Well, today we are trying something a bit different. I'm handing the reins of the blog over to her. What follows is her story, verbatim.
i l0ve buba hos because he isgrate t
From here on out, I think I will be doing the typing.
Once upon a time, there was a little boy playing Mario Cart in the toy room. He had brown eyes and was wearing a shirt. He had brownish yellowish skin and his name was Bubba Hoss and he had brown hair. He was driving Bowser and he was going awesome fast. He was hitting his chest. No he wasn't hitting his chest. He was doing it like this (he is showing me now). He was being Donkey Kong Bowser. He was facing the T.V. and he walked backwards and he fell. He fell over the scooter which was in the middle of the toy room. I forgot to put it away (Little Hoss). He hit his foot on the scooter and went to get a drink. I didn't see my owie right there. Um, he hurt his foot. We thought he needed stitches. His foot was bloody. The bloody was right over here (pointing at his heel). He cried really bad and then he screamed really bad.
Daddy came and helped and so did Little Hoss. And then Bubba Hoss had a really, really bad owie. We put him on the counter and got a wipe. Daddy looked at the owie. Daddy told Little Hoss to put the scooter away. Daddy was mad but he calmed down. Daddy was mad because Little Hoss left the scooter on the floor again (this is a constant battle here in this house). Then we called Mom and told her that we had to go to the doctor to see if he needed stitches. Bubba Hoss was hurting really bad. Then Hossmom came home and we went to the hospital because Bubba Hoss got a really bad owie on his foot.
So we went to the hospital. That's a lot of words we have Daddy. We saw the doctor and he looked at Bubba Hoss's foot. He was crying (Bubba Hoss not the doctor). He was scared if he got stitches. No, he was really scared because he was afraid to go to the doctor. Little Hoss told him to be brave like Daddy. Dad, I was afraid to go to the doctor because I didn't want stitches. The doctor looked at his foot and the doctor said he didn't need stitches. And he didn't need any pokes (a shot), nope.
So the doctor gave Bubba Hoss goop and a special bandage. Then we came home. We relaxed. Little Hoss had to clean up the color room and then Little Hoss and Mom went to the pool. Bubba Hoss could not go because he had an owie. And Daddy carried Bubba Hoss to the couch.
I wrote a blog a couple of days ago. About how we seemed to finally getting ahead, how we seem to be making progress as a family towards our goals. About through sacrifice and determination we are crawling one inch more at a time so that there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. I wrote that. I thought it was decent, a little funny, somewhat of a victory speech.
Then the dryer broke. That was the first counter punch by life. The first salvo to keep me from getting cocky. Thought that maybe you are getting just a tad ahead? Wrong, life doesn't like that so in response, the dryer breaks.
So I went to fix the dryer. I jumped on youtube, plugged in the headphones and by the end of it, I knew kung fu and how to fix the dryer. Youtube is our version of the matrix. Spend an hour on there and you can learn to fly a helicopter. There came a moment later in the day where I had the entire dryer torn apart. The front was laying against the wall, the top was off and I even took the drum out. Those come out very easily by the way. I even had a whole blog planned about this. The kids were helping by sitting on my back while I dug through the dryer motor. They would hand me tools, most of which I didn't ask for. After an hour and 7 bucks for parts, I repaired the dryer. I was victorious.
Then I had to replace the toilet because now I was fighting back against life. The toilet never quite worked well so I replaced it. This was a simple job compared to the space shuttle like dryer. So with the kids on my back once again, I made a home repair. I had to replace the water line as well as it was to short. I upgraded our toilet to have a higher throne for his comfort. An hour later, the toilet was replaced. Take that life.
The empire decided to strike back. I had done all this withing budget, not digging any deeper holes, house harmony persists. But life wasn't through with me. In fact, life was just getting warmed up.
My car broke yesterday. It would appear that I have a leak somewhere in the power steering fluid lines. I'm not actually sure where. When I woke up and went to take a short trip with the kids, the steering got very hard to turn. Upon further examination, I found a huge green spot on the garage floor. I checked the power steering fluids and there were none. This is not good. I need the car. I'm stuck at home without the car. I do not like being stuck at home, that's not good for the stay at home dad's mental status. Do I get on youtube and see if I can matrix the car? The funny thing is that it only needed to last for 2 more weeks as that is when we are getting a new car and I won't be rushed into a deal that is not good. I've been down that road, it's called being 25 and I won't go back.
