Category Archives: parenting

Masculinity…


Masculinity isn’t being demonized in today’s world.

We are not all hardwired to be warriors. Telling us that we are is toxic masculinity which is (rightfully) being demonized.

No, not all men are wired to be warriors. Some of us are wired to be thinkers. Some of us are wired to be artists, writers, and poets. Some of us are wired to be nurturers. Some of us choose pacifism because there is more strength in choosing non-violence than giving in to our worse impulses. Who is stronger, the bigot that gives vent to his bigotry and screams it at his neighbor, or the neighbor who chooses the path of non-violence yet rises anyway?

And, of course, some of us actually believe that bit about “loving your neighbor as yourself.”

Do you know the story of Desmond Doss?

He was a pacifist due to his Christian beliefs. He joined the Army and became a combat medic. He refused to carry a gun or kill an enemy soldier. At the battle of Okinawa, Doss saved the lives of 50-100 wounded infantrymen. He was wounded four times, suffered an arm fracture from a sniper’s bullet, and had seventeen pieces of shrapnel enbedded in his body.

For his actions, he won the Medal of Honor and he never fired a single round.

He was a man, a soldier, but not a warrior. He was a caregiver who did his duty when called.

Fred Rogers was a man who felt that it was a very important purpose in life to get up and tell children and everyone to be kind. He went out of his way to read every fan letter that was written to him. He devoted himself to his neighbors. To making them feel worth.

Do not try and tell me that he was a warrior. He was a nurturer and he was more of a man than any insecure bully telling little boys that they have to act and be a certain way to ‘be a man.’

Stop telling men that there is only one way to be a man.

Sons, go out and be kind and do the things that make you happy whether that’s playing with action figures or dolls. Whether it’s climbing a tree or having a pretend tea party. Whether it’s playing sports or skipping rope or running barefoot through the grass. But always remember that first part, boys. Be kind. If you can master that part, you’re going to make the world a better place.

Daughters, that applies to you too. Bake cookies, climb trees, play sports, whatever your passion is, but above all, be kind.

And, little children, don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Adulting 101: Doing the Laundry


Having bravely moved out of your parents’ home, you will inevitably be faced with the chore of cleaning your clothes or the clothes of your own family. As a proud and functional member of society and a Gen Xer, I am here to help my younger Millennial cohorts with learning the proper way to perform this task.

Step 1: Determine if you need to do your laundry.

Things to consider:

  • Have I really been wearing the same pair of jeans since Martin Luther King Day?
  • Was this T-shirt always polka dotted or are these food stains?
  • Why is my underwear trying to crawl out the bedroom door?

Step 2: I’m probably good for one more day.

Step 3: One week later. Okay. It’s time to wash the clothes.

Step 4: Take your hamper of colored clothes to your washing machine… okay… okay… that was probably too hopeful on my part…

Step 4: Go on a scavenger hunt to find your clothes and your children’s clothes.

“Okay, I’ve looked under the beds, couches, behind doors, on the floor… hey… we have hardwood floors? Honey, did you know we have hardwood floors?”

Step 5: Sort your laundry out into your hampers. Designate one hamper for white clothing and one hamper for colored clothing.

“Hey! That’s separate, but equal, pal, and I’m not racist.”

That’s not what I meant. Oh… you’re just going to cram it all into one hamper… wow… okay, so you’re probably going to skip Step 6 too.

Step 6: Carefully check all of the pockets for foreign objects that might stain your clothing or damage your… and now you’re standing on the hamper trying to shove it all down… no, no, I’m sure that’s equally good.

Step 7: Load your washing machine. While filling up the washing machine, you should leave some empty space at the top so as not to overload… or… okay, yes, I suppose you could put a box of your old college textbooks on top of the lid so it stays down. But I’m pretty sure that’s not recommended by the washing machine’s manufacturer, but what do they know, right?

Step 8: Add laundry detergent. You will want to carefully measure out the proper amount of detergent… or you could just fill up the container to the brim…

Step 9: Select your wash cycle. There is no cycle for “I just jammed everything into this stupid fucking machine because I want this to be fucking over with” so let’s go with Normal.

Step 10: Start your washing machine. Ignore any unusual sounds you hear during operation… but you may want to double check and count your children and pets… just in case.

Step 11: Take a break. Enjoy your free time while the washing machine magically makes your clothes not stink.

Step 12: Come back in four or five days. Realize you fucking forgot to move the laundry from the washing machine to the dryer and rewash your clothing with vinegar to try and destroy the funky smell they now have. It won’t work, but instead of smelling like moldy cheese, your clothing will smell like moldy cheese with vinegar! And that will remind people of salads.

Step 13: Okay, seriously, I did this again? Rewash the laundry one more time.

