Archive | November, 2011

Potty Commiseration

29 Nov

y post from a few months back titled “The Bowels Of Hell” got a lot of attention (well, RELATIVELY alot of attention. Let’s face it, this blog isn’t the most heavily trafficked out there. If the blogosphere was Disneyland, DorkDaddy.com would be that sad little southwestern restaurant hidden between Cinderella’s castle and Adventure-land that nobody ever goes to because it’s totally off the beaten path. But I digress…).

A friend passed along a link to another parent blogger’s post that works so well as a companion to “The Bowels Of Hell” I just had to share it here. From the blog “Parenting, Illustrated With Crappy Pictures” I present to you

“Public Toilets vs. Newly Potty Trained Girls And Boys”

Do you know what this is?

A public toilet? Wrong. It is the enemy.  

It is especially the enemy of newly potty trained boys and girls, who are completely inept and unready to battle it. As are the parents.  

Back in the early days with Crappy Boy, I couldn’t wait for him to no longer use diapers. To be diaper free! 

Diaper free sucks.

Don’t fall for that potty training propaganda. Keep them in diapers as long as possible. 

This is what it was like to take Crappy Boy to a public bathroom when he was very newly potty trained…

So I take him into the women’s bathroom. Because I’m a woman. This means there are no urinals. Just a single toilet like the drawing above.  

The first mistake I make is that I lift the seat. Which reveals this:

And I didn’t really need to see that. 

The problem with boys is that they pee standing up. 

The reason this is a problem is… << To read the full article click here>>

-Dork Dad

Caption this photo

24 Nov

Audience participation on this one:

Examine the commanding posture my son took in this picture and then, in the “comments” section below on this page, please leave your suggestion for the best caption. My favorite will have an honorable mention at this year’s “Dorkies” award ceremony.

Valid only in participating states. No substitutions, exchanges or refunds. Offer expires when the Mayan calendar runs out.

20111124-192505.jpg

Picture of the decade.

-Dork Dad

Return of the Jedi

23 Nov

n update after my little Jedi’s unfortunate experience from the other day.

Today we found ourselves in the same area of Disneyland when it came time for lunch. Wouldn’t you know, just as we managed to find a table and get the kids all settled down the Star Wars music pipes up and the Jedi Training Academy started up again in full. My boy says to me “Daddy, I want to go watch the Jedi Training Academy”. My wife and I both give each other “the look”.

“Are you sure?” we both asked him at the same time. “Darth Maul is going to be there.”

“Yes, I want to” was his firm reply.

So I put my little Padawan on my shoulders and walked him over to a better viewing position in the audience. I asked him at least three more times if he was sure he wanted to watch the show. “Yes, I want to” he repeated every time. The same script as before. The same actors. The Stormtroopers come out. Darth Vader comes out. Then Darth Maul comes out. Darth Maul does his kung-fu (Taras Kasi for all you Star Wars nerds out there) and prowls around the audience with his menacing scowl once again. Wouldn’t you know it. Darth Maul winds up 12 inches away, face-to-face with my son again, just two days after utterly destroying my poor boy with his creepy yellow contact lenses and prosthetic sharp, pointy teeth. He lingered, playing it up to the tender little 3-year-old sitting on top of my shoulders.

From across the crowd my wife and I lock eyes, both of us panic-stricken, convinced we’d just carved the soul out of our son twice in the same week. From atop my shoulders I felt my son’s legs flex, I saw his little fist shake an inch or two in front of the bill of my cap, and I heard his little 3-year-old voice say with every ounce of fire he could muster:

“I’M NOT SCARED OF YOU DARTH MAUL!!”

The Sith warrior skulked away and back into the Jedi Training Academy script.

When it was all over my boy said to me, “I did it, Daddy! I did it! I wasn’t afraid of Darth Maul!”

Here’s to my little Jedi, getting back on the horse (or on the Bantha as it were). The Force is strong with you. Pass on what you have learned.

-Dork Dad

Cautionary Tale

21 Nov

uch like Luke Skywalker, my son rushed off to face the Dark Side of The Force before he was ready… and lost.

