Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Just Plain Mean

I'm going to tackle an unpleasant topic today, mostly because I'm (pretty) sure it's something we've all encountered as parents.

It's usually late at night, when they're tired, hungry, or just plain cranky and frustrated, but sometimes my boys (mostly Big Brother as the oldest) yell say some pretty hurtful things.

And what makes it worse is that Little Brother is a parrott, repeating everything Big Brother says.

I'm not talking about swearing here, but things that are just plain mean or horrible.

Now I recognize that sometimes children don't comprehend the ramifications of what they've said, perhaps because it relates to a concept that they don't fully understand.

And I recognize that most of the time these phrases blurt out when a child is so tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed, that they're really just purging negative emotions. Or they aren't getting their way.

But they still hurt.

For us, it started some time ago when Big Brother wasn't getting his way with something, and he blurted out "Go to jail, Dad-E!"

I forget exactly how/when we'd talked about jail. Probably started with a polic car pulling someone over putting a car in "time-out."

At other times, Big Brother has yelled, "Die, Little Brother (or insert other object of anger)!" in response to a scuffle over a toy. Again, we don't yet understand the finality of death.

And just the other night, Big Brother was beside himself because he didn't want to brush his teeth, and he yelled at me, "I want a new Dad-E."

Talk about a drop-kick and 1-2 punch to the groin. That one stung pretty bad. I don't care if he was tired and crabby. There are some things you just don't say.

And so at that point, I informed him that for saying those things, we weren't going to read another story, and that it was time for bed.

Of course, that met with more screams, pleas for more stories, and calls for a "new Dad-E."

At that point, I left the room to quell the mutiny, muttering that perhaps he should ask his "new Dad-E" to read him a story.

So now that I've got everyone feeling good 'n horrible, I'll leave you with a funny--albeit related--story.

Sorry, Mom-E, but you're about to be picked on.

When Mom-E was school age, one night she wanted to stay up past her bedtime to watch "Alice in Wonderland" (I think that was the show.)

However, Gramm-E and Grampap said "No." :(

Mom-E was so upset, that she wrote them a letter about how upset she was, something like "you're such bad parents."


"I hate you. Love, Mom-E."

That's my dear wife. Sweet to the core, even when she's stark-raving angry.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sneaky Sneakerson

So the other day, Mom-E is picking up Big Brother from school, and she finds him in the hallway playing with another boy.

Both boys kinda have their hand on the same toy.

Mom-E starts to scratch her head with one of those, "That looks familiar," kind of scratches.

"Oh, Big Brother has one of those toys," the lightbulb finally goes off.

Then Big Brother proceeds to stuff the toy into his backpack.

"Wait a minute. That's his toy," the lightbulb turns into a flashing siren.

Turns out this isn't the first time this has happened.

Apparently Big Brother has made it a habit of periodically hiding small toys in his backpack to bring to school to show/share with his friends.

Such a boy thing to do. And, of course, such a violation of school rules (I assume).

Mom-E thought she had put a stop to this some time ago, but apparently not.

I can remember tucking the occasional toy into my bag, during my school days.

I can also remember other kids bringing Nintendo games to school. "WHY?" I can remember thinking (other than for the attention). I'd hope that most schools are Nintendo-free.

Anyway, this little event made for a cute story.

Looks like it's time to initiate daily periodic, before he walks into school random searches of Big Brother's backpack, the little sneaky sneakerson.

Have a good week,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Moving Day

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! After you've finished reading this post, be sure to drink your ovaline "move" on over to dad-blogs.com to visit the great bloggers over there.

So last weekend was the big moving weekend. After many, many late nights of packing (I was puttying a small crack in the ceiling at 2:30 am on moving day), a bazillion phone calls, and a 2 week delay due to water leakage, we took the "plunge".

We were very fortunate to have the assistance--and extra hands--of Gramm-E and Grampap. Without them, I'm sure Mom-E and I would've both spontaneously combusted by now.

