Baby Friendly Curse Words

Apparently, you are not supposed to curse around children.

I know this because of the looks of utter horror and shock from relatives and friends when I get excited while telling a story I think is interesting, realize halfway through that I am losing their attention, turn it “blue,” and have the filter turned off** with kids around.

What I have found recently, is that the Frontal Lobe Brain Council in my skull has elected, and staffed, a swearing police office that now makes me a tad more warry from blurting out words and phrases that I am worried MY child might pick up.

Now, I understand that he only currently speaks in poop, baby babble and sustained screaming and is many months away from stumbling upon and actual phrase, but what IF, he is a quick learner?  Not from my genetics of course, but from some distant relative whose family branch did not extend through the Sioux City, Iowa area.

I’ve come up with a few words to replace the more harsh/questionable phrases that will most likely end up on the comment cards our daycare provider hands to us when picking him up.  Join me in learning what may be more offensive than the original cursing!

1. Plouffe

For those of you who are not amateur sadomasochists who watch the Twins on a regular basis, Trevor Plouffe is a young man who, like 90% of the team, has no business playing in the major leagues or collecting a major league check. He fell ass-backwards into a starting position based on the team being SO awful, that his horrible play, lack of hitting, inability to field, general hippie-like-locks and dumbfounded look on his face could not deter the managers/decision-makers from letting him out on the field on a regular basis.

Uses: “Go Plouffe yourself!” or “Plouffe my Life” or “That guy is a Plouffe-ing idiot” or “Plouffe You!”

2. Bachelorette

I got hooked on watching something called “The Bachelor Pad” last year, because it made me feel like a better person knowing that my life was not involved in a desperate race to kill my mother of embarrassment on national TV.  But what’s worse, is that now I HAVE to watch the “Bachelorette” in order to know the characters in the next season of “The Bachelor Pad.”  And because this season was so awful, I now consider it a curse word.

 Uses: “I have a cold and feel pretty Bachelorettey today” or “Eat Bachelorette!” or “Grover just took a huge Bachelorette on our walk”

3. Triple Bogey

I golf.  Poorly.  I try and try every year to get better, but spending time with my kiddo has made what used to be a Sunday morning ritual more of a random act of benevolence bestowed on me by a son when he decides to sleeps in. However, because of my absence from regularly attending my 18-hole Chapel Service, I have been regularly scoring Triple Bogey’s.  THREE FREAKING OVER PAR.  Doesn’t matter on what hole, on what course, or on which tee box – Triple Bogey’s have become a very real and very horrible part of my life. 

Uses: ”Stop acting like a major triple bogey” or ”That triple bogey just cut me off!” or “My boss is such a triple bogey.”

I’m doomed to fail miserably at this.  And though my mother used every trick in the book to prevent me from cursing – from soap in the mouth to rubbing tabasco sauce on my lips – I still must have been a salty sailor in a previous lifetime.

The definition of irony would be my kiddo growing up and scolding me for being a potty mouth.   

But let’s be honest, that will never Plouffe-ing happen.

**Had several beers

A Poem: Special Wednesday Night

A nice Wednesday evening, the weather was mild

No creature was stirring, not even my child

A moment of silence, for the wife and myself

The monitor quiet, as it sits on the shelf.

“What should we do?” I ask my wife meekly

“I have an idea…” she says very sneakily.

I totally got what she hinted just there

And excitement built up, with love in the air.

We quickly strode down to the bathroom with glee

And brushed our own teeth until sparkly clean.

Who cares if we do this, it causes no harm

Just the thought of it though, gives me bumps on my arm

We changed into jammies, don’t even know why,

We’ve been married 3 years, no need to be shy.

A smile crossed our faces at the very same time

It’s actually happening, no questions this time!

Together we leapt into bed with much fervor

And threw back the covers, with nary a murmur.

We looked at eachother like never before

“I love you my sweet, I hope I don’t snore.”

“I hope I don’t either, but in case that I do

“Here is a ‘breathe right’ I purchased, I bought it for you.”

Can you actually believe we’re in bed before nine?

To sleep in such silence, with no baby whine?

A wonderful moment we never expect:

A full night of sleeping…way better than sex.

So, about those bath toys we have…

I should have probably taken the time last night to put away the bath toys.

In fact, I think I’ve gotten a little lax with the amount of blocks, stack-able cups, stuffed giraffes and other items to help encourage the spawn’s cognitive skills that lay strewn across the floors.

But stepping on a wound-string-penguin-on-a-surf-board bath toy at 6:30 in the morning before I’ve had the proper amount of coffee ingested to avoid such a mistake? Bush league rookie parental stuff right there.

