Real Men Don’t Cry

Real Men Don’t Cry

Frankie is almost 2.5 years old and still sleeps with us, which is actually something I’ll cover in another blog. However, it’s relevant to this particular post so it warranted mentioning.

We sleep in a platform bed. For clarity, that’s a bed frame with wooden slats upon which our mattress sits directly. There is no box spring which means the sleeping surface is probably a little below the height of the average beds sleeping surface. It’s also not extremely low, meaning that you wouldn’t want to roll off of it onto the floor. Unfortunately for my son, who likes to crawl around in his sleep, that’s exactly what happened. Fortunately for my son, he had crawled to the foot of the bed and rolled directly onto a chest, so his fall was probably around 18 inches, if that.

Now I’m a light sleeper, pretty much like a highly trained secret agent who might have to deal with an attacker at any moment. Should a burglar, serial killer, or any former cast member of Saved By The Bell invade my home in the night, they should expect to be dispatched quickly with lethal force.

So, when Frankie 4 rolled onto the chest with a thump, I was there before he even had time to cry out. I scooped him up into my arms and he let out barely a whimper, placing his head on my shoulder. I whispered over and over again, “It’s okay, daddy’s got you.” I laid down on the bed still holding him on top of me and he was already back asleep. He was fine, not even scared, and the entire incident was no big deal at all.

The next morning I worked out, as I do on a daily basis, to maintain my muscled physique, youthful appearance, and immense feelings of superiority over others, then went inside. Lisa had fulfilled her wifely duty of preparing breakfast for my son and I and he was already at the table. When I sat down to eat Lisa asked him, “What happened last night?”

Frankie replied, “I fell off the bed.”

She followed that with, “Then what happened?”

My son looked me directly in the eye and said, “Daddy saved me.”

I stared at him.

He said, “Daddy you saved me. You saved me daddy.”

My chin quivered, my eyes got watery, and then I started sobbing so hard that I couldn’t speak. Frankie just kept at it, “Daddy you saved me.” Every time he said it I sobbed harder. And I mean full on, loud, gut wrenching, tears gushing, couldn’t breathe sobbing. If you’d walked in at that moment you would have assumed that someone close to me had died.

Now let’s be clear, I am well aware that I didn’t “save” my son from anything. In fact, I didn’t even really have to console him. He fell a few inches and the impact was so mild that he didn’t even cry. Truth be told, I was just happy that it was a non incident and we got to go right back to sleep. If I am to credit myself with anything, it’s that I responded instantly when he fell. Maybe he was scared for a brief moment and my picking him up so quickly made him feel “saved”.

None of that mattered when he said, in that little boy voice, “Daddy you saved me.” Regardless of what had actually happened, he decided to string together some words that struck me right in my heart. My son causes me to experience intense bursts of emotion on a daily basis, often resulting in me becoming teary eyed. This was the first time, however, that I lost control and couldn’t stop crying. It got so bad that Frankie looked at me concerned and asked, “Daddy, you sad?” which only served to make things worse.

Although some people from my past might disagree, I’ve never considered myself an emotionally closed off guy. I’ve certainly held back my emotions in many circumstances but I’ve never been too “manly” to let myself feel or to express those feelings. What I had never done prior to Frankie being born was to allow myself to become fully vulnerable to my emotions, to immerse myself in them openly and fearlessly, and to express them without reservation for all the world to see. So rather than be embarrassed to share that I cried like a little wussy infant baby sissy over my son, I wear it like a badge of honor. I’m a man. I don’t cry when I’m sad, when I’m injured, or when I’m scared. I cry exclusively when I’m so overwhelmed with love that I can’t and don’t want to contain it.

After what seemed like an eternity of me trying to reign myself in I finally caught enough breath to squeeze out, “No buddy, I’m not sad.” Unfazed, my boy smiled and said, “Daddy, you happy?”.

All I could say through the tears was, “Yeah, daddy’s happy. Daddy’s happy.”


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Life Swap

Life Swap

I unstrapped Frankie 4 from his car seat in the gray mini-van. We were in the parking lot at Noah’s Bagels going for a little father-son breakfast. When I asked what kind of cream cheese F4 wanted on his bagel he responded, unsurprisingly, “T-Rex cheese bagel.” Everything with him is either “T-Rex,” or “T-Rex egg,” which I love. So, as I’ve done about every 10 minutes since he was born, I laughed and said, “Give daddy a smooch.” He obliged by planting a big T-Rex kiss on me and as I closed the door to the mini-van I heard from behind me, “I’ll trade you.”

I turned to see a good looking guy, roughly 10 years younger than me, dressed stylishly, standing in front of a black late model Corvette.

I responded, “For the mini-van or the kid?”

He said, “Both, just for the day.”

Then he went on to explain to me how he wanted to experience what I have. He said that he was still in his ‘having fun” phase, but keeping an eye open for the right woman to settle down with and build a life. However, he also admitted that he wasn’t quite ready for all that. He liked the women, he liked the sports car, and he liked the freedom. But when he saw my son and I exchange a kiss he imagined it must feel pretty great to be a dad.

I shared with him a little about my past life and a little of what my life was like now. We both stood quietly for a moment then he went off to do what cool single guys with no kids do and I went to watch a 2 year old smear cream cheese from his forehead to his nipples.

With breakfast came a few unexpected events, one of which was Frankie sitting in his chair the entire time. This might not seem like a big deal but he’s not a sit still kind of kid. He’s a “this restaurant is a post apocalyptic world where I can run, climb, hide, accost strangers, and throw forks” kind of kid. So him sitting and chatting with me for the whole meal was a first. In the middle of forcing me to eat a bite of the bagel he’d already licked, two cops walked in and he said, “Daddy, policemans. Two policemans.” Lately he’s been obsessed with, mostly firemen and firetrucks, but also policemen and police cars. And saying “Two policemans” wasn’t news because he usually quantifies everything as two. He can actually count to 10, but that doesn’t come into play when he’s asked—

How many eggs are in that carton, Frankie?

Two.

How many fingers do you have?

Two.

How old is mommy?

Two.

You get the picture. But not long after the two policemen sat down, two more walked in. Frankie saw them and said, “Daddy, four policemans.” I was like, say what? “Four policemans, daddy.” I was super proud because he can count to 10 no problem but that was the first time he’d added up things (people) in a room. A few minutes later one of the the policemans came over and gave Frankie some police badge stickers that I was forced got to wear the rest of the day.

