows)

Not really.  Just seeing if you're reading this far.

9) So I give her the car keys. She helps me to bed. - (Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton)

I am convinced this song is about my DW helping her drunk husband up the stairs.  Lousy wine!!!

10) Maybe the last time, I don't know - (The Last Time - The Rolling Stones)

Not likely.  I am having way too much fun writing this blog. 

Now my awards - 

The Crazy Baby Mama

Ricki Schulz

Charlotte's Babblings

Life Between Naps

Uncool Mom

This Ain't No Effin' Mom Blog

Out-Numbered is Jason Mayo


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Disco WAS his Name-O

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife
And The Dog Formerly Know As Disco

It is possible, it seems, to name a puppy too quickly.  A proper name should take into account several factors.  Does the name suit the dog?  Does the name suit the family?

Does it make you embarrassed to introduce the dog to manly, Not Stay-At-Home Dads at the bus stop?

Do you really to be guy shouting 'Disco' at the top of your lungs when the dog runs into the street?  "Here Disco!  Here Disco Doggie!" I would shout, checking my manhood at the door.

So proper naming protocol should take so serious thought.  Perhaps not so much thought as Holly Golightly did in Breakfast at Tiffany's when she settled on naming her cat, 'Cat'.  But surely there is a happy medium.

So we're wrestling with two non-Disco names now.  "Brand New Country Star" which is a song on Jimmy Buffett's album, Living and Dying in 3/4 Time so we can call him 'Buffet'.

Or "Beach Music", so we can call him 'Shag'.  Or "Beach Music" and call him 'Buffett'.  The DW likes that and usually gets her way.

For fairly obvious reasons, we're leaning towards 'Buffett' because we don't want to evoke the frightening spectre of Austin Powers.  Plus, at some point, the The Bean and The Butterfly will catch on that they've been calling their Best Friend a euphemism for sex.  The thought makes even me shudder.

'Disco' had been a hard sell on The Butterfly to begin with.  She was lobbying hard for 'Bingo', so any opportunity to rid the family of that name was reminiscent of the Chicago White Sox ill-conceived Disco Demolition night in 1979.  Disco records were actually exploded on the field in between a twilight double-header.  That fiasco went about as well as could be expected.

The Butterfly LOVES Jimmy Buffett songs, so much so that she knows all the words to "Volcano" and "Fins".  We're still working towards "Margaritaville".

Enter The Bean.  Her feet are firmly in the 'Disco' camp.  "Buffett is a stupid name," she counters.  "Disco already has a name.  It's 'Disco'."

I point out that he mostly just lays near the fireplace and sleeps.  In fact, he sleeps a lot.  Maybe we should cut back on the Whiskey in his Water and add more Sugar in his Tea.  He dozed to the funky tunes of The Trammps' "Disco Inferno" and yawned at the Brothers Gibb falsettos in "Stayin' Alive".

I also pointed out that he hasn't had any household accidents ever since I've been calling him 'Buffett'.


Scratch that.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happiness is a Wet Puppy

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife
And introducing Disco Doggie

The great philosopher Charles M. Schultz once wrote that "Happiness is a Warm Puppy".  John Lennon had a slightly different take on it, but this rare instance, Lennon could not be more wrong.

The Bean and The Butterfly saw that their cousins had a beautiful Golden Retriever puppy.  This resulted in what can only be called the Greatest Ad Campaign ever envisioned by a seven-year-old mind.

The Bean taped notebook paper to our most of our walls with crude sketches of a dog and the tag line: Only Thing I Want.

After a day, The Butterfly joined the effort.  Blue Post-It notes now covered our walls, and I found them impossible to ignore.

I've written the text for a children's book called Daddy I Want a Puppy in which the main character Lily uses her seven-year-old wiles to convince her father that a puppy would be a good idea.  She also tries to convince him that it should be the rest of the family that performs the walking, bathing and scooping duties.

