Dec 17, 2011

The Many Faces of a New Big Sister


no lie - these were taken in this order, over a couple of minutes the day MONSTA's lil' bro was born.  

Dec 16, 2011

Papa Say: Little Girls are Better than Men

MONSTA's cousins came in this morning.  She hasn't seen them since she was 3, and still, they've played together nonstop since arriving.   Amazing.  If they were grown men, they'd need a tray of shots and a dark secret before acting this close.  

Dec 11, 2011

WIFE Has a Birthday


Today is a big day.  It's WIFE's birthday.  Out of deep respect, I won't tell you how old she is. Okay, I will, but I'm going to do that thing where you put your hand in front of your mouth as you say the number.  Ready?  Today, WIFE turns...Now remember:  discretion is 9/10s of the law.

I wanted her to feel like a queen today.  For her to be completely at ease, and to see our apartment as a fine Tahitian spa, where all her dreams of relaxation and long hours of uninterrupted sleep can come true.  By the time she lays down tonight, I wanted her to have bliss coming out of the wazoo.

Too bad none of this happened.   Why?  Because she was too occupied being the kind of mom that deserves such finery.  She was just too damn busy getting spit up on, and fretting about "good latches" while another human literally sucked the life from her.  And when she wasn't doing that, she was helping me stop our oldest from smothering the new addition with nasal drip and a bear hug that could scare Dusty Rhodes.   And for the most part, she did it all with that top-shelf smile that still knocks me cold.

If MONSTA 1, 2, and I could give her everything she deserves - everything she's earned - we would.  She'd have that spa-month and all-inclusive buffet.  But we can't.  Working in non-profit makes that decision for you.  So today, we settled for our unconditional love, attention, and a Kindle Fire.  It doesn't make up for the bouquet of flowers I should be bringing home every week, but it's a start.

Happy Birthday, baby.  I love you now as much as ever.

Dec 7, 2011

I'd Never Wish Anyone Harm, But...


I'm a nice guy, and I don't wish harm on fellow humans, but to the guy who created the virus currently eating my laptop from the inside out...in my dreams, you're in a dark, dungeon of a room.  It's your home.  From here, you ruin people's lives because of some sick personal philosophy that you gleaned from the meth-fueled ramblings of some other sick person working out of a dungeon room.  The kind who thinks "Girl with a Dragon Tattoo" is this year's best comedy.  In my dream, you're on the floor, crushed by the weight of the super computer you used to destroy my night and waste my time.  It isn't killing you, per se, but you can't move it either.  It's all so, come se dice... Sisyphean.  Ah, if only you had made more friends, and not pushed those who loved you away.  Maybe someone would eventually stop by for a visit, some tea, a few kind words.   They'd find you on the ground, injured but not dead. They'd try to lift the computer off you, and if they could not, they'd get help. They would try and try until you, my friend, were free.

But this Hollywood ending is not for you.  There is no one coming.  Just this giant computer that can never be moved.  And don't look now, but your cat - the one you neglected all these years - is looking very, very hungry.  Let's hope that like Garfield, your cat prefers the taste of Italian-American cuisine and not, well, your face.

But like I said.  I'm a nice guy, and only wish you the best.  All this...it's just a dream.

Nov 30, 2011

Papa Say...

THAT NO DRINK IS STIFF ENOUGH TO ERASE THE VISUAL OF MONSTA 2.O POOPING AS I CHANGED HIS DIAPER.  IT WAS LIKE THE WORST PLAY-DOH ACCESSORY EVER.

Nov 28, 2011

The Tooth Fairy Comes to Town

You're right, Rock.  We can't.
Last night, MONSTA lost a tooth.  Bottom row.  Her fourth total.  It had been hanging on by a thread, ala James Franco's arm in that hiking movie, for a couple months, and while I was too squeamish to pull it, I'm happy to see it go.  It was becoming a real problem.  "Don't touch the tooth," she would scream at me every time I pulled out the tooth brush.  Plus, the permanent tooth (aka Union Tooth) was coming in behind it.  When your time is up, your time is up.  We all saw it coming, and now the tooth sees it too.

