Friday, September 28, 2012

The FAQs of my life

As Ian so eloquently pointed out, I'm Niki and I have twins. Apparently, that's all you need to know about me. (They're both boys, by the way.) Twins seem to garner a lot of questions from strangers, so I'll just save you the trouble of approaching us in the grocery store/park/library/Target/restaurant.
Q: Oh, are they twins?
A: Yep.
Q: How old are they?
A: They turned two this summer.
Q: Were they natural?
A: Well, they aren't robots.
Q: I mean, did you take a bunch of fertility drugs? Like Octomom?
A: Oh, I'm sorry, it's MY turn to ask you a question about YOUR sexual history.
Q: Well, it looks like you have your hands full. I can't imagine twins. I'd die. Bye!
A: Nice talking to you!
Do you want to know a secret? Promise not to tell? Two year old twins are actually much easier than a single kid. I know! Shocking, right? But having a built in playmate means I can throw them in the back yard and cruise facebook with my feet up while they happily run around together. I've created a genetically compatible, 24/7 source of entertainment. Sure a fight over something inevitably breaks out, but my kids go to daycare. They understand vigilante justice. One kid is bigger; one kid fights dirty. They can sort things out without me.
My boys are also at that lovely age where they're smart enough to negotiate but not smart enough to know when they're being manipulated. They actually fight over being the better behaved child. "LOOK! I'M BEING A GOOD LISTENER, MOMMY!" They race to see who can pick up their toys the fastest or any other competition I can create to get the outcome I desire.
My parenting philosophy is simple: The path of least resistance. I'm nutty about two things. Healthy food and adhering to a sleep schedule. (Suggest to a twin/triplet mom that they skip naptime some day. They will laugh in your face.) But everything else is fair game. So long as it doesn't result in an ER or CPS visit, you can do whatever keeps you from screaming. Insist on wearing too small snow boots to bed in August? Fine. Want to pour sand over your head like it's raining? Enjoy the pants full of rocks on the walk home, kid.
As the shortest tenured parent around here, I'm clearly in the haze of smugness and naivety. I'm aware of this. But have no fear. Every day my kids are getting smarter, pickier, needier, whinier, more defiant, more destructive, and sweet heavens there are two of them! Can you even imagine?! (See how I keep up the ruse that toddler twins are so hard?) I've got plenty of material, trust me. We start potty training this fall, and that alone may break me.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Father of the Year (and the mug to prove it!)

Anybody that knows me from my other blog is probably not surprised to see me pontificating about child-rearing on this new blog here.  I don’t know how many times a week I get a personal email asking me about my views on how to handle a tricky family situation or advice on raising the perfect child (based on my first hand experience).*   If you’ve read Feet Meet Street, the overriding takeaway most people get is What a Wonderful Family Man and How Can I Be a Perfect Dad Just Like Him (though with decidedly less use of the word “anus”).

Then your prayers were answered as – viola! – this blog appears and provides me with the proper forum with which to espouse my views on family, life, and kids.  I’m sure you’re all ears and eyes.  After all, there’s only ONE Father of the Year and I have the coffee mug to prove it! 

So pull up an internet connection, stuff your kids in a closet with a mouthful of duct tape**, and prepare yourself for rich tales of my family interwoven with life lessons and some homespun R rated humor that’ll form a virtual quilt to warm over your fragile parental psyche. 

Now, I’m not the only one contributing to this blog.  There are others as you can see by the list on the sidebar.  No, I’m not the ONLY, just the most IMPORTANT.  We’ll ALL attempt to put a smile in your child-addled brain and soothe your battered and tattered sense of hope.  I’ll just be the most successful though polite applause is always appreciated for the others.  After all, at every school music show, someone has to hold the cymbals for the drummers as they rock out.  And just because the cymbal holders can’t be trusted with a clearly defined sense of beat and rhythm and perform essentially the same job as a steel pole doesn’t mean they aren’t useful.

My kids are 14 and 11.  One just entered high school; one just entered middle school.  I don’t play Chutes and Ladders anymore and the only butt I wipe is my own (and the dog sometimes when she gets a ‘dangler’ and it threatens to jump off on the carpet).  I signed my first ‘pledge to have an alcohol free house when hosting students and friends from the high school’ last week.  We fast forwarded from buying the first batch of Proactiv to looking over the schedule for driver’s education classes in about two months.  Isn’t this whole parenting thing supposed to take longer?  Before long, one kid will be out of the house and then there’ll only be one left to eat all my food and stand in front of my TV to block my view.

I’ll tell you life as learned through youth soccer.  I’ll show you all the great things the Mrs. and I have taught them as well as all of the horrible things they must have learned from television or the internet.  I’ll brag a lot.  Oh, you’ll get sick of my bragging real quickly.  Did you know my daughter scores goals by the handful each game?  Did you know my son likes to eject attacking forwards in a manner that is borderline assault?  Wait two paragraphs into the next post and you’ll never want to hear about it again.

Oh, and I’ll complain a hell of a lot.  Kids are annoying and there’s just no way to sugar coat it.  Sugar and spice and everything nice?  How about bitter and sticky and everything that you want to smack the living shit out of and send to bed early?  I know, it doesn’t rhyme as smoothly but still….Can I just watch Breaking Bad without someone asking me a fairly obvious 5th grade math question?   Hellllooooo?!?! Walt is about to shoot half a drug kingpin’s face off and you want to know what ‘x’ equals??

