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Posts from the ‘Kids’ Category

A Parental (Un)Guide to Surviving DisneyLand

(Disclaimer – If you think this will be a traditional helpful hint guide that tells you all the ins and outs of the parks, which apps to use, which Disney characters to seek out and where to save a $1 on a coke please turn that cruise ship around now and find another port of call. If I could tell you to seriously consider cancelling your trip, call up your bookie and put it all on red and you would seriously consider such a move please read on)

 

So whoever coined the phrase Disneyland “The Happiest Place On Earth” never had to deal with a 3 year old with diarrhea and a 6 year old that declared It’s a Small World frightens him in hour two on the 1st day of a 3 day park hopper pass that cost more than your 1st year of college tuition and he’s tapping out on any more rides. And for every parent out there that has made this trek you know what I’m talking about.

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It’s been three years since our last pilgrimage to see Mickey and friends and with my kids now 13 and 10 I thought maybe I’d made my last visit but when we sat down for the annual family vacation planning summit it was declared that Disney was on the rotation again this year. There was concern raised in various focus groups commissioned as part of the pre-summit preparation that the kids were on the verge of getting too old to want to go again until they would have kids of their own and suffer the same fate like a generations of parents before them. The commission was right on the outgrowing part and yet there was no room for negotiation. My counter focus group commissioned by Mr Donut Monday made a unanimous recommendation to leave the kids at home, got to Scotland for golf and scotch tasting and talk like Sean Connery for the rest of the year. That focus group was permanently disbanded.

 

 

My destiny locked in there was only one thing left to do. Embrace my fate and Initiate the Disneyland Ultimate Family Unification for Survival plan (AKA Operation DUFUS) This is essentially a survival guide that has been honed and refined over the span of about 45 minutes it took to churn this out, passed down from generations of parents who bought into the Disney dream and came unprepared. It’s so sacred and secretive that even the illuminati don’t have a copy of it but I share it for my fellow donut disciples. Some of these need to be executed prior to the trip and some are initiated on site but each are proven techniques to help you survive and dare I say enjoy your trip. And I’m not talking about how to use Fast Passes or which day to visit the park to minimize crowds. Let’s face it, the last time Disney was not crowded with endless lines was never.

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  1. Fake a Disney Bookings Website Crash

A true patriot of deception goes cloak and dagger in day one of Disney trip preparation. Get out in front by volunteering with strong enthusiasm that you will immediately work on booking the tickets online only to come back with academy award winning frustration that the Disney ticket bookings site has been down all day. Position yourself accordingly for a fast acting yet sly unplugging of the router if she tries to access the site on her own. Inevitably a Google search will produce a toll-free number to call (1-800-Shoot-Me) so you’ll have to set up a fake call center routed to your Thursday night drinking buddy who will be instructed to pleasantly take a ticket order while simultaneously suffering a Tourette Syndrome attack and/or making inappropriate advances. Alas she will recognize your friend’s sailor mouth from regular Thursday night drinking experiences and the gig will be up. You’re going to Disneyland.

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  1. Contaminate your kids with ride fear

Embracing your fate, it’s time to plan out your day. One technique I like to leverage is to compare the average wait time for each ride (which I like to categorize Death March 1 through 4) and then subconsciously convince your kids they want no part of the ones with the longest wait times. No kid interest = no ride.

So it would go something like this if you want to avoid Pirates of the Caribbean.

“Hey kids did you hear that Disney upgraded Pirates of the Caribbean with real life pirates this year? It’s going to be so much fun. They try to actually snatch children out of the boat and sell them for ransom but don’t worry your Dad will negotiate a fair price for your return”

Think you will lose your mind if you have to ride the Jungle Cruise one more time? No problem

“Hey kids I’m pretty excited to ride the Jungle Cruise! It’s so fun to avoid the poison darts that are shot at the boats by the natives from the shoreline. Aunt Gertrude loved it to until she got a little slower in her advanced age last trip. RIP Aunt Gerty”

This technique can work on enthusiastic adult family members as well.

