Wicked Game

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She got me. Again. I believe the current score is Mommy Moneybags(MM) – 31 Me – 2. She got me again with a total setup question. She would later dispute that there was ever any type of setup, but I know better than that. It was something about how I would describe my life to a practical stranger blah blah blah I wasn’t totally paying attention. My answer was nonchalant and uninspiring. The traditionally stupid husband I am sat there smiling afterwards. Quite content with my doomed response. Like a mouse eating cheese off a trap. Calm and carefree, never hearing the snap or seeing the lever closing down on its neck.

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I love my wife. I really really do. She’s in the running for Most Amazing Fantastical Thing I Can Call Mine award! She has a relaxed demeanor, she’s supportive, and above all else she’s smoking hot! She’s also brilliant, so when she decides to lure me into saying something stupid, its masterful. She picked the perfectly worded question. Not something simple and easy to navigate like, “does this dress make me look fat?” Do women still ask that question? We, men, over the decades have developed a catalogue of appropriate responses to that oldie but goodie. No, she threw me a curveball as gorgeous as she is. A question that had only two answers, my answer and the right one. When my answer was given, BOOM! She went all girl on me. A pretty girl, but girl. I paid for my simpleton answer for the remainder of the weekend. With each passing hour I tried to understand the difficulties of a beautifully crazy woman loving a charmingly stupid man. Thankfully MM likes me again. I think she even loves me. The least I can do is learn from these moments…

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But I just can’t! Not this one! I still can’t wrap my head around the correct answer. Its been a week. Instead of trying to understand the un-understandable it would probably serve me well to stop writing about it and just enjoy it. It, being my sexy forgiving wife. The incredible woman who I somehow convinced to marry me. She may still give me some crazy girl behavior every now and again, but more often she gives me the perfect wife I always wanted. Peaceful, sensitive, loving, radiant and ravishing. My Valentine every day of the year. I kind of get why she was upset over the weekend. Sorta. Not really. I will screw this up again. I think if I just keep loving her as much as I do today, as much as I have everyday, she’ll keep me around forever.

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I do think she’s setting me up again. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, two days away actually. I haven’t gotten her anything. Not because I’m a complete idiot but because she told me not to. I usually do flowers, chocolates, cards, blah blah blah whatever is being sold in shades of pink and red. However, a few months ago we decided to stop giving cards altogether. They’re someone else’s words that just end up in the trash anyway and have you seen the prices for those small pieces of cardstock? Regarding the flowers and chocolates, she told me she doesn’t want them. The flowers, don’t get her started on that ridiculous Valentine’s Day special (2 dozen roses for $103.52 – yeah she did a fake order) and as for the chocolates… I ended up eating all the chocolate last year and past years. I was glad I bought her the good stuff: Godiva. I didn’t eat them right away of course. She just wasn’t that interested. This Saturday is Valentine’s Day and I’m doing what she told me to do. Nothing. Again I find myself content and carefree. Like a bear with a belly full of salmon, smiling and walking through the woods with his dumb unknowing nose breathing in his last breaths. Completely unaware of the trap ahead…again

 

'Boy, you're lucky it's the same leg as last time...'

 “Life proceeds along a path, though the path is invisible. There is definitely a path for human beings that leads to absolute happiness…If we continue to advance along this road without abandoning our faith, we will definitely come to savor a state of life in which all our desires are fulfilled both spiritually and materially.”

-Daisaku Ikeda

 

THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – We’ll know by Sunday if I’ve learned anything at all
  2. I used the adjective “crazy” to describe my wife in this blog. And I meant it. Almost as much as I meant “Amazing Fantastical Mine Relaxed Supportive Smoking Hot Brilliant Gorgeous Pretty  Beautifully Crazy Sexy Forgiving Incredible Perfect Peaceful Sensitive Loving Radiant Ravishing.” She’s pretty cool.
  3. If you’re reading this MM, I just want to point out that I seriously have nothing for Valentine’s Day. Sooo…tell me now if I need to make any corrections. Please.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the fourteenth Daddy Day By Day. Yeah, it’s a V-Day blog. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Please click on one of the two “follow my blog” links on the right. For you mobile users the links are at the bottom of the page. Talk to you soon…

Killing In The Name Of

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Officer Darren Wilson “feared for his life” as Michael Brown ran away from his squad car following a fist fight.

Officer Darren Wilson “feared for his life” as he got out of his SUV and chased the fleeing teenager.

Officer Darren Wilson “feared for his life” as he pulled the trigger. Then pulled the trigger again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And Again.

Michael Brown didn’t have a gun. He wasn’t carrying a knife. Not even a rock. Michael Brown is dead.

The police officer will not face a trial.

Meet Joseph Houseman.

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He is openly brandishing a rifle in broad daylight on a neighborhood street. He has no ID. He is “being aggressive” as said by the police officers on the scene. Grabbing his groin and cursing at them. Houseman is never shot at. Never arrested. He will not face a trial. It is reported that he and the officers actually shook hands. Mr. Houseman is white.

Must be nice. Is it too late to trade in my America for that one?  How about another example…

I’m sure you are familiar with the story of Eric Garner. He was the man who was put in a chokehold by the NYPD for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. However, numerous eyewitnesses say he was not. In fact it is reported that he had just broken up a fight between two younger men. Garner didn’t attack anyone. He didn’t even fight back when all four of the police officers jumped on him. He didn’t pull out a gun. Or a knife. Not even a rock. All he said was, “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” 11 times.  Those would be his final words.