Step 14: Put your laundry into the dryer. You will notice that all of your white clothes are now a lovely shade of pink from being washed with your red shirts. Also, I’m pretty sure there was a pen, a marker, a crayon, and some caramels in the pockets that are now scattered and dyed into your other clothes.

Step 15: Check the dryer’s lint trap and clean it out. Lint is highly flammable… No? You’re not going to do that. You’re going to start the machine on high? Have you checked the tags on your clothes-? Okay, fine.

Step 15: Start the dryer. Hope for the best.

Step 16: Grab the fire extinguisher and scream at your significant other to call 911.

Step 17: Buy new clothes with the insurance settlement.

I hope this guide has helped you. You are now one step closer to being a functional adult.

Adulting 101: How to clean your house


It comes to my attention that some people might need some help transitioning into adulthood. And as a successful, fully-functional and well-adjusted member of society, I think I can be of assistance to you.

So, you have your own place. Good. But do you know how to keep it neat and tidy? Simply follow these easy steps and you too can have a clean house.

Step 1: Determine to clean the house.
Step 2: Assess the state of your house’s filth.
Step 3: Fuck this shit. No. I’ll do it on the weekend. Watch TV instead.
Step 4: Wait, is that a raccoon picking through garbage in the corner? Fine. I suppose it’s time to clean.
Step 5: Oh, fuck this fucking fuck fuck who the fuck just throws trash on the fucking ground? Fuck!
Step 6: Is that… it is… they put food in their fucking closet. Do you want ants? Because that’s how you get ants.
Step 7: Find and sort mail from January… of last year.
Step 8: Swear like a wounded pirate. FUCK THIS FUCKING MOTHERFUCKER! DEAR GOD! WHO KEEPS MAILING ME THIS SHIT? IT’S 2018! IT SHOULD ALL BE DONE ONLINE!
Step 9: Reconsider your choices in life. Okay, my kids are at church… my wife isn’t home yet. If I leave now, I can be in Mexico before they notice.
Step 10: Reconsider your reconsideration. Maybe it would just be easier to set the house on fire and start over?
Step 11: Resume work. GOD FUCKING DAMN IT! WHO THE FUCK PUT THESE FORKS UNDER THE COUCH?
Step 12: Put away laundry for the two children you have and the eight children whose laundry they apparently contracted you to wash because how the fuck can two children have so many fucking clothes?
Step 13: Drink.
Step 14: Drink.
Step 15: Reconsider your life choices again. “Why can’t I have a nice clean house? I bet if I were gay, I could have a nice house. They always seem to have nice houses on HGTV.”
Step 16: Drink.
Step 17: Drink
Step 1… what step… what the fuck was I writing? Fuck it. I’m watching TV.

And that, dear Millennials, is how you clean your house.

Jesus Christ. Get the vaccine.


Sigh…

Really?

Really…?

There’s a part of me that says, “If these idiots really want to take themselves out of the gene pool, by all means, let them…”

But there’s a greater part of me that has empathy for the innocent victims that would suffer and that part is actually stronger than the asshole within, so let me just say this: VACCINATE YOURSELF AND YOUR KIDS! NEITHER JESUS, NOR HOMEOPATHY, NOR ESSENTIAL OILS, OR VOODOO MAGIC IS GOING TO PROTECT YOU FROM THE FLU! GET THE DAMNED VACCINE!

Unless you can’t because of a medical condition, there is ZERO reason for you to avoid vaccines and thousands upon thousands of tiny potentially deadly reasons for you to go get a bloody shot.

Stop using religion or quack science or bullshit as an excuse to be stupid. Your still living children will thank you one day.

“But Gloria Copeland…”

Has Gloria Copeland or Jenny fucking McCarthy gone to medical school? Have they spent their lives studying deadly infectious diseases and how to prevent them?

“But Big Pharma-”

You mean the people who spend their lives studying deadly medical conditions and how to treat them?

Yeah, the Medical system in the United States is pretty fucked up, and yes, it’s pretty fucking obscene that pharma-douche CEOs make as much money as they can off of the sick, but Jesus H. Christ, do you really think all of those scientists and chemists and biologists and doctors who work for these companies are really in on a scheme to personally fuck you over?

Go, get your fucking vaccine.

“But I still got the flu last year…”

Yeah, that happens. Evolution can be a motherfucking bitch.

Get the vaccine.

“But Jesus will protect me.”

Jesus lets people get fucking cancer. Every year. Every day. Right now, there are wards full of good Christian kids dying of fucking cancer. Now maybe, at the end, if we die and Jesus is standing there, he’ll have a really good explanation for why he lets people get fucking cancer, but there’s no denying that people get fucking cancer now regardless of what religion they belong to.

Get the vaccine.

