Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Real Dads Drive to Day Care

Today is Wednesday and for this SuperDad that means it's MY turn to drive the kids to day care. Nothing is quite so entertaining as a car ride with my two girls. Since I have now joined the modern music revolution... and gotten an iPod, my girls know that this means they can listen to anything they want, whenever they want.

The 9-year-old wants to listen to "High School Musical". This, of course, is Disney's latest stroke of genius ensuring multiple streams of income from video, CD's, T-shirts, bookbags, skywriters, etc. This is a new movie currently running on The Disney Channel geared toward our preteens' little sponge-like brains.

The 2-year-old, on the other hand wants to listen to The Wiggles. In case you aren't familiar with The Wiggles, this is a show (also on Disney...go figure) featuring 4 guys from Australia who, as part of a college experiment, thought to themselves..."I bet we could make a boat-load of money by starting our own for toddlers!" How true.

They wear 'brightly-colored' shirts and sing songs about pirates, dinosaurs, how much money they're making, etc. I might add here that another popular show, The TeleTubbies, also consists of 4...let's call them "creatures" with 'brightly-colored' fur. Barney is a 'brightly-colored' dinosaur. Clifford and Blue are 'brightly-colored' dogs.

I'm beginning to think that E.R. could be made into a children's show if all of the doctors and nurses would simply wear 'brightly-colored' scrubs and sing songs about what they do.

"Kids, let's sing 'The Catheterization Song'! Can you say, 'Catheterization'?"

In any case, as we were riding along to day care, my 2-year-old pointed out that we were actually gaining on a police car with its siren blaring. Why? Because he was doing about 50 mph on the beltway (glad it wasn't MY house that was being broken-into). I figured SuperDad needed to relax.

"OK,'s Daddy's turn to listen to some Green Day." Hey, it's a bright color! Maybe they'll like it!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Can't Spell DAD without A.D.D.

Is it just me or do you almost have to have A.D.D. to be a good dad these days? I've often wondered about this when forced to "multi-task" with my children. It seems to me... that we're all born with A.D.D. and then we outgrow it at some later stage in life (hopefully). Heck, we practically encourage this behavior in our kids every holiday season, don't we?

"Open this one. Isn't that nice? Say 'thank you'. Now, open this one. Isn't that nice? Say 'thank you'.", etc, etc. Some of us outgrow it, some of us don't.

I've become so attuned to what is happening around me at all times that sometimes it's diffcult just to have a conversation with my wife. God forbid one of my kids drops something or someone flicks on a light somewhere in the house. My eyes automatically "follow the light". When the house gets too quiet, that's when I get worried.

"No noise? Something must be wrong. Maybe they've killed each other!"

This makes swimming fun. One is in the deep end, one is in the shallow end. One went off the diving board and hasn't resurfaced yet, one pooped in her swim diaper (who invented THESE things? they must be the 'pita wrap' of the diaper family and they're about as absorbent as wax paper).

While we're on the topic of swimming, why is it that if we take the kids somewhere new, the DAD has to be the first one to strip down to the swimsuit and take the kids into the pool? My wife is gorgeous but she doesn't want anyone we don't know to see her in a bathing suit. Me, I've got more body hair than most Cro-Magnons but put me in a loin cloth and drop me in the middle of the street and suddenly I'm Frank "the Tank" in Old School. "We're going streaking through the quad!"

Well, I had a point when I started this. I forgot what it was, though. Maybe I DO have A.D.D.!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Insert Tab A into Slot B

Those of you with kids know that one of the things we SuperDads look forward to the most is installing the new car safety seat. The SuperGrandParents bought a new child seat so that they could take my 2-year-old daughter for a drive in their PT Cruiser...

(TANGENT: Can anyone tell me why this car is categorized as an SUV? If a PT Cruiser is an SUV, then Milli Vanilli is Led Zeppelin.)

This was a big step for me since riding with my dad sounds something like this...


So there we were, SuperPopPop and I, staring at the seat, staring at the car, staring at the seat, staring at the car. We finally had the brilliant idea to check the instruction manual that came with the seat. Now this went something like this...

"Look, we just MAKE these things. Check the owner's manual for your car to see how to actually INSTALL it."

SuperDad opens car manual...

"Look we just make cars. Why don't you actually read the instruction manual that came with your car seat to see how to actually INSTALL it."

(Somewhere in the distance, I hear, "We control the horizontal...We control the vertical...")

At this point, I begin to recall some of my favorite labels and manuals of all-time. One of them was a label that was stuck to a 7-UP cake that SuperMom and I had at a party one time. The label proudly read, "Made with 7-UP". Clearly, these people belong to Mensa. My all-time favorite is on the bag of Peanut M&M's..."Warning: May contain nuts". May? A lot of people are going to be pretty pissed off if they don't.

