Let Me Have My Suffering

I was chatting with a friend of mine who has a two-month-old. And, I remembered how hard it was with a baby that young. Ghastly hard. And, as you know, I was just the Daddy (Mommy had it much, much worse).

Then, I remembered this abandoned post which I never finalized from a couple years ago. I’ve polished it up a bit.

Still true.

(Caution: Yeah, there’s language.)


Please, let me have my suffering.

I’m heading down the ice cream aisle at the supermarket with 7-year-old Julianna and 5-year-old Isabella when the biggest tantrum in the history of tantrums erupts.

Julianna: I want Mint Chocolate Chip… No wait, Cookies and Cream. No… I can’t decide…

Me: Honey, please pick one. But, only one.

Isabella: I want miiiint!

Things escalate voraciously. Before I know it, both children are screaming and flopping on the floor over ice cream. In Aisle 6. On the floor. Over ice cream.

There are details I’m skipping here, but it was several minutes of pure Parental Hell. Then, an older lady looks at me with a mixture or compassion and arrogance:

“Just wait until they are teens,” she says.

Did she not see my stress? Or, the blood vessels straining in my neck? Or, the flailing on the floor on Aisle 6? Aisle Fucking 6?

Who the Hell asked you, Lady?

I ignore her, and eventually slog myself through the checkout line with two screaming kids. I think I settled on vanilla. No one won. No one was happy. Especially the checkout teller.

It was a long battle. But, I will say, at no time was I embarrassed by this (because, I don’t know those people. Plus, I know they’ve been through it, too), nor did I lose my temper. I was a pillar of parental stoicism.

The car ride home, though, was another story. Quite tempestuous. Things ramped up.

The screaming continued on the ride home. “I wanted mint!” “I couldn’t decide!”

I yelled. They yelled. The light turned green. But not a LEFT TURN green. Fuck! Why are there no Goddamn left turn arrows in a city of 8 million people? (Another rant, coming soon. Are you trying to get me started?)

When the regular light turns yellow, I haul ass, and avoid being T-Boned by a Dodge Durango.

I get them home. But, I can barely contain my pissed-off-ish-ness. I scoop out the vanilla ice cream. “You will eat this!” (There may have been expletives. Probably… Definitely. Yeah, expletives. Well… At least in my head. Colorful ones. The most colorful ones. Painting a picture of expletives. Like Rembrandt. Again, in my head.)

But, I begin to calm down….

Then I think…

How DARE that grandmother tell me “Just wait until they are teens.” What Bullshit is that?

Fuck her.

She’s forgotten how Goddamn hard this shit is. I had one girl pulling at the ice cream case while the other was on her back, kicking and screaming on the floor. Tears. Shrieks.

Since my girls were born, I’ve had innumerable friends, family, and complete strangers try to outdo my struggles with the “wait until” line. They always take glee in knowing that things will get worse for me. For my wife and me.

Why are people like this? It’s not a competition. Seriously. Not a competition.

Why can’t they accept that this, right now, is pretty fucking damn hard?

Here’s the “Wait until” mantra:

Wait until she is eating solids.
Wait until she is teething.
Wait until she is crawling.
Wait until she is walking.
Wait until you try to potty train.
Wait until Pre-School.
Wait until 1st Grade.
Wait until 8th Grade
Wait until her first date.
Wait until she’s driving.
Wait until she turns 18.
Wait until she’s in college.
Wait until she gets married.
Wait until she has a daughter.

Invariably, the next step is ALWAYS worse.

Why do people insist on doing this? Are they trying to make me feel guilty even before worse stuff happens? Are you a better survivor than me? I don’t understand.

Yes, each step is incrementally more difficult than the previous one. But, the fact that I survived the previous step means that I am ready for the next one. My daughter going to college will be tough. But, the fact that I suffered through her ice cream tirade is part of the reason she got there to begin with. Stop trying to outdo me in the difficulty factor.

So, to everyone who wants to tell me how much harder it is going to be:

Please, please… Let me have my suffering.

Mr. White Beard

Let me know if you’ve heard this before. (And, if you’re a regular reader, then yeah, you’ll recognize the theme.)

Sleepy time arrives, and I cuddle up with Julianna (she’s 8)…

Julianna: Dadda. You have a lot of white hairs.

Me: Yeah, I suppose.

