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Crying Games

Sweet

Kissing Boo-boos 

This sticker sucks, where is the princess?

This sticker sucks, where is the princess?

My kids can go from adorable and well-behaved to faking an injury in the speed of being told no.  Injuries have always been spotlight grabbers and kids are smart.  We go through band aids like paper towels because let’s be honest, band aids are just princess stickers that come with sympathy and attention.  Could there be anything better to have for a toddler.  So yeah, I recognize that when I hear, “I NEED A BAND AID” it rarely is warranted and often the location of said boo-boo can mysteriously relocate in the time it takes to get the wrapper off of the sticker band-aid.  That’s because keeping tabs on the locale of imaginary injuries can be a tough job.

There is a real benefit to those little bumps and bruises though, both real and imaginary ones.  It gives me a chance to kiss something and make it better.  Even though my lips have no magical healing abilities, as long as I am dad and they are little, kisses get to be better than medicine because they make everything feel better. There is definitely some magic in that.  When we grow up tears usually have so much stress fueling them that kisses and hugs seem to lose their luster. I try to remember how lucky I am to be able to provide the kind of comfort that a parent gives their child and though some level of that will always remain, this is the time that it is really special.  For example, go find an adult that is crying and start to tickle them and see what happens.  One of the greatest things about being a parent is being able to make everything better in their eyes even on days that you can’t seem to get anything right in yours.  Seeing a tiny little smile begin to blossom out of a face puddle of tears is totally sweet.

 

Weak

There Will Be Tears 

I don't want crust on my sandwich!

I don’t want crust on my sandwich!

Speaking of face puddles, toddlers are crazy good at crying.  In their defense, if I was just beginning to learn and understand that I was a part of a whole big world instead of the whole big world being a part of me I may get a bit verklempt as well. I’m not suggesting that our little one isn’t still the boss of us in a lot of ways but she is starting to figure out that the whole baby thing where the world and everyone in it revolved around her was only temporary.  That is probably a tough pill to swallow and for the most part she is handling that kind of life changing realization rather gracefully but every now and then the reality slaps her cold in the face and she isn’t in the mood to deal with it.

She doesn’t know how to do a ton of stuff yet but for as far back as she can remember tears got results.  Granted back then she was crying because she needed a clean diaper and now the tears may be because butterflies won’t talk to her or her mean parents won’t let her mix Skittles with Cheerios and milk for breakfast.  When she was a baby the only reasons her cries weren’t tended to immediately was If they went unheard. Well, Captain Lung Capacity has no struggle with upping the volume  and if that doesn’t work, then the real exasperation begins to set in.  I’ve even had her suddenly stop mid sob to look up at me and say, “DADDY, I’M CRYING!”  Like anyone in our house or on our street didn’t hear her.  There should be a game show where parents of toddlers have to guess if the cries of a 2-year-old are the result of an appendage stuck in a piece of running farm machinery or if they got an orange Popsicle when they wanted a red one.

Toddler-hood is the gateway into a brave new world and I need to remind myself that it isn’t all roses and sunshine for them either.  I should also keep in mind that If I am going to call them a jerk under my breath I had better make sure it is way under my breath because the lady at the grocery store doesn’t understand but is happy to offer her parenting critique.  Like apparently suggesting that your kid  can use the tears streaming down her face to wash down the two more bites of carrots (that basically make up 79% of her entire lunch) you are begging her to eat is not good form.

I am lucky that these times are less and less frequent and love them no matter what causes the crying but when it is because they aren’t allowed to paint the TV, it is totally weak.

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Thank God for Little Bags of Shut the Heck Up (Parenting with Fruit Snacks)

Sweet

Teach Them Well and Let Them Lead The Way  

I couldn’t agree more with those lyrics from the late Whitney Houston.  Creating a person is one of the greatest things of all.   As with anything though, eventually the new wears off.  Once all of the awe and splendor of creating human life finally begins to fade into the background you realize that there is a whole lot more to this thing than just keeping them alive long enough for them to be able to actually sleep with a pillow or blanket without risk of SIDS.  The fun part begins when they begin to walk and talk and are basically your very own DNA Play-Doh that you get to shape however you like.

At 20 months old, our youngest daughter is a lot like one of those smart phone apps you say something to and it repeats you in a cute funny voice.  She is learning new words and phrases everyday and it is obvious that no member of our family is passing up the chance to leave a few thumbprints in her molding process.  Last week while driving a squeaky little voice from the back seat piped up and said “WATCH IT DADDY!” followed by an eruption of giggles from her big sister.  Our oldest has come to the conclusion that teaching her little sister new phrases is the funniest thing ever, especially when they are phrases that she doesn’t have the guts to say out loud herself.  Her mom teaches her to say sweet things like “love the baby” and “I am one years old.”  It may not have been until last night though, as she wandered through the house yelling “BACON IS AWESOME” that I realized how sweet this new little game could be.

Yesterday I watched her drag the stool from the bathroom into her room and proceed to climb up onto her changing table and then climb back down.  This newly discovered talent also explains the bowl of apples in the kitchen full of mysterious little bite marks.  When you reach that point of realizing you did your job keeping them alive this long and now it is time to really turn them into someone cool, it is totally sweet.

