Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Vaseline: Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

Brother, can you spare some petroleum jelly?

We don’t have too many rules around here, but one is We Don’t Eat Vaseline. Now Vaseline is a household staple. We apply it do anything we don’t understand or recognize, with surprisingly effective results. It removes makeup, stops bleeding, soothes chapped lips, and we’ve put it on Bub’s butt numerous times, as needed. But it’s not a food group.

The rule came about when Bub got a rash on his chin. Obviously we put Vaseline on it. Duh. The next day, he asked for more. Fine, rash was still there, probably didn’t feel too good. Dab dab rub rub. This went on for another day or so, yet, hmmm, his rash was not improving. Then I found out why; walked in to find him standing there, Gene Simmons-ing his chin. Then he looked at me:

“More Vaseline? More Vaseline chin?”
“Wait, did you just eat Vaseline off your chin and then ask for seconds?”
“Well…no. We do not EAT Vaseline.” He stuck his tongue out, started licking his chin.
“Lick it. I’m licking it,” he said, just to clarify.
“No no no, we do not LICK Vaseline, either. That counts.”
“No lick?”
“No, man. We don’t eat OR lick Vaseline. Got it?”
“Okay, Daddy.”

Two rules, technically. But nobody’s counting. Until they get thrown back in your unsuspecting parental grill. Last night I was changing his diaper after a particulary rigorous bowel movement. His, not mine.

“Um, you want some Vaseline, there, Bub?”
“Okay, just a second.” I go to get it and come back to find him completely spread-eagle on the floor, and he’s managed to put his feet together and pull his legs back to his head in a diamond shape, so that his crown jewel is fully exposed.
“I want it right HERE!” he screams, thrusting his index finger directly at his sphincter.
“Okay, I got it. There you go,” I say, start looking for a tissue. But he’s still lying there, a little too long now. Getting awkward now. Perhaps he wants to thank me, needs closure or something. So I give him the prompt:
“Um, what do you say?”
He jabs his finger at his now-shiny butthole fervently and screams: “DON’T EAT IT, DADDY!”
“A simple thank you would—“
“I promise you I won’t. Now can we please get a diaper on?”

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Brown Elephant in the Room

Do they make these in ketchup flavor?

So I finish bathing Bub last night and trying to savor the last few moments of recycled tubwater, when I hear the shriek from the living room:

“Oh, my GOD!”

It’s Mommy. I spring out of the tub, grab my broadsword and start to run to her aid (at least as far as she’s concerned).

“What happened?” I shout at the hallway.

“Look at what I just found on our LIVING ROOM FLOOR,” she says, getting closer to my Zen space.

She stomps into the bathroom, holding a turd. In a Kleenex. For a moment I thought she was going to throw it at me. Or at least drop it in the tub, like a nice marmot. So hostile.

“Holy guacamole, do we have rats?” I say.

“No, idiot, this came out of your son’s butt.”

“Oh my God. Our son is a rat?!”

She wasn’t in the mood. She plopped it in the toilet while shooting me some serious stinkeye, as if I had somehow planted the turd in the one place I knew she’d be sure to find it (Did I mention it was our anniversary?), while simultaneously carrying out my pre-meditated alibi of gallivanting about in a dirty, lukewarm bath. I mildly resented the implication. Plus I was a little confused.

“Well, where did it come from?” I said.

“You tell me,” she said. “I was just putting his diaper on and there it was.”

“Well, the tub is a known SPHINCTER RELAXANT. Perhaps it just fell out when you weren’t looking.”

“Well, I haven’t changed any diapers today. And, it’s hard.”


Okay, in my defense:
       Our rug is brown. And patterned. It must have been like one of those 3-D pictures; I was just not physically capable of seeing the turd.
2.       The light is bad in there. Great during the day, lots of sunlight. Not so much in the evening. A veritable safehaven for stowaway turds.  

Ahh, turds fall out of diapers all the time. The next turd that falls out around here is gonna be you, Bender. It may have been there a couple days, who knows? Nothing to see here, just another Tuesday night. Come on over and join the party. Just watch where you step.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


HP has adopted some very unflattering nicknames around here. Sure, there's Beautiful Baby Girl and Cutes McGee. But there's also Dump Truck. It just came out; it was so organic, so inappropriate. What I meant was that she was solid as a truck, and we just kept dumping food in her. Get it? Dump Truck. But inappropriate in the sense that Garbage Can would have been more accurate. I mean, dump trucks involve hydraulics and inertia; garbage cans just sit there, waiting to be picked up.

Neckfat is another one. Pretty self-explanatory. Sounds like a punk rock band. Check that. A ska band. Do they still make ska? It’s like a black hole in there. The absence of light and sound; if you get too close to the event horizon, you may just get sucked in and implode. Just ask that Strawberry Shortcake bib.What Strawberry Shortcake bib? Exactly.

Well, she’s progressed. The newest nickname is simply The Slug. Not soooo bad, right? Applied based on her current level of self-propulsion. You know, it’s funny, you put her on the living room floor, go out for a burger, and when you come back, she’s ALMOST exactly where you left her. It’s almost like she’s just messing with me; I’m all like, I didn’t angle you 45 degrees, little missy. Just what the hell has been going ON around here, anyway? You want a French fry?