Before MONSTA went to bed, we put the little rice grain into a baggie for the Tooth Fairy.  I guess she doesn't bring her own containers, because we always put it in a baggie.  Once asleep, I waited until she was good and groggy before slipping dos Jorge Washingtons under her pillow with a note: "Thanks for the tooth. - The Tooth Fairy."  Of course, we never found the actual tooth.  It disappeared in the night, so if MONSTA gets to it before me, Tooth Fairy is going to have some 'splaining to do.

Now you may think two dollars isn't much.  Or, you may think it's too much.  Either way...I DON'T CARE!  I'm including the amount here for informational purposes only, and not so you can say, "Two bucks?  Wow!  In my day, the tooth fairy only carried quarters.  I guess the recession is over!"  I don't know when it became okay to comment so freely and obnoxiously on how much parents put under a kid's pillow, but that cat is way out of the bag.  It's time we put it back in, tie it up, and toss it the East River.  Two dollars is what we give her, and if you think this sort of frivolous spending will leave her dreaming of Ponzi schemes and golden parachutes, please keep it to yourself.

Whether a quarter or two dollars, all that mattered was how happy MONSTA was when she woke up. She had been upset that with the holiday over, she'd have to go back to school.  But none of that was on her face today.  Just a big, toothless smile and the following conversation:

MONSTA:  She came dad, and she left me two dollars.  And I saw her.

ME: You did?  What did she look like?

MONSTA:  She's brown, like mommy.  And small.  And she can fly.  She flew behind my bookcase.  I wonder if she has a house back there?  

Wow.  The Tooth Fairy owns her own  house?  In New York City?  I guess she's doing better than any of us thought.

Nov 19, 2011

Parenthood 2.0: Baby Is Back, And This Time, He Means Business

In most cases, the more you do something, the easier that 'something' gets.  That's how it's supposed to work.  When I first got my license, it was like watching Andy Dick drive Nascar. But after some quality road time, and a couple "learning experiences" - 3 fender benders and getting chewed out by a racist Atlanta sheriff - I was a pro.  If my insurance rate says otherwise, it's because WIFE is not a pro.

Parenting is, however, nothing like driving.  It does not get easier with experience.  You think it does, but it doesn't.  Case in point: for five years, I have been a dad.  From diapers and formula chunks on my shirt to kindergarten and "No you can't have a Bratz doll!", I have been dere and derd dat.  So I should be really good, right?  Right???  WRONG!  We just had MONSTA 2.O, and three days into it, I don't know what the hell I'm doing!  The phrase "circus without a tent" comes to mind.  It's chaos, and that's with GRANDMA in town to help.  She leaves on Monday, and when she does...god help us all.

What happened the first time around?  It feels like I didn't learn anything.  An entire semester of classes has passed, and the final exam still looks like an alien wrote it. It's sophomore-year Algebra all over again.   The past five years should have left me with an encyclopedia of parenting know-how and expertise, but it hasn't.  Instead, it feels like our little girl just appeared one day.  Too sassy and fabulous for heaven, she dropped in our living room, able to brush her own teeth and use a fork.  Logically, I know I helped her reach this age alive, but I'm not sure how.  I look back, and there's only a blur.  A giant screen of static, like in Poltergeist.

Deep breath.  Now downward dog.  Another deep breath.  MONSTA 2.0 is here, and there's no turning back.  Plus, he's super-delicious, so telling the stork "wrong address" is out.  I have to do this, and history tells me that if I can keep one kid from jumping in the oven/falling off the fire escape/telling NY1 horrible lies about her teacher...I can do it again.  Of course, history also said George Washington challenged a beaver named John Henry to a cherry-tree chewing contest only to be disqualified for using wooden teeth, so he's hardly a reliable source.  




Nov 13, 2011

Papa Say: E.T. and that Glowing Finger



Why does E.T. have a glowing finger? and whats wrong with his voice?  - Anthony, New York  
                                                                            

  
First, let me say that the Papa Say column is really to field questions about parenting, and how to raise a smart, well-adjusted child like mine as effortlessly as I seem to have done it.  But since Anthony was the only one who responded, I'll field his question today.


