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We all like smiling men better

Got up early today. It's my thing now. The last three mornings I've been awakened earlier than I'd prefer for one reason or another, so now I'm just used to it. Played some Fallout 3. Fun. It's my precious three minutes before the kids wake up.

Then I took out the trash and the diapers and compost and did the dishes. Why? I'll tell you why--Nanny 911.

Megan discovered the show, and I've been pretty much loving it too. I've never been so engrossed in reality tv before. I suppose there's a reality show out there for everyone, huh? (It's no 24, though. That stupid shit is seriously engrossing).

Of course I have my reservations about the show. For one, everything that happens within the household is falsified a bit because the families under watch have cameras following them. They're told to act normal, or course, but how can you act normal under those circumstances? I'd totally be doing dances and showing off and stuff and letting my kids fall off the balcony outside if it were me.

Also you can tell the women are more glammed than they'd normally be. I'm sure they don't put makeup on and do their hair every day for their kids. But that may be their own choice, and not the producers'. And there's nothing wrong with that, either. It just takes away from what could be a more realistic scenario.


Speaking of glammed up, the last episode we watched involved a family named ... something. Anyway, the mother is this smoking hot redhead with a big old thick head of hair that she can apparently make straight or curly at the push of a button. It's the longest, thickest red head I've ever seen. She's pretty, too. And nice. I'm completely in love with her.

And her husband was a total piece of shit! Before the nanny had harsh words with him, anyway. He works part-time as a videographer, looks like a lesser Baldwin brother, and didn't do any chores around the house. Meanwhile his wife cleans up everything every day. All the chores--vacuuming, dishes, etc., while he lays in bed and sits on the couch and encourages his kids' bad behavior by giving them toy swords and guns and such. (I had toy weapons as a kid, though, and I loved them. Hard to draw the line.)

And when he would discipline his four kids, it was always with threats and spankings. No no, dad. I'm guessing he didn't have the happiest childhood. He never smiled until the nanny started laying into him. It was a bit scary, actually. He looked like he had a sort of stranglehold on his wife, who was overworked and trying her damnedest to not piss his easy-to-piss-off ass off and keep the house in order while he did nothing.

The nanny of course identified the problem as being mostly the dad. This fucking guy, married to this beautiful ginger trophy wife, who works her ass off to keep their huge house clean (which is really important when you have kids, for keeping sane alone), totally didn't deserve her.

Or the beautiful house they lived in! How did they afford that thing with one working parent, who works part-time? I smell inheritance or something.

It all made me want to be a better partner to my beautiful redhead trophy girlfriend lady of special interest. I'm not as lazy as that guy, sure, but there's always room for improvement. So I did chores today. And I walked with her to the doctor today and we took the kids with us. It's been a good day so far. And booty. Precious booty. Oh shit it's been a hella good day.

Sometimes life hands you a shit sandwich, and for the past month I'd been feeling down. Megan and I had a new baby (which is a good thing--just makes for more busy daily life), our fridge broke, I was depressed about losing my job, we couldn't have sex because her IUD was misbehaving, money is tight, and my ... I have to poop all the time!!!!

Now most of those things are taken care of and life feels a touch more normal. But it wasn't outside factors that lead to me this conclusion--it was Nanny 911.

What I'm trying to say, I think, is that it takes a certain kind of jolt to really change one's perspective. Seeing a family in dire straits, and studying the root of said straits, caused me to examine my own life and behavior. I don't want to be anything like that piece of shit unappreciative dad. It's not okay for a dad to be angry, or a lazy piece of white male trash with gel in the hair all the time who never smiles.

Women like smiling men. I like smiling men. Men should be encouraged to smile more and stop acting so tough.


A broken refrigerator is a pain in the cooler space

Yeah so the refrigerator's motor went kaputski. Bloody hell.

Luckily for us, our landlord is a cool dude and paid for a repair guy to come over and say it's not worth repairing, and he's buying us a new fridge, and he asked if we had a color preference. Of course I said black.

I dunno if it was the second hot day of this Seattle summer, or what. But the fridge is 11 years old and the motor is old and there are several things broken on it, like the relay and the thermostat. One of the parts needed is currently unavailable, and the repair guy said it would take four weeks of research to even find the goddam thing. How that works is beyond me. I could probably find it in a day, but whatever.

