Monday, April 5, 2010


Every morning for the past six years, my boys have woken me up with either loud screaming or spastic kicking. Sometimes both. I've gotten used to it by now, so when I woke up this morning to only Angie's snoring, I freaked out. I raced into their bedroom to confirm that they had been kidnapped and found Peter and David playing cars with Tom. What the huh?

'Hey, have you guys raided the medicine cabinet again?'

'Oh, hi Papa! Watch this!'

Peter then ran up and snatched a car from the big pile in front of Tommy's feet. Tom immediately squinted his eyes, gritted his teeth and charged Peter and David. When he started beating them with his car-clenched fists and grunting like a wild boar, Peter and David completely lost it. What the huh?

They laughed their asses off as I contemplated my options. On the one hand, it was pretty funny. I just wasn't sure if it was wise to actually be training Temper Tom to beat people. That might sound all 'fatherly' to you, but I was actually just worried that he might kick my ass next. I was about to break it up when Tom scowled, pointed and started gutturally growling his new word at me.


That's just great - he can't even pronounce his own freakin' name yet, but they are teaching him to curse people. I turned to Peter and David to yell at them, but they were busy lying on the floor and clutching their bellies. Whatever.

'Hey, Angie - is that coffee done yet?'

'I don't know - are you done making it?'




As per usual, Angie ignored my guttural requests for her to do anything in the kitchen. That's okay, though; I haven't serviced the fire extinguishers lately. Besides, boiling water and pouring it might sound relatively safe, but so did tossing a salad.

After exorcising a pot of evil, we took the demons over to Dalia's for her baby sister's baptism bash.

I don't know what's funnier - that Brian is wearing a suit or that Elina is completely distracted by David, who is just off camera and making faces at the recently baptized. Before I could decide, my mental happy hour bell rang and I forced Tommy to open up the bar.

After a happy hour of boozing it up, the kids moved on to jealousy hour. This involved pushing, shoving, and pulling. Not surprisingly, a female was to blame.

'It's my turn to push.'

'Nice try, Peter - back up!'

Peter took the last command a little too literally and face planted Lenny in the dirt, with his back up. Lenny returned the favor with a command that I like to call 'elbow smack' before we decided to move the trio inside to play with the strange kid.

'Mommy, why is that little boy poking that doll in the eyes?'


'I don't know, sweetie. Just go back out to the swings.'

It was about that time that we rounded up the Zoo Crew and decided to head back to the cages. On the ride home, the car's funk-o-meter started pinging away, so I informed Pig Pen, Hog Sty and Mes Sy that we would be hosing them down. As soon as we got home, though, the filthy beasts disappeared.

Considering how cluttered our apartment normally is, this was actually pretty good camouflaging. Had it not been for Tommy's muffled screeching, the boys could have probably camped out in their cave for weeks before we would have discovered them.

After hosing the bugs down, David flashed me his money.

His money was found a few days ago in the garden. After checking with the neighbors, my wallet, and Angie's purse, we decided that it was his to keep. And keep it he has. He sleeps with it, he eats with it, and after tonight, we know that he also bathes with it. If it were a pet leech, I'd probably put my foot down on the whole 'bathing' part of his monetary bonding.

After swimming in money, I told Daddy Warbucks it was time to march his rich ass to bed.

David does occasionally follow directions, but he normally twists them to fit his own warped interpretation. Tonight was no exception as he made his way down the hallway. I am quite sure that the neighbors, along with Tom, thoroughly enjoyed David's mile in my shoes, but cruel Papa put an early end to his little bed stomp. Tom was less than delighted, so his good night kiss to me seemed more like a curse.

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I played animals with Dalia.
David: When we go to Dalia's.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I almost broke your glasses 'cause I bounced on the bed and got you in the face.
David: When I not more can play.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Play with Dalia.
David: Play with Dalia 'cause she my girlfriend and I are her boyfriend.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy little Easter bugs

My first question would be 'how the hell was I even able to get this picture?' My second question would be 'how the hell could I publish this picture and not end up on the sofa?' To answer myself in reverse order - I did.

In Angie's defense, she did not actually realize that I was snapping hundreds of pictures of her. The animals woke up at the butt-crack of dawn and began jumping on Mama's head, shouting something about Easter and demanding chocolate. Angie made the mistake of asking me to get her hangover goggles from the other room.

I of course obliged Sleeping Beauty, but I also grabbed my camera. Then I used amazing wit and incredible humor to conjure the lovely shot featured above. After five minutes of photographing my happy little Easter bug, she finally realized what I was doing. Before she could object, though, the boys stormed in and started stomping on her head again.