“You are the best mother-in-law ever! Thank you for coming on the trip to hang with us and the grandchildren. I’m just sorry you picked the year to come when Disney profits are down and they had to fire all the sanitation “cast members” who were responsible for cleaning the park rides and the restrooms on a regular basis. Here take this TP. We brought it just in case. Now let’s go snuggle into a It’s a Small World paddle boat!”

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  1. Train like it’s your last Olympics

Embracing the fact that your daily itinerary will not end until you have knocked out 24 rides in 12 hours with a maximum of 12 minutes of down time for you and your family (to visit those sorely neglected Disney bathrooms….see point #2) speed is the name of the game to get from ride to ride especially in the early hours of the park opening. A navy seal level regimen of wind sprints for the kids should start T-minus 4 weeks before the trip. Set up obstacles that resemble frail grandmothers using walkers, obese slow walking teenagers who wear extra tight gaming T-shirts and triple wide strollers and employ a no mercy policy. If taking them out determines whether you get to the next ride before the fast pass window closes you go Jonny Lawrence Kobra Kai on that obstacle my friend.

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4. Get your doctorate in Traveler Boozology

Ah ha ha..you’re so smart you brought a flask to sneak into the park to share with your significant other to help get you through the day. Rookie. Good luck getting that through Disney security and enjoy your day drinking lukewarm $10 cokes. You have to get one step ahead of these security guys who are looking to bust a cap in your ass and by bust a cap I mean voiding out your $600 park hopper pass. I choose death instead.

You have to think out of the box now and get ninja stealthy. Buy one of those kits that are crafty booze smugglers designed as real day to day products like hand moisturizer, sunblock and Tylenol containers and pack them right on top of your bag in plain sight while you cackle walking though security with an extra spring in your step. Right after that first kid melt down you say “Hey honey can you pass me the sunblock and a coke? I’m feeling hot and thiiiiiiiirsty.  Ah yeah all better now. I love SPF 80 proof. You look a little red too. You want a single or double application?”

You see a man at Disneyland that loses his shit because his wife forgot to bring extra “tampons” and think what a freak. I see a fellow drinking ninja who ran out of booze and needs a new wing man. My wife would never make that rookie mistake.

 

  1. Don’t look at a bank account or credit card bill

Perhaps the most important tip. Pre-embrace the fact that you are going to get fleeced. Some dumbass and now ex SVP in the Disney picture division greenlit The Lone Ranger and they have to make it up with $24 water misters, $18 sunblock (but hey don’t worry you brought your own 🙂 and $12 hot dogs to help pay off Jonny Depp’s salary and “alleged” coke habit on your back. But I gleefully smuggle booze into kid theme parks so who am I to talk. Sure you can try to sell some 3rd rate traveling carnival as the new Disney to avoid the fleecing but the kids will see right through that sham and there is a 34% chance one of them suffers a traumatic injury from the death trap they call carnival rides. Either way you are hitting your medical deductible.

So enjoy my fellow donuters and next time you see Mickey give him a good poke in the eye.

The Path To Mancavedom

On the day we consume massive quantities of turkey, beer and 12 straight hours of glorious football it only seems fitting I celebrate the official grand opening of my very own man cave. My accountant would rather I call it my home office but calling this blog entry The Path to HomeOfficedom is super lame and I’m paying him good money so work on those tax write offs from the “man cave” investment.

You see man needs his own space and that was easy for him to obtain in his early days roaming the earth. But then man fell in love, married and created little men that eventually look over his home office sanctuary and found himself parking his ass regularly at Starbucks to get some peace and quiet and taking conference calls over endless hours of baristas making double shot skinny mocha latte frapacchinos . That life was getting old.