When we realized it had broken, our ice cream had already mostly melted. Megan had made a delicious fruit crisp. We waited until the kids were in bed before digging into it, in order to keep Lucy's sugar intake low. She already eats enough graham crackers in a given day.

I serve up some fruit crisp into our two respective parental bowls. It's lookin sweet. I break out the ice cream. Take off the top. Put the spoon in. There's no resistance. It's like spooning out thick milk. Eww. Fear fills me. I check out the rest of the food in the fridge and freezer. It's all warm. Dread fills me.

After some troubleshooting, we found the fridge wasn't gonna turn back on for nothing. The light was still on inside, so it wasn't an electrical issue. I looked behind the thing, but what do I know about fridge motors? It wasn't running and I wasn't about to take it apart, especially when the food is already getting warm.

I made an emergency run to the store and bought three bags of ice. Not what I wanted to be doing with my evening, when the kids were in bed and it was supposed to be time to relax. We're fortunate to live so close to Whole Foods. I come home, transfer all the food to the cooler that would fit, and dump in the ice. 

We left the freezer full, cause the sheet of ice that had been living on the ceiling in there had dislodged and was sitting on top of the food, keeping it cold enough for the time being. There were still many, many bags of breast milk in there, still frozen, but sweating. I had already informed the landlord about the situation, and I texted him to ask if we could use his freezer for the breast milk.

Well, I think that was a pretty powerful request, throwing in breast milk and all, cause he came home from "grilling in the sun," as he said, to help us out. And he was friendly as all hell. Thanks, Kav. You fucking rule. It's so nice having an understanding landlord. He's not overworked with tenant responsibilities, either, cause we're his first and only tenants. He just bought this house a few years ago, and he's around our age.

We put all the food that wouldn't fit in the cooler in his fridge and freezer downstairs. He even gave me a spare key to his place, so we could get in and get food out of there when we needed.

This all happened two days ago. Yesterday was the first full day of having food in the cooler. It's a pretty big pain in the ass, having to replenish the ice, dump out the water, and basically not have a fridge.

And then guess what happened. Go on, guess. How could our troubles be compounded in a really annoying way?

I lost the key.

GaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAHH!!! Blood spurt out bloody murder!

I don't know if I misplaced it, or if Lucy grabbed it, but now we have no way to get downstairs, cause Kav is a working man and he's not home very often. We looked high and low for it yesterday, to no avail.

But, the new fridge is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. Hopefully it will be a big black monolith, but at this point I'd take the ugliest taupe fridge available, cause it'd be better than storing all our cold food in a goddam camping cooler.

In other news, my kids are both getting bigger and developing in new and interesting ways every day. It's never boring around here. I took Lucy to the park today for a few hours, and had some great conversations with other parents and grandparents and their kids. I showed a little boy how to brush pebbles and dirt off his hands by wiping them on his shirt and pants. And I almost fell down once.

I've been playing a lot of Stardust HD and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night on my PS3. Both cool games that my brother hooked me up with. I don't play Resident Evil 5 when Lucy's awake. I try not to, anyway. When I do, she likes to say, "He fell down," whenever I blow a zombie away. Lord help her when she comes to understand what guns and death are. Maybe she'll like death metal more then ... . Oh, and she loves the Fallout: New Vegas theme song.


The Facebook Joke Incident


Lucy woke up and came into our room at 5:30 a.m. today. Now it's 6:40, she's watching Go Diego Go and I'm blogging and making coffee. May as well make hay while the sun shines.

Does that metaphor apply here? I dunno.

I couldn't sleep cause I started thinking about the Facebook Joke Incident (see previous entry). Megan had Beatrix in bed with us when Lucy came in, cause BB always wakes up around 5 a.m. and needs to feed. She always falls asleep for a good few hours after that, usually until 7:30. So after putting BB back in the crib to make room for Lucy, Megan had to hold her hands still so she wouldn't be grabbing our fingers and digging her nails into them (it calms her down).

Eventually Lu closed her eyes and appeared to be sleeping, but I was awake, thinking about my mom getting all offended by this joke I made and bringing my dad in on it. I can see it now--mom was probably at home, getting all worked up about me saying on Facebook that I was considering wringing Lucy's neck for hitting. Probably crying. And my father, good man that he is, wanted to make his wife feel better. So he types up a scolding lecture, detailing points that are obvious, most likely thinking I'm the only one who would read it after mom sent to me.