Frankie Daddy Badge

After breakfast we walked to the park and along the way he stopped to pick up a leaf. He held it up to  me and said, “Dinosaur bone.” Then he pulled me down to his level and put the leaf up to my mouth. “Daddy, show teeth.” He held the leaf up to my mouth, made his comparison, and decided, “Dinosaur tooth.” He carried that leaf the rest of the way to the park, comparing it to the various leaves, flowers, rocks, and sticks he paused to study. Some he declared to be dinosaur bones while others turned out to be nothing at all.

We spent about an hour at the park, climbing up the slide the wrong way, going down the big yellow tube slide together 349595993 times, and running through the entire place playing “obstacle course” in preparation for my next Spartan Race.

Slide with Daddy from Frank Prather on Vimeo.

After a while F4 started to get lazy.

T-Rex Cake from Frank Prather on Vimeo.

Eventually, he just gave up on exerting himself.

slidelazy

Just before we left another family arrived with a baby and he whisper asked, “See the baby?” I took him over to see the baby and when the mom spoke to Frankie he got real shy and put his head on my shoulder. That’s a sure sign that he’s exhausted so I knew it was time to go home.

Back at the house we played with blocks for a while, building both a T-Rex and a firetruck. Then we watched an episode of the bane of my existence his new favorite show, “Dinosaur Dan”. Bordering the closing credits they had photos of some bones and he said, “Daddy, fossils.” I had no idea that he even knew the word “fossil” much less what they are, but seems that both he and I learn something new every day.

Just before I put Frankie down for a nap he planted another big kiss on me. And as I lay on the bed next to my sleeping boy I reflected on how magical the day had been so far. Reading this, I know you’re probably thinking, “That’s a pretty average day,” but you’re wrong. For me, every moment with my son, every word, every smile, and every kiss, is an indescribable feeling of discovery, awe, happiness, and love.

Just before I dozed off I thought of the last thing I said to Corvette guy in that parking lot just a few hours before.

“I appreciate the offer, but I wouldn’t trade this for anything.”

He simply didn’t have anything to offer me, because I already have everything I could ever want.

f4park

 

The Two Of us

The Two Of us

Frankie 4 is my son, my main man, my go-to guy, my best buddy, and I spend as much time with him as possible. In fact, someone asked me just the other night what I would do if I could do anything I wanted for the rest of my life. I responded, “Spend time with my son,” because I am a loving father and I knew that “become the ruthless overlord of all mankind” was the wrong answer.

I also know that hanging full time with F4 is not a viable option because, unfortunately, I have to earn a living. Plus I require a minimal amount of “me time” for myself and “us time” with my wife. I’m always explaining to people that I get up early in the morning for that very reason. While my wife and son are still asleep I have coffee, read a book, check the news, and work out. Me time. Once they wake up, it’s daddy time. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

People always told me that I’d never have a kid if I waited until I felt ready to have a kid. Ever since I first heard that I added it to my “Stupid Shit People Say” list. I purposely waited until later in life to have a kid just so that I’d be ready to have one. When the time actually arrived I was far beyond ready. There wasn’t anything I wanted more than to be a dad. Now, 2 years into it, the only thing I wasn’t ready for is that it’s even better than I thought it would be.

I was in the bank recently adding my wife to one of my accounts because clearly I’ve lost my mind and don’t care about my money what’s mine is hers and vice versa. We got to chatting with the banker and it came up that we had kids around the same age. When my wife offered to stop by later with some paperwork, the banker, who was female, asked if she’d be bringing our son. I explained to her that no, he would be with me.

She said, “Wow, what do your friends think of that?”

I responded, “Think of what?”

“You babysitting for the day?” she oozed out of the asshole in her face.

Babysitting? BABYSITTING?

Is my wife paying me $11/hour to babysit? No.

Was I referred to her by a neighbor whose kid I watch when they go to the movies? No.

Am I a 16 year old girl earning money to go to cheer camp? Maybe er, no.

He’s my son you moron. I don’t babysit him.  I FUCKING CREATED HIM. If I’m spending the day with him on a Saturday it’s because I’m his father and I want to spend the day with him. In fact, I spend virtually all of my free time with my son because he is the best thing on the planet. What on earth is better than spending time with your own kid? How shitty is your husband that he’s not doing this?

Is spending most of your free time with your kid(s) not a thing for men? Are so many men absentee fathers that it’s a surprise when one chooses to hang with his son on a Saturday? How are we not castrating these people before they can impregnate women?!?

On a less violently angry and judgmental note, last Sunday I took Frankie to Disneyland. Well, to be more specific, to Disney’s California Adventure (hereafter known as DCA). Why you ask? Because he said he wanted to ride “Mah-turr”, which is how he pronounces “Mater” from the Cars movie. DCA has a Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree ride in Cars Land and he loves it. It wasn’t something I had planned for the day but my son wanted to go so we went. And it was awesome.

Disney

The ride to Anaheim wasn’t the awesome part. Nor were the crowds, the lines, or (for me at least) even the rides. What was awesome was spending the time with Frankie and seeing his joy. He smiled, he laughed, he yelled “Wheeeeee” on rides, and so did I.

I don’t mention Disney because it’s a particularly unique experience for us. We have an annual pass and go all the time. In fact, F4 and I have gone countless times. Same with the aquarium, the beach, the park, and the movies. We do it all, all the time.

Because I work all day Monday through Friday, I only get to spend mornings, evenings, and weekends with my son. Much of that time Lisa is there too so it’s the whole family. We’re fortunate that we get to be together as much as we are. Lisa is home during the week and gets to spend more time with Frankie than I do which makes me a little jealous. So when she works on the weekend I don’t look at having Four all to myself as a duty but rather as a gift.

I know that one day he’ll reach an age where hanging out with dad won’t be his first, or even second choice. Hell, he might not want to at all. So I’m taking advantage of every moment right now while I can. One day, when he’s old enough to understand, I want him to look at his life and know that I was there for all of it. Not just when his mom needed someone to babysit. I don’t babysit my son. I raise him, love him, and live every moment of my life around him.

That day at Disney was the best day ever, because every day with him is the best day ever. I want as many of those as possible. He gave me so many smiles, so many hugs, and so many kisses. What else could I have been doing that would have been better than that? What else could possibly be better than spending time together, the two of us.

A Christmas Potty Training

A Christmas Potty Training

On Christmas Day, my son Frankie will be exactly 22 months old, so basically a grown man. As such, I have very high expectations of him which include, but are not limited to, doing things I can brag about on this blog. Fortunately he has my genes so he excels at everything.

