Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dad Mom

I was greeted at the door by Elijah and Luca trying to beat each other in their proclamations of love for me. 

Eli accused Luca of only loving me for my soon to be revealed gift, Luca punched Eli and it ended with them both in tears.  Oh don’t worry boys, there’s more than enough of my awesomeness to go around.

I was worried they’d quickly remember why I usually occupy second place in their love and immediately went into spoil mode. Illegal Xbox time?  Yep.  TV on in a different room just in case?  Sure.  Candy?  Of course.  Ice cream pre and post dinner?  You got it.

After things died down a bit and stomachs settled, I asked Luca what he wanted to do.  He said, “I want you to be Mommy.”

Oh not this again.  A few weeks ago, we made up a game where Luca pretends to be an infant and I pretend to be his mommy.  I mainly flail around and ineptly drop baby while I put him to bed or baby gets some bad formula and poops all over me.  It’s all scatological and hilarious.

However, Luca demands that I dress up in a wig.  And by “wig” I mean “black t-shirt draped over the back of my head. 

Dressing in drag was okay for the first few times we played Mommy, but it makes me feel funny and I’m 99.9% sure my neighbor Paul saw me in character and can no longer look me in the eye.

I tried to talk him out of it yesterday, but he simply ignored me and selected a lovely t-shirt from my drawer.  It was a Martin guitar t-shirt, so Mommy had a few streaks of white in her hair, a la Bride of Frankenstein.

In the end, Mommy got completely covered in imaginary poop and Baby had fun before Baby decided he would rather go watch Pound Puppies videos on Youtube.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bears Hat

Right before I left town, I bought a Bears stocking cap so the people of Prague would fear me.  When I brought it home, the boys went bonkers for it.  Which is odd given their active ignoring of all things sportive.  They wanted to know where it was at all times.  They stole it and fought over it and took turns wearing it. 

Like all things non Xbox-related, Elijah lost interest in the hat after a few minutes.  But Luca insisted on wearing it the rest of the night.  He was so adorable that I took a video of him pretending to be a Chicago Bear.

Now, I could say that I don’t post videos on HamannEggs because I like the purity of the written word and I am eventually turning these into hardbound books for the boys.  But the real reason is I don’t know how to post videos on the blog.

So I’ll just have to describe it to you. 

We open on a very cute boy in a Chicago Bears hat and batman pajamas.  He is adorable.  Off screen, we hear his dad say in an unintentionally Muppet voice, “Hey everybody!  We are talking to a real, live Chicago Bear. What's your name?”

The boy makes an adorable face and says, “Luca!”

The Muppet Dad says, “What position on the Bears do you play?”

The boy leaves the screen and says, “Dad, what positions is this in there?”

Muppet Dad whispers, “You’re the quarterback.”

The boy whispers, “Quarterback,” and then shouts, “Quarterback!”

Muppet Dad and boy say “Quarterback” back and forth a few times and then Muppet Dad asks, “What team are you on?”

The boy shouts, “The Bear team!”

Muppet Dad asks, “Aaaaaannd who do you play against?”

The boy whispers off camera, “Dad, who do they play against?”

Muppet Dad whispers, “The Packers.”

The boy shouts to camera, “The Backers!”

Muppet Dad asks, “Do you like The Packers or hate The Packers?”

The boy shouts, “Hate the Backers! Because I love the Bears!”

Muppet Dad says, “Alright.  Anything else you want to say to America?”

The boy crawls on Diana’s nice orange chair and says, “Yeah!  I like The Bears.  And in the…speaking frankly, I can chop a whole Bear open.  And speaking frankly, I can put one in the fire and make it bleed.  And make Spiderman eat one.”

Muppet Dad tries to end the video as quickly as possible by saying, “Alright.  Say, ‘Bye bye Bears!’”

“Bye bye Bears!”

Muppet Dad says, “I love you.”

“I love you,” the boys says.

I miss that little guy.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blair Witch

I’m in Prague making some advertising magic and enjoying that brief block of time before Diana becomes completely fed up with my abandoning her for exotic hot wine street vendors.

I couple nights ago I was treated to a video chat via “Face Time” on my phone.  I’m 99.9% sure Elijah was the one who initiated the call because he is way smarter on the iphone than Diana and I will ever be.  I’m also sure he set up the call while simultaneously playing three games and doing a little online banking.

Anyway, I picked up the phone and was delighted to see the screen fill with Luca’s face.  In all his 80 year old man in a 4 year old’s body glory, he screamed into the phone to compensate for the distance between us.  He also made the creative choice to do the “Shaky Cam” treatment made popular in “The Blair Witch” movie.  It was a little stomach churning, but I was still excited to talk to the family.  Well, mostly Luca.  Because of the screaming.