This path to mancavedom was not an easy one. It started as a vision years ago. became reality last year when the CFO of DonutMonday Inc signed off on the project (wife) and broke ground earlier this year. During this trail blazing journey to build his new castle I documented each milestone of the arduous process and I share that with you today.

Step 1 – Find a suitable location. I live in a modest home in Northern California where housing is expensive and general contractors are in high demand. So visions of a grand remodel adding square feet were not in the cards. Fortunately my property contains a shed in the backyard that was the inspiration for a number of horror movies ground zero for every child’s nightmares. Actually my wife keeps her off season clothes and holiday decorations in here so we’re good to go. Location secured. img_2710

Step 2 – Execute Operation Shed Crap Transfer. This is my dining room table. I think. I didn’t actually see it for almost 2 months because it was the interim staging area of where we stored all the crap we had in the shed. However this was a principal condition of getting the CFO financial green light so failure was not an option. img_2719

 

Step 3 -Knock that old mofo shed down. This was going to be the fun part of the project. Just me, a home depot special entry level low torque cordless drill with accumulated dust from non use and ingenuity. I may not be able to build but I can destroy! img_2708

 

Step 4 – 3 hours later, throw away the cheap ass drill, scrap the elegant de-assembly plan and just start sledgehammering with middle age dad anger. That worked way better. Eventually I was left with the final skeletal remains of the old shed. One i-beam remained holding everything together that required accurate precision to ensure full safety precautions and avoid any injury from walls falling in on the demolition crew.

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Unfortunately that plan did not work but the ladder and what was left of my dignity took the brunt of the collapse.

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Step  6 – Draw up your plans. This was the first rendition of the vision for what my man cave would look like utilizing cave man like drawing skills. Possessing no ability to draw a person from a sky view makes it look like I’m lying on the floor sprawled out face up on the floor with a beer in my hand. That’s entirely in accurate. I’m normally face down.

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Step 7 – Throw away that 1st grade level crayon drawing and hire a real outfit that can do the job right. In my case I went the pre-fab route and worked with a company called Modern Shed (www.modern-shed.com) These guys were great as was their design options and I’m not just saying that because I get $500 for every sales referral I send them. That said if you are in the market for a man cave/home office I highly recommend this outfit and I’ll give you unlimited use of my soon to be new kegerator which happens to be $499 on sale today at Home Depot. Weird coincidence on price. Did I mention these guys were great? So very great.

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Step 8 – Check your non-handy ass ego at the door and get out of the way. This is Jose and Gaspar. These guys know how to build and simultaneously silently mock me with real power tools which they leave scattered around my property to torment me.

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Step 9 – Find a suitable side project. While Gaspar and Jose did all the heavy lifting building out the cave I found a way to make myself useful by building out the storage closets that would house all of the wife’s clothes and decorations that previously resided in the horror house shed. Just look at the precision on how the cabinet doors don’t quite line up nor the 3rd unit on the right which is an entirely different sized storage closet I accidentally purchased and didn’t even realize it till assembly stage 14C.


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Step 10 – Pimp It out. That wall spackle is not even dry and I have the TV fully mounted. Boom! It’s the corner piece centralized universal of any certified man cave and mandated by the city permit that I did not secure when putting up this bad boy. But don’t tell the  city and for god sakes don’t tell that to my accountant.

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Step 11 – Invest in a wifi extender. I cut the cable cord and bought an Amazon Firestick to broadcast HD TV over wifi. Great plan on paper. Unfortunately my current home wifi did not adequately reach the outer confines of Casa de DonutMonday and watching impressively consistent levels of buffering on aforementioned TV in VHF display quality got old fast. So I invested in the titanium grade Sports-A-Saurus 3000 model to deliver 100MB grade HD delivery with the 1 click push button pizza delivery feature. Comcast is NOT getting my money today.

