Monthly Archives: February 2017

Roblox

So one day, I pick Lexie up from school – her friend, too – and they’re both in the backseat giggling as sixth graders do, and about nothing at all. Absolutely nothing! I mean, they climbed their asses into the car, and were already cracking up. Meanwhile, Zoie had just fallen asleep on the five minute drive around the corner to pick them up, and Lexie asks me about this game called Roblox, which I have never heard of before. I was a little surprised she was asking about video games, because prior to the sixth grade she’d always look the other way when it came to video games. I mean she has a Nintendo Wii in her bedroom that she never plays, but whatever.

So, I’m thinking maybe she’s trying to dig into my wallet again. I asked her where this game was, and she said it’s online.

“Well how did you find out about this video game?” I asked.

“We play it at school,” she said.

So we dropped her friend off and got home. She gets online and logs into the roblox site. Damn, she’s already got a user account, and she’s explaining to me that it’s a game that all the kids are playing. Now, when I did my research about roblox, which by the way, looks like some sort of failed Lego project, I’m finding that the language on the site is pretty liberal. Alright whatever, I’m not going to buffer her from all the shit that’s said on and around the web. Between Target.com and Roblox, she’s content with the internet.

However, I did tell her that I didn’t particularly like the site and that if this Roblox thing is approved by the school, then enjoy it and don’t abuse the privilege. She told me that she only goes into certain areas because in alot of the other areas, the users talk inappropriately.

So, cool. I’m confident that she’s enjoying the game as it is. And since she first told me about Roblox, her activity is pretty normal. This is because I check her movements on that site. She doesn’t know it, but even if she did, I’d just advise her not to delete any online history.

We can’t police every single step our children take, but we can educate them about using excellent judgment, not being followers, and making decisions that put them closer to the rewards, and further from punishment.

She got a computer for her room, so that she’d stay off my laptops and desktops, and guess what? She hardly spends any time playing online. That’s cool, too. Absolutely cool.

It’s Bedtime

 

“It’s 9:30, kiddos. Time for bed,” I say. 30 minutes later, it’s ten o’clock. Amazing, right? NO! That’s not amazing. What’s amazing is the fact that all three of them are still up, carrying on like its two o’clock on a Saturday afternoon.

“What the devil is going on right now? I thought I said it was bedtime thirty minutes ago.” Suddenly they’re all mute. Looking around at each other, trying to quickly figure out some bullshit to feed me, as to why they aren’t in bed, their own rooms, and at least pretending to TRY to go to sleep.

“Look kids, I know you want to stay up because you’ve either got early school release tomorrow, or you’ve got a late start schedule. But listen here, doggonit. When I say bedtime, it means exactly that. Next time I find myself repeating myself again, I’m gonna start taxing ya’ll. Meaning, it’ll come out of your personal video game time, allowance, whatever, and you’ll do extra work around here. I’m not playing. I send ya’ll butts to bed at a decent time to make sure you get a full rest, so you can be at school bringing me A’s and B’s…..”

So the lecture goes on until 11pm, and now they’re yawning like a bunch of lions. Perfect. LIGHTS OUT!

Get Rid of Some Stuff

“C’mon Lexie. You’ve gotta get rid of some of this stuff, and stop changing your room around. I don’t want the carpet in here worn down everywhere because you want to move your furniture around every other week. Not to mention that cat of yours. All he ever does is lay under the bed at the corner, leaving all his doggone hair matted into the carpet.”

“But there’s a big rug under my bed that he lays on, so he’s not actually on the carpet,” she says.

“Well okay, but we’re not moving your bedroom around every other month. Maybe once a year, IF I decide. And another thing, stop leaving your TV on during the day. You and Cameron have that bad. It’s gonna start coming out of your allowance. Don’t believe me, just watch.”

Anyhow, I get it. She’s a girl, and she wants to do these kind of things, and all I can think about is wear and tear, walls be scratched, cat hair all around the room. I swear I don’t like that dude..meaning the cat. If I haven’t told you guys already, his name is Nermal, and he’s nothing like the Garfield character. You know, the grey cat. This goddamn cat just eats, sleeps and shits…well, I guess that’s like Garfield.

Lexie’s room used to be immaculate, from corner to corner. Well hold on, do get me wrong, her room is clean, but not like it use to be. Maybe it’s because she’s accumulated so much shit. Girl’s accessorize everything, and I mean evvvverything. There’s never just one or two of something. There’s hundreds of something. Even shit that you think couldn’t be accessorized is accessorized. Like paperclips, staples, rubberbands, and tootsie rolls.

I’ll go into her room, look around and ask say, “Throw some of this shit away. What are you keeping it for? Why do you need it? I never see you doing anything with this stuff. Why don’t you get rid of it? It’s just taking up space.” Haha

Her answer is always the more obvious of answers that a parent would never think of, because we’re so ‘logical’, right? She says, “Because it’s my stuff.”

