Month: August 2016

Why I Am A Horrible Father – Reason # 10 (AKA: Hi!  I’m Chucky. Wanna play? )

About 17 years ago, before Brianna was born, there was a Teletubby toy that would say some pretty obscene things. Naturally, I bought one.  We never let her play with that Teletubby because of what it said, so it was left in the basement for years

Flash forward a few years later.  Brianna was around 5 or 6, and Jordan was just a toddler.  One night, Jenny and I hear a faint voice coming from somewhere. She checked on the girls, and I tried to find where the voice was coming from.  I finally found it coming from the heat vent in our room. After Jenny confirmed the girls were ok, I went to see who was talking in our house.  I get the dog to come with me. 

We get downstairs in the kitchen, and I can tell that the voice is repeating itself.  Over and over again, but I can’t tell what it’s saying. I get to the basement door and open it up. I could hear it say “Big Hug”.  I figured it was just some toy and that I’d better go turn it off or it will drive us nuts all night.

“Merlin, come” I said as I started walking down the stairs.  He would not follow.  I called him again.  He wouldn’t budge.  I get halfway down the steps and I felt like I was being watched. “Big Hug…Big Hug”.   “Merlin, come!”, I say sternly looking at him.  By the look he was shooting me I could tell he was thinking “You’re lucky I don’t have a middle finger, pal, or I’d be using it right now.”

It dawns on me that the voice was coming from the Teletubby that I bought years ago.  “Big Hug”

I reach the bottom step, and I see the Teletubby nearby.  One of the kids must have found it and moved it or something. “Big Hug”.  I look back at the dog.  He’s gone. So much for man’s best friend. 

“Stupid toy”, I think to myself, trying to shake the feeling I was walking into a trap.  “You’d think the batteries would be dead by now”.  I start to walk towards it. 

That’s when it said “Buh-bye”.  

I ran like hell back up the stairs with the speed of Usain Bolt. Even the dog looked impressed. 

The next morning I sent Brianna down to the basement to retrieve that Teletubby. Out of spite, I sent the dog with her.

A tribute to my father in law

Earlier today, we laid my father in law to rest. 

Jim was a kind person and the total opposite of a horrible father. He loved his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

While Jenny and I were dating, he was always nice to me. Thankfully, he didn’t share the same ideas about dealing with your daughter’s boyfriends that I have.  When his grandchildren were born, there was a light inside him that was undeniable…he loved his grandkids and loved being “Grampy”, “Grumpy”, “Bumpa” and most of all “Grandpa”. 

A few days ago, as we arrived in Jim’s birth town in Northern Wisconsin, there was an amazing rainbow over the town. I’ve never seen one like this before, and it looked like you could actually see the end of the rainbow in a field across the street from our hotel.  We’ve never seen anything like that before.  It reminded my girls of the time Grandpa took them on a walk after a rainstorm to get to the end of a rainbow.  They got as far as the end of the block, and he said it was time to come back home. They laughed at how little distance they travelled, but I remember the storms weren’t over that day so I’m sure that’s why Jim brought them back home. 

He didn’t get the kids to the end of the rainbow when they were young, but I like to think that as we arrived into town he brought the end of the rainbow to them. Because that is the kind of man he was. 

Rest in peace, Jim.  You are loved and will be missed. 

Why I Am A Horrible Father – Reason # 331 (AKA: The monster under the bed)

Earlier this summer Logan and I went camping at Cub Scouts Camp.  We stayed in tents provided by the camp.  On our first night, our troop’s camp was raided by raccoons. They got away with a few bags of chips, and that was about it. On the second night, I was awakened by this thud and rustling outside the tent. Figuring it was the raccoons again, I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.

That’s when I realized the the rustling was not near the ground, but higher up on the wall of the tent.  “Logan, what are you doing?”  He doesn’t answer.  Thinking he’s just sleeping, I roll over and try to go back to sleep.

“Maybe I should check on him”, I think to myself before drifting off again. I pick up the flashlight and shine it on his bunk. I sit up and pull the mosquito net off of his bunk. His bunk is empty! He’s gone!  His sleeping bag is gone!  The raccoons outside the tent must have dragged him off!  What am I gonna tell his mother!

I rip open the side of the tent, ready to lay a serious smack down on whatever is trying to drag away my boy. That’s when I see Logan inside his sleeping bag standing there. “What are you doing?”, I said.  “I’m trying to get back in the tent!”  “How did you get out of the tent?”

“I dunno, I just leaned against the wall and I fell out of the tent”.