It would not have been as bad, if it were not for the mocking-like-grin on the penguin’s face, as if it was thinking: “Hey there professional wage earner. How do you like the fact that your day just started out like a Tom & Jerry cartoon?”

That’s the problem.  Every accident, wayward step, clumsy trip or foppish movement in my home nowadays is caused by a toy no bigger than my fist.  The brightly colored painting of each plastic death trap used to open up the child’s imagination simultaniously causes his father to lose his cool while opening up yet another gash in my foot.

In the war of space within the house – the toys are winning.  And it’s not even close.

But the bathroom.  The last bastion of privacy from the world of parenting.  Surely that holy of holies would not be tarnished by a barrage of Baby Einstein purchases right?  Nay!  A Switzerland of the house where neutral colors are matched by neutral loyalties regarding the encroaching stuffed animal army just outside the door.

Yet the tub is where I had my Waterloo this morning.  And that damn penguin got the best of me.  Snuck up on me like a ninja in my cloudy haze of sleepiness.

Curse you bath toys.

My broken feet and bruised ego surrender to your hostile takeover of the house.

Guess I’m moving my shampoo and soap to the basement shower…until the kid, and his legion of Axe Body Washes, is old enough to take that over too.

Goodnight sweet Lamb Swing…

Today was a historic day –  the day we realized that our child has outgrown the Lamb Swing.  Disassembly has me torn emotionally.

On the one hand, what an exciting time in our lives!  The spawn has moved on from stationary swings to napping in his own crib only. 

On the other hand – gone is the simple solution to a cranky baby who needs a nap, but refuses to take one.  Nothing soothed our kiddo better like the circulating stars and fuzzy stuffed animals above his head while the gentle rocking and soft blanket-like material wrapped him in a comfy world of his own.

Look at this thing!  

My mother once suggested they should make adult versions of these swings.   That horrified me that she would Google “adult swings” and find a whole host of websites that had nothing to do with comfy lamb swings.

Ah ha!  SUCCESS!

Take that Lamb Swing!  Me and my allen wrench demolished your space-taking-up face!

Speaking of which: is it wrong that I selfishly think to myself “Look at all this space we got back in the living room!” 

I know damn well that it won’t last long.  I think my wife’s internal monologue is saying “Look at all this space we have to fill with more toddler things!”

It also occurred to me that this is a wonderful opportunity to remove 8 DD batteries from our shopping list every other week, and replace it with 8 DD batteries for some other electronic gift that lights up and blasts horribly composed music to distract our child from getting into the cords behind the TV stand.

But oh how I will miss the slowly dying power sucking machine that worked overtime for many-a-month helping mom and dad get in an extra nap.  The creepy HAL-like-sounds-after-being-stripped-of-his-mainframe that notified us to put some extra Duracell’s on the shopping list will always linger in this house.

So goodnight dear Lamb Swing.  I am sure we shall see you again when the cries of the next child echo through these hallways.  Until then – have a sweet slumber in the attic and rest up. 

As you experienced with kiddo #1, you’ll need it.

Fantasy Fatherhood League

My wife thinks I spend an unnecessary amount of time in front of my computer during the football season tracking every yard gained, touchdown thrown, knee broken and two point conversion missed as I obsess about all 4 of my Fantasy Football Leagues.

I don’t know why I care so much.  My teams are all horrible, I rarely make the playoffs and I can’t watch a game without screaming at the random 3rd string running back stealing my starter’s points which usually scares the child and annoys the wife.

However, since Fantasy Football makes everything more awesome, I thought I may offer up suggestions on how to score at home, our very own Fantasy Fatherhood League. 

It’s easy and expensive to join!  Just have a child.  Oh, you already have one?  Great!  Now just pick a Team Name!  I’ve chosen to go with Pat’s Poopy Padre Patrol.  Juvenile?  You bet. Are you super jealous of that awesome team name?  I know you are.

How do you score points?  Let’s dive right in:

PPR league – a half point for every diaper changed.  I am open to everyone’s thoughts, but let’s start with that.

