Dear Holly: Wearing Mommy’s Lipstick to See If I Would Notice

3 years, 11 months. (Tomorrow is your 4th birthday!)

Dear Holly,

With me being at home now on furlough from my job until July 1st, you and I spend a lot more time together than we are used to.

Most days are a blur of you playing downstairs with your toys while I get work done, mixed with me doing puzzles with you or teaching you how to spell, or taking you outside to play.

But one day last week, after for playing with your toy makeup set for nearly 30 minutes, you sneaked away, only for a minute.

Then you walked up to me, smiling- but not saying a word.

It took me about 5 seconds to figure it out:

“Holly, look at your lipstick! You look beautiful!”

You are still so proud of yourself for knowing how to apply real lipstick.



Dear Jack: Teaching Your Sister to Sword Fight, Who is Half Your Size and a Third of Your Age

8 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

A few weeks ago, you spent your allowance money on some swords and shields at the Dollar Store.

Well, this past weekend, your 3 year-old sister was as eager as you were to practice sword fighting with you.

So the living room become the arena, where a brave little girl who is half your size and a third of your age showed no fear as she begin sword fighting her brother.

You were wearing a dragon mask; meaning that your sister was fighting the dragon!

To her, this is simply normal. So I guess your allowance money is well spend that week!



Dear Holly: The Purple Popsicle Incident

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Holly,

Last night during dinner, you willingly ate all of the food Mommy had put on your plate, but you also made it clear throughout dinner that you had an agenda.

I heard you keep optimistically muttering, “I get purple Popsicle…”

This is an idea you crafted on your own. No one had even been talking about the frozen grape juice treats in the freezer.

But I suppose you had caught a glimpse of them at some point while Mommy was making dinner.

After finishing all the food on your plate, without saying a word, you just hopped out of your chair, ran over to the freezer, and brought me the Popsicle to unwrap for you.

No words were needed.

You know me. You know how to negotiate.

It was fair deal: Eat all your dinner, then just correctly assume I’ll let you have a Popsicle without any fuss.

You finished about half of your treat before you had your fill. Not to mention, you got a little concerned with you looked down and announced, “Oh no! Boo boo!”

I then explained that it was just part of the Popsicle that had dripped down on your leg.

You had become a purple mess.



Dear Holly: Your Brother Taught You a New Word… “Sarted”

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

It’s so great that you are now able to begin repeating and remembering words. Your speech abilities are getting better and better everyday. I love that even if you can’t express certain things to me, you are usually able to understand the general message I am trying to convey to you.

It definitely makes life a bit easier when you are able to communicate your wants and needs, so I don’t have to learn by instant trial and error.

But… you do have an older brother, who happens to be 7 and a half, who happens to like teaching you some of his own favorite words. And he likes to use words that I don’t use with you.

So more than once now, I have walked into the room, sensing that your brother was teaching you something sneaky. And each time, my senses have been correct.

This past weekend, after the two of you got buckled up in my car, I had to run back in the house real quick to take care of something.

When I returned to the car, it was as if your brother had prepared you for you to do a presentation:

You looked up at me with a proud look on your face, and you announced to me, “Daddy sarted!”

At that point your brother immediately began chuckling, giving away that he had coached you on what to say.

It was difficult not to laugh, but with a straight face, I reminded your brother, “We use the word pop, instead.”

I suppose if it truly bothered me that you were using your brother’s default word for passing gas, I’d stop it. But really, it’s pretty adorable to hear a little innocent 2 year-old girl mispronounce such a stinky word!

And you’re just so proud to say it; not necessarily knowing what it means, just knowing your brother thinks it’s funny.

I’m just waiting for you to say, “Daddy sarted!” in public. Because even though you are randomly saying it, unconnected to any action of mine, who are they going to believe?

Probably the cute little girl. Not her Daddy.



Dear Holly: You are the “Pop” Police, Calling Out People When They Pass Gas

1 year, 10 months.

Dear Holly,

I believe the most appropriate term to call you these days is rascal. You’re old enough to know you’re being cute while at the same time being sneaky. And on top of that, your sincere curiosity only adds to the cuteness and the sneakiness.

As you are now becoming quite ambitious in your attempts to add words to your vocabulary, you have stumbled upon the word pop. A couple of weeks ago while I was holding you, you passed a little bit of gas… I knew immediately as I felt the vibration on my arm.

