Tag Archive: children

I used to be a good parent.  Did I say “good”?  No, that’s not what I meant at all.  Not “good” by any stretch of the imagination.  I think what I meant was “not terrible.”  Which is about as much as one can hope for when you have your first kid (we’ll call him Kid Uno for simplicity’s sake).  With your first kid, you’re overprotective, neurotic, and almost invariably, massively annoying to everyone else around you.  I know this know because of all the other first-time parents around me.  With your first kid, you act like you’re the first person in the universe to have a kid – everything is fascinating, pioneering, like no one in the world has ever experienced what you’re experiencing.  But in reality, you’re irritating the shit out of everyone around you with your fucking kid.

I’d like to believe that I wasn’t like that with my first kid.  But I can’t tell ‘cause I can’t properly remember what I was like with Kid Uno.  I do remember that when my second kid (and we’ll call him Kid Dos, because why not) came around, I was a shit ton more chilled out about everything kid-related.  “Chilled out” perhaps has positive connotations – relaxed, not overly excited, somewhat in control, etc.  Except that’s not entirely what I meant.

In this case, chilled out meant giving zero fucks; my parenting nose-dived into a tragic spiral from Kid Dos on.  It is astounding how little I give a shit anymore.


When my kids were much littler – young enough when at least one of them was still shitting his pants – I took so much care over what I fed them.   Something like breakfast – the most important meal of the day! – was a meticulously calculated affair.  I’d spread just the right amount of jam – not too much, not too little, and fuck you, no high fructose corn syrup, you animal – on their toast.  Whole grain toast!  None of this shitty white bread bollocks.   I mean, how’re you gonna know if something’s good for you if it doesn’t have two full cups of sawdust in it, right?  I’d carefully cut up, skin, and core an apple because shit, these guys needed their wholesome nutrition directly from a fruit.  Full cups of milk.  Whole milk for full milk power.  That sort of thing.

This morning, I lazily filled their bowls with some peanut butter cereal, and promptly forgot the milk.  I’m not even sure if they ate it, that’s how little of a shit I give these days.


Keeping the kids occupied?  Whatever the fuck it takes.  Things like TV and movies aren’t a luxury – they’re basic necessities, essential tools when used strategically  will do wonders by keeping your kids distracted enough so that you can get other shit done.

In this case, I’m not even shielding Kid Dos from age-inappropriate content anymore.  Whatever works for Kid Uno works for Kid Dos now.  Kid Dos is watching shit that Kid Uno never go to watch at his age.  Questionable language all over the place, and I have the nerve to get mad when they use the word “heck.”  (Yes, yes, the irony is not lost on me, given the tenor of this blog, assholes.)

“Hey, you guys wanna go watch tons of explosions, gratuitous violence, a skin-to-win Gwyneth Paltrow, and two dozen Iron Men?  AWESOME!!!”


I don’t get to help out with the kids’ homework very much.  They don’t get a ton of homework, but they often tackle it when they come home from school, while I’m still at work.  That said, the missus probably does a fair job “refereeing” the exercise…  I think.  I have no fucking idea.

I used to try and sit with them to help them with some of the homework if I wasn’t in the office.  But these days, it does seem that more and more of their homework is done online.  While I should probably more concerned about their online access, I somehow saw this as an excuse to fuck off even more.  I mean, how many pairs of hands can be on the keyboard at the same time, right?

“You’ve got to do your homework on the computer?  Well, go right ahead!”  I have no idea what type of homework a 6 year-old needs to do online, but I’m far too willing to let him loose on it.  I suppose if I was a more responsible parent, I might sit with him to make sure he’s not accidently running into questionable material (like everything his father writes online).  But I’m not, so I don’t.  I am a shit parent.

It’d be one thing if my deplorably parenting habits were just passive actions like simply not bothering.  But I’ve now found myself going out of my way to be irresponsible.


A couple of Sundays ago, I woke up and decided that Kid Dos should have a drum kit after months of talking about it.  Kid Uno plays the cello, and Kid Dos had nothing, so I got it in my head that I needed to rectify this immediately.  Truth is, I was at a concert the night before, and the band had a kick-ass girl drummer – and girl drummers are the fucking best.  There was also a veiled sliver of me that thought that this was also my chance to learn to play the drums.  Don’t act so surprised, I’m not the first asshole to use my kid to get something I wanted.