Research says that most kids are physically and emotionally ready to start toilet training between 22 and 30 months. I also read that boys are typically a few months behind girls which I assume to be utter nonsense because, well, I’m male and look at me. So, my wife and I had decided to begin toilet training when Frankie turned 2 but we did put some things in place much earlier.

Back in August we bought a potty and put it out for him to “get used to”, which took approximately 30 seconds from the moment I opened the box.

potty2

They say that some kids are intimidated by or scared of the potty, but how a small plastic chair becomes the stuff of your child’s nightmares is beyond me.

Are there toddler classes that teach wussiness?

Is there a “Beware Of Unthreatening Inanimate Object” book series?

Do ‘The Wiggles’ have a song that goes
“Hot potato, hot potato. Cold spaghetti, cold spaghetti. Dangerous potty, dangerous potty”? 

I choose to believe that I don’t live in a world where any child has to fear a potty. In fact, if your youngster is terrified of the toilet, I volunteer F4 to come over and fearlessly sit on it to prove to them that you suck at parenting.

Although we’ve not yet started formal potty training, we have been encouraging him to sit on it. Most of the time he’s clothed, or at least in a diaper, but on occasion he’s full birthday suit when he chills. 90% of when he squats on the pot is when we’re brushing our teeth because it’s important that he understands efficiency. In fact, I’m writing this blog on the toilet while simultaneously brushing my teeth, Snapchatting, and doing burpees. You’re not on my level.

I also call F4 into the bathroom to watch me pee and poop because I’m highly skilled at both. So the other day I didn’t think anything of it when he stood fascinated by my manly display of urination. However, a few minutes later, when Lisa asked if he wanted to go potty like daddy he sat down on his tiny plastic throne. I watched my little guy look down at his penis like —

mengoats

For a moment I thought he might have fallen asleep

4goat

I wasn’t really expecting anything when suddenly down in the potty I heard pitter patter. I sprang to the floor to see what was the matter. And what to my wondering eyes did appear but beautiful spray of golden pee my dear.

My sub-2 year old son taking the initiative to go in the potty for the first time almost made me pee myself. He looked up at me and mommy with an expression that could only be seen as, “Did I do good?”

f4pride

The wife and I both screamed like we’d just won the lottery. Frankie caught on and quickly realized that the answer to his question was an emphatic YES. My boy made me very, very proud. For once, I wasn’t the little crybaby that teared up over a milestone. Lisa, however, could not control her eye bladder and let out a few drops of her own. It was a few hours before we came down from our urine high and dreamed of a day when he’d poop in that very same potty.

Yeah, that happened the next day, right after he peed again. Granted, it was only one tiny turd, but he did it nonetheless. Talk about some next level shit. He went pee pee in the potty again that night and the following morning. That was 3 days ago. Since then, every time we ask if he wants to go sit on the potty he casually says “No” and keeps on keeping on. There’s part of me that wonders if he only did it to prove to me that he could. To make a point. To say, “Dad, you might be the king of all things, but I’m coming for your crown.” If that’s the case, so be it. I’d be happy to concede to my son in this Game Of (Porcelain) Thrones.

4throneThe wipe is dark and full of terrors.


If you haven’t yet please give a listen to my podcast, Bad Ass DadCast. Episodes are posted here on the blog on (mostly) weekly basis. It’s just fun conversations with other parents, authors, and experts to discuss the experience of raising kids.

And join me on social media at:

Instagram: @FrankPrather

FB: ABadAssDad

Snapchat: Frank Prather

Halloween And The Kiss Of Death

Halloween And The Kiss Of Death

Frankie Four just hit 20 months old so this was his first real Halloween. I tried to ease him into it by taking him shopping for decorations at the 99 Cent Store. He’s a smart kid so he immediately tried to cover his face lest someone see him shopping at the 99 Cent Store.

2shopping

The previous year we took him to a Halloween party where he went as a lump of fat that didn’t do anything useful or say any meaningful words (insert Trump joke here).

1LastYear

This year, however, he went as some sort of a smudge that once looked like a skeleton but ended up as kind of a panda. His mother, the world famous makeup artist known as www.makeupartist411.com, struggled valiantly to apply makeup to a two-foot tall tornado who promptly rubbed his face on the sofa, the floor, my pants, and a peanut butter sandwich.

0familyMother Smudger.

Eventually we made our way toward the neighbors house where he would have his first ever trick or treating experience and/or learn to case a house. With mommy and grandma in tow, we crossed the street and I set him down on the sidewalk so he could approach the house on his own two feet like a man.

I said, “Hold daddy’s hand,” and my favorite human being that’s ever lived looked up at me and put his tiny hand in mine. I can’t even try to come up with a funny or sarcastic comment about that. I almost lost it right there in front of my wife, mother-in-law, neighbors, and strangers on the street. There are moments like this one that force me to stop in my tracks because I feel dizzy. It’s like I can’t handle the amount of love that flows through my body. All of his little milestones are a big deal to me but some effect me more than others. Frankie carrying a jack-o-lantern bucket in one hand and grasping my fingers with the other just overwhelmed me.

3firsthouseThe pic is blurry but so were my eyes. Shut up.

After shaking off my almost emotional breakdown, we arrived at that first door which was definitely the most fun of the night. F4’s eyes were full of wonder at the decorations and lights, but when my neighbor held out a bowl of candy he looked frozen in time. He doesn’t know what “trick or treat” means. Hell, he can’t even say it. Plus, he’s had very little candy in his short life so, while he recognizes a small piece of chocolate, an entire bowl of diabetes delights is foreign to him. He just stood there while my neighbor grabbed a handful of goodies and dropped them in his bucket.

4bucket

I don’t think he completely grasped the glory of the situation he was in—free candy, by the bucket, and daddy was allowing it. Pretty sure he thought I was entrapping him rather than what I was actually doing which was using him as a front to get me free candy by the bucket. Much easier than my usual method of candy collecting by way of home invasion.

I did allow him a few pieces of candy which, as you can see below, caused me great personal joy.

5daddyand4Enjoy it kid. Tomorrow you’re back on protein shakes and broccoli.

With a few stops under his belt F4 finally started to pick up on the protocol. It took some prompting but most houses got a “Peas” in place of “Trick-or-treat” followed by the blowing of a kiss in place of a “Thank you”. At one point my wife told one of the ladies handing out candy that it was “the kiss of death” which caused a look of genuine horror. I don’t know if the woman was superstitious or dying of something but that was the last time that happened.