“Oh, but of course,” I think to myself. Why is this realization so groundbreaking to me? I’m 41 years old. Her response is absolute GENIUS. Why then do I always get rid of my own shit? I mean, it’s mine, right?

“Maybe the reason people get rid of things every so often,” I tell her, “Is because people make room for new or things. Or just that some stuff is in the way, and has run its course in the place that it’s been.

Then I realized later that she’s barely twelve years old. Her room, I imagine, is supposed to have lots of personality..translation…(shit everywhere). Again, her room isn’t messy or anything like that, she’s just accumulated all sorts of stuff from everywhere. It’s what she’s supposed to do. It’s her own pre-teenage world. She’s got cable, video games, smartphone, Netflix, a computer, walk in closet, all sorts of stuff..Oh, and a damn cat to match.

Late Night

“Yo Cameron! It’s time to get up man. What time did you go to bed last night?” I ask. He rolls over and looks at me, and says, “Around two o’clock. I was up late.”

“Well, it’s almost noon, dude. You’ve gotta get up and make something of the day.”

“C’mon dad, it’s Saturday. Why can’t I just sleep all day?”

I’m still standing in his doorway, waiting for him to scratch his ass and get. I tell him the reason he can’t sleep all day, is because he has chores and he has to participate in them. It’s a beautiful day to spend effectively. When I was a kid, every though we stayed up late, we still got up no later than eight or nine. Not because we had to, but because it was Saturday, and me and my brothers wanted to get our allowance and our basketballs or footballs, run down to the corner store and buy some candy, soda, and chips. We’d get into our day and use it all up. There wasn’t a second lost in our weekends. The last place we wanted to be was in our rooms. We couldn’t wait to go outside. Outside! Can you imagine that? These kids nowadays think outside is punishment. Outside is where the adventure is.

The reason he tries to sleep in like this is because he sits on his ass playing PS4 all night Friday, after school, after his homework, after his chores. So I told him that if he couldn’t get up at a decent time, then maybe I’ll just have to enforce an earlier bedtime.

I’m so passionate about this. There’s no way in hell, he’s going to lay around like he’s worked a 12-hour shift. I don’t care if it’s Christmas Break, and school doesn’t begin for another two weeks. The way I see teenagers is very simple: Everything is habit forming, and falling out of a regular sleep schedule is just not good. Too much sleep makes you tired. I have an older cousin that used to sleep in until two o’clock when we were kids. The grown folks would wake his ass up, and he’d have a shitty attitude..we were like eleven and twelve years old. It would literally take him the rest of the day to bounce back from his twelve hour sleep pattern. He’d have endless headaches, backaches. He was sluggish. It was just ridiculous how this dude moved around like an old man. The rest of us youngsters, had already been up since seven or eight, had breakfast, been outside, etc.

I remember that stuff like it was yesterday, and I’ll be damned if I let Cameron fall into a crappy sleep schedule. So recently, on Friday nights I’ve been telling him, “Listen, if you can’t handle getting up at a decent time on the weekends, mainly Saturday, then you better go to bed at a decent time. You don’t work a 9-5, so you better set that alarm on your phone to something like eight or nine. Don’t sleep later than that. You’re a young dude, get outdoors with your basketball. Go running, get that exercise in. You can take a nap in the afternoon, but you need to be up. Don’t become lazy.”

Now, sometimes, I feel I come down on him a bit too hard. But who’s going to teach him these things. Who’s going to teach him about ambition, fitness, responsibility, etc? Who’s going to take the time out to give him advice and perspective? Nobody. It’s a father’s job and responsibility to lay heavy perspective on his kids, especially the boys. I’m not saying a mother can’t. I’m only saying that a man must instill the jewels of ethic, time management, decision making, and PERSPECTIVE in his children.

Laundry

It’s Saturday all day long, and I haven’t seen him do anything in the way of responsibility, such a his laundry. I dont say anything, just going about my way. Damn, now it’s Sunday, and it’s been Sunday all day long. I’m painting a picture for you about my teenage son. Now I still haven’t said anything to him about anything that he should be taking care of for the coming week ahead. I’m just observing and waiting to see if he has any initiative about himself. I always preach about business before pleasure. Get this stuff out the way before you do what you really want to do so that you don’t have to re-visit that business later.

This is me in prior instances. You know, I’m just trying to instill some direction in him; and to show that the day is all about you, if you get things in order, because there’s nothing like not having anything else to do but watch TV, play video games, surf the internet,etc. Hell, take a nap if you like.

So like I said earlier, it’s now Sunday evening, roughly 2 hours before bed. He still hasn’t done his laundry. He has other clothes he can wear, but the rule is to get your laundry done so that the laundry room isn’t a mess going into the next week. Not to mention getting it done so it doesn’t start to mess.

So finally, it’s exactly one hour and some change before bed, and guess what? Yep, laundry still not done, but guess where his black ass is? You got it. In his room, with the door closed, Beats headphones on, talking to one of his friends who’s half way around the world in Belgium or some shit, and they’re laughing and whatnot over the PSN Network.

