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I’m ALIVE!…I think

August 15, 2011 26 comments

How long has it been since I’ve logged into my blog? It took me several concentrated minutes to remember my login and password. So if you’re still following this here blog, I’ve missed interacting with you and I hope to catch up with my favorite bloggers here shortly.

So where have I been? Well, for the past 3 months, my wife and I were preparing to take our family on a month-long missions trip to Chiang Rai, Thailand. Between this and the stresses of trying to sell a home, not to mention the stress joy that comes with raising a toddler and infant, I had zero creative thoughts to share with you on this blog. Anywho, our church has been sending teams to the same ministry since 2004 and my wife and I led 2 teams (’06 and ’07) prior to having kids. In 2009, we took D1 on a 1-week trip to visit our friends in Thailand prior to spending 3 weeks in South Korea. This year, we lead a team of 6 and it was incredible!

By God’s grace, my wife and I somehow managed to survive a total of 40 hours of travel with 2 kids. But between jet lag and D1, D2 and myself catching pretty nasty colds toward the end of the trip, the last week has been torture interesting.

So I’m back and I hope to share some awesome stories and pictures of our summer abroad.

How was your summer?

Things I Learned This Past Week

February 16, 2011 34 comments

Between Disney Princesses on Ice, D1’s 3rd birthday and Singlehood Awareness Day Valentine’s Day, this past week was filled with activity, and I managed to learn a few things along the way.

  1. 9/11 was really good for stadium vendors – Not to make light of the tragic events of that day, but stadium vendors have to be grateful b/c 1) every bag is searched in the name of security and 2) dangerous items that can be used to commit acts of terror like bottles of water and snacks for your kids are forcibly removed. So they end up with a stadium full of parents with hungry, thirsty and whiny kids and they’re able to charge $4 for a bottle of water, $10 for a bucket of peanuts or popcorn and $12 for cotton candy. Sunummabish!
  2. There Needs to Be A Daddy/Mommy Flask – the only thing they allow you to bring into the stadium/arena, is formula or breastmilk, which makes me think – why hasn’t some entrepreneur capitalized on a potentially lucrative market by selling what looks like bottles of formula filled with liquor? Think of it as the Daddy/Mommy flask. Seriously. What parent wouldn’t take a swig or two (or ten) of the bottle during Disney on Ice? And I’d gladly suckle on a bottle for that goodness – just make sure the nipple isn’t slow flow.
  3. Walt Disney Presents The Racketeer – Imagine several hundred little girls, all dressed in officially licensed Disney Princess dresses, clamoring for their dad to buy them crappy pieces of plastic that light up for $12 and plastic tiaras for $6. Now imagine the dads looking over at their daughter and smiling, then glancing at the vendor with a look that says, “How do you sleep at night?”, then a glance at their daughter, then back to the vendor as they fork over wads of cash.
  4. Disney Songs Are Awesome – I don’t care how many man points I lose for admitting this nor am I ashamed to admit that I was tapping my feet during Under the Sea. If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, you can’t tell me these lyrics don’t evoke fond memories/won’t get stuck in your head: “Don’t you dare close your eyes. A hundred thousand things to see
    Hold your breath it gets better” “Try the grey stuff it’s delicious. Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes” “Strollin’ along down the…what’s that word again? Street. Up where they walk, up where they run, up where they stay all day in the sun”
  5. Party Blowers Always Seem Like A Good Idea – until you hear that high-pitched BRRRRRRRRR BRRRRRRRR BRRRRRRRRRRRR on endless repeat for half an hour and then you go to snap the blower in half only to realize it’s made out of paper and is unbreakable, BRRRRRRRRRRR BRRRRRRRRRRRRR BRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
  6. Don’t Tell Your Kid You’re Having Cake – they won’t eat anything else.
  7. Balloons Are A PAIN to Take Home – my brother-in-law bought balloons for D1’s birthday, which she absolutely loved. Driving home with said balloons sucked. Also, seeing a giant Dora in your rear-view mirror late at night can be startling.
  8. You Can Call Me Marty Freakin’ Stewart – for Valentine’s Day, I had the day off so I made my wife’s favorite Trader Joe’s 17 bean soup, made some ice cream using the Cusinart Ice Cream Maker my sister got me for my birthday, and brown velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (red velvet minus the food coloring).
  9. There’s A Reason They Call It Red Velvet – sure, the cupcakes tasted good, but only if your eyes were closed.
  10. There’s Such A Thing As Too Much of A Good Thing – I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE cream cheese frosting. I used to state boldly, “I’d happily eat a whole bowl.” Well, Valentine’s Day was my opportunity. I made WAY too much frosting and had a significant amount leftover. It played out like this scene from Ace Ventura:

    First spoon: YUM! Second Spoon: heart starts to slow a bit, starting to feel a little numb. Third Spoon: Three spoons is too much.

What about you? What did you learn this past week? Could you eat more than three spoonfuls of cream cheese frosting?

The Silver Lining Post

December 1, 2010 17 comments

I feel like a swimming pool in the winter: drained. Lately, many questions have been floating around in my head, but few answers…so very few. Stress has been building up like my daughter builds up her Lego’s: tall and ready to fall over in an instant. And yet, there’s good in my life…so much good. Every cloud has a silver lining, and every issue in my life right now has a positive side.

The Cloud: Homeschooling – as you know, my wife and I have been contemplating homeschooling our children. There’s so much research to do and still tons of worry associated with which method we will choose.
The Silver Lining:
we live in a country where the compulsory education system is good and citizens are afforded various degrees of freedom on choosing how and where they want their children to be educated.

The Cloud: Church move – Our church is moving from the location we’ve been in for nearly 15 years and moving to a temporary location at a local elementary school. As a deacon and leader of the praise team, there’s been a lot on mind to ensure the transition is smooth.
The Silver Lining:
We’ve got a new place to worship. Although we’ve been an independent congregation for nearly 3 years, we’re finally moving out on our own and it’s exciting to think about how God will lead us.

The Cloud: Selling our home – There are numerous foreclosures and short sales in our neighborhood, so we’ll either have to take a hit on our home price or wait it out and hope a buyer is out there who doesn’t want to deal with distressed properties.
The Silver Lining: We absolutely love our current home. In the midst of searching for a new house, I was reminded of how we fell in love with our current home and how excited I was that morning in December of 2005, when my real estate agent called me and informed me that the seller accepted our proposal. It was a gift then; it’s a gift now. Though we’ll need more space (we’re planning on having 4 kids still), until our home sells at the price we’d like it to, we’ll enjoy the gift.

The Cloud: Getting fat – Here’s the vicious cycle I’ve been caught in as of late. When I’m stressed, I eat a lot. When I eat a lot, I get fat. When I’m fat, I get tired. When I’m tired, I get stressed. I haven’t been to the gym since October and it shows.
The Silver Lining: I’m now ready for hibernation and all this extra fat will serve as insulation for the winter.

The Cloud: D2 is teething – Fact: D2 goes through more bibs in a day than she does diapers. Her teething has thrown off her sleep schedule and she’s pretty cranky.
The Silver Lining: That little chomper, that’s now peeking out of her gums, is awfully cute.

The Cloud: Life – It’s no secret that life can be tough.
The Silver Lining: But I’ve got family and friends that put up with me love me. Clouds come and go but the love of people in my life shines like the mid-day sun.

What about you? How’s life been? What helps you see the silver lining in a situation?

Kids Just Don’t Understand

October 13, 2010 43 comments

If D1 were Twitter, she’d report me for spam, which isn’t so bad because I’m sure as she gets older, she’ll become like gmail and everything I say will automatically end up in her spam folder.  But lately, I’ve come to realize I’m part of the problem. She’s only 2.5 and she already doesn’t understand the things I say, mostly because I mumble and ramble of my propensity to use clichés and figures of speech.

Rhetorical Questions

A few Sundays ago I had a moment of immense anger with D1. We just returned from a retreat with other couples from our church. My wife came down with mastitis so she stayed home with D2 while I took D1 to church. I was quite proud of myself. I got D1 changed, brought some bottles of water and other things my wife would need and put them on her nightstand within reach, packed snacks for D1, packed the diaper bag, and was ready to head out the door. Just then, D1 asked for some milk, so I obliged. She took one sip and put the cup down on the floor. Then things seemed to move in slow motion.

