Pint-Sized Peanut Gallery Goes for a Bike Ride

 Adventures in Parenting, Daddy on Duty, Kids Say the Darndest Things  Comments Off on Pint-Sized Peanut Gallery Goes for a Bike Ride
Sep 092014

I took my kids for a pre-school bike ride, and they rewarded me with a preschool standup routine.

This morning, I decided to tow my two older kids to preschool in our double bike trailer. It was a nice morning, and the school is only a few miles away, so I thought it would be a fun exercise. Exercise, in fact, was a big part of the plan, since this would probably be my only chance to get any exercise today, aside from walking up the stairs from my basement home office/dungeon cell to get more pretzels. So off we went, The Dad on the pedals and 70+ pounds of smartass giggling in the trailer behind.

We got about half a block from our house when the wise cracks began. Oh, these two think they are soooo hilarious. It was like having the two old guys from The Muppet Show sitting in my bike trailer, only instead of grumpy stuffed puppets from the ’80s, I had a three year old and a four year old who think that “poop” is the funniest word ever ride with kids

The comments started as a commentary on my cycling ability:

“Daddy, why are you going so slow up this hill?”

“Daddy, are you having a hard time driving in a straight line?”

“Daddy, why are you breathing so hard? Do you need to sit down?”

“Daddy, do you want me to get out and push?”

“Daddy, are we going to make it to the school today?”

“Daddy, should we call mommy to pick us up?”

Next, the comments turned even more personal, and they began a two-part commentary approach. For emphasis, they started adding 10-15 seconds of hysterical laughter after each exchange:

THE GIRL: “Look at his butt!”

THE BOY: “That’s all I can see!”


THE GIRL: “Why is daddy so sweaty?”

THE BOY: “I think daddies do that way when they get old.”


THE GIRL: It smells like a diaper in here.

THE BOY: [Points toward The Dad’s rear end]


And then the grand finale:


AHAHahahahahahahahahaha! AHAHahahahahahahahahaha! AHAHahahahahahahahahaha!

Needless to say, the ride home, with an empty trailer, was much more peaceful, if not a little less entertaining.

Happy trails, everyone!

Good Night, Godzilla: Sweet Words at Bedtime

 Kids Say the Darndest Things  Comments Off on Good Night, Godzilla: Sweet Words at Bedtime
Jun 092014

A short bedtime story

Last night, my three-year-old daughter, a.k.a. Godzilla to those familiar with her antics, was having trouble settling down and going to bed. Instead of using my usual barrage of tough love and threats to burn all of her stuffed animals in a giant, fur-filled pyre, I opted for a different approach. I sat down on the bed next to her, tucked her in gently and then leaned in close.

“Godzilla, I’m sorry if I don’t say this enough, but I think you are amazing.”

She stopped fidgeting and looked up into my eyes.

“You are so smart. And you work so hard at learning new things. I’m impressed everyday watching you learn and grow.”

She blinked once, slowly, and a calm look washed over her face.

“You are sweet to your brothers, especially your baby brother, who looks up to you so much. You are kind and strong and beautiful, and I could not be more proud of you. Do you hear me? I am so proud of you. So proud.”

She closed her eyes, and her lips curled into a contented little smile as if those words were exactly what she needed to hear at that moment. Then she reached up with her tiny hands and tenderly grasped each of my ears, pulling me even closer to her her. When I was inches from her face, she craned her neck upward and kissed my cheek. Then she turned her head, ever so slightly, and whispered in my ear, “Daddy …”


“Your breath stinks. You should brush your teeth.”

Goodnight, Godzilla. 

March Madness: A Dad’s Explanation and Two Puny Prognosticators

 Adventures in Parenting, Daddy on Duty, Kids Say the Darndest Things  Comments Off on March Madness: A Dad’s Explanation and Two Puny Prognosticators
Mar 272014

The Dad explains March Madness while the kids predict game results from the Sweet 16

Today at breakfast I was chatting with my four-year-old son, a.k.a “Super O,” and almost-three-year-old daughter, a.k.a. “Godzilla,” and I to get the gang’s thoughts on March Madness.

