Posts Tagged parenting

Violence in Movies and Sex on TV…


Like any other day, son was his usual self. He went to school, played outside, and watched TV. When he explained to me that he wanted to stick something sharp into a fish to kill it, he alarmed me. I asked, “Why would you want to kill a fish?:

“So we can eat it…”

“Have you seen this?”

“When [daughter] caught a catfish Poppa hit something sharp in its head and it bleed”

Now, wife and I have been worried that perhaps the superhero TV shows and stories, even action figures, are giving son the wrong idea and creating an unhealthy, violent environment. How soon we forget that life is violent. If we lived on a farm, perhaps he would have a more intimate knowledge of death.

Is it a good idea? Well, it doesn’t matter. That’s life. Molly died..he dealt with it. I think perhaps we compare children and see that son is more “vigorous” than daughter and worry that he is headed toward psychological damage. Truth is, I think men are from Jupiter and women are from Saturn. As if I would repeat that stupid cliche…

As long as son still finds joy watching The Octonauts, I will rest assured he is still our little boy. Now, if he would just go to bed…

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The Reality of Reality TV

Why is the SyFy channel showing more reality dreck on TV? I pay for this channel so I can watch reruns of TV shows that engage me with quality story lines and B-movies that make me laugh at their horrible special effects. I don’t need reality; it’s mundane and trite.

As I lie in bed recovering from minor surgery, I was hoping for an escape from all the details I’m missing by not working, not writing (dissertation), and not parenting. When a trip to the bathroom becomes the highlight of my morning, I need to move on.
Daughter turned ten this week and now constantly reminds everyone she’s officially a tween. Next thing I know, she’ll want the car keys.

Meanwhile, today at son’s school, Santa is visiting. Yes, I think it’s the first week of November but the Big Man gets pretty busy this time of year. So, last night wife and I encouraged son to make a list of what he wants from Santa. See- Santa told me he wants to give him a bike, but the first words out of son’s mouth, “Zero bikes!” This might pose a bit of a problem…

As son was being toweled off and daughter was in shower, she had no problems spouting off everything she wants. Yes, I said it was her birthday recently and I may have mentioned she won a Kindle Fire HD and has an iTouch, but she wants a computer. I think it’s time she got ahold of some lowered expectations. I imagine Santa might be suggesting a bike for her as well. Heck, why don’t we all ask for bikes!

Speaking of bikes, I continue to research the best possible options to improve my tour de force in the 2nd leg of my next triathlon. I am hoping that a sale will occur at the same time that I actually have cash to buy one because they never seem to coincide.
I’ve noticed that sales are tricks, friends, meant to steal our hard earned cash by “enticing” us with a slightly better model for a modest increase in price. No, I want the cheap one to be cheaper. I don’t want the more expensive one to be just a touch pricier that I spend more money.

This is a lesson that I learned in college, not through education, but late night TV viewing. One night the wife comes into our apartment and catches me, phone and credit card in hand, buying…you guessed it! A Body by Jake Total Fitness Gym that had interchangeable bands for weighted resistance. Best damn clothes rack I ever bought!

Well, I won’t get any good feedback from the doctor until next week when the stitches come out and I get a set of X-rays. My fitness goal is to be cross-training until January 1st then hit the pavement. I have 9mos to reach my goal. Speaking of which, I saw a tweet that said Ironman Florida sold out in 30min. I just hope I get a starting spot at the 70.3 Augusta.

It seems SyFy has a whole damn day planned for Hollywood Collector so I guess I could actually read. My latest book is I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. Lets hope I never find out because I know they serve it in Heaven. Hey, wife! Get me a beer and make me a ham sammich.


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Bounce house bounties and the big oh-four

Thanks, TM!

The wails resonated through the empty garage from the front yard. It’s been 3minutes since Jumptastic! inflated the “All-Around Sports” Bounce House. Both excited, son and daughter raced inside and started laughing, giggling, bouncing…then, crying. Son was sobbing while covering his left eye and daughter groaned holding her hip. We had two hours until the party started and neither kid was happy.

I remember a Simpsons episode where Homer bought Bart a trampoline. As the day progressed more and more bodies lined the perimeter of the circle of death. Kids were bandaged, bleeding and other wise broken. As I stared at the bounce house, I was concerned with its safety but everything appeared to be okay. The main flaw was at the point of egress. Kids would bounce down the step in an attempt to quit and then bounce one final time head-first onto the concrete driveway. Luckily, no insurance companies have contacted us to introduce litigation.

Several months ago, wife suggested we host a party for son’s upcoming fourth birthday (after all, what’s more important than the big Oh-Four? Don’t ask wife about this…she’s working on speeding headlong into the big Four-Oh).  We had to work it into the schedule and finally had the opportunity for the past Sunday. We invited all of his friends and their parents; we turned football on the TV; we set up a “beverage center” and even had a popcorn machine.

