Thursday, August 28, 2014


I used to attempt, in vain, to influence Elijah and Luca’s musical taste.  I thought it was my duty to expose them to the right music, so they’d be able to site me as an influence when being interviewed by rock and roll magazines in the future.  I’m assuming it will be “Space Rolling Stone.”

But I stopped.  Partly because it’s kind of jerk-ish and selfish to force you kids to listen to your favorite music (forcing them to watch “The Simpsons” is another matter entirely).  But mostly because my taste in music isn’t that great. 

Unfortunately, their anime obsessed nanny had taken over the mantle of music influence and has introduced them to the worst thing in the world: Korean boy bands.  Or band.  I think it’s one band.  I don’t actually know the name.  I think it’s Pax or Xap or something like that. 

Elijah and Luca watch their videos on Youtube constantly.  And from what I can gather in the two second I watch them before barfing, every single song goes like this:

1.     Boyish Asian girl walks down rainy street.
2.     Guy with Mo haircut sings.
3.     Guy with bleached hair sings.
4.     All sing.
5.     Bad boy with dyed red hair does a rap.
6.     All sing.
7.     Boyish Asian girl throws herself off a cliff.

I try so hard not to complain because it’s there thing and they should have things that don’t involve “The Simpsons.”  And when Elijah imitates the dancing it’s the greatest thing in the world.  But occasionally I’ll shout, “This is garbage!  You should be listening to Led Zepplin man!”

Which I know makes me so unbelievably uncool in their eyes.  Old man yells at kids to listen to old man music.  Their eyes almost pop out of their heads from rolling.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to listen to some old timey Beatles.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Last weekend I took the boys to Diana’s sister’s place in Dixon Illinois for a BBQ.  We had a great time but had to leave far to early to make the 3+ hour drive home in time for the boys to refuse to go to bed.

As we passed through Dixon, we spotted a fighter jet at the side of the road.  The boys shouted their approval at the military might.  The jet looked in nice condition and not part of some junk dealer/meth dealer’s collection, so I swung the car over to let Elijah and Luca get a closer look.

The Jet was joined by a pretty mean looking helicopter and tank and a M*A*S*H style ambulance that seemed to be banished in the corner. 

The boys sprang from the car and ran full tilt towards the weapons.  Luca screamed death at the top of his lungs.  “Pew pew pew!  Kapow!”

I walked under a small white arch and realized this was a memorial to the fallen soldiers of Illinois, not a Michael Bay set.

“Dudes!  Dudes!  Get over here!  I yelled.  The boys raced over, vibrating with excitement.

“Dad. Dad.  Did you see the guns?  The guns?  Do you think that gun could kill us?  Do you think that gun could blow up the car?”

I assumed a sober stance of Dad Who Ruins Everything.

“Guys.  This is a memorial.  A memorial is a place that honors dead people.  These things are here to honor people who died for America.  They fought for…you know…freedom.”

I was determined not to let them dishonor the dead, but I also didn’t want to get all liberal hippie dippie on them.

“Let’s go over and read this plaque,” said Dad Who Ruins Everything.

Smartly, Luca ran away to peer into the helicopter cockpit.  Eli stood by me because I was holding onto his t-shirt.

Eli wriggled away and stood underneath the jet.  I walked over, slowly and churchy to show them how to behave at a memorial.  Luca raced over, barely touching the ground and begged me for answers about the kind of death this huge thing could deal.

I stood for a moment of silence and said, “It goes WHOOOOOOSHHHHHH!  BOOOM!  PEW PEW PEW PEW!”

Friday, August 15, 2014


The other night, the boys were being unbelievably cute.  They were all scrubbed and shiny from their baths and had somehow picked out the more adorable PJs in the world.  They were wrestling like puppies in a cute and not screamy way.  Even when they acted like jerks it was in a Bugs Bunny “Ain’t I a stinker?” way.

I was exhausted from a bike ride, so I was hitting the sack in the ungodly early hour Diana usually goes to bed.  I heard Elijah and Luca squealing in their room, still awake, so I made the announcement that we were all sleeping together in mom and dad’s bed.  I couldn’t bear their cuteness being wasted on their fish.

Grover didn’t hesitate.  He leapt onto our bed and lay lengthwise.  It immediately dawned on me that we needed to buy a king sized bed.  Eli and Luca walked in, cautious.

“Why do we have to sleep with you?” Eli asked.

“Because mommy and I love you.  We want to cuddle.”

“Can’t we just sleep in our own beds?”

“No.  You must cuddle or I’m taking away your ipad.”

Luca was into it.  He climbed onto the bed and started jumping.

“No.  No.  No.  Lay down.  We’re sleeping.  No.  Stop that.”

I wrestled Luca to the bed and positioned him next to me.  Eli stood at the foot of the bed, unsure.  But then he decided he could do more damage under the covers.

The boys started a wrestling match. 

“No.  No.  No.  Sleep.  We’re being loving family here.  This is magical.  Stop that.”

