Why the grossest part of taking kids swimming is also the most liberating
Judging by the parade of teenage delinquents skateboarding in front of my house, and the dog’s desire to sleep on the bathroom tile, it’s clear that summer has arrived. For many parents, this means taking their young kids to the swimming pool. My kids love the pool. When they see my flip-flops, they Pavlovianly yell, “Pool!” and run to the front door. Occasionally, their wishes are granted and we go to the YMCA for an afternoon of swimming. And it never fails that after a few wades, splashes, and dunks, each kid produces enough ropy mucus to caulk a sink.
Can you bond with your kids while watching remakes of OUR movies?
With the release today of The Karate Kid, which as we all know is based on the original, 1984 version starring Ralph Macchio (which was probably based on a film from the Silent Era, that was probably adapted from kabuki theater, which in turn was probably a re-telling of an epic battle from the Han Dynasty), it has become clear that there will come a day when I will be taking my sons to see a movie that, while new to them, will be a mere rehash of a movie from my childhood.
How to set a good example while telling someone to take a hike
The other day my wife was unloading the kids from their car seats in a crowded parking lot. Removing twins from a vehicle is very challenging, and it’s amazing how skilled parents can become at it. If ever a fire department were to misplace their Jaws of Life, all they’d need is an area mom of twins to extract the trapped people.
Divine intervention saves me a heck of a lot of explaining
Last Sunday I was feeling generous, so I offered to take the kids to the park and give my wife the afternoon to herself. I usually develop these pangs of generosity when she starts to show symptoms of temporary, toddler-inspired insanity. Signs include yelling at your husband for drinking water too quickly, and mentioning that, though I did put my shoes in the closet like a good boy/man/husband, they were not perfectly parallel, and therefore her life is descending into chaos. Normally my wife is easy going and a pleasure to be around. She is far less high-strung and neurotic than I am. But minding two toddlers twelve hours a day can break a person.
Believe it or not, it’s better than them not wanting to
I recently had a friend admit that when she was a child, she told everyone she was going to marry her daddy. Apparently these sorts of statements are very common—and not just on the Jerry Springer Show. I think it’s more common in younger siblings, due to influences from their older siblings. A tween or teen stares at her Robert Pattinson poster (the dude from Twilight) and imagines how wonderful her life would be if she sported his puncture wounds on her neck. She professes, “I’m going to marry him” and the younger sister, looking to keep up her end of the conversation says, “I’m going to marry Daddy.” In her mind, Daddy’s male, and knows how to make pancakes—so he gets the job. I’m not sure if this is how it always goes down, but it seems right. I was the oldest, and I don’t recall ever wanting to marry my Mommy—but mostly because I have a rule against crazy chicks.
What to do when someone tells your kid about religion
When I was twelve years old, a friend’s older sister tried to convert me to her religion. This was the same older sister who a month earlier showed us her marijuana paraphernalia, and whose boyfriend left magazines around that every twelve year old has seen, but none should. So, unfortunately for her, she couldn’t have been less qualified to talk to me about my soul. Although I was twelve, I was still old enough to be judgmental. The only conversion she could’ve authoritatively spoken about was that of a milk carton into a bong.
Some unfortunate evidence that teenagers need more supervision than ever before
Maybe I’m getting old, but I can in no way see what has inspired the moronic, adolescent game known as “sack tapping.” I’ll try not to be too graphic in this entry, but sack tapping is a real problem making front page news. For our kids’ sake (and potential grandchildren’s’) we must understand what teenagers are doing to themselves.
The road to awkwardness is paved with good intentions
It’s always wonderful when a parent is put in a situation that tests his or her beliefs. At a Memorial Day barbeque, a friend of the family gave one of my twin sons a doll. I’ve always maintained that kids should be able to play with whichever toys tickle their fancy. If a girl wants to haul around a bazooka, or a boy wants to pretend Elmo’s breast feeding, that’s cool. Don’t pass judgment, have an enlightened approach, blah, blah, blah.