Life Imitating Art all over again.

I did what any good father would do when faced with insurmountable pressure: I caved.

Lily The Bean has succeeded.  Disco Doggie is adorable.  He is a honey-colored Golden puppy and is curled at my feet as I write this.

The DW takes Disco Doggie outside every time he whimpers.  He mostly just rolls in the grass and comes back drenched and muddy.  He then proceeds to "do his business" on the carpet.  The fact that so much "business" could come out a little body is astounding.

But Disco Doggie is here for the long haul.  The fact that he eats socks and shoe laces and growls at his reflection in the mirror makes him all the more lovable.

True Happiness may very well be a Wet Puppy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Puff Piece

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife

The Bean and The Butterfly had a Book Fair at their school on Tuesday.  The DW and I encourage them to pick out lots of books.

The Bean returns with her usual fare - books on Dora, on Barbie, on the Wiggles.  I quickly nix these and send her back to find "good" books.

Amid all the books based on rubbish television series and Disney princesses, I find an old classic - Puff, the Magic Dragon.  I essentially order The Butterfly to add it to her pile.  She does so happily.  She likes the idea of a Magic Dragon.

Did I happen to mention that the Book Fair was on September 15?

We get home and start to read the book in a sing song fashion.

Puff the Magic Dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee 
Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff,
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff

Adorable lyrics.  Wonderful imagery.  I'm checking out travel brochures for Honalee as we speak.

But then... (ominous music) -

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his life-long friend, Puff could not be brave,
So Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave.

The Butterfly began to sob uncontrollably.  She refuses to turn the page and insists on staying with Puff as he cries in his cave.  Jackie Paper abandons Magic Dragons.  Butterflies do not.

Did I mention the Book Fair was on September 15?  Did I mention that I learned from The Crazy Baby Mama that Mary Travers (Mary from Peter, Paul and Mary) died the following morning?

Perhaps The Butterfly's crocodile tears were more poignant than we thought.  Perhaps in some strange way The Butterfly knew to hold Puff close.

Perhaps Mary Travers stayed with us long enough to ensure Puff was in warm, safe and loving hands.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ants Marching

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife

The DW and I were doing a random bit of cleaning.

The Bean enjoys this.  Well, actually she only enjoys spraying blue stuff on glass and wiping it up.

But this was a special cleaning.  This involved the vacuum.

The Bean and The Butterfly are not supposed to eat in the living room.  This is a rule, but one they interpret as more of a guideline.

The DW got it in her head that this was also the perfect time to rearrange the furniture.  So I went all He-Man and moved the heaviest chair in the house.  Beneath it was a veritable treasure chest of puzzle pieces and Barbie clothes and small stuffed things.  The Bean enthusiastically picked them up and put them in, what I can only imagine, the appropriate toy box.

We also have one of those Monster Wrap-Around Couches.  Guess what else I had to move?

The Bean was suddenly less interested in cleaning.  She sprinted into the DW's office and hid under the desk.

Beneath the Monster Wrap-Around Couch, we discovered about 30 candy wrappers.

I found The Bean without too much trouble.  She isn't very good at hiding.

I asked The Bean "what was up with all the candy wrappers?".

The Bean isn't very good at lying either.

She explains that these Giant Ants had put the candy wrappers under the couch.

I ask a follow up question - "did the Giant Ants also eat the candy?"

The Bean wasn't ready for this one.  She looked at the floor and said that "no, she ate the candy.  But it was the Giant Ants who didn't throw away the wrappers because they don't believe in recycling."

I asked where the Giant Ants were now.

"They're gone.  I shooed them away."

Somewhere Dave Matthews is smiling.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ballet Hair

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife

I am now convinced there is a pecking order amongst we Stay At Home Dads.

There is the Little League SAHD.  The Tennis SAHD.  The Soccer SAHD.

