Spit Or Swallow

tornado and lightning Spit Or Swallow

There are three dogs and two children in this house which is probably why I am wearing headphones. There are three dogs and two children who a few minutes gave me a collective look of sad eyes and promised that the shrieking would end.

I gave them all my best glare and silently wondered if my father didn’t have an advantage in this area- his eyes are a piercing blue. When he is angry those suckers don’t look at you, they look through you. Told the kids that I have a few minutes left of work and suggested that they grab the 3DS, computer or Wii for a few. Grabbed the dogs and sent them outside with a promise to kick their butts if they barked for more than a moment.

My son looked at me and asked why I suggested he use the computer instead of taking time to read a book and I responded with, “you need to learn how to type faster.” He nodded his head and I reiterated that faster means accurate. That typing bit is one of the many differences between his childhood and my own. I wasn’t really required to type papers until I got into college. There were a few in high school, but for the most part the old Smith-Corona and I dated casually.

And we move on.

There are a few of you going through my archives. You are digging through bits and pieces of flotsam and jetsam. Some of the posts you have stumbled upon make me cringe. They were written long ago and are simply bad. Others bring a smile to my face. LA Story is one of my favorite movies. There is a lot going on there. This  quote still gets my attention for a variety of reasons

Harris I’ve been thinking about myself and I think I can become the kind of person that’s worth you staying for. First of all, I’m a man who can cry. Now it’s true, it’s usually when I’ve hurt myself, but it’s a start. You see I know there is something that would make you stay, I know it. I know there is some move I can make, the right word, attitude, plan. But these are all just tricks, just things I would think up and try. So let’s forgo that.
Let’s assume that whatever that thing is, that whatever it is that would make you stay has already occurred, that it has happened and that my hand has already gone down your throat and grabbed your heart and squoze it.

Speaking of quotes that I love I grabbed one from Gladiator that never ceases to make me want to stand up and fight.

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

I love that. Love how someone used Hero of the Day in this video they did with clips from the movie. If you wish to know me than you must know this movie. Even now when I go to play ball I make a point to reach down, grab a handful of dirt and rub it between my hands.

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.”
George Bernard Shaw

We’re sitting at the dinner table.  My son isn’t happy with the meal and I have explained that he can eat it or go hungry. He looks at me and I tell him it is time to make a decision. He takes a bite and immediately frowns.  Time stands still for a moment and I hear my own father telling me to spit it out or swallow it. I am about to say the same to my son and then I wonder if it is appropriate. I think to myself that he better not know that expression yet- he is almost 11. That is far too young.

His sister looks at me and asks why I am shaking my head and I tell her not to worry about it. Why am I caught up worrying about this nonsense is the question that she should have asked but of course she can’t hear my thoughts. That is good because if she could and she did ask me such a question I might have to wreak havoc upon the school. That little girl is only seven and she really shouldn’t know of this. If this were a different post I would rant about the need to let our children be children.

That George Bernard Shaw quote is one of my favorites and one that I want to frame. It is one that my kids should be able to say that dad loves. It is tied into the whole idea of living your dream and not dreaming your life away.

In the end I remind myself to do as Churchill says, Never Give Up and so I won’t.

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  • http://afterbedtimeblog.com vanita

    Jack, this is one wicked post. Children should be children (though it’s not the topic here) and I hope to God I never repeat words to my kids that my mom has said to me. That she stills says to this day, like “go get a real job” and “how do you make money on the computer in your pajamas, they’re not even pretty, go get a real job”
    I’m definitely creating what I’ve willed and I encourage my teens every day to not give up, because i don’t want them “stuck in a J-O-B” I want them living their dream and waking up excited to start the day.
    Great post Jack.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Vanita, if you teach those kids to live their dreams then you will have accomplished something truly worthwhile and amazing.

  • http://SocialMediaDDS.com/ SocialMediaDDS

    Hi @TheJackB …. this made me laugh for a couple of reasons. First, the obvious…the title teaser and the smooth almost “well, what were YOU thinking it would be” flow into a totally cute and appropriate story. Very good.

