Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Today as I drove into the office, I noticed my fingernails were long.  And by “long” I mean “a little bit of that white part showing.”  I was overcome with an intense desire to swing the car around in a violent U-Turn.  My immediate death would have been worth it.  Instead, I simply gnawed on them like a hamster going after a delicious food pellet.

Maybe I’m not making myself clear.  I dislike long fingernails.

This is not an OCD weirdness shared by Elijah.  He prefers to slink around our house, Bela Lugosi style.  His nails are crazy long.  Some days I think they look like that Shrindhar Chillal guy from Guinness Book of World Records.  By the way, if you are the kind of person who would get in a car accident over fingernails, do not Google “Shrindhar Chillal.”

Anyhoo, Eli refuses to let us clip his nails.  At the very mention of it he runs screaming from the room.  I have to literally hold him down to get a clipper on him.  He kicks, he cries, he jerks his hand out of my grasp over and over. 

A week or so ago, I was sitting on his chest and administering a clipping when he jerked his hand out of my grasp.  I angrily snatched his finger and proceeded to clip the end of it off.  Which I’ll use as my Father Of The Year submission.  Blood.  Screams. 

Eli pointed the bloody stump at me and shouted, “You did that on purpose!”

“I’m so sorry.  It was an accident.  I didn’t do it on purpose,” I said.  Wait.  Did I?    After a quick self-exam I confirmed I did not do it on purpose.   

I begged him for forgiveness and he forgave me after I said he could play on the Kindle after lights out.

But here’s the thing.  He still had four long fingernails.  And that just cannot exist in the world.  If I was ever going to sleep again, I had to get at them. 

Luca looked on in honest curiosity as I wrestled Eli to the ground and muttered “Father of the Year” over and over.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


The other night, I raced home only to find we had zero food in the house.  Cute, animated mice were cutting lima beans up into little pieces to make them last longer.  I begged Hannah to stay with the boys another ½ hour and flew to Jewel to fill my cart with frozen pizzas, pizza snacks and pizza in a cup.

By the time I got home it was way past bedtime.  Any and all requests for stories or glasses of water or requests to play on the kindle were quickly and violently squashed.  I left their room in my usual way, by telling Elijah and Luca I loved them  more than anything in the world and if they so much as stuck a toe out of their room I’d chop it off.

I then went about a productive evening while Diana worked late.  I’m pretty sure it involved volunteering at a soup kitchen or sewing a quilt and definitely not drinking too much wine and playing xbox for four straight hours.

I got sleepy and Diana still wasn’t home, so I decided to go bed with Luca on the bottom bunk.  I love his little hot water heater body and how he unconsciously burrows under my fat in search of the most comfortable place on the mattress. 

I dozed off and awoke hours later covered in sweat.  No, wait.  It wasn’t sweat.  It was urine.  Yep, my son had whizzed all over me. 

Oh yeah!  I forgot to put a nighttime diaper on him.  Dumb dumb dumb.  I was saturated in my own stupidity.  As I removed Luca’s offending clothes he thrashed in his sleep.  I shushed him and told him his father was a moron.

I carried him into our bed and placed him next to Diana.  He immediately assumed his official diagonal bed hogging position.  Rather than spend the night in a war of attrition over Central Bedlandia, I grabbed my pillow and went back to the boys’ room.

Luca’s bed was a no-man’s land.  No living thing could survive in that cesspool.  So I opted to sleep with Eli in the top bunk.  Not a great idea considering my added weight put us over the limit expressly warned against in Swedish.  But I figured if the whole thing came crashing down we’d just land in Lake Peepee.

I climbed the ladder, shoved Eli over and sunk back into the bed.  And into a pool of Eli’s urine.  He had also wet the bed.  Big time.  Hmmm.  Maybe a nighttime diaper for him would have been a good idea too.

I changed wet boy number 2 and placed him into bed with his mother and fellow pee peer.  

I then manhandled Grover the dog onto our couch and used him as a non wet blanket.  A doggie grin crossed his muzzle as if he had planned the whole thing.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Violent Love

The other night, boys won their nightly game of “How Far Can I Push Dad Before He Loses It?”  Within a five minute period, I had removed TV rights, video game rights, ice cream rights and the right to breathe oxygen in my house.  Because oxygen is for boys who don’t pee in the tub.

We all knew my threats were hollow and we’d be pals in the morning, but I felt the need to smooth things over. 

