Parenting Fail

Fun Control Advocate

We have an Xbox that we rarely play.Mostly because I am lazy and watching them play video games hurts me on a deep level. I love Guitar Hero but my kids have the coordination of a stoner playing dodge ball. Notes are coming off the screen towards them and all they can say is, “Daddy this is going too fast. What do I do? It’s going to hit me!”

“You just did the tutorial. You know what to do.”

“This music is confusing me.”

“The point of the game is that you are playing the music.” I am worried for their grasp on reality.

“Is there another game?” She is just hitting buttons and looking at the ceiling at this point.


So we find more batteries and I dug out Big Game Hunter II which should be titled Panic Massacre because they give you two guns with unlimited bullets and you just shoot everything that moves. This should be good.

The oldest child (who loves animals and wants to be a vet) is cheering for blasting the life out of everything. “You got that one in the face dad!”

“This is a game. Like that water gun game at the fair.” I don’t want her to get a blood lust for shooting things.

“I know it isn’t real.”

“Okay good.”

Prima is covering her face and peeking through her fingers because the wolves are aggressive and trying to eat the main character the whole time. It is a first person game so they jump at the screen.

Don Threeto, who I thought would be the most gangsta about this, was standing beside me watching the geese explode and saying, “They are just babies daddy! You are shooting babies!” I felt guilty about that until I was done and she asked to try her hand at mass murder. I did what any good father would do and I gave the four year old the gun shaped controller.

The gangster came out to play. She grabbed that shotgun like a pro and her eyes had a twinkle that rivals Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. She cocked it once and was ready for action. Tomb Raider style. Turok the Mountain Goat Hunter. I punched the green button and it was game on. She holds the gun up above her head and turns it sideways and starts pulling the trigger and reloading in rapid fire. Tony Montana would be impressed at her gusto and rage. I think she got her shooting skills from her Mamaw but that is another story about squirrel hunting. Another day. Today is about Threeto. There are explosions and war cries. Five minutes later there are beads of sweat on her brow. There are more dead animals than the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone. She drops the weapon on the floor like an exhausted rapper drops the mic after an encore. She has enough breath left to utter, “Juice daddy. I need juice.”

Who wouldn’t need hydration after a sociopath rampage. I know I do.

Visibly shaken, I turn off the Xbox and we read Ferdinand, a book about a peaceful bull. I can’t be sure but I think Threeto was pointing her finger like a gun and making “pew pew pew” sounds each time I turned the page. I may have created a monster. Maybe she will score high on the ASVAB and get recruited for a high level position in the military like Katherine Heigl in that terrorist show.

So if you tried to play video games and gave your child an unquenchable blood lust, this post is for you. If you will examine the cover photo you will notice my other fails of the day; a) she slept in her outfit from yesterday because we got home late and she was already out, b) She is four going on five and still insists on a pacifier. We hide them and take them but she has secret stashes around the house.

You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Weekly Achievements

I have been making quality decisions all week.

If you could only pick one, which thing would you rather do for the rest of your life; sit or stand? In summer we want winter. In winter we think about summer. The fall would be nice if it weren’t so dusty. The spring would be nice if it didn’t rain as much. It is always something.

The greener grass principle is in full effect. School is back in session and all the stresses that come along are popping up as well. At least we could skip baths more during summer break.

Going to bed on time – Ehh.
Keeping up with laundry – Nope
Waking up in time for a nutritious breakfast so my young champions can go to school and soak up knowledge – ….

Yup, I am prepping for a full on fail.

Here are some highlights of my continued run towards parent of the year:

Tonight I called Prima “Rain Man” because she has a record day of being inattentive. It started with losing her shoes between the front door and her room. Twice. Once she was holding them. Then she was getting dressed after swimming and lost focus because of a doll. I found her with her pants around one ankle and her shirt wadded up around her neck while she was bent over playing with a doll in the floor. If you can’t focus long enough to finish pulling up your underwear then I don’t think I can help you.


I overheard the kids playing. Prima says to Don Threeto, “Oh I thought this pony was dead but she is alive.” Threeto responds, “I can fix that.”