The grand finale of every stop was an unsolicited, top-of-his-lungs shouting of “BYEEEE!” which got a huge laugh and a return “Bye!” What no one anticipated was that for every “Bye!” they put in the pot, Frankie would raise them one exponentially louder “BYEEEE!” even if we were halfway down the block. Eventually they’d just give up because, like the Terminator, F4 would never stop. He always got the last word which he clearly learned by watching me is just because he’s friendly.

After what felt like 100 houses, but was probably more like 10, we were all exhausted. Some of us from trying to pull others to the ground.

6driveway

And others from having to be carried from house to house.

7scary

Eventually those who had exerted themselves were just dead tired.

8sittingingrass

So we decided to call it a night, head home, and hand out candy to kids that didn’t require me to wear a weightlifting belt to hold them.

9handingoutcandy

All in all our first big Halloween outing was a huge success. The entire family and, most importantly, Frankie Four, had a great time. We were all tuckered out but mommy and me managed to stay up long enough to eat enough candy to feed John Candy. Alas, the boy couldn’t quite hang.

10dunzoBest Halloween ever.


If you haven’t yet please give a listen to my podcast, Bad Ass DadCast. Episodes are posted here on the blog on (mostly) weekly basis. It’s just fun conversations with other parents, authors, and experts to discuss the experience of raising kids.

And join me on social media at:

Instagram: @FrankPrather

FB: ABadAssDad

Snapchat: Frank Prather

My Co-Sleeping Number Is Four

My Co-Sleeping Number Is Four

Sleep is a huge waste of my time. Not everyone’s time, mind you, but certainly mine. Spending 1/3 of my life unconscious deprives me of valuable hours that I could spend being awesome. In fact, you should be just as upset that sleep is depriving you of more me. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who should sleep more than they already are, because their being awake isn’t benefitting any of us. Regardless of all that we, as humans, require a considerable amount of sleep to function at our highest level and to be generally healthy. As such, I make sure I get a significant number of hours in every night.

Most parents will tell you that having a baby means giving up sleep for anywhere between 6 months and 23 years. My wife and I gamed the system early on with a simple rotating feeding schedule, battery powered swing, and co-sleeping. From the first week we were both getting at least 5-6 consecutive hours plus additional hours after that. In general, we felt pretty well rested for being the parents of a newborn. It wasn’t long before we phased out the feeding schedule and, shortly thereafter, the swing. Notice that I didn’t mention the co-sleeping.

Co-sleeping

Frankie Four is just about to turn 18 months old and has slept every night of his life in bed with us. Every night. All of them. Granted, I’ve traveled a bit for work so some of the nights were just he and Lisa, but he’s always slept with one of us.

co-sleeping

He’s had a crib since birth and has been asleep in it, but only for a few daytime naps, never at night. It was so underused that we converted it to a toddler bed early just so he could crawl in and out of it for fun. Today, it sits in our bedroom, acting as a holding pen for stuffed animals, spare blankets, and sometimes clean laundry that goes unfolded for days so my wife better get her ass in gear because it’s tough to stay on top of household chores when you have a toddler.

We didn’t intend to co-sleep for the length of time or in the manner that we did/still do. In fact, we bought a co-sleeper that attached to our bed so Lisa could breast feed then roll our fat little baby back into his own space. Frankie wasn’t having it. As far as he was concerned, our space was his space. I have no idea where he got that sense of entitlement. From day one, unless he was in the swing, he’d only sleep on or adjacent to us. Most of the time he slept with his lips attached to Lisa’s boob, which I think we can all agree is the best way to sleep. Or be awake, for that matter.  Take that Ambien.

When he’s not attached to the boob he finds some position that doesn’t inhibit my comfort or sleep at all. He’s a very considerate little guy.

co-sleeping

co-sleepingMaking sure mommy doesn’t breathe in any  of that harmful oxygen while she sleeps.

Co-sleeping gets mixed reviews in the parenting world which I totally understand. Before we were forced into embraced it, I considered it some hippie bullshit that women who didn’t shave their pits and named their kid Featherbreeze did. Being lumped in with those yurt dwelling shroom eaters horrified me, but once I burned all of the dreamcatchers hanging in that imagined world, I bought in. Ever since, having Frankie Four in bed with us has been one of the most gratifying aspects of fatherhood. And today I am the greatest at co-sleeping just as I am the greatest at all other aspects of parenting. As such, I’ve listed 5 of the potential problems that can arise from sharing a bed with your child, along with my solutions. However, because you’re not me, you’ll probably screw it up and damage your kid, so I take no legal or moral responsibility for anything you do.

1- BED SHARING WITH AN INFANT IS DANGEROUS
Experts say not to share a bed with an infant if you are fat, drink, smoke, take sedatives, have long hair, use blankets or pillows or sheets or a mattress, shit yourself at night, light fires in bed, sleep with a live alligator, watch Downton Abbey, create vision boards, think Trump “makes a lot of sense”, live in a home that had wheels but is now on cinderblocks, have too many sister-wives, think Tupac is alive, have a sword attached to the headboard, watch WWE, or are just plain stupid. Also, don’t sleep with an infant in your bed. Just don’t. Yes, I did. No, you shouldn’t.

co-sleepingNever leave your child in a bed unsupervised.

2- NO MORE SEX
You realize that sex is what got you in this predicament in the first place, right? Fine, if you want to continue playing Russian roulette with your finances/freedom/sleep/youth, read on. Your child is sleeping in your bed, so now you just have to relocate your shenanigans to other areas of your home. You can make the beast with two backs on the crunchy bed of Cheerios and crackers he’s gingerly placed on your sofa. Perhaps a steamy encounter on the kitchen counter between the leftover bowl of dried noodles she refused to eat and the half chewed Fig Newton she spit out because even toddler’s know that Fig Newton’s are fucking gross. Maybe a romantic interlude in front of the fireplace on a sticky, juice soaked rug where your spine will be tickled by the soft kiss of Lego pieces and one broken toy truck. There are countless places where you can throw down while your kid drools all over your pillow. Personally, by the time night rolls around, my version of “sex” is staying awake long enough to watch one show on the iPad. So F4 sleeping like a giant dash mark between us isn’t infringing on my action. My peak energy level/libido is early afternoon so if homeboy naps we’re in flagrante delicto somewhere in the house. If you want to use the bed to boink during the day, find another comfortable spot for your kid to nap. Below are some suitable options:

baby in a box

baby carrier

baby asleep on tricycle

baby asleep with eggs

bread pillow

co-sleeping

3- BED SHARING WITH A TODDLER IS DANGEROUS
Whereas sharing your bed with an infant is dangerous to them, bed sharing with a toddler is dangerous to you. A spinning back fist to the face is bad enough, but when your son is genetically gifted with powerful legs because he has your genes, it’s the feet you have to fear. I’ve been kicked in both eyes, the nose, both ears, the temple, the forehead, the throat, and the testicles, all multiple times. My beloved boy likes to sleep sideways across the bed, with his head near his mother, for obvious reasons (See: Boobs), and his feet near me. Asleep or awake, he kicks his feet like a bull trying to buck off a cowboy with a rope tied around his nuts. On more than one occasion I thought I had a broken nose. There are only two solutions to this problem. Solution 1 is to wear a hockey mask or one of those beekeeper hoods that fencers wear. Solution 2 is to stop being a pussy. If you can’t take a punch or a kick from a toddler then you’re not a man. If you’re a woman, you’re already not a man but now you’re even less of a man.

4- YOU WON’T BE FORCED GET TO CUDDLE
Woman, I’m sorry to say that there’s no solution to this particular problem.
Men, you’re welcome.

5- YOU’LL GET WOKEN UP EARLY/THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT
Early – People who sleep in are lazy. By the time my son wakes up I’ve already worked out, showered, perfected my hair game for the day, checked my email, and still had 10 spare minutes to flex in the mirror. If you sleep in you don’t deserve to sleep in.

Throughout The Night – 60 ounces of coffee every day, along with a gallon of water and a 46 year old prostate, means I pee every half hour all night long. My son complains that I wake him up too many times. If you sleep normally, and so does your kid, you’ll be fine. Otherwise the two of you can stay up together for fun time! Mommy will love that.

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Look, there’s lists on lists of reasons that people don’t co-sleep and I support their right to not care about their children as much as I care about mine. The fact is, I love co-sleeping. I’m a first time, and decidedly “one-and-done”, dad. In the immortal words of Aerosmith, I “don’t wanna miss a thing“. Having Frankie fall asleep with his head on my chest, snuggle up to me in the middle of the night, and smile at me when he opens his eyes in the morning, are some of my favorite moments.

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I know his childhood won’t last forever so I’m embracing every opportunity to connect, and just be with him. One day he’ll be too big to want to give me 10 kisses goodnight, or cuddle, or even sleep in our bed. After some emotional adjustment, I’ll embrace that stage too. But for now I’m going to enjoy the fact that I love my boy so much that comfort, sleep, and an unbroken nose don’t compare to me being allowed to doze off with him every night and wake up with him every day.

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And how could you pass up witnessing the childlike wonder as your little one peacefully watches the sun come up out the window?

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But really, this sums up co-sleeping better than any words.

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Here We Go Sport

Here We Go Sport

I just did something I swore I’d never, under any circumstances, do once I had a child. It’s difficult to reconcile that I’ve gone against my principles and risked all that I hold dear, gambling both my and my childs well being.

I signed my son up for soccer.

There’s a list of sports I want to kill and soccer holds a place firmly in the top 5 along with golf, tennis, lacrosse,  and golf. Yes, golf is listed twice because I harbor double the disdain for this so-called “sport”. It’s a skill, certainly, but not a sport. At least tennis and lacrosse require some level of physical fitness. You can play golf if you have one eye, emphysema, or even a wooden peg leg. Not to mention the fact that watching it is like staring into an empty abyss for all of eternity, only not as exciting.

Soccer held a similar position in my heart up until a few months ago. It was not Cristian Ronaldo or Lionel Messi that swayed me. Nor was it the great and glorious god of hairstyles that I worship, David Beckham. It was my one year old son himself, Frankie Four. See, I’d purchased F4 a little soccer ball on a whim one day. Not because I wanted him to play soccer, far from it, but because the ball itself was more durable than the other balls on sale for $4.99. My vehement opposition to soccer is overshadowed only by my frugality. I hate soccer but I still want to kick it in its cheap balls. Anyway, Frankie Four and I were outside playing the day before his first birthday. The ball was just sitting there when he walked up and kicked it. I figured it was an accident, that he’d been walking toward it and his foot hit before he had a chance to pick it up. Then he kicked it again. My son is only one but he’s sharp, so I doubted that the second time was inadvertent. Just to be sure, I pulled out the trusty phone and nudged the ball with my foot. Seconds later—

Boo ya! And ever since that first flurry of kicks, roughly 3 months ago, he’s constantly dribbling the soccer ball. Dribbling. Is that what it’s called? I know that’s what you call bouncing a basketball to move it down court, but is it the same for soccer? I could Google it but I’m terrified that soccer related ads will start showing up in my email and newsfeed. I’d rather Google “animal with largest testicles” or “is human pancreas edible” or “am I secretly a woman trapped in a mans body?’ than have soccer related marketing target me. That’s my level of disdain for soccer.

You’re probably wondering why I hate soccer worse than Donald Trump hates well, everyone. First off, I played one season of soccer back in elementary school and I sucked at it. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe there was ever anything at which I did not excel. That should be proof enough that soccer is a ridiculous activity. If I wasn’t good at it then, by default, it must actually be the thing itself that sucks, because look at me. Aside of  the traumatic childhood experience of participating in that horror show of a sport, it’s fucking boring. Painfully boring. Granted, it’s not “golf boring”, but it’s definitely a snooze fest to the nth degree. Proof is in the goals. The average number of goals in most World Cup matches is less than 3. Remember, we’re talking about a 90 minute game. That means you’re lucky if you see one goal every half hour. In between those goals you’re watching 22 people run toward a ball. One of those 22 people kicks the ball really far down a field roughly the size of Rhode Island. Then, all 22 people turn and run after the ball. Whoever gets there first kicks it back in the opposite direction and they all turn the other way and run. In the unlikely event that someone kicks the ball into the opposing teams net, a man, always from a foreign country, screams “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!” then immediately dies of surprise that someone scored. His scream is roughly 19 minutes long and is easily the most exciting part of the game. Unfortunately, just after he dies, the 22 people go back to playing soccer.

To make matters worse, I’m going to have to pretend to enjoy soccer. My son is only 15 months old so there aren’t a lot of sports he can play. I can’t sign him up for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or wrestling because it’s too early for the other toddlers to get choked out or suplexed. I considered swimming but that breast milk gut he’s rocking is not a good look in a Speedo. I’m going to discourage him from football because I prefer to avoid brain damage. And don’t start lecturing me about how MMA fighters can get brain damage because I’ll head kick you. When he’s ready to fight, he’ll fight.

