Hang Time

I’ve thought about this for a long time, and I’m sorry to have to say it.

It’s time for me to hang it up.

There are various reasons, but number one is I’m tired.

Very tired.

I’ve been tip-toeing around the issue for weeks now.

It’s just getting harder and harder to come up with the right words to express myself.

Sometimes I feel like nobody is even listening!

So, that’s it. I am decided.

There’s no talking me out of it.

I’m going to hang it up.

Kids, next time why don’t you just do it yourself so your dad doesn’t have to constantly be hanging it up for you!

Okay? Thanks.

Oh, and if it smells funny, please DO NOT hang it up. Toss it in the laundry room and I’ll wash it.

Top 6 “I Have A Bad Feeling About This” for Parents

Original Trilogy - Millenium Falcon 18

As parents, it seems like not a day goes by when we don’t get some sense of dread or disappointment involving or surrounding our children. Thankfully, these feelings are usually minor. We get over them quickly, or at least with very little pain and suffering.

With apologies to George Lucas, here are my
Top 6 “I Have A Bad Feeling About This” For Parents

1. The most common one occurs while sitting on the toilet, usually after you’ve concluded your business, when you look over to see that there is no toilet paper on the roll. How many times do we have to tell our kids to replace the paper after they’ve used it up?
Continue reading

Evil Elves and Messy Rooms

My daughter spun a tall tale last week about evil elves who live in her closet. It was yet another excuse to not sleep in her room. I checked her room out thoroughly and declared it to be free of elves, but she was not convinced and spent another night in mommy and daddy’s bed.

But what if I was wrong? What if there really are evil elves in there? I’m beginning to think that my daughter is telling the truth! Continue reading

Flipped Off By A 4-Year-Old

When my kids were young, hardly a day went by without them saying or doing something awesome I could blog about. These days, as teens, most of their activities are off limits to me as a writer. So, I have to take a trip on the wayback machine to tell stories about them. This tale is originally from early 2006. Definitely one to include in Idaho Dad’s Greatest Hits.

I arrived at my son’s school today about fifteen minutes early to pick him up, so my daughter and I sat in the car and listened to a Wiggles CD. One of her favorite tracks, Where Is Thumbkin?, started playing and I turned in my seat to do the hand gestures with her.

The song starts out with:

Where is thumbkin?
Where is thumbkin?
Here I am.
Here I am.
How are you today, friend?
Very well, I thank you.
Run away.
Run away.

I played along with the song, sticking my thumb up in the air and waving it about like a finger puppet, bowing, and then making it run away behind the head rest. My daughter loved it and started imitating me.

The next part of the song introduces “Pointer”…. Where is Pointer? Where is Pointer? Here I am… etc.

We happily waved our pointer fingers all around in front of us, then made them run away.

You get where this story is going?

Next up is “Tall One”…

So here we are waving our middle fingers around, only mine is hidden between the two front seats while my daughter’s is right next to the window. I looked over at the car next to us and noticed a woman frowning disapprovingly.

I can just imagine what she said to her husband that night: “The world is going to hell. Today I was flipped off by a 4-year-old!”

Christmas Love/Hate

I have a love-hate relationship with Christmas.

I love setting up the Christmas tree, lights, and assorted decorations.

I hate taking them down just because they never seem to fit back in the boxes I took them out of!

I love looking out at the snow.

I hate driving in the snow.

I love giving fun toys and games to my kids.

I hate that nobody ever gives ME fun toys and games anymore.

I love listening to Christmas music.

I hate listening to Christmas music, ’round about midnight of December 25th.

I love the looks on my kids’ faces when they open their presents.

I hate having to figure out where to put all this new stuff they’re getting.

I love the cookies and treats.

I hate that my clothes won’t fit right for weeks after.

I love watching A Christmas Story, Home Alone, and Christmas Vacation with my kids. And, after they go to bed, watching Love, Actually with my wife.

I hate that there are so many horrible Christmas movies out there, like Deck The Halls and Jingle All The Way.

I love egg nog ice cream.

I hate peppermint ice cream.

I love forgetting about the world’s troubles for just a few days.

I hate that the troubles seem to always return in a worse way.

What do you love/hate about Christmas?