The glowing finger, Anthony, is what scientists call "Stanky Finger."  One gets Stanky Finger from putting one's finger where it does not belong.  The nose.  Ant hills.  Other aliens. Symptoms include a bright light emanating from the tip, and also a mucusy cough.  God knows where ET picked up his Stanky Finger, but that he's got a really serious case of it is clear.  That's why for me, the most frightening scene in the film is when he tries to touch the boy without any protection; the gloves worn by lunch ladies, for instance.  ET may call this "phoning home," but I call it irresponsible.  


Now with his voice, I don't know.  Probably cigarettes.  Really, really strong cigarettes, like the ones Kathleen Turner uses.  Really makes you wonder why the mother was so intent on saving what was clearly a really bad influence on her kids.  But she had her own issues, didn't she?  


Got a question that you'd like Papa Matt to answer?  Email me at mroberson03@gmail.com

Nov 7, 2011

Papa's Advice Stand is Now Open!

Kid's got you running for the fire escape?  The love life looking more like a script from Walking Dead?  Is your spouse a zombie?  (If so, please call 911, then put a sharp object through the frontal lobe.  This is the only true death)

If any of this sounds familiar, then we need to chat.  It's Papa Matt, and he's ready to answer your questions.  So send in what's bothering you, and I'll answer here as a benefit to all.  And of course, confidentiality is the name of my game.

Email all questions to mroberson03@gmail.com.  

Nov 6, 2011

Lil' Thoughts: Homework

IS MY KID LEARNING TO COMPLETE HER HOMEWORK WORTH IT IF ENDS WITH ME TOSSING MYSELF FROM OUR FIRE ESCAPE?
Say you're too tired again, and I'll put you on a slide.  Have you seen Dexter?

Nov 2, 2011

Halloween: It Ain't Just For Kids

Maybe the Catholics are smarter than I thought. A holiday after Halloween?  Not a bad idea, right?  The first pope must have had a couple kids for him to come up with that one.  I certainly wish public school kids got off for All Saints Day.  Who knew taking 2 1/2 hours to walk around three blocks with a group of kindergartners could be so exhausting?

MONSTA went out on Monday.  She was an Angel, which is pushing it if you ask me.  For her first Halloween, she was a devil.  Five years later, an angel.  I guess that Catholic-school education wasn't a total wash.  We went to Sunnyside Gardens in Queens, which is like a tiny English village plunked down a few miles from Times Square.  It's a great place for T&T. Lots of good candy (read: not Tootsie Rolls or those hard strawberry things), fun decorations, and happy candy givers.  That seems to be key. No matter how top of the line the candy is, no one wants to take it from a jerk.  

But the older she gets, the more cautious I become.  I guess it's one more change that comes with age. When I was young, Halloween meant complete freedom.  Dress how you want.  Stay out a little late.  Get an apple that may have a razor blade?  Caution to the wind, baby - we're rolling the dice!  But from the other side - the guardian side - it's fun, but there are worries. How many Whoopers are too many Whoopers?  Where the hell am I going to find her a bathroom in this place?  Should we be taking candy from a grown man wearing a shirt and tie with Tevas? For this last type, my friend and I played a game.  She'd have her Blackberry out, and when a Senor Creeperton answered the door, I'd call out the address and say "Run it!" We never did, but I can guarantee a couple hits.  

Being the adult does, however, have one benefit: you are now what Marx would call "management."  While I did have to walk around with MONSTA and supervise, I'd hardly call that work.  She had the real job.  And yet now, because of her toil and sweat and demanding of strangers, I'm sitting on a stockpile sweet, delicious candy.  Sour Patch Kids.  Starburst.  Candy Corn/Pumpkins.  All the hits!  And because she's only five, I can take as much of it as I want. And if she doesn't like it, well, there's always the gulag, or as we call it, the time out chair.  Ah yes, it is good to be on top.  

Oct 19, 2011

Randy Newman Fans Rejoice: Lost Demo Found!

I know this blog is mostly about "dad stuff," but when you strike gold, you gotta share.