And then the table that I broke myself. There is a leaf in the middle of the table that wasn't fitting quite right. It wasn't lining up just right. It's the table that we let the kids color on, an old table that I don't care if it gets scratched or paint. The kids love it, it was a good solution.
So I pushed down on the leaf, not that hard actually and boom, it folded like a hooker getting punched in the stomach. It wasn't a slow descent. It was a booming crash that caught my leg with splinters as it went down. Shards of wood went flying and the sound echoed through the house. The kids came running in and we stood there looking at the broken table, life's last salvo against us.
I'll admit, I was about to cry or laugh, I wasn't sure which. So I laughed, like a maniac while I stood there looking at something else that is broken in the house. I told the kids "Shit happens" and they looked at me because I then told them that they could say it, just this one time. Awesome parenting too.
I walked away to the couch. I'm done, life wins. How much more can I fix, how much more can I rescue? I'm going to sit on the couch and watch South Park. Fuck it, no more.
From the other room though I heard my daughter crying. I went back in and asked her what was wrong. She said she didn't have a place to do her pictures anymore and she was sad. I hugged her but she kept crying. Fine, life can punch me in the balls, I can take it. But not my daughter, not my kids.
My father once told me that a piece of wood isn't smarter than me. Good advice.
Kids, go get daddy's toolbox, let's kick life in the balls.
Our carpet is no longer a carpet but a lose collection of threads that the best sweatshops in East Asia could not put together. Looking at it from above and it doesn't resemble a carpet at all but an old sea map complete with a picture of a sea monster in the middle. Or that's our dog. She's fat and somewhat hideous and we love her.
I have lots of wood working tools. I used to build stuff before we had kids and before I quit my job. I have a planer and a joiner, very much needed in making benches and custom cabinets. I have a special tool that squares mortise joints. I have very sharp chisels. They are all dusty as they no longer get much use. Wood is expensive, oak is expensive, African zebra wood is expensive.
My car doesn't have AC. But it's paid off. I have vowed to drive it until it no longer can run. It was top of the line when we bought it 11 years ago. Turns out, suckers stick very well to leather and then leave little stains that the kids like to call "that time Dad got mad." And yet, we kept doing it, I kept giving them suckers. I don't understand myself.
My flipflops cost 2 bucks. My shorts have paint stains on them. My t-shirts have fraid collars. I am currently sitting in a chair that should probably be classified as a torture device.
This is all according to the master plan, the wonderful, wonderful master plan.
4 years ago we lost the second half of our income. This was intentional, as we wanted someone at home to raise the kids. That someone was me. We knew that we would have to make sacrifices, we welcomed them. Our carefree 20's were behind us and now it was time to pay for them. Pay for them hard. Prekids was carefree. Bookstore once a month? Yup, let's do that and drop 200 bucks each time. Library, what's that? I want new clothes, let's go get new clothes. Garage sales, let's not do that, who does that? Who wants to go to the resort in Mexico!
Then kids come along and things change. The responsibility of life starts staring you in the face. Things start making you think. College funds, new cars for teenagers, weddings that a father will have to pay for for his daughter. Those things, life things.
So Hossmom and I made a pact. We would become conservative, we would get rid of all our debt, we would make sacrifices for our family and our children. We would Dave Ramsey this bitch. And that's what we did. And now things have changed. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I see something, it's small, but it's there.
It's a small light that says that soon we can get a new couch. It's the light that says hey, new carpet can be done pretty soon. A new car, yup, let's start looking at new cars. The sacrifices have worked, the climb out to responsibility has been worth it. The kids are growing up well, they don't seem to have been affected at all by our spendthrift ways. They will never even remember second hand shoes or when I blew a gasket because they broke something yet again. Life, suck it, take that! Hossman wins!
Over the last year I have repaired my yard. I have built my own screens for the house rather than having them custom built because our windows are a weird dimension. I have painted half of the inside of the house with colors that we actually like and picked out. Little by little, piece by piece, savings by savings, things are almost there, so almost there. Debt free life, full of prosperity and new furniture. There is nothing that can stop us!
Hossmom came downstairs. "Honey!"
"The dryer is broken."
Motherfucker. The 12 year old dryer.
Well played life, well played.
"Get your finger out of my face!" I replied.
"Turn, turn, turn!"
"I can't turn because it's illegal, there's a hill, and your finger is my face!"
And here it was, Hossmom and I in the cliche of all fights for married people. It's an old joke that you see on sitcoms. The husband is driving, the wife is giving directions, the husband doesn't want to listen, the wife doesn't believe that she can be wrong. This was on the Honeymooners once.
