Posts Tagged ‘Horrible Parent’

Conversations With Jake: The “Nay Kit” Flash (Or, Why You Should REALLY Make Sure Your Kid is Asleep Before Listening to Podcasts in Your Car)

Earlier this year, I wrote about a photographer named James Beltz (who I now refer to as “Professor Jimmy” around the house, because, as it turns out, he really DID feel uncomfortable with my calling him “The Jimmy Lama”).

To know him (through his podcasts) is to love him. He’s southern and charming and hilariously funny in his A.D.D./silly ranting kind of way and frankly, the LOML is starting to get jealous of my constant bringing up of his name. But the fact of the matter is that Jimmy is the only photography instructor that I know that totally gets “it.” He doesn’t take himself too seriously, gets his audience/students to relax, and teaches in a way that is both fun and challenging. And I honestly have NO IDEA where I’d be without his classes or podcasts.

ANYWAY, most of you know that I do quite a bit of my podcast listening while driving. And sometimes even while the kids are in the car. (Usually while they are sleeping, or else I get pelted with Cheerios or Cheetos until I tune the dial to Radio Disney. ACK.)

A few weeks ago, I had picked up Jake from day camp and didn’t even get out of the parking lot when noticed that his eyes were getting heavy and he had leaned the seat back a little bit in order to settle in for a nap on the way home. So I decided that as soon as he was “out,” I would plug in my iTouch and listen to one of Professor Jimmy’s podcasts.

And wouldn’t you know, it would be one where Jimmy uses the phrase “Nekkid” flash about 678 times. (“Nekkid” is southern for “Naked.” And a “Nekkid Flash” is what you would call one of those big long flashes you see on professional cameras WITHOUT what you would call “a white thingy” on the end. A “white thingy” is a flash diffuser, which helps soften and spread light evenly.).

And I remember thinking, Holy CRAP it’s a good thing that Jake is asleep or he’d be asking me what the word “nekkid” meant. BECAUSE YOU KNOW HOW INQUISITIVE THIS KID CAN BE.

Fast forward a few days.

I had hopped on to the computer before going to work to check out some recipes I was thinking about trying for dinner. And without remembering to bookmark the page that I’d found, I shut the browser down and turned the computer off.

When I returned home later that evening, I fired up the browser and decided to go to my internet history in order to find the site I’d been on earlier that morning. And this is what I found:



Yes, you read that right.

There were searches for “NEY KIT FLASH,” “NAY KIT FLASH,” and “Professor Jimmy,” among other things.

Now, if you are slow to get this, bear with me. BECAUSE THIS IS A DAMN FUNNY STORY. (The LOML had me add, “Damn funny to photographers, maybe . . .”)

After discovering the search queries I laughed. HARD. For, like, TWENTY MINUTES.

Then I picked up the phone and called the LOML.



“Uh, can I ask you a question?”

“Oh . . . ‘kay. What’s the matter?”

“Nothing. Nothing. Just wondering if you happened to be on the computer at lunch, looking for something to buy me for my birthday.”


And then I was all, REALLY? Have you NOT ever heard of the INTERNET HISTORY BUTTON?

“You’re joking, right? I KNOW EVERYTHING.”

“[Loud silence, and then a long sigh.] Fine. YES, I was looking up stuff I wanted to buy you for your birthday. But I couldn’t find what I was looking for.”

“And what exactly, dear, were you looking for?”

“Well, this morning on the way to drop Jake off at summer camp, I asked him what he thought we should buy you for your birthday next month, and he said, ‘The man on mama’s radio says that you can do just about anything with a nay kit flash, so maybe we should get her one of those.’”

Just Because Things Are Sold On the Same Aisle and In the Same Geographical Area as Said Aisle Doesn’t Mean They Go Together

So I was all happy and pleased with myself because I’d actually purchased the boys’ valentines AND some goodies for gift bags a whole TWO DAYS before they were due. Which is highly unusual for me because I really do love to stay up until 1:00am the night before a Valentine’s Party putting together valentines and baking pink heart-shaped cookies. REALLY.

