One Family, One Bathroom, Two Kids with Bathroom Emergencies (at the same time) A True Story

and then this happened on the ride home:
kid a: I need to go home and use the bathroom NOW

dad: we were just at a store with a bathroom

mom: don’t embarrass the girl.. she needs to poop

kid a: I need to go home NOW

kid b: can I pee first- I need to pee

mom: can she pee first?

kid a: she needs to make it quick

kid b: I’m not going to make it till we get home.. I’m going to pee. nowwww.

mom: hold the pee hold the pee

kid b: I need to go now (bathroom shuffle in the backseat)

kid a: I need quiet. There’s too much noise. I need quiet. We need to get home.

kid b: I’m gonna pee.. it’s coming out

kid a: I need either absolute quiet or more music to drown out everyone’s talking

kid b: it’s coming out.. it’s coming outtttt

mom: want me to tell you a funny story?

kid b: don’t make me laugh

kid a: if you make me laugh it’s all over

mom: I just remembered when you needed a diaper from your sister when you had a pee pee emergency at Disneyland

kid b: I can’t hold it. I can’t hold itttttt

mom: want a candy baby to take your mind off of it

kid b: No! I need to pee. Help!!!

dad: I remember a scene in Bridesmaids where someone successfully used the sink

mom: don’t you DARE use the sink!!!

red light.
another red light.

kid b: WHYYYY are there so many red lights in the world. it’s coming out now

dad: can we just stop at another store?

kid a: NO I need to use the bathroom at home… it’s the only bathroom I want

dad: there’s your friend’s house.. let’s stop there and tell them we need both bathrooms

mom: they’re home I see them

kid a: NOOOOOO we are not stopping at my friend’s house to use the bathroom

red light.
then stopped at train tracks

car shaking back and forth with both kids doing the bathroom emergency dance

kid b: why. why. why. whyyyyy

kid b: that door at home better open right away or I’m going on the sidewalk and there’s gonna be a big yellow stain. That’s a PROMISE.

kid a: everyone I need SILENCE!!!!

dad speeding now. home stretch.
daughter undoes seatbelt. tire screech.

kid b: hurry hurry hurry unlock the door unlock the door!!!!!!!

kid b: bathroom finally… pee.. ahh.. (two seconds later) ok I’m done

kid a: get out.. get out.. now

kid b: ok I’m out

kid a: door slam in the bathroom.

mom and dad on stairs to house now laughing uncontrollably

kid a: shouts from behind bathroom door: “someone needs to go out an get toilet paperrrrrrrrrrr”.

then silence




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What Movie Theater Popcorn Can Tell You About The Strength Of Your Marriage

The wife and I went to the movies and got our large tub of popcorn. Popcorn is my thing. The wife looked through the glass at the candy. Candy is her thing. We debated on Skittles or Goobers or Red Vines but settled on Junior Mints and took our seats in the theater.

Then it happened. Right then and there. In one exchange I realized just how opposite we really ARE from each other.  She looked at me with those seductive eyes and said, “Can we throw Junior Mints IN the popcorn and make it a Junior Mints surprise?

Junior Mints surprise???

I had no answer. I was dumbfounded. In the past 23 years, the wife had tried this stunt before and I always dodged it. I didn’t say a word. You know when they tell you if you ever encounter a bear in the woods you should just freeze and play dead? I froze. I played dead. I hoped the request would go away. It didn’t.

The wife responded to my non response saying simply, “you’re boring.”

It was then that I realized there’s only two types of spouses in this world: those who savagely vandalize the beauty that is perfectly buttered popcorn with some hideous add-ins that certainly don’t belong in there… and those who don’t. The “don’t” people are clearly in the right here. We just are. Popcorn should be unadulterated, undoctored, free. But she gave me the look. So I gave in.

