Birthday Parties

"Don't throw that!"

Shit.  He threw it.  Which is pretty much what happens every time you say something like that to a 9 year old.  By the time you tell him not to throw something, it's already thrown, whatever they are not supposed to throw has already left the hand and really you are just wishing to cover yourself in front of other parents.  Look, I told him not to throw it, I'm a good dad, I'm sorry your baby now has a dart in it's forehead.

In this case, it wasn't a dart but a little rubber super bouncy ball.  Fuck I hate those things but it seems that I can't ever be rid of them.  I have banned them from my house, my car and any place that possibly contains anything with breakable items such as the Louvre.  But the kids always find them and I have come to the conclusion that there are these little super bouncy ball gnomes that in general hate people and suck in general disposition.

The place that the super bouncy ball was thrown was a pizza place.  Lots of pizza, lots of beer and lots of little kids that can get hit.  Why would you haul off and throw that ball as hard as you could?  Because you are a 9 year old boy and in a very general sense, 9 year old boys are dicks.  When they are excited because they are at a birthday party, they are even bigger tools.  It just happens and I have no idea why.  I'm absolutely positive I was a massive prick at 9 and even now as a full grown man I can't explain the behavior of 9 year old boys.

Of course, this is my son's birthday and he wanted to go to this generic pizza place with games and pizza that tastes roughly like freshly laid asphalt.  There's good pizza, there's ok pizza and then there is kids birthday party pizza which cannot even be qualified as pizza under FDA standards.  You could call it a cheese covered pepperoni delivery device but calling it pizza is like calling the Eiffel Tower a stick in the dirt.

There are a lot of things that happened of course during this birthday party before the super bouncy ball of death.

"Dude, don't use shampoo, that has oil in it."  That was my son that said that.  Seriously.  He said that in some sage 9 year old boy advice, like a guru on top of the mountain.  The answer my young friends is to not use shampoo to clean thine mane as it contains the essence of the oil.  9 year old boys are gross.

"Dude, you fart alot!"  "Yeah I do!  Did you know that when you fart it leaves a green cloud and then that causes acid rain?"  9 year old boys are real gross.

"Bro!  Bro!  Bro!  Bro, look I have balls!" and then the 9 year old holds a pair of super bouncy balls by his junk and the meaning is clear.  They all laugh because this is what 9 year olds do, spread bad propaganda and make dick and balls jokes as they fart.  I've tried to warn my wife that this is coming and now it is here.  She better get as much quality with my daughter and girl drama as she can because in about 4 years this house is going to stink and have a shit load of stiff socks under beds.  And we are going to do this twice.  Good times ahead.

"Bro, bro!"  At this age now everyone is either bro or dude.  "Bro, throw your balls!"

And then he does.  He wings a ball as hard as he can on the concrete floor and it goes flying upward towards the ceiling.  It hits a sprinkler just right on the edge and that bastard takes flight to the right.  It pops the top edge of a chair, honestly what are the odds, and takes off towards some guy and his family. It's like the scene from "Men in Black" where Will Smith says "I'm gonna pay for that."  It pops his beer mug and smacks him in the chest.  Not hard of course but hard enough that he looks around.  He's just here trying to enjoy a cardboard pizza with his family on a budget and I've got kids making fart jokes and throwing balls.

He looks over at me and I think, shit I'm about to get my ass kicked.  You know how you can tell if a guy can fight?  If even the women he is with are tatted up and wear cutoff sleeves.  I'm guessing this guy has had to fight a couple of times.  I'm old and fat, my fighting days are way behind me.

But things go well because this is the midwest and people are actually very chill here.  He picks up the ball and throws it back to the boys.  My pleading look tries to convey that hey, I did everything I could, I told him not to throw that.  But it was in the middle of a dick joke and ya know you kinda have to follow through on a dick joke.  He head nods at me as I apologize and everything is ok.  I make a bee line to the boy with the super bouncy ball.

"Give me the balls" I tell him.  They all laugh now.  God damnit, walked right into that one.  "Fork them over, where are they at?"  I hold out my hand.  He then spits two of the quarter size balls out of his mouth into my hand.  God damnit.  Should have seen that coming.


