Lost time

It exists, that is the only thing we can be sure of. This place, magical, mysterious, cryptic, surrounds itself with shadow, cloaks itself in the unknown. It cannot be measured, quantified or studied. This place follows no rules of physics, natural laws do not exist there. It is beyond time, it lays outside of space. But it is there, that we know and the only way to gain access to this place is to utter this phrase "Kids, get in the car".

Somewhere between the garage door and the actual car, that is the portal to this nirvana of lost time.  I have been there many, many times.  However, I cannot describe to you what is in this place, what creatures may inhabit it, what fauna may cultivate there.  I do not know that I am there when I pass through the portal.  I just, kind of, come out the other side, unaware that I have taken a voyage beyond my own reality.

I do not know if it is malevolent.  I do not know if its intentions with me or my family are pure.  Have I been probed in an anal style?  I do not know for I do not remember anything when I return from there.  And it is odd, because for the longest time I had no idea that I had visited this place.

My discovery came quite by accident.  It was time to leave on an outing.  Probably something awesome because that is how we roll.  You lay people may leave to do chores, perhaps to catch a movie.  When I leave my house, it is to conquer, adventure, to slay boredom with a mighty season pass to the zoo.  No, when I adventure with my kids, we may end up at the store, or some giant steam shovel that stretches to the sky.  Well, unless Hossmom is with us.  Then we have to do practical things like underwear shopping or getting haircuts.  Then it's pretty boring.

I told my kids, and unknown to me, uttered the magic phrase "Kids, get in the car."  The time was 9:28 am.  A bit of a late start for us but that's ok, we had bacon AND sausage for breakfast.  Even our mealtimes are awesome.

I pack Bacon Hoss in his car seat, I help Bubba Hoss with his shoes, I dodge Chinese throwing stars chucked by Little Hoss at my head.  We go through the garage door, I think we did anyway.  We go to the family Van of Vengeance and Destruction.  I put everyone in, we buckle up, we turn on the car.  I look at my clock.

The clock reads 9:43.

This cannot be right?  This bothers me.  I have lost 15 minutes and I do not know how.  Surely it does not take my little pack of minions 15 minutes to get in the god damn car.  Seriously, who takes 15 minutes to get into the car which is only a grand total of 10 steps away?  I dismiss this, perhaps I read the clock wrong.  We go slay some monsters, solve some mysteries, eat some scooby snacks.

We head out again on the weekend.  Soccer games.  8:32AM.  I say "Kids, get in the car."  We get in the car.  The clock reads 8:47am.  This is when I knew that this wasn't coincidence.  This is when I began to suspect that there is some parallel dimension that exists between my car and my garage door.

For the next several weeks, I watched the clocks when we left.  Almost always 15 minutes had disappeared from each morning outing.  Sure, sometimes it was 12 minutes, sometimes it was a bit longer at 19 minutes.

I could not account for the lost time.  I thought perhaps my clocks were wrong so I made sure to set them to the same exact time.  The next day we lost 14 minutes.  I thought that perhaps I was having blackouts and running through the streets for 15 minutes every morning covered in peanut butter.  I checked the peanut butter--jar still full.

I ran experiments.  I told my wife to get in the car to go to the store.  We lost no time, it took us less than 30 seconds to get in the car.  The clocks showed no lost time.  I went to see a movie by myself and uttered the phrase "Hoss, get in the car."

5 seconds elapsed, not 15 minutes.

So the next day I said "Kids, get in the car."  Boom, 15 minutes missing. 

There was only one rational explanation:  a sinister dimension, living next to my own, that survives by sucking away 15 minutes of my life force every time I make the kids get in the car.

Now, I know that the unbelievers, the ones without any faith or humanity, would come up with something more simple than my explanation.  They would point out that my older son never seems to ever put his shoes in his shoe basket and must look for them for an hour.  At which point he will give up and say he can't find them.  At which time I would point to the fact that he is literally standing on them and how in Gods holy fuck can he not notice that when I told him to get his shoes on 15 minutes ago.

They may also say that Little Hoss must constantly ask questions about imaginary things and demand answers to.  Such as how long can dragon warts live, what is a dragon wart, where do I get dragon warts, a kid at school told me about dragon warts, he's a dragon wart, can I have a snack?  This barrage of questions can go on for 15 minutes and I'll be honest, I'm not sure how to answer them so I make shit up.  Dragon Warts can live for eleventeen years, they are warts that live on the butts of dragons but are conscious of their existence, you get dragon warts from dragon toads, yes the kid at school is a dragon wart and no, you cannot have a snack you just had breakfast of bacon and sausage.  I find life is way more fun this way.

And surely, Bacon Hoss may contribute.  He may, say every fucking morning, get his diaper changed right before we are going to leave.  I may put a new one on him, get him dressed and set him on the ground.  I may then on occasion look at him, say every morning, and watch his face go red, his breathing get short and raspy while spittle comes out his mouth as he makes a series of short grunting noises that lets me know he has just taken a massive dump right before we were fixing to leave and right after I changed his diaper.

Those are all very possible explanations as to why I lose 15 minutes telling the kids to get in the car.  But there is one hole in that logic:  it is not awesome.

It is boring, it is mundane.  It is the life of normals, of muggles who go underwear shopping and go 10 miles out of their way because they have a $1 off coupon at the underwear store.  It is ordinary without any plot, subplot, villain, hero or even so much as a preamble.  It is the story of "Hey, the kids are dicking around this morning, we are running late.  Let's get some Starbucks on the way, kisses, smooch."

That is not our life.  Our life is filled with wonder, with adventures, of glories that are wrestled from the mouth of the mundane.  Ours is filled with kids who talk about dragon warts and the case of  strange and interesting invisible shoes.  The Hossman life is filled with a super baby that must expel evil prior to combating the new challenges of the day.

Our life is filled with some mystical dimension that lays somewhere between the garage door an my car, some strange and mysterious place that saps me of 15 minutes of life every time I tell the kids to get into the car and then magically erases the horrors of it from my mind.  That is our life.

Our life is filled with monsters that must be slain, quests that must be taken.  Our life is about over coming impossible challenges, to see an obstacle, conquering it, destroying the bad guy while eating bacon AND sausage for breakfast.

That is our life because that life, the one that we choose to live in,  is way more interesting and fun. 



It's not that you have a mortgage or a professional job that makes you feel like you are an adult.  It's not the different ailments that you get as you get older, the recovery time that takes longer.  It's not that you understand what a goiter actually is or that people start putting only 1 candle on your birthday cake rather than you true age that you know that you are becoming more mature.  Those are all things that, sure, come with age but those things don't really give you the "Hey, I'm an adult now!" feeling.  It's more of a "shit, I went to sleep and now my back hurts" thing.

No, what truly lets you know that you've reached adult hood and that you are truly mature, so mature that you can actually tell the difference between knowledge and wisdom, is the things that you actually get excited about now versus when you were younger.

As a kid I would get up at 3 am to play a new video game just so I wouldn't have to share with my brother.  I would be beside myself when it was pizza day at school.  I couldn't sleep at night when I knew that tomorrow we were going to build that bitching ramp and jump that awesome ditch and that girls would be watching and they would think that I'm cool and would want to touch me places although I had no idea where those places were and why I would desire it so.

Those are all moments of true excitement that you lose when you get older.  You find yourself thinking, eh, I don't care what games are out now, stupid kids and their next gen systems.  You think that pizza is going to give you heart burn and the first thing you put on your grocery list is antacid.  And never in a million years would you ever jump that ditch again because you ended up getting hurt and if you got hurt now it would be a good month before you were back to normal because you have the ankles of a field mouse and there is no way that fucker heals fast without 25 trips to the doctors office and some old man calisthenics done in tighty whities.  Although, getting touched by a chick is still pretty awesome.

As you age you lose that joyous wonder at the simple things and you can mark your maturity by what does excite you now.

I'm beside myself with joy when Bacon Hoss sleeps through the night and doesn't wake up before 6am.  This has become my pizza day.  Sometimes the stupid fat dog goes into his room and jumps up on the spare bed we have in there.  She is so happy in her ignorant stupid dog head to be on her own bed that her stupid ignorant dog tail whacks the stupid bed post in a loud "thunk, thunk, thunk" sound.  This wakes the baby.  The baby wakes mom.  Mom wakes Dad.  Dad passes gas and spends the next hour trying to convince the child that sleep is a fucking great thing, much greater than any pizza he will have in any school that he will attend.  The child does not believe me so I usually resort to threats such as "I'm leaving your mother unless you go to sleep" or "I will eat all the cheerios and not give you any unless you go to bed."  As you might expect, he does not listen to me because at 8 months old he does not use logic.  He only screams.  And when I make it through a night without the ninja dog defeating every barrier I have put up to block her fat but from getting in there, I am beside myself with joy.

You can tell in the morning my mood by the breakfast I make.  Cold toast with a side of coffee for the two older kids, Bacon was up at 3 am and didn't go down again until 4.  Pancakes for everyone, sweet sweet sleep.

When I spend the day cleaning the house, it is a shot to my sanity when the kids get home from school in the late afternoon.  For a short period of time, my floors were clean.  There were no crushed grapes on it.  My bathroom did not exhibit the unmistakable marksmanship of a fiver year old and his penis.  Bubba Hoss is not allowed to speak to anyone while taking a leak because he has the bad habit of turning his body and looking at the person while he is peeing.  As I do find this creepy at times, I know that it is because he has the attention span of a squirrel on red bull.  He literally forgets that he is holding his junk and that urine is coming out of it.  "Bubba!" I'll yell at him which makes him jump which makes his aim go high and that's why I've cleaned off pee stains on the top of the toilet from a little man that can barely see over it.  But sometimes they come home and they don't destroy the house that I spent 5 hours cleaning like they are Katrina.  Sometimes, and it's not often, they actually put away their toys, do not throw food on the floor, remember to put up their towels, and don't step on the dog with their soccer cleats so she pee's on the floor.  Mind you, that didn't happen today.  I cleaned all day and Hossmom came home and promptly stepped in a pee puddle right in front of the front door.  That's what she noticed and I can't blame her, heels are not that grippy.  But when everything goes right, it's like Christmas morning.

