Restaurant outings when you have no children is a nice, casual affair and something to look forward to. It is usually a delightful event that entails a bit of pre-planning and some general discussion with your significant other about where you will go, what you will choose to eat when you get there and when you should leave the house.
With children ALL of these things go out the window and the outing is much more akin to a strategic military operation. Here are some considerations to ask before taking kids out to a restaurant: Continue reading
I promised myself that there was nothing my kids could ever do that would cause me to be disappointed in them.
I was wrong.
Tonight, my boys were watching Jurassic Park in the living room while I worked in the dining room. I was eavesdropping on Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece when my kids’ voices got in the way:
Connor: “That’s Nicolas Cage. The guy starting the tour.”
Cam: “Are you sure?”
At 13 and 11, my boys have a pretty solid understanding of age-appropriate movies, from actors to special FX to story writing, so I was a little surprised to hear them claim Nicolas Cage was in Jurassic Park – a movie that they have seen 3 or 4 times.
Me: “Guys, Nic Cage isn’t in Jurassic Park.”
Connor: “Yeah, he is. Come see.”
They backed up the video to the previous scene and played it for me. Sam Neil and Laura Dern got in their vehicles. Bob Peck warned of an incoming storm. The cars set off on the tour.
Connor: “See…Nicolas Cage.”
Connor, referencing the actor frozen on screen: “Right there.”
. . .
Me: “Um…Connor…Nicolas Cage is a white guy…”
Me: “…with weird hair…”
Me: “…freaks out a lot.”
Connor: “Right. I meant Samuel L. Jackson. Nicolas Cage was in National Treasure.”
Me: “Much better.”
Kids…they’ve seen one actor, they’ve seen them all. Just sad.
I’ve pretty much guaranteed that my boys will need serious therapy. This is just one of the reasons:
Sometimes, when parents are at their wits’ ends, we make up stupid stuff and tell it to our kids. For instance –
Me: Run to that tree and back and I’ll time you!
Kid runs to the tree and back – approximately 1 mile.
Kid (not noticing that I am not even wearing a watch): How long was that?
Me (with no remorse): 2 minutes! Try it again!
This little ditty got me through many difficult days. It helped me spend more time with my kids, and less time researching the maximum age at which you can return your child to the hospital under Safe Haven laws.
Mom gets all the credit for bringing my daughters into this world. Mom went through that whole long drawn-out pregnancy thing. Mom went through all the pain and the drama of childbirth and everyone exalts her for this. Mom, from the beginning, gets to tell these little ones, “You were in mommy’s tummy. That’s where you came from. Isn’t that special.” While dad…well, dad was just – there. Dad was an innocent bystander watching while an apparent alien overtook mom’s body and emotions. Dad drove the car to the hospital when it was time and made sure the camera and the phone were charged. Dad got a bucket of ice like he saw on some TV show because he thought mom would need her lips iced or something. Continue reading
One Day of Parenting…
Hey parents of small children, ever feel like you’ve worked hard all day, you’re totally exhausted, but you haven’t accomplished anything? Yeah, what you’re feeling is called parenthood. My brilliant wife Heather O’Quinn took it upon herself to candidly photojournal what she actually did in one day this week. So pat yourself on the back and STOP beating yourself up. Parents, this is what you accomplish in One Day!
One day of diapers…
One day of boo boo kissing…
As I go about my daily life, I am often troubled by a glaring shortcoming in the personalities of today’s young people – the lack of a solid work ethic. Nowhere, I believe, has this ever been more apparent than in my front yard last week.
I am the father of two middle school aged boys, so I wasn’t terribly surprised when my youngest walked into the house on a beautiful Sunday morning and declared, “Dad, we’ve been TP’d!”
I calmly took another sip of my coffee, closed my laptop, and flashed him a smile. He looked at me, confused. See, what he didn’t yet know and was about to learn was that, in my day (I’m nearly forty. Am I allowed to say “In my day!”?), your house being toilet-papered was a badge of honor, a right of passage, a sign that you were one of the guys.
Summertime is here This meme says it all! You know you’ve been there. It is SO exciting to pile everyone in the car. Simply magical as you to pull up to the park. Things start to go a little south as you get out of the car, get out strollers and lather on the sunscreen. You have a few whiners on the way out of the parking structure and by the time you get to the STUPID SHUTTLE they are driving you insane!!!
I know, I know. They are only this small once. Believe me, I get it. In fact, our family’s Annual Passport is up for renewal and I didn’t think twice about doling out a chunk of the bank account to give to the Mouse House. All I’m saying is they need to rethink that marketing-speak “Happiest Place on Earth” thing!
What Kids Can Learn From A Water Balloon Fight
Photo by Snarklemotion/Flickr
“Parents shouldn’t be afraid of rough-and-tumble play and even play-acting involving pretend violence. Instead, they should get down on the carpet and participate.”