Why Tom Cotton is Wrong about LGBT Rights

Matthew Barlow

Last week, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) had a very clear message to LGBT folk in the United States: “In Iran they hang you for the crime of being gay.” This comes as Cotton’s defence of the now amended Defence of Religious Freedom Act passed by the Indiana legislature the week before.

So this is what is has come to.  A senator of this country is telling a group of its citizens that they’re lucky they don’t live in Iran.  In other words, shut up.  For Senator Cotton the United States should not strive to be leader of human rights in this world.  In his mind, the country should just forget the statement that “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal.”  Nope.  We should just forget what the State Department says on its webpage:

The protection of fundamental human rights was a foundation stone…

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Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

Does anyone remember the movie Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956/remade 1978)? People replaced by alien impostors grown in pods all over California. Plans to take over the world one small town at a time. Ring a bell? For you younger folks how about Puppet Masters(1994)? Alien parasites hopping on the backs of unsuspecting humans. Controlling their minds and behavior with plans to take over the world one small town at a time. Sound familiar? Ok last one, The Faculty(1998)? Alien centipede like creatures… yada yada yada the same old Hollywood crap, aliens take over the world one small town at a time. My point is this: it happened. Aliens are real. They got my kid.

Lets give the infecting alien a name. Neck Chi Pox, or NCP for short. Our small fight for humanity started innocent enough. Donny came down with a low-grade fever and unquenchable thirst for water and cartoons. His demeanor seemed relatively the same. Not quite as energetic as usual which is actually a welcomed break for me. I failed to take his temperature throughout the day which proved to be a mistake. When MM(Mommy Moneybags) finally arrived home it was discovered that his temperature was 103.5. Over the next 48 hours his temperature fluctuated between 100 and lava. He was miserable and made no attempt to hide it. My normally charming and playful son had been replaced by an emotionless fire skinned creature from Uranus. Well, he did show one emotion, anger. He was kind of an asshole…from Uranus. By day three I started to panic and took him to see his pediatrician. I was told he simply had a cold and to treat his fever with baby Tylenol. That only pissed the NCP off more.

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Once the fever was under control the real horror started. At this point the alien had complete control of Donny and it started after MM. It did most of its plotting at night which was quite clever. NCP kept Donny up at all hours screaming and whining thus preventing myself or MM from sleeping. Instead of being able to tackle Donny’s sickness as a team all we did was turn on each other. I ended up in the doghouse for not sharing the last of a two-day old chocolate chip cookie. It was damn worth it but that’s not the point. All he wanted was his mommy. He was completely uninterested in any comfort Dad could provide. He threw tantrums whenever I came near him. He wouldn’t even let her go to the bathroom without being by her side. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Daddy’s boy was gone. I was hurt. I was jealous. Dear old Dad had suddenly become chopped liver.

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On the 5th day we decided MM couldn’t possibly suffer through another sleepless night. We decided Donny would toss and turn with me in our bed while MM got a much deserved evening of peace on the guest bed. That night I endured slaps to the face and kicks to the arm, ribs, and testicles. For real. I think he kicked me in my nuts on purpose. It was awful. Donny’s barrage of sickness induced violence finally ended around 3AM and he fell asleep. When I woke up a few hours later 1/3 of my body was literally hanging off the bed. Donny, like his mother, had completely overrun my side of the bed. He needed as much sleep as possible so I decided to just stay still and suffer. As I laid there hot and hanging off the bed with my bladder feeling like a beavers dam trying to hold back Niagara Falls, it hit me. This is what it’s like to be a Father. Most of his life I’ve been so consumed with being his Dad that sometimes I neglect my most important responsibility. Being his father. Being his Dad is awesome and fun. Dad gets to wrestle on the floor and play at the park. Dad gets to post cute pictures on social media and watch the “likes” pile up. Being Donny’s father means taking his temperature before it gets out of hand.  Not feeling bad about sticking a thermometer up his butt. Being Donny’s father means getting over yourself. Accepting that sometimes a kid just wants his Mama. When Donny finally woke up it was clear he had defeated Neck Chi Pox. It gave me a very unexpected sense of accomplishment. I didn’t do anything directly to heal my son. I was just there. There for a kid whose life suddenly feels more important than my own.

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THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – The “Neck Chi Pox(Chic Ken Pox)” has a new name, Roseola. Which is what Donny had. I know viruses can mutate and based on the symptoms of Roseola it sounds like the chicken pox has simply outmaneuvered the vaccination. Plus once your child gets it they become immune to it. I’m no doctor but it sounds like the chicken pox to me. 2015 Vintage
  2. I’m starting to hate cupcakes. The next disappointing cupcake I have might spur on a profanity laced rambling about the sorry state of the once proud cupcake. I’ve always wanted to write one of those angry blogs.
  3. Sports Minute – It’s finally going to happen. I don’t want to jinx it any further than that.

