Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day/Anniversary Weekend






We had cleaned the house the day before as well as packed our bags.  The car was ready.  Plans made.  Diapers changed.  Yes everything was in order.  Everything except one piece of clothing was still drying in the dryer which we needed to toss in the suitcase before leaving.  Not a big deal really, but while waiting for what seemed like an eternity, the children were starting to get out their toys, toss pillows on the ground, race around the house farting and giggling all over the place and generally making the house look like a homeless shelter.  You see this weekend has been a beacon of light on our calendar for about a month and a half.  For our anniversary, a night in a fancy hotel without the children, who are also excited to spend the night with their grandparents, and then dinner at a highly touted burger joint with the in-laws and the kids on Fathers Day to put a bow on the whole weekend.  DING DING.  Dryer was finished.  We quickly cleaned up the mess and piled in the car.  It's about an hour and a half drive to my parents house.  It goes by pretty quick with all the "are we there yets", missing pacifiers and endless questions about Star Wars from a four year old who has never even seen one Star Wars movie.  We finally arrived with three excited little boys who couldn't wait to play in the creek and go for endless rides on a John Deere Gator.  So just as soon as my mother noticed Henry's dirty diaper we were off "We out Nana, that's your problem!"  I won't bore you with the fun my lovely wife and I had without our crew of little gangsters for twenty four hours.  Long story short we had a nice lunch, hung out in a neighborhood we hope to make our own one day, laid around in a luxury hotel, had a fantastic breakfast and spent the rest of the morning at Ikea browsing and listening to couples argue about what color their duvet covers should be.  Have a meatball and relax you assholes, am I right?  It was AMAZING!  After going back to pick the kids up, they quickly fell asleep in the car which was ideal because after having all that fun they were crabby and looking for someone to pay for it.  We had about an hour drive to the restaurant and they napped the whole way.  They were little angels at the table....for the first five minutes.  Oliver discovered he would rather sit on the floor under the table than in his chair and Henry wouldn't release his mother from his tiny hands.  I managed to get Oliver in my lap but this only caused Henry to want the same spot as Oliver.  So with both of them in my lap my wife moved to take Henry for a little walk while we waited for the food which Oliver also tagged along for.  It was going OK until Oliver tried to climb up in a strangers lap that he thought was mine.  His tears were only matched by his kicking and screaming.  We had to go outside to see the fountain to calm down.  Now this burger joint is incredible, but the neighborhood it's in is not.  Don't get me wrong the neighborhood is on the come up, but is starting its rise from the bottom.   Luckily the fountain kept them out of the street.  We decided I would go eat my burger, it being fathers day, while she watched them and then we would switch.  I didn't want her food to get cold so I really gave that burger hell, just went after it like a wolverine. like a Kobayashi at the Nathan's Coney Island Hot Dog eating contest.  Google it ya fucks.  So I ran out there and switched with my wife who handed me the pacifiers which I gave to the twins.  They were having an awesome time dipping shit in the fountain, splashing, laughing and running around in circles.  Meanwhile a local of the neighborhood brought her dog to have his evening dump in the grass right next to our fountain....and did not pick it up.  Yeah thanks bitch, can't you see the deuces wild playing right next to the steaming pile of dog shit your mongrel just squatted over?  Needless to say we stayed away from that side for the remainder.  By the time everyone was finished, the twins were soaked with chlorine infused water from head to toe and were as crabby as a couple of prisoners on sloppy joe day.  I have to hand it to Jack he really behaved himself like a gentleman but "the brothers" as he calls them had some room for improvement.  Maybe it was our fault for thinking they could handle it after such a busy weekend.  Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there doing your best for your family and Happy Anniversary to my beautiful wife Abby.  Like us on Facebook at BadTwinDad and follow us on Twitter @BadTwinDad

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tips on Raising Twins

From time to time, my wife will be introduced to someone who is expecting twins and will try to give them an idea of the day to day of having twins.  I recently overheard one of these conversations.  My wife was giving the usual when all I could think of to say to the woman on phone would have been "Get ready bitch, twins are like a juggling bear on a unicycle...real cute but once that bear falls off and is hungry and pissed off its all on you to figure out how to get his big ass back up on that silly one wheeled bike!" 

