And... we're back. Last Father's Day, we established a new tradition. We took the kids to Belmont Park for a day of horse racing. Initially I figured Jackson would be interested and Griffin would probably be bored, but admission is free for kids under 12 so I figured we had nothing to lose. I made a deal with Jackson that he could pick the horses and I'd make a $2 bet for each race. If he won, he got to keep the money. Don't worry, we have Child Services on speed dial. Anyway, when Griffin got a whiff of this arrangement, he wanted in. So they each used whatever method they chose to pick their horses and I placed the bets. Long story short, they picked four out of the ten races correctly, including a photo finish in the last race of the day, and they walked home with $74 (actually we drove home - I might have questionable parenting skills, but I'm not a monster).
So when Father's Day rolled around this year, the boys asked if we could make a return trip to the track to bet on the ponies once more (they're both smoking cigars now with a rolled up racing form in their back pocket). Before I could warn them that last year was probably a fluke and that chances were pretty good they wouldn't win anything, they proceeded to win 3 of the first 4 races. I should note here that I've been going to Belmont off and on since I was in high school and I think I've picked the winner correctly maybe once. So clearly they're not getting their handicapping abilities from me. The best advice I could give them all day was, "whatever you're doing, keep doing it." I plan on saving that wisdom for driving lessons too. So we have a great day and we're down to the last race when lo and behold - another photo finish. And wouldn't you know it, they picked another winner. And for the record, they once again picked 4 out of the 10 races correctly.
I'm sure there's a moral to this story and while you're looking for it, the boys and I will be at the OTB. Jackson got a tip on the 7 race at Pimlico and he's feeling lucky.
Somewhere along the line, in the not too distant past, Jackson and Griffin discovered Regular Show on Cartoon Network.
At first I didn't really notice but I became more aware of it as their obsession grew. When your 3-year old starts quoting lines of dialogue, it might be time to take a closer look at things.
As many of you know, there are many cartoons on Cartoon Network that aren't exactly kid-friendly. And so, it would probably have been a good idea to screen the show first before letting them watch it but I've been so busy with fantasy baseball drafts, Rogaine experiments and what-not that somehow I never got around to it.
Well, I can tell you this - it's pretty freaky. The show stars two slackers, Mordecai and Rigby, who happen to be a blue jay and a squirrel (don't ask me which is which, but feel free to ask my kids). Mordecai and Rigby live with Benson (a walking gumball machine), Pops (a walking lollipop), Skips (a Yeti), and a couple of other guys I can't quite identify.
Each 15-minute episode deals with storylines like being chased by a ghost car from a scary movie, accidentally seeing an old man naked, the perils of lip synching, etc.
The show is peppered with words such as "sucks" and "crap", which sucks but my kids were bound to hear that crap eventually anyway.
Oh, and the show is pretty funny in a kind of Beavis and Butt-head sort of way.
So, appropriate for young kids? Probably not. But is there any long term damage to be wrought here? Gee, I never considered that, but I guess we'll find out eventually.
A couple of weeks ago, on the way home from camp, Jackson announced he had a new favorite band (after Bruce and The Beatles, he clarified). You can probably guess from the title of this post that the band in question was Kiss.
I'm not sure how he became aware of them but I'm thinking it was either through one of the older camp kids or the new Dr. Pepper commercial with Gene Simmons. Either way, he was hooked.
Now I could have just left it at that and immediately enrolled him in Bible Camp, but I didn't. You see, I went through a Kiss phase of my own as a youth and I was feeling somewhat nostalgic (and somewhat frightened). So I set the DVR to record a Kiss concert on VH1 Classic and I dug out an old Kiss CD for him to listen to.
Cut to the present day and now we have a 7-year old who walks around the house singing about drinking, prostitutes, drinking with prostitutes, partying, sex, sex with prostitutes and Beth.
Griffin doesn't know his ABCs and he can't count to ten, but he's been able to sing Iron Man since before he was 2.
The other night, I was flipping through the channels looking for something Jackson could watch. I'm pretty sure Griffin was off testing the structural soundness of his bedroom walls with a hammer. Anyway, I was coming up empty when I stumbled across the listing for one of my all-time favorite movies.
The conversation went like this...
Me: Hey, do you want to watch someone eat 50 eggs?
Jackson: Nobody can eat 50 eggs.
I couldn't have my boy doubting my veracity so for the next 10 minutes or so, Jackson was introduced to the wonderful world of Dragline, Boss Shorty and Babalugats (one of the best character names ever).
Since I had little interest explaining why Doc Hudson was in leg irons, being chased by dogs or spending time in the box, I changed the channel as soon as the last egg was swallowed.