Saturday, October 23, 2010

Daddy's Peak

I believe my son to be the Mount Vesuvius of baby poop. His pants clearly are the Roman city of Pompeii. I will try desperately not to be too graphic. Many of you parents may have a dootie volcano of your own, but to those of you who either have no children or whose children were born with a “elimination system” of moderate proportion, you haven’t a clue as to the eruptions some of us have experienced. I’m not referring to stink. That is a completely different beast that I think no diaper-changing victim ever avoids. Even those who are convinced their own pooh doesn’t stink are quite convinced that their offspring were passed over in that genetic trait. Once the tiny humans dabble in non-milk like foods its “watch out olfactory nerve, war has been declared on our nasal passages”, and stink arrives on your door step, prepared for a long stay.
No, I speak of eruptions of such velocity and volume that they obliterate the “no leak” seals of the most advanced diaper technology and turn your baby’s wardrobe into Rorschach blots of brown. Fortune blesses you if the mini Mauna Loa was someplace other than in your arms or to the laundry goes your favorite golf shirt, the one you shot your best round ever in. Worse yet is during the diaper change. We’ve all heard the cute little stories of baby boy getting his diaper changed and suddenly springs a leak while mommy or daddy tries to stem the flow by covering him with another diaper. I am here to tell you that there is more than one orifice down there and only one word comes to mind when thinking of what that orifice delivers; splatter.
There must be some sort of scientific miracle that is present in my son’s digestive tract that will one day revolutionize closet storage. I believe it is something akin to the Space Bag (as seen on TV). Food enters the digestive tract at a certain volume. It is compressed like in a vacuum storage bag, but unlike adult elimination systems, upon exit it returns to an equal or greater volume than its original state, and is accompanied by an accumulation of compressed air. This forces the doo-doo (parental technical term) out the tiny orifice creating thrust and the aforementioned splatter. As eruption continues, the individual battling the “magma” flow quickly becomes aware that even Pierce Brosnan couldn’t abate this natural disaster. So, perhaps FEMA on the speed dial was a good idea, and just wait for the disaster cleanup crew to arrive.
It could’ve been worse. You could’ve been wearing your favorite toga, enjoying some “adult” entertainment, when your entire city was decimated. For now, it’s just your clothes, the carpet and your ego, which I believe covers the majority of what’s always at stake in child rearing anyway.
Ahh, life at the base of an active volcano.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Foot in Mouth

My son has mastered something that took me years to perfect and quite frankly I’m a little peeved about it. Quite simply he put a foot in my mouth. It was his foot and he enjoyed it immensely, giggling and laughing the entire time (I usually insert my own and it receives a completely different reaction). At that very moment I realized that I was solidly and firmly entrenched as his dad. I had become the person I had promised myself I wouldn’t become; the parent who got giddy over the smallest milestones, and I dragged my wife into it. We both spent the better part of five minutes opening our mouths wide as our son joyfully directed his tiny four month old feet into our respective pie holes, all the while marveling over how smart and coordinated our young brood was. If someone had a video camera, we would have been the toast of YouTube for candid videos of IDIOTS! Yet, I feel no shame nor need to apologize for our amazement and wonder at this tiniest of milestones; a simple act that let us know our son was thinking, contemplating, planning even the method in which he would transform us into blathering imbeciles. I do believe it is in moments like these that tiny humans realize the collective power they can assert over the more mature members of the species. With a giggle, big smile, or coo we become incapacitated to experience any other feelings but awe and pride. We want to shout from the rooftops “My baby boy picked his nose…I mean checkout those motor skills!”
It’s true; Mother Nature inserted a parental instinct in all mammals to ensure protection and development of their offspring. Not present in fish, insects or reptiles, nurturing and parenting are mammalian concepts, and contribute to the success of more complex species. Unless, of course, we’re talking about the hairless apes affectionately known as man. Human beings challenge the concept of evolutionary apex when it involves our interaction with our offspring, particularly in the developmental stages between birth and preschool. Sometimes I wonder how our children evolve past potty training. Most of you are parents, and therefore are incapable of having an unbiased viewpoint on this, but how many of you have seen and heard how we speak to our infants. I believe chimpanzees have more complex language skills than human parents do when in front of a three month old. I used to laugh hysterically at morons making “baby talk” with their mini-people until I found myself making the following statement: “Who’s the cutie booty baby with the peepee weepy diapy? You are, yes you are! Now diddy dirty daddy’s gonna make your dirty diapy go buhbye!”
At least now I can be certain of one thing; my son will be one evolutionary rung higher than his dear old dad. If he can remember to keep putting his feet in other people’s mouths and not his own, he may even amount to something more special. Yesh you will, Gaby the Baby, yesh you will!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Five Lessons for my Son

These are things I learned from my parents, my wife, my family, my friends and a ton of acquaintances. I hope my son will learn them sooner than I did.

1. Have firm ideas and flexible beliefs.
Don’t be afraid to challenge conventional thought, but be prepared to have your ideas challenged as well. Rigid beliefs are the downfall of humanity because they exclude new learning and new experiences. If your beliefs are flexible, the world will provide you with daily lessons and you will continuously adapt to its ever changing landscape.

2. Invest in people not objects.
Toys are great, but they will never replace the joy that comes from the people who you share them with. Money will provide things, but it will never buy the love and admiration of your family and peers. Possessions are nothing without people.

