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.”

The Labor Day Accident

The last thing I heard before “the accident” was GWE asking me if I wanted a glass of wine with dinner. I never got to answer her. Before I could say “Sure!,” Garrett managed to trip over his scooter, fall forward, and bang his head into the corner of the patio door. GWE caught him as he went down. As she turned him over, I saw the gash in his forehead.

Personal experience told me this was serious. (I have the same cut on my forehead from going head first into a brick mailbox when I was a kid.)

I looked at GWE and calmly said, “We need to go – now. I think he’s going to need stitches.” From that moment forward, the chaos of the evening fell away and we were a well-oiled machine with one purpose – get Garrett to the doctor! I took the food off the grill, turned off the propane, turned off the oven, grabbed my keys and wallet, scooped up Garrett, and raced to the car. GWE looked up the closest medical facility. Justin (who was beating the crap out of his brother less than an hour earlier) saw the severity of the situation and instantly became my “wingman.” For the first time ever, Justin took every instruction I gave him without question. He got Garrett a Band-Aid, his shoes, a toy, and got into the car. As all of this was happening, Garrett was perfectly fine. I wiped away his tears and I asked him if he wanted to go for a ride in the car. He happily said, “Yup.” His only request was that I put on “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

GWE likes to joke that I have a magical ability to find the slowest lane possible. There have only been two occasions when I’ve purposely “Nascar’d” it. Once, when taking GWE to the hospital to give birth Justin…and last Monday. (We are now calling it, “The Labor Day Accident of 2014.”)

We arrived at the doctor’s office 8 minutes later. They numbed him, glued him back together, bandaged him up, and then handed him some stickers. Additionally, he was insistent that they use the stethoscope to check his heart. (He has a toy one at home.) All in all, he had a fantastic time and made some new friends! GWE and I aged a decade in less than an hour.



During the car ride home and all throughout dinner, Garrett retold us about his harrowing adventure of bumping his head and visiting the doctor (as if we hadn’t been there with him.) Even though most of it was babble, I could tell that Garrett’s “tall tales” of bodily harm were getting worse and worse with every retelling of the story. I was waiting for him to tell us how he used his sharp toenail and a piece of string from his shirt to stitch his own head back together – without Novocain!

Once the kids were asleep and everything calmed down, I finally had that glass of wine GWE offered me hours earlier…and then I followed it up with a glass of scotch!

We’re Gonna Potty (Train) like it’s 2010!

underwearI have been changing diapers every single day since 2006. I have officially had enough! The time has come to induct our youngest son into the Pantheon of Potty Pishers! We are now 6 days away from the potty training known as “Poo-mageddon 2014!”

Much like his older brother did 4 years ago, Garrett will spend this upcoming weekend locked in our house with an agenda and a daddy on a mission. Once again, GWE will be out of town…thereby allowing The Priluck Men to conduct “Man Business.”

Justin, Garrett, and I will be armed with nothing more than a package of clean underwear, special toys that I have chosen as Garrett’s rewards, and an alarm that will go off every hour on the hour alerting us to “Return to the Potty.” For 48 hours, I expect this house to stink. But, in the end, it will stink with the foul odor…of victory!!!!

Justin and I were successful with this routine several years ago. You can read about it here.

Wish us luck!!

How to Play “Clue” (The Garrett Edition)

Who? Me?

Who? Me?

When I was a kid, one of my favorite board games was “Clue.” The premise was simple: Correctly identify the murderer, the murder weapon, and the murder location.

It was a thrill to correctly guess, “Professor Plum, with the lead pipe, in the library!”

We also had a version of this game in college where you would have to correctly identify the co-ed, how far she was willing to “go,” and where she was willing to do it.

The best I ever got was (name withheld), who liked to (act withheld), in the (location withheld.)

This game has taken on a whole new meaning now that Garrett is at daycare. The school has a policy of notifying both sets of parents if there is an “incident” among two students. Periodically we get calls from daycare that begin, “Garrett’s fine, but…” and then we are told about a biting or shoving incident.

For GWE and I, this has now become a new version of “Clue!” The revised rules are: 1) Correctly identify the child who instigated the behavior, 2) Correctly identity the behavior, and 3) Correctly identity the location of the incident. You get extra bonus points if you can correctly identify what on the other child was injured!

On Thursday, GWE got a call from daycare and before she was able to start the conversation I whispered to her: “Garrett, in the toddler room, with his teeth. And for the bonus points….Um…..on Colin’s arm.” GWE struggled to keep a straight face as she spoke with Garrett’s teacher. (FYI – I was wrong. It was Garrett, on the playground, on the stairs, with his teeth on the child’s back.)

We’ve been playing this game for a few weeks now. It’s much more difficult than you could possibly imagine!!

Lightning McQueen’s Hit and Run…Away From Daddy

CarWhen Justin was a younger, his grandparents bought him a Lightning McQueen car that he could drive. He loved it, but I think he only drove it a couple of times because the jolt of speed scared him. For a while, Lightning stayed in the living room and then it was moved to the shed. Finally, it found a home outside under a tarp. I assumed it would be there until the day we moved.

One afternoon while playing in the backyard, Garrett discovered the Lightning McQueen car and wanted to play with it. I pulled Lightning over to the back patio, cleaned him off, and watched as Garrett squealed while climbing in and out of the driver’s seat. As great as Garrett thought this toy was, he had no idea it moved! I re-attached the battery and instructed him to put his foot on the grey petal and then…he was OFF!! He loved it, but had no idea how to use the steering wheel. That didn’t matter to him. He was driving!

A few weeks after Garrett discovered his love for driving, I had to take the trash out. Garrett followed me outside and I watched as he climbed into his car. After a few minutes of hearing Lightning say, “Speed? I am Speed!” and “Ka-Chow,” I heard Garrett hit the petal. The next thing I heard was “CRACK”……..”SPLASH!!!!!!!”


I quickly turned around to see that Garrett had driven his Lightning McQueen car into the main PCV water pipe for the sprinkler system, thereby snapping it in half. I saw a geyser of water shoot straight into the air and then rain down on top of Garrett. The look on his face was a mixture of confusion, fear, and the shocking realization of being hit by cold water. I immediately raced over to him, scooped up his soaking wet body, took him into the house (after yelling for GWE to help,) and then turned off the main water valve to the house.

Who needs a tow truck? Not this guy! I'll push it to the body shop!

Who needs a tow truck? Not this guy! I’ll push it to the body shop!

What started out as a calm Saturday morning ended up costing me $300 in plumbing fees, several hours without working toilets, and a scraped fender on (what used to be a mint condition) 2009 Lightning McQueen!

So, now I have questions- why did Garrett refuse to take the breathalyzer at the scene of the accident? (Was he drinking nonfat milk or was he drunk on 2% again?) And more importantly, will Garrett’s insurance cover my property damage???