But that’s how it always is for slugs, right? You walk by one after a storm, the poor bastard right in the middle of a high–traffic footpath, and you’re all like, awww, poor little swuggy-wuggy. You give him a little pep talk (No no, right THEN left), a little pat on the shell (wait, is that a snail?), and send him on his slimey little way. Yet we never actually move them to a secure location, do we? Best not to, slugs carry all sorts of unsavory diseases. Plus you don’t want to start some sort of weird slug Final Destination death-cheating cycle.

But then you come home from wherever and he’s still there, basically. He traversed a distance of approximately four inches. And that makes you mad.

“MOVE, SLUG, MOVE!!” you scream, suddenly shouldering the thankless burden of a slug’s life coach. Yet he is unfettered, sits there in his own goo; slugs are reknowned for their mental resilience.

My point is that this is a lot like HP right now. She’s slimy. She also strongly dislikes having salt poured on her person. Coincidence? Let’s ask the expert:

Me: Bub, do you think your sister a slug?
Bub: Eggatory, good buddy.
Me: Eggatory? You mean where bad eggs go to languish for eternity?
Bub: Eggatory, good buddy.
Me: Thank you for the clarification.
Bub: Thank you, good night!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Making Out Just Fine?

So I’m trying to teach my son how to kiss. In no way is this weird. No one way, that is—just every way.

Sometimes I forget that he doesn’t know shit. There was probably a nicer way to say that. But seriously, he doesn’t know how to tie his Keds, let alone a bowtie. Doesn’t know how to make a good crème brulee or a witty joke or something from nothing. Doesn’t know the cardinal directions or the laws of gravity or that cement does not taste nearly as good as it looks. Doesn’t know that tomorrow is…wait, what day is it again? Is it a weekday? Whatever, my point is that we take certain things for granted as innate skills when they are not. Like kissing.

Yeah, it’s funny. One day it just occurred to me that Mommy and I were always doing the kissing; like an extra in our family film, he just kind of stood there and made this face:

We thought he was just not a touchy-feely kid for a while. We’d ask him for a kiss, and he’d rebuff us quicker than a Southern belle would a fast-talking Yank. Then I realized that HE HAD NO IDEA HOW TO KISS. And who better to teach him than his old man?

Well, it was either that or his mother…

And with all due respect to my wife, I was something of a Cassanova in my day. I wasn’t exactly keeping records, but I’d say I've made out with, give or take, four women in my life, including my own mother. Not that I’m bragging. I’m just something of a babe magnet; it’s a blessing and a curse. It’s something I live with.

But teaching someone else to kiss is problematic. It is akin to asking Gaugin how to paint, or Byrd how to play sax. I can provide a basic overview, some theory and fundamentals, but you either have it or you don’t.

Bub does not. Have it, that is. But that hasn’t stopped him from going Robert Palmer on me. All he wants to do is dance. Mouth to mouth. With me. The problem (at least for me) is that he doesn’t get the concept of puckering. So he comes at me like a horny teenager, mouth open, tongue sort of swaying side to side like a lighter during an encore power ballad.

We’re working on it. Through the drool and the weird and the flat-out misses. Luckily, there are no witnesses. Just the two of us, a soft bedtime CD, a nightlight. Kids thrive on routine, you know. It’s our special secret private time. Well, less so now, thanks to my overshare. Someday maybe he'll even thank me. Maybe not his wife so much, though.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Local Toddler Robs Bank; Makes Off With 34 Dum-Dums

A local two year-old known as Bub has been accused of absconding from his local Chase branch with what is presumed to be a record 34 Dum-Dums.

The brazen caper was pulled off yesterday in broad daylight, just before naptime. It was captured on every single video camera the branch owns, and 13 eyewitnesses have identified him as the perpetrator, including his own father.

“It’s just senseless,” Martin Reeves, manager of the branch said. “I mean, who does such a thing? And WHY?”

“Well, there’s a no-brainer,” Daddy said. “That’s like saying, hey, criminal guy, why did you rob that bank? Wait…”

“I like Dum-Dums,” Bub said. “The red ones, in particular. Just exquisite.”

According to Reeves, Bub reached up from the stroller and slid this note to cashier Eugenia Davis:

“It was polite, yet crude. I felt threatened,” Davis said. “And we do not negotiate with terrorists. I simply followed corporate protocol, and put the Dum-Dums into a bag. With the dye pack, of course.”

“That was a most unpleasant surprise,” Bub said. “Tasted nothing at all like the red ones.”

Authorities are now deciding whether to charge Daddy with abetting in the heist, as he was driving the getaway stroller. Already, Reeves has banned him for life from his branch.

“But the next closest Chase is like four blocks away!” Daddy lamented.

Bub’s 5 month-old sister, HP, who was also along for the ride, is currently being questioned. Though Bub seemed sure she wouldn’t talk for developmental reasons, she did make this statement through her lawyer:

“Ahhhhhhhabbabaaaaaaaba.” Ouch. There goes her slice of the pie.

And in a final, bizarre twist, police are also talking to a “Chick-Fil-A cow of interest” about writing the note. The cow had this to say:

“Mooooo.” Troubling. But not as damning as these pictures, posted to Bub’s Twitter account a mere two hours before the incident, the message "Going through Dum-Dum withdrawal. C'mon, that's a great pun, bitches! #mysteryflavorisalwaysred."