Tag Archives: Parenting

How To Become Parent Of The Year In 5 Easy Steps! (Must read if you love your children!!)

3 Mar

This is a true story.   Welcome concerned parents.

Here’s how you become a parent of the year candidate.

1 – Rob a convenience story with your husband, wife, partner, etc

2 – Keeping ever mindful of the learning opportunities of a “bring your son or daughter to work day”.  Bring your child with you.

3 – Make a clean get away.

4 – Take a moment to celebrate with aforementioned son or daughter along with spouse

5 – Come to the shocking (although some day even you will see some humor in it) realization, that during the getaway you forgot to take your kid with you.

Said kid is now in care of the authorities and you are certain to be caught and potentially give up your parenting rights.  Which, if you think of the first five steps you took, is probably the greatest favor you could do for your offspring.

That’s it.  Simple.

(Source for the original story came from Mike & Mike this morning on ESPN Sports Talk Radio – so blame them if not completely accurate.  The list on the other hand, is all me…)

Cowboys, Giants And More Government Aid Than You Can Shake A Stick At!

15 Oct

It’s been crazy at work, so I , thought I’d just jot down some quick thoughts that have hit me over the head lately…

Being a Cowboys Fan is like being a soap opera fan – Myself, I hate hate hate the ‘Boys.  But even I can see that this week, has been one crazy ride for the Dallas faithful.  Losing to the Cardinals the way they did, only to suffer a bigger loss with Romo going out for a month or more.  Pac gets into a fight.  Jerry Jones chickens out of doing anything about it only to have the NFL banish Pac yet again.  And then, Roy Williams comes gift wrapped courtesy of the Detroit Lions.  Oh, and the Phillips guy is still your coach.  If I was a Cowboys fan I wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry…

The Giants Loss Is A Good Thing – I AM a Giants fan (and now you know why I hate hate hate the ‘Boys).  Never like to lose, but I think this loss will serve them and their fans well.  A respected NY area columnist actually wrote before the loss that the Giants were one of a precious few legitimate Super Bowl contenders.  I hope he’s right, but the football guy inside me tells me that there’s a good chance they got on a fantastic role last year and that Eli is not better than his bro just yet (which a lot of locals are claiming…).  Time for Big Blue to stop worrying about defending their crown and just get back to play good team ball.

Manny & The Sox – The Sox got rocked again tonight and now face big odds in their fight to banish the upstart Rays.  That series against the Yankees in ’04 not withstanding, it’s REAL tough to come back from 3-1.  And last time I checked Manny and his Dodgers were in the same hole as his former team.  Why is it that people don’t realize when a breakup will mean bad things for both?  Manny and Sox remind me of countless bands and a few romantic couples who just can’t seem to realize that when they’re together they’re magic and when they’re not, they are something less.

As a big time Sox fan, I want to believe that we got a great younger & cheaper player in Jason Bay who will ultimately prove less of a clubhouse distraction than Manny and allow the Sox to use some of the Manny money in other needed places.  Tonight, my faith is a little shaken, but I’ll still be rooting for a miracle in this series.

Parenting – what a great job.  And what a tough job.  My kids are great.  I love them.  And I don’t think I’ll ever stop worrying about them.  I’m sure many of you feel the same way.  No new news there.

The Bail Outs – As a center left kind of guy, it’s amazing to me how quickly so many free market Republicans have quickly become socialists.  How is it that their unending faith in the power of free markets has crumbled so fast?

I, like John McCain says, don’t know that much about the economy.  But, I do know this…  While it’s probably true that not addressing it would’ve eventually effected a lot of us on “main street”, it’s interesting to see politicians only move fast when the fate of millionaires in on the line.  Maybe that’s cause that’s who is really paying their salaries.  As I said, I’m for the buy out, but I’m distressed that rather than just talking about temporary measures on taxes, the discussion isn’t focusing much (as far as I can tell) on putting back in a few “dreaded” regulations to make sure this doesn’t happen again.  And who out there doesn’t believe there’s some people getting mighty rich off of this?

John McCain – another day and another promise.  To be fair, Obama is going at about the same rate.  Now, McCain is going to guarantee “all savings” for six months once he gets in office.  This is after, he buys up a ton of bad mortgages and god only knows what else.  We can’t afford all this from him or Barack Obama.  Where’s the straight talk?

Bail Out – Part Deux – As a guy feeling the pinch like many of you, I do have sympathy for people about to lose their homes.  That said, while I do think predatory lenders had a lot to do with getting people into houses they couldn’t afford, I can’t quite shake the feeling that when we bail out individuals on their mortgages, we will certainly be bailing out some people who clearly took advantage of the broken system.  I can’t help but think, what about me and millions like me and my wife?  We struggle to pay the mortgage each month, when do we see a rate reduction??

Grammer – mine is bad so late at night.  Deal with it!

Good night to all!

Tidewater J

A Bad Movie Turns Into a Great Moment In Parenting!