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Step 12 – Once Sports-A-Sauris is installed ensure you have your man cave built during MLB baseball post season, NFL, NHL and college football seasons for proper and thorough quality assurance testing.img_3072

Step 13 – Understand you will fall victim to purchase every ManCave themed shwag on earth.I tried to fight this but who can say no to a one of a kind Mexican license plate themed sign sold by ten thousand street vendors in Cabo San Lucas? I didn’t think so Judgey McJudger

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Step 14 – Equip your man cave. Check out this bad ass hand stitched Italian leather dual motorized reclinable couch imported directly from Florence for a mere $4500. Unfortunately that was not a CFO approved purchase so check out the plan B Costco sofa bed special that currently resides in the cave instead. img_3080

Step 15 – Landscape, paint and rejoice. My kingdom awaits and it comes equipped with full time child labor who will keep the beer fridge restocked knowing access to the Xbox relies upon completion of those duties. Pretty nice upgrade over the horror shed and packs a 140 SF of certified man themed punch on the inside.

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How do I explain a Trump presidency to my kids?

Today was a tough day for me as a parent as I tried to explain to my kids that Donald Trump will be our President. There is no playbook for this so I went on instinct which is the only way I know how to approach this unprecedented moment in our country. As a father of 12 and 9 year old boys I feel its important for them to be informed on the political system and how elections work. My family teases me that if there is one constant in our house it’s that if it’s Sunday It’s Meet the Press. Consequently my kids saw firsthand the hateful rhetoric that Donald Trump ran on during his campaign which ultimately got him elected and questioned why so many people would vote for him. Here’s what I told them. I had to sugarcoat some of aspects of what Im thinking but tried to keep it honest and real. 

  • We respect the constitution and accept that this man is our President. Its the will of the citizens of this country to choose our leader and we will respect that choice even if the President elect himself did not offer the same assurances had he not won. We must give him a chance to try and unite this country. 
  • You will be safe and protected. Our founding fathers created a constitution with checks and balances to prevent a President from taking us to war, enacting new laws or appointing judicial appointments without congressional approval which is many cases takes more than a simple majority. I remain gravely concerned that he will control the nuclear codes but that is not a burden of concern I want to put on my kids at these ages.
  • There is hate in this world and Hillary was right that there is a percentage of deplorables who voted for Trump but I have to believe many more people are decent people and voted for him simply because they wanted change and mistrust the current political establishment. They want higher wages or just to have a job again. They want a congress that will work together. They want to pay lower taxes. They want to protect whatever it is they feel is important to them that they don’t feel Hillary would stand up for. And for whatever reason they feel Donald Trump can deliver this. So far as I believe much of this is based on a foundation of ignorance and fantasy we can still take solace that is it’s still not hate. 
  • We live in a state that mirrors our moral and social values and the constitution allows us to enact our own local laws based on the will of the people. 
  • We will not be influenced by the actions we see in government.  We will support and love our family, our friends and never discard anyone based on race, color, sexual preference or financial stature. 

And if all else fails and the shit gets real I still have Canadian citizenship and can move back where we can hang out with Jon Stewart and Cher. 

Living Large in Little League

This dad shares his experiences as his kids progress through little league baseball

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Last minute Donut Monday Dad Christmas gift ideas

Struggling to find a last minute Christmas gift that merits the awesomeness that Mr. Donut Monday delivers day in an day out? Never fear. I’ve compiled a list of ideas that meets such criteria

10. Someone to re-engineer my Comcast Home security system to no longer make an audible ping on the master console in our bedroom when the system detects a door being opened in our home. This crafty feature was intended to say “Alert –  Someone might be breaking into your home!!” but in reality its sole use to date has been for the sole benefit of Mrs. Donut Monday – “Alert – Mr Donut Monday is rolling in at 1:18am after a night boozing with friends who you don’t approve of!  Also he forgot to take out the trash”

9. A walk on role for Mad Men’s final season as Roger Sterling’s younger, better looking yet boozier brother who engage in hijinx with the secretary pool and bring in the biggest client to date for the ad firm, Scooter Tuna.