Things happened rapidly.  I found two listings for drum kits on Craigslist.  After a few email exchanges, and conferring with my drummer friend, I bolted down to Brooklyn, and by 3pm, I came home with a shiny blue drum kit for Kid Dos.

He couldn’t be more excited to give it a good and proper thrashing after I put the whole kit together.  And I do mean thrashing.  I play guitars loudly and full of distortion, so I understand the beauty of noise.  But drum kit in the house in the eager hands of a 6 year-old?  Holy fucking shit, this I was not even remotely prepared for.  The kid can hold an impressive beat, but holy shit he’s loud.  Loud enough to make my aging ears ring.  Loud enough for me wonder if I’ve made a terrible decision here by giving him something that might damage his hearing.  Drums, what a great idea.

I guess one upside is I’d be too deaf to hear anything when I get yelled at for being such a shitty parent.




My kids read themselves to sleep every night.  That’s kind of a given, a habit that started with my elder kid, and now both kids do it, and it seemed to be a habit that was encouraged (read: required) by schools and all the other overachieving parents with whom I’m surrounded.  It’s just something you do.

Since my kids became literate human beings, I’ve started to slack off on the time I spend with them at bedtime.  In the past, I used to read to them, but now that they can hold their own, fuck it, they’re reading themselves to bed.  I got other shit to attend to.  Those chips and salsa aren’t going to eat themselves, after all.

In any case, for reasons I can’t remember, I decided to read a bedtime story to my younger kid this evening.  I wasn’t even three pages into the thing when I realized that this was the worst fucking book in the history of children’s books.

I guess at some point, this seemed like a clever idea to a bunch of grown-ups.  Grown-ups who thought that a book based on the idea that homophones are a funny concept for kids.  Sure.  Whatfuckingever.

And it might not be such a poor idea if the execution was slightly better thought out.  You see, the idea that homophones are worth a few chuckles is based on the premise that you get to see both sides of the homophone.

“Dad, my new cello song is ‘Begin The Beguine.’  Geddit, Dad, geddit?  That’s so funny!”  That’s the sort of shit I gotta put up with these days.

So, homophones.  That’s proper kid territory, right?  Fucking wrong.  ‘Cause this is the sort of shit you’ll find when you crack open that cover.

Oh, ah ha ha, geddit?  ZOMG, gorillas, right?  Hilarious!  No, fuck you – because now I gotta explain why the fuck this is ironic to a 6 year-old.  Ever try explaining guerilla warfare to a kindergartener?  Neither have I, and fuck if I’m about to start now.  Fuck you and your ape uprising.

Oh, great – so now the counterpoint to daddy pulling a RuPaul is that mommy and daddy have hot make-up sex after a big fuck-off row?  I’d have a far easier time explaining the former than the latter, for fuck’s sake.

Oh good, we’re right back to weaponry and warfare.  That’s always a hilarious subject, asshole.

“A new wing”?  Are you fucking shittin’ me?  What sort of bullshit entitled kids do you think I’m trying to raise here?  Mommy wants “a new wing” to the fucking house, and Dad’s response is “hmm, I’ll give it a think?”  How about, “Bullshit, we can’t even keep the old wing in order, you want a new wing?  Fuck that noise.”  Seriously, this Housewives Of The Overprivileged USA is fucking horseshit.








I’m sorry, but I’m not explaining jail time to my kids.  I mean, they know what jail is, but there’s no reason they ought to find it funny.  Besides, who the fuck needs to go into jail time at bedtime?  Fuck. That.


Seriously, this writer is an asshole.  And his publisher is an even bigger asshole.  There are always a shit ton of books in contention in all our schools, and some are always on the verge of being banned, or already banned outright – Huck Finn, Little Red Riding Hood, you name it.  Far as I’m concerned, this stupid book needs to move to the top of the list.  If it didn’t belong to the library, I’d be all Fahrenheit 451 all over it.



A while ago, there was a Deadspin article about horribly shitty names that assholes of the world were giving their kids.  I remember thinking that some of the names were entirely too comical to be real.  These weren’t even the retarded names that celebs give their future headcase offspring (I’ll get to that later).  These were names that were accumulated off some database – I’m guessing here, I have no idea if any of it was legitimate – which seemingly average people were giving their perfectly average kids.