+1 point for every nap taken, over 20 minutes, per day

+5 points for 8 or more hours of consecutive sleep during the night

-3 points for caving in and giving your child a bottle at 2:00 am because it’s the only idea your sleep deprived brain can come up with to make him/her stop crying

+1 point for every 3 hours your child consecutively wears the same outfit.***

-2 points for every blowout that requires a pre-treating stain remover on the onesie

+2 points for every time you child passes on chewing TV cable cords in lieu of the $11.99 Worlds Greatest Teething Toy you purchased online

+1 for every bottle / pump parts washed per day

-5 points for being reminded by the wife that you haven’t washed the bottles / pump parts

-5 points for being peed on while changing a diaper

+5 points for diaper change of less than 90 seconds (inlcudes re-clothing child)

+1 point for every “your baby is so cure” compliment in the grocery store

-1 point for every stare you get after your child mentally looses it while you are trying to find reduced sodium soy sauce in the aisle that is clearly marked “Asian Foods” but for some reason the blood curdling screaming in your ear makes it impossible to see the bottle in front of your face

+3 points for getting shoes on your kid before you take them to daycare

+6 points for pretending you got your kids shoes on and having your wife believe you, and racing to the car before she can figure out the you totally didn’t try hard at all on that whole shoes thing

Listen, I’m just riffing here.  Feel free to add your own point value to specific DAD activities in the comment section, and let’s start this thing. 

Who knows – maybe we’ll get picked up for ESPN 8, “The Ocho”, Online and make millions of dollars to spend on additional Fantasy Football Leagues

*** As determined by the wife

 

9 Things Learned in 9 Months

Oh hey!  It’s been awhile hasn’t it?

Well, its been a busy time of year in the Kirby household with work, lake time, travel to see grandmas and grandpas, and as much golf as I could squeeze in.  It certainly didn’t leave much time to chronicle the growth and development of my child on the internet.  But now that summer has come and gone – time to document with a renewed ferocity, the scope and scale of poop filled diapers and the amount of times my kiddo bumps his head on everything in the house.

Congrats to this little munchkin who turned 9 months old today!  In honor of this special milestone, I bring you the top 9 things I’ve learned being a dad for the last night months.

1. The person who invented pointy corners on end and coffee tables didn’t have kids

 I’m not a carpenter.  That’s evident by my father-in-laws’ insistence that I only refill beers rather than use any power tools when I offer to “help” with his projects around the house.  However, having a child whose sole mission is to pull himself up on things, makes me fear and hate those that created the 90 degree angled table top.  For some reason, the thought of him smashing his face against the flat surface of a cabinet or dresser drawer is much more comforting than him being impaled by the corner of some shoddily-built-IKEA piece I put together 7 beers deep on a random Thursday night all those months ago while he was still in utero.

2. I appreciate sleep more than I thought I did

For years I prided myself on being an “insomniac.”  A term I borrowed from the actual physical affliction to use an as excuse to stay up and play video games while my wife went to bed early.  However, now that I’ve spent the better part of the year NOT getting the FDA recommended amount of sleep at night, makes me realize the errors in my youthful ways.  But the range and volume level of the baby monitor perched 3 feet from the bedside, picks up the slightest movement and noises coming from the spawn’s resting place.  The most subtle coo or innocent sleep-sigh immediately wakes me up from the deepest sleeps and becomes nearly impossible to go back to that REM-like-awesomeness from which I was disturbed.  Also, I swear he wakes up twice a night just to spite me.

3. Conversations with people who don’t have kids gets tougher

I’m fairly confused on what to say to people who don’t have children or who are not expecting children.  To those who have kids, the conversation immediately becomes a note-comparing and story-one-upping about our now-crazy lives.  To those who are expecting children, I find it fun to put the fear of God into them regarding the most horrifying poop and projectile vomit stories imaginable…if for no other reason to soften the blow of the ACTUAL horror of actual poop and vomit.

4. I feel the need to apologize to my parents for being a jerk as a teenager

I know that as a teenager, I sucked as a child.  And looking into the eyes of my genetic personality clone, I must be seeing what my mother and father saw…and it scares the bejesus out of me.  This kid is gonna charm the pants off of his teachers, give me higher blood pressure than I ought to have, and be one awesome dude…but not without driving me to the brink of insanity.  And for putting my own parents through what I can already tell my child will put me through – a weekly phone call to say “sorry” for the litany of things I did wrong and staving off Karma for as long as I can, seems to be appropriate.

5. Poop comes in all sorts colors I didn’t know existed

Did you know if you feed your child carrots, they will poop orange?  You’re welcome for that specific knowledge guy eating carrots while reading this blog!

6. Traveling with the child is getting harder

I have a friend of mine who works as a logistical engineer for the Army.  He coordinates the shipping of everything from troops to food to tanks to ammo all over the world to ensure those defending the shores of America from terrorists have all the proper materials needed.  His job is simpler than trying to pack the car for a two day trip to the lake.