We had corn on the cob last night and I noticed Prima didn’t eat hers. We ran out of corn because it was delicious so I was thinking, “Hmmm are you gonna eat that?” So I asked her. She said, “No I just sucked it a lot.” Lesson learned. Nothing can be assumed untouched. My youngest sister taught my parents that and I should have remembered.

We told Lady Bug to get ready to go and she found a necklace she liked and she painted her legs for the occasion. I think a trip to the river calls for pink and green legs stripes, don’t you?


We put a sprinkler out in the yard for the kids to play in while we visited the river last weekend. Prima and Threeto squatted over the jets and let it spray them in the butt crack for like ten minutes. That is going to come up at both of their weddings.


This morning I tossed the kids a little Debbie Oatmeal Pie for breakfast while I made the wallaby a bottle with special milk. Total dad points there.

The girls went to the grandparents to go swimming for the evening. I go to pick them up and they are still swimming when I arrive. We start the ritual, “Get out and get dried off. Get out and get dried off. Get out now and get dried off.” After about a hundred times my rhetoric has devolved into impossible threats. “I AM ZEUS THE GOD OF THUNDER AND I WILL LIGHTNING BOLT YOUR ASS IF YOU DON’T GET OUT OF THE WATER NOW!”
With that super-scary threat, they (kind-of sort-of) start to move. They all take off their swimsuits on the back porch and hang them on the rail as they go in the house. I realize this will be an awkward moment for them at a pool-party someday. A parent will tell everyone to get out of the pool and my kid will strip naked and throw their clothes over the nearest lawn furniture. Future points for parent of the year.

But I don’t think the blame can be placed on me entirely.

They are ADD. I know it is cliché and the same as someone saying they are OCD when in truth they are just anal. OCD means you are a little more than particular, like you remove skin layers because the body wash says, “Lather, Rinse, Repeat” and you don’t know when or how to stop. My kids have one of two extremes – Zero Attention Span or Hyper Focus. I can’t decide which label works best.

If your kids are space cadets who test your patience, this post is for you. Me too.

Underdaddy to the rescue.

Threeto Saw Nothing

I often lament the extent to which I have totally given up on things I used to try and prevent. One of these things is fighting and physical altercations. Sure, I correct any overt aggression but in general if they squabble and there is no blood or unconsciousness then I don’t worry too much. What choice do I have when sometimes, the kid who dishes it out also takes it back just as hard and doesn’t bat an eye? Now, add the fact that the younger kids are each tougher than the one before. (Except for Prima who is the resident ballerina and a fragile drama queen.)

Don Threeto, America’s favorite mini-gangster girl, has continued to impress me with her toughness this week. Most physical impact situations involve play that turns too rough and after a collision there is some crying and we have to investigate.

Situation #1: Don Threeto crashes into something or someone and we rush to see what the damage is. Her nose is bleeding slightly but she insists nothing happened. Maybe she walked into a wall and is embarrassed. I may never know but I ask anyway.

“Are you okay?”


“What happened?”

“…” Her eyes move from side to side avoiding my gaze and she shrugs her shoulders and says, “Can I go play now?”

That’s pretty gangsta so I let it slide. The nose appeared intact so what do you do? No one seemed to see anything.

Situation #2: I see the kids spinning circles in the living room and I give the obligatory “Stop. No. Don’t do that.” I go into the kitchen and, within five seconds, hear a thump followed by Lady Bug screaming. I sigh deeply and trod back to the living room.

Sure enough Lady Bug is sitting on the ground with a red spot on her cheek where it undoubtedly made contact with something hard. I scan the situation to try and piece this together because I don’t expect anyone to fess up. Prima has a wide-eyed look that tells me she wasn’t involved. She is panicked that she will be in trouble and lose her iPad. Don Threeto is curled up in a ball on the couch. Her face is pressed into her knees. She is trying to hide from me by disguising herself as a throw pillow. I pick her up to talk about what happened and I see that her eye is red along the area between the eye and the eyebrow. She bumped heads with Lady Bug and got the worse end of the deal.

“What happened?”


“Why is your eye swollen.”

“It isn’t”, she says but I can see clearly that it is swelling shut.

I try to give her a chance to just talk, “….Okay. Do you feel okay?”

“I feel good daddy. Do you feel good?” She smiles and looks suddenly concerned about my well being.

