Let's Take A Drive

Five miles in. No self respecting one year old goes to sleep with only five miles in. Five miles in are for rookies, for 6 month olds. No, one year olds make you push it. They want to see the country side. They want to see cows and horses. They want to see how far they can push you before your ever loving brains are caved in by the constant repetitive sound of “I can hear with those things”, which comes from the toy you gave him to help him sleep and he just loves the hell out of that one button.

Fuck that one button. That is Satan’s button. That button was put on that toy by Lucifer himself, who apparently works in a factory in Mexico making toys for Happy Meals. And Lucifer loves his job and hates you. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can get back to the horses and the cows in the country side.

Bubba Hoss is digging this vacation. He’s having a great time. And it would appear that vacation bedtime is much, much different than normal bed time. He’s just having to much fun running around with dogs and throwing things off the second floor of our host’s house. You have to stay up pretty late to get all your throwing in. Earlier today he actually threw a barrel down those stairs. Practice today makes for perfection tomorrow.

So I have resorted to that age old genius of all parents: the car trip. Every kid eventually falls asleep in the car. It’s common knowledge and the number two weapon to use against your children in the constant struggle for dominance. The first weapon of choice of course is the cookie. But I find that the cookie looses it’s importance to the child if you over use it. This trip I have overused it so I am resorting to weapon number two. Of course these tactics will change as he gets older and I’m am stock piling other parenting favorites. Such as:

Because I said so.
You think you’re big enough to take on your old man?
I don’t see you making any car payments.
The garage needs cleaning.
I told you she had herpes.

Mile 10 and he hasn’t grown tired of the toy. Usually the little man goes to bed around 7:30 every night. Like clockwork. Only recently has he begun to rebel and I’m thinking that it’s because he knew that we were going on this trip. The money bet says that he planned this. Ok, for 20 months I’ll go to bed just fine. Then, on June 20th, I’ll throw a fit and then never go to bed without a fight again. That’ll show them!

The first two nights here on vacation were a struggle. Normally I don’t mind if Bubba Hoss wants to scream his little head off while he’s in the crib. My usual philosophy is that he’s not being attacked by badgers, he’s safe in his crib. But if he is, I expect him to learn to fend for himself and fashion a sling shot out of his crib webbing, slay the badgers, wear their fur as a trophy and smear the vanquished foe’s blood across his chest in a warrior’s show of bravery. It’s how I grew up.

But it’s different when you are with family, especially family that hasn’t seen you in a while. If you don’t attend to your screaming child then you look like bad parents. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I’ve done a hundred things wrong. I told my kids to “work it out” when they were fighting over a toy then I walked away. I showed my daughter how to appropriately set her artillery for maximum damage to the enemy. I have given out Tums as candy. But the difference is that all that was PRIVATE. This is not so private now.

So now it appears that I am a publically bad father, instead of privately being one. It’s a big difference. On one hand I don’t want to appear to be an out of control dad to an out of control kid. On the other hand, I don’t want to appear weak in his eyes so that his next step is to kill me , marry his mother, and banish his sister to the frozen mines of the distant north.

The result: drive around the Wisconsin country side until he falls asleep and I look like the best parent ever, give me a cookie.

Mile 15 and he’s finally tired of the toy. Either the batteries ran out or I grabbed it and threw it out the window. I can’t remember, it was a blur but one of those two things happened. However, now he wants to start talking. About what I have no idea. He’s one, I have no clue what he is saying most of the time. He could be telling me that he just sharted and needs to change his pants or he could be telling me the true difference between black holes and dead spots in space. No one likes a shart and no one likes a dead spot.

Mile 25. I counter act his jibber jabber by turning on my book on tape. Take that little man, how you like me now? It’s truly an awful story told by a guy with a very deep baritone voice and Grade Z acting skills. If you can’t make it on the big screen, and you can’t make it singing, and you can’t make it on a show called Dance Your Ass Off, read books on tape.

It’s truly a horrible book that we got at the library for this trip, hoping that we can become distracted just enough to forget about the time but not enough to swerve into oncoming traffic. It’s worked, but only because it’s so bad. The main character appears to be, um, how do I put this---dumber than the lint and dog hair that currently resides in my belly button. Nothing like totally missing the obvious the entire book and then have a revelation. Such as “Oh, the sadistic priest is the one who’s been trying to kill me. Rosebud it’s not.