A Day in the Life of…


Fuck. It’s morning already? What time is it?

5:00, I think.

Why am I awake at 5:00, I fell asleep at midnight? Maybe I can just go back to sleep.

You can’t go back to sleep. I’m up and I’m thinking.

I’ll try to go back to sleep.

You’re not going to sleep. Just get up. You have to pee anyway.

I can go back to sleep.

Get up. You have things to do.

Maybe if I stay in bed, other people will do those things.

Then you’ll get fired, your wife will be angry, and you’ll end up homeless.

Jesus Christ, fine. I’ll get out of bed.

The dogs want food.

Everyone wants something. Okay, they’re fed. I’ve peed. I’m going back to bed.

You won’t fall asleep again.

Maybe I’ll take a sleeping pill.

It’s 5:40, you’ll oversleep.

I’m just going to go lie down and try.

You’ll oversleep, the kids will be late and you’ll be fired.

Why would they fire me? It’s not like I’m late all the time.

You don’t deserve this job. You’re not good enough. They’ll fire you. Just keep going and hope they don’t catch on to how useless you are.

Now I can’t go back to sleep.

Told you. Get up. You’re only bothering your wife now.

Fine. I guess some alone time before work won’t be that bad.

Oh, look, the kids are awake too. Time to feed them.

Great.

You’re a horrible father. You should be happy to spend time with them.

I am. I’m just fucking tired. Shut up.

They’re probably going to end up fucked up because of you.

I’m trying okay. I love them. Shut up.

Trying and failing.

“Okay, kids, get dressed.”

Why aren’t their socks matching?

Because they lost half of them.

And you’re going to let them go to school like that?

No. I’ll find matching socks.

How do they not have any matching socks?

It’s your fault.

Okay, this sock matches, what? How the hell do you tear the hell out of a sock?

You hate them.

No, I don’t. That’s bullshit and you know it. Okay, we’re ready to go.  Walking them to school.  There’s a parent. Smile and nod. She didn’t acknowledge me. Does she think I’m weird? Disgusting? Does she think I want to fuck her? I don’t. I was just being polite.

You’re disgusting, you know.

Okay, time to go. I love hugs from my kids.

They’re going to hate you in a few years.

Just shut up.

What if something happens to them while you’re away?

I’m not listening to you.

What if someone shoots them?

Fuck off. It would kill me. Why would you make me think that?

The universe doesn’t want you to be happy. You’re disgusting. God doesn’t want you to be happy. Why should you be happy when so many other people are suffering?

Let’s just concentrate on getting to work.

You know it’s true. You’re not a good person. You deserve to suffer.

You’re right, I do. But I’m not. Can’t you just let me be happy and enjoy what I have for one moment?

That guy cut you off. You should speed up and tail him.

I’m not going to do that. That’s insane. And it’s not a big deal.

I hope he crashes his car and dies.

No, I don’t.

One more day at the office. You’re worthless.

I do a good job. I get good reviews every year.

They’re going to fire you today.

No, they’re not.

They’re going to fire you and you won’t be able to get another job and you will have failed your family. You’ll be homeless living out of a car and on welfare. Or worse, you’ll be a 43 year old loser living in his in-laws house.

I’m not getting fired and I can get another job if I am.

He said “Hello” to you.

I smiled and nodded to him.

Don’t make eye contact. You don’t want to be weird. Ha. You didn’t make eye contact. He probably thinks you’re rude. Say “Good morning” to her.

“Good morning.”

She didn’t respond. She doesn’t like you. She thinks you’re disgusting too.

She’s probably just dealing with her own shit.

She thinks you want her. She thinks you’re disgusting.  She thinks you’re a fat, old, disgusting pervert.

All I said was a friendly, “Good morning.”

You should go to the gym. Then at least you wouldn’t be fat.

Probably.

Of course, they’d still think you’re weird.

Can’t you just shut the fuck up for one minute? Sigh… finally. Now maybe I can do some work.

This is boring.

God damn it.

This is boring. Check your Facebook.

Fine.

They’re going to see you check Facebook instead of working and they’re going to fire you.

Sometimes I hate you.

You’re going to die.

I know.

You’re going to die soon. And then you’re kids will be messed up for life.

I’m not going to die soon. Will you just shut up and let me do my damned job.

Fine. Do your job. You’re going to die.

No, I’m not.

Your kids are dead.

No, they’re not.

You’re really crazy, you know.

I know. I’m on medication.

It’s not helping.

Yes, it is. I haven’t had a panic attack in 18 months.

You’re crazy and you’re going to turn your children crazy.

I’m not listening to you anymore. Finally, 5:00. See? I can make small talk with other people.

They still don’t like you.

Okay, what should I make for dinner?

You’re not a good cook.