I look at him, leaning against the door, and asked him when he was thinking about doing his laundry. He told me, he thought he’d already done it, even though it’s pouring out the top of the hamper that’s sitting right there next to his tv. I mean, you can’t miss this big ass clothes basket. But at fifteen years of age, I guess it perfectly possible. WTF!

I asked him, when exactly did you think he did it? He tells me he doesn’t remember the time. Now Im rubbing my bald head, because it’s clear to me that he thinks he can feed me some bullshit. He knows damn well he hasn’t done any laundry. He uses that, “Oh I forgot”, or that “I was getting ready to do it right now,” crap.

Strange how it’s always perfect timing that he’s about to do something when I question him about his lack of responsibility, or drive to get things done, etc. So I told him to turn the video games off and get started on his laundry. Then I remembered that I also told him no video games two hours before bed. Can you imagine his response… don’t worry, it’s coming…5..4..3..2..1…

“Dad, I don’t remember you telling me that.”

“Well Cameron, I find that very offensive of you, considering the fact that you asked me last night, what time you had to be off the game on Sunday.”

His response? “Ohhh, yeah that’s right.” In that moment-right then and there- I just told him to bring me the controllers to the PS4 AND the PS3, because it’s clear to me that he doesn’t remember anything, and if he does, he’s just playing dumb. So to remedy that, I told him he won’t be playing video games for the next two weeks. You should have seen the big teardrops falling from his eyes. I felt bad for him, but hey, if I was his friend, I would’ve forgiven that shit, but since I’m his parent, then it is my duty to confiscate shit and not give it back until he starts taking responsibility and minding these simple expectations.

“Now you have time to do you laundry,” I said. “That’s all, son. Get moving.”

Sleep-overs

I grew up with three younger brothers. Didn’t have any sisters, so I never understood the nature of girls and the things they needed or wanted, like sleep-overs. Let me break this down much more because it’s about my second oldest. That’s Alexandra (aka Lexie), if you’re just now tuning in to these stories form home or work. Growing up, I never had friends over for anything. The closest my friends got to my house was when we walked the same way after school, and on the weekends, if I hung out with my friends, it was because we all met up somewhere.

Maybe it was because the houses we lived in, during my childhood, were very small. Now let’s talked about Lexie, since this post is mainly about her. I’m finding that girls are alot more complicated that boys. All Cameron needs is a couple snacks, a slushie, and his video games. Once he’s in possession of those few things, I might not see him anymore that whole weekend. He doesn’t care to have his friends over, or go to their house. If he can reach them through the Playstation Network, that’s as good as real company.

But seriously, let’s look at the complexity of Lexi. If it were up to her, she’d have all of her best friends over every Friday evening through Sunday night at 8p, with just enough time to brush her teeth, shower, and go to bed. So she asks me if she can have two of her friends over one weekend, and two others the following weekend. I just looked at her like she was crazy.

“Heck no, you can’t have your friends impose on my tranquility for two full weekends in a row. Hell no. That shit is not happening,” Is what I thought, but I didn’t say it. I told her that her request wasn’t very well thought out because there was no way that was going to be granted.

And of course she wants to know why. I didn’t answer her, but I said, you can have them over this weekend or next weekend, but not both.

Let me tell you why I gave her even that much. Girls are loud, obnoxious, and they laugh at everything. Everything seems to be a bunch of inside jokes and secrets, and when you check on them, they make you feel like you just walked into the wrong restroom. But hold on for a second. The situation gets a bit strange. She asks if her friends can come over, and then when they’re all here, somehow it becomes my dilemma as to what to do with her and her friends. She’s like, “Dad we’re bored. Can you take us somewhere?”

“Uh hell no. What were you guys planning on doing when you invited them here?” I say.

“Well there’s nothing to do,” she says with her reinforcement team standing behind her, observing my responses, totally silent the whole time.

“Well Lexie, do your friends want to go home since there’s nothing to do?”

Suddenly, like a choir, they all speak up at the same time and say they don’t want to leave.

At that point, I look back at Lexie and tell her she’s the host. As I’m getting ready to walk down the hallway to my room, I reminded her that I don’t care how bored she and her friends are. I will pick them up, drop them off, and even feed them in between, but I’m not going to bus you guys around spending my money. Enjoy yourselves here and have fun.

So they all go back into her room, and it’s amazing how fast they start giggling again.

Episode 1 – Intro

This is the very first episode. I’m not sure how long this one will be, but there will be more. Don’t cry little birdies

I feel good, when I feel good I sing. I was just listening to Jason Mraz, and that is a helluva song.

You know, this podcasting thing, its crossed my mind a few times over the last few years, and I’ve always wanted to create one. I guess I just didn’t know what the hell I’d talk about, and if you should know one thing about me, it’s that I’ve always made things more difficult than they should have to be. I’ll take something simple & make it complicated. I’m just too doggone analytical

I know that at the heart of it all, podcasting is just a conversation.