You can learn something here.  I don’t know what exactly but…something.  At the very least, you’ll learn to hate blue asterisk footnotes.  If you aren’t a fan of adverbs, head elsewhere.  Quickly. 

And don’t threaten me with child protection services.  Been there, done that.

Grab yourself your non-Father of the Year coffee mug, fill it with some rum or drink of your choice and settle in.  I’ve got some stories to unload that’ll make your hair stand up.  I’m a veteran parent and I’ve got the thousand yard stare.  Vietnam vets have nothing on me.  I’m still in the shit going on 15 YEARS now.

I’ll end this because I have to pick one kid up from practice….and take the other to practice all while suppressing burps, plastering on a fake smile, and balancing my F-o-t-Y coffee cup on my knee.  Later they’ll need dinner and perhaps they’ll allow us to pick up their jackets and shoes for them.

Take my advice:  Run.  No one is watching.  Run.

*Waiting for the first one but certain it’s coming.
**This is called the “Kidnapper Technique” and I’ll expand on that later for those curious.

And don't forget to add Bottle Fed Parents to your reader or favorites!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Talk

My daughter and I just had “the talk”. No, not that talk. That one is reserved for her mom and, with any luck, I’ll be out of the county when that talk happens.

This talk is about getting an iPod Touch or a phone.

I think I made it clear to her that she’s not getting a phone anytime soon. Maybe she figured that out by my uncontrollable laughter when she asked me. (I really hope they spell my last name on the Father of the Year 2012 plaque.)

The iPod Touch, though. Well…..

Let me back up by saying I’m a bit of a tech geek. How much of a tech geek, you ask? I kept checking my Twitter feed when the iPhone 5 was being announced last week. (Sorry, ladies…I’m spoken for.)

So I had to admit that the thought of a new gadget in the house appealed to me. Even though it was for someone else (gasp!). When I asked her what she wanted an iPod touch for, I thought it was because she saw her dad and wanted to be like him. She wanted a vast array of music, games and apps that simplify her going-into-third-grade life.

She said that she wanted to be able to text her friends.

Text? Her friends? SRSLY? Am I at that stage in the game?

Not only am I a tech geek, but I’m also a teacher. I am very familiar to the look that students get when they are texting or tweeting (sorry Facebook, you’re sooo two years ago). Essentially, you just see the top third of their head and, if you get their attention for 30 seconds, a lot of the times you chalk that up as a victory.

I don’t want that to be my daughter. Not yet, anyway. I want that girl that draws pictures for me and gives me a big hug when I get back from a long day at work. I want to keep the girl that has a grin from ear to ear when she scores her first (and only) goal. I don’t want her to have secret conversations with her BFFs. And I certainly don’t want her texting any boys. Hear that, guys? DO YOU HEAR THAT? I’m not ready for her to grow up. I’m really not.

But I really want a new iPod.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Let's get one thing straight: parenting sucks.

Oh sure, there are those moments where you feel brilliant for pro-creating. First recital, first touchdown, first time getting through church without having the priest ask if he'd like us to perform an exorcism, etc. 

You know...the special moments. 

More often than not, parenting is like a marathon. There are ups and there are downs and - in the end -you're tired, sore and you just want a beer. Badly.

If you were looking for a "happy, touchy feely" parenting blog where we extoll the virtues of our Precious Angels, then go somewhere else.

The 5 authors of this blog will be tackling all of the important aspects of parenting like what to do when there’s poop in the tub, how to make an entire meal from the crumbs under that car seat and what is the lime to tequila ratio for perfect margaritas. We’ll be handling these issues with class, style and honesty, or in the event that those things are unavailable to us, sarcasm and fabrication. Why do we have 5 authors for this blog? Because we couldn’t find a 6th (and Amy is a crapshoot at this point, so it's nice to have extras.)

Let us introduce ourselves:

Amy. Amy’s a Mormon which is funny in itself because of all the stereotypes that just flooded into your head. Amy fits every single one of those stereotypes, probably. Have you ever heard of a Mormon mom writing a blog that wasn’t funny? Can’t think of any can you? Exactly. Oh, and the first person to ask how many sister wives she has gets punched. Don’t be an idiot, leave that to us.

Razz. Razz is a Nebraska fan and an Apple fanboy so if you send us a funny video that requires flash then you had best not send it to Razz because his iPad/iPhone/iTouch can’t iPlay it. Razz is also a teacher, which means he’s not just responsible for his own kids, he’s also shaping the future of this country. Chilling.

Nitmos. Nitmos is so dedicated to being the uncool Dad that he still uses AOL. That’s really all you need to know about him. I think he also moonlights as a Llama jockey in his spare time.

Niki. I don’t know Niki well enough to make lots of derogatory remarks about her which is unfortunate because it’s what I do best. I can tell you that Niki has twins, which means that she has twice the ‘joy’ of being a parent.

Ian. Finally, there’s me. I’m the funny, handsome one that everyone now hates for all of the above descriptions. (Guys, please don’t edit this to say something mean!)

All complaints about this blog should be directed to Ian. Even if he didn't write it.