Don't Ask, Don't Dwell (UPDATED)

Bronco's breath is fresh and minty. Go ahead, lean in and give a sniff.

Whenever anyone asks how his four- and six-year-old boys -- Bronko and Nagurski -- are, Da-da usually says the same thing: "LOUD." Dangerously loud. Jeez, look at the bones. The decibel level flenses meat right off. But that doesn't begin to illustrate the preternaturally unrestrained CLAWING, wrestling, shouting and hooliganism at our domestic gulag. The boys vacillate from brief moments (lasting about two seconds) of cute and happy and wondrous -- and sometimes shockingly obedient, gasp -- to looooong toothy geologic epochs of chewing on each other like rabid badgers, but in a CUTE way. Therein lay the child's main survival tactic.

Besides love (cast aside so easily? Da-da thinks not), CUTENESS is a child's main line of defense. Without it... well. If children acted the way they act while looking like fangy, miniature Ernest Borgnines, we as parents would chuck them out the air-lock posthaste -- provided of course we weren't, as Cervantes said, blindfolded as to their defects by that pesky L word that ostensibly permeates every square inch of existence. Damn. As Da-da's mentioned before, parenthood is somewhere between Christmas and being roasted alive, and WE NEED A LITTLE CHRISTMAS, even if it lasts five minutes. Without that little cherubian cuteness Christmas window, all human life on earth would probably cease to be... which might be a good thing if you looked at it from the earth's perspective.

When Da-da clears the streets, he calls it what it is: "Community Service."

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