Just A Ranking…You’re Welcome!


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August 26, 2016

If looking at the photo of the Von Trapp kids lured you into reading this post, I’m sorry.  I just know that telegenic singing families are easy click bait.

Some weeks you just don’t have any inspiration to write 800 plus words describing you’re skewed look at everyday life as a parent of twin toddlers.  And as always, looking myself in the mirror and honestly assessing my ability to write entertaining content never seems as appealing as just blaming the kids for not giving me enough to work with.   So, you have them to thank for my just going straight to the rankings in a week where my biggest daily accomplishment was successfully getting shoes on a 15 month old child.


(For months I’ve been wondering what Arthur and Charles would look like if they went to a Jimmy Buffet concert and now the mystery has been solved)

Least Favorite Child Results

August 20 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  I usually draw the duty of changing the boys right before bed time and I’ve realized that Arthur regularly clocks in his last poop of the day around 8:15pm.  This means I end every day by dealing with a smelly turd.  Way to put a pretty ribbon on the gift of every day we’re given, Art!

August 21 – Least Favorite is Charles.  I’m just being honest.  Charles can be a little bitchy.  He doesn’t have resting bitch face, either.  He has a very active bitch face that lets you know, you’ve displeased him and fallen well below his expectations.  Get used to it, Charles.  I’ve disappointed many people in my day and if taking away the computer mouse you’re smashing over the dog’s head doesn’t meet with your favor, you’re just another feather in my cap of people I’ve let down.

August 22 – Least Favorite is Charles. One of the staples of the morning routine is giving the boys a gummy vitamin.  Charles promptly puts it in his mouth and less promptly spits it out quietly in random areas around the house.  I’m sad to inform you that there’s no way to gracefully receive the news from a co-worker that you have a gummy vitamin stuck to your ass.

August 23 – Least Favorite is Charles. Here’s some advice for you Charles…if you’d rather not eat what’s being offered simply utter, “No thanks.”  I know for a fact you know both those words so you don’t have to resort to punching the spoon and its contents back at me.  Again, he’s the bitchy one.

August 24 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  I have a dog who sheds a lot.  There’s a lot of hair in my house and Arthur must think it’s light brown cotton candy.  I spend far too much time vigilantly watching what Arthur’s putting in his mouth when I could just vacuum once every day.

August 25 – Least Favorite is Charles. My wife has taken away our morning TV because Charles is too hooked on it.  It’s like the When A Man Loves A Woman with Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia.  His addiction is now devastating ALL of us!! Quite frankly my wife should be Least Favorite for her wielding her cruel power, but she reads this blog occasionally and she scares me.

Least Favorite Child Year One – Charles

Total Days As Least Favorite Child – Year Two

Arthur – 46

Charles – 41

Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 382


The Casual Art Of Puking


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August 19, 2016

My boys don’t barf that much.  I’d put them right smack in the middle of the pack when it comes to their puking frequency.  But when they do throw up…they do it with such nonchalant style that I can’t help but be impressed.


Over the weekend both Arthur and Charles impressively tossed their cookies in a 24 hour span.  Arthur was first.  We were driving to have dinner at a fancy restaurant.  Arthur was song styling a tune he’s been playing with for over a month.  He hasn’t told me the title of the song but I call it “La La La.”  As he was happily singing “la la la” in his carefree way he regurgitated roughly one fourth of his body weight all over himself just as I pulled up to the valet parking.  After he finished vomiting, he continued singing “la la la.”  Maybe he was trying to turn “La La La” into more of an interpretive performance piece.  If so, I give him high marks for creative effort, but it didn’t move me like Manilow’s “Weekend In New England.”


(A beautiful song about New England without one reference to Dunkin Donuts.  Amazing!)

His ability to continue his song while covered in puke demonstrates steely nerves he must get from my wife’s side.  The following day is was Charles turn.  He was turning the pages of his favorite Elmo audio book.  Somewhere around page three or four he started blowing chunks, but at no point during that process did he stop looking through the book.  The sound of his throwing up merged with Big Bird exclaiming, “Elmo likes to play pretend!”  He quite casually and effortlessly pushed a little of the puke that was obscuring his view of Elmo playing pretend.  As I rushed over to hose him off he looked at me and gave me a wry smile.  It wouldn’t have shocked me if he had pointed and winked in my direction as I ran with the roll of paper towels in my hand.


(I think we’d all like to be able to vomit and maintain the unmatched style of David Niven)

How is it possible that Charles and Arthur, two kids who used to cry when they farted, can be so suave when the contents of their last meal leave their bodies with great force? I don’t want to ask other parents if their toddlers are the same because I don’t want to be disappointed when I inevitably find out that all one to two year old kids are like this.

I’m rethinking my sons’ potential.  Anyone would can keep their cool during the most upsetting and involuntary bodily action can be a force to be reckoned with.

Should they be poker players?

xxwghvqs-12718_l-Baby Poker-main

I don’t play poker but if I did I’d find it pretty unnerving to be sitting across the table from a person hurling yet not batting an eye.  I’m pretty sure that would cause me to fold and leave all the chips on the table.  If the boys go this route they’ll just have to stop putting everything in their mouths.  I’m pretty sure after a few hands I’d remember that the Queen of Diamonds had a big tooth mark in it.

Should they become Super Spies?


I doubt even 007 could toss his cookies and still manage to be cool enough to land Pussy Galore.  My boys on the other hand might be able to pull it off by simply giving a knowing smile and asking for a “wet wipe.”  And if the bad guys catch them they’d be stymied.  How are you going to torture a guy to get information when he’s insane enough to not clean off or even care that re-purposed milk and sweet potato fries are all over the front of his shirt.

Maybe they should go for the highest office of all!!


We always ask ourselves who we would want to be in control of “the button.”  Now, I grant you that giving Arthur or Charles anything with a button might ensure Armageddon. However, if we could teach them to control that urge, their vomiting platform could easily win one of them the job of Commander in Chief.  We want someone in the War Room who can keep their wits while everyone is nervously throwing up at the thought of all out war with another country.  I can easily see their campaign commercials.  “Have you ever seen Donald Trump throw up?  Have you ever seen Hillary barf?  NO!!  That’s because they need privacy when they toss their cookies.  They’re ashamed!!  Is that the type of person you want in charge of our country?  Arthur and Charles puke like the greatest leaders in America’s rich history of vomit.  Vote Hurley!  Hurl is even in their name!!”

