Posts Tagged With: dadventures

I’m Back!

Hey guys and gals,

Long time no write. I’ve been busy trying to build up my writing resume by writing a lot of stuff for other sites and I fear that I have neglected my Dadventures duties. Worry not though constant readers, I have returned to you with new tales of child rearing!   The baby is no longer too fat to crawl. Grayson is now able to heft is gelatinous gut off of the floor and get up on his hands and knees. Unfortunately, a mobile baby is a dangerous baby. Gone are the days when I could just abandon the child on the floor with the Mickey Mouse Club and then go off and make a coffee and smoke a cigarette. Now I have to actually watch what he’s doing, what’s going into his mouth, what he’s managed to get himself stuck under. This parenting crap has turned into a full-time job.

On the older kid front, the teen and the tween cannot seem to breathe the same air without fighting about it. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Literally everything one does pisses the other one-off. “Jacob, stop singing, I hate your voice!” “Michael, stop throwing lit matches at me!”. But of course when I suggest that one of them  move away from each other they don’t. In fact, their mother and I decided that it might be good to take each kid separately for a week at a time this summer to get them away from each other. They both expressed their disdain for this idea quite vocally, “But, we want to be together!”. Brothers: can’t stand to be together, can’t stand to be away from each other.

Welp, I hope anyone following this blog didn’t leave due to lack of activity. I promise to try and write here more frequently. However if you find yourself jonesing for a ZackAttack, might I suggest you try reading some of these other articles that I have written for other sites?

http://www.soundonsight.org/robocop-versus-terminator-hc-two-cyborgs-enterone-cyborg-leaves/

http://www.soundonsight.org/robocop-1-brings-robocop-back-to-his-roots/

http://plarko.com/movies/1984-best-year-cinema/

http://plarko.com/movies/6-moments-star-wars-prequels-par-original-trilogy/

http://downrightupleft.com/movie-reviews/x-men-days-of-future-past-brings-back-bryan-singer-and-smoothes-over-all-the-continuity-problems-of-the-previous-films/

Thanks,

Zack

 

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Sins Of The Father

Middle children. We all know one, have one or are one. Never regarded as highly as the firstborn, never spoiled as much as the baby, middle children seem to exist in a perpetual limbo willing to do anything to get noticed. My son Jacob has been a middle child since before his mother or I even had a third kid. He always just exuded this also ran aura despite not being treated that way by either of his parents. I don’t write much about my older children. It just seems like I can get more comedy out of the baby. I did write one blog post about Michael which inadvertently makes what I said about Jacob being a middle child all the more true.
Jacob is a complicated nut to crack. He can at times be the sweetest,  most loving child with heart of gold. Other times he can be one of the darkest, coldest people that I’ve ever met. All of my children inherited certain traits from me but Jacob seems to be cursed with all of my worst qualities both genetically and behaviorally.  He’s overweight, sarcastic and he has asthma and allergies. Did I mention mental illness?
I assumed for years that my depression and self loathing was a direct result of my upbringing. My anxiety?  I was just a nervous kid. When Jacob started exhibiting signs of the same neural maladies that I myself suffer from, I was forced to acknowledge that they were more than likely genetic. Especially since I went out of my way to treat him better than my parents treated me. Have you ever heard a four year old tell you in a fit of tears that he wished that he never existed? It’s a horrible situation. Poor Jacob deserves better than to go through life saddled with my
Piss-poor genes. The only silver lining to the genetic shit cloud that I passed along was that he also inherited my sensitivity and creativity. Not that two good things make up for the slew of bad. Am I being too hard on myself? Maybe,  but knowing that you’ve passed any disease onto your kids, be it physical or mental, is a shitty feeling.
I have a brother with far worse mental issues than I: schizophrenia, bipolar , psychosis just to name a few. About eight years ago he got a vasectomy, his reasoning was that he never wanted to have children in case he passed along his illnesses. I always admired the maturity and responsibility behind that decision. I sometimes wonder if I should have taken the same step. Was it fair of me to have children knowing that there was a good chance that I’d screw them up?  Do all parents screw up their kids to some degree? I’m far too selfish to not have had them. Your own little people that have to love you unconditionally, what depressive, self loather could pass that up? If I hadn’t had the older two, especially Jacob, I never would have survived my divorce. My children became my only source of affection for four long years.
I’m doing my best for Jake, I understand his feelings, his anxieties his sadness more than anyone else in his life. Still it can’t help but ring hollow in my own ears every time I tell him that he should be proud of himself, that he’s not a bad kid and that he should love himself. I know he’ll never quite feel that way. Many people have told me the same things many times and it never helps, never changes anything. I won’t ever give up trying though. As a parent and as a friend,  I’ll continue to try and combat the effects of the losing ticket to the genetic lottery that my son is forced to keep in his back pocket for the rest of his life.
I realize that this post is different in tone from most of the stuff I write in this blog. And I’m sorry for that, I really am. It’s hard to write anything funny and upbeat at 1:00am. Any thoughts that occur after midnight are usually somber ,soaked in regret and shrouded in darkness.
As my eyes grow weary and start to close all I can think of is how much I love that kid and one day, if I say it enough times he’ll have to believe it. Until then I’ll just keep trying.

