“That’s All I Need, Daddy!”

As I stopped at the gas station this morning, I opened the back door and discovered a collection of toys, stuffed animals, kids’ clothing, baby wipes (new and used), a musical instrument, a video game to a Nintendo 3DS, an instruction packet (to another game I’ve never heard of,) two “sippy” cups (one with old milk….or new cottage cheese,) one sock, a Zooble, and two cars seats filled with “Lexus Trail Mix.” What is “Lexus Trail Mix” you ask? Old Fruit Loops, Corn Pops, raisins, crunchies, gummy bears, and what are either dead grapes or blueberries. (I’m still not sure which.)

It dawned on me that both of my sons have turned into “The Jerk.” When going for a ride in the car, they don’t need anything – except this, that, and the other thing. All it made me think about was this scene:

Hey Baby! You’re ugly, but you intrigue me. Let’s go back to my crib!

It’s 4:30am. Do you know where your children are?

When I was in college, my buddies and I had a system for determining which women (we met in bars) were attractive and which ones were not. It was a very scientific, well-thought out method. Einstein would have been proud. The formula was as such: “Time of Night” times “Amount of Alcohol Consumed” divided by “Need for Companionship” equals “X”. (X) = Cuteness Factor. For example, a ”9:00pm -Oh, hell no!” could (with time, alcohol, and “need”) become a “12:00am – She’s cute.” I remember a few nights when friends took home girls who started as a “10:00pm – I think that’s a dude” but became a “1:30am – Her lazy eye and limp are sexy.” Luckily, when I was in a bar, I played by The Kenny Rogers’ Rule: You gonna know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em. I always felt that it was better to walk away early than to try and chew off my own arm the next morning to escape.

Now that I’m older, wiser, and a parent – I’ve been wondering if the “Cuteness Factor” can be applied to my own children.

Several nights ago, Garrett began to cry at 4:15am. Usually, I would chalk this up to a nightmare or maybe he got his foot stuck between the bars of the crib. I assumed that he would be fine given a few moments. But he wasn’t. He continued to cry…and cry…and cry…and cry. At 4:30, I went in to get him. I changed his diaper, checked to make sure that he was in one piece, and then I returned him to the crib. Once again, he began to cry…and cry…and cry. At that moment, the reality hit me that I had to stay up with him.

Together, we got a drink of milk, played with his toys, rough-housed, had a little more milk, watched television, sang songs, read a book, rough housed some more, and then I made him an early breakfast. As we sat on the sofa, I looked over at him to see if his “cuteness factor” warranted my lack of sleep. I looked at his giant head, his pudgy legs, his mop of curly hair, and the drool and snot that was rolling off of his face. He turned to look at me while I was staring at him. He smiled….and then, he burped and farted at the same time, looked very surprised, and then laughed out loud.

“Oh, I didn’t see you there!”

Yup – he’s “4:30am – Cute Enough for Me!”

The Week of Men

"Yay!! Daddy's lost control!!!"

If you follow the “real” me on Facebook, you know that I’ve spent the past week balancing the needs of my clients with the demands of running my company all while providing the sole care for my boys because GWE was out of town. Periodically, I would chronicle what was happening – like “Robinson Crusoe” being trapped on a deserted island observing the mutineers, captives, and cannibals. Here is my “Captain’s Log” for the past six days:

Week of Men, Day 1: GWE has been gone for 10 minutes. There are already whispers of mutiny among the ranks. Or, baby farts. Not sure which….

Week of Men, Day 2: I was woken up by the sounds of “whale-mating” on the baby monitor. I rushed into Garrett’s room to find him “sucking face” with his own image in the baby mirror. Kid’s got skills!

Week of Men, Day 3: Up at 5:35am. Not cool. Garrett was singing LOUDLY and Justin decided to pee LOUDLY. It is going to be a very long day.

Week of Men, Day 3.5: For the love of God, how can it only be noon?!?!? I’ve fed the kids six times and one of them is on nap #3. The bigger one refuses to wear clothes and the smaller one has been crying because he is teething again. I’m going to my inner “happy place” now.

Week of Men, Day 4: I was woken up at 5:51am to Garrett saying “da-da” through the monitor. I was so excited that I raced into his room. He looked at me, smiled, and (again) said “da-da.” I was thrilled!! Then, he looked at the green monkey on the wall, “da-da!” And then he looked at his taggie, “da-da.” Okay – one out of three ain’t bad!!

Week of Men, Day 4.5: I just looked over and both Justin and Garrett are watching TV on the sofa while scratching their privates like Spider Monkeys. My house has become “Planet of the (Nut-Scratching) Apes!”

“It’s 4:45 in the morning….Let’s play!”

Week of Men, Day 5: Up at 4:45am thanks to Garrett screaming like a maniac because his foot was stuck in between the crib bars. At 5:10, Justin walked in and went into great detail about the water squirting aliens in his dreams. Can’t take much more. I may “safe drop” myself at the local fire station today.