In these Olympic weeks I’ve watched proud parents on TV witnessing the achievements of their children and I can totally relate.  I’m proud to say the Arthur and Charles are both gold medalists in the sport of Casual Barfing.  Of course when they receive their medals and the Anthem plays it’s going to be a very messy podium.


Least Favorite Child Results

August 13 – Least Favorite is Charles.  My wife and I took the kids down to the beach for the weekend but used the hotel pool the entire time.  Charles kept diving in head first while on my watch causing my wife to get quite upset with me.  If she winds up divorcing me I’m totally telling Charles it was his fault even though you’re never supposed to that.

August 14 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  This was the night that we were taking the kids to the nice restaurant and Arthur puked just as we pulled up to the valet.  Of course we failed to bring a spare outfit.  If Arthur was trying to tell us we need to be better prepared then the message was received but not appreciated.

August 15 – Least Favorite is Arthur. Although I thoroughly rinsed the puke out of his clothes before putting them in a ziplock bag and packing them in the suitcase, everything had a horrible stench when I opened it up when I got home.  That one puke gave him LFC honors for two straight days.

August 16 – Least Favorite is Charles.  Putting his shoes on in the morning is often a 20 minute ordeal.  Even if it’s regularly my biggest achievement of the day, no one wants to peak at 8am.

August 17 – Least Favorite is Charles.  He’s going through phase where he chews food for a while and then takes it out of his mouth leaving the disgusting wads everywhere.  That’s fine when the dog find them, but he’s getting older and misses stuff.  This causes me to have to pick them up and figure out exactly what I’m holding for a good minute before I realize the horror of what it is.

August 18 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  You know what I DON’T have to do after every meal?  Take a bath because I rub my meal all over myself.  That’s an option for you too, Arthur.  Just saying.

Least Favorite Child Year One – Charles

Total Days As Least Favorite Child – Year Two

Arthur – 44

Charles – 37

Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 375

What Twin Movie Fits My Twins Best?


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August 12, 2016

You know I’m reaching for anything to write about when it comes to this.  Although, in fairness to me, before our twins were even three months old I asked my wife which child each of us would take in a “Parent Trap” scenario.  You know, like in the movie, where if we got divorced and each one of us took a child and moved 3,000 miles away from each other.  Like any pair of loving parents would do.


My wife seemed less than bothered by my throwing out a hypothetical scenario involving our being divorced. She thought for a moment and I cut her off and said, “I think I should take Arthur and you should take Charles.”  She knew that would be my answer.  Arthur’s always been low maintenance and far less work to look after.  Sometimes I finish a bottle of water, put that cap back on it, and hand it to Arthur knowing that for the next several hours he can sit and entertain himself with it.

But the “Parent Trap” scenario, as madcap and fun as it sounds, isn’t plausible for Arthur and Charles.  That’s because they don’t look remotely like each other.


This African American gentleman looks more closely related to Matt Damon than Arthur and Charles appear to be related to each other.


So if, like in the “Parent Trap,” the boys go to some summer camp they’re not going to bump into one another and be amazed at their resemblance. They don’t even have similar habits or tendencies.  I doubt they’d even hang around the same groups.  And in the event they do figure out they’re twin brothers and make it their mission to bring their divorced parents back together, I imagine that they’d be destined to fail.  I fooled my wife into marrying me once.  I don’t think she’d fall for it again unless I miraculously transform into Brian Keith.


Because they don’t look like each other at all, the twin movie I always think of is a no brainer.


I think there’s a better than fair chance that I’m the parent of two children living a real life Big Business scenario.  When babies are born there too pink and wrinkled to clearly identify them.  That’s why the first thing they do in the hospital is put an ID bracelet on them.  I can’t account for their whereabouts at all times after the first fifteen minutes they were born and getting hosed off.  I left the hospital several times for a smoke and my wife was out of it from having delivered roughly 16 pounds of human being.  It’s totally plausible that someone put the wrong baby in the wrong room.

And if this is true, I honestly believe it was God’s plan to make sure that no set of parents wound up with two Charles babies. Charles is only awake for about 10 hours a day but he packs a lot of life into that limited time.  It’s occupied primary with climbing on unstable structures, running after the dog, running and hiding in hard to find spots, finding things to pick up that pose a threat to his well being and trying to find out what Mommy’s face cream tastes like.  I save his life no less than 15 times a day.  Not once has he thanked me.  He’s an exhausting roller coaster ride and…roller coaster rides scare the shot out of me.


I’m pretty sure having two Charles’ would cut a set of parents life expectancy by a couple of decades until they were begging to be smothered to death with a pillow.


There’s always the possibility that they’re DeVito and Schwarzenegger in Twins.


If you recall the plot of this film, these two were the result of a lab experiment.  Men were hand selected for their intellect and strong physical attributes in order to produce Arnold. They did not expect DeVito.

My wife and I did the IVF thing so their is a lab tie in, but neither of my sons are the result of a sperm cocktail of handpicked super human beings.  Then again, maybe I’m being too hard on myself.  I’ll let you be the judge.


Does the guy this baby is strapped to look like an Olympic Athlete?

I’m going to wait for the Big Business scenario to play out for Arthur and Charles.  Although I’m concerned that the other Arthur and Charles got super wealthy, more active and smarter parents.  There’s a chance that when the fates collide, they meet the other Arthur and Charles and realize they got jipped.  There will be a day of reckoning when they come to me and say that the other dad is a NASA Astronaut or a Northern California Vineyard owner like Brian Keith in the Parent Trap.


And there’s also a strong possibility that my wife’s going to feel like she got jipped too.

Least Favorite Child Results

August 6 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  Arthur has started to take his first independent steps but in his own lazy fashion he’ll take two or three and then collapse trusting that you’ll catch him.  I could never work in Rehab.