Hossmom has recently changed jobs.  Her old job had insurance that frankly, sucked donkey balls.  The premiums where high, the deductible was high, no co pays, medications at full cost until the deductible was met and we had to give locks of hair from each of our children to little leprechauns who wanted me to guess their names.  But Hossmom has a new job now and we have a low premiums, much lower than before.  And the deductible is a god damn joke, I spend that much on bandages in a year already (we get hurt alot around here).  We have copays, medication is covered, vision is covered, sweet Jesus in the morning our dental is covered at no additional cost.  Now, I'm not going to get political here, but having crap insurance to having good insurance is an amazing fucking thing.  It's awesome.  It's Christmas morning and your birthday all in two low monthly payments.  This is what gets me excited now, this is the sign of maturity that I was waiting for.  The difference between good health insurance and crappy health insurance.  Ours is all employer based of course so there isn't much of a choice.  You take a job, you take the insurance, you live with it.  But to have one that won't constantly be trying to get me to name my first born to "Aflac" is enough to make me take Hossmom out for a steak dinner and seeing if, after 3 kids, I can convince her to touch me in those unknown places. 

Hell, if she wants me to get the old bike out and jump that ditch I've got no problem with that.  


Cleaning Music

It's not an enjoyable chore but it's one that has to be done.  If it has to be done, then it has to be done right, so sayeth my grandfather.  And to do it right, you must have very loud, very hard core music.  Metal if you have it, grunge for when you are feeling nostalgic and perhaps some 80's ballads thrown in as you silently wonder where today's culture gets their craptacular music. 

The house isn't going to clean itself and you can bet your ass Hossmom won't help.  She'll pretend to help but honestly, she just makes it worse.  She knows how to do it and when she does it, it's actually pretty good.  What she doesn't know how to do though is to clean house with 3 kids trailing you.  Sunday her job was to do laundry.  She was able to wash a sock. 

But that's ok, this is my wheelhouse, I've been doing this for 5 years.  What she is missing is the hardcore music.  She'll have some Celine Deon blaring but that just makes matters worse.  Nope, you need something better. 

A little Black Sabbath is how I always start.  A little N.I.B. or perhaps War Pigs.  Yup, that does it.  Now the juices are flowing and I can get those floors cleaned because Bacon Hoss is now mobile.  Bacon learned to crawl a couple of weeks ago and now he pretty much follows me around the house like a dog.  Which is good because I'm supposed to be watching him.  From watching him I have noticed that he likes to eat paper and poop himself.  Not much gong on there but I appreciate the company. 

After Sabbath finishes up, we get a little SpaceLord, followed by Blur, NIN and Taylor Swift.

I can really vacuum well to some Blur and Taylor. 

Fuck.  Wait, no Taylor.  Just a mistake on that one as we push the fast forward button on our ITunes. 

This is what you need to know about being married with 3 kids, one of whom is a 7 year old girl with a mother that loves the show tunes and sing alongs.  Eventually, you will all just have the same ITunes account.  And then it will all download on your phone.  That's cool, no problem.  I like to see what my wife listens to and what she allows my daughter listen to.  It's no Metallica mind you, but it's wholesome music.  A bit sappy for my tastes, a bit teen angst without the rightous anger, but it's ok.  She can sing about Romeo and Juliet with Mom, coolio.  Sure, I could make my own playlists but that would require quiet and 10 minutes of piece.  This is something I do not have. During the day we adventure, during the night I referee and spend 3 hours doing bedtime for everyone because they need a drink of water, or to be tucked in, or to check a closet, complete a last minute school assignment, snuggle the baby, get more water, the toilets clogged, let's talk about our day and Oh look, Hossmom found a spider and is now hiding in her car. 

My point is, it can get a bit busy.  I am writing this at 11:30 at night. 

I quickly change the Taylor Swift and her broken heart.  I have to go past Aqua and their smash hit "Barbie Girl" and I die a bit inside.  I end up on Rage Against the Machine.  Yup, this will do it.

I am the father to two sons, Bubba Hoss and Bacon Hoss.  It is up to me to show them the ropes, to introduce new challenges to them and to show them the difference between emotion filled classics by Motley Crew and shield them from the travesty that is "The Cup Song" which my daughter and every other 7 year old currently loves.

Rage can get to me, I like the anger, the anti-establishment of some of their stuff.  I don't know why as I have always been pretty much the definition of a rule follower.  Maybe it's the freedom that I can feel through the lyrics, even though I'll admit I can't understand half of them.
"Empty ya pockets son; they got you thinkin that
What ya need is what they sellin
Make you think that buyin is rebellin"

That gets me in the mood to start punching stuff.  And when they continue

" 'Cause, baby, you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y"

That right there gets the blood flowing.  Crapola, wait, that's not rage.  Sorry, a little Katie Perry snuck herself right in there didn't she?  At least the song is uplifting, which is good for my daughter.  I'm a 38 year old man trying to clean house and then go build something out of wood.  I need mood music of my generation, something with a good video with it.  Nirvana, there ya go.  A little teen spirit was the anthem of my last year of highschool.  We all wore black boots and flannel in the Texas heat.  Fuck we were cool.  And in the video when they had the goth cheerleaders, hot.  And it means something although none of us knew the lyrics with Senior Mushmouth but we didn't have to damit!  We just assumed it was about oppressing the suburban kids with high school letter jackets and how we needed to keep a poker face because when it's love , if it's not rough then it's not fun.  God damint, Lady Gaga.

See, this is what shows up on my Itunes.  It's hard to get myself motivated when I've got The Offspring one minute and then Julie Andrews belting out the Lonely Goatherder the next minute.  And don't get me wrong, The Phantom of the Opera is a great set play list and I'm glad my wife and daughter enjoy singing together on it, but would it kill you to throw a little Primus in there?  My Name Is Mud is so under rated. I feel my daughter should know this. 

And let's be honest, I can't get my clean on while Katie Perry roars at a tiger which makes no god damn sense.  You know what makes sense?  Tool.  That makes sense.  Those weird ass video's of little wooden puppets walking around some Hellraiser world.  That spoke to me in my pseudo "I've got problems" early college years. 

So I put on Tool and I angerly scour the toilet.  That's some toilet scrubbing music if there ever was any.  With all of us in the house, our toilets get a work out.  And it's my job to make sure they are tip top shape.  Tool is what is needed, Tool is what I get. 

Then La Seine comes on. 

This is the French version, perhaps you have heard of it.  It's from a movie called Monsters in Paris.  My daughter loves the movie  and the song.  So I found it for her.  I couldn't find the English version but no matter, we sing it in French. 

That's right, I rock right along beside her.  I have no fucking clue what I'm singing but damnit if I don't sing it at the top of my lungs.  I don't even know what La Seine means, what it refers to but it's a good song.  The only thing I"m missing right now is my daughters voice right along side of mine.  Then Bubba Hoss can do a little funny dance that always ends with me tackling everyone and playing tickle monster until we are crying.  Bacon will struggle over and want to get into the action as well so I just throw him on top of the pile and it's a French beat down. 

I get the bathroom done then I put on "The Cup Song" video.  I'm going to learn it and teach it to them when they get home from school.

Bacon Hoss continues to eat paper in a very grunge way.  I am happy.  


The Flying Phone

I was tired.  Just tired. 

Not tired of life, not tired of anyone and not tired of what I do.  I mean I was just physically exhausted.  I was tired as in, ya know, really tired.  I should have gone to bed but I was refusing to.  It was 9:30 and I had just gotten my very own free time.  Normally, I don't pull so many late nights before actually getting to sit down, but on occasion it does happen. 

After the kids got home from school, we had to have a wrestle, all three of us.  Why?  Because those little bastards need to know who's in charge.  One day they will be able to over throw my rule, slip poison into my mead or perhaps convince a jilted lover to seek out vengeance.  But that is not this day.  They need to remember that I can throw them through the air as needed.  When they land on the couch they need to remember how strong Dad is because when I grow weak and old, they shall destroy me.  It will be our final battle. 

That and it's just fun to wrestle with the kids. 

Before to long, it was time to go to soccer practice.  I help coach Bubba Hoss's team and by "help" I mean I mostly just yell at a lot of 5 year olds.  I know nothing about soccer but I can organize men into lines.  That I can do.  Ask me soccer strategy, I got nothing.  Ask me to set up cones and then yell at kids to go in and out of those cones, I'm your man.  Don't ask me why they are going in and out of those cones, I wouldn't know, that's beyond my area of expertise.  I just know that is what they are supposed to do.  Bacon Hoss was with me and Hossmom was not, she was working late.  When she works late, I work late.  Solo parenting at night sucks balls, I do not enjoy it.  After a full day of them and being the awesome that I am, I do get tired.  Bacon didn't want to sit with the other parents on the sideline so he helped me coach a bit.  And I will give my team credit, they hardly tried to hit him with the soccer ball, a big accomplishment for boys that age.  It's either that or they have truly horrible aim, which could also be the case. 

After soccer comes dinner.  I'll admit it, I was to tired to cook.  It was late and I didn't feel like it knowing that I had a full night ahead of me.  But while we were getting our fast food completely unhealthy meal, Bacon Hoss decided that he was hungry too.  He let me know this by screaming the entire way home.  We did make it home and I only had to swerve once trying to get him to be quiet.  At Dinner I played a very fun game with Bacon Hoss called "Feed me, I don't want it."  This is where he screams until he has a spoon in front of his face with some sort of mush on it.  The minute I go in for the delivery he decides to get distracted by something, like a dog that he has seen all day, every day, for his entire life.  Instead of the food going in his mouth, it pops him in the cheek and smears.  He realizes he has bested me yet again and begins screaming signifying round 2. 

