Tag Archives: humor

Ugh, Big Important Parenting Milestones Are Just the Worst

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Pictured: A horse, definitely

Island Packet — I sing to my 2-year-old every night at bedtime. Usually it’s a combination of one or two or 18 songs from “Frozen,” a Jimmy Buffett song about a house party gone awry (role models, people) and “Goodnight Sweetheart.” Now, I am not what musicians or artists or humans with ears would call “a good singer,” but I’m apparently especially lousy at “Goodnight Sweetheart.” The other night, midsong, my 2-year-old stood up in his crib, leaned toward me, put his hands gently on each side of my face and said, “Stop.”

That was 8 p.m. At 7 a.m. the next day, he requested a shower, asked for diaper cream, told me he didn’t want to wear a diaper (thanks, but not your choice, Poops), announced he wanted a waffle and fetched one from the freezer (we eat really healthy), got a chocolate milk box, put the straw in and waddled out to the porch table to await his warm waffle. In the span of a few hours, he developed an ear for pitch and also grew up.

He’s doing other helpful things now too, like talking in complete sentences (“No, I want Daddy to do it”), remembering where he lost things (“My baby blanket is in the pool!”), and using the same words to describe things as the rest of us. That doesn’t work all the time; last night we argued for 10 minutes about whether an animal in his ABC book was a zebra or a horse. I went with zebra, because it was black and white, it was on the page labeled Z and also — this part is key — it was a zebra. The 2-year-old, with enviable sincerity, looked at me with cold gunfighter eyes and said, “Horse.” This went on two and a half million more times. I actually just gave up and let him believe ungulate-related lies, because I was tired of losing an argument to a person who eats Pop-Tart frosting with a spoon.

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How the World Cup Turns Even Non Sports Nerds Into Foam-Fingered Face-Painted Bar-Trashing Maniacs

THIS LOOKS SO DANGEROUS, DON’T YOU GUYS HAVE ANOTHER GAME TO PLAY?

GateHouse — You win, soccer!

I learned something in the World Cup in 2010: Turns out that if you furnish a scorching last-minute sudden-death winning goal, and add the subtle, unrelenting pressure of most of my friends and all of Twitter, I turn into a dynamic, perspiring World Cup fan! At least for a few days, or weeks, or years, or however long this thing goes on. I haven’t the foggiest idea.

But that’s OK, because I’m still new to this soccer thing, this severe, rash-fueled case of World Cup fever that makes me want to occasionally punch random strangers in the throat. But I confess to being baffled by my sudden enthusiasm, and by “enthusiasm” I mean “the fleeting brush of elevated interest I feel because everybody else is watching it and I’m a unrepentant meerkat who wants to know what the group is talking about.” Because, like all of America, and despite what the more self-satisfied portions of America might claim on Facebook, I don’t generally pay the remotest smidge of attention to soccer unless a soccer game is interrupted by a camel invasion, Alison Brie photo shoot or velociraptor attack, and even in the case of the latter I’d probably just watch the highlights (“Just look at the way those raptors are using cooperative hunting to distract the American goalkeepers, right before slicing them to pieces with their sharp, slashing claws! Amazing, isn’t it, Jim?” And then the camera would cut to Jim, and we would see that Jim has just been sliced to pieces by velociraptors. I am pretty sure it’s paragraphs like this that made me not get the callback about that ESPN job.).

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Here’s Why You Don’t Let Cat People Babysit Your Human Children

Don't_Tell_Mom_The_Babysitters_DeadIsland Packet — Everyone agrees that running is dumb, even people who run a lot. Especially people who run a lot.

I run for two very simple reasons: 1. “Exercise is important” or whatever, and 2. I’m a joke at all other sporting activities. Seriously. I’ve tried them. Running is the only one that I have not completely botched, owing to the fact that it’s extremely difficult to screw up putting one foot in front of the other 12,000 times. Well, I guess you could run smack into a water tower, or into an open sewer drain, or the waiting open mouth of an alligator. Real talk, though, I’d take an activity with potential alligator chompery over having to shoot a free throw in public.

There is one major problem with running, though: It takes FOREVER, especially how I do it. Anyway, as such, I need a baby sitter. And weirdly enough, I’ve been helped out by a friend named Hadley, who is someone I’ve known for many years, not one of which has involved me thinking of her as a “kid person.” More of a “cat person,” really. Well, now she has a dog, I guess, but you don’t have to change cat or dog diapers, if you’re lucky.

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App That Claims to Cure My Fear of Spiders Is a House of Spidery Lies

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LIES. LIES. LIES.

GateHouse — I fear only two things in this hard cold world: Heights and spiders. That’s it. Well, I’m also sort of afraid of whales. Because they’re monstrous, and they live in the hard cold sea. I know everyone’s all like “But they’re harmless filter feeders who live on krill and plankton and sing songs to each other and occasionally save the Starship Enterprise,” yeah well that’s what the liberal media wants you to believe. What if they’re actually eating dolphins and cows and old pirates? You just don’t know about whales, is what I’m saying. (I’m also afraid of opening tubes of cinnamon rolls, because you never know when that POP is coming. Oh, and clowns, God, how did I forget about clowns? And the Incredible Hulk. And hot air balloons. Riding on a hot air balloon, are you kidding me, it’s like climbing into a basket containing your own death and then sending it 5,000 feet into the air. I’d rather swim around in a clown car full of whales.)

Anyway, apparently I’m not alone in these fears — well, at least one of them — because there is a new app designed to help people squash their arachnophobias.

The app is called Phobia Free and before you ask, no, of course I haven’t downloaded it. This is for two reasons:

  1. It’s like four bucks, and I don’t know how much you think newspapers pay these days, but I assure you it’s less than four bucks and
  2. That would indicate I want to cure this fear of spiders. I don’t. I’m comfortable with it. It and I have made it 38 happy years, we see no need to go “improving ourselves” now.

