Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Super Sister!


Kyle: Hey Dad, I'm Super Kyle!

Joelle: Yeah. I'm Super Sister!

Kyle and Joelle make shooting gestures at me with their hands

Kyle: Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Super Sister doesn't fight. She just stays at home and makes dinner, and cleans up messes and stuff. *

Seriously?!? I'd love to know where he picks this stuff up from. Sounds like we've got some re-programming to do.

* The views expressed in this blog entry are those of Kyle and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, his parents, Raisingriots.com, or any of it's subsidiaries.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

These Boots Were Made For Walking... On The Roof


In honor of my mom...

When I was 6 my brother, Ryan was 3. He had a pair of cowboy boots that he LOVED. They were way too big for him—his entire leg pretty much fit inside of them, which made it a little hard to walk. Regardless, he wore the boots everywhere.

One day I convinced Ryan that it would be a good idea to climb up on the roof of the house and try his boots out up there. There was a wood pile on the side of the house that was high enough to where if we stood on it he could reach the roof if I held him up. So off we went. Ryan put his boots on and I hoisted him up.

Inside the house, my parents heard the stomping around above their heads and came out to see what it was. Having my own kids now, I can't even imagine what they must have thought when they came out and saw their toddler on the slanted, wood shingle roof with his oversized cowboy boots on. Sorry Dad, and God, please don't let me have stories like this about my kids when I get older. Hahaha.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Waterslides and Golden Showers


In honor of my mom...

When we were young, my parents took us to Manteca Waterslides with another family. Most of the kids were old enough to go on the slides, but my brother, Shea was still really little and couldn't do much other than hang out in the kiddie pool, which was actually quite crowded that day. So, my parents hung out on the lawn near the Kiddie pool within ear reach of Shea.

After a couple of hours playing in the water, Shea got out of the pool and ran over to my mom. He said, "I have to go pee really bad". The bathrooms were pretty far away, and Shea REALLY needed to go. So my mom gave him a wink and whispered, "Eh, just go in the pool." So Shea ran back to the pool and my parents went back to chatting with their friends.

A minute later, a lady started screaming. And then more screams... My parents and everybody immediately looked over. And there was Shea, standing at the edge of the pool, shorts around his ankles, peeing down on all the little children and families in the kiddie pool.

I'll Take a 6-Pack, Some Smokes and a... Haircut?


In honor of my mom...

When I was growing up, there was a convenience/liquor store a few blocks from my house called Jiffy Market. As a service to some of their best customers they would allow you to sign for groceries and cash. Rather than having to walk into the bank and stand in line, you could just pull up to their store, buy some groceries, ask for $40 and sign the receipt. And then you would come in at the end of the month and pay off your account. We knew all the clerks and when Ryan, Shea or myself needed money for something, we would ask our mom and she would tell us to go sign for it at Jiffy.

One day, when Shea was around 11 years old he asked my mom if he could have some money to get a haircut. The haircut place was right next to Jiffy Market. My mom was busy and didn't have any money on her so she figured Shea could go to Jiffy, sign for some money, and then go to the barber and get a haircut. My mom said, "I don't have any cash on me. Ride your bike to Jiffy and then get a haircut".

So Shea rode his bike down to Jiffy Market and stood in line. When he got to the front of the line he said. "I need a haircut". The clerk, Raj, agreed but was a little confused as to why Shea rode his bike all the way down there and stood in line to tell him that. So, Raj kindly brushed him aside and started helping other customers.

Shea waited patiently and when the customers had been helped...

Shea: Hey, Raj. I need a haircut.

Raj: Okay...

Shea: ...So, can you give me a haircut?

Raj: What? You want ME to give you a haircut?

Shea: Yeah, my mom told me to come down here and sign for a haircut.

Raj: Are you sure?

Shea: Yeah.

Raj: Okay, sit right there, I'll find some scissors.

Luckily Raj came to his senses and called my mom to make sure before he got started, but we all had a good laugh about it.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shit Shea


In honor of my mom...

When my brother, Shea, was first learning to talk, if you asked him his name he would tell you that it was "Shit Shea".

He thought that was his name because my mom was constantly saying things like:

"Shit! Shea, get out of there."
"Shit! Shea, take that out of your mouth."
"Shit! Shea, don't touch that."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Will That Be Paper, Plastic, or a Fresh Pair of Underwear?


In honor of my mom...

When we were kids, there was rarely a time when my brothers and I were together that we weren't pushing, kicking, teasing, touching, or whining. It was entertaining for us, but oddly, not so much for my mom.

We fought in the car, we fought in church, we fought at friends' houses, we fought at school, we fought in department stores, we fought everywhere. We fought each other, we fought other kids, sometimes two against one, sometimes all against each other. Always loudly, and never with any regard for what was going on around us.

Now, my mom was an enduring person, but one day in the grocery store, it all just became too much for her. She'd had had enough of the constant bickering and the disdainful looks from the people around us. So she said in that angry I'm going to f-ing kill you whisper that moms are so good at, "That's ENOUGH! You boys are constantly embarrassing me in public. If you don't stop it RIGHT NOW you're going to know what it feels like to be embarrassed too."