After 11 years married, together for 17 (I um, was slow to propose.), we find ourselves in downtown traffic on our way to have a fabulous time. Then we got in the car. Most of the ride was spent in greatness. It was sweet as it is most of the time. She was looking absolutely fabulous. Pretty, sophisticated and funny as hell. I actually had on a tie. How often do I wear a tie? I haven't worked for 4 years now, it's shocking how my entire wardrobe consists of jeans, shorts and a plethora of t-shirts. But I did look good.
I did freak out my daughter a bit, who has only seen me in a tie once in her life. When I came down she stopped in her tracks. She wouldn't let me move until she got her brother so that they could both look at me in my white shirt and tie. It's like I was a unicorn.
We were not really sure where to turn. In the age of GPS you would think that this wouldn't be an issue. However, this particular weekend was also the "Rockfest" event hosted by our local radio show. Bunch of rock bands and slacker teens that need jobs and haircuts flooded the streets with little regard to green lights and jay walking statutes. With their skulled t-shirts and aura of pot smoke around them, they made this trip 10 times more difficult that it should have been. We of course were not going to the rock concert, we were doing more adult things and I openly judged them. I was also slightly amused at the sight of us getting out of our car and with our high heels and ties, mingling with the wayward youth.
I then reminded myself that I was once one of them too. I wore black and combat boots. Grunge was and is still very cool in my book. I wanted to open my window and scream "This is where you are headed!" while pointing to my tie and throwing my mortgage paperwork at them. Then I will tell them how expensive it is to feed 5 people a month and that leftover pizza does not count as a nutritious meal unless it's given to you by a school district. I am a look into their future which made me want to get out of my car even more.
What is shocking about this little escapade fight of ours is how quickly it escalated. Rarely do we go this way and the little sniping remarks are not part of our marriage. But we went from making fun of the dopey teens to screaming at each other in the time that it takes you to read this sentence. It really was that quick. Shocking really.
I didn't know where I was going. The crowds chocked off side streets, we had missed our turn and it was imperative to my wife that we turn around, right now, because if we didn't we were going to be late to the wedding.
That's right, we were on our way to a wedding. Somehow this seemed even more appropriate to me. Traveling to a wedding while having the cliche of all married fights. The kids on the street, the bride in her gown, and a married couple fighting in the car over the directions. It dawned on me that if the kids were seeing their future, I was seeing my entire past.
The fight died down about as quick as it had started, as soon as I took the next turn and proceeded to the church parking lot. We both started laughing at the irony of it. We went to the wedding, had some drinks, had a great time and headed home. There is more of my future and I'm eager to see it with my wife.
Your choice. Name on Mars or a son that is still living with you when he's 40. Go to garage sales as a parent.
There's always a sense of excitment when you go to garage sales becuase you really don't know what you might find. I'm not talking junk, although I do prefer to keep a nice supply of scrap metal and hat pins from Alaska around the garage. You never know when you might need those things. I am a firm believer that when the world fail,s hat pins will become the new currency. As a father of two very ambitious children that love to break shit, I find garage sales the perfect way to replace the valuables that I have lost.
My desk chair broke - although broke does not do justice to the pile of carnage that it became. For a while there, the kids very much enjoyed things that spun around. They also enjoyed hammers. I'll let you guess what happened to the chair.
I was recently able to replace that chair with a brand new used garage sale chair, it comes complete with pre-formed butt grooves. It takes a man many years to make those butt groves that makes office chairs oh so special. 5 bucks is what it cost me and if it breaks because two beautiful young children decide to take the old power drill for test, I won't be to upset. At this point you are probably asking me why my children are playing with power tools without proper supervision. I think I have made this clear in this blog over the years, I am a terrible parent. I shouldn't have kids, I should have plants. But my plants would probably mutate and grab the nail gun.
We are about to go into T-ball this year. I am very excited, I grew up playing baseball and there is a part of me that can imagine both of my children on Mars playing a nice pick up game vs the stinking Russians that we had to bring along on their voyage. They will destroy them of course and that is when my name will be written into the Martian sand. But baseball gear is expensive. Balls, gloves, bats, chewing tobacco, all these things cost a lot of money for children that may not use it after one year.
When I saw the box of baseballs for a buck, I was all over it. She said that I could take as many as I wanted for a dollar. I stopped at about 20 because I was starting to feel bad. I figured 20 was a good amount as well because I'm guessing that once the kids throw them through neighbors windows, we aren't going to want to retrieve them. I was also able to find 2 T-ball baseball bats. They are both in great shape and seem to be a very nice weight for both my children to crack skulls with when they are giving their Al Capone type motivational speech.