August 7 – Least Favorite is Charles.  You know how I know when Charles is done eating?  He throws whatever food is in front of him on the ground.  I hope he can kick this habit.  I hate to think of him doing this in his adult years on a Tinder date when things are going well for him until he throws a plate of lasagna on the ground in disgust.

August 8 – Least Favorite is Charles. Years ago, I went away for a few months for work and my wife got into the habit of having the living room couch all to herself.  I have been resigned to the chair next to the couch ever since.  Now, Charles has made a habit of climbing on to my chair and sitting in it.  Listen, kid.  I only have one place left and there’s no way I’m going to wind up sitting on the ottoman and watch my stories.

August 9 – Least Favorite is Arthur. Arthur can take the glasses off my head and put them in his mouth with a sleight of hand I thought only David Copperfield possessed. Baby drool on lenses become permanent after a while.

August 10 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  You know how I know when Arthur is done eating.  He screams loudly and wildly.  If he doesn’t break this habit his Tinder date is going to end just as badly as Charles’.

August 11 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  I know it’s not his fault, but Arthur’s poop has a paralyzing odor that stays with you for awhile.  If he has a dump in his diaper when he’s changed before bed, I can’t even bring myself to eat dinner until midnight sometimes.

Least Favorite Child Year One – Charles

Total Days As Least Favorite Child – Year Two

Arthur – 41

Charles – 34

Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 368

Neil and I hit our one year anniversary!  I think that’s paper, right?


My Sophie’s Choice Moment


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August 5, 2016

Every Saturday and Sunday I take the boys for a walk in the neighborhood.  My neighborhood is comprised mostly of Hispanic families, hipsters and sketchy people.  And there’s one sketchy person in particular that I pass EVERY time.  He looks like this.


The random lunatic I pass on all my walks looks just like this guy except my guy wears a ship captain’s hat.  That’s how you know he’s crazy from a distance.  There are only a few reasons you wear a ship captain’s hat.  One is that you’re an actual ship captain. The other reasons boil down to going to a Love Boat themed party or throwing on your favorite Captain and Tennille record in the privacy of your own home.


(If you don’t understand the nuances and complexity of the song Muskrat Love then we can never have more than a surface relationship)

My crazy person is a nice guy.  He always has a friendly smile and means absolutely no harm.  He gets plenty of points for attitude.  Where he loses points is originality.  Every single time I pass him with my twin boys in the stroller he happily shouts the same thing.  “ONE FOR YOU AND ONE FOR ME!!”  This is followed by him doubling over in laughter.  Listen, it wasn’t that great a line the first time, but at least he was putting in some effort and a fair bit of crazy charm.  But he’s passed the 100 mark of “ONE FOR YOU AND ONE FOR ME!!” a while ago and I can’t help but wish he’d introduce something new into the exchange, even it it’s wetting himself while he sings “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.”

That’s right, I try to hold the same high standard for all people regardless of whether they’re loones or not.  Some people don’t see color.  I don’t see sanity.

I finally hit my limit last Sunday.  As I approached the intersection of Sunset and Alvarado where he perches himself between the Burrito King and the liquor store, I saw him. He was weaving back and forth like an unhinged drunken sentry guarding his post.


(There’s no shortage of breathtaking views in Echo Park, California)

I knew what was coming and I was prepared to throw him a curve ball.  Sure enough, just as I got to within a couple of feet of him, he saw me and came up with the perfect hysterical line to capture the image of me strolling with two 13 month old boys.  “ONE FOR YOU AND ONE FOR ME!!”  This time however I waited for his laughter to die down and smiled warmly at him responding.  “OK, which one do you want”?  I could tell he was thrown because he looked confused and just repeated the same line but in a more questioning tone.  “One for you and one for me”?  For a moment I felt bad and thought it might be possible that “One for you and one for me,” were the only words he ever to learned, like Groot in Guardian of The Galaxy.  I told him that one of them was a little more independent but kind of a fussy eater, so any choice he made would be a crap shoot, but if he was game, then so was I.  Of course I don’t think making choices was a wheelhouse of strength for this guy based on his station in life. He just laughed and snorted uncomfortably, looking next to him for help from the drug addled teen runaway sitting on the stool of the Taco Stand.


The situation resolved itself when I explain I was joking and he wandered toward the liquor store.  I won’t know if I succeeded in making my point until this weekend’s walks.

For the rest of my stroll with the boys I wondered how things would have turned out had I followed through with my ruse.  Ultimately, to be fair, I would have had to decide which one to give to the guy.  Only I am armed with the sufficient information to determine which child I should give to an erratic street person who only knows one sentence.

I’m not a cold or heartless person.  I would never give up one of my children to anyone for the rest of their lives.  I’d let him take one for a few months or a year at most.  New experiences build character a lot of times, and some time on the mean streets of Echo Park might be just what one of my boys needs.  But which one?

How would Charles do?


He’s loud, he’s fast, he takes what he wants and he can say the words, “key,” “eat,” and “uh oh.”  This kid has what it takes to make it.  The problem with handing over Charles isn’t my concern with his surviving.  I’m sure he’d have no problem.  My real worry is that he’d become a complete thug.  The last thing I want is to be strolling with Arthur one evening and get mugged by the 13 month old child I gave to an insane person, who now goes by the street name, Bloody Batman.

That leaves Arthur.


He still isn’t walking without holding onto to something.  He barely utters a word.  He lets his brother take anything he’s holding, away from him.  I doesn’t seem like Arthur could cut it on the streets.  But that’s EXACTLY what he needs.  My wife and I working with him and encouraging him with support and love isn’t getting the job done.  This demented guy by the Burrito King might be able to scare him straight.  It would be the classic tale of the runt of the litter overcoming the odds to become a tower of strength and the greatest example of tough love in parenting history.

Don’t I owe it to my son to hand him over to this maniac for 6-12 months to give him a shot at reaching his potential?


Arthur could become the Artful Dodger of Echo Park, leading other urchins in festive songs like “Consider Yourself,” and “I’d Do Anything For You.”


(Welcome to Echo Park!!)

So my Sophie’s Choice is really easy.  I give Arthur away to this delirious psycho, he become a better kid from his hard knock life experience and the neighborhood becomes a beautiful tapestry of music and splendor!!