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My sweet baby...he'll always be my baby no matter how big he gets.

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Too Fat To Crawl

Recently Grayson discovered how to get off the bed. Basically he rolls onto his stomach, pivots until his feet are hanging over the side and just kind of throws himself back until gravity takes over. This also works for the couch.
I admire his ingenuity but there’s one big problem: once he reaches the floor he doesn’t know what to do. This kid is so close to crawling that it’s killing me. He moves his legs, he moves his arms, he just can’t get his gut off the floor. It would be cute if it wasn’t so sad. My baby is too fat to crawl. Its not his fault,  he has my genes I just didn’t expect his belly to hamper his mobility until at least six or so.
It’s not just his belly either. The rolls on his arms and legs make him look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I’ve tried not feeding him but he just cries until I do. I asked my wife about switching him to low fat breast milk but she just gave me that look that she gives me whenever I fart in bed.
Maybe eventually his arms will be strong enough push that sumo belly up and off the floor but he’ll probably be walking by then, making crawling moot.
On the plus side all that padding means he doesn’t get to beat up when he does fall off the  bed.

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Look at that fatty, food smeared on his face...

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Revenge Poop

Sometimes a bowel movement is so epic it needs to be forever preserved in print for future generations to marvel over. Today I witnessed such a bowel movement.
My wife was feeding the baby, I was eating breakfast all was right with the world.
Grayson gave a little grunt and a little toot and suddenly our world was thrown into a swirling vortex of chaos. This kid somehow managed to fire his colon cannon at such an angle that it flew right through the space between his diaper and his leg and landed on the couch…and my wife’s leg….and the babies leg…and the babies other leg. This was seriously the most explosive blast of liquid nastiness that I have ever had the misfortune of experiencing. I quickly took the little poop monster upstairs in order to clean the feces from his person. Along the way there were more casualties. My shirt got smeared with baby shit, some dripped onto the bathroom floor. I don’t know how a child that small could hold what appeared to be at least a gallon of shit inside his little tummy but somehow he did. The worst part? The little son of a bitch was smiling the whole time. I know, I know, a child of four months old can’t just decide to crap all over everything just to screw with Mom and Dad, but if a shark can follow a family from the east coast to the west in order to get revenge than an infant can poop on purpose. Okay so using Jaws The Revenge probably wasn’t the most sound way to get my point across but it was the first thing I thought of.

This time it's personal, the other times? That was just business.

This time it’s personal, the other times? That was just business.

So what would my four-month old son possibly want to get revenge for? Well, I may have given him a small ice chip to suck on yesterday just to see what how he would react and he may have made the funniest face ever and I may have laughed at him. If I had it all over to do again, shit or no shit, I still would. The kid really did make the funniest face like “Oh my god it’s so cold! What do I do? Oh it’s not cold anymore….” a perfect mixture of horror and perplexity. I regret nothing.

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A Belated Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothra’s day!

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Yeah, that’s a pun. It did quite well on Facebook sunday when I originally posted it in honor of Mother’s Day.

