Tag Archives: dads

Caution: Ghost Town Running Rampant With Eccentrics


We arrived at the Shakespeare ghost town with high expectations and were greeted by a four-year old boy wielding a cap-gun pistol. He was behind the locked gate telling us that he was smart. That he could run fast. That he had a gun.

Finally his father arrived on the scene, dressed in reenactment vintage clothing, and let us in. Oh yeah, and he was smoking. He was smoking, but not like a normal person smokes. He was smoking a hand rolled, fat cigarette that he had to light every two minutes to puff off of before the flame went out. He would usually relight the cigarette moments after the exertion of talking, for a short time, caused him to erupt into a fit of coughing. We paid our $4 per person so off we went on the tour with some trepidation.

It was once a cool old place. You could tell someone had kept it running well once upon a time, but now it was a mess. Things were broken, floors were covered with mouse poop and the ceilings clearly had holes and leaks and mold. It was kind of sad to see it in such a state of disrepair especially after we looked through the photographs in the guest shop. It used to be quite the enterprise with cancan girls and bar fights and well-preserved artifacts. Those days were long gone, however. There seemed to be a new sheriff in town, one not too interested in sanitation or in interior design.

Our guide spent half the time scolding his son who was running in and out of the buildings and disobeying his father at every turn. The little boy enjoyed tempting Tiny-Small to join him in his misbehavior. Of course, Tiny-Small was more than happy to oblige. She threw rocks, sifted dirt and climbed on things some eBay collector would probably pay a pretty penny for. Our guide spent a considerable amount of time telling us stories about his son, his family and his military career. Before we left we knew his opinion on spanking, wearing bicycle helmets and the military police. We learned a little about the ghost town too, but not as much as we had expected.

There were a few stories of fraudulent diamond claims, hangings and haunted desert pathways. There were also a few stories about bodies buried in basements and ghosts roaming hallways that got our attention. Tiny-Small seemed unimpressed with all of the “old things” as she called them and more impressed with the little boys cap-gun hunting rifle that he was now brandishing with quite the expertise. It was quite an experience for all of us.

We weren’t even surprised when the boys tattooed mother showed up and offered Tiny-Small some water. She then instructed her son to let Tiny-Small hold his plastic cap-gun rifle. With big, wide eyes Tiny-Small graciously accepted the offer while her father looked on in horror. She held out her little hands and grasped the barrel of the rifle and held it up in front of her like it was gold treasure she had just discovered and wanted everyone to see. Finally, it was time to go home.

Earlier today, 48 hours after our trip to the ghost town, Tiny-Small picked up a screw driver, pointed it at her dad and told him, “I shoot you.” It seems she learned more than we had hoped during our visit to that old ghost town. She now knows what a gun looks like, how it’s held and what it does. We’re not really sure how we feel about this. At two years old she seems too young for war games. Her dad is pretty unhappy. He wants to hide her from the world to protect her innocence FOREVER. I just hope she doesn’t take up play smoking anytime soon. That’s a bad habit I hope she never cultivates. It’s not really the kind of thing you hope your child will learn when you take her to visit a ghost town. Although, shooting zombie, diamond smuggling, ghosts might come in handy if you ever plan to spend the night in a ghost town. At least she’ll be prepared for that, right? I’m looking for a Silver lining in all of this. I know there is one!

1 out of 1 Fathers Prefers Changing Diapers To Jillian Michaels

There we were, kicking and punching and sweating to the Jillian Michaels work out video (Extreme Shed & Shred) when Tiny-Small started screaming from the corner of the living room she was hiding in. Apparently, observing her parents do actual exercise

terrified her. I’m not surprised at all that she was frightened or maybe even a little disgusted. Jim was on the ground like a human tee pee trying to contort his body into some kind of yoga pose and I was jumping up and down in place because I have carpal tunnel syndrome and my wrists will not endure the pressure of holding up my entire body mass.

Tiny-Small had just missed getting stepped on, knocked over, and kicked in the chest. This exercising with a toddler idea was not going at all as planned. We were only 15 minutes into the video and we both looked like we were on the verge of having heart attacks or at the very least of punching each other in the head. My brain was already searching for a way to get out of finishing the video and apparently so was Jim’s.

When Tiny-Small came out of her corner and ran in front of us once more (taking her very life into her tiny little hands), we both caught a whiff of something unsavory. That kid had a poopy diaper. We both jumped to attention and raced to her side. “I’ll change her diaper,” I said sweetly. Then Jim responded, “Oh no, let me.” It was a sort of tug-of-war between two sweaty adults, with a stinky diapered toddler posing as the rope.

Jim won because he knows I will never pass up the chance to get out of changing a poopy diaper much like he knows I will never pass up the chance of letting someone else wash the dishes for me. So he ran off with our cranky toddler in his arms and that’s when I realized that 1 out 1 fathers prefers changing a diaper to completing a workout video with Jillian Michaels. She is that hardcore and that bad ass(ed). She should totally put my statistical analysis on the cover of her next workout video just to weed out all of the cry babies. Also, that would make an excellent coded message for all the mothers who want to get out of doing diaper duty for an hour. Jillian Michaels can say, “My video makes dads want to change diapers.” I can’t imagine a better selling point for mothers across America. I know it makes me want to pop her DVD in a little more often than twice a year (my usual).

Want to hear more about my work out video experiences? Read about Carmen Electra here.

Dads Make Toddlers Go Zippity-Do-Da

In all of the baby books I have ever read the experts say tossing your baby in the air is dangerous and shouldn’t be done. I don’t know if that applies to toddlers too, because to be honest, I haven’t read a baby book in a very long, long time now. I’ve kind of given up on making sure we are normal and doing everything the right way. That’s probably why Jim and Tiny-Small have such a good relationship. I’ve stopped butting in with all of my cautionary tales of woe.

As soon as Jim gets home from work Tiny-Small runs screaming towards him with her arms up in the air. She is usually begging, “Dada! Dada! I go fly? I go fly?” Then he swoops her up and starts tossing her in the air like a sack of potatoes and I have to turn around and look the other way. I’m scared he will miss catching her during one of these mid-air tosses or that she’ll end up with some freakish form of flying-baby whiplash. He never misses though and she is always fine. I turn away and let them have their fun so they won’t see all of the motherly fears written across my furrowed brow. Tiny-Small screams with joy for more and more and more and her father usually accommodates her request.

Dads make toddlers go zippity-do-da and what I mean by that is they have fun and take risks and live as close to the edge as any person can with a tiny human in tow. I never toss Tiny-Small in the air or let her ride the dog like a pony. I don’t fly her through the air like an airplane or push her (much too fast) on her little ride on bicycle toy (be still my rapidly beating heart). Her daddy does though and she loves him dearly for it. I’m glad she has a dad that plays with her and teaches her it is OK to take risks sometimes and to let loose and have fun. She knows she is loved and safe even when she is flying like a bird and bouncing around like a pogo stick. It’s good for her development. It gives her confidence in her own body and it also makes her happy.

Daddy is the master of laugh, fly, sing, cry (only tears of joy though). He gets to end his day singing “Zippity-Do-Da” to a slightly over stimulated, twirling, whirling, laughing little girl. He gets to make our toddler go zippity-do-da and I think she loves him for it.