7. Traveling for work is getting harder

I travel all over the Dakotas for my job – and every time I leave, it gets harder to come back to see some new “trick” my little guy has learned.  Getting a cell phone video of him crawling or babbling while I am uncomfortably lying in a Quality Inn and Suites in the middle of nowhere does not get easier.  And now that he is mobile, the wife certainly doesn’t appreciate the elongated stays across the Midwest.  But that moment when I walk in the door, and the excitement I see in his eyes upon recognizing me, makes the numb butt from driving 9 hours in a row seem a distant memory.

8. Every month he gets more fun

Sure it was great to plop the kid in the middle of the room, be able to do dishes, laundry and a whole host of chores while not worrying he would make a b-line for the staircase.  But when it comes to playing “airplane” with a spoonful of squash, splashing water around the tub during bath time or trying to squeeze him into a 6 month onesie when you know damn-well that he’s needs a 12 month – you’d be hard pressed to have more fun than that.

9. They grow up too fast

The more months that pass by, the more I sound like everyone else who has grown children.  “They grow up too fast,” is the resounding theme.  And it couldn’t be truer.  I have to close my eyes and think real hard to remember a time when he didn’t want to jab his finger in an wall outlet, or flip through our camera to remember how tiny he once was.  And I’m sure I’ll think the same thing when he turns 9 years old, as much as I’ve said it leading up to him turning 9 months old. 

Soon we’ll be planning his first birthday party – and it will hit me like a ton of bricks:  I’ve been a dad for a year.  That’s about as weird as realizing 9 months ago that I’d actually BECOME a dad.

Parenting Nerd Alert!

Per the repetative posts below, my son has been ruling our lives with diapers of filth and a high decibel voice for many-a-month now.  And it is very obvious that on more than one occasion, my abilities to sooth him to/back to sleep at night fail the comparison test against the iron clad surety of calmness that comes from mom’s boobs.

However, I may have found, much to the delight of my inner D&D nerd, a comprable tactic to put even the most nonsensical nighttime spaz-out, to bed (pun indented) using skills I picked up at 10 years old in front of a Nintendo Entertainment System.

If you can believe it, I spent my high school and college days expertly navigating my way through dungeons and fighting dragons more so than I did on a field with physical athletes. It became such an obsession, that I got hooked on video game soundtrack CD’s and have been playing them on long car trips for years.  That’s right.  Audio compilations of title themes, and inner game soundtracks to 8 & 16 bit role playing video games fill my iPod and CD collection.

Well it just so happened that during the past week of soul-crushing defeats in the child’s bedroom to successfullly put the little dude to sleep in the wee hours of the morning – it fell to me to try what his mother could not accomplish: quiet slumber.

The usual rocking was not going to work.  Neither was the begging and negotiating since he still has no idea how to speak English.  No use on strolling outside.  And I was too sleepy to pop him in the car seat and drive.  The Lamb Swing – which sat in the top 3 Baby Soothing Power Rankings for weeks was an abysmal failure.  All hope seemed to be lost, and I was convinced that just plopping him in the crib until the sun rose was the only answer. 

But at my most desparate moment, the stack of old-school Nintendo games I have been collecting and playing for years caught my eye.

“Fine.  You want to scream in my ear kiddo?  I’ll pay back your deafening yell with the wonder and majesty of Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger songs,” I thought cleverly to myself.

And so I began humming softly to my nearly 8-month old son, every title track and battle theme song I knew from every super-nerd game in my collection.  Dragon Warrior II’s Midenhall castle’s music?  CHECK.  7th Saga’s Rablesk town theme song?  CHECK.  The entire Final Fantasy X soundtrack?  CHECK AND CHECK.

I was so enjoying myself with the sweet distraction of nerd-music, and the awesome realization of how MANY songs I still remembered, I failed to notice that the spawn had fallen asleep so soundly, and gone so limp in my arms that placing him back in the crib to rest was nearly impossible.

The following night had a similar result while I tried my hand and humming the entire Zelda II: The Adventure of Link NES game. 

So either I write Nobuo Uematsu a thank you letter for the amazing work he has done in helping whisk my child into dreamland – or write an apology letter to my kid for subconsciously encouraging his RPG habit in high school.  Either way, I have mastered another tool in the bag of tricks used to make the night time a quieter place here in the Kirby household.

Congrats!  You’ve Leveled up to Parenting Paladin!