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Meet Cliven Bundy, a rancher. He is involved in an ongoing legal dispute with the federal government over tens of thousands of dollars of unpaid grazing fees. On April 5, 2014 over 145,000 acres of federal land were closed to seize Bundy’s trespassing cattle. Land that he continually allowed his cattle to graze on without paying his fair share. In response, a group of protesters from around the country came to Bundy’s aid.  They were armed. They aimed their loaded rifles at federal agents. A few days later the federal government elects to simply give Bundy his cattle back and walk away. The only person arrested was Cliven Bundy’s son for kicking a police dog. He was given a tuna fish sandwich and released the next morning. The 20-year legal battle is still ongoing. Cliven Bundy is white.

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That’s Eric Parker from Idaho in the photo. He’s a “protester”. He is taking a defensive position while aiming a gun at federal agents. If it’s not too late, I’d like to trade in my rules, for his.

The winter of 2014 has been another grim reminder of the racial inequality that still exists in America today. A tradition as American as apple pie. The media has changed but the stories have remained same. Long gone are the disgusting days of newspapers covering the savagery of lynchings like a recap of a baseball game.

“The Negro was deprived of his ears, fingers and genital parts of his body. He pleaded pitifully for his life while the mutilation was going on…before the body was cool, it was cut to pieces, the bones crushed into small bits…the Negro’s heart was cut into several pieces, as was also his liver…small pieces of bones went for 25 cents…”-The Springfield Weekly Republican, April 28, 1899

Instead it’s now online. You can watch the public lynching with just a click of your mouse. Just as in the murder of Sam Holt described above, no one will be tried for the unnecessary death of Eric Garner. The reality that exists in this country is hard to read about, and even harder to digest. But I have even more shocking news. To all my Black friends and family members…

Things are getting better.

I know at a time like this, that is difficult to hear. I know many of you are shaking your heads. You may think I’ve lost my damn mind. You may be mad at me for saying something so blasphemous. I know we still hurt for Trayvon Martin, 17, unarmed and shot dead in “self-defense”, Jonathan Ferrell, 24, unarmed and shot 10 times by the same police he was running to for help, Oscar Grant, 22, unarmed and shot dead by a transit cop who testified he accidentally grabbed his gun when he meant to reach for his taser. We still hurt for them. But for the first time in history these stories aren’t being swept under the rug. These tragedies are being scutinized and finally addressed. For the first time in history there is a national outcry of injustice and it’s not just coming from the small black communities throughout the country. It’s coming from everyone. Young Blacks, Whites, Asians, Latinos, everyone is finally having a conversation that is long overdue. The next generation is pissed off regardless of color! We’re hearing the conversation in the streets and on social media. All across the country people are marching together to demand change. To demand a better America where the laws favor the people and not the brotherhood that enforce them. Which leads me to my white friends and family members…

Don’t just be sympathetic. Be empathetic.

Sympathy is simply an agreement. In these circumstances, an agreement in grief. For example, “It is sad the police shot 41 bullets at 22-year old unarmed Amadou Diallo over a case of mistaken identity. It sucks those officers were simply acquitted.” That’s sympathy. Sympathy is specific. It is temporary. Sympathy fades away. While nice and slightly comforting it does nothing to progress us all as people. Empathy is a shared experience. A shared attitude. For example, “Sean Bell could have been my son, my brother, my husband, my fiancée, my friend. Sean Bell could have been me. These killings need to stop now”. Sean Bell was the 23-year old husband to-be who was gunned down by police the morning of his wedding. Three detectives shot more than 50 bullets at Bell and his friends. They were unarmed. The police were acquitted. Empathy doesn’t see color, or gender, or any difference at all. Empathy is deeply internal. Empathy identifies us as one human race. It makes you realize that we are all in this together. That we all want the same things in life. We want to be happy, we want to find love, we don’t want to feel that the men and women sworn to protect us are actually our biggest threat. Empathy creates solidarity. Empathy creates change. And change is what we need. No more acceptance of the murder of Orlando Barlow, 28, unarmed and shot dead by Las Vegas police while surrendering on his knees. No longer will we ignore Aaron Campbell, 25, unarmed and shot in the back while walking backwards toward Portland police with his hands locked behind his head. Empathy is sick and tired of hearing stories like these:

John Crawford, 22 – Killed in a Walmart by police for holding a toy gun he picked up off the shelf.

Victor White III, 22 – According to the arresting officers, he shot and killed himself  while handcuffed in a squad car.

Gilbert Collar, 18 – Naked (obviously unarmed) and high on LSD, was shot 30 seconds after banging on the door of a campus police station.

Kelly Thomas, 27 – Beaten to death by three police officers. He was unarmed, shirtless, and schizophrenic.

None of the police officers in these cases ever went to jail. It’s time for us to come together as a nation and demand policy change. Do it on the street. Do it online. Show up and demand change in the voting box! America isn’t going to simply change itself.  If you’re still on the sidelines, if you aren’t a minority and think police brutality doesnt affect you, remember this; those last two victims, Gilbert Collar and Kelly Thomas, are white. It’s up to the people to build a country that truly reflects the values we preach. Freedom and justice for ALL.

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One last thing in regards to the killing of Michael Brown…

If you believe that an unarmed teenager “charged” a police officer who had  his gun drawn, “charged” a police officer that had already shot at him twice? If you have taken the time to really think about that and still believe it to be true, then it is my opinion that you are a special type of stupid. If my opinion offends you, please feel free to never visit my blog again..

