Dear Jack: The Cowboy T-Rex, Because… ‘Merica

6 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Like me, you may never really dedicate yourself to team sports. Sure, you may play soccer a year here and there, but really I predict your extracurricular activities will be in the field of art; as was the case for me.

I come home from work each day to see such masterpieces, which are just casual drawings from school. But they are full of thought, detail, and character.

This painting of a sheep impressed Mommy and me so much we have decided to keep it aside so that you can enter it into the Williamson County Fair.

And this amazing painting of a fish is proudly hanging on our fridge.

You particularly delight in drawing dinosaurs. It’s so impressive the way you can just draw these different types just from memory, in addition to being able to immediately tell me the correct names of each one.

But I must say, my favorite recent drawing of yours features two personified dinosaurs. On that fateful Saturday morning at the kitchen table, you asked me, “Daddy, which kind of hat should this T-Rex wear?”

I effortlessly suggested a cowboy hat, which you immediately agreed to.

You then decided that the country T-Rex should be wearing overalls and holding an American flag. I love how you automatically knew how to make that connection from just a cowboy hat.

Next came another T-Rex. In contrast, you drew him wearing a pair of shorts, a baseball cap and a waving a Digimon flag.

There are two ways of interpreting this piece of art.

Either the two dinosaurs are about to engage in a duel, using their flags as symbolic weapons…

Or, they have decided to become friends, despite their cultural differences. And that likely is the case, as you created speech bubbles for each of them, so they could say “hello” to each other.

You finished off the drawing by turning those speech bubbles into smaller versions of the dinosaurs, which wore hats just like the actual dinosaurs wore.

Yeah, you’re going to be an artist.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Learning to Get into Trouble, Thanks in Part to Your Brother

10 months.

Dear Holly: Learning to Get into Trouble, Thanks in Part to Your Brother

Dear Holly,

To say you adore your brother, that would simply be an understatement. He is your guiding light for everything cool, adventurous, and new. Even though his handling of you isn’t as gentle as it should be, you celebrate him carrying you around the living room, as you don’t seem to mind being smashed up against his chest. You just look up at him and smile the whole time.

Dear Holly: Learning to Get into Trouble, Thanks in Part to Your Brother

These days you’re very big into attempt to stand up. You can stand up on your own for about a second or two before you softly collapse.

Dear Holly: Learning to Get into Trouble, Thanks in Part to Your Brother h2

This confidence is leading to you climbing the stairs. I’ve supervised you getting about a third of the way up before realizing how high up you were and needing me to help you down.

You’re constantly on the lookout for something to pull up on or climb over.

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Fortunately, you and your brother are in this perfect place where the two of you somewhat accidentally entertain each other.

I’ve noticed that Mommy and I are now often able to get the dishes finished after dinner, simply because Jack acts crazy and you serve as his perfect audience member. I myself couldn’t get away with playing with you at that point in the night, when you are so tired.

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But thanks to Jack’s antics, you catch a second wind, which buys Mommy and me an extra 30 minutes to clean up, so we don’t have to worry about it after we put you and your brother to bed.

However, there are other times like on the weekend, when Jack just wants to play a game on the Kindle and be left alone. You don’t seem to realize that he’s not actually returning the attention.

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Either way, it’s a relationship that works; whether the two of you realize what you’re doing or not.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Learning to Get into Trouble, Thanks in Part to Your Brother

Dear Jack: The Ever-Hilarious and Glorious Choco Chimps

6 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack: The Ever-Hilarious and Glorious Choco Chimps

Dear Jack,

As a family, we rarely go grocery shopping together. Typically, Mommy goes to Kroger while I stay home with you and your sister Holly. But last Sunday after church, it was just easier to get the shopping out of the way, so we decided to turn it into a family affair.

At one point, I had turned the corner to pick up a few Kombucha drinks. When I came back, I heard Mommy saying to you, “You’ll have to ask Daddy when he gets back…”

You looked up and saw me. Holding the brown box of chocolate corn puffs, which featured a joyous chimpanzee on the cover, you asked me with a cautious yet hopeful tone:

“Daddy, can I have Choco Chimps?”

Seriously, how could I say no? A 6 year-old boy with big blue eyes had just asked me such a ridiculous sounding question, with such a straight face.

(Just add the phrase Choco Chimps to anything you say and I’m probably going to laugh.)

The only problem was, I couldn’t stop laughing. For the rest of the time I was in the store, I kept finding myself in fits of literally LOL-ing about the absurd thought of a chimpanzee who authentically loved chocolate cereal so much that it had to be named after him.