I suppose there are some practical tidbits that are useful to a new parent of twins.  One would be how to handle diapers.  If you're super ambitious I would imagine you could use cotton diapers but in my opinion this would be a mistake.  The amount of laundry twins produce on top of the amount of diapers that you would have to wash every day would mean that your own clothes would go unwashed and you yourself would wind up looking like a hobo with a bindle of shitty diapers that need to be run through the washing machine twice just to make them descent.  It's hard enough getting all the laundry done do yourself a favor and use disposable diapers.  Changing them both at the same time is a good idea because usually they will be wet at the same time.  If you are unsure if one has a dirty diaper don't waste your time taking the clothes and diaper off.  Simply pick up the child in question, put your nose in the small of his back, and take a whiff like Charlie Sheen snorting a line of blow off a stripper's ass and you will know for sure if said child needs a fresh diaper.  I'd go with the cheapest diapers that will do the job because Pampers may be well marketed but diapers from Aldi will perform about the same and cost half as much.  Parents of twins should get their Aldi on as much as possible. 
It's very important to get them to take a nap at the same time.  Not only as a practical matter but you'll find you need some time to clean up and have some general quiet time for yourself.  Do whatever is necessary to make this happen.  Give them there bottles, pacifiers, stuffed animals, anything!  There's nothing worse than opening their door at nap time to wide-eyed twins who haven't slept and the room smells like farts and broken dreams.  Let them cry it out if you must just get those little clowns to sleep. 
It's a good idea to have a vehicle that's big enough that none of your kids can touch each other.  The last thing you need is them stealing each others binky or wiping boogers on each others forehead while you're driving down the freeway.  Have some music they enjoy and toys to keep them busy.
The most important thing to remember is you're going to get frustrated and no matter what don't take it out on your spouse.  I've heard of more than one couple getting divorced after having twins.  Though it may feel good to set your significant other on fire after a day of getting vomited on and straightening up the house seven times, it solves nothing.  They are stressed out too and you need to be a team to keep those lookalikes alive.  Make sure to communicate, laugh together and let the other person cry on your shoulder when they need to.   Like us on Facebook at Badtwindad and on twitter @Badtwindad.



Sunday, January 17, 2016

Grocery Store Kung Fu



A trip to the grocery store is always a stressful experience when you have two or more children in tow and can result in a little sweat on the brow on a good day or a carton of eggs on the floor on the worst of days.  In China, Kung Fu refers to any skill learned through practice and if you've ever pushed a cart through the isles with doppelgangers riding shotgun you know it's not a skill that comes easy.  For starters if the children in question are not well rested and fed, they are going to get irritated after the first 5 minutes and start poking and prodding each other and before you know it you have a battle royal on your hands.  You don't want one punching the others hat off his head before you've even gotten out of the produce section.  Another thing to consider is the cart selection at the store you've chosen.  Do they have enough race car carts?  You don't want some singleton parent putting little Johnny in the only cart capable of holding 2 kids.  If you're reading this and you have one kid who rides said cart, you have some soul searching to do. Two steering wheels is a must or they will be throwing grapes before you know it!  Your list has to be on point.  Sorted in categories for each section of the store in the order.  Speed is key.  This is bigger than you might think but if you can get out of the store 5 minutes faster you might be able to avoid two kids that look the same throwing grocery items that look nothing alike.  Quickness is also a factor when thinking about diaper changes.  You don't want to have to change a crouching tiger shitting dragon at the grocery store.  The other twin might decide to work on his flying knees off the top of the grocery cart.  Another area where your Kung Fu must be strong is when some ass hole comes up to you to let you know how they know about twins from their cousin's former roommate's sister who saw twins at the airport bathroom once getting their diapers changed or some bullshit.  First off, if this is you go fuck yourself.  Simple as.  Second of all, can't you see that one twin has toothpaste all over his face that I haven't paid for yet and the other is trying to pry open a tube of biscuits he's mistaken for tennis balls?  While you're going on about you're experience of seeing twins at a baseball game played by the Minnesota twins, my three year old who doesn't fit in the cart has run off a few isles down has lit up and started smoking.  Get over yourself and realize you're just making things harder for us.  The check out line has it's own dangers to look out for.  All the impulse items become targets for their curious fingers to grab and hurl at the customers behind you who will also be trying to tell you about how they know what you're going through because they saw a shitty movie about having two cats once and it can't be that much different than having twins.  After you've paid just run for your life and get the hell out of there!  Retreat to the safety of the dojo, which means get in your minivan where they will be strapped down and immobile.  Remember to practice your praying mantis style every chance you get!  Like us on facebook at BadTwinDad and follow us on Twitter @BadTwinDad.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Celebrations