Mile 30. The book didn’t work although our heroine did manage to have some sex. The term “swollen penis” was mentioned. Authors, take note: Do Not Write Sex Scenes In Books. Unless of course you work for Penthouse forums. And if you don’t then just go buy an issue and copy it verbatim. Bubba Hoss is now telling me that he has “no poop, just pee.” I say this to every time we change his diaper. When he poops we say “Whoa, big poo.” Then we all laugh and give a round of high fives. I’ll be honest, I have no idea why we do that.

Mile 35. Bubba Hoss pulls on his hair when he’s tired. He has a birthmark up there. It’s a mole, about the size of a nickel, that is dead center on the top of his head. Out of it grows very black hair that grows twice as fast. The rest of his hair is a blondish/brownish type thing. The result is a streak of black hair right down the middle of his head. Very punk rock. Seriously, it’s bitchin. Most people ask us if we dye his hair that way. Do I look like the type of guy that has the knowledge or the patience to dye the hair of a 1 year old? I bet as he gets older he gets tons of chicks.

Mile 40. He’s out! Victory is mine! Do not mess with dad folks. Because let me tell you a little secret about dad. His desire to obtain peace and quiet far out weighs your desire to drive him crazy. In the end, he’ll win. Until you turn 13 and decide that you don’t like him anymore at which point he’ll wonder where he went wrong.

My money is around mile 13 and the now famous “toy incident.”


The Woodmizer

Out here in the backwoods of Wisconsin, it’s a simple life. You love your family, you eat your breakfast, and you work hard. Today is all about working hard.

We’re going to cut some wood. Uncle Larry, Uncle Bricksalesman, and the Hossman. Get a little sweat in me, get my hands dirty and build some character. I want to call my father and tell him at 34 years of age I’m still building character. Daddy, Daddy, watch me! I’m building character! Watch Me!

Uncle Bricksalesman and I are asked how we got “roped in” to this Uncle Larry job. Hell ladies, we didn’t get roped in, we volunteered! We are going to cut some wood and be manly. I might spit a little bit.

We round the corner of the trail. I’m in the back of the truck. We pass by several of the locals in the woods. These guys are hard. One is lighting a cigarette with a blowtorch. I don’t point out the numerous safety code violations.

We pass another guy and we exchange a nod. It’s just a simple nod but it says a lot. It says It’s hot but there’s no use complaining about it. It says that taxes and fuel costs are high but what are you going to do? It says the local team needs a new pitcher or a new coach. It says that my wife just left me. I told her to take the kids but leave the dog. Women would never get this. But men, it’s just understood.

In the suburbs cutting wood means that you go to your local store and pick up some pre cut wood that you will actually never use other than a decoration next to your fireplace because you actually have a heating system. But here, I’m assuming that I’ll actually get to use an axe.

I’m mistaken.

We stop in a clearing and there are logs. Not brush and not branches, I mean full on logs. 15 feet long and thick enough to crush a toe in suburb sandals and Old Navy shorts. Hell yes, this is what I’m talking about. Let’s cut some wood.

I see the chainsaw and my mouth waters. Give me one crack at that, boys. My kids and wife are at the house and there is no one to caution me to be safe. Just turn your backs and give me 10 minutes with that thing and I’ll have some firewood.

But the chainsaw isn’t for me. It appears that it isn’t for anyone. Before I can even highjack it and give one good pull, there is a deep rumble from the trail we just left. I look over and out of the woods comes The Mule.

Sweet Jesus is it beautiful. It’s a cross between a bulldozer and my wettest dream. On the back end of it is a trailer with a large mechanical hook. It’s the kind of hook that you see loggers use. Screw the chainsaw, I want to drive that mamba jamba. Immediately I take off my underwear and throw it at the driver. I want to have his babies.

Uncle Larry and Hans, the driver of power incarnate, exchange a few words and then he gets to work. He goes through the downed logs and starts hosting them up. Crushing the bark yet gentle enough with the machine to caress the sweet wood beneath. I want to hug it.