This is the 12th Daddy Day By Day

Thoughts on Ferguson

I have been trying to write something about Ferguson for several hours. Days even. I’ve been trying to express how I feel. I can’t. I want to shout. I want to cry. I want to burn things to the ground. If you can not understand the violence in Ferguson Missouri I’ll try to put it as simple as possible for you: this is what happens when a group of people continually get shitted on by a legal system that is suppose to protect them as equal American citizens. I’m not saying it’s right. It just is. The following blog comes from John Matthew Barlow

Matthew Barlow

emmett-till-funeral-photoThis is Emmett Till, who was murdered when he was 14 years old.  This is Emmett Till after he was abducted by a gang of men in rural Mississippi on the night of 28 August 1955.  These men, headed by local grocer Roy Bryant, pistol-whipped Till, beat him, gouged out his eye, and then shot him.  When Bryant, who was transporting Till’s body in his pick-up truck, was questioned as to what happened by an African American man, Bryant said that “this is what happens to smart niggers.”  This picture sickens me.  Till’s mother, Mamie, insisted on an open casket for his funeral so the world could see what happened to her little boy.

Last night, as I listened to the prosecutor in Ferguson, MO, and, then watched President Obama’s response, and watched the outrage on Twitter in response to the Michael Brown decision, I thought of Emmett Till.  Last…

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At The Playground

“Let’s go to the park.”

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Another one of Mommy Moneybags’s(MM) innocent sounding suggestions that would no doubt end in stress induced drinking. Just like, “we should move in together.” And “let’s have a baby!” MM arrived home from work early enough to enjoy one of the few bright weeknights left before daylight savings begins in the fall. A few months back the city “revitalized” the man-made lake that sits in the middle of downtown. It’s the Los Angeles version of Central Park expect tiny, dirty, and no one outside of Los Angeles knows it exist. I suppose a better comparison would be, its like a plastic kiddie pool that flew off of someone’s pickup truck on the 101. But that was then and this is now. Now the lake has new grass, fresh water, free wi-fi, new trees, new birds, free wi-fi, a boathouse with a diner, AND FREE WiFi!!! Before, it was a nice place to walk my dogs but for the first time it looked like a place to bring my child. When we arrived my immediate instinct was to go back home. The park was dangerously packed. MM insisted we march on. As we made our way to the playground area Donny dodged bikes, strollers, dogs, patchouli oil scented hippies, and of course the local Creepy McCreeperson. I always keep an eye out for the creepers. On our stroll to the playground Donny encountered another child that was nearly his exact age. I saw him coming from a mile away. He was out of control. Like the Looney Tunes Tazmanian Devil with a juice box. My daddy sense told me this kid was trouble. His overmatched grandparents struggled to keep up with him as he approached Donny. **SMACK** This giggling little spawn of satan just walked right up and slapped Donny in the face. I said, “Hey!” because, well, that’s all I could do. Donny didn’t retaliate though a part of me wishes he would have. Maybe he’s already learned to control his temper. It took me 30 years to learn that. I was prepared to yank the kid by the arm and wave my finger in his face but I quickly came to my senses and realized that I couldn’t just do that. Could I? What if someone took it upon themself to do that to Donny? There would probably be an arrest – mine. What are the rules in situations like this? Certainly you can’t allow your child to get smacked upside the head by strangers. Where is the line between, kids being kids, and doing my job as the protector? To his grandparents credit, they immediately apologized and told the boy “no” while trying to politely laugh it off. I guess that’s sufficient. What do I expect, a handshake, a formal letter of apology, from a 1-year-old?  I imagine if Donny would have been the one attacking another child I’d pull him to the side and make him understand, that behavior was unacceptable. At the moment I’m writing this blog Donny is flipping a box over and over in the kitchen while trying to fit different corners of it into his mouth. Maybe I need to relax on my expectations on the behavior and understanding of a toddler. After I got past “The slap heard ’round my head” (it took me much longer to get over it than MM and Donny), we continued toward the playground. We walked alongside the lake while ducks and geese called out to Donny to join them. Did I mention the lake has no guard rail.

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And its man-made so the edge of the land is literally an edge with a cliff leading to several feet of water. Donny as usual showed no fear as he repeatedly tried to join his feathery friends. Our walk turned into a drag as we endured dirty looks from other people trying to determine if we were kidnappers or just mean parents. I didn’t care how it looked. This lake was closed for two years due to the filth of the water and Donny wanted to dive right in. Not on my watch. Finally we arrived at the swings, slides, and other large plastic kiddie obstacles. I was afraid to enter. Kids were flying around everywhere with no regard for the other children and frail calcium deprived adults around them. Just getting into the area felt like walking across the track at a NASCAR race. I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It was too late to turn back now. I closed my eyes, said a quick prayer, and grabbed MM by the hand. I looked down to Donny to calm his nerves, he was gone…

 

THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – That I don’t have Ebola. And neither do you. So relax.
  2. Don’t worry there will be a continuation of this blog very soon. I’ve been told my posts are too long. I’m on the fence about shortening them. Shouldn’t we all try to read more anyway?
  3. Sports Minute – You know your team is garbage when your friends don’t even tease you anymore.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the eighth Daddy Day By Day. If the next blog is a part two to this one, should this be blog number 8.1 or 8a? If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Please click on one of the two “follow my blog” links on the right. For you mobile users the links are at the bottom of the page. Talk to you soon…

 

Remember The Time

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I can’t believe it’s already been a year. The fastest, weirdest, and at times grossest year of my life; and quite possibly the best. Seriously its been a little gross. I’ve been licked, bit, sneezed on, pee’d on and poo’d on. MM may have gotten it the worst though, she was thrown up on…IN HER MOUTH! It happened right in front of me. She was playing with Donny on the bed, laughing and holding him above her and Donny literally spit up into her open mouth. It was so FUNNY. To me. As we celebrate Donny surviving his first year of life I can’t help but reflect on all my discoveries about fatherhood. The following post are feelings shared on Facebook from the first week following the birth of our son.