And then mom posts it to my wall, not in a private message. And then three other parents (2 from my family) and my older cousin Laurel comment on it, in agreement with my dad, offering more helpful advice of their own. As if I need this advice, to be backed off from the edge of a cliff. As if I'm actually going to make good on my joke about wringing my beautiful daughter's neck. As if I'm some kind of moronic, reactionary redneck from Michigan. It's an insult, and it comes after I got fired from my job for something I didn't deserve to get fired for. So not only do I get to be embarrassed at my dad scolding me publicly on Facebook, when I'm more fragile than I care to be, I additionally get to hear the choir backing him up. Wonderful.

What irks me the most is that my parents are being hypocrites. They used to spank me as a kid, something I will never do to my kids. So I'm actually less violent to my kids than they were to me. Another thing--my mom used to say to me, with a smile, "Glenn, I'm gonna wring your little neck!" occasionally when I did something naughty. And now she's angry, nay, disgusted and made ill at me saying, on Facebook, the exact same thing she used to say to me. I'm not even saying it to my kid!

If I were to hit my kids, it would make them safer if I advertised it on Facebook, so other concerned parties would have an excuse to call Child Protective Services on me! It's another thing if you actually tell your kids that you're going to be violent to them. That way, no one else will hear it, and it stays private and much more frightening.

Another thing--joking about violence towards your misbehaving children is funny! Kids are known to act like little shits, which makes parents infinitely frustrated and angry, and what is anyone's first thought when someone pisses them off? To hit them! Of course, most people have the restraint not to hit, but to use words to diffuse angry situations. And parents are champs at this. So to joke about it is not only funny, it's relieving--you put your kid's aggravating misbehavior in a light light, and thereby become less angry yourself. It's therapeutic. My therapist dad, who introduced me to Monty Python and taught me to have my dry and horrible sense of humor (my brother's words--thanx Ian), should have realized that.

He started off his Facebook lecture with, " ... I never look at Facebook, have no use for it ... " Obviously he does.

And to say that I tore my mom's heart out was out of line. My parents are just as guilty as I. But my dad lost his mother when he was around my age, so I can understand that he wants me to respect mine to the utmost.

Laying in bed with Lu and Megan this morning, with BB in the crib, all three of my precious girls sleeping soundly, I lie awake, with all this running around in my head. I was almost able to take my mind off of it. It would wander to Dethklok and other things I admire, and I would get a little more tired, but then sure as klokwork, the Facebook Joke Incident kept coming back.

So I got up. Got some socks and slippers. Lucy opened her eyes as soon as I got out of bed. I've gotta hand it to her, she was honestly trying to sleep, which is evidence of her getting older and more mature. She still doesn't have much of a concept of time, like when it is and isn't time to get up, but she's getting more and more of a handle on it.

I thought she would go back to sleep. Ha ha, dad. How silly of you. Of course she got up to hang out. And of course I rewarded this bad behavior with tv and food and drink, but I don't care. If someone's not tired, they shouldn't be forced to sleep. I can handle not having my usual 7.2 hours. And it may mean she takes an earlier nap.

Before she got out of bed, though, I deleted my mom as a friend from Facebook. Ha ha ha ha..... if she wants to see new pictures of her grandchildren, she'll have to play nice and drop this pearl-clutching, Christian outrage. I'm not having it.


Parents on Facebook

Don't let this happen to you! 
De-friend your parents on Facebook before it's 

First, this will happen! (skip to the end, sorry about white-on-light-blue formatting):

  • So Lucy is starting to hit. Any suggestions for appropriate discipline? Options Megan and I have considered include wringing her neck, or throwing her down the stairs. Oh man, what if we took tv away... that would be the worst of all.
    July 20 at 10:47am · Privacy: ·  · 

      • Kimberly Kefalas Glenn, we used to do "hugging time outs," which involved me sitting down cross-legged and hugging Dylan to me and counting. We started very small (like up to 30) and then if he wasn't calm we'd just keep going. At first he might still be upset but then he would sit and start counting along with me and that turned out to be how he learned out to count. But every kid is different and also I had the luxury of not having to look after a baby while doing that! I liked it better than the idea of an isolated time out at such a young age.
        July 20 at 11:17am ·  ·  4 people

      • Glenn Smith With isolated time outs, they say just do as many minutes as the kid is old. But I like your method. I'll try it.
        July 20 at 11:18am ·  ·  1 person

