This week’s blog post is by The Paternity Test co-host Matt Boresi, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with his wife (“Professor Foster”) and their 5-year-old daughter Viva.
It’s 84 degrees today in the City of Wind and, to the best of my knowledge, no more snow is expected until the latter part of the year. That means good weather season has officially begun. What to call this marvelous season? Spring? Summer? Spummer! Whatever you call it, it’s glorious and brief and we’d better make the most of it before it gets blazing hot and before Target puts out their Halloween decorations. (I believe that happens on July 5.)
Socrates said, “The unexamined Spummer is the Spummer half-lived.” So, we should think deliberately about how we’re going to fill these precious days. Of course, Chicago Parent is always a prime source of activities and tips — our own Michelle Magee Elfvin has given us a great list of free activities to get out and enjoy immediately. Plus, Jackie McGoey has recommended necessary creams and toppings to keep our parental skin from becoming the shattered visage of Ozymandias under the Chicago sun. I don’t know how old she is, but Jackie has the epidermis of a newborn, so you should really follow her advice.
Professor Foster, my long-suffering wife, always makes a bucket list around this time. I mean, not a “bucket” list — she doesn’t think we’ll die at the end of August (Unless there’s something she’s not telling me?) — but a list of things to do before the good weather dies and we go back inside to eat Mariano’s cupcakes and watch “Riverdale” for eight months. (Maybe that’s just us.) Being naturally contrary by nature, I’d like to make a Reverse Bucket List, which is a list of ill-advised moves I often make which I want to make sure I DON’T do before Spummer ends.
Don’t get a sunburn
We spend plenty of time putting our children in a zinc cocoon before they even walk past a window, but sometimes we forget to protect ourselves. Sunburns of ages past are already starting to make my skin look like an ancient treasure map where the only thing to dig up is melanoma. No point piling on the abuse.
Don’t get an old man injury
Look, I try to keep fit. After all, 40 is the new 20 — or something — and I want to stay vital and look sharp in my “Romphim” when it arrives,* but I need to play it safe. Despite my best/most desperate workout efforts, I put my 35 pound preschooler on my shoulders this week and she immediately cut off a nerve, making my left arm fall off and my back spasm for two days. I’m an aging Caucasian, I should just drink my Double Daisy Cutter and bob my head to Journey and not get hurt. Spummer, though, brings out a Dad’s hotdoggiest impulses to push their bodies to do things they shouldn’t, lift things they shouldn’t, climb things they shouldn’t — and skateboard. Dads don’t skateboard. Dads go to ward meetings to ask the Alderman to make skateboarding a crime.
Don’t get in a fight with another parent at the park
Hey, lady whose 8-year-old sons knocked my 5-year-old daughter off that boat thing a few weeks ago: #SorryNotSorry I called your sons jerks. I shouldn’t call little kids “jerks.” I should call them bullies. YOU are a jerk.
Don’t get in a fight with a Cubs fan
You thought they were cocky when they were fans of the losingest anything ever? Now they WON something. Intolerable. But Cubs fans** are people, too — well, in the same way that Vince Vaughn is technically a person and not a keg of Budweiser come to life. Like red light cameras, bed bugs and Trump tower, we have to share the city with them whether we like it or not.
Don’t spend the spummer thinking about the finter
Make like a marginally less cherubic and glabrous Buddha and be where you are. Work is coming. Your kid growing up and resenting you is coming. And yes, Ned, Winter is Coming — but leave that for tomorrow. Taste the Anti-Hero. Hear the Wilco. Throw the child in the air. (Also, catch the child.) Eat, Drink and Be Merry, for tomorrow we shall lose a tire in a pothole on the Drive.
I showed you my list, now you show me yours. Spummer is under way and there’s no time to waste. They’re already starting to load in sexy witch costumes at the pop-up costume shops.
*NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No no no no no! We cannot allow Bro Rompers to become a thing. I know what you’re thinking, “This Kickstarter must be a joke.” Yeah, well, we thought the orange doofus from “The Apprentice” wouldn’t become president either, and now he’s tossing the nuclear football around the Oval office with the Russian Ambassador like he’s acting out scenes from “The Room.” Is there such a thing as a “Reverse Kickstarter” where we can raise money to STOP the Romphim? Think about this ridiculous thing for even 30 seconds — do you want your summer to be filled with brosephs in toddler pajamas with sweat-stained butts and conspicuous boy lumps fist bumping to Fountains of Wayne? NO!!!!!!
**Also, please note that Wrigley Field is featured prominently in the Romphim campaign. A Cubs fan in a Bro Romper is like a hat wearing a hat.
If you enjoyed this essay, subscribe (free!) to The Paternity Test Comedy Podcast on iTunes or on Soundcloud, or visit www.paternitypodcast.com.
You can find the Dads on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and on Twitter at @thedadtest or email them at email@example.com.
Call The Paternity Test on their hotline: (657) BAD DADS and leave a message or a question they can play on the podcast!