Archives For kids

O, Canada!

randomlychad  —  January 28, 2016 — 4 Comments

Canada. Land of maple syrup and poutine. America’s hat. You are home to some of the gosh darn nicest folks in this, or any other, galaxy. Lo, it has been many years since I visited your fair shores. But visit you I did one summer in my youth.

Here’s how it happened:

My bother and I were summering with the grandparents in the cool pines of Western Pennsylvania, when one say grandma decided we needed to see the falls. Niagara, that is. So she hustled us into her Oldsmolbuick, and off we were on a road trip. Over the river, and through the woods, with grandmother we went… to Buffalo. Home of wings, Bills, and freezing temperatures. And not a lot else.

In any case, grandma decided that experiencing the falls from the U.S. side, well, was falling a bit short. So crossed the border (“What’s your purpose in visiting Canada, eh?” “Coming to see the falls, sir.” “Well, have a lovely day, and don’t forget the syrup”), and headed for the view.

It was water. It was wet, moist, and misty. I’m not gonna lie, Marge, the surge of that powerful stream is pretty impressive. But it didn’t leave as much of an impression as the Canadian bread shop did. You see, grandma wanted to buy some bread. So why not buy it from a friendly Canadian shop keeper, eh?

So we did. And there, in amongst the loaves, was a special surprise.

“Grandma, what’s this?” I asked, holding up this unknown Canadian prize.

Turning to me, shrieked she, “Here now! Put. That. Down!” You have to understand, I was about eleven at the time. I goggled back at grandma, wondering what it was I held in my outstretched hand.

“Put that dirty thing down now! Where did you find that?”

You see, what I didn’t know at the time, what I held in front of poor grandma’s shocked visage, found there with the Wonderbread, was a Canadian wonder then unknown to my young mind:

An unrolled condom.
(It was probably maple-flavored, but we’ll never know).

O, Canada!

The other morning I was downstairs making breakfast for my daughter. Now, on account of being banned from all things cooking due to a slight pizza mishap (who burns take-and-bake pizza? this guy), making might just be a slight exaggeration. Let’s put it this way: I make a mighty mean microwave scrambled egg.

So there I am cracking the eggs into a microwave-safe soup cup, pouring a little heavy cream adding a dash of salt, and whipping it all into a fluffy froth when my daughter puts on Toy Story 3. Not the beginning; no–it was the end. You know the part, right? Where Andy is ceremonially handing over his beloved toys to Bonnie.

As I stood there watching from the kitchen, it just struck me all at once:

Bonnie could be my little girl, and Andy my son, who’s sixteen and will only be with us a few scant more years. And then my daughter will shortly thereafter follow. All it took were those few scant moments, and although I knew my kids wouldn’t always be around, I felt it.

I was unmanned as stood there stirring eggs. Mouth agape, I felt my chest constrict, and suddenly my eyes blurred. I felt gut-punched right in the feels. Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m a man of great feeling, but I usually keep it all tightly under wraps, beneath a veneer of cynicism.

But that moment, infinitesimal in a lifetime made up of moments, wormed its way past my watchful dragons, and right into my heart. My daughter was going to grow up, my son would soon be leaving home, and I wouldn’t always have the opportunity to microwave eggs, play with them, hang out with them, watch the same movies time and time again…

“Bella,” I said, voice quavering. “I’ll be right back.”

“What about my eggs?”

“They’re almost ready. Daddy needs to go see mommy.” And so I did the only thing I could think to do: I went upstairs, eyes moist with tears, crawled into bed with my wife, told her the tale of moment I had whilst making eggs, and let her hold me. Afterwards, I felt like Buddy the Elf: a cotton-headed ninny-muggins. A goof.

But I wouldn’t change a thing.

God, help me to cherish such moments as long as they last. Thank You for each and every one.

How about you, dear reader, have you had any such moments? Ones that hit you right in the feels? The comments are open below.

Wrecked For The Better

randomlychad  —  February 22, 2012 — 4 Comments

20120222-105557.jpg

Ask my wife–she’ll tell you: I used to sleep like the dead. One of her favorite tales is to recount how, after bringing our son home from the hospital, she couldn’t rouse me that first night when he started crying. I don’t know how long she tried, but she finally gave up, grabbed her healing belly (to hold her innards in), and gingerly rolled herself out of bed.

