Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...
Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise
When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...
Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that …...
Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...
A Reasonable Explanation
Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....
That's a Mouthful
Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...
Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right
I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...
The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...
When Did I Become a Pushover?
I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...
As I Approach 30
I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....
Smoking Charges Ignite
By Seth Kabala
Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently wound around their little fingers–all of them–cinched tightly, creating an unbreakable bond–nay!–an unbreakable, shoddily-rhymed oath, which goes like this:
I, Dad, when alone with the kids
Will do just as each of them bids
I’ll think not of the ways this is crappy
But think only of how to make them happy
It matters not that the TV is smoking
Or that it’s in danger of being permanently broken
If it keeps them happy, occupied, and content
I’m afraid I must, to survive, relent
For you see, I have lots of work to do
Lots of old stuff, lots of new
Unless I can give it my full attention
You might find me locked away in solitary detention
That would be bad, no money for bills
And all my entertainment would be cheap inmate thrills
I’d have lost my freedom, my fortitude, my power
It would be, I daresay, not my finest hour
So to avoid this bleak and depressing fate
I must endeavor to win the rat race
And it all starts with reducing the pile
Of stuff in my in-box, and the width of my crazed smile
With one thing whipped, my work on an in-progress course
The kids have yet another demand to enforce
They want carte blanche on the cupboards and fridge
They want large portions, not a tasty little smidge’
Oh, you say, are they after the fruits and greens?
Ha, I laugh, wouldn’t that be a scene
It’s much more likely to find them hovering
With salivating mouths over ice-cream they’re uncovering
They have this strategy that avoids talk
If they’re halfway to serving, I’m unlikely to balk
I’ll see that disrupting their process with “Say, what?! How?!”
Is a sure-fire path to a fiery row
So for the short-term, I give up all intentions
Of managing their growth into healthy dimensions
They’re young and pudge is unlikely to appear
Despite eating, in one night, their sugar quota for a year
So now we’ve managed to take care of the essentials
Entertainment and food–what else is monumental?
I’ll tell you, here it is, the thing on my mind
It’s how much I read to them at bedtime
Berenstain stories, Dr. Seuss, now YA novels
My voice faces a Herculean task, so I grovels
I know that’s improper grammar
But the alternative is to be left with a permanent stammer
I do my best to soldier through the copy
Though my phrasing is stilted, and my diction is choppy
It’s amazing how I, this man of business prattle
Gets tripped up on “muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle bottle paddle battle”
That last phrase completely screwed the rhyme
But, oh, well, I’m out of time
The kids are passed out, I’ve carried them to bed
Now it’s my turn to sleep the sleep of the dead
Leave a Reply
Tags: alone, Amy, Anna, Berenstain, bills, carte blanche, cheap thrills, columnist, crazed smile, cupboards, dad, diction, dimensions, Dr. Seuss, Ella, enforce, entertainment, fate, finest hour, food, fridge, fruits, full attention, grammar, greens, healthy, Herculean, humor writer, humorist, ice-cream, inmate, left in charge, money, oath, pile, power, quota, rat race, relent, rhyme, row, sleep of the dead, smoking, solitary detention, TFF Issue #6, TV, Will, work
0 Comments Load Comments
An Interview with Ben Rosenfeld (feature)
Acceptance and Current Events ...
Bolt-Action Cannonball Sack
"Can you do the bolt-action cannonball sack?" Ella asked me today during bedtime. She was trying to remember the name of the move I do when I toss her over my shoulder and then flip her onto the bed. (I call it the fireman’s carry/toss.) Earlier, she was playing Fortnite with Will and must have...
Time Traveling Titan
At Toastmasters last week, the theme was National Velociraptor Awareness Day (a real thing). During Table Topics, one of the questions was this: describe your experience finding the first velociraptor claw. Tonight, the whole family is going to watch Avengers: Endgame. In the spirit of honoring the...
Editor's Note--TFF Issue #21
On Easter Sunday afternoon, we took our kids to a trampoline/obstacle course park, but not just any ordinary park. This wasn't a collection of four-feet-across questionable exercise equipment in the trailer park's social activities room. (If we cobble together a bunch of small trampolines, we could...
Ammo Arms (part one)
Waiting for Sock
Think about stuff you need to get you through your day. Does coffee come to mind? Of course it does. For millions of Americans and billions of people around the world, coffee, in its various forms, is a daily ritual. Not just a daily ritual--an hourly fix, as in you need to grab more black sludge...
I never knew a card game could change my life. I'm not talking about a high-stakes poker game, where international gangsters vie for dominance in a world of chance, and if chance doesn't go their way, bullets will do as a nice substitute. I'm talking about a simple card game with suggestions for the...
A co-worker of mine dropped her bus pass in the hall. Someone picked it up and handed it to her. She thanked the person, saying she was sure glad she hadn't lost it for good. I poked my head out of my office and said, "You just ruined a fare inspector's day." Got a good laugh, and it got me...
Sweetness and Dark
The street is dark. Cars line both sides, hugging the curbs. Streetlamps reflect off of glossy paint jobs and squeegeed windshields, creating alternative perspective art pieces from flipped aspect ratios of bent light. A breeze blows the evening fog up from the water. It lowers the ambient...
From where you sit, do you understand seated origin? The reason for said sitting? If not, you soon will. ...
Yesterday while I was writing, Ella, our seven-year-old, came up to me and said she had thought of a joke. "My first joke," she announced, pride streaming from her voice and face. I asked her what it was. Here's what she said, "What does [we'll say Bob] want to do for school? Me U. Get it? Me U...
Plan for the Journey
Toastmasters is moving away from its physical manuals and static speech-making program into a dynamic program called Pathways. On January 10, 2019, I delivered my first speech in Pathways: a re-imagination of my ice-breaker speech. If you don't know me, know this: if you give me a rubric, I will...