We stopped fighting for a few seconds. And then Ryan decided Shea was standing too close to him so he gave him a little elbow... and then Shea pushed Ryan into me... And then I screamed for my mom... and then then Shea tried to cover my mouth... and on and on and on...

We followed my mom through the store running, pinching, pulling, screaming and finally got in line at checkout. That's when my mom started sniffing the air and softly said "What is that smell?" Now, this was strange because my mom had no sense of smell... at all. She lost her sense of smell when she was young—like being blind, but in the nose. So, when she said that she smelled something we stopped fighting and took notice. After all, this must have been a miracle of some sort.

She started sniffing the air around us, which I'm sure looked strange to the other people in line because they started to take notice as well. And she said more loudly this time "Wow, which one of you boys did that?... Sniff. Sniff. Which one of you boys farted?" And now the clerk and everybody in our immediate area was looking at us and she said even more loudly, "Did one of you have an accident?"

Well, that shut things down pretty quick. Just as she has promised, we were completely embarrassed. And then, for good measure, she started singling us out, "That smell's horrible!... Sniff. Sniff... Ryan, that smells like you. Did you do that? Is that a fart, or did you have an accident?" As you can imagine, we were absolutely mortified. We stopped fighting and didn't make a peep for the rest of the outing.

From that day on, when we started acting up in public, all my mom had to do was give a little fake sniff the air and order was restored.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Screw Ice Cream, Let's Dance!


In honor of my mom...

Growing up, we didn't have an ice cream truck in our neighborhood. But my parents had some friends out of town and they had an ice cream truck in their neighborhood. One day we heard it going by and we asked what it was. My mom told us that it was the music man and that when we heard his music, we were supposed to go out and dance on the sidewalk.

I don't know how we missed the fact that while we were dancing, all the other kids around us were eating ice cream and pop-cycles. I was at least 10 years old before I realized that we had been scammed.

In Honor of My Mom

This Friday will mark the second anniversary of my mom's passing. In honor of her, I'll be posting her own stories about raising her kids, Ryan, Shea, and myself. If you knew my mom then you've probably heard some of the these stories already. I'll try to do them justice. Feel free to correct me if I get it wrong :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's Funny... Because I'm Bald


Christina: Kyle, please don't put your jelly sandwich in your hair.

Kyle: Why not?

Christina: Because you're going to be outside later, and ants might climb up in your hair to eat it.

Kyle: *Gasp* Is that why daddy doesn't have any hair? Did the ants eat it?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Awkward Wingman


Christina had a board meeting this morning, so we had a babysitter at our house. As I'm walking downstairs I hear this:

Kyle: Oh, here comes my dad. Don't you think he looks sooo cute?

Babysitter: ... (uncomfortable silence)

Me: Hehe... You don't have to answer that.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Raisin or Mashed Potatoes?


Kyle: [Holds up a raisin] Hey dad. Try these mashed potatoes.

Me: That's a raisin.

Kyle: No, it's mashed potatoes. Try it!

Me: [Chewing] No, it's a raisin. See, even tastes like a raisin.

Kyle: Okay Dad. I guess we'll just pretend like you're right.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Most Boring Bedtime Stories EVER.


Well, Kyle finally cracked. It was bound to happen, I just wasn't sure how much he could take. After a week of intentionally boring him with the most mundane bedtime stories a father has ever told his child, Kyle has requested that I either start reading him books or tell him some REAL stories.

This all started last week when I was telling a co-worker about my kid's bedtime routine (I know, I know, but I'm his boss so he has to listen and pretend like he's interested). I was telling him about how Kyle usually gives me a theme for a story and I make something up. It usually involves some superheroes doing crazy stunts. And my co-worker asked me, "Doesn't that get him kinda worked up? How is he able to go to sleep after that?". And it got me thinking... maybe that's why it's always such a struggle to keep him in bed after I leave the room. And so it started – a week of the absolute most boring bedtime stories that have ever been told.

I've dabbled in this before with such stories as The Hulk Hosts a Dinner Party and The Flash Visits the DMV, but that was really just for my own amusement. Plus, those stories at least had some dialog, a plot, and some mild excitement. This new batch of boring bedtime stories was on a whole new level, with titles like, Superman Sits in the Waiting Room at His Doctor's Office, Spiderman Waits at a Red Light, and Batman Looks at Clouds.

These stories last about 10 minutes each, so I'm not going to subject you to a full story, but I thought you might appreciate this excerpt...

Me: On his way into the doctor's office, Superman held the door for an older man who must have been there to visit the same doctor. It was only after he let the man pass that he realized how very slow he was moving. That's okay, he thought. Afterall, he had gotten there a few minutes early. So the very slow man made his way to the sign-in counter with Superman walking just behind him. Step-by-step. Step... by... step.

Kyle: Yeah, and then the old man turned into Dr. Doom and started fighting Superman!

