Be like Kobe

Joy is unplanned fatherhood and getting closer to my kids than I already am.

But let’s talk about unplanned fatherhood 1st, 3 direct hits later.

I never mastered the art of the pump fake.

Nor was I aware of what attachment parenting is.

It’s turning your bed into an open milk bar for the foreseeable future.

But breast feeding makes your kid’s complexions look extra angelic.

Other kids at day care look like they took a load to a face with an Elmer’s Glue Gun.

Attachment parenting is like planting seeds of self-esteem on steroids.

And your kids will grow up less likely to be pushed around, working for a boiler room IT staffing agency in LA for beggars pay, not understanding the concept of commission while being the only kid who graduated from a top communication school in the country with a debilitating stutter.

Growing up my dad says, “I had gnaw marks on my crib.” Meanwhile, I’m thinking, hey pops, did it ever occur to you, that I was starving to death at the time? Which explains why I almost ate through my fucking crib.

Gen X parents understand our parents moved to the suburbs from the Bronx, not for better school systems but just for another room upstairs for the baby to cry it out in, making the moans of despair easier to bear.

But God didn’t give me 3 kids to have a panic attack over it.

Obviously, God never had the same confidence in Pete Davidson, the boy toy voice of Generation Z.

My wife says, I’ve sacrificed. She acts like an aspiring comedian in his late twenties wanted kids ever.

Children are family upgrades though, who kick your career passions into overdrive, leading to me finally getting my TV writing break at Vh1 Classic, writing all the heavy metal intro reads for WWE Chris Jericho. Halfway into the shoot, Chris Jericho tells me his father played professional hockey in Canada. I reply, “And that’s why your Chris Jericho and I couldn’t dunk a basketball if my life depended on it.”

What I’ve learned from unplanned fatherhood, 3 direct hits later, is why kids love back.

Because you make them feel like the most important center of your universe instead of the reverse.

Because when you say I love you, it doesn’t sound manufactured hoarse like you’re forcing the issue to avoid a divorce.

Famous Humorist, Victor Borge, said, “Laughter is the shortest distance between 2 people.” So, my main idea worth teaching dads is the importance of being funnier around their kids and to teach you how controlling our kids with comedy, can make our kids great again, my 3 fuss kids most of the time are living proof of it.

Being funnier around your kids is important because it’s the difference between being a do it all dad and bombing at parenting, which is your kids never wanting to seek your own company again.

Do It All Dads matter because 70 percent of African Americans who end up in jail, are a result of fatherless homes, despite Do It All Grandma’s best efforts.

Do It All Dads matter because only 1 out of 3 kids today with live with their dads. And you wonder why college campuses today require safe spaces to sooth student nerves with Play-Doh whenever big, bad, Ben Shapiro is town.

Do It All Dads matter. The Williams sisters, Tiger Woods, Lonzo Ball and the late great Kobe Bryant can all attribute a larger portion of their success to super involved Do It All Dads.

Still, most of us including myself, can’t even jump over a stapler, let alone dunk out at the Staples Center on TNT for a living. Granted, not all our kids are blessed with God given, natural athletic ability, which is outside of our control.

But what is in dad’s control, is how he choses to interact with his children during the limited time he has, so he can become a consummate scene stealer on his own and that is through being funnier around his kids and making them laugh, than Ted from accounting, no offense. Ted, I’m positive you can be funnier around your kids to.

Start using comedy on your kids early, even when they can only string 2 words together.

My old routine at the deli with my daughter was this. Matilda, what did Tyson Chandler, give the Knicks. She’d say, “Bupkus, daddy, Bupkus.”

The Rod didn’t work out too well for Michael Jackson, and helicopter parents raised a generation of kids suffering from anxiety, who attend pill parties for fun with 13 Reason On Vinyl, who take offense at everything, giving the impression they never had a sense of humor to lose in the 1st place. Controlling your kids with comedy is the sweet spot in the middle.

How did I come up with my concept of controlling my kid with comedy? One day, my 4-year -old son was ranting and raving about going to daycare and I was intent onwriting new jokes as usual from home for my Do It All Dad Year Podcast, while looking after his newborn baby bother. I slapped my 4-year-old son Arthur, on the bum, with mild force, my windup was 2 Mississippi max. Later in the car, the fear of God engulfed my soul, as my son, tells me, “I’m never talking to you ever again.” Now, I was bombing at parenting.

