Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My 5yo Came Up With The Best Present Idea!!

   Having kids is the worst because you have to buy them a present that they can give to their mom. It's miserable. I don't want to spend $10 on Cara and then spend seven more dollars so that Wyatt can get her something. And sure, Wyatt has some money saved up in his College Jar (no seriously), but I didn't want to break into that unless it was an emergency and I was going to an arcade or something.

   Usually a clever parent whips up something lame like coupons for a backrub or a picture of happier times, but I just can't. Partly because Cara still hasn't cashed in coupons from her last Birthday/Anniversary/Mother's Day/Valentine's/promotion/new haircut/me trying to get out of the doghouse.

I can't imagine why Cara hasn't cashed these in yet. Wyatt and I actually made these in his Sunday School class on Mother's Day, so it was a total lifesaver. My gift idea of "go ahead and take a nap" probably would've fallen flat. It's worth noting that we were supposed to make three coupons, so I had to make a third thing that looked like a coupon.
It's also worth noting that she asked one of our neighbors for a backrub, coupon in hand, and they promptly moved away. Poor kid was super traumatized.

   Well, Wyatt comes along and just crushes the whole "thoughtful and cheap" gift thing. I can't believe I didn't think of it myself: He put a bunch of Legos in a box, and drew a picture of the thing he wanted me to build. He made up a Lego set for me. It's brilliant. (And free!)

A folded "book" of directions, a box full of pieces, and a mostly-eaten bowl of cereal. Great stuff.

   I was so pumped about this. He usually builds his Lego sets with his uncle Garrett, because it's the only thing that Garrett could possibly do with him without scaring him to death, so I was glad to have a chance to build with him. I also wanted to see what he had in store for me.

A close-up of the instructions. Take a moment to see if you can guess what he has in mind.

   Well, shoot. I think we can all agree that this is disappointing. No color. No depth. Terribly poor drawings. I don't think he is even able to shade. Ugh, I don't know what Cara does all day. Besides work, I mean.

   Here's what I could see: a house with some plants (easy). A person who has no arms (done). A couple flowers and/or rocks (sure). An arch? or.. a snake? Maybe that's a rainbow, he's been into rainbows lately? I think it's a snake eating a person. Is that how the person lost limbs? Is that supposed to be Cara? Probably not (too skinny), but I am starting to feel like this is a cry for help. And probably food. I'm not convinced she feeds him.

   What's that big tower thing? It looks like a fence that was drawn by someone with no capacity for perspective.

   When Wyatt explained it all to me, he showed it was a house with grass, a skyscraper and a person. The big snake was actually a wave ("We don't have to build that," he assured me), and the sun ("Don't have to build that either."). 

   I was in store for even more disappointment, sadly. He hadn't even built it in advance! There was absolutely no testing or quality control! It's like he's four years old, instead of five! We didn't have enough pieces, couldn't set up a functioning roof, had absolutely no yellow bricks to build the sun, and most of the pieces he had already deigned for grass. Brutal. He will never be a Lego engineer, that's clear, so I think I still need to carry that torch for the family.

   Still, this is totally a gift I am giving him every year for the rest of forever. It's simply another example of how much fun, and how surprising, seeing someone grow up before your eyes can be. Lately, it seems like Wyatt does this every other day. Just today he set up a bunch of plastic cups, and put toys under some of them, so we could have a shooting gallery with our nerf guns. It's great stuff. I think today he asked me to play with him eight different times (doing eight different things), and I only said "no" to six of them.

My mood: disappointed and proud. I know, it's confusing.
Wyatt's mood: excited about his Christmas presents
Lincoln's mood: not excited about pooping
Cara's mood: bed rest ("Doctor's orders," she claims).
Listening to: Justin Timberlake.

Monday, December 19, 2016


   Y'all might find this hard to believe, but I've not won a lot of awards. Sure, I've won a Bloggy, which is a made-up-award for the world's best blog about Wyatts, but that barely counts. And every once in a while Wyatt calls me "a pretty good gad," which... I just wish he'd never met Aaron's dad. It's been a rough life.

The dad in this photo, whomever that hero may be, clearly deserves some recognition and/or money. I promise I'll use the money to buy Lincoln a jacket that fits.
   Actually, I did win my high school's chess tournament when I was a sophomore. There was no trophy, but my dad found a big trophy and printed up a sticker that read "Grant Gilchrist Sheldon High School Chess Champion" and placed it over the plaque that was already on the trophy. This is a true story. That thing was enormous. I then realized that trophy forging was a thing, and went to thrift stores and bought trophies to put up on my shelves all the time. People would come over for the first time, and most could tell immediately that I wasn't trophy-winning material and ask where I bought them, but every once in a while a poor sucker would get really impressed and say "Wow! I had no idea you were so good at bowling, karate, archery, and ... ballet?!" I would then piroutte.

   Wyatt? He had to wait five years to win something.

I didn't get the other girl's mom's permission to use her photo, so I did some fancy photoshopping. Can you see where? Only 16% of people can. (Genius Level). However, It turns out this picture of Shirley Temple isn't that far off from how cute that girl in the red actually is.

   At Wyatt's school, where he is in Pre-K, which apparently is a thing, he won an award for showing respect, or being nice, or eating vegetables or something like that. I'm not really sure, seeing as how I wasn't given the award I wasn't really paying attention. Actually it kind of looks like he wasn't paying attention either. And... is that just a blank piece of paper?

  The best thing about this, however, is that IT TOTALLY VALIDATES MY PARENTING!! Do you understand?! I can chat with other parents, pull up this picture on my phone, and say "I don't know what character awards your kids have won, but as the father to a publicly-acknowledged respectful son, I can assure you that Jason should not still be breastfeeding. ... So you can go ahead and stop that now."

   There are so many things to worry about when raising a child. When to give formula. Whether or not they should sleep on their stomachs. Or in your room. Or in the carseat. Or at all. Deciding if they should have sugar or gluten or crayons. Can they have plastic toys? Should they be spanked? Can they watch TV? I could go on.

   Here's the point: I NAILED all of those decisions. Got every one right. We know this because my son just won an award for having the best teeth I think in his class of 18 kids or something like that. Boom. I am writing a book on parenting and you can buy it for $83, because your kids are worth it.

Chapters include:
How Much Ignoring Is Too Much Ignoring? (Impossible)
When Is It Appropriate For Me To Judge Other Parents? (After you've won an award).
Is There Such Thing As Too Much Screen Time? (Kids: yes. Parents: no.)
What Sort Of Crafts Should I Have My Kids Do? (Cleaning, cooking, silence.)
How Do You Do It? (Natural talent, you don't have a chance)
and "Where Can I Find the Last Missile Canister in Super Metroid? (no idea after 15 years)

The book will go on sale after I've received enough orders to justify publication, so you can go ahead and send me that $83 now.

My mood: proud and about to be rich
Wyatt's mood: honestly, kind of confused by the whole thing. His grandpa called him to congratulate him and Wyatt had no idea what he was talking about. He did know about Spider-Man and wanted to talk about that.
Link's mood: jealous. Not of Wyatt, but of Chris Pratt.
Cara's mood: feeling better after a long run of morning sickness but really who cares.