Friday, September 28, 2012

Caption Contest: Good for your brains

I was going to work on some text for this comic, but then I realized that, actually, this represents a whole lot of different interactions in our household. Sometimes my schemes don't go over that well, even when exploiting a cute little person for my cause. What about you? If you were to put some captions or dialogue to this comic, what would your characters say?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The first time I saw my alien-head daughter

Exactly three years ago, give or take a few hours, I sat down and wrote a reaction to seeing Addison for the first time. The day before, Lindsay and I had gone to the hospital and seen her amphibian features in Addison's first scheduled ultrasound.

I'm gonna re-post an excerpt from it here, to honor the anniversary of writing something publicly about our baby girl for the very first time.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Heath Ledger, eat your heart out. Also, RIP.

It's 2:30 in the afternoon and I'm at my computer. Addison has been doing "quiet time" for about 15 minutes in her bed while drinking a sippy cup of milk and scolding her bunny for not dancing upon command. And then I hear a thump as my three-foot-tall creature hits the floor.

"Read your books, Addison," I call. There's no answer. She might be reading books. It's possible. Even though the last time I didn't hear anything from her it was because she had scaled a bookshelf and was trying to pull it down on top of herself so that she'd be smashed like a pancake and then I'd be sorry for making her do quiet time. I'm pretty sure that was her thought process.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The bottom of the trough, but staying above water

Today I'm at the bottom of the trough. I'd intended to go to the gym with Addison, followed by the playground and park, followed by the pet store, and then maybe a brief stop at the lab to cure cancer. Also, we were going to work on letters and numbers somewhere in there.

But we both woke up a little late after a middle-of-the-night contest of wills about whether I was going to get Addison a drink of milk or water in her sippy cup. I lost. I tried to explain to her that if she drinks milk at night her teeth will rot out of her head and nobody will ever want to go on a date with her, but she didn't seem to care.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On (mostly) ignoring kids with a smile

Lindsay and I went to see The Avengers at the dollar theater yesterday, courtesy of Lindsay's mom who is awesome and took off work to do some babysitting for us. It was a fun flick.

Once the movie started, though, I discovered I had a kicker sitting in the seat behind me. When my seat first started vibrating, I glanced behind me just to make sure the kicker was less than four feet tall. Satisfied, I turned back around, and enjoyed the rest of the movie. The reverberations against the back of my seat really enhanced the action scenes. They made it like a full-on sensory experience, you know?

I thought about it afterwards, and found myself actually a little surprised that I didn't mind the kicking that much. I mean, we were on a date. A cheap one, but it was a DATE, and we'd gone out of our way to get our little hanger-on off our hands.

But the kicking wasn't that hard, although pretty constant. And the kid wasn't making any noise or whining or anything. He might have been a little young to be watching the film, but frankly I felt a little nostalgic for my daughter as I sat there jiggling to the beat of this six-year-old's rhythm. You know, like the way your toddler will kick her leg while sitting in your lap while you watch The Backyardigans.

The mom told her kid several times to stop what he was doing, but aside from that early check-in, I didn't tun around again. Don't worry, mom who I don't know. I'm a parent, too. Being able to watch a movie with just a little rhythmic back massage is better than I usually get, so don't sweat it. Kids are gonna be kids. I can deal with that. I'd much rather have a kid who's mostly well-behaved than some adult who won't get off their phone. And though we're not supposed to ignore our own kids, I didn't feel bad at all mostly ignoring yours. With a slight smile on my face.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Read all the comics!

In April, when I first started blogging and drawing comics, I showed the first couple to my father-in-law to see how he would react. This is what he looked like:

Friday, September 14, 2012

On burning babies

Addison has been pleading to go to the playground all week long. I finally caved today, and took her after my workout. I hadn't checked the forecast when we left this morning, so I could only make some assumptions about the temperature based on what we experienced. I knew it would be hot, because this is California, and it's almost always way too hot here, no matter what those tricksters say about the temperature in California being so nice. When I put Addison in her carseat after the gym, she said:
"Hot! Burning me! Too hot!"
And I said to her:
"You better get used to this, kid, because we live here now, and we're going to be here for a long, long time."
And then I laughed maniacally. But she said she still wanted to go to the playground, despite me promising her some soy milk if we just went straight home and skipped the outside stuff. I told her:
"If we go to the playground, the sun will burn us. We might catch on fire. We might be consumed in a brief burst of pain and glory, and travel in black clouds of ash up to meet our maker. Is that what you want?"
And she said:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My top 3 favorite videos of my toddler dancing

