12/22/09

What Santa Wants

I'm guessing by now all your presents are wrapped and under the tree. The kids like to come in and shake them, perhaps open a few when the parents are asleep and then cleverly re-wrap them thus giving them the best 3 nights of Tecmo Bowl a child could ever have. (sorry mom but it was worth it)

But that's not all the presents as we all very well know. Santa is coming and he brings presents to! Your kids are being extra special good because they love Santa. They are helping with the laundry, they are picking up their room and they are not pounding on their little brother like a speed bag in a basement gym in Chicago.

And on Christmas eve you and your family will follow the tradition of setting out cookies and milk for Santa.

Well, let me tell you something. I know Santa. I know him very, very well. You could say that I know him personally.

And Santa loves cookies and milk. But c'mon, maybe Santa would like something a little different this year. I heard, and I won't say from where, that Santa would appreciate a nice cold Corona with a fresh cut lime right next to his cookie plate. Milk is good but Santa has a tough job that night. He's got to visit the houses of billions of children all in one night.

And let's say in one particular house he has to put together several toys so that they'll be ready to roll in the morning. Let's face it, that bike isn't going to put itself together and nothing is more disappointing than getting a toy in a box that you have to wait to play with. Santa is a handy man, no doubt. In fact, Santa just helped a buddy remodel his bathroom, he's good like that. Yes, he can put together a bike. But it might take a while and the beer would be awful good.

But don't stop there. After all, Santa is giving so much of himself this year. Instead of cookies, if you TRULY love Santa, perhaps you should cook him a nice thick steak to go with that beer. Don't get me wrong, Santa still loves cookies, but Santa appreciates a good piece of meat with perhaps some sort of butter sauce on the side.

And since you are going to all that trouble, why not just go a little bit further. I would bet you dollars to donuts that Santa would think it's great if you added a baked potato with that steak and beer. Don't go cheap on Santa now.

I mean think about it, this is your last ditch effort to make the nice list. Maybe a certain 3 year old girl and a 2 year old boy are on the bubble. Maybe they won't make the cut. It couldn't hurt any to give yourself one big boost by getting that steak and potato ready and adding a chilled glass for the beer. You want Santa to have good thoughts and Santa is happiest digging into a dead cow carcus.

Listen, he loves your cookies. He thinks they are great. But Santa has a big night and needs all the energy he can. Do you really want Santa stopping by the 7-11 to pick up a muchaco? Probably not, what if he misses your house.

And if he misses your house, how is he going to have time to put together the toy lawnmower that a 2 year old boy has been drooling over. What if he gets tired and just leaves it in the chimney. He's already got to put together a bike. And let's be honest here, those instructions are going to be in Japanese and Santa doesn't read Japanese. He's going to be tired and he is going to be frustrated because his drill isn't all the way charged up.

Maybe he'll have the shakes because he didn't get enough to eat. So when he's opening the box the knife slips and he cuts his wrists. Bam, you killed Santa because you insisted on the cookies and milk routine. Besides, shouldn't Santa lay off the sweets, he does have a little bit of a weight problem.

This is just something to think about, something to chew on while you wait for your Christmas morning presents. But it would sure be a shame if the only thing keeping you from that dollhouse was a lousy steak.

But if you do lay out cookies..........

Santa prefers Peanut Butter ones.

12/21/09

The Downfall of Grandma

"What did you do to your grandmother." I asked both of the minions.

They just looked at me.

"Seriously, what did you do."

No answer.

I'm going to get an answer. I'm going to get an answer because I got a call from my mother 30 minutes ago telling me that she was "whipped" and asked how much longer my wife and I are going to be out Christmas Shopping. She was with the kids for 2 hours. Hossmom and I were hoping to finish the Christmas shopping and then go for a nice private dinner as we haven't' done that without the kids in a good year. We don't live near any family so baby sitters are hard to come by.

But when someone calls you and asks you how much longer are you going to be, that's code for "Please come home, dear god please come home before they make me a human sacrifice."


So I came home with the wife. We had no dinner. There were no bread sticks. There was no filling up on salad. There was no nice glass of water and a beer. What did I have instead? 3 day old chili. And now I'm gassy and have two children that in 2 hours wore grandma out to the point that she called me to come home.

We don't get to go to dinner often and when we do, there is usually a clown somewhere in the vicinity. And if not a clown, there are pancakes because that seems the only food that they won't throw in a crowded restaurant. I find this odd as pancakes are an obvious substitute for a Frisbee. We could play pancake golf. At least then I could get in on the action.

I asked grandma what happened, did they misbehave?

"No, no, no." She exclaimed. "They were angels. But they sure are an active duo."

I think Grandma is covering for them. She is grandma after all. She dotes on the kids. Buys them gifts for no reason. Gives them cookies for dinner and at every chance undoes all the work that my disciplined regime has instilled. Grandma is a nice lady. She is a caring person. And she is also a liar.

"Huh." I say. I'm not buying any of it.

I said again: "What did you two do to grandma?"

Still no answer.

I don't think the minions understand what this means. I was going to have a steak tonight. A big thick hunk of meat with a nice pink strip in the middle. It was going to be accompanied by a potato with just a little bit of butter. Maybe some green beans or if I was feeling saucy, just another potato. I'm Irish. And afterwards, if the wife and I weren't bloated from the eating, I might have gotten some nookie.

The wife and I would have talked about politics. We would have argued about health care. We would have made vacation plans that we never meant to follow through with. Although I swear to all that is holy, one day, I'm going to Tahiti.

There would have been no one grabbing across the table for a piece of my steak. There would have been no little hands fascinated with the little salt shakers. Sugar packets would have remained unopened and neatly placed in the little sugar packet holder. There would have been no bathroom trips where I had to apologize to someone already in there. It would have been a nice, quiet, wonderful dinner.

"Someone's not telling me the whole story here." I say. And this time I look at Grandma and the minions, my eyes sweeping across the room to find out who will crack first. It won't be Little Hoss, the kid has nerves of steal. Grandma would never rat out the kids. But Bubba Hoss? Maybe. Except he would have to live in constant fear of his big sister. So I got nothing.

Tacs in chairs, hiding under beds, coloring on walls. My mind races through the possibilities. I have spawned two Bart Simpsons. It wouldn't surprise me if one of them called the cops just to mess with grandma. They've done it before. When my daughter was a year and a half, she called 911. We believed it to be an accident. Now I'm not so sure.

Did someone get tied up? Was there an incident involving cookies and ice cream? Did they saddle the dog to perform in a little rodeo while they lassoed the cat and hog tied her? I look at the dogs, studying them as well. I know that they would like nothing better than to get to the cat and I wouldn't be surprised if they got the kids involved in their little jihad. The dogs say nothing as well. Just sitting on the floor next to the minions, looking stupid and fat.

When I was a kid, my brother and I got almost every spanking together. We wouldn't rat out each other so we took them together rather than tattle on one another. Now I understand the frustration that my father felt.

So I do the only thing I could. I sent everyone to bed. Little Hoss, Bubba Hoss, two dogs, and Grandma. All put their PJs on and went to bed.

The wife went to bed to.

Me,well, I got some more chili and watched the travel channel. Tahiti is looking nicer all the time.

A Day In The Life

Come over here.
Go over there.
Eat your lunch.
Don't throw your lunch on the floor.
Let the dog eat it.

I can handle this.

Don't hit your brother.
Don't hit the dog.
Don't hit me in the balls.
Don't hit the cat.
I told you not to hit the cat.

I can really handle this, I'm in complete control.

That's why we don't throw peanut butter and jelly, isn't it?
Clean it up.
Stop licking the wall.
Call the dog over.
Get off the dog.

They listen to me like I am speaking the gospel.

Put your socks on.
No, on your feet, not your hands.
Put both of your socks on.
Not on the same foot.
Just let me do it.

Seriously, I know what I'm doing.

Hold hands everybody, we have to be careful.
Look out for the car.
Don't throw rocks at the car.
We are almost there, everyone just keep walking.
Not backwards.

Sure, they take things a little to literal at times, but we'll get past it.

I see you, honey.
Yes honey, I see you.
Honey, I see you. Stop asking.
I don't need to come closer. I still see you.
Where did my daughter go?

We just have to stick to the routine.

Don't eat that off the floor.
Because it's gross.
Because I said so.
Because you'll get sick.
Go get the mop.

My life needs a theme song.

Yes honey, I see your butterfly wings.
No honey, you can't fly.
No honey, you can't climb on top of the car.
No honey, I won't help you.
No honey, I can't go faster.

Something with a good beat.

I like your toy cars, too.
I don't want to eat your toy cars.
Please move your toy cars out of my face.
Seriously, let's move the toy cars out of my face.
Because I already ate lunch.

And a big guitar riff.

You throw that and you're getting a timeout.
Now your sister's crying.
I'm going to let her punch you.
Don't punch your brother, I was just kidding.
Ok, everyone goes into timeout.

And girls with big hooters dancing on poles.

Put this in the laundry basket.
Take this out of the laundry basket.
Everyone get out of the laundry basket.
The laundry basket is going to break.
Everyone get out of the dryer.

I should be on TV.

That's AC/DC guys, they're cool.
That's Metallica, they're cool to.
That's Nirvana, they were once cool.
That's Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins.
She's hot.

How am I not on TV?