After dinner was bedtime, which wasn't actually to bad.  Little Hoss and Bubba Hoss only fought and ignored me 10 times before I lost my shit and threatened to sell them each to the next solicitor that comes to my door.  We read books and usually Bacon Hoss, all of 7 months, usually loves this part.  Tonight, not so much.  He hated reading so much that he made several attempts to throw himself off the bed to get away and only my cat like reflexes saved his neck.  He owes me.  He repaid me by not wanting to go to sleep. 

So when 9:15 rolled around, when everyone was finally in their beds asleep and no one needed a glass of water or to tell me a story of what the squirrel did today at the playground, I was tired.  I was tired and looking forward to watching my football game that I had been recording.  Hossmom finally got home and landed on the couch.  I grunted at her to show her how much I loved her being home. 

I did not see the phone sailing in the air at me.  I should have.  An alert Hoss would have.  Hell, even a younger me would have.  But I was tired and my gaze was fixed on the little people in red and white chasing eachother around the screen. 

The cellphone sailed up, reached an apex at about 32,000 feet and started it's descent reminiscent of a meteor breaking the atmosphere.  When it landed, it chose to hit me in the balls.  The right ball specifically.  And to give my wife and her phone truly all the credit, it came down on my ballsack directly on the corner of the phone like some evil wizard had cast a spell to guide it . It, um, hurt. 

You wouldn't think it would hurt that bad but every guy reading this knows that when you get hit square, velocity really doesn't have much to do with the amount of pain.  There's a sweet spot to nut hitting and her aim had been true. 

The breath rushed out of me along with some spittle.  I slid out of the chair holding my injured baby makers and got to my knees, the universal sign of "ball injury."  I gasped and coughed and tried to sing a lullaby to myself until the pain went away.  After a good 10 minutes, and with my face red, I looked up at Hossmom who was also doubled up, only with laughter and not testicle pain. 

"What the hell man!" I asked her. 

"I wanted you to look at something I was reading." she said in between snorts.  Then she went back to laughing.  I was hoping that it was something important to cause me such severe pain.  If we hadn't already had 3 kids I would be doubting my ability to make any more. 

"You could at least say sorry, damnit." I told her.  I'll admit, I was a little pissed, even though it was an accident.  Apparently she told me to "catch" and didn't get the nod from me to go ahead and throw the phone.  She just assumed I had heard her and perhaps I would have if I wasn't in a coma like state looking at the TV. 

"I did say I was sorry" she said.  I called bullshit.  "When!?"

"When you were moaning on the ground." 

Ah, fantastic.  It seems to me that any apology is not very sincere when the recipient cannot hear it in the first place through moans of agony and chortles of laughter. 

I grabbed the phone and looked at the article.  It was 10 Halloween costumes that should have never been made.  That is what caused my pain, that's the article.  At least make it something like a cat meme or a naked picture.  Then perhaps it would have been worth it. 

I gave Hossmom the remote.  I'm done today.  Tomorrow I wake up in full on battle gear. 


The Conversation

"I know what I'm doing, back off."  I tell him.  I am not a child and I wasn't born yesterday, I got this.

"I'm telling you, the Chiefs defense is a surprise this year.  Look at their fantasy score over the last several weeks.  My defense sucks balls."


"I know my defense was ranked pretty decently but that was before the season.  They haven't done crap.  I'm picking them up." I say as I continue my rant.

"I won the championship last year, I have been playing for 20 years.  I've got way more experience than you.  I'm picking them up so be quiet and how about a little support?"  I don't like being questioned, especially in my own house.

"There, it's done.  I'm golden.  Championship here I come."

"Excuse me?" I'm a bit shocked by his response.

"Dude, to far man, to far."

It's difficult to debate someone when they lose and then get all personal.

"Look, I'm not fat.  I'm just a little chubby.  No reason to go ahead and try to shame me just because I think the Chiefs are a better defense.  Go suck an egg."  Not my best comeback, but to be honest I was a bit hurt.  I mean, ouch man, ouch.

"I've got responsibilities, something you would know nothing about.  I run this entire household man, I've got kids to get to school, I've got sports teams to coach, errands to run.  Things get busy brother.  I'm going to work out, just as soon as things calm down."

It just got worse from there.

"I am not neglecting myself, I'll get to it."  He looks down at my finger, the tip is a bit sore.

"Ok, fine, my finger may be infected.  It happens."

"Yes it hurts, I'll go to the doctor next month, lay off me."  How did I get to the point where I have to defend myself?  "Hossmom just started a new job and our health insurance doesn't kick in for 30 days.  I'll go to the doctor then."

"Ow, stop hitting it.  That hurts man.  And no, I don't want to talk about Obamacare.  You've already got me riled up."


"Look dude, that's to far.  I am not neglecting my wife like I am neglecting myself.  I love everything that she is.  She is the moon and the stars so shut up.  She knows I love her."

"I know we haven't been on a date in a while.  But we got all these rug rats running around and the new job.  She works late and has  a lot going on.  We haven't had time to go out right now.  Things will settle down, maybe after all the birthdays are done."

"Where you going?  Come back here, we are still talking about this.  You can't just make statements like that and walk away.  Man up."  I walk over to him.

"Ow!  What the hell man?!  There was no reason to hit me.  You got me right in the nose.  Totally uncalled for.  Seriously, just because you are mad that I picked up the defense that you didn't want there is no reason to go into all this other stuff and then punch me in the nose."

"Look, I think we are just getting on eachothers nerves today.  Let's just take a break and start over.  Fine?"

"Fine!  Go ahead and crawl away.  See if I care."  I sat there pouting for a good 5 minutes before shaking myself out of it.

This is the real conversation that I had with my 7 month old boy.

I think I need to get out of the house a little more often, the crazies are setting in. 


The Plane

We have worked hard.  We have sacrificed.  We have stood in open fields with wind blown faces while spitting out the sandy grit that reminds us of our hard ships.  We have stood stoically like Bear Bryant and taught, with patience, with compassion and lots of laps around the bases.  The kids are finally starting to come together, the team is starting to gel.  We have something special here and we know it.  Tball is a metaphor for life and the kids finally understand that.  And it's also a great place to play in dirt.  Lots and lots of dirt. 

For 6 weeks we have taken 4 to 5 year olds and taught them the sacred game that is baseball.  We started easy.  This is a baseball field.  This is a baseball.  That is dirt.  Sometimes you can eat the dirt but you never eat the baseball. 

After this important lesson the kids quickly scattered to the four corners of the field.  Not because we told them to but because this is what 5 year olds do when they are bored.  Rule number 1 of coaching tball:  never stop moving.  Want a good workout?  Coach tball.  Crossfit is for pussies. 

That was our first practice, so long ago.  We spent 10 minutes explaining rules, 45 minutes of chasing kids away from a drainage ditch near our practice field and a good 5 minutes just wandering what the hell we had gotten ourselves into. 

But this is baseball and if you pray to the baseball gods, they will provide.  And provided they have. 

6 weeks later we find ourselves in an actual game, in the middle of our season.  And oddly, my voice isn't hoarse.  It's not hurting, it's not strained.  It's a curious feeling.  I am not having to yell over the roar of the wind for a kid to stop climbing the dug out fence.  I'm not having to remind anyone that we can play in the dirt after the game.  I am not telling any child to turn around, the ball is the other way.  No kid is running from first base to third base while skipping second all together.  It's amazing, I think the kids have finally gotten it. 

They hit the ball.  They run to base.  They field the ball.  They through it randomly.  Right now, I'm just happy if they throw the ball and if they happen to throw it to first base, then hell, that kids a genius and a future all star.  I'll take what I can get and right now what I get is a team that is actually playing baseball and not tag in center field. 

When the ball is hit, I no longer have 11 5 year olds all running balls out to go get it in right field.  We have explained to the pitcher that he is playing pitcher and if the ball gets past him that is where he shall stay.  Today we are not having to pull kids off of a mile high dog pile that they have invariably decided is the way to play baseball.  It's not some weird lord of the flies contest where the winner gets the conch and gets to throw the ball somewhere, it doesn't matter anywhere. 

All game, they are actually playing baseball they way it's supposed to be played.  I am happy.

Our bases are loaded (they always are in tball).  We have a big hitter up, which means a kid that lines up next to the T with the right end of the bat and not an umbrella that he somehow smuggled onto the field.  We are about to complete a full game.  We are fielding, we are running, we are hitting.  It is glorious.

"A Plane!  Look, A Plane!"

God Dammit. 

The bane of every tball coach everywhere.  The arrival of the mysterious plane.  Where is it going?  Who's on board?  None of that matters.  All that matters is that the plane is here and that is the worst distraction.  Might as well throw fucking Micky Mouse on the field and have him do a dance.  Before I can even scream "NO!", I have lost the little buggers. 

The kid standing on second decides that a plane needs a run way so it appears that he is attempting to build one in the dirt.  This is a problem because the ball has just been hit and he should be on his way to third. 

Not that he has to hurry mind you.  My kid on third is currently looking up at the plane and is turning in circles because turning in circles if fucking awesome.  The helmet though covers his eyes so I'm wondering if he is just trying to get a glimpse of home.  I see the on deck circle empty because that guy is running toward the plane.  Carrying a bat.

The bench has erupted into a full on WWF cage match.  I wonder who will win?  Probably the kid that is currently dumping over all the water bottles.  I like his style, he's playing the long game of attrition.  