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September 13, 2013

“Next time I think I’m the King of my castle, I will remember this day. I will remember my woman fighting through 22 hours of labor to bear our child. I will remember my wife completely giving up her body to bring my son into this world. I will remember my Queen not eating not drinking and eventually not being able to stand for more than two days in order to deliver our boy. And I will remember the tears in her eyes and guilt that she felt when she finally held her son hours later. Guilt because she felt she had not done enough. For real. Guilt because she felt she needed to do more. Wow. F$&%! Are you kidding me??? She is amazing! I am so lucky. [Donny] is so lucky. I may be the rock in our relationship but [MM] is the foundation that I humbly stand on. Thank you to all our friends and family for the INCREDIBLE amount of support you have shown us. However, my wife deserves all the credit. Congratulations baby! Or I guess I should say “Mommy.” After a grueling 40 hour day we finally get some rest. Much deserved rest for the woman I love so very much.”

A year later I do still remember that day. I remember how lost I was as I held him the first few times. He felt so fragile and breakable. I was way in over my head. I remember being so exhausted that I kept nodding off in the NICU while holding him in my arms. What if I would have dropped him?!?!? Talk about a “Don’t tell Mom” moment. MM is still amazing. She’s always been a great wife but now you can add Supermom to her resume. Our friends and family have continued to support us way beyond anything I could have imagined. It may only take a village but Donny has an entire country.

 

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September 18, 2013

“First night home was…ROUGH! What we have discovered about our son on his first day/night.

  1. He is a pooper. We know babies poop a lot but our son will poop, we’ll change him and within 15 minutes he will poop AGAIN (we had 5 poopy diapers in the middle of the night alone) then smile at us when he is being changed. He also has learned to shart, this was pretty funny.
  2. He also doesn’t like poopy diapers. He poops then cries immediately to be changed.
  3. He apparently only likes to sleep for 15-20 minutes at a time between the hours of 9PM-7:45Am (yes, we’ve been up all night).
  4. When he is over eating he purses his lips and will not let anything inside.
  5. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HE HAS TAUGHT US…A PACIFIER IS OUR BEST FRIEND

Donny you are truly a precious gift to us. But please, we beg you, go easy on us today. Mommy and Daddy are so tired.”

Rough doesn’t begin to describe that first night home. Even the dogs were stressed out. Our big dog paced all night. Donny still poops a lot. This is usually where I give you the bright side or a funny antidote. There is none. Baby poop is never fun.

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September 25, 2013

“This last week and a half has truly been a beautiful adventure that one can never prepare for. I am so in love with my son and have fallen even more in love with my husband. What we have created is such a precious gift of pure joy that being beyond tired doesn’t even phase me, well maybe just my memory. Mom, we are sad to see you head back home but we are so happy and thankful to have had you here as we adjust to parenthood. We love you!”

What a week. What a year. For those first few weeks I’m not sure I really liked my son. I felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility for him but to be completely honest, I didn’t know him. He was a very needy stranger that suddenly moved into my home. He always seemed mad at me. He yelled at me when he was hungry. He yelled at me when he used the bathroom. He even yelled at me because I was me and not his Mommy. Then one day something magical happened. He smiled at me. Then he laughed. He grabbed onto my finger and held it so tightly, like he was trying to tell me something. Like he was trying to say, “don’t ever leave me.” The evening of his birthday party Floyd Mayweather fought Marcos Miadana. A few of Donny’s Aunts and Uncles stayed after the party to watch the fight on pay per view. MM and I couldn’t stand the thought of cooking that evening so we ordered Chinese food that MM had to pick up. It took much longer than anticipated so right in the middle of the fight I had to prepare Donny for bed, alone. Got to stay on schedule. Downstairs there was shouting, laughter, and ooohs and ahhhs. I had been looking forward to watching this fight all afternoon. Instead I was upstairs in the bathroom with my boy. Just the two of us. I was exactly where I belonged. Where I really wanted to be. We laughed and played. I poured water over his back and he returned fire by flapping his arms in the bath water until I was wearing it. After his third attempt to eat the bubbles I finally decided to pull him out to dry off. I wrapped him in a towel and held him on my lap. I hugged him as long as he let me. I like him now. He’s not a stranger anymore. He’s my boy. He’s MY son. I love him more than I love myself. Happy Birthday kid. I’m so glad this is just the beginning.

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THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – Not everything my wife does is for Donny. He may be the main focus or the guest of honor but sometimes she plans things around him for herself. And that’s great. If she is going to dedicate her entire life to our son and to me,  then I want her to enjoy every second of it.
  2. It’s been a month since my last post. I could list all the reasons/ excuses why it’s taken me so long but instead I’ll just say thank you. Thank you to you for not un-following me in that time and thank you to my sister Skege for bugging me to post a new blog entry.
  3. Sports Minute – Raiders and A’s…dude…what more can I say. It’s going to be a long winter.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the seventh edition of Daddy Day By Day. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Please click on one of the two “follow my blog” links on the right. For you mobile users the links are at the bottom of the page. Talk to you soon…

Hail To The Thief

I snapped today. I completely lost control. My blood pressure was through the roof and before I could get ahold of myself my hands were firmly placed on the shoulders of a 18 month old. My teeth were clenched and my eyes were like dark daggers piercing into his young soul. The child’s father applied a chokehold around my neck as the baby gym workers all crowded around imploring me, begging me to release the little boy.

Maybe I should start at the beginning.

