Monday, June 27, 2016

Luca Jokes

I was working at a beach in France last week. I’ll give you a moment to let that soak in. Aside from suffering from some low level wine poisoning, I really missed the family and the time difference made it tough to connect.

We opted for a daily morning video chat. I would call in and find them all snuggled in bed looking cute and then they’d struggle to find things to talk to me about. “I dunno. Camp” was the most frequent response to my questions.

Except for Tuesday.

On Tuesday, I called in as usual. My screen first filled with Diana’s lovely face. She told me about the mystery leak in our dining room ceiling. A team of plumbers cannot discover what is causing a slow drip drip every time someone showers. We’ve decided to just call it a water feature.

The screen then filled with Elijah’s face. He spent the entire time looking at his own reflection in the phone screen. Like father, like son. I couldn’t get anything good from him so I asked that he hand the phone to Luca.

There was a little fumbling with the phone and then my screen was filled with…Luca’s penis. There it was, in all its glory. A screen full of 6 year old wiener. I politely asked him to move the camera away from his junk, because that’s how Jared from Subway got arrested. But nope, the rest of our conversation was man to wee wee.

When I got home, we had our postponed Father’s Day celebration, delayed while I was in Cannes. My jetlag forced me awake at 6am that day, so I tried to be extra quiet. But Luca heard me and came out of his room to scream whisper, “Happy Father’s Day!”

He then extracted a hand made card from his room and presented it to me proudly. It read, “Happy Father’s Day Chad! Oops. I meant Dad!”

You gotta hand it to the kid. He’s got skills.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Poop Instructions

We’re entering a weird time in HamannEggs. Elijah reads the blog now. He has a pretty good attitude about it, but got a little embarrassed by the “love of his life leaving” post from a couple weeks ago.

I toyed around with shutting the whole thing down because I worried I was screwing Eli up by sharing my innermost thoughts about him to the 30 people who read this. But Diana said, “Your blog is a gift.” And since I am a sucker for compliments I’m going to keep it going.

I am, however, going to protect the innocent when there are particularly embarrassing things to write about. Like this week. So I will not reveal which son this happened to.

A month or so ago we were at That Little Mexican Café in Evanston, wich is neither little or a café. And I can’t really verify its Mexican-ness.

After dinner, I was beaconed across the restaurant by my son who was definitely not Eli. This child who was totally not Eli brought me into the bathroom and explained a rather embarrassing predicament.

He Who Is Not Eli had had an accident. The kind of accident that happens when you eat at That Little Mexican Café. We were there with friends and he felt trapped in the bathroom and didn’t know what to do.

I felt a sense of purpose unlike I had in years. This was what fathers were put on the earth for. Teaching sons how to tie a tie. How to change the oil in the family car. And how to dispose of poopy underpants in a public place.

With the care and sobriety of a dad instructing his son how to throw a curve ball, I explained to Not Eli the proper technique for burying underpants in the garbage can and how to lay paper towels over it as camouflage.

He looked at me with genuine awe. It’s honestly one of three times in the last 9 years when I actually felt like a dad. We rejoined the table and this child asked me to never reveal what had happened.

And if any son of mine happens to read this and gets embarrassed, I would like to admit to the world that I’ve absolutely pooped my pants in the last year.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Where There Is Smoke

A week or so ago, I asked Luca if he knew what to do if the fire alarm went off in our house.

He said, “Sure. I sit in the hall and wait for my other classmates and then our teacher takes us outside and we count heads.”

Wait, no. That’s not how…never mind.

If you’ll recall from past seasons of HamannEggs, Luca used to be crazily obsessed with Firemen. We would watch hours of this insane Welsh TV show called “Fireman Sam” and you were guaranteed to step on at least 2.5 fire trucks on your way to the bathroom every night.

So you can imagine how disappointed he was when he was told he slept through firemen stomping all over our house the other night.

I awoke at 3am to someone clunking around in the dark. I thought to myself, “Really? Another burglar? I just installed that stupid alarm system (after letting it sit in its box for 8 months).”  After arming myself with a pair of boxer shorts, I discovered Diana walking around our house, sniffing.

Sniff. Sniff. Something was burning. Not burning burning, but there was a faint scent of plastic or electricity. Or something. But we couldn’t see any smoke. And our detectors were silent.

Through sniff detective work, we figured out the smell was coming from our front room. But it wasn’t that strong. We felt the walls because isn’t that what you are supposed to do? We also felt the electrical sockets. But I couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on.

Diana and I just looked at each other. What were we going to do? Go to sleep and wake up in the middle of an inferno? Call the fire department and have them smash our walls with their axes?

Because we are responsible for not killing our sons, we went the ax route.

Within 3 minutes (we live in upper middle class white suburbia), we had the surprisingly young Chief of the Evanston Fire Department clomping around our house.

They poked around the house with a device that looked like those things that told the soldiers they were about to get eaten in James Cameron’s “Aliens.”

The Chief went so far as to open Luca’s door, clomp around and say rather loudly, “He sleeps through everything, huh?”  Luca just slept, dreaming of one day getting to meet a real life fireman.

In the end, we discovered the culprit was a burnt out ceiling fan motor. 

The next morning, Luca learned we had real life firemen in our house. I told him they were also joined by Darth Vader and the Transformers and his stuffed animals were briefly alive.

Monday, June 6, 2016


As the end of the school year approached, Luca became more and more anxious around bedtime. He’d get kind of pissy anytime we got down to reading books. Finally, after one night of particularly angry Luca, he blurted out, “I can’t read! You told me I would be able to ready by the end of the year!”

First off, Luca wasn’t illiterate. He could make his way through a lot of words. Granted, he wasn’t John F. Kennedy (he could read 1,200 WPM according to the reliable internet).

Second, where did he get the idea he’d be able to read by the end of Kindergarten? I was under the impression he’d just get really good at smearing finger paint on roller paper. And he’s world class at that.

Third, we’ve made a real effort not to pressure either boy scholastically. I would channel my father’s soothing voice whenever I said, “I don’t care what grades you get, just so long as you try your best.” Then I’d sit back and smoke and imaginary pipe like the one he did in the 1980’s.

But it was really bothering him. I got the impression maybe some of the other little booger eaters in his class were hassling him about it.

So Diana went out and bought a bunch of easy to read, level 1 books on subjects Luca enjoyed. Stuff on superheroes and Star Wars and Quantum Mechanics. They were fun and colorful and had lots of short little sentences.

Luca and I would sit in his bed and read through the books at whatever pace he wanted. Helping him out when he got stuck and tried not to do that thing where I would shout out the word when he couldn’t get past the first letter.

Elijah, ever the big brother, would say things like, “I’m sorry we can’t read ‘Harry Potter” tonight because, well, you know. Luca’s…problem.

On the last day of school, I found a little manila envelop with his final kindergarten grades. In it his teacher wrote, “Luca gives without ever asking for anything in return. He is genuinely concerned about his classmates and simply wants to do what is right.”

At the bottom she wrote, “And I am proud to say Luca reads at the state recommended level.”

I ran upstairs where Luca was taking a bath and made way too big a deal out of his scholastic achievements.

Eli said, “Do we get toys for getting good grades?”