Posts Tagged With: kids

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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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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The Smaller They Are, The Harder Their Falling Hits You

One of the worst moments in my life as a whole was when my oldest son fell down a flight of stairs. I can and probably always will, remember it vividly like it was yesterday. It’s a hard thing to forget, time seeming to stop, frozen in the moment when your hand misses your child’s by a hair’s breadth. I can’t think of a single scarier memory honestly. Everything after that happened in a blur. I remember picking him up of the floor but not running down the stairs. I remember screaming so loudly that my wife heard me from the first floor (we were on the third). Michael was just shy of two when this happened and I felt like a shoo-in for “Worst Father Of The Year”.

See, it's a real thing!

See, it’s a real thing!

Miraculously Michael was fine. Not just fine but after describing the situation frantically over the phone to a doctor we were told not to even bring him in. The kid didn’t even have a scratch on him. He was shaken up of course but no where nearly as badly as his mother and I. That’s when I realized that much like Tiggers, children were made out of rubber, though I don’t suggest throwing your child down the stairs to test this.

Wearing the skin of my enemy gives me his powers.

Wearing the skin of my enemy gives me his powers.

The funny thing about your child getting hurt (not that there is really anything funny about your child getting hurt) is that 90% of the time it doesn’t phase him or her one bit. That is until mom or dad starts freaking out, in which case the baby starts following suit. They freak out because you freak out. People will tell you that the trick is to just stay calm when your child get’s hurt and wait to see what their reaction is. That’s a great idea in theory but when your kid falls off the jungle gym and her knee is bending at an impossible angle, even if she’s cool as a cucumber, your first instinct is going to be a Chernobyl level meltdown. And that’s only natural because you love and care for your kid. These perfect parent’s out there who let their babies cry themselves to sleep, don’t get upset when their kids get hurt, and put their infants on a sleeping and eating schedule are either robots or Scientologists  and I don’t trust either.

Given the choice though I probably go with the robot.

Given the choice though I probably go with the robot.

As a first time parent it takes a few bumps and bruises before you realize that kids get hurt. It’s a natural part of growing up. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent, It just means that you’re human and you can’t protect your kid from every hazard no matter how hard you try. Kids despite their fragile outward appearance are built to withstand quite a bit of damage. Of course that doesn’t stop you from freaking out over every hangnail if it’s your first child but when your second baby comes you’ll notice that he or she could be  running around on fire while rabid badgers nip at their heels and the biggest response that it will earn from you as a parent is a quick glance up from your smartphone and a slight shaking of the head. This isn’t to imply that you care less with each subsequent child but just that you start realizing how indestructible the little scamps truly are.

How about a bottle bub.

How about a bottle bub.

Having a baby eleven years after your last one however, feels so much like being a first time parent again that I’m back to worrying about every little pratfall that Grayson takes. Just a couple of weeks ago I was back in the running for “Worst Father Of The Year” when I accidental scalded the baby’s nether region. I thought it would be fun to bathe Grayson in the sink like my parents did when I was a kid. Everything was going fine until, like and idiot, I turned on the hot water to rinse out his washcloth, somehow forgetting that there was a baby in the sink and the poor baby got a crotch full of second degree burns. The noise he made is one I hope that I never hear again for the rest of my life. I immediately felt like the biggest failure a parent could possibly be. I rushed him into the bedroom and put an icepack on him. Within a few minutes he was fine and laughing. Not only was there no real damage but his skin didn’t even peel or anything. He was 100% fine.

All parent’s at some point inadvertently cause or fail to prevent  some degree of harm to their child. The biggest thing to remember is that you are not the only one and that chances are it hurts you WAY more than it hurts them. Children are like Timex watches: They take a licking’ and keep on ticking.

Seriously though, don’t lick your baby, that’s just creepy.

Meh. It's okay but I still prefer milk.

Meh. It’s okay but I still prefer milk.

 

 

 

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Look Ma, One Hands!

Some parents will tell you not to pick your baby up when he or she starts crying. They will tell you that the baby needs to learn to calm itself down without you.

And some parents will tell you you to just throw your screaming baby into the ocean.

And some parents will tell you you to just throw your screaming baby into the ocean.