I regret not taking Little Hoss with me. She would have dug the crap out of this. That’s one of the great things about having kids. A lot of times they get excited about the same stuff you do and there is nothing better than getting excited with a three year old. Because you can let all kinds of loose. You can run around in a circle clapping your hands and screaming your head off and no one judges you. It’s awesome. But she’s not here and I regret it but it’s going to be a cool story to tell her when I get back.

He loads up 9 logs and now I am sure the awesomeness is going to begin. Are we going to crush the logs with the big hook? I know it makes no sense but I still want to do it. It a big hook after all, why wouldn’t you want to crush it?

But nope, Uncle Larry says that we are taking it to the saw mill, time to get in the back of the truck. Crap.

In the back of the truck I go and we go through the trails and county roads some more. We come to a trail and follow that until we reach a barn. Odd place for a barn. Uncle Larry tells us to get out. Maybe I’ll get to ride a tractor, that would be cool. Not as cool as the Mule, but not bad. Thresh some wheat and collect a subsidy check. But the Mule, that would have been awesome.

It’s all forgotten though when Uncle Larry begins to take the tarp off a big machine in the clearing and I hear the Mule coming from the other side. What is this?

It’s the Wood Mizer HT40. One of the sweetest machines ever made. Something that I have only seen on the Discovery Channel when I watch shows about wood working.

I misunderstood Uncle Larry. When he said that we were going to cut some wood, he actually meant it. Not fire wood, no that’s not what he meant. He meant we were going to make our own lumber. Kick Fucking Ass.

The Mule deposits it’s load next to the Wood Mizer. Uncle Larry grabs a hook on a 4 foot poll and begins muscling wood toward the machine. Uncle Bricksalesman and I just sit there and gape. We let a 79 year old man muscle a thousand pound log because both of us are absolutely sure he knows exactly what he is doing and we would just crush our fingers. We only move when he tells us.

The log gets rolled up and Hans, who also runs this machine, begins making measurements. He says that he has no idea why he makes measurements but he believes that it looks good so he does it anyway. He is my hero and I nod at him. Everything is understood.

The he starts the Wood Mizer HT40. I am giddy with excitement and again I wish that I brought Little Hoss with me. The next ten minutes is Hans cutting the sides of the log so that you end up with a big freaking piece of square wood. It’s a huge beam. Then he actually makes lumber out of it. 2 by 15 and 13 feet long, glorious.

I’m thinking of everything I know about fresh cut lumber and wood and begin peppering Uncle Larry with questions. He is my god now. How long do you let it dry. How much shrinkage do you expect. Is Hans currently dating anyone? And Uncle Larry answers everything with a smile on his face and a story to go with it.

The amount of lumber coming off this one tree is amazing. Give me just two trees and I would have enough wood to last me for years for my little projects. Uncle Larry tells me that this is how he got his current supply of cherry, mahogany, pine. All for a fraction of a cost that suburb people like me would pay for it. He says these boards are free minus the cost of the milling. The owner just wanted some of them gone. He says that there are 200 more logs at the site but he doesn’t need them. These are for flooring for a barn. I want to move to the Wisconsin backwoods.

Hans is now trying to wrestle his latest board off the pile. Oh captain my captain, I will move that board for you just so I can get closer to the Wood Mizer HT40. The chainsaw is all but forgotten now as I am making plans on distracting everyone for a moment so that I can push a button. Whether you are 6 years old or 34, you always just want to hit a button.

Uncle Bricksalesman and I both grab an end and continue doing this for about an hour. Now this is cutting wood.


The Great Outdoors

Ah nature. The great outdoors. It’s green and it’s luscious. It’s where it’s not hot nor cold but instead it’s always DAMN GREAT TO BE ALIVE.

That’s were we are for vacation. In the backwoods of Wisconsin. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to run into a bear not affiliated with a circus or a deer that was not hung above the bar of one of my favorite eating establishments. In short, we’re in the bush.