We took some extra precautions on moving day to ensure the happiness of small children, including 1) having brought over most of the toys to the house before the big move, so that the boys would have plenty to play with, and 2) a semi-planned picnic lunch on the porch from Subway, the semi un-official restaurant of Big and Little Brother.

All-and-all, the day went pretty smoothly.

Pupp-E was transported to the groomers for the day. Having to deal with his "Hey, where'd my house go?" was much easier than constant barking and having to corral him from the movers.

The boys didn't freak out at all of their stuff being loaded onto a big truck. In fact, they rather enjoyed watching an 18-wheeler up close. Big Brother had his usual 10,000 questions about the process.

Of course there were a few little scratches and dings, and a few grease spots on the carpet (NOTE TO MOVERS: perhaps it wasn't the best idea to carry the grill THROUGH the living room), but at least nothing broke.

Big Brother had also prepared himself a backpack of his favorite toys. This came in very handy when the two of us stayed behind to do a little vacuuming/sleeping/ grease-stain removing/etc. Okay, so I did the cleaning and he played with toys, but he did a TREMENDOUS job of entertaining himself.

And so eventually we all made it to the new house, and the truck was unloaded by lunchtime. (They estimated 7 hours total, but finished in 5, which is nice when you're paying by the hour.)

Then began the arduous task of starting to unpack.

And again, to my amazement, the boys continued to play and have a good time, enjoying seeing things set-up in their new rooms.

But then dinner time rolled around. In retrospect, it's clear that dinner time is synonymous with "meltdown time" at our house. Small children are tired and hungry, sometimes too hungry to eat. And when small children are tired they get HYPER.

This was made worse by the fact that the kids started to go into "TV WITHDRAWAL"!

Let me make it clear that overall we restrict TV watching at our house. But the boys really like to watch a cartoon or 2 in the morning over breakfast. It just helps them morph from "zombie" into "human."

But obviously the night before the move, the cable was disconnected and the TV was packed up, so they didn't get their morning fill of cartoons.

*At this point, think about how you'd feel without your morning coffee/tea/caffeiene.*

Then the boys saw me unpack and start to set-up the TV.

The only problem is that small children don't understand that just because the TV is plugged in, does not mean that Dad-E can make Wow Wow Wubbzy appear until the cable man sets things up.


As always, everything happens at dinnertime. The baby is hungry. Another child poops. Yet another child wants to change into jammies. Then the child who pooped wants to put on jammies, too. A load of delicate-needs-to-be-folded-immediately-or-it-will-be-wrinkled-forever laundry is done. AND I WANT TO WATCH WUBBZY! NOW!

And so, dinner starts with your choice of the above, plus screams for "I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE OLD HOUSE (TO WATCH WUBBZY!")

(We didn't even try to explain that their wasn't a TV at the old house.)

And so, we took Belushi's advice from Animal House, "I suggest you start drinking. Heavily." (Okay, so we had one drink with dinner--the adults that is--except for Mom-E, to avoid Bab-E Brother drinking by proxy.)

Eventually, the meltdown moments passed, and we enjoyed the rest of dinner.

All said, I'd be very content to not have to move again for A LONG time!

Have a good weekend,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Post Date Night Party

So we survived our move sans major catastrophe. More details to follow on Fatherhood Friday.

We have been very fortunate the past few days to have had the assistance--and extra hands--of Gramm-E and Grampap. We've unpacked in a matter of days what would've taken Mom-E and I at least a month by ourselves.

No doubt Gramm-E and Grampap will return home this week exhausted by all of the chaos at our house. And that's not even counting moving. :) Still, they were too tired to say "No" kind enough to have a "date" with the boys so that Mom-E and I could have a date ourselves.

We should go out on more dates, but for various reasons, Mom-E and I have been too tired chosen not to do so. Before this week, our last date was before Bab-E Brother was born, and before that our anniversary, and I can't think of any other dates in 2009.