I don't want to watch Dora.
I don't want to watch Diego.
I don't want to watch Wonder Pets
I don't want to watch Penguins.
Let's watch The Simpsons.

A TV show with my own theme music. That would be cool.

Let's go potty.
Ok, let's go pee-pee.
Wait, take your panties off first.
Not all the way off.
Because we are in a public restroom and it's creepy.

And I would do commercials.

This is my blog, honey.
Yes dear, I'm writing.
Yes dear, those are words.
I'm writing about you and your brother.
Because you are both funny.

But I couldn't handle the fame.

12/20/09

A Christmas Wish

Christmas week, is anyone going to read this? Let's find out. I'm going to be posting three new blogs this week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That should get everyone through work and into the holidays. The first one will be up today at noon and we'll go from there. It was either this or give you all an ashtray made by Little Hoss. Merry Christmas.

12/16/09

Lost Son

Let's get this straight. I think I'm funny as hell. And at least 41 people would agree with me. Now with that said, my kids also think they are funny as hell. To which I would reply: not as funny as you think you are and you are going to be a lot less funny when I bring the hammer down on you. Join me in this story. For parents, this story will probably bring back memories. For non parents, this will prevent you from having kids and staying child free as you whisk around Europe drinking Mojitos and meeting interesting people with names like Claude and Pfifer.

I was in the bathroom because that's the way all of my stories seem to start. The kids were watching their beloved Dora. Life was good. All was serene, gentle Hispanic music played in the background as I continued my current reading "The Grapes of Wrath." If you walked into my house and ignored the huge mess laying all around us, you would think "Wow, what a great dad. I want to bone him." And I would be ok with that.

I just finished a chapter and decided that the kids had been unsupervised for long enough. I wash my hands (or did I) and came on out. I found my daughter watching Dora and even singing along. But where was her brother. It is unlike my male minion to miss this cartoon.

"Little Hoss" I said. "Where's your darling brother."

"Don't know" she replied. Her answer was short and curt.

I don't like it when I don't know where the kids are. It usually means something is going to get broke and a cat might get tossed out a window. I would be ok with that second part. PETA can suck it.

I looked downstairs and couldn't see him. I walked through the living room, the kitchen, the play room and the dining room. No Bubba Hoss. He must be upstairs.

I went upstairs and checked his room. No Bubba Hoss. I went and checked his sister's room. No Bubba Hoss. I went and checked the bathrooms, my room and just in case, the spare bedroom that no one is allowed to go in. I looked under beds and I checked all the closets. No Bubba Hoss.

Now the parent part. For those of us who have found ourselves in this situation know the feeling you start to get when you can't find your kid in under 15 seconds. Your mind starts to wander, imagining some pretty dark stuff. Your heart sinks a little and the adrenaline starts to flow. But then you find them 10 seconds later and you laugh at your silliness. I had been looking for my son for 2 minutes, no kid. I start to become very concerned.

I go back downstairs. Now I'm calling his name. I'm not just saying it lightly, I'm yelling it. No answer. I start checking cabinets. My walking pace has quickened. I start opening closets that I missed before. Nothing. No answer to my calls. I'm starting to get a little panicky.

I head back up stairs and rip off my sweat shirt. I don't know why I did this but I remember I started to feel restricted, like I was having trouble breathing. I was going on the offensive and my blood was up. Because now more horrible thoughts started going through my head.

I'm almost jogging as I go through the house upstairs once again. Now I"m opening all the closets for a second time and doing a thorough. I'm flat out yelling his name and waiting for his answer. Nothing, not a sound.

I start thinking that someone has come into my house and stole my kid. It didn't occur to me that our downstairs bathroom is located directly between both doors and I have very loud dogs. They bark their heads off if a fly so much as lands on the window. But my mind wasn't right, I couldn't find my son.

My next thought is that he is hurt somewhere and just lying there helpless. Now I am jogging as I head downstairs. I check the basement thinking that maybe he got curious and somehow figured out how to open the door. Or more than likely, Little Hoss opened it for him. I search the basement which isn't hard, it's not finished and doesn't have much in it.

But then I realize that if she could open the basement door, she could open the back door or the front door. I run to the backyard and see nothing. I run to the front yard and see nothing. What if Bubba Hoss decided take a little walk around the neighborhood?

I'm at the point where I'm losing it. I'm terrified. My breathing is short and quick. Little Hoss is following me around the house yelling her brother's name as well. When I abruptly change direction she complains because she can't keep up. My temper is short and I tell her to button it. I ask her if she knows where her brother is. She says no. I don't know if I can believe her.

I head back up stairs because that is where my cell phone is. I'm going to call the police first then my wife.

"911, what's your emergency?"

"Hi, yeah, I was taking a crap and my son has gone missing. I think he was kidnapped or mailed to Russia by his big sister."

That would be a fantastic call. At this point, I want the whole national guard here.

I grab my phone and flip it open. Now I can't breath at all. I look over at my daughter and she is sitting on the bed smiling. ?????

I look where she is looking at.

Behind my bedside table, behind the sheer red curtains in my bedroom, I see the distinctive top curl of my son's hair. Below that, just above the table, I see his beady little eyes. I couldn't find my son for 15 good minutes. I yelled his name. I threatened his very existence. I came within a foot of him.

And he kept quiet. He didn't utter a single sound or a word.

I look back at his sister.

"We got you!" she says.

My son jumps up and pushes his melon head out of the curtain, laughing, laughing, laughing.

I feel like I want to puke. Then I want to hug him. Then I want to send him into time out until he is old enough to check into a nursing home. I want to do all these things at once.

Instead I just hang my head on the footboard of my bed, taking in deep breaths. One after another. For a good 10 minutes. All the while both of the minions are laughing like there is no tomorrow.

I decide to do two things when it's all calmed down. First, I'm going to call my own mother and apologize for ever scaring the shit out of her. After that, I took both kids and forced them to eat cookies and watch cartoons. Sitting on my lap. With my arms tightly wrapped around them.

Yes, you got me. You got me forever.

12/14/09

The Remote

She says that I lost it. She says it was my fault. She says that I had it last. Good job Perry Mason, it wasn't me though. I fully admit that I was sitting down watching The Simpsons because that's just good family TV. But then I sat the remote down and left the children to the best babysitter ever, Homer Simpson.

That's the last I saw of the remote. Hossmom deduces that since I had it last, that I was the one that misplaced it. Very nice, very neat case she has built there. It all comes together, no loose ends. Very well done.

Oh but wait, who else is in the house? Why, it's Bubba Hoss and Little Hoss. C'mon man, that's like assuming I'm the killer when my roommates are Ted Bundy and Charles Manson. I'm not saying that my kids are crazed murderers but they will cut you. and when it comes to the remote, they go for it like a fat kid goes for cake. Your case is full holes now, isn't it? And that, ladies and gentlemen, is called reasonable doubt.

Regardless though, it left us without the remote control. Combined with the lazy boy it becomes the single most identifier of the American male. and it shows our single greatest weakness: we are totally addicted to Tivo. Think you're not? Try it and see how well you fair. And if I'm an every day addict, then the kids are Keith Richards. By the way, I do realize that I have now compared my children to Ted Bundy and Kieth Richards in one blog. Turns out, I'm a bad father.

I got the shakes from the children asking me repeatedly for Dora, that cartoonish minx that is the bain of my world. Honestly, I'm not even sure how to work the TV without the remote. Do they even make them like that anymore? And the kids have never lived in a world without on demand TV. So I did the only thing that an addict can do. I ripped apart the house, systematically, piece by piece, looking for that last score.

In the living room I moved out every piece of furniture we had. I threw over all the cushions, I dug in all the crevices and I moved every knick nack that could possibly be kiestering my remote. I found 1 sipppie cup, 2 hot wheels cars, a dish towel from 1982, what looked to once have been an M&M and the tattered remains of my manhood. But no remote.

In the kitchen I emptied every drawer. I took out and checked every pot and pan. I looked in the pantry, opened a box of cookies just to make sure. I ate the hole box and still nothing. I went to the top cabinets even though they can't reach them. Because after all, they are my kids and history says that they will find a way. I even checked the dishwasher as that has been an issue in the past (I wrote a blog about that one.) Still, no remote.

I tore apart the playroom. Pulled down every book in case they had found a way to squish a remote between the pages. I checked every bin and punched every stuffed animal that I could find. I took the fabric off the bottom of our chairs because they are ingenious little bastards. Nothing. Only a 1/2 eaten muffin that is a least a year old and exactly 23 cents.

I did this to every room we had. Over 2 days I looked every where a remote could possibly be. I looked in the heating vents, jacket pockets and then traveled to the Bermuda triangle just to be sure. My thought was that if I actually touched every single thing in this house eventually I would come upon the remote. But just like Keyser Soze--puff, it was gone. 2 days and the only worth while thing I found was a couple of batteries that I think are still good. Christmas is around the corner.


After all this, Hossmom walked around the house with a smile on her face. It appears that in my search I had inadvertently done a deep clean on the entire place. She was happy, the thought of the remote gone.

Son of a bitch. Boys, I think we have a new suspect.

12/8/09

My Pot of Gold

My balls hurt. They have hurt for more than 8 hours. They still hurt. A lot. More specifically, it's like I've have been kicked in the balls. By a very vindictive nut-slapping leprechaun that for some reason has singled out my junk to hide his pot of gold. In this case, the pot of gold is a kidney stone and for some reason that makes your balls hurt. Eventually the doctor explained to me why this is but I didn't catch the gist of it as my balls were hurting.

