Tooth Fairy

Julianna (she’s now 8) just lost another tooth. She doesn’t cotton to losing body parts easily, whether it’s haircuts, finger nail trimmings, or teeth. Lots of build up, anguish, and despair.

The set-up:

Me: We can just pull it out…

J: No! It hurts! I want to do it the old-fashioned way!

Me: Yes… Tie a string, and we pull it.

J: Noooooooooo! It just falls out on its own!

Me: Whatever. Night, night…


We all fall asleep. Minutes later, I am awakened by the strains of Scarlett O’Hara herself:

J: Please, don’t go! You can’t leave me! Please! I’ll never be the same without you!

Me (panicked): What, Honey! What happened?

She hands me her glowing, off-white, bicuspid.

J: See, Daddy. The old-fashioned way.

Sinus Science

Julianna (eight-years-old) is fighting a summertime cold.

J: Daddy, my head hurts. But, then I stand up, and I’m Ok. Then, I lay down, and my head hurts.

Me: Yes, Honey. You have problems with your sinuses.

J: My Sciences?

Me: No, your “sinuses” are the tubes in your nose that help you breathe.

J: Yes, but the way my body works is science. You said that.

Me: Well, I guess so. But, you just have a cold.

J: Yes, and I have sinuses sciences. (Raising a finger into the air)… I’m a Sinusetist!

Me: Whatever. Go blow your nose. Ew.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Cuddling up with the five-year-old Isabella…

Iz: Daddy, you’re my best Daddy ever.

Me: Why is that?

Iz: Because, you always snuggle with me and scratch my back and sing me songs.

Me: And, what else…?

Iz: Because, when you snuggle, you always smell like… like…

I begin to panic…

Oh, Crap! What do I smell like? Garlic? Arm pit? Fart? Skunk? Beer? Bourbon? Scotch? Tequila? Cuban cigars? Weed from the joint I smoked with my newest bestest friend Guillermo from Tijuana? The cheap perfume of a stripper named Tyffanee who is really just lap dancing until she finishes the last three credits of her degree from DeVry in Communications? (She gets extra credit for her “body language.” Really?))

Iz: like… like…

Me (bursting with anticipation): Yeah…?

Iz: You smell like Potato Chips and M&Ms.

Me: Oh, Wow! You got me!


Iz: You sneak unhealthy food, don’t you?

Me: Yes, sometimes… Ok, a lot of times.

Iz: Is that why you’re so short?

The line between “humiliation” and “education” is a very fine one. I freely cross into both realms…

Me: No, Honey, that’s why I’m fat… because I sneak chips and candy before going to bed. Don’t end up like me. Eat healthy. Be big and strong, not short and fat…

And, DeVry is bullshit.


In an effort to increase readership here at the Fun Time, my lovely and talented wife suggested an enticement to all my Facebook friends: Cute Dogs!

I suggested posting the SEC filings of Bain Capital from 2000 through 2002.

Yeah, Lynn has better sense.

So, as promised, here are the pooches.

Yeah, better than those SEC filings.

Good Night Mash Up

Last night I pulled off the most musically deft performance of my life.

Lulling the girls to sleep, Julianna (she’s now 8, can you believe it?) and Isabella (5) snuggled up with me. They couldn’t decide on which lullaby I should sing…

Iz: You Are My Sunshine!

J: No! Rockabye Baby!

Sleepy time shouldn’t be so combative. But it often is…

Me: Girls! Please, don’t put me in the middle of this.

Iz: But, Daddy… You ARE in the middle. You’re between us.

Me: By definition, I suppose. Technicalities… Ok, girls, we can do both.

J: You can’t sing two songs at once!

Me: Don’t test me…:

Readers–Read it first, then try to go back and sing it:

You are my sunshine
On the tree top.
When the wind blows.
My only Sunshine.

When skies are grey,
When the bough breaks.
You’ll never know, Dear.
The cradle will fall.

And down will come Baby,
Cradle and all.
Please, don’t take my Sunshine away.
Far more ominous-sounding than I thought. And yet, …

Shockingly, they are both asleep.

I think my brain just dislocated a joint.

Birth Control

I know that the subject of Birth Control has been a big topic in the news over the last few months. Even in the 21st century. But, here’s some advice even the Catholic Church can agree with:

The best form of Birth Control is: Having children.