We’re spending the week in Disneyland. Last year when we were here we were disapointed to learn that Star Tours was closed. The good news was that they were in the process of an upgrade, and the new Star Tours allegedly rocks the socks off the old one (still haven’t been on it yet). Never-the-less, this was the year we were going to have the full-on Star Wars experience at Disneyland. We’ve been talking about “The Star Wars Ride” for months now. It’s definitely on our must-do list.

Face-off with The Dark Side. My son

The other major Star Wars event at Disneyland is the lesser-known (though not to any competent Dorkdaddy out there) Jedi Training Academy. At the Tomorrowland Terrace Disneyland Cast members come out in full Jedi Master garb and pick a lucky bunch of kids out of the audience to “train” as young Jedi. They get to wear Jedi robes and get to practice saber moves with “training lightsabers”. At the end of the event Darth Vader and a couple of Storm Troopers (as well as another Dark Lord of the Sith who most definitely was NOT there when I vetted the show last year) come out and the young Jedi get a chance to practice some of their new-found saber skills against some real bad guys. Naturally I decided this was something my kids MUST do… for THEM, not for me.

In any case, the age range for participants was 4-12. Was I going to let that stop us? No way. After a little coaching, if anyone asked my son how old he was he would say with confidence “Four!” and put three fingers up as proof. *sigh* Close enough. (Nevermind that he’s actually three. Keep your comments about my turning him to the dark side to yourself) As it turned out, my daughter wasn’t interested, so she didn’t sit down in the crowd from which the young Jedi are picked. When it came time there were probably 100 kids in the pool, for maybe 25 spots. My boy didn’t get picked. But that was all right. I prepared him for that possibility. We had my iPhone lightsaber app. (seriously the coolest app ever made) which seriously trumped those “practice lightsabers” the chosen kids got, and we had front seats for the show.

We watched the show from the crowd, and practiced the Jedi lightsaber moves with the iPhone from where we sat just in front of the stage. Then it happened. “Darth Vader’s Theme” played, and the bad guys made their enterance. Two stormtroopers for comic releaf, and then the real threat — Darth Vader himself and Darth Maul (from Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace). Darth Vader stands up onstage with smoke behind him looking all menacing, and Darth Maul comes out with all sorts of fancy swordplay and martial arts. If you don’t know him, Darth Maul’s one serious dude. He’s supposed to be something right out of your nightmares (that’s what George Lucas told the designers when they were coming up with Darth Maul’s “look” in pre-production).

So Darth Maul comes out flipping, kicking, whooshing his lightsaber around, and looking all scary. As he’s doing his thing, snarling at the audience, he just happens to get about six inches in front of my 3-year-old-son’s face in full scary-snarl mode.

That

Have I mentioned the fact that my 3-year-old son has never even seen the character Darth Maul before?

Needless to say that was more than my boy could handle. My young Jedi, who just moments before was in full-on brave Jedi mode, was terrified beyond all reason. Right there he curled up in my arms, crying as hard as I’ve ever heard him cry, saying “I’m scared, Daddy! I’m scared!”

To all you prospective Jedi out there, Yoda was right. Don’t rush out to face the Dark Side if you aren’t fully trained. To all you Dorkdaddy’s out there, don’t let your own ambitions push you to push your kids farther than they’re ready to go.

Please spell my name correctly when you nominate me for “Father of the Year”. My official candidacy picture is the one of my 3-year-old son with swollen, red eyes after 15 minutes of inconsolable crying out of sheer terror. He has his Dorkdad to thank for that one… and for the inevitable nightmares that we’ll be dealing with for the forseeable future.

-Darth Dork Dad

UPDATE: For an account of the rematch between Darth Maul and my son just two days later, check out this link.

Pilgrims In A Holy Land

18 Nov

ome with me my son, and I will show you to the promised land. Though you are not yet a man, you are old enough to see. You are old enough to know the wonders, to see the 1080p / 240hz / HDTV splendors that can only be found in the Valhalla of big-box stores. Yes son, it is time. You have come of age. Today is your rite of passage. I have decided that today, between our trip to the drycleaner and carwash, you shall finally cast your gaze upon the wonderment of the male world. Your eyes will be open. Your heart will weep as you are cast in the Technicolor, high-definition glow of a million million microscopic LED’s on the wall of flat-screens and your soul will be baptized in an ocean of 5.1 channel Bose-lifestyle surround-sound. Son, today is the day I bring you home. Today is your first trip to Best Buy.