There are so many reasons why I love my boys, but today - coming to my rescue and squashing Mama topped the list. Thanks, buddies!

We eventually got the egg heads dressed and ready to go hunting. On the drive to Grams and Opa's, David had a slight meltdown. It all began when Angie started shouting like a lunatic as we passed an open field.

'LOOK!! Did you see the bunnies? LOOK! There they are!'

David was actually half-asleep until crazy woman started screaming. For some strange reason, he suddenly woke up and began frantically searching for bunnies.

'Mama, I no see a bunny.'

Peter decided to play the role of Big Brother and tried to help.

'I saw it - it was cool.'

Okay, maybe ass-monkey didn't help out so much. Suddenly, the car was filled with the screeching sounds of David. Soon after, Tom woke up from his peaceful nap. His lungs apparently sided with David, which made for a rather enjoyable Sunday drive. Thanks, bro.

We finally arrived at our destination where Angie and I reflected on what could be avoided in the future. After what turned out to be a rather heated discussion, Angie finally agreed to avoid pointing out animals while driving until David's eyes are mature enough to actually see them.

As we reflected on lessons learned, Peter waited in anticipation for The Great Hunt to begin.

Patience is a virtue that neither Angie nor her children possess. I would probably have joined the impatient bunch had it not been for my father. That bastard knew how to really torment children when it came to waiting. Christmas and Easter were the worst, though. He would lock us up in our room so that he could 'prepare' everything. I realize now that this involved loading his camera with film, making a pot of coffee and watching the Godfather trilogy.

Knowing all too well that I need to break the kids in gently, I only made them wait for 30 seconds so that I could position myself for a nice shot of the hounds being let loose.

I actually had wanted a picture where Tommy was facing forward, but I only had one shot before they blew past me, already fighting about who would collect the most eggs.

Tommy didn't collected the most, but he certainly won the award for smashing the most. David came close to retaining his title after refusing to use an egg basket like normal humans.

This was the year where Peter's competitive nature kicked it up a notch. He raced around the garden like a maniac, tripping David and tackling Tom whenever they got in his way. When he had secured enough eggs to guarantee his win, he paused for photographic proof of how insane he was being. Nice grin, psycho.

At one point, Tom got a little too close to discovering another one of Peter's eggs, who began growling and foaming at the mouth. Opa came to the rescue and scooped up Tommy before Old Yeller went rabid on him.

After counting up smashed eggs and those being guarded heavily by Peter, Grams announced to the search party that there was still one egg missing.

After an hour of searching, I was really beginning to wonder if Grams wasn't secretly cracking up inside. Yeah, guys - keep looking for that missing egg.

Super-Barb finally came to the rescue.

Peter and I glared at her, but for completely different reasons. Peter was just pissed because he's greedy. I simply wanted to know why the hell she was out saving the day without her superwoman costume.

My first question would be 'why the hell was Super-Barb sporting napkin holders for a mask?' My second question would be 'is it really my fault that your sister does goofy things that are blogworthy?' To answer myself in reverse order - Yes.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: Looking for eggs from the Easter bunny.
David: When we eat the candy and the Easter egg that was yum-yum-yum.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I bonked my funny bone and it was not so funny and you laugh.
David: I have not a worst part 'cause I cry not and I not bonk myself on the silly bone like Peter.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want to play something alone.
David: Play with Mama belly-bumper.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dude, where's my phone?

In case the name of the blog and the cartoon still leave you wondering, you're a moron. Luckily, I'm used to dealing with your kind, so I will try and explain using simple words.

Angie lost her cell phone. Again. She then used our home phone in an attempt to find it. This by itself was a rather intelligent approach to finding one's phone. Not so smart was running up to me after doing so.

'Steve, you're so hot. Have you seen my cell phone? I can hear it ringing but...'

Butt was right; I spinned valley girl around and fished out her missing phone from her back pocket. She turned beet red and mumbled something about not blogging something, but I didn't quite hear it over the ringing.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Only PAPA can prevent birthday fires!

I came home from work to find Artin hugging the birthday boy. Peter will be going to 1st grade in the fall and has been absolutely ecstatic because a) Artin will be going with him and b) David won't. They looked genuinely happy, but that has never stopped me before.

'Peter, I need to talk to you. Can you come in the other room, please?'

A very curious Angie followed a very nervous-looking Peter into the bedroom. I closed the door and broke the sad news to Peter.