Well no shit Denory, I know that’s what you’re all thinking right now. Seriously though, I really thought podcasting was just for marketing experts, financial analysts, people giving out legal advice, and citrus experts telling you how to care for your grapefruit trees. Shit like that.

But I stand corrected.

Truth is, you can talk about many things, anything, in your podcast. Inject a ton of personality into it. Talk about your day, your experiences, whatever… It’s simple, yes I know

I’d done my research and watched videos, read articles, repeatedly, and what I found out is, it’s all the same advice. “PODCAST that thing you love to do”, but now, the things we love aren’t always the things we do, right?

For instance, you might have a membership to the gym that runs you $40-$50/month, but you may not go twice a day, or every other day, or even twice a week because of the other things you like and love, or just life’s other priorities pulling rank

The problem for me is I’m a jack of all trades-so to say-but a master of none.

But above all that, I just didn’t want to create a boring podcast and only talk about one thing.

However, I’m not saying that specializing in one subject makes a podcast boring at all. I’m only talking about my “jack of all trades” label.

So this past week, I’ve been working on other things. I think the fact I’d taken my mind off of what to podcast about, and not chasing content for each episode, it’s really made the process even easier.

So with that bit of info shared & before we begin I want to tell you guys that the intro music at the start of this and all episodes will always be my own.

And now, enough of that racket. Let’s get busy with nothing.

So right now, it’s around 11pm. I’m not exactly in night owl territory. But that’s when I reach creativity. I think it’s when the kids go to bed

Season 1: Episode 1

Long Showers

I don’t know how it didn’t occur to me that Cameron’s showers are long for a reason. Long showers, for real. Well hold on, let me clear this up. I don’t have the slightest clue as to what my son could possibly be doing in the shower so long that the goddamn water heater has run out of hot water. When I say hot water, I mean, you can’t turn the shower further than the two o’clock position before it feels like the water temperature is being powered by hot lava. A brand new bar of soap-right out the little box it comes in-is weathered down to a sliver. This is in one shower period.

But then it occurred to me that evolution is occurring in him. Shit! He’s fifteen years old, damn near sixteen. Male biology says it’s time to relieve some of that pressure that’s been building up. Testosterone is occurring everywhere. So I had a talk with him about ‘nature’. I said, “Just make sure you wash your hands before you leave the bathroom, and don’t be firing up no cigarettes after self-service. And please, don’t bring no babies home. In fact, don’t even carry on like you’re grown.” I mentioned some other things, too.

I noticed he was taking these long showers, pardon me; long ass showers around thirteen, but I was on a different thought pattern. I was thinking along the lines of wasted water going down the drain, because I could hear him in the shower rapping and singing “One Republic” songs. So I’d knock on the door, and ask him, rather, tell him to get out if he’s done. Never realizing that he’s likely reached puberty. Shame on me, for probably interfering with his shower processes.

Now even with that said, I still don’t like all my damn hot water running down the drain. I told him a story about my grandfather and my uncles when they were kids. Well one of my uncles told that their father –my grandfather- would shut the water off outside if they were in the shower longer than five minutes. Now, I know I can be strict or whatever, but damn, being forced to wash up and be out of the shower in under five minutes is just crazy. Whether soaped up or not, when that five minute mark hit, the water line to the house was shut off and my uncles had to dry off. That’s an unusual way of parenting. Cameron’s showers are usually twenty minutes.

I even told him one day that women are the only people who need to take extremely long showers. A man can be in and out of a hot shower in ten minutes. But that was just some food for thought –for him-if ever he felt he needed to take a shower longer than twenty to thirty minutes. I can see that he doesn’t need to shave; still in the peach fuzz zone. His hair isn’t that long; but he does need a trim up. So I reason his long showers are due to evolution and pressure relieve.

Episode 2 – Sneaking Soda

Let me say this here. I provide for my three kids. I give them what they need and what they want, even though they act like they don’t know the difference between the two. Now Cameron is the oldest, that’s my son, he’s fifteen. Lexie/Alexandra is the second oldest. She’s twelve, and finally, the other one.., that’s her name. The Other One. I’m kidding, her name is ZOE. I spell it ZOIE, but her indifferent mother spells it ZOE.

Anyway, this is some funny shit.

My son- well-he only comes out of his room to eat and to ask for money. Oh, and eat some more. Well the other day, he comes out of his cocoon to refuel between hours and hours of PS4, and I’m assuming he must’ve thought I wasn’t home, or I was in the room, but more generally, not in the immediate area to witness his teenager-ism, because I don’t believe he’d be so bold to do what I’m about to tell you all.

Now you may not think it’s a big deal, but when I explain this shit you’ll understand the greater potential of this behavior.

Alright, so I go into the kitchen to load my dinner plate into the dishwasher. I told Cameron to put a power pack in the washer and start the dishes. Well I go back into my room for a quick minute. In that short amount of time, he’d gone into the garage and come back in, and started small talk with me. Now I know he’s up to something now. The trash was still sitting there, full as shit. SO I know he didn’t take the trash out. I didn’t mention it yet. So I let this comedy run it course.