She cracked open the box of Junior Mints and dumped them in. The movie lights went down. We started watching the movie. And a funny thing happened. Neither one of us accounted for the weight of a Junior Mint. They’re heavier than an M&M and heavier than a Reese’s pieces. They sank to the bottom of the bucket like fifty little anchors. Boom. Gone into the abyss. For the next two hours my wife was forced to dig around the bucket with buttery fingers. She foraged and foraged. And every couple of minutes in the dark of the theater, she’d feed me a Junior Mint she’d fished from the bottom. She’d mix her’s with popcorn. She’d keep mine solo.

We went home and made mad passionate love as we thought about the popcorn and the candy. Well, I made up the last part. But we didn’t get divorced either. We kissed in the morning and I realized the popcorn hadn’t ruined our marriage.

Apparently you really CAN love someone with horrifyingly bad ideas involving popcorn. Which spouse are YOU?


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On a Sunny Day in the Inner City, My Wife Made it Snow

It’s hard to imagine if you grew up in New England like me, but some kids have never seen snow. Some kids have never known the fun of throwing a snow ball, or making a snow angel, or sledding down a hill, or coming back home with snow caked on to your pants after playing outside all day.

And so it is for some of the kids in the poorest section of Los Angeles. Some of them have never seen snow. My wife decided she wanted to make it happen for the students at her school, a charter school in the middle of south LA.

One day as the wife and I were talking, she said matter of factly, “I wrote to the helpful Honda people to see if they’d make a snow day for the kids.” If you’re in a part of the world that doesn’t know the helpful Honda people, they’re part of a brilliant ad campaign which does good things for people. They raise awareness for the Honda brand by doing random acts of “helpfulness” as they call them. We’ve seen them at our pumpkin patch in town buying pumpkins for people. We’ve seen them buying gas for people and paying bills for people. And so my wife had sent them a letter asking them if they’d help make her snow day a reality.

She waited. No answer.
She waited some more. No answer.

What she didn’t know is that Honda had actually gotten in touch with ME. They wanted to make her snow day happen. They wanted it to be a surprise. I got them in touch with the school principal. They all made a plan. I had to keep the secret.

I held the secret.
I held it even longer.

They set a date for the first snow day which happened to be a Friday. Southern California was pelted with one of the biggest rain storms of the season. Washout. The event was canceled. The secret snow day was on hold.

They set a date for the NEXT Friday. Southern California was hit with one of the biggest storms in YEARS. Two Friday’s. Two washouts. The event was canceled. The secret snow day was on hold. Again.

I thought it might be canceled entirely. And then I got an email from Honda this week. It’s on! This Friday. They sent out press releases telling people about the secret snow day. Still my wife didn’t know. Still I kept the secret.

On the third Friday, the sun shined bright. It was sunny and warm and beautiful and the forecast was for SNOW. As the school kept my wife busy in meetings with parents, the Helpful Honda people showed up in South LA. They trucked in sleds, and a sledding hill, and then 40-tons of snow. 40 tons. Then they surprised my wife -and- the kids! The kids ran for the snow. They jumped in it. They threw it. They made snow balls in it. They sledded in it. They laughed in it. They laughed some more. In the middle of south Los Angeles, in the middle of one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, on a sunny and beautiful Friday afternoon, it was snowing.

I left work early, got our own kids, and let them in on the secret. I wanted to bring them to the snow day to see for themselves. I wanted them to see what mom had done with a letter of selflessness. They grabbed sleds and went down the hill themselves. Again. And again. And again.

My wife made it happen… she made it snow… with a very cool random act of helpfulness from the Helpful Honda people.

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A Warning For Parents: Beware, Pics Of Your Kids Are Being Stolen

Nelson updated his Facebook profile with the cutest pic ever. The CUTEST. It was a little kid wearing an oversized sweater which had mistakenly gone through the dryer and no longer fit her dad. So dad had given the sweater to his daughter and it fit just right. She had the biggest grin. How’d I know all this? No, Nelson didn’t tell me. Nelson didn’t write about it either. In fact, I don’t know where in the world Nelson is. We’ve never met. But I know that kid. She’s MY daughter. And somewhere around the world, someone I’ve never met has been using her photo as his Facebook profile.

