Be the Ball. Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah!

With an adult Taylor Made putter in one hand and two yellow, Wilson Spongebob Squarepants golf balls in the other, Justin walked up the ramp with me to the putting green at the Balboa Public Golf Course. As we passed by an older guy carrying his pristine touring golf bag to his car, he scoffed at me and said, “You know, this is where we come to get away from our kids.”  I would not be deterred by this Grumpy Geezer of Golf. It was time for Justin to put away his windmills and colorful balls of Putt-Putt and begin to learn how to play this game for real.

When we stepped onto the practice green, I instructed Justin to drop his golf balls near the pin. He placed them down one by one. I then said, “Ok, Justin. Putt the ball into the hole.”  I said nothing else. I gave him no other instructions. Sure enough, he walked over to the ball, smacked it with my putter……….and it dropped into the cup – from 8 feet away!! For any scouts reading this, allow me to clarify: my left-handed, 5 1/2 year old son putted from the right while holding a right-handed club that was facing backwards and he still managed to hit the pin from 8 feet away!!! I looked over to see a couple of golfers who paused to watch my son. One of them gave Justin a “thumbs up.” Another just stood there shaking his head in disbelief.

Does the green Masters' champion jacket come in X-X-X-X-SM?

For the next 30 minutes, I continued to drop golf balls around the putting green while encouraging Justin to get them into the different holes. Sometimes he really connected with the ball and sometimes he did not. Regardless, we were laughing and having fun. He had a big smile on his face in between holes. But when he was getting ready to putt, his smile dropped and he had the steely gaze of Clint Eastwood moments before a shoot-out.

He knew that this was special. There were no other children around. This was “Man Time” and I think that he genuinely had a good time just hanging out with the guys. When he was done, he asked to go over to the water fountain by the first tee. As we walked over, he observed a foursome teeing off. He asked me “How do they hit the ball so high?”, “When can we ride in the white carts?”, and “Why is everyone wearing silly looking pants?”

Afterwards, I took him into the club house for breakfast. Together, we sat and ordered eggs, bacon, and French toast. He kept asking me if I saw his putt that went around the edge of the hole and if I saw his putt that went into the hole and if I saw his putt that hit the pin and if I saw his putt that hit another ball, etc.

The three, early 40’s guys at the table next to us got a kick out of overhearing our conversation. They turned around and asked Justin what his handicap was. He just smiled, showed them his golf balls, and informed them that he had gotten a “hole in one.” We all talked golf while waiting for our food. By the end of our conversation, they had invited Justin to join their foursome the following week. He responded, “What about my daddy?” They all laughed and said, “We’ve seen him play. He can be your caddy!”

Remote Controlled Baby!

While cleaning out the garage on Saturday, I rediscovered a “Walker” that was once Justin’s from when he was a baby. I happily pulled it out of the garage and cleaned it off. The following day, GWE and Justin went to a birthday party, thereby leaving Garrett and I alone. Since it was just the two of us at the house, I thought it was time for us to get into some trouble! So, I chose to reassemble the toy for Garrett’s enjoyment. Once it was ready, I plopped him into the seat. There was only one problem – he was still too small. His toes were barely able to touch the ground (even on the lowest setting). Instead of him “walking” around the kitchen, I had to push him around.

This was fun for about 10 minutes and he loved it, but it was killing my back. All of a sudden, I had a “MacGyver Moment!”

I reached into Justin toys and pulled out one of his “Speed Bumbers” vehicles. (It’s an omni-directional, 1.5 volt, remote-controlled car.) I then ran into the bathroom and came back with a roll of mint-flavored dental floss. I tied the RC car to the front of his Safety 1st Walker, turned on the remote control, pressed “forward” and…..nothing.

I would not be denied this moment of Fatherly Genius! I grabbed the 2nd “Speed Bumber” and attached it to the front of the walker as well. I had 3 whole volts at my command! I grabbed both remote controls, flipped them both on, and pressed forward!! Nothing…..not one inch of movement. I could hear the engines in both vehicles whirring away, but no movement. Garrett stared at me with a look of, “This has been fun, but I’m not your guinea pig. Let’s do something else.” Defeated, I cut loose the RC cars and put them back into their boxes.