Because for me bombing at parenting is your kids never seeking out your company again. But then my Improv 101 training from UCB and Second City kicked into full gear, and I started to hit my own bum in the car with a fake news spatula. I said, “Art Show, my nickname for my son Arthur, I got it, next time, I get angry, I’ll whip my own ass. Although, don’t use the word ass, because kids repeat naughty curse words, so I’ll make up funnier, safe space alternatives like Anus Hole, that sort of thing.

So the more I starting whipping my own anus hole while driving my son to pre-k, with real menacing fury, my sons tears began to subside and I won my love son’s back, through controlling my son with comedy, which is why getting more laughs from your kids is serious business and the difference between winning your kids back and bombing at parenting forever.

Again, famous humorist Victor Borge, says, “Laughter is the shortest distance between 2 people. So, make your kids laugh more, if you care about getting closer to your kids and not bombing at parenting like Tommy Lee. His son refuses to talk with Tommy, which is awful to hear. If I had Tommy Lee’s son on the Do It All Dad Year Podcast, I’d ask his son, “Are you against seeing your father, because he blew off your all your baseball games as a kid knowing you’d whiffed more than Charlie Sheen at an AVN expo after hours party this year?

How can you control your kids better with comedy?

Talk to your kids like mini adults, even in public. If my baby stinks up Stop and Shop in Mahopac, in our shopping cart, I’ll clarify the depths of his poo and say to my son out loud, “Samuel did you go stink, stink? Son says. “I went pebble poo rock.” And I’ll reply with, “Smells more like, all out of yuck to me.” Dr. Seuss peaked early, so it’s never too late for you to create some funny nicknames to describe your kids dumps to. If my son just pees, I’ll drop his nappy on the floor at home for dramatic, funnier impact. If it makes a dense plop sound, I’ll start singing, “Big Plopping.” So, silly names for your kid’s number one and two’s is way to control your kids with comedy in no time.

At the same time, dads in the audience are thinking, “I’m at work all day and don’t have the time or luxury to work from home like you.” Which makes sense, because only 3.2 percent of American men do. I get it. Our President commented on never having to change his kids diapers because he was doing busy becoming a billionaire. I wish I can make that claim because it would mean I had my shit together for a change. Instead of being an unemployed stay at home comedian whose been fired more than a Palestinian Sling Shot.

The most important part to controlling your kids with comedy and making them laugh more is to stop taking yourself so seriously and to let your hair down at home with your limited stage time with your kids. Quitting Twitter and Facebook is a step in the right direction. I don’t miss my joke gems getting retweeted one bit.

Making out with your kids stuffed dolls like Pineapple Pretty is an effective way to controlling your kids better with comedy. You develop your own Improv routines. But one of mine, is making out with Pineapple Pretty. But I set the stage a bit, saying, “Ooh, Pineapple Pretty, you’re so pretty. I can’t control myself around you Pineapple Pretty.” Before I start to pretend making out with my kid’s stuffed animal, who I nicknamed, Pineapple Pretty, while making plenty of oohing and ahhing sounds in the process. My daughter always defends Pineapple Pretty’s honor and starts pulling Pineapple Pretty away from me saying, “Don’t even think about it, daddy.”

Another way to control your kids better with comedy, is to flatter your kids and emote about their inspired, laugh loud ads libs, which make you laugh long time, so you embolden your kid’s comedic expressiveness like when your 5 year old son yells at your faulty, voice powered speaker and says, “Cortana throw yourself out the window already.” Or when your son pushes you to finish you writing your self-published book, Controlling My Kids With Comedy, A Love Story and says, “Daddy be better be funnier than Weird Al by Christmas or I’ll kill you with our sharpest knife for real.” And then later, have your son do the intro for a Do It All Dad Year Podcast episode, where he says, “Be funnier than Weird Al, or boo hack get off the stage, Dada.” So, by involving your kids into the magic of comedy creation, they develop a greater sense of funny and desire to make their do it dads laugh more to.

Also, darker is always funnier, like the Stinky Cheese Man story for kids, which is a picture book tale about a married couple who is lonely, so they create a baby, known as the Stinky Cheese Man, but end up kicking it out of the house because he stinks up the house and makes their stomachs sick.