One aspect of this that I do enjoy is that Frankie Four is going to start the soccer program at exactly 16 months old, to the day. The age range is 18-26 months for the starter program so he’ll be one of, if not the youngest kid on the field. If he’s good, I can brag about how advanced he is for his age. If he sucks (like I did), I can explain it away because he started so young. Either way, I win.

If I take a step back, and pretend that I’ve signed him up for something that’s not soccer, I’m really excited. It’s Four’s first group activity other than a sign language and sing along class that I never had the opportunity to attend. The soccer “league” is on Saturday mornings, right in our neighborhood, so that gets to be a daddy activity. I’m looking forward to seeing him interact with other kids in an “organized” manner and introduce him to being a team player. Although most of the sports I personally enjoy participating in and watching are solo endeavors, I understand the value of the team structure. Mostly I’m just enamored of the idea that this will be the first of many activities throughout his life where I can be there to cheer him on. Watching him school the other toddlers enjoy himself while learning valuable life lessons will be an immense source of joy for me. Whenever I took on a sport as a child my dad was always there and it was a great bonding experience. I look forward to sharing the same experiences with my son.

At the end of the day, I don’t care that he likes sports as long as he embraces physical activities and fitness. But if he does like sports, and wants to play, I’ll be on the sidelines 100% of the time, cheering him on, encouraging him, congratulating him for wins, consoling him for defeats, and always reminding him that I am his biggest fan.

Even if he loves to play soccer.

Although I’d prefer baseball.

Or powerlifting.

Bad Ass Dad

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10 Things I Learned In My First Year As A Dad

10 Things I Learned In My First Year As A Dad

I just celebrated my son’s first birthday and spent time reflecting on some of what I’ve learned in the last year.

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One of the first things I realized is that the birth of your child is the single greatest experience that exists. I’m not claiming that everyone should have a child, or that you’re wrong if you don’t want them. Most of you shouldn’t. Have them, that is, because look at you. I’m simply saying that the actual birth of a human being, that you created, is impossible to equal with any other experience aside of possibly being born yourself. The only difference is that you probably don’t remember your own birth unless you have a really good memory.

That said, the subsequent raising of your child might suck. You might resent having given up your old life in order to raise your child. You could be a shitty parent. You could even have an ugly, stupid kid. All valid reasons for you to not risk having one. I, on the other hand, was never concerned about those things. Rather than give up my old life, I just integrated my son into it. Be a shitty parent? Given that I excel at everything, not a problem. And having an ugly and/or stupid kid? He’s got my genetics so that’s a scientific impossibility.

birthday

The last year has been more rewarding for my son than I ever could have anticipated. As the undisputed greatest parent that’s ever lived, my sense of accomplishment for raising a perfect child is huge, and deservedly so. I mean, there are a lot of great parents out there so imagine how I must feel being considerably better than all of them. It’s truly humbling to outshine the rest of the world.

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My son, Frankie Four, is just like me, exceptional. Beautiful blue eyes. Check. Winning smile. Check. Superior intellect, charming personality, and smelly poo poo’s. Check, check, and check. Here we are, face to face, a couple of silver spoons.

love

Enough nonsense. Here are 10 things I really learned in my first year as a dad.

1) Nothing does, or ever has, come close to making me feel the way I feel when my son smiles at me. When he looks up with that little face and breaks into a grin, which happens about every 3 minutes, the rest of the world ceases to exist.

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2) As a proud germaphobe I am wholly disgusted at the idea of most people, except for perhaps my wife, sharing a beverage with me or taking a bite of my food. Because you people are gross. However, Frankie Four can grab food with his filthy little hand, drop it on the floor, pick it back up, put it in his mouth, partially chew it and cover it in slobber, spit it back into his filthy little hand, then hold his hand out for me to eat it. Whatever it is tastes better than than the best steak and lobster I’ve ever had.

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3) My wife is way more bad ass than I am. She takes care of our son, takes care of me, takes care of the house, and works (check out her work at www.makeupartist411.com). And she complains uh, never. In fact, she thanks me on a daily basis. Not going to write any more about her. She requires her own post, not an entry on this one.

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4) Having a child makes me appreciate my parents and grandparents even more than I already did. They didn’t have it easy and, under the circumstances, did an excellent job. Whenever I’m unsure of what to do as a parent I just love my son like they loved me and I know it’s exactly the right thing.

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5) I want to do things that don’t involve my son approximately 10% of the time, or less. Don’t get me wrong, I like to get away for “grownup time”. But after a very brief respite from the responsibility of parenting, I want to be with my kid. When I’m not with him, I’m generally thinking about him.

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6) Watching your child grow up is both awesome and heartbreaking. As much as I want him to advance quickly so I can post video of him reading at 18 months, I also want him to continue babbling unintelligibly forever. Every new stage is adorable and fills me with pride but makes me miss the stage that just ended. That’s another reason I spend virtually all of my free time with him. I don’t want to miss any of it.

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7)  I spent much of my life being, or trying to be, the center of attention. Now I prefer to direct my attention toward my son and your attention well, doesn’t matter so much. That said, keep paying attention to me because you deserve to treat yourself.

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8) Frankie Four has me at about 50/50 on wanting another kid. On one hand, he’s so incredible that it’s hard to fathom not doing it again. On the other hand, I feel like it’s a huge risk to hope the next kid turns out to be like him. Everyone says that you’ll love the second one just as much, even if they’re different.

No, I won’t.

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9) Watching Four interact with other kids is one of my favorite parts of being a parent. It’s especially great when he’s playing with the children of my friends, as it gives our bond of friendship an additional layer. My favorite play dates are those with Bodhi, the son of my good friends Jeff & Angeline. Jeff and I are the same age, and our sons are only around one month apart. Witnessing them grow side-by-side makes me hope that they develop a friendship that lasts forever.

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10) Although I understood it even before my son came into this world, the moment he was born was when I learned the most valuable lesson of all—that I was meant to be a dad. I will be forever grateful to my wife Lisa, and my son Frankie, for making me the happiest dad on earth.

And a bonus lesson—my son kills the facial expression game.

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Grandparents

Grandparents

As a child, I spent a great deal of time at my grandparents house. I’m not sure there was ever a place where I felt more warmth and comfort than I did when I was there. It wasn’t the actual house, but my grandparents themselves who created that feeling. Even in my adult life, a visit to them takes me back to being a kid, where I am happy, content, and relaxed beyond all measure.