Yesterday, I was digging around my dad's garage, and underneath some dusty copies of The Parakeet Periodical and a rather large collection of Jerry Reuss baseball cards, I found an old tape.  Nothing was written on it, so I popped it into my mp3/tape player (I'm an Apple tester), and WOW!  It's a demo from sometime between the early 1960s and late 90s.  The artist?  Just a little known Oscar-winning singer/songwriter named...RANDY NEWMAN.  Amazing, right?!  I don't know the title of the song, but it's a good one.  If you have any info on it, please let me know ASAP!  And if you don't, then just sit back and enjoy.  

Ladies and gentleman...Randy Newman. 

video

Oct 18, 2011

Baby Name Game: It's Miller Time

We're very close to the end here, and this is one of the finalist:  "Miller Cantrell Roberson." Thoughts?  The kid with three last names.

Now from my research, Miller as a first name is almost never used.  Not that folks haven't tried.  I've run across several baby name message boards, and the decision to use Miller is a hot topic.  Like Iraq war hot.  Folks have taken sides, and frankly, the "No's" have it.  But people who post hard stances on baby name message boards don't have babies; they have cats, so let's call it even.

The reasons for not choosing Miller are obvious.  "It's a last name, idiot.  Not a first." "Everyone will think you named him after a beer."  "Do you really want people constantly shouting, 'It's Miller time' whenever he walks in a room?"  The answer to this last one is clearly...YES!   Who wouldn't want that?  And should he walk into a room where people don't know him, he can yell, "You know what time it is!"

If we use Miller, clearly we are paddling into uncharted territory, but so what?  Wasn't there someone who once said, "Dear, I think Mervin is a great name."  And BAM!  That one kind was named Mervin.

MLK, Jr. Tommy Edison.  Bill Shakespeare.  Dad who calls his kid Miller.  I'd say the "originals have it."

But let's hear it, dear reader.  Does Miller work as a first name, or am I potentially saddling my kid with something just so his future bros will think he's cool?

Oct 15, 2011

A Five Year Old's Thoughts on...Drunk Driving














According to my MONSTA, the real danger in drunk driving is "when your car turns into a robot and starts dancing."  Seems like an easy thing for the cops;  just look for the giant crumping robots.  

Oct 8, 2011

It's 9:00 @ Night. Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

Yeah. She's in a giant box, chit-chattin' with grandma, and NOT ASLEEP!  


A Word of Caution When Buying Kid's Clothes...



If you know what our year has been like, it's probably no surprise that WIFE and I are only now feeling stable enough to consider buying stuff for MONSTA 2.0.  GRANDMA broke the ice, sending over a fancy new car seat and some soft onesies.  Now it's our turn.  If we don't get it together, not only will this dude be nameless, but naked as well.  That can't be legal.  So today, I'm looking for clothes.  But as I do, I'm reminded by TODD BARRY to be careful in what I choose.  After seeing a toddler in a Dead Kennedy's t-shirt, Barry says:

'BUT HONEY, IF HE WEARS A SWEATER, NO ONE WILL KNOW HOW GREAT MY RECORD COLLECTION IS.'

Moral of the Story: 
if people want to know about my impeccable taste in music, they'll ask.

Oct 4, 2011

Name Game: Malcolm and Quinn

Two months out, and I have to say, this kid may never get named.  For reals.  Can you imagine him, in school, staring at his Scantron with nothing to bubble in?  This is serious.  This is real.

But have faith, dear reader.  Today's entries are both A-game contenders.   Up first...

MALCOLM.  My idea.  Not bad, right?  It's of Scottish origin, and has been the name of several kings.  Speaking of King, it's most famously the birth name of black civil rights leader and sometime MLK rival MALCOLM X.  Now personally, I'm okay with this.  The guy was certainly steadfast in his beliefs, and was willing to make himself a target for a greater good.  WIFE, however, is afraid that since our boy will be half-black (score one for his chance at being able to dunk), people will assume that we named him after Denzel...er...X.  Though I don't share her concern, it could be bad for me.  All of a sudden, people thinking I'm gonna come to PTA in a bow-tie and black beret, then get bummed when I'm wearing pizza-stained Umbros and my USA Dream Team sweatshirt?  That's pressure I don't need.

