Costco for 15 bucks

I've got a plan and it's a good plan.  I like plans, they make me feel like a badass.  Everyone else spends all day making plans, attending meetings about those plans and then writing those plans down in fancy marker colors.  So basically, everyone is like my 9 year old daughter doing craft time with the exception that they get paid a lot more money than she does to make plans.  I spend most of my days in jeans and whatever tshirt is deemed "clean enough" knowing full well that by the end of the day I'm getting some child snot on it.  So when I make my plans, with the help of my 9 year old, I include a "snot index" to determine the amount of snot that is going to be coming my way.  Today is a bit cold and windy so the snot index is pretty high, stay in doors if at all possible.

My plan today is simple.  Spend 15 bucks at Costco.  Shouldn't be a big deal really, just stay on budget.  Sure, it's the week before Thanksgiving and all I have been instructed to get 1 pumpkin pie.  I'm not going to make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.  I'll be honest, I don't cook that dinner.  It is the one time of the year where I am barred from the kitchen.  Does this hurt my feelings, that I'm not being included, that my wife kicks me out so she can do the turkey and all the things that come with it?  Fuck no.  I have no problem with this. I cook the rest of the year, I have no problem stepping out of the way, turning on some football and checking the days snot index.  I'll eat chips while I do it and maybe buy a newspaper just to read it.

So I head off to Costco with my 15 dollar budget.

I almost bust it immediately through the door.  But I stay strong and don't buy the ipad mini, or the camera stuff even though I don't own the camera for the stuff, the throw blankets that would make a wonderful Christmas present, or the new Christmas Trees that they have just put out.  I'm tempted but I'm on a mission and I have a plan.

We stop so that Bacon Hoss can take a look through the toys.  He immediately throws everything into the cart.  Elsa dolls, spiderman action figure and he throws a fit when he can't lift up a bike to put into the cart.  His budget is 3 million dollars, credit of course, so he just keeps on throwing.  I distract him with a new toy and then promptly remove everything he has put in the cart.  He has the attention span of a rock so this is easy to do.

Boom, we find the pumpkin pie.  We get the pumpkin pie.  7 bucks.  I'm under budget, time to go.  Although we should probably go the long way around, just to waste some time.  It's the smart thing to do. So I make the plan, take the long way around, don't let child sneeze snot on anyone, check out.  Good plan.

I pass by the bread and realize that we need rolls for Thanksgiving dinner.  I'm not cooking those either.  5 bucks.  Sweet, I'm in budget.  13 bucks.  Still under.

As Hossmom slaves over the Turkey I will be watching football and tending to the kids.  And by tending to the kids I mean I will kick them outside as soon as possible.  You know what goes well with football and kicking kids outside?  Cheese.  So I get the cheese platter thing, it's right there and only 10 bucks.  No big deal, I'm at 23 bucks, just a bit over budget.

I add a case of apples to though because the kids are going to be wanting a snack after they go out and play.  7 bucks, that puts me at an even 30.  I like round numbers.  But I got to get milk because it's so freaking cheap here.  2.35 a gallon, that's worth fighting for.  I shouldn't get 1 gallon, that's not smart.  I need to get 3 gallons because my kids inhale milk.  I should open a dairy farm and I would still save money on the amount of milk we use.  So let's call that 7 more bucks for milk, I'm at 37.

I don't like the number 37.  It's a weird number that doesn't sit right in my head.  It's like a creepy old man that just wants to hang out in your garage all day talking about weird stuff and asking you where your wife keeps her panties.  So no, we can't stop on 37, he's weird.  Eggs finds it's way into my cart.  Eggs are getting expensive now, 7 bucks for those to.  That sits me at 44.  Cool, I have made a new budget in my head of 50 bucks and I'm still under that, 44 so all is good.

But while I'm in the milk area I might as well get some sour cream, the tub version.  It's always good to have large amounts of sour cream.  We may have guests stopping by and what if they want sour cream?  What kind of host will I be if I don't have that!  Now I am at 48 dollars, still good.