8. Someone to train my kids to no longer pee with the seat down and to flush when they go #2. I continually realize the importance of this wish being granted every time I sit on a wet toilet seat and look down.

7. A photoshopped picture me hoisting the Stanley cup over my head surrounded by the San Jose Sharks. I’ve been waiting 42 years for this moment. Time to take matters into my own hands

6. $10,000 cash to hire a team of analysts to determine how I found a way to miss my fantasy football playoffs this year with Peyton Manning, AJ Green, Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Defense on my roster and form my draft war room for next years season.  If there is any money left over it can be used add metallic toilet seats to my home to instill electro shock therapy for any future peeing violations from the kiddos

5. A magical hockey stick that pulls me around the ice craftily with Sydney Crosby like prowess to unleash a slap shot that elevates my game above the wounded moose like skills I currently bring to the ice in my current state

4. A hired hit man to make my raccoon and gopher problems to go away quietly. Plus maybe one of my cats but don’t tell the wife.

3. A super sized bladder transplant with camel like prowess so I can actually make it through a sporting event, movie, or a full night of sleep without the need to go. This wish is sponsored by Flomax.

2. A hovercraft to take me to work daily and avoid the jackelopes who somehow found employment in this improved economy, thus wrecking my commute. Will also accept a transporter device

1. To be “freshly pressed” on WordPress yet again and inflate my already dangerously large ego.

Happy holidays

TV Time Out – So That’s What HD Looks Like!

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Oh yeah check out that bad boy the 32 inch Proscan. RCA’s “in your face” answer to Sony’s Trinitron and Pioneer’s Elite series harnessing the best of TV technology circa 1998. That was back in the day when you had to call in atleast 2 buddies to help carry a beast like this when moving and if you dropped this TV on your foot you were definitely going to the emergency room. Not like the featherweight slim LED TV’s of today that my 9 year old could move himself. I took a picture of this relic from a rather odd angle with bad lighting because I literally can’t move it any further by myself.  In short, a man’s man TV. Or some would say a cheap man’s TV. And the reason I know so much about the Proscan TV is because this monster has until about a week ago, been the primary TV viewing home experience for me and my family the past 15 years. RCA may have gone out of business but not in my house.

Truth be told I didn’t even care about replacing the TV the first 8-10 years. TV technology at the time was good enough for me and 50 inch plasma TV’s back then would set you back a good $3-4K. Why get a SmartTV when I had hundreds of physical DVD’s that I could ignore and store in my house taking up precious room while collecting dust? The real shunning began about 3 years ago. Buddies dropping by for a Sunday afternoon watching football slowly dwindled. One friend walked in to my house one Sunday afternoon to watch the 49ers, took one look at the TV and walked out immediately without saying a word. Since then I send him (just him) a Super Bowl party invitation every year with a picture of the TV on the front of the card telling him to RSVP ahead to guarantee I could make room for him. Last year I had my Comcast cable boxes updated and asked the installation technician how much to upgrade to an HD signal. He just looked at me and said “Why?” When the Comcast guy shuns you and gives you the virtual “L” pasted across the forehead you know you’ve hit bottom.

So 2 weeks ago I drove down to the local Best Buy with a stack of gift cards accumulated from 10’s of thousands of dollars in DVD purchase rebates on my credit card and headed over the TV section. The discussion with a very nice sales lady went something like this.

Sales lady – “Can I help you sir?”

Me – “Yes I’d like to buy a new TV”

Sales lady – “Is there a particular set of features you’re looking for in a new TV?”

Me – “Yes I’m looking for a 50 inch TV that has new features developed since 1998”

Sales lady – “You have a TV from 1998?”