I got a very detailed account of his new Sky Landers’ pajamas and the characters on the Sky Lander’s pajamas and how soft the Sky Lander’s pajamas are.  It was mostly just a Sky Lander’s pajama discussion.

I asked Luca put Eli on and he answered “good” to every question I pitched.  Including how his Sky Lander’s pjs were.

After asking if he could go play on the computer, I had him put Diana on.  I wanted as much time as Face Timely possible with her.  I missed her.  I wanted to hear all the details of the store, how her current cold was progressing, what the latest house related purchases were, what was happening on Top Chef…

But before she could get a word out, Eli fell off the computer chair and screamed bloody murder.  As she bent to pick him up I got Blair Witch Project shaky bits and pieces of the crime scene.  He was sprawled out on the floor clutching his leg in agony.

Diana had to let me go.  We’d have to Face Time another time.  So it was back to hot wine for me.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fight! Fight!

I love watching Elijah and Luca fight.  It’s sick, I know.  But there is something so wonderful about the age where it’s still social acceptable to raise your fists in anger.  I’m so past that age I can’t even remember my last fistfight (I actually can, but the details will make you feel less of me).

Because Luca is more feral and Eli is more sensitive, they’re pretty evenly matched.  So I don’t usually have to intervene.  Unless I feel their screaming gets too loud, where I’ll bark, “Knock it off!” in the mean dad voice.

Here are the moves they’ve mastered:

“The Scream.” I alluded to this above.  Admittedly, Luca is better at this move.  You simply get your voice to a volume that blow’s out your opponent’s eardrums.  Or makes your dad yell at you in the mean dad voice.

“The Pinch.”  This one is all about location.  Upper arm fat and thighs are preferred.  But Elijah will pinch Luca’s butt to humiliate him.  Which I think he learned in Sun Tzu’s “Art of War.”

Which leads me to “The Pants.”  This is another humiliation move.  You yank down your opponent’s pants, revealing his buttocks.  You can follow this up with “The Pinch” as a double move.

But my favorite all time move is “The Almost Hit.”  Deep down, they love each other so much that they have no interest in doing any actual damage.  So they’ll rear back their fists and swing with all their might, but they’ll put on the brakes before they strike flesh.  There’s almost that sound of tires burning asphalt.

And then the usual wrestling and rolling around and crying.  And then the dad yelling.

I’m heading out of town for a few weeks on anther commercial shoot or two.  I’ll miss these little buggers.  Especially the fighting.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Last Saturday, like every Saturday, my brother brought his kids over to play.  It’s a nice break for me in wall to wall non mommy time.  It’s a nice way for them to burn off energy and get some cousin time.  Sometimes we take them somewhere educational or actually go outside.  But most of the time it’s just a free for all at our house.

But while our kids chase each other and knock chunks of plaster off the walls with their screams, my brother and I are a little lost as to how to occupy our time.  It’s not like we’re going to talk to each other about life, love or anything deep.  We’ve been brothers for 41 years, for crying out loud.  And we both take off alcohol in January, so having fun is out.

This Saturday, while our kids plotted out asking me for glasses of water staggered instead of all at the same time, my brother dropped a fun bomb.  He suggested we play “Call of Duty” on the Xbox.

Hmm.  Interesting.  “Call of Duty” is this super violent video game where you shoot at soldiers being piloted by 14 year olds in other countries who call you racist names over the internet.  It’s extremely fun. But Diana has a strict no gun rule in our house.  So I end up playing it after everyone goes to bed.  It’s sad, but the 14 year old racists understand.

The only trick was playing it without exposing our children to the extremely violent images that make me love the game so much. 

Our plan was simple:  Forbid any child from entering the room while we played. 

Oh, it was glorious.  We’d play and swear and then every so often shout, “Don’t come in here!” when we heard little feet approaching.  Occasionally, we’d have to stop the game to get someone a staggered glass of water or break up a fight, but we really got some violence in.

At 4:30, it was time for them to go and I thought, “Okay.  This was good.  I got what I wanted (shooting) and the kids got what they wanted (screaming).”  I really felt good.  Felt like all was well in the world.

At 8:30, Diana came in from a hard day at work.  She was greeted by the two sons she loves pointing little finger guns at her while screaming, “Bang bang!  Call of Duty!  You’re dead!  Bang bang!  Call of Duty!”

I did not play after everyone went to bed.