Mother’s day, contrary to what people would have you believe, was not created by the Greeting Card companies but by Anna Jarvis around 1910. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday. THEN the greeting card companies, as well as the florists turned it into another commercial obligation to buy their wares. Apparently as early as nine years after she created it, Jarvis was fighting Mother’s Day’s commercialization and she even went on to regret starting it in the first place. Am I being a Mother’s Day Scrooge? Is this blog post going to be about how I don’t think we need a day to tell us when to call our mothers? Nope. Not at all, quite the opposite. The truth is that while many people would like you to believe that they tell their Mother how great she is all the time and that they resent being told when to do so (these are usually the people who hate Valentines Day as well.) many of them are to be blunt, WRONG. How often do you actually visit your mother? Chances are, if you’re an adult with a spouse and kids of your own, not that often or rather, not as often as she would like. Now how often when you visit your mother do your kids spend most of the time with her? How often while you are there do you just kind of sit in front of the tv and shoot the shit? How often do you mostly talk about whats new with you or the kids and what’s going on in your life? Now here’s the $64,000 question: When you visit/call/email/Skype your mother, how often do you say thanks? Not just “I love you” but thanks? Or “I appreciate you” ?. Probably not a lot, huh?

See, most mothers (and I’m saying most because just like father’s, kids, aunts and uncles, there are some rotten ones out there) made the decision to become mothers knowing full well that they were entering into a thankless job without retirement benefits. Kids as I have mentioned before are on the whole selfish. I don’t mean that slag them off or anything ( regular readers should know by now that I obviously love kids) but think of it as a survival instinct that stayed around into modern society. Children care about themselves above and beyond anyone else because it’s an act of self-preservation. As such they don’t care so much that mom works all day at the office or in some cases that mom works two jobs to put food on the table, they just care that food is there when they want it, and that there are video games and a computer to go on after dinner. Most mothers don’t put up a stink about their lack of recognition because that’s not what they are raising kids for. They’re not doing it for praise or to constantly have their butts kissed, or to even be thanked for pulling a double shift. And it’s because they don’t put up a stink about it that we sometimes forget that our mothers aren’t super awesome robots that run on no sleep and require no food and live only to serve. Mother’s are unfortunately as human as the rest of us. As such, they require praise and a pat on the back occasionally as well. They need to be told that they’re doing a good job or get to sleep in or even just taken out to lunch every once in a while. Mother’s Day reminds us of that. If you’re a perfect son or daughter and you treat your mom like a queen  most of the time, good for you. If you’re like the rest of us, at the very least you remember to pamper mom one day a year.

In my opinion Mother’s Day isn’t just some useless greeting card holiday but a day that actually does a lot of good.

 

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May The Fourth Be With You

As a parent I know that one of my duties is to expose my children to Star Wars at an early age. Ok fine, as a GEEK parent I know that one of my duties is to expose my children to Star Wars at an early age. Ever since I can remember I’ve been a fan of that Galaxy far, far away. Some of my earliest memories are going to the video store (remember those? ) and renting the Star Wars films on VHS (remember those?).
Eventually my parents wised up and bought me the trilogy one xmas. 
My experience with Star Wars was bittersweet. I relished any opportunity to wave around a stick and make wooshing noises or to hold that same stick sideways and pew pew everything in sight. And oh the toys! I had action figures of every major player and several people and aliens that were on screen for mere seconds. I felt self conscious playing the Star Wars role-playing game at school during lunch. I winced with every roll of the dice wishing I was smart enough not to bring my obsessions out in public but knowing that I would always wear my geekiness, however awkward, on my sleeve for the world to judge.
And judge they did. Geek and nerd fandoms are in vogue right now but it wasn’t so long ago that reading comics would get you the stink eye from adults and laughter and cold hearted jeers from the “normal” kids.
So what does all this have to do with my kids? Well we all want our kids to enjoy the same things we do in fact at a very early age all our kids interests are dictated by us as they have neither the drive nor the opportunity to seek out other interests on their own. Some things stick. Some they leave behind when crafting their own identity. When my older boys were younger I bombarded them with Star Wars toys and clothes, videogames and of course movies. Some things were hits,  the videogames particularly the Lego ones did well. Some things didn’t do as well, the action figures got played with but not as much as I would have liked.
As the kids got older they developed their own interests. Michael is obsessed with Japan (manga, anime, sushi) and Jacob is into computers and Sonic the Hedgehog. Sure, they still “like” Star Wars but nowhere near as much as dear old dad.
And that’s the lesson I guess. Your children start out as fresh lumps of clay that you hope to mold into your own image but somewhere along the way they start sculpting themselves and the image starts straying from the original blueprint.
I now have a chance to do it all over again with Grayson. Though I know that ultimately he will grow up to like his own stuff….
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I can’t help but introduce him to the classics.

