Please and Thank You, Camera Man

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Please and Thank You, Camera Man

Editor’s Note: This post was written 5 months ago. 5! That means in 5 months I’ve tried and failed to balance work, parenting, adulting, and making personal art. It took a pandemic, a governor’s stay at home mandate, and my wife taking time off of work to post this entry. Better late than never, I suppose.

Good Manners


My daughter is now saying please, thank you, and bless you! The best part is that she’s using them correctly. We get a lot of “beshy” around the house because it’s that time of year when everyone is sick because my wife works at a hospital and my daughter goes to daycare. Germs just kind of hang around our house. My wife, bless her soul, gets the sniffles like it’s nobody’s business … and she should keep that business private if you ask me… and my daughter is a fountain of never ending boogies so I’m saturated in seasonal disease. I’m as sneazy as a bubble boy in a hay field and Emma is Johnny-on-the-spot, always ready to say “beshy.”

It always catches me off guard when she says it because it means that she’s kind of conversational now. It also means that she has at least some understanding of social and conversational cues (which is more than most adults I meet these days) and that now I have to really watch what I say around her or “beshy” will turn into “ooo dish bish ray heer.”

Then there’s “peas” and “tank ooo”. She loves peas but I’m pretty sure that’s not what she’s saying.

I feel like a bad parent, but I don’t think we taught her to say “please.” I mean, I say it to my wife and she says it to me and we always follow up with a thank you because we’re nice people. Well, we’re nice to each other… most of the time. But we’ve never sat down and said to Emma, “Hey kid… say please when you ask us for something” or “HEY… I just did you a solid so now you say ‘thank you’… or you can start changing your own diapers.”

So where did she learn it? I’d like to think that she’s learning it by observation, but she’s probably picking it up at daycare.

I fear this is just the start of a whole mess of things she’s going to learn from other people. Next thing you know she’ll be vaping on the corner with the cool kids, then starting yoga in park for the homeless until she runs off to join the Scientologists. Gross.

At least she’ll have good manners.

(Editor’s note: I’ve been corrected. My wife says we taught her “please”. “Thank you” she randomly started saying one day after school. So now I feel like a bad parent for forgetting.)

SUV- Super Uber Vehicle

We recently purchased a “family” vehicle. I had one, mind you. It was a 4 door sedan which I purchased knowing that I would ask Kelly to marry me, that she would say yes, and we would eventually have a well mannered child who would use the rear two doors on a regular basis.

I’m not saying I’m psychic, but….

Anywho, over time I paid off my car, used it to move across the country… twice, and when Emma was born, used it to bring her home from the hospital for the first time. It was a great car. Reliable, good looking (considering what I could get on an illustrator’s salary), and mine. Sadly, we outgrew it. We needed more out of a vehicle. More space for people and things and more room to spread out in. So I did what I said I’d never do and bought an SUV. 

Scholars claim that the meaning of SUV has been lost to time, but I’ve learned that it means “Super Uber Vehicle” … because I’m basically an Uber driver and my SUV is a super vehicle. See how I mansplained that?

Well, now that I’ve switched to the dark side I can’t turn back. I’ve gone completely “’Merica” over my oversized ride. I’m now that guy with the super bright LED headlights who blind you at night. And they’re brand spanking new so you know retinas are being burned out left and right.

Driving it home on our first night somebody even flashed their brights at me like I had MY brights on. I had to flash my own brights just to make sure I didn’t and I vaporized the car in front of us.

But the real reason we got it was safety. It’s big, sturdy, looks like it can take more of a hit than my Elantra and has a gajillion cameras. I mean, it tells me if I’m drifting lanes, shows me video of all angles around the car, and magically has a top down view of the car when I’m in reverse… like I have my own satellite looking down on me all the time. I feel like Tony Stark, this thing is so teched out!!! And my family is safe(r)…

Smile, you’re on TV

Speaking of safety and cameras, we added video surveillance to our house. Do I feel unsafe? No. But I have a daughter now and I’m over protective.

Scrap that, I’m just protective enough.

The world is scary, especially when you’re a parent. You always have to look after someone who doesn’t necessarily have their own best interests or safety in mind. 

Candy from strangers? You should have seen Emma on Halloween. If I wasn’t there she would have never found her way home. So I ate her candy to teach her a lesson… and I’ll do it again every year until she realizes what’s going on, dammit.

Her safety is my main concern, though, and it’s a good thing I put those cameras up because I just found out the other day that there might be a boy in her class with a little crush.

Too Young to Date

Yes… I know she’s only 17 months old… but it feels like she was born yesterday. I get the feeling that she’s really popular at her daycare. She’s always waving to people and we’ve seen the other kids saying “Emma Emma Emma” as we’ve come to pick her up. 

It might be the name. It’s super easy for toddlers to say. I mean it’s so close to “mama” that it just rolls off the tongue for them.

So now there are little boys walking up saying “Emma!” One morning as we were dropping her off a little boy… I don’t know his name… runs up and was like “Emma!” 

Which I took to mean, “Hey girl, where you been. I missed you. You want to play blocks?” and he proceeded to hug her.

Now, I was halfway out the door and as I turned to say my last goodbye I saw this happen. OH NUH UH, KID! You don’t go huggin’ my daughter. I’m not even in the parking lot yet and you’re trying to share sippies with my progeny?! No way. My daughter is way too nice. 

If she didn’t go around saying “PEAS!” and “TANK OOO” all the time and being so nice maybe boys will just leave her alone. …Being a dad is hard.

So, yeah… cameras around the house. Cameras around the car. Cameras everywhere that call me whenever someone starts to creep up on my kid. The name of the game is safety, people… safety.

That’s it for now. As always, Happy Parenting… and tell your kids my daughter won’t be dating till she’s 30.

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