Me: Nope. Actually, the old man just signed in and slowly walked into the waiting area. Then Superman signed in and made his way to the waiting area as well. Superman decided to sit on the other side of the room in a seat that didn't face the old man so that the old man didn't feel the need to make small talk with him. He looked at the clock on the wall. It was now 5 minutes past his scheduled appointment time. Superman began to wonder where the doctor might be.

Kyle: Oh! He was probably tied up in the back room by Lex Luthor or some other bad guy!

Me: No, he was just helping some other patients and filling out some paperwork. For now, Superman would just have to sit quietly and wait. He looked down on the floor near his chair and saw a basket with some tattered magazines in it. One was about fishing. The other was about cars. The other one looked like some kind of financial magazine. Superman wasn't interested in any of these, so he decided to sit and do nothing while he waited. He looked at the clock again. The minute hand hadn't moved at all... or maybe it had just a little. Yeah, maybe just a tiny bit.

Kyle: Oh, I know! The clock was broken because Superman shot laser beams from his eyes at it!

Me: I don't think so. Time was just moving very, very slowly.

...and this goes on and on until the nurse tells Superman that the doctor wants him to wait in a different room for a while. And then the story is over.

Every night I would try to make his story more boring than the night before. And I was getting worried that it just wasn't possible. On the other hand, Kyle was telling me that he loved the stories, and his after hours getting-out-of-bed antics weren't changing. So I decided to blast him with An Ordinary Man Watches Dust Collect on a Picture Frame. And this is what finally put Kyle over the edge.

On every other night, I could see that Kyle was fidgeting, and he was waiting for something exciting to happen. But he always let me finish and then thanked me for the story and said that he loved it (which felt kinda patronizing to me but whatever). However, on this night Kyle stopped me mid-story and said "Dad, I like these stories, but their just kinda long. Can you tell me a story about superheroes doing cool stuff, or maybe we just read a book?".

And so, I learned two things from our little experiment:

1. It doesn't matter what kind of story I tell Kyle, he's still going to get out of bed.
2. This kid's got more patience, tact, and class than I'll ever have.




Monday, July 11, 2011

Imaginary Frenemy


Kyle has a special friend named Dyle. He's a small bird that hangs out with Kyle during the day. He likes to push all the buttons in the car, and usually snuggles with him while he sleeps. He's also imaginary (in case I forgot to mention). Seems harmless, but as it turns out, Dyle may not be the friend that Kyle thought he was...

For example, yesterday, when Kyle woke up from his nap, Dyle was nowhere to be found. Which is strange because Dyle was sitting right next to him on the couch only a couple hours earlier, and normally they hang out in the afternoon. It just wasn't like Dyle to disappear like that. Kyle was quite emotional about it. He'd looked everywhere for Dyle, and the only possible explanation was that Dyle didn't enjoy spending time with him anymore.

Also, Dyle speaks English and "bird language", but Kyle only speaks English. So, Kyle can't understand Dyle when he talks to other birds, and it sounds like this language barrier might be putting a strain on their relationship.

Dyle was relaxing in the living room when we returned from dinner. But I could tell that things between Kyle and Dyle just weren't the same as before. Something had cooled between them a bit. It was as if there was some sort of unspoken trust that had been broken.

I'm hoping that they will be able to salvage their friendship, but it sounds like Kyle may have made his first imaginary frenemy.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Prentend Time


Joelle is deep into pretending right now, which is great for me because I have a ton of pretend treats and rewards that I keep handy in order to get her to do the things she doesn't want to do.

Oh, you don't want to come downstairs? Maybe this pretend cupcake could change your mind. Mmmm... It's soooo good. [Dip my finger into the pretend frosting and taste it]

What's that? You don't want to take a bath? But these pretend dolphins will be so lonely. [Turn to the bathtub and make a sad face]

But Joelle, if we don't put ponytails in your hair what will this pretend baby bird perch itself on? [Pull pretend baby bird from my pocket]

This phase probably won't last long, but for the time being, I'm loving it. Now, if only this worked for the other people in my life.





Friday, July 8, 2011

Huh? You Love Me?


Yesterday morning I woke up and Kyle had my phone in his hands and a big smile on his face. And in his sweet little voice he said "Daddy, I sent a message to your phone. It says I love you". This should have melted my heart, and for a second it did... but then I completely panicked.

Now, I know that Kyle has somewhat of a grasp on how texting works – exactly enough to be dangerous. And if he's holding my phone, then WHO IN THE HELL DID HE SEND THAT TEXT TO? Perhaps a colleague? Maybe somebody in my address book that I haven't spoken to in ages? Oh shit, maybe he sent it to a client.

I spent the next 10 minutes interrogating him about EXACTLY which buttons he pressed. And, of course, this 4 year old that can recall 40 of the 50 states, and navigate an iPhone like an Apple fanboy suddenly has no idea what he may or may not have pressed. In fact, he was really only interested in telling me which level he got to on Angry Birds.

I've patiently waited for my secret admiree to text me back. No response.

So, if you have recently received a text from me in which I profess my love to you, I'm sorry to disappoint, but it's all just a big mix-up.