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the fifteenth Daddy Day By Day. I have about three or four half written posts for this much neglected blog. Hopefully they’ll all be completed and posted within the next two to three weeks. Thank you for being patient. 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…

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…

The Man That Rocks The Cradle

It feels like its been a year since my last blog post. It has been a year since I last punched a clock. It was this week in 2014 that I officially became a stay-at-home Dad. For the past year I’ve lived primarily in sweatpants and cargo shorts. I usually shower well after midday, and rarely shave more than twice a month. While this may sound like a slacker’s wet dream it is far more work than it seems. It took a long time to get used to what turned out to be a pretty extreme lifestyle adjustment.

When I talk to older men I am often asked, “Do you change diapers?” Are there fathers out there that don’t? In my head I have a quick-witted response along the lines of, “Faster than a pit crew changes tires” or “I wipe Donny’s butt cleaner than a fat kid licks his plate!” But what comes out is usually a hushed and nervous sounding, “Me? Oh yeah, it’s no big deal.” I hate that question because the one that usually follows is, “What do you do for work?” or “How’s the job going?” When I tell them that I stay home it comes out sounding quiet, ashamed, and embarrassed. The only reason is because I, like so many, hold this misguided stigma about men who stay home and have the audacity to personally raise their children. “That’s women’s work!” “It’s unnatural!” Unnatural? Taking care of my kid??? Penguins do it, why can’t I? It took almost a full year to accept that I could be more to my family than a paycheck. That I could trade in my 40 hour work week for a 168 hour one. That I could strive to be the foundation of my family. That was then and this is now. I have finally embraced the role that life has led me to. I have found the self-worth that initially escaped me. That sounds silly to me, now. My old job sucked! I had somehow brainwashed myself into thinking it was better than the amazing opportunity MM had given me. The work I do today will actually have an impact on someone’s life. The work I do now has a chance to change the world! For better or for worse. I have a kid and I get to raise him MY way. The control freak in me loves that.

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Mommy Moneybags(MM) has on numerous occasions said to me, “I don’t know how you do it. I don’t think I could.” And she’s right, I don’t think she could do what I do. The level of patience and sanity needed is inhuman. I can barely do it. I’m constantly exhausted and hungry. Repeatedly hauling 30lbs of squirming screaming baby up the stairs while trying to ignore the thick scent of urine and poop. Then dragging the remaining 28lbs of a slapping kicking child back down the stairs in hopes that he’ll sit still long enough for Dad to add three sentences to his blog.

The house is usually a mine field of rubber balls, Blu-ray discs, and razor-sharp Lego’s. Spending my days in an obstacle course, snacking on cheez-its, and being bombarded by a toxic scent doesn’t always leave me at my sharpest. Slip ups happen all the time. If MM only knew some of the things that have gone down without her knowledge. For instance, Donny rolled off of our bed when he was just a baby…twice…and once off the futon! It feels good to get that off my chest. While I’m at it, he also fell down the stairs. (If you never hear from me again MM should be your prime suspect.) Sometimes when Donny is running through the house and falls I simply let him lay there and cry. Not all the time but there are moments when I wait for him to get up, dust himself off, and calm himself down without Daddy’s help.

That’s what I really enjoy about being a stay-at-home Dad. Parenting MY way. Our days consist of less PBS, more ESPN. Less soothing nurture, more ill-advised adventures. Under my watch Donny will learn to pee standing up before most boys his age. I may be doing the work that is traditionally performed by Mom, but I can’t ever be her. It’s simply not in my DNA. There is no such thing as Mr. Mom. Just a Dad and his son. A man and his boy.

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THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – Several male animal species take care of their young. Among them are the Red Fox, Barking Frog, Seahorse, Horned Owl, Homosapian, and of course the mighty Emperor Penguin.
  2. There are two sides to every story. As much as a role reversal this might be for me, its even more so for MM. And she’s performing beautifully in her role.
  3. Sports Minute – For the first time in my lifetime I am a proud fan of the best basketball team in the NBA. Go Dubs!