“Hey, kiddos, aren’t you excited that it’s March Madness?”

“Yes!” they shouted in unison.

Then the girl went back to eating her cereal, while the boy got a quizzical look on his face.

“Wait, daddy, what’s March Madness?” he asked.

“Well, buddy, I’m glad you asked. March Madness is a magical time of year when all the best college basketball teams get together for a big tournament, and they play a bunch of games to see who is the greatest. If you win, you get to play another game. If you lose, you have to go home and do your homework. And if you keep winning, you get to go all the way to the Final Four, which is a super magical event, even though it often takes place in a location that you’d otherwise never want to visit, like Indianapolis or Detroit or Texas. But it’s amazing, like getting an all-access pass to Jake the Never Land Pirate’s secret hideout, only instead of puny pirates, there are thousands of wild basketball fans and lots of TV cameras. And they show all of this action on TV, which is why daddy spends so much time watching TV this time of year, instead of working or helping around the house or doing things with the family.”

My son nodded in appreciation, but I could tell I was losing my daughter with this description, so I added this in: “Another name for March Madness is The Big Dance.

She immediately put down her spoon and placed both hands underneath her chin. “I’m listening.”

“And if a little team that no one expected to do well starts winning a bunch of games, they call it a ‘Cinderella,’” I added.

Her eyes immediately got wide. “Do they wear glass slippers?” she asked.

“Well, no, glass slippers don’t have enough traction for a basketball court. Plus they’re not great for the ankles. But the Cinderellas do lots of crazy celebration dances if they win. And if they win the whole thing, they get showered with confetti and glitter. Lots and lots of glitter.”

The girl let out a giggle, and I could tell I had her attention. So I took it up another notch. “Today starts the second weekend of the tournament,” I said. “It’s called—get this—the ‘Sweet 16.’”

Both kids gasped.

“Uh, huh. And to make things extra sweet for the Sweet 16, I’m going to give each of you a piece of candy for each game you predict correctly in the Sweet 16.”

“Yes!” shouted the boy.

“Candy! I want mine now!” yelled the girl.

“No, not yet,” I replied. “You need to guess who’s going to win each game, and then I’ll give you the candy after the games are done. Okay, ready?”

So here you go, readers, my kids predict the Sweet 16. Let’s see if these preschoolers can prognosticate better than the so-called experts. For each game, I asked them to

The 2014 Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship Sweet 16 Predictions – By Super O (age 4, boy) and Godzilla (age almost 3, girl)

The Sweet 16

The Sweet 16, a candy-laden adventure full of dancing Cinderellas and glitter – lots and lots of glitter.

Florida Gators vs. UCLA Bruins

Super O’s prediction: “Is a gator like Tick Tock Croc in Jake the Never Land Pirate? OK then, how about the Bruins? Is that the team we don’t like? No? Okay, Bruins then.”

Godzilla’s prediction: “Do gators eat us?”


Baylor Bears vs. Wisconsin Badgers

Super O’s prediction: “Bears definitely eat people.”

Godzilla’s prediction: “What’s a badger?”


Arizona Wildcats vs. San Diego State Aztecs

Super O’s prediction: “San Diego, because we went there before.”

Godzilla’s prediction: “Baylor Bears!”


Dayton Flyers vs. Stanford Cardinal

Super O’s prediction: “The Daytons. I like their pilot flying guy.”

Godzilla’s prediction: “The one that O said. Because.”


Virginia Cavalier vs. Michigan State Spartans

Super O’s prediction: “The other one, not the Spartans. I don’t know why.”

Godzilla’s prediction: “The Part-spans. Yes, Put-spins will win. Because.”


Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals

Super O’s prediction: “The Wildcats, because they are brave and fast”

Godzilla’s prediction: “Wildcats, because they are good winners.”


Iowa State Cyclones vs. Connecticut Huskies

Super O’s prediction: “Huskies! They look like they have big teeth and are fast.”

