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The Story of Grem and Acer

WhereRUThey were cars.

Two lemons to be exact. Two lemons of little note. Exactly the way the two of them wanted it. For the most part…

“What do I care?” Grem whined in his shrill voice. “It’s better off they never notice us. We aren’t supposed to be noticed, remember?”

“You’re always so dramatic,” complained Acer. “I’m bored and this is getting old. Nobody ever notices us anyways.” And so went the argument they were having once again, an argument they seemingly had almost every single day. If it was up to Grem they would stay out of the spotlight and never have any fun, but Acer wanted more. Acer wanted a life that was more than just hiding. They were always hiding! Hiding as if they were criminals.

The two of them actually being criminals was not the point, thought Acer.

“How about we just test the waters and see what’s out there?” asked Acer.

“That’s not our life. That’s not who we are,” stated Grem as if this was absolute.

“The little one’s noticed us, you know?” Acer said with a nervous, sidelong glance.

“I know,” grumbled Grem in frustration. “He’s had his on eye us for a while now. We have to watch out for that one.”

Much to Acer’s delight, it didn’t take long for Grem’s suspicions to prove true. Before either of them knew what was happening, they found themselves pulled directly into the spotlight.

Continue reading the rest of this post on Dads Round Table…

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Brad the Dad, Dads Round Table

 

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Dude, Where’s My Sarge? The Story of a Matchbox Car

Sarge is a character in Cars and Cars 2.

Sarge has a small role in both of those movies.

A role just big enough to warrant him being immortalized into matchbox car form.

As you may know, matchbox cars play a significant role in our house, and the Cars collection are the ring leaders of the entire lot.  The Cars matchbox cars always come out first, have their own special carrying case, and are always last to be put away.  They are the ones who get selected to join us when we go out to eat, or when the boys take a trip with Mommy to run errands.  Tow Mater, second only to Lighting McQueen in worldwide popularity (debatable), is often selected for such trips.

But there simply isn’t a single car that gets more attention than Sarge.  Not even close.

I have no idea why this is.  Right now my theory is that the little guy settled on Sarge after his big brother decided to hog Tow Mater, big brother then decided he wanted Sarge upon realizing his plan backfired to make little brother jealous about Mater, and from there the legend of Sarge just took on a life of its own.

“Sargey” as he is sometimes called, is the undisputed leader of all matchbox cars and toys alike.  They fight over him, they sometimes play together with him, and he basically goes everywhere the boys go.  I honestly can’t get over how this character with such a minor role in the movies, movies that have no shortage of dynamic and likeable main characters, became the center of attention in our house.

But here is the kicker – right now Sarge is missing.

Sarge has a knack for that actually.  I would say he goes missing at least once a week and often for days at a time.  I’ve found him in between the couch cushions, mixed in with the trains on the train table, at the bottom of random toy bins that contain no other matchbox cars, in the play kitchen oven, and most recently outside in the middle of the lawn.

Nothing short of ninja like reflexes saved Sarge from getting a haircut (and then some) the other day as I was mowing the lawn.  He came out of nowhere, and lucky for him, I stopped the mower just in time.  As quickly as the question, “Why is there a matchbox car in the middle of the lawn?” popped into my head, the realization of who it was answered that question just as quick.

“The 1-year-old” you might be guessing?

The 1-year-old.

He loves his Sargey something fierce.

Just today the he exclaimed “Sarge!” in an excited voice, and upon hearing this I went running into the family room to welcome the spunky little car back into family, but the poor boy was just reacting to a Sarge sticker on the side of one of his toy bins.

For almost a week now the most famous matchbox car in the world, in the eyes of my boys at least, has been missing.  This is the longest such stretch for Sarge.  We look for him daily and have turned the inside of our house and outside yard upside down twice over without any luck.  The only thing we can do is continue looking.

We love you Sarge, please come home soon so you can get lost again.

Brad the Dad’ can be reached at bradmarmo@gmail.com. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter at keyword: readbradthedad

This article originally appeared on Chelmsford Patch on 7/28/12.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Brad the Dad, Chelmsford Patch

 

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Boys Are in a League of Their Own

Unless it belongs to my wife, you won’t find the color pink within a 300 foot radius of my house.