The parents are cheering and I'm wondering why.  Do they notice that we have lost the kids or is this just less chaos than usual?  Or maybe they are cheering because they like to see me and the two other coaches run around cat herding.  I think the parents are using us for some cheap entertainment, bastards.  I'll bet they are drunk. 

Someone threw the ball in, this is good.  But what's bad is that our kid on first got the hint and ran toward second.  This has caused our runway for the plane to be destroyed.  My kid on second reminds him that THERE IS A PLANE UP THERE SO DON'T WRECK THE RUNWAY!  He's got passion, got to give him that credit. 

So close, we were so close to a complete no distraction game.  And the plane, which is now my mortal enemy, stole that from me. 

Baseball is simple.  You catch the ball, you throw the ball, you hit the ball, you ignore planes in the sky.  If I can just teach this for the rest of the year, our season will be a success.  And failing that, if you can at least build a halfway decent runway in the dirt then perhaps the plane can land safely and join our little game. 


We Can Make It

"We can make it!"

Those words, although sound glorious the minute they leave your mouth, are just not true.  It's a lie you tell yourself and as you grow wiser and you change, the lie remains the same.  No, you can never make it.  That's not how it works.  You tell yourself you can make it.  You tell your wife that we can make it.  You tell your children that we can make it.  But you can't, it's just the way of the world.  Yet, you say the words and for a moment, a brief fleeting moment, you believe them.  Your family believes them because your family believes in you.  You are Dad, you are the all powerful.  You are the adventurer and the adventurer says that you can make it, nut up you sons of bitches.  But alas, whether you utter those words while jumping Springfield gorge or while looking down a muddy dirt road, the words are empty and hollow.  We cannot make it.

But maybe we can!

Hossmom looks at me, there is doubt in her eyes.  I find her most beautiful when she is doubting me, it's a chance for me to once again prove my worth.  To impress her with my strength and the daring of my character.

"Drive damn you!  Drive!"  I tell her.  And she does.  Because we can make it.

The children cheer us on as our tires leave the pavement of the civilized world and enter the mud and the muck of the dirt road.  I am hoping that our nice little bed and breakfast that we are looking for in rural Kansas is just over the hill.  However, that supposes that this is the right dirt road and that our minivan, as manly and awesome as it is, can make it through the obvious slick mud that is this dirt road. It should damnit, I have skulls on my seat covers. 

I breath in the fresh manure air, we are on the hunt.  The family is on adventure!  Most times when we adventure, Hossmom is not with us.  She is tucked safely away in her office with air conditioning.  We may be hiking a river with a stroller tucked on our back,  kids strapped to our front.  Our motherly princess is most times enjoying her air conditioning and 5 dollar coffee.  We are enjoying battling the mosquito hoard as we burrow through woods looking for a rocky cliff where Jessie James may or may not have camped at one point in time.  She is chasing the advertising dollar, we are chasing folk lore.  She is happy in her office, in her security, creating spreadsheets.  We are happy creating legend.

The minivan is chugging along, not as fast as I would like, but we are moving forward.

"Don't stop mother!  Don't stop!"  Yup, I actually call her mother.  I don't know why, but I did.  It seemed right, it seemed appropriate.  It fit our adventure.  We would find our bed and breakfast and we would enjoy our god damn quiet weekend but only after we slung some mud and fought for the glory.  The children are cackling in the back to the sound track of Toy Story and Randy Newman.  I am cackling in the front, we can make it!  Adventure!  Hossmom still looks worried.

"More gas, give it more gas!"  In my head, and this may be a serious flaw in my plan, I imagine that if we can gain enough speed the we can safely hydroplane right over the top of the muddy hill while our horn plays Dixie and I yell yeeeeeee-----hawwwwwwww.  Once we crest the muddy hill I'm sure we will see out little bed and breakfast.  Victory, it's so close, just over the hill.

The minivan starts to slide as do my hopes.  We start pulling to the right.  Hossmom corrects the curvature but her heart just isn't in it.  Perhaps this is the moment that it all went wrong.  Hossmom lost faith.  It had nothing to do with my hydroplane plan, it was flawless.  But it required a certain degree of moxy and faith and sadly I was seeing the faith go out of my wife's eyes.  My leadership was perfect. 

"Gun it!" I scream, passion in my voice.  If I know anything about driving in mud, and I don't, it's that if you give your car a crap ton of gas it should automatically give you traction and send you flying and not dig you a hole in the ground. Apparently, it does not.  It digs you a hole.

We slide at a 45 degree angle and eventually come to a stop.  Hossmom tries to give it some more gas, we sink just a bit.

The phrase "we can make it" apparently means that we can make it about 50 yards with a good 100 to go.  Uphill.  I know what I have to do.

"Are we stuck" my daughter asks.

"Yup" I say.

"Adventure!" my son says.  Always the optimist, the backbone of family morale.  Yes, adventure son.

And what does adventure mean?  It means that sometimes to obtain glory, you have to create your own opportunities.  Fucking A bubba, adventure!

I open the door and step in the mud with my flip flops. I have tennis shoes but they are buried in the back under all the baby gear.  Naw, my flip flops will be fine. 3 month old Bacon Hoss is back there, this is his first real chance to see hero dad in action.  Flip flops will be fine.

I go to the front of the car and put my hands on the hood, it's warm from battle.  I gather myself, this is my test, my family is watching.  My strength is pooling in my arms and in my soul.

I tell Hossmom to put the car in reverse, I'll push us out.  In my flip flops.  In 2 inch deep mud (or field runoff, the manure stink was high).  Glory.  It's there.  You just have to go get it.

She guns it and I push.

My brand new fucking flip flops slide out from under me, one goes to the left and I feel the strap on the other one break.  My knees hit the ground.  We moved about an inch.

Flip flops are for pussies.

Adventuring is not for the faint of heart.  It's not for the weak of soul.  It's not for those that cannot adapt to bad decisions.  It's not for those that quit.  Glory does not always present itself to you.  Sometimes, you have to go find it, create it, embrace it until it submits itself to your will.

Shoeless, I dig my toes in the mud.  My face is red with strain.  I faintly hear my children cheering me on.  They are laughing, I am laughing.  Adventure kids, adventure.  Hossmom guns it again, I push.  The minivan moves slowly backwards.  Glory, go get some, you can make it.  


I'm Here, Somewhere

I live. 

I have made it to the fabulous 4 month mark of having a new kiddo, Bacon Hoss.  And in that time, I think perhaps I have written once, the wife is starting to get pissed.  Not pissed like when she was pregnant and wanted a hamburger with cheese and she only got a hamburger.  That was scary.  By comparison, this type of anger is almost nice.  She says that I need to write, that she needs entertainment.  I say that the oven is on the fritz and I need to figure that out but only after I replace the garbage disposal under the sink.

Fun fact:  taking care of 1 kid takes a lot of time.  Taking care of 2 kids takes up just about the same amount of time.  As they get older the two kids actually entertain each other or at the very least understand the difference between a Phillips screw driver and a flat head.  This makes life easier.  More things get done, life is happy. Wait a pop, I've got to change the baby. 

3 kids, that tends to get a bit harder and I will admit, I'm still trying to find my footing.  I'm still trying to adjust.  It doesn't help that as the other two kids get older, sports seasons kick in.  This week we are having sandwiches for dinner, every night.  I am a gourmet with sandwiches.

But we adjust, the family thrives on challenge and adventure!  We will continue, we will grow strong, right after I heat up some breast milk and feed the baby.  And then take my daughter to swim team.  Well, she will have to catch a ride there I think because we have tball tonight with my son.  The baby's hungry again.

No, we will adjust!  It just means that things have to be done a bit different now.  We can only admire dad's massive biceps for 30 minutes a day instead of the full hour.  That will free up some time. 
Bedtime is hereby pushed  back to 9:30 under the excuse of awarding everyone for good behavior over the year while the truth is that I just can't get them ready by 8 anymore with sports.  Only two kids are allowed on my back at one time while I fix whatever fucking appliance has decided shit out on me.  Three would be ok but Bacon Hoss is still learning the ropes so let's error on the side of caution, we'll just set him aside and let him play with some exposed wires.  

I myself will no longer get to bed before 11:00 pm every night.  That kitchen isn't going to clean itself people.  If I'm lucky, I'll get to watch 20 minutes of TV by myself before falling asleep.  No worries, I've spent the last 4 months of my life going without sleep and have trained myself to Navy Seal levels.  Sleep is for the weak. Hold on, baby needs to eat again. 

I will continue to coach Tball and soccer.  I will strap Bacon Hoss to my chest during Tball and incorporate a new drill.  It's called "don't hit the baby you little bastards".  A bunch of 5 year olds, luckily, have terrible aim when it comes to throwing a baseball.  Eventually, a mother in the crowd of spectators will take the baby while I continue to coach.  Do I know her?  Sometimes.  But we are adjusting and sometimes that means we need to change our attitudes.  Right now stranger doesn't equal danger, stranger equals babysitting for 45 minutes while I explain to 5 year olds why trying to hit me in the nuts with an aluminum bat is a very bad idea.  Just a sec, got to burp the baby. 

We shall continue to go on adventures!  We will go to Arkansas and the middle of the country.  We will go to museums and fields and places that have lots of things that we can break.  Oddly though, this is the one area of my life that has gotten easier.  Turns out new kid just sits in the stroller and the stroller gives us a base of operations.  And if one of my other kids starts going astray, we just whack them with the stroller and get them back in line.  My stroller, Old Bessie, is like a sheep dog. 

The past 4 months have all been about adjusting, adapting to our new situation.  Sometimes we are going to win and sometimes we are going to fail massively.  Sometimes we will get repairs done and sometimes the new screens will have purple glitter on them because I got distracted.  These are the things that I expect.

And I also expect lots and lots of naps.  For the baby, not for me.  I've got a hole in my rough that now needs my attention.