J: And, also a lot of white in your beard.

Me: Ok. You’re getting at something, here, right?

J: Well. One day your hair and your beard will be all white.

Me: And…

J: People will start thinking you’re Santa Claus.

Me: Lots of people have white hair and a white beard.

J: Well, yes. But, also… Because you’re so fat.


[Editor’s note: I read this post back to Julianna. She got a really sour, displeased look on her face.

Me: What’s wrong?

J: Well, but Daddy! You never Thank Me!

Me: So sorry.

Here’s a shout out to Julianna. Thanks, Sweety for all the humiliations you heap on me. I love them all. Usually.]

Stripper Pole-ster

Julianna (you’ll remember, she’s 8): Dadda, when I grow up, I want to be a firefighter.

Me: That’s great, Sweety. But, it’s very dangerous.

J: Yeah, but mostly, it’s because I love the pole that they have.

Me: The pole.

J: Yeah, but, it’s dangerous. But, I do love that pole!

Julianna begins to rethink her career choice.

J: Dadda. Are there any other jobs that have a pole?


Me: Well. I can think of a couple. But, firefighter is going to be your best bet. Unless you want to change your name to Allysin Wonderlyn.

J: You’re weird.

(she walks away.)

Me: Firefighter, Honey. Good choice. Less danger.

(And yes, this is a true story. Good Sunday morning to you, too.)

Happy Birthday

Wow. Daddy/Daughter Fun Time has reached its first birthday.


I’ll be rolling out posts all week in celebration.

And, now the sucking up: I couldn’t have done it without the support, comments, text messages, restraint orders, and UN resolutions from each of you. Running a blog can be very time consuming, especially with everything else in life. So, I thank you all for your indulgence. Even the Hate Mail (at least you’re reading.)

(Really, I’ve never gotten hate mail. So, obviously, I’m not trying hard enough.)

I’ve been going through all of the rough drafts of things that tickled me for 5 seconds, or came to me after my third Margarita. Turns out, there’s a reason you’ll never see them.

Lots of talk of Boobs. Something called Mommy/Daddy Fun Time. Tragically embarrassing details that would scar soon-to-be teenage girls if the public knew.

Oh, look. More Boobs.

Clearly, I have issues.

Now, I must go spend actual time with the girls of the Fun Time, instead of just writing about them. I hear a game of Rat-A-Tat Cat happening. Oh… Delicious arguments abound.

In the meantime, here’s a post that I thought I had published, but I can’t find it:


Going through Julianna’s (she’s 8) DVR recordings tonight:

J: Oooh, Daddy. I want to see the one with the Hot Princess.

Me: Seriously. The Hot Princess? You know that a Princess can be “Hot?” Where do you get this stuff? You’ve been watching way too much TV. And, I know that I contribute to this by working in an industry which promulgates body-image stereotypes on girls and young women which are totally unrealistic and warp their sense of beauty and self-worth? God, I’m horrible.

J: No, Dad… I meant she’s actually hot. She’s the FIRE Princess. From “Adventure Time.”

Me: Oh… The Fire Princess. From “Adventure Time.” You mean the show that has won numerous Emmy and Annie Awards? And is considered one of the best of the current generation’s animated series?

J: I guess. I don’t know.

Me: Ok, then… Never mind.

Ok, I embellished that one a bit. (But it all flashed through my mind in an instant.)

What’s “Up?”

The movie is called “Up.” I know the musical cue as “1M6.” It is entitled “A Married Life.”

It is the most heartwarming and most heartbreaking sequence in modern film-making. I can’t not enjoy it, and yet not cry.

The music is by Michael Giacchino.

Now, I work on lots and lots of Hollywood movies. But, this one is special.

The rest of the “Up” score is also great. Worthy of, I don’t know, an Oscar. (Hint: It won.)

But, I’m sitting with my daughters, watching a movie about an old man, a young boy, and a dream. In tears. And, all I can say is:


Can’t stop laughing.

Yoga Pants

Yes… Yoga pants.

Full disclosure: I am a huge fan.

Now, to my point. I have heard the news (a front page story at the LA Times, Washington Post, and others) that the biggest yoga pants company in the world is recalling their latest batch because they are, um, well, too transparent. (i.e. We can see your butt.)

This is a front-page problem? Syria? Sequester? War? Butt coverage?