Weak

Armed with Snacks 

Sometimes it is like watching Gizmo turn into a Gremlin.  From adorably cute to little monster in 3.6 seconds.  Most of the time we realize it is part of the gig and take it all in stride.  Other times the cries of our children have the ability to reduce us to begging pleading shadows of our former self.  Often, our transformation can be just as rapid as theirs.

Sunday morning I found myself trying to rationalize with my one year old, “Yes sweetie, your daddy is very handy but even he cannot fix a broken banana or put it back into the peal so please for the love of everything holy just stop crying.”  Yeah, it was like that.  There are times though, when the humane and sensitive options of soothing are exhausted, that parents are forced to go to the silver bullet in the battle against their little weretoddlers.  That’s right.  Fruit snacks.

They may be disgusting little gummy sugar wads but there is no doubt that they have been blessed by some great shaman or created by a wizard.  When readying ourselves for a day out in public with our little ones, I am often reminded of that scene in Rambo when he straps weapons onto his arms and legs and then rises tying the red band around his head.  Usually, I leave with pockets full of goldfish and Cheerios and emergency fruit snacks strapped to my ankle (stuffed in my sock).  I am locked and loaded and ready for battle the grocery store.  It may sound like taking the easy way out but I have found that sometimes, a stern tone or empty threat simply do not have enough fire power and the only way to shut their mouths is to give them something to chew.  Every now and then, I feel like just tearing the bag open with my teeth and lobbing them in her general direction like a little grenade of shut up.  The bonus with that tactic is that it takes extra time for her to wander around finding all of the gelatinous nubs of artificial flavor and strengthens her immune system since she will be eating from the floor.  Kids are one of the best things to ever happen to me but fruit snacks as a silencer is totally weak.


Is it super lazy to Reblog something you wrote months ago? Well if the shoe fits I guess I will wear it. I like the idea of having interesting funny insight to write about on a fairly steady schedule but (insert excuse here).  I woke up this morning at 3:12 thinking it was time to start the day.  It reminded me of this.  It was one of the first blogs I posted.  Also I have never pushed that reblog button and my Y chromosome will only let me ignore a button for so long.

Simon C. Holland

Sweet

Waking up before the alarm 

I am not talking about 10 minutes before the alarm goes off, everyone hates that.  That is like being robbed of your last ten minutes of sleep which are usually the best.  It is that part of the dream where you find the pot of gold or save the day and the distressed damsel.  What is totally sweet is when you wake up feeling like you have slept all night and it is time to start the day and you look at the clock and it is 2:42.  SWEET!!  That is almost like getting two nights sleep for the price of one.  Inevitably you will wake up late from your “second night” and not feel near as refreshed as you did at 2:42 but that is a small price to pay for that moment when you flip to the cool side of the pillow…

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When Did Giving You Money Stop Being Enough?

Sweet

100 % More Country Stats 

About a month ago WordPress launched a new blog statistics page that shows the country that the click to view your blog originated.  If I am representative of many new bloggers, we begin writing because we have a creative side that needs to get out or have something funny or interesting to say and keyboards rarely interrupt or doze off in the middle of our diatribe.  Then in some mysterious way we kind of get sucked in to who is reading our stuff and even resort to surfing around other blogs leaving lame comments in hopes that they will return the favor.  Honestly I have only heard of that method of generating new readers.  I have never tried it myself.

I will be the first to admit though, that knowing people are reading your blog or even winding up there on accident because they Googled the word squatchy is pretty sweet.  For a certain period of time we get sucked into the statistics page and even neglect things we once held so dear like Facebook to see if anyone new has stopped by to read our nonsense.  I think it is a phase that we bloggers mature out of and realize that the reason we started a blog wasn’t to win a Shorty award or turn our blog into a NY Times bestseller.  We hold onto the dream of one day being Freshly Pressed but for the most part go back to our roots and write because we have things to say, not because we want to pump up our stat bar.

That was me, a happy maturing blogger that had gotten over my stats obsession and had shifted focus to writing what I wanted to write and enjoying the community of readers and fellow writers out that make the blogging process so rewarding.

There timing was impeccable.  Just as I had situated myself on the high road and stopped measuring my self -worth with my blog stats, WordPress showed me a page full of awesome little flag icons that tell me all of the places in the world my blog has popped up on a screen.  Just like that, I am sucked right back in.  I don’t have a huge map in my office that I put thumbtacks in every time I see a new country or anything, but based on the stats page this blog has been either viewed or accidentally stumbled upon in 57 different countries since the new feature started.  It probably seems silly to most people but if I see that 4 or more people in Paraguay clicked on my blog I decide it wasn’t an accident and I think it is pretty sweet.

This may be the closest I ever get to a glamorous life of international travel and I am OK with that.  So if you are reading this today or randomly landed here after Googling “ideas to disguise a TV remote” (true story) Where ya from?

Weak

What Happened to “Here’s your Receipt, Have a Nice Day.” 

