May 27

What I Wish I Knew Before Having Boys

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I watch my children run around outside, playing together and laughing in the beautiful weather. My heart fills with joy, as they do “boy” things, like play in the dirt and pick up bugs they find. I feel like the luckiest man in the world, blessed with a beautiful, happy, set of sons I get the pleasure of watching grow up. I shuffle them inside, marching them to the bath to clean the fun dirt from behind their ears so we can sit down for a nice lunch together. Family, it is such a beautiful thing. Washing my son gets awkward. His little trooper stands at full attendance, as I wash around his body parts to make sure everything is clean.

No one ever told me about this. They told me about colic and how to deal with a blow-out. I learned, from the parenting books, what was best to pack, the good and bad of crying it out. I learned fun games to help my sons grow cognitively and how important balanced meals were. I must have missed a chapter.

No one told me about the baby boner and now I am left to feel like a worker at a seedy massage parlor when I wash or change my son’s diapers. I think Viagra should rebrand it’s self.

“It will get you up like you were a baby!” 

I only speak of the baby stiffs because literally had no idea a baby could do that until my twins were born. Pull the diaper back and HELLO, THIS ISN’T THAT TYPE OF PARTY, YOUNG MAN!

I found out a baby boner supposedly means the kid is about to pee. Which, completely confuses me from my own personal experiences with erections. It makes me wonder why my children always are about to pee during Princess Sophia.

They don’t have to pee, they are perverts.

The twins, recently potty trained (hallelujah), have taken to pulling their underwear to the side and flicking their little boy toys while saying “Daddy, look! Pee Pee!” I have zero interest in looking at my son magically make his balloon animal grow, which I am quite vocal about.

It means they are about to pee, said the female expert. Have you ever had a boner, lady? Peeing with an erect..erm…member is like trying to convince your child to finish their vegetables. It ain’t happening, professional baby boner chick.

There is a lot you deal with when you become a parent. I didn’t sign up for dealing with hard-ons. I will wipe a butt and give a bath with a smile. I did not sign up for dicks dicks dicks all in my face.

You think they could have covered that in health class? I mean, I feel it would have deterred me from parenting.

“Let’s make a baby, baby!”

“Uh, what if we get a boy, babe?”

“We can name him after you. He can be Junior. Oh, please, my love, let’s make a baby!”

“Uh, I ain’t dealing with baby boners you better pass that box of condoms and pop your birth control or I am gonna go back to Netflix and Chilling without you.”

#Sorrynotsorry

I am here to expose this issue like my son exposes himself. Inappropriately. I can get by with school not teaching me how to file my taxes or do a mortgage but I will stand up against the lack of education about willy wonders of the toddler world.

Why didn’t anyone give me a heads up. Oh my god, I am gonna be sick.

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May 19

Am I A Mommy Blogger?

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I was super excited recently because I decided it was time for me to take down mommy blogging. Then someone beat me to it. With like, a bajillion words more than the seven hundred I probably would have dedicated to the subject. Seriously, it was like the blog equivalent to War and Peace.

Mommy blogging has provided me with an existential crisis. Unsure of what I am in the big blogosphere, I must go on a vision quest to find my true identity.

Am I *gasp* a mommy blogger?

Outward appearance would say no. I am a dad. I have this penis, making me giggle like a twelve year old for using the word penis. But, I pal around with the mommy babble crew.

Are there dad bloggers? Yes, there are. Yet, I feel I identify more so with the mommies than dads.

I will pause briefly for you to insert as many trans- jokes you can. Extra five points for a joke about Target bathrooms AND trans.

I will also briefly pause for those who feel I crossed a line. I guess you don’t read much of me.

I identify with and hang out with the mommy crew. For most of my bloggy career, I have been supported almost a hundred percent by women. During the time I was and participated in a group of dad bloggers, I still found my blog and page being supported almost entirely by women.

Now, were these just lonely housewives and I was their cabana boy?

*Wink* *fetches ice cold refreshments*

Whatever the reason, I made a lot of friends that were, for a lack of a cooler term, mommy bloggers. Is the community oversaturated with females writing about their experiences in motherhood?