Me – “Yes. Please don’t shun me”

Sales lady – “No worries. Are you going to give it to a museum or something”

Me – “I would but I can’t physically move it out of my house. We are going to stack the kids toys all around it until they move out for college which is about when I’ll be ready to upgrade my TV again”

When I finished picking out the TV from the Best Buy Labor Day Sucker sale the nice sales lady said they would bring the Slim LED TV around front to load into my car. In my customary fashion I waited for 3 large men to come by to load the TV but the sales lady brought out the TV herself and loaded it in the car, with one hand, while texting her friends.

Installing the new TV in my living room was relatively pain free save for lifting the old TV off the stand and moving it 2 feet which is where it still sits at this moment. When i turned on the new TV for the first time an impressive graphic display of HD awesomeness appeared before my eyes and that was just the TV set up wizard. Even the set up prompts were impressive and intuitive. “I have detected Comcast Cable as your primary provider” (yep)…”I have detected your home wifi and connecting now” (impressive)…”I have determined your top 10 favorite shows after analyzing your DVR saved programs and past viewing habits. Would you like me to recommend shows to you automatically?” (tears rolling down my face) Once the set up was complete the TV crescendo built up while the TV automatically downloaded a software update. In the background set up music I swore I heard the words “Looooooosseeeerrrr” whisper into my ear.

The next morning was like summer Christmas in casa Donut Monday. The kids reiterated their love for their father and the wife said rent something “frisky” on the Netflix app later tonight, in HD. My Comcast guy looks me in the eye again.

Until my next TV revolution circa 2028

The Father’s Day All Dads Really Want

Father’s day is like Christmas morning for dudes over 35. It’s the one holiday I really look forward to now that I’m a dad, a husband and a worker bee (I mean consultant) And it’s placed at the perfect time of year, just before the wife and I run the gauntlet on a summer when the kids are home 23 hours a day during school break and just after 17 other occasions that are not centered around me. That Hallmark driven marathon starts with Valentine’s day which is a mere 2 days after my birthday (barely enough time to sober up) with a checkpoint at Mother’s day, 12 eight year old kid birthday parties and finally a sprint to the finish line with the wedding anniversary. Speaking of which I’m married to the most shizawesome wife in the world. She knows that while many of my crew of fellow dads get stuck going to expensive Father’s day brunches with the extended family or play dates with other families at the park I get the day off to do whatever I want with no contingencies or lectures after the fact. It doesn’t even have to be legal though she asks to keep it to misdemeanor level offenses

Each year she will ask me what I want to do for Father’s Day and I walk her through the most epic day ever. This would be the Mount Everest of Father’s Days and if I’m only able to achieve a fraction of this it would be a great day still. Let me walk you through it.

The morning starts with a true opportunity to sleep in rather than the daily ritual of a 5 year old projecting at 50 decibels “MORNING DADDY!” 3 centimeters from my eardrum at the side of my bed at 6:30am. The wife has pre-briefed the children the night before that they get 20 minutes of TV cartoon time for each pound of bacon they cook up to prepare for Daddy’s day and an extra 30 minutes if they hear the lock engaged on Mommy and Daddy’s bedroom door in the morning. That’s how I want to be woken up to on Father’s Day morning…the smell of bacon being cooked illegally by minors who earn 5 dollars a week and the bedroom door being locked by my wife.

Once the all clear sign has been given the wife and kids gather to formally present daddy with their father’s day presents. Mommy goes first with a trio of gifts. The first is a tribute to introducing more danger into my life. Up until now the most traumatic experience is whether or not I pull a hammy sprinting out to the curb every Wednesday at 6am to catch the garbage truck after forgetting to put the trash out the night before. So she rewards with me a  guest star appearance as a lowly deck hand who gets promoted to skipper after all the other deck hands are swept to sea on Deadliest Catch.  A spinoff series is being discussed. The second gift is absolute forgiveness for not reminding me that this is the 12 time I’ve forgotten to take out the trash in the last 13 weeks. The third gift is washing the seasick induced puke off my shirt after my guest appearance as a deck hand/turned skipper on Deadliest Catch goes horribly wrong and the spinoff series talks go south.