For all of the parents that are lucky enough to own their own house, with no neighbors close by , in the middle of nowhere this is probably great advice. For the rest of us struggling parents forced to rent apartments with paper thin walls, or stuck living with family, this isn’t such a viable option. Such is the case with my wife and I. For convenience sake (read: we can’t afford our own place) we are currently living with her parents and for dirt cheap no less. Out of respect I try to keep the baby from screaming as much as I can. This usually entails having the little leech stuck to my left arm so much that I can scarcely tell where my appendage ends and the baby starts. Out of necessity I have had to learn to do many things one handed.

ME TOO!

ME TOO!

Some activities aren’t so bad one handed. Making coffee for instance, easy enough to do with one hand just takes a little bit longer. Taking a leak while holding a baby is a little bit tougher but still doable. It’s when you go upstairs to take a shower after your lovely bundle of joy has somehow defecated up the back of his diaper, through his onsie, through the COVER ON HIS SWING, that you realize just how challenging the one arm shuffle can be. Holding the itty bitty shitty commitee with one hand, trying not to get more than a bare minimum of poop on you while you turn on the shower, adjust the temp, strip the baby and take off his diaper with one hand is the kind of fun that people without kids just don’t get to have. In these situations I find it prudent to just hop in the shower with the kid because theres something about handling liquid magma poop that makes me want to cleanse my whole body of filth .Then of course comes the challenge of holding on to him while simultaneously making him ever more slippery with soap. If your lucky you can wash approx. 45% of your own body with your one free hand before your soaped up skin plus the baby’s equally slick exterior start to equal danger will Robinson, danger!

'Bath time Will Robinson! Bath time!"

‘Bath time Will Robinson! Bath time!”

My personal hell favorite is trying sneak in a meal for myself here or there. I don’t know about how your kids were as babies but mine has a “Dad’s trying to eat” sense hardwired into his little brain. Grayson could be passed out cold after ODing on boob treats (what my wife calls breast milk and it’s too cute not to include here) but somehow the minute I sit down to eat his eyes fly open and a sour “HOW DARE YOU FEED YOURSELF!” look occupies his face for the two seconds it takes him to fill his lungs with air and start the bellowing that means “Kindly turn your attention back to me sir, your food can wait”. This is one time when even if I had the option of just letting him cry I still wouldn’t. For some reason high pitched squalling does not aid my digestion in the slightest. So baby ends up in one arm balanced on one knee while I eat with the other arm. Sometimes like today when I made myself a feast of tater tots and chicken fingers (what am I ten?) that works out fine. Other times like the night before last when we were having a turkey dinner with all that that entails it kind of sucks. The logistics of cutting turkey with one hand while not spilling gravy on myself while simultaneously trying to keep the baby’s hands out of my food would give Stephen Hawking a headache. Ok that’s not fair because he can’t do any of those things. How about Neil Degrasse Tyson?

"D-O-N-T B-E A D-I-C-K'

“D-O-N-T B-E  A  D-I-C-K”

Regardless of which astrophysicist would be better suited to solve the problem, I made do as best I could. I’m sure that you’re probably thinking that trying to juggle a baby and a turkey dinner enters ridiculous territory but let me put it this way, my in-laws were all sitting down to the same turkey dinner, and all deserved to eat dinner in peace so I was going to end up holding the baby if only for their sakes so I figured that I might as well try to eat at the same time before it got cold.

Oh you're hungry huh? Howsabout a knuckle sandwich?

Oh you’re hungry huh? howsabout a knuckle sandwich?

I try to remember that holding the baby constantly won’t last forever. Soon he’ll be crawling and then walking which will keep him entertained. After that he’ll be old enough to plunk in front of the tv for a couple of hours so I can do stuff. Pretty soon after that he’ll be to big to hold in my arms and………………………….um………..sorry, I have to go pick up my baby before I start crying.

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Dad I’m Thirteen Now, Can I Swear?

My son Michael officially became a teenager last December. He received his “Welcome To Adolescence” starter kit complete with acne, mood swings and the latest voice cracking technology.

He doesn't look happy about it either...

He doesn’t look happy about it either…

I started to realize that with Jacob only two years away from the same landmark birthday, I was pretty much screwed. I remember being a teenager and all the havoc that changing hormones can wreak on the body and mind so I was preparing for a stressful five or six years. What I hadn’t prepared for was Michael’s odd birthday request: “Dad, now that I’m a teenager can I swear?”. I had no answer prepared for this question because I had never conceived of such a question being asked. Who asks their parents if they can swear? Usually you start doing it in front of your friends when no adults are around in order to sound cool or act tough. Occasionally you might let a “Shit” escape around your parents and based on their reaction, you probably won’t swear in front of them again until you reach your twenty’s. Heck, I know people with children of their own that still won’t swear in front of their parents, yes mostly out of respect but some because they don’t want their kids to see Grandma bitch slap dad in front of them.