I have no recollection of this, and only recount what I’ve been told. (To be fair, we’d gone into the hospital in the middle of the night as Wednesday rolled into Thursday, and were there until discharge on Sunday. So, yes: I. Was. Tired).
Continue Reading…

Last night was an interesting one. My five year-old–hereinafter Princess–had great difficulty going to sleep. Not because we’d deviated from the routine–we hadn’t–but due to the fact that someone (who shall remain nameless: mom) allowed her take a very late, long nap.

So, yes, Virginia, we had family devotions, cleaned up after dinner, etc. And tried to get Princess to go to sleep.

She of course would have none of it.

“I can’t sleep.”

“It’s 10:00–please play quietly in your room.”

“No, I can’t sleep.”

“Please count sheep, or Rapunzels, or something, ok?”

“Ok, Poppy, I’ll try.”

“Thanks, Princess.”

Thirty minutes later (or so I’m told, because we the parents were quite done by that time):

“I can’t sleep. Brother, will you play with me?”

“Princess, I’m tired. If you be quiet and go to sleep, I’ll give you a dollar.”

“Ok, brother.”

This morning:

As I’m getting ready to leave for work, I see my son–Brother Bearish–heading downstairs. I ask “Hey, are you gonna let the dogs out?”

“Not yet, dad–first I gotta get a dollar for Princess. I told her last night if she’d just go to sleep that I’d pay her.”

Knowing that he, being thirteen, keeps everything important to him (including his wallet) in his room, my Spider-sense was tingling.

“Isn’t your wallet in your room? Where are you getting that dollar from?”

With a sheepish look and impish grin, he said “From her purse.” Clever boy, I thought. She would never know.

But I would. And being as I’m not down with bribes anyhow, I said, “No, sir! That may be a creative solution to a problem you created for yourself, but your first mistake was bribing your sister. But since you’ve given your word, you go get a buck from your wallet and give it to her. You promised, and now you gotta follow through.”

“But dad…”

“No, son, that’s not how we roll. If you give your word, even if costs you, you follow through.”

Of course, behind closed doors, my wife and I laughed uproariously. Kids!

This past Sunday at church, my daughter, B-Dog, was given a rubber ducky unlike any I had ever seen before: “Ninja Duck.”

What is “Ninja Duck?” From
what I can ascertain, it’s (obviously) a small rubber toy. I mean that much is clear. With nun-chuks! Which is cool… but Ninja Duck, like the old song on Dr. Demento (“Dead Puppies”), just kind of lies around, inert. It doesn’t even squeak!

What kind of duck doesn’t even quack, or squeak?

Ninja Duck!

Clearly, as was the case with the iPhone 4’s “antennagate” last year, Ninja Duck represents a triumph of form of over function. Who cares if it drops calls when it touches human flesh–because, I mean look at it!–it’s dead sexy!

Likewise, Ninja Duck looks cool, but there’s not much you can do with it. And I gotta tell you, I’ve had quite the existential crisis this week regarding this dumb duck! What’s it for? What’s its purpose? What can I do with it?

Well, for one thing, I guess it’s a pretty good conversation starter.

“What’s that?”

“Ninja Duck.”

“What?”

“Ninja Duck.”

“What’s a ‘Ninja Duck?’ What’s it do?”

“That.”

“But what’s it do?”

“Tell you what: let me throw it at your face, and you tell me, ok?”

“Hey! You don’t have to get hostile. It was just a question.”

“Whatever.”

“I still don’t know what it does.”

“Shut up.”

And so it goes… At least in my head. I think this probably kills the evangelistic potential of Ninja Duck, right? WWJD? (Hint: He sure as heck wouldn’t hurl a Ninja Duck at someone’s head. “I love you.” Wham! “What the heck was that, Jesus?” “Ninja Duck! Booya!”).

How about you? Like the Klondike Bar, what would you do-oo-oo with a “Ninja Duck?”

(Here’s something I did:

20111104-142251.jpg I call it “Ninja Duck” goes nuts!)

A note on the text: this post was composed on my iPhone 4 (not 4s), and I tapped the “F” key at least thrice while trying to type the word “duck.”