The Balancing Act of Roasting Your Kids

(Mark Chalifoux)

I recently had one of those proud dad moments when my daughter’s preschool teacher insisted my kid was a genius. Then I had one of those grounding dad moments when I remembered this is the same kid who ran into a wall while trying to hug her own shadow. Needless to say the jury is still out on the “genius” title. The shadow hug story is one most parents trade with a spouse or another sleep-deprived parent. It’s standard fare to make fun of your kids, while making sure to praise someone else’s. If you encounter a parent who only has good things to say about their offspring, make a mental note to avoid them because they’re probably in a cult.

Of course, the difference between a normal person and me is I’ve shared that shadow story with thousands of strangers across the country as a stand-up comedian. I’ve told it on a nationally syndicated radio show, and it will soon be streaming on SiriusXM (along with a bunch of other jokes about them).

I was a comedian before I was a dad, so it was inevitable that my kids would work their way into my act. I still remember the first joke I wrote about my daughter, “I realized I don’t know anything about being a dad. I had to Google ‘when can I start yelling at my baby?’”

Now that my kids are a little older (5 and 2), they get even more coverage in my act. So now a few hundred people in Madison, Wisconsin know about the first time my daughter came up with a story (“Once upon a time a dog sat under water. The end.” Yeah, her first story was about a drowning dog, good luck selling that story to Disney). A few thousand people have heard me talk about which kid is my favorite and even more know how my oldest daughter got her name, a fact she doesn’t even know herself yet (but she could, if she buys a copy of “Think Fast” on iTunes).

In my defense, I make fun of myself more than anyone on stage. It’s not like I just walk up to a microphone and start roasting my kids. Still, it does feel a little weird that so many complete strangers know that I once accidentally brought my two-year-old to story time at the library dressed in Bud Light sunglasses.

I have learned there are a few things to consider when telling a joke about your child to strangers. First, don’t be mean for the sake of being mean. It’s also probably important to remember is everything is permanent these days. If you can get fired for a tweet, then a joke you make about your kid on a comedy album could probably be tracked down by her high school nemesis. Honestly, I don’t worry too much about this, because part of me would be flattered to still be relevant in 15 years. Most importantly, just don’t do anything too personal. When your kids are young, you don’t know which of their weird personality traits they are going to grow out of and which are going to define their lives, so it’s probably best not too go too deep.

It’s much easier to make fun of failures you share or something that’s (kind of) normal for kids.

For instance, my oldest daughter is currently into drawing. She learned how to draw stick figures, and she makes holes for the eyes, but she puts nothing in them, so they are just horrifying. She drew a “family picture” that makes us all look like soulless demons but it HAS to go on the fridge because that’s just how it works. That’s something you can joke about, because she’s going to get older and better at drawing.

And if she doesn’t, it’s because she’s possessed by the devil, and at that point you have some bigger concerns anyway.

Mark Chalifoux is a nationally touring standup comedian and a contributor to TheDad. His debut album, “Think Fast”, is set for release on August 17 and is available NOW on iTunes for pre-order.

NASCAR’s Kyle Busch Races in Real Life Mario Kart [WATCH]

(YouTube/Kyle Busch)

NASCAR is adored for its grand spectacle on race days. With some stadiums being able to seat over 200,000 people, the air is electric with anticipation and excitement.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon.

In a video recently posted to Twitter, stock car driver Kyle “Rowdy” Busch is playing Super Mario Kart with his 3-year-old son, Brexton, who had some insightful ideas for making his dad’s racing a little more exciting.

“Dad, it would be cool if you were in the game,” Brexton says.

“It would be, wouldn’t it,” Kyle replies. “Man, that’s a good idea.”

The video then fades to Kyle’s own version of the Nintendo title, dubbed “Super Rowdy Kart.”

Busch described the process of how the video came about at Daytona 500 media day.

“So Corey Lajoie was making these drift trikes and I asked him, ‘Can we make it into like a Mario Kart?’ like into a four-wheel go-kart looking thing. Make it adjustable where the seat slides forward, the pedals slide backward so Brexton can fit in it; he can actually drive it or a full-sized adult like myself can drive it.

“Corey built these things and as he was building them, he showed me the first one, and I was like, ‘Damn, it looks like a real Mario Kart’,” he added, chuckling. “I was like, ‘OK, let’s theme them then—you know, let’s have a Mario, a Yoshi, and a Donkey Kong, and then we’ll have one for me.’

(YouTube/Kyle Busch)

“So he made them all, built them and then I was like, ‘Now I’ve got to go buy costumes because we’ve got to do something with it,’ and so I found a website that had these costumes on it and ordered them up and there we go: We made a video.”

