Dear Jack: I’ve Sunk to Your Level of Potty Humor

5 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack: I’ve Sunk to Your Level of Potty Humor

Dear Jack,

A few weeks ago, I told you about how at school you drew a picture of a dragon that breathed air out both ends…

Well, on Tuesday night as I was looking through your daily drawings, I discovered a happy Brontosaurus with his rear end facing what I thought was the pot of food.

But then you explained, “He eats the spaghetti and meatballs and then he potties them out.”

So the “pot of food” was actually the toilet. The brontosaurs apparently ate the spaghetti and meatballs (though he’s a vegetarian, like you), then just moments later they came out into the toilet.

Sounds like that dinosaur needs to have a toilet installed in his kitchen, if that’s the case.

In your typical style, you weren’t smiling or laughing as you told me this. It was became clear to me that you are simply fascinated by how the digestion process works:

Indeed, the dinosaur ate the spaghetti and meatballs and then they came out into the potty.

When I was your age, I was still assuming that when I ate food, it simply just went down to my toes. You’re beyond that naïve concept of thinking.

I couldn’t help but ask a few follow-up questions:

“Did you show this to your friends or teacher?”

“No.”

“Did you laugh when you drew this?”

“Yes.”

“Who did you draw this for? Who did you want to see this?”

“You and Mommy.”

Granted, you didn’t present this drawing to us. You casually waited for us to ask to see your daily drawings from school.

Of course, I couldn’t help but share your art on my Instagram, which is linked to my Twitter and Facebook.

My followers are starting to see a pattern in which potty humor is beginning to play a decent part in what I share about my life.

You are into understanding the physics of the digestive track, by default, becoming one who appreciates potty humor.

I celebrate you, therefore, I celebrate potty humor too.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: A Glimpse of Your Upcoming Family Life

30 weeks.

Dear Holly: A Glimpse of Your Upcoming Family Life

Dear Holly,

Tuesday night as I was finishing up dishes downstairs, I happened to hear the conversation going on upstairs, as Mommy was getting your brother Jack ready for bed.

I heard Jack telling Mommy, “Daddy gets toothpaste all over my mouth when he brushes my teeth in the morning. Daddy’s crazy!

Mommy replied, “Yes, you’ve got a crazy Daddy and you’re lucky to have him.”

That made me feel all warm inside as I heard it.

I then decided to join the moment by sneaking upstairs with my new toy:

Earlier that day, thanks to a Barnes and Noble gift card I had received after helping out a friend, I was able to purchase a really cool pack rat puppet, from the brand Folkmanis.

I’ve named my new puppet Magellan the Mouse and he will be a new main character on web series, Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest.

Your brother Jack was standing at the top of the stairs, facing Mommy, as he was getting dressed for bedtime.

Quite successfully, I sneaked up the stairs without him realizing it, just inches away from his feet.

Using a Wisconsin accent, I used Magellan’s movable arms to grab Jack’s ankles, proclaiming, “I’m Magellan the Mouse.”

Though I definitely scared him, he was more excited than anything, to see a life-like puppet in action.

Jack then stuck his finger in Magellan’s mouth and began asking the puppet to start biting him because “it feels like a real rat biting me.”

That’s a glimpse of your upcoming life.

On any given night, you can likely expect something like this to be going on.

You will be raised by an eccentric Daddy who is always up to some new shtick to grow his YouTube audience in an effort to legitimately become a professional actor and entertainer.

Meanwhile, your brother will be crafting his own weird experiments, like placing his leftover Halloween candy into warm saltwater to watch it dissolve, as opposed to showing any interest or excitement in eating it.

Mommy’s the “normal” one. But by default, she can’t be all that normal when she is surrounded by Jack and me.

So where does that leave you? The next few years will help answer that question.

But I have a feeling that you will take after me in more ways than one.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: The One-to-One Parent-to-Kid Ratio When You Get Here

29 weeks.

Dear Holly: The One-to-One Parent-to-Kid Ratio When You Get Here

Dear Holly,

There will be quite the celebration when you arrive in about 11 weeks. It’s so exciting to see new packages at our door every couple of days: new outfits for you, as well as diapers and wipes…

And even that double stroller a few weeks ago. This weekend your brother Jack enjoyed testing it out.

While he is excited, he’s also getting anxious about the changes that will happen when you are born.