So I can summarize our date in 2 words:
Quiet dinner
Pomegranate martini
Grilled seafood
Chocolate brownie
Ice cream
Clogged arteries

Okay, so I summarized in 2 word phrases.

I'm hungry.


Okay, I'm back.

Needless to say, we enjoyed a nice evening together without someone having to pee, the dog whining to go outside, and a load of delicate "needs-to-be-folded-right-now-or-it-will-be-wrinkled-forever" laundry finishing right at the moment the food is done, and without anyone running away from the table 5 seconds after we sit down to put on pj's and color the walls with purple crayon.

So we get home, and not having had a mixed drink in quite a while + chronic post-move fatigue = I fell asleep shortly thereafter in my clothes without even brushing my teeth.

Fortunately, real life was there to wake me up.

Big Brother yelled for me about 3:30am because his jammies were wet. This is actually a sign of progress, as plenty of times he could sleep in a swimming pool without waking up.

He did a good job changing with only minor assistance. I tucked him in, and we had a few laughs before he went back to sleep. This was particularly nice, given that we found out he cried before going to bed because we weren't there, and refused to brush his teeth for Grampap, because "My dad will do that when he gets home!"

Then sometime around 5am, Bab-E Brother screamed out in hunger, moving having put a monkey wrench in his "sleeping through the night" streak. Mom-E graciously took care of this one.

At about 6am, it was Little Brother's turn to scream. Apparently he also needed to announce that the move has interfered with schedule. He decided that he was "hungie" and wanted to go "upstairs" (we haven't figured out upstairs and downstairs yet.)

I've no sooner prepared a snack of chocolate milk and apples (while holding him), that I can't help but notice a strange wet sensation on my shirt...and boxers.

"I went pee pee on Dad-E. He got wet. He needs a shower." he somberly announced to Mom-E, thanks to an overflowing diaper.

Little Brother proceeds to start screaming about needing a new diaper and being wet. This, in turn, wakes up Bab-E Brother again.

You get the idea. Lather, rinse, repeat.

And all of this before 7am.

Fortunately, the relaxed feeling from the martini from our date was ongoing, and so I was able to take this morning in stride with a little more comedic laughter than frustration.

However, methinks Mom-E and I may need to go out on a date a little more frequently. Anyone available to have a "date" with the boys?

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Nail Clipping

There are few certainties with children.

One is that you love them even when they're jumping on your last nerve and you'd love them more if they were asleep

Another is that they will do things that just don't make sense.

Of all of the things I'd expect to make my boys run screaming for the hills--for us, this includes things like wearing pants (and any non-jammy clothes, bor that matter)--this one does not:

Clipping their nails, fingers and toes.

It probably helps that I do this right after bathtime, when their nails are nice and soft.

It also probably helps that getting your nails trimmed means a few minutes of undivided attention with Dad-E (which is a challenge when juggling 3 boys).

But to my amazement, they just sit there and let me hold their limbs as I clip away.

Apparently they got my "neatly trimmed nails feel good" gene.

Gotta love parenthood--nothing like it to keep you on your toes, err toenails (and fingernails, too).

Nothing surprises me anymore.

Have a good week,

Friday, March 19, 2010

Brotherhood of the Traveling Underwear

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! Don't forget to "travel" on over to dad-blogs.com tovisit the great bloggers over there.

I'd just like to say, for the record, that I've never seen "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants".

Any resemblance of this post to said film is strictly coincidental.

Little Brother is going through a spat of the Terrible 2's right now, although for him they should be renamed the Pantsless 2's.

The kid just does NOT want to wear clothes. He's content to go around in a jammy shirt and underwear all day long, and throws a fit at the mere thought of having to wear...REGULAR...CLOTHES...AHH!!!!

And it's not just ONE jammy shirt and pair of skivvies. No, he likes to change them every 5 minutes because "They hurt me." or "They're too tight." or "The tag."