It’s frustrating when I can’t figure out which group of parents I loathe more.  Is it the dullard parents who give their kids the most unimaginative of names? “Oh, your son’s name is Jonathan? How clever!  We just don’t hear that name very often.”  Or those who try too hard by coming up with completely insane spellings for what are otherwise the most unimaginative of names?  Looking at you, Dwyane Wade’s mom.  Worse are those with terminally-doomed-to-be-a-stripper names like Tiffany, when they’re spelled in the most insane way, like Teaphuneigh or something.

The other day I read a ridiculous story about some girl named Shiseido“Yes, that’s right, nurse, I’m naming my child after my wrinkle cream.”  And now we know why she’s so fucked in the head.

And do my eyes deceive me every Sunday, when I turn on the TV, and three quarters of the football field have players whose names start with some prefix, like Le- or De- or D’?  LeJonathan-something-or-other.  D’merit-wha?  I don’t understand this trend.  Even more perplexing is the growing fondness for football players to hyphenate multiple last names.  Everyone’s an Anglophile all of a sudden.  Previously, the Poms seemed to be the only people on earth who had two last names that were hyphenated.  Now, every other football player strives to be English gentry.  In two years’ time, I wanna watch Roger Goodell’s head explode when some NFL rookie tries to add “Esq.” to the back of his jersey.

There are any number of reasons why your kid’s name sucks.  But one of the most contemplative reasons – at least for me – is giving your kid a name for which you have absolutely zero intention of ever using to address him or her.

Yesterday, I read that Uma Thurman named her kid Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson.  I hate that I fucking know this.  First of all, that’s just being fucking greedy.  Why are you amassing all those names for just one kid, Uma Thurman?  Second, you’re gonna fuck her up when she’s got forms to fill out – they’ll never give you enough boxes to fill in her full name.

Third, Uma Thurman plans on calling her daughter “Luna”.  That’s night, because Luna is one of her na… oh, right, IT’S NOT EVEN HER NAME!!  Listen, you crazy bitch, if you want to call you daughter Luna, JUST NAME HER LUNA!!  This is such a typical celebrity asshole move.

Actually, that’s not entirely true.  The big about this being a typical celebrity asshole move.  Because tons of pretty average non-celebs do it, too.  I’ve lost track now of how many new parents I’ve run into who boast, “We’re going to name him X, but we’ll call him Y”.   This isn’t a case of calling a kid Joe when the name on his birth certificate is Joseph.  This more like, “His name is Charles, but we call him Brad.”  Fuck you.

I get the super-ultra-mega-WASPy thing of giving your kid the WASPiest nicknames in the universe, like Chip or Bo.  I watched enough shitty ‘80s high school comedies to understand that culture well enough.  It’s part of what makes you the whitest human being on the planet, I get it.

Which I guess is par for the course because you think about who else is given a name but is called something entirely different?  Show dogs.  Show dogs owned by the whitest people on earth, by the way.  You ever watch one of these insane dog shows?  You think race horses have crazy names?  Show dogs have like five horse names strung together.  “Grand Ballerina Of The Martian Nile” or some shit like that.  But make no mistake: that Lhasa Apso is called “Muffy” at home.

Awesome, so you’re treating your kids like show dogs now.  That’s nice.

Listen, I’m not saying my kids have the best names (they do).  After all, we named one after a race car driver, and another after an insane murderous king.  Them’s the breaks.  As it is, I’ve already fucked things up because Chinese heritage says that you shouldn’t consciously name your kids after someone else, especially not an ancestor.  Given the reverence of ancestors in Chinese culture, having your kids bear their name would be far too great a burden on the hapless child.  Think of the children!

But in the end, I’m calling my kids what I named them.  It’s their names, if I have the gall to give them these names, the least I can afford them is their privilege of actually using them.  It may seem like some insignificant gesture, but it’s one thing – one thing –  I can do to not fuck things up for them.


When I joined Facebook at the rise of the whole social media thing, I was massively skeptical about how it worked, how I was going to use it, and what the hell it’d actually do for me.  Truth is, if it wasn’t for work purposes, I might still not be a user.  Thanks to work, I had to dive right into the deep end of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Path, the list goes on.