You looked up at me, as if you were asking for my confirmation, and asked, “Pop?”

I obviously immediately laughed: “Yes, good. You did just have a pop.”

To equate passing gas with the word “pop” was not something I could credit anyone in our family with. You just took it upon yourself to associate the sound you made with a word you already knew.

Therefore, you now make a habit of announcing every time you pop. But what I really love about it is that you continue to still sort of ask for my confirmation.

And now you have moved on to calling out everyone else’s pops.

Without surprise, you say “pop” a lot when your brother is around. He enjoys your special skill in identifying his mischievous actions.

I will say, I didn’t expect that you’d be able to identify what it meant to pass gas, or that you’d have your own designated word for it, before your 2nd birthday.

But hey, you have a 7 year-old brother. It comes with the territory.

Therefore, sometimes without me even realizing what I have done, you’ll look up at me:

“Daddy, pop?”

That’s your special way of saying, “You and I are the only ones in the room right now- and I know it wasn’t me, so…”

Then I have to admit:

“Yep, that’s good, Holly. Daddy had a pop.”



Dear Holly: Wearing Mommy’s Shoes, but Not in an Ironic Way

1 year, 4 months.

Dear Holly,

As I was working on the dishes in the kitchen, I heard Mommy calling me over from the bathtub in our bathroom, “Nick, come quick! And can you bring your camera?”

I entered our bathroom to find you stepping out of our walk-in closet, with a serious look on your face, as you carefully took each step while wearing a pair of Mommy’s shoes.

To be clear, you weren’t doing this to try to be funny in an ironic way. No; instead, you had simply taken it upon yourself to be like Mommy. Why shouldn’t you be able to wear Mommy’s shoes and walk around just like she does?

It never crossed your mind that her shoes are a much larger size than yours are. Nor did it matter.

You just kept strutting back and forth across the bathroom floor, while your family watched in amazement.

Yes, I have to say, it was quite impressive seeing you move in those shoes!

I don’t remember you falling, even once. Nor did you smile or laugh, even once.

Please know that Mommy, your brother Jack, and I were all laughing the entire time. You were unfazed.

Shoes are a big deal to you. It’s actually part of our daily routine that you walk to the shoe closet in the living room each morning and tap on the door, then you do a signature grunt which translates as, “Daddy, aren’t you going to open the door? I have to put my shoes on.”

Without fail, you always attempt to put the shoes on yourself, first. You sincerely struggle to figure out why they won’t just magically slip on, as you place them upside down on the soles of your feet.

Yeah, you love shoes. Who cares if they’re really Mommy’s? You’ve now proven that won’t hold you back.



This is 36: How I Got Locked Outside of My House While Accidentally Wearing a Mustache

Tuesday afternoon my wife took our kids out to run an errand. We all had the day off, since we had just returned from our vacation to Florida. I decided to stay home while they were out, as it would give me about an hour and 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to finish unpacking from our trip.

The first order of business was actually to shave my beard. I had made a point not to shave while on vacation- just one less thing to worry about in my attempt to relax for a week in the sun.

I already had several days’ stubble before we even left for Destin, so by the time we got back nearly a week later, I had a decent beard going on.

But before I shaved it off, I decided to shoot a quick video for one of my YouTube channels, which caters to young men who are freaking out about seeing the first signs of hair loss. (Yes, I make a supplemental income from that; currently about $50 a month.)

I wanted to make a video which made it seem like people were demanding I grow a mustache, which is hilarious, because obviously a white guy under the age of 40 who isn’t a cop can’t get away with wearing a mustache.

So I shaved off everything but the mustache and walk outside, where there was better natural lighting, and began shooting the video; which again, was a complete joke in itself. I like to keep my 1500 YouTube subscribers on their toes.


But after I recorded the video, I realized I had locked myself out of the house. I knew it would be more than an hour before my wife came back home with the kids.

Then down came the rain, accompanied by some light thunder and lightning. And I was barefoot too.

At least I was able to find shelter on our covered front porch. Before my phone battery died, as I was down to about 15% at this point, I figured I might as well commemorate the occasion with a video explaining, behind the scenes, what had happened.

So there you go. That’s how I ended up locked outside of my own house, in the rain, barefoot, while accidentally wearing a mustache.

This is 36.