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.
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.
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