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Sleeping Angels

I know a lot of parents make the joke that their kids are only angels when they’re sleeping, but beyond the  humorous implication that the rest of the time they’re evil little shits, there’s a lot of truth to this.  Angels in the romantic sense are perfect beings created before us imperfect humans. Beautiful and flawless, they give us something to aspire to. Sleeping babies are similar in that they are pure innocence. A blank slate not yet filled with dreams, desires, fears and hopes.
I think the term “I slept like a baby” has less to do with waking up every couple of hours having wet yourself and crying for milk, and more to do with sleeping a sleep devoid of stress from bills, mortgages, jerky bosses and the like.
Sometimes I just watch my kids sleep and a lump catches in my throat. I wish they could sleep like that forever but I know that soon enough they’ll start sleeping like adults. Adults look haggard while they sleep, worn out by another day just surviving. They furrow their brows, they click their teeth they display all manor of nervous ticks and anxious twitches. Adults toss and turn, looking tortured as they try to rest and forget about their troubles.
Babies and young children though look at utter peace while they slumber. A peace unbroken by the cynical adult world.
When I see sleeping children I really do see angels.

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Easter, Schmeaster

I’m not a religious person. As such Easter flummoxes me. Christmas I can put in a secular context no problem: A time of year for giving and family. Take out Christ’s resurrection from Easter and you get: Time of year for candy (though it’s not Halloween) and small gifts (though it’s not Christmas). This Easter was a particularly odd one for me. Being very tight on money right now I felt like it was a waste to buy baskets and grass for my two older sons so I just kind of handed them their candy. Neither kid believes in the Easter Bunny anymore and so it felt weird presenting them with cheap baskets full of plastic grass just so that there was something to put their candy in. Then there was the baby who at three months of age couldn’t care less what day it was. We got him a couple of stuffed animals, not that he can really play with them yet.

I feel bad because I feel like I should care about Easter but I really don’t. Even as a child I wasn’t very excited for Easter. For one thing, Easter never came with any good television specials. Oh they had a couple, there was the obligatory claymation one which I barely recall, and there was a Peanuts one that was highly inferior to The Great Pumpkin and A Charlie Brown Christmas. For another, it just felt like weaker Christmas. You get up in the morning kind of excited knowing that something will be in your basket, but you knew it wasn’t a new bike or a Sega Genesis (yes I’m old). Maybe it would be a single action figure, maybe a yo-yo, who knows. You only knew that it would be something small and inexpensive surrounded by chocolate. I know that I sound materialistic and  cynical but honestly, as a child did you really care about anything on Easter/Christmas/Halloween other than what you were getting? Children seem greedy but it’s only because they can’t process the value of family, or tradition until they get older.

I know that next Easter Grayson will be over a year old and we will pull out all the stops, baskets, bunnies, Easter bunny foot prints going from the basket all the way out the front door. Hell, I’ll probably even do baskets for the older boys just to maintain the illusion. Maybe I’ll feel differently then. Maybe, but for now I maintain my curmudgeonly stance: Easter, Schmeaster.

 

P.S.

I started writing this the day after Easter and just got around to finishing it today. In the time in between Grayson has fallen in love with the stuffed Lamb he got for Easter. Granted he usually just chews on him, but still he does it while gently holding him in the crook of his arm. It’s the first stuffed animal that he has shown any interest in and it’s so friggen cute. Maybe Easter isn’t useless after all.

lambo lambo 2

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The New Dadventures Logo

The New Dadventures Logo

I tried my hand at designing a logo for my blog. If it sucks I’m sorry.

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