'At work today, I got a call from the school. Look, I'm really sorry, but they said they're full. They won't be able to take you this year. '

Peter's lip puckered and his eyes started watering. Then Angie's eyes pierced me with the 'you're an asshole' look and I knew that I only had a few more seconds of fun.

'It's okay, Buddy - you can hang out in kindergarten with Davey and maybe next year you'll get to see your friends again.'

At that point, I could physically feel Angie's look, so I gave up.

'April Fool's! Ha-ha!'

Peter smirked. Then he punched me. Then he started laughing like a maniac. Angie pretty much did the same thing, only she didn't smirk, nor did she laugh. Hey, it's not my fault he was born on the 1st of April.

Peter's BIG birthday party is not for another week, but he still got a few presents. LEGO must now be targeting rocket scientists, so I tasked Sami with the whole 'building' part.

Sami was okay with the job until Temper Tom kept bringing his wrecking ball onto the construction site. In Tommy's defense, that's what wrecking balls are supposed to do. In Sami's defense, it was an African Safari hut, not a freakin' demolition zone. Whatever, just calm down and explain to Tom that he shouldn't do that and I am sure he will listen to you.

Okay, just focus on Lauri being cute for Kika; pay no attention to little construction man in the background annoying the shit out of Sami by just doing his job.

Luckily, the birthday boy's hungry belly prevented an ugly scene that would have most likely ended up with a Safari hut wrapped around Tom's neck. Peter, are you sure you're hungry?

Uh, I guess so. When we left the apartment for the restaurant, Peter demanded to take his scooter because 'I no wait you, I go eat'.

The funny thing is, when we left the apartment, I asked David if he wanted to take his bike. 'No!' was the only response from lazy boy. He was probably thinking of more words but just didn't want to waste any energy by actually saying them. Yeah, funny.

Not so hilarious was five minutes later when his lazy ass broke down in a snot-flinging, ground-pounding, freak-a-thon because it finally dawned on him that Peter had his scooter and he didn't. To this, I would normally tell him to pop his snot bubble and keep marching. I like being normal whenever I can, so I told him exactly this. Angie has proven time and time again, though, that she normally is abnormal.

'Ah, Davey - you want your bike, too? That's no problem, sweetie. Stop crying - Papa will go get it for you.'

Since the last sentence accompanied by Angie's 'look' was so obviously a command, I don't really think I need to explain to you what happened next. Let me just say that David can gloat like a mother.

As you know, the Johnson's are always on time for everything we do, so it was killing me that I had to spend five minutes doubling back to get David's bike. Thanks to him, we were an hour late getting to the restaurant. You can do the math, but the logic is where you're gonna lose.

David insisted on sitting between Grams and Opa. It was cute, in a jealous-younger-brother kind of way. Note the open flame on the table. No special reason yet; just notice it.

Prince Peter started demanding his presents and for some strange reason, the common folk indulged him.

Now let's come back to that lit candle. At one point, I decided to capture how cute the boys were in a nice snapshot with Grams. Peter leaned over and hugged Grams. David somehow got confused and tilted his head into the open flame as he posed for what would've been an awesome picture had I not freaked out that DAVID'S HAIR IS ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!

Luckily, I am married to Angie, who tends to accidentally burn everything she touches. She's like King Midas, only instead of gold it's smoke and destruction. This might seem like a curse and I probably would not argue with you, but it does at least train your reflexes to react quickly when the flames start spreading. My quick reaction was to start beating David's head with my open hand until his head smoked.

Once again, David managed to steal Peter's birthday thunder as everyone checked out Davey's new hairdo.

It was amazing - there was an entire clump of burnt hair that had somehow melted together. Not so amazing for the other patrons was the smell that suddenly filled the room. It was at this point that Grams started pounding diet Cokes. Another shot over here, please!

In a futile attempt to calm nerves, I kicked the boys outside. This may have relaxed Grams, but 'outside' was actually a busy bus stop, with really BIG buses pulling in and out that apparently did not scare Tommy in the slightest.

I was a little bit more than slightly worried, though. I mean, come on - Tom does not need to witness David re-enacting a Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial, only to run outside seconds later, giggling like a school girl; David does not need to giggle like a school girl when Tommy decides to play chicken with a Greyhound and Peter does not need to cry like a school girl when I tell him that I accidentally ate his dessert. April fools!
Ladder Talk:
[David was picked up after dinner for an over-nighter with Grams & Opa]
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I played with my friends on my birthday.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I couldn't build something anymore.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Get me the mother from baby Draggy.