So if not Malcolm (and I haven't given that fight up yet, as it's my favorite card on the table), then what?  Today, WIFE called with...QUINN.

Quinn.  A nice ring to it.  Fun to say.  Possible campaign slogan:  "You can't spell WIN, without QUINN." (sort of) Also, a strong name.  It makes me think of Anthony Quinn, one of my favorite actors and a beast of a dude.  It too comes from the "kilt region," and means "counsel."  Um...alright. And give another point to Quinn for coming strong it's own theme song:


So what do you think?  MALCOLM?  QUINN?  Or something else...Please let us know.  This kid's "Uterus Eviction Notice" is due any month now, and we'll need something to yell when he starts eating the heads off MONSTA's Barbies.  HELP!

Sep 28, 2011


ON THE DAILY GRIND...

Unless you've been living under a rock, or just not reading my blog, or avoiding me completely, then you know that in a couple months, WIFE and I will be welcoming our second kid.  He's a boy, and though he's still without a name, he does have a penis.  I've seen the picture.  We're both really excited, for many reasons, but as his "MOVE OUT OF UTERUS" date draws near, I have to admit to some slight panic.

Having one kid is tough. It's a complete adventure, full of giant laughs, lots of danger, and a man's share of the unexpected. Just last night, MONSTA got a bug bite, but instead of a tiny welt, her entire hand blew up like a birthday balloon.  I didn't even know that could happen. Surprise twists and turns aside, however, most of parenting is about the ROUTINE. Curiously, any discussion of this DAILY GRIND was left out of my pre-baby guide books.  But it's true. Once MONSTA could walk, our daily life became defined by routine.  And the taller she, and her hair, gets, the more rigid and complex the routine becomes. If my life were a math problem, it'd look like this: 


So if this sunny outlook is rattling in my brain 24/7, imagine what I'm feeling about tossing in a little multiplication.  

ABOVE ROUTINE X 2 = HOLY ^%#$!

We'll make it.  It's been five years, and MONSTA is still alive.  She's playing hooky right , on account of the  lobster claw she's sporting, but the swelling will eventually go down.  And when it does, she'll go back to school, and when that happens...welcome back, Routine.  What would I ever do without you? 

  


Sep 21, 2011

Baby Name Game: FLYNN

FLYNN: "ruddy" and also "red-haired one."  

WIFE suggested this.  Wow, what deep meaning.  "Red hair?"  We're really shooting for the stars now.  My continued calls for strong,  titan-esq names like MALONE, HENRY, and TRUMP continue to fall on deaf ears.  The battle rages on...





Sep 20, 2011

"If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right." 
-- Bill Cosby

Sep 19, 2011

New Review: Arias with a Twist

One of the things I love getting to do is reviewing theatre.  Last weekend, I covered the puppet-fueled extravaganza ARIAS WITH A TWIST.  Read about it here.


PS:  What handsome and hilarious volunteer theatre reviewer sat in front of the successful but shy Village Voice writer Michael Musto?  We'll never tell.  (it was me)

FINALLY!!! NO TEARS 4 MONSTA!!!

After three weeks, thirteen morning drop-offs, and countless lies of "School is fun.  You'll love it,"  today, finally...NO TEARS.
No Tears!  

MONSTA started going to school three years ago, most of which she has enjoyed.  Last year, she didn't cry once, and that was at a Catholic school.  So now, she's going to a charter school, where it's illegal to stress the "fires of hell" and other horrible things, but still, every morning, she's Blanch DuBois.  Tugging on pants, death gripping to our legs, furiously waving a white handkerchief as the Kindergarten train pulls out of the station.  Because of her experience, we didn't think she'd have any problem with the big K.  But we were wrong.  She's cried every single day except for the first, which I assume means she thought she was on a really long play date.  She had no clue that for the next 13 YEARS, this is her life.    

But this morning, finally, a breakthrough.    Though not "jazzed" or "psyched," - her look was, according to WIFE, "melancholy," - MONSTA'S cute lil' face was DRY.  I hope this is a trend, but I doubt it.  She's a dramatic kid, and what's a better show-stopper than a big weep as her mother and I walk out of the drop-off zone, perhaps never to return again.  But as dads and moms know, even one day without tears is a welcomed gift from the gods.  