You should sense a story coming on…

The other night, Julianna (7) and Isabella (5) are hunkered down at the dining room table watching some kid thing on the iPad. Mommy and Daddy are in the adjoining Family Room watching “Chopped” on the big screen TV.

A commercial comes on. Somehow, Mommy and Daddy start kissing. Seriously. Romantically. (Perhaps it’s the broccoli rabe.)

Mommy glances toward the bedroom..

Mommy: You wanna…?

Daddy (that’s me, for the record): Can we get away?

Mommy: We can try.

We tip-toe, and close the door… 15 seconds later:

BAM! BAM! on the door.

Isabella: Mommy, I need you!!

Daddy: How do they know?!!

Mommy: Isabella, please! Can’t we have 10 minutes alone?!

Daddy (to Mommy): 10 minutes?… That’s optimistic, thanks for the vote of confidence. (but I digress.)


A couple more pleas from Mommy and Daddy to leave us alone fall on deaf ears. So, Mommy sets the girls up with whatever they need. Milk. Juice. A 401K. It takes a while. The girls are contented.

Eventually, Mommy flips on the Hot Tub…

Mommy (to Daddy): You wanna?

Daddy: Can we get away?

Mommy: I dunno. Let’s see.

We slip outside and into the hot tub.

15 seconds later… Four eyes are staring at us through the screen door.

Julianna: We heard the water sloshing. We did NOT know you were getting into the hot tub.

Isabella: Can we get in, too?

Of course. Sigh.

Isabella: Daddy, can I sit in your lap like Mommy was?

Mommy and Daddy (in unison, emphatically and in stereo): NO!!!

A rare Southern California summer light rain begins to fall. Mixed with the heat from the hot tub, the cool summer rain begins to lull us all off to drowsytown.

Eventually, Mommy carts the kids off to bed. She returns to the screen door some time later, groggy-eyed. I’m nearly asleep amid the bubbles.

Mommy: You wanna…?

Daddy: Go to bed?

Mommy: Yes, my words exactly.

Mommy slips into bed while I head off to brush my teeth, check for emails, and make sure the doors are locked. Out of the corner of my eye, I see movement in the shadows. I follow the thump-thump pitter-patter of little feet to my bedroom.

Isabella: Mommy, can I sleep with you?

Mommy: Of course. Climb up.

Looks like “Junior” will have to wait to get his start in life.


People love to text. Unfortunately, in our haste to get the word out, we often don’t proofread our remarks before hitting the send key. Hilarity often ensues.

Here’s an exchange I had a while back with one of my wittier friends. I’m the one who can’t type.

Mmmm. Baby’s Back Ribs.

Visit if you think this is funny. (Not a paid endorsement, just so ya know.)

Dispatches from Sin City

The Daddy/Daughter Caravan took it on the road last week to Las Vegas. Sin City.

For the Fun Time, this post is a bit of a departure. I’m going to add about a dozen musings into one post. At first, it seems strange, I don’t usually do the long blog post. Normally, I keep it short. Like everything else in my life. With few complaints. (Ask my wife.)

Otherwise, if I split the posts out individually, my regulars would field a massive barrage of Fun Time e-blasts all at once. And, that is not gentlemanly.



So, I’m driving us all to Vegas, we leave around 4:30pm.

Julianna (she’s seven): Daddy! She’s looking at me!

Isabella (five): No, I’m not! I’m looking at your chair.

Both: Hahahahaha!

Three hours later…

J: Daddy! She’s looking at me!


True story.



There is, of course, a discrepancy to be had at the Check-In desk. “Blah blah blah, not available, blah.” Lynn (she’s the Mommy at Daddy/Daughter Fun Time, just so ya know. She made all of the arrangements) takes no guff. We get upgraded, no charge.

A mini-suite with a king-sized bed, and an attached two-queen-bed room. Sweet suite.

We flop into bed.

The next morning brings: Observations…


For breakfast on Monday:

A new slogan for the Las Vegas buffet:
Where Ambition Exceeds Capacity.

How do I not work in the entertainment industry?… Oh yeah.


After breakfast, we make our way to the Adventuredome, the indoor amusement park at Circus Circus.

The Adventuredome. Half Adventure. Half Dome. (half-hearted attempt at a caption.)

