Why we as parents could be legendary super heroes

“I just realized that Maly won’t be able to sneak out of her window when she gets to that ‘sneaking out at night age’.”

“How’s that?”

“Her entire window is covered with a huge solar screen. It would be too difficult for her to remove it and sneak out through her window.”

“Well then she’ll just sneak out through the back door.”


“Don’t worry, I have ears like a hawk.”


“Hawks aren’t known for their hearing, are they?”


“I meant I have hearing like…”



“You have hearing like someone who can hear things really well?”



Life’s been difficult as of late. This time of downtroddenness was spurred on Father’s Day when I stepped on a scale for the first time in many many months. I weigh more now than I have ever weighed in my life. This weight increase is not from newly acquired solid muscle mass – It’s more like many loose masses that I can feel jiggle whenever I find it absolutely necessary to jog to the pantry to get more snacky cakes and fried puffs of cheese.

We concluded that we need to watch what we eat and have been going about our new diet very half-assed. Last week Elise cooked a delightful and very healthy blackened Cajun talapia with a radish, cilantro and pepper salsa and a side of fresh pineapple. We then drove to the grocery store and pushed Maly around in a shopping cart and mesmerized ourselves by our sleeping baby as we pushed the cart down all of the aisles and eventually to the cash register and then out to the truck. We both laughed when we realized we left our bag of goods in the store. Elise went back into the store.

“We left our bag of groceries at the cash register. We had, um, the bag with Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, gummi bears and the Weight Watchers ice cream.”

Dieting is sooo 2003.

Monthly Maly Letter: Month two

Dear Maly,

You turned two months old this week. We stare at you constantly and note how much you’ve grown. Caught up in the bewilderment that is you, I know your mom and I will not take notice of how old we will have become until it’s too late.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how you will choose to go about explaining the meaning of your name. Literally it means “small”. You’re in the 75th percentile for your height and you’re built very much like your dad, so you’ll not be small for very long. To render advice right now I would suggest you say that your name is derived from the Czech language and your parents chose a unique name to distinquish their daughter who they plan to have make her mark in this world. Or you can just tell them we were drunk.

Smile!!This month you started smiling. Your smile is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Your smile lets me know that you’re happy. You might just be farting, but at least I know you’re happy. Don’t ever stop smiling. Or farting, for that matter.

They say to never get caught up in anticipating a child’s milestones as they grow up too fast as is. It’s very hard not to want for you to hurry up and learn to laugh. I will do everything in my power to freeze time at that point.

You also started “talking” this month. You have many points during the day when you want to interact with us. You will say “GAAAAAAEEEEEEEE AYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEE” to which your mom will say, “Hi. hi. hi. Hi. HI. hi. HIIII. Hiiiiiiiii!”

And you will retort, “ayyyyyyyyyyeeee.”

It’s amazing to watch you and listen to you. You are extremely determined. I already know that you will never settle for failure.

Your mom knows this much better than me but you are beginning to settle into a schedule. Part of this schedule, that I was comfortable in pointing out, is that you wake up extremely pissed. This is another trait you inherited from me. Rarely do you wake up and stare into space until one of us finds you awake nor do you coo to gain our attention. Instead you wake up and throw a fit until one of us picks you up. We don’t mind your wake up rage. We find solace in knowing that we can stop your crying. We take great pride in our roles as your parents.

You’ve had the same zit on your left cheek since shortly after you were born. We’re not supposed to do anything to it but I wish it would go away. When your mom isn’t looking, I drag a fingernail across it, hoping that it will pop. It will go away with time but I’m trying to save you from the aweful embarrassment that I know you’re feeling now due to infant acne.

Overall you’ve been an excellent baby throughout your first two months of life. You didn’t suffer from colic. You and mom worked together and figured out how to nurse you. I caught a summertime flu bug that knocked me out for a week and you managed to stay healthy while cohabitating in the same house. You like being outside and you travel well. You’re happy – I can tell.

Everything you do seems like magic — from looking at me when you hear my voice to projectile pooping all over the front of your mom’s thighs while she tries to change your diaper. You are so amazing and perfect and every day with you is a gift that is too great and big to be encompassed by the word love alone.

I love you so much that sometimes I just want to bite your head off.



Elise earns her blue bandana

Elise, Maly and I woke up early Sunday and headed out to cheer our friend Jenny as she completed the 2006 Danskin Triathlon. We were running late and trying to hurry. The finish line was 3 miles from where we parked, it was 98 degrees outside and we were walking against traffic. Thousands of people were leaving the event as women crossed the finish line and retrieved their bicycles. I was pushing Maly in her stroller on the road instead of on the bumpy and dirty ditch. Elise was leaving a voicemail for Jenny, letting her know we were there and that we wanted to catch up with her after she finished the race.

A woman was riding her bicycle toward us after having finished the race. I would assume that she was riding her bicycle back to her car so she could drive back to Bitchville.

We had a little civil altercation. What’s best is it’s all saved on Jenny’s voicemail.

Triathlete: “You really need to get out of the bike lane.”

Josh: “REALLY?!?!”

Elise: “Hey, we’ve got a newborn here. Be cool. Jiminy Christmas!”

Triathlete: “It’s not like you’re the only people who’ve ever had a newborn.”

Josh: “Why don’t you shut the f*** up?!?!”

Elise: “Yeah, why don’t you chill out a little bit?”

We left it at that. I’m pretty sure she knew we were hardcore when Elise dropped the Jiminy Christmas bomb.

Cognitive no

Elise’s longtime friend, Heather and her four-year-old daughter, Juliet made their annual trip to Austin from Des Moines last week. I was outnumbered by females and soon realized that one day my own daughter will be old enough to be reasoned with.  She will say things like, “No. No. No. No. NooooOOOOO!” and be the primary reason for my penchant for Zoloft and vodka.

On Monday night while prepping pork loin pinwheels for dinner I needed some extra toothpicks to use to keep the pinwheels closed for cooking. My hands were dirty with swine juice so I decided to try to employ a four-year-old girl.

“Hey, Juliet. Come over here and help me real quick.”


“Please. I need your help.”


“Juliet. Seriously. I need you to come over here and get a couple toothpicks for me. My hands are dirty.”




“Come ‘ere.”


“Santa Clause hates you. You know that, right?”