She saw something interesting in the living room and as she got up to go look at it, she knocked over the cup of milk. Remember, she only took a sip so milk was everywhere. Under the baseboards, onto some shoes, under the trash can, etc…I was so infuriated. I absolutely lost it. Wasn’t I incredibly proud of myself just a minute ago? I began to yell at D1 – I haven’t yelled at her that badly since shortly after D2 was born.

At one point, I shouted in Korean, “WHAT IS THIS?!?!?!” D1 tearfully cried back, “It’s milk, daddy!” I had to bite my lip in order to keep from laughing.

Euphemisms

I try really hard not to curse, but life, and especially life as a parent, requires interjections. So I usually use euphemisms like poop, dang it, curses, etc…I also like to say, “Oh my goodness” a la Shanaynay from Martin

So D1 is thisclose to being potty trained. The only times we put a diaper on her are for naps and when we go to a public place where a (usable) restroom may not be readily available. Lately, D1’s been in the habit of taking off her poopy diaper, leaving it in place, and heading to the toilet to wipe her butt. Hey Pampers – get on that idea DC Urban Dad sent you a while back!

Last week, I put D1 down for a nap. Later, I hear her get up and go to the bathroom. I head upstairs and find her putting the Baby Bjorn toilet trainer on the toilet seat and moving the step stool over to get up there. She says, “Appa! I’m going pee pee!” to which I reply, “I’m so proud of you.” 30 seconds pass and I don’t hear any pee. My wife calls me over so I tell D1 that I’ll be back. I come back to the bathroom in less than a minute and D1 is now off the potty but there is a little turd on the toilet trainer. “Oh wow,” I exclaimed, “D1 you went poo poo?!” So I pick her up to wipe her butt and then HORROR.

It looked like there was a poop explosion on her butt. I frantically look in the toilet. NO POOP! No poop in the toilet, an explosion on her butt, and a turd on the seat. At this point I’m confused as to what happened. “Honey, can you go get me some wipes from D1’s room,” I shout. She heads over and exclaims, “Oh my God. That’s all you!” I’m pretty sure she tagged me like a tag-team partner does in wrestling as she passed me. I go in and there’s D1’s old diaper, filled with a nasty turd, and poop all over her blanket and pillows.

“OH LORD! D1!!! OH LORD! OH MY GOD! D1!!! OH LORD!!!” I exclaim over and over. And without missing a beat, D1 shouts, “PRAISE THE LORD, APPA!” She laughs and keeps on saying it, “PRAISE THE LORD! PRAISE THE LORD!” Once again, I had to bite my lip in order to keep from laughing.

At the End of the Day

That seems to be a popular cliché, along with “the bottom line is…” It’s one that I like to use also. I once used it on D1. “At the end of the day, D1, blah blah blah [something philosophical that a 2.5yo could definitely use].”

Fast forward to bedtime. We’re laying in bed, talking about her day and she goes, “Appa. It’s the end of the day, [repeats back something philosophical].”

It Doesn’t Get Any Better

I’d like to think that I’ll be able to communicate better with my kids as they get older but an incident that happened with my wife and some of her students reminds me that there are some things that kids just don’t understand – or don’t want to understand.

My wife is in the habit of putting motivational posters and quotes throughout her classroom. One that she put up recently is a Chinese proverb:

Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.

From a distance, my wife noticed some kids gathered around the new posting and were shaking their heads as if a light bulb was going off. In that moment, my wife was one proud teacher and she began to approach them to talk about it.

Then one kid turns to another and says, “I want to understand your mom.”

It’s nice to know that after all these years, your mom is still popular with high school boys. BOOM!

What are some other things adults use in everyday life that kids just don’t understand?

Update:

So I grossed the Organic Enchilada out with my Martin video above, so I thought I’d redeem myself with this classic moment from that show. I love me some Tracy Morgan.