My wife has family up here and every couple of years we come by with the kids to visit. We stay on a farm and in a house that is 150 years old. No shit, there’s even a certificate issued by the state recognizing ownership of the house by the same family for that entire time. Right now there is a barn across the street. I mean a real barn with real barn things like wood and tractor parts and a hornets nest big enough to swallow a man whole. Seriously, it’s like cartoon big. And next to the barn of course is the silo which I had no idea how it really worked until I asked and got a 30 minute explanation. I ate up every bit because I am having a good time up here. My wife says that on occasion that I go “Grizzly Adams”. I’m fine with it, because I am in tune with nature and nature is in tune with me. Gods country. I’m very close to taking off my shirt and smearing my chest with mud.

I’m riding in the back of a pickup truck because that is also what you do when you are out in nature. Eventually some one will say “get in the back of the truck” and without thinking, it’s what you do. I don’t know why. You know all the dangers that your big city life has taught you about riding in the back of a truck. No seat belts, getting thrown out, no protection from the drive by shootings. But out in nature, you ride in the back of the pickup truck down roads that don’t really exist.

It’s more of a trail than a road but you go down it anyway with your wife’s 79 year old Uncle Larry at the helm. Because he knows these here woods and he knows where these here trails lead. So without question, when he says get in the back of the truck that’s what you do while Uncle Bricksalesman, who is also on this trip, jumps in the very bug free passenger seat. You would think that a man with the nickname of Bricksalesman would man up and jump in the back with me, but nope, I ride this trail alone. Jackass.

But it gives a man a moment to think and ponder. It gives a man time to reflect on his life and try to really determine what is important. While you look at the trees and spit the bugs out of your mouth, you really discover who you are.


Nature has just smacked me in the back of the head. Now this is not the first time that I have ridden in the back of a truck. However, the last time I did it I was around 12 years old and I suppose I have forgotten much of the rules of riding in the back of a truck, admiring nature. Namely, watch out for tree branches that do no harm to the wussy Uncle Bricksalesman in the front seat but like to bitch slap the moron who’s trying to get all philosophical in the back of the truck. Nature does not like that guy.

Nature needs to be admired close up and not from a distance. If you do that you can’t see nature coming and nature does not like to be ignored. And when you are going down a trail in the woods with Uncle Larry, it’s probably best to pay a little closer attention to the actual nature. So let’s move to the other side.

Whack Whack.

It would appear that nature does not like to be observed close up either. I suppose that nature feels that you can’t really enjoy her beauty close up. You’ve got to take them both in, the distant and the close and if you ignore either, Nature slaps you on the back of the head like a 10 year old boy who just pissed off his dad.


Apparently, there’s more in nature than just tree branches that like to hit you. Nature has spiders as well. It’s natures way of reminding you that she has multiple offensive capabilities. This time it’s a spider, maybe next time it’s Nosfuratu. One thing is for certain though—when you are in the back of a pickup truck there is no running. There’s just no where to go. I suppose you could dive out and tuck and roll but that only works for heros who are saving the girl in the movies but the only one I see that needs saving is a 250 pound man in the back of the truck.

But nature also provides you with your own defenses such as a stick that broke off on your head and a scream that a 5 year old girl would admire. It’s my battle cry.

Now back to admiring nature. I have a full appreciation of her now. Spiders and tree’s oh my. I got it, nature is beauty and danger all rolled into one. Like the canoli in the godfather, tasty but deadly. Got it.

We come upon a covered bridge.

I didn’t think these things really existed but it appears that they do. In Nature, in the woods, on a trail. Or County Road J. I’m not sure what to think about this. My experience on covered bridges, and there have been many, tell me that one of two things are going to happen.

I’m either in Madison County and about to score with a housewife or Ichabod Crane is going to show up on the other side holding a flaming pumpkin. I threw my stick over the side because it had spider guts on it. Now I’m screwed.

We start to go over and the bridge begins to creek and moan. There’s no way this thing is holding. I’m sure that Uncle Larry would assure me that he’s been over this a hundred times and I’m sure that Uncle Bricksalesman would be protected from the falling debris in the nice covered cab of the pick up truck. I’m glad they’ll both be fine and not be able to hear my death screams.

I see some dripping water falling as we cross. Uncle Larry seems to be slowing down. Is that another’s hornet’s nest? Probably not because that wouldn’t be terrifying enough. It’s probably a nest of flying leaches. That fits about right. The bridge creeks louder, did something just snap? I’m sure something just snapped. It may have been my sanity.

