My Favorites

I suspect that if hunger, thirst, and fatigue were perfectly mixed, I could be on fire and one of my kids might still ask me for milk. “I can’t do that right now, I’m on fire.” “But I want milk! Pleeeeasssse?” “Ok, Ok, I’ll get the milk and THEN extinguish myself.”

It makes no sense, but it’s the only way our species can survive. It’s as if my love for them was soldered onto my brain like hunger and fatigue. “Did you just try to poke my eye out? Come back here and give me a giant hug.” The fact that they’re cute definitely has something to do with it, but I know they might only be cute to me. Continue…

Holy shit, DO NOT break a glass in my house. You’d get less of a reaction from my wife if you set yourself on fire. Yesterday, I dropped a small ceramic ramekin (I am not ashamed of knowing what a ramekin is) which broke into a few pieces on the kitchen counter. Lindsay dashed into the room as if she’d heard  a pregnant woman was trying to move a chair, or my father was poised to drop an orange peel into the garbage disposal.

It’s not that she’s particularly attached to this specific ramekin. In fact, she suffers from an undiagnosed psychological disorder that causes her intense mental discomfort if she touches unglazed pottery (a hundred times worse than fingernails on a chalkboard, she says.) That should have made the ramekin’s demise a nonevent,  but unfortunately, her manic fear of broken glass trumps her aversion to kiln-fired clay. Continue…

Five years ago, I could shower whenever I wanted. Nothing was stopping me from turning the dial to that bullshit “massage” setting and standing under its annoyingly weak pulse for an hour at 2pm on a Saturday.

It’s much better now that our boys are older, but when one of them was 2 and the other an infant, taking a shower was an event that had to be scheduled and announced. Specifics about its length, and the inclusion of other bathroom activities had to be communicated. ”Would now be an OK time to take a shower?” is something my wife and I asked each other almost every other day. Continue…

I was thirteen years old when I told airport security my dad had a gun. Had it been post 9/11, we might have missed our international flight while a powdery latex glove attached to a GED recipient searched my father’s cavities.

He’d accepted a year-long teaching position in Florence, Italy. We invited my best friend “S.P.” to come with us; an offer he accepted with a vigor that stunned his parents into providing their blessing. I understand it seems odd for a thirteen year-old to up and leave for Europe with his friend’s parents. You should know that S.P’s name was Sigmund Polk Jones, and at eleven years old, he had thick black leg hair, wore colorful neckties to school, and had “dear friends” that were girls. Continue…

I peed my pants at a gymnastics training facility yesterday. I didn’t pee my pants so much as I peed into my pants. Maybe that’s not a clear enough distinction. I didn’t have my pants on when I peed into them. Well, I guess, technically, I did have them on, but they were down at my ankles. This sounds terrible. I was in the bathroom of the gymnastics facility sitting on the toilet with my pants down around my ankles. On Sundays, they turn it into a kid’s play Mecca for 2 hours. Wow, I really don’t know how to tell a story do I? Continue…

Sometime around 5:30 the four of us huddle around our plastic folding table in the kitchen to have “dinner.” We aren’t so poor that we have to use outdoor tables inside, it’s just an oddly shaped space that apparently only fits furniture from the Rubbermaid collection. We could have one built for us, but that costs more than our house.

The table is really supposed to be used outside where the grass can hold it in place. On wood floors, it glides around like an air hockey puck, meaning one of us is always too far from or too close to our food. Continue…

  1. Challenge yourself every day. Try climbing the stairs carrying two soccer balls while wearing your father’s shoes. Remember, failure IS an option.
  2. De-clutter! Start by throwing all your dishes in the garbage. After that I suggest toothbrushes and important paper work.
  3. Pee on the floor and stomp in it like a puddle. You’ll be shocked how much better you feel.
  4. Whether the glass is half empty or half full is irrelevant if you dump it out on the sofa. You’re welcome.
  5. If you’re feeling aggressive, or just bored, scream in a cat’s face.
  6. Don’t ever be afraid to hand someone an ice cube while they’re on the toilet.
  7. Continue…

Brooks Brother’s 2pm sharp. It was very important that I was on time. My father in law (whom everyone called “Mouse”) became squirmy when people were late. Having things organized and running on time made him feel calm. His second wife had taken her furniture from their house after the divorce, leaving him only with lamps, extension cords, and tennis racquets, which he organized neatly into piles smattered around his otherwise barren house. He didn’t need furniture. As long as he had a tennis racquet in the morning, and a party in the evening, he was happy. He was a warm, unapologetic eccentric. Continue…

Each of these “emotions” lasts about 3 seconds.
  1. I wanna play with Daddy’s phone.
  2. I wanna put on Mommy’s shoes.
  4. I wanna open and close the thermostat.
  5. I wanna turn on and off the light on the microwave.
  6. Is there anyone here with a phone I haven’t played with yet?
  8. I wanna pick up the cat by its head.
  9. I wanna throw all the toothbrushes in the sink.
  13. I want out of my chair.
  14. I wanna play with the iPad.
  15. Continue…