I am now online looking to see how many volts it would take to successfully “drive” around a 26 lb baby in a 5 lb “walker.” I will not be denied the satisfaction of “Remote Controlled Baby!”

And This Is How We Say Goodbye!

Until they perfect the art of cloning, GWE and I will need to rely on some hired help in order to get the kids from school during the weeknights starting this Fall. Justin will be in a new school this August and Garrett will remain at daycare. And, unless they plan on spending the nights at their respective schools, we need someone to pick them up and bring them home a few days a week. Time for “The Nanny!!”

When I walked into the house last night, GWE was in the middle of interviewing a very nice woman who ran a nanny/babysitter service. I did not want to interrupt. The woman and I exchanged pleasantries and then I wandered into the kitchen for something to eat. Every once in a while, I was asked a question – but, for the most part I stayed out of it.

Justin was very excited to see me and (as usual) his energy level went from a 4 to a 12 in under a few minutes. He began to ask me a million questions about my day, playfully “attack” me, and then jump around on the sofas a little. I also noticed that Justin was only wearing a t-shirt and underwear…no pants. While I knew that this was just “Justin being Justin,” I began to worry if this woman was judging our son’s behavior. Every so often I would walk over to Justin and casually calm him down and then go back to what I was doing.

When I was finally ready to sit on the sofa, Justin rushed up to me and said (loud enough for our guest to hear) “I love you daddy! Can I sit with you?”

Secretly, I was very pleased. It’s not that I felt like we needed to “put on a good show” for this woman. But, she was in our home to assess the situation and determine which nanny would be best for us. So….a little affection and good behavior from Justin at the right moment wasn’t such a bad thing. For the next few moments, we sat together and quietly watched cartoons.

When our guest was ready to leave, GWE said to Justin, “Say bye-bye to (blank).” He turned his head away from the television and said, “Bye.” Then, he quickly jumped off the sofa and said to the woman, “Wait, wait!!!”

I then saw him reach behind his back and start to do something. I wasn’t entirely sure what he was up to, but an evil…sadistic…smug smile began to creep across his face. It turns out that Justin thought it would be funny to grab his underwear, shove it between the crack of his ass (like it was a thong), and then show our guest his ass as a going away present. It quickly dawned on me what he was doing about a second before he did it. I immediately tackled Justin and prevented him from finishing his “master plan.” After GWE closed the door, I told her that either the woman thought our son was funny or she was calling Child Protective Services from her car.

Justin has to work on improving his first impression!

My Little Loan Shark, Pt 2

Yesterday morning, I took a financial loan (with a high interest rate) from my son.

Last night at 8:00pm, I walked into my house and found my son standing in the doorway. Clearly, he had been waiting for me. “Daddy, I’ve been looking for you.” he said, with a serious expression on his face. I did not have his money.

Luckily, GWE did. I quickly pulled two dollars out of my wallet and I grabbed a ten dollar bill out of her purse and handed all of it to Justin. (As you can see from the picture above, he was clearly satisfied.)

Now, I owe GWE ten dollars. This is such a vicious cycle.

My Little Loan Shark

I have been given 12 hours to pay back my five year old (with interest) or he has threatened to “take me to zero.” I don’t know what that means, but it does not sound good.

While getting ready to leave the house this morning, I noticed that the diaper bag was already gone. Normally, this would not have been an issue. But, since my wallet was still in the outside pouch from last night’s outing, I had a sinking feeling that GWE took the bag with her not realizing that she also had my identification, credit cards, and cash. I immediately called her to see if she had the diaper bag. She did. Luckily, she had planned on being near my office today, so she could drop it off. Problem solved, kinda.

I then loaded Garrett and Justin into the car and seat-belted them in. I turned the ignition on, looked at my dashboard, and had a minor heart attack. No gas. I had less than a ¼ of a tank and needed to get from Northridge to Encino to take the kids to school and then from Encino all the way into Santa Monica for work and then all the way back home to Northridge again….and I still had no wallet. Out of frustration, I turned around to look at the kids and my luck changed….

Sitting in between Justin and Garrett was a crumpled, ten dollar bill that Grandpa Bob had given to Justin less than a week earlier for his pre-school graduation. I looked at the money and then I looked into the face of my sweet, innocent, child.

