Lesson learned: No presents under the tree until Christmas Eve this year.
Family traditions this time of year include decorating the tree, putting out nativity sets, eating a piece of candy per night from the advent calendar — and trying to guess what the presents are.
Grant got creative this year. He found Hailey’s phone on the counter and asked, “Hey, Siri, what is Grant getting for Christmas?”
Fortunately, Siri was on our side. She said, “I can’t tell you.”
Kennedy, however, has no need for personal assistants. When we got our first gift in the mail from my brother, Hailey put it under the tree and announced that Christmas season had officially begun. Moments later, Kennedy was walking around with a new, unwrapped book.
Lesson learned: No presents under the tree until Christmas Eve this year. And: Don’t turn your back on the baby.
Bad dad jokes are the best
One of the best parts of being a dad is telling bad jokes to your children.
“Where does a cow do his shopping?” I ask.
Even before the punch line, the kids’ eyes start rolling.
“Wal-moooo-rt,” I say.
This is when the children glare at me. They say, “Dad.” And almost imperceptibly, the corners of their mouths turn up, and they turn away to make sure I can’t see their smiles.
All this, of course, I interpret to mean, “We want more.”
“What do cows eat at campouts?” I ask.
“Dad,” they say.
The joys of eating out
My children are extremely picky eaters. At restaurants, chicken nuggets are the food of choice, and now that they’re getting older, I recently discovered that you can order a 40-pack of chicken nuggets at Chick-fil-A.
Once we went to a fancy restaurant, Steak n Shake. It was so fancy they served water in glasses, rather than paper cups.
“Can I keep this?” my 10-year-old son, Grant, asked, holding up his glass.
“No,” my wife, Hailey, and I said in unison.
Meanwhile, 2-year-old Kennedy was trying to put her silverware in the paper hat, which she had soaked with water.
Other than that, it was a pleasant dining experience.
I got a funny picture this week from Ray Tyner, planning manager for the city of Palm Coast. He wrote in an email:
“I often take my 2-year-old daughter Viviana to the Community Center on the weekend – playing outside and going into the center to read or just run around. This weekend she took your paper, sat down and started to ‘read’ it. It was cute so I took a pic with my phone. It wasn’t until I got home that I saw the headline!”
Viviana might not have been interested in some of our previous stories about city or county government, but that week, we found a topic every child wants to read about: Santa.
Tyner later emailed me to say that his wife’s name is Carey, and they had been married for 25 years before they had Viviana, who is their only child. Congrats!