And by "change" I mean empty out the entire contents of his dresser drawer on the floor.

He goes through jammies and undies faster than Phyllis Diller went through husbands, being more fickle than a middle school girl.

So the other night, Little Brother woke up screaming at about 11pm because he was "hungie." (I love it when he says "Dad-E, I hungie.")

(Note to self: no nap during day + picky eater = inconsolable hungie at night.)

Somewhere between the chocky juice and apples, Little Brother decided he needed a new pair of underwear.

(Which he calls "Ere-wear", pronounced like "I need new air-ware.")

So we get him a new pair of ere-wear, and finally get him to bed.

The next morning, the boys wake up and start their morning breakfast and cartoons routine.

Suddenly, Big Brother screams out, "Hey! Little Brother is wearing my underwear! Take them off of him and put them in the dryer!" (They were already dry, I promise.)


It was an honest mistake from a Dad-E who was too tired the night before to realize the goof.

Now sure, with 3 boys, Little Brother does get a fair amount of hand-me-downs, but there's certainly enough clean (which Little Brother calls "keen"), new ere-wear to go around.

Fortunately, brief visions of Big Brother tackling Little Brother to rescue his ere-wear didn't come to fruition.

Amazingly, Little Brother voluntarily gave them back. (After all, he can ALWAYS pull another pair off of the floor out of the drawer.)

"Here you go, Big Brother," he said, without hesitation. "You need your ere-wear? You wear big boy ere-wear?"

Like he was holding the poopiest Bab-E diaper ever, Big Brother promptly passes the ere-wear to me...to "put in the dryer."

Little Brother, I'm sorry. The next time you're hungie, I'll make sure I give you keen, new ere-wear, though I might opt to put the old pair in the washer first.

Have a good weekend,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Words and Hands

Bab-E Brother is really starting to develop into his own person.

He has really started chatting it up with us, particularly on the changing pad.

My new favorite word is "Ga", which he spits out when he's happy.

Big Brother's former pediatrician used to say that age 2 months is "The Golden Age of Babies." The more children we have, the more I agree.

Bab-E Brother is just so happy most of the time. Beams ear to ear with smiles. Jerks his limbs around when he's happy. Content to be carried around a lot.
Basically, just plain happy.

He's also just starting to figure out that his hands double as a pretty nice pacifier. Plus you can't drop them on the floor.

I love that phase--where they figure out that their hands are attached. Too cool.
You can see that look in his face. "Hey, I have these hand things. These suckers are useful."

Okay, so that's probably not exactly what he's thinking. It's probably more like "MUST...SUCK...ON...SOMETHING."

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Dinner to Remember

So this past weekend we enjoyed a cozy dinner in our new house--our first meal there.

Mind you we haven't actually moved in yet, and so there wasn't any furniture either.

That's because of a "little" water damage that occurred just days before closing.

However, the builders have still been great about everything.

In order to help us keep the stellar interest rate we'd locked-in, we closed last week, and the builder is paying the interest until we move in next weekend.

We were also able to get "permission" to move some clothes into closets this past weekend.

And so we loaded up the minivan, picked up some dinner, and headed over to the new house.

Slightly chilly and wearing jackets, we enjoyed some Subway on the floor of our back porch. (Couldn't even eat inside because of the first coat of sealant on the floors.)

Big Brother and Little Brother sipped chocolate juice and picked at chips as they tooled around the porch.

Mom-E held sleeping Bab-E Brother while trying not to drip sweet onion chicken teryaki on him.

I enjoyed the bag of pretzels I packed for myself, knowing that Big Brother would eat the chips that came with my combo.

Not the fanciest meal, but definitely a memorable way to "break-in" the new house.

Have a good week,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Routine Schmootine

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! If it's not already, you should make it part of your routine to visit all of the great bloggers over at dad-blogs.com.

