Stuff my kid says: From the mouth of a preemie.

Who knew?

Strange how time affects things, how it can change your point of view or even your philosophy on stuff. Take for instance my now 5-year-old daughter. While in the NICU weighing a slight 1 pound 12 ounces any sound she made was met with joy and celebration. A burp, a cry, even a tiny little preemie fart, was cause for elation. Now, five years later, well let’s say the philosophy has changed a wee bit.

We summoned her upstairs to try on some new PJs. She was in the living room alone, it was quiet. And that’s important. When I called her to come upstairs it got dead quiet. Think of the quiet before a nuke goes critical and destroys everything in 100 square miles and you’d be close to the quiet before what we now call The Event.

When she realized we wanted her to stop what she was doing and come up stairs we clearly heard her say semi-under her breath, Well Shit. That was followed by her slow stomping her way up the stairs.

I am not embarrassed to say it was one of the proudest moments of my life. Not only did she use the proper word and context. She used the proper inflection. It was impeccable delivery.  I mean it was wrong on almost every level but damn it was funny. Tracy did not think so but I didn’t notice because I was too busy peeing my pants laughing.

But she wasn’t done. In fact she has offered so much funny lately I’m only giving you the best few as I see it. Or hear it as it were.

Behold:

We are both having hotdogs with ketchup. Frank and I are equivalent. Daddy equivalent means equal or the same. As you might imagine that was uttered with condescension dripping from all sides of it. She actually paused, taking the time to explain it to me as if I was the one in the room who could not possibly comprehend that word. She might as well have said excuse me while I explain it to you know who. All accompanied by a smirk and the old thumb wave that says hey look at the dope. Just remember when you point one finger at someone there are four more pointing back at you. To whit…

Daddy, dog water tastes just as good as people water. This revelation was made mere seconds after she educated me on the word equivalent. But this is the joy of young minds right? To her both of those statements were equally smart and observant. You might say they were equivalent. That is until your mind stops long enough to ask what should have been the obvious question. Anne Marie how do you know what dog water tastes like? Turns out thew answer is as obvious as the question.

The road warrior herself. Dreaming of first class leg room.

Daddy if it takes 13 hours to drive to New Jersey why don’t we just fly? Ah silly little child. If we flew we would be depriving you of that great American tradition; the family road trip. You see Anne Marie it’s supposed to take 13 hours so you can, we all can, experience the misery of the road trip in all it’s pee stops and hours long traffic jam glory. It’s what builds character and makes American strong. Fly? Fly! Don’t be silly. That would only take 1 hour and 45 minutes. What the hell are we supposed to do with the other 11 hours and 15 minutes?

Daddy we could live here forever! She tossed out that gem after it was discovered that Avalon NJ, the city where we rented the beach house for the week, had a Duck Doughnuts. That’s a cake doughnut place that has become wildly popular in the south. They make the doughnuts right in front of you, then put anything you want on them. I’m not saying I would do violence for a maple glazed with bacon on top, but I’m not not saying it either. Strawberry glaze with rainbow sprinkles is her regular. Of course this desire to stay in the homeland was also after we had real pizza for dinner one night and Italian subs the next and we spent a six days on the beach and at the pool. Live there forever, of course she’d want to. But will we? Of course we won’t.

I just don’t know who I’m going to marry. That bombshell came when I found her, at the ripe old age of four, sitting on the hallway floor in front of her room looking despondent. When I asked her the issue, she dropped that on me. She was very concerned that she would not find someone to marry. I suggested that she wait till at least her 5th birthday to get worried about that. She was agreeable but not happy. I’m still in counseling.

And for the top, and likely most disturbing comment…

Daddy do girls grow a penis? Tracy and I just looked at each other for a very awkward minute and it became painfully clear this was my hot potato to handle. It was like tip toeing though a mine field. Ah… no Anne Marie only boys have a penis. She paused for a quick second and offered this, That’s good. Cause I don’t want one of those. My thought – Hold on to that attitude for the next 80 years if you don’t mind.

And with that the conversation ended and she jumped into her bed and reminded us to turn on her sound machine and ceiling fan. That was our invitation to leave so she could go to sleep. So it appears we will be paying dearly for all of the quite, happy go lucky, rule following we got from Frank.

God help us all.

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Six months in writers Siberia: excuses, justifications, and all that other jazz.

Twain has that famous line about his obit being reported in error. He dined out on that damn line for years. Well I’m here to tell you that cat is dead now, no matter what the paper’s say. Me on the other hand…

Proof of Life – the author and his kids. (The Frank of Frank’s Place is in the middle)

Yeah I’m still here. All evidence to the contrary, I did not fall off the face of the earth. Sorry to disappoint all you loyal members of the Flat Earth society, but it’s round, and it keeps spinning. No matter what we do, it keeps spinning. Now, some things may spin on without you. Take for instance the daddy blogosphere. It has hummed along nicely in my six month absence. There has been a shift toward video blogging or vlogging as the kids call it, but there are still writers out there defending the long form and kicking out good stuff. For that, and them, I am grateful.

This paragraph is where I’m supposed to regale you with tales of the exploits and adventures that have kept me from the key board these last six months. Honestly the only reason I know it’s been six months is the last post on the blog was my end of year Best of 2016 Posts post. And even more honestly, there has been no great reason, no wild tale to tell that would explain my literary solitude. In fact there is no tale at all, wild or otherwise.

If I had to pick a simple word to excuse the lack of stories here it would be work. Yep, that’s it. Just work. That word serves as an excuse, justification and simple fact all at the same time. I got a job in 2015. I got a promotion in March of this year. As much as I hated leaving the most important thing I’ve ever done in raising my kids, I love my new job. Other than the 4am wake up I can’t think of one thing I don’t like about it.

But the simple fact is, I haven’t had the gumption, the drive, the want to, that enables me to sit down and write. I don’t know how all those working dads blog on such a regular basis. Well other than the fact I’m extremely lazy and they aren’t. But that seemed too obvious an answer. I have no trouble getting up at 6am on my day off (Friday) to make my tee time with my buddy. But sitting down to bang on the keys was escaping me. And I have no idea why it’s not now. That’s not entirely true. I have a few ideas.

For one I’m on vacation in the motherland. Sitting on the deck of a beach house in South Jersey seemed like a good time to look at the blog and see what’s been happening. Yeah, did I mention I haven’t even seen my site in six months? Not a post, not a stat. Ignoring blog stats for a blogger is like depriving normal people of things like food, water or air.

Second, I’ve actually read a few other blogs this week and felt a little inspiration. One in particular is Skipah’s Realm. A good blog written by Gary Matthews, a divorced dad working and raising his kid and doing all the other things people do. He weaves his stories in a tapestry of analogy and metaphor with a good dose of humor. The big thing for me is this, the dude is a single dad with a job and he’s banging out stories on the regular. I don’t care if you like his style or not, that’s impressive.

So I’ve charged up the tablet, dusted off the key board and started tapping some keys. This is what has come out so far. At some point, probably this paragraph, I’m supposed to tell you I’m back. At some point I’m supposed to tell you I have story upon story que’d up and ready to type. Even if that were true I would not make that mistake again. Or again. I’m pretty sure I said I was getting my work legs under me and finding a good writing schedule and all that jazz. I’m more than sure I said it twice already. So no more.  I’ve got a few stories, some work, some home, some about this vacation. Who knows when if ever I’ll type them up. Hell I may never type again or I could bang out one a day for weeks. No tellin.

So for now let me say thanks to you all who have kept checking back. You’re loyalty will be rewarded, or you know, not.

How’s that for specific vagueness.