Well, if I said yes, it would make a constant theme of my writing null and void. I have always held fast to the belief everyone has a voice and their voice should be heard. So, if a ton of women want to be heard, who am I to say it is saturation?

Is this industry rife with sell outs who would make Gene Simmons proud? Sure. But, who cares? The amazing thing about the internet is the ability to literally walk away from it. Literally.

You can’t see, but after the second literally, I stepped away from my laptop to prove a point. So, like, imagine that. 

Am I a mom blogger? I don’t know. 

Do I meme so hard motherfuckers want to take my word pictures and take my name off them.

Check. 

Do I get unreasonably upset about things that don’t affect me and go on long tirades about them?

Uh…Check. 

Do I incessantly post about my children and the little things they do all day?

Check, and brb got to hit up my Instagram with some photos from dinnertime. 

Do I review products and tell people how they must have them?

Have you seen Multiples Illuminated is available NOW on Amazon!!!!! Also, Check. 

Have I pushed a baby out of my body?

Ch—Challenging this question due to the fact that there are mommies with adopted children. Boom. 

So, if you look at it, Punk Rock Papa ain’t nothin but a sucky mom blogger too. Aw, shucks. Maybe I am not purebred mommy blogger. I am, at the very least,  like the little brother they are forced to bring to their friend’s house.

“Why is he here? I can’t believe they always make you bring him! Let’s peer pressure him into wearing makeup.”

FYI- Purple totally makes my brown eyes POP. I know this, from being the younger sibling forced along on my older niece’s hangouts with her friends.

What you write doesn’t define you. If you use your blog as a source of income, it doesn’t define you. I don’t identify as a forklift driver because I do that at my job five times a week.

What defines you is how you treat those around you. How you lift those people up along the journey. So, if I am a mommy blogger, I hope it stands for encouraging. Proud. Nurturing. Loving. Attentive. Kick ass at writing lists about what to do with your day off. A devoted parent.

That’s something I can live with.

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May 16

Teenage Angst

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“Look, I found one.”  he said, holding up a half smoked cigarette to me. Lighting it, I took a huge draw before handing it back. We each got two puffs of stale tobacco before the cigarette was gone and the search for another half-smoked discarded cigarette renewed.

The air was warm and humid. Humid enough that you felt a slight weight as it clung to your shirt. Here we were, searching through discarded smokes, trying to sate our nicotine urges.

It had been a long, blurry night. At about eight o’ clock the party arrived. While I didn’t have a job, I had something most didn’t. I had a place to party. The two bedroom apartment with connecting kitchen and living room was strewn with the clutter of broken furniture and stains of people who couldn’t make it to the toilet to throw up after a night of drinking. People would come over to drink and do whatever drugs and would share their booze or narcotics. It was a fair trade off. The urge to party sometimes runs headfirst into the problem of not having a place to rage.

I provided the space, people provided the party. My stomach, along with my cabinets, hadn’t digested anything but cheap beer or even cheaper vodka for the whole week. It was only Thursday.

It wasn’t always this way. I was six months removed from a decent job, a family and a respectable living arrangement. My life had done something I was all too familiar with.

It had fallen apart.

That was the summer I almost lost everything, including my life. The appetite for destruction couldn’t be sated and there wasn’t a drug that went through that apartment I didn’t personally test.

Sifting through cigarette butts, we found two more that were good for a drag or so. What do you do when you’ve got nothing to do?

Our friendship was about as new as my latest spiral out of control. It worked, because our spirals somehow aligned.

How the fuck did I get here?