Over the years, my usage has gone from wary and skittish to full-on voracious consumption.  I use almost all the channels now, and I use them a lot.  I use them for work, and I use them to keep informed, and more importantly, I use them to help pick out the shithead imbeciles out there so that I can make sure I stay the fuck away from them in real life.  Oh, I actively use it to push out these stupid blog posts that I write – shit that entirely no one cares about.

But there is one thing I’ve done from day 1 across my social channels that I haven’t changed ‘til today: I don’t post pictures of my kids.  At least, if I do, their faces are usually obscured.

Chalk this up to leftover leeriness of the interweb.  Or rather, the creepiness of the interweb.  I’m not suggesting that I have people in my circles of friends who are creepy (maybe I do).  It’s just that I know that there are a crazy, creepy assholes out there, and some of these fuckers will go to great lengths to do crazy, creepy shit.  Shit, if Facebook can openly admit that “hackers” (coughbullshitcough!) are hacking into the system to register fake “likes”, then what the fuck is stopping other assholes from trying shit that’s more malicious?

Here’s my underlying fear: I don’t need creeps scouring the interweb to find pictures of my kids to fap to.  Fuck.  That.  So, my twisted retarded logic is, if I don’t put pictures of my kids online, there’s no way that can happen.

Besides… no one needs to see pictures of my kids.  I mean, who gives a shit about looking at my kids.  I barely give a shit, and that’s only because I have to (I kid, I kid, no not really, yes I’m kidding, whatever).

But I’m firmly in the minority here.  People will post every fucking stupid picture of their kids on Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, you name it.  Pictures of the kids at the beach, eating pizza, taking a shit, sometimes taking a shit on the beach while holding a slice of pizza.  (Actually, that last one sounds pretty cool, but that’s not the point.)

I’m not saying that I’ve NEVER posted a picture of my kids.  But like I said, when I do, they’re not recognizable.  That’s because when I post a picture of my kids, I’m often using them as a tool to amplify a point I’m making (maybe).  When you post a picture of your kids, it serves no purpose other than putting them on a virtual pedestal so that everyone out there can oooh and aaah at how cute they are, and laud wonderfully saccharine, vacuous YET COMPLETELY EXPECTED compliments, which does absolutely NOTHING for the kids, and does EVERYTHING for your little fragile ego.

“Hey you guys, look at the marvel of the universe that is my cute, adorable kid.  The kid that sprang from my glorious loins.  She is SO AMAZING!!!  Am I Is my kid not spectacular?  Go on, tell me how brilliant I am he is!!”

Ergo, posting pictures your fucking kids is self-absorbed narcissistic behavior.  Stop your desperate and poorly-cloaked attempts at fishing for compliments.  Stop trying to find assurance, admiration, and adoration online.  And for fuck’s sake, stop using your goddamn kids to do it.

And don’t let me get started on pictures of your fucking cats and dogs.


This is almost not worth my time.  It’s fucking ridiculous that I’m actually taking time out to rebuff some stupid article I just read.  Because the subject of SUVs is so fucking old and tired, and it’s been done to death, and it’s fucking boring.


Surely this is some shitty troll write-up that’s meant to rile up certain gearheads who are stupid enough to get riled up (me).  I mean, most of the time, I love GawkerDeadspin, in particular – but holy shit, do they come up with some massively pointless articles every so often.  In fact, that’s the problem with a lot of these sites that used to be sites that just reposted someone else’s stories.  Somewhere along the way, they decided that they need to compete as content generators and not just content aggregators.  And in so doing, often they struggle to come up with some minimum amount of original content for our insatiable appetite for said content.

And that’s why we end up with such a seemingly banal yet thoroughly retarded write-up assuming to validate SUVs.

If you can’t be arsed to read the article, here’s the sum up of what the whole stupid write-up is driving at:

OMG, your mom must’ve gracefully descended from the heavens, with all her hyper intelligence and miraculous supernatural powers, to have managed the herculean task of carting your stupid ass all over town without some swollen, overpriced pretend-offroading vehicular monstrosity.  Just how DID she manage?!  What a saint!  Oh, the humanity!

With all due respect – and complete sincerity – do fuck off.