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The new trendy way to separate parents from their hard-earned money are kiddie gyms. This place in-particular is called, My Gym. My 10 month old has a personal trainer. They have fitness classes for children as young as 6 weeks. 6 weeks! Ludicrous if you ask me. At that age Donny’s neck was still weak and floppy like a bobblehead doll. Yet there I was sitting on their soft new carpet watching my son cling to a squishy blue ball for dear life. Around us, there were four or five other children. All but one was older than Donny. They were running, screaming, climbing walls, and just having fun. Donny stared at them, surely wondering what fun it must be to be a big kid. The cool kind of big kid. Not the one with back pain and a mortgage. Then one of them approached. He ran at us actually. As he quickly closed in on us my heart rate picked up, I started to fidget. Even tremble a little with excitement. This was going to be Donny’s first friend. I started daydreaming of them playing little league baseball together. Chasing down the ice cream truck on their bikes. Posing for pictures with their prom dates on the front lawn in front of a gray-haired Mommy Moneybags(MM) and myself. When the little boy reached us he extended his hand to Donny. “What a nice boy,” I thought. “So well-mannered and…HEY!” He just stole the ball from my son! And now he’s running away! Donny and I sat there stunned. Donny stared at me waiting for me to do something. I’m Daddy. I’m suppose to be all-powerful. My innocent and misinformed son sees me as the king of the world. Someone had just stolen something from the prince. I had two options. 1. Get him another ball. Probably an inferior ball. Not as soft and blue. It had to be a blue ball to match his eyes. He’s a flirt like that. Or 2. March over there and crudely snatch the blue ball back. From a 18 month old, or maybe he was 2. Heck, maybe he was 3. I can’t tell these days because Donny is so much bigger than most 10 month olds. Before I could figure out what to do the boys parents returned with the blue ball, an apology, and that boy dragging his feet behind them. I accepted the apology and Donny was happy once again. Minutes later that boy returned. This time it was a sneak attack from behind. He crept up out of nowhere. Quickly flying around my shoulder and plopping down in front of Donny. He snatched the blue ball again. “You little motherf…” I thought. But this time his parents descended on him immediately. Reprimanding him and explaining that you can’t just take things from other people (looking at you, Putin). Once again Donny seemed content to just sit there with his blue ball. The other child ran around with an orange one. Both kids seemed satisfied with their current toys so I began to daydream again, this time about lunch. A salad? In-N-Out? I was so deep into my thoughts of an midafternoon stack of pancakes that I never saw that boy approaching. He snuck up slow and quiet, like a thieving little samurai. The orange ball still in hand. Optimistically I thought he had come over to propose a trade. A chance for me to teach Donny a quick lesson on bartering. That was not the case. One ball wasn’t enough for the child. He wanted to horde. As he grasped onto the blue ball that Donny held onto so tightly, I snapped. So here we are, my hands firmly shaking this bully’s shoulders, his father’s arms around my neck, the trainers pleading with me to release the poor child. Everything started to go black as my brain struggled for oxygen. All I could hear was, “BILLY NO”. My extreme hunger combined with general fatherhood exhaustion had my mind playin` tricks on me. In reality, as soon as Billy touched the blue ball his mother and father we’re on each side of him to correct his behavior. Confrontation averted. It was time to go and get something to eat.

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I think I’ve said this before, my goal as a father is to raise a child that is happy. I’m also trying to raise Donny to be a positive influence on his environment and the world as a whole. No one person is too small. But I wonder if there is such a thing as a bad seed? A born problem child? Or is it all on the parents and the decisions they make while raising the child. The easy answer is yes. However, I’m learning that there is no such thing as “easy” when it comes to raising a child. And I’m only at the baby stage! I think Billy’s parents are great. They allow him to roam and be a kid but are quick to correct and guide him every time he does something they don’t approve of. Uncle Ben once told Peter Parker,

“With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Donny is a big kid. He’ll probably be bigger then most kids his age. If I don’t lead him in the right way he could develop bully tendencies. And under the right circumstances, that could be bad for everyone…still looking at you, Putin.

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THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – I have no idea how to react to the behavior of other people’s children. When Billy first took the ball away from my son I really was at a bit of a loss. How do you discipline a stranger’s child? Can you? You can’t just allow other people’s kids to take things away from your child without consequence. What if the other parent gets mad at your reaction because they see their child as perfect? Do you argue and fight? In front of your kid??? AUGHH. This parenting thing is getting more complicated everyday.
  2. The response off of my previous blog post has been overwhelmingly positive. I would just like to say THANK YOU. Thank you to all of you for the encouragement. When I decided to start blogging I didn’t anticipate how exposed it would make me feel. More and more I feel encouraged to open up even further.
  3. Sports Minute – I should just start calling this the Raiders minute until January. First preseason game is in the books. The offense was just that, offensive. But the running backs looked good. Hopefully it was just first game jitters. Lots of new faces, lots of chemistry to build.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the sixth edition of Daddy Day By Day. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Please click on one of the two “follow my blog” links on the right. For you mobile users the links are at the bottom of the page. I promise to try to keep you entertained to the very best of my abilities. Talk to you soon…

Shots! Shots! Shots!