Creepy? I’ll say.
Disturbing? You bet.
Worrisome? Absolutely.

So that’s how I found out. I woke up last week to a notification from Facebook alerting me someone may be using a profile picture which really doesn’t belong to them. They asked me to confirm it which I did. I had the option to block him which I did. Facebook said it would investigate.

Who was this guy?
I don’t know. The account had no friends and few posts. Just a couple of pictures and the one front and center was MY kid in the shrunken sweater.

It got me thinking about all those photos I’ve shared over the years. All those stories I’ve shared. On my dadmissions page I stopped posting most pics of my kids a few years ago. I don’t even use their names on my dadmissions page anymore. On my personal page I still share. But now I’m wondering what the cost is for all this interconnectivity we’ve all created. What is the unintended cost to my kids of my social media footprint that THEY never bargained for. We’ve all seen bogus accounts pop up with friend requests. This somehow felt different to me. Invasive. Probably because it affected MY family, and MY kid, who has never even been on Facebook.

Luckily, Facebook was very proactive and notified me about the photo. Or so I thought. Because I woke up this week to another alert from Facebook. This time someone named Williams was using the same pic. Same thing. New profile. Again I replied back to Facebook. Again they said they would investigate. Again: annoyed, disturbed, creeped out.

Sure maybe it’s just some automated account. Or maybe it’s some overseas scammer. Or maybe it’s someone who has NO place having any types of pictures of any children. It very unsettling.

So on a Saturday morning I sat down with a cup of coffee and one by one started to copy and then delete the memories I had been sharing on Dadmissions over the years. One pic. Then another.


And I couldn’t help but gulp back a tear, sad to be looking back through all these great memories I had shared, sad that I may have put my kids in this situation, sad that the world can’t always be trusted to get a glimpse into your life.

In each of the cases, Facebook has now replied to me that they looked at the profiles created and they “don’t” violate Facebook’s community rules. I don’t really know what that means. I’ve already blocked both accounts and reported them and I will continue to do so. And I’ll certainly think twice before posting public photos of my kids. Moreover, I’m going to look at my security settings on ALL my social media accounts to see where things might be tightened up to be more secure.

I hesitated to even write this. Sometimes it’s better to just ignore things and leave them alone. But sometimes there’s an important message other parents need to hear. This is the latter. Watch what you post online. Watch your security settings. Be vigilant about who has access to your life. Not everyone out there is a friend.

imageBelow are a couple of good articles with tips on how to protect yourself online:
The 411 on online impersonation:

How can I stop online impersonation:

protecting your online photos:

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Finding Hope In The Year We’re FINALLY Getting Rid Of

In a year that seemed to be such a downer, I found hope.

In a year that saw me lose my job of 16 years, I found a new job, and hope

In a year that saw America ripped apart at the seams by politics, still, I have hope

In a year that saw so many deaths, we got a new baby nephew, and hope

In a year that saw me jump fifteen pounds, I recently lost ten, and gained hope

In a year that seemed to be such a downer, I have my family, my kids, my wife, my life.

I have great hope for 2017


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Cupcake The Wonder Dog: How A Shelter Pet Became Family

My wife and I never thought we’d be dog owners. But that all changed on a chilly fall day several years ago when the West Valley animal shelter in Los Angeles brought two little puppies to the tv station where I worked. The kids really wanted a dog and we’d talked about it with the kids for a while. They even doggie sat ANOTHER dog — a great golden retriever– for a weekend just to see what it would be like. We were just waiting for the right time and the right dog. This was both. We were told we’d have to go line up at the shelter like everyone else if we wanted to adopt a dog. So we did.