My wife doesn’t complain.

She’s being polite. It’s really not that good.

I should do the dishes. Why are there so many dishes?

Because you’re lazy and don’t clean enough.

Okay, dishwasher started.

You don’t spend enough time with your kids.

I’m trying, alright!

You’re failing. You’re the worst father.

I’m pretty sure that’s not true. There’s that guy in Perris.

So you’re better than an abusive father. You deserve an award.

I’m going to have a drink.

You drink too much.

To shut you up.

You drink too much and you’re going to die and you’re wife and kids will be penniless and hate you.

I have life insurance.

Not enough to last them more than five years.

I’m having another drink.

You’re an alcoholic.

I’m not. I just want you to shut up. I’m watching TV.

Fine. But I’ll be waiting for you tomorrow morning.

Sigh… I know.

Life with a Preschooler – a three act play


I love my daughter. I really do… but some days…

Act 1 – The Family Dinner

Child: What did you make for dinner, Daddy?

Dad: Meatball soup.

Child: I don’t like that.

Dad: Yes, you do. It has potatoes, meatballs, and soup. You like those things.

Child: I don’t like that.

Dad: Eat it. And you’re welcome.

Child: Aw, man…

Dad: If you eat your dinner, you can have apple pie afterwards with mommy, daddy, and your brother.

Child takes two bites of the broth.

Child: Can I have dessert?

Dad: No.

Child: (Whining voice) Why nooooooot?

Dad: Because you haven’t eaten your dinner.

Child: I did eat it!

Dad: Eat. Your. Dinner.

Child stares at bowl for ten minutes, stirs the soup around for a bit. Stares at it again.

Child: Can I have dessert now?

Dad: No.

Child: (Whining voice) Why noooooot?

Act 2 – Dessert in the living room.

Mom, Dad, and Brother are eating pie in the living room watching TV. Child climbs up on couch next to Dad. Puts her hand in his apple pie.

Dad: No! What are you doing? Moves her hands away.

Child puts her feet up by Dad’s face.

Mom: Knock it off now.

Child sits up and puts hands on Dad’s plate near pie. Dad moves hands away.

Dad: Last warning, kiddo.

Child ignores Dad. Puts hands back Dad’s arm near the plate as he’s trying to take a bite of apple pie.

Dad: Okay, go get me a toy. I told you to stop and you didn’t. Now you owe me a toy.

Child: NO! I just wanted to hug you!

Dad: That isn’t what you were doing. Go get me a toy, or I’ll choose one myself.

Child: No! No!

Mom: Okay, Dad can choose the toy to take away and now you owe us a time out.

Child: No!

Dad goes to get a toy. Child tries to physically block him from her room. Dad ignores her. Picks a cheap happy meal toy Child has had buried in  a drawer for six months.

Child: NO! THAT’S MY FAVORITE! NO! TAKE THIS OTHER TOY YOU BOUGHT ME AS A PRESENT! I DON”T LIKE THAT ONE ANYMORE!

Dad contemplates inventing time machine to go back in time and warn past self to wear a condom.

Mom: Go to timeout.

Child: NO!

Mom: You don’t say no to us. Go to time out or Dad will have to take another toy.

Child: NO!

Dad takes another toy.

CHILD: NO! I’m SLEEPY! I’m so tired!

Mom: Then you can go to bed if you’re not going to listen.

Child: NO!

Act 3- Early bed time.

Child uses whining voice throughout entire act.

Dad: Get in your pajamas, please.

Child: No!

Dad: Does daddy have to dress you like when you were a baby or are you going to be a big girl and put on your pajamas?

Child: I don’t want to go to bed.

Dad: Your choices are bed or time out. Pick one.

Child: I just want to watch TV

Dad: Well, you could, if you went to timeout and sat quietly for four minutes.

Child tries timeout. Plays with a toy she found buried under a chair. Dad takes it away. Child puts feet up on the wall. Mom tells her to stop. Child ignores Mom.

Dad: Well, this isn’t working, so back to bed.

Child: No!

Dad carries her to bed. Child kicks and cries the entire time.

Dad: Okay, put your pajamas on.

Child: No!

Dad: Do you need help with your dress?

Starts to unzip the back of dress.

Child: I”LL DO IT!

Dad: Okay, Sweetie. You do it.

Child changes Clothes. Dad tucks her in.

Dad: You know, I don’t like punishing you. I just want you to listen to mommy and daddy.

Child cries, then starts playing with a toy.

Dad: (Sigh) Fine. Good night.

Child comes out of room four more times, loses two more toys. Dad almost starts dropping F-bombs on multiple occasions. Manages to refrain, but does mutter, “Jesus Christ….” under his breath once before drinking a few glasses of wine and wondering about that time machine again. 

End scene.