We make it through the bridge unscathed and unbugged which brings me to another lesson in Nature. She can resort to psychological terror as well. Good to know. She can make you think something is going to happen and nothing will. But it gives you a new vision on life. A new respect for it and for nature. You sit back and begin to wonder………


Another tree branch. Nature can suck it.


Captain's Log

I write this as my son is screaming his head off. I'm counting how many times he has screamed "Daddy" in the last 10 minutes. We are up to 3,456. Quite an accomplishment considering that he can't really talk yet. He doesn't want to go to bed. I don't want to leave the comfort of my chair. It's 8:40 man, I'm done. So we are in a battle of wills. Will he cry himself out before I lose it and go up and try to put him back to bed. It's going to be a close call, he's turing out to be pretty strong willed. Officially, I'm teaching him self reliance and sticking to the routine which makes for a healthier child and a better relationship with his family. Unofficially I'm not moving a damn inch because I took them to the pool for 4 and 1/2 hours today and I'm beat.

That's right, while you were at work, I was rocking it at the pool. I was working on my sunburn. It's come in very nicely this year.

With that said, it is long overdue for this family to take a vacation and that is exactly what we are doing next week. We are going North my good friend.

Hold on, now my daughter is telling me that my son has a big owie.

Anyway, we are going to Wisconsin to see some cheese and the family up there that worships it. Uncle Bricksalesman will be with us as well so I am hoping to convince him to spend time with his niece and nephew while I take off with Uncle Larry and get drunk.

So this will be my last post this week and I'll see everyone in July.

Dry your eyes dear ones, I'll be back with a whole bunch of good stories to tell you about. I'm hoping to have my daughter do some cow tipping.

The Friday Five

5 reasons why prison wouldn't be so bad once you got passed the fuck me in the ass part.

5. Alone. In a cell. No noise. No one demanding that you feed them. No one demanding that you watch Dora one more time. If I get picked up on a DUI charge and didn't bail myself out, think I could get 30 days?

4. 3 hots and a cot. Free of charge. And a library. Maybe a little cable TV where I could watch Divorce Court. Those people are fucked up. They are so fucked up that it makes me feel better about myself. I ate a sweettart today that I found in the couch. Yet, I'm still better than you guys.

3. You make the call: I have a mortgage, a wife that can sometimes be demanding (only in a good way honey, I love you, don't hit me anymore), and 2 kids that demand that I get up at 6:30 every morning and go nonstop until they pass out at night. VS prison. You tell me--who has more freedom.

2. Free medical care without the copay. If I break my arm right now, I'm out at least 300 bucks for the trip to the emergency room. That includes the ambulance charge because if I'm going to the hospital I'm making them drive. Those things are bitchin and I've never had the opportunity to ride in one. Odd considering that I hurt myself so much that I have a full fledged state of the art first aid kit in the house. And I want good drugs to. Of course, in prison you are probably in there for a blown colon, but after that, not so bad.

1. Friends. You make a lot of good friends in prison. Every con movie I've ever seen always has a guy "that I met in prison." They sound like a good sewing circle that I may want to join. They even have clubs. White Knights, MS-13--you can find whatever fits your demographic. If they had one for video gamers, I'd be set.


The Swing Set

Papa Scrum pulled out what appeared to be a 10 volt drill. A sleek black little thing. But 10 Volts? Humph, I judged, humph.

Me, I got out my 18 volt monster. Heavy enough that you could feel the sexual desire running through it. It comes with a flashlight and enough torque to give your Mamma a night she will never forget. That's right, it will plow your Mamma and have enough power left to drive a 3 inch screw like it was the Phillips head of God.

Some men measure their machismo in the fancy car they have. Some men measure it in the new plasma that they got hanging ever so fancy from their wall. But none of that, bucko, would be possible without the power drill. And any man worth his salt has a good one. Not a decent one, but a good one.

Stop reading this and go look into your garage. If you have any kind of drill in there that is less than 18 volts, stop reading my blog. Go to Home Depot and beg forgiveness and promise that you will never do that again. Then man up and buy a decent drill, even if the only thing you can fix is your profile on your twitter page.