+1 Intelligence, +3 Smithing, +3 Speech, +2 One-Handed Weapon

An Open Letter to the Baby Body Snatcher That Lives In My Kid’s Room

Dear magical creature who lives in my son’s bedroom and swaps out my happy-go-lucky child for some sort of screaming demon spawn every night at 1:30 AM only to give back the happy-go-lucky child around 4:30 AM,

Quit it.

I’m serious – whoever is snatching my child from his slumber, and replacing him with a very near replica of my child that has the inability to be consoled upon stirring from his slumber EVERY NIGHT – I need you to stop it.

Listen, I know you probably have a quota of grabbing children, through some mythical portal, who spend their days with laughter, bright smiles and good behavior and substitute them in the early hours of the day with an unrecognizable personality hell bent on waking up the neighborhood with screams of terror, but we here at the Kirby household really need a break.

If your goal was to make the stroke of midnight represent the moment during the night that my wife and I are on borrowed sleeping time until this replaced creature wakes up, congratulations.  Mission Accomplished.  However, we would really appreciate it if you would just take a vacation from your visits for a while. 

Now that the bags under my eyes look like I have taken up amateur boxing, it is about time that we appeal to whomever you work for, and ask for some sort of dispensation on your nightly visit.  It would be much appreciated from my wife and me.  Also, the replacement child you use is probably getting a little horse from all that crying and even in your magical world of baby-swapping, I am sure he’s going to apply for Worker’s Comp with that sore throat of his.

Anywho, thank you for taking the time to consider this request, and I hope we can start tonight with you passing over our child’s crib and leaving our little angel alone. 

Best regards,

Patrick

Spamalot

Well, it appears as if the powers that be determined that this blog was considered SPAM and was down for a few days.  Apologize for those of you who could not get your daily dose of infant bowel movement descriptions and multiple references to my son’s food source.

I’ll be sure to make up for my recent absence with a whole host of new posts that will have ideas on what to do when your child is up screaming for no apparent reason for 3 hours at night or transitioning your baby wiping skills from liquid to solid poop or the top 5 body crevaces your child might hide banana pieces after a feeding.

All this and more you have to look forward to! 

For now – here is a picture of what grover has been up to since we last talked:

 

It really encapsulates our life right now.  Cleaning up after a dog who’s jealousy rages more and more each day and who takes it out on garbage cans. And cleaning up after a child who’s curiosity is growing on how to maximize the amount of filth he leaves behind.

Hooray Parenthood!

Shhhhhhh! For God’s sake SHHHHHHHHH!

I don’t want to jinx it, but the kid has been napping for 94 minutes straight.

That’s right.  94 minutes of silence.  You hear that? 

Yup.  Nothing.

And it is the most wonderful thing I have ever heard in my life.

Grover is snoring away on the couch as if he decided to become the little guy’s white noise machine, and I am getting things done while not multitasking via the third eye grown in the back of my head making sure he doesn’t fall face first into the side of coffee table.

Wait!  He stirs! 

Please oh please oh please….I’m almost done with this email!  Shhhhh!  That’s right….adjust your sleeping pose and nestle back into that comfy blanket of yours.  Yes…dream of yogurt melts, banana pieces and the feel of Grover’s hair being ripped from his backside via your impossibly strong grip.

There!  I sent it!  I accomplished WORK while he was in the house with me!  Bless you air-conditioner that enables me to keep this home at a baby-comfortable set degree that makes it possible for this to occur!

99 minutes!  Can we break the century mark?  Might as well open up a beer and celebrate this monumental occasion.

/twists off cap.

…..and with that I celebrate 100 full…

Oh crap.  Eyes wide open.

And here come the water works. Son!  You look confused to where you are!  You’re in the swing!  Don’t worry!  I put you there, like an hour and a half ago!  No tears!

I know – mom’s not here.  If she was, there would be boobs in your face, but I assumed you would sleep longer and don’t have a bottle ready.  Oh no.  Please – just give me 3 minutes to thaw out a bag of milk. 

No?  Screaming now?

Why!  Why can’t I have a time machine to 120 seconds ago when you were asleep!  That’s right – I wouldn’t go back to stop Hitler or evacuate Pompeii with a time machine - I would just go back to the time where you had visions of sugar plums…or whatever a 7 month old has dancing around his head.  You know…when it was quiet.

Here!  Here it is!  Luke warm milk because I just don’t have the patience to listen to listen to you loose your voice with that high pitched scream of hunger! Nor do you have the patience to wait for a microwave to warm up water!  There!  Look!  Food! Just take it!

….

*sigh*

If you’re mother only knew what I go through when she’s gone…she would have the same amount of sympathy she does on a regular basis.

Little to none.