She'll Never Know

She'll never know that my day doesn't begin until I get a big enthusiastic hug from her in the morning and my day doesn't end until I get big dinosaur hugs from her at night. All the other times I'm just waiting for my hugs.

She'll never know that my proudest moments of her is when she sticks up for her family. My heart swells when I see her protect her little brother. I've done something right, I just don't know what it is.

She'll never know that when she is being a bad girl that I try to hide my laughter when she is explaining to me why she did it in the first place. I can't help it but I have to be tough so that she doesn't do it again.

She'll never know that I totally get why she breaks so many things. My whole life, I have been the same way starting with the riding lawn mower I took apart and tried to put back together causing it to flip over on my father. I completely understand the compulsion and there is a part of me that loves that she acts just like I did. I still do it and I can't explain why.

She'll never know that she is the best helper a father could ever wish for. I would rather install a fan with her than with anyone else.

She'll never know that I like it better when she tells the stories more than she likes it when I tell them.

She'll never know that whenever she sneezes in the sunlight I feel a greater connection to her than she could possibly imagine. Both my children and I do this and it's a genetic thing. I love it.

She'll never know that I love princesses as much as she does.

She'll never know that if she cries enough, I really will give in and do whatever she wants.

She'll never know that one of my big fears of the world is when I have to go back to work. Not because I fear work, but because I won't be able to hang out with her anymore.

She'll never know that her father is only big and strong because she thinks so.

She'll never know that I fix things because she asks me and that I can't take the look in her eyes when I say I can't. One way or another, I will fix it and she needs to always believe this about me. Whether it's a busted toy or a problem in her life, Dad can fix it.

She'll never know that on her first day of school, I will be more nervous than she will.

She'll never know that when I get writer's block, she is the muse that breaks it. She also breaks my phone, my tools and my patience but it is all worth it when I can write again.

She'll never know that when even when I tell her not to punch that kid, there is a part of me that wishes she would punch that kid.

She'll never know that I try to be the same exact parent that my own father was. Everyday, that's my standard.

She'll never know that the reason she has wide feet is because of my genes. Sorry honey, that's all my fault.

She'll never know that I'm just as scared as she is most times but as Dad, I just can't show it. I'm brave for her. I don't like the dark either.

She'll never know that when she says that I'm am the greatest builder, I'm really not but I believe that I am because she told me so.

She'll never know that when she thinks I'm not watching her, I am because I love seeing her playing by herself or with her brother. Even when she is doing something that she shouldn't be doing, I let her do it just so she can discover how far she can go.

She'll never know that when she got up on that horse during her Horsemanship class, I admired her more because it's something that I can't do anymore. Horses don't like me and I don't like them.

She'll never know I'm a better man because I am her father and that no matter what, she'll always be my little girl.


Sparkle Screens

Glitter just won't glit itself people. No, you have to get in there and get your hands dirty. Do you think that if you just leave it out it will magically go where it's going to go? Well, maybe if it's windy or the dog licks it and then licks something else, then yes. But glitter glue will do no such thing. Nope, you have to get your hands dirty, you have to get into it up to your elbows. So if you want red glue glitter to stick to your father's brand new window screens that he spent all afternoon building, you got to be prepared to get your hands dirty.

Normal people may just buy replacement screens, but MY dad decided to build his own because for some dumbass reason he bought a house that didn't have any screens. And it turns out that all the windows are an unusual size so that he can't just get premade screens. He has to special order them. Believe me, you don't want to hear that old bastard go off about the cost of a "special order."

So what did he decided to do? Build his own screens. He said, Hey, Little Hoss, you and your brother want to help your old man build some screens? We said yup, Knuckles and I. Knuckles is my little brother and runs interference while I redecorate things like the carpet or the wall. I know I'm only 4 years old but if there is one thing I know, it's interior design. Or in this case, exterior design.

Old Man Hoss went with normal white framed window screens with a black mesh screen to help block the sun. I said "Hey, old man. Don't you think that is kind of boring?" He said no and then distracted me with some bright lights and a sucker. Knuckles was busy chasing a bug so he wasn't any help.

So we went outside to the back porch to do some cutting and stuff. Well, the old man cut while Knuckles and I got out our color supplies and made some pictures for good old Mommy, god bless that woman. Dorthy Mantooth is a saint I tells ya.

