Archive for August, 2009

Traveling to the party supply store to pick up a Pinata for Cayden’s birthday proved to be an informative adventure.  The boys and I were talking about how old they’re getting and how far they’ve come since birth when Mack, my nine year old “know-it-all”, decided to shed some light on the birthing process. 

According to Mack, babies enter the world via the anus- he actually said “butt-hole” but I run a family friendly blog and I’m trying to maintain some dignity here.  Having a fairly good understanding of human anatomy, his suggestion that babies follow the same migratory path as the common pile of excrement sent shudders down my spine- talk about cheapening the miracle of birth.  Obviously Mack has yet to undergo his first proctology exam- had he endured this pleasurable little experience he would have come to the conclusion that his theory is completely infeasible.

I’ve got to hand it to the little guy though he seemed pretty sure of himself- after all it’s the only orifice he knows of in that region.  I could have agreed with him and changed the topic to skateboarding (this ploy never fails) but instead I decided to take the mature, fatherly approach and set the record straight.  As an aside, I was praying that I wasn’t about to open Pandora’s Box- I had zero desire to explain sexual intercourse to my 6 and 9 year old sons while shopping for a “Darth Vader” inspired Pinata. 

Courageously disregarding potentially uncomfortable tertiary discussions I explained that a baby doesn’t come out of woman’s butt, babies actually come out of the woman’s vagina.  Immediately I got the question “what’s a vagina”- to which I replied ”it’s what girls have in lieu of a penis”.  The conversation went down hill from there. 

Cayden practiced saying “Vagina” in multiple dialects, voices and volumes for the remainder of the ride.  Mack spent the remainder of the trip talking about how grossed out he was.  How ironic, 5-minutes beforehand he was fine with the idea that he popped out of some one’s butt?

BTW, Cayden put his new word to use immediately upon entering the party supply store by asking the sales associate where they kept their vagina’s.  I wish I could say this was the most awkward thing that’s happened to me since becoming a parent, but sadly it’s not.

It’s almost over…

August 15, 2009

Well another summer is about to end and every parent I talk to is disappointed that they didn’t accomplish everything they set out to do with their families.  I can see their point.  We didn’t spend a week at the ocean, take a cruise, road trip across America to see the world’s largest ball of yarn or “Billy Bob’s Emporium of Strange and Wondrous Creatures”.  And though I’m slightly upset that I’ll have to wait another year to see “Frank” the two headed Yak in person, I’m not completely distraught.

I’m not distraught because I’m a glass half full kind of guy and I’m choosing to focus on all of the things that we did accomplish.  For example, I ate breakfast with my boys almost every morning and in the process I watched Cayden’s culinary skills improve from barely being able to pour a glass of water to toasting and buttering his own Eggo’s. 

I won the neighborhood “kid toss” competition at the community pool.  I can throw a kid a solid 3-meters farther than any other parent on the planet- or at least among the parents who live in our neighborhood.  I enjoy minor celebrity status among the 5-9 year old crowd and can easily be spotted by the trail of kids patiently awaiting their turn to get hurled through time and space. 

I got to witness the first time Mack dropped in on a half pipe at the local skate park.  The only reason I was able to see this is because when my boys ask me to take them skateboarding I try to say yes instead of no- try to say yes more often. 

I got to become the daily routine guy.  Eat your breakfast, brush your teeth, eat your Flintstone chewable, do your school work (yes I make them do school work in the summer time- it’s not all fun and games around our house).  This may seem mundane if you’re normally the stay home parent, but if you’ve been the one who leaves for work everyday it’s kind of a novelty.

I got to take the boys to their doctors appointments- even the one’s where they have to get shots and other painful stuff done to them.  Again, may seem a bit routine, but if your kids in pain it’s nice to be the one who holds their hand when getting all fixed up.

We did lots of other simple stuff that didn’t cost a fortune and didn’t involve putting a million miles on the old truck- but that was okay with them.  If you asked the guys if they had a great summer they don’t hesitate a second- the answer is always YES!

As for me this was the best summer I’ve ever had.  I’m so glad I didn’t get lured into going back to work immediately after retiring- believe it or not I considered it.  Had I done that I would have missed out on some very important opportunities- namely developing a closer relationship with the ones I love. 

Consider that the next time you’re fretting over what you really need to do to make your summer memorable.  After all, when your kids are adults and on their own will they pull up memories of the worlds largest ball of yarn or will they reflect on who was there the day they conquered their fear of the skate park half pipe?

Man-Rays…

August 12, 2009

My boys are pretty robust, not a lot of fear in their hearts or common sense in their brains.  In fact,  I was pretty convinced that fear was an emotion that skipped a generation.  Ask them to tube down a mountainside- “no problem”.  You kids want to go rock climbing- “absolutely”.  “Hey boys I’m going to jump off the house into flaming lava pit full of man-eating, fire-retardant piranhas”- “Oh, me first Dad just let me put on my trunks”.

See what I mean?  My kids are adventurous.  My kids are tough.  My boys are as manly as you can get without having the ability to grow hair in strange, unsightly places.  Part of me is pleased at how fearless they appear to be.  Then there’s that other part (the sensible part) that has come to the conclusion that this is the attribute that lands me in the emergency room once a month.  Luckily, I too am a man and possess the ability to compartmentalize the sensible portion of my id.

So, it was a surprise when Connie and I discovered their Achilles heal.  Apparently the one thing that truly terrifies my boys is any kite-shaped, sea dwelling creature.

I should have remembered this from our trip to the Cayman islands when we paid an exhorbanant amount of money to swim with the Rays- but I didn’t.

It wasn’t until our own watery stomping grounds were invaded by hordes of “Cow Nosed Rays” that this memory came flooding back to me. 

It seems that the Chesapeake Bay area is some how aligned with the migratory path of the Cow Nosed Ray and at certain points during the summer boating season it’s not unusual to see thousands of them swimming in formation.  Granted, I would be extremely reluctant to plunge head first into a horde of Cow Nose Rays- after all, even the most docile creature can become dangerous when surrounded by thousands of its closest friends.  But we didn’t encounter thousands of Rays swimming in formation.  We happened upon a lone Cow Nose Ray frolicking in the Bay on a sunny Maryland afternoon.  Good God, you would have thought that the kids just witnessed Hannibal Lecter preparing a meal- they were completely freaked out.

As a result neither boy wants anything to do with any body of water which may contain a kite shaped fish- no tubing, swimming or knee boarding and they’ll only ride in the boat if we promise to  keep it in shallow water- friggin ridiculous.  If only it was kittens migrating instead of some ugly species of flattened fish we wouldn’t be faced with this issue.

BTW, Cayden has a hard time remembering “Cow Nose Rays”- to him they are simply “Man-Rays”.  Pretty catchy isn’t it?

Tubing

August 12, 2009

Say Cheese, Damn it!

August 1, 2009

No matter what I do I can’t get Cayden to take a serious photo- it’s damn near impossible to get a legitimate image, take the following snap shots for instance:

What the hell is that?

 Nice Cayden, I’ll send this one to Gramma I’m sure she’ll appreciate it.

No idea where he developed his penchant for ridiculous faces- but I assure you Connie and I will discover the source of this reckless disdain for authority and put a quick stop to it.  When it comes to eradicating fun in our children’s lives Connie and I are ruthless.