The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘mom’

Easy Praise

This post is a little counter-intuitive, because I’m going to give people reasons to not to say nice things to me, but I think it’s worth saying.

I think, in my very short journey into fatherhood, it’s easier to be called a great dad than it is to be called a great mom. By easier I mean much, much easier. Like the bar is set so low a snail could walk over it. And, unfortunately, I think that’s because of the general expectations that people have for moms and dads. Moms are expected to do … everything, and likely with a full heart and a smile, and dads are expected to help mom take a load off once every 3 weeks or so. I don’t know the exact science, but it’s in there somewhere.

My wife and I are following the traditional route, she is home on maternity leave for a long while, and I am back at work. This means, by the time I get home every day, she will have been full time b for 8+ hours, while I worked on code. In case you didn’t know, code is much more predictable than a baby. I get frustrated when I can’t solve a problem at work (because I always feel like I should know better and be able to solve whatever it is) … and a baby is somewhat similar in a way.

Hear me out. The baby and computer can both give less than ideal messages that something is wrong (cryptic error messages for one, crying so intense it consumes their whole body for the other) … but you know what? I think cryptic error messages are ok compared to crying. Most anything is ok compared to crying.

I get home from a lovely day of work or a long day and if the kiddo is up and unhappy, I’ll dance around with him. Easy peasy. He typically has an unhappy stretch somewhere between or inclusive of 7 pm to 11 pm. Usually he can be calmed pretty well, but you have to be in constant motion. I am consistently logging 3+ miles just in the house, and the majority of that is pacing/dancing from the kitchen to the family room and back. And again. And again. It’s not always pleasant, but it’s not too bad. The only really unpleasant times are when he is inconsolable and so very upset. That is tough. It’s draining to try to keep the monster happy when he is fussy for God knows what reason … And my wife has just had a long day of doing just that.

But you wouldn’t believe how people hear or see that I come home from work, take over to give my wife a break, and then folks offer up lauds generally reserved for those curing cancer.

Was I not involved in the creation of this kiddo? I know my wife, and mom’s in general, are genetically tied to the baby in a way the dad never can be or never will be … But to let that be the justification for being hands off or not trying to contribute as much as possible?

Consider, the next time you want to throw out a kudos, would you be throwing the same kudos if you saw a mom doing this thing? Or is it applause worthy simply because it’s dad?

Really. Pause. Take a moment, and think about it.

Got to go, the kid and wife have both been crying the whole time I’ve been writing this. Just kidding. You hope.


Crib Assembly

A number of years ago for Christmas I bought my mom a book, The Hypochondriac’s Guide to Life. And Death. It’s a humorous book that jokingly attempts to so overwhelm the reader with rare and deadly diseases that you can’t help but give up on your hypochondria.

My mom is not actually a hypochondriac at all, but she is one for her children. When I was 21 I was about 6’3 and let’s say 150-160 pounds … in case that doesn’t help – TALL AND SKINNY. I was debating the idea of signing up for a marathon class at college to help me prep for a marathon. Why not, right? My mom had recently seen a Sunday night news program talking about a tall, skinny, in shape young man who died suddenly and unexpectedly while training for a marathon. It was an incredibly rare heart condition that is generally only seen in skinny and tall fellas. Motivated by this, my mom made an appointment for me to get an EKG to check on my heart.

FullSizeRender(1)Having just opened up a box containing the pieces that will be used to assemble a (dear God please let it be safe and sturdy) crib, I am beginning to see the foundations of her hypochondria by proxy.


I think there is a warning for everything in the instructions. It’s comical until you reflect and realize what led to every single additional warning, and then it is gut-wrenching. Louis C.K.’s edgy don’t-touch-that-topic style approach to humor has nothing on crib assembly instructions.

The crazy thing is, even acknowledging this makes me fearful. What have you done to me, unborn child?

P.S. This may be the only product I will have ever registered for, since they send safety alerts. For once in my life, I’ll be rooting for spam instead of a real email.

Mistaken Identity

Recently my mom sent me an email via a website called Tidbits. It was a very nice thought. The email has a number of good restaurants to try in the Houston area. I will definitely be trying a few of them.

My mom is weird and sweet in this way (this is what I call a “countdown comment” – because after I publish this post it’s a countdown til my mom says, “so Brad, I read your blog today …”). This is sweet because my mom is looking out for me, giving me tips on fun things to do. This is weird because she lives in Arizona and keeps tabs on Houston because I live here.