25 May

Last weekend, a fantastic thing happened while our family was killing time at a local mall.  In order to not have to endure their typical pleas of boredom while shopping, my wife and I finally did something smart.  We told our kids each of them would be able to spend some money from their piggy banks on whatever they wanted at the mall IF they were good.

Happy to report mission accomplished.  Our kids, who are usually pretty well behaved, were angels at the mall.   No hundred questions about when we are heading home.  No claims of being super tired.  No frustrated statements about how shopping for work shirts for daddy is deadly boring, which by the way it is.  Got to give them that one!

In return for their excellent behavior, we window shopped for them as we were looking for my boring work shirts.  My daughter instantly found several things she wanted to spend her hard earned money on.  While she was great at identifying things she’d like, she was less good at picking one thing to actually buy. 

My son, was not so lucky.  He couldn’t find anything he wanted because he had his mind set on adding to his Thomas train collection.  Mercifully, the mall had no Thomas paraphernalia.  Our house is already overflowing with Thomas and his ever-growing community of friends.

I did my best to find substitutes, but the kid is resolute when he’s got his mind made up.  The closest I got to helping him find an acceptable alternative was when, inspired by the recent release of the really bad looking movie Speed Racer (in fairness I haven’t seen the movie so it could be great although the reviews have not been kind) I tracked down a DVD of the original Speed Racer series, which I’d watched religiously as a kid.  The boy was tempted but didn’t give in.

We decided to take a lunch break to give our kids (mostly my daughter) time to decide what they wanted to buy.  After lunch, my daughter had gone over all her potential choices and made her final decision.  As we were paying for her toy, my son was still saying he was buying nothing at all if their were no Thomas toys to be had.

Having paid for my daughter’s choice, we were going to head home when my son caved to the reality that he was about to leave the mall empty handed.  Suddenly, that Speed Racer DVD that his Dad had excitedly pointed out to him seemed like a pretty good alternative. 

We headed to the DVD store.  My heart swelled with pride as my boy weighed which of the three classic Speed Racer DVDs to pick.  He made his pick.  We paid.  And on the way home in the family truckster, our kids decided they wanted to watch their new DVD.

My bride popped the Speed Racer DVD into the player while I tried to keep my eyes on the road and silently prayed that my kids would like Speed Racer, which I’d personally vouched for.  As the video started, it all came back to me.  The strange accents of the characters, their halting speech rhythms, the heavy handed right and wrong messages.  It was all there.  And although I could not see the “car wrestling match” episode that led off the DVD, I knew it was wonderful.

My kids were silent the whole way home.  It was a good sign.  Speed, Chim-Chim and Racer X had gripped my kids as strongly as they had gripped me three decades before.

Once we got home, the kids insisted on a marathon watching session.  I laid on the couch behind them enjoying the episodes as much as them, my childhood coming back to me.

When it was bed time, they wanted me to tell them stories of Speed Racer and his friends, which I gladly did.  When I left them to let them go to sleep, I realized that sharing Speed Racer with my kids and watching their joy in discovering something that they loved as much as I did when I was their age was my best parenting moment to date.

Thank you, Speed Racer.  You came through for me as a kid and even more so as a parent.  Speed, bad feature film or not, you rock!

It’s a week later.  My son has two Speed Racer PJs.  My kids play Speed Racer with their cars and they’ve discovered the new Speed Racer Next Generation TV series.

These days Thomas and his crew are feeling a tad lonely…

And I’m hoping it takes a good long time before Speed and his pals join them in lonely-ville.  If I’ve learned anything about parenting so far, it’s enjoy and appreciate all the good moments because they go by sooooo fast and you won’t get a second chance!


Even If You’re A Conservative… Life Lessons Your Children Need To Learn From The Clintons!

4 May

The latest polls show that Hillary Clinton is far from done.  Barack Obama has repeatedly had his chance to put her campaign away.  He’s failed to do so.  The Clinton campaign is alive and well.  Give credit to Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s recent tendency to shoot himself in the foot and the famous Clinton never say die drive.

Years ago, the first President Bush (remember him fondly now? Me too!) was riding high as he headed for reelection.  Bush I’s approval ratings were the exact opposite of Bush II’s.  Daddy Bush was getting something like a 90 plus percent approval rating following the Gulf War victory.

Mario Cuomo was the nationally known eloquent spokesman of the Democratic Party as well as the well regarded governor of a big important state.  Cuomo had presidential aspirations.  Democrats were enthusiastic for a Cuomo candidacy.  Yet, Cuomo hesitated.  He hemmed and hawed and never got into the race.  He’ll never know what might have been.

Bill Clinton was the little known governor of a state that let’s charitably say wasn’t at the top of most lists you’d want your state to be at the top of.  However, Clinton was young, ambitious and charismatic.  He didn’t hesitate.  Clinton jumped in.  Bush 90 percent approval rating be damned.

We all know what happened.  Clinton won and George Bush went home a one term president.

Regardless of your politic persuasion, what should your children learn from the above?  Glad you asked!

