Tag Archives: Animals

Dear Dude!s: Why can’t my kids wake up during the week?

Dear, Dude!s, Why do all my kids  wake up at 5:30 or 6 a.m. during the weekend and, yet, I have to drag them out of bed during the week?

“Dear, dad with kids who are part of the global conspiracy to make their parents crazy,

“Let me guess, your kids are of school age… The answer to your question is actually quite simple. Your kids want to kill you slowly from sleep deprivation. They must know that you have a life insurance policy.”

Actually, I’m guessing the truth is that all kids do this. They must have an internal clock (like all animals) and that clock works best on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. How and why that clock turns of when there is school must — I think — remain one of the mysteries of the universe.

My parents used to squirt me with water. I still have cold sweats and flashbacks whenever I see a squirt gun, but I lived through it. I also think I have learned to wake up much easier as I grew older. Now I can wake up and the only thing my wife has to do is pinch me, pull off the covers and then slap off the alarm clock.

That might just be the answer, Dude: Get a water gun, and pull a John Wayne on ’em.

– Barry
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You Still Suck*

While our oldest little dude gave up the binky pretty much cold turkey, our middle little dude stretched our patience to the breaking point and beyond. Sort of a template for how he’d be working with me and his mom for the rest of his life. Oh, yes. The good old days.

Our middle little dude didn’t get a cold that would prevent him from sucking on a binky. No, he was blessedly cold free for most of his young life. Which meant, of course, that he would keep sucking on his binky for as long as humanly, or little dudely, as possible. We tried to coax him out of the binky, but it was no go. If we removed the plastic sucky, he’d wake up screaming and looking for his binky. Eventually, we decided it wasn’t worth the effort.

That lasted until our middle little dude was about two years old. By then, we couldn’t stand going out in public with him, as long as his mouth was stuffed full of plastic. It just looked wrong to us that this (again, to us) big little dude was walking around on his own and still sucking on a binky. I’d do rock, paper, scissors with my wife, known to me as She Who Wins No Matter What, and dread taking our middle little dude out in public. My oldest little dude and his mom would smirk at us from the other side of the mall. Yeah, that was fun.

Eventually we decided to appeal to our middle little dude’s good side. That is, we wanted his greediness to work for us. We told him that certain toy stores would take binkies instead of money. Little dudes could go into toy stories, give the clerks their binky and take home the toy they loved the most. Our middle little dude was ecstatic. We immediatly went to the toy story and he ran to the tube o’ animals, a small tube filled with little, plastic animals of the rain forest. He proudly walked up to the counter clerk, whom we’d talked to beforehand, and handed over his binky. The clerk rang him up and gave him the tube o’ animals. The little dude walked out of there, levitating a foot off the ground.

That lasted all the way up until nap time. He laid down, clutching his new tube o’ animals and demanded his binky. We tried to explain how he’d used his binky to buy the animals, but he wouldn’t listen. Admittedly we’d kept an extra binky at the house, just in case, but we stayed strong. (Well, actually, I stayed strong while his mom wavered enough that I had to hide the extra binky. Yes, I sometimes call her an invertabrate.) It took about a week, but the middle little dude finally it wasn’t worth the effort of yelling to get something he wasn’t all that certain about anymore.

A few months later I stumbled over the extra binky. I thought, is it really all that great? Yes, I put it in my mouth and started sucking. It was actually all that great. For about two seconds. Until I started tasting all the dust and gunk that adheres to a sticky piece of plastic that’s sat on top of the fridge for a couple of months. Really, not that good an experience.

— Richard

* Nope. No vampire/Christopher Moore joke today. Just checking to see if you still look at the bottom when I use an asterick.

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Ruined For Life

I think having three little dudes has ruined me. And not in the way a woman would mean something like that. At least I don’t think so. Do I look like I’ve gained weight to you? Never mind. Here’s my deal:

Last week, out on the football field I saw something with huge wings flap into the darkness. It was either a flying fox or an owl. (Smart money’s on the owl.) I immediately elbowed the dude next to me, pointed in the right direction and enthused all over him about the animal (now gone) I’d seen. He looked at me as if the zit in the center of my forehead had morphed into a fourth eyeball and then started talking to him. In Sumerian.

My little dudes, all three of them, are wild animal freakazoids. They love spotting animals in the wild. It doesn’t matter if it’s a red-tailed hawk, of which we’ve seen hundreds, or a deer tromping through our back yard. They get stoked up every time we see one. So, of course, I’m always on the lookout for any animal in the outdoors. And the first thing I do when I spot one is run tell the nearest person.

Look! A deer in the backyard!

Right after this, I got out my rifle.

See, even on the internet I can’t resist. That’s a deer that just wandered through our backyard one afternoon. Don’t know where it came from or to where it went, but it was neat seeing it in our backyard for a while.

I’ve tried to break this habit, but it never works. Are there any habits you’ve started to do with your little dudes that draws funny looks from folks in the adult world?

— Richard

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