Elijah got bored and asked if he could please go back and sleep in his own bed.  I refused him.

Luca then decided it was more comfortable sleeping with his feet on the pillows and his face down by Grover.  Elijah decided to borrow down into the sheets and attempt to dig under the dog.  Grover, for all his semi hatred of my sons, moved not a muscle.  He had established a beachhead and was not moving.

Luca then kicked me in the face.

“Out!  Out!  Go to your room!  Family sleep over!”

The boys leapt out of the bed, satisfied.

Monday, August 11, 2014


Sometimes the antics are so hackneyed on HamannEggs that it often feels like I’m stealing them from 1980’s sitcom plots.  But almost everything that happens in this blog is true.  I just exaggerate my failures for comedic effect.

So now I’d like to regale you with the uber hacky “Dad won’t let sons play with toy he bought them” story.

It started off on the wrong foot.  I bought the boys two toys I secretly wanted.  These big robots based on a super violent video game I play nightly.  The boys are vaguely aware of the game, mostly because I yell at them not to watch me play it.  “You’ll get nightmares!” I’d shout as they try to get a peek at what makes their father swear so much.

But the prospect of a toy, any toy, was enough to make them behave like angels all week.  When we arrived at the toy store, the boys asked if they could possibly receive something they actually wanted instead of the robots, but I shut that down right quick.

When I shoved the boxes into their hands, I noticed in big letters “Ages 8 and up.”  But who really pays attention to those safety things anyway.

I raced home to open up the toys and maybe, just maybe let the boys play with them.  We opened up the boxes and an avalanche of teeny, tiny parts tumbled out.  I suggested Elijah build one, as he was a year away from being of the recommended age, and I build the other.

Within minutes, Eli was in tears.  He screamed, “I hate this!  It’s too hard to build!”

I didn’t hear him because I was too busy screaming, “I hate this!  It’s too hard to build!”

Hour one went by with no robot.  Hour two came and went with no robot.  I even called my brother and begged him to come over and help me with the construction.  By hour three, we had one robot built.

I proudly handed it to Luca and it fell apart into a thousand tiny pieces.  I banished the boys from the dining room by declaring loudly, “This is a dada job.”  Diana walked in at this moment and burst into laughter.

Well after both boys had lost any and all interest in the dumb robots, Steve and I had the little fragile bastards together.  We gingerly placed the robots on Eli’s bookshelf and informed everyone that these were toys for looking at and not playing with.

And then the arm fell off the green one.

Monday, August 4, 2014


I used to think I was good in a crisis.  That if push came to shove I’d be able to take charge, make great emergency decisions and save the day in a clear headed, Captain America way.

Used to.

Yesterday, we visited Diana’s family out in the suburbs.  It was a mini family reunion featuring a dozen adults, gaggle of iPhone absorbed teens and four little people under the age of 8. 

At one point, the four little people were trying to track and kill a fox on the premises.  I watched Diana’s little brother, who I will forever view as 26 years old, go out to help them search.

A half hour later, Diana’s older sister announced that the kids were missing.  Were they in the TV room?  Nope.  Were they in the backyard?  Nope.  Were they in the front yard or visible in the massive field across the street?  Nope.  Uh oh.

This would have been a good time for my brain to remind me and the rest of the family that the kids were with Diana’s brother and that they were fine, off on an adventure.  But my brain was on vacation in this crisis.

The parental vibe got a little panicky and we spread out to go yell at the missing kids.

As we yelled, a woman walked by and said, “Are you looking for four little kids?”

Yes.  Yes we were.

“Oh, they walked away with an older gentleman.  He said he was going to show them some spiders under the bridge.”

Instead of my brain speaking up and saying, “Oh yeah.  That older gentlemen was Mike.  Who you just saw playing with the kids, dummy,” it completely shut down and went into screaming panic mode.

Older gentleman?  Bridge?  Spiders?  My mind became occupied with the end of my life as I knew it.  Of hastily made posters and pleading on local news and the eventual made for TV movie and me basically becoming the new host of “America’s Most Wanted.”  My brain simply stopped working rationally and every instinct I had was to curl up into a ball and wait for the sweet release of death.

Diana and my brother in law Jamie went into destroy mode.  They began running towards the bridge with the expressed purpose of murdering this spidery older gentleman.

Thankfully, after 25 long seconds of screaming, the children came bounding down a nearby hill, full of joy and innocence kept.  Diana attacked them with threats and motherly yelling.

Mike, who looked genuinely confused by all the fuss, said, “Rick saw me walking with them.  What is the problem?”

My brain was still in revolt.  Devoid of all information pertinent to the situation.  It was a vacuum.  A black hole.  I simply muttered, “Fox…children…America’s Most Wanted…”

All was well in the end and we made an official family rule that moms and dads need to know where you are at all time and Elijah and Luca seemed genuinely confused by the whole thing.

I sadly walked back to the party to continue murdering my brain with Sam Adams Boston Lager.