Christmas time for me is four weeks of nonstop work from morning until night 6 days a week.  Four weeks of not seeing much of the children, my wife, or the television.  Most of my time during those four weeks is spent delivering large amounts of packages for people to give as gifts for the holidays.  By Christmas morning I'm pretty exhausted, as is my wife from being a single mother for a month, but the show must go on.  Everything started around 6 am with coffee for us and presents for the kids.  Favorite gifts include superman for Jack and shopping carts for Henry and Oliver.  At this point in the day it occurs to the wife and I that it would be fantastic to just sit at home all day, let the kids play with their toys and relax as much as possible.  A fantasy.  Once everyone is dressed, we pile in the car and drive a mere 6 miles to her parents house for another round of wrapping paper mayhem and breakfast.  Again, cruising through the rest of the day at this point, about 8:30, would be nice.  Instead we get back in the car and proceed to drive ONE HUNDRED FORTY MILES!  Now I know family is important and to all of you who we spent Christmas with half way across the state, I love you dearly but Baby Jesus you live far away!  About half way through I thought I'd never regain feeling in my left butt cheek.  At least the twins got a nap in.  We arrived after about two hours and forty five minutes to "Merry Christmas" and "What would you like to drink".  One of everything please.  Now this house that will be in for the next six hours or so is a historic beautiful home full of antiques and very breakable Christmas decorations.  Not exactly two year old twin proof.  I had little doubt a Santa's head would be broken off as well as Rudolf's nose would be removed from his body before we were finished with this day.  Thankfully there were plenty of cousins and aunts and uncles to play with.  Things went pretty well at dinner despite the twins not eating a lot but that also meant not a lot was spilled on there sweaters.  The only problem as far as food went was and easily accessible bowl of M&M's that was hammered all day long by Henry and Oliver.  Not only did this get them all sugared up but the also oozed green and red M&M out of there mouths like some kind of weird Christmas vampire after feeding on its last victim.  So we played games and watched Christmas movies and really had a nice time.  Just when you think your day is going awesome, Christmas kicks you in the dick when you realize you have to drive that hundred forty miles all over again.  Not that we were not invited to stay but trying to get your kids to sleep in a strange place is like trying to drive a car with sugar in the gas tank...that shit don't work!  We got back in the car and all three little boys fell asleep immediately.  Several times someone would wake up and start screaming and crying.  This happened about every half hour.  I guess being overtired with sugar and being in a car makes you want to try to break your parents spirit subconsciously on Christmas night.  We finally pulled in the driveway at 9:15 and were all asleep by 10.  Christmas is hectic time for all of us but with the right attitude and with the right people around us it can be full of joy and lots of laughs and even though we spent a lot of time in the car and never really got to relax, I feel we achieved that.  Merry Christmas!  Like us on facebook at BadTwinDad and on Twitter @BadTwinDad.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thanksgiving



