Superpowers My Children Have

Dear Doctor Marlow-

Over the past four years, it has come to my attention that my children have Super Powers. In fact- I’m apt to believe that all children possess these unique abilities. Please understand how disappointed I am that you chose not to disclose this to me during our many sessions. It seems as though I was to discover this fact of life on my own.

I am quite certain that none of the parenting books you provided ever mentioned the points I’m about to share. Had I known I’m quite sure I would have continued our preparatory meetings.

As it is I have made a list of 6 Super Powers my children have.

1) It seems the little hobbits have a strange snack sensory skill. What is even more alarming is the way in which it is magnified when someone other than them is receiving a said snack. This tidbit of info would have been highly helpful in prepping for budgetary purposes.

2) After learning to crawl, walk, and run- I’ve discovered a Spider-Man like mechanism that has been triggered. Everything to climbing and dancing on the table, scaling up the fridge, to climbing to the top of the changing table has occurred.  These minor incidents have caused my very heart to nearly stop on more than one occasion.

3) A clean house detector. Understand that my highly sensitive OCD nature needs to have the floors picked up, swept, and things somewhat organized. This has not been the case. I made need therapy after the discovery of a blackened Banana under the couch cushions.

4) Hidden Veggie Sensor. This has become quite alarming. The lack of food these little humans take in. It seems no matter what attempt is made the nutritional content is non-desired. They seem only to survive on Dinosaur shaped processed chicken and tiny Goldfish crackers- The latter resulting in crumbs being left on my side of the bed.

5) Internal WWE wrestling clock. This one of all things seems to be the most stressful and concerning. We’ve never allowed them to watch such things but it never fails- Once bed time draws near they have a desire to “Fight” but in a playful way. Sidenote: All fights lead to tears.

6) I have tried very hard to avoid this next one. But it never seems to fail. Once a week I find a rather bright art project has taken place on the walls of our home. All sharpies, markers, crayons are in the correct place out of reach and seem to have not been disturbed. I fear their little fingers may be producing these.

Doctor Marlow- I hope that you can expedite the proper training needed in order to address my fears on this issue as quickly as possible. I’m fearful for my health, well being, and psychological duress I seem to be encountering.

Your’s truly: A Tired Parent.

A Geek Father’s Tip: Retro Games

I was born in 77- So I came into gaming on the tail end of Atari- In fact the 3rd version of Atari was the system I started playing on when I was six. But following the great Video Game Crash of 1983 (Yes- It happened) the N.E.S was released and gaming forever changed.

atari-2600-wood-4sw-set

Some of my best memories growing up were of my friends and I staying up all night just to beat Mario Brothers, Contra, Kung Fu, and Zelda.

So it’s natural that I would want to introduce my kids to a bit of my childhood. And now- Starting this week- The NES is being re-released.

Here are some of my favorite games growing up. All these are from the NES system. I did enjoy the later systems as well. However, there is something special about those original games- The ones that captured the magic of my childhood that can’t be replaced.

when-nintendo-was-cool

Paper Boy

Bubble Bobble

Duck Hunt

TMNT

Super Mario Brothers

Super Mario Brothers 2

Super Mario Brothers 3

Contra

ZELDA

Mike Tyson’s Punch Out

Tecmo Bowl

TETRIS

Double Dragon

What were some of your favorite games…? 

 

New Neighbors and the Crazies they Live Beside

We got new neighbors this week. The two girls with six schnauzers living inside have moved on. I always get nervous when someone new moves in. Mainly because I hope they understand exactly what kind of crazy they are now living next door too.

You see – Our house is a mad place!!!

I know some like to pretend their homes are bliss, filled with magic fairy dust where mom and dad declare their love in words like- You’re my soul mate, My one true love, my best friend, our marriage and love get better and better with each new day, we have the most amazing kids, blah, blah, blah… 


It seems sometimes in life all we share is the best days- But behind closed doors daggers fly as mom and dad tag team and race from one end of the house to the other. A child screams, something crashes, the cat somehow got shut up in the dryer, “Child 2 has got the scissors and he looks evil!!!” the list goes on and on. 

Being a family is tough and sometimes you wonder if you should just order a life supply of magic erasers.

There isn’t a day goes by I don’t yell at two little sassy toddler boys.

I know, I know… God forbid it – How dare I yell at my kids? I mean think of the emotional damage I’m doing.


I never wanted to be that parent. I wanted to be the calm, patient parent who corrected with a peacful time out and the child would be compliant to the Tee.

Okay, you can stop laughing.

Seriously, stop laughing.

It’s not funny.

I really feel bad about it.

The truth is I yell at times.

