Category Archives: Bad Baby

Oscar Night Breakdown

Sorry for not writing about our Oscar party earlier, but, have spent most of this week recovering from what was a very busy weekend. Went to see a friend in a play on Saturday night and then spent Sunday cleaning the house for our annual Oscar party. Then we had the party, which was great — the Frankenweenie pigs in a blanket, French cheeses and bread for Les Miserables, and the blood-spattered Lincoln cake seemed to be the crowd favorites! — and then spent the rest of the night re-cleaning the house. Good times.

Actually, it really was. An old friend of ours was at the party and I haven’t watched the Oscars with her since Marisa Tomei won back in the day, so, we had a lot of fun. And despite the fact that she was probably desperately over-tired from the events of the weekend, Greta was a dream child through the entire show. And then, just as Michelle Obama was about to announce the Best Picture winner (by the way, what the hell was that all about? I love me some FLOTUS, but, that shit was just awkward…yikes!) Greta suddenly flipped out and DEMANDED attention. It was the weirdest thing.

Lincoln Oscar Party cake (2013)

And though I tried my best to shuffle her off to her bedroom to silence the demon (seriously, she was shrieking!), even with the door closed, I knew everyone at that party was getting an earful. What really killed me was that if she’d just held on, like three minutes longer, the show would have ended and I could have showered her with attention. As it was, I ended up watching the tail end of the show later and comforting Greta instead. A small price to pay when my favorite movie won. Go, Argo!

Of course, once all the singletons and childless guests left — the type you hope will not fixate on the ten minutes your kid was bad and focus instead on the three-plus hours when she was a party host’s dream! — Greta was back to her old charming self. Guess she just needed to let off some steam. Oh, and speaking of, Greta also inherited a gigantic foot locker full of Thomas the Train trains and enough wooden tracks to cover our living room floor in, well, wooden tracks. So, that was great too. And it kept her super busy during the show, so, thank you upstairs neighbor, Ed. You rock!

As for the show itself, I was very pleased with all the winners. I hate when one movie dominates the night (yeah, I’m talking to you, The Artist) so, it was fun to see the wealth so evenly distributed throughout the show. And though he’s getting slammed in the press, I actually thought Seth MacFarlane was an awesome host. He was hip, funny, and despite a few off color moments — the Boobs song bothered me much less than the frat-boyish jabs at women never letting things go — he was never boring, which is the greatest sin an Oscar host can commit! So, if you ask me, moving forward the Academy needs to decide what they really want in an Oscar host: someone edgy, out-there and possibly offensive? Or someone who’s stately, traditional and totally boring. Because, as the past few years have proved, you can’t have it all, baby.

Anyway, love to hear what you guys thought of the show, so, comment away…

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Filed under Bad Baby, Daddy stuff, Food, Good Toddler, Movie Stuff, TV Stuff

Bad Words

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but we have a bit of a “bad word” problem at our house these days. It all started when I, in a fit of totally-inappropriate road rage, honked my horn and called a fellow driver a “Fucking Idiot!”. Yes, Greta was in the car with me and yes, I know I should’ve known better, but, wow, that chick really was driving like a fucking idiot and, well…actually, that’s my only excuse. Sorry.

Anyway, months passed. Literally. Entire months passed with no mention of the dreaded “bad words” I had uttered. And then one day, while we were looking for parking at the library, someone in the parking lot honked their horn at another driver and Greta busted up laughing, pointed at the cars and said: “Look, Daddy…a fucking idiot!” Yep, that’s me, SAHD of the year. Urgh…I just about died.

I’d like to say that since that day Greta has never again said those two choice words aloud, but, I’d be lying. Whenever possible, I do try to use the term “sweetheart” in lieu of swearing these days, and, for the most part, Greta has followed suit. In fact, she says “sweetheart” like a character from an old gangster movie, it’s kind of hilarious. But, substitute swear words aside, she still lets loose a good, old-fashioned “fucking idiot” when we least expect it, so, again, bring on the parenting medals.

And now, she’s started saying “shit”. Yep, I guess I say that a lot too. In fact, since Greta started saying it, I’ve noticed that several of our friends and family members use the term pretty liberally as well. So, who knows where she first heard it? The fact is, she says it sometimes and all we can do now is lead by example, put a penny in the bad word jar every time we swear, and, you know, shame the hell outta her when she does it too. Just kidding. Kinda.

So, the latest twist on all this played out yesterday. I was waiting to make a left turn at an intersection that I have since vowed never to use again (Fuck you, Riverside and Hollywood Way!! Seriously, get a green turn arrow already!) and I got really, really mad at another driver. And just when I was about to let loose with some choice profanity, I caught a glimpse of Greta’s face in her little rearview mirror and stopped myself.

And what did she do? She smiled and said: “Daddy said a bad word.” I was like: “Um, no, Daddy did not say a bad word.” Greta just smiled again and said, and I kid you not, she actually said this: “Daddy thought of a bad word.” Great, now she’s reading my thoughts too?

Urgh…we’re gonna need a bigger bad word jar.