At least, I am getting a post out of it all. (I don’t usually blog about Afghanistan…)


Women plunk down lots of cash (like $100!) for these pants. They are, as anyone will tell you, somewhat form-fitting. Totally form-fitting. Exactly form-fitting. You know this, right?

Of course, if you’re going to spend $100 on sweat pants, then I suppose they should at least protect your modesty. (Though, seriously, no one in a yoga class is concerned about modesty. You’ve seen Downward Dog, right?)

But, still. A hundred bucks.

As I said, I am a fan. And, apparently, I’m not the only one. While compiling research for this post, I discovered that there are quite a number of Web Sites dedicated to women in yoga pants. (Again, I was doing research. Scientific research.)

Now, I’ve never been in to yoga. I mean, there’s the Chi. And, the Karma. And, I don’t know, Mojo. Gravy? Something… Again, not my thing.

I know people who totally love yoga. So, I’m not knocking it. Hell, Isabella was doing the Tree pose when she was two. I never advanced beyond Dude on Sofa Watching Football. It’s not a competition. Everyone at their own pace.

But, to my women friends: You know that when you put yoga pants on, people will notice your areas. You know what you are doing, don’t you? Whether at the YMCA, the dog park, the supermarket, or the accountant’s office. You know that, right? Because…

Trust me, people will notice.

And, now, your pants are see-through. Keep that in mind.

Ides of March of the Penguins

Proving once again that Lynn (the Mommy here are at the Fun Time) is the funniest person in the household.

She is apologizing to the carpool Mother who will be driving the girls in to school:

Lynn: Sorry, we’re running a little late. Isabella (she’s 6) is going all Morgan Freeman this morning.

Other Mom: Morgan Freeman?

Lynn: Yes. She narrates everything.

Cut to Isabella…

Iz: Now, I’m putting on my lefffft sock (pause, pause)… Now, I’m putting on my riiiiight sock (pause, pause)… Now, I’m putting on my lefffft shoe (pause, pause)… Now, Oh My Gosh! Where’s my right shoe?! Oh, never mind. There it is! Now, I’m putting on my riiiiiight shoe (pause, pause)…

Stupid Daddy

Snuggling down with Julianna, the eight-year-old…

J: Daddy, you’re the best Daddy I’ve ever had.

Me: Thank you, Honey… But, exactly, how many Daddies have you ever had?

J: Just you.

Me: So, if I’m your Best Daddy, that means I’m also…

J: Uh… The fattest Daddy I’ve ever had.

Me: You’re not following my logic. If I’m the Best Daddy, and the ONLY Daddy, then I’m also…

J: You’re also the stupidest.

Me: Thank you for that. You’re losing me. Hold on…

J: You’re the dumbest Daddy…?

Me: You know you were adopted. Not only the Best Daddy….

Tears start to fall.

J: You’re the Worst Daddy Ever.

Me: Finally. You see my point….

J: Waaah.

Me: But, just kidding, Dear. Seriously. Just kidding. Not adopted…. Oh, crap, what have I done?

(By the way, adoption is an absolutely wonderful thing. I know a number of adoptive parents. They totally rock. Adopting is the best thing people in a society can do. Absolutely. But, in this case, I went for the easy joke to make my child cry. Horrible parenting, I know.)

Future psychotherapy available here. In a couple of years.

My Kind of Town

We’re watching the snowstorm hit the Midwest tonight. The reporter says, “There’s a shot from Chicago…”

Julianna (she’s 8): Hey, that looks like Chicago.

Mommy: Chicago? How do you know what Chicago looks like? You’ve never been there.

J: Well… I mean it looks like a place called Chicago.

Me: Huh?

J: You know, like Isabella looks like someone named “Isabella.” And, Mommy looks like someone named “Lynn.”

Me: And, what do I look like? A weirdo?

J: We have a winner!

Come Sail Away…

So, I spent most of the afternoon watching aging rock stars performing on the Palladia channel. Foreigner. Styx. Journey. The Kinks. The Who.

Lynn (the Mommy here at the Fun Time) asks: Are these even the original people in the band?

Me: I don’t know. I doubt it. Definitely not him.

Lynn: The bass player? The drummer? … The original singer? They look old enough, but come on.

Me: I know.

An idea is hatched:

I look old enough! If I wait long enough, maybe I can become a Beatle. You know… The Quiet One.