First, let’s take Hillary’s ’08 Campaign.  She has been knocked down and counted out over and over in this campaign.  Yet, she’s still out there fighting day after day.  Momentum even seems to have turned her way.  Ask yourself, when’s the last time the Obama Campaign got some good news?  Guam victory?  I don’t see Senator Obama writing home about that one…  “Dear Michelle,  Hey Honey, I think I got this thing sewed up now that Guam is in my court!!”

The point that’s valuable for kids is that everyone gets knocked out.  None of us wins all the time.  Not even Derek Jeter or Brett Favre, despite reports to the contrary.  Often, it seems like the world is in a hurry to count us out. 

Hillary’s campaign teaches us so many things.  Belief in yourself for one.  Never counting yourself out.  Fighting on against the odds.  Most importantly, getting back up when you’ve been knocked down.  The world is going to floor your kids.  As parents, our biggest job is to teach them to get up.  We need to ingrain in them that carrying on after suffering a set back or disappointment is the mark of a true champion.

Now, onto Bill.  Clearly, Bill Clinton is a risk taker.  Sometimes those risks are reckless and damaging to himself, his family and our country.  Lewinsky, anyone?  Other times, as with his decision to get in the race in ’92, his belief in himself and his risk embracing nature won him the presidency and in my opinion (at least) gave our country a very good though flawed president.

What should your kids learn?  Clinton proves you’ve got to be in it to win it whether it’s the lottery or running for the most powerful job in the world.  Bill Clinton lives life like this is his one shot at it.  Do you?  Not many of us do, but many of us wish we did. 

Do you want your kids to completely fulfill their potential?  Of course you do.  Then, you’ve got to teach the Clinton lesson.  Kids have to go out into the world and take chances.

And for you conservatives, here’s the Bill Clinton lesson for your kids that even you’ll agree with.  Kids need to learn the difference between a good risk and a bad risk.  Even as a Clinton fan, I acknowledge that he had trouble with that one.  Ultimately, it’s what kept him from being a great president rather than a very good one.

PS – Conservatives, I don’t expect you agree with my presidential rating of Bill Clinton, but hope you’ll get the underlying point.  Can’t we all agree to get along for our kids?

Update! The Strange Bathroom Habits of Co-Workers!

2 May

As some of you who’ve visited these pages before know, I’m fascinated by workplace bathroom behavior.  Previously, I’ve twice described the adventures of a mystery man co-worker who seems to have confused the company toilet stall with a reading library.

But recently, I saw something else that perplexed me.  A male co-worker of mine has repeatedly done this.  He comes into the bathroom.  So far so good.  He washes his hands.  OK, I’m feeling there’s something slightly unmasculine about making a special trip into the bathroom of a white collar office just to wash your hands, but whatever.  I mean it’s not like he’s out there doing lube jobs or digging ditches.  Why, even in this sensitive age, does a man doing office work make a special trip just to wash his hands?

Anyway, that’s where this guy always gets me.  Just when his behavior has me obsessing over the hand washing, there’s a twist.  After washing his hands.  And remember I did say AFTER.  He then uses the urinal and exits without re-washing his hands.

WTF is that about?

I’m a spur of the moment guy very comfortable with improvising and ad-libbing.  Little else has gotten me this far through life after all.  But really, everything has a limit.  Some things are meant to be done in a certain order.  It’s not my rules.  It’s God’s rules.  Man was meant to do certain things in certain ways.  God says so. 

Can I get an amen?

And one of God’s rules is first you pee and then you wash your hands.  As a parent I know that.  If you are a parent or had parents you know that.  It’s the way it works.

How did my co-worker miss that important life lesson?  We’ll never know for sure.  But, I’m quite sure that somewhere God, whether you believe he is loving or vengeful, is very concerned.  Free will is one thing.  Peeing after washing your hands and then not re-washing…

That’s an abomination!


PS – This post is dedicated to my beautiful wife, who for some reason finds my posts on workplace bathroom habits entertaining.  I love a woman with a slightly twisted sense of humor.

There’s No Do Overs In Politics!

6 Mar

Hey Michigan and Florida,

There’s no crying in baseball.  And there’s no do overs in politics.

Do I agree with the Democratic Party’s decisions to penalize Michigan and Florida for moving up their primaries?  NO! 

Do I think they should get a do over?  HELL NO!  It was a bad decision to punish either state but now we’re stuck with it.  For you GOPers to relate…. It’s kind of like Bush going into Iraq.

Do I think I should pay for their do over?  ABSOLUTELY NO!

As a parent, we all know that we set boundaries and then when kids test them, we must give them consequences.  Florida and Michigan were told not to move up their contests.  They did so anyway.  How can the party go back now?

Besides, how in any way would do overs be fair to either candidate or any of us who have voted already?  For the candidates, their strategies have been based on neither state counting.  Think Barack Obama is going to be a happy to campaign in Michigan when he took his name off the ballet there the first time?

And take me.  In my state, I voted for the losing candidate.  I think I’d like to have a second chance too at seeing my candidate win. 

There is crying in politics.  But there aren’t any do overs.

Catch ya in 2012 Michigan and Florida.  Rest up!