Also, another way to make your kids laugh more is to give a voice to dramatized concerns of your kids. For example, one time I gave my son Arthur a friendly hip toss on top of our bed and his bouncy ball spine, almost catapulted him into the dresser as he bounced off the bed. Understand, at first my son was a tad freaked out by the experience. But through using humor, I lightened the mood and said, “Who put a bouncy ball in your spine when I wasn’t looking?” And my son laughed. Now, when I ask my son, if he wants an elevator drop on the bed, I’ll dramatize his concern before I give him the elevator drop, assuming my son’s voice, saying, “Don’t drop me from too high up daddy. I have a ball stuck in my spine, remember? And I can riff off that funny imagined concept forever, which your kids will participate in to keep the scene alive between you. So not only assuming your kid’s voice but imagining things that don’t exist like a bouncy ball in your son’s spine or there being a yellow tail sushi roll in your newborn’s knee will get your kids laughing and closer to you in no time. I’ll go to give my newborn son, a knee nosh and say, “You got any more yellow tail in there? And he’ll say, “No but, I’ve got salmon and avocado in there though.”

Another way to control your kids with comedy is by teaching them funny words in Yiddish, which is a very colorful, expressive language, which makes your kids funnier and more likeable to be around also. For example, whenever our Internet goes out while the kids are watching a show on Hulu or Amazon Prime, my baby boy Samuel will take his sock off and throw it at the TV and yell, “Gevalt” which means, oh my, not again.

Or if my daughter, farts 3 times in a row from field roast burger night, I’ll say, “Gevalt, Gevalt, Gevalt”, in rapid succession. Normally, this results in my daughter Singing Rose, hit me in the arm a couple of times, but it’s worth it. I’m also not saying, “Gevalt, Gevalt, Geval”, with malicious, self-esteem hampering intent like my father calling me a waste of height growing up, while coaching me in junior rec basketball.

Another way to controlling your kids with comedy is to make fun how crappy their art teachers name in elementary school like Mrs. Outhouse. And you can use the power of call back and say, Mrs. Outhouse, what kind of name is that? Is Stinky Cheese Man her soulmate?

And never underestimate the power of surprise. I do this routine called, Falling Putzy Apple Tree. Where my son is lying on the bed, and I’ll say, “ Falling Putzy Apple Tree, part 2”, and I’ll playfully drop my head into my son’s mid-section twice, then I’ll throw off the rhythm and surprise him with Falling Putzy Apple tree, 4,5, 6, booya tribe, and ram my head into his midsection getting my son to laugh. Now, whenever my son watches the Death Star get blown up again in the Star Wars New Hope, he’ll say, “Boo Ya Tribe”, which never grows old, so don’t shy away from using old-school hip-hop lingo to control your kids better with comedy because it never gets old hearing your daughter refer to the past tense as “old school” or “back in the day”, either.

I get it, most dads, don’t feel positive about their roles as fun makers around their kids but just make an extra effort to prize funny over money at home and try to make your kids laugh more, and you’ll start getting more smiles from the window when you come home and more hugs from behind, because kids love back, with ten times more emotional oomph, when you make them feel like the center of your universe instead of the reverse.

So, do it all dad nation, use your kids like open mikes and make the most of your stage time with your kids. Focus on giving the best of your love to your kids now because tomorrow is never guaranteed. Be funnier around your kids because joy is growing closer to our kids while bombing at parenting growing apart. Bombing at parenting isn’t funny, when you’re the one doing it. I recall my daughter once telling me, over us doing kettle bell lunge exercises in the garage to Rocky 4. She says, “Daddy, none of the other girls in my class are close with their dads the way we are.” Granted, I’ve been blessed with opportunity to spend way more time with my daughter from the stay at home comedian work front compared to other dads. Still, “Laughter is the shortest distance between 2 people.” So, the fastest, easiest way to get closer to our kids within your control, is through making an effort to be sillier and more, loosie, goosy around our kids, when the spotlight is on you. You’ve got slacker dads and Kobe, be Kobe. And never forget, controlling our kids with comedy can make our kids great again. My 3 fuss free kids most of the time, are living proof of it.

Michael Kornbluth

 

 

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