The old man got two of the screens done and I was looking at them. I said to myself "Self, that's pretty damn boring. You know that that screen needs? That screen needs some glitter. In fact, all of them do."

So Knuckles and I went through our supplies. We found some markers, construction paper, and of course glitter. Honestly, I don't know why the old man keeps letting me play with it. Seriously dude, you would think that he would have learned his lesson by now. But then I found the extra pretty baby, the thing that would bring the whole ensemble together. Purple Stick Glue. Yeah baby, I saw this at the store and knew I had to get some of this stuff. Get this, it's glue in stick form, and it's purple! How great is that?!

Anyways, the old man finishes building two of the screens and puts them up against the house. I said to the old man "Hey old man, how about some glitter on that bad boy." And he says no and I think that's stupid but I can't say stupid because I get into trouble so I call him a dumbass instead.

So Knuckles goes into action to distract my main man. He starts crying because I may have pushed him. I'm not saying I did and I'm not saying I didn't. I just saying he started crying. So while the old man is messing with Knuckles I grab the red glue glitter and the purple glue stick and go on over.

I tell ya man, I was in a zone. In less than a minute I produced a freaking Jackson Pollock. I was all over the place on that thing. In. The. Zone. It was straight up awesome dude, straight up awesome. My hands were working completely independent of my body. Some red glitter there, maybe a little purple glue there and then bam, Gold Glitter! Didn't see that coming did you my brothers? And I got to tell you, that stuff shows up great against white frames. And where it got on the black screen, well that just sparkles. Freaking masterpiece.

The old man gets done with my distraction and turns back around. I don't even notice because I'm busy in my happy place right now. He grabs me by the shoulders and pulls me back. You would expect that he would love it right, I mean how can't you? It's an abstract piece that deserves to be in the MET brother! But the old man doesn't see it that way.

What's he do? He goes ballistic. Goes absolutely nuts, batshit crazy. Has the nerve to ask me why I did that. I tell him "Hey baby, I make art for arts sake, stuff it." It's not my fault if he can see the genius that I created.

He just goes on and on about how I have to be careful and listen, blah blah blah. He gets some water and trys to wash it off but get this, purple glue doesn't come off with water and you can't scrub to hard or you will ruin the aluminum screen. So my artwork remains, suck it old man. Don't stifle my creativity.

By now he's pretty pissed. Says that when he puts these up our house will look like it belongs in a red light district. Says that all we need is ladies in underwear dancing in the windows. I guess my man here just doesn't appreciate sparkles. But he should because everyday from Noon to 3, those windows are sparkle in all their purple glory.


Big Boy Potty

I own this. I am all over this. I'm the freaking Micheal Jordan of this. Go look in the dictionary under the term "Potty Training". You'll see a picture of me. The U.N. has asked me to be a special envoy to potty training.

I went to the store to get my supplies. A brand new potty chair, some underwear with Thomas the Train on them, 2 huge bottles of Sprite, some paper towels and a crap load of M&M's candy. If you are standing behind me you are thinking that I am either going to potty train my almost 3 year old son or I'm going to one hell of a frat party.

I've actually done this before so I know what I'm doing. The last time it took me a total of 4 days and roughly 38 hours of Dora the Explorer. I didn't think my mind was going to make it through but I pulled it out. I'm great under pressure. After 4 days, Little Hoss was going by herself. After a week, she took the diapers off for night time to. Yup, I know what I'm doing.

I got home. Game on man, game on.

It all starts with the presentation. I took my son and told him that I had a present for him. A brand new big boy potty! How awesome is that! And look boy, it has a little drawer on the back, how cool is that! Do you want to sit on your big boy potty and go potty like a big boy??

"No" Bubba Hoss says.

Granted, a set back. I may have lost the initial hook and that's important. But I am not dismayed. I immediately go for the bribes because you can get a kid to do anything with the right bribe.

"Alright, if you sit on the potty and go potty you get all the Sprite you can drink, Thomas the Train on TV and candy when you take a leak. Sound good?"

"Ok Daddy." I should have realized then that the kid would have said anything to get his hands on those things. I could of asked him if he wanted give away all his toys while spitting on Chuggington and he would have said yes.

I got him on the potty. We turned on the TV. We filled him with Sprite. Sippy cups full, many sippy cups full. And we waited. For 45 minutes. For an hour. He sat there the entire time and didn't do anything but play with his junk.

