The Puny Pundit

Musings of a big guy with small thoughts.

No Sick Days

When you are raised by immigrants, you don’t get sick days.  My parents worked no matter what regardless of how they felt.  Even though my mom was a homemaker, this included her.  She fulfilled her responsibilities no matter what.  What that meant was that we went to school even if we weren’t feeling good.  One day I had the stomach flu in 2nd grade and was throwing up all night and that morning.  I asked if I could stay home but the answer was no.  My mom looked at me and said, “If you are not feeling good go to the bathroom and throw up.”

So get to school and everything is okay until after snack time.  My stomach was acting up and I had to throw up.  When I am sick I lose all maturity and intelligence.  I go to the bathroom and my mom’s face pops up like Yoda saying, “Just throw up in the bathroom.”  I stand there looking at the sinks to my right and the toilets to my left.  I couldn’t remember whether I was supposed to throw up in the toilet or sink.  This is how my mind processed the event…

“Where am I supposed to throw up?”

“The toilet?  That seems gross.  Putting my head where people go poo poo and pee pee.  That doesn’t make sense at all.”

“The sink.  That makes more sense.”

So I puke into the sink.  As I try to wash it down the drain it dawns on me that throwing up in the toilet was the choice that made more sense precisely for this reason.  Oh well, can’t cry over spilled milk.  So what do I do?

“Ahhhh.  GROSS!!!  Teacher!  Someone threw up in the sink!”

She gets really upset and asks the class who did this.  I stand next to her glaring at the class like a self righteous pig.

Wonder where my kids get the creativity to get out of trouble?

Filed under: Uncategorized

Our Wedding

As a pastor of a church that is young, I do a lot of weddings.  It never gets old.  Each one is a privilege and joy.  Yesterday’s blog got a lot of comments so I thought I would continue the wedding motif and share about our wedding day.

Ten years ago I got married to my lady (the best thing that has ever happened to me).  Our wedding was…Well, we had 1500 guests.  I didn’t realize how big our wedding was until I started doing premarital counseling for couples and learned that for most people 500 is considered big.  Our wedding was an event and it was eventful.  Below are some memories… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Marriage & Weddings

Mo Money

As a pastor of a young church I have the privilege of officiating weddings throughout the year.  This past weekend I officiated two and got me thinking (as all weddings do) about my four daughters getting married.  Now before you get all mushy and gushy thinking this is gonna be a sweet blog, I want to disappoint you from the outset.  What was going through my mind was, “Who pays for the wedding?”

I know in American culture the father of the bride pays.  The problem I have with that is twofold…first, I will be a father of four brides.  Second, I am Korean American.  So can I default on my Korean-ness if it benefits me?  I asked an American couple at our church who is getting ready to marry off their daughter about all this.  They told me it is still true in American culture that the father pays unless the future in-laws step in and say, “Let’s go dutch.”

I talked with my Korean friends asking what the culture of the motherland holds.  I got mixed reviews.  Some say the father of the bride pays.  Some say it is 50-50.  I am very confused.  Seriously?  I gotta pay for four weddings?  I am not sure how this will be possible.  What is worse…what if the girl my son marries comes from a family that believes in 50-50.  That means I have to pay for 5 weddings.

I know that I am sounding so cheap but I really think about this stuff.  I gotta pay for college.  Once #3 goes to college we will have 3 kids in college at the same time for three straight years.  We will be paying for college for a total of 16 years.

I have come to realize I have a few options…

Option 1: Make them pay for everything (college and wedding).  I like this option however there is something that makes this very difficult.  My parents paid for my undergrad and grad school education.  My in-laws paid for my wife.  They both paid for our wedding.  Just on principle I feel it is wrong to benefit from generous parents and then leave our kids out to dry.

Option 2: We pay for both (college and wedding).  This is not an option.  Not trying to be cheap.  It would be impossible unless our financial situation drastically changed, like we won the lottery.

Option 3: We agree to pay for one or the other.  Make the kids choose.  The only problem is that if they are smart they will all take college instead of the wedding since it costs more.  I guess the incentive would be to get a scholarship for college and get me to pay for the wedding.  Another hole in this option is…what about my son.  If he gets married to a girl whose parents will pay for the wedding and he gets a scholarship for college am I still under obligation?

Any thoughts?  What’s a parent supposed to do?

Filed under: Uncategorized

Strange Punishments

Every culture has its own unique way of disciplining kids.  Growing up a lot of my white friends had to wash their mouth with soap if they cursed.  Asians make their kids raise their hands in the air and other stuff too.  Below is a list of the some of the strangest punishments I received. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Funny Stuff

Dealing with Growth

Those of you who have been following this blog know two things about me…(i) I have five kids and (ii) my family and I started a church.  There are many parallels.  We have been extremely fortunate to be part of growing church that started with five people.  The growth of the church brings with it certain challenges and changes that have implications on every aspect of our community.  Well, the same was true when our family grew year by year when we were blessed with a new kid. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Things the Books Never Tell You…Projectile Poop

My wife and I knew about little boys peeing during a diaper change and the need to keep your mouth closed.  We knew about diaper rashes and babies moving around during a change.  The one thing no one ever told us about was explosive, projectile poop.  Apparently during the first few weeks of a baby’s life, they are unable to control their bowel movements so it gets really explosive.

One day I was changing #1’s diaper after a stinky.  While I am doing it, my wife looks at me and says, “She is not done yet.”  I replied back, “She is done.  Look at this.  She is d….”