I looked again at his drill. No, it was not a 10 Volt woman's drill. It was a 19 Volt tool of Posidean. Well done sir, you have out volted me. It would appear that you have an extra inch on me, touche.

With our drills we walked over to the pile of wood. It was a gorgeous pile. A pile with a destiny. Sleek 1 x 6's hemmed in by some good looking 4x4's. Beautiful. It was time to get started.

From this pile of wood we would be building a fortress of a swing set for Papa Scrum's kids. From this pile of wood we would construct happiness and it would glorify my name. Each knot added character, each turn of the grain gave it a joyous profile, each change in hue gave it a voice that sang out "Make me a monument to all that is Hoss!"

We didn't have plans. We didn't need plans. Our plans consisted of a couple doodles on household stationary. Papa Scrum assured me that it wasn't a napkin. I love working with amateurs, makes it a challenge.

We cut the angles for the A-frame, the support of Zeus that would hold up this contraption. Life and death hung in the balance.

We guessed at the correct angle. Protractors are for pussies. We just caressed the wood and spoke the secret language that only men say. It said "Cut here". And we did. Several times. Then several more times when that was wrong. Finally, we cut again. You can never cut to much.

Once cut, the tribute to awesomeness was ready to assemble. Occasionally a wife would walk by. She would have a confused look on her face. Thinking that the pile of wood still looked like a pile of wood. Sticks at best really. This was supposed to hold her children, keep them safe in innocent play?

It would do better than that. This baby would launch them to the moon from one good push on the swing or one good teeter on the totter. She quickly went away because we stank from sweat and wood and labor. Because mothers know nothing about labor.

We assembled. We assembled like we had never assembled before. We assembled like mad men because it was almost time for me to go home before my own wife started calling his wife and I don't need that kind of trouble.

Was that board straight? Straight enough I say. Is that landing level? Level enough I say. Is that step long enough? Long enough I say.

Like a beautiful sculpture it came together. Each piece fitting more or less the way it was supposed to. Each screw kinda going where it was supposed to. Each moment bringing us closer to perfection. The Pyramids of Giza, The Library in Alexandria, and this Swing Set--all wonders of the world.

And then it was done. It shone like the heavens above. To it I went, marveling at our engineering know how. I must sign it. I must sign it so that all who may play on it shall know my name for eons or 5 years, whichever comes first. And sign it I did. Like I do all my woodworking projects. If you have something that I built, whether a single shelf or your love den, I have signed it somewhere. And there it remains.

I left knowing that my task was complete.

Latter, Mama Scrum went to play with the children on it.

"Why is this step shorter than the rest?" she asks.

Because sometimes greatness needs to take a few shortcuts.


The Friday Five

5 Things That My Kids (ages 3 and 1) Can Get Me For Father's Day

5. They can settle thier tab. That's right kids, I"m keeping track of how much you each owe me from birth until you move out when you are 18. Oh yes, your moving out at 18. Don't try to get mom to intervene, not gonna work. So by my count, Little Hoss owes me around 25,000. I've had to add a few extra thousand for the amount of damage she has done to my house. You will NOT be getting your security deposit back. Bubba Hoss, you only owe around 15 K but you also owe me a new carpet for when you shit on it. That's right, you have to pay for a whole new carpet. A cleaning alone won't get that memory out of my head. So let's make dad happy, pay your monthly payment. No one wants bad credit.

4. A new wallet. I'll give you a father's day staple, no pressure. I'll tell you what, you can even make it goofy. Put a picture of a princess on it, I'm cool with that. As a stay at home dad, I'm already a pussy, so a princess wallet really will not make that much difference. However, I don't want to see one, not one, neck tie. Unless that necktie comes with a beer, then we're cool.

3. Tires. All dads love tires. Enough said.

2. Anything that we can potentially hurt ourselves with while mom is gone. Like a chainsaw. We could use a chainsaw in this house. But not a little one. We need one of those big bastards like we watch on ESPN when we can't take any more Dora. One of those that come with a muffler, so then we can take it off and make it louder. One that would work underwater during an earthquake. That would be fucking cool.