Have you bought anything lately?  I am not sure exactly when it happened but it now seems like every transaction concludes with me getting a to do list.  I just gave you money.  When did that become not enough?  Here is the thing, I don’t want to be entered in your sweepstakes. I don’t have time to go home and spend two hours filling our surveys for every store I walked into at the mall today.  I am not going to go to this website and make sure I rate your service excellent just because you told me to.  I have stuff to do like spend 30 minutes thinking up back stories to who is reading my blog in Morocco.

Is it too much to ask to go back to the way things were?  Are people doing this?  Are people actually winning a $1000 gift certificate to Lens Crafters?  If I call the cable company because my favorite show Happy Endings isn’t coming in clear do I get to talk to a real person faster if I agree to the short 5 minute survey at the conclusion of this call?  I get it, in today’s world of business buzzwords, every single breath we take needs to be measured and the results quantified.  Somehow, some out of touch with reality power point slide has trickled all the way down to me standing in Sears pretending to listen to your spiel waiting for you to let me go so we can finally do something fun and get free samples in the food court.  If my opinion is really that valuable to you can’t you just install one of those Facebook “like” buttons next to your cash register?  I would happily take a second of my time to high-five a blue glowing thumbs up button if I knew I wouldn’t have to take home a four foot long receipt with different sections circled and your name scrawled across the bottom in a plea for me to rate you excellent.

If you work in retail you probably hate this more that I do and I truly empathize with you.  Getting a sales pitch, a guilt trip, a chore list, and a pocket full of paper when all I wanted to do was buy socks is totally weak.


Some People Don’t Have to Search for Their Inner Child

Sweet

via wookieepedia

Being a Kid at any Age

I will be 34 years old later this month.  Perception of that age lies solely in the beholder as I am still a spring chicken to many and old man river to others.  I don’t have any issue with getting older and have been sporting that distinguished salt and pepper look for close to a decade now.  One of the reasons I don’t worry about getting older is because by now I have realized that there is a part of me that remains a perpetual child.  I do my fair share of grownup stuff like pay bills and taxes and schedule parent teacher conferences but even in a deep-sea of responsibility I cannot escape certain Peter Pan type tendencies.  I don’t do these things as a concerted effort to “stay young at heart” but I know that they probably help.  Here are some of the ways my inner child escapes no matter how old I get.

  • If I stop at the grocery store on my way home from work I still get the kid cart with the race car because, hello? race car!
  • Though not often down south, if I am ever driving and it starts to snow, I pretend I am taking the Millennium Falcon into hyper-space.
  • The only downside to two daughters is toy shopping, that’s OK though, I bought a suction cup dart blow gun last week that is suuweet!
  • BOO! If given the chance, I will always lurk in the shadows so I can scare you when you walk in.  Then you will slightly pee yourself and I will crack up.
  • Race Ya.  To the mailbox, folding laundry, cleaning up toys, I am always up for a good race.
  • Chasing the ice cream truck.  This is way less embarrassing now that I have kids with me but one day I will be frantically searching for loose change in my room at the home when I hear that thing rolling up the street.
  • Licking the spoon. (no explanation needed)

I could go on and on because to be honest I still probably do more kid things than grown up things but I will start the list with these and let you add your tips on staying young and feeding your inner kiddo.  I once had a dream I was licking frosting off of the mixing spoon when I heard the ice cream truck coming down the street, I looked at my wife and she said “race ya” and it was totally sweet.

How do you keep from growing up?

 

Weak

I didn’t Know That was There Until it Hurt So Bad 

via someecards

Man, I am getting old.  I know this because after working in the yard all day yesterday it hurts to type.  Yeah you read that right, my hands are sore.  As much as I may be a perpetual kid inside, there is no mistaking the fact that the new car smell has worn off and some of the features of this thing don’t work like they used to.  I often joke about the 20-year-old me shaking his head in disappointment if he heard some of the things I say or think today.  For example, I now place real value on something called a good night’s sleep.  There is no escaping it, somewhere inside of me is a cardigan sweater, the faint smell of Ben Gay and the desire to cut out things from the newspaper.  I hold that person at bay the best I can but here are some of the things that remind me that I am no spring chicken any more.

  • When people come over I want them to take off their shoes and stand on our new memory foam bath mats.
  • I researched toothbrushes online and read reviews.
  • I know better than eating too many cucumbers.  Ever get indigestion when you were 22?  didn’t think so.
  •  I know that if I took acetaminophen 3 hours ago and my back still hurts, it is OK to take ibuprofen now.
  • I know the names of different kinds of medicine.
  • Food guilt. (Like standing over the sink inhaling leftovers at 11:45 at night and not being able to look in the mirror later.)
  • WebMD isn’t just for finding gross pictures anymore.
  • I walk down the cereal aisle and think “it can’t taste that different and 43 cents can really add up.”
  • Having a birthday coming up makes me think about getting older instead of hoping I get a 4 wheeler.

Sadly, I can probably fill this list out faster than the first one.  What are some things that remind you that you are getting older?  Realizing it would probably be a good idea to invest in a pair of work gloves is totally weak.


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