While enjoying the newly constructed patio under the deck next to the play area, a friend from church and from the neighborhood were conversing with me when all three of us heard a shocking utterance. Is it possible for three grown men to mistake profanity (two of whom are teachers)? To this day, I swear one of the girls dropped the F-bomb. We all snapped our heads around towards the craft table. We looked at each other and quizzically asked, “Was that …?” Out of the mouth of babes…

The rest of the day went well, the Transformers cake featured both Optimus Prime and Megatron with a black and silver frosting adorned with mechanical gearing and red piping. Little did I realize that I would have the opportunity to see that color again when my son yelled, “I WENT, daddy, I WENT,” the next day in the throne room, or more specifically, circling the bowl.

The weekend was full of fun. The day before, Chuck E. Cheese hosted a birthday party for two boys from the neighborhood. Wife went and took son. After a 10mile run, she raced with him to the play center and rode rides and watched chromatic lights blink on and off, whirling her in a daze to the couch at home, nauseous to the point of danger.

Finally, Son’s birthday arrived and the grandparents came to visit, bring gifts of trains and trucks. Son’s favorite gift was a large green waste truck with lift arms in front and a dumpster. This is the one toy he wanted to take in the shower, sleep with, and spend every waking moment the next day speaking of it. This reinforces the idea that he wants to be a waste-management consultant when he grows up. Either way, he’ll be a real American Hero!

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Ruffle Ruffle and the Tooth Berry

As I sit here wounded and battered from last night’s fight club installment; whoops. Bruises and scratches adorn my body from a new game I invented with son where he kicks and claws at me, laughing hysterically the whole time.  “Ruffle” as he calls it, short for “rough and tumble,” is a cross between Mixed Martial Arts and UFC cage fighting. And yes, he wins every time.

               This week was special because son lost his first tooth. Hilariously, it was actually knocked out. Yes, son is a bruiser. It’ll go either way…prison or stardom; we’re on a wait-and-see program. The tooth had been loose for a while and with the desperate need for the tooth fairy to visit impending, wife bought the book, Bear Loses a Tooth, to help explain the idea and calm son with any concerns he may have. Well, in this story, the bear asks for blueberries from the tooth fairy so son asked for the same. But, the tooth fairy always brings a gold dollar. Do we tell her to change? Do we ask her for blueberries? Son knows little about money so he didn’t seem interested but the blueberries…oh, yeah!

Except the first thing out of his mouth when he sees the bowl is, “she brought me too much…” Wife cannot believe the fact that son didn’t fall over with gratitude. What’s with that, anyway? Every time wife or I offer son a hug or help when he is hurt, we get kicked, hit or bitten. I know I should read Dr. Spock’s famous child rearing book or something like that, but I would prefer to simply watch Mr. Spock on Star Trek. So how long until we see the results of the fruits of our labor? As soon as I find out, I’ll let you know.

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Why football is not my fantasy and the catfish shootout

“Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever.” –Shane Falco, The Replacements. For the first time in ten years, football season is approaching and I feel like saying, “myeh.” I cancelled DirecTV Sunday Ticket, I quit fantasy football, and I am actually not that excited to go to the Georgia-Vanderbilt game. What is wrong with me? Basically, my life is full. Following the leaky bucket theory, as new things arrive in my immediate concern, the more things drip out the bottom.

Now, you are probably wondering what my life is full of. Well, for starters, sheep dip, but beyond that I have 2hours per day of fitness, 8hours of work, 30min thinking about my dissertation (30more if I actually work on it), helping get the kids off to school, helping the kids get to bed, and one psychotic three-year-old and a overly dramatic tween. So when, pray tell, am I supposed to squeeze in a three hour football game?

Wife won’t let play son play football. “Too dangerous.”

I say to her, “No more than soccer.” Silence.


Most of my conversations with wife are one sided. It’s not that she or I don’t listen to each other. Sometimes, I actually hear too much. Really, my wife says something; I disagree; she reiterates her idea; I agree. Now that you look at it, it actually seems balanced when she wins.

This summer, grandfather took daughter to fish at a nearby lake where a ten pound catfish became the prize of the day. Not wanting to diminish the responsibilities of dealing with the results of hunting, fishing, etc. grandfather taught daughter how to clean a catfish.

Warning: Graphic material ahead. You see, the best way to clean a catfish is to get a plank, place the fish on the plank, and drive a nail through its skull, firmly keeping the fish in place. Then, the skin is peeled off. Catfish don’t have scales. Both son and daughter watched in horror. Should we have let son watch? Only time and psycho-analysis will tell, but the other day, son told me that fish and people have the same kind of “bleed.” Great…

Here’s a TV lesson I learned. No, not from TV, about TV. The other day when I went to turn on the television for son, I manually (that means without the remote) turned the set on, bent over to press the DirecTV DVR power button, and clicked the sound receiver on. When all of this happened the shootout scene from Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider came on immediately while son watched men be shot down as fast as good ol’ Clint could pull the triggers, yes- two guns. I scrambled for the remote, but alas, it was nowhere to be found. Now, it wasn’t the office scene from The Matrix where Neo and Trinity approach the building strapped with weapons and annihilate everything and everyone, but…son’s eyes were fixated on this.

