Toddler Tips for Vacation Trips

That’s no toddler

Now that we’ve successfully transitioned from having small children I thought I’d “throw up” a few tips that I remember from taking them on vacation. Yes, we all know to bring pack-and-plays, diapers, wipes, and food, but what about the out-of-the-ordinary things that keep parents from going insane on vacations?

A small bottle of dishwashing liquid – rancid sippy cups of milk found the next day in the floorboards are no fun to clean

Door stops – Toddlers are fascinated with opening and closing doors. It gets old with parents really quick. Especially if the doors are really heavy and can lop fingers off with ease. Rubber door stops are really cheap too.

White noise device – We use one of our iPhones with White Noise, it’s great for drowning out the questionable random noises of a hotel room. You can also pick up a dedicated device. Just make sure to keep it out of their reach unless you want it cranked up to total volume in the middle of the night.

Stroller or Alternative – We had two different types. The Maclaren and we also have the Tikes Mobile. The tikes mobile was great for us because it gave our boy a sense of control and didn’t give the impression that we are torturing him with the stroller. Don’t put your kid on a leash, please.

Not a phone or tablet – there is a little human that you’ve been put in charge of. Narrate what’s going on around them. Don’t give in and reward their temper tantrums with candy or an iDevice.

Patience – We all don’t have enough of this, toddlers can drive you crazy, they are all over the place. It’s easy to scream at them when they don’t do what you want. But keep them busy and don’t miss naps. If you can keep them happy on a trip, it will trickle down to everyone.

Best cat litter for your feline overlord 

I’m not impressed by many products but this Slide litter by Arm & Hammer is pretty great. This litter almost has a play dough-like consistency once it reacts to the cat pee. It’s reminiscent of litter critters. There is nothing worse than scraping off dried diarrhea from the bottom of the litter pan because your cat is stressed out. While this is not the best-smelling cat litter on the market, it smells better than most. It does well at covering up the odor of cat urine and feces. If you combine this with a litter genie your guests won’t even know you have a cat. That is unless they are deathly allergic and can’t breathe upon entering your home.

They’re growing up too fast…

He grew up too fast

People are always saying this about their children. However, it’s very sad for me. Usually, people say this when they haven’t seen their kids in a while because the lapse in time periods makes it seem as if the child is growing at an alarming rate. It’s even worse if a parent says this about their own kids. It makes me think that you are not paying attention to your kid. Unless you are injecting your kids with HGH or they have a pituitary gland disorder then your kids are probably growing at a normal pace for a human. Or maybe it’s just a figure of speech, who knows!

Do you still do date nights?

If you are married then stop calling it a date night. You are no longer dating, you are now married. Unless you are unfaithful or you focus your evening eating a bunch of phoenix dactylifera then it’s just a night out with your wife, husband, wife and, husband, or whatever our country had defined two wedded partners to be.

Also, stop calling it babysitting your kids when your wife has a “girls night out”. Also, they are women, not girls. At least call it Ladies Night so you can get the Kool and the Gang song stuck in your head.

Logical Fallacy: Appeal to my Children

Photo by Keira Burton on

If you are not familiar with the appeal to emotion logical fallacy it’s simply the technique of manipulating someone’s emotions to win an argument despite the facts. There is a new logical fallacy that is gaining in popularity. While it’s very similar to the Appeal to Emotion it has subtle differences. For example.

“I’ve got kids that come in this store.” could be deployed when a retailer is featuring some rather grotesque holiday decorations.

“My kids use this playground.” could be excreted when you notice a dog owner leaving a huge steaming pile of feces on the merry-go-round.

“My kids are trying to sleep.” can be shouted over blaring vulgar hip-hop music as the neighbors are hooting and hollering outside your sleeping child’s window.

This argument works better if the person has children. They can relate and they do not want any backlash in the future.

Getting over your fear of spiders

IMG_9694Spiders are about the only thing that really creeps me out. I guess it has something to do with eight independently moving legs. Growing up I was tossing a towel into the hamper and noticed something squirming in the background. After closer inspection, I uncovered a nightmare nest of a mother and about five million babies spiders that were alive and kicking.

There was only one way to dispose of this horrid web of terror and I knew the perfect weapon. Since my sister was habitually teasing her hair to its length to create an afro of curly stickiness, I grabbed a can of Aqua Net. I then located one of the numerous lighters that ignited Dad’s lung candy. I was fortunate not to burn our home down, but I gave them a hurricane of flame broiling that turned them into the crispiest of critters. The cremation ceremony was finalized with a quick flush of the deceased. My family was now safe from a pending arachnid avalanche for whoever emptied the hamper.

Where are you really from?

Where do you really call Home? Is it the place you were born or the place where you’ve lived the longest? Is it the place where all of your stuff is? I would say it’s where you want it to be. I mean, my kids were both born in Tennessee, but they are really from South Carolina. Even though my son wears Mountaineer gear and my daughter wants to constantly visit Orlando. But just remember nobody wants a backstory. They just want to know where you currently live because they want to judge your accent and speech patterns.

When I tell people I’m from West Virginia I usually hear. “Oh what part? I love Roanoke and the Shenandoah Valley!” I have to say. “You know West Virginia is a whole separate state right?” It’s like having to explain to someone. “I’m from South Carolina” and hearing. “Oh, I just love the Charlotte area!”

When I travel up North I hear, “You don’t sound like you are from South Carolina”. Yeah, I know! I’ve picked up a hybrid accent from West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, and the Carolina’s. I do my best to enunciate and speak clearly,  but once I’m tired I’m not sure which dialect will surface. Sorry for the backstory.

Cleaning up your child’s vomit.

Vomit Trampoline Effect

I don’t puke that easily, so cleaning up my kid’s vomit was not an issue. It’s weird, it’s like God gives you anti-upchuck receptors for your own children.

However, once I smell my own stomach contents the upchuck flows effortlessly. While I’m down there commode hugging, if I haven’t cleaned the toilet recently, it moves matters forward. The worst case is when I stayed with my Granny in Nitro, WV when I was about 10 years old. I was sleeping on a cot in the dining room and woke up hollering vomit into my pillow, splashing all over my face and overflowing into the floor. It just kept flowing and woke everyone in the house. It had to be the butter-flavored Crisco popcorn and Cool Ranch Doritos having an argument on who gets the last bite of overcooked fried chicken.

What are your greatest puke moments?