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How Are Rotisserie Chickens Not The Only Things People Eat?

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NickMom

9. They’re already done.

8. Seriously, they’re done. You take them home, and dinner is done.

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Read the full list over at NickMom.
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Fourth Grade is the Year We All Turn Into F-R-E-A-K-S

Basically what I looked like in fourth grade, except my shirts were more colorful

Basically what I looked like in fourth grade, except my shirts were more colorful

Island Packet — Fourth grade is the worst. Don’t get me wrong. It’s the best. My son is in fourth grade now; his school is great, and his teacher wonderful. But it’s also the year an invisible switch flips, when new neurons in kids’ brains connected to previously undiscovered power sources, where you, as a parent, begin to realize, sigh, now I have to start shaping decisions and perspectives. This is obviously a lot harder than teaching baseball and Scrabble, which I am also not good at.

I’m biased, probably. A lot of things happened to me in fourth grade. We moved to a new town, a tiny cluster of houses, gas stations and precisely one stoplight in a sleepy and farmy corner of Indiana. At the time, this represented abandoning everyone I ever knew in favor of — and this is my real memory — a house that had mice on a road with no name. I got glasses that year, but when I say glasses, I don’t mean “the things you’re wearing to read this newspaper,” I mean “optometric dinner plates that Harry Caray would have rejected as too subtle, even in his current state.” I had my first encounters with bullies, school discipline and crushes. The combination of these things drop-kicked me into some new level of life, some invisible maturity bracket I mark, pretty arbitrarily, in fourth grade.

It’s also the year — at least in this house — that the construction of the rules of life begins, the year my oldest son is beginning to discern what is right and what is wrong and, most importantly, that stories can be malleable and dependent on point of view.

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The ‘Super’ in ‘Super Lice’ is a Positive, Right?

 

There is no way in hell I'm Googling "super lice," so please enjoy this picture of a sleepy koala.

There is no way in hell I’m Googling “super lice,” so please enjoy this picture of a sleepy koala.

GateHouse — WARNING: Today’s column will include repeated uses of the phrase “SUPER LICE.” If you are like me — which you are not, unless you’re currently hopscotching around the room squealing “ew ew ew ew” and flailing your hands around like a Motown backup dancer from 1963 — you will receive this news with the kind of horror they get in bad old monster movies when the aliens attack, or whenever Mitch McConnell walks into a room. Pretty much whenever they put the word “super” before the name of an insect, you know you’re in for a long afternoon.

I’ll just come right out and say this: My kids had lice last year. Both kids. Two kids, two heads, 5,000 lice. We understood it with the older one, what with the way he runs into other things with his head a lot (true story), but we’re still not sure what happened with the baby, who’s usually too busy eating donuts to really interact with other children. The good news was we knew where the lice came from, we knew who passed them on, and my children are under strict orders to never again report to that bus stop.

(I am actually psychosomatically itching right now writing this column. I have a lot of problems. You’d be surprised how many of them are insect-based.)

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Fine, Then YOU Try Explaining That “Empire Strikes Back” Kiss to a 10-Year-Old

images-1Island Packet — What did you guys do this weekend? Did you sleep in, relax, maybe lounge about on the porch? Did you get some sun, go golfing, head out for a leisurely bike ride? Me? Oh thanks for asking, I had to explain to a fourth-grader why a sister passionately kissing her brother is weird.

Anyone within a certain age (30-50), gender (dudes) and personality type (not rugby players) knows that sentence means one thing: “The Empire Strikes Back,” which the little man and I watched this weekend. We did this for two reasons: First, he’s 10, and it is a crucial plateau in the emotional education of a 10-year-old to watch “The Empire Strikes Back” — all the pediatricians say so. (Sure, not any I could find around here, but I’m sure that underneath their responses of “What are you talking about?” and “Are you being serious right now? and “Mr. Vrabel, this is the third time we’ve had to tell you, please stop calling our office,” they were secretly agreeing with me.)

Read more here.

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Keith Richards Wrote a Kids’ Book — Why Can’t These Guys?

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NickMom — Keith Richards teamed up with his daughter to write a children’s book called “Gus & Me.” That’s right, KEITH RICHARDS is now more appropriate for your children than Hannah Montana. Here are other kids’ books we’d like to see from our valuable rock stars.

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Well Here’s Something a 38-Year-Old With Poor Health Insurance Shouldn’t Be Skating On

Pictured: Not me. But mostly me.

Pictured: Not me. But mostly me.

Island Packet — Every now and again the boys and I visit the Bristol Skate Park on Hilton Head Island’s south end, a wonderful resource that’s free, close and often empty. We’re not professionals — the 10-year-old and I will grab our vintage Target skates (my son’s from Christmas a few years ago, mine from like the summer of 1945) and a few hockey sticks and zing around the rink, absent-mindedly whacking away at pucks happily thrown around by my 2-year-old. Sometimes I’ll even pick the little one up and skate around with him in my arms because no one ever taught me about safety.

Anyway, during one such visit a few weeks ago I ambled over to check on the 10-year-old and make sure he wasn’t bouncing his head off too much pavement. And I found him skating the same loop on repeat, practicing it over and over again — down the big ramp, up a smaller one, down the other side, up a curved hill that allowed him to turn to the opposite direction, up and down another small hill, then up to a fairly big one to where he began. “Try this, Dad,” he said with genuine enthusiasm, after spotting me. “Here, I’ll do another demonstration.” And he was off, down, up, down, up and around, up, down, back. He was getting it, and liking it.

Well, what could I do? 

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