Lost Hiking

A mile in and I kept looking back.  I was having little panic attacks because I thought I had forgotten one of my kids, that maybe my 3 year old got taken by a mountain line or a troll, trolls are bastards.  But I would look back and see no kids.  I would see nothing but the hiking trail behind me.  Not even troll prints back there.  Just me, by myself, in the woods.  I would turn back to look in front of me and within 5 minutes I would look back again pretty much out of habit.  After 10 years, you get in this groove that if you can't see your kid then someone is probably getting thrown in a river.

Not today though, today is just me.  It's weird, really weird.  And for some reason slightly uncomfortable.  I'm not really sure why, but it is.  Sometimes change happens gradually and sometimes it happens at an exact moment.  This is my exact moment, in the woods with no kids.

The two older kids have gone back to school now, summer is over.  They were sad and to be honest, so was I.  I am not one of those parents that can't wait for school to get back in.  I'm the opposite actually.  I spend so much time over the summer doing things with them, big and small adventures, that I miss it when it's gone.  We saw the worlds biggest overalls this summer.  And the worlds biggest painted shamrock and the worlds largest covered wagon.    The kids make things more fun.  An art museum is pretty cool but when you add kids it becomes way more exciting.  Will they attempt to break a 400 year old painting?  Can I get to them before they rip it off the wall?  Where in the hell did they get the cheetohs from?  It's like extreme sports for parenting.  Have I turned into an adreline junkie after 10 years?

But I'm pretty used to them going back.  My daughter starts 5th grade and I'm sure the girl drama is coming because that's what they do.  I've had to handle some of it in the past and everyone tells me it's going to get worse.  The tween years are going to be tough which scares me because I know the teen years are going to be a god damn nightmare.

My son goes into 3rd grade and he is excited to learn more math.  He's been practicing in his head he tells me.  Then he asks me why an octopus has 8 arms.  Then he starts talking about minecraft.  This is an 8 year old boy in a nutshell, no train of thought ever logically moves to the next one.  It's a random statement of fact followed by a completely unrelated question.  A narwhal has a horn and why are the tires on cars black.  I've gotten used to it so much that I will often do the same when he's not here.  I miss my boy.

But this year, this year the changes are really coming.  My youngest, Bacon Hoss, has started preschool.  3 years old and he gets shipped off twice a week.  I pick him up in the late afternoon.  So now, for the first time in 10 years, I've got some serious time on my hands and I'm not sure how I am going to react.

Drop off did not go well.  He cried, I cried, Hossmom cried, he punched me, I left.  It's a very up and down relationship.  I knew that this was coming and I knew that I probably wouldn't handle it well.  Twice before I've had to do this and the adjustment period takes some time for me.  Am I even a stay at home dad anymore?  Have I abandoned my child to the cruel world?  Is it to quiet and is it ok if that makes me feel uncomfortable?  I'm not really sure what to do with myself.

So I decided that in the short term here I'm going to go get lost in the woods and fight bugs and trolls if I can find those little buggers.  I'm going to spend some time with my thoughts which are trending on the "why am I such a loser dad" side at the moment.  I wasn't ready for the little panic attacks and mannerisms though, like constantly thinking that I've lost one of the kids because I don't hear them walking behind me.

By my 3rd mile I've given up looking behind me and I am now trying to think positive.  What can I do with my extra time now?  Hossmom suggested writing and cleaning house.  I suggested napping.  We will meet in the middle somewhere, I will write about napping.  Then I will take a nap.  But napping can only take up so much time, right?  And eventually, I'll clean enough that I don't need to clean anymore.  Ha.  We all know that's crap, we are slobs.

I could get a job.  That would be good, yeah?  I mean, it's been 8 years since I quit working, time to go back?  By mile 4 I decide that we probably shouldn't rush that part just yet.  I got lost for a little bit back there thinking about that so obviously we need to table that train of thought or I'll never make it home in time to do..........