The pain is located in my lower abdomen. Guys that have been kicked in the junk will know the feeling, because it felt exactly like that. It was a nice dull ache that began around 11:30 the other night. It was right when I was finishing up my last blog. I was minding my own business, then the leprechaun showed up and I felt, um, discomfort.

At first I thought that perhaps I had just adjusted wrong, it's been known to happen. After all, they aren't really protected. Great job on the human engineering there God, let's hang the most valuable part of me right out there in the open.

So I readjusted and waited. The nut throbbing pain was still there. I began to employ all the strategies that guys have learned over a lifetime of pissing off vindictive women who have knees and aren't afraid to use them. I spread my legs. I did some up and down squat thrusts. I walked around a bit. I ate some meat. Nothing worked. By midnight I was starting to become concerned.

But that concern didn't last long. I didn't get the nickname Hoss for crying about every ache and pain. I cry at the end of romantic comedies, not the aches and pains though. I decided to do what all guys do when they have a mysterious pain. Ignore it and go to bed, assuming that I am so damn tough that whatever it was got scared and decided to pipe down.

At 1:30 I got out of bed because the pain did not take the hint that I am tough. Instead of slowly dissolving into an uncomfortable memory, it actually got worse. Now not only did my lower abdomen hurt but it had spread to my back. It wasn't acute mind you, but just a lot more intense. Under the surface still but I could still walk and use reason. In this case, the reason in my head decided that it was time to check WebMD. That website should be banned.

I put in my symptoms: aching balls. I browsed through the lists of possibles. This is never good to do and why you should never self-diagnose yourself. At different times through the next two hours I decided that I had twisted my testicle in such a way that it was now going gangrene. After that, I was pretty sure I had a Lance Armstrong. Then I decided that it didn't sound right either, how about a gall bladder. Anyone want gallstones? How about me. Finally I decided that none of them fit but from what I heard and read, I was thinking appendicitis.

I knew that the appendix was located there so to me the dull ache in the pit of my stomach was an indication that I would have to have it removed. Kidney stone never entered my mind.

By this time it was 3:30am and I did some more reasoning that seemed to go so well for me before. I could either drive myself to the hospital without telling my wife or I could wake everyone up and get us all down there together. Or, what I eventually decided to do, was to go back to bed and "suck it up" for a couple more hours until everyone got up normally and then go to the hospital. After all, I didn't have a fever and by that logic, I had plenty of time before I burst into appendix flames.

I'll admit, a lot of this doesn't sound so good a few days later.

But in my head I was thinking that I didn't want to get everyone up and drag them down there with little or no sleep. I'm a good dad and as my son says, dad is "Big and Strong." So sure, I'm big and strong and as such I can just chew on some leather until they all get up.

I eventually fell asleep at about 4am. An hour later, I woke up. The pain was still there. The pain had spread. The pain had gotten worse.

Now it was more like someone was actually kicking me in the balls and not just the after effects. My lower back hurt, my abdomen hurt, everything hurt. But again, using reason, I decided that I could take it for another couple of hours. I got up and watched SportsCenter, the men's placebo that works every time. I showered, got dressed and just kind of rolled around on the couch for a little while.

At 6:30 I was wondering why today of all days my children didn't wake up at their normal time. Sure, every other Monday morning they are up at 6 AM wanting breakfast. When dad needs them to be up, they sleep in. I still wasn't all that convinced that I needed to go to the hospital thinking now that maybe I just had twisted a muscle. I went into the bathroom to pee and that's when everything changed.

I'm a big guy. I like to really think that I am a tough guy with a pretty high tolerance for pain. But I will tell you this. If I wasn't holding onto the wall, I would have fallen face-first into a toilet of my own piss.

Almost immediately the leprechaun in my junk kicked, hard. Very hard. There was a shooting pain up my side. My knees buckled and my fingernails actually dug into the wall a little bit. And I couldn't stop peeing. Nor could I aim anymore. Fantastic. But I am proud to admit, despite it all, I didn't cry out. I may have wanted to but the pain was intense enough in my side that I had no air left in my lungs. And that was it, that was the big moment. I had passed my kidney stone. Even if I didn't know that I had done it.

That sealed the deal. Time to go to the hospital. I crawled up three stairs on my hands and knees before forcing myself to stand straight up and "take it like a man." I only made it to a hunched over position before saying screw it and just made it into my bedroom as best as I could.

Not wanting to freak out my wife, I gently patted her on the leg. "Honey," I said. "I need you to wake up."

"Huh?"

"No big deal babe, we just need to go to the hospital for a little while."

That did it. That woke her up. I didn't want her to panic but that's kind of hard to do when you are being woken up when it's still dark outside by a man grunting in pain that he needs to go to the hospital. She got out of bed and I told her what had been happening. Her immediate anger at not being woken up sooner was gone as soon as she saw me. I was laying at the foot of the bed, moaning, rocking myself from side to side. I may have said something about nut-kicking leprechauns.

She got the kids up and we piled into the car. We told them that we were going to get donuts. Oh, and daddy has an owie. My daughter became very concerned. She doesn't like to see me hurt and I don't like her to see me hurt. Damages the image of all-powerful Dad that I'm trying to portray here. Bubba Hoss just wanted donuts.

Turns out, there's not many people at the hospital at 7am on a Monday so I got to see the doctor really quick. He asked me what was wrong and I decided candor was the best way to go.

"I feel like someone kicked me in the balls." and then I told him about the big pain 30 minutes earlier. His diagnosis was quick. Kidney stone. The worst was past me. The CAT scan showed a stone about 3 millimeters in size was resting nicely in my bladder. The pain comes when it goes from your kidney to your bladder and apparently all the hard work was already over. The rest is just doing what you do naturally.

So for the past several days I spent hopped up on some killer pain meds and peeing into a plastic container so that my urine can be strained. The pills are fine, the straining, not so much. But in the end, I will get my little pot of gold and then I will tell the leprechaun to fuck off.

12/7/09

Three Milimeters is a Lot Bigger Than it Sounds

Especially when it passes through your urethra. That's right, kids - Hossman is down for the count due to a kidney stone he is currently working through his bladder. Hossmom is the interim blogger for a day or so, so be nice and wish us plenty of hallucinogenic-level meds.

12/6/09

The Soft Glow

My neighbors hate me. And if they don't yet, then they soon will. Hell, I'm practically asking for it.

Sometimes I don't mow my yard on time. I know that must bug them on occasion. It's gotten bad enough sometimes that a hemp community of hippies could have moved in and I wouldn't have known. There could be guitar strumming going on along with pagan rituals and I would have thought that the crickets had unionized and were beginning a mass revolt. Dr. Livingston, I presume, would have been living in there. But that is not why they are going to hate me.

I leave my trashcan out for 2 days sometimes. It's been known to happen. I don't know why I do this but I know that I do it. It's like some weird cosmic protective force that prevents me from lugging my ass out to the street to pull it in. I will drive by it several times a day and think "Man, I got to get that thing in." But then I don't because the sweet allure of Xbox gaming calls my name. I may have a problem.

I answer the door in my underwear, but let's be honest here, this is more of a treat than a reason to dislike me. Maybe one day I'll ditch the wife-beater T-shirt and show a little man boob as well.

I don't buy your kids 20 pounds of rock salt he is selling for boy scouts. Now if he offered to shovel my driveway for 3 bucks, then we would have a deal. I ask you, where is the work ethic of the youth these days? And when your other kid comes by selling girl scout cookies I only buy 1 box because I just can't resist the sweet, sweet call of Thin Mints.

I park in the driveway, my dogs bark during the day, the Halloween pumpkin was out way too long I don't go to the neighborhood parities, I'm pretty sure I'm a phony when I say hi to you and I check out your wife when she walks by my house.

Yes, all these things are reasons to not like me as a neighbor. I'm working on it. I'm in therapy. Dr. Beer and I are making progress. But none of these are the reasons why they truly don't like me. I'm guessing that it's because of my beliefs on Christmas.

Egg nog, presents, tree, good will toward men, getting trashed at the office party. I believe in all these things. I believe in getting up super early on Christmas morning going through your brother's stocking first to make early trades that he may not agree with. I believe in holiday cookies so sugary that you will get diabetes. I believe in fruit cake because it is edible AND a weapon.

But most of all, I believe in a tacky Christmas.

And nothing says tacky like houselights overdone. My neighbors, for the most part, pay people to put up lights. This bugs me on many levels. They are totally missing the point of putting up lights. It's about getting out there in the cold and cussing. It's about convincing yourself that the electrician doesn't know as much as you do. It's about hanging from the roof while also hiding that fact from your wife because she would freak out. That's Christmas.

My neighbors put up nice very well coordinated displays. There's usually a baby Jesus hanging around somewhere. A wreath or two tastefully done. The Christmas tree is perfectly centered in the middle of the street windows and coordinates with what is going on outside. And all the lights, from tree to house, are white. They all point in the same direction. They all stand like perfect little soldiers harking the angels in. In short, they are very, very boring.

The result is that each house looks exactly the same. Where's the creativity? If this were a painting, it would be motel art. It would be motel art that they hang in the men's bathroom, opposite the urinal. And the urinal cakes would have more appeal than the motel art. I ask you, where is the fun in that?