He heads to the bathroom, I’m slightly watching him, and as he turns the corner going into the bathroom, he turns his head back at me. I’m assuming it was to see if I was still there or –in his teenage frame of mind- gone about my goddamn business. But I am still there; with total awareness of this rooster, that is my son.

So I’m sitting there in the kitchen, and I hear the tab break on one of my goddamn 7-ups. I’m certain now, no longer guessing as to what he’s up to.

He’d snuck a can of soda.

The shit was funny to me. I wasn’t gonna bust his ass too much, because it was just that funny.

He comes out the bathroom, without the empty can, and looks at me like I shouldn’t still be sitting in the kitchen….

Season 1: Episode 2

Episode 3 – Coffee

You know I enjoy staying up late, always have; and then to add to it, I still get up around six or seven in the morning. Basically a good five or six hours of sleep is all I need.

But if I get any more than that for any reason, I’m not worth a damn to nobody. But I do it without coffee. I mean I enjoy a solid cup here and there, and I prefer decaf.

My brother calls my kind of coffee bean water.  I just like the aroma more than I do drinking it. But from time to time. I do that on purpose though. Let me tell you why.

One time many years ago, I’d gotten up to get ready for work, and I brewed a very dark dark dark pot of coffee. It was so damn dark, it tasted like I soaked a bag of dirty pennies in it. It was horrendous. Nah, it tasted like ashes.

Seriously, it was bad. I set the brew strength, and went and took a shower. Got out, got dressed, made a couple pieces of toast with sourdough bread, and poured a cup. Then another, then another, and still again, another.

Well, not only did I drink that nasty shit, but I poured the rest of it into this big ass thermos, and left for work.

Man I was WOKE, jack. Singing my ass off, on the way to work. On the interstate next to the carpool lane. 45 miles one way.

Anyhow, I had another cup half way to work by using the cap on the thermos.

When I got off the freeway, I pulled into a Quick Trip store and bought a couple of those Starbucks frap bottles.

Now a few hours later, I’ve been at work for some time now, settled in for that goddamn 8 hours shift, but around noon, I’m sitting there talking to a customer, and I felt like my whole being had shifted…

Season 1: Episode 3

Episode 4 – A Fathers Role

You know I’ve been a hands on father since day one. I am my children’s biggest fan, you understand. We fathers out here – we who’re involved in every facet of our children’s lives –that’s everything from love, discipline, chores, homework, doing hair, buying clothes- know that the job doesn’t have a stop and start time. It’s going to appointments, giving allowances, and rewards.

There isn’t a time clock to punch, or direct deposit, and certainly no promotions. Where we fathers receive payment, is when our children bring home good grades, and understand the rules.

The rules aren’t in place to make them weak, but to show them that they will not grow up wild as weeds.  We teach them right from wrong so that they will know right from wrong and make the effort to stay out of trouble.

Our role is to show them what’s necessary to make good decisions and use solid judgment. We fathers are here to teach them a healthy respect for each other, in and away from home, as well as towards others.

No one else is going to look after our kids but us. Hands on fathers know this one thing: I’ll be damned if another man raises my child or children. This is what we are cemented to.

I mean there’s no way in hell I could stand by and let some other cat raise all that is mine. So this requires much commitment on our parts as fathers.

How the hell can we as fathers be available to our children when we’re out at the bars carrying on like we don’t need to make ourselves available when it matters?

How can we play a vital role if we aren’t around? We’re around because that is what we choose, and is what our kids expect

Season 1: Episode 4

Planning and Thinking

“Cameron, I need you to start planning and thinking about your life. No, I don’t mean go out and land a job or anything. I just mean you need to begin thinking about what your interests are and start looking into them to see if they still interest you or not.

You’re getting to that age when every second will start to count in favor, or against you, because there are alot of things you can choose from, and it can be overwhelming as to which path to take. So start now. Every decision will also begin to affect you, too.”

This is the level of conversation that I am quickly approaching with him. Not that the kiddie gloves have to come off now, but the language I use is more aligned with the real world. I remember my dad telling me that a young boy doesn’t go to sleep one night and wake up a grown ass man, but that behaviors and the choices made will foster results that affirm that he is indeed coming into manhood.

I wonder if Cameron is ready for that world of cold hard truths about life. Or maybe I’m more concerned than I should be. I think it has alot to do with my expectations of him, rather than let him be a young man who will reach the standard of a man that will become more than what I believe he can be; for himself.

He’s interested in Robotics, and computer sciences, but he also likes cars, and tinkers with the idea of becoming a high end certified mechanic, which is not what I thought he’d pick since I’m always telling him to think about going to school to become your own boss, as opposed to going to school to potentially get a job working for someone else. Then he tells me he’s interested in Sports Medicine. Well that’s a good direction too, since he likes to tell me about muscle groups and how they perform. It’s really interesting stuff.

