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The Real Good Luck Charlie, Chapter 2: Parenting 101

18 Sep

So Charlie, here we are, 1 month from when you have been scheduled to make an appearance.  If you are anything like your sister and brother, you will be a bit early.  This is also the LAST time you will ever be a bit early (again, if you are anything like you sister and brother).  We’ve been real busy getting to this point.  We’ve been organizing, cleaning, washing, installing, and putting things together all in preparation for your arrival.  We also took a birthing class at the hospital.  We did this with your sister 14 years ago, don’t think you’re special.  We do it for all the girls.  We skipped it for the boy.  He was, is, and always will be easier than you two.  About 20 minutes into the class, I had a thought:  What are they actually teaching us?  To tell you the truth, not much.  Rather, they did teach us quite a bit about what to expect during the birthing process.  What they didn’t teach us was ANYTHING about parenting.  Not that the boss or I need any help.  We’ve successfully kept 2 kids alive for 14 and 11 years.  Believe me, that’s no mean feat.  What about the new parents, who don’t have other kids that they figured things out with?  What will they do?  Wing it?  Read stupid books that doesn’t really tell you anything useful?  Probably.  Which led to a second thought:  Could I teach a Parenting 101 class?  Would it be successful?  Would people pay me for the privilege of having the boss and I tell them all the little secrets?

This led me to think about what I would want covered in a Parenting 101 class if there were such a thing.  Here are the basics of what I came up with:

The class would start off with the moms and dads to be in the same room.  We would go over the basics: feeding, diaper changing, clothes changes, what to pack, how to not ever get a mini-van (provided you stay with less than or equal to 3 kids), etc.

Then the men and women would split up.  The men would go with me, the women with your mother.  There the real learning would take place.  The men would learn things like speed diapering, how to hold a beer and feed a baby (and how not to mix them up), clothes wrangling, avoiding getting peed or pooped on, etc.  I guess the women would learn things like how to swaddle, baby powder 101, breast or bottle, couponing while dealing with a fussy baby, etc.

At some point, I suppose the women and men should trade places and go over the same things.

Then we would all come together for a conclusion of some sort, followed by a celebration of some sort.

What do you think?  Do you think people would participate?

As always, Good Luck Charlie, your dad is obviously insane.

When Good Enough Isn’t

27 Jun

I am by no means a perfectionist.  “Good Enough” might as well have been my motto.  I am SLOOOOOOOWLY starting to realize that “Good Enough” is NOT Good Enough.  For me it all started with a table.  Yes, I know how weird that sounds.  I started to make a coffee table for my living room out of reclaimed wood from an old mill.  The top and apron came out just about perfect.  The legs?  Not so much.  They wobble.  Not badly, not dangerously, just a little bit.  I know what I need to do.  It’s not a huge deal to fix, I’m just not sure I can be bothered.  Rather, I’m not sure I should.  I’m thinking that I should leave it alone as a reminder that “Good Enough” isn’t.

I recently completed a second coffee table.  This one is made from old pallets, hand cut nails, and a reclaimed 4×4 for the legs.  This one has no wobble.  This one is “Better Than”.  It’s built better than the other.  It’s stronger than the other.  It’s all around a better table.  As soon as I figure out what sort of finish I’m going to apply to it, I may put this one up for sale.  Should it sell, I plan on starting on a dining table.  Eventually, I think I’ll start a shop on Etsy or something to sell custom reclaimed tables (just like the other 9,647* people currently doing exactly that).

At the moment, I am slowly working my way through some old barn wood to build a table for my dining room.  I know I probably shouldn’t be focused on a table for me, when I could/should be making tables to sell to others.  However, I feel that I need to get my “Good Enough” dining table out of the way, so I can start making a bunch of “Better Than” tables for sale.

Here’s a song I love titled “Better Than”:

*number MAY be exaggerated.  Slightly.