So lately over here at Busy-Dad-E, the family and I are struggling to keep any semblance of a routine. Between work, the (slight) unpredictability of having a Bab-E, boys who won't eat and then wake up at night screaming with the munchies, having our house on the market with a new realtor, packing and moving to a new house in less than two weeks, there is a palpable tension at times that makes me afraid we could all spontaneously combust.

In short, it's pretty much chaos.

And so, to keep myself from going over the edge for a little comic relief, let me share with you a few snippets of life at our house these days.

-Our house is so full of boxes, that although there actually IS a path to walk through it, I'm fully expecting the film crew from the show Hoarders to knock on the door any day now.

-Piles of boxes and boxes stacked throughout the house are an indoor jungle gym for 2 and 5 year-olds. Like moths to a flame, they cannot resist the temptation, and can take down the boxes faster than you can tape them up.

-Whatever toy you put in a box suddenly becomes THE MOST INTERESTING, IMPORTANT ITEM to a child, even if they haven't looked at or played with it in years.

-Big Brother and Little Brother, but moreso Little Brother, have suddenly had this fascination with pulling their shirts over their heads, a la Cornholio

And so the other night, tired of trying to wrestle them into the bed, I decided to "join them." I pulled my shirt over my head, started spouting out, "I am Cornholio. I need tp. I no need hall-pass." Low-and-behold, like Lemmings, they followed me straight into their room.

-Mom-E and I have been "burning the candle at both ends", frequently staying up until 1-2am (and then getting up at 6:30 or so), to work on packing. Often times, one of us has the energy to stay up, and the other falls asleep. When one of us tries to wake the other up, funny things happen:

The other night, Mom-E fell asleep on the couch around 9:30 (having been up past 1am for about 3 nights in a row). Around 11:30, Bab-E Brother awoke in a screaming fit of hunger. I brought him to her and said, "Mom-E, Bab-E wants to eat." She sat up on the couch pretty quickly and proceeded to just stare at me for a few moments. Meanwhile, I'm standing in front of her holding a screaming 2 month old. Finally, Mom-E says, "What are you doing? What do you want?"

"Uh, I was hoping you could feed the screaming life-form I'm holding in front of you, dear, since I kinda can't."

On that note, have a good weekend and get some sleep,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Why Toddlers Make Bad Witnessess

I noticed this with Big Brother, and now again with Little Brother.

Around the age of 2, it seems like toddlers become extremely suggestible when answering questions (especially those with 2 possible answers.)

It crakcs me up because they almost ALWAYS answer with the second of the two choices--no matter what they are.

"Little Brother, do you like to be called Little Brother or Little Bro?"

"Little Bro."

"Do you like to be called Little Bro or Little Brother?"

"Little Brother."

"Who do you like better, Mom-E or Dad-E?"


"Who do you like better, Dad-E or Mom-E?"


OBJECTION! Counsel is leading the witness.

Uh, yeah, that's the idea.

There are, of course, a few exceptions to this rule.

"What do you want to eat, broccoli or chocolate?"


"Do you want chock-it or broccoli?"


OBJECTION! Move to eat greens.


Adjourned until Fatherhood Friday,

Sunday, March 7, 2010

the woRD on fitness...

Dear Readers,

My sister-in-law, Aunt-E, decided to leave my job in January to be a SAHM. She wanted to keep her hand in her profession--dietetics and exercise science--to stay "fresh". So, she decided to start an informational blog with posts typically on Mon, Wed, and Fri about exercise and nutrition. She's also making posts with frugal living and that whole "low on time" problem that we all have in mind.

Hope you'll take a look!!! She's over at thewoRDonfitness.blogspot.com


Friday Night Toot Fight

It's not (quite) what you think.

Last Friday night, we're playing in the kitchen (despite all of the other good places to play in the house, the boys always want to play in the kitchen--usually while we're fixing dinner), and somebody (*ahem* Little Brother *ahem*) tooted.