Now I wonder if I am hurt? She is trying to redirect. I have to remind myself that they did this to me earlier in a conversation about boogers. I snap out of the mental trap. “I’m fine. Are you sure you didn’t just smash your face into your sister.”


“Why is she crying?”

“I don’t know.”, accompanied by holding her hands up and shrugging shoulders again.

Lady Bug shakes it off and resumes playing and the red mark is almost gone. Don Threeto has an impressive black eye. I think proper consequence has already been dealt out so I let this go too. I still can’t believe that she would basically get punched in the eye and not even flinch at telling me she was fine. A day later and the eye is half shut from swelling and she is still mute on the issue. Acts like nothing ever happened. Hard core.

If you let your kids roll with the punches then this post is for you. You’re welcome. I don’t know what to do about it either.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Baby’s First Gun Show

I have made several questionable decisions in my short history as a father. One of the more interesting was taking my small daughter to the Gun and Knife show. I established in an earlier post that we lived in a questionable neighborhood so I figured reliable switchblade or shoulder fired rocket launchers might be a good idea. What better way to get untraceable firearms than a Gun and Knife Show?

For people unfamiliar with the southern US; anyone can buy guns and knives just about everywhere and it isn’t a big deal. Everyone has guns and knives. There are outdoor flea markets with metal tables under white canvas tents and one table might have used rifles and the next vendor will have puppies or chickens for sale. Further down might be rusty hand tools beside a stand selling home-made jams. It is the country version of an open market that you might see in an Indiana Jones movie.

If it is good enough for essential oils and homemade baby accessories then a flew market is good enough for guns.

If it is good enough for essential oils and homemade baby accessories then a flew market is good enough for guns.

The Gun and Knife Show is a spectacle that is boiled down to get rid of the useless things like hand tools and focus on decorative knives, swords, bulk ammunition, and guns. One booth had collectible money but that was the only non-weapon related vendor I saw. (Is collectible money as strange to everyone else as it is to me? Old dollars and coins are worth more? I saw a two dollar bill for sale for five dollars…) Anywho… My wife and I took toddler Jane to this market of modern weaponry just to stroll around and enjoy the ambiance.

I personally like the Steven Segall Santa with a million round clip. Plus the irony of Grandson looking confused while wearing a SNAFU shirt. So powerful.

I personally like the Steven Segall Santa with a million round clip. Plus the irony of Grandson looking confused while wearing a SNAFU shirt. So powerful.

One of the more aggressive vendors barks at us as we walk by, “Hey I have something for the little one there!” I slow down and give him my attention thinking maybe it is a colorful sticker of Henry the Handgun or something along those lines. Candy bullets maybe? He pulls out a handful of small plastic pocket knives.

A respectable toddler toy set, right?

A respectable toddler toy set, right?

“Only five dollars apiece or five for thirty.”

“Sounds like a real almost-deal you got there.” I don’t know what bothered me more, a) A man selling buckets of knives and having no concept of math and sales incentive or b) He is trying to sell weaponry to a toddler.

“I don’t think she is quite ready to stab anything in self-defense.”

A true pro never takes no for an answer. “Never too early to start a collection! I have a pretty pink one here.” He smiles and my attention is again derailed but this time I am trying to decide if he is missing teeth in a regular pattern or not. If I could just pull out his left incisor then it would be every other tooth. I can’t see anything but that damn tooth messing up a perfect pattern of tooth, no tooth, tooth, no tooth…

Supermom is confused and avoiding eye contact. She is understandable uncomfortable because the level of conspiracy theory and bullets really gives off a feel of North Korean border encampment. I put my arm around her and smile at the whistle toothed gentleman and we make our way to a more normal AK-47 display where the vendor has a respectable partially grey crew cut and button up tactical clothing. Plus he has all of his teeth. I never knew how much my opinion of someone was influenced by dental representation.

After completing a half day tour of all the weapons available we managed to avoid purchasing anything. However, after being exposed to several different mindsets and collectors, we did go to an official outdoors store and purchase a new handgun for protection. From people we met at the Gun and Knife Show.

These are riding around in a trunk near you... I want one.

These are riding around in a trunk near you… I want one.

If you have ever been to one of these shows and found yourself cornered by a vendor selling deadly weapons to your toddler, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.