    Second, the memories…food fights. Not the Animal House kind of food fight but the food fight ‘stand off” that everyone has experienced. In my childhood, it was Sunday morning eggs that my wonderful Dad would make for us….the problem was, I HATED eggs. But, you know…there were those starving children in _____(fill in the blank) and I couldn’t leave the table until my eggs were gone. I wish I had known @realmattdaddy ‘s trick back then because there is nothing on this earth worse than cold congealed eggs. EW…to this day…

    As always, happy I stopped by!

    Claudia

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

      @SocialMediaDDS@realmattdaddy Cold eggs. You know, I think that my mom and I had that battle once or twice. These stories are funny now but I remember how angry I used to get about grownups controlling my life and thinking that I would never be like that.

      I am glad that you stopped by. Incidentally, you might like that stairway story. Hope you are having a great weekend.

  • DesignerDaddy

    I found your site via “Dad’s Talking” on Twitter, and originally wrote a comment at around 4am this morning. But my phone froze up and I had to get some sleep. Second try’s the charm…

    I originally clicked on the post because I wondered why a dad blog would be talking about spitting or swallowing. :) But your post actually hit pretty close to home. I was up at 4am because I was still upset over a yelling match I had at dinner with my 2 year-old. He’s not old enough to understand the “swallow or spit” option, and really doesn’t understand much of what I tell him when it comes to getting him to eat. I eventually tried some distraction techniques (turned on the tv, got up to wash dishes, walked by occasionally and stuck a piece of fish stick in his mouth) — I will not be writing any blog posts anytime soon on “how to get your toddler to eat.”

    But I just wanted to say it was nice to hear I’m not alone, especially at 4 in the morning. It changed my thinking from “have I permanently scarred my toddler” to “I can’t wait to get up and hug and kiss my little boisterous, beautiful boy in hopes of erasing any memory he has of me trying to out-yell him over some damn fish sticks.”

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

      @DesignerDaddy DD, you are definitely not alone. I worry about parents who never question their decisions or second guess themselves. There is nothing better than being a father but all those comments about it being hard are very true.

      Meals can be pretty damn tricky, especially when they are only two. Now that my kids are old enough to reason and understand consequences it has become a bit easier.

  • DesignerDaddy

    I found your site via “Dad’s Talking” on Twitter, and originally wrote a comment at around 4am this morning. But my phone froze up and I had to get some sleep. Second try’s the charm…

    I originally clicked on the post because I wondered why a dad blog would be talking about spitting or swallowing. :) But your post actually hit pretty close to home. I was up at 4am because I was still upset over a yelling match I had at dinner with my 2 year-old. He’s not old enough to understand the “swallow or spit” option, and really doesn’t understand much of what I tell him when it comes to getting him to eat. I eventually tried some distraction techniques (turned on the tv, got up to wash dishes, walked by occasionally and stuck a piece of fish stick in his mouth) — I will not be writing any blog posts anytime soon on “how to get your toddler to eat.”

    But I just wanted to say it was nice to hear I’m not alone, especially at 4 in the morning. It changed my thinking from “have I permanently scarred my toddler” to “I can’t wait to get up and hug and kiss my little boisterous, beautiful boy in hopes of erasing any memory he has of me trying to out-yell him over some damn fish sticks.”

  • realmattdaddy

    You wouldn’t know it to look at me today, but I was the pickiest eater! I used to only eat cheese pizza, pb&j, ramen noodles and grilled cheese. Anything else – BLEH! My parents would make me sit until I cried, and they would just leave me at the dinner table with the food. One magical day, they got tired of waiting for me to finish before they cleared the table, and they sent me into the dining room. I would somehow leave the dining room after only 10 minutes because I would hide my uneaten food underneath the table up in the leaves and supports. My parents thought they had a cure all for my non-eating, and I began to go to the dining room after shorter and shorter wait times. I played this trick for MONTHS until I ran out of room. I would then have to sneak into the dining room to empty my storage areas when my parents weren’t looking. This all went downhill when we got a dog and it was jumping up to snatch the food from under the table. I think there is a blog post in here somewhere…

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

      @realmattdaddy That does sound like a great blog post. I am curious though, wasn’t there some kind of smell from rotting food?

