Friday, May 8, 2015


Earlier this week I picked the boy up from day care and, because he didn't push, shove or slap any of his classmates, I decided to reward him with dinner out. He's a little angel I tell ya.

Mrs. Blackwell was out rollerblading and drinking margaritas — or whatever it is pregnant women do when they get together with friends — so it was just me and the boy.

iTunes radio is buried in there somewhere.
Give the boy five minutes and he'll find it.
True to form and, in keeping with my limited imagination, we went to our local grocery store which has been featured in this space before, an endorsement for which I've yet to be compensated. My inability to think outside the proverbial box notwithstanding, the grocery store was a smart move.

The boy loves Chinese — lo mien to be specific — and when we're done eating we could get some grocery shopping done. With Mother's Day coming up it seemed like a nice idea to take grocery shopping off the family's to-do list and give mom one less thing to worry about.

We made it through dinner without incident. In fact the boy was great. He ate well. Didn't wander off between bites and smiled frequently. Given how quickly his demeanor can shift, I cherished this.

It was a good thing I did too.

Once dinner was finished, I grabbed a shopping cart and plunked him in. It took him about 90 seconds to determine this was not for him.

He began to squirm and whine and a minute or two later moved to jump out of the cart. With nothing but rock-hard linoleum three feet below and no backup on hand, I was desperate.

As we all know, desperate times call for desperate measures. In this case, I used his favorite distraction, my iPhone.

We're managing screen time as much as we can but there are times when, as a parent, you really have no other choice. I only needed 20 minutes and once I was done, we'd be in the car, I'd have the phone back and he could cry all he wanted.

So, as we cruised the aisles procuring sustenance, he cruised my phone. In little time he found the iTunes app which contains iTunes radio. This means that, even though I don't have music on my phone he can listen to music.

I bury the iTunes app on my phone, hiding it inside folders that are inside of folders inside of folders. But, he knows Daddy's little trick and finds the app every time.

And unless I've got the data settings turned off, which I forgot to do, he's listening to music.

And, unless I've got the "Content" setting switched from "Explicit" to "Clean," which I didn't because I didn't know it existed, he's listening to explicit music.

This, ladies and gentleman is how one finds him or herself standing in the grocery store listening to someone called "Jeezy" and his song "Me OK."
The official sign of better music. 

I'm not sure how far into the song it took for Jeezy to drop "motherf***er", because I was in another world, mentally cataloguing the contents of my pantry and considering the price of Wheat Thins.

So, I'm pretty sure that I missed the first motherf***er and probably the first sh**. But I can say with certainty, I was about five feet away from the boy when I heard bit** followed by a word white people are not allowed to say.

That folks, will jar a fellow right out of his slumber.

Thankfully, there was no one else in our aisle and the phone wasn't turned up loudly so no one could hear the sounds of admittedly good rap, accompanied by terrible parenting.

Desperate, I chucked Triscuits in the basket (they were a better deal than the Wheat Thins) and grabbed the phone from the boy.

He must have detected his dad's distress because he offered no resistance and handed it over without complaint.

When I was younger I listened to the Geto Boys and took great pride in stocking my CD collection with as many albums labelled "explicit" as I could. So, I've always been fairly certain that I'm not a prude.

However, I'm now willing to concede that, for the next few years I am. And I'll know when he's ready to hear Jeezy and the Geto Boys. It'll be the same time he guesses the password on my phone to switch it from "clean" to "explicit."

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