Like I said, I’m not telling him specifically what to do. No laser-focus here, but again, as a parent, I think it’s a good idea to have him begin looking into his interests alot sooner than what it appears he’s doing.

I’m sure sometimes he thinks I’m rushing him to grow up, but actually all that I’m doing is equipping him with some basic knowledge. Like boiling pasta, washing clothes-which I did when he was probably ten or eleven years old. Things like paying for shit at the grocery store. Using measuring cups, Browning ground beef for different things. I could go on and on. So I don’t think it’s about raising him up too fast. It’s about equipping him with a little know how.

For example, he’ll ask me a quick question about something, and usually I’ll answer, but sometimes I’ll ask him if he checked with google first. I could answer him in two seconds, but I challenge him to be resourceful, to be creative, and think through possible solutions to some things. TO THINK!! That’s what I’m doing here. Training him to get by with at least some knowledge, because the rest he can figure out however he chooses to.

A parent who is really invested in a child’s wellbeing-in my opinion-will challenge that child to discover; but without reckless abandon. In the animal kingdom, those animals are brought up quickly to hunt and survive. I understand that it’s a tough example, but the idea behind it all is that we equip these children with a few basic know-how’s.

Episode 5 – Approaching Women

People always ask questions about dating. Specifically about how to talk to women, and I’m shocked at how many men don’t know how to hold a simple conversation with a woman.

I’m shocked at how scary some of these men are when it comes to approaching a woman. You can’t even have a conversation with one, if you’re too chicken shit to approach her.

Now I just want to talk to the fellas this episode. Ladies you can listen. I’m going to begin this thing with a broad stroke:

“Talking to women is no different that talking to your boys, except for the content and purpose.” Let’s break that down now.

You’re in a bar, you’re by yourself or with a couple friends, it really doesn’t matter. I’m just trying to clear a path. So you see a nice little something across the way from you, and in your brain, you’ve already decided you’d give her the job. Nah, you want to give her that job.

If you could, you do it right now. Fellas, you know what the hell I’m talking about. I mean you’d go there with her. THAT NIGHT!

But for some damn reason some of you are too scared, nervous, shy, insecure, not drunk enough, whatever to go introduce yourself to her. Whether she’s by herself or with friends, doesn’t matter one bit.

But if she’s there with a seeing eye dog, then you’d be better off closing your tab going home, breaking out the chicken grease and think about Leslie Jones’ legs for a couple minutes.  If you like Leslie Jones. I’m just saying. I’m qualified to make that suggestion, so please don’t send me no emails asking for recommendations.

You gotta support your own habit. Speaking of which, I should probably delete my google history..Donald Trump is in office, and I just don’t feel my browsing history is safe anymore…I said that out loud didn’t I. SHIT!

Season 1: Episode 5

 

Episode 6 – Walk Away

So I heard this story about a woman who wanted her man to fight other men for her. She believed that if her man didn’t fight for her, literally fisticuffs, then he didn’t love her.

You know, that is the most foolish thing I think I have ever heard. If some guy in the bar is making passes at my woman, I will ignore it and see how she handles herself. Most of the time when guys do this, it’s when they’re liquored up and don’t really know any boundaries. So part of the situation is assessing the threat level, no matter how big or small that drunk dude is.

Not every altercation is won physically, sometimes the altercation is won with brains, and understanding that a few words could change some lives or they can de-escalate the situation.

In any case, here’s an example. You and your girl are out and about, and again, some cocky dude walks up interfering with your date. Your girl might feel disrespected and look to you to straighten this guy.

She’s probably looking for a boost to her ego or some shit. So you and this guy get into it.

First of all, you don’t know what this guy knows, and vice versa. So if we run with these variables, somebody might take a loss and end up in the hospital, and now one of you has a legal battle. You’re both hurt and damaged, but whats the condition of the girl? Oh, well shit, she’s fine. She don’t have any bruises, broken bones, bloody face, she’s not facing legal problems either. Not even an overnight stay downtown. It just cant look good. And why? Because your girl wanted you to fight for her honor. If you got your ass handed to you, would she respect you more or less than if you had just taken the high road and took the evening somewhere else?…..

Season 1: Episode 6

Episode 7 – Early Frame

So, a guy wants to know if he should let his girlfriend have sex with her ex. Hmm, where do I begin. Alright, have any of you heard of something called Early Frame?

Let me explain what Early Frame is, if it isn’t the slightest bit obvious. No better yet let me paint the picture, it’ll be better illustrated. This guy’s girlfriend is asking permission to have sex with an ex.. Is it possible that she’s already had sex with the ex?

Is it possible that this isn’t the first session? I think she’s already done the do. Anyhow, if he tells her, “Yeah baby, I trust you. Go and screw you ex,” she’s off the hook so to say, because she’s already done it, so when word gets back to him that she was playing around with the ex, he can’t get mad because they already discussed it, and he approved it.. This is Early Frame.

Now, lets say he denies her request, well the fact that she has the nerve to ask him if she can lay around with the ex, tells me that she’s already been carrying on with the ex. They’ve already been in touch with each other.

