Justin’s Jelly Bean Prank Backfires

barf2Honestly, I’m a little behind with this blog. It’s not that I don’t have enough to write about. It’s that there’s too much to write about and the stories are getting backed up. So – let’s re-start slowly…

Last week, GWE took Justin to Six Flags on an afternoon when there was an early dismissal from school. While I worked, they had fun riding roller-coasters, eating junk food, and then sending me selfies of themselves riding roller-coasters and eating junk food. (Did I mention that I was working??) When I got home that evening, I expected to find Justin passed out in bed. To my surprise, he was awake…and oddly excited about something.

“Daddy!! I bought you some jelly beans! I know how much you love jelly beans,” Justin exclaimed. I could see that he was trying to contain his laughter, so I assumed he was up to something.

“No thanks. I’ll pass,” I replied – knowing that it would drive him a little nuts.

“Daddy! These are the best jelly beans! I bought them just for you!!!!!!!!” The giddiness was causing him to vibrate.

With cautious optimism, I took one jelly bean from his hand and popped it into my mouth. I did not chew. I just waited for him to respond. After a few seconds, I gave up and decided to eat the jelly bean. At first, it tasted like popcorn. And then…….this disgusting flavor and odor of dead fish invaded my mouth and nose. It was awful! Justin rolled on the floor laughing about how he got me as I scrambled to get the taste out of my mouth! While I gulped half a container of milk, Justin explained that I had eaten something called “Bean Boozled.” They are purposely awful jelly beans.


Justin thought I was over-reacting to how bad the beans were, so he decided to show me that he could eat any of them and it wouldn’t affect him at all. I told him that I would chose the bean and he would have to eat which ever I chose.

I chose “Barf.”

Justin took the bean and ate it with the same bravado you see from a drunk college student who is dared to drink an entire bottle of hot sauce. He smiled as he took the first two bites. All of a sudden, his expression changed. He coughed twice…..and then threw up all over the kitchen sink. The bravado on his face vanished and was replaced with confusion, fear, and tears. He was not expecting that as an outcome. After a few more dry-heaves and a glass of water, I tucked him into bed.

While tucking Garrett into bed, I heard Justin run down the hallway…then some banging….and then the sound of him running back to his room. When I went back into his room I asked him what happened. He responded, “Daddy. I threw out the jelly beans. I don’t want you to trick me with those beans ever again!”

Oh how the trickster becomes the tricked!

Legos of Love

Lego“Garrett broke his Lego firetruck again.”

These are the words I was greeted with as I walked through the front door after a very long and exhausting day. In addition to being tired and mentally ‘fried,’ I had a sinus infection and the antibiotics had not begun to take effect yet. Or, they had begun to take effect, but were somehow putting me in a foul and mildly lethargic mood.

My mother-in-law showed me a pile of Legos on the table that, at one time, resembled a firetruck. Now, it was simply rubble. As MoGWE, informed me of her afternoon and evening with the boys, I continued to look over at the pile of Legos. I think the day had taken its toll because I wasn’t exactly listening to what was being said…and I was thinking about the Legos, but kept losing focus while having my eyes roll into the back of my head out of exhaustion. I keep doing the ‘head bob’ of an old man almost falling asleep while sitting up and then being jolted back to life at the last second….all while thinking of Legos.

After MoGWE left, I sat at the kitchen table and began to reassemble the firetruck once more. Not because I wanted to, but because I wanted to avoid the screams and crying the following morning as to why the firetruck hadn’t been magically fixed yet. (Yes, I am a superhero known as The Night Lemming. My secret power is to sneak around after hours and clean up toys.)

It took me about 20 minutes, but I rebuilt the Lego Firetruck. Afterwards, I slithered into bed and passed out.


There was excitement and glee in the air the following morning as Garrett got his firetruck back!! And, all was well with the world!

The following evening, as I walked into the house, I was greeted by the nanny. Her exact words were….

“Garrett broke his Lego firetruck again.”



Bike1 One son won’t go outside and the other one won’t come inside. On Saturday morning I asked Justin to come outside and play basketball with me. He lasted about 7 minutes and then complained of cramps, headache, pending heat stroke, and the possibility of dying on the driveway. While I was tempted to stop playing basketball and start playing dodgeball by throwing the basketball at his head, I allowed him to go back inside. As he headed towards the house, I told him to send out his brother.

Garrett was thrilled to play basketball with daddy. However, as I learned, I’ve been playing basketball wrong all these years. Instead, he introduced me to Bike-sketball.

The object of the game is for Garrett to ride his bike while holding the basketball. He then waits until he’s open (I promise you, he’s always open) and then he throws the ball straight up in the air. He’s not even close to the basketball net, but I don’t think that’s the point. Instead, he tries to ride his bike away before A) daddy saves him by catching the ball, or B) the ball hits him in the head. There are a few problems with this game:

  1. I still don’t know how to play the game correctly because Garrett keeps screaming, “No daddy!!!! You’re not doing it right!!”
  2. He’s a ‘big’ kid. Even if he were to pedal fast enough to get away, the first two rotations of the wheel go nowhere because he weighs too much for the bike and the wheels have no more tread. The wheels go round and round, but he goes nowhere.
  3. Getting hit in the head does not seem to be a deterrent for him. However, my getting popped in the chin a few times by him throwing the basketball straight up before I’ve gotten out of the way – big problem.


I don’t see a bright future for this sport. I’m going to suggest Couch-Golf and Sleep-Surfing next.