Then there is the Ballet SAHD.  I could not be less in my element being a Ballet SAHD.
There was one other Ballet SAHD at the studio.  He refuses to make eye contact with me.

The image to the right is what Ballet Hair is supposed to look like.

My version didn't look much like this at all.  In fact, my version might be considered a crime against hair.

It's not that hard according to My Sister.

"First, you brush her hair," she says.  I think I've blogged before about my incompetence with this task.

"Then you make a tight pony tail, twirl it into a bun, hold it in place with some bobby pins, add the scrunchie, and affix more bobby pins."


"Just try it."

As luck would have it, The Butterfly was first in line.

“Hold still, Little Butterfly,” I say.

As expected, The Butterfly doesn't hold very still, but I did my best.

My Sister remarks that she "looks like she fell off the turnip truck".  So she swoops in and within a couple of minutes, The Butterfly has perfect Ballet Hair.

I watched.  I took notes.  I was ready for Prime Time.  I was ready for The Bean.

The Bean held very still and I performed all of the steps above.

Her hair comes a-tumbling down and the scrunchie falls to the floor.

The Bean kisses me.  “Thank you for trying, Dad,” she says.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Potty Training - It Isn't Just For Kids Anymore

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife

First off, I want to acknowledge a fellow lunatic The Crazy Baby Mama. Her blog is amazing - funny and informative.  She's also on Facebook, so Find, Fan and Follow.

Now on with the show...

Potty Training.  The Bean didn't like being potty trained, but she also didn't like sitting in poop.  So grudgingly, she accepted that sitting on a kid toilet (the cleaning of which is much nastier than a diaper) was better than the alternative.

At the same time, the DW and I were retraining ourselves as well.  We both had bad cases of potty mouth.

We are actually lucky that one of The Bean's first words was "Duck".

Now obviously, nobody wants to have the kid who's shouting obscenities in the classroom.  It would be preferable if our children never heard a stray word until they've sat through Back to the Future or at least E.T.  Given my druthers, I would require them to weather 4 hours of Gone With The Wind just so Clark can finally tell Vivien how he really feels.

But that's just not reality.  Grammy has been known to drop a swear on occasion.  She likes to say, if they've never heard it, they don't know what it means.  Besides, she says, they're just words.

Fast forward to a 3-year-old Bean.  She's standing in our kitchen with a sippy cup of milk.  Suddenly, the blinds come crashing down on the floor.  She cocks her head and says something that rhymes with "Duck".

We weren't sure what to do.  The Bean, our precious little 3-year-old, has just dropped the F-Bomb.  The King of Curses.  The Mack Daddy of Swears.  One of George Carlin's seven dirty words.

I was honestly not sure how to handle it.  Certainly, a 3-year-old shouldn't even know, much less utter, the forbidden word.  However, given the context of blinds coming crashing down to the floor, it seemed apropos.

So I just laughed.

I didn't even fix the blinds.

Since then, The Bean has become a 7-year-old Puritan.  She even made a sign that says No Sh*T.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

None Too Crazy About Lazytown

The last thing we bought from Iceland was the Sugarcubes featuring Bjork.  We tried it out for a while, but it just wasn't working out.  We ultimately had to return it.

Lazytown is what we bought with the store credit.

Conceptually, it isn't a bad show.  It features a little girl with pink hair and her puppet friends.  Cute enough, right.

There is also a sort of superhero guy who advises them to eat apples and vegetables and other healthy snacks.

The antagonist encourages them to eat junk food.

The antagonist sets traps for the little girl and her puppet friends.

The antagonist hides behind trees, dresses up in disguises and tries to capture them.

The antagonist is named Robbie Rotten.  It took me about a month to realize his name wasn't Johnny Rotten.  God Save The Queen.

What's even more frightening than some maniac hiding behind trees and luring children with promises of chocolate is the way he looks.  Sort of a cross between an evil clown and Ben Stiller.