Godzilla’s prediction: “Have I been to Iowa?”


Tennessee Volunteers vs. Michigan Wolverines

Super O’s prediction: “Wolverines [then noticing the grimace from his nanny, who is from Ohio]. Okay, no. The Volunteers. [Looking at nanny again] Um, just because.”

Godzilla’s prediction: “No, O, not Volunteers. I don’t like that word. I pick Tennessee.”


Mar 142014

The screams started late in the evening. The kids had been asleep, and I was just settling down for some well-deserved couch time.

“Daddy. Daddy! DADDY!”

The panic in my son’s voice was escalating quickly as I ran upstairs to his bedroom.


“What?” I asked breathlessly as I burst into his room. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” answered my four year old.

“Then what is it? Why are you screaming?”

“So, in the ‘Toy Story’ movie, is there a Tyrannosaurus?” he asked, suddenly very calm. “I can’t remember.”

“What? That’s what … Are you serious?”

“Yeah. Is there a Tyrannosaurus?” he asked again.

“You mean, like a dinosaur?” I said.

“Yeah. A Tyrannosaurus dinosaur. Is there one?”

“Were you having a nightmare about dinosaurs?” I asked.

“No, I just couldn’t remember if there was a Tyrannosaurus in ‘Toy Story.’ I thought there was. But I couldn’t remember.”


“So that’s why you were screaming?”


I thought for a second while catching my breath from the sprint up the stairs. “Yes, there is a Tyrannosaurus. A toy one. A toy dinosaur. Yes.”

“Is he friendly, or does he eat people?”

“Are you worried about getting eaten by a dinosaur?” I was still trying to get at a root cause for the screaming.

“No, just curious,” he responded, matter of factly.

“Okay, I just want to get this straight. You started screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night, because you couldn’t remember if there was a toy dinosaur in the movie ‘Toy Story’?”


“Alright then. No, the ‘Toy Story’ dinosaur doesn’t eat people. He’s a friendly toy. Besides, dinosaurs and people didn’t coexist in the same epoch. They were separated by millions of years of—wait, why are we talking about this? If there’s no emergency, then go to sleep!”


Bedtime Stories: Cinderella Goes to the Ball

 Daddy on Duty, Kids Say the Darndest Things  Comments Off on Bedtime Stories: Cinderella Goes to the Ball
Feb 212014

Bedtime stories take a new dimension when told by a two year old

Last night, my almost-three-year-old daughter, aka Godzilla, told me that she was going to tell me a bedtime story, not the other way around. It was clearly a stalling tactic, but I went along. It seemed easier than watching her melt down into a five-alarm tantrum, plus I was curious about her storytelling technique. Having a conversation with Godzilla is like watching a fairy vomit pixie dust and princess tiaras while pink unicorns dance in the background. So a creative story by our little Cinderella-in-training would be an interesting glimpse into her psyche. I agreed. Then the scene unfolded something like this:

Godzilla: Daddy, I’m going to tell you a bedtime story.220px-Cinderella_Special_Edition_OST

The Dad: Okay.

Godzilla: Okay.

The Dad: Okay.

Godzilla: Okay.

The Dad: Okay. Go.

Godzilla: What do you want your story to be about?

The Dad: How ‘bout you tell me a story about a beautiful little girl with golden hair who didn’t want to go to bed, but when she finally did, she had magical fairy dreams all night and woke up as a princess? That sounds like a fun one.

Godzilla: No.

The Dad: No?

Godzilla: No. I will tell you a story about Cinderella.

The Dad: Okay, tell me a story about Cinderella.

Godzilla: So, Cinderella was going to the princess ball. But she didn’t know if she wanted to go. But then she did.

The Dad: [listening expectantly]

Godzilla: [dramatic pause]

The Dad: [still listening]

Godzilla: [more dramatic pause]

The Dad: And?

Godzilla: [silence]

The Dad: Godzilla?

Godzilla: [silence]

The Dad: Are you asleep?

Godzilla: [emits subtle snore]

The Dad: Well, that worked like a charm.