That one time Mom got really mad at Dad…

29 Jul

Yeah I know, there’s been a couple of these (tons actually).  I was reading a post I have waiting in the wings about the boats my family has had over the years when a memory hit me.  Memories do that to me.  For instance when I hear Rusted Root’s The Cat Turned Blue, I am instantly transported back to 12 year old me, playing some space game on my brothers computer.  This game was the stupidest game ever invented.  All you did was spend hours holding the stupid arrow key flying your ship across the screen trying to reach some distant planet.  Fortunately the music made up for it:

Who’s the most awesome digress-er in the world?!  That’s right.  I am.  I think it’s the A.D.D….  Back on track:

So mom got really mad at my dad.  Why?  Who knows.  He probably yelled at her for pulling her wrong when he was shoe skiing.  Or maybe she turned too tight and he went rolling across the water (which was actually hilarious watching a 325lb guy flying across the water).  What ever the reason, mom was fed up with his crap.  So she did what any self respecting woman would do:  She left.  She packed up us kids and took off.  She just left my dad floating there in the middle of the lake.  I don’t think he was wearing a life jacket either…  Eventually she cooled off a bit and we went back for him and all was well.

Replacement Words

31 May

The joy of having kids is that we get to use replacement words.  Such words have a double meaning, or even a triple meaning.  I’ve used many such words in my 11+ years of parenthood.  My grandma is famous for also using such words.  My grandma uses “sugar” as her favorite replacement word.  Got a hang nail?  Oh sugar.  Just cut yourself?  SUGAR!  Sugar is also shortened to “Sug” a term of endearment.

My newest and most favorite replacement word is Bandersnatch.  I first heard the term from the 2010 Disney film Alice in Wonderland.  In the movie it’s a large hairy creature with sharp-pointy teeth.  In my replacement word usage, it has replaced everything from S#!t, the f-bomb, to any other word(s) that I don’t necessarily want my kids to hear.  “Awe Bandersnatch” is a common phrase to spout from my filthy sailor’s mouth.  At a cook-out on Saturday, we were discussing replacement words.  When I told the group of assembled party-goers my favorite word, they were a bit taken back.  “It still sounds filthy” said one.  I replied in my usual snarky manner that it was because the last half of the word is snatch.  That’s what I like about Bandersnatch.  It’s clean enough that Disney (and Lewis Carroll, though he was NOT that clean) used it, yet dirty enough to be successful in delivering the desired effect. 

Past favorites have been:  sugar (Thanks Gram!), blast, what in the world, and fork for obvious reasons…  Replacement words don’t tend to stick around too long.  Soon enough the kids will find out what word you are replacing and give you that look.  All parents (dads especially) know that look.  The look that says, “I’m telling mom!”  The look that let’s you know that your little girl isn’t that young anymore.  That she knows what’s going on.  It’s the same look you receive when you’re driving in the car and that one inappropriate song in your current playlist comes on.  As soon as they hear that f-bomb or s-word, you know.  You’re screwed.  The Boss’s going to find out.  She’s going to wring your neck.  “Mom!  Dad was swearing!”  “What’d he say THIS time?”  “Well, he said Bandersnatch, but what he meant to say was….”  This usually results in a verbal reaming for both me and The Thing which has figured out what word I was replacing.

Parenting is hard.  If it weren’t for the fun moments, I think we’d all eat our young.

Do you use replacement words?  Which are your favorites?

Happy Mothers Day: Hope you don’t get a colander!

6 May

Wait, what?  What does a colander have to do with Mothers Day?

Quite simply, my dad did something very stupid.  Very, very, VERY stupid.  A very stupid thing in a long line of stupid things.  And people wonder where I get it from….

The Colander Incident or: How mom got super mad on Mothers Day

One Mothers Day when my little brother and I were smart enough to know what to get our mom on Mothers Day, yet penniless to contribute financially, our dad bought her a colander.  But wait!  There’s more!  A colander, a fancy plastic mounts on your cabinet paper towel holder, dish towels, and wooden spoons!  All these things can be yours and more for your crappiest Mothers Day ever!

I can remember telling my dad that mom was going to be super mad if that’s all we got for her.  His reply:  “No she won’t.  She’ll love these things.  Trust me.”  Yeah…  About that…  You know how there are some people in this world that you should automatically trust?  At that point, I realized my dad was not one of these people (Now much later in life, I realize that of course my dad is to be trusted.  Just not with gift buying).

Mothers Day arrives and mom opens her “gifts”.  Is it any wonder why my brother and I both apologized on our cards?  Mom goes BALISTIC!  From that moment on I knew the meaning of: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

He can be taught!

Ever since then, my dad has been awesome at buying Mothers Day stuff for my mom.  Usually he gets her jewelry, or lets her pick or what it is she wants.  She gets something shiny, bright, and often useful.  Sort of like a colander.  Huh, maybe I should get my wife one for Mothers Day?

Who says we actually learn life leasons?