My Childhood Could Beat Up Your Childhood (Pt. 3)

October 7, 2010 45 comments

This has been a pretty fun series that brought back a ton of memories. Alas, like Boys II Men sang, it looks like we’ve come to the end of the road – mostly because everything else from my childhood wasn’t so awesome. So if you missed part 1 or part 2, go check ’em out. Go on. I can wait.

So here are the last few things that I miss from my childhood that are also why I’ll always tell my daughters that my childhood can beat up your childhood.

Airport Security (or lack thereof)

One day, I’m going to tell my daughters that 1) even if you didn’t have a ticket, you could escort your friend all the way to their gate and wait until their plane took off, 2) you didn’t need to take off your shoes to get through security, and 3) Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, and Green were colors of the rainbow; not terror alert levels, and they will put me in a home because they will think I’m nuts. Thankfully, I still have a picture of me before I headed out to missions in 2000 with 20 people from my church with the gate and plane visible in the background as proof that I’m not crazy.

Today? You get dropped off by a friend or loved one hours before your flight. You say your goodbyes and can’t take pictures together anywhere near anything that would indicate you are at the airport. You have to wait by the gate all alone for an hour. And then you hope and pray that you make it to your destination. These were all things that never crossed my mind when I was a kid. Now people quote statistics, such as: you’re more likely to die using an escalator than riding an airplane, to reassure that air travel is safe.

Oh and baggage fees? Those also didn’t exist.

Scrapbooks

I was a dude…well, I am still a dude…so I never made a scrapbook because that’s not very dude-like. That being said, I always wished and hoped I’d go over to a girl’s home and see myself in their scrapbook – hopefully not with the letters D, I, and E cut out from magazines and my name written in blood.

My wife is a sentimental being. For example, just before she got married, we cleaned out her room and began moving things over to our new house. That mug still had journals, diaries, scrapbooks, and teen heartthrob posters. Show of hands: how many of you ladies had NKOTB, Devin Sawa, Jonathan Brandis, and JTT posters? So for an anniversary gift, I made her a scrapbook of our first year of marriage.

I wish I could say that it was an awesome experience, but it wasn’t. It sucked. I’m anything but meticulous and I got tired and finished half-way through and put a note in there about how the rest of the pages are blank to symbolize all the adventures we’re going to have together. That’s right – call me Ellie, Mr. Fredricksen.

But my wife still loved it. There’s something special about a scrapbook that you simply cannot capture with a MyPublisher, SnapFish or Shutterfly photobook.

Physical fitness

Ok, so this may be a sensitive subject but I’ll go ahead with it anyway. Did you know that in every class of my elementary school years we had a stinky kid and a fat kid? I wasn’t spring fresh nor was I the epitome of fitness, but I wasn’t the stinkiest nor the fattest.

Today, however, if you visit an elementary school, you’d probably find that the fat kids have in fact become the majority and have eaten all the skinny kids. You’ll also likely be considered a pedophile if you visit an elementary school, but that’s a different story.

Printed Photos

I take a lot of photos of my kids but I have very few of them printed up. There was something special about dropping off a roll of film and eagerly anticipating how the photos turned out. Nowadays, you know exactly how they should turn out but end up complaining about how crappy the print quality is. Before, since you only put the good photos in your albums, showing off your photos to friends was always fun. Now, you flip through photos on your computer but since you took 8 shots of the same thing at different angles, the slideshow gets old REAL quick.

Safety (or lack thereof)

I rode my bike without a helmet and rode in my parents’ car without a seat belt, let alone a car seat, and I’ve made it this far. Did I suffer permanent brain damage? That’s debatable. Today, kids look like they’re trying out for a football team just to ride their bikes in front of their house.

Back in the day, we used to have people called Safety Patrols (sadly, a Google image search didn’t yield the iconic, neon orange belt) but they did nothing but get people they didn’t like in trouble. Today?! Everyone is a freaking safety patrol. Like fat kids, narks were in the minority in my childhood.

Thumbs Up, Seven Up

They may still play this today, but on rainy days in my childhood, we always played this game during recess. And if a girl you thought was cute was up there, you hoped that she would pick you (she never did 😦 but I figured she was just playing hard to get). And you also knew who the kids were who cheated and you never picked them.