No Basketball For You

6 weeks in and Bacon Hoss was awesome.  He was a good baby.  He was a baby that went to sleep.  He ate when he was hungry.  He pooped and didn't blow out a diaper.  At night, he would lightly cry to let us know that he was hungry.  We would feed him, put him back to sleep without a fight, and get some good shut eye ourselves.  He never cried all that loud either, almost as if he was respecting the ears of his family.  He was a good baby.

But then he became self aware.  He is skynet.

For 6 weeks he was basically no problems at all.  I got everyone home from the hospital just fine and dandy.  My wife was actually happy again as she was no longer pregnant.  She thus didn't feel the need to punish me anymore.  I was happy.  6 weeks of good times.

March Madness started.  It was the second round.  I love March Madness.  I can't get enough of it.  I love the last second shots.  I love the close calls.  I love the Cinderella teams stepping up to the plate and sending the big dog home.  I love doing brackets, I love seeing my brackets explode.  I love all of it.  I don't watch any college basketball until March Madness and then I am glued to the TV.

Sometime after the first rounds of games though, Bacon Hoss had a thought, possibly his first thought.  Certainly his first profound thought.  Let's screw over Dad.  What a great thought to have.

For 6 weeks I could sit in my chair with Bacon on my chest.  I would pet him, he would make little noises.  We would both fart.  It was good times.  I would eat nachos while trying not to drip any cheese on his head. He would spasm randomly to keep me on my toes.  I would explain to him what a slam dunk was and how I could have done it.  I lied, he listened, life was good.

Then the second round started and he decided that what basketball was missing was some good old fashioned screaming.  Not good fan screaming like you get from a face painted local, but baby screaming that seems to find that last nerve and just jump on it.  For hours.

I would change him, he would still cry.  I would bounce him.  He would still cry.  I would give him his bottle. He would eat it, puke on me a bit, and then continue to cry. I just wanted to watch the game.  I thought we had an understanding.  Him and me and a whole month of college mayhem.  Apparently, he changed his terms of service.

Hossmom would go to bed around 9.  I would pull up the good old DVR and start the games that we had missed, games that I took extra attention to not find the score to.  We would spend the next three hours watching those games and then I would feed him.  I would put him to bed and go to bed myself.  Life would be grand.

He however has decided that I am his father and therefore, his enemy.  I have watched the games, sure, but not in a solid burst, more in ten minute increments punctuated by extreme screaming with the occasional vomit.

I remind myself that I've been through this before, that I got this, that I can remember my Jedi training.  After an hour I realize that my training may be out of date.

I rock him.  I put him in his car seat and rock him.  I stand up and rock him.  I sit down and rock him.  I sing rock and roll to him while I sit Indian style and rock him.  It makes no difference, this kids will is strong.  I don't know what I am doing wrong.  I don't even know if I'm doing anything wrong.  And the more we do this, the more that I am sure that I am doing nothing wrong.

He has just decided that easy street is over and that it's time to liven up the joint.  And I can't blame him, we've been pretty boring over the last couple of months.  We haven't gone anywhere, no fear has been conquered, no foe vanquished.  We haven't been on an adventure yet with Bacon Hoss and perhaps he's tired of that, perhaps it's time for him to meet the world.

Or maybe he just doesn't want to watch basketball?  Maybe he's more of a baseball kid.  That's ok, that season is starting and I've got cable.  I can envision many hours of me teaching him what chin music is and how to steal second.  And if that doesn't work?  Football season is right after that.

If he pushes me, hell, I like all kinds of sports.  Don't think I won't whip out some Nascar or Soccer.  See how he feels about that.  I'll ask him as soon as I get my hearing back.



"That's my junk, Dad" Bubba Hoss says, exasperated from me.  "I have a junk and Bacon Hoss has a junk.  Little Hoss has a koochie."  he goes on to explain.

I am paying for a previous misstatement, a mistake in parental judgement.  Instead of teaching my children the proper names for private areas, I decided to go with "junk" and "koochie".  At the time, it sounded funny.  It also bothered me with hearing my 2 year old daughter at the time saying penis.  It just didn't sit well with me.  It doesn't sit well with me now.  I fully accept I am a Neanderthal that should be frozen in a block of ice somewhere.  I don't care, I'm fine with that.  I just want to make sure that any boy that dates my daughter at any time in the future is considered junk.  That sounds like I gave this a lot more thought than I actually did.  It just made me laugh.

But the time has come to correct that mistake.  The birds and bees talks do not sound right with calling things a junk and a koochie.  Mind you, hearing my daughter say penis and my son say vagina doesn't sound right either but I'm picking the lesser of two evils here.  I'm sure I am repressed in some way, I blame Oprah.

So I am trying to explain to Bubba Hoss that his junk isn't really called junk.  It's called a penis.  And he's right, there are three boys in the house and we all have junk.  But we will call them penises.  Side note, the plural of penis sounds pretty bad as well but it's better than calling it a junkyard.  Well, not really, junkyard strikes me as funny........

No, I must stay on task.  There are two girls in the house.  They both have vagina's.  I explain this to my son in what is the first of many scar inducing talks we will have.  Other topics will involve sex, masturbation, and golden showers.  All of which I'm sure will make him want to die the minute I bring them up.  I am hoping to do it in front of his friends or preferably, his girlfriend.  Then I get to scar two for the price of one and ensure that no teenage pregnancies take place.  Perhaps I am good at this parenting thing.

"Girls have a vagina" I tell my son.  He again looks at me like I am smoking crack.  "Vagina" I say again.  The absurdity of this conversation is starting to dawn on me.

"No Dad!" he says.  "Girls have koochies!"  He seems very sure of himself and it's a bit rough to try and deflate him.

I explain that we do call a vagina koochies when we are little but now we need to call them a vagina now.  I am hoping that I won't have to add that this is because your dad thought it was easier this way when you were smaller and that basically I have turned out to be a complete dumbass.  I think he knows though.  My son and I, we have a special connection.

"Baginas?" he says.

"No son." I correct him.  "Vaginas" I say again slowly.  "Girls have vaginas"

"Baginas" he replays.

"Vaginas" I say correcting him.




"Vagaina, with a V"

"Baginas with a V"

"No son.  Va.  Gin.  A."

"Ba.  Gin.  A."

I am getting a bit frustrated but it's ok, I'm an experienced Dad.  Frustration is just part of the gig.

"Dad" Bubba Hoss says.

"Yes son?"

"Bagina is a very beautiful word"

I stare at him.  I start laughing just for the weirdness of the statement.  In my favor here, this is a step up from koochie.  Yes, girls have baginas and it is a very beautiful word.  Perhaps I do know what I'm doing.



I have another post up at Daddyshome.  Yup, I still write for them as well.  You will also notice that there is a new look to that site and I'm very happy with it.  Mind you, I had nothing to do with that new look which is a good thing.  For the last month I have had a bottle of face cream on a shelf because I thought it was a candle.  Seriously, you don't want me anywhere designing the looks of things.  I'm bad at it, real bad. 

But I do like the new look.  At least I think I do.  I'm not really sure.  I think it needs a face cream candle.  That would probably make it better. 


The Dog and My Mother In Law

I am entertained.  This is like a Shakespearean play put on by monkeys and directed by a 4 year old.  This is like discovering that your regular old Internet has been replaced by Google Fiber overnight and the first thing you do is illegally download every crap movie you ever wanted to watch including the directors cuts of movies that you know have great boob shots.  I would pay Broadway prices to get this level of entertainment too.  But I don't have to.  I am in my living room.  I am sitting back with Bacon Hoss laying on my chest.  I am not watching TV.  I am not reading a book.  I am not even surfing for porn.

I'm watching my mother in law argue with the dog.  Again.

My mother in law has been in town the last couple of days to help with the new baby, something that I very much appreciate.  I have been able to sleep through a whole night now and once, I got to sleep in too.  I would murder anyone of you just for that right there.  No offense, but with new kid comes no sleep so when my mother in law offered to help, I nearly cried.

Everything has gone pretty smooth so far and I am happy.  But I am getting much happier as my mother law argues with the dog.  Seriously, this is gold.

"Khan!" she yells.  "Get down!"

The dog, of course, does nothing.  He's a fucking dog.

"Down I said!"

I think she thinks if she points out that she said it that he will somehow understand it.  He does not.  He eats poo when I let him outside and licks the pee off our other dog.  He's gross and I think gay, but we love him.

"Khan!  You are in my spot!"  my mother in law informs him.  I'm not sure she understands how this works.

She wants to sit on the couch with my wife.  When eventually she gets there my wife and her will get a blanket and snuggle in for the night.  I will pass over the new kid and happily head to bed.  But not before this show is over, I'm hoping for an encore.

There are several things that make this extremely funny to me.  First off, this is the same argument that she has had with the dog yesterday, the day before yesterday, the evening of yesterday.  She will have the same argument tomorrow morning, the day after tomorrow and probably in her dreams when she is back at her house.

In her first argument I pointed out that all of my dogs come equipped with a handle.  It's a harness collar that I keep on both my dogs, the fat one and the pretty gay one.  Now Khan is 60 pounds of muscle but he's a big wuss.  I love him for that.  Looks great, scared of his own shadow.  So I informed my mother in law that all she had to do was grab his harness and pull him off where ever she wants to sit.  In fact, I have told her this in the first 5 arguments that she has had with the dog.  I don't think she believes me.  I could help, but to be honest, I'm enjoying this.  I did try to help  Just grab the harness, that's it.  Grab and a small tug and he'll do all the rest.  It's the same advice I give my wife.  That has meanings and multiple levels.

I don't know why she hasn't listened to me but thus is life and sometimes you just need to sit and watch life.  I enjoy it.

"Khan!  Down!  Down! Down!"   He still doesn't move.  I'm about to start laughing but that would be rude and probably ruin my fun.  "That's my spot Khan!  Down!"