I've sat through a couple of episodes with The Bean and The Butterfly (who absolutely love the show).  It's sort of like H.R. Puffinstuff  except with a possible child predator.

So I ask this, Iceland, is it too late to get Bjork back?

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Worst Thing About Taking A Bath is the Water

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife

In The Dark Knight, the Joker says "if you're good at something, never do it for free".  If you're bad at something, I say, best not to do it at all.

Let's face it - Dads hate bathing their children.

And let's face it, Mommies have noticed.

It's not like we Stay At Home Dads don't help out.  We perform all the household tasks traditionally associated with fatherhood - cooking, helping with homework, doing laundry and, on occasion, cleaning something up.

But baths.  Don't get me started.

OK, get me started.

I'll do virtually anything to avoid putting the girls in the bath.  This includes the occasional cleaning something up.

Ineptitude is the father's best friend.  Do something badly and it decreases your odds of ever having to do it again.

For one, I can't wash hair.  I can't seem to find the happy medium between no shampoo and the entire bottle.  And rinsing is no picnic either.  No more tears, my ___ (fill in the blank). 

And forget about drying and brushing hair.  Like many dads, it's been years since I've had enough hair of my own to brush, so I'm out of practice.  My girls look like ragamuffins when I get finished with them.

So generally, they will sit in the tub until the water is frigid and they turn blue.  Then I'll toss them towels and say dry yourselves off, which they do about as well as can be expected.

During a recent mini-melt, The Butterfly explained through a series of shouts that "The worst thing about the bath was the water". 

I could not agree more.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife

I've been labeled.

The DW, in her infrequent spare time, likes to surf the parenting message boards for advice on how to handle The Bean and her princess attitude.  And strategies on to alleviate The Butterfly's frequent meltdowns.  Can't forget those.

Apparently, being a Dad who doesn't work, cooks for the DW and and children, and (very occasionally) cleans something up, has a name.

And that name isn't guy who writes blogs.

Nor is it guy who writes picture books for children and struggles with the duality of his nature while writing a vampire novel.

Nor is Guy Who Writes Blogs even an acronym.  GWWB.  See it doesn't work.  Spell check has just spazzed.

But apparently, Stay At Home Dad does have an acronym.

Apparently, it's SAHD.  I'm assuming it rhymes with bad, mad, and Vlad (notice how I tied the vampire thing back in.  We in writing circles called this literary device - tying the vampire thing back in).

SAHD is probably pronounced 'sad'.

And that's just sad.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Anyone for Tennis?

As always, the cast of characters -

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife

Our girls love tennis.  And it's a good thing.

Tennis occurs around 4:00 on Friday afternoons.  The DW and I and all the neighbors sit in lawn chairs and watch the girls attempt (with little success) to hit gently tossed balls over the net.

But 4:00 on a Friday afternoon means something even more important to the parents.

Happy Hour.

We all bring coolers loaded with beer and vino and leave loaded with beer and vino.

It's a good thing they like tennis.  They'd have to play it anyway.

The Bean isn't especially good at tennis.  We think she likes wearing the cute pink outfits more than chasing the balls.

The Butterfly isn't particularly good either.  She struggles to make contact and when she does, she's lucky if it rolls all the way to the net.  This is odd because The Butterfly is as strong as Bam Bam Rubble.

I invite myself onto the court where Coach Debbie isn't visibly frustrated.  She tosses balls and the kids pick them up.  Not a bad deal considering.

I suggest that maybe The Butterfly might be left-handed and suggest that Coach Debbie toss the balls to her other side.


I rest my case.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Almost Famous

Our cast of characters:

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife

Sunday was my birthday and The Darling Wife planned an outing for me to see the Gwinnett Braves - the AAA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.

Needless to say, I was pretty psyched. I'm a huge baseball fan and what is the worst that could happen bringing two girls under 8 to a minor league baseball game?