I Brake for Cat Abuse

Over the years, we’ve heard all the negative homeschool stereotypes. You know, like we’re just a bunch of anti-social gun nuts teaching our children that the Earth is 6,000 years old and the President is a Muslim communist.

Okay, so that may actually be true of a few homeschoolers I know, but it’s just not the case for the vast majority of us who are simply trying to give our kids a better education.

I’ve talked with my kids about stereotypes, and how unfair it is to label a person based on misplaced assumptions.

Apparently, I’ll need to have that talk with my daughter again.

After I stop laughing.

Yesterday, we were driving down a residential street when I spotted a group of three or four teenagers throwing rocks at a cat trying to escape up a wooden fence into the safety of someone’s backyard.

I brake for cat abuse, by the way.

Actually, I yanked the steering wheel hard to the left, did a 180 in the street, and roared our van back to the spot where the kids had been.

They scattered like cowardly rats before I could even roll down my window to chew them out.

Watching them flee, my feline-worshiping daughter piped up from the back seat: “That was really mean of them. They must go to public school.”

First published March 10, 2010

Love/Hate Christmas

I love setting up the Christmas tree, lights, and assorted decorations.

I hate taking them down just because they never seem to fit back in the boxes I took them out of!

I love looking out at the snow.

I hate driving in the snow.

I love giving fun toys and games to my kids.

I hate that nobody ever gives ME fun toys and games anymore.

I love listening to Christmas music.

I hate listening to Christmas music, ’round about midnight of December 25th.

I love the looks on my kids’ faces when they open their presents.

I hate having to figure out where to put all this new stuff they’re getting.

I love the cookies and treats.

I hate that my clothes won’t fit right for weeks after.

I love watching A Christmas Story, Home Alone, and Polar Express with my kids. And, after they go to bed, watching Christmas Vacation with my wife.

I hate that there are so many horrible Christmas movies out there, like Deck The Halls and Jingle All The Way.

I love egg nog ice cream.

I hate peppermint ice cream.

I love forgetting about the world’s troubles for just a few days.

I hate that the troubles seem to always return in a worse way.

What do you love/hate about Christmas?

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before

I think I’ve found the best joke book ever.

For a history buff like myself, The World’s Oldest Joke Book, by Dan Crompton, is an awesome collection of ancient jokes that are both funny and fascinating.

This is basically a translation of a Roman joke book from the 4th century AD, called Philogelos, which just happens to be the oldest surviving collection of jokes in the world. Written by a couple of Greek scholars, it must’ve been the ultimate bathroom reader of its day.

Our ancestors laughed at pretty much the same things we do today. Farts, sex, eunuchs. Well, maybe that last one has lost a bit of its edge over the years.

In particular, the peoples of the ancient world truly enjoyed their blonde jokes. Back then, they were simply called idiots.

An idiot goes to visit a really sick friend. When he arrives, the wife says, with tears in her eyes, “Sadly, he has already left us.”

“Oh well,” says the idiot. “When he comes back, tell him I dropped by.”

A few of the jokes haven’t stood the test of time, but most of them are as identifiable now as they were nearly 2000 years ago.

Hairdresser: “How shall I cut your hair, sir?”
Client: “In silence.”

This is certainly one of the most interesting and unusual joke books I’ve seen, and it’s a fun one to have around the house. A slight warning, though. This is not a kid-friendly book. You know how those Greeks and Romans were. While most of the jokes are just fine, there are a few that stray into the PG-13 and R neighborhood.

Otherwise, any student of humor or history would love to see this book stuffed into their stocking on Christmas morning. As I said before, it’s a fascinating glimpse into what made our ancient ancestors double over with laughter.

The publishers have graciously offered a free copy of The World’s Oldest Joke Book to one of my readers. If you’d like a copy, just leave a comment on this post, telling me what always makes you laugh.

I’ll pick a winner this weekend.

Sorry, US and Canada addresses only.

Steve the Superhero

Eric Herman has just released a brilliant new video for his song “Steve the Superhero” on YouTube. Hilarious animation… Your kids are going to love this one!

The Pacific Northwest performer is starting a big summer tour that will take him through Louisiana, Texas, Nevada, and California over the next month.

Check out his website for dates and places!