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Filed under Bad Baby, Daddy stuff

New digs and a dog too!

Moved from our hotel to the upper west side apartment of our good friend’s Justin & Nadine on Wednesday night. Their place is very cute and super small, but it has tons of windows, is one block away from a major subway line and Central Park, and best if all, they have a sweet, gigantic dog named Kismet.

I’m not sure what breed Kismet is, but, Greta is already wildly in love with her. The only problem is that she thinks poor old Kismet (she’s nine human years old) is a boy. Greta keeps saying: “Good boy, Kismet! Good boy!” Our friend Justin tried correcting her a few times, but then totally gave up. Boy, girl, who cares…as long as the kid ain’t crying everyone’s happy.

And speaking of Greta being happy…she’s still getting wiggy around the dinner hour, but she has been going to bed much earlier since we moved and it seems to be helping her tantrums. A little. I wouldn’t say she’s been the best toddler in the city this trip, but, she’s trying.

Amazingly, we’ve also all been sleeping way better sleep since we left the hotel. I don’t know if it’s the quieter neighborhood — the upper west side is like the country compared to Times Square — or what, but the three of us are sleeping way better on a shared Aerobed than we ever did in a fancy, King-sized bed at The Paramount. Go figure…

Oh, and one more thing that makes us all sleep way better are our nightly walks in Central Park with Justin and Kismet. Dogs can go leash-less after dark in the park, so Kismet just takes off running with a barefoot Greta in hot pursuit. It’s the cutest thing ever, but more importantly, it puts both of them, baby and dog, right to sleep when we come home. Yay!

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Filed under Bad Baby, Daddy stuff, Good Baby, Terrible Twos

Coney Island Meltdown

OK, I know that many of you are gonna blame what I am about to describe on Greta’s lack of normal sleep the past few days, and you might be right, but I am laying the blame squarely in the terrible twos category. That said, let me tell ya what happened.

It was day two of our adventures in NYC, Greta and I got our usual late start, grabbed some breakfast and then hopped on the subway’s N line to the last stop, Coney Island! Mrs. Yeti didn’t have any real interest in coming with us — and, I’ll admit it, the hour-long train ride there is no picnic — so, we planned this adventure for a day when she was working.

And what an adventure it was, chili dogs and fresh lemonade at the first Nathan’s Hot Dog stand in the country, cotton candy, kiddie rides for $3.00 a pop, and all the beautiful, old-school boardwalk and beach you could stomach. It was awesome! Yeah, some of the neon is definitely faded and the place is a little sketchy in spots, but, the people working there were great and we had a blast. Until the sun started going down…

I dunno what happened to her, but, after one final ride on the merry-go-round, Greta went, I believe the clinical term for it is, ape-shit crazy. She started screaming that she wanted to ride more rides (which was literally impossible since I had no more cash on me) and then ran off in the direction of the Bumble Bee ride, which was her favorite.

I picked her up, she hit me. I threw her over my shoulder to carry her, she kicked me. It was crazy, but, it was getting dark and I knew we had a long-ass train ride back to the city, so, I needed her to behave. Of course, that’s what made her more determined than ever not to!

So, we start heading to the subway station, her screaming bloody murder, me trying to stuff her into her stroller and all of our crap toppling over every time she kicks herself free of it. And for the next five or ten minutes on that boardwalk, I was “that Dad” and she was “that toddler”, duking it out like a couple of wild, red-faced hillbillies.

I swear to God, EVERYONE within listening distance stopped to watch the bad dad trying to get his hell child to bend to his will and obey him. At one point, I literally did not know what to do. She had knocked my hat and sunglasses off, the stroller was laying on it’s side and she was kicking and screaming so wildly that I almost couldn’t hold her. I’ve been at “this job” for two-plus-years now, and trust me, I’ve never seen a meltdown like this…it was brutal.

I tried reasoning with her, I tried spanking her, I tried changing the subject — you know, talking about the good times we’d had that day, her favorite movies, how nice our male maid was at the hotel, anything — but, nothing worked. And then, I spotted a “Dunkin’ Donuts” across the street and in a desperate, last-ditch effort to change the subject, I found a subject we could both agree on. “Hey, you want a donut?” I panted as she flailed in my arms.

Suddenly, she stopped cold and said, in a totally calm voice: “Yes, I want a donut.” And just like that, the tears and craziness melted away. She sat down in her stroller (even buckling herself in) and we crossed the street and got a donut for her and a big-ass iced coffee with extra Valium for me.

Whew…what a day…

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Filed under Bad Baby, Daddy stuff, Terrible Twos

Troubled Sleep II: The Revenge

And…just like that, they’re back. That’s right, amigos…the sleepless nights have returned to our house. I dunno if it means she’s getting ready for another growth spurt or what, but, Greta just will not go to bed. We tried putting her down earlier, we tried later, and last night, we tried really, really late (not by choice, I might add) but nothing is working.