Finally, I asked him once again if he had to go potty. He said no. He said no because he couldn't drink any more Sprite, Thomas was boring him and mostly because I look like a huge sucker that deserves punishment.

I have not given my son enough credit. He is a diabolical genius whose sole purpose is to drive me insane. It's a game and a game that I am losing.

He got off the potty. He pulled up his new Thomas underwear. He took two steps and then pissed on the floor. Round one to you my friend.

I immediately put him back on the potty although I'm not really sure why because he had already taken a leak.

This is how it went for the entire day. He would sit on the potty, play with his junk, laugh, get off the potty and then piss on the floor. Sometimes he made it as far as 4 steps before taking a leak.

Eventually he would tell me "Daddy, I have to go potty" right after he took a leak on the floor. He would do this and then laugh, an evil laugh. I wanted to get him a hairless cat so he could stroke it while laughing.

I tried showing him how to pee on Cheerio's in the potty. He wanted to eat them. I tried to show him how as men we could write out name. He wanted to get a crayon. I tried to show him the greatest game of all time that all men play called "Who can pee the farthest off the back porch." He wanted to go inside.

Day one goes to you my son. You may have won the battle, but the war has just begun.



I have another post up on Daddyshome and you are welcome to it. That means I have written three days this week and you are gorging yourself on Hossman. Careful though, I may give you the runs. Click here to check out the new post called iSahd.


Heat Wave

I opened the door wearing my boxer shorts and a wife beater. You would think that I was preparing for my role on Cops. But there were no cameras or policemen there. I stood there in all my glory, the sweat running into my eyes and dripping off my nose. The kids ran to the door with me because they never listen to me. Ever. Who are we kidding, they do what they want and I should feel privileged to be a part of their candyland world.

Little Hoss was in her underwear and Tshirt. No shoes of course because that would just be to classy. Bubba Hoss did one better. He just had on a diaper. That's it. It was one of those photos that will probably show up during divorce proceedings.

I spread my arms letting the repairman take in the scene. Drink it up baby, take it all in. Gander up and down and see the sweat stains. The one on the back looks like a baby horse if you squint. Yes, Mr. Repairman, take a good look. Do anything you want as long as you promise to fix my A/C.

It broke last night. Around 2 am I found myself sweating in bed, not in a good way. At that time, it was 84 degrees. I spent the rest of the night sleeping on the couch with an industrial grade fan blowing over my nether regions.

I called the repairman first thing in the morning. He said he could get there between 11 and 1. He also asked me to stick around in the morning because he might have a cancellation and could get there sooner. I am a trusting fool, a very trusting fool. I would buy a bridge from you.

At 1pm and at 90 degrees, he finally showed up.

He asked me what the problem was. I thought it was pretty fucking obvious. Hell had relocated from the underworld and was currently residing in my house. I was due to play a game of Risk with Hitler at 2. I calmly explained that the AC had broken and that was the reason that I called him. If I knew anymore than that I wouldn't have to call him. The heat was making me cranky.

"Man, it's roasting in here" he said. Thanks big guy, that's one hell of a diagnosis. However, if he could actually fix this thing I would gladly have his baby. Seriously, I would have a womb surgically inserted and I would have his love child. We would name it Felix. He said he was going to take a look.

20 minutes later he came in with the news. The motor that runs the condenser fan had burned out. He shook his head and spoke slowly like he was telling me a relative died. The temperature, both inside and outside my house, was 92.

He said that I had a speciality job and that he didn't have a spare motor. But I was in luck, he just located one right here in town and he was going to go get it. And the price wasn't to bad either, he explained. Only 429 bucks for a new speciality motor. I had no idea if he was telling the truth or not. At that point, I would have agreed to anything. Sure, take the motor out of my car, do whatever you have to, just get the AC working.

We shook hands and I signed some paper. After that he said he was going to get the motor and it should only take him an hour or so. The heat wasn't making me think right, did I hear him right. An hour to get a motor when the place was right here in town? My town isn't that big buddy. I could drive to Iowa in an hour, what the hell? But at that point, what are you going to say? Sure, go have a cheeseburger and a beer and then pick up the motor. We'll be fine as we run experiments on ice melting.