Get Down. Stop that. Don’t hit your brother in the head with a dump truck… And no matter how many times when they are diving under beds, scaling up the fridge, peeing in the tub, or squirting tooth paste all over the place you wonder to yourself –

My God what do the neighbors think of me…?

Listen, parenting is tough. You’re going to get mad. Pull out your hair. Hide in the basement where you’ll binge eat on Oreos. The important thing to remember- No one has life figured out. So stop worrying about the neighbors.

So enjoy the adventure story you are writing. Maybe the neighbors are the strange ones…

Do you have any rough parenting stories…?  I would Love to Hear them- Comment below.

J.J. Johnson A Geeky Dad who Reads, Writes, and Loves God…

Kids Say the Most Darn Things

Kids say the most darn things.

It’s true- If you have kids you know exactly what I’m talking about. I can write a humor book about all the things my kids have said.

(Well, what Miles has said. Bennett isn’t quite two yet and his most comprehensible sentence is “I wan dow.- Which I translate to mean: I want down.) 

kids

I love my kids- And turning them into GEEKS is a lifelong mission of mine. But for the time being- I’m cherishing the craziness of raising two toddlers. So here are a collection of my favorite child sayings… Or, toddler sayings…

“I have bones in my belly, so I need milk…”

“You flushed the toilet, I needed to say goodbye to my poop…”

“You need a hug, you mad at Miles. Hug make you happy…” (Always his way of avoiding a spanking)

“Why, daddy? Why, daddy? Why, daddy? Why, daddy? Why…”

“Twinkle, spider, up the water spout…” (Itsy Bitsy Spider remixed w/ Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)

“Bennett pulled me into his crib, I not climb…” (As he & Bennett are in the crib asleep together)

“I need to turn the dark on…” (As he flips all the lights off in the house.)

Miles Reprimands mommy…

MOMMY: “Bennett Lucas Johnson”

MILES: No mommy, I don’t like that. It’s just Bennett.”

“Aunt Jess, you go at Red Lights and Stop at Green ones…”

Trying to get him to nap…

Aunt Jess: “Miles lay down and take a nap…”

Miles: “Yes, Jess, Yes… (As he continues to roll around and not nap)

“Aunt Nelle, we need to find a beetle with a missing leg…”

“Water breaks my bones…”

I’m certain if I thought about it longer, I could come up with about twenty more. But the truth is, with all the bruises, crying, sibling fighting, head bumps, messes they make (My God the messes) and no matter how many times I crash on my pillow at night after I have pulled what little hair I have left out- This is one of the greatest ages.

It’s the age of small dinosaurs that you step on barefoot, crayon on the walls, the age where they desire to be hugged when they’ve gotten hurt, the time when they actually get excited when you walk in the door, and the time they realize what light sabers are and how to use them.

It is the age of Toddlers- Cherish them- Always.

RELAX: You Are Not Alone… So Create Magic

I’ve said it before- My journey as a writer hasn’t quite gone as planned. I still remember the day my first short story went up on Amazon. I was so sure that the price incentive of .99 cents would be the thing that launched me up on the sales rank. Imagine my surprise when it barely moved. I was devastated. I was hurt. I thought- Seriously, I worked this hard on a 6,500-word short story and I’m not even going to break even…? What the heck…?

Did I quit…? No, I pressed on and wrote the novella My Friend Louie. I was so certain this little YA Horror Story would be the hit. Again, nothing happened… I asked myself a million questions. I could not understand what I was doing wrong. I remember sitting on my patio and just shaking my head. I felt God was leading me to write, to be a storyteller, to create with Him. However, I was not experiencing success on the level I wanted to.

That is when it hit me- I defined my career according to my terms and not God’s terms.

So, for two years I did a few things.

  • Studied the craft.
  • Made friends and connected with others in the industry
  • Practiced, Practiced, Practiced…

Those two stories are still up there for sale (But I have come so much further).

The point is. I have banged my head against the wall a hundred times. I have tossed in the towel every day. I have quit- Only to come back and bang away at the keys instead.

Maybe it’s my nature. I mean- I’ve gone from being a high school drop out to being a VP in a Marketing Firm. Maybe I don’t know how to quit. Maybe because on some level I know one day I’ll make a decent break through.

Maybe, Maybe, Maybe- Maybe I’ve realized that creating stories is the only thing I’m any good at.

Yes, I give up. Yes, I stare at a blank page and cuss the blinking cursor. Yes, at times I feel it is pointless. Yes, I feel disrespected. Yes, I feel my genre is laughed upon and underrepresented. Yes, I feel most publishers do not know jack about marketing. Yes, I have wanted to give up… Guess what- So has every other creative type I know.

We write because we are called. We write because it is who we are.

Remember- We create a special magic when we become one with the page, and the words, they are the wands…

So keep writing. Never look back. Someone, somewhere, needs to hear your story.