Complicating matters even more is the fact that ever since we came home from Oregon, she will not go to sleep in her own bed. It’s “Mommy’s bed” or nothing for her and seeing as we are about to spend ten days in New York City, where we will no doubt be sharing a bed, it seemed kinda pointless to break her of the “Mommy’s bed” habit now. Or was it? I mean, should we have forced her into her own bed for two weeks between trips? I dunno…all I know is that I’m so fucking tired I needed toothpicks to keep my eyes open today. Seriously, I look like a sleepy-eyed dog cartoon character…

The one good thing is that once she falls asleep in our bed, she stays asleep, even when I move her back to her bed before I go to sleep. Of course, last night, that didn’t happen. I did the swap out from our bed to her crib, then about half an hour later was awoken by the sound of her SCREAMING. Holy shit, I just about wet the bed. So scary! Especially amplified over the video monitor. Yikes…

So, I run back in there and she says there was a bug buzzing in her ear and that there were bugs all over her comforter too. Hmmm…if that’s true, then Daddy is grabbing you and running the other way, I think to myself. But, like the brave Daddy that I am (ha!) I check her bed for bugs and, thankfully, find none. So, guess where Little-Miss-Vivid-Nightmares ended up sleeping? That’s right…squished between me and mommy in “Mommy’s bed”.

Oh, and here’s the best part, she woke up way earlier than normal this morning in a horrible, spitting-mad mood. Ah, the joys of parenthood…

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Filed under Bad Baby, Daddy stuff, Mommy Stuff, Terrible Twos

Family Road Trip Rule #1: When in doubt…bribe!

Hit the road last week for our annual road trip to Oregon to visit my wife’s family. It’s a long-ass drive, but we love road trips (yes, even with a two-year-old in tow) and the time spent just hanging out with the niece, nephews and assorted brothers and sisters-in-law on the family farm is kind of, well, rejuvenating. I don’t know if it’s the country air or what, but, man alive, do we go home relaxed!

Anyway, I firmly believe that a huge part of the adventure is the actual act of driving there — seriously, we have found that even short-jaunt road trips are great for the soul — and since no one wants to have their soul-cleansing road trip ruined by a screaming toddler, I give you, Family Road Trip Rule # 1: When in doubt…bribe!

I don’t care what your kid’s favorite thing is (be it a food item, a beverage, toy or DVD) but secretly pack a lot of them in your car before you leave. Emphasis on the secret part, if they know how many you’ve packed, your screwed. Bribery only works when your child thinks that the desired item they will do anything for is in very limited supply. So hide your loot well!

Right now, Greta will do almost anything you ask her to for a Trader Joe’s Organic Fruit Leather. I don’t know exactly why she loves them so, but she’d seriously take a bullet for the strawberry variety…it’s crazy.

So, we packed 25 of them in a secret stash in the car, and the minute she acts up or won’t finish her meal or, well, any time she’s just being a typical two-year-old on an eight-and-a-half hour car ride, we bribe her. “Greta…if you do blank, we’ll give you a fruit leather.” we purr in her screaming, red-faced direction, and she calms down almost instantly.

If I wasn’t so happy it worked, I might be a little freaked out by it, but at the end of the day…it works. Like a fucking charm. Every. Single. Time. So, who cares why?

With order restored in our car, we crank up the tunes and resume our lovely road trip in peace…or, you know, until the next big blow up.

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Filed under Bad Baby, Good Baby, Intuitive Parenting, Terrible Twos

Happy 70th birthday, Krzysztof!

Well, guess who didn’t fall asleep on her own again tonight? Yep. I sat in there with her for two-plus hours, but, she didn’t actually fall asleep for real until I left her screaming and crying in her crib and headed to my office to blog. Oh, the joys of parenting…

In any case, now that I have a few minutes before sleep completely overtakes me I can blog a hearty happy birthday message to the late, great Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski. He would have been 70 years-old today and not only did he make some of my favorite films of all time, but his unique visual style and beautifully-interwoven storytelling techniques have informed everything I’ve written or wanted to write since I first saw his film “The Double Life of Veronique” way back in the early 1990’s.

Simply put, the man was a genius who died way before his time…makes me wonder if he had kids that kept him up all night too? Ha! Either way, Kieslowski completed at least two other masterworks before his death in 1996, the groundbreaking “Three Colors Trilogy: Blue, White, Red” and his indelible, early-career masterpiece, the ten-hour TV miniseries,“The Decalouge”.

If you haven’t seen any of his work yet, today is a great day to start. Celebrate the mad genius tonight by watching one (or if you have time, all) of his films…you will not be disappointed. Seriously, there was no one like him.

Oh yeah, on their Facebook page today, the cool cats at the Criterion Collection posed an interesting question by basically asking which title fans preferred: “The Three Colors Trilogy” or “The Decaloque”? Makes you wonder if their cooking up a cool Criterion reissue or two, huh? I couldn’t chose, but if I had to, I’d probably vote for “Decalogue” just because it has the least cool of the versions already on DVD. But, wow, the thought of them both coming out again via Criterion is kind of badass too. I can just imagine the cool box art…wow!

Happy birthday, Krzysztof, we miss you…

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Filed under Bad Baby, Daddy stuff, Movie Stuff