This is another mistake.  She thinks that this is her spot.  I hate to disappoint her, but it's not, at least not to the dog.  The dog lives here everyday and he goes to 2 spots, either the couch or my chair.  His decision is based on which one I'm not sitting in.  He's knows that I am the alpha in the pack so he will kindly take second fiddle.  The only time he doesn't is when we all snuggle up together and I do enjoy that.  Three kids and a dog makes for a happy life.  This makes for an entertaining one.  My mother in law doesn't seem to realize that to the dog, this is his spot.  That he was here before her and will be here after she leaves.  In his mind, and no disrespect here, she is below him on the pack food chain.  I would tell her that but then she may not let me sleep anymore and I like my sleep.

"Rouse!" she says and points at him.  "Rouse!"

This almost breaks me.  You see, when my wife was younger and had dogs, my mother in law taught them the word "Rouse."  It means down or go, I'm not sure which.  Somewhere along the way she has assumed that all dogs must know this magic word even though I have never, ever taught them what this word means.  I thought with their behavior she would figure out that they don't speak English much less German.  Most of our communication with the dog is not verbal.  I snap my fingers and point alot.  They promptly ignore me.  It's a relationship that works well for us.  However, my mother in law continues with "rouse!"  The dog stares at her some more, because again, he's a fucking dog.

Now I know that my mother in law will think that I should teach them the word rouse.  And I should teach them not to get on the furniture, or jump on people, or not to drink out of the toilet.  She probably considers me a very weak dog owner and she would be right.  However, I am completely ok with this.  I love my dogs.  I think they are awesome.  I love the rough housing.  I love the snuggle time.  I love that every night when I go to bed he jumps up there with me and gets right on my side, right where he belongs.  I love that he knows when I need a lick, that he knows steak is hands down the best food ever.  He loves me, unconditionally, all the time.  He's earned his spot on the couch and I am ok with him there.  He's my dog and I love my dog.

"Down, rouse, out, off, get, dog!"  She continues.  I wake up Bacon Hoss just so he can see the reenactment of Hamlet going on over here.

Eventually, the dog decides that he has had enough of this person screaming random things at him.  He jumps down and gets on the floor.  My mother in law sits on the couch and grabs her Ipad, finally victorious.

Soon she realizes that she has forgotten her glasses and gets up to retrieve them.

The dog quickly jumps back on the couch.

I smile.  I am entertained.  I wish I had a bic that I could now light and hold in to the air.   


Breaking Point

Hossmom was screaming as she held onto my neck.  I was afraid she was going to pass out on the way to the couch.  This would not be good because she had her guts cut out 3 days before.  Walking when in pain, it turns out, is very difficult.  I wouldn't know of course as pain is something that is to be defeated and shunned.  I may have cried a bit when I had my kidney stone.

Hossmom has been through more than I ever have in the last week and that does include 2 kidney stones and playing 1/2 season of highschool football with a broken hand.  I think I know pain but what I know may not measure up.  The initial guy reaction to me is to take off my belt and tell her to bite down, to take it like a man.  I have tried little cliche's like this on her in the past and it does not work to well.  I usually end up cussed at and water bottles are thrown at my head.  I want to say "walk it off" but I know better.  Where as boys have grown up hearing this from their fathers, including mine, women have not.  They are told to express themselves and on the way to the couch Hossmom is very certainly expressing herself.

I am a bit worried because I don't know what exactly is causing her pain although I may have a good idea.  The wonderful world of child birth leaves you with many marks and bruises that don't heal over night, including a c-section scar.  I tell Hossmom that we have to make it the couch though because if she falls here it's going to hurt a lot more with me picking her up.

While Hossmom hangs onto my neck, Bacon Hoss is in my other arm.  I carry him like a football in my previously stated broken hand, long since healed.  He, it turns out, is not happy.  He is hungry and like any newborn, hunger equals mad.  I find that holds true into adulthood as well.  I'm not sure which is being louder at the moment, Hossmom or my son.

Little Hoss and Bubba Hoss have to be in the action as well.  They are very concerned and show that concern by asking lots of questions.  I am normally ok with this.  Answers counter fear, the unknown breeds it.  It's just hard to hear them over the other two.  Together, as a family, we are about as quiet and subtle as a herd of elephants moving through a downtown traffic.  For grins and giggles and because life is funny, I do hear something fall and break in the kitchen.  I figure it's my perfect ordered world that has shattered.  The good times are over, it's time to hunker down and bite on that belt.

I get Hossmom to the couch.  I tell her that I am going to give her 10 minutes before calling the doctor.  She protests but Little Hoss's questions drown her out.  Yes, momma is going to be ok honey.  Dad is here and Dad owns this.

I take Bacon Hoss upstairs.  He needs a new sleep sack as he appears to have puked over his current one.  He also needs a new diaper for I'm pretty sure he dropped a load for me on the way to the couch.  I tell Hossmom that if she is not feeling better by the time I get down, it's hospital time.  We head upstairs and the two other kids go with me.

I put Bacon down to change him.  I take off his diaper and discover yup, poop city.  I have had a lot of experience changing diapers.  I consider myself an expert.  If there was a contest for fastest wrapping of poo holes, I'm pretty sure I would be nationally ranked.  I do it with flair and style as well as I usually smack talk my children while I do it.  I am Conan, conqueror of the dirty diaper.  Your wailing of terror will not send me fleeing little one for I am to change your diaper and so I shall!  Prepare yourself, justice is coming.  I amuse myself a lot during the day.

As I am cleaning up Bacon, Little Hoss is asking me questions again, lots of them.  Why is the baby crying.  Is that poop?  Poop looks gross.  I can still hear mom.  I assure her that her mom is going to be ok and that poop is indeed pretty gross.  I'm still in high spirits.  I am Conan.

I see blood on the side of my sons leg.

As a man, we are taught that any blood coming out of anything in the underwear region is bad.  It's very bad.  It's syphilis bad.  Blindness and a very painful erectile test is sure to follow.  As you can imagine, I am concerned.  I need to find the source.  We have been home for only about 2 days at this point.  The circus has started.

I tell my daughter to go check on her mother and as I do I look over at Bubba Hoss who seems unfazed by the little excitement we have going on.  This is not unusual because there are bright lights on and he loves him some bright lights.  It's not that he doesn't love his family it's just that he may love his Skylander toys more.  I accept this, I love my son no matter who he loves.

But what I notice more is not that he seems unconcerned with all the yelling but that his entire upper lip and lower jaw is covered with blood.  It's looks like he is preparing himself to have a dinner date with Hanibal Lector.  The Skylanders are of course invited.

My son gets the random nose bleed from time to time.  When they do come they gush and he rarely knows when they happen.  It's good times when you are at the store and he's walking on and you look down at him and see a monstrosity staring back at you.  At first you think he must have killed an entire sorority before you realize that it's just another nose bleed.  The other people in the store think you have just broken his nose.  Those looks are priceless.  I'm sure they would vote for me as dad of the year.

I imagine this is the Cosmos testing me.  I have a screaming wife, a worried daughter, one son with blood in the diaper and one son that is gushing rivers of blood.  If I considered myself normal, I wouldn't be laughing right now.  I would be on the floor in the fetal position wondering what the fuck.  Then I would calmly cover myself in peanut butter and go lay out naked in the front yard.  On a side note here, this is my long term plan for when I do crack.  I do not know why peanut butter and the nakedness but I enjoy the visualization of it.  It does strike me is funny which is why I"m probably laughing now.

Well that and there was a time when I almost did crack, seven years ago.  Little Hoss had just come into our world and it was late at night. Hossmom was in pain and turns out she needed her gallbladder removed.  The kitchen was a mess, we had no bottles and I'm pretty sure the dog took a shit on the floor.  At that moment, I came as close as I ever have.  I went outside and took a pacifier and chunked it as far as I could and yelled "fuck" very loudly.  I'm sure my neighbors appreciated me very much then as it was around midnight.  But I gave myself a pep talk, much like I did when I broke my hand.

Pain isn't an option, quitting isn't an option, bitching about it isn't an option.  There is no one else.  There is you.  You are Dad, this is your world and in your world you are the only thing that is between destruction and chaos.  He are the pillar that must stand against the crashing waves.  In short, don't be a pussy.  Nut up.  Take that belt, bite down hard and take it like a man.  And as corny as all that sounds, it's something that has gotten me through every difficult time since then.  My football coach would be proud.

I didn't crack tonight.  I have been here before.  I know this, I own it.  I'm not going to crack, I'm going to man up.  I'm not going to become Chester the deadbeat, I'm fucking Patton, time to take control.

With one foot I kick a towel that was on the floor to my son.  Where did the towel come from?  Anyone with small messy children can tell you that a towel is always on the floor, always, somewhere.  You usually get your boots caught up in it while carting laundry and wonder how you missed it in the first place.  In short, I was not surprised that there was a towel on the floor at my feet.  I tell him that he's got a bloody nose.  I tell him to lay down and wipe his face then put the towel on his nose.  He does it on the first try.  He doesn't complain, he doesn't ask questions.  He comes through, I am very proud of my son.

I tell my daughter to go ask mom how she is feeling and then to report back.  She is my recon.  I am giving orders and they are being followed.

I go back to my other son on the changing table, my hand on his little chest.  I look at the blood on his leg.  There are no marks, scratches or puncture wounds.  I check the appropriate orifices.  All good.  I check his junk.  I see a small red smear and realize that the blood is from his recent circumcision.  It appears that the diaper stuck to it a little bit where the Vaseline was rubbed off.  He appears fine although he is still screaming.  But to his credit, I don't know a man alive that would scream if his dick was bleeding.  He should be screaming louder.  I am proud of him as well.  I gooped him up, put a diaper on and do a Bacon wrap.  He's good to go.