However, one thing that I haven't been able to find yet at a garage sale is a cup. I'm talking about a junk protector, not a sippy cup. This may sound gross and it probably is but still, it's needed. No for t-ball of course, but for the garage sale-ing activity itself.
I was talking to one of the dads that went with me, Papa Scrum who is the garage sale guru. We were having a nice chat about the importance of dirt in farming. A very special topic that is near and dear to his heart. He maintains that you must have dirt to farm. I maintain that I farm at the grocery store with a debit card. However, I will admit that his new wave dirt farming techniques provide a plethora of great fresh vegetables every summer. He is no longer growing corn though because of the raccoons seem to like to jump his fence and eat all of it. I have offered to let Knuckles and Lefty spend the night in the garden with their brand new baseball bats. He is considering it.
As the conversation was continuing my son walked up with a brand new trucker hat that some lovely older lady gave him. He saw I was distracted and realized that this is a weakness. Being my son, he pounced on the opportunity.
He swiftly and quite correctly punched me in the balls.
I went double over after a whoosh of air went out of my lungs. I started laughing as well because let's be honest, if it was anyone but me, this would be funny as hell. A 4 year old bringing a grown man to his knees, there is part of me that is proud of this. Papa Scrum sat their for a minute, not quite sure what happened.
"Did he just punch you in the nuts?"
Perhaps I will find a junk protector at the next garage sale. Although perhaps we will steer clear of the houses that have tools for sale, just in case.
My wife could do it. That is what should happen here. She should do it because I don't want to do it. That's as good reason as any. She won't do it of course. She won't do it because she wants me do it and that's as good a reason as mine. So the pan sits there, waiting for one of us to crack. Who has the better will power? Who will win this battle?
We both actually cooked this dinner. The bacon was for a pasta salad thing we made. It was good but of course it was good, it had bacon in it. We both ate the dinner. Afterward, we actually both cleaned up the mess. Except for the greasy pan, which has to be washed by hand. I would just throw it in the dishwasher but Hossmom says we can't do that as it rubs off the Teflon and will kill us. Probably true but Hossmom also reads a lot of WebMd and probably shouldn't. Next week we won't be able to talk on our cellphones for fear of tooth cancer.
Neither one of us touched the pan though. It became that awkward elephant in the room. It was there, plan as day, looking at both of us. But neither one of us would make eye contact with it as to do so would be to acknowledge it's existence. Once that is done, you have to face it and ask your wife to wash it or wash it yourself. I don't want to ask my wife to wash it because she'll say no and ask me to wash it. Then I'll say no and she'll withhold sex until I wash it. I'll make it 20 minutes before I crack.
She knows it is there as well but she doesn't want to ask me to wash it either. She wants me to come to the realization that I somehow know that she wants me to wash it. She wants me to magically read her mind and know what she wants. It's the way women work and just because you are married for a while doesn't mean that this ever changes.
The pan doesn't get washed that night.
The next morning we get up and eat breakfast, a good breakfast. I clean the kitchen but leave the pan. I even wipe around the pan but I don't touch it because that would mean that I would have to wash it. The rules of this game evolve on the spot and apparently if you touch it, you wash it.
We have lunch. Hossmom cleans up. I watch her out of the side of my eye. It's as if the area around the pan is quarantined. She doesn't go near it. She cleans out the microwave just above the pan and yet, the pan is invisible to her. It could bite her and she wouldn't acknowledge it because somehow this has turned into a competition.
He who cleans the pan loses.
Next morning I clean. Next lunch, she cleans. The pan remains unclean.
Hossmom goes to work, a shrewd move. I make her lunch for her in the morning, a turkey lettuce wrap that she enjoys. I pack her yogurt in as well. She gives me a kiss goodbye. Everything appears normal on the surface but underneath, it is a game of wills. I know her game.
My day goes as planned. The kids run around and break my stuff. I shake my head and repair it. I am running out of ducktape. I make them lunch and they don't eat it. They tell me that they are hungry 10 minutes later. I shake my head.
I clean the house. I start to make dinner. I am distracted because the kids are now fighting. I am giving them a lecture while I clean off the stove. I tell them to knock off the tattle tale routine that they are getting into because I don't care who said the word wrong. Work it out for yourself. I grab the pan and put it in the sink and turn on the hot water.
I stop. Dear God what I have I just done.
