Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Who cares about last week?

Last week the nation celebrated the age old tradition of Thanksgiving. A day known for laying around, eating until you pass out, and yelling at your brother-in-law for his bad life decisions. It is one of my favorite holidays on Earth but who else really cares about it? I wrote this article last year and apparently America didn't listen to me because this year the retail chains were at it even worse than last. So with that I will refuse to link to these retailers in this article because they are destroying my favorite Holiday by creating a false sense of urgency for people to leave their families and spend money.

What I found this year was just terrible. Stores opening as early as 10pm on Thanksgiving Day or at Midnight on Friday. I think they have really lost their soul. It's one thing to schedule your workers to work these hours, at least they are getting paid. But when they create a competitive atmosphere for consumers, getting them out of their homes and away from their families on arguably the most family-oriented holiday there is, it rubs me raw. Yes it is at Midnight and kids are typically sleeping, but did mommy or daddy have to leave the party early so they could sleep for 2 hours before they went and tried to buy a TV? What also chaps my arse is that this year (I haven't seen it in previous years) is retailers were posting store maps so people could plan their attack throughout the store and on other consumers that got in their way. I mean how easy are they going to make it, at least let these people find the deals on their own.

Ok I am almost done venting, but before I quit, I would just like to urge you as a consumer to stop this BS and feeding the Walmarts of the world. YOU are the customer and YOU should be able to call the shots. Not the other way around. And who really gives a crap in 3 years that your broken TV cost you $300 instead of $600? Its still broken. Family is what matters on holidays, not cheap stuff.

So, with that and seeing how well our blog gets read by America, here's my predictions for next years Black Friday Retail Hooker-a-thon.

  1. Walmart opens at 8:30pm offers pumpkin pie so you can just eat dessert in the store. It does go oh so well with pepper spray.
  2. Target offers a Wake-Up Call service to ensure you are out of bed in enough time to shower and look your best when you tackle that beotch for taking the last electric smoker. 
  3. Lowe's will build a new house for the first person in America that buys more than $2500 of light bulbs on Black Friday.
  4. While I have no experience with BJ's Wholesale Club, they will offer their namesake to the first 30 people that buy a pre-lit Christmas Tree. Sorry I went there.
  5. Kmart will pay their workers in kitchen gadgets and tube socks for working extended holiday hours.
Ok that's it. Stop buying into this crap will ya?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Our Manniversary!

It's hard to believe our little blog is one year old today. It didn't give us quite as many late nights and early mornings as our children have in the same time frame, but it's been a lot of work nonetheless. 

To celebrate, we're giving ourselves the day off and turning you all into staff writers today by letting you tell us your stories. Best fathering/parenting/suburbaning/allianceing story in the comments by 12 midnight Central Time on Sunday, November 20 gets a free t-shirt. 
We can't promise you'll be this dimly-lit.

And don't worry -- non-best story submitters are still welcome to buy one

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Beauty in the Ear of the Beholder

My kids (all of them) have been on a real music kick lately. Which is great. I'd love for them all to grow up with an appreciation for music. Their selection in music, however, really makes me worry about the generation that should be paying for my Social Security benefits.

In no particular order, here are the songs that my kids most frequently request.

I'd like it known here and now that I don't play all of these for my progeny; certain songs will only "work" in Mommy's car. Anyone who lets them in on the fact that I could technically play them are welcome to drive the wee ones around while they rock out to the Biebs.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Why exactly do you fear my 25-pound baby?

I got a phone call on Wednesday that I had to come and pick my 2 year old up from her daycare because she had bitten another child. This is the first such call I've received because apparently it was the first such one they had made. I wasn't thrilled.

The zombie baby resting after her cannibalistic tirade.
Since the caller opted to receive their earful when I got there as opposed to on the phone, I arrived pretty upset. Why have they created a new policy that a child must go home for the day if they bite twice? They already have policies that kids must go home if they have a fever or if they have two scooty poos. I'm gonna have a hard time paying for daycare if I get fired for leaving work every day before lunch until those molars come in because my baby is teething, which coincidentally has symptoms like biting, fever, and scooty poos. 