Sep 17, 2011

Baby Name Game: MALONE

Today's Potential Baby Name:  MALONE.

I don't know what this says about a kid, having the first name Malone, but I think it's something like this:


Sep 13, 2011

America's National CRAPtime

If you follow baseball, then you've heard about the trouble the sport has attracting African American youth.  It's not that they aren't playing sports.  It's just that baseball isn't at the top of their list like it once was.  I can tell you that this is true.

On Sunday, I was out on the bike.  An old grey Firestone (the tire folks) I call the "Grouse Goose." Don't ask.   So I'm on the bike and the day is just lovely.  I'm tooling along, looking like Clark Gable in shorts.  I head around Astoria Park, which butts up against the East River. The views are stunning and dramatic, and it being September 11th, I feel like this city really is invincible. If I was supposed to be afraid of terrorists, I wasn't right then.  If you head south past the park, you'll come to a giant hill.  At the top of the hill is a sign:  "Waterfront Pathway." Lovely, right? So I cautiously proceed down a steep hill (Firestone good at tires, not at brakes). As I do, I can't help but think, "Hey, this neighborhood isn't as nice as I'd imagine, being waterfront property and all."  But it's day light, and today we're all Americans, so I travel on.

Certainly it's true that "Waterfront Pathway" does refer to a serene promenade that runs beside the East River, offering unique views of Roosevelt Island.  What is not inferred in "Waterfront Pathway" is that you're now in the middle of a GIANT HOUSING PROJECT.  Your bicycle promenade is their sidewalk.   Strangely, for a former victim of violent crime while passing through similar neighborhoods, I was feeling fine.  You see, the day was THAT LOVELY.  A kind sun. Mild temps. Patriotism.  Then, up ahead, I see them.

About one hundred yards in front, a gang of boys gather.  Not a gang as in "Holy %$&?, the Latin Kings!", but in the "Hey, that's a large group of young men."  I can see them, but I'm not worried because they look to be playing football.  My anxiety rises, however, when I notice they are running to sit on the park bench that rests beside the path.  "This ain't good," I think. As I get closer, they begin sitting very nicely.  Quiet.  Backs straight. Hands...out of sight. Never trust a kid sitting still.  When I am about ten yards away, they begin counting. One...two...three!  I pass them, and as I do hear the splat of water balloons on concrete.

First thought: "Whew.  I'm dry."  Second thought: "Pedal faster, Lance ArmWrong!"  Third thought:  "Wow.  Those kids would make terrible pitchers.  I was molasses, and they still couldn't hit me from five feet away.  I bet these kids never play baseball."

Sep 11, 2011

10 YEARS LATER...


From the corner of 35th Avenue and 41st Street in Astoria, the end of our block, you can see the lights that burn in memory of those who died on September 11, 2001.  You can see them from many parts of our neighborhood.  I imagine you can see them from most everywhere in New York.  That makes sense.  Every person who lived in New York at that time, at least those I've met, has a immediate connection to the tragedy.  Either they lost someone, or they knew someone who lost someone, or they themselves had to run from the rubble.  

Certainly no one has a more important connection to 9/11 than children.  Recently, I saw on a program that there THOUSANDS of kids who were orphaned by the attack.  The rest of their lives, without a parent, because of hate and ignorance. Without getting political, it's fair to say that in the military response, thousands more were added to this number.  As long as I live, I will refuse to see the fairness or justification in such man-made loss.  

Whatever your feelings, today, tomorrow, and the next day - but especially today - hold your kid close.  Tell them you love them, even if they're acting nasty.  Parenting is no cake walk, but I'm grateful to be around to do it. And today of all days, give some good thoughts to those who aren't. 

MONSTA ART #1: LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU


Sep 10, 2011

THIS MOVIE LOOKS AWESOME!!!

I've been wanting to see the new Planet of the Apes for a while.  Normally skeptical about big Hollywood pics, but based on this trailer, I'd say it looks pretty awesome!  Those CGI gorilla suits are SOOOO real!!!