The home they lived in through most of my childhood was three floors. The top floor consisted of a bedroom, a bathroom, my grandfather’s workshop, which was off limits, and an office I could only describe as WSJ’d. Stacked against the walls, from floor to ceiling, were copies of the Wall Street Journal, a financial newspaper that he treated as if they were the holy scrolls. Throughout most of my life I thought he was a little crazy, spending so much time with his nose in a newspaper, the TV tuned in to some stock market show, ticker endlessly marching across the bottom of the screen. It wasn’t until much later, when I stood in front of his massive new house in Florida that I realized what he’d done. My grandfather had worked hard, saved, studied the markets, saved, learned, saved, invested, and saved some more, all to bring his lifelong dream to fruition. This beautiful, custom designed home wasn’t simply a mansion, it was the culmination of eighty plus years of tireless effort, dedication, and discipline. To think of it in those terms is awe inspiring.

Grandparents House

The house that they lived in when I was a boy would fit ten times over in their current one, but I loved it. It was my home, even though I didn’t live there full time, because it was the only consistent place in my life. My mom, a single parent, had to move us almost every year in order to find something affordable, so none of the apartments or houses she rented ever meant anything to me. But my grandparent’s house did. To this day, say the word “home” and I think of that house.

It was actually two lots, one with the house on it and one that was just a giant backyard. The backyard was separated from the house by a driveway that ran from their street, Arnett Lane, down the side of the house, and looped back around to Wilson Lane, the main road. That yard seemed so massive to me, as if it was another continent. If you were facing it, off to the right was an area that was raised, and for many years my grandfather had rabbit cages back there. I know there were multiple rabbits but I only remember one, an albino rabbit named Pinky. I also have a vague memory of tasting rabbit at some point which leads me to believe that they weren’t being kept as pets. He also kept a beehive which provided fresh honey, but that memory is more vague, probably because I was scared of bees.

The center of the yard was just a wide open space that was glorious to play in but horrifying when I reached lawn mowing age. Toward the back of that area grew a lot of foliage that I believe was over a septic tank. Little did I know that all of our family poo was facilitating the growth of massive weeds. My grandparents also had a compost pile where they’d dump old food rinds and such, I’m assuming in order to fertilize the grounds. My childhood paradise was built on a septic tank and compost, yet never smelled anything but perfect to me. Off to the far end, near the main road, were a number of trees, my favorite of which was a cherry tree. I can recall eating them directly off of the tree and even now, whenever I have a cherry, I close my eyes and I’m a child standing in that back yard on a hot summer day.

The bottom floor of the house had two sides to it. One was the typical laundry and storage area that you might find in any old basement. The only thing that was out of place there was a small table in the corner that always had an open appointment book on it. Hanging on the wall to the left of it was a telephone and next to that was a door that entered into my grandfather’s music studio. I didn’t enter that part of the house very often and, when I did, was usually a little nervous. As he was a music teacher, I understood that this was where my grandfather conducted business and trained his students to play piano, guitar, and his favorite, the accordion.

Grandad accordian

On a few occasions, throughout my childhood, I was one of the students, but likely the worst one he had. I was never musically inclined and didn’t grasp the piano or guitar very well when he tried to teach me. On top of that, I never ever wanted to practice. To this day one of my biggest regrets in life is that I didn’t take advantage of what I had right in front of me, a teacher who was willing to give me lessons for free. When I did take them, I first started on piano lessons but soon wanted to be a rock star, and moved on to guitar lessons. Ironic that today I’d love nothing more than to be able to play the piano. I often think of taking lessons but having anyone other than my grandfather teach me holds little appeal. If not learning from him, I’d rather not learn at all. So maybe it’s not so much that I want to be able to play the piano. Maybe it’s that I want to play and turn to whoever is listening and say, “My grandfather taught me that.” Lucky for me, he taught me plenty of other great lessons in life. So that fact that I wasn’t smart enough to learn music from him is the only thing I missed out on.

Allow me to digress for a moment and actually introduce my grandparents. Although I refer to them as my grandmother and grandfather, they are actually Nena (pronounced nee-naw)…

grandmother

and Grandaddy.

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I am 40 years old and I call them by those names to this very day. The only thing I modify is to sometimes call my grandfather Grandad instead of Grandaddy, but only because it feels almost too childlike to say the word “daddy” out loud, in any context or iteration. However I always think of him as Grandaddy in my mind. Nena always has been, and forever will be, Nena. Strangely, I don’t feel like a child when I say her name in spite of that fact of it is clearly a name designed for a baby to say. I suppose it makes sense though. When I speak to, or about, my grandfather I try to be a man. He is a man. I don’t ever want to appear to be a child to him. I need his respect in order to feel like I am a man. Nena, however, is a different story. I am a child when she’s near. I am the same little boy she always nurtured, took care of, and comforted. I don’t want that to change, ever. Don’t get me wrong, I want her to be proud of my grown up accomplishments, and I require her approval, but I still want her to take care of me as if I were a small child. I need her to always be my Nena. And she always is, no matter how old I get. Now that you know them by their proper names, let’s get back on track.

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The middle floor of Nena and Grandaddy’s house was the main living area. It had both a living and dining room, neither of which was used much, along with an eat-in kitchen that was in constant use. When I was there it seemed that Nena was cooking 95% of the time and, when she wasn’t, something was going on in the kitchen. She cut my hair in that kitchen, made me costumes for school, helped me with painting or other arts and crafts, even taught me to cook some things. I have untold numbers of great memories from spending time with Nena in that kitchen, and yet it holds one horrible memory for me as well.

Lima beans.

For some reason, my grandparents seemed to have lima beans pretty regularly and, although I loved most vegetables as a kid, I hated lima beans. To this day I can barely gag down those dry, disgusting tasting legumes. Why anyone eats them is beyond me. Yet eat them they did and I was forced to eat them as well. As much love as those people showed me, somewhere deep down I think they used lima beans to punish me for everything I ever did wrong. One day I am going to figure out a way to pay them back for the lima bean torture. I just have to determine what unspeakable act is as bad as those beans. Admittedly, the lima trauma was but a small fraction of the time I spent in that house and clearly I survived, but I still have nightmares. Lima beans.