Anyhoo, after the boys went to bed, I started to assemble the gift bags for Benny’s day care play mates, which consisted of some really cute die-cut cellophane bags, mini frisbees, suction cup ball thingys, some candy hearts, and Spiderman valentines.

Then I realized there was a problem.

The mini frisbees were too big to get into the bag. And NO, I did NOT think to look at the width of the bag at its narrowest point and determine if the frisbees would fit.

I made the LOML pose with the accessories in exchange for some . . . thing.

That's not "Mala-chee," but "Mala-kai." Because apparently Benny has a day care playmate who is one of the children of the corn.

Seriously. Am I SUPPOSED to get out the measuring tape before I buy this stuff? Can I just get some credit for starting a day early?

So, we’ve now clarified that my toddler can read but his mother cannot.


02 2010

Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday: Benny’s Impression of Cheech in “Nice Dreams”

I was Nikon-stalking my toddler Sunday afternoon when I snapped this photo:

And the first thing that came to my mind was a scene out of Cheech & Chong’s “Nice Dreams.” That was the one where they were growing pot underneath a blue tarp that was supposed to look like a swimming pool from a police helicopter.

Anyway, in one scene, the tarp falls and Cheech is freaking out because a helicopter is over their back yard. So he tries his best to keep the pool/tarp illusion going by climbing up on a ladder and pretending to swim.

Do you see the resemblance? Or am I just smoking dope? Maybe it was the blue fitted sheet and the look on Benny’s face that did it for me.

What about this picture? I’m sure there’s a jail scene in one of those movies . . .



10 2009

Conversations With Jake: Underwear (Or, why you shouldn’t try to lie your way out of an embarrassing situation even while hiding in a bathroom stall.)

Conversations-3a-2aOkay. This could very well top what I thought to be my most embarassing moment ever with Jake (see “Black Eyed Boy and His Entourage“). I’ll let you make the call.

I keep forgetting that my first born is now a mature 6 years old. He’s usually not a deep thinker, but can pull some crazy shit out of his ass from time to time, and when that happens I just need to get out of his way and let it fly.

Here is an example of a time when I tried to throw a block instead of just letting Jake say his peace. And man, did it get FUGLY. Laugh on, my dear readers. Laugh on.

My only preface to this story is that it was laundry day, and I was wearing my “laundry day panties.” Enough said.


It was Sunday morning, and I decided to throw caution to the wind and take both Jake AND Benny to Costco.


And, as luck would have it, nature called right after we hit the checkstand. Perhaps my body’s visceral reaction to the checkout total.

Anyway, with Benny in the basket along with $287.16 worth of cargo and Jake bringing up the rear, I hit the ladies’ restroom.

While I was sitting in the stall trying to keep Benny from throwing everything that was in the cart onto the bathroom floor, Jake decided to throw me into a newer, fresher hell.

JAKE: “Mama,” he said loudly, so his voice would be heard over Benny’s screaming, “How come there’s holes in your underwear?”

This was met, of course, with several chuckles from the other ladies in the bathroom.

I felt my face get red with embarrassment, then I quickly realized that we were in the comfort of a bathroom stall, and could not be seen by anyone else. So, I attempted to save face.

ME: “Honey! Those aren’t ‘holes.’ These are called ‘lace underwear.’ They’re MEANT to have holes in them.”

AHA! Even though I WAS wearing white grannies with a few holes in the butt, no one else could see them! Right? So, no one had to know that they were really “hole-y” underwear! Right? I mean, kids could look at lace underwear and perceive them as “hole-y” underwear. Right?


Just when I thought Jake’s silence meant that his line of questioning was over, he got all philosophical on my ass. And called me out.

JAKE: “So, the white underwears that Daddy wears that has holes in them is called ‘lace’ too?”


09 2009

“Sorry. If You Want to Eat Here, Your Kids Have to Stay in the Car.”

No Kids AllowedA couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about what it was like to go to dinner with my family.