The next morning we loaded the girls into the car. I remember so vividly the pouring rain, a cold driving rain. We got there at the shelter right as they opened. So did another family. And they were looking right at the dog WE were looking at. But they eventually picked another. We picked ours. It was a cold and rainy and blustery Saturday. It was the day Cupcake came home.  The girls named her.

A border terrier lab mix, Cupcake was soooo tiny when she came home; she couldn’t even make a squeak. The kids loved having her around so much. She quickly became the third kid in the family. As Cupcake grew, she grew into her bark. So playful and so loving, Cupcake’s number one mission: protect the family. Bark bark bark, then lick lick lick. Maybe the worst protection dog ever. And she earned her name. One day we made cupcakes for one of the kids’ birthdays. Twelve vanilla cupcakes on the table. We came in to the kitchen and only the crumbs remained. Cupcake hid in the corner with a satisfied dog grin. Cupcake had undoubtedly eaten all the evidence.

Whenever people ask about Cupcake, I always tell them she’s a shelter dog. I feel so good that we got her out of the shelter and have given her her a good home. Cupcake’s bed sits right by the heater. When she’s too warm, her head flops out of her bed onto the cold, wooden planks on the floor. Just hanging out. Typical teenager.  She doesn’t jump but stands up on two legs putting those long front paws on you to say hello. She goes into the living room and walks under your feet using your legs to scratch her back. She sits by the table just waiting for you to make a mistake with your fork.  When our little girl falls asleep on the couch, Cupcake sneaks a lick right on the lips.   That dog has owned the house for five years. Owned it. And us.

Recently Cupcake started exploring more. Cupcake would run the hill behind our house. This week Cupcake got out and made a run down the sidewalk. My wife gave chase. That dog is always so mischievous. Cupcake ran across the street. She took one look at my wife. She ran back towards her. A car hit her. The driver had to know. My wife saw it. I saw it. The driver never looked back and just continued down the street. By this time I was running behind my wife. Cupcake limped to the side of the road. I thought she had broken her leg. But it was worse than that. She just laid down. We knelt down beside her. My wife burst into tears. The couple who never saw ourselves as dog owners, now sitting there just comforting our dog, rubbing her behind her ears and on her neck, talking to her, letting her know we were there. A neighbor walking her dog saw what happened and was in tears too. She wanted to know what she could do to help.  There was nothing to do except give Cupcake the last few moments of love. We did. My wife brought a big comfy towel out and we cradled Cupcake like when we first brought her home and we brought her back to the house. One daughter was still at home and inconsolable. The other was already at school and had no idea what had happened. She does now.

An ordinary Thursday turned into a morning none of us will ever forget.

It’s funny how a pet can change a family, can nurture a family, can become part of the fabric of the family. The couple who never saw ourselves as dog owners. Now we do.  So here it is:  my favorite picture of Cupcake.  The window down, Cupcake chasing the wind like the captain of her own ship.  I always thought she looked like Falcor from the Neverending story in this pic.  Fitting.  The little puppy from the shelter will never be forgotten.


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A Note To My Kids On The Eve Of A Historic Election

To my girls on the eve of a historic Election:

For the first time in my life, I really believe we are standing at a crossroads in our country’s history. The nation is so divided. The common ground seemingly so far apart. Each side believing it is on the correct side. Each side convinced the other is so wrong. You and I are here as witnesses to history, as Americans head to the polls on Election Day to decide which way to go.

Remember this:

No matter what happens on Election Day, On Wednesday morning, you’ll still get up and go to school. On Wednesday morning, mom and dad will still get up and go to work. You’ll still play, and learn, and read. Then when the sun sets on Wednesday night, we’ll still be there to tuck you in. You’ll still cuddle up in bed, and snuggle, and dream.  We’ll still love you.  Forever and for always. 

Same. As. Before.

My hope no matter who wins, is for friends to mend those broken fences, for differences to be set aside, for us to move forward even if it takes time. Because on Wednesday, our flag will still be there. We are one nation, and we need to be indivisible. It’s written in to our history as we begin a new chapter.



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