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the thirteenth Daddy Day By Day. I’ve picked up some new followers as of late which has been very exciting. Thank You. 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.

http://youtu.be/GQwlfXdDDYA

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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Iesha

Have you ever tuned into the Discovery Channel or National Geographic and watched a crocodile hunt? They are very sneaky creatures. Their prey seldom ever see them coming. One minute you’re with the fellas sipping water by the pond, telling jokes, flirting with the ladies, the next minute you’re spinning around underwater with your head down some crocks throat. Whether Iesha had been underneath the entire time or ran over when I wasn’t paying attention remains a mystery to me. Before she practically appeared out of thin air we were all smiles. I picked Donny up and placed him on top of the slide and nervously let go. He slid slowly bouncing off the walls violently thrashing side to side and finishing his awkward tumble back to earth with a smile. Success. He demanded another ride and I obliged. The slide we were playing on was a two person slide with a plastic barrier in-between.  This time when we made it up to the top there was another child his age. A girl! She wasn’t much of a looker to be honest. Then again I met my wife unshaven and hungover trying to push through a morning shift at work. Maybe the little girl, like myself, cleaned up nice. She wasn’t much of a fashionista either. Some weird ruffled top paired with flower spotted pants. Why do we dress our kids up in such odd attire? Clothing we wouldn’t be caught dead in? Now you may be thinking, would you Daddy Donnell rock the Charlie Brown costume/shirt in public that you’ve forced onto your son? The answer is: hell no. But he can pull it off. Back to Donny and my future daughter-in-law; they made long eye contact. At least 8 seconds which is a creepy amount of time to be making eye contact with someone and not talking. Go ahead and stare at the person nearest you and count out 8 seconds in your head. The other person will probably complain. I did it to my wife,  Mommy Moneybags(MM), and she even thought something was wrong with me. My instinct was to try and give him some fatherly advice on dating and how to talk to girls. Rock solid advice like, look open and friendly, smile, be casual, try putting your hand on your hip, wear khakis. I’m really not very good at this. I decided it would be better for me to just step aside and let him work his magic. Right as he began to introduce himself he slowly began to lose his battle with gravity and went tumbling down the slide. All was not lost. She was still there. Perhaps waiting for him to come back? She even seemed to be giggling at him. He made her laugh! Smooth move my boy! I picked him up dusted him off and began to return him to the top of the slide beside her. As we reached the summit she appeared. Iesha. Like a crocodile rising out of the river. Ready to devour his game. She was a big kid and mean looking. Snarling and gashing her teeth. Even Donny’s poorly dressed friend seemed frightened. Seeing as we had just gone down the slide it seemed only fair to me that Donny stand to the side and allow the new kid to go down. That’s only fair, right? We should teach our children to share, right? So we did. And down she went laughing all the way. Seeing as there were no other children in line Donny retook his place at the top and prepared to go down. When I looked down I noticed Iesha still in his way. Not only was she still at the bottom of the slide, she was climbing up. I was faced with a choice: I could A) Send Donny down the slide like a bowling ball forcibly clearing the blonde haired pin to the ground. This option, though appealing to me, could end up causing physical harm to my own kid as well as the child of this absent parent. Or B) I could simply pick Donny up and move on. I choose C) Defiance! I did not move Donny. I made sure he blocked her way. But she keep coming up not allowing him to slide down. I politely (in my opinion) asked her to share the slide.

“Hi, don’t you think it’s time to let someone else go down the slide?”

“NO!” she yelled.

Did this CHILD just tell me “no”? I’m the adult damnit! She’s lucky I asked at all.

“Shouldn’t you be going down the slide? I think it’s someone else’s turn”

“___” She ignored me.

I frantically searched around for the 2-3 Neanderthals that conceived yet another bad creation. There was no one to be found. MM was the only other adult in sight. I could feel my blood pressure rise and decided the best thing to do was to go with option B. In fact I was so irritated by this whole exchange that I picked up my son and left the playground.

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I don’t like children. Never have. I always knew I’d eventually end up with a kid of my own but as I grew older the thought of it became more and more unattractive. I hadn’t even held a baby until I had my own. Actually that’s not true. I held my friend Hollywood’s new-born a day after he was born. Donny was due less than a month after that so it felt right. Like I was already a father. For the first time in my life I wanted to hold a baby. But now I’m forced to interact with children and I’m reminded of why I never liked them in the first place. However, I can’t simply blame the child anymore. They’ll only do what they are allowed to do. I used to work in a restaurant and one time I had to tell three young boys to stop showing their penises to two women trying to enjoy their lunch. They were eating sausage sandwiches ironically enough. Where were the parents? Sitting a few feet away more concerned with socializing with each other than paying attention to their flashing kids. After I told the parents what was happening there was no spanking, no stern talking to, no timeout. Not even a extra buck on the tip for having to see their kid’s dick! This wasn’t some rare example of parents not watching their kids. It happened all time. The nudity part was rare. Now, that I have a son of my own I beginning to realize something, I still hate kids. And by kids, I mean parents.

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THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – The phone number for poison control is 1-800-222-1222. The operators are very nice. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste™ is non-toxic. I will say no more.
  2. I don’t understand behavior timeouts. Our dog trainer told us to give our dog Domino timeouts when he behaves poorly. So far they have been completely ineffective. In fact, I think he enjoys it. He’s a bad dog. Bad dog.
  3. Sports Minute – You know what’s cool about your favorite football team being 0-9? NOT A DAMN THING!