My favorite time in my grandparents house was after school. I’d come home, exhausted and hungry, and instantly any care I had in the world was removed. In my grandparent’s bedroom, my grandfather had a lazy boy chair that sat beside a huge picture window and faced their television. I’d climb into that big, comfy chair and recline it all the way back. Nena would put the TV on whatever I wanted to watch and head to the kitchen to make my favorite afternoon snack of sliced apples and peanut butter. Beneath me, coming up through the floor, was music, or attempts at music, created by my grandfather and the student he was teaching. It was so soothing, the food lovingly prepared by Nena and the sound of music, Grandaddy imparting his lessons. If there are moments in my life I could define as bliss, the times I spent in that chair would be them.

This story is simple, and doesn’t begin to express the complexity of my childhood or what my grandparents mean to me. I could write thousands of pages filled with stories about Nena helping teach me to paint, or encouraging the creativity that helped define who I am today, or just taking care of me, something she’s done my entire life. Or about Grandaddy, also known as “The Good Grandaddy”, telling me my all time favorite story about how he was the first person to see me at the hospital when I was born. Instead I will leave you with just this brief description of a piece of my life that I remember as vividly as if it were yesterday. I would write more, but I don’t have the words to express how iconic these two people are in my mind, and in my heart. Nena and Grandaddy are the most amazing grandparents any kid could ever hope to have, and I was lucky enough to have them as mine. Every day I think of them, every day I am thankful for them, and every day I love them more. They are my grandparents.

—–

I wrote that at the end of February 2011, exactly four years before my son was born. I am so fortunate that he has been able to spend time with them and experience the same love I have my entire life. Because their grandchildren have children, they now have the title of Great-Grandparents, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s what they’ve been since the day I was born.

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Our First Family Holiday In Photos— And Breastfeeding!

Our First Family Holiday In Photos— And Breastfeeding!

This is a dual purpose photo post that will both recap Four’s first holiday with my family and throw public breastfeeding pics in the faces of people who were angry at my last post. Joy to the world!

Airport BoobWe started the holiday trip off right with our rendition of Little Town Of Breast-Ahem at the airport. I know they hold more than 3.5 ounces of liquid, so how did she sneak them past the crack TSA team at security?

MARYLAND

Bad Ass Dad and sonMe and Frankie Four landed in Maryland and were immediately accosted by some woman (who may or may not be his mother and my wife) because of our winning smiles. We can’t help it if we pretty.

Mixed race familyI am an equal opportunity uncle and demand racial diversity in my family. It was very difficult for me to accept that my son turned out to be Caucasian but I love him anyway. Appearing in this photo from upper left to right is my sister, my wife, my nephew, my mom holding my disturbingly cracker-ish son, and my niece.

Bad Ass Dad wifeMy gorgeous California wife dressed in a New York outfit in the Maryland woods. This was what she was wearing when she was last seen so if you—just kidding. The ground was way too hard to dig a hole that day.

Bad Ass DadKevin and I have been friends for 25 years. You think he’d have offered me some of his sperm so that my kid had a little melanin.

Bad Ass DadScott and I have been friends for over 30 years and it looks a lot like he donated his sperm given Four’s cheeks.

NORTH CAROLINA

Bad Ass Dad and sonsFranklin Nathaniel Prather’s 2, 3, and 4. One of them believes that he’s the master of the universe and so do the other two.

prather thanksgivingThis is a happy photo of Four’s first Thanksgiving and definitely not a family that’s being forced to pretend that everything is fine by armed home invaders. (Help us)

grandparentsPop, Four, and GeeBee, not to be confused with Bel Biv Devoe.

bad ass dad hairThe wind messed up my hair so I was forced to brutally murder the wind. Problem solved.

Bad Ass  Dad familyWould it be egotistical of me to caption this, “Best Looking Family That Ever Lived”?
Yes?
Ok, good.

Bad Ass Dad friendsWhen my friend Larry died he left behind a beautiful family who I finally got to introduce to Four. Seeing his kids playing with my son was one of the highlights of my year. His twins were asleep by the time we actually took a pic.

FLORIDA

Bad Ass DadOn the flight to Florida our son crawled into the arms of a strange Asian woman named Linn. That was literally the only thing she said that we could understand.

Bad Ass DadHere is Four in a rickshaw and not because the last picture was of him and an Asian woman. Don’t be such a racist. But I think we can all agree that one of them is probably a terrible driver.

Bad Ass DadFour with Nena, his great-grandmother and the reason we were in Florida.

Baby in a suitcaseI’m not saying you should pack your baby in a suitcase,
I’m just saying it might make the flight more peaceful.

Bad Ass Dad breastfeedingI promised breastfeeding pics so here’s one that, unfortunately, did not take place in public. But don’t worry, they’re coming!

Bad Ass DadThis is my nephew Chris showing off his first tattoo as well as a small white child.

Bad Ass DadWe spent a few days at the beach trying to catch our tans up with my niece Cassi. We failed.

Bad Ass DadI don’t know if you’ve ever checked the caloric content of sand but, given how much of it he’s eaten and how his body looks, I’d say it’s fattening.

Bad Ass DadSHART! Wait, I mean SHARK! No, it was a shart.

Bad Ass DadOnly one of the best days of my life, no big deal.

Bad Ass DadThe #1 beach in America according to someone who ranks beaches. In America. But after Siesta Key, you need a…

Bad Ass DadA siesta—while being watched by toy creepers.

Bad Ass Dad breastfeedingAfter the nap, a little X-mas shopping with St. Nipple-ous.

Bad Ass DadThe next day we took the family to a state park where not a single one of us got eaten by an alligator or encountered someone invoking the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law. You’re slipping, Florida.

Bad Ass Dad breastfeedingWe also took a little boat ride in the 90 degree weather. I’m clearly upset with Lisa for not covering our son in something that would overheat him to death just so she could protect the other people on the boat from her semi-visible boob.
(I’m on a boob, bitch!)

Bad Ass DadFour is having the time of his life. Wheeeeeeeee!

Bad Ass DadFour’s enthusiasm for life was reinvigorated when we all went to Universal Studios!

Bad Ass DadMommy helps Four wake up. SURPRISE!

Bad Ass DadHe poses for the picture or he gets the hose again.

Bad Ass Dad breastfeedingMy wife breastfeeding my son, uncovered,
while walking with my mom at Universal Studios in Florida. Bad Ass women.

Bad Ass DadAnd the defining image from our trip. The family.
From L to R:
Frankie Four (my son)
Lisa (my wife)
Gloria (my mom)
Cassi (my niece)
Stephanie (my sister)
Chris (my nephew)
Gloria aka “Nena” (my grandmother)

…and the luckiest guy on earth, me.