That’s not funny.

It seems to me, that when entering the world of having children, we are expected to leave our sense of humor by the door. Joking is permitted in nearly all aspects of our lives, with the exception of infants and children.

Shortly after the birth of my first daughter, Hannah, my mother-in-law arrived at our house and asked where the new baby was. I simply answered, “I put her in the clothes dryer to take a nap.”

She did not find it to be the least bit funny, and in fact, you would have thought that I had just committed a murder right in front of her. At this point, I probably should have simply explained that I was just only joking, but then my razor sharp wit took over and I added, “I tried putting her in the dishwasher but I could still hear her crying.”

This sent her into a rage, “YOU DON’T EVEN JOKE ABOUT SUCH THINGS!”

It would seem to me, that when it comes to joking about sticking infants into appliances, the general consensus is that if I joke about it, then I have to actually do it.

I have an entire list of things that Mom’s and Mother-in-laws don’t find humorous when it comes to children:

Painting their faces to look like Alice Cooper (but if you decide to do this anyway, MAKE SURE it is not a permanent marker you are using for face paint).

Fake snakes in the diaper.

Setting them on the porch with “For Sale” signs pinned to their clothing.

And it’s not just my wife that doesn’t find any humor in my antics. One time when I was left alone with my two daughters and four of their cousins while all the mothers went shopping, a young niece started singing, “The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round.”

Before long, all of the other kids had joined in, and after ten minutes of the same phrase being repeatedly sung by six loud children, my sanity began to wear thin. To make the concert more bearable, I decided to compose a second verse to the song, and have them perform it when all the mothers arrived home from shopping.

The second verse went like this, “The cheeks on my butt make lots of sound, lots of sound.”

The six of them performing this new verse in front of their mothers did not go over any better than the daughter in the dryer joke. You would have thought I had taught them all to swear like sailors. In fact, one of my sister-in-laws still won’t let me watch her children alone to this day.

Perhaps my brand of humor is a bit much when talking about something as precious as our little children. But I think everybody could lighten up a little bit too . . . because if you don’t, I will come to your house, and glue your children’s feet to the ceiling and wrap them in Christmas tree lights . . .

That is a joke, I would never glue their feet to the ceiling because the blood rushing to their heads would make them pass out. I would only glue children’s feet to the floor.

What it means to be a Dad.

Being a dad means vomit on the front of your shirt, poop on your hands, and magic marker on the walls. It means late night fevers, tools found rusting on the lawn, throw and catch lessons with future major leaguers, tea parties with princesses, science projects that are beyond Einstein’s capabilities, wicked arguments, pride beyond what words can express, anger that’s hard to contain, countless worries, and love beyond measure.

Being a dad means I would do anything to help you become the best you that you can be, even if you don’t like me for making you strive to be that better person.

Being a dad means hoping that when all the battles of strong wills pass, I will still get a hug and an “I love you, Dad.”

Happy Father’s Day!!!

Thank you!

I want to sincerely thank all of you who stick around and read my nonsense. I feel so bad that I just can’t find time to visit all of your blogs more often. Summer is such a busy time at work for me, and the few hours I have to devote to creative persuits has to be divided between blogging, cartooning, and carving log furniture.

I wish I could have one whole day a week to devote to blogging and actually put effort into promoting my own, but congress has turned a deaf ear to my 8 day week lobbying efforts.

Thank you all very much! 

Here are a few photos of my other projects:

   
   

The Behaviorizer.

What if I told you that there was a device that you could purchase, that when plugged in and turned on, it would emit and energy field that caused children to calm down. Not just calm down, but actually sit silently and trouble free for as long as you want.

Right now, many of you battle-weary parents are thinking, “That would be WONDERFUL!! If only there was such a device!!!”

Well, there is . . . . . . it’s called a television, I call it the BEHAVIORIZER!

Now I know that as parents, we are not supposed to let our children watch too much TV. Some of you may not even let your kids watch it at all.

Before my wife and I had our own children, we would make lofty decrees that our children would not be boob-tube zombies. Our children would entertain themselves playing outdoors, creating art, and doing things together as sisters.

I have since learned that playing outdoors, creating art, and doing things together as sisters involves large amounts of messes, destruction, arguing, fighting, and effort on the part of the parents to exercise some form of order and control.

This is where the Behaviorizer comes into play. It involves none of those things. It’s so effective that it’s hard not to take advantage of its bluish, hypnotic glow.  HOURS! . . .  They will sit for hours, maybe days, and not move a muscle . . . I’m not even sure if they blink. I always keep a spray bottle of water in the living room in case their little eyeballs dry out, and I have to give them a squirt to keep them from squeaking when they move.

I’ve read and heard all the bad things that television can do to children. I’ve even heard it said that TV can destroy parts of their developing brain. But sometimes I think that if it’s destroying the part of their brain that makes them run around like savages destroying everything in their path . . .  maybe that was a part of the brain that needed to be destroyed in the first place. I mean, I’m sure they never would have performed lobotomies on people if they didn’t have a positive outcome. . . . . Right?

There are many other positive sides to television as well. It has made me aware of several products that I need to buy. Some of these products I didn’t even know existed until TV showed them to me, and I realized that I couldn’t live without them.

And you can’t deny the benefit of being able to watch history unfold before your eyes either. In my life, I have been able to see live, in color, many landmark moments in time, such as Evil Knieviel jump over a couple dozen buses, the mysterious transformation of “Bewitched” husband Darren Stevens from one person to a completely different person with no explanation, and David Letterman drive around in a convertible with a back seat full of tacos.

And without TV, children couldn’t spend hours developing hand-eye coordination by playing video games or learn about the cruelty of video war, or alien invasions.

I know as a parent, that I should limit my children’s TV watching and video gaming, but once you’ve experienced the calm and quiet that it can produce as it slowly turns your child’s brain into oatmeal, it’s hard to go back. It’s like I’m Luke being lured over to the Dark Side.

The Dark Side has control.

The Dark Side has POWER!

Gerald the Tree Frog.

  Meet Gerald. One can not tell my story of the last few years without including Gerald.

Last spring, a wave of tree frogs appeared in our yard and on our house and my shed. One particular frog soon found that he had access to an unlimited supply of bugs if he sat on top of our porch light at night.

I soon became accustomed to the little fellow’s presence on his dinner light and named him Gerald. I was always careful to make sure that his bug light was turned on.

Throughout the course of the year, I realized that Gerald might be benefiting a little too much from the bug buffet. He began to pack on some chub.

 
  I had been posting about Gerald on Facebook, and as his girth increased, so did concern over his health (can frogs have too high cholesterol?). There was pleading from Facebook friends to “TURN OFF THE LIGHT FOR HEAVENS SAKE!!!”

I considered flinging him out into the yard once a day to force him into jogging his way back to his light top perch, but I was too much of a softy and never followed through.

Anyhow, this spring I was very excited when this guy showed up on top of the light. 


But after doing an in depth analysis of the markings on his back, I realized it wasn’t Gerald. 

I can’t help but think that he is a relative of Gerald’s, and that Gerald might be responsible for pointing him in the direction of the bug gluttony light. Thus his name is Gerald II.

I’ve come to love my tree frogs and hope they return every year. . . . . And as Tom Bodette would say in the motel commercials, “I’ll leave the light on for you.”