I wasn’t a terrible bad kid. I was a bad kid, I wouldn’t say I was a terrible one. School and I never agreed on a subject. I was an honor student. It wasn’t that I didn’t like school, I wasn’t a class skipper. The problem was more so the amount of time I spent in class waiting for the teacher to move on. The regular courses came so easy to me that I found myself sitting there; bored and restless. In the time I spent waiting for the teacher to make sure no child was left behind, I daydreamed. Since a young age, the studies were easy and I found myself having to look busy. You know the tortoise and the hare? I was the hare; too fast for my own good. So, while my peers struggled to understand the complexities of the multiplication table, I would sit there, furiously scribbling on a blank piece of paper seeing who would win out; the paper or the ink in the pen. My notebooks were filled with pages saturated in nothing but ink as I scribbled and scribbled to see if the pen would run out of ink before the page became a black hole.

So, as kids slowly progressed, I filled notebooks with nothing. Throughout elementary school and middle school, my class notes were nothing more than pages black and torn from extreme pen abuse.

By the time I hit high school, my two talents were getting under people’s skin and hitting people who got under mine. In my eyes, all my fights were justified. The principal had my parents on speed dial. Maybe it was the feeling that I wasn’t noticed unless I was in trouble that drove me.

That’s what any number of psychologists might tell you. The truth? I was bored and the only way I could find interest was pushing into the unknown.

By high school, a mix of sports and an ability to choose harder classes had leveled me out. Honor courses gave me less time to fill sheets with empty blackness.

if there was something I enjoyed more than pushing into the unknown to see what would happen, it was proving people wrong. By the time high school had arrived, my main goal in life wasn’t to fill notebooks with nothing, it was to prove people wrong. When my guidance counselor looked at the tome of a file on me, she adamantly refused to put me in honor classes. I would be a high school drop out before sixteen, she said. The only classes I ever excelled in were the ones she told me I would fail in.

My parents began a countdown to when they could get rid of their troubled child my senior year. To say I had teenage angst would be an understatement.

I fucking was teenage angst.

Halfway through my senior year, I moved out. Taking a bag of everything I felt I needed, I shacked up with a friend who had already graduated. My parents assumed that was it, I was finally proving everyone right and dropping out.

Quite the contrary.

As I took the stage at graduation, it was hard not to raise a middle finger to the bleachers. Just a nice fuck you one last time. I had no intention of ever talking to them again and I am sure with the burden of me lifted they would be just fine in their day to day.

How did I get from stage walking to sifting through the cigarette butts?

I was broke. I was bored. I was filling the nothing with blackness, just like through grade school.

The summer had begun to reach a tipping point. As more and more drugs and alcohol made their way through my apartment (and my body) my spiral only quickened.

By spiraled, I mean I began to just smash unapologetically into oblivion.

That’s what can happen when you just don’t care. I mean, fuck, no one cared. If anyone did, they certainly weren’t showing it. Nights were spent inhaling anything we could get our hands on.

The substance was the substances.

We gathered empty beer cans from around the house, making our way to exchange them for any change we could get. The change wouldn’t go towards food, but a black and mild to tide over until the party began to show up again.

These were my days and I thought I was living.

The party came. The alcohol flowed. The drugs popped. The party went. I found myself in a room of broken furniture and spilled drinks, looking for meaning in the form of a late night visitor.

When the alcohol and drugs are gone, sex or violence are good substitutes to continue filling with blackness. I didn’t care who she was, I just needed her there. Some semblance of relationship till dawn. A pretty little thing, enabling in a crop top.

Maybe everyone saw how much I didn’t seem to care about my well-being, so neither did they. Maybe, they had enough of their own shit to deal with to worry about the problems of others. We were all young and fucked up, angry with our parents and the world; looking to lash out with sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.

Walking cliches. Young, dumb and full of cum.

I told you the spiral began to transform into true, pure, destruction. Right?

By Sunday, I was threatening to kill myself if I didn’t get my late night fix of human connection. Did I want to off myself? Well, being alive didn’t really seem all that great. Besides, at nineteen, I felt invincible anyways.

When the cops showed up at my house, asking me why I wanted to kill myself, I laughed. I couldn’t kill myself with so much to live for I told them, hysterically laughing as they shook their heads and made their way to go do whatever cops do after they feel their time is wasted.

Did I want to die?

Yes. Absolutely. I wouldn’t off myself though. For all the self-loathing and destruction, I knew my story didn’t end in some shithole apartment.