To do something.  I'm not sure what but I have planned to give my self the month of September to figure it out.  There are a crap ton of house projects to be done but I'm not sure how it will go without a child throwing screws under the fridge, it's kind of our thing now.  I could start blogging again, get some practice going before taking it further?  I like that idea, let's do that.  That way I can nap, write, clean, be home when the kids get out of school.  I like that.  I have time to decide though, lots of things to try out before the month is out and I make some decisions.  Like seeing a movie at 10 am.  I bet that is cool.

And day drinking.  I should start day drinking as soon as I get done with getting lost and looking for my children.

I don't think this transition is going very well at the moment.


The Screw

"Son, I need the screw.  Give Daddy the screw."

Bacon Hoss doesn't move, he doesn't even blink.  He just kind of stands there, looking at me, almost like he is making a mental bet with himself.  How long can dad hold up the microwave before it comes crashing down and the back wall gets ripped out.  I bet not to much longer.  I hope it hits his foot.

"The screw son, grab the screw and give it to dad.  It's right there by your head on the counter.  Grab the screw and hand it to dad."

Still nothing.

"Son!  Please, grab the screw!"  My arm is starting to shake while I'm pointing with my free hand.  He finally looks at the screw.  Just looks at.  He doesn't make a move to grab the screw but at least he has acknowledged it's presence.  Yes, the screw exists son.  It's not some metaphor that I'm using.  I'm not saying that life is like a screw, that any time you think you have things under control life twists a screw in your eye to show you that you don't have a handle on things.  The only thing you have is an over the range microwave oven that you are installing.  You need the screw.  Desperately.  Not the idea of the screw, not the thought of a screw, not the phantom of the screw, just the real god damn screw.

I know that my wife, and others, perhaps will think this is my own damn fault, why didn't I bring the screw with me before I heaved a heavy microwave up.  Well, I did.  But I did forget for a short moment there that my 3 year old was "helping" me.  What that usually means is that he goes through my tool box and plays with very sharp and dangerous things like box cutters while I tell him to be careful.  He helps by not stabbing me.  It's a good arrangement that mostly works well except for the time my son used a hammer to smack my car.  But it wasn't my kneecap so I count that as a win for me and Bubba Hoss, my second born.

This time however my youngest, Bacon Hoss, the three year old terror that he is decided that the best way to help was to take the two attaching screws off the counter right next to me and then put them on the kitchen counter across from me.  About a foot short of how far I can reach while making sure the microwave doesn't rip off the wall.  That would be bad.  I may have to abort and just unhook it from the wall, set it on the ground, cry a little bit and then go get my screws from my tormentor.  But that's not how Dad's work.  Nope, I can do this if my son, my young bright boy (you hear that boy, you are smart and kind and awesome) can just give me the fucking screw!

"I will give you candy.  Do you like candy.  I will trade candy for the screw."  He is smiling now, I'm getting somewhere, I am making head way here.  Then I feel warm breath on my balls.

Nope, not getting anywhere at all.  Just warm dog breath on my balls as our dog decides now is the time for some good old fashioned crotch sniffing.  We've had him for about a year now and well, we are having some issues.  One of those issues is crotch sniffing.   The other is carpet eating.  These are literal terms and not euphemisms for some night time activity that you do in alley ways with Brenda.  Brenda is a freak.    Dobby, the dog,  likes to sniff crotches and eat carpet.  You get used to it after about 6 months and I die a little bit inside when I realize that crotch sniffing is something you can get used to.

I push the dog away with my knee, my hand slips on the microwave a little bit and I brace it back up while I try again with my son.  We are pushing 3 minutes here and it's like some weird punishment concocted by a nun at catholic school.  "The screw son!  Daddy needs the screw!  Give me the screw!  I know you know what I'm saying!  If you don't give me the screw all paw patrol puppies will get ebola!  Give me the crapping screw!"  I want to say "fucking" screw but I can't.  He said fuck once and I got in trouble even though he is the one that said it.  Totally unfair.  But crapping is fine apparently.

He grabs the screw!  He has the screw!  "Tis?" he says.  Yes, that's the one!  That's the screw, that's what I need!  If I can just screw in one I can let go and go get the other one because honestly I don't see it and I'm not sure where you put it but I'm taking bets that it's in the toilet.