Now, the next thing. He really thinks he’s got the keys to her decision making, her choices and her rights and whatever else. This is also part of the illusion, she’s going to do whatever she wants, and if he ‘quote on quote’ approves her then she doesn’t have to slip out the back door, she can walk right out the front door and wave bye to him as she drives off in their new vehicle to go screw the other guy.

How is that a relationship?

Why would any man approve, grant passage, condone, endorse, allow, agree, submit, accept any request like this and then still think they share something exclusive..

Season 1: Episode 7

Episode 8 – Music

Okay, so we all listen to music everyday, right? It’s in everything, its everywhere. You can’t escape it. But then again, why would you want to escape music. It’s there for you. It’s for me. It belongs to the listeners. It’s something we need. There’s pieces of life in every song. In fact, there’s a most beautiful song written by someone you have never heard of. That’s a fact. No one has heard every song ever written in the world. So that’s a fact, too.

Think about this for a second. When you hear a new song being played, what do you do? You either ask who sings that? Whats the name of that song, and if you have the shazaam app, you’ll open it up to sample that song. A better example would be you’re driving home from work and the next song playing on the radio instantly becomes your new favorite jam. Case in point Bruno Mars 24K Magic. You’ve got to be crazy to not love this song. I think I saw on youtube, this song has been played 123/124M times. That’s crazy, It doesn’t have the most prolific lyrics, but the song, the video are a package. It moves you. It’s a party song. You understand. So you turn it up and beat the hell out of that song for the next week. But here’s the more fascinating thing about music. We all have unique experiences towards the same song, its because we equate it to how we’re feeling.

Season 1: Episode 8

 

Peppa Pig

So, Nick Jr. has this show called Peppa Pig. I don’t know when this cartoon started, or if it’s in syndication now, but I think it comes on a couple times a day; at least. The reason why I don’t know anything about this show up until maybe a month ago, in case you’re wondering, is because I hardly watch any tv, rather cable. I’ll use those two to refer to cable tv. So anyhow, the kids watch Netflix and Hulu programming. I don’t watch much of those apps either, unless Walking Dead is on, or Stranger Things is back. There might be another show or two I’ll tune into every now and then, but the for the most part I don’t partake in television.

So one day Zoie must’ve been tinkering around with the cable remote-shit, she might’ve been stepping on the goddamn thing. It ain’t hers, she don’t give a shit-and she accidentally changed the channel to Nick Jr. Mind you, this was about ten o’clock in the evening, and since she didn’t have a nap earlier that day, due to waking up late, she was comfortably awake in bed, making all sort of noise, giggling, and trying to sing alone with the cartoon jingle.

It was perfect timing, because as the channel changed-as a result of whatever she’d done to the remote-Peppa Pig was just getting through the opening song where the daughter pig says something and snorted every tenth word. I think the cartoon is rather odd, but Zoie loves it. Besides, what does she know about cartoons, she’s all of barely five years old.

The show finally goes off and she looks at me like I did something to cause it to not come on again. I suppose it’s because she has no concept of television programming. I imagine-to her- Peppa Pig and other cartoons should be on, or come on, no second than the moment when they cross her mind.

So I had to wise up in a way that she would completely understand my ‘parent’ explanation. I told her that Peppa Pig had to go to sleep because it was late. What good that did. This little girl got pissed; like Cameron and Lexie had taken one of her morning pancakes. I admit, it was pretty funny watching her meltdown. She was rolling around the floor, tangled up in several blankets, for a good thirty seconds until I disappeared out of the bedroom and re-appeared with a deeper voice. I told her she’d better knock it off before I tan those hips.

When you tell a child you’re gonna ‘tan those nips’, a part of me wants to believe they understand exactly what you mean. Or could it be the voice? But just as fast as I said it, she dried her face, rolled over on her little blanket club house, and started talking to me about shapes; she knew Peppa Pig was going to get her lil’ butt in trouble.

Raising Kids

I wonder how many parents today would raise their kids like, and in the same fashion that their parents raised them. As for me, I give thanks to both of my parents for being as stern as they were. But everybody has a different approach to raising kids. Otherwise in my early years, I may have veered off path and become something else. And I say this because as kids grow up and pay dues to become functional adults, they don’t understand the reasons behind the answers their parents give them when they [the kids] don’t get what they want. It is not in a parents best interests to always, or ever make their children happy. It produces nothing for society but more cleanup work. So I thank my parents for making sure that my three brothers and I grew up with the coping mechanisms for when life doesn’t always give us what we want.

But with that said, Im a different parent to my kids. In the time that I grew up, kids didn’t have opinions, well we did, but our parents weren’t open to a child’s words. In that time, a child did what he was told. That was all there was to it. Even if you weren’t responsible for that broken window next door, you received punishment anyway. The reason for this was crazy. Let me explain.