“Justin, can I borrow your $10.00 bill?” I asked kindly.

“No.” he responded.

“Please, Justin. I really need to borrow it for gas.”

“Where is your money, daddy?” he asked.

“Well, mommy accidentally took my wallet because it was in the diaper bag and I really need a few dollars for gas.” I explained.

“Why do we need gas? Where are we going?” At that point, I knew I was screwed. How do you tell a five year old that you need to borrow his money (money that he doesn’t want to give you) to take him to a place that he doesn’t want to go?? (School!)

“Buddy, I love you and I promise to give you a crisp, unwrinkled $10 bill tonight. But right now, I need your money.” At this point, I wasn’t really asking. I was sliding it out of his hand as we continued to talk.

Tears began to form and I felt like crap about this, but gasoline is gasoline.

After a few minutes, Justin asked, “Can I call mommy?” I dialed mommy and handed Justin the phone. She picked up on the third ring.

“Mommy? Daddy took my ten dollars and he said that you took his wallet and now he is going to use my ten dollars for gasoline. Why did you take his wallet?” She paused and explained that it was an accident. She then encouraged Justin to ask for interest on my ten dollar loan. “Tell him that you want eleven dollars,” she said.

“Daddy, I want twelve dollars!!” he demanded.

“WHAT?!?! A 20% vig!?!?!?!” I was outraged, but really needed the cash.

“Fine, buddy. You win.”

7 Awesome Father’s Day Gifts (You Are Not Getting This Year!)

For Father’s Day last year, I wrote about the history of the holiday. This year, I thought I would provide assistance for some of you last minute shoppers. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to get the dad who has it all. Fear not! Here are some fantastic, thoughtful, and practical gifts!

1) Poop Freeze – This is a real product! How many times have your children proudly shown you their artwork from school? Now is your opportunity to proudly display your “work of art.” It’s Fecal Taxidermy! I like that the product features are: 1) Completely Non-Flammable, and 2) Does Not Harm Vegetation.

 

2) Yodeling Pickle – I cannot tell you how many times I’ve turned to my wife and said, “I wish we had a pickle that yodeled.” There are far too many occasions when a Yodeling Pickle is required. This pickle even comes with its own batteries! Warning: this is a choking hazard for idiots.

 

 

3) Robo Vacuum – This is the coolest thing I have ever seen. “Before they take over the Earth, they have to clean up your desktop debris.” I must have one of these. It comes in three colors, has arms that move, and looks like a Doctor Who Dalek. It is about the size of a bagel. The only downside is that it does not move around on its own like a Roomba. If they can figure out how to automate this, I’ll be the first one in line for Robo Vacuum 2.0.

 

4) Manhood Mittens – If you are celebrating Father’s Day this year, it’s because you have children. And, you have children because you didn’t do too many stupid things to your nuts over the years to cause them to stop working. So why not protect them?? If Fed Ex can figure out how to protect your packages from the elements, don’t you think you have a responsibility to protect your own “package”?!?!?!

 

5) Unicorn Meat – I pride myself on trying new things at a restaurant. If you can cook it, I will try it. The last “interesting” meal I had was at Incanto in San Fransisco. I ate the “Hot Mess”: Pig trotters, foie gras & pluots. And I don’t know what a pluot is! I now have my eyes (and taste buds) set on Unicorn Meat! Screw Lucky Charms – THIS should be “Magically Delicious!”

 

6) Talking Toilet Paper Roll – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on the toilet and wished I had someone to talk to. Problem solved!! Here is the Talking TP. The “spindle” actually allows you to record (and re-record) personal messages to greet anyone using your bathroom. According to the testimonials, this product has had fantastic results in “aiding” senior citizens and confusing dogs.

 

7) The Eastman Outdoors Jerky and Sausage Gun Kit with Five Extra Nozzles – Holy Shit!! I need a sausage caulker! YOU need a sausage caulker!! This is the perfect marriage of Black & Decker and Jimmy Dean! It comes with 3 sausage stuffing tubes, 2 jerky stuffing tubes, and a LARGE MEAT BARREL!!! I don’t know how you don’t have an erection just looking at this thing! How is this not the product of the year??