Adding to my frustration is that my daycare should share responsibility for behavioral issues (if there is one)  because they spend more time with her than I do. By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, she spends about 50 waking hours with them every week, and a shade under 40 at home (and half of that time is spent locked into her car seat). Part of what I pay for (beyond the whole "making sure I can reliably stay at work") is them making sure she grows up having reasonable boundaries during the day. If she can't behave, they should have to take her home.

As it turns out, this sudden change in policy is due to pressure from the state to crack down on biting. Why, you ask (and I certainly did)? Because some parents view biting as a form of bullying and abuse and so they've lobbied the state to start cracking down on daycare centers. That's our tax dollars at work preventing my child from going through a perfectly normal developmental phase. 

I want to be perfectly clear that I don't condone bullying or child abuse in any way. [Note: In a fit of horrible parenting a few years ago, when one of my children was being bullied, I gave his little brother (by far the craziest of the bunch) permission to rip the head off of any kid who messed with his family, and I warned his daycare that I had given such a greenlight. We never ended up needing to deploy young Mr. Wolf, and we had no further issues.] At the same time, I don't condone a government entity trying to prevent baby on baby violence. As with many government attempts to protect us from babies, it is both well-intentioned and destined to fail. The only centers that will pay any attention are the ones that were already responsibly handling biting and other behaviors while the centers that were shady will continue to be shady. 

And if you happen to be one of the parents who is standing up and protecting the right of your child (who is no doubt a hair-pulling eye-gouger) to not be bitten, please assume that I mean no offense when I say "just shut the hell up already." My two year old biting your two year old isn't abusing your baby. She isn't taking their lunch money or making them feel insecure about themselves. They aren't going to grow up to being a fraction of their potential for any reason beyond your complete inability to let them grow up. 

Your children would be far better served by learning how to handle themselves than by you trying to legislate me out of a job. I encourage you to invest your time into protecting your kids from the real monsters out there. Things like drugs, obesity, a sense of entitlement, and Justin Bieber. 

If this is the biggest threat your child faces, consider yourself lucky.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Half-Marathon of Parenting

I did it! I did it with no tears, very minor amounts of bribery, and I accomplished it before my wife did. I successfully put all 3 children down for bed with no assistance while my wife was celebrating not being pregnant anymore. I really don't know what else to compare this accomplishment to. I mean its not like climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, but then again its also no easy task. So given the time of the event to occur (roughly 2 hours of alone time) I will go ahead and compare it to my recent half marathon finish. While this may seem like a novice task for you seasoned veterans out there. Let me at least try to build the credibility of this up before you don't acknowledge it as a huge win.

This is how it feels.

I love my 3 kids all dearly, but to sum them up quickly my  kids are as follows: Emotional 5 year old Girl, Volatile 3 year Girl, and Hungry 1 month old Boy.  The dynamic kind of works like this. The 3 year old almost runs the show in the house. She is the wild card. A large girl that weighs about 3 lbs less than the 5 year old and a propensity to pull hair and hit the 5 year old when the parents are out of the room. The problem is the 5 year old just sits there, takes it, and cries. Meanwhile the 1 month old is one of 3 things (along with the percentages of time throughout the day): 1) Awake and calm 10%, 2) Awake, Crying, Hungry 45% 3) Unconscious 45%.

As you can see there's essentially a 50% chance my little dude was going to be awake, hungry & crying for the 2 girls' departure to dreamland. the planning involved to accomplish such a task is tough. Not only do you have to focus on the little guy but you need to make sure the older ones are worn out enough to sleep, but have calmed down enough to be ready for bed. It was about 2 hours or playing, bouncing, shooshing, & correcting, but it happened. The 2 girls faded off to sleep with little intervention from me. Well, the 3 year old has the equivalent of restless leg syndrome in her entire body and it takes her about 30 minutes of flopping around in bed and asking for candy before she dozed off. Regardless, they didn't cry and it was magical.

I think I even surprised my wife when she came home and stuff was cleaned up. I rule.

Anyone have any amazing single fathering stories they'd like to share? Leave them in the comments or contact us and we'll let you blog about how awesome you are.