I like this one for the hand jive she performs, which appears to be some combination of patty cake and the Macarena. Also, Addison came up with the lyrics to her song and dance herself: "Addison potty, Addison potty . . . "

In this second video, you may be able to tell through the heavy filtering that Addison is in her birthday suit, and that she's covered in arcane marks and symbols. This is her primitive battle paint. Just prior to singing the happy birthday song, she killed a rooster and drank its blood. And then she did a weird martial arts dance around the room and collapsed in the corner muttering, "the horror . . . "

But this last video is probably my favorite. First, because that alphabet song is seriously catchy. Second, because she's really working those shoulders. It's possible that she's a little confused and she thinks one of her parents keeps trying to grab her by the shoulder, and she can't stop trying to shrug us off. "I just want to finish my song first," she snaps at those invisible hindering parental units. You may recall her trademark stand-offish-ness.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Taking a day off from parenting

Well, not a whole day off. And I'm still parenting. A little bit. I'm working myself up to taking her to the park for a few hours. But until we leave around 10:30 or so, I'm not gonna be winning any daddy awards.

At 2:00 a.m. I asked her why she was awake, and she said, "I dunno." I pressed her, and she offered, "One cow coming in? Take my play house away?" It's the only reason she ever gives now for waking up suddenly. Damn scapegoat cows.

How many times of being woken up in the night does it take for you to give up on the next day? How many hours of lost sleep does it take before you lose your will to "make today the first day of the rest of your life!" I like to think I'm a pretty good dad . . . but sleep-deprived parenting does not put me at my best.

Also, I'm kind of a wuss, because my sicky wife is sleep deprived almost every single day of her life. She's a hero, I tell you. A real American hero.

Friday, September 7, 2012

On the predator instinct

Addison and I went out hunting produce today. We were looking for something to do, and I almost brought her to the mall and pet store like I do most other days. But then I remembered Lindsay bringing home a rather runty, totally unripe avocado from one of her walks around the neighborhood. And my vision went red, and I could almost taste its slightly nutty flesh crushed between my "'cary, 'cary teef," as Addison would say (no, I don't have messed-up teeth, they're just a lot bigger than Addison's).

I'm her dad, right? I'm not just a tickle-monster or a brings-sippy cup-when-demanded-machine. I figure it's my responsibility to help bring her natural hunter/gatherer instincts to fruition. Literally. Because we're after fruit. And you can't rely on the schools to teach your kids these kinds of life skills. If the zombie apocalypse occurs and we can't make it to the supermarket because there are too many bodies in the streets, she needs to know which neighbors to steal from.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Everyone wants me for a husband

My wife gave me a hug the other day and my two-year old put her hands in the air and said,
"Stop! No Hugging!"
And my wife said,
"I can hug him, he's my husband."
And my daughter said,
"No, my husband!"

Monday, September 3, 2012

My daughter and the Mars Rover

So I've already established that my daughter likes dirt. A lot. She incorporates it into her digestive system at every opportunity. And she does so with fervor. I can only compare that soulful, rapturous, reverent look she gets on her face with a moment that people usually describe in religious settings. When Addison crunches a surreptitious bit of grit between her teeth, she stares off into the distance, communing with the land, contemplating a sacrament.

So what does this have to do with the Mars Rover? I've been following Curiosity's journey pretty closely, and I spend long moments ogling shots like the one pictured above (I grabbed it from, where you can get an interactive 360 degree visual). There's so much detail in the pictures the Rover is sending back, and they're so tantalizingly familiar for such a distant, foreign place. These NASA photos mesmerize me.

Addison walked in while I was looking at this photo and she stopped, as though in awe, and said,
"That a yot of dirt!"
Yes, yes it is. If my daughter makes it onto the first manned mission to Mars, we'll know that she was after a taste of the exotic delicacies paving a planet from horizon to horizon.