Like any first time father I am completely in awe of my son. I think he’s good-looking, funny, and a very quick learner. One of his more impressive qualities is his ability to “chill”. To just “kick it”. It’s one of the qualities that made me fall in love with Mommy Moneybags(MM). But let’s be honest, he gets it from his daddy. He seems to adapt well to whatever environment he finds himself in. As long as it’s not his Aunt Skegee’s house. Donny likes to save his crying fits for the date nights that she babysits. Fortunately, she doesn’t seem to mind. His amazing adaptation skills were on full display when we took him to a bar. Before you judge, I didn’t know it was a bar at first. A good friend of mine was celebrating his birthday at a nice spot down by the beach. Just a few steps away from the sand. He knew I would have my son with me so I assumed he was inviting us to meet him at a classy respectable establishment. Where children were free to run and play while their parents smiled, drank tea, and paid limited attention to them. Like a Chuck E. Cheese’s or Target. My friend’s parents were even going to be there. Like everything else at a beach, parking was expensive and a pain. In the parking lot it was a struggle to dodge all the assorted beachbums. Surfers, dreadheads, and bikers were everywhere. One hippie after another continued to stagger out in front my car as I searched for a spot. When we finally made it to the restaurant I had no hesitation going inside. It looked like a restaurant. There were tables outside, people were eating, children were smiling, dogs were begging. Then we went inside. It was noisy, crowded, and had a huge bar in the middle with lots of obscure sounding beers on tap. What good restaurant doesn’t have these things? I quickly found my buddy with his parents and the conversation and laughter began. By the time MM realized that we were in fact in a bar it was too late to leave. I had already ordered a burger and had a cold beer in hand. I was commited. My first instinct was to leave. I thought Donny couldn’t possibly be enjoying himself here. But when I really stopped to see how he was responding everything seemed ok. It was a beautiful day, we were by the beach, and Donny had already adapted to the bar scene. MM and I took turns holding Donny while sharing a scrumptious black bean burger and beer. Naturally my boy was hamming it up. Flirting with every woman who walked by. Flashing his signature grin and staring with his pretty eyes that seem to charm everyone he meets. It was turning out to be a really nice afternoon. A relaxing sunday with friends. Plus I had an excellent little flirty charming…umm…buddy with me. MM would prefer I not think of him as a wingman. However, there was one misstep. As the noise level grew we decided to go ahead and retire to the beach. As I waited to pay and tip our polite and hardworking waiter MM decided to take Donny outside. That’s when he lost his cool. Like a drunken frat boy Donny reached out and grabbed the hair of the prettiest girl he saw. He yanked and wouldn’t let go. How could I have let this happen? How could I let so much time pass without teaching him the finer points of being a gentleman. At least the basics; Compliment her dress, be polite to her parents, never grab her hair. But it was too late. The deed was done. The only thing left to do was walk over and take one for the team. The impending open-handed slap across the face. As I started toward them I could see her turn around to confront her attacker. To stare into the eyes of this brute whose father had clearly failed to teach him any manners. She turned and peered deeply into his bright blue eyes while simultaneously slowly turning into mush. Seconds later it was all giggles and baby talk. She thought it was adorable! Man, this kid gets away with everything.

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When I reflect on that afternoon, I do think of all the life lessons there are to teach him. There are so many that I fear I’ll never have time to teach him all that I know. In this case, how to treat the opposite sex. I made plenty of mistakes when I was young. Mistakes that could have easily been prevented. Perhaps with guidance and knowledge as well as setting expectations for his behavior, he won’t make those same mistakes. We’ll start with the basics. When we are out we shall always hold the door and let MM enter first. We’ll introduce ourselves confidently with a smile and a handshake. And we will NEVER EVER freely yank on a woman’s hair.

THREE THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – There’s this growing opinion that double spacing after periods is incorrect and unnecessary. I’ve even heard it described as rude. But it’s what I’ve always been told. Sold to me as truth. I decided to try it for this post. It feels so wrong. Do any of you have an opinion on this rising controversy?
  2. MM and I never fight. Seriously we don’t. We didn’t decide not to ever fight, we just don’t. It’s pretty cool. However, there is something brewing. A possible rift between us…over apple juice. Lately the room has chilled whenever those two words are uttered. Maybe I’ll write about it in further detail.
  3. Sports Minute – I owe an apology to Jurgen Klinsmann and the US men’s soccer team. At times they played pretty good. There were some bad mistakes but overall I thought they looked good. They still only went 1-2-1 but it gives me hope for the future of US soccer.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the fourth edition of Daddy Day By Day. A very delayed post due to the World Cup. I have a serious sports addiction. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Talk to you soon…

My Chick Bad

Thursday started like any other day, but ended like no thursday before it. Taking the dog out at night is my job seven days a week. So when Mommy Moneybags(MM) randomly decided to relieve me of that duty Thursday night, I should have been suspicious. I was not. Maybe it was the wine, or maybe it was the merciless beating I was giving her in gin rummy. When I began to wonder what was taking her so long I heard our dog bark, then yelp, then whine. I jumped up from my seat and hurried to the door fist clenched and prepared to defend my woman. I was panicking a little. I always trust my dog to protect my family when I’m not around. He’s a 80 pound pit bull mix with the bark of a lion. Yes, I understand lions are cats but I’m trying to paint a picture here. He’s a wild animal. An untammed beast. Something or someone outside had reduced him to a squirrel. As soon as I reached the door a tall shadowy figure emerged. The first thing I noticed were his weapons. Numerous metallic canes tucked behind him in a bag. He also carried another bag that he dragged behind him on wheels. Similar to a rolling suitcase. Exactly like a rolling suitcase. It was a rolling suitcase. Then I saw his face. The evil smirking face of my best friend, Doc. At that point everything became a blur of shock and confusion. I stood there with my mouth open babbling trying to make sense of why he was at my front door at 10PM on a Thursday 500 miles from home. Before my brain could put together anything close to an intelligent sentence MM handed me an envelope. It was an early Father’s day card. Inside was a golf resort reservation confirmation. Tucked behind that was a golf reservation for Saturday, and behind that a reservation for Sunday. All for two.  MM and Doc were in cahoots! The following morning she sent us on our way with my favorite spirit and a smile. Happy (early) Father’s day indeed!