Play dates (or lack thereof)

Growing up, we didn’t have play dates; we just played with friends. Today, you have to schedule play dates far in advance. The scheduling is so hectic and finding the right fit for a play date is so difficult that I’m wondering if I should start-up a play dating service, e.g., KHarmony, KidMatch, or It’s Just Snack Time, to help parents find the right play date partner for their kids.

Trust

Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a lot of distrust in America today. We don’t know if we can trust food companies (expansive food recalls, HFCS), corporations (greed, corruption, product recalls) the government (wars, national debt), public toilets, and even our own neighbors. And I’m guilty of it too. (yeah, that’s right. I hover if there isn’t a Rest ASSured in the bathroom – I don’t know whose butt has been on that seat and where there butt has been).

Whether I verbalize distrust or not, my actions clearly communicate that I am prone to question people and their intentions, and I fear that will be transferred to my kids. And that is a crappy outlook on life and people. Things were simpler when I was a kid. If my mom had to run out, she left me with my neighbor, and that was without Googling their names and finding out their backgrounds. I want my kids to be safe but I also don’t want them to be paranoid about every little thing and person they encounter.

The Concept of Us

Growing up, we were taught how powerful a group could be, you know, only being as strong as your weakest link and all that. So it’s ironic in an age of unprecedented tolerance that the individual is stressed more than the collective.

Think about all the things we consume today – it’s all about what we want, when we want it, where we want it, how we want it. Somehow forgot to clear your calendar for Mad Men? First of all, how dare you?! But no worries – you have DVR and can watch it when you want. Don’t like onions on your burger? Have it your way! The Web is all about an experience that is tailored to what the individual likes. So many things are on demand. Heck, in my childhood, I didn’t even get food on demand – I ate when momma said it was time to eat. And if she didn’t have food when I was hungry? Guess what? I continued to be hungry.

Additionally, I was rarely told I was special growing up. In fact, when someone said you were special, that was a nice way to say you probably rode the short bus. My parents never stressed how gifted I was; they stressed what a gift to my family I was. By these powers combined (I love squeezing in Captain Planet references), I realized that I needed others and that together, we could achieve great things.

I want my daughters to know they are special people, but I also want them to know that they exist in a larger collective and they need to do their best to make that place the best it can be. I want them to know that their value is not in what they can do but in how they can add value to others.

That’s something I learned from my childhood and I hope it’s something I can instill in my kids as they navigate their way through their childhoods.

You know how Uncle Joey was a comedian but he wasn’t actually really funny? This post was supposed to be lighthearted but somehow wasn’t. Good thing this series is over because I’m getting all crotchety. So as Uncle Joey would say, “Cut. It. Out!”

What about you? What do you miss from your childhood?

My Childhood Could Beat Up Your Childhood (Pt. 2)

September 28, 2010 52 comments

If you missed part 1, click here. I promise it’s a fun read. Here are some more reasons why my childhood could beat up my kids’ childhoods.

Trick-or-Treating

Or as it should be called now: dressing up and going to the mall to get candy, going around the neighborhood to get candy during daylight hours only, or Trick-or-lame. For our first Halloween at our new home 5 years ago, I got tons of candy in preparation because I didn’t want our house to get egged or TPed. I was excited because I got awesome candy bars, and King Size too! None of that Fun Size–which along with Red Delicious are arguably the most misleading names out there–business. Armed with King Size Twix, Kit Kats, and Snickers, I thought ours would be the most popular house on the block. Guess what? I was eating King Sized Twix, Kit Kats, and Snickers for months. I think a grand total of 8 kids came trick-or-treating.

Certain that it was a fluke and wondering if perhaps we accidentally moved into an old people’s active lifestyles community, I called my mom and mother-in-law, both of whom recently moved into new homes, to see how many kids came by and they said the same thing.

Things got worse a few years later. The week of Halloween, we got a flyer from our HOA stating the official neighborhood trick-or-treating hours were from 5-7pm or dusk, whichever comes first. Seriously? Appointed times for trick-or-treating?