And then the thought that my own sweet son wanted to eat that chimpanzee’s famous cereal…

Though I’m sure you wanted to get aggravated with me for cracking up over the concept of Choco Chimps, you let it go since I obviously said yes.

This morning before you started getting ready for school, you asked, “Daddy, will you pour me some Choco Chimps?”

Amazingly, I didn’t laugh, but instead simply made you aware: “Yes, but just know, this is all that’s left in the box.”

You clearly loved Choco Chimps this week as, indicated by the empty box I placed in recycling.

As you enjoyed the last of your enchanted cereal, I was packing everything in the car. When I returned a few minutes later, the bathroom door was shut, as I heard you whispering to your sister. I opened to the door to see you holding your her; both of your seemingly surprised I found you so quickly.

Holly clearly enjoyed the impromptu game of hide-and-seek with you.

It was time to brush your teeth, so I sat your sister down near our feet; as she typically likes to crawl through them like a cat. However, she quietly (and suspiciously) just sat there on the carpet, right outside the open bathroom door.

After I finished brushing your teeth and had sent you over to the front door to put on your socks, I kneeled down to Holly, to find out why she was being atypically non-curious.

I saw that her fist was closed, as she tried not to make it obvious she had a glorious treasure inside. Then with my thumb, I pried openher fingers, to discover…

A Choco Chimp!

Looks like little sister managed to convey the message, even without words:

“Brother, can I have a Choco Chimp?”

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: The “What 3 Sounds Can You Make?” Misunderstanding

6 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack: The “What 3 Sounds Can You Make?” Misunderstanding

Dear Jack,

Holly and I were quiet, just minding our own business. You presented Mommy with what appeared to be an engaging, impromptu game, when she heard you ask the question, “Mommy, what three sounds can you make?”

She answered nearly immediately: “I can make a lot of sounds.”

You insisted, “But Mommy, what three sounds can you make?”

Slightly confused, she answered you.

“Ding… dong… ppfffttt.”

You were not pleased nor impressed with her answer. So you repeated the question, “No, Mommy! What three sounds can you make?!”

She followed up with three more noises that didn’t quench your thirst for knowledge either:

“Beep… bop… boing.”

You were getting noticeably upset at this point; frustrated that Mommy was apparently not making the sounds you wanted to hear.

Was it some kind of impossible guessing game? How could Mommy possibly know which three sounds were the right answer?

Or maybe there was some kind of inside joke that Holly nor I were aware of? Maybe Mommy makes three sounds that are funny, and you wanted to hear them again, because no one else was as good at making those sounds?

Things were starting to get tense. So at that point, I asked you to stop playing the game, as I just wanted peace.

“Mommy, U makes three sounds, I can’t remember what they are!”

Then she and I finally realized what you were getting at.

“Oh! You’re asking me which three sounds the letter U can make?” she responded.

What we thought was a playful guessing game was instead you practicing your phonics, outside of school… by choice!

Mommy was able to tell you the three different sounds the letter U makes; like in the words put, truck, and prune.

At last, you were relieved.

You were just a 6 year-old boy trying to privately sort out how the confusing English language works, and your parents weren’t much help.

So next time you appear to engage us in a guessing game, I’ll assume it has something to do with phonics.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Daddy’s Phone is Your Holy Grail

8 months.

Dear Holly: Daddy’s Phone is Your Holy Grail

Dear Holly,

Coming out of the Christmas season, you have plenty of cute toys for a little girl your age. And it’s not that you don’t appreciate what you have, it’s just now that you crawl around any chance you get, you suddenly have the ability to stake out that most fascinating toy of all… my phone.

As I lay down on my side next to you as you’re playing, you get this sneaky look on your face. Then you pull yourself up on my hip, as to sort of look over the “fence”, in an attempt to scope out that magical toy you know is laying on the carpet a few feet behind me.

At this point, you instantly gain more than enough confidence in yourself- you suddenly hoist yourself over me, face first, onto the other side. It looks awkward and painful.

But for you, it’s worth it.

Dear Holly: Daddy’s Phone is Your Holy Grail

By the time I turn my body over to face you, it’s too late.

The smile on your face says it all.

No, this isn’t one of your plastic toy phones. This is Daddy’s phone. This is your equivalent of the Holy Grail.

Granted, I always know what you’re doing from the moment I see that sneaky look of yours. I just let it happen. I enjoy watching you work so hard for something that gives you so much joy.

It’s as if you think I didn’t see you find my phone, so then you try to hide it to try to save it for later, like a hidden treasure. Your current go-to hiding spot for my phone is under the rug in the guest bathroom.