Isabella (she’s 5) is very self-conscious of the fact that she is too short to get on some of the rides.

Iz: But, Daddy, there’s some rides that Julianna (she’s 7) can’t get on either, right?

Me: Yes, Sweetie. You know, there are some rides even I can’t get on.

Iz: I know. It’s because you’re very short, too.

Me: No, Honey. I have a bad back.

Iz: I know.

Me: And. A bad neck.

Iz: Yes…. And because you throw up.

Me: Why does everyone keep mentioning that? You weren’t even there.


Back in the room, Mommy channels her inner-interior-designer self, converting the plain, plastic cactus decor into this:

Smilin' Cactus

You might laugh occasionally at my jokes, but Mommy is really the funniest one in the family.

Isabella: Mommy, did you put eyes on the other side, too?

Mommy: No, it doesn’t have eyes in the back of it’s head.

Iz: Why?

Mommy: Because, it is not a mother.

Iz: (blink) Ummm… Will I grow eyes in the back of my head when I have a baby?

(Little kids. So gullible.)

Mommy: No, Honey. That’s just a joke… But you might.

Iz: Really?

Mommy: Maybe.

(Like I said. Gullible.)

At check out, we left the smiling cactus face that way. Maybe housekeeping will notice. We hope not. Someone will get a good chuckle.


I find it astonishing that in the 21st century, smoking is still tolerated in confined public spaces. With kids around. What up with that? Have some consideration… This is promoted as a “child-friendly” hotel.


Mommy’s Day:

Lynn and I are planning to make good on our 20th anniversary gifts to each other:

For one day — Please get these friggin’ kids off my back!


I’ll deal with the girls while Lynn gets the spa treatment, the massage, the mani/pedi, the mud bath, the cucumbers-on-the-eyes treatment. Candles. Emoluments. Shopping. Something to do with wax. Whatever. Sounds weird.

But, make no mistake. She’s no girlie girl…

She’ll be playing cut-throat Craps, Black Jack, and Texas Hold ’em tournaments.

Seriously, she knows what she’s doing. She wants to play. And… She will win. She is Fierce.

I spend the day with the girls in the Adventuredome. Riding the Frog Hopper, watching the Sponge Bob 4-D movie, and doing the bumper cars.

Meanwhile, Mommy is winning big.


It looks like Wednesday will be Daddy’s Day in Las Vegas where he can do anything he wants while Mommy tends to the child-folk. No questions asked. (Ok, a few questions asked.) It’s Mommy’s 20th anniversary gift to Daddy.


What should I do all by myself in Vegas? You know. Sin City.

Er…… I’m a deer in headlights. So, I do what most people would do: I ask my Facebook friends.

Now, I know I have nothing but the most classy, smart, eloquent and reserved friends on the Facebook.

They all say: Strippers.

(Ok, not all. Some say: Cars!)

Now, strippers (and cars) are really not my thing. No judgements. I enjoy an MPG every once in a while (we have a Prius, you know.).

But, remember: What happens in Vegas, needs plausible deniability in the real world.

So, I spend most of the day with the girls, catching the circus shows. Like the Acrobats, see my previous post.

Mommy wins more money.


I’m delighted to see that the casino is still hiring women “of a certain age” to serve as cocktail waitresses. Yay, for aging! But, seriously, are 50+ year-old waitresses required to wear the same revealing, push-up, squeeze-here, butt-bearing outfits of women less than half their age? Whatever happened to aging gracefully? Just bring me my drink.


To the chunky Brazilian guy wearing the Speedo poolside today:

Dude, it really takes balls to wear that kind of swimsuit in public. You apparently think you have them. Um… No. And, yet, ironically… You do.


What happens in Vegas

..she had a LOT more fun than the rest of us.


Ok, I can’t ignore this anymore.

Vegas is the Boob Capital of the World. (And, remember, I know what I’m talking about — I live in in Hollywood.) In Vegas, every billboard, taxi cab, magazine, cable-channel, diamond-vision, public walkway, and leaflet-giver is covered in breasts. Basically, any surface potentially visible by men.

I am inundated in breasts. The place is practically crawling with them (nice visual there, eh? I paint with my words.)

Now, I am not offended because they are being thrust in my face. (Definitely, not). I am not offended because the barrage of cleavage objectifies women. Nor, am I offended because I don’t want to expose my little girls to grown-up things until they are ready (though I really don’t).