He holds the screw out.  He doesn't walk toward me but at least he's holding it out.  I start to reach out my fingers, my arm is about gone but it's so close, it's like 4 inches away, it's right there!  It's like every action movie where the hero just needs to reach the gun to beat the bad guy but his fingers just can't reach. At the climax, the hero finds a way to grow an extra 2 inches and the day is saved.  I can do this, this can happen in real life.  I believe!  Almost there, the screw son, give me the screw!

"Here Dobby" my son says.  He drops the screw, the dog hears it, the dog goes nuts trying to paw at it.  The screw gets flung under the fridge.

I'm not the hero in this movie.  I am the bad guy and this is my origin story.  


Vacation Time

Shhh, don't mess this up for us.  Not a sound, not one freaking sound from anyone.  I think the kids have forgotten that we are home.

Hossmom and I are laying in bed.  She is reading a book and there is no one trying to rip it from her hands.  I'm just sitting here typing away and no little fingers are pushing random buttons or randomly deleting important financial files.  I once bought stock in a Hong Kong fishing lure company thanks to the magic of 3 year old kid fingers.  The returns were not great.

There is no one here in bed with us.  There is no one getting up asking for a glass of water or to check for monsters.   There is no homework that has been forgotten at the last moment and no one is trying to throw the dog through the window in some weird Island of Dr. Moreau experiment.  It's just quiet.  All three of them are quiet.  And it's a bit weird and a bit awesome.

The 3 year old is with the other two.  I think they are playing a game but are trying to be quiet.  We told them it was time for bed and I think they believe that they are "getting away" with it.  I would let them get away with it all the time if they were this quiet.  Christ man, I would do this every night.  I would love this to become the new normal in the house.

You know what, this is like a vacation.  and I don't mean the type where I take the kids with me, constantly apologizing to people on an airplane or leaving very good tips to waiters based on the amount of food that my toddler has flung on the floor.  Then of course I have to make an agreement with a hotel manager where I just give him a credit card and we both agree to never speak of the unfortunateness again.  It's like traveling with a rock band but without the massive amounts of cocaine and instead of STD's one of the kids usually has pink eye which is like an STD just no where near as fun acquiring.

Those are trips, this is like a vacation.

Do I have to be anywhere right now?  Nope.  Can I just sit on my butt and enjoy whatever it is that I'm doing?  Yup.  Is there a 4 foot tall 8 year old trying to crash my junk while a 10 year old reads me passages from Tween Drama 4?  Nope.  This is vacation.

Now of course, I know the old parental adage of if it's too quiet then something is going really, really wrong.  Hell, I live by that.  But tonight I have made a choice.  I'm going to pretend that my three spawn are not plotting the downfall of western civilization through a cleverly designed coop focused on the control of pokeballs on the black market.  Instead, I'm going to touch my wife's butt and see where that takes me.

So let them whisper away, giggle that dad doesn't know that they are up.  Let them believe that they are super sneaky and by god why don't they have a higher allowance.  Go for it, conspire all you want as long as it's done in quiet whispers and without the assistance of foreign governments.

I'll happily be here pretending that I don't hear you  while I quietly walk across room and lock my door.


Bile and Cabbage

"I want to play the trumpet" Little Hoss told me.  I am a very supportive father, I encourage new experiences!  I say yes to adventure and to the unknown!  Hard?  Pish posh Mary Poppins, we don't like it unless it's difficult!

So of course I said "are you sure?  I mean, are you really sure?  The trumpet?  The very loud trumpet?  The trumpet that makes very loud sounds?"

Alright, fuck it, I was not thrilled with the idea of my 5th grader playing the trumpet.  I did take her to a real life dinosaur dig this summer so you know what parenting world, you owe me this.  That's right, I'm calling in the chits.  I can't be the Mister Encourage all interests all the time.  And with the trumpet, I'm drawing that line.