Why My Childhood Could Beat Up Your Childhood (WMCCBUYC <–now that’s a ridiculous acronym): Trick-or-treating for me growing up was work. Laborious, yes, but the payout was immense, as there was no way in heck my mother would’ve ever bought me that much candy in an entire year let alone one night. When we were younger, my mom walked around with my sister and I, and we both had the cute little pumpkin pails. I later realized that I could go around my neighborhood several times and most of the neighbors wouldn’t care. So we graduated from the pumpkin pails to a pillow case and later a garbage bag. When we got home, we were a sweaty mess but we gleefully unloaded our loot, picked out the nasty candy (you know, the unlabeled ones that were wrapped in black or orange paper) and went to town until our mom instituted the one candy per day rule. Not only did trick-or-treating teach us the value of hard work, but it taught us to plan ahead. We soon figured out who gave out the best candy and who left out a bowl that said, “Please take one,” and we planned out our route accordingly to maximize our candy collecting.

Bonus WMCCBUYC: Kids today won’t know the joys of saying, “Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat. If you don’t, I don’t care, I’ll pull down your underwear.”

Imagination

I overhear kids moping all the time about being bored. Kid, you have a DVD player in your freakin car – you have no idea what it means to be bored.

WMCCBUYC: Kids today aren’t so much bored as much as they are used to overstimulation and constantly needing something to entertain them. Growing up, all I needed was my imagination. Are those just rocks?! No, they’re spaceships! Is that a stick? No, it’s my ninja sword. Is that the floor of the grocery store? No, it’s lava and the colored tiles are rocks on which I can safely land. I’m pretty sure a kid with an active imagination these days would be sent in for psychiatric help.

And we didn’t need much either. My parents weren’t rich so I had one ninja turtle, 2 GI Joes, and 2 Dick Tracy action figures because they were on clearance. I made an entire series out of those 5 toys that lasted the better part of a year. Today, kids have PS3, Wii, and a channel guide, and yet complain about having nothing to do.

Cereal

I’m all for eating healthy and all about recycling but I don’t think Kashi should be allowed to recycle cardboard boxes, cut them into various shapes, and call it cereal. Growing up, I didn’t eat any cereal that didn’t have the word frosted in its name or frosting wasn’t clearly visible on the cereal. Frosted Flakes, Frosted Lucky Charms, Honey Smacks, etc…the chocolate cereals were my favorite because they not only allowed me to eat chocolate for breakfast, but all the chocolate frosting would turn the white milk into chocolate milk.

WMCCBUYC: Kids today eat Cheerios and other healthy cereals but somehow are still obese. The fat, jiggly butts of my kid’s childhood combined with the sugar highs I’d have after breakfast would allow my childhood to run circles around theirs.

Water Fountains

Like pay phones, water fountains are a dying breed. I flipped off bottled water companies last month because of the insane amounts of waste created.

WMCCBUYC: For one, I never needed to carry bottled water around. If I needed water, a fountain was always nearby or at the very least, a garden hose. But additionally, kids today don’t learn water fountain etiquette: if there’s a line, you’re not allowed to take more than 5 Mississippi’s. Also, kids today probably couldn’t spell Mississippi without a spell check.

Jingles & Theme Songs

Double, double your refreshment…

Whatever it is I think I see, becomes a…

I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a…

Whatever happened to predictability…

When books are what you’re there about and looks are what you care about
the time is right…

Show me that smile again…

Makin’ your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got…

Life is like a hurricane…

Dashing and daring, courageous and caring…

I guarantee most readers of this blog can finish the rest of these jingles and theme songs.

WMCCBUYC: The 80s ended 20 years ago (did I just make you feel old?) and yet I still vividly remember the songs, the visuals, everything. Today, there aren’t very memorable theme songs or jingles – the only recent ones I know are 800-588-2300 Empire! Today! At Eastern Motors, your job’s your credit! and 1800-222-1222 and most TV “themes” are a random song in the background and the title flashes for a few seconds. With Google and Wikipedia, kids today don’t need to memorize stuff. Technology is great and all, but it’s making me dumber. Along with my imagination and memory, I wasn’t anywhere near as reliant on technology as kids are today.

What about you? What do you wish they’d bring back from your childhood? Would your childhood beat up my childhood?

