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November 12, 2015

What happened was inevitable but that doesn’t soften the blow.  A few days ago my wife and I took the kids to the LA Zoo.  Having made the call that we didn’t need the stroller for this visit (A very bad call) I found myself weighed down with a baby strapped to the front of me and a 30 pound diaper bag strapped to on my back.  I was moving with the speed and agility of a Deep Sea Diver.

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(Look, Honey!!  The Meer Cats are just 300 yards ahead!  I’ll be there in an hour)

After about a half hour, my wife saw the look of desperate fatigue on my face and in the pace I was walking.  In the kindest gesture I think anyone has ever made she suggested we get on the shuttle that drives around the Zoo and then call it a day.  Thank God I didn’t weep as a single tear might have upset the front loaded balance on my chest and tipped me over.

As we stood in the line waiting for a shuttle I saw an extremely strange couple dressed in matching yellow t-shirts, khaki pants and brown baseball hats.  I told my wife in a very sincere way, “I think it’s nice when strange people find each other.”  Unfortunately these strange people also found me.

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(This isn’t the couple but it may as well be)

They decided to sit next to me on the shuttle.  As we were waiting for the vehicle to move the woman made a few strange comments to start up some small talk.  Then, noticing I was wearing a baby, she looked at me and said, “Day out with the grand kids”?  as the shuttle abruptly started to drive off.  In between choked laughter my wife yelled over me to tell her they were my kids to which she responded with a simple and surprised, “Oh.”

And there you have it.  Babies have milestones and so do Dads in their late 40s.  Just like the first time Charles and Arthur rolled over, I’ll never forget where I was the first time I was mistaken for the grandfather of my own children.

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I’ve told this story to many friends and the general response I’m getting is less than comforting.  The blanket statement people make when I tell them what happened is, “Oh my God.  How horrible!  You must have felt terrible.”

Not one person has said, “Was the women insane?  Was she blind?  Who would ever think you’re old enough to be a grandparent”?  Even if they don’t think that, a little compassion would be nice.  But what I’m now left to believe is that this very odd woman was more or less the spokesperson for everyone I know.  I look like an old Dad.

As we drove home from the Zoo my wife, wiping the last tears of laughter from her face, explained that with exercise and an improved diet I could recapture some of my youth.  Ugh.  That sounds like a lot of work just to look like I’m only 42 or 43 years old.  Rather than put in that type of effort I’ve decided it’s easier and maybe ultimately even better for my ego to just embrace it the next time it happens.  “Are those your grand kids”?  “Why yes!  Yes, there are!!”  This is sure to be followed by, “You look so young to have grand kids!”  To which I’ll reply, “I put a lot of work into it, but it’s all worth it when I hear such nice compliments!”

I’m never going to be a young dad, but I have a great shot at being a fake youthful grand dad!!  Meet my new peer group!

Friends Having Lunch Together At A Restaurant

Not only would I fit in with this group, I’d likely excel.  They’d think, “How does that Steve do it?  He stayed up until 11:30 last night watching Fargo!  I’d like to have some of that energy.”

Group of senior people in park

I’d be the coolest grand parent in the group, explaining to them all the current slang the kids are using like “On fleek” and “thirsty.”  Finally, a group of people I can hang with who think I’m cool.

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I may have to fib a little bit, like when the guys start telling old war stories, but as a fan of history I can study up and fake my way through that.  I’m already coming up with stories about my mad cap army unit in the Korean Conflict.

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And my senior posse is going to be blown away when they see how active I am with the grand kids, even if it’s only in 5-10 minute intervals.

And when I get cast in a national ad campaign for Lyrica, I’ll remember the strange lady at the Zoo fondly.  The woman who kick started my life as a devilishly handsome senior citizens while I was still in my late 40s.

James Naughton

You know what the secret to looking good in your sixties is?  Get there while you’re still in your forties.

Least Favorite Child Results

Saturday, November 7 – Least Favorite is Charles.  I knew they boys were ready for the next size up in diapers but I had a few of the smaller ones left.  Charles’ let me know that he was ready to move on to the next size up with a crap all the way up his back.  It took about 15 Huggies Wipes to clean up the mess so I guess I didn’t really save anything with my attempt to be frugal.

Sunday, November 8 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  You’re a baby Arthur.  It’s OK to sleep during the day.  If it makes you feel better I’ll take a nap if you take one.  We can do this together!!  He rarely goes for this offer.

Monday, November 9 – Least Favorite is Charles.  Charles has moved his wake up time from 5:15am to 4:30am.  He’s cute but that’s still a douche move.

Wednesday, November 10 – Least Favorite is Charles.  Sometimes Arthur avoids the LFC award just because he’s light, compact and so easy to manuever.  He’s like a hybrid vehicle.  Charles on the other hand comes with lifting directions.  Bend at the legs and let out a deep, “Oooh.”  I compare the two in baseball terms.  You know when a player is on the on deck circle and they swing that heavy weighted bat and then pick up a lighter bat when they go to the plate?  Charles is the on deck baseball bat and Arthur is the bat you use when someone’s actually pitching to you.

Total Days As Least Favorite Child

Charles – 70

Arthur – 60

Days Tied – 1

Days Since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 111

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(Neil winds down after a busy Veteran’s Day)

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