Your parents couldn’t prove you were involved in that window breaking next door, AND you actually had nothing to do with it, other than just being outside. Well what would happen is the asswhooping with the belt was still coming, because the parents would just whoop that ass for something else that they know you did. So the asswhooping was always a ‘just in case you’re lying to me Im going to give you this discipline’ kind of thing  ..WTF..crazy right?

So, in some ways I’d raise my kids how I was raised, but I definitely allow my kids to use their voices, and to explain what actually happened in a given situation. And my reasoning is that, if your children cant express to you how they feel, how in the hell will they be able to articulate how they feel when they come of age and need to be able to defend a position on some decision, or what have you?

Also, you can be your child(rens) friend without be their friend. What I mean is you don’t always have to have an ironfist. You don’t have to wait until those kids are grown folks to get to know them. You can get to know your child(ren) right now. That way they can always come and talk to you.

My parents approach to raising us was, “Kids should be seen and not heard from’. Well that doesn’t promote open door policy…

Bottomline is this, your kids should understand where the line is drawn when it comes to dialog. They should also understand whats expected of them. And with that expectation comes reward.

Bedtime

Bedtime use to be between 9-9:30p, but then I realized that when I’d go into their rooms around 11p to check on them, they [Cameron and Lexie] would still be woke, looking at the ceiling and walls. I’d asked them why they were still up, and the response was clearly the most obvious: “I’m not tired”.

So I decided to let them stay up until 10, and they’d actually fall asleep by 10:30p. It’s like magic. They get up every morning around 6-6:30a and are ready to leave for school within the hour.

The reason why I’m saying this is because as parents, somehow we think we know everything about our children. When in fact, we don’t. We know that we want them in bed at a certain time, but this is due to the fact that they need to be bright-eyed and bushy tailed for class lectures and assignments, so that the good grades come to them. We can assess when they might be tired and cranky, but we don’t know things just because we are parents. We make assessments. We give instructions. We aren’t all-knowing, we learn as we go.

I never gave or made my kids take naps. Well, when Cameron was probably two or three, and he’s the oldest, I stopped trying to make him take a nap. I’d look at the clock and it’d say 2:15p or something early like that. I’d decide that, “Oh it’s time for a nap.” I’d take him in the room make him lay down, even though he wasn’t tired. He’d be fussing not because he was tired, but because I was trying to make him sleep. Well forty-five minutes later, he’d given up and gone to sleep.

Now, that he’s sleep, I’d say to myself, I can now have a short while to myself. No sooner than when I’d leave the room, he’d be up running around like we were never in his room to begin with. Seriously, ten minutes after leaving his room, he was up. It would make me mad that I’d wasted nearly an hour trying to make him go to sleep, because I decided he was tired. That’s crazy. So because of that one instance nearly fourteen years ago, I have never been so bold as to make them take naps.

But now the beautiful thing about it this, even to this day, they’ll take a nap when they get ready to, and they’ll sleep one or two hours and be functional.

I don’t think it’s worth the time trying to make two, three, and four year olds take naps, unless they’re clearly cranky. I noticed that as they get older like seven, eight, and nine, etc….they’ll lay down all by themselves.

I know things in terms of learning and growing, parenting, etc. But I don’t know when another human being should take a nap.

Chore Rotation

When my brothers and I were growing up, we had defined chores that rotated every day, and we dare not make any bones about whose turn it was to do what. My parents didn’t give a damn who did what. We knew when we had to clean and what we had to clean. That was an ironfist society.

When I tell Cameron and Lexie its time to clean, even though they’ve been doing chores for years, there’s always something that one of them forgot to do, that the other feels they shouldn’t have to when the chore duty rotates. So then a discussion is had about who did or didn’t do what. Cameron and Lexie like to play that tit for tat bullshit and it gets on my nerves. So what I do now is, whoever didn’t completely do everything they’re tasked with on a given day, then their workload is increased.

The effect of this approach is that not only can I go on about my business, but it effectually has them governing each other. Cameron might have dishes and floors, and Lexie might have trash, recycle, and countertops. Yet, even with this approach, it’s not always a solid design. They are kids and because of this fact, they feel that chores aren’t things they need to commit to their brains. I DON’T KNOW.

So when they ask to go out to eat, or a few extra dollars, etc. my answer is no. They don’t understand it, or rather, pretend not to. They understand that I expect the house-especially the kitchen-to be clean, but they don’t consistently make the effort that leaves a shine.

Ever since they got new smartphones, it’s like they started slacking on the effort, so it seems. Growing up at home, when we didn’t do the job right, we had to do it all over again. If there was a tiny bit of food on a fork sitting in the drying rack, the whole drying rack was emptied back into the sink, and the dishwashing started again. I guess looking back on those times, it wasn’t that my parents were being mean or anything, because as a parent, myself, we teach these kids attention to detail, and a bit of care, and they’d better get it right the first time or do it all over a second time.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t irritated by Cameron and Lexie’s chore ethic. I really hate resolving who’s got what chore to do. So, in exchange of that, I just hand down restrictions. Their problem not mine.