There's a lot to be thankful for running around on two legs in this house.  Despite all of my low brow jokes, and some of my above brow ones,  I really am thankful for these two hellraisers.  It is most certainly a miracle that they are here.  You see they are mono mono twins which means one placenta and one amniotic sack.  Nothing separated them and their umbilical cords for nine months which means the cords were free to be tied in knots that could have easily killed one or both of them.  The cords actually looked like a preschooler's attempt at tying shoes but didn't cause complications until they were ready to come out.  Something to be thankful for.  Another thing to be thankful for is that if the embryo had split even one day later they would be conjoined twins.  Think about how hard they would be to get to sleep then, it boggles the mind!  Being mono mono, they were in danger at all times which means once they were viable at 25 weeks, my wife was admitted to the hospital for a lengthy stay.  You can imagine the size of the wrench that was thrown in the works of our everyday lives once she was confined to a hospital bed.  She had to leave a not even two year old little boy at home and me.  I did my best with Jack at home during the week taking him to daycare twice a week which usually meant both of us were crying by 7:15 in the morning and his grandmother watched him the other 3 days which they usually spent at the hospital with Abby.  I took him to see her every Saturday and Sunday which usually involved wheel chair rides on Abby's lap and horrible cafeteria food that was as bland as a cardboard box.  Jack stayed pretty strong during the more than two months that my better half spent in the hospital.  Our drives home from the hospital usually had me reaching for his little hand in the back seat because I needed his support to keep up my moral.  I'm thankful for Jack and his grandma who took perfect care of him during the whole ordeal.  I'm also thankful for everyone who visited Abby in the hospital during her stay.  There weren't many days that someone didn't drop by to keep her company and tell her the latest gossip from the Mom's Club or bring her some descent food or even stay the night with her.  You all now who you are and we appreciate you!  There are others: the doctors, the nurses, the greeter in the lobby of the hospital.  All made a big difference.  I guess the person I'm most thankful for is my wife Abby.  I tell her all the time and it's true, she's a badass!  Even though she broke down a few times, so did I!, she kept going through all the monitoring sessions, tests, ultrasounds and prodding and poking and she brought into this world two of the cutest, funniest, smartest and no sleepingest twins this world has ever known.  there was no stopping her!  She made a giant calender on the hospital room wall counting down the days.  I could barely find my way through each day and she had her eye on the prize the whole time.  Even when we would get some bad news like "Oh by the way, they could die at any time" or "One could basically eat the other" or "It's shitty hot dog day in the cafeteria" she might cry a little but I could always see the strength inside of her that only really good mom's posses.  I could feel it coming off of her and you could just see in her eyes "Molon labe" which is Greek for "Come and Take them".  Wasn't nobody gettin through this badass bitch to those little boys!  And so she made it, we all did.  And on Thanksgiving our family shared a full spread of turkey and all the fixings in a deserted corner of the hospital just outside the NICU.  It was the best thanksgiving ever and this thanksgiving we will be celebrating Henry and Oliver's 2nd birthday and we are just as thankful as the day they were born.  Like us on facebook at BadTwinDad and on Twitter @BadTwinDad.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Missing