I believe I was talking about the car seat. At this point, lacking any clear set of instructions, my only redeeming thought is, "Well, I was always pretty good at Tetris, I should be able to figure this out." After trying to install the seat in the left-rear seat, the center-rear seat, the roof, the trunk, we finally decide that the left-rear is the place to be. After all, she's only 2...she's got to have a window or it will be, "Pop pop, I have a booger" for the next 60 miles.

We finally jam a knee into the seat (what 2-year-old is as heavy as a grown man ramming his knee and all his body weight into a seat??), secure the LATCH system (don't get me started), and we're done. My wife comes outside with cold drinks to save the day. It was a "3-T-shirt" experience (I'll save that explanation for next time).

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Captain's Blog: Stardate 19 Miles per Gallon

OK, so being the SuperDad that I am, I made a big decision this week. I made this decision after paying $3.25 per gallon for gasoline at the end of last week... I decided to sell my Ford Explorer. This is the same Explorer (my FIRST SUV) that I bought about 6 months ago.

You see, SuperDad has a 60-mile, round-trip commute to work & back and the Explorer was getting an ozone-scorching 19 miles per gallon, on a good day. It was even better once the temperature got so hot here in the Mid-Atlantic that the camels at the Maryland Zoo were going, "Damn, it's hot!" and I had to turn on the old A/C.

Something is wrong with the world when my monthly bill for gasoline is more than my car payment. Don't get me wrong, I loved cruising down I-95 watching my gas guage fall faster than Yahoo! stock. I loved riding high and watching all of the little compacts fly by, knowing that I could squish them with my mighty SUV at a moment's notice.

I simply realized that this is money I should be saving and spending on my took it back to CarMax and bought a Honda Accord. I made out pretty well on the deal. My "negative equity" was a whopping $18. I realize now that I missed being so low to the ground. It just FEELS faster, even though I know it's not...and I'm getting 35 mpg. So I never got to drive the Explorer in the snow. There's always the minivan.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Warm Air A-LOFT

This weekend, I undertook a task that surely any SuperDad must be able to do. Yes, I...Mr. Bob Vila, Jr. assembled a LOFT BED for my older daughter. I say 'Bob Vila, Jr.' because... anyone who knows me knows that I am rarely capable of assembling the kids' toys on Christmas Day, let alone an actual piece of furniture.

Therefore, I did what any good SuperDad would do in this situation. I called SuperGrandDad for help. Yes, if I couldn't do it on my own, I figured I might as well throw my 60-plus- year-old dad into cardiac arrest. At least it was one of the hottest days of the year. It one of those days where you start to question whether or not the central air is even working.

In any case, after more than 6 hours of toiling in the bedroom, the loft bed was finished. Now who in their right mind thought to themselves,

"You know what would be really fun? I think I'll have my kid sleep in a bed that's 6 feet off of the floor. That seems nice and safe."

This is especially true in this case. My 9-year-old daughter barely has room to do a push-up once she's 'in the loft'. I can only imagine what will happen when she has her first nightmare up there & goes to sit straight up in bed, only to whack her little forehead into the stucco ceiling.

I guess next weekend, SuperGrandDad and I will cut a few inches off of the legs. Maybe I should rent a defribulator.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Hi. I am the father of two wonderful little girls and I'm here to share my experiences with you. My brilliant, little deductions are 2 (going on 5) and 9 (going on 17). My 2-year-old is my own flesh & blood and my 9-year-old is my step-daughter... Have you ever heard people refer to someone or something as being treated "like a red-headed step-child"? My who you say that around because you might just find someone like me dumping Mentos in your 2-liter bottle of Coke.

(TANGENT: As an aside here, why do we need so many varieties of Coke? I mean now we have Coke, Caffeine Free Coke, Diet Coke, Caffeine Free Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Lime, Diet Vanilla Coke, Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke, Cherry Coke, Diet Cherry Coke, Coke Zero, C2 Coke, and I'm sure I've forgotten a few. Do we really need this many choices? It's hard enough for me to pick out a shirt and tie that match every morning, let alone choose from a dozen varieties of the same soft drink.)

Anyway, back to my kids. My mission here will be to help you realize that you are not the only one in the world with insane kids. Nothing makes me prouder than hearing my older daughter tell me, "Daddy, sometimes....when I laugh really hard....I fall down." Nothing warms my heart more than when my 2-year-old little princess turns to me when we're playing on the floor and says, "Daddy, you smell like bad mouth."

These are the Kodak moments that make changing all those diapers (without puking once, I might add....EVER) worthwhile. I can't wait to share more of them with you.