I'm not against music.  Music is great.  Music is just fine thank you very much.  Music that doesn't interrupt my peaceful evenings is even better.  And yet, who are we kidding.  No parent has peaceful evenings.  Saying you have a peaceful evenings with kids is like saying you are just going to have a salad at the Chinese buffet.  That isn't working tubby, we all know that an all you can eat buffet is a challenge that is questioning your very manhood!  So load me up on the stuff I can't pronounce because it's going to meet some stomach.  I should work out more.

No, evenings after school and sports are not peaceful.  They are peaceful in the way that an artillery firing range is peaceful.  Which I mean to say that they are loud and chances are someone is going to get hurt and lose a toe.  So I'm not feeling to bad when I decided to perhaps encourage my daughter to check out some other instruments, like the drums.  Ha, I'm kidding, I'm not giving my kids sticks and telling them its ok to hit something.  I like my walls like they are thank you very much, which is covered in spaghetti sauce for some reason and with no holes.  Well, some holes.  We got a lot of holes in our walls.

But what about a stringed instrument?  Those can sound nice and not like a goose getting the prison treatment from a bigger redneck moose with tattoos that make me uncomfortable.  A trumpet is just loud, really really loud.  And a new student learning to play the trumpet is going to be loud and pretty bad.  And there's lots of spit.  I will admit, the spittle would go well with the spaghetti walls.

We went down to the school on instrument night which is when you get 300 kids together and tell them not to worry, learning is fun, blow on this.  Man that sounded bad when I read that out loud.  I'm leaving it.

I was there for an hour and a half.  I sent Bacon Hoss home with mom, you don't want him bored in a crowded room.  You ever see that movie Pet Cemetery, that little kid?  It's going to be like that only with more "let it go" singing to go with the kneecapped parents.  That kid, that kid is a bit rough.  Back to the story.

Every kid in the school district is there and all their parents who are looking very nervous and some I think are crying a little bit, those in the trumpet line.

I tell my daughter that man, that trumpet line looks really long, how about we try that short line first.   You hate lines, I hate lines, down with lines!  Lets do the short line.  What's the short line?  The flute, hey how about the flute!  Jesus plays the flute, Hitler played the trumpet, do you want to be like Hitler?  Good, let's be about Jesus, not Hitler.  Good life lesson.  Parenting at it's finest.

Little Hoss couldn't blow the flute and make a sound.  She kept trying and trying but not a squeak.  The flute is out.  The trumpet line looks pretty long still, how about this line.

The clarinet.  Little Hoss loves the clarinet!  She can make sounds on the clarinet!  Crap.  The clarinet, played by a 5th grader, makes a sound that looks like the prison goose is getting off lucky.  She wants to play the clarinet.  The clarinet is the goose that is getting passed around for smokes and chocolate.

But wait, more lines, lets get in more lines!!!

Tons more lines!

We get in a long one.  I know it's not the horn lines, those are obvious by the look of parents who have given up.   We wait in this line for a good 20 minutes before we get through the door to see what instrument is this.

Drums.  The motherfucking drums.  One of these teachers didn't label these lines and I will have my vengeance, in this line or the next.  We try the drums.  She likes the drums.  The drums don't make her dizzy like the clarinet did and she can make a sound on it.  She can also make holes in walls without the help of little sticks.  The music teacher helps my daughter out, teaching her some basic rhythms.  She picks it up pretty well.  She's a natural he tells her.  My daughter lights up.  The teacher and I need to have some words later on, at night, in a dark alley, with drum sticks.

Little Hoss wants to play the drums now but we have time for one more line.  A smaller line.  It's my hail Mary play so we take it.  One more line.

The cello.  The sweet, sweet cello.  The teacher there was packing up before I jumped forward and asked (pleaded) to stay just 10 minutes longer to give my daughter a chance to try it out.  Maybe she will love it, don't you want my daughter to love music?  She agrees and I promise to take her out to a nice dinner later.  My wife will understand, it's all good.  Little Hoss plucks and a nice deep "bong" comes out.  She smiles.  Then she uses the bow and it's a nice solid note.  She tries some other notes and although they are scratchy, they are not a blaring horn.  Sorry trumpet people, I don't mean to rip on you but come on, give me this one.