Christmas is about fun, about joy, about over the top enthusiasm. It's not about looking good. It's about diversity. The diversity that 300 multicolored lights bring to a place. It's about them coming together and screaming to Santa, "I'm HERE! Bring me my loot!" That's Christmas. It's tacky and it's awesome.

And so I put up my main multicolored lights. I strung them around the garage door, around the porch and up on the roof. I hung them down rain gutters and twisted them around bushes. I mixed big multicolored lights with small multicolored lights. The left side of my house was looking naked when I ran out of lights and Hossmom has put me on a budget this year. So I pulled out my half working reindeer and put him on the left side. And as he looked lonely, I got a small wreath and put indoor lights on it and put it above it's head.

It screams tacky. It yells for someone to bring their car to my front yard and put it up on blocks. It is one 12-pack away from having one inflatable yard creature decked out in full glory front and center. Shocked I don't have one? I used to but Little Hoss gave it too many hugs 2 years ago and it popped. It was an 8 foot snowman named Princess Candycane, may she rest in peace.

And none of this matches the decor of the neighborhood. In fact, I would say it clashes. And it's awesome.

But I'm not done. No sir, not done at all.

My mother in law got me a contraption a couple of years ago and we have put it to us.

My lights now blink to music. That's right, I have the Bud Light house. At 7pm daily I invite you to attend the concert with the kids and I. We fire up the machine to Carol of the Bells and let it do it's magic. It's horrific. One side blinking, the other side dark. But wait, on the next note it all lights up to the pulsating beat. And the kids love it. They can't wait to turn it on. My wife came out to look and got to embarrassed because cars were slowing and staring. She had to go inside. But the kids, the kids love. Now they know what Christmas is all about.

The only thing that I am missing is the soft glow of electric sex in the window.

12/3/09

The Friday Five

5 Things Heard On Children's TV That When Taken Out of Context, Mean Something Totally Else.

5. "This grass doesn't taste right." That's right Deigo, it tastes weird. Put it in some brownies, see if that helps.

4. "Come over here and sit on my lap." I used that very line at a strip club just last week.

3. "Momma needs some boom boom." Yup, this was actually said and I laughed my ass off.

2. "A woman with a tail." It's called a freak show kids, come inside and see the other wonderful oddities that we have! Guaranteed to scar you for life.

1. "Can we tie her up with a rope." S&M on early morning cartoons. Now that's what I'm talking about.

12/1/09

The Sweetness

It occurs to me that I have spent a lot of time lately writing about how my daughter and my son have constantly destroyed things that frankly, should withstand Armageddon. Impressive to be sure, even if it is costly. It also occurs to me that this blog serves as a history of their childhood and one day they'll read this.

That said, I think today I should focus on some of the sweeter and good things about the minions. I wouldn't trade the SAHD lifestyle for anything right now. Well, maybe to have the ability to once again eat bacon. Maybe I would give it all up for just one juicy tidbit of nature's goodness without the worry of high cholesterol that runs in my family. Mmmm, bacon. But that isn't going to happen anymore than they are going to discover a way to make bacon without giving me high cholesterol. If they do though, you sons of bitches better let me know about it. And the first dumb bastard that mentions turkey bacon can just leave the blog right now.


The minions are rough and tumble but so are all kids their age. My wife seems to enjoy the antics a lot but I maintain because she is never the one that has to snake the toilet because Barbie's head was flushed down there. I would enjoy it more myself. But what she says she enjoys most is seeing Karma take hold. According to Hossmom, I'm every bit as destructive as my daughter and son and that this is the universe's way of evening things out. In this discussion she rattles off a dozen or so things that I unintentionally broke the last week and then brings up her favorite. I once put my foot through the bathtub. Stupid fiberglass piece of shit. You are now asking yourself what I was doing in the bathtub to put my foot through it. It was nothing important, let's forget about it and move on. I broke it, it got fixed, done.

Karma or no Karma though, the kids have a lot of good traits that make the SAHD life worth it.

My son likes to flex in the mirror. I taught him this and it's cool as hell as he constantly repeats "Big and Strong, grrrr." Then I do it and Little Hoss lets me know that I'm bigger and stronger than everyone. Damn right, keep that in mind when you start dating.

Little Hoss likes to serenade me when I'm fixing one of the things that she has broken. It's no particular song, just whatever is popping up in her minion brain. Today it was "People like my Daddy because he got me a Barbie movie." It was very good and we almost had a few unintentional rhymes.

Both of them love to watch football with me late at night. Whether it's because they are up past their bedtimes or they enjoy America's finest game, I don't really care. We share chips and yell at the players. It's awesome.

Bubba Hoss is just learning to talk so everything he says is cute. Like "Daddy, I pooping!" He says it with such vigor, how can I not think that is cute.

Little Hoss chases the cat off the table. I hope she catches her one day. WWE Smackdown.

No "surprise" face that you see will ever be better than a 3 year old and a 2 year old. It doesn't matter what the surprise is that causes them to make the face. Only that it is special and for them. You'll get the best reactions every time.

Little Hoss loves broccoli and they both eat green beans raw. Gross but hows that for not having to fight for them to eat vegetables.

Nothing makes you feel more accomplished than getting high fives from your biggest fan club. Even if you screw up, they still give you a high five for trying. And sometimes, when you do an extra good job, you get a fist bump.

Little Hoss loves to vacuum.

Bubba Hoss got a splinter in his foot and didn't scream once when I was digging it out with the tweezers even though it had to hurt like hell.

Little Hoss sleeps best when she goes to bed on my chest.

Bubba Hoss wakes up best when he is able to see me first thing in the morning. Excited every time.

Little Hoss threw me a tea party today because I was being a "good boy."

Whenever we go get movies from the rental store, Little Hoss insists that I get one for me, too.

Both of them are big supporters of letting me play video games without ratting me out to Hossmom.

I put up the Christmas lights and now I am their "favorite Daddy."

Hossmom spent 5 hours making thanksgiving dinner. I opened the can of cranberry sauce and slide the gelatinous mass onto a plate. It took less than five minutes. During Thanksgiving, all they wanted to do was eat the jelly. I am an awesome cook.

I have only been bitten once in the past 2 weeks.

I have only been punched in the balls twice in the past 2 weeks.

Seeing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich fly through the air at the dogs head is actually a pretty beautiful sight. The spinning is mesmerizing.

Little Hoss picks up her crayons now.

Bubba Hoss hasn't thrown anything down the top of the stairs in a long time.

No kid is easier at bedtime than Bubba Hoss. Jammies and a pacifier and he goes straight into the bed. One song and count to ten and he's good for the night.

They both love going to civil war battlefields with me. In fact, they love going everywhere with me.

Every time I pick up my daughter from preschool she tells me that she misses me so much.


So it's not all chaos here. It's sweet and tender and memories that will be with me forever. These are the same memories that I go over in my head when I've just about had it. In fact, I'm doing it right now because because currently I am reattaching the vacuum cleaner hose back onto the vacuum. I have no idea how they did it but it's important to remember that a little girl that knows where the butter knives are can take apart anything.

11/29/09

The Chirstmas Spirit

She's got both hands on the box and is pumping those little legs hard. She's controlling her breathing. Exhaling when exerting, breathing in calmly when gathering her strength. Little Hoss is amazingly strong, more so than I give her credit for.

Sure, she's strong for her age. I know that. I've seen her level carnage on things that would survive an elephant stampede, but not one afternoon with my daughter. I've seen her haul a dog up a slide by the neck without breaking a sweat. But this, this is truly impressive. This time she is hauling the Christmas tree box up out of the basement, or as I like to call it: The Cat's Den of Evil.

The greatest day in a child's life is of course, Christmas. The saddest day is the day after Christmas. The age they realize this is 3 1/2; which is when they finally realize exactly who Santa Claus is, what is his purpose, and what exactly is in that big sack her carries around. In his bag are toys, toys for her. And one day he is going to come to Little Hoss's house and empty that great big sack of toys under the Christmas tree. And if we are especially good boys and girls, maybe he'll throw our evil cat in his empty sack and lose it somewhere over the Atlantic on his way to Europe. That's my Christmas wish.

But she has also realized that Santa won't come if things aren't ready. And that means a Christmas Tree has got to go up, lights on the house have to be done and her little brother has to be hidden in a closet - because that is what big sister's do to little brothers. So the week of Thanksgiving she has been bugging me constantly to get the tree out of the Cat's Evil Den and put it up and then to get my lazy ass outside and put up some Christmas lights.

I put her off until the day after Thanksgiving and finally gave her the go ahead. I could only see the vapor trails that followed her as she shot down to the basement. By the time I got down there to actually get the tree she was already dragging the box across the basement floor. This is a big box and it's very unwieldy. It's even awkward for me, a gigantic man of impressive strength, wit and good looks. But I have no hair and that keeps me humble.

Since I have given my thumbs up, she wastes no time. She gives a big jerk on it, slides it a foot, gets her feet underneath her again and gives it another big jerk. I wonder if I tied an 18 wheeler to her waist and put a cookie in front of her, how long could she pull it before she tired out? If the 18 wheeler contained Christmas trees, it might be a while. I decide to step back and see how far she can go with this.

She gets it passed my punching bag (which I taught her to use--big mistake) and keeps going. She gets it to the bottom of the basement stairs. I think this is where she is going to putter out. Nope. I'll be damned if she doesn't get leverage on this box and actually hoist it up a stair. At this point, I'm speechless.