You’ve yet to turn my phone settings to Spanish or call someone I barely remember who still happens to be saved in my contacts.

Even at just 8 months old, you know my phone is off-limits and against the rules. Therefore, nothing is more alluring!

Love,

Daddy

Find My Campbell’s Go Twin: Please Help Me By Sharing My Story #FindMyCampbellsGoTwin

 

No, that’s not me on the cover of the package of the Campbell’s Go soup package. But believe me, I get that a lot from people.

However, my New Year’s Resolution for 2017 is to met my twin, my doppelganger, who can easily be spotted on this Southwest Style Chicken with Quinoa soup package; which can easily be found at most grocery stores.

Here’s the thing: I seriously need your help!

I’ve already done everything I know to do at this point…

Campbell’s Soup is aware of my search. I’ve also contacted BBDO, the advertising agency that handles the Campbell’s account and left messages with the account manager.

I get it. Liability issues. They can’t just hand out the name of the guy on the soup package.

They can’t know for sure I’m just a regular, fun guy who simply wants to meet his twin.

So that’s where you come in. I need you to share my story on your social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag…

#FindMyCampbellsGoTwin

Find My Campbell's Go Twin: Please Help Me By Sharing My Story #FindMyCampbellsGoTwin

Will you do that for me? Just imagine, if enough people who I do know share my story with people I don’t know who share my story with more people I don’t know… it shouldn’t take too long until finally someone actually knows this guy.

Here’s the strategy:

  1. If you know who my twin is, make him aware of this article and/or the video with it.

  2. Help me research. See if there’s anything beyond the fact that BBDO is the advertising agency. What other clues might we find that will lead us closer to him?

  3. Spread the word. Simply spread the link to this blog post and/or the video version.

I am confident that with your help, especially with you (and thousands of people I don’t know) sharing this story, we can cause #FindMyCampbellsGoTwin to trend on Facebook and Twitter.

And from there, I will ultimately meet my twin. You’ll get to eventually see the next chapter of my story.

I look forward to meeting him, finding out what we have in common, and becoming his friend.

Seriously, this is history in the making. And you play a major part in it! I can’t do this without you.

#FindMyCampbellsGoTwin

Find My Campbell's Go Twin: Please Help Me By Sharing My Story #FindMyCampbellsGoTwin

Dear Jack: I Think You’re More Intrigued by The Elf on the Shelf than You are Santa

6 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack: I Think You’re More Intrigued by The Elf on the Shelf than You are Santa

Dear Jack,

Sure, you completely appreciated the enormous Lego set you’ve been wanting for months. That was actually your main gift from Mommy and me. Granted, it took you less than half a day to complete it; despite it being designed for 8 years and up. Yet still, it served its role in your Christmas gift line-up.

Dear Jack: I Think You’re More Intrigued by The Elf on the Shelf than You are Santa

But of all the gifts you received for Christmas, the one that produced the most excited reaction from you was the one you asked Santa for: a stuffed animal of Rudolph. What’s funny is, I happen to know that toy cost only $20, which is much less than any other toy you received this year.

Dear Jack: I Think You’re More Intrigued by The Elf on the Shelf than You are Santa

Last week I reminded you of the importance of always also telling me and Mommy what you tell Santa you want for Christmas.  Fortunately, even with just a few days’ notice prior to Christmas, Rudolph showed up under the tree.

Dear Jack: I Think You’re More Intrigued by The Elf on the Shelf than You are Santa

But while Santa is definitely an exciting part of Christmas for you, perhaps it is actually The Elf on the Shelf who you find even more interesting.

Ever faithfully, that elf was sure to show up somewhere new in your bedroom each morning you woke up, for the weeks leading up to Christmas.

I picked up on the fact that you and your friends from school began trading stories: “Really? Well my elf…”

Coincidentally, your Elf on the Shelf began getting into even more trouble for the days following; your personal favorite being a zip-line made out of toilet paper.

Dear Jack: I Think You’re More Intrigued by The Elf on the Shelf than You are Santa j5

It may appear I have quite purposely kept up with the details of both Santa and The Elf on the Shelf this year. I know one day you’ll be able to appreciate my interest in these magical aspects of Christmas.

Dear Jack: I Think You’re More Intrigued by The Elf on the Shelf than You are Santa

But in the meantime, I’ll still secretly take credit for the excitement that both Santa and the Elf on the Shelf brought you this year in Christmas anticipation.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: I Think You’re More Intrigued by The Elf on the Shelf than You are Santa