1. One afternoon, just one, where no one stomps on my balls. That would be fantastic. Look, I know everyone likes to climb on dad and that's ok. I'm a big guy, I'm your jungle gym. I catch you when you fall, I'm the safety net to your hire wire act of insanity. But please, just one afternoon when you don't put your little monkey feet crashing down on the the coin purse. And if you do, a nice bag of ice would be almost as good. We don't really need two moms in this house.


A Toddler's Translation

It was epic man, freaking epic. I'm talking good enough to make dogs howl. They write Greek tragedies about this level of shit. It was a meltdown to put all meltdowns to shame.

And it was Bubba Hoss. My almost 2 year old. Who would have figured that?

He's a good kid, an easy kid. He's usually the kind of kid that other parents look at and hate me for having it so easy with him. He doesn't piss and moan, he hardly ever screams. Since he was 4 months old he has slept through the night. I can count on one hand the number of times he's given me a problem with naps. The one knock on him is that he loves my pants leg like it's a life preserver. But other than that, an easy kid. Until now. If you gave his sister, Little Hoss, a screwdriver she would take apart your car and put it piece by piece in your room. But not Bubba Hoss. He would hold on to your screwdriver and give it back to you cleaner than it was.

We were out for a walk, the whole family. It was a regular Little House on the Prairie type of thing. We headed back to the house and that is when Bubba Hoss decided that he wasn't going to have any of that. He was pushing his own stroller, which he loves more than my pants leg and wasn't letting go of it.

We told him that it was time to go inside and then he lost it. He ran away as fast as his little legs could go. Him and his stroller. Now I realize that there are a lot of people out there that don't speak munchkin. But I do, so allow me to translate for you.

I said it's time to go in Bubba Hoss.

"Fuck You old man" although it came out more in a scream like fashion.

Seriously little dude, turn your butt around and let's go inside for a bath.

"I'm blowing this Popsicle stand pops, suck it."

At this point I realize that I have to go after him. Surprising how fast he was.
I told him to give me the stroller and let's turn it around.

"You can have it when you pry it from my cold dead hands."

We have a little hiking path by our house. It's paved and he heads off to a little stream. It's where the teenagers go to have unprotected sex while using dirty needles to do thier drugs. Vagabonds!

"Boy, you better turn around right now." I call my son "boy" when he's in trouble. I have no idea why. I suppose it's because it's what my dad used to do to me. However we also used to raise pigs. Only for a short while though. My wife won't let me have pigs.

He still ignored me. They also ignored Hossmom. But no real surprise there, they always ignore her with the discipline. Yup, I'm gonna get in trouble for that. But I write the truth. Mom is for curing a bo-bos and loving you when you are sick. Dad is for whipping ass and getting respect out of you. You're god damn right yes sir no sir.

I called him boy again and still he ignored me. "Suck it grandpa, I'm going for a joy ride to hang with some teenagers. I'm cool, unlike you. You listen to NPR!"

Hossmom went after him and he should thank her for that. Sometimes she's that buffer and takes a little more mercy on the children than I do. I can sense a lifelong pattern here.

Not that I'm an monster, but Hossmom can certainly tell when I'm about to lose it. Generally I'm a pretty fun dad to hang out with and the kids are really well behaved most times. But I attribute that to the countless hours that we have worked on that behavior in the seclusion of a corner at the local grocery store because when they lose it, that's the place they are going to do it in.

Hossmom tracks him down, he gives her the finger and she turns him around. Now he starts hopping. Swear to god, the kid was actually hopping. He was hopping mad. I have never ever seen someone actually be hopping mad. I thought it was just a figure of speech. Apparently not.

She lets him push the stroller but in the right direction. He keeps trying to turn it around. They go on like this for a little bit and I remain in our front yard. It's very hard for me not to run over there and quell this little rebellion. I'm so used to it and do it more often than not. But I also know that Hossmom is a parent too and I shouldn't try to interfere with the way she handles things. I'm home with them all day so I feel we have an understanding between us. The understanding is that I will end the world you live in if you give me any trouble. They understand that I am really a big pussy and they will get there way no matter what anyway. Fine, let's watch snow white for the 100th time. I hope she doesn't wake up this time. They shoot bambi's mom. Just letting you know kids. Now let's watch old yeller.

