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.

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.

French Press Coffee: One Secret to Surviving Fatherhood

french press coffee

A great cup of French Press Coffee is one of my secrets to surviving Fatherhood. Let’s face it- Being a father is tough, especially after you’ve worked all day and come home to discover the kids are bouncing off the walls.

Like it or not- Men need an out from time to time. Kids are a blast: But after watching an endless loop of Veggie Tales, or listening to a child cry when you’ve said: “No, you’ve had enough snacks tonight…” There are times you just need to sit and catch your breath.

I have a ton of secrets. I read my Bible, pray, talk to my wife, read a novel, watch Arrow or Flash, but most times- It’s just sipping a nice cup of French Press Coffee.

So here are my steps to making a great cup of Joe.

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I like Speciality Beans from a local roaster. My wife (being a Chef and involved in the Food Service industry: Check out her site- www.planprepcook.com) always goes to great lengths to ensure I am fully stocked on the beans I need. I use beans from two different companies EOTE Coffee and Hoboken Coffee Check them out- They are both great.

COFFEE2

As you can see in the screen shot above, I weigh my beans out (for a single cup) to 15 Grams.

Then I measure out 240 Grams (or 8.5 Ounces) of Purified Water. This gives me roughly a 1 to 16 ratio in my coffee.

Coffee3

When I grind my beans I always set it to be a Coarse grind. So I recommend a Burr Grinder and finding one that is both timed and has a coarse grind setting. After you’ve ground your beans, drop them into you French Press Pitcher. Be sure your pitcher is cleaned and dry before using.

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Heat your water to roughly 200 to 205 degrees. And then pour over your grinds. Some people like to pour in just enough to soak the grinds for about 30 seconds. Doing this helps some of the gasses escape. Others just pour it in all at once. (Which is what I do.) I also stir it for a few seconds to make sure the grinds aren’t all settled in one spot. Then I wait 4 minutes, press, then pour into one of my Geeky Mugs I have available.

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Now this is the way I do it currently, and I am by no means an expert. So if you have tips or tricks you would like to share- Let me know. I’m always looking for the perfect French Press. (Click Here- Tweet)

Crying Children and Busted Lips: I Still Fear of Failing…

I have failed at a lot of things in life.

But you know what they say- Failures lead to success. Right…? If that’s the case I should be successful in more things than I currently am.

But one of my biggest fears is failing as a parent.

The other night our youngest, Bennett, was pushing his dump truck and slipped, fell, and busted his lip.

Blood was everywhere. On me. On him. On his shirt.

I panicked.

In a fit of anger I grabbed the Dump Truck and tossed it outside. I wasn’t sure what else to do.

So I did what every man does when he is clueless about the kids- I called my wife.

bennett

In the panic of the moment I didn’t even give her time to answer before I said: “Bennett’s bleeding, it’s everywhere, and I don’t know what to do, get here quick…” Then I just hung up. (Have I mentioned I have a tendency to be a little overdramatic).

Looking back now that it’s over I realize it wasn’t the smartest course of action. My wife with calm and grace even let me know that. At the end of the day it was only a busted lip and Bennett was back to his normal happy self not to long afterwards.

In Life we will fail. That’s a fact. Sometimes we fail because we aren’t ready, or we don’t have the full knowledge of what we face.

I like the way Jeff Goins put it in a recent Blog Post:

After his first mentor died, Luke Skywalker showed up to apprentice under Yoda. Luke thought he was hot stuff and cut his training short, which resulted in his hand getting cut off.

The point is this- We will fail. We will fail as parents, as spouses, in business, and as writers. It’s not the fact that we fail that matters most- It’s what we do afterwards and who we turn to for guidance.

First I turn to God. I turn to His word. Seek counsel in the depths of Scripture.

But I also turn to my wife: She is my best friend, and the one person I trust more than anyone. She may not have all the knowledge I need for every aspect of life- But she has the encouragement and provides the support.

Who do you turn to when you’ve hit rock bottom…?