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.

Willoughby Review

My friend Pam Halter along with artist Kim Sponaugle have just released Book 1 of the Willoughby and Friends.

I love stories- I especially love Children’s stories that allow my kids to go to imaginary worlds. Willoughby and the Terribly Itchy Itch is a fun story. One of a dragon trying desperately to rid himself of an itch. An itch he can’t seem to get rid of. This is a story that shows friends coming together to help each other out- Even when it seems hopeless. In a world where negativity seems to be the focus we can rest in knowing that our true friends will help us in the most irritating times.

This book is a great introduction to a nice new series of Children’s books. The art work by Kim Sponaugle is incredible and the story by Pam Halter is tight. I look forward to more adventures of Willoughby and his friends.

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…

Realm Makers – There & Back Again: The Authors Journey


I’m writing the first part of this from the Philly airport. I have just discovered that my flight is delayed. I have rebooked twice- rerouted- Travel can Be stressful- exhausting- and irritating.

My first thoughts go to my wife. I feel bad for her. She is what is on my mind. She is more kind, patient, beautiful, and supportive than I deserve. Without her, my journey as an author would be empty. And I’m glad I have her- To hold my hand, to lend an ear, to speak the words I need. For if, there is one thing I have learned this past week while at Realm Makers- It’s that an author’s journey never ends: Meaning- We all need our own Samwise Gamgee…

Realm Makers is more than just a writers conference. It is more than Geeky costumes, weird ideas, and late night Zombie Nerf Wars!!!

It’s a place to connect with a very active online community. A group that provides support, encouragement, and friendship while on the creative road. Where you are encouraged to embrace the gift God has given you. Every author needs that supportive cast: For the road is often littered with bumps, bruises, tears, and heartache. And when such accomplished authors like Thomas Locke, and NY Times Bestselling authors Tosca Lee, & Kathy Tyers speak of how they still deal with rejection or have recently been rejected themselves- you realize that creatives have a battle they must endure always.

“There is not a single day I sit down to write & I’m not scared to death.” -Tosca Lee (Click to tweet)

Thomas Locke reminded us this weekend that “You must learn to empty yourself. The greatest enemy of our souls is noise.”

I have a lot of noise in my life. From hundreds of emails, to the jealousy of others success, to the endless list of things to do, and an ever-ticking clock pounding in my ear.

Writing I have learned, is not a sprint. It is not even a marathon. Writing is an art that is expressed and nurtured through time. Too many times I think I need to finish now, or tomorrow, and I measure my success by what I have not done. “But, the outside world cannot be your only mark of success.” – Thomas Locke.

It was great seeing old friends: Josh, Jason, Nadine, Zac, and so many, many others. It was great to meet so many new faces. It was great to hear all the crazy story ideas everyone had. And I must admit there were a few times I thought: “I wish I had come up with that…”

I have returned home now. I will dive back into my shell, I will kiss my kids. I will love my wife. I will tell her what she means to me, and I will tell her I love her. I will tell her that without her, I would have collapsed on this road long ago.

My advice from what I took away from this weekend- Find the ones who love you. Who believe in you. Allow them to be a part of your creative life- For as Thomas Locke said:

“Your life is your page. Live your stories out…”