"Ya know" I tell her, "that cello is pretty cool, right?  It's big and we all know that bigger is better, right?"  She smiles and plays some more.  "The cello was played by Katy Perry, and I swear, her and Taylor Swift rock out on the cello all the time."  She keeps playing.  "You know who doesn't play the cello?  Hitler.  Hitler didn't play the cello.  How about the cello?"

She picks the cello.

She likes it because it is big and apparently several of her friends and their very smart parents have picked the cello!  Yeah, go cello!

We are now cello people.  I don't know what that means really but as I write this I can hear the constant "bong, bong, bong, bong" of a cello being practiced upstairs.  Sure, it's a lot like water torture but it could be worse, it could be a swing band playing up there to a crowd of mental patients.  If I focus a little, I can pretend its just a garbage truck backing up, for an entire 1/2 hour every night.  Every.  Night.

But Little Hoss tells me she has to practice because they are going to learn a new song soon.  It's called Bile and Cabbage.  Hand to god, I looked it up in her music book.  Bile and Cabbage.  Not Fur Elise, Bile and Cabbage.  Ok, I can do Bile and Cabbage, in fact I think Bile and Cabbage fits just fine around here.


Costco for 15 bucks

I've got a plan and it's a good plan.  I like plans, they make me feel like a badass.  Everyone else spends all day making plans, attending meetings about those plans and then writing those plans down in fancy marker colors.  So basically, everyone is like my 9 year old daughter doing craft time with the exception that they get paid a lot more money than she does to make plans.  I spend most of my days in jeans and whatever tshirt is deemed "clean enough" knowing full well that by the end of the day I'm getting some child snot on it.  So when I make my plans, with the help of my 9 year old, I include a "snot index" to determine the amount of snot that is going to be coming my way.  Today is a bit cold and windy so the snot index is pretty high, stay in doors if at all possible.

My plan today is simple.  Spend 15 bucks at Costco.  Shouldn't be a big deal really, just stay on budget.  Sure, it's the week before Thanksgiving and all I have been instructed to get 1 pumpkin pie.  I'm not going to make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.  I'll be honest, I don't cook that dinner.  It is the one time of the year where I am barred from the kitchen.  Does this hurt my feelings, that I'm not being included, that my wife kicks me out so she can do the turkey and all the things that come with it?  Fuck no.  I have no problem with this. I cook the rest of the year, I have no problem stepping out of the way, turning on some football and checking the days snot index.  I'll eat chips while I do it and maybe buy a newspaper just to read it.

So I head off to Costco with my 15 dollar budget.

I almost bust it immediately through the door.  But I stay strong and don't buy the ipad mini, or the camera stuff even though I don't own the camera for the stuff, the throw blankets that would make a wonderful Christmas present, or the new Christmas Trees that they have just put out.  I'm tempted but I'm on a mission and I have a plan.

We stop so that Bacon Hoss can take a look through the toys.  He immediately throws everything into the cart.  Elsa dolls, spiderman action figure and he throws a fit when he can't lift up a bike to put into the cart.  His budget is 3 million dollars, credit of course, so he just keeps on throwing.  I distract him with a new toy and then promptly remove everything he has put in the cart.  He has the attention span of a rock so this is easy to do.

Boom, we find the pumpkin pie.  We get the pumpkin pie.  7 bucks.  I'm under budget, time to go.  Although we should probably go the long way around, just to waste some time.  It's the smart thing to do. So I make the plan, take the long way around, don't let child sneeze snot on anyone, check out.  Good plan.

I pass by the bread and realize that we need rolls for Thanksgiving dinner.  I'm not cooking those either.  5 bucks.  Sweet, I'm in budget.  13 bucks.  Still under.

As Hossmom slaves over the Turkey I will be watching football and tending to the kids.  And by tending to the kids I mean I will kick them outside as soon as possible.  You know what goes well with football and kicking kids outside?  Cheese.  So I get the cheese platter thing, it's right there and only 10 bucks.  No big deal, I'm at 23 bucks, just a bit over budget.