Little Hoss reports back.  Mom is feeling better.  She says she burped.  My girl is on her game, a fine first lieutenant.

I scoop up Bacon and tell Bubba Hoss to stand.  I scoop him up in my other arm.  We head downstairs with Little Hoss clearing the way of any dogs and Charlie.  We go to the kitchen, and I put my son in a chair with instructions to lean his head back.  The bleeding seems to have stopped and he is smiling and laughing.  He always laughs and I love it about him.  I grab a bottle and shove it in Bacon's mouth, he stops crying.  I hold it with my chin as I grab a wash cloth to wipe up my other sons face.

We go to see Hossmom who is now smiling and feeling better.  We would find out later (I did call the doctor) that gas pain is not unusual right after pregnancy even though it's our first time experiencing this to this degree.  Easy fix to, stop drinking out of straws.  Sucks for Hossmom as she does this all the time but the burp that wouldn't come has convinced her.

Little Hoss is now watching a cartoon.  Bubba Hoss is next to her and looking fine, just a little red tint on his jaw.  I let him keep some of the blood on his face like war paint, a reminder of the war we just walked through.  Hossmom is reading about some celebrities doing celebrity type things.  Bacon is asleep after his little snack.

And me.  I'm just fine.  I didn't crack.  A younger me may have, most surely would have.  But younger me was at least smart enough to realize that I am the one that must stand up when no one else can.  It's a hard lesson that may take you to some dark places, but it's the truth.  I am calm in my chair, my family is fine and I think to myself "I'm going write about this and it's going to be epic."  This helps feed my over inflated ego.  But in the dark times, I need that ego.  He's the one that bites the belt and takes it like a man.  I'm proud of him too. 


Noise, Noise, Noise

I want to write.  It is my intention to write.  I sat down with the plan to write.  I have taken some time off over the last 6 months.  I haven't written much.  It's not that I didn't have much to say, I had plenty to say.  But I had to go into the fox hole my brothers.  I had to hunker down and concentrate on life.  I had to find a way to make it through some obstacles, jump some land mines and keep my head down.  Sometimes I took shots, sometimes I dodged.  Mostly, I just tried to keep my wits and come out the other side.  I did.  And I feel good.  I've got everyone here.  I've got every one safe and happy.  I am ready to write again. 

Except it's not quiet.  It's  very loud.  It's always loud.  It will never be quiet again.  I have sacrificed quiet.  I have given it up.  Coming out of the fox hole I discovered a land riddled with noise.  It begs the question, was it like that before and did I get used to it or is this something new?  I don't know but that fox hole is looking pretty good.

I am in my chair.  It's 12:30 at night.  I have something that I think will be funny, a nice little story that ends with me being awesome.  Those are my favorite type of stories, the ones where if enough ladies read them I'm sure I will start getting panties mailed to me.  I am the blogging version of Mick Jagger, if I can only get this one funny story out. 

Bacon Hoss decides that this is the time to start crying.  No big deal, this is third time around for me.  I was ready for it.  And for some reason, he doesn't seem too loud to me.  It seems that Little Hoss was way louder when she was a baby or maybe I was just a parenting noob getting owned by my daughter.  That's possible. 

I pick Bacon Hoss up.  He likes to be held and I like doing it.  No worries.  He's still a bit fussy but I can still write while I bounce him at 12:30 am.  I've got mad parenting skills.  I may juggle cats next, I'm that good. 

The TV is on though and I am starting to notice it.  It bothers me a little bit.  Not much, but just a little bit.  It's reruns of The West Wing.  My mother in law and wife have been watching them this first week home.  Hossmom can't really do much so TV has become her friend.  She feeds Bacon Hoss, she watches TV, feeds Bacon Hoss, watches TV.  But combined with my son crying the TV is starting to be a distraction.  There were no distractions in the fox hole.  I look at what I'm writing and apparently Iran is working on a hard water reactor.  This is used in the making of plutonium, very bad.  I do not know why I wrote this as I don't do much with nuclear reactors but it's in there.  It's in there because Josh Lymon has been talking about it on the West Wing. 

The TV is on because my mother in law is in town giving some much appreciated assistance this week.  However, she can't go to sleep unless the TV is on in the background like it is back at her house.  I believe that she has a sleep timer on her TV.  I don't have one on here.  I curse my stupidity.  My good looks often get in the way of my brain.  That and my extreme narcissism.  She is sleeping on the couch because that is the only place we have a TV.  Hossmom has some principle about no TVs in bedrooms.  I almost divorced her because of this. 

My mother in law, who's help is appreciated, is snoring during the West Wing and Bacon Hoss fussing.  Not loud, but enough that it is noticeable.   Maybe I wouldn't have noticed it if things would have been different, but currently I am comparing her snore to my wife's. 

Hossmom went to bed at 9.  She's tired, it takes a lot out of a person creating life.  I wouldn't know, I only supply the genetic material then head to my fox hole where it is safe from criticism and judgement.  And it's quiet.  Since Hossmom isn't to spry after a c-section I have the baby monitor on so that I can hear her upstairs should she need anything.  The last thing I need is her coming back down stairs and popping a stitch because she needed a glass of water.  That would not be good and something that my fox hole cannot protect me from.  

Since the baby monitor is on, I can hear Hossmom's snore.  Although she and her mother might get a little miffed if I call them "snores".  So let's call them the sounds that a gorilla makes while it is being eaten by a crocodile that is being raped by a seal.  I have never heard that but I imagine it is something like what these two beautiful ladies got going on.  It's like whale song just not relaxing, beautiful or awe inspiring.  It's terrifying.  And distracting.  Toby Zieglar has decided to weigh in on the heavy water thing. 

I want to write.  I have things to say.  I have experiences to relate.  I have victories to document.  But at the moment it appears that I am in the worst movie in the world but it has great surround sound. 

I feel like the Grinch when he complains about Whoville because of all the "noise, noise, noise!"  It occurs to me that the Grinch wasn't an old green shitheel.  He was just a blogger trying to get something down on paper.  He's really misunderstood, that's all. 

I could head down to my fox hole. I could find it again, maybe if I looked really hard, like Die Hard.  Maybe I could throw in some movie one liners such as "I'm never coming back!."  Something like that.  But to do so, I would have to leave the serenade of snoring played over a baby fussing backdrop.  Besides, I kind of want to know what Barlett has to say about this water thing.  I'm also starting to think that if I listen to all the noises together at once and for long enough I might be able to get some sort of message that is being transmitted to me. 

I think it's saying to me that the answer is 42, I just don't know the question yet. 

TV Remote

The TV remote doesn't work.  I am on this shit.

After 9 months of basically having nothing to do, now is my time.  I have sat quietly on the sidelines, sometimes wearing underwear, waiting to jump into the game.  Hossmom has carried the ball for 9 long months.  Now it's go time, the big boys have been called up.  The hospital remote for the TV isn't working and I'm about to take control.

Hossmom can't get it to work which is a pretty big deal in the hospital.  There isn't much to do when you are confined to the bed.  You can read which is a bit difficult when you have an 8 pound dependent latched onto your chest 90% of the time.  You can prank call other hospital rooms asking those patients if they left the refrigerator running but honestly that can get old after a few hours.  So it's back to our good old friend the TV and hers doesn't work.

Or I should say that it doesn't really work for her.  For me it would probably work fine.  Hossmom doesn't respect the remote.  She constantly abuses it by making it turn to stations that contain fashion shows or young people arguing.  Sometimes late at night I can hear the remote weeping and I understand.  When I finally get around to turning the channel to football or explosions I can feel it vibrate with delight in my hand.  I'm assuming the hospital remote committed suicide.

The hospital remote isn't like a normal remote.  It weighs in at a healthy 9.8 pounds which a full pound heavier than my son.  It's got about a dozen buttons that do absolutely nothing at all.  I am assuming they are just for show much like a peacocks feathers.  There are 2 buttons that actually do work, they turn the channel up and down.  There are number buttons of course but they never get used as no one knows what stations are on the hospital TV.  I believe that hospitals use no cable or dish network known to man.  There programing comes streaming in live from dimension 9.  That's why ESPN is usually found only in Spanish and right next to the movie channel that is blacked out.  There are no volume buttons because that would be silly.  The volume is controlled by a dial on the side of the remote, kind of like a walkie talkie.  It's so we can adjust the volume on the actual remote itself as the sound comes from there, not the TV.  Niner good buddy type of remote design.

The remote is also not wireless because that technology is beyond us.  I am currently typing in my room where I am not directly connected to the Internet.  I have a cordless phone next to me that I use to surf the net and look at porn.  In my wallet is a card that I use to pay for things, this card knows exactly how much money Hossmom has and how much I can use before she notices it.  It is possible for a man in space to actually read what I am typing at this moment and the NSA probably is.  But the hospital remote cannot be wireless, that is beyond our abilities.

However, as I examine the remote, I don't think this is truly the issue.  I see the remote is plugged in using a very long cord.  The cord runs the length of the bed and connects to the wall where it's plugged into some sort of extra special outlet that conforms to no other outlet I have ever seen.

The only reason for this is that now the hospital can declare this remote medical equipment and thus charge me double for it's use.  On the itemized bill it will say a "CBC Count x1008" which stands for Changing Bitching Channels 1008 times.  I will be charged for each time we change the channel.  Perhaps this remote can also read my bank account and has discovered that we cannot pay for any more channels.

Working with technology for my whole life has taught me one very important lesson.  If something doesn't work, unplug it.  Deprive it of the life giving energy it needs, make it suffer.  Let it know that you are fully in control and that if doesn't get it's act together, you will take away that energy forever.  It's a cruel game between master and servant but one that must be played.

So in attempting to fix the remote and become once again useful to Hossmom, I unplug the remote from the wall and then plug it back in again after a second or two.