My first instinct is to go over there and pick him up by his shirt and just haul his 20 pound butt to where I want him to be. Hossmom tries to be more encouraging. She says I take the meltdowns to personally. No way, it's not personal as long as they recognize my god like authority in this house. If they do that, we have no problem. She especially hates it when I lecture which I gotta admit, I have no idea why I do it. They are 3 and almost 2 and can't really understand any concept beyond icecream and poop. But I lecture.

Hossmom caught me giving a lecture about loyalty and respect and about fell out of the chair laughing. I wasn't even aware that I was doing it but now I catch myself doing it all the time.

While this whole thing is going on I'm already planning my lecture on minding your parents, that we have your best interests at heart and how this is going to hurt me more than you. We all know that last one's a lie but every parent says it. It never hurts as bad as it hurts you. I'm not the one in time out locked in my room like Repunzille. I'm downstairs eating cookies watching the Simpsons and that doesn't hurt at all. But I'm out of this one, Hossmom's got it. Sort of.

Now he's turned around again. "Bubba Hoss!" Hossmom exclaims.

"You can't contain me lady!" his screams say. He's really going all out.

Now Hossmom is trying to explain to him. She explains that it's bath time and it's bedtime and we need to go inside. Another big difference. My usual explaination is "because I said so" followed by a 10 minute lecture on family honor.

And he's still hopping. The kid is pissed.

They finally make it to the front door but he won't go up the stairs. This is where it ends for me. The time was 6:45. That's about the time of day, every day, that I can't take it anymore. I grab him by his pants waist and pick him up. There's some kicking and screaming. He says that he's going to report me to the police. He calls me a demagogue. He claims that I am a power hungry tyrant that oppresses the little folk. He tries to kick me in the shin.

Our next lecture will be entitled "Don't take on dad until you are at least 16 and I'm 50."


The Friday Five

5 Things That I Have Learned From Being A Dad.

5. Candy always tastes better if it's dug out from under the couch cushions and has a maximum amount of dog hair on it.

4. They will always find your porn stash. No matter what, no matter where, they will find it and bring it out in the most inopportune times, like playgroup.

3. Dog food and human food. One in the same.

2. If a toddler tells you how proud they are that they went pee-pee in the potty and then ask to go up on your shoulders because you are a great dad--don't do it. Chances are they were in such a hurry to go pee-pee in the potty that they didn't have time to actually take their underwear off. But since they did it while over the potty, it counts. You don't want to know what that wet slimy feeling is on the back of your neck. Just go take a shower.

1. Standing over that A/C vent in the floor while wearing shorts feels fucking awesome. Seriously, greatest thing ever.


A Beach on the Bottom of the Ocean.

"Why is Spongebob Squarepants at the beach?" I ask

"What?" Hossmom replies.

"Well, Spongebob lives in the actual ocean, right? He's not like on land or anything, he lives at the actual bottom of the ocean. So how is there a beach with a tide at the bottom of the ocean? I don't get it."

That's what bothers you about this show?

I'm just saying, it doesn't make any sense to me.

There's a squirel in a diving suit.

I know, I see it. I don't mind the squirel. The beach bothers me.

Spongebob lives in a pinapple and the beach is the only thing that bothers you?

Hey, have you seen what he's been able to do with that pinapple. There are a lot less fortunate people out there.

It's a talking dish sponge and you're stuck on the beach.

But it makes no sense. Look, the show is called Spongebob Squarepants so it would only make sense that the sponge can talk. And he's got to live somewhere, so why not a pinapple. And any sponge wants friends, so why not a squirel? Do you have something against squirels. They are nature's tree tenders. We owe them a debt of gratitude.

You are watching way to much TV.

Some can fly.


No squirels. Well, they don't really fly but they glide. I'm just not aware that you knew that.

Seriously husband, you should get out of the house tonight.

I'm not going anywhere until someone explains to me why Spongebob Squarepants has a beach at the bottom of the ocean. I mean he actually lives on the beach. His whole terraforma is beach. So why does he have to go to the beach.

Here are the keys, go see a movie.

Some squirels carry rabies.