If I get “ONE FOR YOU AND ONE FOR ME!” this weekend I owe to everyone to follow through.  Luckily for Arthur, following through is something I seldom do.

Least Favorite Child Results

July 30 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  I spend my evening trying to get him to walk on his own without holding onto something.  This requires bending over and straining my back.  If you’re going to be lazy about this walking thing Arthur can you at least be a little taller?

July 31 – Least Favorite is Charles.  Charles has moved into a climbing phase and I’ve moved into a phase that makes me look like a hostage negotiator when I try to talk him down from bookshelves and counters.

August 1 – Least Favorite is Charles.  When he points at his mouth and says “eat,” it’s so cute you just have to give him something to eat.  Of course when he’s weeping on TV as a Biggest Loser contestant I’m sure he’ll blame me.

August 2 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  Arthur likes to put his finger in things.  The dogs ear, down his pants and in my mouth.  Usually he does it in that exact order.

August 3 – Least Favorite is Charles.  His dickhead moves have extended to the dog.  He now likes to take his food, offer it to Winston and then pull it away from him when he goes for it.  If he only knew what taking a bit of a Hebrew National Frank away does to Winston’s soul.

August 4 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  My wife bought a training potty.  When I got home and saw it I looked into the future and anticipated how reluctant Arthur is going to be when it comes to potty time.

Least Favorite Child Year One – Charles

Total Days As Least Favorite Child – Year Two

Arthur – 37

Charles – 32

Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 361


It’s Time For The “Talk”


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July 29, 2016

I’m not going to wait until their ten or eleven years old to sit them down and have the “talk.”  I’m not going to ignore the situation entirely and hope that they figure it out on their own either.  They might only be 14 months old but they need to know the truth.  Sesame Street’s Elmo is a douchebag.


I know I’m not the first to realize this nor am I even the first to write about it.  It’s just finally sunk in with me after a watching a steady barrage of his work and my sons need to know that Elmo is not someone to emulate.

In 2012 Michelle Obama said that becoming President doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are.  I think she was talking about Elmo. Elmo has probably always been horrible and becoming a huge celebrity has just revealed the incredible inhumane monster he truly is.


(Notice how they had to separate the First Lady and Elmo in this photo?)

Three hundred hours into Elmo videos at this point in my sons’ young lives and I’ve already flagged troubling things that make him an asshole.  The first and most annoying thing that stands out is that Elmo always talks about himself in the third person.  Even the world’s biggest egomaniacs don’t do that anymore YET Elmo doesn’t really give a shit.  He’s so enamored with himself he has to say his name out loud thousands of times a day.  Big Bird doesn’t do that.  Grover doesn’t do it.  Even Kermit doesn’t talk about himself in the third person.  But Elmo loves himself so much that I fear my kids will start coming up to me saying, “Charles needs a nap.”  Or “Arthur’s kind of hungry.”

I understand if you think I’m overreacting but his level of narcissism knows no bounds.


How many people are so self absorbed that they think people will purchase videos of them going to the bathroom? This also happens to be creepy in a kind of “Two Elmo’s One Cup” way.

Elmo’s ego knows no limit.  He makes Kanye West seem humble and soft spoken.


Elmo has several albums and dozens of songs.  Do you know what the central theme to all of them is?  Elmo.  Take a look at the lyrics for his popular tune, “Elmo’s Song.”

“Lala-lala, lala-lala Elmo’s song.”

“Lala-lala, lala-lala, Elmo’s song.”

“Me write the music, me write the words.”

“That’s Elmo’s song!”


That’s Elmo’s song all right.  Every single line is crafted to include the words “Elmo” or “me.”  A team of psychotherapists couldn’t break his imposing wall of self admiration.  Other song samplings are “Elmo’s Got The Moves,” “If Elmo Had A Dinosaur” his collaboration with Adam Sandler called “Song About Elmo,” and of course, “Elmo Kills Those Who Displease Him.”  The last one isn’t actually one of his songs…yet.

Elmo also endorses more products than Donald Trump.






USA, Indiana, Indianapolis food, shrimp and steaks at St. Elmo Steak House.

I still need to verify that this last one is legit, but Elmo is definitely not above calling himself St. Elmo.

And don’t fool yourself and think that’s he’s just a benign children’s character.  He’ll stop at nothing to feed his enormous ego.


As we can see here, he’s ingesting a cute little latino boy.  That’s his dark secret.  He doesn’t love kids.  He loves himself and he loves devouring children.


Look at this poor little girl who was trying to run away from Elmo as he consumed her.  It’s horrifying.

All I’m saying is that I’d like my kids to become invested in a fun loving character who’s a little more self deprecating.  This means all I need to do is start dressing up in a fuzzy costume and become…fun loving.  I’ve got the low self esteem down pat.

Least Favorite Child Results

July 23 – Least Favorite is Charles.  We’re at a point we’re rewarding Charles when he says something by giving him what he wants.  That means when he screams, “Keys” I have to give him my keys.  That means I search for my keys every morning for a half an hour.

July 24 – Least Favorite is Charles.  He’s picked up another of my traits.  Smelly feet.  Talking off his shoes at the end of the day is just another reminder of one of my many flaws.

July 25 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  I can always figure out why Charles is crying.  It’s almost always linked to something he wants or something I’ve taken away from him.  With Arthur it’s a guessing game.  He might be crying because of the lack of solid platform delivered at the RNC Convention for all I know.

July 26 – Least Favorite is Charles.  I guess I know why Arthur cries some times.  It’s because Charles runs over him with his stroller as if he’s a piece of rug lint.

July 27 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  Can you please give us a few words Arthur so we can cling to some hope that you won’t be the kid in elementary school that “goes at his own pace.”

July 28 – Least Favorite is Charles.  What was I forced to watch while Hillary Clinton made her historic speech?  Elmo.

Least Favorite Child Year One – Charles

Total Days As Least Favorite Child – Year Two

Arthur – 34

Charles – 29

Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 354


Will Either Of My Kids Have Moxie?


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July 22, 2016

I’m a typical Dad.  I want my kids to be safe, happy and healthy.  I want them to be smart and well adjusted.  I want them to be thoughtful and kind.  But more than all that standard crap I want them to have Moxie!

