Friday, March 27, 2009

The Absolute Worst Family Christmas Card Ever!

I hate family Christmas cards. There's nothing good about them. Well, on second thought, I suppose that it's nice to hear from everyone, and how their kids are doing really well, and are in the advanced program, and can mountain climb and water ski, and have learned Mandarin Chinese, and go to bed at 7:00 pm every night, but only because they get up at 5:00 am to train for their next marathon.

To make matters worse, they always have that blasted picture on the front of the card that is perfect. How do people get those pictures? I've never even once gotten a picture like that from my three boys. Never. I'm assuming that there is a family photo alteration service somewhere out there that I don't know about. "For an extra fifty bucks we can remove that finger from your child's nose, make his eyes look in the right direction and even put a smile on his face!"

Last year, after hours of trying to get a decent picture (I had given up on good, I just wanted something that didn't have anyone making gang signs), I had a flash of brilliance. It suddenly dawned on me how absurd it was trying to convince everyone out there that my family is something that it's not. Give them reality! I had many, many pictures to choose from. The one that you see above was the worst of the lot.

That snapshot is a perfect representation of what our typical holiday photo shoot is like. Nolan was pouting because he didn't have a striped sweater. Immediately after that shot was taken Evan elbowed both brothers in the face. His expression says it all. I couldn't get B's finger out of his nose to save my life. I have at least 20 pictures from that set with him up to the second knuckle. To tie everything together into a nice pretty package, the picture is slightly out of focus.

This is the photo that went out on our family Christmas card last year. Joy to the world. Merry Christmas. This was our way of making everyone else feel better about their families.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"Daddy, kitties don't get cold in the freezer"

I remember being so excited to hear my first kid begin to talk. Nolan was a late talker, and it seemed like I would never get to hear what was in his head. Three boys later I can clearly see the broad strokes of what they're thinking, and let me tell you it's not pretty.

Don't get me wrong, poop jokes are funny, but these kids have perfected the art of weaving discussions of flatulence into every conversation in ways that are really quite impressive. It's not just intestinal humor though. I've come to expect the unexpected and to be ready for anything.

So here is a growing list of the most insane things that have been heard in my family over the years. I pray that you never encounter any of these yourself, but I'd be interested to hear your own family's verbal outtakes.

  1. "Sluurrrrp. Mmmmm... coffee." That came from my at-the-time two year old. There were several lessons in this one. First, mommy should under no circumstances fill a brightly colored cup with whipped cream, sugar, carmel, mocha, and coffee, drink about two-thirds of it, and then leave it within climbing distance. Second, you never, ever, ever want to be anywhere near a toddler that has drunk a third of a cup of coffe. Ever. Third, coffee is a fairly effective diarrhetic.
  2. "Daddy, what do your buggers taste like?" Horible isn't it? The thing about this one is that how bad the question is depends on where you place the emphasis. "Daddy what do your buggers taste like?" implies that he has tasted others and is just curious about the flavor of mine. If there is no real emphasis on any word in particular, then one might be able to assume that the word "your" is being used in the generic "all-of-mankind" sense, and the kid is just conjecturing and considering. No, he's only three. I need to admint that my three-year-old is eating buggers, and is interested in eating other peoples' as well.
  3. "Kitties don't get cold in the freezer." That's because they have fur kiddo. Mmmmhmmm. That's nice. Yup. You should tell Mommy that. Go play now... [ten minutes later] "No honey, I didn't know anything about the cat in the refrigerator. How was I to know he was serious? I'm sure he'll be fine. Maybe warm him up in the microwave..."
  4. "Daddy, butt jam is a lot like toe jam". Butt jam? What in the name of all that is good and decent is butt jam? I know what toe jam is, and I think it's gross. I just hope that there are no crackers involved...
  5. "An ant just crawled up brother's nose". Now this seems a bit disturbing even when you first hear it. But let me tell you, with every passing moment that you don't see an ant come back out of brother's nose, or ear, or mouth, or out of something, things get a bit more tense. I actually thought the thought "I wonder if it was a queen..."
  6. "Owwwww... I hit my face on the toilet paper roller!" Yup, the little recessed roller thingy that you put a roll of toilet paper on. He hit is face on it hard enough to get a nice bruise. "How, Evan? How could you have possibly hit your face on that? And why is there a pile of toilet paper on the floor?" Well, it turns out that he was unable to get the toilet paper off of the roll fast enough. To solve this problem he went into a major league baseball-style windup and yanked as hard as he could. In the follow-through his face hit the toilet paper roll. Simple.

I can't be the only one that hears craziness from their kids. Fire me a comment and I'll add it on here...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What kind of an idiot gives a three-year-old boxing gloves?

The older I get the dumber I get. I don't need any kind of medical research to back this statement up as I have indisputable experiential evidence. Last week our office was being moved from one floor in our building to another. I work for a computer software company that went from startup to acquisition, and consequently all of the stereotypical computer startup office stuff was present: ping-pong tables, pool tables, XBox, Wii, couches, life-sized Homer Simpson cardboard cutouts. [Editor's note: after some consideration I'd like to retract my description of that last one - what does a life-sized cartoon character look like?]

Anyway, one of the items that was being discarded (we're not a startup anymore so no more toys) was a kick-boxing dummy with three sets of boxing gloves. I like boxing gloves. Why wouldn't my three boys like boxing gloves?

Let me list some of the things that I've learned about boxing gloves since taking them home to three boys ages 3, 5, and 7.

  1. Boxing gloves do not in any meaningful way prohibit the pain of a direct blow to the groin. Immediately after showing the cool new toys to my kids and helping them put them on, my three year old delivered an upper cut to the groin that sent me to the floor just as effectively as a round-house to the head. I can't blame him as I had just gotten done explaining to them all how boxing gloves were designed to stop punches from hurting other people. They all thought that my writhing was hilarious and took it as an invitation for attack. Which immediately led to my second lesson on boxing glove physics.
  2. Boxing gloves do not lessen the pain of a karate chop. In fact, they simply add to the mass of a five-year-old's hand. While an ungloved chop hurts plenty, a boxing glove-assisted karate move when applied directly to the nose of an adult has the ability to make one bleed rather impressively. At this point I had had enough, and stood up. One hand cupping my groin and the other over my nose. I made a muffled attempt at telling them to calm down, but this simply set a stampede in motion toward the living room. Moments later I simultaneously learned lessons number three and four about boxing gloves.
  3. An improperly attached boxing glove will come off at the apex of a swing.
  4. A boxing glove is heavy enough to knock over and break expensive glass decor. The noise of glass breaking can be heard by a mother four rooms away with a blender on and NPR cranked loud enough to hear over the blender, or so it would seem. It took Michele all of six seconds to arrive and get things under control. Very soon after I had lesson number five delivered to me verbally.
  5. What kind of an idiot gives a three-year-old boxing gloves? I know the answer to that one.

Snarky Mommy: At my wit's end

I just found a great blog called Snarky Mommy. This woman really writes well, and is absolutely hilarious. I've got to say Amy, I feel your pain from having a three-year-old, but I'm glad you're suffering, because it makes for some really entertaining reading! Check out this post: Snarky Mommy: At my wit's end