Week of Men, Day 6: Let’s see – went to sleep at 2am after finishing a tracking grid for a client, Garrett woke up at 5am and called me Da-Da (got it on tape), Justin yelled at me for turning off his radio and lights in the middle of the night, did the dishes, bathed the baby, made breakfast for everyone, fed the baby, made lunch for everyone, left the house, got to the gas station, Justin yelled at me for forgetting his “Angry Bird” and then I realized that I also left my wallet at home in the diaper bag, went back home, got the wallet (and Angry Bird), handled a client crisis via cell while going back to the gas station, went to school, dropped off kids. Handled a second client request via email while driving – (sorry to everyone on the 405). Got back in the car, made my way past a huge accident, and was in the office for my 10 am conference call. My life has turned into a crazy Japanese game show!

As I am finishing this blog post, GWE just texted me that she has landed and is on her way home. I hope she is well rested because tonight – I’m taking 2 Tylenol PMs with a Sparkling Rabbi and I don’t plan on waking up until the bed sheets need changing!

4 Out of 5 Dentists Agree…

No children were harmed in the making of this blog post…

…….Ok, that’s a lie. Only one child was harmed, but he is feeling much better now!

As a family, we practice good oral hygiene. I am the son of a dentist, which makes Justin the grandson of a dentist. Justin playfully refers to his grandfather as “Papa.” However, when he is in “Papa’s” dental office getting his teeth checked, he is all business and formally refers to my dad as “Doctor Papa.” Clean teeth are a priority!

As per his usual routine, several nights ago Justin went into our bathroom to brush his teeth. While he was in there, GWE and I sat at the kitchen table and for a few quiet moments we got a chance to catch up with one another. All of a sudden we heard Justin grunting from the bathroom. The grunts quickly got higher and louder as Justin ran into the kitchen yelling, “HOT, HOT, HOT!!” He looked panicked and there was a white, toothpaste-like foam coming out of his mouth as if he was a rabid dog. GWE and I looked at each other and thought the same thing, “It’s toothpaste. How hot could it be?”

Justin became more panicked and screamed more, “HOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOT!!!!!” GWE quickly took him over to the kitchen sink and washed out his mouth with cold water. When all of the toothpaste had been washed away, he continued to writhe in pain. “IT BURNS!!!!!” he complained. GWE turned to Justin and asked, “Did you use toothpaste?” He nodded yes. She responded, “Show me.”

Together, they went back to the bathroom. Not 15 seconds had passed when I heard, “JASON – GET IN HERE NOW!!” I ran to the bathroom. GWE turned to Justin and instructed him to show me which toothpaste he used. (Keep in mind, there are usually 2 or 3 toothpaste tubes behind the faucet.) Justin reached over and slid open a drawer on my side of the bathroom. He pulled out a box, opened it, and showed me the tube of “paste” he had used to brush his teeth. He had accidentally used “Icy Hot.”

Side note: For those of you who don’t know what Icy Hot is – it’s a pain relieving topical cream meant to ease muscle aches, back pain, and arthritis. It is not meant to clean your teeth.

GWE continued to rinse Justin’s mouth with cold water as I re-opened the package to see if there were any warnings regarding accidentally ingesting the product. Halfway down the back of the box it states: “WARNING: Keep out of reach of children. In case of accidental ingestion, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.”


Without causing any alarm to my wife or child, I briskly walked back into the kitchen and looked for the emergency contact numbers. I found the number for poison control. (It’s 1-800-222-1222, if you should ever need it.) A pleasant, English-speaking woman answered the phone. I informed her that my son had brushed his teeth with Icy Hot and I wanted to know what I needed to do.

She calmly asked me Justin’s age and weight. She then asked if he actually swallowed any of the paste. At this point, Justin and GWE were standing by me in the kitchen. I leaned down and asked, “Justin, did you swallow any of that toothpaste?” He answered “no.” I relayed that to the operator. She responded with the following: based on his age and weight, he would have had to ingest several tablespoons of Icy Hot for there to be a problem. But, just to be safe, she suggested making him drink a glass of milk. We gave him the milk and forced him to drink every last drop.

It took a few moments for the tension of this incident to pass, but once it did – Justin was fine (although GWE is still psychologically scarred from this event.) While tucking Justin into bed later that night, I once again asked him if he was okay. He replied, “Yes daddy. But, I don’t like that toothpaste. It tasted minty-hot.”

What The Hell Are You Wearing?

In my line of work, it’s not uncommon to hear “Who are you wearing?” Hollywood and the fashion industry tend to go hand-in-hand. However, the question not often asked is “What the hell are you wearing?” and the possible follow-up, “What’s that smell?” After this morning, no amount of showering or detergent will be able to wash away the multitude of “specimens” I found myself wearing.