My desire is to have entertaining kids with pluck.  I want them to be fascinating scamps who will do precocious things you never expect that catch you a little off guard and leave people amazed. The type of kids who always turn up in viral videos that get millions of hits because they’re full of spunk and spirit. The problem is they’re not giving me that.  They’re giving me this.


Sure, they’re cute but they’re not Mayim Bialik in Beaches.


(OK, maybe I don’t need them to have this much moxie.)

Is being precocious hereditary?  If so, they’re got a 50/50 shot.  I don’t rate very well on the moxie scale. Doctor’s don’t test for moxie but if they did, I’m sure they’d have to put me on some type of supplements for it.  My wife however, if full of this quality.  After all, you don’t become an Animal Planet Reality Show winner without a lot of pluck!


(This show was so poorly rated this was the only photo I could find)

Just like kids with moxie she says entertaining and inappropriate things without thinking and stares at people for extended periods of time without realizing she’s doing it.  So, the kids have some of her DNA and that gives me hope.

But let’s face it there’s no way I’ll have TWO precocious children.  I should focus on the one that has the best chance. To do this I need to analyze them and figure out their potential moxie score.



He never stops moving which is a great sign.  He’s also very interested in things that could harm him, like electrical outlets, large swinging doors that will take off his fingers and the liquor in my Denny’s mug.  I think living on the edge of danger is part of having moxie.

He only says a few things.  “Eat,” “Keys,” “Yes,” and “One, two, three,” are pretty much his staples right now, so I’ll have to wait to see how he starts stringing words together and what horribly embarrassing things he’s likely to say in public because I’m positive this kid will have no filter.  He’s definitely has the potential to scream loudly in the Supermarket, “Daddy, that woman is fat just like you!”  Here’s hoping he at least takes me down along with whatever fat lady he insults.

He does cry quite a bit when he doesn’t get his way which he needs to work on.  People with moxie are seldom weepy.


He also likes to give me a stylish announcement when I return home from work by extending one arm outward and yelling, “Dada!”  I almost feel like I’m being called upon to perform.  I think to enhance his moxie we’ll start putting him on a stead diet of Home Alone films.


By the way, Kevin McCallister is the shining example of moxie being limited within a family.  He had about a dozen brothers and sisters and he was the only one with genuine hutspa.  **I’m setting a record for words commonly used in the 1930s and 40s.

Potential Moxie Score – 8.5



Not a chance in the world that this kid has moxie.  While Charles appears to have inherited my wife’s energy and spirit, Arthur has been saddled with mine.

His sense of adventure is zero.  He’s yet to utter his first words in my presence.  The girl who runs his daycare assures us that he’s said, “hi” and “yes” but I’m pretty sure some kid there was using him as a ventriloquist dummy.

I think as far as Arthur’s concerned he figures, “Why speak?  Everything’s going along just fine.”  When jibberish and an occasional scream gets the job done why put in the effort to enunciate an actual word.  I get it.  By the time 10pm rolls around I usually use grunts as my main form of communication. My wife has become fluent in understanding my grunts and even knows when a word like “ughhh” means “Scrub back a little on House of Cards.  I’m lost.”

Unlike his brother, Arthur’s not much of a walker either.  He’s entered his cruising phase and seems extremely content with holding on to a stroller to walk around.  The only thing missing from making my house feel like Arthur’s personal senior home is tennis balls on his walker, a bowl of ribbon candy and a little Dixie Cup set aside with medication.

(Here’s recent photo of Arthur whose first words are likely to be, “Is today, pudding day”? or “How come the kids never come to visit”?)

Like his old man, Arthur will likely grow up to be the type of guy who wonders why people travel all the way to Europe when they could just go to Epcot Center in Orlando and see all the countries in one weekend.  Arthur’s a “stay-cation” kind of guy.  People with moxie don’t do “stay-cations.”


(What’s on the itinerary today?  I think I’ll visit the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower, have some lunch and go for a gondola ride in Venice.)

Don’t worry about being like your old man, Arthur.  Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage.”  And if this is true the world needs an audeince.  Let’s grab some comfy seats and watch the others put in all the effort for our amusement.

Potential Moxie Score – Negative 2

OK, Charles, it’s all up to you.  Start working on becoming this kid.


Arthur and I are kind of tired.  We’re going to have a snack and watch.

Least Favorite Child Results

July 16 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  Unlike mothers, fathers actually can sleep when the baby sleeps.  Charles sees the value in a three hour nap on a Saturday afternoon as does his father.  Arthur feels 15 minutes is fine and wakes up looking for someone to keep him company.

July 17 – Least Favorite is Charles.  While feeding him yogurt he went to grab the spoon and delivered a huge dollop of vanilla straight into my eyes.

July 18 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  It’s really his mother’s fault.  While watching Trump deliver a speech on TV, my wife changed the channel and said that Arthur would rather watch Tec The Tractor.  Arthur should use his mother to do his dirty work.

July 19 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  Hey Arthur, if you’re going to explore what’s under the couch have an escape plan so I don’t have to respond to your cries for help like you’re a baby who fell down a well.

July 20 – Least Favorite is Charles.  He’s done it a thousand times and it pisses me off every time.  Carrying him to the car, he delivered a head butt to my eye.  These kids know where you’re most vulnerable and go for it.

July 21 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  You know what I never do when I’m sleeping?  I never carelessly wedge an arm or a leg into two wooden slats and get them stuck.  And because of that I never have to shriek to have them unstuck so I can continue sleeping.  You might want to emulate your father on that trait, Arthur.

Least Favorite Child Year One – Charles

Total Days As Least Favorite Child – Year Two

Arthur – 32

Charles – 25

Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 347

The Family That Lies Together!


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July 15, 2016

Every parent looks forward to meaningful milestone moments.  First steps and first words evolve to bigger moments like first haircuts and teaching them to ride a bike.  So, I was thrilled last week during a trip back East to visit our families, when the boys and I shared one of those special “firsts.”  We experienced our first LIE together!

The fact that we executed our first group lie on one of Cape Cod’s beaches were I spent much of my youth made it even more poignant.