She looks at the box again and realizes that she is going to need some help. I'm ready to step in but instead she calls her little brother, Bubba Hoss and tells him to get at the back of the box and push. I'm a little hurt but at least they are working together.

Bubba Hoss is going through a weird stage right now at 2 years old. I call it "Let's Whip Dad's Ass". It's a fun stage where he ignores everything I say, chunks peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the dog and walls, finds alone time to go poop, and then does whatever his sister says to do. Because after all, what she does is fun, fun, fun. Dad is a moron but Little Hoss breaks stuff so let's do that. He has found his independence from me. My sweet little boy is no longer the snuggler. He now gives me looks of contempt while chugging a glass of milk from his Transformers sippie cup.

He is her toadie and that's as it should be. I was a toadie to my own brother for years and it looks like that cycle will repeat itself.

"Push" she says. He does and she jerks it up another step. "Push" she says again and once more it goes up another step. Of course you have seen the movie "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". The part where the Grinch lifts up the sleigh, I figure that's how this is working. I have no other rationale how my little daughter and my small son can lift this thing up the basement stairs. But they are doing it and doing it without a bit of help from me.

"Push" one more time and they finally get it to the point where the end of the box is going to have to come up a stair. My fear is that Bubba Hoss is going to get crushed on the next big push so I step forward. "Wait" she says and actually holds out her arm to stop me. And I do. I don't know why but she had such a look of authority that I think it was just instinct to listen to her. She studies the box and seems to consider the risk of crushing her brother vs. getting the box up for Santa.

"Ok Daddy" she tells me and steps aside. That right there, that bought her onto the nice list. Not only that she needs me but that she showed that injury to her brother wasn't worth getting the tree up on her own.

I was very proud of her and her thoughtfulness. What a fine little girl she is turning out to be. Until I realized that once we got the tree up, she shut the basement door with her brother still down there.

The cat's still down there too, man. She was so close to getting that pony to. Maybe next year.

11/25/09

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I have been offline for about a week all thanks to the wonderful world of my internet provider and thier awesome customer service center.

So this year I am thankful that I didn't make any death threats. I am thankful that I only told a certain custumer service representive to fuck off 10 times instead of 100 that she deserved. I am thankful that I got to spend 20 hours on the phone as I truly love the phone. I am thankful that "we'll get it back on tonight" really means "sometime next week."

But most importantly I am thankful that Hossmom has a calming influence on me, Little Hoss constantly told me "Good Job Dad" and that Bubba Hoss has now learned the word "Shit."

11/18/09

Child Prodigy

Son of a bitch, she broke the kitchen sink. Come on man, are you kidding me?! Do I even have to mention who it was, really? And she did it right in front of me, although I don’t even know how. Like some magician of destruction, she wowed me with a distraction and then cut the lady in half leaving me wondering how she did it in the first place. She’s got a gift for this and that’s kind of scary.

I was trying to clean the house because otherwise it would take only a day before we would be wallowing in our own filth. Yes, it gets that bad. It would be like that scene from Star Wars where Luke is calling for R 2 to shut off the trash compactor. In this version the trash monster would be my cat. Bubba Hoss would be R2. We would be crushed because an episode of Dora came on and we were forgotten about. Little Hoss, of course, would be Vader. Stupid Dora.

So I was letting her play in the sink rather than follow me around with the Pledge constantly trying to polish my bald head. I do want to point out that I could see her the whole time. We were even singing a song called “Aerial is my Best Friend”, a Little Hoss original. It was s stunning a capella version. The album drops next month.

I went back to throw some cracker crumbs away and that’s when I saw the sink almost overflowing with muddy brown-like water. I have no idea how she did this. There was nothing there for her to stuff down the sink to clog it up. She had a cup, a plate and a sponge. That’s it. I was very careful about this, I know my daughter. But somehow her little MacGyver mind found a way to combine these things so that the sink would come close to imploding. Seriously, I bet she rocks at physics.

This wasn’t the side of the sink with the garbage disposal, nope, that would be to easy. This was the other side with the very small holes that a piece of rice won’t even go down. I dug my hand around at the bottom and made sure the drain was clear. Nothing. No reason what so ever it should be clogged. I got the plunger and tried to jar the clog loose. Maybe it was grease and had nothing to do with my daughter. Right. And maybe daytime has nothing to do with the sun.

I was forced to go under the sink and use my rudimentary plumbing skills to fix this. It occurred to me that perhaps the sole reason for my existence is to fix the things that my daughter destroys. God made me a handyman to a 3 year old.

I take the pipe off without realizing the sink was full of water. I use the past tense “was” here because as soon as I unscrewed the pipe, all the dirty brown water came rushing out and splattered on the floor and my pants. Little Hoss thought this was cool so she then decides to sit down in it and splash around. I’m glad she was entertained.

I look into the pipe and see something. I have no idea what it is, but it’s white. I give the pipe a good sling and out pops a quivering round white mass about 4 inches long and 2 inches think. It didn’t even break apart. I have no idea what this is or where it came from. Maybe Little Hoss didn’t do this. It looked like unprocessed Tofu but with a sweeter smell. It jiggled when I poked it. I was close to calling NASA and reporting a new life form.

Once again I asked Little Hoss if she put something down the sink. I’m so intrigued at this point that I promise she won’t even get into trouble. She thinks about it then says “yes” and runs to the fridge. She opens it and grabs something and hands it to me.

It is the huge family sized syrup bottle that I had just bought yesterday. And now it’s empty. 32 fluid ounces of syrup were poured down the sink in some molasses typhoon all at one time. Apparently, when that happens it makes a huge quivering mass that clogs the pipes like an artery. Then the trademark syrupy brown color leaches out until you are left with something that resembles a giant tube worm of terror.

I admit, I was a bit flabbergasted. I didn’t even know that this was even possible. And the fact that she knew to get it from the fridge, pour it down the sink, have the presence of mind to put the empty bottle back, all the while singing to me—that’s college level deviousness. She could teach guys in prison something.

If destruction was a piano, she would be a child prodigy. She is the Michael Jordan of mayhem. This is Lex Luther good.

And me, well, I’m just her Ms. Tessmocker. I don’t even get an Ottisville.

11/14/09

Sadistic

"Sa-fris-thak" said my 3 year old daughter.

"No honey" I replied. "It's pronounced sadistic."

"Sa-lis-tum" she says, drawing out each syllable to make the word actually sound cute. "Ok Daddy, I'm Sa-lis-tum! Yea!"

It's obvious that she wasn't getting this lecture, it wasn't sinking in.

She twirled the nylon rope around a new stuffed animal as she waited for me to continue. the other end of the nylon rope was currently hanging around the neck of Harry the Horse. Harry the Horse was tied to a doorknob, dangling from his neck. If there was a breeze, I would describe Harry as swaying in it. I suppose I don't have to mention that it was my 3 year old that strung him up. And she was in the process of doing it again to Mr. Rabbit, a gentle soul that had never hurt anyone. Lord only knows what Mr. Rabbit did. At least I know that Harry the Horse was getting uppity and was a possible cattle rustler. I'm pretty sure that Mr. Rabbit was innocent.

Like most things, this is mostly my fault. she has been intrigued by ropes and knots for a while now. She, almost evil genius like, has also figured out how to tie knots on her own. I didn't show her this. There is the proud father part of me that says "Gee, look how innovative and smart my daughter is. She'll be tying her shoes in no time." But there is also the concerned parent that thinks "Wow, is she really strangling that stuffed animal like it owes her money?" But when I had brought a bright pink neon rope home, she just couldn't help herself. I needed the rope to tie some things down during a move and the neon pink was all they had. Without realizing it, I had made this rope irresistible. Could this have played out any different?

"Honey, you can't tie things up. It's not good baby doll. It's a little sadistic."
I know the next logical step here. One day I'll find her little brother hog tied in a closet somewhere with a ball gag asking me if I'm Zed. She'll call it playing, I'll call it devious. But we won't get bogged down on the details just yet. It's best to whip it in the bud early on before her voices tell her to burn down the house.

"I'm playing Daddy. It o.k." she says.

"It's not ok baby, it hurts Harry. He doesn't like it."

Her brow furrows and I think this gets through to her. She doesn't like to hurt things. When she does, it's mostly an accident. She's rough and tumble, no doubt as being raised by her father, and she is amazingly strong for one so young. When she's excited, I would run if she wants to give you a hug. She doesn't know her own strength yet and the lowly peasants are paying the price for it.

"It hurt Harry, daddy?" she asks.

"Yes baby."

She goes and unties Harry and gives him a hug and kisses his owies. I give her a pat on the head and tell her she's a good girl. About this time the cat decides to run by. She looks at him, at me, and then bolts after him, neon pink rope in hand.

Crap.

11/11/09

The Purple Paci

The purple pacifier, where is it?? Dear God in heaven, who's got the purple paci?! I can't find it, holy shit I can't find it. I've looked everywhere and it's gone, it's gone I tell you! They need it, I need it. My very mind depends on the purple paci!

Did one of you sons of bitches take it? I swear to all that is holy that I will come to your house and end you. I know its harsh, man, but you just can't imagine what it's like.

I've tried taking away all pacifiers once before. Oh yes, I ventured bravely into that battle. I didn't want this fight anymore. I didn't want the screaming, the yelling, the refusal to go to bed unless they had a pacifier. So I got rid of them. All of them. I cut the tips off of them, buried them in holy ground and then spit upon the grave.