Then it’s time for the kids to present their gifts to me from youngest to snottiest. The first gift is a solemn oath to from this time forward to flush the toilet after taking a number 2, (an oath that will be broken a mere 20 minutes later) , the 2nd to grant me preemptive forgiveness for blowing they college 529 college money on a weekend bender in Vegas and the third for my oldest boy to commit to learning to drive by age 9 so I can have 24/7 DD access at all times. None of this is legally binding in the court of child rearing but I appreciate the effort and hustle.

Upon completion of the gift giving process and proper consumption of  mass quantities of illegally baked bacon I get dressed and walk outside to see Emma Stone washing my new Tesla Model S hybrid in a bikini. I immediately upgrade her to my caddy where she will carry my bag on a round of golf at Pebble beach with 3 of my heroes: Wayne Gretzky who brings a upgrade to my mad E level hockey skills, the dude who plays Don Draper on Mad Men who shows me how to be productive at work after 12 Scotch drinks accompanied by a power booze nap and a persistent scowl and my Dad who is the only man I know who can pull off a pink shirt and white trousers. Yes I said it. Trousers. It’s father’s day. I get to say whatever I want.

After golf I’m helicoptered into the final table on the World Series of Poker where I put on a clinic to capture my first of many WSOP bracelets, train with the Navy Seal equivalent of Canada (the Beaver Battalion) for an upcoming raid to get rid of the province of Saskatchewan (we’re just tired of having to spell Saskatchewan) and asked to write an op-ed piece in the New York Times on how donut consumption will ultimately save the world. Amen to that brother.

The Loneliest Toilet On Earth

I’m all for innovation. The team that invented wrinkle free dress shirts, thus ensuring I never have to touch an iron in my life again is impressive. The man who invented the Umbrella hat should be knighted. And yet no one has figured out how to create a diaper that can properly contain the volume of pee produced from a 4 year old at night. I ask WHY? Having two aggressively hydrated boys and what is clearly an insufficient two bathrooms in my house, my wife and I find ourselves out gunned when it comes to containing the multiple pee perpetrators in our household. Until then our status remains at Code Yellow

Pee Perpetrator #1

This is the only known existing photo of our primary pee perpetrator, the 4 year old. The boy rarely stands still, likely too excited stalking out the next area to mark his territory. This ninja trained pee out warrior has mastered the art to refuse all liquids until the last 30 minutes before bed, at which point he consumes at a rate better than that of our best beer anchor man in my college fraternity days despite our efforts to limit his intake. This technique has increased his overall bladder storage capacity, thus increasing the damage he can do later that night. Night diapers never have a chance. Rather than being contrite, he’s actually proud of his achievements, typically entering our room at 3am with a big shit eating grin like he just broke the new pee out Olympic record. Averaging 1-2 “breaches” a week, we’ve also set a new record on how fast we can change the sheets in the dark…correction how fast “I” can change the sheets in the dark.

He’s also not one to be defined as solely a night pee out master. Freestyling with his finest Spiderman underoos during the day, his decision making process when the need to pee has reached Defcon 5 is made on a case by case basis.  Yes conceptually he could stop the Wi hockey game and go potty in the toilet after doing the pee dance for a solid 5 minutes straight but there is only 30 seconds left in the period, he’s up by a goal and the toilet is a mere 10 feet away so better to defer this decision for now as higher stakes are on the line. Envision the Wi victory dance moments later, hands held up with a big wet crotch and proud of it. That’s my boy

Pee perpetrator #2

This is our 8 year old and its impressive how he has mastered his craft. We’ve shielded his identity in order to avoid psychotherapy years from now when he realizes his Dad brazenly called him out in a desperate attempt to get his blog visitor count up. Diaper free for a few years now he rarely pees the bed but rather takes a more unorthodox approach of sleep walking and peeing in random locations which includes the closet, his clothes hamper and on one occasion his grandma who made the critical error of sleeping in his room once one night while visiting. Just once. My personal favorite is when he actually makes it to the bathroom during a sleep walking incident but forgets to actually lift the toilet lid. Forget the horse whisperer. My wife is the pee whisperer. She senses when he’s roaming the house in the middle of the night, dashes out of bed and brings him back from the brink of making our house his own personal urinal.