(Here’s Charles.  He got the ball of deception rolling)


(Here’s Arthur.  He really helped sell our lie)

I’ve commented before on my blog that I’m a big fan of fibbing.  Many people may choose to frown on it, but lying can enhance a bland story, get you out of having to help a friend move and even dodge a marital squabble from time to time.  It’s an important skill I’d like to pass on to my sons.

We didn’t plan on lying at the beach.  It just fell into our laps and we went with it.  That’s usually how a great lie happens. When we arrived, a father and his two teen kids were putting the finishing touches on a fantastic sand castle.  They were justifiably proud of their work and took several photos of it before they packed up their stuff and headed home where they no doubt spent the evening reveling in their granular accomplishment.

After the family was gone, Charles and then Arthur made their way over to this elaborate masterpiece.


I didn’t realize it at that moment but the stars were aligning for our precious dishonesty.  About five minutes later an older couple strolled by and started to look at the boys.  Charles was patting the sand in the castle giving the appearance that he was firming up the sides.  In reality he was looking for a weak spot to destroy this thing of beauty.  That’s kind of his thing.  But the older couple looked at him, then looked at me, smiled and said, “Pretty impressive.”  They were joking but without missing a beat I smiled back and said, “They’ve been here since this morning and I won’t lie, they’ve shed some tears.  But I think it came out pretty well.”

The couple looked stunned.  They totally bought what I was saying and asked me how old they were and when they started displaying a knack for architecture. As I answered their question, explaining that they were always fascinated with their toy blocks they boys began to help me with my lie.  Arthur put a couple of sticks in the side of the castle and I commented, “Great, Arthur!  I totally forgot about where we were going to put up our castle banners!”


Then Charles got into the act and started putting shells on the inside walls.  “Charles, I thought you wanted to use larger shells for the interior design.”  The couple’s astonishment continued to grow as they asked what else the boys had built to which I responded that at 13 months they we’re still trying to perfect sand castles.  My wife, looking on from a distance, instantly knew what I was up to.  She walked up to me, said hello to the nice older couple and then looked at me and said, “We should leave soon before the boys see the tide take away all their hard work.”  Is it any mystery why I love this woman?

I said goodnight to the couple as they walked on down the beach periodically looking back in amazement at my boys in their sandcastle, contemplating whether they had just witnessed the next two Stephen Hawkings or Albert Einsteins.

Once they were out of sight, Charles puked up some seawater and we knew it was time to go.  But as I walked off the beach with my wife and two sons, one of them smelling like seaweedy vomit, I looked back at the sand castle as the tide began to take it away and burned the image of the magnificent whopper we told that old couple into my brain. I knew it would be a memory I would cherish forever.

Of course, if anyone reading this post is wondering if I stretched the truth or even made the whole story up, I won’t blame them and I won’t be offended.  It’s part of the Liar’s Code to have thick skin.

Least Favorite Child Results

Going on vacation to visit family in both Boston and North Carolina was not only an grueling ordeal, it took me away from my blog from July 2 to July 14.  That’s a lot of days to cover and I won’t go through them individually but a tally was kept throughout and Arthur wound up with an 8 day to 5 day advantage when it came to being the least favorite.

Arthur’s strength on this trip was his willingness to be held by roughly 50 different people without crying.  In fact he rather enjoyed being coddled by complete strangers as if he was giving them a huge thrill and honor.  He’ll be a great high level dignitary.


(“Nice to meet you stranger.  Why don’t you hold me while I feel you up?”)

His weakness was sleeping in new strange places resulting in keeping my wife and I up much later than we would have liked.  If one of those strangers could have fit into the crib with him we would have been in business.

Charles was into being held which disappointed a lot of people, but I realized how much more I enjoy him when they are dozens of people to watch him.  I didn’t have to chase him all over the place as he could be covered in zones by other adults.  Charles wasn’t the calorie burn he usually is and that was fine by me.

Least Favorite Child Year One – Charles

Total Days As Least Favorite Child – Year Two

Arthur – 28

Charles – 23

Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 340



Why Babies Need Fight Clubs


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July 1, 2016

This could be my “aha” moment.  The moment I figured it all out and everything fell into perfect harmony around me.  It was the 13th or 14th consecutive day that Arthur had spent some period of the day angrily banging his head against the wall or floor along with throwing himself against large toys and wailing.  He was Ed Norton in Fight Club.  He was fighting himself.



(Arthur just went 12 rounds with this play area.  But who was he really battling?)

Arthur has inner demons that he’s wrestling with.  So does his brother Charles.  Charles prefers to handle it by letting out bloodcurdling screams as he literally marches back and forth raising clenched fists.  His rage is more intimidating.


(Honestly, would you want to run into this shirtless badass in a dark alley)

I think they’re like most babies and that should concern all of us.  In a world full of angry people, babies might be the angriest.  And if one, or a couple of them, figure out how to organize, they might revolt and force us into a post apocalypse scenario.  Think I’m reaching?  Watch Planet of the Apes this weekend if you get a chance.


(Of course this scene would be slightly more appealing with a bunch of giggling babies)

What I’m saying is that we don’t act, these cute little bundles of repressed rage will lead us to Armageddon. We need to get them a fight club now.  It’s simple.  Babies have a lot to be angry about. Just off the top of my head, these are some of the things that I’m sure boils their blood.

The TV Remote


Just put the shoe on the other foot.  You’re enjoying an episode of Big Brother.  It’s a live eviction vote episode.  Suddenly and without warning the channel changes to the Color Crew on Baby’s First TV.  You begin to sob hoping that the human who made this poor program selection will reverse course but to no avail.  No wonder my kids always want to hold the TV remote.  They’re tired of having to watch black and white History Channel documentaries and The Real Housewives of New York and there’s nothing they can do about it.  They’re helpless and their mad.

Wardrobe Selection


When I woke up this morning, I looked through my closet and found a shirt to wear that I felt the least fat in.  I had a few choices.  That’s the key word…choices.  If I had no choice in the matter and was forced to wear a white t-shirt with red suspenders and a blue bow tie I’d likely be very pissed…and people at work would think I was having an emotional crisis.  I know when we put these outfits on them, Charles was thinking, “I’d really rather wear that cool yellow Shark Shirt.”  Sorry, Charles.  We’re going to dress you in this unpractical outfit and to make matters worse, we’ll put your brother in the same exact thing.  Can’t you just feel him seethe?



