Dear Santa, Let’s Get Real


Let’s be honest:  I’m not sure which side of the your master list I fall on this year–naughty or nice? I’ve certainly had my share of indiscretions in 2012. The “great beer pong misadventure” probably tops the list (my apologies to the city of Atlanta for the trail of vomit and clothing I left on your sidewalks). But overall, I think I’m al alright guy. Case in point, I’m about to come clean to you. I’ve been lying to you for over 30 years now, sending you half-truth Christmas lists every December because I was too ashamed to be honest. Here’s an example: Remember when I was 12? I didn’t really want season tickets to the Braves. What I really wanted for Christmas was to see Tiffany Altman naked. But how do you write that in a Christmas letter? That your mom sends?

But I’m mailing my own letters now, and the letters of my children, so I figure it’s time to come clean and get straight to the point. Forget the Smart Wool socks I’ve previously asked for. Ditto World Peace—we’d just fuck it up anyway. Here’s my real Christmas List.

12 Things I Really Want For Christmas

1)   I want my kids to eat all of their dinner, just once. Every chicken finger, every macaroni noodle, every sliced grape and green bean. And then, maybe after they clean their plate, they could look at me and say, “Hey Dad, thanks for cooking a delicious yet nutritious meal. We appreciate you.”

2)   The next time I go away on a work trip, I want my wife to stop me as I get into the taxi and give me a naughty video that I “shouldn’t watch on the plane.” You know, like in that Samsung phone commercial. What a great wife that lady is! For any female readers out there, your husband wants you to make one of these videos too. Trust me.

3)    Six hours of complete silence

4)    A butler.

5)    A golf cart.

6)    I want couples with one kid to stop complaining about how difficult parenthood is, or how tired they are. Really? It’s tough to get one kid to sleep? To bathe one kid? To take one kid to the grocery store? People with mono-babies can suck it. You’re not allowed to talk to me until number two comes around. I don’t go around telling people with quadruplets how difficult raising twins is, now do I?

7)    A babysitter that also mows the lawn.

8)    A recording contract for Toots and the McGoots.

9)    Let’s talk more about this video I want my wife to make me.

10)  Two kids that wake up at 6am, look around and say, “let’s go back to bed until 8.” Or maybe one of them says, “I’m not that tired. I think I’ll just get up and vacuum and organize the playroom.”

11)  Bombproof immune systems for the kids…or an antibiotic drip. Whichever is more practical for the elves.

12)  A built-in vacuum system for the mini-van that sucks up goldfish the second the kids drop them.

Here’s Something the Other Tour Guides Won’t Tell You


When you have kids, people tell you a lot of things. Everyone tells you that you’re not going to sleep for at least a year. They tell you that kids are expensive, start saving for braces. They tell you that kids are finicky eaters. They tell you that tuition will cost $100,000 a year by the time your kid will be going to State. They tell you that you can kiss your hobbies goodbye. No more model trains or triathlons or furry porn…whatever you’re into, you won’t have time for it anymore. When you have kids, people tell you all kinds of things about how to get a baby to sleep, or how to transition from training wheels to a big boy bike.

But when you have kids, nobody bothers to tell you that one day, for no reason whatsoever, your kids will decide that they don’t want to look at doors anymore and will cover their eyes when approaching a door of any kind. The front door, the car door, the bathroom door at the mall… It will happen when you’re late for ballet. Or trying to get to church, or the bank before it closes. Maybe it’ll be a Tuesday or a Saturday, I don’t know, but it will happen and it will completely shut you down for 24 hours.

It’s tough enough to get my kids out the door on a good day, throw in “door-a-phobia” and suddenly, I’m operating way above my pay grade. My kids have a 70 percent success rate of walking through a door without suffering head trauma when they’re using all five senses. Take away sight and the success rate drops drastically. I can’t wait to try to explain this to DSS.

And forget trying to reason with your child. They’re three. There’s no reasoning with a three year old. You can bribe, but you can’t reason. And forget trying to ask your child why they suddenly can’t stand to look at a door anymore, because they’ll give an answer that goes something like this: “well, if I don’t want to look at doors anymore, then I don’t want to look at doors anymore.”

When you have kids, nobody tells you that those kids will do strange things, like try to lick you, or only eat orange food, or refuse to flush the toilet because they can’t bare to say goodbye to their poop, or suddenly decide that they don’t want to look at doors anymore.

When you have kids, nobody tells you that those kids will be weird.