Rock Out With Your Crocs Out

In my brief tenure as someone’s mother, I’ve uttered many phrases I had previously thought I never would.  From emphatic declarations regarding the color and consistency of another person’s fecal matter (almost always the kid’s, I promise) to heartfelt affirmations on the superior cargo capacity of mini-vans; I’ve said some things that would cause my pre-parenthood self to recoil in hipster-horror.  But the following words, spoken upon departure from an afternoon at the local swimming pool, unequivocally take the shame cake:

“Let’s put on your Crocs, honey.  It’s time to go.”

Sweet tap dancing cripes, who in the hell have I become?!

It seems slightly unreasonable that a shoe, any shoe, could inspire such rancor in a person, but I’ve been known to deliver epic diatribes on the general hideousness of these techni-color foam monstrosities.  Children who donned them were doomed, by no fault of their own, to a lifetime of insufferable dorkiness.  Adults who willingly chose them had completely given up on ever again being regarded as a sexual being.  They were an offense akin to mom-jeans.  The only Crocs enthusiasts to escape my ire were nurses and Mario Batali.  All those not administering tourniquets or cooking delicious pasta dishes were awarded my stink-faced judgment.

I was doggedly determined to remain an anti-Crocs household at all costs.  Until, that is, my mother alerted me of a package en route to our house; the contents of which included one pair of the devil’s footwear in a toddler’s size 6.  I attempted to protest, until one phrase managed to melt away all my shoe-elitist resolve, “But when they get dirty, you can just hose them off.”  I thought immediately of the closet full of adorable, expensive sneakers being systematically destroyed by the puddle-jumping whims of a two-year-old mess machine.  Soil the Crocs to save the Vans?  Okay, I was in.

And so the elicit package arrived.  I steeled myself and slowly opened the box, ready to face down the demon.  As promised, there they were; the murky blue of a freshly bruised shin.  And so I applied the off-duty clown shoes to my sweet angel’s heretofore unsullied feet.  And much to my chagrin, he was immediately smitten.  He merrily stomped about, stopping intermittently to admire his foam-clad tootsies.  Could my son be a closet dork?  The thought was too much to bear.  We had to road test these warlocks before I lost my nerve and buried them in the yard.

Outside I watched as he tromped through mud, crud and the odd piece of petrified dog crap.  It felt surprisingly liberating, not cringing every time he approached a potential shoe-annihilating landmine.  When playtime ended, I carefully removed the dirt plastered clogs and cranked the garden hose to 11.  As promised, all evidence of his the mud-fueled rampage washed down the driveway and I hung my head in shame.  Dear God, the dorks were right.

My name is Jeni, and my son wears Crocs.  It still feels slightly dirty to admit this, even though he’s been rocking them for the better part of the summer.  Add this to the list of broken promises, the “swore I would never”s, those brash declarations you make before you have kids and slowly, sneakily become a bizarre incarnation of your former self.  My name is Jeni, and my son wears Crocs.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and order 17 pairs of tiny Chuck Taylors in an attempt to restore order to the universe.

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Beware the DBD

It’s summertime – time for BBQ’s, fireworks and all things aquatic!  In addition to sunburn, there is another potential danger lurking, just waiting for the opportunity to ruin your warm weather fun.  I’m referring, of course, to that most irritating and invasive of species, the Douchebag Dad.  There’s one in every lake, pool and pond;  running a little too fast, yelling a little too loud, and taking good-natured roughhousing to dickish new heights.

Who’s that blasting other people’s children in the face with a Super Soaker at point blank range?  Why it’s Douchebag Dad, of course!

A playful little toss into the air may be enough to delight your average toddler, but Douchebag Dad will launch that little sucker 30 feet in the air and shotgun a Coors Light before catching them.

Playful dunking or simulated drowning?  Tomato – tomahto!  Douchebag Dad will almost always make sure to let them up before the bubbles stop.

While there is no marking rendering the Douchebag Dad instantly identifiable, be on the lookout for wrap-around sunglasses and Looney Tunes-themed tattoos.  If you encounter a Douchebag Dad, do not provoke them.  They are not above administering a wedgie or an unwelcomed barrage of fart jokes to an unsuspecting adult.  If you are approached, it is advisable to play dead.  Or pretend to read a book – unless printed on a beer koozie, the written word acts as a natural repellent to the Douchebag Dad.  Much like the common mosquito, the Douchebag Dad is an unavoidable summer pest.  But armed with the proper education, we can greatly reduce their nuisance.  Look sharp, and stay safe out there!

Parenting Dictionary, Third Edition

Fedorable:

[fuh-dawr-uh-buhl]

adjective

Describing an article of clothing or accessory that is typically regarded as douchey in its adult form, but looks undeniably darling in miniature.

example:  “Junior is going to look absolutely fedorable in these skull-and-crossbones board shorts.  I was concerned they might skew a little ‘spring break on the Jersey Shore’, but as long as we don’t pair them with a gold chain or vodka Red Bull he should be safe.”

*note: This term may not be accurately applied to any apparel item manufactured by Ed Hardy.  Under no circumstances should such items be allowed to come in contact with human children.  Potential long-term side effects may include: tribal tattoos, male eyebrow waxing and Axe-Body-Spray-induced lung disease.