Worship at the altar.

 

As Gandalf said:

“Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it… White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.”

…and beyond THAT lies a plush leather reclining armchair with drink holders in the arm rests, facing an entire wall of high-definition flat-screens, in every size you can imagine. It truly is wondrous. This is but a glimpse of the life that is promised to us, for although I do not wish you to grow up any faster than you are, I have sworn an oath that when you grow up and go away to college I will re-outfit your bedroom with the self-same flats-screen, reclining leather armchairs and 5.1 channel surround sound.

Observe - Man in his natural habitat

But that isn’t all. Oh no. For the truly righteous there is an entire western wing dedicated to computers of every kind… dual core processors… QUAD core processors — all yours for the oogling. And if you are lucky a young person in a royal blue polo shirt only partially tucked into unkempt khaki pants, though thoroughly underqualified to accurately answer your questions, will pretend to be all knowing and guide you to a purchase which may or may not meet your needs.

The only thing that could make this better is a lollipop.

This area here is the personal gaming console section. Sample the sweet nectar of the latest generation of “Rock Band” or the hyper-realistic violence of “Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 3”. Go ahead, touch them. No matter that the sample drum pads are broken, or that the game controller isn’t communicating with the console. Sample the forbidden fruit. This, son, is a test of your will. You must know that at your tender age we can never bring this bounty home, for your mother would surely smite us down (or smite ME down at any rate).

Who are those people over there in the black pants and white collared shirts? Ah, they are pretenders; false prophets of dorkness. They call themselves the “Geek Squad” and although we do not begrudge anyone making a living, they sell their powers of dorkness for profit. We, my child, believe in using our dork-powers for good and spreading them across the world for all to share. Someday if you reach the upper echelons of dorkness you too may have a blog of your own to lay your dorkness bare for the entire world to see. (Don’t worry. The only people who will read it are close friends and family, who already know how dorky you are.)

And now the toughest lesson of all, my son. We must leave – without buying a thing. That’s right. We must EARN the rewards we see before us. It takes a lifetime of sacrifice and discipline. Some fall away from the path of righteousness. But we, you and I, WE will stay pure. We will always remember that there is a higher plane of existence. Though we may never reach perfection, the value is in the pursuit, the constant self-reflection that guides us away from what truly matters not, and towards the unattainable goal of ultimate satisfaction.

As I move through this life, this mortal plane, most recently as I move through it with you under my wing, I find that those things which I once coveted, the 70” Sony flat-screen, the Porsche 911 Cabriolet and their ilk, lose their grip on my soul. In their place grows the love of walking through this hallowed ground with you beside me and seeing the dream spark in your eye. What you don’t know now, what you can’t yet know, is that the dream changes. You see, it turns out that the items in the store are not the window to salvation. In fact it is the trips here with you, the time spent looking at these wonders of mortal man. It is holding your hand in mine and sharing the dream of how fun it would be to have these things. In fact, it is in sharing ALL your dreams. You my son, and the time I spend with you, are my dream realized. Should I live to 100 years, or die tomorrow, I know I have reached perfection. When I am with you I know I have finally found heaven.

-Dork Dad

Sympathy

16 Nov

ll right. Enough with the “sympathy-weight” already. After this baby is born and my wife starts breastfeeding, I’m looking forward to the “sympathy-weightloss”.

 

 

 

-Dork Dad

Goodness isn’t a game.

14 Nov

his one isn’t mine, but it says everything I’ve ever wanted to say with my own blog. After reading it I joked that “now I can shut down DORKDADDY.com”. My mother’s howls of protest insured that isn’t going to happen. Please read this article. It’s important to me, to our kids, and to our world.

 

*******

 

GOODNESS ISN’T A GAME

 

Tom Matlack laments that more men interest themselves in reviews of computer games than accounts of goodness. He also laments that he’s aggravating the problem.

I’ve founded two online companies aimed at boys and men. One I only think about on Monday afternoons when I get a weekly revenue report. The other I obsess about day and night. One is about a product I have never played and barely understand. The other makes me cry tears of pain or joy on a regular basis… (click this link to read the full article)

(BTW Tom, you lament that goodmanproject.com only gets 2 million hits a month. I’m lucky if I get 1,000)

-Dork Dad

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