If you want to see a storm of bad feelings in its full fury come on over to my house at meal time.  If the eggs are not at just the right temperature or the vanilla yogurt not at the right consistency there’s hell to pay.  You can’t blame them.  We’re feeding them eggs and yogurt.  Doesn’t seem like those things should be part of the same meal.  It’s not like we don’t give them a lot of different foods to find something they’d enjoy but you know what these kids want to do it swing on the fridge door like we do and say, “What do I feel like eating”?  Once again, we’ve taken the decision making away from them and they’re less than  pleased with out choices.  Sounds like the basic cause of every revolution is history.

They don’t choose their bed times.  They have no say on weekend plans.  We take extremely entertaining items out of their hands for unreasonably thinking that an electric drill, fork or power strip might harm them. No wonder Arthur is beating the snot out of himself.

What I’m suggesting is one night a week we let them knock the piss out of each other to release all the mounting animosity.  It’s also a way to keep them fighting with each other instead of turning against their parents.  It’s how we’ve kept people down for centuries.


What’s the first rule of Baby Fight Club.  I’m not sure yet.  Talking about it is fine by me.  For now, I’ll set the first rule, that it needs to start after their 1pm nap because that’s when I like to get my nap too.  We start these fight clubs all over the world and we’re going to have happy babies not angry ones.  Remember how happy Meat Loaf was in Fight Club?


This is the baby I want!!

Least Favorite Child Results

June 25 – Least Favorite is Charles.  He’s so stubborn when he doesn’t want to eat something that when I came home and my wife was feeding him, she looked relieved.  I think the source of her relief was that now that a witness was present she wouldn’t harm the little bastard.

June 26 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  He’s the baby who always has the cough and sounds like the Depression Era consumptive baby.  The pediatrician always says he’s fine, but Arthur’s costing me at least 20 bucks a month in gas for extra visits to the doctor.

June 27 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  I have two snooze alarms.  The one on my iPhone that goes off every nine minutes and Arthur every 17 minutes from 4:30am to 7am.  Between those two and three hours it’s nothing but the sounds of alarms and tears.

June 28 – Least Favorite is Charles.  He prefers to have a bottle all by himself as he walks around these days.  If he goes missing I merely need to look on the ground and follow the trail of milk over the floor, carpet and dog.

June 29 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  At what point is holding a one year old upside down detrimental to his development?  It’s what Arthur demands at all time.  A study is going to come out and some point and say that this either leads someone to become a genius or a serial killer.  I’m on pins and needles.

June 30 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  We’re traveling to Cape Cod and North Carolina for 9 days and I’m already anticipating Arthur being more of a problem.  He’s going to be the fussy baby on every flight, while Charles sleeps without a care in the world.

Least Favorite Child Year One – Charles

Total Days As Least Favorite Child – Year Two

Arthur – 20

Charles – 18

Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 327



The Boys Search For Their Blue Steel


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June 27, 2016

Like a lot of parents I think my children are the cutest things that exist on Earth.  And like a lot of parents, when I see the results of their photos taken from a professional portrait taker, I think to myself, “What the fuck”?  It’s not just that the camera doesn’t love Charles and Arthur.  The camera seems to have a serious grudge against them.  I don’t know what my children did to piss off the camera but if I’m honest, they’re a big part of the problem too.  They’re not bringing their A game to the shoot.


When my wife and I went to the portrait place I saw the above photo and got excited.  But I didn’t get a photo like this.  I got photos like this.


I won’t even place the pictures side by side for comparison.  It hurts too much.  Of course they might not have understood what the photographer was going for when she placed them in a piece of luggage from the 1920s. I’ll admit that the theme confused me as well.  I’ve traveled with them and I know I’d never get away with this method as convenient as it might seem.  What my sincere hope is, is that the boys are looking for their signature look and just haven’t found it yet.  They’re hoping to stand out in a way that surpasses the cute baby pictured in the Sears photo frame.  If that’s the case I’m going to help them define some of the looks they were trying out at this shoot.


This was one of the first looks that Charles busted out and I call it “The Browntown.”  It’s the classic look that says he’s just taken a dump and creates a tense yet relieved vibe.  Very few of the top models in the world are brave enough to try “The Browntown” and I can see why.  It’s a vulnerable look.


Arthur is showcasing a look called “Sandman.”  It’s a sultry blase look that says, “I want a nap.”  Charles is hitting us hard with a look he calls “Jade.”  “Jade” is a look that is meant to convey the jaded feeling a child gets even though he’s just one year of age.  He’s seen a lot of living in twelve months and seen a lot of things that can’t be unseen…like episodes of Harry The Bunny that go nowhere.


Arthur spent most of the shoot using his “Hard To Get” look.  It’s a method he employs to avoid looking at the camera at all costs.  He’s clearly got some American Indian influence and feels that looking directly into a camera to have his pictures taken will steal his soul. Charles on the other hand is giving us the “There’s No Santa”?  This technique is suppose to convey the beginnings of lost youth.  This look combined with “Jade” convince me he’s really ahead of his time.  Maybe too far ahead of his time.

It was time for a wardrobe change.  With a new set of duds we got…pretty much the same results.


At this point Arthur had taken a newer approach.  He wasn’t avoiding the camera.  He was taking it head on.  Not with a smile but with his threatening “I’ll Cut A Bitch” look in full effect.  This is the look he gives me in the morning when I change the shirt I’m wearing because he’s looking at me like I can’t carry it off.


Charles rocks his “Superhero” pose while Arthur meets it with complete disinterest. It’s a look that I like to call “Navy Man.”  Arthur patterns this look after watching Daddy utter, “You never tell a Navy Man when he’s had too much to drink,” while he walks around drinking tequila out of a Denny’s Mug.  Daddy’s never been in the Navy.


This was their last pose of the day and I call it “The Outback.”  This look begs the question, “Is there an Outback Steakhouse in this mall”?  Because at this point what you really wants is a large pitcher of Margaritas and a baked potato the size of a baby’s head.