The emotions running through me were many when my wife broke the news to me at about the half way point in the work day.  An old friend had gone missing about an hour before the call.  Last seen in the hands of a three year old was the remote control for the Apple TV.  Fear and panic at first as well as anger.  This had been a problem before and I had sometimes resorted to taping it to the larger Tv remote.  I settled into a state of calmness though when I realized that I would find it.  "Our house is small" I thought to myself, "nothing hides from me in my own house!" 
I arrived home to dinner on the table and planned my attack silently not even tasting the food.  I issued orders that once I found the "bitty mote troll" as Jack calls it, no one under the age of 30 was allowed to touch it.  I started my search in the most obvious place, the living room.  Logically I started with the sofas first hoping in vain that it was hiding in the cushions or underneath.  I found numerous pretzels and crackers and things of that sort that children seem to leave in their wake but no remote.  The toy corner was next but nothing was found there but toys and a few pacifiers.  The book shelves and the TV stand were next.  The only thing out of the ordinary there were a flattened balloon and a couple of drops of sweat that was starting to bead on my forehead.  Dread was the emotion I felt now as I cleared the living room of possibilities.  What was I going to do if I couldn't find it?  After all the kids were asleep, how was I going to watch multiple episodes of horrible TV.  We've gotten rid of cable for the fantastic glory that is Apple TV!  I was going to find that little bitch if it took all night!  Unfortunately it was bath time, which meant I was going to be getting wet and soapy with them as they splished and splashed their way clean.  After I cleaned up afterwards, I got back to my search.  The twins room was first but I had no luck.  Not under their cribs, not under their dresser and not amongst their toys.  Jack's room was my only hope.  I dug through his window seat toy box I built with my own two hands and found only frustration at the bottom of it.  Searched his book shelves and nothing was my reward!  My only chance was under his bed.  The last place to look.  I threw myself on the floor and had a look.  I could see nothing through all the clutter underneath his bed.  As well as clothes that no longer fit him, a good deal of art supplies and projects are stored under there.  I was desperate.  I got on my knees, lifted the entire bed with one hand and sifted threw all the bullshit with the other.  Throwing aside Osh-Kosh overalls this way and Crayola washable markers that way, I found no remote and no satisfaction!  I gave up in despair.  There would be no Ice Road Truckers or Yukon men this night.  The kids were asleep and we settled in on the couches watching PBS or some shit.  I buried my feelings in a package of Pecan Sandies.  I resigned myself to going to Best Buy the next day and buying a new remote.  I woke my wife who had fallen asleep after a hard day with the children and we started off to the bedroom.  My path took me past a book shelf.  There, about six and a half feet in the air on top of the book shelf was my remote control I spent at least an hour total looking for.  I turned around to face my beloved.  "Babe...." I pointed at the remote.  "Oh yeah....".  What was I going to do slap her?  As I said, I lifted a bed with one hand!  My pimp hand is strong and shit!  I simply shook my head and put my arm around her and we went to bed.  I'm no animal, I'm a BadTwinDad.  Follow us on Facebook at BadTwinDad and follow us on Twitter @BadTwinDad.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

BadTwinUncle




A couple of weeks ago, my brother so graciously agreed to watch the children while my wife ran errands and went to a meeting.  I asked if he would write about it and he came through in spades.  Enjoy.