      • Kimberly Kefalas P.S. Watch out for the backwards head-butt in the first twenty seconds of flailing, because it might be right at nose level. OUCH.
        July 20 at 11:20am ·  ·  1 person

      • Gabriel Venegas Don't they make apple bitter spray for that sort of thing?? Wait...
        July 20 at 11:26am ·  ·  2 people

      • Karen English Lezovich Kimberly's way sounds good. Also watch the feet if it gets to be a full body tantrum.
        July 20 at 12:15pm · 

      • Joann Snay Brady does the same thing..! I guess kids go thru that at some point in there development. I'm going to have to try the "Hugging timeout". It might make him even more angry tho, we shall see... Good luck! This is exactly why I'm afraid to have another baby!! :/
        July 20 at 1:36pm · 

      • Bethany Soule Taking TV away punishes you! Here's my philosophy on the subject (in way too much detail): 1) Pay attention to the child/person that got hit first. Make a big deal out of how they have an ouchie etc. instead of instant attention on the hitter. 2) be as super consistent about timeouts as you can and act like you have no discretion on the matter -- you hit someone, even on accident, that's a timeout because that is simply how the universe works. 3) #2 enables you to be empathetic, while still being firm and enforcing the rules -- 'yeah, that was totally rude how Tommy grabbed your truck, you are soooo mad. BUT we don't hit people' 4) keep the number of rules really small, and just figure out how to cast different infractions in terms of the rule. We've got two rules that have gotten us from 1.5-4 years: no hurting people (covers 90% of all timeouts), must follow instructions (for things like kids running away in the middle of parking lots and such). Two years isn't too young for timeouts. They're staring to get the concept of cause and effect and it is good practice for the future, just keep it simple and no lecturing. Cantor is about the same age as Lucy and we frequently have this exchange: C: "I'm gonna bite you!" B: "What happens when you bite someone? What is the consequence?" C: "Have a time out." B: "Do you want to have a time out?" C: "No..." And then he pouts, or squirms around on the floor...
        July 20 at 2:07pm · 

      • Ricky Garland Velcro suit,Velcro wall. Any questions? She can't hit anyone if she can't pull her arms off the wall....
        July 20 at 2:50pm ·  ·  2 people

      • Debbie Dingle Try mace.
        July 20 at 3:49pm ·  ·  2 people

      • Terri Channells We also do time outs but ours are in the mud room and the minute per year of age. Then you have to "make nice" to the person you hit or give them two compliments which is for my 8 yo not violet. She usally says sorry and then I make her say : "We do not hit each other. We love each other."
        July 20 at 7:13pm · 

      • Emily Watson so glad you asked this cause Timber has been hitting too and i didnt know what to do about it either. i like the hugging time out idea but cant help but wonder...should i give him more mommy attention when he is already acting up to get my attention?
        July 20 at 10:19pm · 

      • Alyssa Gibson no. you let your child know very firmly that it will not be tolerated. It's not okay to hit others and that's just the way it is. Get down to their eye level when you tell them this and then make them stand in the corner, sit in the time out chair, or whatever your method of "time out" may be. Give them a minute or two for each year old they are (3 yrs old =3-6 mins in time out). whatever you do, DO NOT give them what they want and try to get through hitting. But remember, it's a phase....most kids go through it. Just make your rules known and overall, be consistant!!!!
        July 20 at 11:53pm ·  ·  1 person

      • Kathy Smith Reading what you have to say about violent acts to your daughter makes me ill. I am so off fb.
        23 hours ago · 

      • Kathy Smith or thoughts of those acts...
        23 hours ago · 

Then, this!:
  • Hi, Glenn. It's your dad. I never look at facebook, have no use for it, but your mother visited it today and read your note about frustrations in dealing with your daughter's hitting. Maternal instincts run deep in your mom, and when you suggest violence towards Lucy, you tear her heart out. Consider yourself scolded. Regarding Lucy's hitting, she doesn't know what to do with her anger. This is where you get to be the wise father. She's mad for a reason. If you can figure out why her anger makes sense, then you have teaching opportunities. For example, you have showered that child with undivded loving attention, until her sister was born. It's ok for her to be frustrated with how things have changed. She didn't get a choice, it just happened. Maybe you can help her verbalize why she's upset, and help her understand her own feelings, then she'll be able to move forward. I love you. You can't extinguish anger with anger. Peace out.
    22 hours ago ·  ·  · See Friendship
The horror!!