I keep asking her why she did this for me? Why is she so damn good to me? I would have been happy with a tie. A nice lunch. A pan of her moist delicious banana bread would have been sufficient. Her response has remained the same, “because you deserve it.” This is my wife. She’s smart, kind, she’s completely selfless.  The only one she seems more devoted to than me is our son. And she can bake a mean banana bread! My chick is bad! We may not have the most money, or toughest dogs, and certainly nothing resembling a cool active social life, but we have each other. I have her. I can’t imagine a life better than this one.

This past weekend I didn’t change Donny’s diapers. Not once, for three whole days. I didn’t mix up a bottle, I didn’t clean up a mess, and the only clothes I changed were my own. I did play golf, poorly. I also ate my food while it was hot, drove fast, and drank too much for three whole days. Last weekend I was not living the Dadlife. I was living the fun irresponsible life of my 20s. I imagine there’s some Dad out there reading this and wondering how this Dad could be so lucky. It’s actually really simple; marry the greatest wife in the world.

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THREE THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – Size doesn’t matter. Donny’s six tiny teeth feel like a full-grown piranha on my finger.
  2. MM likes to dump her sweaty gym bag out on the couch in the morning and leave it there. We were made for each other.
  3. Sports Minute – Heat in 7 but I don’t feel good about it.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the third and completely unplanned edition of Daddy Day By Day. I’ll try to have another one out for Father’s Day but it might be little late. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Talk to you soon…

Hi, My Name Is…

My boy is a genius! Seriously, he is a Albert Einstein, Galileo type genius. We bought the Fisher Price “Baby’s First Blocks” set. It’s basically a box with different shaped and colored blocks that fit through the appropriate shaped openings on the lid. So far he just does the basic baby stuff with it. Sticks to his favorites. Waves them in the air. Puts them in his mouth. However, the other day he did something remarkable. My wife (MM) and I sat on the floor with him and his blocks. As he banged away with them we took turns teaching him the colors of the blocks and pointing to the hole with the matching shape. Then it happened. He picked up the red triangle, looked at the holes, looked at the triangle, and gently placed the block through the correct triangle-shaped hole. He’s only 8 months. GENIUS! Doogie Howser has got nothing on Donny! My wife (MM) and I clapped and yelled and applauded. Right before I could get up and grab the champagne from the fridge he erupted. Shocked and frightened he screamed and lunged for his mommy. We’re starting to learn that babies don’t appreciate sudden loud and aggressive displays of affection. I can’t blame him. I don’t think I would care for huge people screaming and clapping at me every time I put my keys correctly into the door as opposed to my mouth. When I really think about it, me and my son are similar in a lot of ways. So, what better way to introduce myself, then through him.IMG_4028
More and more I’m beginning to realize that Donny is a chip off the old handsome block. For one, I’ve never been a big sleeper. Neither is my son. At the latest he’ll sleep in until 7:30. Let me repeat that. At the latest. On occasion he’s up at 6. I’ve always been a late to bed early to rise guy. In a good mood and ready to go at the crack of dawn. Which is working out great for this drastic lifestyle change called parenthood. My wife (MM) has never said anything but I’m sure she finds it slightly annoying. MM is the complete opposite. The poor woman hasn’t slept late in a year. She loves sleep. Cherishes it. She once slept through an entire 7 night Caribbean vacation. Practically. In my opinion.

Donny and I also don’t care for eating old dead animal carcasses. We’re fruit and veggie guys. A few weeks ago I made a delicious puree of chicken, carrot, and potato. He loved it initially but hasn’t cared for it since. Which is like me. I gave up meat 13 months ago. For no other reason than it didn’t taste good to me anymore, just like Donny. I thought after a little break I would go back but it never happened. 13 months later I realize I’ll never eat meat again. I feel better now then I’ve ever felt in my life. Over the past year I’ve developed a real passion for the health benefits of not eating other animals. As my best friend, Doc, has said “[I’ve] become one of those annoying militant vegetarians.” I think he’s right.

Donny is becoming a homebody. His body seldom actually leaves the home. Same as me. A few months after Donny was born, my wife, Mommy Moneybags(MM), decided the best caretaker for her child was right under her nose. Or shall we say right on top of oh nevermind. The point is that after countless dead-end jobs it was time for me to take on my greatest challenge. My first meaningful job. Watching and raising the most precious thing she’s ever held. Let that sink in. She choose me. It’s an honor. A privilege. I’ve never felt so much pressure in my life. I really can’t screw this one up. The great thing is I’m starting to discover that I’m actually pretty good at this. I can totally do this. And do it well. I can raise a child that’s smart, confident, healthy, and most importantly I can raise him to be a positive contributor to the world we all share. I can be the Michelangelo of fathers. And that’s exactly what I plan to do.

There’s more to that story about the blocks. Soon after Donny put the triangle-shaped block into the correct hole he grabbed the second triangle and attempted to bang and force it through the square hole. After a few unsuccessful tries he lost interest. So much for my genius. He then began searching for his favorite block. The blue circle. Seeing it trapped inside the box with the lid firmly placed on top I could see his face drop. Defeat began to well up under his eyes. I couldn’t stand seeing him this way. I began to move toward the box but before I could get close enough he put his hand out to me, open palmed, strong, and confident. Like Babe Ruth calling his shot.** He looked me right in the eye as if to say, “I got this.” Then like a crazed mix between Godzilla and King Kong he ripped off the yellow unattached lid that stood between him and his ultimate goal. He then threw it to floor and ROARED at it in a way that can only be described as the T-Rex from Jurassic Park mixed with Howard Dean’s campaign killing scream of ’04. He then stared at his prize. I could see the wheels turning. He was considering his options. He slowly placed both hands on the side of the exposed red box and threw it as far as he could! Blue and yellow and red and purple pieces flew in every direction. Every block was now available to him. They were free. Next he slowly crawled to the blue circle he originally sought and stuffed it into his mouth. Then it hit me… he IS a genius! He’s a liberator! He’s a freedom fighter!!!