No, there had to be more to life.

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May 5

Trendy Activism

Do people still care about bathrooms? I mean, not just the people affected, but other people. The other people, who saw something on their newsfeed everyone was talking about and took it upon themselves to weigh in with their opinion. And why not? It is Facebook, also known as the Athens of the internet, where people can get all philosophical and show their progressiveness.

This isn’t about bathrooms.

I remember Starbucks red cups. The anger over boycotting Starbucks. It is always all those religious folk, trying to keep the world backwards. Recently, I purchased an expensive coffee from Starbucks. The Sulawesi, Single Origin, Dark Roast. It is delicious. I would drink it out of a cup that said 666 on it or some sort of Fascist quote. The coffee is moral compass erring good. But everyone was mad at people being mad about the PC or something. I didn’t really understand red cup fever to be honest.

This isn’t about red cups.

What other trends have swept the blogging world’s Parthenon (Read: Facebook) into a heated frenzy?

Well, we could talk about the Me-ternity sensation sweeping the blogging nation. Holy crap, want to piss off mothers in your vicinity? Announce you need a me-ternity.

This isn’t about you-ternity or whatever that is.

What about the presidential election. Puff Daddy or P Diddy or Diddy or whatever he goes by now must be pouring tears of joy as his VOTE OR DIE campaign finally is a success. Everyone is into politics now. I mean, it is trending.

This isn’t about politics.

Facebook has allowed us to care, somewhat, about current affairs as they ebb and flow through our newsfeed. It has given platform to our opinions that people should use whatever bathroom they fancy. Drink from any cup they wish. Not compare maternity with vacation. Vote.

The problem is, do we genuinely care? When topics no longer are trending, we move on to campaign other causes.

Well, yeah, we don’t want to beat that week old drum longer than any of our peers. Besides, if we took the time to continue to care about topics trending down, how would we make time for the topics trending up?

I will be the first to admit to getting caught up in feeling like I was a part of a movement, only to realize a week later I didn’t care as much as I thought I did in my mobbed up moment.

I cared about Syrian Refugees, but I didn’t want to talk about it anymore. I wanted a difference to be made, I contributed to that difference being made, with my many Facebook fights and blog post(s). Hadn’t I given my everything to the cause? Besides, no one really cared about Syrian Refugee Crisis anymore. My readers certainly didn’t.

Well, maybe the refugees still actually care…

What happens to these causes, when they no longer decorate your newsfeed? Have they been solved?

I don’t know, since no one is continuing to talk about them. If they are still talking about them, the words have been lost as the next battle in social justice wages on for it’s week. If it’s lucky, people might care beyond a week. Hell, it might rage on for a long, weary, two weeks.

But, why are we talking? Are we talking because we are empathetic to a situation or are we *gasp* speaking from our soapbox in an effort to maintain a sense of relevancy. Maybe grab some likes, with our forward thinking and unique approach to the situation everyone is talking and reading about.

The problem is, when the time in the spotlight is up, we toss issues affecting real people to the wayside. This isn’t activism.

“Are they protesting? Well, they will get bored in a week and go protest elsewhere.”

Kids these days ain’t chaining themselves to trees no more.

It makes me sad to think, maybe, we aren’t as empathetic and understanding as purported to be.

I won’t hold my breath for anyone to come forward and admit, maybe, they did it for the likes and shares and views and to show they are progressive or relevant. That they rode the coattails of a trend to Facebook page likes or a small paycheck from a submission based site.

Maybe people do truly connect to every cause that seems to sweep the book of face into frenzy. They truly connect, on an empathetic level, and feel these causes to their very core. I could just be a cynic, or worse, an ass.

Next time you get caught up in something. A few weeks later, as you fight a different social justice battle, think back.

Did you really care as much as you said you did? Did the problem get solved? If not, why are you no longer fighting for something you felt so deeply about?

Hi, I am Briton Underwood and I am addicted to social justice. It’s been two weeks since my last Facebook fight over an issue I never heard about before that day or talked about after.

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