Baseball is not necessarily something The Bean and The Butterfly are into. I think it ranks somewhere below eating vegetables.

However, a baseball stadium is a veritable cornucopia of junk food. A horn-o-plenty of stale popcorn. Handfuls of multicolored cotton candy. The obligatory ice cream sandwich. And some sort of sugar water.

Can you say sugar high? Followed by sugar crash?

Wisely, we stashed them in the row behind us, so they could annoy the elderly couple who still keeps score by hand.

Admittedly, sitting in the sun for 3 hours watching two minor league teams score a total of three runs on maybe 6 hits might be a bit mind numbing for even the most avid of fans.

The Bean and The Butterfly are not the most avid of fans.

"Are you having fun?" The Darling Wife asked The Bean.

"I'm bored," she said and put on pink Kate Hudson sunglasses. "I want to go to Taco Mac."

If she didn't already have my heart, she would have earned it then.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Best Parents in the World

Our cast of characters:

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife
Special Guest Star: Jacky the cat

The Darling Wife and I are the best parents in the world. This is the only reasonable explanation.

How else could we keep a one-year-old Bean happy? How else could we possibly keep her from constantly screaming at the top of her little lungs 24 hours a day, seven or more days a week?

So with a smug sense of satisfaction, the DW and I settle into the sofa to watch something inane.

And we can hear the TV! No crying; no bawling; no singing - nothing but silence.

Silence? Uh, oh.

We scramble through the house and at last find the Bean and her accomplice eating Butterscotch chips off the floor in front of the pantry.

How amazingly unsanitary.

Better take a picture first.

Monday, July 20, 2009

You're Not Coming to my Birthday Party

Our cast of characters:

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife

The single greatest threat a child can give another is denying attendance to one's birthday party.

You see, kids dig birthday parties. They dig the cake and ice cream. They dig running around and destroying the unfortunate parents house. They dig any clown that can paint faces or make balloon animals.

And, with apologies to John Lennon and Paul McCartney, they dig a pony.

Being banned from birthday festivities is about as terrible as it gets.

So what happens when a sibling refuses to invite the other?

Dig if you will a picture: The Bean and the Butterfly playing quietly together amid giggles and sudden screams.

"That's mine! I want it back! You're not coming to my birthday party!"

How does it work when a sibling gets the disinvite to the party.

I guess I have until October 11 to figure that out.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Butterfly Effect

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Darling Wife

So why is she called 'The Butterfly'?

It's called chaos theory.

A butterfly flaps its wings in China setting off a seemingly random chain of events in my house.


Me: Do you want pizza tonight?

The Bean: Yes!

The Butterfly: Nooooo! (and she runs into the living room and cries on a pillow).

Flap, flap.

Me: But you love pizza

The Butterfly: I hate pizza. Pizza is stupid.

The Next Day -

Me: Do you want pizza tonight?

The Bean: Yes!

The Butterfly: Yes! And can we sing 'Don't Go Back to Rockville' while we wait?

Flap, flap.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So Why is She Called 'The Bean'?

Me (The Daddy)
The Bean: Age 7
The Butterfly: Age 5
The Loving Understanding Wife

When The Loving Understanding Wife and I married, we were what was known as 'Dinks' (Double Income No Kids - just another annoying acronym from the '90s). We lived the high life - expensive dinners, travel to Napa Valley and all the wine we could drink.

We knew we wanted kids. We wanted kids in five years.

Which was fine. Especially, considering it was a rolling five years - it was five years away and would always be five years away.

Then one day, we switched to a rolling two years. Then it was a rolling one year - which was also fine.

Then it was THAT DAY.

A friend who had already taken plunge assured me that once we started trying, it would take 1-2 years for anything to happen.

Apparently, The Loving Understanding Wife didn't get that memo.

So at the first ultrasound, before they can determine the gender, we got our picture of the baby-to-be.

Didn't so much look like a baby.

Sort of looked like a Bean.