Do I have to wash your mouth out with Louisville Slugger?

Do I have to wash your mouth out with Louisville Slugger?

Michael must have sensed my puzzlement because he quickly specified ” Only, crap, hell, damn and sucks”. I had to hold back my laughter because I probably dropped my first f-bomb around ten and here this kid was asking permission to say “crap”. It actually made me proud that my kids didn’t swear. I wish I could say that it was from example but my ex-wife and I have slipped and said words we shouldn’t have in front of them more times than I can count. No I honestly think it’s because of all the adult movies they watch. “Wait” you’re saying,”It’s because of R-rated movies that they DON’T swear?”. Believe it or not, yes. I was raised on movies like Die Hard, RoboCop and A NIghtmare On Elm St. as a kid. Especially Nightmare On Elm St. My mom was a huge horror fan and as weird as it sounds, family movie night often contained beheading and disembowelings.

We watched this and we never set any janitors on fire.

We watched this and we never set any janitors on fire.

I ended up carrying on this tradition with my own kids with the caveat that if they ever repeated anything that they heard or saw on the screen they wouldn’t watch anything other than G-rated movies for the rest of their lives. So far it’s worked. Not only do they not swear but they’ve never gotten in trouble for fighting at school, never fashioned a glove out of knives and stabbed anyone. I’ve always felt that it isn’t violent movies or video games that lead to violence in real life, but rather parents who don’t properly put such media in prospective. My kids have never watched a movie or show I haven’t seen first and we always discuss the subject matter. I have always stressed to my children that the movies they watch and games they play are fiction. Good for entertainment, not good as life lessons.

I still had to come up with an answer for Michael. I felt so weird giving my son permission to swear but on the other hand I felt even weirder having a thirteen year old that never got a chance to say “This crap sucks”. In the end I gave my blessing for Michael to use the words “crap, hell, damn, and sucks”.  BUT only after a lengthy discussion on when and where it was appropriate to use such language ( which pretty much boiled down to not at school and not in front of your mother). The results that night were hilarious. It was like a dam had burst but the water didn’t know which way to flow. I kept hearing sentences like “The hell I didn’t play the crap out of that damn game!”. The best thing I can compare it to is in Star Trek IV (yes the one with the whales) when Spock tries swearing for the first time with equally hilarious results.

"I'm not sure you're saying that right" "The HELL I'm not"

“I’m not sure you’re saying that right” “The HELL I’m not”

So of course after all this Jacob asked if he too could swear now. I told him not until he turned 13 and he bought it. So I will conceivably be going through this awkaward exchange again in a couple of years. What a crappy damn suckfest that’ll be.

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Nicknames

Hi I’m Zack and I’m name-aholic. I have a tendency to come up with ridiculous nicknames for my kids and loved ones. It started with my oldest son Michael. No I didn’t call him Mike or Mikey, those would have made too much sense. Instead I started with monkey. Cute enough right? I soon moved on to occasionally calling him Mikhail because…Russia. Next came Jacob. He was my little piggy. Then he became Jacobim, Jake-a-boobie, and so on. I just can’t help myself. I love silly wordplay,  always have. It’s a safe bet that up to 75% of the time when I adress one of my children it will not be by their proper name.

I think I finally realized I had a problem when I came up with Jake-a-boo Jiggens and Mike-a-boo Miggens. I didn’t hit rock bottom however until I referred to Jacob as The Bumptastic Thumpkin. It’s not just the kids as my wife Heatherbear Mocha Choca Baby Love can attest to. I really need help.

My latest victim is my son Grayson. I call him Grayby, Bubbie, Bubs, Bubsy, Honey, Pignut, Grumpig, and Pigmoose.
This kid is never going to know his real name.

I think part of my problem stems from never having been given a cool nickname as a kid. I got Zack from Zachary and that was it. So I’m probably just trying to make sure that my kids don’t grow up deprived of nicknames like I was. Or I’m just mentally ill. Let’s go with that.

To say nothing of the fact that poor Grayson was named after the Boy Wonder so he already has the deck stacked against him in the nickname dept.

To say nothing of the fact that Grayson was named after the Boy Wonder so the cards are already stacked against him in the nickname dept.

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