ZOMG, sedans aren’t “convenient as something with a big tailgate”!!!  WE NEED A TAILGATE!!  Everyone needs tailgates!!  And sedans can’t accommodate large car seats!!  “OMG, these soft, pudgy, fast food-fed kids are too big-boned to fit to a family sedan!!”  “We must pack lightly – the horror of not being able to cram the entire contents of my house into my car!”  “Honey, there’s no way I can’t fit little Maddie’s Barbie dream house, her pack-n-play, the bottle warmer, her DVD player, all her Baby Einstein discs, AND your mega-duty breast pump into our normal car so that we can go to the mall – WE TOTALLY NEED AN SUV!!!”

This writer’s a fucking idiot.

As a father of two, I’ll just say that anything larger than a four-door sedan is completely pointless and unnecessary.  We have comfortably survived – fuck it, thrived! – with only four-door sedans.  Imagine that: a simple sedan, four wheels, four doors, a trunk, and we’ve managed fine.  Car seats, strollers, diaper bags, toys, foldable playpens, all the shit that you *need* (:rolleyes:) when you have little kids – they all fit nicely into our humble Volkswagen sedan.  AND a little dog, too, beeyotch.  I never even had a roof rack on my car until very recently (hey, it’s not my fault that paddleboards are 12 feet long).

I know some families with one or two kids, and they all have some beastly SUV with an enormous engine in it.  They clamp on some equally enormous luggage carrier to the roof rack.  The rear of the car’s got some a massive bike rack.  And it’s got a hitch.  I have no idea if the luggage carrier on top ever has anything in it, but those bike racks are always empty, and everything’s permanently bolted to their SUVs ALL THE TIME.  Really?!  The fuck you need all that shit for?  It looks like a prop from the upcoming Mad Max movie.  It’s like they’ve just bought some monstrous car and they’ve got to further validate this purchase by attaching all these extra bits and pieces on it because “that’s why we needed the big SUV!”

I’ll tell you what this is: fucking gluttony.

So what you end up with is single-digit mpg, a heavy lumbering shit box that handles even more poorly than it already did, awful parking jobs (because, admit it, you can’t park that thing for shit), and maximum carbon monoxide for maximum earth scorching.

I speak from the perspective of having two kids.  And I get that there are many families who aren’t limited to two kids.  God, you feel like such a fucking underachiever these days when you have only two kids.  “You have only two kids?  Fuck that, we’re going for more kids than the Brangelinas, loser.”

Yet, it matters little whether someone’s got two kids or nine.  Fact is, most of you are gonna buy an SUV no matter what.  Because you want more, MORE, MORE, MORE!!!  Just don’t use your goddamn kids as the excuse.

And I’m not suggesting that anyone has to make do with less (though that’s hardly a bad thing).  I’m suggesting that maybe we can all learn to live without so much fucking excess.


Kid Dos, part dos

There is no limit to what this kid will do or say that makes me want to smash my head against a brick wall.   Like these:

  • While waiting in line to get into the fucking Lego store at Rockefeller Center during the Christmas holidays, he shouts out, “Hey, I have a great idea, why don’t we just walk around this line, go to the front, just cut in line, and we’ll get in before everyone else!”
  • When asking me for cardboard: “Dad, can I have some cardboard please?” “What for?” “I want to make a cardboard sword so I can go cutting and stabbing!” “WHAT?! You’ll do no such thing.”  “OK, OK, I’ll just make some cardboard guns then.”
  • “Dad!  I know what a yeti is!  It’s a crazy snowman!”
  • “Do you know why I can’t have a playdate with a girl?  Because she might get attracted to me.”
  • Out of nowhere, “I hope I don’t have Pilates today.”  (Pilates?!)
  • “Dad, why do we even need mommies and daddies?”  “Because kids can do some things and not others, so mommies and daddies can help.”  “Well, I can fight off robbers with my karate powers.”
  • Upon tasting the toxic swill that is Hi-C for the first time: “Woah, this tastes epic.”
  • “I like everything in this world, except bad guys.”
  • “Mommy, I’m looking for some weapons.”
  • After a few solid swings of the bat during tee-ball practice in the backyard, “When I grow up, I don’t have to be a ninja, I can be a baseball player.”
  • “Dad, during an earthquake, did anyone lose all their teeth?”  (WTF?!)