Go Directly To Jail

Jail-1One afternoon last weekend, Justin and I found ourselves in Burbank running a few errands before going to a comedy show. As we were walking down the street, I realized that we were in front of the door leading to the Burbank Jail. Justin wasn’t paying attention because he was walking while playing with my iPad. (He was multi-tasking.) 

We were only there for a few seconds when Justin took notice of the police car that stopped next to us. Two officers got out of their car and they escorted the person from the back of their car through the door marked ‘Entrance.’  

Justin waited until the door was closed before asking me the following question: “Daddy? Why is that man going to jail?” 

Without missing a beat, I replied, “That’s what happens when you don’t finish your school work.” 

I could see the blood drain from his face. Once he realized I was kidding, he laughed…and probably breathed a huge sigh of relief!



“Say My Name”

CarThe most interesting fight broke out between Garrett and Justin the other day. The fascinating thing was – neither were wrong. The argument was about this one simple question: “What is my name?”

It began while riding in the car (as always) with Justin leaning over and whispering into Garrett’s ear, “Garrett, did you know that daddy’s name is Jason?” Garrett turned to him and gave him a look of absurdity and responded, “No, it’s not.”

“Yes! Daddy’s name is Jason.” Justin announced again, feeling slightly intellectually superior to his younger brother.

“NO…IT’S….NOT!!” yelled Garrett. “IT’S DADDY!”

“Yes, but his REAL name is Jason,” clarified Justin.

“NO….NO….NO….IT’S NOT!!! Daddy’s name is daddy! YOU SHUT UP!” screamed Garrett as he tried to defend my honor.

Justin did not like being told to shut up. Especially, from his younger brother. In an attempt to ‘one-up’ Garrett and deliver more shocking news, Justin continued with, “And, mommy’s name is Audra.”

Garrett, being of limited vocabulary and having had enough of his brother’s bullshit, made the following declaration: “MOMMY IS MOMMY. DADDY IS DADDY. AND NOW I’M GOING TO PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE.”

Justin thought it was funny…until Garrett followed through with his threat. A fist was thrown, contact was made….and “Down goes Frazier!! Down goes Frazier!! Down goes Frazier!!”

There’s nothing quite like dropping off two screaming, crying children at camp carpool as they continue to yell at each about the important issues in life….like, my name.


I love you very much

Bear3No other words have the power to melt your heart or betray your trust like the words, “I love you very much.” Especially, when coming from your own child.


Several weeks ago, Garrett started telling us that he “loved us very much” as part of his bedtime routine. Each time he said it, it felt special and unique. It was a great way to end the day. I would reply by giving him a tremendous hug and whispering in his ear that I loved him very much as well. This was our thing and it melted my heart each time he said it.


It was special….until Chip, Dale, and Teddi Barra from the Country Bear Jamboree entered our lives!!! (Well, technically, our brunch!)


For the past few years, we’ve taken the boys to the Mother’s Day brunch at The Grand Californian at Disneyland. It’s a fun event and they have a couple of characters wandering around the restaurant to hug and play with the children.


Garrett saw Teddi first and ran up to him to give him a huge hug. And then I heard him say, “I love you very much!” Huh?!?! Ok, probably just a fluke, I thought. I’m big and furry. Maybe he mistook the bear for me.



30 minutes later, Chip came by our table. (Maybe it was Dale. Doesn’t really matter.) Once again, Garrett ran up to Chip to give him a hug and said, “I love you very much.” What?!?!? He just gave the love meant for me to another fuzzy stranger??


30 minutes later, Dale came by. (Maybe it was Chip. Maybe it was Chewbacca. I dunno. They all look alike when you’re on a sugar high from eating too many Mickey Waffles.) Again, I heard my son profess his love to someone other than me.


Feeling scorned, I wanted to lash out. I wanted to whisper in Garrett’s ear about how Walt Disney was anti-Semitic, how those characters will never love him back, or worse – none of those characters are real!! I wanted to, but I didn’t.


Yes, I understand that a 3 year old doesn’t really understand the concept of love. Hell – I’ve met 40 year olds who don’t understand the concept of love. But, it was just one of those things that caught me off guard.


As I tucked him back into bed that night, he stood up to give me a hug. And then, he said those magical words: “I love you very much.”


Honestly, it was as special as it was the first time.

Justin Can Read Texts. We’re all Screwed.

TextingJustin was sitting next to me while I was texting with my sister. While I cannot remember what the context of the conversation was, I do remember ending the conversation with “Where else can you bury a dead stripper?”

It’s safe to say that the conversation was innocent. If I really needed advice on where to bury a dead stripper, I’m certainly not asking my sister. She’ll only ask me 1000 Human Resource questions to better understand my conflict with the stripper. (“How did you feel you managed your relationship with the stripper? Could you have found a way to communicate better with her?”)

Back to the story…

What I didn’t know was that Justin was reading my texts while I was typing them. He reads well…but, not fast. I noticed that Justin got quiet after I sent the text. After a few minutes he turned to me and asked, “Dad, why would you need to bury a dead SLIPPER?”

I took a moment to weigh the lesser of two evils. Do I tell him that he miss-read my text and then explain what a stripper is…and then why you might need to bury one? Or, do I explain why I would bury a slipper? I went with option two.

“Well, Justin…sometimes you might need to bury a slipper because it smells bad.” I answered.

And, if you think about it – the answer I gave could work for either “stripper/slipper” scenario.

What’s A Tape Deck?

While in the car, Justin took notice of something on the dash and asked me about it. “Daddy, what’s that for?” he asked while pointing to the gear shift.


“It’s a gear shift.” I responded. “No. Behind it.” he clarified.


“Oh, that’s the tape deck.” I answered.


There was a moment of silence and then he asked, “What’s a tape deck?” (Clearly, I have failed as a GenXDaddy if my son doesn’t know what a tape deck is!)


“Well, Justin. Music used to come on cassette tapes and you could play them in the car. You could also record on them. Mommy and I used to make mix tapes for each other when we were younger.” I thought that would answer his question. I was wrong. It just led to more questions:


Him: “What’s a mix tape?”

Me: “It’s like a playlist.”

Him: “With a lot of music?”

Me: “Not really. Maybe 8 or 10 songs. A few songs on one side and a few on the other side.”

Him: “It had sides?”

Me: “Yes, an A side and a B side.”

Him: “And you played it in the car?”

Me: “Yes, you put the cassette in here,” I said while I pointing to the slot for tapes, “and then in plays whatever is on the tapes.”




Him: “Can you put a tape in now? I want to hear it.”


And here is where I ran into a problem, I don’t think I have my old tapes. I think I transferred everything to my iPod. So, I had nothing to show him.


Me: “Sorry buddy. I don’t have any tapes to show you how this works.” (Honestly, it doesn’t work anymore. It stopped working a long time ago.)


At that point in the conversation, I jumped out of the car and ran into a store to pick something up. When I came back, this is what I found:




…After! (Yea, that’s my iPod!)

Me: “Justin! What did you do?”

Him: “I wanted to hear it play music!”


Siri, can you hear me????

(I posted this update yesterday on Facebook, but thought it was funny enough to repost on the blog. Enjoy!)

SiriI just got the iPhone 6 and it’s the first time I’ve had a Siri. Justin loves playing with the Siri feature, yet gets frustrated when “she” refuses to answer him because he forgets her name. He’s called her “Kristy,” “Kirsten,” and this morning he kept calling her “Candy.”

I tried explaining to him that women don’t like it when you call them by the wrong name. It’s better to learn that lesson now than when it REALLY matters.