Besides an obvious misprint identifying Yoshi as Luigi, the video is pretty spot on in terms of Mario Kart accuracy. From items to sound effects to the information on the screen, combined elements from Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64 to create his ideal aesthetic for Super Rowdy Kart.

“The filming of the video took about two hours and then editing of the video took about a week,” Busch said. “The final two hours of editing was me and my web guy. We were just sitting there trying to figure out all the sounds and all the effects and getting them right and timed right and all the things to make it to where it was sensory overload for people. It was fun.”

All of the cartoonish racing antics conclude with Rowdy finishing first (obviously) and Mario, Yoshi, and DK grabbing second, third, and fourth places respectively.

Father Figures: Poop Buddies

“Poop buddies doing their duties… or should I say, doodies.

This is my husband and our 9-year-old. We have 6 people in a camper with a tiny black tank. Dad made a rule that if you need to go #2, you have to go to the campsite bathrooms.

Little man was terrified of those bathrooms and made Dad come in to see all of the spiders (aka webs, no spiders). Dad made a deal that he could go poop in the camper as long as he learned how to dump the tank when it was time.

So he had his spider-free poop sesh and then lived up to his end of the bargain the next day! #lifeskills”

– Melanie Lehnen

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Honey Bunches Of Oats Is Having a Midlife Crisis

(twitter/@HBOats)

While only about 30 years old, it seems as though Honey Bunches of Oats, the delicious cereal has found itself looking back on who it has been and what it wants to become.

New Honey Bunches of Oats Flavors
(Yahoo News)

Yes, like a 46 year old man who suddenly decides he’s a “hat guy,” the family favorite cereal is going for a new vibe. Yahoo News reports that two new HBoO flavors – Chicken & Waffles and Maple Bacon Donuts – will be available for an extremely limited time. Like, 1 Day Only limited. And only at some 2,000 Walmart locations. So things will be back to normal in no time, but if you’re itching to try some brunched-up clusters, be sure you’ve got an extra three bucks handy on March 7th.

These special boxes are in honor of National Cereal Day, a day that, apparently, exists. Because what better way to celebrate cereal than by making a great cereal taste like something other than cereal? Still, the flavors do sound pretty intriguing. Maple Bacon Donut is an easy win, but will the Chicken and Waffles taste like chicken and waffles?

It should be noted that Post is marketing these limited edition boxes as classic breakfast flavors, and that’s fine for the Maple Bacon Donut variety, but chicken and waffles is decidedly not a breakfast food. Sure, you CAN have it for breakfast, but that doesn’t make it breakfast food any more than eating cereal in your underwear at 9pm makes that “dinner food.”  Of course, chicken and waffles could be considered brunch food, but only if you’re pouring a Bloody Mary instead of milk.

Dad and Brother Help Groom out of Wheelchair for Wedding Dance [WATCH]

(Facebook/Marcelo Henrique da Silva)

It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you’re from, who you’re marrying, or even if it’s your first or fifth marriage: your wedding day is special. It’s a landmark day, it’s a life milestone, and it’s one hell of a good party. Anyone who chooses to have a wedding should have every opportunity to enjoy it. God knows that arranging and planning one is a hellish months-long stress fest that definitely requires one hell of a celebration, if only for getting through it unscathed.

For many couples, one of the most beautiful, and nerve-wracking, portions of the wedding is the first dance. My wife and I agonized for months over which song to choose and then took dancing classes to make sure we (mostly I) didn’t end up looking like fools on the dance floor.

Dance classes weren’t really an option for groom Hugo Rohling, who is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair to get around. But that didn’t stop him from partaking in the tradition with his new wife on their wedding day.

In a Facebook video that has gone viral for good reason, Marcelo is seen dancing with his lovely bride, she in her beautiful, flowing wedding dress and he in his wheelchair. The pair gracefully maneuver around the dance floor and she gets in his lap for a kiss.

And then his father and brother come out for a surprise.

Chairs are seated on either side of Marcelo and each of his legs are strapped to theirs. He puts his arm around each of their shoulders and they all stand up in unison as the crowd cheers. Hugo’s bride walks over and embraces her husband at his full height, and the trio sways together to the music. Despite his brother and father flanking him, it surely seemed to the couple that they were the only two in the room at that moment.

The caption, from guest Marcelo Henrique Silva, reads: “I had the pleasure of participating in this incredible wedding of my friends Cinthia Zanuni II and Hugo Rohling in Cuiabá, and I’m going to share this video of what Love is really capable of.”

A lot of people have witnessed just that, thanks to Marcelo’s video, which has been shared over 400,000 times and has more than 16 million views.