Shredded cheese is a bit of a sore spot with me.  At the grocery store sells a small bag for almost 3 dollars.  I can make what, 1/2 a quesidalla with that?  No, I need the big bags of cheese.  They only come in doubles at Costco.  That's 10 bucks.  But it's either 10 bucks now or 50 bucks next week.  Get the cheese, up to 58.

The kids are going to be home alot over the next week, school's out for most of the week.  They could eat hotdogs and apples of course, but I don't have hotdogs.  So lets get some hotdogs.  And nuggets because hotdogs gets old after a while.  My budget is up to...something, can't remember, distracted by the great deal on bananas.  Let's get bananas.

And tortillas.  We will probably have some sort of taco or breakfast burrito.  Gonna need to get tortillas.  Tortillas are the most versatile food.  You can eat them or throw them at a football game.  Really, if you don't have tortillas in your cabinet then you are obviously not ready for the zombie apocalypse.  I'm practically a doomsday prepper.

I'm almost to check out now.  Yea!  Homestretch baby.  All we have to do is go through the snack aisle.  Oooh, look, christmas present aisle is right there to.  Perhaps Hossmom needs something.  Afterall, Christmas is only a month away.  Let's be responsible.

I finally check out.  I intentionally stop listening to the clerk when she tells me the total.  I just pay.  I call this the Costco Blackout.  Happens often.

Hossmom calls and asks if I got the pumpkin pie.  Yes!  Yes I got the pumpkin pie!  Best husband ever!

I make a new plan.  I should not go to Costco anymore.  Ever.

Crap, I forgot bread.  We are going to need some bread.  You know who has bread?  Costco......


What Happens During Nap Time

Bacon Hoss I think is under the impression that great things happen during nap time.  That can be the only reason that he doesn't want to take a nap.  He digs his heels in and fights me like the Roman Legion conquering Gaul.  Caesar wasn't out to make a name for himself or to destroy his enemies.  His true goal was to avoid naptime.  That makes Mr. Caesar a butthole.

I think Bacon assumes that when he is in his crib, I am obviously doing all kinds of fun things.  I must be having a huge party.  I have called the ladies, got out the good glasses and am riding some sort of bull through the living room.  Then after the bull riding and the admiring looks from the ladies, I go have something brown in a small glass while people rub my feet.

I'm sorry.  That's obviously not what 2 year old Bacon is thinking.  That's what I am thinking.  That's what I would do if my imagination could be properly funded by my current position.  This of course is impossible though because my current position makes me no money.  It is also impossible because the number of ladies that would show up to watch me ride a bull is pretty small.  And I probably couldn't get the bull in the house.  If I could get the bull in the house the only lady that would show up is my wife and that would be to serve me the divorce papers.  But if I was riding a bull in the house, I would take them like a boss.

Bacon's idea of an unlimited good time are unlimited juice boxes, feeding candy to all the pretty animals (probably not a bull though, those things are scary), and a  full charge on the Ipad.  Then he would  throw very hard things at whoever decided to show up through the door.  Yeah, he's been doing that lately.  I'm working on it.

Sadly though, none of this is what happens.  This is what I have been trying to explain to him as he squirms in my arms as I'm trying to put him down.  First off little man, stop squirming.  You really don't want me to drop you.  That would hurt.  You really don't want down so knock it off.  A nice safe mattress is not always what is underneath you while I wrestle you into the bed.  Sometimes there's a stray lego and you want no part of that.

Secondly, what both you and I are imagining that I do while you nap is not even remotely close to reality.  There are no unlimited juice boxes, there is never a full charge on the Ipad (thanks kids!) and I doubt I even know where to find a bull although now that I have written this little part, I am putting this on my to do list.

No, what happens during naptime is much more mundane.  It is boring and you want no part of it.  The very first thing I do when Bacon Hoss goes to bed is to use the bathroom.  Whether I have to go or not, it's a matter of having the ability to go without someone either banging on the door for the solid 5 minutes of peace I need.  And when I'm in there no one is sitting on my underwear trying to poke me in the junk.  Seriously man, cut that out.  It's annoying.