At 6am, Garrett woke up. I rushed into the kitchen and made him an 8 ounce bottle of formula. As per our usual routine, I went to his room with the bottle, got him out of the crib, changed him, and then fed him. After about 6 ounces, Garrett decided to stop eating and he waived off the bottle. I thought it was weird because The Priluck Boys are bottomless pits. Garrett turned towards me, smiled, and then blasted me with all 6 ounces of hot, milk spit-up. It covered his pajamas, my shirt, my pants, and the chair. I placed him on his changing table and proceeded to change him a second time.

While he was naked on the changing table, I decided to “eat his chicken wings.” (This is something I started with Justin. Basically, you lift the child’s arm, stick your face into their armpit, and then chow down as they laugh.) As I buried my face into his armpit, I quickly realized that his teething slobber had made its way out of his mouth, down his chin, across his chest, and into his armpit. My face was now covered in his “slime.” After my aborted tickling opportunity, Garrett half rolled over towards me and then sprayed me with pee-pee. I think it was his way of saying, “Hey, asshole! Don’t forget my diaper.” I quickly diapered him and then changed my clothes.

Thirty minutes later, Justin joined us in the kitchen and announced that he wanted waffles for breakfast. I prepared his breakfast as required. However, as I was putting away the syrup, it slipped out of my hand and hit the ground. Normally, I would think “no big deal” because it’s in a plastic container. Somehow I dropped it at just the right angle and as it hit the ground, it exploded. There was syrup everywhere – the sink, the counter, down the sides of the cabinets, the floor, and finally – all over me! I cleaned it the best I could, but now we have a sticky kitchen floor. (To GWE – Hi, honey. Can you pick up some syrup on the way home? We’re out.)

They say that women who live together long enough end up having their cycles sync. I suspect that we have a version of that in our house as well. When one child is eating, the other becomes hungry. Garrett decided that he was hungry again after watching Justin maul his waffles. (And, who wouldn’t be hungry after spitting up?) I made him a breakfast of bananas mixed with rice cereal. After three bites, he stopped and made a strange face. He then proceeded to sneeze a mixture of bananas and boogers on me. We shall call this “Banoogers.” Gross.

I finished feeding Garrett and moved on to feed our fish. As I opened the lid to drop in the flakes, “Fred the Undead” decided to angrily splash tank water on me. My seven year old, 99 cent, one-eyed, no finned, no longer gold, goldfish managed to “flap” his poop water at me in an effort to tell me that it was time to clean the tank.

As I walked back into the bedroom to FINALLY take a shower, I ended up stepping on a half-sucked throat lozenge courtesy of Justin. I have no idea why he thought it was a good idea to just spit it out onto the floor. I didn’t mind at this point. I was already sticky from the syrup.

And finally, after stepping out of the shower, I noticed a little patch of scruff that I had missed while shaving yesterday. With one swipe, I shaved the area and still managed to nick myself enough to bleed. Fantastic!

Let’s recap. Before 8:30am, I was wearing:

  1. Spit Up
  2. Slobber slime
  3. Pee-pee
  4. Syrup
  5. Bananas + Boogers = Banoogers
  6. Disgusting fish tank water
  7. Half sucked lozenge
  8. Blood

So, I say unto all you fathers out there living with young children – What the hell are YOU wearing today?!?!?!

The Vanishing Spit-Up

GWE discovered that if you let Garrett have 30-40 sucks on the bottle and then immediately burp him, he has a much better chance of not spitting up all over himself, us, the furniture, the plants, the aquarium, etc. We’ve been diligent about getting a burp out of him before we continue to feed him. Last night was no different – It was just past 1am and I had just finished feeding Garrett his bottle. I burped him well and then he lazily “lounged” in my arms in his milk-drunk stupor.

After his feeding, I decided that I was hungry as well. So, I went into the kitchen and made a small bowl of cereal – Frosted Mini-Wheats to be precise. With Garrett cradled in one arm and a cold bowl of cereal in the other, I made my way back to the sofa to watch a little television. As I sat, I balanced Garrett on my left leg and placed the cereal bowl between my legs. I had a bite or two of cereal when all of a sudden Garrett’s eyes popped open. He “flung” his little body forward and proceeded to make a burp/spit-up/heaving sound that reminded me of a large cat coughing up a wet fur ball.

Immediately, I assumed that he spit-up everywhere. I was waiting for the hot (and then instantly cold) splash of vomit to cover my shirt and pants…..but nothing. I looked at my clothes, no spit up. I checked out his Onesie, no spit-up. I looked on the sofa, no spit-up. I looked at the carpet, still – no spit-up. At that point, I thought that I was in the clear – no spit-up! It was just an awful burp.

And then I looked at my lap and saw the bowl of cereal…..my WHITE, MILKY cereal. His head has been directly over it when he burped. I honestly couldn’t tell if there was spit-up in my cereal or not. It looked ok….but all of his spit-ups look WHITE and MILKY!!! I used the spoon to poke at each exposed mini-wheat. Nothing……

At 1:15am I seriously thought – “do I continue eating the cereal or not?” I looked into Garrett’s eyes for answers. He stared back at me, smiled, and then farted.

I decided to throw the cereal out.