I have lost. That is what I have done. I have given this marital game away, the power shift is almost physical, I can almost feel it flow from me to her. Crap. I have to wash the pan now. I can't leave it in the sink with warm water running over it for 2 more days although I consider it. Hossmom will come home and see the pan washed. She'll kiss me on the head and say "Thanks for washing the pan honey" but it will be laced with sarcasm and smugness.
But I'm not finished with this game yet, not quite yet. I have an ace in the hole. There is a basket of laundry upstairs. It has been there since this morning, since Hossmom left for work. It's not folded, who is going to fold it? It's on the bed, just sitting there. Who is going to crack first? Not me, nope, not me at all.
It's on her side of the bed. Your move Hossmom.
She has been asking for me to have lunch with her for a while. I've done this before and so again I packed up and went to lunch with Little Hoss and her little table of 5 year old cohorts. Little Hoss likes to show me off, just because I'm Dad. I'm her dad and therefore I am special. I have raised her right and I'm sure that her vision of me will ruin many relationships that she will have in the future. I am also ok with this because if they don't measure up to me then they can go suck a toe. I'm also trying to cut down on my cussing here and there, thus the "suck a toe" comment. I would prefer to say they can go suck a dick, especially the mythical Chester and his stupid garage rock band, but I'm trying to be a better person. I will kill Chester though, if he ever shows up with his high school drop out friends and children from 4 different women.
I do enjoy going to lunch with Little Hoss. Not the food itself mind you, but just the experience. After 4 years of being surrounded by children, I find that I can very easily hold their attention with wild tales of my awesomeness and knowledge. This is probably why Little Hoss wants to show me off. I tell the 10 assorted children epic tales of me battling dragons in order to get the special unicorn. I tell them that I once met Darth Vadar and he said he was sorry for trying to hurt Luke. I tell them that this one time, when I was going to the moon, I had to fight off aliens in order to save the very same unicorn that I got from the dragon. It's not a very good unicorn, always finding itself in trouble.
I picked today to eat with my daughter because today was pizza day. I used to love pizza day when I was in school. School pizza was just awesome and I planned on indulging in a past favorite of mine. The limp nonexistent crust, the can like taste of the sauce, the government quality of the cheese, I was looking forward to it. My son was in his preschool class that he goes to twice a week and where I am also a legend. Little Hoss leads me through the lunch line, she's buying today.
She grabs me a tray and I get the pizza which looks a bit different than I remember, but no worries. I am also informed by my daughter and the lunch lady that I also have to choose a vegetable, it's school rules. I was aiming for the green beans but the lunch lady insisted on the hockey puck. She was quite pushy about it and I can only imagine that they have 5000 of these things in the back on a truck and are trying to off load them quickly. There is no way a kid is eating this thing so 100 bucks says that every parent that is having lunch at the school today gets this thing. I take it as my daughter gets the green beans and I'm a bit jealous.
We sit and I start talking to her friends. She is having a good time laughing with them as I tell them my stories. The pizza turns out to truly suck and is not even close to what I used to have. I'm a bit disappointed. Another childhood memory is destroyed. Lunch is almost over and the hockey puck remains on my plate, I don't want to eat this thing. I'm not even sure what it is. Then the kids tell me that the school rules is that I've got to finish everything on my plate. They are looking at me, at the puck, at me again. I get the feeling that this is the equivalent to eating worms on the playground. I have to be a role model, I get that. My actions will determine the actions of my children well past just tomorrow. I am adventurous. I am brave. I don't want to eat the puck.
But I have to. I cut into it and take a bite. Hmm, maybe not a worm, but defiantly something that a worm has spent some quality time in. The texture puts me off for a minute, it's like a burlap sack, and it takes me a while to identify the taste. Finally it hits me, it's a sweet potato hockey puck. It's got a very rough exterior that has baked a hard outer crust. I didn't know it was even possible to make a thing like this but apparently the laws of physics do not exist in the lunch room.
The kids look at me and I declare that my worm dirt is delicious and try to entice the kids to go back to the lunch line and have a second helping of warm orange sweet potato hockey puke. They believe my unicorn lies but this one they see right through. However, I choke it down to set the example and resist every urge in my body and purge myself of this lunch like some supermodel that just ate a cupcake.
Next up is recess where I have been informed I will be the "monster" and chase them. I can do monster. And after that, I plan on teaching the kids how to do the Star Trek Vulcan greeting. By the end of it I will have the kids telling their teachers Live Long and Prosper.
And stay away from orange hockey pucks.