Sep 9, 2011

PLEASE DON'T FEED THE MAMA GRIZZLIES

If I wasn't a real parent already, I am now.  WIFE and I just got back from our first PTA meeting.  Because MONSTA goes to a charter school, the group is actually called a PTO, but if you think I waited this long to join the PTO, think again.  I'm calling it PTA, and if someone has a problem, they can stick it in their sub-committee. 

People like WIFE and I join the PTA because we want to make sure the school is as strong as possible.  After all, it's got the crucial task of making sure MONSTA isn't dumb.  If she turns out dumb, then she lives at home forever, which means even longer before I'm free to walk around in my custom-made birthday suit.  So yeah - I got a stake in it.  But how long I can stand this group is anyone's guess.  I can't imagine a better example of why government doesn't work than the PTA.  If I'm ever become a libertarian, they're to blame.  

Today, in our first meeting - a mere 8 days into the school year - things got HE-TED!  First, folks come late.  Alright.  We all get settled, squished onto these tiny lunch tables, and as I naively expected, the meeting begins smoothly.  After all, we're here for a common purpose. We're here to help.  We're here for...the children. 

But this is a group of humans, shut in all summer with their insane children, waiting out Hurri-Quakes, and watching CNN.  I should have known better. With pleasantries out the window, some lady starts pushing us to vote on giving 800 clams to an unknown gym teacher so he can buy uniforms for an after-school football...er...FLAG football team.  I'm sorry, but everybody knows that if you're gonna ask for a vote on budgetary matters, that ish has gotta be on the AGENDA!  Pedestrian, y'all.  It did not get better.  

Some lady, who I'm sure had Dr. Phil on DVR, gets angry about her son being penalized for not bringing a stapler to class. But instead of contacting the school ("I won't give them the satisfaction!"), she tells the now powerless PTA-chair to "investigate." Then the talking stick gets passed to someone else who is pissed that her son wasn't placed in the class he was "promised." She's got one kid running around the meeting, and another in her arms, and still has the focus to confront the principle, who until now had been coolly observing from the doorway. From the cheap seats, someone insinuated that maybe, you know, 'cause he's SIX, her son got it wrong about which teacher he was assigned to, AND that's when people started to leave.  

I hadn't thought about until today, but if Crazy Sarah Palin is looking to recruit for her "Mama Grizzly" campaign, Queens might be a good place to start. 

MY NAME IS PAISLEY, AND I IS PERTY


Hey y'alls, I'm Paisley.  Ain't I cute?  My mommas got me in this here pretty girl contest, and I gonna win.  Theres lots of pretty girls 'round here, but I gonna win, cause if I don't, my momma said she gonna kill Mickey Mouse. I love Mickey, and I don't want her to kill him.  So I gotta win.  

Do you like my costume?  Momma said she saw it in this movie about a working girl.  This girl had a hard job.  She had to be outside all the time, which is sooo bad for your skin.  And she had to work with all sorts of mean people, like her...um, what did momma call it?  A pimp! That's right.  I love that word.  It's so cute.    There are four letters in pimp.  P-I-M...um, G?  

Okay now, Is gonna go.  They just called my name.  They said, "Okay folks, here comes Paisley to the mainstage."  That's how I know it's my turn.  That, and they start to play my music.  I can't remember what the song is.  Something by my momma's favorite band, Warrant.  She love them, cause she say their drummer man was almost my step-daddy.  I wish I could play Katy Perry.  But momma know best. 


Sep 7, 2011

Do Something, With Your Kid...NOW!


This is from my birthday.  That's my daughter.  She's a wonderful, loud, always singing, often times screaming, sometimes angry five year old.  We went to the Mets/Cardinals game.  I won't tell you who we were rooting for, but I'll tell you we lost.  I couldn't have cared less.

The point is:  take your kid to do something fun.  It doesn't have to be big time like a ball game in New Yawk.  Try out a local minor league team.  We did as kids.  The Greenville Braves.  On Mother's Day, they gave my mom a carnation.  Or maybe just go to the park.  Or the mall.  Or down the street.  Spend that time with them, because it's sooner rather than later that they won't want to spend it with you.  It's a fate we all face.  Even me, super cool dad supreme.