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** He might have just been trying to steady himself. He’s still learning to balance the enormous size and weight of his head with the gravitational pull of the floor.

THREE THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – If I’m going to let my son play around on the bed with me…DO NOT fall asleep. I can’t elaborate. MM reads this.
  2. Being a stay-at-home dad gives me a lot of time to graze. Like a cow in an endless field of grass. It’s not always junk food but I’m constantly eating none the less. My son sees this. Daddy stuffing his face at all hours of the day. Am I setting a bad example? Should I start hiding a stash of vegetables, fruits, and cheez-its in the bathroom?
  3. Sports Minute – The World Cup is upon us! I will be glued to the television for the next 5 weeks. Not to watch the USA though. Sorry to inform you casual fans but we’re probably going 0-3 and out. Our preliminary group opponents include: Germany – one the best teams on the planet. Currently ranked #2 in the world. My pick to win it all. Portugal – always a strong team which just happens to have arguably the best player of this generation in his prime. Christiano Ronaldo. And he’s really good-looking. I’ll admit it. And last but certainly not least, Ghana – on paper they’re the US’s best chance for a win. Too bad Ghana has eliminated the USA from the past two World Cups. Sport that red white and blue while you can. I have a feeling we’ll be out in a hurry.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the second edition of Daddy Day By Day. If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at daddydaybyday@gmail.com or simply comment below. Talk to you soon…

I Got 99 Problems But A Bib Ain’t One

The morning my son was born I posted a photo from The Lion King to my Facebook page. I’m reminded of this today while watching my son attack a spoonful of sweet potato. Like a lion cub devouring a gazelle my boy has no regard for flavor, patience, or cleanliness. He accentuates this point by ripping down his bib after every satisfying mouthful. Right before tossing it to the floor and smearing sweet potato from his mouth unto every bit of the table he can reach. Ahh, the Dadlife. Because his verbal skills haven’t quite develop yet over the past 7 months I am left to ponder the meaning of this. Is it satisfaction? Or is it protest? The baby rights movement of 2014? As a first time Dad of an amazing little boy I feel it’s my duty to decode these things. To understand him. To make sense of all his baby behaviors and ramblings. Thus far these are the three things keeping me up at night:
1. Rasberrying – At first I thought he was bored…with me. Showing it in the most blatantly boorish way possible. Just being a real baby jerk about it. Fortunately, my wife(MM) came to the rescue of my ego and said that it couldn’t possibly be that. There’s no way he could have discovered the lameness of his father’s jokes and dancing so soon. Instead I’ve decided that he has simply discovered his own spit. Not only that, Donny(my son) has discovered that he can produce an endless supply. So far it looks like he plans on storing it in my shirt and on my face. Dadlife. If we don’t get through this phase soon Donny is going to flood the house. Should I be worried?
2. Baby Dancing – Normally this shouldn’t be an issue that needs my attention. Normally babies dance to the appropriate baby approved jingles. Not my boy. He does get really excited for The Hotdog dance on Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse. He even likes to groove back and forth to Boogie Nights by Heatwave. However, lately he has become entranced with a different soothing melody. A television commercial for Captain Morgan white rum. For several months one of my favorite programs, Pardon The Interruption, has been sponsored by Captain Morgan. They have religiously been running a commercial featuring the song Double Bubble Trouble by M.I.A. While I initially thought he liked the song I have come to conclusion that it is the actual commercial he enjoys. Either Donny is mesmerized by the hypnotizing combination of color and sound that this high-definition slow motion commercial provides, or his happy hour starts somewhere around 5:30EST and he’s waiting for me to mix him up a drink. Captain and milk? Should I be worried?
3. Fake cough/ laugh? – At first it was funny, then kind of cute. Then it got troubling. Was it asthma? Some allergy? The asbestos in the house?!?!? Don’t worry, there is no asbestos in our home. The trouble is MM and I don’t know if it’s a real cough or just a noise he likes to make. Often it sounds like a laugh and is accompanied with his smile. He does seem quite amused with himself when he does it. And he does it all the time. It’s difficult to imitate and he won’t do it on command making it impossible to replicate for our pediatrician. I am admittedly at a loss with this one. Should I be worried?

In the 7 months I’ve been a father there have been countless highs and zero lows. Sure there has been rough days but in the end it’s never that bad. As I continue to try to decode this rubric cube that is my son I have to remember not to worry about every little thing he does that I can’t figure out. I’m learning that to be a parent is to worry, but worry just holds you back.

“Much human misery arises from people despairing over things that despair cannot help. We should not worry about things that no amount of worrying will resolve. The important thing is to build a golden palace of joy in our hearts that nothing can disturb.” – Daisaku Ikeda

THREE THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – Invest in bibs with higher quality velcro in the back
  2. MM and I became interested in seeing the film Fed Up (fedupmovie.com). A documentary challenging Americans to break our addiction to sugar. 2 days later she baked a chocolate pie. It was delicious.
  3. Sports Minute – My beloved Oakland Raiders drafted 3 defensive backs in the 2014 draft. They have drafted 17 defensive backs in the last 10 years. 1 has panned out. 1!!! May the curse finally be broken.

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Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the first edition of Daddy Day By Day and I plan on writing many more. If you have any questions, comments, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to share. Talk to you soon…