Unfortunately, Tidbits is catered to women. Or, as the website called me in the email, it is catered to the “gal about town.”

What’s the natural follow-up? Automatic subscription to a Tidbits, with the next email titled, “Put your best stiletto forward.”

I’m not just any gal about town, I’m a leggy gal about town.

But wait, there’s more. From some random run I did in the past I get emails from Runner’s World magazine. Kind of annoying, kind of nice. One day I got an unexpected email from them:

“Run like a girl!”

In the email it talked about concerns women have when running that men don’t have (sports bras, Aunt Flo, and menopause). Not only does the magazine think I’m a woman, it thinks I’m an older woman.

Frankly, this old gal can’t wait for the email telling me that the Deluxe Designing Women DVD Box Set is on sale.

Mother’s Day Test

There’s nothing closer to real, unconditional love than a parent’s love. And who better to embody that than a mother? That’s why this year, for Mother’s Day, I created this test.

What better way for a mom to demonstrate the power of her love than by pretending to forget what day of the year Mother’s Day is on! Then your mom can really show the amount of unconditional love she has. It’s an opportunity you’re giving her …

Say!, I guess this is a sort of gift after all!

That’s why this coming Sunday, Mother’s Day (May 20th! Don’t forget!) I plan to “forget” what day is Mother’s Day!

It’ll be a doozy!

What a Fun Trip!

And then I said “wow what a trip!,” and mom said, “that was a fun trip,” and I thought, “holy cow mom’s on acid!” and she said, “no I’m not on acid I meant the family vacation,” and then she turned into a dragon and ate dad and I thought, “maybe this isn’t a fun trip.”

Uhhh … What?

A guy I work with uses the word “dragon” as a synonym for a problem of any kind.

“Get to work on this and you’ll find some dragons!”
“I bet there’s a whole box of dragons once you get into that.”

I had a meeting with him and he talked about dragons, and I tried to focus while thinking about my upcoming trip – and voila – that piece of weird up top came out.

Happy Birthday to … Mom

October is a big birthday month in my family. I decided to do a little post for some of the birthday boys and girls I know.

After college graduation I moved to California. I kept in touch with my then ex-girlfriend. We had broken up because of the move, so we were in a weird ‘what is this’ state.

I’ll get to the mom element of this, I promise, it’ll just take a second.

One day  [I’m skipping the sob story version of this] things between the ex and I ended. Wah wah wah. They ended in a way I hadn’t expected. I was in the library parking lot, about to go in the library to check emails and hang out (it’s a really nice library).

After getting off the phone with my ex (who I had yelled at a bit – sorry about that …) I decided to call my sister to say, “well, [ex] and I won’t be talking any more.” I got a hold of E$, who said, “hey!” then I said, “hey” … and then, ruh roh, a bag full of emotions came pouring out of me.

I made some sort of animal being tortured noise, she guessed, “is it [ex]?” and I replied, “gotta go.”

I ended up talking to my ex one or two more times that day (ending on a way too civil weird note), and my sister. The next day I talked to my mom briefly, who happened to be out shopping with my sister the day before when I’d called.

The reason for this story is the line my mom said to me. We talked for a bit about this and that and then she said,

“We don’t have to talk about [ex] but I just want you to know if I ever see her I will murder her with an axe.”

Fantastic, right? I liked that not only was my mom looking out for me, but she was looking out for me with a very specific (and gruesome) weapon of choice.

Happy bday to my warrior mom!

Don’t Ask, Don’t Have to be Told

This might be something the parties involved don’t want on the internet – so I’ll be discreet. A certain unnamed mother of mine, and a certain unnamed sister of mine were talking one night about going to Wal-Mart.

What? I couldn’t believe it.

“It’s like … 9 o’clock … why do you guys want to go to Wal-Mart right now?”

“We just want to go,” came the quick, but cordial response.

“Who goes to Wal-Mart at 9 pm? What’re we in middle school? I mean – I’m game for it too, but you guys are weird.”

“Brad,” just like the various combinations of red, blue and green combine to make so many colors, this ‘mom character’s’ tone, stance, and expression can combine to make so many things left unsaid well understood.

That Aunt Flo and her surprise visits.

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