I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

September 22, 2010 45 comments

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I love The Princess Bride and you know that one of my favorite lines is, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” In yesterday’s post, I talked about things in my childhood that I wish they’d bring back and how I wish my daughters could enjoy some of the things I loved in my childhood, but I know that being a kid today is very different from when I was a kid. I’m also reluctantly coming to terms with the fact that every day, my coolness decreases exponentially, which is especially troubling since I had very little cool to begin with. How do I know? I used to know and use most words found on Urban Dictionary, but now, I not only don’t know most of the words and terms, I find myself saying, “Really?! Kids say that nowadays?” Seriously, what the heck is a Dougie and why do so many people want to teach it to me?

In short, I’m fastly becoming out of touch and pre-school/kindergarten is fastly approaching, and there may be words/terms/concepts from my childhood that don’t mean what I think they mean today. Here are some examples.

Show and tell

I used to love show and tell! Well, sort of. I loved it when I brought in the coolest toy. Back then, show and tell meant you bring something in and tell your classmates about it to practice being a show off public speaking. Today, show and tell can be sexting. This is a very serious subject, and something I am absolutely horrified about, so I’ll just say it’s something I’m educating myself on.

To combat potential sexting from my daughters, I’ll forgo giving them a phone and teaching them how to use smoke signals. That way, they can reach me when I’m needed and there’s no possibility of sexting. I mean how salacious can smoke signals be?

Milk and cookies

I loved snack and nap times in kindergarten. In fact, I think all employers should make them mandatory. My favorite snack was milk and cookies, which the teacher provided and all the kids enjoyed. And if you didn’t like the snack? Well, that never happened; we just ate what we were given.

Today? Kids have to bring their own snacks and they’re food snobs at such a young age. Note: For the soon-to-be or newb parents out there, not only will you feel like a beast of burden carrying around all those bags, you’ll also feel like a freakin grocery store carrying around all those snacks and drinks. Heck, you’d think you were preparing for a zombie apocalypse when in fact, you are just running an errand. A weekend getaway? You’ll feel like a Costco. When I was a kid (I just lost 5 coolness points for saying that and gained +2 Crotchety), we ate anything so long as it was edible, and even that wasn’t a requirement.

Not only that, but with all the food allergies, you have to be careful what snacks you provide for kids. Again, I know this is a serious topic for many parents but would you excuse me while I rant a bit? If your child is allergic to things and you’re worried what other parents are going to feed them, send them out with their own snacks, otherwise, don’t be upset when your kid comes home hungry because I didn’t have gluten-free treats. I didn’t even know what gluten was until a few years back.

Pop Fact: I first encountered the word gluten about 4 years ago. I was looking up the menu for a steakhouse and saw “Gluten-Free” next to some of the items. I seriously thought they misspelled glutton and thought, “Now who the heck goes to a steakhouse NOT to be a glutton?”

Go play some games with your friends

I now know that what my mom meant when she said this was, “You are annoying. Go bother another mother and give me some peace for an hour or two.” Growing up in the era of the Nintendo Entertainment System, playing some games with friends meant that we could play outdoor games or video games. And back then, we didn’t need no stinkin’ memory cards. We either had to sit our butts down for 3 straight hours to beat a game or write down passcodes on sheets of paper.

Today, kids don’t even have to go outside to play games with their friends. I’m not just talking about playing outdoor/physical games, but they don’t even need to go outside at all – they just have to log-on.

Go play outside

When my mom said to go play outside, there were tons of kids to play with and we’d all run around the neighborhood just being kids. Not so these days.

There are lots of kids in my neighborhood–as evidenced by the 5 minute wait when I get stuck behind a school bus when it stops to drop kids off–but I almost never see any of them playing around the neighborhood and certainly not unsupervised. In fact, when I see a group of kids walking around the neighborhood not doing anything in particular, I wonder what those hoodlums are up to (Crap! Just lost 5 more cool points and gained more Crotchety). Now playing outside often means you gotta load up the minivan, pickup the other kids, and take them to practice/games/some other organized activity. And don’t forget to pack lots of snacks and water.

So help me out parents: what words/terms/concepts no longer mean what I think they mean?