Thursday, October 30, 2014

Best Day

This is a short one, but it’s an important one.

Diana was with the boys a few weeks ago and the subject of front privates came up. You know, who is allowed to touch them. Who is allowed to see them, etc.

As usual, Elijah was being all lawyerly about it. “What if my front privates are on fire? Can a person who isn’t on the list put them out?” That kind of logic.

Suddenly, Luca piped up that a girl who will remain nameless (her name rhymes with “One of the girls from next door”) allowed Luca and Eli to see her front privates.

Before Diana could weigh in on the subject Eli looked wistfully out the window and said, “It was the best day of our lives…”

It was the best day of their lives indeed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bully Follow Up

There was a lot of very kind outpouring of support for Elijah after the bullying incident. Which is wonderful because it meant a lot of people were looking at the blog and increased traffic will result in more ad dollars for our advertisers.

Where was I? Oh yes. Bullying. Quite a few of you asked for an update and here goes:

After the event, I took a “wait and see approach.” Maybe things would work themselves out. Maybe the bullies would move away. Maybe Elijah would magically get great at basketball and dunk on the bullies.

Diana did not share my laid back (lazy) approach. She is a woman of action. She immediately emailed a bunch of moms letting them know what was up. She didn’t even really isolate the bully boys. Hers was a carpet-bombing approach.

Because Elijah’s sweetness and Aryan features makes him beloved by all moms, the parents rallied around him. They proclaimed their love all over the internet and yelled at their children (bullies and non bullies) to be extra nice. One little boy followed Eli around all day saying, “Eli! I want to play with you! Eli! Eli!” I think it scared Eli.

But immediate solutions were not enough for Diana. She launched into a long, cold war.

She immediately removed Eli from basketball and enrolled him into “School of Rock.” She bought him a very nice electric guitar and a matching Batman strap. Her goal? Elijah would eventually, years from now, steal the sporty bully’s girlfriend.

That’s commitment to the bit.  I didn’t remind her that Eli had already rejected guitar lessons a year or so ago. Nor did I mention that the jocks in my school stole all the rock guy’s girlfriends anyway.

I was just happy to have something to spend money on.

But to answer your question, dear reader, Eli’s doing fine.

p.s. That’s Eli and Luca whizzing off our porch.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Last night, I evicted Elijah from my bed and tried to sneak in without disturbing any of the other humans or animals still occupying the tiny sliver of mattress I call my own.

As soon as I got in, Diana sat up in bed, wide awake.

“Eli’s being bullied at school,” she sadly declared. Well, that was not the bedtime story I was expecting.

There is this group of dullards, who by genetics and competitive fathering, are good at sports. I call them “dullards” because they fit the in-computer dictionary definition of “a slow or stupid person.”

Anyway, this pack of athletic dullards have been hassling Eli because he is not good as sports. They slap the ball out of his hands at the after school basketball club. They call him names. They make fun of his incoordination.

What kills me is this is the exact opposite of everything Eli stands for. He’s the sweetest, kindest boy ever and would never hurt a fly. I can’t imagine how bullying computes with his sensitive soul.  

After marveling at just how darkly violent my initial response was, I asked Diana what we should do. None of the immediate options seemed right.

You can’t go yell at the dullards. That will just make them hate Eli more.

You can’t go yell at the dullard parents, because if The Brady Bunch has taught me anything, bully parents are worse than bullies.

You can’t just go teach your kid to be better at sports, because I suck at sports. And it would take time away from Xbox.

You can’t just hire a Harley driving badass to scare the living poop out of them like my friend Chris Roe suggested. Because Harleys aren’t allowed on school property.

You can’t explain to Eli that the dullards are racing towards a future of unemployment and beer bellies and the sadness of glory days. And that literally every one of his idols (Spider Man, the guy who draws Spider Man) were bad at sports. Second graders don’t understand the long delight of watching the slow decline of jocks.

I’ll be honest, the whole affair just brought a truckload of guilt down on my shoulders. I feel like the worst dad in the world. I should have been throwing balls at Eli’s head or making him watch The World Series or at least The World Series of Poker. I shouldn’t have stressed kindness and humor when I could have been forming him into a blunt object.

But I assume Diana will think of something and I can go back to training him for a career in competitive Lego video game playing.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


We have a guy who makes us meals. With Diana’s schedule at the store and my schedule at America’s Finest News Source, we found that our diet, and more importantly our children’s diet was coming exclusively from three sources: Mac and Cheese, Creamy Mac and Cheese and Alfredo Mac and Cheese.

How I describe the service depends entirely on whom I am speaking with. If I want to seem like a total a-hole, I describe it as a man in a white toque who hands us gourmet meals on china.  If I want to seem like a normal human, I describe it as a brown box full of rubbery chicken and slimy vegetables tossed into a cooler we leave outside.

The truth lies in between. I actually quite like the meals. Elijah and Luca, on the other hand, have not eaten a single bite since we had the service started. Not. One. Bite. I think the moved past simply not liking the food and into more of a protest against lazy parenting.

They sit there night after night, with grey skin and red circles under their eyes and slowly succumb to the affects of Rickets. No amount of poor starving African children stories can get them to even take a bite.  Poor Hannah has thrown away so much food it’s giving her a complex.

So, in the interest of actually getting a single vitamin into our sons, we’ve canceled their portion of the system. And they will go back to a cheese based diet.

Monday, October 13, 2014


Last weekend was the annual Fall Fest at Elijah’s school.  Pony rides, games, tacos (I don’t get it either). And of course, the haunted house.  Remember how cool that was last year?  Me neither. Eli refused to even consider it and Luca couldn’t make it past the entrance.

But this year would be different. Luca decided well in advance that he was brave enough to make it not only past the entrance, but kick that spook land in the nuts.

After we played some games and ate some gross tacos, Luca declared it was time to head to the HH. Rory, out of some strange cousin love, wanted to come too. So we headed to the deepest, darkest corner of Washington Elementary.

We passed by my friend Chris, who was acting as bouncer to the Haunted House. I searched his eyes for cutting privileges, but he was all business. So we headed to the back of the line. The long, long line.

Luca and Rory hung tough. They seemed unfazed by the sullen teenaged volunteers. They scared the crap out of me. And they didn’t seem to mind the really unfunny dad who exited saying, “Guys. Someone totally died in there.” Keep it up, unfunny dad and my son is going to see some unfake blood.

Eventually, we got to the front of the line and informed Chris that we would be electing to go with the un-scariest level. I reminded Chris of last year when miscommunication resulted in Luca getting the full scare treatment. He assured me that his skills at spook management were on point.

We entered the spooky area and there was this little box where you had to put your four tickets. The ticket box was bloody and drippy. Rory happily deposited her last 4 ticket, at which point Luca decided he was very, very scared.

“I need to get out of here!” he moaned.

Rory looked at the drippy box that ate her last 4 tickets and quietly walked out, secretly deciding not to marry Luca.

Maybe next year.

We then went to a pumpkin carving party at our neighbor Paul’s. After the party, squirrels ate the face off Elijah’s Jack-O-Lantern. Which was far more horrifying than any haunted house.