No. I’m offended that the city has made boobs so common, so… Boring…

And that’s uncool, Las Vegas. Uncool.


Most disturbing 4th of July promo in the Calendar section of the Las Vegas Sun newspaper:

California Invasion: Bare’s mid-week pool party gets into the July 4 spirit with busloads of girls from San Diego and Los Angeles plus music from Blend Artists.

“Busloads of girls” brought in from Southern California? That’s not a party. It’s usually referred to as “Human Trafficking.”


Darren’s Vegas Clubbing Fashion Paradox:

A mini-dress can be cut too low and too high at the same time. Discuss.


We manage to get a late check-out (6pm) for only $20 per room. Mommy knows how to work the system (she’s awesome that way). We figure this is perfect — the girls will sleep most of the way home.

I load up the car. It is 112 degrees. Rethinking this check out time… Maybe early, early would be better. When it’s only 102.

Anyway, we leave, actually getting on the road at about 7:30. With some lane closures on the freeway and a couple of bathroom breaks (by the way: for those who routinely make the LA-to-Vegas trip, the thermometer in Baker has fallen into disrepair. Bun Boy has gone out of business. And, it looks like Bob’s Big Boy has closed.), it is a 6.5 hour odyssey to get home. Julianna is car sick. Isabella is crying. Mommy is desperate for quiet. Daddy is just trying to stay awake. Mommy rubs his back. Getting home is almost as difficult as getting there.

We get home around 2am.

Then, we have to unpack to car. Grrrrr.

At least Mommy is up several hundred dollars. Where’s my pillow?


So I drag myself into the office on Friday only to find my inbox filled with this:

Welcome Home! We missed you! Did you have fun? So glad you had time away! … Yeah, we need this ASAP.

10-and-a-half inches of inbox. Too tired for a “sounds like my honeymoon” joke. Too tired.

The Acrobats

Here at the Fun Time, I get lots of feedback from mothers who are looking for a Dad’s point of view on the subject of child rearing. As much as I’m glad to be noticed, I find it astonishing that my silly little posts are even being read, much less appreciated and studied for insight into the male psyche. You’re kidding me, right? Psycho, maybe, but no psyche.

So, this one goes out to all the Ladies, especially if you have a tweenage son. (And, I speak from experience as having once been one of those creatures. Ewwww. Sticky.)

We are in Las Vegas this week, staying at the Circus Circus hotel.

Part of the allure of Circus Circus is, well, the circus. And, any self-respecting circus is going to have clowns. And, jugglers. And, tight rope walkers. And, then there are the scantily-clad acrobats. Always a favorite.

We are ringside for the 11:00am show. Out walk Vladimir and Olga. (Yeah, I have no idea what their actual names are. Could be Skippy and Heather from Muncie, Indiana for all I know.)

The announcer tells us that they will be performing Feats of Strength, Flexibility, Balance… and Danger! They do not disappoint. Olga wraps herself into a pretzel while Vladimir balances her above his head on his pinkie finger. Damn.

It is awe-inspiring.

Then Olga stands up, bends over, grabs her calf, puts her ear next to her ankle and slowly raises her other leg straight up in the air. It is a 180+ degree vertical split. Most impressive. Vladimir lifts her on his forearm and raises her up, she grabs his forehead, and he gradually spins her around.

I applaud, but the 12-year-old boy inside me wants to let you know his thoughts:

No, he doesn’t care about her workout regime. No, he doesn’t care about her hamstring. No, he doesn’t care about her diet or caloric intake. No, he doesn’t care if she is feeling bloated. And, no, he doesn’t care about the heart-breaking sacrifices in her life she has made to entertain complete strangers.

Your 12-year-old son (in a hormone rage) is totally fixated on a couple of very specific areas of the female form that are displayed in front of him. For the first time ever. In an ultra-form-fitting leotard. In a vertical split. Ultra.

Joy Duo, the actual Circus Circus act. See what I’m sayin.’ (I don’t think this is from a porn shoot…)

So, while as a parent, you may ooo and awe at the tremendous skill and athleticism of the acrobatics in front of you, these are images that your son will have in his head every night for the next two weeks. And, he will reference them frequently.

These will be the images that form his permanent childhood memories.

I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. It’s natural. I survived it.

And, so did my mother.