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.


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."


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.



"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.



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


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.