Wednesday, August 19, 2015

5 Parental Super Powers I Didn't Ask For

It wasn't supposed to be like this. I was supposed to get hit by gamma rays or get bitten by a radioactive spider. As a kid I dreamed of waking up some day and suddenly being able to lift heavy objects with my mind or shoot laser beams out of my eyes. Not this. Not these powers... Who wants the "super" ability to smell their child's unique poop odor from across the room? 

"Nobody panic! That poo smell belongs to my kid. My unique parenting power tells me that this is a class 4 blowout. Don't worry. I can handle this!" 

Possible Super Hero name: The Sniffer

See what I mean? What am I supposed to do with that crappy (pun intended) super power? Sigh… here are four other super lame super powers that being a parent has given me... none of which, by the way, are flying – double grrr.

Super Power: Parental Precognition

It's kind of like Spidey-Sense, but it only works on my kids. I know just before something horrible is about to happen – usually because my kid says something like "Look dad!" or "Oooh! Gum!" or "Uh oh!" or things just get really, really quiet. Unfortunately, knowing something is about to happen and being able to prevent it are two very different things. Most of the time I have just enough parental precognition to say the beginnings of various words in succession. "Wai! NO! STO… ugh." Then it is too late and I say other, complete words quietly under my breath.

Possible Super Hero Name: The Dammit Whisperer

Super Power: Super Distraction

This isn't so much a super power as it is a super skill. For some reason I thought that when I had kids I would just explain to them, in very simple and kid friendly terms, why they should do something, and since they were my kids they would understand and do it. 

I was dumb. 

I quickly realized that 90% of getting kids to do what you want is tricking them by gently distracting them in the right direction. I would compare it to herding cattle since that is a completely accurate comparison, but people might get angry if I compare my kids to cattle. So I won't. See what I did there? Distraction.

I don't say "Want to go to bed?" I say, “Let's go read a book in bed.” I don't say, "Do you want to stop watching that ridiculous show that makes me want to stab my eyes out?" I say "Oh look! Your toy room is clean for once. Quick. Fix that!" By the way, the toy room is a perfect example of my wife's distraction skills too. It used to be my office, until she distracted me.

Possible Super Hero Name: Mr. Ooh Look Something Shiny

Super Power: Sleep Functioning

Any shlub with a predisposition for sleep disorders can sleep walk. I can work an eight hour day, go home, cook dinner, and only suffer minor second-degree burns on occasion - all while half asleep. I figure that if I am half asleep all of the time, I don't have to be full asleep half of the time. Trust me, it makes sense when you haven't slept for seven months.

Sure, I'm a zombie. Sure, I nod off while reading stories to my kids. And maybe I do lie down in the shower sometimes and let the hot water running out be my alarm clock. A dad has got to do what a dad has got to do, even if it means living in a nightmarish half awake dreamscape from time to time. Isn't that right Mr. Flying Dragon-pig? Now let's hurry. We're late for the roller coaster eating contest.

Possible Super Hero Name: The Walking Dad

Super Power: Tolerance to all things Gross and Disgusting

Nothing disgusts me anymore. Nothing. I have been baptized in endless baby piss and shit and snot and have emerged from the font of fluids a super-parent. What does this power do for me aside from allowing me to clean feces out of my kid's various crevasses? Well, I went to Walmart with sweatpants on the other day and didn't feel embarrassed. I also dropped my breakfast sandwich on the floor and picked it back up to eat it. Basically, anything that isn't covered in poop is clean now.

Possible Super Hero Name: The Slob

So there you are: my powers. Will I use them for good or evil? That remains to be seen. For now, my dad sense is tingling which means that there is either a bottle of sunscreen being emptied on to my carpet or something far, far worse. It is too quiet. Gotta go.


If you liked this post, be sure to come see our other super powers on the Ask Your Dad Facebook page!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

5 Children's Books That Don't Exist But Should

Remember the timeless classic children's book from a few years ago, "Go the F*ck to Sleep"? If you don't, you should check out this dramatic reading by the one and only Samuel L Jackson. A family member e-mailed me the link to that video for the eleventieth time the other day and it got me thinking. What other tongue-in-cheek kids' books do I wish were out there? Here are five. If any publishers are reading this, feel free to contact me. I can write these.

How to Wipe Your Butt

Friday, August 7, 2015

Let’s Help My Friend Mandi

K, I need some help.

5 years ago I was in a job that I despised. Every day I came home and would lock myself in my room or the office so I wouldn’t take the stress and anger of the day and rage vomit it all over my family. I needed a new start, but I was afraid to leave. I had been with the company for nearly a decade and I had always considered it my forever job. One afternoon at a barbecue with friends I spilled all this to my friend Mandi.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Goodbye Jon Stewart

Tonight is Jon Stewart’s final appearance on The Daily Show. I’m not emotionally ready for him to go, but he deserves the break. For the past 16 years Stewart has been my port in the storm, my 30 minute break from the frustration of being a liberal guy in a very red state. And even though he doesn’t know I exist, I credit him for a lot of the lessons I have learned over the last decade and a half.

I first found Stewart on the 17 inch screen of the TV in my freshman college dorm room. It was the first couple weeks of school and I was not the most outgoing guy. I had all these dreams of going from high school to college and immediately making a bunch of friends. Instead I spent most of my non-class hours sitting in my dorm room listening to the rumblings of people more socially adept than I talking in the halls. To drown them out, I flipped over to Comedy Central and found Jon.

I started college in 2000, which also coincided with a presidential election. Before then, my interest in politics was pretty limited. I grew up in a house with a strong feminist mother and a card-carrying NRA Father. We had a good mix of liberal and conservative beliefs at the dinner table, but if I ever asked my parents about party politics the general consensus was that they were all a bunch of crooks. I suppose this is understandable. My parents came of age in the time of Nixon. They didn’t like Jimmy Carter much, and I never heard a kind word about Ronald Reagan. I think they spent most of the 90’s rolling their eyes at Bill Clinton, which is why I blame them both for my decision to throw away my first presidential vote on Ralph Nader and personally cost Al Gore the 2000 election. Sorry Al. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

4 Things I Buy for My Kids That Are Really For Me

Some things that I buy for my kids are actually for my kids. For instance, a talking Dora the Explorer microphone. Despite my inner “sane person” screaming “DON’T BUY THAT MICROPHONE. IT IS LOUD AND WILL KILL ME, YOUR INNER SANE PERSON, PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T BUY THAT DORA THE EXPLORER MICROPHONE,” I say, “Don’t worry personification of my sanity inside my head that I talk to, which is totally normal. I may be buying this horrible, evil noise maker for our daughter, but I also buy these other things for her, that are secretly for us. And then the two of us laugh and laugh and laugh.

Goldfish Crackers

My wife thinks that our kids looooove Goldfish crackers. We go through a bag a week. When we’re at the store, she specifically reminds me to grab them and says “You know how much they LOVE Goldfish Crackers.” I play coy and pretend not to remember, then grab a bag or two… or three. What my wife doesn’t know, until she reads this, is that I have a lovely addiction to tiny baked cheese fish. I could eat an entire bag. Each little cheese fish cracker is like a taste journey for my mouth. I like the rough salt on the rounder side of the cracker. I like how I can crush the tasty hollow fish orb on the roof of my mouth. I salivate thinking about how after I finish that little guy, there is a whole bag waiting for me to eat. “Honey, the kids ate all the Goldfish Crackers. I’m running to the store. Do we need milk too?”

Goldfish Crackers