***BONUS THING:

I just wrote a blog about parents not paying enough attention to their kids. I then followed that up with the fact that I needed the phone number for poison control. Talk about calling the kettle black.

https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/the-surprising-reason-more-kids-are-getting-hurt-at-the-102543542767.html

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the eleventh Daddy Day By Day. Please take a peek at the article posted above. Excellent food for thought and just in time for this blog post. 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…

Where’s Ya Little Boy

…He was gone. 2 days ago, if you had told me this would happen I would have assumed that I would panic. Instead I was calm. Very calm. I think my heart rate slowed down. My stomach dropped down into my bowels. All the chaos around me turned to muted white noise. Similar to when your wife grabs you by the neck and forces your head under the lake water because you just lost her first-born like a set of #&$%ing car keys.

“Well where is he?”

“Gee, I don’t know honey, I thought I left him in my gym shorts.”

Before I turned to inform my wife of the tragedies, one of which was unfolding in my pants, I pictured Donny in my mind one last time. His expressions are what I’ll always remember about him.

IMG_2529  After only a few months in my care he knew I would eventually do something stupid. I bet he was thinking, “I wonder how Dad will screw this up”

IMG_2832Months later the realization was starting to kick in, “This guy is in way over his head.”

IMG_2720“You just lost me???”

It was time to face the music. I turned to MM and she was already in my face. Her left arm was fully extended. It felt like the slap was coming at me in slow motion. I didn’t fight it. I certainly earned a beatdown. I accepted my fate and prepared to receive the initial slap. Would it be a high placed palm slap? Somewhere in the temple area? That would be smart of her because it would probably knock me out cold thus allowing her to drag my limp body over to the lake and drown me with little to no resistance. Or would it be a lower placed finger slap to the cheek and mouth area? Another excellent choice. Those slaps are highly stingy for the dummy with a satisfying audio and visual element. The echoing smack of skin on skin contact coinciding with the sight of my face jerking 45 degrees away as spit mixed with stupid exits my mouth. I closed my eyes and waited for it. And kept waiting for it. It never came. I opened one eye just to see what was taking so long. At the end of her out stretched arm was her pointed index finger. I could tell she was still wearing her wedding ring which I took as a good sign so I opened my other eye and unclenched my teeth. She was pointing to our son. I nearly choked on all the oxygen rushing back into my lungs. I vaguely remember doves flying into the heavens. MM was pointing and laughing at his eagerness to go and play. He couldn’t wait to go and touch new things. I couldn’t wait to go and put on new underwear. Instead MM pulled me to catch up to him which turned out to only be roughly 15 or 20 feet in front of us. He didn’t know where to go at first. He just kept walking in circles. Which I thought was funny until I realized I was doing the exact same thing. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Do I follow him everywhere or is that being the paranoid overprotective parent? Do I sit and let him do his thing or is that being irresponsible and not present? Should I join the three parents sitting on the bench enjoying the FREE WIFI on their phones and tablets? This was almost as awkward as when I tried to talk to girls in my single days.

Do I look cool and inviting?

Should I put my hand in my pocket or on my hip?

On my hip???

Do I dip my chin down to show that I’m paying attention?

Now do I look creepy and possessive?

What if I tilt my chin up like I’m cool? Yeah, like a rapper. Like i’m part of the Wu

…wearing khakis.

As you can tell I sucked at dating. How I got MM to come home with me after our first date is one of the great mysteries of the cosmos. I digress, instead of joining the three blind mice at the bench I decided to stick with Donny and follow his every step. Donny was pretty aimless and it was a little dangerous considering children were literally running in all directions playing with everything. MM decided we should put him on the slide. A brilliant idea. It was a small specific area and up away from all the foot traffic. Donny had never gone down a slide before. A new experience for him! This would be fun, or at least I thought. Little did I know that underneath that slide lurked, Iesha…
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He’s always so serious

THREE  THINGS:

  1. Thing I learned today – That a congress with a 10% approval rating can achieve a 90% re-election rate. It’s truly fascinating.
  2. Yes I put the Wifey on blast up there. Sure nothing happened that night but something did happen that night. I found my wife who gifted me with my son. Trust your gut, especially when everyone else says you shouldn’t do something.
  3. Sports Minute – Football season is officially dead. To me. But how about the hot start my Golden State Warriors are off too. They’re coming for you San Antonio. There will be changing of the guard this season. Accept it Monique!

Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the ninth Daddy Day By Day. This was a continuation of blog entry 8. As you can tell there is more to this story coming soon. 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…

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…