“Well, crawl back in here and get to sleep ”

<Two Minutes Later>

“Dad, do you think there’s a badge for falling out of the tent?”

Why I Am A Horrible Father – Reason # 18 (AKA: Makin’ it Rain)

  One day we were heading to the airport to drop off the girls. Logan was in the back seat playing Pokémon Go. “Wow, that pokestop looks cool, dad!  Can we stop there?”

“Sure thing, buddy. After we drop off your sisters we can stop, just show me where it is on the way back” I said, feeling like the greatest dad in the world. I glanced over and Jenny was giving me the evil eye. 

“Brian, the pokestop he wants to go to is a strip club!”

“Logan, if this game is still around in 10 years I’ll take you….just don’t tell mom!”

The Horrible Father Presents: 8 Tips to Surviving The First Day Back To School

The first day back to school can be stressful for a child and – most importantly – the Horrible Father. Here are some sure-fire tips to help you get through your kids first few days back.

  1. Always leave time in the morning for the “I can’t find my stuff” debacle.  Children have a raw talent for losing things…including a brand new pair of shoes that never left the shoe box or a fully packed backpack that was placed on the kitchen table the night before.
  2. Remember: it’s the second day back that kills you. Kids never sleep the night before school starts, but they still wake up early and power through their first day of school fueled by Lucky Charms and pure adrenaline.  Don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. On Day Two they will be beasts.
  3. Never trust the school supply lists.  You will spend $600 on paper, folders, dry erase markers (odorless, of course) and Kleenex for them to bring to school, and when your kid gets home she’ll bring home ANOTHER list of essential school supplies.   Seriously, how the hell can one class go through so many glue sticks!?!  On the morning of Day Two, show that teacher who the boss is by putting extra marshmallows in your kid’s Lucky Charms.  Ahhh…Passive-Aggressive sugary goodness.
  4. This is one for The X-Files. Children’s alarm clocks all across the country will mysteriously fail on the morning of the second day of school.  The truth is out there…and you’ll find it still drooling in bed 10 minutes before it has to leave for school.
  5. Expect the unexpected. The cat will always wait until you have one foot out the door to puke. Trick that bastard by leaving 5 minutes early.
  6. After School Clubs. Your kid will want to be in most of them, and expect you to pay for all of it.  Horrible Father Tip: you have all summer to sell plasma and kidneys to pay for the camera that your child “needs” for a photography club that she will never attend. Plan ahead.
  7. Kiss your lunch boxes goodbye.  You know that if you buy a lunchbox your dog will just find it and eat it.  Convince your kids that lunch boxes are too mainstream, and only the coolest of the cool kids bring their lunches in plastic grocery bags.
  8. Congratulations! You’ve Survived back to school! Now take a couple days off of work and play Call of Duty all day in peace. You’ve earned it!

Why I Am A Horrible Father – Reason # 1031 – (AKA: Grab The Salt and Call the Winchester Boys)

One night the girls were downstairs watching TV when I get a text:

“Dad! Come quick! The TV is changing channels all by itself!”

“Sure it is.  You’re probably sitting on the remote.”

“No, I’m not! It’s ‘E’, I’m sure it’s ‘E’!”

The TV changes again, and I hear them run upstairs in a panic. The next morning, I find them both sleeping in Jordan’s room. 

My daughters have a ouija board that they bring out sometimes when they have sleepovers. Jenny told the kids that she didn’t want one in the house, but they wouldn’t listen. They have had it for over a year now, and are convinced the house is haunted by some entity named “E”.

A couple nights later, they were in the kitchen alone when they heard some spooky noises coming from the fridge. They didn’t even try to text me this time, they just ran back upstairs.  I laughed to myself, disconnected my iPad from the Bluetooth sound system on the fridge, rolled over and went to sleep. Silly children, they should have figured out long ago that the house is actually haunted by an entity named ME!

Why I Am A Horrible Father – Reason # 53 – AKA: When “Go ask your Mother” just won’t do

The best way to handle when your teenage child is pestering you about something they want (but you don’t want them to have it), is to redirect the conversation.  I have found the single best conversation-ender known to fatherhood.  Behold!

Teenage Child: “Daaayaaaddd!  I really want a car, you need to buy me one!”

Horrible Father: “Well, we need to talk about something important first.  You see, when a mommy and a daddy love each other….”

Teenage Child: “Ugh…dad, I already had this talk with mom!  Forget it, I’ll take the bus to school.”

Works every time.