Here’s what I predict will happen. For the first several months, I think he and I will naturally team up, to balance out the fact Mommy will be spending so much time taking care of you as a mother does for her newborn.

There will be a one-to-one parent-to-kid ratio for the first time in our family.

That’s actually fine by me. First the first year and a half of your brother’s life, I was by default the 3rd wheel. It was undeniable.

Jack was needing so much of Mommy’s attention, both physically and psychologically, that I often just felt like the silent chauffeur and custodian.

Socially, I didn’t really feel that needed.

I feel that won’t be the case in April.

Jack will depend on me as someone to keep paying attention to him on a constant basis, which as an only child up until this point, is something he’s accustomed to.

My plan is simply this: I’ll do whatever Mommy needs help with for you, but really, my main job as a parent for the first several months will be to help your brother Jack transition into his role as big brother.

As for you and I, if this is anything like it was for Jack and me, then you won’t really think I’m that big of a deal until you’re about 15 months old. Until then, I’ll mainly be a blurry figure with a deep voice.

I’m okay with that. I know what to expect.

It’s a matter of respecting everyone’s role and place. Mine will be your brother Jack’s shadow until you are able to become more physically independent, but that will be a while.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your 1st Signs of Anxiety about Becoming a Big Brother

5 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack: Your 1st Signs of Anxiety about Becoming a Big Brother

Dear Jack,

A popular question people having been recently asking me is this:

“How is Jack handling the news about there being another baby on the way?”

I was always able to quickly and easily respond by telling them you are excited, and that with a 5 and a year difference, I predict there will be no real concern on your end about a sense of competition.

That changed this week.

Normally you are the happiest kid I know. But on Tuesday night, you were much different at the dinner table.

We had to take you up to bed early because you weren’t really eating and you were crying about (seemingly) nothing and everything all at once.

So we just assumed you didn’t take a nap at school and needed to get to bed sooner.

While that was true, there was more to it.

In your emotionally vulnerable state, you eventually told Mommy that night during bath time:

“I’m sad that you are excited about the baby.”

Just an hour or so before, Mommy and I had been doting over the cute, girly outfits that we had received in the mail for Holly.

You went on to tell Mommy: “I wish things could stay the same.”

When she replied you two would get to be together for the summer while she is on maternity leave, you said “Just me and you?”

I knew you are smart kid, but I was unaware at 5 years old that you are able to clearly express your anxieties and fears to us, in such a sober and direct way.

That’s emotional intelligence.

It’s not my attention and affection that you fear missing. It’s Mommy’s.

She and I talked about it more. It’s heartbreaking to see you this way, worrying that you’ll lose your relationship status with Mommy.

In some ways, there is reality in your fears of things changing when your sister gets here.

But at the same time, you have two parents who are proactively dedicated to making sure we help you with this transition.

Love,

Daddy

I Cry Every Time I Watch Inside Out (and I am a Man)

I Cry Every Time I Watch Inside Out

It’s true and I am not ashamed. I know that’s technically the least masculine blog title I have ever used, but I am comfortable with it.

I took my son to see Inside Out this past summer when it first came out, then we watched it as a family this weekend now that it’s out at Redbox.

Granted, I’ve only seen it twice so far, but I am confident that I will never be able to keep dry eyes for any future viewings of it. Still, I can legitimately proclaim that I cry every time I watch Inside Out.

Just to be clear, if you were sitting next to me while watching Inside Out, you wouldn’t know I was crying.

You wouldn’t hear anything about of me.

But if you simply turned to me to look me in the eyes, you would see tears running down both sides of my face.

Yes, it’s suppressed crying, but it’s still crying.

Sunday night after the movie ended, my wife, my son, and I all looked at each other’s wet cheeks, then laughed at the fact we all just saw proof of each other crying.

It’s not that Inside Out is a sad movie, because I don’t believe that it is.

Instead, with it being a movie about emotional intelligence, Inside Out undeniably reveals the love that involved parents have for their children.

The movie provides an enlightening experience as it reminds us that the emotion of sadness is necessary and vital; especially as it strengthens family relationships.

I might just have to proclaim that Inside Out is officially my favorite Disney movie, ever. It appears the general public agrees, as the movie has earned an impressive 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

And it has been nominated for an Oscar for best animated feature film.

It’s one of the few Disney movies to not adhere to the stereotype that the protagonist’s parents are dead. Instead, her parents are alive and well, and are actually good people.