So, what was the lesson? Make sure you have the remote and it works BEFORE you turn something on. Invariably, it was left on the most violent channel running a violent show.

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Boldly going where I’ve gone before

My last day of summer was spent in an orthopedic surgeon’s office learning that I had suffered a stress fracture during Tri the Mountains in Blue Ridge, GA. So, everyone at work on Fridays asks what happened, what now, do you own stock in casts? Really?!? That’s what I had to look forward to heading back to work. Meanwhile, my dad watched the kids since I was at work and they had not started school yet. Bonus: I drove the latest Lexus SUV to work. Man, people gawked at me… No, I didn’t hit the lotto. Trust me, had I won, I wouldn’t be working.

Last night, family went to Matilda’s in the ’05. It is a BYOB music venue where local bands can gain a wide audience. We went to see a friend’s band. While I was there, I spoke with a neighbor who is more into scifi and fantasy than I am. Get this…She wore a Superman T-shirt to see Stan Lee. The horror! Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory would have busted a nut. I am more like Leonard except 10 inches taller, no PhD in physics.

Today, I had to force son to STOP cleaning with the swiffer. He did it for an entire hour. It sounds great until he used the sweeper to clean the walls and ceiling. Then, he demanded to watch TV. So, I suggest the Olympics..he says, “No!” why does my family not want to watch that stuff? I mean, Bob Costas can make Water Polo exciting. Well, not really… (sorry fans of the sport) Now, I am suffering through Caillou as daughter slurps on a lemonade Popsicle two inches from my ear. You gotta be kidding me!

Wife is sick but suffers on as she ignores the symptoms with sudafed. Now, son has caught her “cold” and we’ll have a doctor’s visit when he develops an ear or sinus or both infection. Now, he is laying on the dog pillow stating he does NOT have to go potty. The kid holds it for hours. He is BladderMan. Wait! That didn’t sound very cool. In fact, that was gross.

I would like to say this is my first rodeo with a fracture, but then I’d be lying. I am boldy going where I’ve (unfortunately) gone before. I can deal with everything except the same damn questions. If you ask, I’ll tell you, “Shark Bite.”


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Psss Don’t Tell Wife

Does anyone REALLY enjoy family vacations? Too many people stuffed in places with too few beds; but, hey… at least it’s close to the beach. Our vacations aren’t like that. We have plenty of room and enjoy each other’s company. Sound like a fairy tale? Maybe. I probably am exaggerating a bit. Truth is, my in-laws are ready to kick me to the curb by Friday.

I remember my summers at the beach as I grew up. No AC, sand in the bed. The saving grace was a Dairy Queen down the street where my girlfriend worked so she would give me extra size cones for free. Psss, don’t tell wife. She might get jealous. She worked at 31 Flavors and did not have the dip cone to offer.

Wife and daughter have gone to a national dance competition to spend the week learning, and dancing. Heck, I don’t know what they’re doing. I’ve never been to one. Meanwhile, son and I are partying it down in the ’05 with ladies and cold beverages. Psss, don’t tell wife. Realistically, son and I are having a good time. He actually went to sleep last night without crying. Nap time is a different story. He does not seem to want to stop playing legos and this new toy wife bought called “stomp rocket” where he slams his foot down and a foam rocket launches into the stratosphere (or merely the ceiling).

Don’t believe everything you see

Truth is, son wanted to go to the frog pool more than he wanted the beach. After six hours in the car, he kept begging to go to the pool. Yeah, sand and surf beckoning and he longs for the chlorine. He loves the ocean as does wife and daughter. Mmmm, I like the surf, but hate the sand. I despise needing two showers a day. Heck, I haven’t showered since Monday. Psss, don’t tell wife.

Recently, we had everyone over on Father’s Day. As soon as both fathers arrived, they wondered why we didn’t have the U.S. Open Golf Tournament on. Watching Happy Gilmore as I write this speaks true to my heart. My father urged me to play golf when I was young. As mother-in-law can attest to the idea, I peaked at an early age. one great moment this vacation was the mile and a half open water swim in the Atlantic. Tri the Mountains in Blue Ridge, Georgia, is coming in a week. I just need to make training a full time job. As wife says, only hobos have enough time to make it work, but, alas, all they have is mountain bikes. BTW, I do, in fact have a mountain bike that allows me to be passed uphill and down. Dear Santa…

Every night is Syfy night at casa del ’05 since wife is away. Maybe when she gets back, I’ll let her in talk me into a Rom-Com. Psss, don’t tell wife. After all, a happy wife means a happy house.

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