After that, wait for it, I sit down.

That's it.  I sit.  I do this for a good 20 minutes.  Sometimes I read the news, happy to know that Paw Patrol will never end up on my news feed.  Sometimes I just stare at my phone, reading nothing at all.  It's glorious.  I look like I'm reading, but I'm not.  I'm just glazing over.  I do this for a while until I realize I haven't moved and there's chores to do.

The first thing I do when I think of chores is nap myself of course.  We've got a rhythm going, you and me boy, don't mess it up.  I take a quick 20 minute power nap.  As adults, we call them power naps so it makes it sound like we are doing something productive when in truth we are just fucking off.  Power naps for everyone!

After my alarm goes off, then I start my chores and there is always something to do.  I once heard an at home dad ask what every one does during nap time.  He was new.  We all collectively laughed.  If we screw off it is a conscious decision, not because there is nothing to do.  Put my kids in a room for 20 minutes and it will take me a good hour to clean the damage they have done.  I get my older ready in the morning for school.  It doesn't take to long, everyone eats, everyone is dressed and there is always something to sign because they forgot when I asked them point blank when they got home from school the day before.  In that little amount of time, when even then we are going according to schedule and habit, it looks like a bull did indeed ride through the home.  It's not pretty.

So I clean the kitchen.  I clean the living room.  I clean under Bacon's chair where the bagel landed because you didn't want it.  Then you get mad when I pick up the bagel to throw it away because now you want it.  Then you scream because honestly, that's mostly what you do.  It says so right there on your resume:  Skills:  looking cute when you meet other people and screaming when you are only with dad so no one believes my lies.

After all the cleaning, I hit the laundry because for some reason every single person in this house must wear 5 complete sets of clothes everyday.  I never finish laundry mind you, that's a joke.  But I maintain it so that my washing machine never actually stops.  I could just turn on the tap in the bathroom and let it run for 24 hours, it's basically the same thing.

So now everything is presentable, right?  Wrong.  Now come the repairs.  What's broken today?  Don't say nothing because the answer is never nothing.  The bottom of the fridge popped off the other day.  I have no idea why.  I'm assuming that someone spent a good hour in the middle of the night kicking it.  Then I'm going to fix my daughter's bike.  A pedal broke.  So now dad has to fix it and I find it easier to fix things while someone isn't "helping" by trying to poke me in the eye with a screwdriver.  But good job picking the flathead screwdriver, get the right tool for the right job my grandfather always told me.

That's what really happens when Bacon takes a nap.  That's what I do.  There are no girls handing out juiceboxes while we get a bull in the house.  It just looks that way before my wife gets home.  Because by the time she gets home, the kids have been home for a good hour and Bacon Hoss has woken up from his nap.  1 hour vs. a whole day of cleaning.  The assumption is that I haven't done anything.  I maintain that I am being framed.

Or I am binge watching Netflix.



The chair at the foot of the antique bed has been described to me to be built in the Queen Anne style.  It dates from around 1850 and is in great condition for a period peace that old.  It's a more of a love seat actually with faded yellow fabric that actually seems to have no rips or burrs in the fabric.  It's lovely really and that's why you see me in full sprint towards that piece, nearly knocking over our tour guide and nearly destroying more of Queen Anne's things.  Bacon Hoss has decided that perhaps he would like to jump on it.  And after that, I'm sure he will want to puke on it to complete the destruction of this antique.  In his dairy he will write "Successfully destroyed priceless antique today.  Dad has to mow yards of mansions for 30 years to pay it off.  Mission accomplished.  Tomorrow I invade China and their famous dishes."

I grab the boy right before he gets a foot up on it and thankful that I have kept myself in a state of constant panic before we stepped into this 1857 historic mansion.  We get out of the car, I give him a pacifier so he won't scream, I pray to as many God's that I can think of preferring to hedge all my bets and then throw away any anxiety pills that are left over from the last historic house I did.  I need anxiety on the inside, I need to be in a state of constant fear so that my reflexes are sharp.