But they came back. They always come back.

I would put Little Hoss down for the night. She would wake up in the morning and come into my room. And there, right in her piehole, would be a pacifier. Staring at me, mocking me, daring me to actually do something about it. I would rip it from her mouth and by the power of Christ that compels me, banish it to the depths of hell form whence it came. There would be screaming and there would be shouting, beds would be levitating and pea soup would be vomited. But I fought the righteous fight.

My son then would come in, also suckling on the sweet teat of pacifier. I have no idea where he got it from. Each time I would get rid of them and each time they would come back. Within an hour they would reappear. There was no ridding myself of these vile things. My manhood was in question and I appear powerless.

Like little nifflers they would search them out as if called. I began to wonder if they had little caches of these damnable things around the house or had they opened some portal to the pacifier world of evil?

Eventually one particular paci came and exerted it's dominance over the others. The Purple Pacifier. Although in appearance quite ordinary, was obviously something special. Within days it had turned my innocent children into its devilish followers. Worshiping and chanting "the Purple Paci, the Purple Paci"

It wasn't long before I to succumbed to its will. Neither child could live without it and quickly turned on me. They pulled my shirt, ripped at my pants legs, uttered curse after curse in the name of their false idol, the Purple Paci.

And as there is only one Purple Paci, they quickly turned on each other to curry more favor with the anointed pacifier. No single one could posses it yet no single one could resist it. The wanted it for soothing, I wanted it to shut them up.

So when you are near me, close to my bed so that you can hear my mad ravings, lean in close and pay attention to what I whisper. Concentrate on my mumblings and you will hear my message:

Purple Paci

11/8/09

The Dishwasher

Question: Why wasn't the dishwasher loaded and run last night thus leaving me to make false assumptions and be without any clean eatery in the morning, the most hectic time of day? Please people, let's remain calm here and go through our options and possibilities before we assign any blame.

Option 1: Zombie attack. It's finally happened, the undead have risen and are after fresh juicy brains. And it is highly understandable that a person would want to protect their think box before doing simple household chores that would have taken no more than 10 minutes. Even if our entire routine is based on a clean kitchen in the morning, I would totally understand if a person's first thought was to grab a shotgun and not dish washing detergent. And for God's sake, barricade the house. Don't forget the chimney, those fucker's are smarter than you think they are. However, I saw the garbage man out this morning and I doubt they would still be working in the great Z war although they are some dedicated bastards.

Option 2: Red dawn has finally come true. At this very moment Cubans could be parachuting down to a school close to you. Rally my brothers! In the name of Patrick Swayze cry vengeance and defend your nation! Teach the Russian dogs what it means to be an American! Drop your dishes and pick up your assault rifles. Open up your cache of weapons and chase off those yellow bellied cowards with our cries of freedom! Wolverine! Wolverine! But you would think that I would have seen that in the news, or would I?

Option 3: We have finally used up every available energy source, thus leaving us back in the stone ages where they washed dishes by hand. Can we still make fire and club women over the head because that last part doesn't sound so bad right about now.

Option 4: Poltergeist activity. Wow, the supernatural are jacking with me. The dishwasher was loaded and as a warning they unloaded it. The message of course being "Get Out!" or perhaps "Get more Cascade!" I know how this works, I've seen Ghostbusters. In the library scene it is seen clearly that the ghosts are unshelving the books and stacking them on the floors. After all, the dishes were neatly stacked on the counter, just not put in the EMPTY dishwasher. But the walls aren't bleeding so maybe this isn't it.

Option 5: I forgot to do it. Entirely possible. I could have meant to do it but suffer from amnesia which was the result of a blow to my head by Little Hoss. I think we here all know my daughter well enough and can see this is a very likely scenario. She would probably use a curtain rod just for the creativity of it. But I've checked all the curtain rods and they are all in place and Little Hoss isn't known for cleaning up the evidence.

Option 6: Did Hossmom not do it? That would be weird since she said "Don't worry about the dishes, I'll do them." Which would certainly mean she would, wouldn't it? And if this is the case then I would have to be the dumbest motherfucker to turn around and blog about it in some passive aggressive display of frustration. Why wouldn't I just talk to her about it? Sure, that conversation would be a complete and total beat down. It would only end up being turned around to a point where something I did wrong 12 years ago was brought up. The time I played poker all night before we were married would eventually be thrown out there and once again I would be apologizing for it, yet again and again and again, until the subject of the dishes was completely forgotten and Hossmom had left for a triumphant martini. Seriously, how insane would I have to be? It would have to be some long time issue that has happened again and again and again for me to even consider doing something that stupid. I don't have that kind of death wish. Trust me, nothing is worse than a 3 hour lecture on my past wrongs while I am also forced to stare at the god damn unclean dishes sitting right on top of the god damn counter knowing full well that the god damn dishwasher is actually empty.

I'm going to go ahead with option number 1, zombie attack because it's the least scary one that I can imagine. I would rather fight the undead and believe that humanity is being exterminated than believe any of the others. Trust me, it's all about perspective. If it was zombies I could just eat straight out of the can.

11/5/09

The Friday Five

5 things that are smarter than my very dumb, dumb dog who keeps getting her leash tied around the deck while chasing a squirrel that she will never catch because her leash doesn't go that far. Nope, she hasn't figured this out yet. It's been a year.

5. The Squirrel. Yup, it is actually smarter than my dog because it doesn't choke itself like it's got some auto-erotic fetish every time something crosses it's path. A creature that eats nothing but nuts all day every day and can't figure out how to not get hit by a car is smarter than my dog.

4. Murphy Brown. I'm not really going anywhere with this but needed some filler so Ms. Brown gets the nod because she used big words in her TV show and to the best of my knowledge never tried to eat her own poop.

3. A rock. A rock is smarter than my dog because it doesn't pretend to be anything but a rock. It's content laying on the ground and not dry humping the other dog in the house who happens to be male. My dog is a female and hasn't figured out how the parts work which really makes me wonder why I had her fixed in the first place.

2. There was once a guy that strapped a jet engine to a VW bug and took off. As you would expect, the breaks burned out and the guy ended up crashing into a side of a mountain, killing himself. He won a Darwin Award for this great achievement of stupidity. He is smarter than my dog. My dog makes him look like an actual rocket scientist.

1. The support post on my deck. Let's face it, a mindless post is way smarter than my dog. Because every day it somehow entices her to wrap herself around it within 10 minutes of going outside. It doesn't say anything, it doesn't do anything and apparently that is enough to convince my dog that it should wrap herself around it like a twizzler. It appears that there is something "dumber than a post" and it lives in my house, sleeps on my bed and drinks out of my toilet. The Fat Newt wins again.

11/4/09

Dad-Blogs

Another Thursday post, Christ in the kitchen am I working for you guys.

First things first. I've got a lot of questions about when I was going to write about taking the hairstyling class for toddlers. I wrote it for Dad-blogs so head on over by clicking here and check out the post "Ms. Alexis" and you'll get the full experience of a 250 pound man trying to do ponytails. Somethings were good, somethings were bad but above all I will always love Ms. Alexis.

While you're there, read some of the other posts, especially the one called "Bump the Man Card. Give me the Dad Card." It is written by someone who read my post called "The Mancard" and is quite funny. Sheila will screw you every time, remember that.

Next, I don't get the anything on the CW. Just want to throw that out there. I am obviously not in their age range.

Finally, we have a few new Hossman Cult followers this week. Everyone say hi, check out their blogs and get them a glass of Kool-aid.

11/3/09

My Empty Threats

The box in the corner, the one filled with toys, that's what I call my empty threat box. Right now it contains some wooden train track, assorted plastic dishes, one bright pink bouncy ball and a plush horse head to give it that Godfather look. It sends the message that one day I might grow some balls and be a consistent parent.The point of the box is this: if the kids don't help me pick up their toys, then it goes in the box. And if a toy goes in the box, I give it away. I have no intention of doing this. Mainly because I'm a big pussy.

We have been working on cleaning up after ourselves for the whole week. Not only is it a good lesson to learnt but I'm tried of picking up the same toy no less than 3000 times in a single day. I'll clean up and an hour later it will be in the same condition. Which is to say that the living room has become the 10th circle of hell. A special place reserved for parents that never taught their kids how to clean up or to eat their vegetables. You spend eternity picking up the same hot wheels car over and over and over again.

I've been given the advice that I should sit my 3 year old and my 2 year old down and explain to them why we need to do this. I should tell them the truth. But as always there are 2 versions of the truth.

The first truth is that if we can't take care of our stuff, we don't deserve it. There are many unfortunate people in this world that could use this crapola that you call toys. Besides, it's a good thing to practice charity. But they already know this. Every month we take a box of household items and give it away. We make a day out of it, a big song and dance. I do a hell of a dance. Also, we live by this rule: if we get a new toy then we have to pick out an old toy to give away. Now they think that they are getting all new stuff because I'm putting things in a box and it is making them excited.

The second truth is this: Because I'm Dad, that's why. I'm the alpha and the omega. I am him that is he. I am your world, I am your beginning and your end. We put things away because I said so. You don't need any more reason than that. Some get off your lazy asses and pick up your toys.

I like truth number 2.