Play-NiceAs a parent, you want to keep your kids safe. You’d throw yourself in front of a bus if it meant that your children would remain unharmed and secure. But sometimes, you find yourself choosing to be – The Bad Parent. Yes, you could intervene at the moment of conflict. However, you purposely don’t because (maybe, in the back of your mind you’re thinking) your child deserved what was coming

It doesn’t happen often and I’m not proud of this, but one such incident needs to be shared

Justin has a habit of bugging Garrett at the moment when Garrett’s tolerance for bullshit has been depleted. Garrett loves physical play, but doesn’t like being touched by his brother. I’ve warned Justin on multiple occasions to get his hands off of his brother before Garrett loses his composure and starts punching him.

Several nights ago, my warnings fell on deaf ears. I told Justin that if he touched his brother one more time, he would probably get punched by Garrett. Sure enough, Garrett not only punched him….but leapt on top of him and began to pummel him like a prize fighter.

I was 5 feet away. I could have said something. I could have pulled Garrett off of Justin. I could have yelled at them both to cut it out.

I didn’t.

I just stood there and took another sip of my water as the ruckus continued.

And then, I heard the strangest/funniest/weirdest comment come out of Garrett’s mouth. As he continued to punch Justin over and over with Justin pleading for me to help him, I heard Garrett scream at Justin, “I’m hitting you and I’m hitting you HARD because I’m your BEST FRIEND!!!”

It’s something that has stayed with me ever since he said it. What did he mean by that? Was it like when a parent tells a child that they’re very angry with them, but still love them? Was he trying to tell Justin that he had no friends and managed to piss off the last one? Was he so angry that he couldn’t find the words he really wanted to use? I don’t know.

But, I now have a name for it: “Bro-Frenemies.” Sometimes they are friends. Sometimes they are enemies. But, they will always be brothers.

Seat Belt or No Seat Belt?

Car-1Justin and Garrett have perfected the art of pissing each other off. It’s amazing to watch them aggravate each other to the point of “Apocalypse.” What starts out slow with either a comment or a nudge, turns into all-out war within moments.


While in the car (why is it always in the car???), Justin and Garrett began to bother each other. I don’t know if it started with Justin taking one of Garrett’s toys or Garrett throwing something at Justin out of frustration, but it escalated quickly. I remember pulling the car over, turning around, and yelling at both of them to cut it out – OR ELSE!! (I don’t have an “or else.” If I had one, I wouldn’t have to say “or else.”)


Both of them stopped what they were doing to each other, became silent, and we resumed our drive to wherever we were going.


After a few moments of silence, I heard a click followed by one of the boys saying, “Don’t do that.” And then, another click.


Then, I heard another click…followed by the other boy saying, “Don’t do that!” And then, another click.


I was driving and it was hard for me to turn around at that particular moment, but I heard this conversation and clicking go on three or four more times. I finally got a chance to look in the rear view mirror and what I saw made me laugh….until I realized how I was involved!


Justin and Garrett began playing a game of “Chicken” with their seat belts. One child would lean over and unclick the other one’s seatbelt. The victim would then tell the perpetrator to stop. Then, the victim would fix his own seat belt…and then lean over to unclick the other one’s seat belt.


It wasn’t just the unclicking each other’s seat belts. I realized it was more of a game of “Who’s Seat Belt Would Be Undone When Daddy Stops Short (or Gets Into An Accident???)” In retrospect, I think they both won because I had to unclick my seat belt to turn around to yell at them again.


So, based on my experience, I have a new slogan for seat belt safety: “Click, Click, or Daddy Will Become A DICK!!”

The Night I Failed to Bring in Lightning

CarIt was 11pm and I was exhausted after a long day. I just wanted to collapse into bed and read a little before I fell asleep. As my body was just about to make contact with the mattress, GWE turned to me and said, “You know you need to bring Lightning in, right?” Over the past few weeks, the words “bring Lightning in” have become the bane of my existence.

Since Garrett is the second child, he has inherited most of Justin’s toys. One of those toys is a motorized “Lightning McQueen.” Garrett likes to climb into the driver’s seat, hit the gas, and drive it around the backyard like it’s the Indy 500. However, he knows that at the end of the day – it needs to be somewhere other than sitting in the yard. At 2:30am, the sprinklers come on and we’re trying to keep the car from shorting out. (We hear that water and electricity don’t mix!)

So every afternoon Garrett plays with the car and every evening (after it’s dark) I have to go to the back of the house where there are no lights to try and find Lightning. Then, I have to haul it back up to the porch. The car weighs 48.9 lbs. (I looked it up. Why? Because if I ever throw out my back, I want the doctor to know that I was broken by a 48.9 lb. Lightning Queen!!!)

There I was at 11pm (AGAIN) roaming around the back yard with the lights out looking for Lightning. And I thought I found it…

In the darkness, all I could see was the silhouette of an object. I assumed it was Lightning as I walked over to get it. As I reached down to grab it……..”IT” screeched and ran away. I had gotten close enough to see the white stripe on its back.



In the most dignified way possible, I screamed bloody murder like I was a teenage girl in a horror movie. If I remember it correctly, I yelled “HOLYFUCKSHITFUCKSHITFUCKSHITBALLSBALLSBALLS” as I ran across the yard in total darkness.

When I came back into the bedroom, GWE (who was already in bed and under the covers) asked me if I brought Lightning in. I said, “No. Didn’t you hear me scream?” She acknowledged that she HAD heard me scream…but that she didn’t want to get up because she thought I’d be fine.

And with that, I learned “Till death do you part” is not where my vows end. It’s “Till you scream like a little girl while running away from a skunk.”