I took a deep breath and explained, “Guys, I’m sorry I yelled at you.  Sometimes you drive me nuts.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t love you.  I love you more than anything.  I mean, I’d die for you.”

Elijah perked his ears up.  “You would?”

“Yes.  I would die for you.  I’d poke my eyes out for you.”

 “What else?” 

What else?  Isn’t gouging my eyes out enough?  I said, “I’d let someone shoot me in the face for you.”

Elijah was now standing on his bed.  “Would you let someone rip the skin off your face?”

“Yes.  I guess so.”

Luca piled on, “Would you let a Rescue Bot smash you and then run you over with their wheels?”

“Alright.  I think we’ve established I love you.  Now go to bed.”

I pulled the covers over Eli and he said, “Dad.  I almost cried.”

I said, “Oh, why?  I told you I was sorry for yelling at you.”

“No, I almost cried when you said that beautiful thing.  About how you’d let someone shoot you in the face for us.”

It’s true.  I would.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Text Impersonations

This morning, I stumbled past a sleeping Grover and found Elijah at our computer.  He was trying to type in “Marvel Games” into Google.  His search read “Marvahl Gimes.”  I did a quick calculation predicting if that search would result in pornography (80% chance) and tussled his hair. 

He and I spoke not a word.  This was Eli’s special alone time.  He’s been waking up earlier and earlier to play on one of the four devices in our home he’s mastered. 

We allow it because, well, he lets us sleep in.  Sleep is more valuable than whatever attention deficit disorder is happening behind his eyeballs.  

The only time things get weird is when Eli assumes Diana’s identity on her iPhone.  No, he doesn’t don a black t-shirt wig like I do when I impersonate her.  He mainly pretends to be her to fill his social calendar.  In lieu of actual spelling, he uses Siri to do his dirty work.

He’s had long voice to text conversations with our neighbors that begin with, “Hi. This is Eli’s mommy.  Can Eli come over and play today?  But without Luca?”

I’ve received a few texts from this faux Diana.  “This is your wife Diana.  We should take Eli to McDonald’s.”  Wait.  That one may be legit.

Diana has taken to hiding her phone so she doesn’t wake up to road trip plans to Disney, or worse, play dates at Chuck E Cheese.

On another note, there was a great outpouring of support for yesterday’s post detailing Elijah’s first wiener drawing.  A few of you asked if we still had the original drawing.  Unfortunately, Diana threw it out.  And probably burned it.  And sprinkled the ashes on her original dreams of having a girl child.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Baby’s First Wiener Drawing

The day?  Saturday, February 1.  The time?  7:45pm.  The event?  Elijah Steven Hamann drew his first wiener.

Like first steps or first words, the first wiener drawing marks a turning point in his life.  And I am honored to have been there. 

After baths, Eli was busy in our kid art room.  Whatever he was working on was important, yet he needed complete privacy.  The few times I tried to check on him were met with snaps of, “Don’t come in here, Daddy.”

Like any encouraging father, I said, “Fine.  Be that way.  I’ll just go tickle Luca until he pees.”

And pee he did.  Just as I was about to shut down Eli’s covert activity and force him to go to bed, he called from the living room, “Daddy, come quick!”

I found him standing on our couch with two pieces of paper taped to his pajamas.  He was laughing hysterically as he said, “Daddy, my pj’s ripped off!”

I squinted and looked at the paper stuck to him.  Up top, he had drawn a pair of nipples.  Representing his nipples.

But down below was the piece de resistance.  He had drawn some kind of belt with a Batman-esc belt buckle.  And a wiener. 

“Is…is that your wiener?”  I asked.

Eli couldn’t answer because he was laughing so hard.  Luca joined in and doubled over with laughter. 

But then I knelt down and told him, soberly, “This is the funniest thing you have ever done.  This might be the funniest thing I have ever seen.  I love you.”

Eli kept laughing and I gave them both dishes of ice cream.  I said it was because of the wiener drawing.  The glorious wiener drawing.

I excitedly told Diana when she got home and I told several colleagues in the following days, but I couldn’t seem to accurately describe the magic of that moment.  Some friends even went so far as to say rewarding an obscene drawing with ice cream might not be the best parenting method.

Phooey on that.

I did, however, sit down with Eli two days ago and explain that, while his wiener drawing was the funniest thing ever, he shouldn’t draw them at school or draw them for the girls next door or show them to his teacher.  Not everyone would appreciate his genius.

“Oh, like farting on purpose.” 

Yes, son.  Like farting on purpose.