Besides, it is my firm belief that they wouldn't understand truth number 1 anyway. The are 2 and 3 man, they understand that Dora is on the Tivo and that's about it. Last week my son sucked all the red out of a marker. Almost every single drop. Now the marker won't write anymore. I just don't think he would fully get lecture on personal responsibility right now.

So I'm still left with the box of empty threats and 2 kids sitting on the couch waiting for their next marker meal. Let me tell you how this is going to play out. I'm going to put everything in the box. In 30 minutes or so they will take everything back out of the box. Now we have come full circle. We'll continue this cycle for weeks, days and years until I end up in a nursing home putting things in a box.

The nurses, and they will be hot thong wearing nurses, will watch me. They will be confused at my behavior and senility. One day they'll come up to me and ask what I'm doing, if there is anything I need.

I will ask for some Red Markers and Chianti.

11/1/09

Halloween Carnage

The question, as will be evident once the scene is described, is where are the parents? And not only must one ask where are the parents, but also why aren't they right here with the kids on the couch the morning after Halloween?

Not that the kids haven't earned this early morning enjoyment of the spoils of Halloween. You have never seen a Cinderella as utterly ruthless as Little Hoss with candy on the line. If she had any ugly stepsisters, they would be hanging upside down by their toes while she repeatedly pelted them in the face with Milkduds. Those are about the only candy she doesn't like and since she can't throw them at an evil step-sister she has settled for Bubba Hoss's head.

He too, powered through Halloween dressed as the fearless Captain Kirk. I fully realized that this would in all likelihood be the last Halloween that I would get to dress him before I am inundated with Star Wars or Ninjas. Both cool, not Captain Kirk cool, but cool. He frantically tried to keep up with Cinderella who was doing her very best to hit every house in a 5 mile radius.

In the end, good old Dad was left carrying both of their buckets because they had gotten too heavy. It was at this point that I judged the candy haul sufficient enough for me to pig out on once the kids had gone to bed. Beer and chocolate, was there ever a sweeter combination?

Which brings us back around to the morning after and the scene presented to us. One in PJ's and a Cinderella crown and the other sitting right next to her also in his PJs. But sporting a pretty awesome chocolate Fu Man Chu. He would be the terror of the Mongolian plains if he could only tear himself away from the candy horde he has acquired.

They are thick as thieves and have been despite the fighting and prison shank attempts. It is in this spirit of camaraderie that they come to their most ingenious development. Faced with the seemingly impossible task of opening certain types of candy wrappers, they have happily solved this problem by somehow hijacking a pair of scissors. Now no candy shall escape their wrath.

They have begun to devour their loot wile the getting was good. They are alone but for how long is always the eternal mystery. As such, they attempt to plow through as much candy of different varieties as possible. Scattered around them like some gruesome graveyard lies half eaten candy bars, once licked suckers and crushed M&Ms. In fact, the only victim left unscathed is the lowly bag of Halloween pretzels given by the well meaning (but totally clueless) grandmother down the street.

My view from the top of the stairs reveals the carnage described which brings us to the original question. The children dress up trick or treating every year and every year they go to bed and Dad gets his tithe of Halloween candy to go with his Halloween beer. He stays up very late, perhaps too late. Which, in turn, forces him to beg for an extra 15 minutes of sleep the next morning. Thus the minions have the perfect opportunity to gorge themselves unfettered.

We now learn the true lesson of Halloween. After candy-stealing, parents finally decide to go to bed, it's probably best if they hide the candy and not leave it right next to the chair surrounded by empties and to get there lazy asses up on time.

10/29/09

The Friday Five

In honor of Halloween, 5 things that are truly terrifying from a parents point of view.

5. Your teenage daughter goes to school and meets a boy named Edward. You think he is a douchebag but hey, love is love. But then you find out that he is a vampire and you're not sure how to deal with that. Apparently there is such a thing as a Vampire Douche. You learn to accept it because after all, she is your daughter. Until you get to the third freaking book and it has THE WORST ENDING EVER. There, I said it. I don't care if I get hate mail, the ending of that series sucked massive donkey balls.

4. Those photographs you took with your ex find thier way onto the internet. Not good man, she promised she would burn them. But then you discover that your sexiest pose is being used as the "Before" picture in a home gym advertisement. Oh don't kid yourself, that's your gut buddy.

3. You have high cholesterol. You can never eat bacon again! Muhahahahahahahaha.

2. Your 2 year old son likes to eat cat food more than the dinner it took you two hours to cook. For Christ's sake, it's stew, it's not going to kill you to eat it! Or is it?

1. You are at the bananas, checking for the best bunch. You look over to find your two kids in the apple section. They are taking either a single bite or just licking them like some monkey. And then putting them back with the rest of the apples! Dear God no! They've been there for like, 10 minutes, how many apples could they have possibly gone through? You don't really know! So you try to get as many of the tainted apples as you can, ya know--because they have cat food germs on them now. You have to have at least a bushel but you keep finding more with little teeth marks. Eventually you just give up knowing that there are a lot more licked on apples in there. Did that old lady see you walk away? Is she a gypsy? Is she going to curse you? Because I could use a little "Thinner" curse action if she has got some to give away.

10/28/09

Blog List

I'm horrible at blog maintenance. I feel that that's pretty obvious. But I've finally got my act together and created the long fabled Blog List on the lower right hand of the page.

This is the way this is going to work. If you are Hossman Cult follower, I put your blog on my blog list. I've made the start as I read a lot of my followers blogs but if I have some how overlooked yours, please let me know as I will immediately correct the mistake and then beat myself as penance for your support.

Second, take a chance in the comment section of this post to advertise your blog to others here. You don't have to be a follower to do this, it's open to every blogger who wants a little free exposure. I'll check them out as well as I am always looking for good things to read. Let's face it, reading the princess book every single night of every single day leaves me with a desire for the more adult reading. Hell, I'll even start this out by pointing out two other blogs that I contribute to.

Dad-Blogs: This is a site dedicated to dad bloggers. With over 1000 members you get a pretty wide range of stuff, from the political to the funny to the culinary. I've pimped it a little here before but let's give it it's due. It's good stuff. My column is under the heading "Full Time Dad" and you'll see mostly new posts from me there. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

KC At Home Dads: This is another blog that I write for the group of stay at home dads that I hang with. It's pretty pedestrian stuff but may have interest to the stay at home parent in general. It's a newer blog and other members of my dad's group do post from time to time and I'm trying to encourage that. It's meant to keep the group more connected with each other and leave a little something behind when we leave the groups. I blog every activity that I am a part of, giving it the thumbs up or thumbs down so that other dads can one day go there and figure out what to do with their kid when they don't have anything. On occasion I post something a little funny or off beat.

So there you go, my other two blogs. I also write something weekly for my Fantasy Football League but let's be honest, no one really wants to read that.

Take a look at what I got. Then post a comment about what you read or what you write so other people can check it out as well. And while you are at it, become a follower and then go to your own blog and pimp me out as well. I'm toying with the idea of posting something each week from someones blog on Thursdays as I usually don't write on those days. At the very least, it should give you guys some more traffic and who knows, maybe a book deal which I frankly would like see dedicated to me.

Dad-Blogs

Welcome to Wednesday. Instead of writing something new, go over to Dad-Blogs and see the post that I have there. It's called Mancard, enjoy. Then read everyone else because they are awesome.

10/24/09

Wife Help

"Do you know what you're doing?" Hossmom asks me. Of course I don't, what kind of question is that? I have about as much knowledge of car engines as a monkey does about driving a golf cart. That would be funny though.

"Yes honey, I know exactly what I'm doing. I've done this a million times." I have done this exactly 1 other time. But I tell her this because I'm a man and it's required by man law that I say this. I have two jobs to do today. I have to change the car battery and then change a headlight that went out. Both of which I have very little experience doing. The other time I changed a car battery it was on a 1980 Ford POS that I'm pretty sure still had a boiler and a midget shoveling coal.

"I'm just saying, if you just took it down to the auto store they would do it for you." she says.

Sure, they would do it for me and then I would ask if they would mind installing a vagina while I'm there with my skirt up. The man's mind, it makes no sense. I do not defend this but only acknowledge it.

"What are you doing now? Are you supposed to be loosening that thingy?" She continues to ask me.

Now I'm frustrated. I hate it when she helps me. I hate it when she calls bolts "thingys". I mean, come on, cut me some slack here. How dare she give advice to a guy that has absolutely no idea what he's doing? In reality I don't know if I should be loosening this thingy that keeps fucking stripping on me, but it looks right so I am going to loosen this thingy. God dammit, now I'm calling it a thingy. Doesn't she know who this all works?

First, I am going to break something that looks important. then I'm going to possibly unplug something that looks even more important. After that I am going to loose several important screws and thingys and cuss a whole lot. I'll possibly throw a tool and bang my head against the hood for a little bit. Then I'll put it all back together with duct tape and pray to my personal God that this hunk of junk doesn't come apart while she's doing 80 down the freeway next to a bus load of nuns. And in the end, I'll play it off like I completely knew what I was doing.

And as I have just dropped my wrench into the heart of the engine, I would say that I'm right on track.

Our whole marriage is based on this. It's getting harder and harder to impress her. I used to be able to lift something heavy and she would ooh and aah over it. But let's face it, I'm not a spring chicken anymore and it's getting hard to find reasons why to lift the couch up again. And even then I've got to deal with back pain for 3 days while maintaining that I'm fine and don't need to see a doctor about it. So unless I can do these simple car tasks, I might be out of a wife soon. And if that happens, I don't like my chances. I'll end up in black socks and boxer shorts on the front porch yelling at teenagers to get off my lawn while I'm scratching my belly. And in truth, I'm not that far away from that already.