"Oh, don't worry, he can actually sit on that" our tour guide says.  She tells me that they have several pieces that they allow people to sit on during the tour.  It's very sturdy she says so don't worry about him sitting on it.

She's young and I smile remembering my youth, the life before I had children.  Yes, children sit.  How quaint.  Perhaps they would like some tea in a priceless china cup that sits on a small saucer and doily.

Toddlers don't sit.  They run, they bounce, they jump, they destroy.  They do not place their bottoms nicely on antique furniture while listening to historic facts.  That would be awesome if they would though.  I do that but I don't need to be constantly entertained by cartoons and bribed by skittles.  Toddlers start out sitting then they think, hey if my butt fits so nicely here I bet my feet and dirty shoes would fit even better.  And since I'm already standing, let's give this bad boy the complete test drive and start jumping.  And once I'm jumping, I bet I can fling myself right through this 150 year old hand blown window in no time flat  That mirror over there is a period piece and is special because it has diamond dust backing?  You don't say!  Why don't we move this bouncy seat thing over that way and you can critique me on my technique.

That's what toddler do and I'm ready for it.  Somebody is going to sit on my lap until they punch me in the face and I have to start swatting hands as I get into a hissy fit fight with a 2 year old that likes to feed the dog yogurt from his own spoon.

I thank her for her patience and hospitality and assure her that I am really enjoying the tour and I really am.  There's only so many playgrounds, bounce houses and sing alongs that good old Dad can go to before I want to start puncturing my ear drums with twigs.  So for the next two weeks we are taking tours of old historic mansions and learning a bit about the local history.  I could do this all day and luckily sometimes I get the chance to.  I just have one condition:  take a 2 year old with me and hope that I don't get asked to leave before the police show up.  No problem, I got this.

Besides, as a side job nowadays I am writing for the local tourism website designed to promote my city.  It's pretty cool actually, the pay isn't much but it is enough to cover the cost of adventures that I would be doing anyway.  Shit yeah I can write about it.  When the idea of touring local mansions came up I thought it would be a good way to break up the playgrounds, expose my son to culture and add spice to my life.  Hard mode parenting, I should be earning medals for this.

The tour guide now wants to move to the dining room to show me their collection of silver.  She seems very proud of it.  I assume that the word "priceless" can again be applied to it.  I also assume the word "shiny" can also work.

I set my son down.  2 houses down, 5 more to go.  I got this.

Where did my son go?  Shit.


Math Time

Math time with my kids!  Hell yeah, I got math time.  I own math time.  I am going to rock out some prime numbers with my 9 year old.  2,3,5,7,11.  Yea, I own that.  Ask me multiples of 2.  I'm all over that.  2nd grade math?  I will math fact the crap out of that.  7+6?  13 all day long baby.  Let's go, let's pull out our books and finish some math!

My kids then both pull out laptops that they got at the beginning of the school.


So this is the world that we live in now.  Laptops and youtube videos have taken the place of Dad instruction at the table.  We are sitting here and I can hear the the taping of keys as they answer math facts or play a game designed to teach them without realizing they are being taught.  Not that I'm complaining mind you, it's just that I'm feeling like a machine has kind of taken my job.  I am more than just the guy that unclogs the toilet and picks up dog poop.  I'm supposed to sit with them and go over this stuff.  Math is supposed to be Dad's realm!  Mom handles spelling and definitions of words, Dad handles the function of Y and god damnit math facts!!

Look over here kids, I have flash cards.  Let's learn our math facts on these real life, wonderful to touch flash cards.  Written in 1970's big black numbers, these math facts will change your life!  They will help you memorize what 7 plus 12 is!  With no battery power required, these glossy coated cards have been vital for generations!  Only available from Dad!

They are having none of it.  They are having none of it because they have a game where a guy gets to earn coins and wear dresses and he fights bad guys by answering math questions.  Then they get to dig around in this mythical world to try and find monsters and their digital father who lets them watch youtube videos on fancy ways to learn math.