My soul was dying one piece at a time when I got the call.  Could BadTwinUncle ditch cubeland in favor of watching his three nephews on Friday?  You're damn right he could!  I happen to own the most stubborn dog in the world who is now almost 16 and has a ton of issues.  How hard can three little boys be after that?
I arrived five minutes ahead of schedule and the dynamic duo were fast asleep, allegedly for the next few hours. BadTwinMom faded away like one of the baseball players in Field of Dreams and it was on.  Around that time, Jack informed me he had to tell me a secret. I swallowed hard, thinking it involved feces in some way.  He informed me the bat he'd made out of construction paper was named Madeline and I breathed a sigh of relief.
The next hour and fifteen minutes were a blur of building bridges and towers with wooden blocks, playing with Play Doh, and trying to play board games with half the pieces missing.  Things were going so smoothly I just knew we were heading for the "I just shot Marvin in the face" portion of the day.  Sure enough, one of the twins started crying.
After a few minutes, I went inside to quiet down the screamer. Both twins were awake and staring at me, perplexed. Jack handed Henry his pacifier, which had fallen on the floor and triggered the ruckus.  I slowly back out of the room and closed the door. Then both twins started crying.
I texted BadTwinDad. "Both are awake. Please advise."
"Get them out of there!" he responded.
I hoisted the little bruisers out of their cribs.  After checking to see if either of them left me any surprises, I turned them loose. They toddled around, still blessedly half asleep, looking like tiny drunks staggering around.  It was at this point when Jack informed me that he wished to build a rocket.  He intended on using two sheets of paper and a marker for this purpose.
"It needs buttons," he said.
I hastily drew two rows of buttons.
"I can't press those," Jack said.
My brow furrowed.  It was going to be a long afternoon.  I colored in the buttons and Jack was satisified.
"Now it needs a door," he said.
I drew a rectangular door beneath the two rows of buttons, complete with knob.  It wasn't authentic but Jack wasn't going for authenticity.
"It's locked," Jack said
I sighed and drew a key in the lock. Jack set the piece of paper on the floor and proceeded to do several countdowns before shouting blastoff. Then he got up and told me we were playing restaurant. The twins were getting more active, so I kept one eye on them and one on Jack's diner in the corner of the living room, which apparently resembled a pile of toys.
As Jack took my order, Henry and Oliver climbed the piano as if it were Mount Everest. I scooped them up and placed them on the floor, where they began running in big circles through the house. Damn you, open floorplan!
I coralled them under the kitchen table, where they proceeded to play peekaboo with me, their adorableness momentarily distracting me long enough for a plastic whistle to bounce off my forehead.
"That's your Happy Meal toy," Jack said.
I sighed and continued the peekaboo game until Oliver found the whistle. For a few minutes, his routine consisted of tooting on the whistle and giggling like a serial killer. Somewhere around this time, Jack informed me he wanted to watch Youtube videos and needed the bitty remote. I eventually deduced that he needed the remote for the Amazon Fire Stick and found it on top of the bookcase. I handed it to him and returned my gaze to the twins. They seemed fine, each with two pacifiers in his mouth, watching me in amusement.
Henry took out his pacificer and played his favorite game: picking things up and asking "What's this?"
After four or five items, I was growing tired of the game. Henry called me Mommy a couple times and I felt my Spider Sense tingling.
I turned around to see Jack about to buy some Amazon coins or somesuch. I eventually figured out how to work the remote and got Jack settled in with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The three boys were enraptured.  Jack sang the theme song, Henry mumbled the song around his pacifier, and all three of them bobbed around. The identical savages clapped every time the audience clapped. Things were looking good.
"I'm so hot in these pants," Jack said.
"Keep them on," I said.
"No."
"Yes."
"Ok. Can I have some circle crackers?"
"Sure," I said.
I scoured the pantry and, now fluent in Jack-anese, found a box of round crackers. I counted out eight and handed them to him.
"I need some water in a circle cup. With ice."
I handed Jack the cup of ice water and took a look at my nephews.  They were all content suckling at the TV's glorious teat so I had a few precious seconds to myself.  I decided to draw Jack a picture of Batman.  I'd barely finished the basic lines of the face when I heard a clatter and saw ice and ice water all over the floor. Had he even had the cup in his hands for a full minute?
Once I settled Jack down and remedied the ice water catastrophe, Oliver decided to train for his future career as a mountain climber and Henry decided he really wanted to open and close the refridgerator door many times in rapid succession. I found the fridge lock, an ingenious U-shaped piece of metal and grabbed Oliver off the kitchen table.  It was at this point Jack felt the need to reiterate his dislike of pants.
"I hate wearing pants!" he said.
"We all do," I said.
Jack wriggled out of his pants like a snake shedding its skin and I said to hell with it and let him go.
"My tummy is so empty," he said. "I want some lunch."
"It's after 3. You'll get dinner soon."
Jack said "No" and I briefly wondered how much heat I would catch if my brother only had two kids when he returned. Life on the run seemed like a lot of work so I stayed my hand.
"Sit down and watch Muffin McStuffin or whatever that crap is. Your mom will be home soon."
God, I hoped so.  I imagined her drinking martini's with her co-workers. "My brother-in-law is such a sucker. We should have martini Fridays more often."
Other than the nephew in the grips of crabby starvation, things settled down. Oliver sat next to me on the couch and Henry lay on the floor, using Daniel the Tiger for a pillow. My mind drifted until I heard a car door!  Salvation!
Nope!  It was only the mailman.
Fortunately, BadTwinMom pulled into the driveway not long after and received a warm welcome from the boys.  I waited around for BadTwinDad to get home, punched him in the junk, and rode off into the sunset.

You can read his book reviews on Goodreads.  You can see his photos for sale on Society6 and as always like and share us on facebook at BadTwinDad and on Twitter @BadTwinDad.