Pee perpetrator #3

This is Daisy our cat the most ruthless pee perpetrator of all. Her identity also protected because she is now in the cat witness protection program eluding the hitmen my wife has hired to eliminate her for good. Cats we found have mastered the art of carrying a grudge. After having our first child she was regulated to 2nd fiddle status and never truly forgave the wife or I, thus when her evil campaign of urinal redemption started. At first her acts were more like firing warning shots over our bow indicating she meant business. She would pee in random places without discrimination but when child #2 arrived she realized she needed to refine her game and make it personal. The wife was isolated as a key target to take out when she started peeing on her shoes in the closet. Apparently Daisy has an eye for fashion as she only went after the high end DKNY’s and the Mojo Moxy’s.  The $8.99 Ked slip ons purchased at Target on sale were surprisingly left alone. In a tactical move apparently taught to her by feline special forces, she next went after the primary shoe source, the shoe closet which is locate in our garage. After a merciless bombing campaign the shoe closet eventually collapsed when the weight bearing side walls were completely saturated with cat pee. I have to say I was most  impressed when she took the final nuclear option of peeing down the heater vent in our bedroom. It’s a real treat having hot cat pee smell emulating throughout the house on a hot August day.

Side note –  This is the industrial clothes washer we purchased. It’s been running 24 hours a day since about August 2010. I love this washer. This washer keeps our marriage intact.

Redemption will be mine in about 40 years assuming they don’t invent a way to contain pee outs from an 80 year old man who lost control of his bladder. I’m not holding my breath

My Diaper Death March

Mountain climbers occasionally experience the phenomenon of the false peak, topographical oddities that seemingly indicate that a summit has been reached when in fact the journey has not yet been completed. August of last year I experienced my false peak on the journey to a diaper free lifestyle. All indications and preparations were made for a full transition on his 3rd birthday, similar to his older brother who “summitted” on his own in a similar fashion at that age. Down to the last oxygen tank and near exhaustion I soldiered on, counting down the number of diapers I had left to change a full 30 days prior and not letting any poop blowouts dampen my spirit. But the 3rd birthday came and went I realized I had experienced a false peak. Dejected, I sat down, ripped open a Cliff bar and prepared myself for a seemingly endless Pampers driven life. This was my Vietnam.

Fast forward 7 months and I have finally conquered that mountain. A single tear from my face hit the ground at the exact same moment my son’s first poop on the potty made the splash down, unclear if it was caused from an overwhelming joy that I had finally reached my summit or laughter seeing the uneasy look on my boy’s face as things were falling out of his bum. This uncertainty has quickly turned to pride as he always makes a point now to fully admire his work before flushing.

Since I have graduated into a diaper free lifestyle, I have pledged to never change one ever again. My father called recently to congratulate me on my decision but noting that that it took him about 3000 less diapers before he found his own enlightenment. Easy to say in 1971. That said I’m not jaded and I have chosen to use my powers only for the good. I happily pass on my diaper changing expertise to less fortunate male souls who are still completing their own death march though I do it Mad Men style, with a high ball of scotch in one hand while I tell you why your changing technique is all wrong. Flaps out boys…always out.

They say kids grow up too fast but this was one milestone that could not come fast enough for me. Please give a moment of silence for my personal sherpa – the diaper bin that now sits at the the end of my driveway with the biggest FREE sign I could find. Time to pass him on to another weary mountaineer.