I add a case of apples to though because the kids are going to be wanting a snack after they go out and play.  7 bucks, that puts me at an even 30.  I like round numbers.  But I got to get milk because it's so freaking cheap here.  2.35 a gallon, that's worth fighting for.  I shouldn't get 1 gallon, that's not smart.  I need to get 3 gallons because my kids inhale milk.  I should open a dairy farm and I would still save money on the amount of milk we use.  So let's call that 7 more bucks for milk, I'm at 37.

I don't like the number 37.  It's a weird number that doesn't sit right in my head.  It's like a creepy old man that just wants to hang out in your garage all day talking about weird stuff and asking you where your wife keeps her panties.  So no, we can't stop on 37, he's weird.  Eggs finds it's way into my cart.  Eggs are getting expensive now, 7 bucks for those to.  That sits me at 44.  Cool, I have made a new budget in my head of 50 bucks and I'm still under that, 44 so all is good.

But while I'm in the milk area I might as well get some sour cream, the tub version.  It's always good to have large amounts of sour cream.  We may have guests stopping by and what if they want sour cream?  What kind of host will I be if I don't have that!  Now I am at 48 dollars, still good.

Shredded cheese is a bit of a sore spot with me.  At the grocery store sells a small bag for almost 3 dollars.  I can make what, 1/2 a quesidalla with that?  No, I need the big bags of cheese.  They only come in doubles at Costco.  That's 10 bucks.  But it's either 10 bucks now or 50 bucks next week.  Get the cheese, up to 58.

The kids are going to be home alot over the next week, school's out for most of the week.  They could eat hotdogs and apples of course, but I don't have hotdogs.  So lets get some hotdogs.  And nuggets because hotdogs gets old after a while.  My budget is up to...something, can't remember, distracted by the great deal on bananas.  Let's get bananas.

And tortillas.  We will probably have some sort of taco or breakfast burrito.  Gonna need to get tortillas.  Tortillas are the most versatile food.  You can eat them or throw them at a football game.  Really, if you don't have tortillas in your cabinet then you are obviously not ready for the zombie apocalypse.  I'm practically a doomsday prepper.

I'm almost to check out now.  Yea!  Homestretch baby.  All we have to do is go through the snack aisle.  Oooh, look, christmas present aisle is right there to.  Perhaps Hossmom needs something.  Afterall, Christmas is only a month away.  Let's be responsible.

I finally check out.  I intentionally stop listening to the clerk when she tells me the total.  I just pay.  I call this the Costco Blackout.  Happens often.

Hossmom calls and asks if I got the pumpkin pie.  Yes!  Yes I got the pumpkin pie!  Best husband ever!

I make a new plan.  I should not go to Costco anymore.  Ever.

Crap, I forgot bread.  We are going to need some bread.  You know who has bread?  Costco......


What Happens During Nap Time

Bacon Hoss I think is under the impression that great things happen during nap time.  That can be the only reason that he doesn't want to take a nap.  He digs his heels in and fights me like the Roman Legion conquering Gaul.  Caesar wasn't out to make a name for himself or to destroy his enemies.  His true goal was to avoid naptime.  That makes Mr. Caesar a butthole.

I think Bacon assumes that when he is in his crib, I am obviously doing all kinds of fun things.  I must be having a huge party.  I have called the ladies, got out the good glasses and am riding some sort of bull through the living room.  Then after the bull riding and the admiring looks from the ladies, I go have something brown in a small glass while people rub my feet.

I'm sorry.  That's obviously not what 2 year old Bacon is thinking.  That's what I am thinking.  That's what I would do if my imagination could be properly funded by my current position.  This of course is impossible though because my current position makes me no money.  It is also impossible because the number of ladies that would show up to watch me ride a bull is pretty small.  And I probably couldn't get the bull in the house.  If I could get the bull in the house the only lady that would show up is my wife and that would be to serve me the divorce papers.  But if I was riding a bull in the house, I would take them like a boss.