Prior to that post, I had often wondered what it would be like to go to a restaurant that actually WELCOMED families.

And I’m not talking about “family friendly” restaurants that have children’s menus and high chairs available for parents with babies and toddlers. Because even at “family friendly” restaurants, parents of children who are having an off-day often get the stare-down from other patrons who are irritated with the children’s behavior.

I’m talking about a place that serves quality food and beverages. A place where you can take your children and, if they decide to throw a fit, no one — not even the manager — cares about it. Because it’s almost expected.

What got me thinking about this was an advertisement for a free summer movie festival at a local theater. Stay-at-home moms or dads could bring their kids to a family-friendly movie for free, and would not be subject to the standard mental punishment that’s usually received when a baby cries or toddler walks up and down the aisles. In fact, it was marketed in a way that welcomed the fact that the kids were going to be . . . well, kids.

In other words, it was like the theater management was saying, “Hey, look. We know your kids aren’t going to be still for the entire 90 minutes. We know your baby may wake up when the movie gets a little loud. And we are here for you. We’ve set aside time just for you and your children to watch a movie and hope you have a good time. Bring your formula, breastfeeding blankets, cheerios, and anything else you need to make the experience more enjoyable and we promise not to ask you to leave when your baby gets loud or if your toddler decides to have a meltdown.”

How cool would that be if it were a restaurant?

How awesome would it be to be able to eat at a place where no one looked you up and down when your two-year-old threw a fork? Or where you didn’t have to leave just because your baby was crying? And where the food was just as good for the adults as it was for the kids?

So, I decided to go online and do some research and see if such a place existed.

Turns out that, not only is this dream restaurant of mine non-existent, but there are actually restaurants that turn families away at certain times of the day or are altogether “child-free.”

At first, I admit that I was a little miffed.

Because I’ve been to restaurants where adults were acting worse than my own children, and nothing was done about their behavior.

Case in point: My boys and I were out to dinner with my BFF and her family at a local pizzeria that served beer. A woman two rows over from us who had clearly been enjoying happy hour began yelling into her cell phone as everyone was trying to enjoy their meal. If that wasn’t bad enough, she began using OBSCENITIES. At one point in time, two of the restaurant patrons asked her to tone it down. Then the management asked. Did she stop? NO. Did she get thrown out? NO. Why? I have no idea. But as I was getting into my car, the manager ran after me because I’d left my “doggie bag” on the table. As he handed me the bag he apologized for the woman’s behavior. My response? “I’m not mad at her. I’m mad at YOU for not throwing her out. I don’t blame HER for for the fact that my sons now know the word ‘c-nt.’ I blame YOU. And your decision to not remove her from the restaurant will clearly determine whether or not I ever come back to this place.” And, believe it or not, I didn’t return for nearly 6 months.

So, yeah. I got pissed off when I discovered that there are restaurants that refuse children.

But then I realized that if I were paying good money for a meal, I wouldn’t want it disrupted. By ANYONE. Not a crying baby. Not a grumpy toddler. And certainly not a drunk bitch.

And just when I got comfortable with the fact that restaurants were now turning away families with children, I got to thinking: At what point will they be “welcomed”?

In other words, if a restaurant’s policy is “No one under 12 allowed,” will children who appear to be under twelve have to show proof of age? Will parents of teenagers now have to prepare to be “carded” when they want to eat out? And once they were seated, would other patrons second-guess restaurant management’s decision to allow them in? Where does the madness end?

I guess it ends with responsibility.

My dream restaurant does not exist. So I need to take responsibility for my children’s behavior when we decide to eat out. The LOML and I choose wisely when it comes to where we eat out. We usually go to places that we know are loud in general and where we have had prior success.

We’ve all been to restaurants and observed parents of children who have no concept of taking responsibility for their children’s behavior. And we’ve also seen parents who do their best and decide to leave anyway so that the rest of the customers can eat in peace (I’ve been there too).

If restaurants are going to refuse children, I hope they’re ready to take on the responsibility of refusing obnoxious adults as well.


08 2009