KFC and Pizza Hut Unite to Create Gravy-Filled Pizza [WATCH]

(Twitter/KFC)

During the holidays, gravy is the great emulsifier. No matter how much you manage to pile onto your grandmother’s “fancy plates,” that brown, viscous liquid is there to be poured over into every nook and cranny.

But why should we stop there?

Two fast food behemoths agree that saturating things in gravy shouldn’t simply be an activity delegated to the holidays. In fact, it should be used to elevate current culinary favorites to utter new heights of deliciousness.

So, like a beautiful and greasy fast food Megazord, KFC and Pizza Hut are combining their palatable powers to provide customers with something truly special in honor of National Pizza Day (February 9th).

“The Gravy Supreme” consists of a standard pizza base with a cheesy bites crust, a heavy slather of KFC signature gravy (instead of tomato sauce), and then topped with popcorn chicken, sweet corn, and garlic sprinkles.

“[It’s] a match made in heaven. Believe me when we say it’s an absolute thing of beauty,” said a spokesperson for KFC UK & Ireland, via Evening Standard.

Whether you think it sounds amazing or just bizarre, you can’t say you aren’t at least a little bit curious to try it. It’s like dubstep music—I don’t really understand it but it still manages to get me excited for some reason.

Unfortunately, The Gravy Supreme will not be widely available anytime soon. It’s currently being tested at a few select Pizza Hut and KFC locations. Depending on the response (which I can only anticipate will be astounding), a larger rollout of the wonderful gravy pies will take place next year.

Give The Gift of Celebrities This Valentines Day | Paternity Leave | The Dad

Like most humans, Rob has no idea what to do for Valentines Day. So he takes a little advice from his coworkers, friends, and about 20 different movie stars.

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3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

(Getty/ morrowlight/ra-photos/Kelly Sillaste)

Good dads know how important it is to spend quality time with their kids and how fun it can be too. But it can be tough to keep coming up with new stuff to entertain your kids. If you’re dreading a weekend of kids complaining about being bored while you countdown the seconds until bedtime, we feel your pain. So each week we feature 3 simple ideas of things to do with your kids.

Make Paper Airplanes

(Fold N Fly)

All you need for this activity is a tiny stack of paper and a little patience. Challenge your aviators to create a fleet that will compete for distance and acrobatics. Check out Fold ‘N Fly – it’s the perfect wingman for this. The website features over 35 different paper airplane designs, data on their aerial abilities and crystal clear instructions on how to make them.

GPS Treasure Hunt (Geocaching)

Treasure hunting… there has to be an app for that? Yup, and there’s an entire online hobby based around it! Download the app, register and you can instantly use it to navigate to a geocache location. Don’t forget to bring a pen – once you find it you’ll sign and date your visit and then log your experience online.  If your kids really dig this they can level-up and create their own geocache to hide for others to hunt down.

Ice Cream Challenge

Let your kids choose the ice cream flavors, cone and let them go nuts with toppings. Chop up their favorite chocolate bar, use sprinkles, whip cream, chocolate chips, syrups, jams, etc. Use the selection at your favorite ice cream shop as inspiration. Once everyone is done, share ’em and then vote for the most artistic and most delicious. I know what you’re thinking…the dreaded sugar high – but that’s been debunked by science.

For more suggestions check out last week’s 3 Things to Do With Your Kids.

Valentine’s Day Before Kids VS After Kids [WATCH]

(YouTube/Holderness Family Vlogs)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Unless you’re a parent, in which case, Happy Make Sure Your Kids Brought Enough Valentine’s For Everyone In Their Entire Class So No One Gets Left Out And Feels Bad Do Why Do They Even Celebrate This Day In Schools I Heard Of One School That Changed It To Happy Friendship Day And I’m Torn Between Appreciating That And Losing My Mind Anyway Don’t Forget To Get Your Spouse Some Chocolate Day!

There’s no getting around the fact that Valentine’s Day, and romance in general, aren’t quite the same once you’ve been married for a while and have a few kids in the house. You’re tired, you’re rushed, you’re cleaning, you’re shuttling kids to practice, you’re helping with homework. You don’t have a lot of time or energy or headspace to celebrate your significant other the way you did when your relationship was still young. When you were still young!

The Holdernesses, a North Carolina couple who’ve been grinding out viral video after viral video of parenting-based song parodies for years now (starting with the infamous “Christmas Jammies”), are back this February to lay out all the ways Valentine’s Day has changed for couples with kids.

From the kinds of gifts you give each other to the date nights you arrange, nothing stays the same once kids are in the mix. You used to book dinner at an exclusive restaurant months in advance, now you’re angry that the restaurant doesn’t allow kids.