If you should so choose, a quick inspection of your immediate surroundings will usually turn up a random matchbox car. Pick up any pillow, move aside a magazine, look under the couch, check between the cushions, even take a peek in the kitchen sink and you will definitely find something with 4 wheels. Feeling brave? Just walk around barefoot and you will eventually step on one.

Need anything from the Cars or Cars 2 merchandise collection? Close your eyes and put out your hand and make a fist once you touch something. You’re welcome.

If my house screams anything, it’s boys.

It’s never more apparent than when a friend brings over their daughter or my niece comes by. The pink, the airy giggles, the delicateness; it’s all just so…foreign.

How so? Here is how hugs go in my house: one of the boys falls for my trick of “What’s in Daddy’s hands?” and ends up in a bear hug upon inspection of said hands. The other boy, seeing the commotion, immediately gets jealous and runs over to join in. A very nice moment follows for about 3 seconds where I have both boys in my arms and a big smile on my face.

That moment always ends very quickly.

First, one boy’s arm makes its way into the other boy’s vicinity. A slight push back and a whine alerts the intruding limb to the encroachment and signals a request to please return to the other side of Daddy. After complying for another 3 seconds, the arm returns and the resulting pushing and whining get louder. Next, legs enter the equation.

When all is said and done, I have a diapered bum sitting on my head, a foot in my neck, a knee in my stomach and an elbow in my side as both boys push and scream at each other as if they are fighting over the last morsel of food on earth.

Tender moments.

Snack time offers up another reminder about the culture of our family. Remember that scene in Jurassic Park when they feed the Velociraptors the cow? That’s essentially how snacking goes with my boys. Keep your distance, lower the food carefully into their lair, and then back away quickly and quietly.

It usually starts out slow. A request by one boy for Cheerios or a cereal bar seems innocent enough at first, but in a flash his impatience hits as Mommy or Daddy rummage through the snack cabinet or travel bag to find the correct item. As typical with everything, once the other boy gets wind of what is going on and the realization that he might get left out of anything sets in, the mayhem starts.

There are two approaches at this point. Give them the same snack or go with different snacks and hope to divide and conquer. Both have their pros and cons. The same snack leads to fighting over who has more and sometimes even the color of the other’s bowl, while different snacks lead to eyeballing of the other’s bounty, usually with intentions of theft. Since the results vary, I really can’t say which approach works the best, but tweak as you see fit and be sure to keep your hands away from moving parts.

The problem is that once they start snacking, the hunger seems to build like an avalanche. One snack doesn’t satisfy them for some reason. It’s like when sharks taste blood in the water and they just want more, more, more. It’s basically a snack frenzy. Cheerios beget Cheez-Its beget strawberries beget squeeze yogurts.

 

Pretty soon all I’m left with is messy faces, dirty hands and empty bowls as I make a mad dash for a wet paper towel to wipe them down. A garden hose works well if nearby.

Screaming is another thing. Screaming for fun that is.

Whether it’s in the car or just at home, screaming isn’t just for anger anymore. Truth be told, the screaming is usually started by the little guy, but encouraged and escalated by his older brother. Car screaming tends to be a back and forth, tit for tat kind of thing. A short scream by one is echoed with a short scream by the other. A long scream yields a matching long scream and around and around we go.

But at the house, where they aren’t strapped into car seats, screaming matches usually turn into wrestling matches (seems to be a trend here). The “concern” here is that the little guy is very nearly holding his own at this stage of the game. We don’t call him the “Freight Train” simply because it’s one of his favorite books, but rather because that’s him on top in the second picture below.

Part of me wonders what things would be like if a girl was in the mix. Would that 3 seconds of peace I get during a group hug turn into 10 seconds? Would snack time be less volatile? Would there be less screaming and more giggling? Would the color pink actually make an appearance in our house?

But as I dislodge the latest matchbox car from the bottom of my foot and pick a few Cheerios out of my hair, I truly know I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Brad the Dad’ can be reached at bradmarmo@gmail.com. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter at keyword: readbradthedad

This article originally appeared on Chelmsford Patch on 7/14/12.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Brad the Dad, Chelmsford Patch

 

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