Bacon's idea of an unlimited good time are unlimited juice boxes, feeding candy to all the pretty animals (probably not a bull though, those things are scary), and a  full charge on the Ipad.  Then he would  throw very hard things at whoever decided to show up through the door.  Yeah, he's been doing that lately.  I'm working on it.

Sadly though, none of this is what happens.  This is what I have been trying to explain to him as he squirms in my arms as I'm trying to put him down.  First off little man, stop squirming.  You really don't want me to drop you.  That would hurt.  You really don't want down so knock it off.  A nice safe mattress is not always what is underneath you while I wrestle you into the bed.  Sometimes there's a stray lego and you want no part of that.

Secondly, what both you and I are imagining that I do while you nap is not even remotely close to reality.  There are no unlimited juice boxes, there is never a full charge on the Ipad (thanks kids!) and I doubt I even know where to find a bull although now that I have written this little part, I am putting this on my to do list.

No, what happens during naptime is much more mundane.  It is boring and you want no part of it.  The very first thing I do when Bacon Hoss goes to bed is to use the bathroom.  Whether I have to go or not, it's a matter of having the ability to go without someone either banging on the door for the solid 5 minutes of peace I need.  And when I'm in there no one is sitting on my underwear trying to poke me in the junk.  Seriously man, cut that out.  It's annoying.

After that, wait for it, I sit down.

That's it.  I sit.  I do this for a good 20 minutes.  Sometimes I read the news, happy to know that Paw Patrol will never end up on my news feed.  Sometimes I just stare at my phone, reading nothing at all.  It's glorious.  I look like I'm reading, but I'm not.  I'm just glazing over.  I do this for a while until I realize I haven't moved and there's chores to do.

The first thing I do when I think of chores is nap myself of course.  We've got a rhythm going, you and me boy, don't mess it up.  I take a quick 20 minute power nap.  As adults, we call them power naps so it makes it sound like we are doing something productive when in truth we are just fucking off.  Power naps for everyone!

After my alarm goes off, then I start my chores and there is always something to do.  I once heard an at home dad ask what every one does during nap time.  He was new.  We all collectively laughed.  If we screw off it is a conscious decision, not because there is nothing to do.  Put my kids in a room for 20 minutes and it will take me a good hour to clean the damage they have done.  I get my older ready in the morning for school.  It doesn't take to long, everyone eats, everyone is dressed and there is always something to sign because they forgot when I asked them point blank when they got home from school the day before.  In that little amount of time, when even then we are going according to schedule and habit, it looks like a bull did indeed ride through the home.  It's not pretty.

So I clean the kitchen.  I clean the living room.  I clean under Bacon's chair where the bagel landed because you didn't want it.  Then you get mad when I pick up the bagel to throw it away because now you want it.  Then you scream because honestly, that's mostly what you do.  It says so right there on your resume:  Skills:  looking cute when you meet other people and screaming when you are only with dad so no one believes my lies.

After all the cleaning, I hit the laundry because for some reason every single person in this house must wear 5 complete sets of clothes everyday.  I never finish laundry mind you, that's a joke.  But I maintain it so that my washing machine never actually stops.  I could just turn on the tap in the bathroom and let it run for 24 hours, it's basically the same thing.

So now everything is presentable, right?  Wrong.  Now come the repairs.  What's broken today?  Don't say nothing because the answer is never nothing.  The bottom of the fridge popped off the other day.  I have no idea why.  I'm assuming that someone spent a good hour in the middle of the night kicking it.  Then I'm going to fix my daughter's bike.  A pedal broke.  So now dad has to fix it and I find it easier to fix things while someone isn't "helping" by trying to poke me in the eye with a screwdriver.  But good job picking the flathead screwdriver, get the right tool for the right job my grandfather always told me.

That's what really happens when Bacon takes a nap.  That's what I do.  There are no girls handing out juiceboxes while we get a bull in the house.  It just looks that way before my wife gets home.  Because by the time she gets home, the kids have been home for a good hour and Bacon Hoss has woken up from his nap.  1 hour vs. a whole day of cleaning.  The assumption is that I haven't done anything.  I maintain that I am being framed.

Or I am binge watching Netflix.