I guess it's a boy thing, but when somebody toots, it's always fun to blame somebody else.

So when Little Brother tooted (it really was him, I swears on the Precious that twasn't me), I blurted out, "Big Brother, did you toot?"

Playing along, he said, "Yeah, I did."

All of a sudden, Little Brother retorts, defensively, "NO! I TOOTED!"

At this point, I just kinda dropped out and faded into the background.

For the next 5 minutes, the two boys proceeded to argue about WHO tooted.

At the peak of the argument, Little Brother even spat at Big Brother. Okay, not so much spat as made a drum-roll with his lips.

I couldn't help but sit back and chuckle to myself.

Ahh, only boys would fight over who WHO TOOTED, and WANT to be the one who actually LET said toot.

Have a good week--better out than in,

Friday, March 5, 2010

Awesome Possum

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! Be sure to check out all of the AWESOME bloggers (and a few possums :) over at dad-blogs.com.

The other day Big Brother was putting on a new pair of socks (complete with treads), and pointing to them sequentially, he said, "these are awesome...possum."

I probed for a little bit more information, but all I could get out of him at that point--between the giggles--was "awesome possum."

Must've picked that one up at school, no doubt.

Lately here at Busy-Dad-E, we've been (attempting to) juggling too much--new Bab-E Brother and his 2 cronies, work, school and gymnastics for Big Brother, house on the market, closing on new house after significant water damage, packing, moving. You get the idea.

It seems like all we've done lately is send email, make phone calls (and then make 97,000 more after the closing date changed to undo the first round of phone calls), and harp at small children running around the house like cyclones, undoing hours worth of packing and cleaning in a matter of moments.

Through all of this, Bab-E Brother has provided some relief in a way we didn't think possible.

Bab-E's routines are constantly changing, but--to our amazement--Bab-E Brother has consolidated his sleep schedule.

For the past 3 nights, he's gone down about 9:30, and sleeps through the night until about 6:30.

Thanks, dude. You have no idea how much of a needed reprieve this has provided Mom-E and Dad-E.

In short, you're "AWESOME POSSUM."

Have a good weekend,

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tum-E Yummies

Big Brother was very thirsty after his first gymnastics (HYPERLINK) “practice” a few weeks ago, and due to sleep deprivation-induced memory loss poor foresight on the part of Mom-E and Dad-E, we did not bring a water bottle for him.

Of course, we were “rescued” by the drink machine at the gym.

Big Brother requested a drink I’d never seen anywhere else before called Tum-E Yummies. It’s a sugary, Gatorade-like drink with fewer calories than juice. So, with little other options, we obliged him.

Of course, the rule in the land of kids is “whatever you do the first time, that’s how it is…FOREVER.”

No surprise then that after EVERY subsequent gymnastics practice, that Big Brother asks if he can have some Tum-E Yummies (it’s pretty good, I got to try a sip).

And no surprise that Mom-E or Dad-E reply with the typical “you don’t need that, we don’t want to buy it parental block”: “SORRY, BIG BROTHER, BUT WE DIDN’T BRING ANY MONEY. PLEASE JUST DRINK FROM YOUR WATER BOTTLE.”

Fast forward to our recent trip (HYPERLINK). We made a pit stop at a gas station/convenience store. As we’re leaving the potty, Big Brother tugs on my side and, very politely, points to the shelf with Tum-E Yummies, and asks,


It was all I could do to keep from busting a gut. Admittedly, I caved and bought one for both Big and Little Brother.

So, I must ask whether any of you dear readers happens to know anyone/have any connections with the folks at Tum-E Yummies?

I can’t help but think that they’re destined to sponsor my blog. I mean, Busy-Dad-E and Tum-E Yummies goes together like PB & J.

Maybe they’d even consider changing their name to Tum-E Yumm-E’s for greater effect.

Then again, maybe not.

In the meantime, I’ll just sit around and wait for the monkeys to fly out.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,