What was the takeaway from this experience?  We know that we won’t have to sink a lot of money into modeling school and expensive head shots.  The next time we need to have a portrait of the boys we’ll go down to the pier and find a guy who does silly drawings.  At least we can say they look this way on purpose.



Least Favorite Child Results

June 18 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  Arthur has developed a habit of finding a remote corner of the house and butting his head against the wall until it hurts enough for him to cry.  I remember when my wife and I thought our kids would be geniuses.

June 19 – Least Favorite is Charles.  Because of Charles I have a nightly ritual of placing anything I don’t want him to grab high enough so that he can get to it first thing in the morning.  I don’t like to add rituals before I go to bed.  I just like to go to bed.

June 20 – Least Favorite is Charles.  I caught him making out with the dog.  I don’t even know what to make of that but it’s going to cost me some sleep.

June 21 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  At one point he was using his hands to put food in his mouth and realized that if he stopped, we’d do it for him.  He has laziness down to a science.  He burns about ten calories a day.

June 22 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  In fact he’s so lazy that he’ll cry in the middle of the night because the pacifier is just out of arm’s reach.  He needs someone to come in and put it in his mouth.  Maybe he only burns five calories a day.

June 23 – Least Favorite is Charles.  I appreciate that he’ll sleep so deeply that taking a big dump won’t wake him up.  But waking up to this carnage is unsettling.

Least Favorite Child Year One – Charles

Total Days As Least Favorite Child – Year Two

Charles – 15

Arthur – 16

Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 320


I Think I’m Gonna Need A Moment


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June 17, 2016

“There’s a strong chance that my sons’ first real memories will be the sight of me laughing at them when they cry.” – Me, 2016

Makes me seem like a big feeling shit to quote myself.  It also makes me seem lazy to start off a post with something I wrote on Facebook.  It’s another day where I’m looking to cut corners.

I haven’t learned a lot in  thirteen months as a parent.  But I have figured out one very important thing I can pass on to anyone who’s about to have a child.  Don’t bother buying toys for the first year or two of their lives.  That’s not what they’re into.  What they want you can’t buy at a Toys R Us.  Babies want YOUR stuff.  They want to play with things you depend on to make it through your day to day life, that they can fuck up, break or lose.  And when you take it away from them they lose their shit.


A couple of years ago my wife bought me the sturdiest Otterbox iPhone cover that exists when I accepted a job to work on a show following people searching for Big Foot.  I was going to be chasing a dozen nutbags in the Pacific Northwest in rugged terrain that would include swamps, torrential downpours, wild animals and other unthinkable elements.  I might die, but my phone, I was told, would be intact.  Fate intervened and I got a better job offer a few weeks before the Big Foot show started shooting so I was thankfully never able Otter Box iPhone cover to the test.  My one year old son Charles, however, was able to do to my phone what I was guaranteed a Yeti couldn’t.  He rendered it useless in about 15 minutes. How he did it I have no idea but when I took it from his grubby hands, it was dead.

The only bright side was the amusement I found at watching the slow build of his enormous cry.  He made the cry face and opened his mouth, but no audible sound came out for at least 30 seconds.  It was like he was summoning a cry from so deep down within his tiny body that it took half a minute to reach his vocal cords.  He does the silent cry a lot, and every time it happens, I call my wife if she’s not in the room to “Come quick!  He’s doing the hilarious silent cry!”


Watching Charles silent cry, has become almost as funny to us as an episode of Veep.  That’s right, we’re monsters.  But it’s probably because it’s our emotional defense due to all our stuff getting ruined.

Charles is the main culprit because he can walk around and is taller than Arthur.  The other day, in the blink of an eye he had taken the “Q” key off my wife’s laptop keyboard.  I was impressed.  It’s a hard key to reach.  Its not like he took the “control” button.  I would have only been more impressed if he had taken the “C” key, which would have led to my wife and I inevitably convincing ourselves that he was trying to spell his name and that he was clearly a genius.  Parents are always looking for any sign in our desperate hopes that our kids aren’t morons.

I was able to pry the “Q” away from him before he swallowed it which led to this reaction.


I can measure his value on things by the level of his crying.  For instance if I take a steak knife out of his hands it’s this.


If he’s holding some expensive face cream of my wife’s and I take it, it’s this.


These things don’t matter as much to him so he’s a little restrained.  But there are items that if taken away, guarantee a hysterical and hilarious breakdown.

Take away an iPad


Or do the unthinkable and take away the TV remote


I have no idea where I’m going with this post or what the point it.  It’s only recently occurred to me that I spend more time laughing and charting the levels of my children’s crying than consoling them.  Maybe I shouldn’t expect a great Father’s Day gift.  If it’s something really cool, Charles would just want to ruin it anyway.  I’d have to take it away and then laugh as his silent cry evolves into an ocean or tears.  Wait…that sounds exactly like what I want.

Least favorite Child Results

June 11 – Least Favorite is Charles.  Pretty soon, Arthur will be able to walk.  For all I know he’s been practicing in private.  I just know that Arthur is looking for payback from all the things his brother has yanked from his hands and walked away with.

June 12 – Least Favorite is Charles.  Babies can lose a lot of points at dinner time.  I know Charles does.  There’s nothing fun about playing tug of war with a one year old over a spoon.  If you could get the yogurt into your mouth on your own I’d be delighted.

June 13 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  He’s picked up his brother’s old habit of rolling over in the middle of a diaper change ensuring that I need no less than 15 wipes to properly clean him.

June 14 – Least Favorite is Charles.  I see more fights in our future when it comes to TV selection.  He ranks Harry The Bunny much higher than the NBA Playoffs

June 15 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  I no longer need an alarm clock because I have a baby monitor by my bed.  My new wake up call is Arthur talking to himself loudly beginning around 5:30am.

June 16 – Least Favorite is Charles. If I get home after a long work day I’m usually looking forward to the smiling faces of my children seeing me.  If Harry The Bunny is on, Charles is locked on that and he wouldn’t look at me if I was on fire.  And I’ll be honest.  Harry The Bunny isn’t nearly as funny as he thinks he is.

Least Favorite Child Year One – Charles

Total Days As Least Favorite Child – Year Two

Charles – 12

Arthur – 13

Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 313