My Favorite Person

Many years ago I stood by my wife as we met our oldest son for the first time.  We’re about to celebrate that big guy’s birthday and the joy he brings into our lives (a solid 82% of the time), but every year I’m reminded of seeing my wife become my absolute favorite person again and again.

She’s been my favorite person since we were 18 years old.  She studied, read her text books, got involved in school.  I played GoldenEye and wrote papers at 2am.  She worked 12 hour days teaching while I sat in the basement and reset passwords.  She is strong, motivated and cares deeply about whatever she touches.  It’s admirable and being in proximity of her makes others want to try harder, do better, learn more and act fast.  Continue reading

I Wound Up Recreating Toys of My Youth Despite Best Intentions

Mighty Max and Micro Machines were the big toys of my early years.  They were awesome.  One or two plastic figurines (aka; dolls) to bounce around a small scene and play out fun stories with was all that was needed to keep an afternoon busy or a car ride short.  My brother and I had scores of these little sets. Looking back, I do wonder if we had so many options simply to keep us quiet for a little while as dinner was prepared or the drive to some far off place was underway.  I totally understand that need as it is exactly why I made the above item. Continue reading

Getting Ready

“Clothes, shoes, coats, bags. Let’s get going, gang!” Tyson Smith had said this sentence time and time again.  “You have five minutes.”

Two children, too young to really understand what ‘time management’ meant, ran about the house doing anything other than listen to their father.  Tyson was unsure if the children were purposely ignoring him, or rather so entrenched in their current game they were incapable of hearing him.

“Four minutes,” Tyson said. His voice growing louder, more impatient.

“Dad, I need help finding my bag,” the oldest child asked.

“Okay. Where was it last?” Tyson asked.

A seven minute story followed. They were no closer to finding the bag.

“Dad, need help with my bag,” said the youngest.

Four minutes passed before Tyson realized the young one, still new to the language, was trying to mimic the older sibling.

“Dad! I can’t get my shoe on,” the oldest shouted.

Tyson had been through this before as well.  It was never easier.

“Okay, everyone in the car!” Tyson ordered.  Loud, curt, tired; half an hour had passed since the five minute warning.  Control was a feeling he no longer understood.

Ten minutes later, the car seats were buckled and Tyson readied to back the car out of the garage.

“Where are we going, dad?” the oldest asked.

Tyson huffed, rested his forehead on the steering wheel and muttered, “I don’t even remember.”

 

 

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My short story “lunch hour read” collection People on the Highway is free now through February 10! Click here for your copy (share and review if you would, please!) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VUE2OQS  Thanks!

Common Conversations with My Toddler

I’m done! I will clear my plate

You ate basically none of your dinner. You are not done yet.

I’m done.  It’s okay. I clear.

No, take, let’s say, four more bites.

Nope. I done.

Fine, fine. Know that you can’t have anything else though, this was your food tonight.

Yeah! I’m done.

—Literally ten minutes later—

Can I have bread and a lollipop?

Gah!

Losing My Mind Explained (in 100 words)

“I left it on the night stand.  I’ve left it on the night stand every day for ten years.  I don’t think I know how to put my wallet any where else.  This is insane.  I’m going insane.  The other day I put a book on the dining room table, turned around and when I looked back it was gone,” Ry said, flustered, his voice muffled by walls.

“Did you check the laundry pile?” Mira called back.

As she suggested a new spot, their toddler ran by her waving a wallet over head and maniacally laughing.

“Never mind. Found it.”

 

Trained for This

 

Potty training has started for kiddo number two.

Hehe, number two.

I have a difficult time with potty training the wee ones (again!) because I’m apparently a Judd Apatow character who faces responsibility like a drunk teenager; poorly and hoping his mom can fix everything while not smelling the stink. Continue reading

On the Floor

“It rolled under the couch!” The children shouted in unison.  “Can you get it?”

The worried father hesitated and weighed the options.  None were clear winners.  “Okay, fine. But don’t do that thing.” He pointed at his two young sons and warned them with a look he thought quite intimidating

“What thing, dad?” the oldest child asked, giggling.

The father cursed his words and resumed the look.

He made his way to the ground, knees popping the whole time.  He put his head against the carpet to get a good view of the underside of the couch.  The lost toy had made it to a position which seemed to defy physics.

“Should take a just a sec, guys,” he grunted, his hand moving by cobwebs and other lost toys.

“Guh!” he shouted in surprise as the wind was knocked out of him.

“Daddy’s a horsey!” the children gleefully cried out as they jumped on their father’s back.

“You did the thing! You little monsters duped me!”

“Giddy up!” said the youngest.