This is why I like my daughter to help. She's easily impressed and believes anything that I tell her. So if I tell her that this bolt needs to come out because that "looks about right" then she says ok. She doesn't ask me if "I'm' sure" or suggest that I get a professional to help me. Help me take my money and my wife, no thank you.

"My hands are smaller, do you want me to reach in there and get it?" Hossmom asks one more time.

Seriously, I'm pretty sure Hossmom is trying to divorce me.

10/19/09

Horsey's VS. Aliens

I have a parenting conundrum. It's a tough call, no doubt. One of those gray area's where there seems to be no right and no wrong.

Little Hoss wants to watch the Horsey movie for the umpteenth time and I don't want to. I want to destroy alien invaders and the tweens that control them on Xbox Live.

I know you agree, it's a tough call.

On one hand, to much T.V. is not good for kids. It rots their brains, makes them stupid and convinces them to chew on power cords. It's true, I've seen the research.

However, having them stumble upon the gruesome carnage that I'm unleashing upon the online gaming world can't be good either. One sight of my guy chain sawing some poor schmucks spine in half could have some psychological consequences, even if the Aliens did start it first. Don't start nothing, there won't be nothing.

But I got to tell you, I can't take the stupid Horsey movie again. I'm starting to dream about them and all their Horsey friends. Look, we get it, sharing and teamwork is good.

And it's not like you can't learn teamwork from my fighting alien invaders. In fact, that's the first thing you learn in the invasion. Either stick together and take cover or they'll pick you off one by one.

The Horsey movie does have some good qualities though. It has bright colors and in my parenting handbook that translates into encouraging creativity. Bright colors good, repetitive story line repeated in 30 minute episodes, not good.

And battling alien invaders on line also has some good things. Most of the guys that I'm playing against are actually college stoners. I can point to them and say to Little Hoss "See honey, don't do drugs. If you do drugs Daddy is going to have to find your dealer and curb stomp him." And you know these guys will never graduate. They'll just eat Funions and drink Mountain Dew.

But in the Horsey movie they run around fields of flowers and talk about friendship. In the alien destroying game they drop the f-bomb and rip off limbs. I've read about the connection between video game violence and real world behavior. That's not good and we should probably put the cat out for a little while just to be safe.

The Horseys hug each other.
The Aliens hug huge limb tearing guns
The Horseys make me want to jamb both thumbs in my eyes.
The Alien game will probably encourage Little Hoss to jamb both of her thumbs in my eyes.
The Horsey's do ballet.
Aliens crump.
The Horseys work toward a common goal, setting good examples along the way.
The Alien game allows me to be the hero thus confirming my kickass awesomeness in my daughter's eyes.

So what kind of King Solomen wisdom can I use to rectify this situation? What logic or reasoning prevails? Is there a workable solution?

Of course there is. Turn it all off and go snuggle on the couch while falling asleep watching football.

Girl Talk At The Convention

It's 2 am, what the hell am I still doing up? I'm a 34 year old man with 2 kids, I don't do 2 am unless it involves a kids nightmare or a strip club. Or maybe some Tivoed Skinimax because let's be honest, when do I have time to go to a strip club. Say night night to daddy kids, he's got to help put Crystal Chandelier through college. She's got a bright future.

But I am up at 2 am. I am at the convention in my room and I am jibber jabbering with my convention roommate like a high school girl whose parents don't understand how cool and sensitive her 21 year old musical boyfriend is. By the way, his name is Chester and it's my life's mission to destroy him. Little punk, you're not sensitive, you're lazy. There's a difference jackass, now go pick up some litter.

Chester is completely made up and only resides in my head. It is my overwhelming fear that this is the the type of d-bag my 3 year old daughter will date when she gets older just because she knows how much this would bug me and I would hate him. Ok, try this one on then: I hate clean cut kids who are morally responsible, want to go to college and keep their hands to themselves. Reverse psychology--please work.

And these are the exact type of things that I'm telling Mr Rogers at 2 am. I call him Mr. Rogers because he's very crafty. I've seen him make things that you wouldn't believe. When we played with Lego's with the kids, I made the dad standard which is a plain multicolored box. It can withstand a 9.2 earthquake and makes an excellent object for your son to bean you in the head with. Mr. Rogers made a dinosaur. It ate my box.

We're friends and part of the same dad's group but we've never talked like this before. Why? Because we're guys and we NEVER talk like this unless it involves sports or very possibly whether or not that girl has a boob job.

We're not drunk, we're not lonely, we are just talking. You got to understand how weird and unusual this is for me. I don't talk, to anyone. My phone calls to my own mother are less than 5 minutes. My wife's #1 complaint is that I don't want to talk. She wants to talk about this but I refuse to talk about it. But what about the blog? Isn't this talking? This isn't talking, there is no give or take. You just get a piece of the chaos that's in my head.

But for some reason the convention has encouraged us to open up and share. Hossmom may be a little pissed that she wasn't here for this. This could have been her Christmas present. We are sitting in our PJ's, snuggled up to pillows, talking about everything. If I had hair, he would be braiding it.

Every subject comes up, gets fully analyzed, turned around and then put to bed unlike us two yahoo's. There's only 2 other people in my life I've shared this much with. One was with a girlfriend who had problems with fidelity and the other is my wife. But Mr. Rogers isn't either of these and as a good guy I'm sure he would never attempt to gang bang my entire dorm. (I've been asked to clarify that it wasn't Hossmom that tried to do this.)

This is one of the unusual things about the SAHD convention that I wasn't expecting. We go to learn and to meet new people. To network and get different opinions. But it also looks like a great opportunity to get to know the guys you are already friends with a little bit better and that's pretty cool.

And at 2 in the morning and several hours of soul sharing, I feel I know Mr. Rogers pretty well. Not in a carnal way, but pretty good for two guys. It's a very Kombayah moment all we are missing is some guitars and some dirty hippies.

But I've made a better friend who promises to bail me out of jail once I beat the shit out of Chester the Boyfriend 12 years from now, and you really can't ask for more than that. Unless it's to hide a body, which is a possibility if Chester pushes it.

10/18/09

The SAHD Convention

"Let's take a road trip" they say.

"Great!" I said. "Where to?"

"The Stay At Home Dad Convention."

"Will my family be OK without me for a couple of days? I don't know if you've heard, but my daughter has a thing for power tools and destruction. She's one step away from dawning some shoulder pads and doing a re-imagination of the "Road Warrior" in my living room. She would totally kick Mel Gibson's ass."

"How can they complain?" they responded. "You're going to learn how to be a better parent!"

Rock Freaking On.

So 10 SAHDs loaded up and went to Omaha to participate in the annual Stay at Home Dad convention. It was just like college road trips except the 1982 Ford pickup with the rusted through floor has been replaced with a fully loaded mini-van with DVD player and headphones. OK, so we're still dads with multiple kids. BUT we hooked up an Xbox to the DVD player--and there's our mancard back. Little side note: video game playing in the car makes me a little sick. However, giving the controller to the worst gamer ever equals 3 hours of hilarity.

You may think that it is a little weird that SAHDs have their own convention. But why not I ask you? There's actually a convention for Xena the Warrior Princess (yes, that's true) so why shouldn't there be one for SAHDs? Besides, us primary care giving dudes need a place to ask questions where it won't result in a strange look and a possible restraining order.

For example:

Ponytails, they scare me. My daughter tried to cut her own hair rather than have me comb it.
Convention's Answer: Hairstyling for Toddlers (that will be a totally different blog, calm down)

My nutrition experience is limited to non-fat cheese on super chili nachos. Can you help?
Convention's Answer: Absolutely--Kids Nutrition, Room 102

What about toddler issues and dudes. Would a mom understand a child who has a obsession for nail guns and the walls that love them?
Convention's Answer: Breakout sessions with guys whose kids like power tools just as much as yours do!

I like to blog, can you offer me any advice and possibly some refreshments?
Convention's Answer: Meet Rebeldad, swoon. Beer and Pizza is served at 5.

Why wouldn't we do this? Throw in a legitimate college professor talking about parenting trends and the author of the Daddy Shift reading excerpts and we've taken it to the next step. Now we have credibility! Look at me weird on the playground now, will you?!

50 dads gathered together to support one another, to learn from each other and to talk to 2 in the morning about our feelings. And by feelings I mean how hard it is to cope with a fantasy team that is in dead last and breaking your heart every time they fumble at the goal line. I'm sorry, I just can't talk about it to much right now, a little to close to the heart.

The classes were great, the speakers were great, the town was great and the hotel didn't seem to get upset at the few that perhaps drank to much. But more than any of that, it was hanging with a lot of the other dads that made this road trip so worth it. From all over the country we came like a flock of geese going south for the winter except no one shot at us but I did hear some bird calls because we look good in tight jeans. Dads from the east coast, from the west coast, from down south and from up north. All together in one space to confirm one thing: we may do this a little different than mom at times but dammit if we aren't going to eat a lot of beer and pizza. We are still men, after all.

But truthfully it was really cool to be around a bunch of guys that was as committed to this as I was. We are already planning our road trip for next year. Maybe this time we can replace the small DVD player with a Plasma. That would be cool.