That may have been the longest 45 minutes of my life. Things started to get weird. The kids, in their heat delirium, decided that the only thing that they wanted to do was snuggle with daddy. I pushed them away. They pushed back. I pushed harder. They picked up weapons.

A full on invasion started. The poor dogs were used as pawns as strategic decisions were made concerning acceptable losses. I tied candy to the cat and threw the poor thing at them. I had to remind Little Hoss not to use her brother as a human shield. It was a 45 minute onslaught that ended with us roasting in the sun. The temp was 96 inside and outside the house.

The repairman finally came back and whipped the mustard from his cheek. Burger perhaps? It took him only 20 minutes to fix the AC. I gladly signed and paid the 550 dollar bill, again not knowing if I got ripped off. I didn't care, the AC was working. The kids and I huddled around the floor vents like winos huddle around a fire barrel. Old animosities forgotten, new alliances were made.

Eventually we all put on pants. If there was ever a time to get ice cream, this was it.


The Bug Killer

Dad’s night out. When I was single and in college, we just called this Tuesday. There was no reason to schedule anything at anytime. Get this, we would just decide that hey, I need a beer. And then we would go and have a beer. I know, sounds impossible and yet, that is what we did.

However, with kids and a wife that can’t get enough of watching her husband do yard work in sandals and socks, I find it tough to get out of the house. Every time I attempt to leave the house without the appropriate diaper bag or chore list, a thousand hands pull me back in. It’s kind of like being in the mob although the only racket I run is shooting odds on what Swiper will Swipe next. Seriously, Dora should just contact a hunter and shoot that freaking fox. How many second chances should he get? Send him a fish in a newspaper, that should get the message across.

So when Dad’s night comes once a month, I usually look forward to it. I look forward to having a drink without someone’s hands reaching into my glass in order to snatch an ice cube. I look forward to conversation that focuses on sports and not next week’s schedule and important things I have to do. I look forward to not having to explain why we can’t throw pudding on the floor although I do admit it looks pretty cool. And I enjoy just sitting back and not talking at all if I want to. Just sitting there and people watching.

An hour into Dad’s Night Out my phone rings. It’s my wife.

“Yes dear?” I say.

“We have a problem.” She tells me. We are not allowed to have a problem on Dad’s Night Out, that’s the rule.

“Um, ok?” I reply. Usually when I get these phone calls my mind goes to one of two areas: 1. Is everyone ok 2: Did I do something that made her mad enough to call me.
“What’s the problem honey?” I tell her. The bar is getting kind of loud so I almost have to scream it. Already the other guys are giving me looks and making hand motions because they all know that it’s my wife who’s on the phone. It’s a guy ritual, like high fiving. If your significant other calls you must rip on the guy. I don’t know why this is but I don’t know the meaning of life either. It’s just one of those things.

“You need to come home” She says. “There’s a spider.”

She is completely serious.

This is yet another reason of why I know my wife will never leave me. She is terrified of bugs. Of all shapes and sizes, of all distinctions, of all makes and models. She hates them and she’s afraid of them. And when I’m not there, she is equally terrified that the bug will get some bug buddies and rob her at knife point.

“Come home now” she demands.

But this is Dad’s night out. This is my night. This is my night of sitting there and not getting pawed at for just one more cookie, please daddy can we have just one more cookie.

But I’m also a stay at home dad. I am a dad that is the primary caregiver of my two children. And even though neither of my children look like me particularly, they both act like me. I have taught them, for they are my minions. And my minions kill bugs.

“Wake up Little Hoss” I tell her. “Tell her that Daddy told her to kill the bug.” I am also completely serious. I have taught my 4 year old to kill bugs. To act in my place for when I am not there. It’s time for her to earn her keep.

“I’m not waking the kids” my wife tells me.

“But you must. Little Hoss will kill the bug. Get her a broom or a big shoe. Give her a power drill. Put her in the same room as the bug and just shut the door. Give her 10 minutes and don’t ask her any questions.”

We hang up the phone and I enjoy the rest of my Dad’s night out.

I come home late at night and find a rolled up magazine stuffed in the cushions of the couch. It appears that my wife did not wake the children and tried to kill the bug herself. I lift up the magazine and find no bug. I don’t tell my wife that the bug is possibly alive. Because tomorrow, when Little Hoss wakes up, the hunt begins. And we love the hunt.