I admit, I expected something to happen but I did not expect what actually did happen.

Within 5 seconds a nurse kicked in the door like she was raiding a meth house.  In one hand was a phone (cordless, interesting) and the other hand contained some medical looking equipment, probably expensive.  She seemed a tad bit out of breath, like she was running.

I stood there with the remote.

"What's wrong?!" she asked.  And she didn't ask this in the normal sweet nurse way that is trying to show you sympathy.  She asked in the way that suggested that I better give answers quickly or be given a shot of arsenic.  I just stood there with the remote.

As I was trying to formulate an answer another nurse barged in.  I would imagine that this is her back-up.  She is probably the one that was told to go around back to make sure none of the perps got out that way and finding that we hadn't, proceeding into the room.  "Whats the matter!" they say again.

I stood there with the remote, I looked at the remote and I looked at them.  I have done something but I'm not entirely sure what.  I have gained the power of summoning through some freak of nature, perhaps through radioactive mutation, and have summoned two very serious looking nurses.

I couldn't not say something, everyone was looking at me.  My wife was looking at me with the look that says, WTF man!  My son was looking at me.  Bacon Hoss doesn't have a whole lot of experience with me yet and I feel that if I continued to just sit there his impression of me would start to dwindle.  I can't have that.

"The remote doesn't work" I say very calmly and like I intended this to happen the whole time.  I have stated the reason why they were summoned and I have said in such a way in that I expect to have answers.

"I unplugged it because it didn't work.  Then I plugged it back in to see if it would work.  It still doesn't work."  I have a told a story now with a strong central character, an obstacle and a climax.  I should charge admission when I summon nurses.

The nurses look at each other but only for a second before the phone rings at both my wife's bedside table and in the nurses hand.  On the hospital itemized bill this will be shown as the "jackass fee".   The nurse answers it.

"We are fine." she says.  "He just unplugged the remote." she tells the phantom judge on the other hand.  Oddly, she sounded kind of smug from where I was sitting.

It turns out, the nurse explains, that the hospital remote also serves as the "Code Blue" button as well.  It's apparently hidden in there somewhere next to the useless channel buttons and volume control.  When the remote is unplugged it also apparently turns this button on which causes any nurse within ear shot or at the control station of dimension 9 to come running.  They then call to further add to your humiliation if you are not having a heart attack.

"The remote doesn't work" was the only thing I could think to say.

The nurses calmly ask me not to unplug anything else and that they will have maintenance come up and take a look at the remote.  Then they leave and I can hear them muttering what I assume are very unflattering things.

I turn to my wife and calmly explain that see, if you unplug it and then plug it back it, eventually it will get fixed.  I stand by my actions. 


The Oompa Loompa Suit

I ripped the fucking suit.  I didn't just rip it, I destroyed it.  Hulk smash type of damage here.  It's not intentional but it's sometimes what I do.  It's where my daughter gets it from.  We don't mean to break it.  We just do.  Wicker anything is not allowed in my house anymore.  I tell my wife that and she keeps bringing it in.  There is a wicker graveyard in my basement of all the brave chairs, baskets or ornamental wicker things.  However, ripping the suit should not fall completely on my shoulders.  It appears to have been made for a small child not a grown man about to walk into a delivery room to witness the birth of his child. 

 I have been told that when you give birth naturally, no c-section, you don't have to wear the oompa loompa suit.  I have been told that the magic of childbirth is all rainbows and unicorns.  That it is a beautiful thing, an act of creation.  I'm pretty sure that is bullshit because after going through three births, none of it contains the beauty that some people like for us to believe.  Those people are either lying through their teeth or are hitting some pretty hardcore mushrooms.  I want mushrooms.  I have never tried them but perhaps it would make child birth a beautiful thing.

In reality though, child birth is hardcore.  It's blood, screaming and bodily fluids.  It's a pain contest with the grand prize of more pain.  Don't get me wrong, I understand that giving birth to a child is indeed a miracle, the creation of life and the very act itself showing the resiliency of the human body, all miraculous.  But it's dirty and it hurts.  Perhaps seeing 3 c-sections has skewed my view and I fully accept that criticism.  Every time I've done it I've been advised to "not look over the curtain" and every time I have.  I can't help myself, I do want to see the miracle, I want to see my child come into this world, welcome them with a triumphant yell.  I do not however want to see my wife cut up with her placenta being inspected like a piece of steak at the market. 

And the only thing protecting Dad is an oompa loompa suit that I have currently ripped because I am fat.

It's a suit that I imagine painters wear.  A one piece majesty of paper construction with a zipper in the middle.  I find that I get a nice case of moose knuckle when I've worn it, something for the nurses to stare at and get destructed.  Yes, that is my package ladies, that is what has caused all this gore and mess.  I can't imagine the man who can actually fit in this thing nor can I understand the designers who said "Let's make it out of paper!"  Someone is having a good laugh.

But it's the only thing I got and right now it's a good distraction for what I'm about to walk into.

I should be good at this but I'm not. I'm never good at seeing my wife in pain.  Her labor started on a Friday night and went for a good 2 hours before she finally got a spinal block and went into the operating room.  For those two hours she screamed and yelled.  She squeezed my hand harder than I thought she could.  It's rare that my wife can cause me any physical pain but by the end of it I was asking for some Oxycontin and an x-ray.

People may also say that Dad's role is important, that we are there for emotional support, solidarity for team birth.  I again call bullshit.  I feel completely useless when we go into labor.  I am the guy in the corner.  I am the guy that is pacing back and forth.  I am the guy that is full with worry because there is absolutely nothing I can do to ease my wife's suffering.  I want to punch someone.  I want to find the cause of her pain and show them real pain.  I want to put someone in a headlock and hammer away like I'm Nolan Ryan wailing on Robin Ventura.

But the only guy to hit is me, it's my fault, I have done this and I have done this out of love.  If I had any sense I would be the guy sitting in the corner punching my own junk repeatedly while singing ballads of love for my wife.  That's about the best you can do as a father in this situation.

That and gladly take any abuse that your wife throws out at you.  Halfway through Hossmom yelled "Give me your fucking hand!"  My had was right there, it was always there, never more than an inch from her own.  But in her pain she couldn't find it and it was my fault.  I completely accept this and I have no complaint because she is right, this is all my fault.  One of the hardest things I have ever had to do is watch my wife in so much pain and not be able to do anything about it.  There is no one to threaten, no one to intimidate, no one to put the hurt on.  There is only the oompa loompa suit that you wear in the shame that you deserve.

My suit ripped at the crotch and the zipper is busted.  I can imagine it's from my impressive muscular frame and I'm going with that image because I have a very misguided high opinion of myself.  Once the bottom of the zipper busted the top decided that it didn't need to strain anymore either.  So it busted.

Now I have something external to focus on, something to attack, a problem that needs to be solved.  I am going into that operating room regardless, I would like to see anyone stop me.  I am a father, I will be there for the birth of my child.  I am Conan, I am the creator, I am the unmovable object.  I stride forward three steps before I am stopped by 5 foot nurse.

She commands me with the ease of a woman who has authority and has done this a million times.  She sees my false sense of myself, understands that it's the only emotion that I can latch onto while my wife is in pain.  She tells me that I can't go in with a ripped suit.  Suddenly I can't move and I don't know why.  All my strength leaves me.  My wife is in there.  My child.  I am made helpless with worry.  I realize that I am wearing a child sized suit because I have the emotional control at the moment of a child.  I accept it very quickly.  I'm scared and I'm helpless and I don't like it.  I am rarely scared for myself, it's for my family and my inability to help them that terrifies me.

Quickly and like magic she pulls out the man sized suit that she has had hidden in some other dimension.  She puts it on me with the practiced skill of a thousand dressings.  She ties me up and sends me into the delivery room.

There is my wife, no longer screaming.  She is smiling, she is crying.  I smile although she can't see it through my mask.  I am relieved that I am with her.  She is my world, without her I am nothing.  We talk.  I try not to look over the curtain where my child will soon be coming.  I am trying to reassure her, I am making corny jokes to ease the pressure on both of us.  I tell her I ripped my suit, that it was made for a dog sized duck, not a tough man like me.  She smiles.

At 1:44 am, we both hear a cry, a yell of triumph from my child.  The nurses poke a head over the curtain, we both look up.  We both see my son.

Covered in white chalky goop he is there.  He is yelling, he is announcing his self to the is world.  And as tough as I think I am, as I pretend to be, I lose it.  I try to hold the tears but they will not be held back.  I tell Hossmom again that my suit is ripped.  He is healthy, he is gorgeous, he is mine.

The act of childbirth is hard.  It's bloody and it's messy.  A child is taken and introduced to a world that for all he knows is cold and hard.  And for the most part, I am inclined to agree with him.  But then you see your son for the first time, you hold him, you look at your wife that showed you what true strength is.  And you realize that the act of child birth may contain no beauty, that the coldness of the world is immediate.  But it's a family's love that covers it with warmth, immediate and unconditionally.  That is the beauty of it.

I now know people will want to know what we named our son, the conqueror of the uterus.  We didn't know if we were going to have a boy or a girl.  It was a mystery to us until the moment of birth.  Hossmom had been reluctant to pick a boys name.  About 5 seconds before he was born, I asked my wife if perhaps we should go ahead and pick out a boys name, just in case.  She actually agreed.  Maybe it was the drugs.  So we did, we named our son 5 seconds before he was born.

As you can imagine, he will be a part of this blog which has turned out over the last 6 years to be a family diary.  I am pleased to introduce everyone to Bacon Hoss.  May he cause me many gray hairs and be a constant reminder to me about where my strength comes from.  It comes from them and it always has.  Hossom, Little Hoss, Bubba Hoss and Bacon Hoss.  Daddy loves you all more than I'll ever be able to say.