THE BLOG
09/15/2014 05:55 pm ET Updated Nov 15, 2014

Raising Kids, One Letter at a Time

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Anyone else catch themselves s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g everything around your toddlers? Well, of course, I'm talking about things you don't want them to hear. My wife and I are certainly guilty of this. But now that our son is approaching 5, the charade is almost up.

We found out earlier this year that our "secret" and clever alphabet-filled convos weren't so clever anymore. I was in the kitchen trying to get our son to finish his lunch and said to my wife, "Someone is c-r-a-b-b-y and needs an n-a-p." In the middle of throwing a bit of 'tude, my son turned to me and said, "I don't need a nap."

Damn. At that point, I certainly did.

Speaking of conversations, our big guy loves to interrupt his mom and dad. Don't get me wrong; I'm a strict disciplinarian who corrects him every time this happens, but the correction takes me away from our convo. By the time I address the situation, I'm over continuing whichever topic we're discussing. I usually will say to my wife, "Ahh, we'll just talk tonight when the kids go to bed." Um, doesn't happen. By the time both boys are asleep, she and I are just happy to enjoy the silence.

Isn't it crazy how much life changes once you have kids? Yeah, I know... you have those friends who dress their kids in all white, do crafts in their spare time and always seem to look at the camera and smile for every picture. To be honest... crafts and I do not go mano y mano. Fortunately, my wife is all about it. How do you spell relief?

Just an example of how life is a bit different with kiddos: A few weeks back when the MTV VMA's were airing, I found myself watching the screen while folding some laundry, but I couldn't hear a thing even though the volume was up. It was as if the TV was muted. Our 11-month-old's bouncer was going full-speed... and seriously, that thing is anything but silent. Then on top of that, our 4-year-old's fire engine was having quite the busy night answering fire calls up and down the hall. That siren is insane. Yes, I've contemplated removing the batteries and using the "it must be broken" line. Bad dad.

Back in the day, watching the VMA's was something I looked forward to. Those days, it was Madonna, Prince and George Michael. Yes, I'm that age. I'll admit, at this year's award show, there were more than a handful that I didn't recognize on the red carpet. Then at one point, I noticed the siren on my son's fire engine had stopped. Should have known... Ariana Grande was doing her thing on the stage and his eyes were fixated on the screen. Yikes! Parenting fail. Within five seconds, the TV was back on Disney Jr... a staple in our home.

Speaking of kids' programming, it amazes me how much the DVR has changed the way our young ones watch TV. Even though we limit our son's TV viewing to only an hour a day during the week, he definitely makes the most of that hour, asking us, "Please fast-forward the commercials." His 30-minute cartoon is now 15 minutes. Technology is just something our kids are growing up with... especially in 2014. The other day, I was in our neighborhood frozen yogurt place and a little girl walked in with her mom. The girl had on headphones while holding on to an iPad that was playing music. With the not-so-great warranty on the iPad, I'd say that's a pretty bold move, giving your little one an iPad to use while on the go. I probably wouldn't have noticed the girl if she hadn't been belting out "Black Widow" by Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora. Yep, she must have been around 7 years old singing these lyrics: "You should've known better, than to mess with me honey, I'm gonna love ya, I'm gonna love ya, gonna love ya, gonna love ya like a black widow baby." Whoa, times have changed.

Since I'm totally having a "Wow, I'm old" moment... have you seen the revamped Happy Meal box? That thing is creepy-looking. Back in the day, the box was the last thing you noticed. It was all about the cheap-a** toy inside. But these days, to me at least, the box is what makes the biggest impact. The best part? McDonald's always has an assortment of toys on display in their fast food restaurants that COULD be in the Happy Meal. Funny thing, that particular toy (of course, the one our son falls in love with) is NEVER the toy in the box that week. Right? It's always, "Oh, that Hot Wheels car is in next week's Happy Meal." Then again, a trip to McDonald's for a McTreat is like a blue moon, so I should just McChill.

Just realizing that life before kids was kinda boring. Well, actually it wasn't. That's a total L-I-E.