Compare them to Elsa and Anna’s parents, in Frozen, who instead of confronting the issue that one of their daughters had a special power that makes her different, they basically locked up both of their daughters and kept them from interacting with each other. And if that psychological drama wasn’t enough, then the parents had to die, like almost every other Disney protagonist’s parents.

Of course, there is a very legitimate theory that Riley, the protagonist of Inside Out, is adopted.

But whether she is or is not adopted, that doesn’t change the fact that the movie does a wonderful job of expressing from the inside out what it’s like to be a parent and a kid who is part of a loving family.

And again, it’s also a fact that I’ll cry every time I watch this movie.

Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest 14 through 19: The Blizzard Webisodes

Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest 14 through 19: The Blizzard Webisodes

From January 22nd to the 24th, I filmed 6 webisodes of Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest. Similar to the way I filmed 4 webisodes after the Christmas 2015 flash flood, I took advantage of the weather condition, making it the plotline of these half a dozen webisodes.

And starting with Webisode 18, I introduce a fun new theme song as well as a new animal hat…

I’ve gotten to the point where I pretty much just keep my camera, tripod, and Uncle Nick costume in my car with me; in order that I can always be prepared to shoot an episode on the spot.

Good thing I was ready on Friday, January 22nd, when the blizzard kicked in. I have a coworker, Shane Moore, who is quick and faithful to help me out with some of the shoots.

So he served as my camera man and assistant director for the first 2 webisodes of the blizzard story arc.

Webisode 14 features Mama Bear and Baby Bear, who get separated during the beginning of the blizzard. It’s up to Uncle Nick to reunite them!

In Webisode 15, we are introduced to a poor little homeless Husky who is stranded out in the middle of the snow storm. Uncle Nick must find her a new home to get her warm.

The remaining 4 webisodes of the blizzard story arc were filmed Saturday and Sunday morning; just me and my tripod.

Webisode 16 finds Piper the Penguin frozen to the ice. Uncle Nick must find a place to keep her safe until the other penguins return.

In Webisode 17, Uncle Nick must resuscitate a lizard he finds who is literally freezing in the river.

Then in Webisode 18, Uncle Nick encounters a sleepwalking pig, who is headed towards a frozen lake.

And finally, in Webisode 19, Uncle Nick must discover, and uncover, a frozen frog on a log.

In the next story arc of episodes, the plot will definitely be thickening…

If you haven’t checked out my Uncle Nick series, I encourage you to, with a younger child next to you. I predict it will be an engaging experience.

Hey Casting Directors, Need a Token Vegan for Your Show? 3 Reasons You Will Like Me

Hey Casting Directors, Need a Token Vegan for Your Show? 3 Reasons You Will Pick Me

If you are a casting director currently in need of a vegan for your upcoming show, you probably need to check me out.

I’m a good find for many reasons. Allow me to count the ways. How about 3 for now?

First, I have plenty of on camera experience. Thanks to my YouTube Channel, I am able to advertise my marketable personality on a daily basis. As you can see, I am dynamic, passionate, and yet emotionally intelligent.

Second, I am a male vegan. Most vegans are female. I can present veganism in a new light. For years, I had constant sinusitis, eczema, headaches, acne, and pet allergies. All of those health issues disappeared (and have remained gone) since I became a vegan nearly 3 years ago. What a testimonial, right?

Third, I am engaging. While I have zero interest in pushing my beliefs on others, I have much interest in “vegan apologetics.” In other words, I enjoy educating the general public on their preconceived ideas about vegan.

Yes, I get enough protein. Look at me. I’m not skin and bones. My doctor confirmed last April that I am healthier than most 34 year-olds he’s seen.

No, I’m not secretly hungry. I eat a lot and I’m always full.

No, my food is not disgusting. I love what I eat.

So there you have it. Why wouldn’t you pick me for your show?

I’ve got the experience, the personality, the story, the passion, and the chutzpah.

You know what happens next. You’re about to send me an email to nickshell1983@hotmail.com.

Then you’re going to set up a phone call with me for tomorrow afternoon.

Next, you’ll call me and realize that I am the real deal.

After that, you’ll set up me up with a Skype interview to show to the network. They’ll pick me after watching the highlights you’ve edited from that interview.

Then, you’ll officially select me for the role of “Token Vegan” for your show.

We both know it’s inevitable. Let’s just go ahead and get to it.