Just Try It!

The dark haired beauty tells me that she refuses to go to school unless I carry her from her bedroom to the breakfast table. I glare at her and tell her that I am not her servant. She giggles and I walk out the door to visit her brother. I offer three suggestions for breakfast and he nixes all of them.

“I don’t like those choices.” I tell him to get used to not liking things and suggest that if doesn’t want to be hungry he’ll learn how to eat what we have. “Dad, is the reason you give me so few choices because we are poor?’

Lightning shoots from my eyes and flames from my nostrils.  “We are not even close to being poor and if you don’t develop some gratitude I am going to find a way help you”

He nods his head and I ruffle his hair. “My job as your father is to teach you how to be a productive member of society. That means that sometimes I am going to do things that you don’t like.” He looks up at me and says that he is not sure if he likes where this is going.

I laugh and talk to him about gratitude and appreciating what we have. We flip back to food and he tells me that he is a picky eater. I shake my head at him and tell him that I don’t want to hear that. Tell me that you tried it and then if you don’t like it we’ll see if there is another choice. I won’t accept anything less.


It is a quarter to 11 and I just finished doing three sets of curls- but not the 12 ounce kind.  I am hitting the weights….hard. Every day I spend little chunks of time lifting and doing what I can to beat Father Time to a bloody pulp.

Recently I showed my son a few clips from Naked Gun and Airplane and realized that he doesn’t appreciate those movies the way that I do. That is not a bad thing. I wouldn’t expect him to get all of the jokes which is part of why I showed just a couple of selections. But what I did realize was that these movies are dated in ways that I hadn’t thought of.


A few weeks back there was an unofficial reunion of the high school swim team. Every time I look at the pictures I am shocked by the faces that look back at mine.

These aren’t people who look like recent graduates or new members of the workforce. They are grown up faces that belong to people who have some life experience. That is not a bad thing, just something that continues to surprise me. What it really shows me is that my mental image of us is stuck somewhere between 1987-95 or so.

There is still fall out from the move. A chunk of our stuff is in storage and the rest of it is in boxes. Scratch that, was in boxes. Most of that stuff is unpacked and put away but in spite of best efforts to be organized there are a few things that are missing. What I don’t know is if they are missing because they are in storage, still in a box or if they were accidentally sold/given away. Time will tell if this move is added to the list of life changing moments.


We had the privilege of seeing A Dolphin Tale this weekend. The kids loved it and so did I. However I did learn that I still haven’t figured out how to whisper. Guy sitting a few seats away from me complained about the acting not being Oscar worthy and I muttered pompous ass. Unfortunately the dark haired beauty heard this and spent five minutes demanding an explanation as to what that means. Good times.

Since we were lucky to see it as part of a VIP program we all received gift bags that came along with organic popcorn. My son took one look at it and then told me that he didn’t like it. I said ok and waited for the question that I knew was coming. “Do you think that I could go buy some popcorn?”

I turned my head and just looked at him. He looked back at me and asked “could grandpa do that to you too? I laughed and asked him if he meant stop me in my tracks with a look and he nodded his head. “Don’t tell grandpa, but that look still catches me sometimes.”

“If I try it and don’t like it can I buy popcorn?” I shook my head no and told him that I appreciated his asking but thought that it was better for him not to have all of the calories and junk that comes with theater popcorn. I am not a health nut. I try to provide my children with meals have nutritional value and make sure that they exercise, but sometimes you have to draw a line.

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  1. SeattleDad September 21, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Great varitey in this post Jack. I laughed out loud at the pompus ass comment too. Way to go with the weights. I am biking, treadmill, and pushups recently. Feeling better too.

  2. FishSticked September 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Well done with the “pompous ass” remark. Hopefully when your daughter asked for an explanation you just pointed at the guy and said “That!”

    I like that you say “I still haven’t figured out how to whisper” because it shows that, despite what you know and are able to share as a father, you don’t know it all. And that’s the most important thing to learn anyway.

    • TheJackB September 19, 2011 at 11:22 pm

      @FishSticked Oh hell, what I don’t know could fill a million libraries. I have a very broad base of knowledge but there is a long way to go before I claim to be an expert in anything.

  3. Leon September 19, 2011 at 11:27 am

    G’Day Jack,

    You’re learning. In the general hurly burly of child rearing it’s important to remember that offspring were put on earth to develop their parents, not the other way round as is commonly believed.

    Bt the way, as a child I was always told. “We eat to live not live to eat.” Fortunately, French and Italian kids missed that lesson.

    You’ll get the hang of it when you’re a grandparent. Until then, bear in mind what a dear friend said to me years ago when I was besotted by me gorgeous little daughters: ” They’ll grow up to be teenage daughters y’know.”

    Keep havinh fun


    • TheJackB September 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      @Leon Hmm… my father likes to tell me the same thing. Kind of scary to think that I developed him- maybe he needs more seasoning. I’ll have to let him know. 😉

      For the world’s sake I better have about 18 years before I am a grandparent or things could get ugly. Oy, I am not ready for that and certainly not ready to become the parent of a teenager.

  4. subWOW September 19, 2011 at 7:09 am

    This is funny because we were just talking to the Blockbuster guy about Airplane! Last night. It was rated PG I believe. We watched w the kids not too long ago and I was “mortified” when my 13 laughed at all the “right” moments! My 8 yo told the BB guy that the auto pilot scene was funny. “Yes, I got all the jokes!” He said proudly. I had to mouth the words ” no he did NOT!” Behind my son’s back. Still, we are introducing them to all the “classics”.

    • TheJackB September 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm

      @subWOW My almost 11 year-old (to quote him) has a much broader base of knowledge than I had thought. I really shouldn’t be surprised by this as his friends have older siblings who are in high school. Not to mention that I remember how much I knew at his age, but…

      Anyhoo, we have to introduce the kids to the classics or they’ll have no sense of taste.

  5. BruceSallan September 19, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Pompous Ass – good one, JB! (Could have been much worse!)

  6. KDillabough September 19, 2011 at 5:17 am

    The movie clips are dated, but indicative of the time…”who’s on first, what’s on second” moments:)

    And keep “the look” going: we all need “the look” in our arsenal. Cheers! Kaarina

    • TheJackB September 19, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      @KDillabough I shouldn’t be surprised by any of it, but I was. Guess I am getting old. 😉

      That look is something that I won’t ever let go of. Took years before I had the ability to unleash it at will and now…well I use it when needed. 🙂

  7. Eli4short September 19, 2011 at 3:00 am

    My mom refused to cook. We ate what we could when it was offered simply because we were always hungry. I eat everything including brussel sprouts and cooked greens. When I was little it didn’t matter since usually my only meal of the day was the school lunch I got for $0.75.

    • TheJackB September 19, 2011 at 12:23 pm

      @Eli4short I have to imagine that wasn’t easy. Bad enough to be stuck in cleveland and then to be hungry….oy. I can’t eat Brussel Sprouts, used to make me crazy when my parents made them.

      I used to choose to be hungry on those occasions, but choice makes it a whole different situation.

  8. BetsyKCross September 19, 2011 at 1:17 am

    This is a very random comment triggered by the food thing with your kids. But, I will never forget the chains and padlock on our refrigerator. My mom put it on so we wouldn’t go get something whenever we wanted. I think we always finished what was put in front of us because there was nothing else! We didn’t have snacks or choices for that matter. Times have changed. But I think I need to go to the hardware store. Great memories.

    • TheJackB September 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm

      @BetsyKCross I have some friends who used to tell stories about their parents locking up the cabinets/refrigerator so that they didn’t get into the food. You ate what they gave you or you didn’t eat.

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