As soon as I said that the rest happened in slow motion.  I turn to make the final wipe and then it was like one of those movies where you know something disturbing is gonna happen.  In slow motion I yell (imagine distorted voice), “Oh No!”  #1 shoots poop all over my shirt like a cannon ball.  I screamed really loud, really high.  I screamed again.  And again.  My wife is laughing.  I start screaming again.  It took me several minutes to take off my shirt because I was trying to figure out a way to not get it on my hair and stuff.  I got so frustrated I told my wife to get a pair of scissors and just cut the shirt off of me.

Although this is not true for everyone, it is not uncommon for parents to experience this.  Those of you who have infants.  Have you noticed sometimes when you go to change your kid, there is poop running up their backside?  Well chances are they did an explosion with the diaper on.  Consider yourself lucky.  One of my friends said that their daughter was once on a changing table and the poop shot three feet and splattered against the wall.  No joke!

The books never told us about this.  So what is a parent supposed to do?  During the first few weeks, always change your baby perpendicular to you so that the “thing” is pointed away from you.  I sat right in its path and experienced its wrath.  Also, you can cover your wall with something in case it happens to you.  My friends said after that experience, they taped up butcher paper on the wall where the “thing” was pointed.

Have a great weekend.  See you next week.

Filed under: Things the Books Never Tell You

Things the Books Never Tell You…Recovering from Delivery

My wife and I are born to South Korean immigrants.  One of the challenges of being Korean American is that many of our parents don’t tell us about cultural stuff until we have violated them.  When my wife brought our first child into the world we entered into a reality that we had no clue existed.  You see, Koreans have a very very strong view of how a woman is to recover after delivery.  Below are some of the rules that were thrown at us… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Things the Books Never Tell You

Things the Books Never Tell You…Whatever it takes

Many years ago when I my wife and I were first time parents we began a journey called “trying to get your kid to sleep when they’re supposed to.”  #1 was tough.  She did not like sleeping.  She hated taking naps.  The problem was the absence of these two led to demon possession and we were frustrated.  We were so confused that we would wait for #1 to nap.  Most of the time we would be doing something and she would just fall asleep on the floor in the living room.  We didn’t pick her up and take her to her room because she would wake up and all misery would set it.  So we would take a blanket and just put it over her.  We would turn of the ringer on the phone.  We dare not flush the toilet.  We whispered.  We tipped toed around the apartment. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Things the Books Never Tell You

Things the Books Never Tell You…Best Feeding

Everyone knows that breastfeeding is the best feeding for infants. Some of the books, classes, and doctors will tell you that it is going to be really hard for some but to keep at it. What they don’t tell you is how hard it is going to be emotionally on the mom. They don’t tell moms or dads that mommy is going to feel like a terrible mom because she is not producing enough milk. This is usually only with the first kid.
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Things the Books Never Tell You

Airplane Etiquette

WARNING:  I try to be as mature as I can be when communicating via this blog.  Occasionally I get a little low-brow in my perspective.  This entry is a perfect example.  Bad stuff in movies has a warning for people under a certain age.  This blog has a +18 rating.  This material may not be suitable for people ABOVE the age of 18.

Last week I flew out to Hartford, CT for a conference.  On my way back I flew non-stop to LA.  The guy next to me farted 5 times during the flight.  The first couple of times I was ok.  It can happen.  After that though I felt he grievously crossed the line of consideration for others.

I believe farting on airplanes is one of the great injustices toward mankind.  Let me explain…

First of all there is no air circulation in a plane so the smell got trapped right in front of my face and stayed there for minutes.  Second, being in an airplane when someone farts is such a vulnerable position for the victims.  You cannot accuse him.  You cannot ask him to stop.  The injustice grows another layer in that if I physically show my discomfort (ie: cover my nose, make a nasty face, ask “what is that smell”) I am the jerk!  How do you figure that?  But that is the way of the airplane farter.

Even as I am typing this ridiculous and immature entry I am outraged.  Come to think of it there is another level of oppression.  When someone farts, the innocent people become filled with paranoia that others think it is them.  So not only do we suffer the nastiness of his inconsideration, we become victims of suspicion.  Every time that guy let one go, the stewardesses gave me that look like it was me.  Every time I wanted to stand up in the airplane and yell, “IT WASN’T ME!!!  IT WAS HIM!”

What is the solution?  First, go to the bathroom.  When you do, stay there for an extra couple of minutes so you don’t bring it out with you.  Second, if you should happen to do it on accident, raise your hand and say to everyone, “My bad.”  This way the rest of us don’t have to live under the oppression of your junk.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Singing to Your Unborn Baby

When #1 was in my wife’s womb I use to sing to her like a cheesy first time dad.  I would put my mouth near my wife’s stomach and sing.  I love Steven Curtis Chapman (christian country singer) and sang his song “His Strength is Perfect” everyday when my wife’s tummy got big.  Well, after #1 was born I noticed that when she would cry (sometimes…not all the time) she would stop if I started singing that song.  The funny thing is that when my singing worked it would only be that song.

Out of curiosity I would stop singing that song and she would cry again.  Then I would sing another song and she would continue to cry.  I would sing “His Strength is Perfect” and she would stop crying again.  Kind of weird right?

One day we were out with our friends when we were living in Boston.  We were at our favorite restaurant in Boston, Brown Sugar Cafe.  It is a thai restaurant that you have to go to if you are ever there.  Anyways, my friends didn’t believe the story about me singing that song.  Well during the meal #1 starts crying.  I sing our song and she stops.  Just to show them I wasn’t lying I sang a different song and she would continue to cry.  I sang our song…she stopped.

What’s the point?  I don’t know.  You would think after something like that I would try it on all my other kids but I never sang again during the other 4 pregnancies so we will never know if it was science or just random acts of coincidence.  Nevertheless, I thought that was pretty cool.

Filed under: Uncategorized

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