      And what did your parents do when they discovered your trick?

  • BruceSallan

    Focus, JB, focus…lol

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

      @BruceSallan Bruce, focus is one thing that I don’t lack for. Life could be easier if it were otherwise. ;)

  • http://aclearsign.blogspot.com/ Julie

    I started reading this last night before I had to run off to deal with my own lovely children, and I DID spit out my water when I read the title. There are no options for spitting it out, whether it’s the vegetarian kid making a face or otherwise.

    Love, love the Churchill. Something about his voice combined with the expression on his face that’s the epitome of inspiring.

    People digging in to get to know you sounds like a good thing. Do we get a pic or are you in disguise? I have a crystal clear picture of you in my mind and just realized that I’ve never actually seen a real one.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

      @Julie | A Clear Sign Churchill is someone that I wish I could have met. It is not hyperbole to say that he went through some serious trials and tribulations. Would love to be able to pick his brain and hear his stories.

      Somewhere in the archives there are a few pix, but I honestly don’t remember when or where.

  • JW Moxie

    I *am* a movie buff, yet I’ve seen neither of those films. *hangs head in shame*

    This was a good post to “meet you” on – thoughtful, funny, insightful – just what I like to see in a post.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

      @JW Moxie Ah, Gladiator is simply phenomenal and stunning. There is so much going on there. LA Story has a lot of that too. Some of it is simply funny to me because it plays upon so many of the LA stereotypes, but the romantic part of me enjoys it too. There is more than meets the eye.

      Good to meet you too. I hope you come visit again.

  • http://www.newsuperaffiliateblog.com/ AdrienneSmith

    Ah the dinner table. My Mom made me sit there and eat every bite whether I liked it or not. The majority of the time, I didn’t and it might be 10:00 before I was able to leave the table. Those memories aren’t pleasant ones.

    I also like L.A. Story but never saw Gladiator. Not a huge movie buff I’m afraid.

    You’re a good dad Jack! You spend time with your kids and you care. They’ll look back on these earlier days and appreciate you later in life. I have no doubt!

    ~Adrienne

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

      @AdrienneSmith Adrienne, I sat staring at my food or ended up in my room more than once. My middle sister loves to tell my kids about how many times our dad sent me from the table. Sometimes that stubborn part of me was more trouble than it is worth.

      Hope you are having a good day.

  • http://billdorman.wordpress.com/ bdorman264

    You gotta quit feeding the kids mac and cheese every night…………..

    If you notice some of your archived posts disappearing I’ve been using them at my place as original content. I wanted to get into them before you started dropping the F bomb filters…..

    I do like the quote from the Gladiator; ‘And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next’.

    Sorry my friend, no Angels; just Rays………………

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

      @bdorman264 Mr. Dorman, I don’t believe for a moment that your language doesn’t get a bit salty at times. I figured that it is properly peppered full of some good “Southern Euphemisms” that describe friend and foe….:)

      That quote from Gladiator is awesome. It is the kind of thing that you wish you could say to people and know that they took you seriously.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

      @bdorman264 Mr. Dorman, I don’t believe for a moment that your language doesn’t get a bit salty at times. I figured that it is properly peppered full of some good “Southern Euphemisms” that describe friend and foe….:)

      That quote from Gladiator is awesome. It is the kind of thing that you wish you could say to people and know that they took you seriously.

  • http://devacoaching.com/ Sandi Amorim

    Seriously Jack, I love your writing.

    I’m not a dad, I don’t have children and yet…you reach out and connect every time.

    Amazing.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

      @Sandi Amorim Hi Sandi. Thank you for your kind words, I very much appreciate them. Sometimes we get lucky and we touch upon things that everyone can relate to so…