Sep 6, 2011

ARE YOU THIS PARENT?

actual shirt, in an actual Children's Place.
Hey, you!  Are you buying that shirt for your kid?  Yeah, the one Children's Place put right in the front of the store?!  Guess what?  It ain't cute.  I mean, aesthetically it is, but.  You don't know what "aesthetically" means? Then swing by Books-a-Million and pic up a dictionary.   

This is the deal.  If you buy that shirt - and I'm not leaving until you're done shopping - I'm going to take your kid.   I mean it.  I will take your daughter and raise her as my own, because you, madame, are too stupid to be trusted with life.  Actually, my plan is to drop your kid off with a couple of meth addicts I know, cause I'm really curious if they can do a better job raising her than you.  They may forget to feed her for a couple days, but they'll never do something as horrible as buy her this shirt!  And I don't care if it's on sale!  The messages it sends are terrible.  What are you trying to raise?  A rich housewife or an even richer divorcee? Either way, they both end up sad, pickled, and full of regret.  Of course, the regret we'll never see because her face will be so pulled back - like a midget tugging on her cheeks - that absolutely no emotion will be visible.  

Seriously, lady.  The GAP is right next door, and they've got some really nice t-shirts. Beige, purple, a sun-faded pink.  Go crazy.  The world's your oyster.  And on sale, too.  I admit, they're probably made by children just like ours, but at least no will want to kill you for taking her out like that.  I know this is harsh, but I only want to help.  Think about it: our two children may be in class one day, and I'd hate for the learning to be slowed down for mine just so the teacher can spend extra time with yours.  This, dear, is the meaning community.  Pitch in or get out.  

Sep 4, 2011

HOLY FIT!

A Question:  what's your response to those special fits?  You know the one.  Your kid, this thing that was, at one time, perfect and delightful, is flailing about, kicking everything in sight like a horse about to win the Glue Factory 500.  Part of you is thinking, "Man, is she having a seizure?" but the other part of you doesn't care so long as she quits.  

MONSTA had one of those last night.  We don't spank, but man did I want to punch her.  Not really punch, but like, lightly tap her with a closed hand.  The kind that the refs in the WWF will warn you about, but not call the match.  One of those.  But I'm a peaceful man, so we just took away television...on a Sunday.  Tell me this:  who gets punished on that one?  

So how do you handle those?  My parents whooped me, and since that isn't an option, we're always open to new ideas.  Of course, when her head starts spinning, and goo is pouring from her ears, having a chat doesn't seem realistic.  

Sep 3, 2011

Picking A Name Aint' What It Used To Be

In just a couple months, another beautiful, loud, hungry mouth will be making noise in our apartment. No, my father isn't coming to visit.  WIFE is preggers, silly.  Along with diapers and booty cream, this little thing will also need a name.  Today, parents have a wide variety of names to choose from.  Once people stopped feeling obligated to give their child a religious name, it was like the gates of crazy opened up.  Ashley Simpson named her kid "Bronx," which is hilarious because I'm CERTAIN she has never been to the Bronx.

Our specific dilemma is that WIFE, MONSTA, and myself are all M's.  I've been warned that if we give this boy a name beginning in something other than M, he'll feel left out.  (God I hope he's more secure than that)  Needless to say, we've boxed ourselves in on this one.  But what we choose is important.  Society makes a lot of judgments based on first names.  Did you know that resumes with ethnic names may be less likely to get called in for an interview?  So a name counts, man!  I don't want to be supporting little Marsuvious for ever.  Here then, are the ones my wife and I are considering, along with what it may say about who this guy will be.

MARTIN - a nerd or tiny black stand-up comedian

MORTIMER - a magician, nerd, or mid-level cartoon villain

MITCH - guy who answers phones at GEICO and/or small town D.J. 

MYSTIKAL- great rapper, terrible person

MYSTERIO - tiny hispanic wrestler

MALCOLM - revolutionary activist for rights of middle-income kids of mixed race

MATT - cool guy and/or smooth operator and/or old lady across street walker (and/or Second Coming???)

At some point I'll let you know what we choose.  Until then, we'd love some ideas.