3. The relationship you have with yourself dictates how you relate to others.
If you have a positive healthy relationship with yourself, do things that nourish you body and soul, you will attract those who are available for that type of relationship with you. If you treat yourself poorly, fail to love yourself in a positive way, you will treat others poorly and attract those that will abuse you and take advantage of you.

4. The only way to never fail is to never try.
Failure is a life lesson. The most successful people in this world have fallen flat on their face multiple times. What makes them special is that those failures don’t define them but rather inspire them to do better and achieve more. Don’t be afraid to fail. You have people that love you unconditionally, and will always be with you either in body or spirit. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off because success is around the corner.

5. Its never too early, and it’s never too late.
Today is a gift, it’s why they call it the present. Do things as soon as you can, but don’t fret if it does not all get done today. Make the most of the moment, and cherish each opportunity as it comes. Some people spend their life planning for the future and lamenting when the unexpected happens. Others lament everything that has happened and fail to see the opportunities ahead of them. Use the past as a lesson, and look to possibilities of the future, but always live in the now.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father’s Day

It was minutes after midnight, the beginning of my inaugural Father’s Day, and my son said Happy Father’s Day in a way only a one month old can do: he cooed, smiled, and dropped the diaper mess of all diaper messes. Somehow, I theorized that he was delivering an almost Zen-like commentary on what our relationship would be for years to come. Initially it seemed like what he was saying was “Daddy, we’ll chat, we’ll laugh and then you’ll have to put up with my shit, because you love me.” That seemed a little crass, even for one so young, and even at this age he seems much more pensive than that. I had to seek deeper meaning from my little bundle of joy. Perhaps what he was trying to say was “Daddy, they’ll be days when I make you proud, and days that we’ll laugh, but sometimes I’ll make a big mess.” This seemed a bit more of the level of the males in my family; philosophical, yet playfully mundane. Yet, for the boy who posed as Buddha in his mother’s womb, it lacked the touch of the chubby little Enlightener. It was then that the truth was revealed to me, and my little wonderful cherub set my mind ablaze:
“Dad…Shit happens! And when you feel it coming, chuckle, call your Dad and hope he knows how to clean it up!”
Thanks Dad. For all the messes you kept me from making, and all the messes you helped me clean up because life can be messy and sometimes you just have to chuckle and learn to lean on the people that love you.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all you Dads!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010


If you are a FaceBook user, you may be victim to the most heinous crime of the century and you probably enjoyed it. Somehow, someway, the deft little code monkeys (inside joke that I stole from a great big code monkey) at FaceBook (FB from now on) managed to write something that was once thought to be impossible. The code monkeys (actually not real monkeys, because that would be creepy, but rather cyber geeks chained to their cubicles, fed Doritos once an hour, and given inter-venous Red Bull) have incorporated real, honest-to-goodness crack cocaine into miniature programs called applications (they use the cute “app” abbreviation much like the cyber drug lords at Apple use for their synthetic narcotic, iCrack and the meth-heads at enMotion use a fruit based drug called the Crackberry) These tiny little “programs” are disguised as tiny little programs that have cute little furry animals, or cyber people working on farms or in cafes, or Medieval Vampire Mobsters who do nothing but amass friends and money and beat each other up. These “apps” may seem mundane and simple at first, but the slowly drag you in with promises of fun and friends and ways to grow your little empire of bliss. But much like crack (and porn, ironically), soon you find yourself devoting every waking moment to amassing enough points to “level up” so you can get a new stove, a new type of pet/crop, or a new weapon that decimates all players in the vicinity of Iceland (a FB user recently used this weapon, called ASH HOLE). Finally, your wife walks in on you foaming at the mouth, slapping the veins on your arm, crying in agony, as your FB shows that your “apps” cannot be accessed today because of system maintenance. Those damn code monkeys are hard at work screwing with your high, and its time for you to take back your life and resume playing World of WarCraft until three in the morning.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Join the Club

Why does it seem that parenthood is like a fraternity/sorority of excruciating pain? The phrase misery loves company can be used in this application. Every time my wife and I say we are expecting our first child there is an immediate reaction of joy, “Oh my God, congratulations!” or “You must be so excited!” or “I bet you can’t wait.” Then follows what I call the “tell”, that pause of doom that lets you know this is a parent, and suddenly they are reminded of Dante’s Inferno, the third ring being occupied by parents who are forced to repeat the third trimester, labor, delivery, and the post partum 3 months. Their eyes glaze over, a wince appears on their face, but just before you ask them “What’s wrong?” they quickly recover and give you the “I can only be happy if more people join us” lie of; “You’re going to love it!”
This may be a sophisticated form of hazing, with the intention of making expecting parents terrified of what the next few months will hold. It seems that it succeeds quite regularly, and appears to be a time honored tradition and a method of retrieving some of the dignity that was lost when it happened to them. In sociological terms, this is referred to as a cycle of behavior (violence, abuse, etc.) that is perpetuated by its victims in order to be accepted by their tormentors. This cycle must be broken, and as a man of conscience, I feel it my responsibility to break this chain. No longer will we fear hormones, delivery rooms, crying babies, poopy diapers, and insomnia. No longer will we strike fear into the hearts of already nervous expecting parents just because it was done to us.
HEAR ME NOW! You people looking to procreate will only receive the truth, not exaggerations designed to make you freak out and run away. We will comfort you and ease you of your worries. Besides…if you can survive the first trimester of psychotic hormones, projectile nausea, defacto celibacy, and extremely tender breasts then YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE IT!