Day 352: Now it’s Official

Apparently, my entire being oozes “DAD.” I’ve got no problem with that identity; it’s my favorite one yet, but when I received slippers, three coffee mugs, and a “comfy sweater” (among other things) as gifts this morning, my brain sent my body an emergency signal to start wheezing and making thicker nose hair. How long before I get a cushiony heated toilet seat that lights up and plays Evenflow by Pearl Jam when I sit on it?  I wrote that in jest, but I think I actually want it.

Apparently, “Coffee” and “Not getting dressed” would be the number one and two answers if we were playing Family Feud and the question was “What does your dad like?” Couldn’t they have at least thrown a carabiner in there too, just to send a message that they believe I might still be able to climb stuff? Put a picture of a mountain bike, or a one-hitter packed full of marijuana in my slippers. Even a bandana would send a message. Something.

I asked for most of this. Some days I don’t put on shoes until 3pm, and I frequently find my feet to be colder than I’d like. I also yawn a lot and am very particular about the handle girth of my coffee mugs. Perhaps, though, in one of those mugs, there could have been hidden a gift certificate for a hot air balloon ride, or an online class about chakras. They would have gone unused, but it’s the encouragement that counts.

Now that my kids are old enough to be thoroughly hopped-up on Christmas goofballs, the whole shebang is for them – as it should be. Money permitting, I can buy myself whatever I want, but my children simply wander around the house with empty pockets and no car, just hoping their parents took note when they showed interest in a friend’s drumset (we did). Lindsay and I try to get each other something nice – I got a shirt I wanted from Victorinox, and she an iPod Nano and a pair of Frye boots – but beyond one or two big ticket items, all the real effort goes into making sure our kids feel like Christmas morning is insanely dope (their words).

And yes, of course, it’s not about the gifts. It’s clearly about cookies, ham, and the look on my dad’s face when he opened his new HP touchpad tablet computer.

Actually, the two best things were when Silas showed pride in giving, and Arlo (2) stripped down to try on every gift of clothing immediately upon opening it, then ran around like a madman showing everyone. The uncomplicated joy of my boys is all this slippered zombie king needs.

Warm feet. Big hugs. Full battery. Can’t lose.

P.S. Hi to all my Jewish, Muslim, etc. readers!

I'm a contributing writer to Parents Magazine, GQ, Psychology Today and some others. My book, "This is Ridiculous. This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists" is available here Look for two more books in 2015: "Must. Push. Buttons (Bloomsbury Kids), and an as-of-yet untitled memoir I’ve appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out." I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons and enjoy making them laugh more than anyone else.

8 comments On Day 352: Now it’s Official

  • I remember those days. My oldest loved every present he got – clothes? Hooded penguin towel? Book? Best gift ever. Now Lego Star Wars get the best reception. But they still love the gifts once the Christmas crazies wear off. My 2 year old is wearing his Lowly Worm shirt with pride and my oldest really does like the book he got. My 4 1/2 year old has autism and he is always happy after opening one gift. He loves that gift no matter what and is unconcerned with the rest. Kids are amazing and we are lucky to have them!

  • my husband said the same thing about being 34 and a dad when he got socks, another pair of plaid pajama pants, and a basketball to help him shed some lbs..

  • How much to fly Jasper out for a day or two? Just for an interview.

  • These are the things I can count on: the Indian run deli across the street being open this morning and a post from you for reading aloud in the car on the ride home from grandpa’s. Merry Christmas!

  • So no snake huh?! Man I was sooo looking forward to a Good snake story…hope you got the last name reference there! HA

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