Look, 5 x 5 is always going to be 25.  Sure, my way is old fashioned and doesn't require some sort of personal buy in or princess saving.  But I submit to you, isn't that a bit of unneeded pressure?  I mean, if you screw up and say that it's 26, BAM the princess is dead.  You killed the princess and now she is at the bottom some god forsaken pixalated pit.  Good job kids, your murderers.  At least with Dad I just give you a disappointed look, then look at you harder while you stare back until we both just get frustrated and throw our stupid awesome flash cards into the air.  See, this way no one is killed and only our relationship is ruined forever.  Doesn't that sound more fun?  Math is supposed to be mine!

I lean over and ask my daughter what she is working on.  I grab her laptop away from and take a look.  I have no idea what I'm looking at.  I'm looking at it for a good ten minutes.  It's not a game, I don't think it is.  It's some sort of graph although for the love of fuck I have no idea what it's supposed to be graphing other than the further evidence of my uselessness vs. the amount of time I look at it.

"It's a math lattice" she tells me.

I swallow my pride and ask her what the hell a math lattice is.  She explains it like she is talking to a 2 year old.  I still don't get it.

I hand back her laptop and tell her good job although honestly I have no idea what the hell I just looked at.

There are no math lattice flash cards that I'm aware of.  But I'm pretty sure there are some youtube videos that will explain it to me.  After the kids go to bed of course.

I still prefer my flash cards.


Circle of Destruction

What I love more than anything when I'm lifting up something very heavy is to hear a giant crash, followed very quickly by a giant splash and completing the triumvert with a giant toddler scream.  Nothing happens in this house without it sounding like bombs going off.  You people that don't have screaming kids or natural disasters that come out of no where, what's it like?  Are you able to actually keep your TV volume below decibel level zillion to hear it? When you sit down does anything try to sit on your head while asking who your friend was from 20 years ago that they just saw on Facebook.  When you talk to your significant other, does anyone ask why you have to pay bills, how much is the bill, what's money, how much money do you have and can I have a new bike?  What's that like?  Honestly, I just want to watch The Three Amigo's in peace.

I was lifting the couch up because I was looking for the remote.  I have not found the remote.  But I did find my daughter's shoe that she swore she put in the shoe basket so she has no idea why it's been lost over the past week.  I also found 5 matchbox cars, a pile of cheerio's, a weird looking bug that I'm not going to tell my wife about and the entrance to Narnia.

How we as a family get so much shit behind and under our couches and chairs, I have no idea.  It's almost like we are doing it on purpose.  And now that I type that, I'm exactly sure that is what is happening.  The kids can either clean it up or they can stash it into the infinite pit that is behind our couch.  Crap.  I'm going to have watch them closer when I tell them to clean up and stop hiding in the bathroom from them.

When I hear the giant crash and screaming coming from our dinning room, I'm not really sure what to expect but I am sure that what I see there isn't on any list of options any sane person could come up with.  Maybe that's because sane people don't live here and the insane inmates continually throw socks and barbie heads under the couch.

Bacon Hoss is laying on the hardwood floor.  He is wet.  Head to toe wet.  Next to him, and I'm going to try and describe this the best I can, is an empty milk jug.  But there is no milk in the milk jug.  What I think was in the milk jug was water, at least I hope it is water and not some sort of witches brew of dog urine and child spit.  Halfway up in the milk cartoon, again more guess work here, are two quarter sized holes.  In these holes is a piece of wood, it looks like old trim that I had in the garage.

So here is what I figure it was and what happened.  Somehow on the table was a milk cartoon filled with water, but not all the way to the top.  Through this milk cartoon was a piece of wood for what I can only assume was some sort of handle to carry the milk jug around.

Sherlock wasn't a genius, he just hung around kids alot and tried to figure out what the hell was going on in those little brains.

The questions I have now are easy enough:

1.  Why the hell is there a milk jug carring device on the table?
Answer:  Because my children hate me and wish to drive me insane my leaving little Bliar Witch style trophies around the house to the point that I lose whatever sembalance of sanity I once enjoyed.

2.  How did it end up on the floor and covering Bacon Hoss in a pile of water.
Answer:  Because he obviously saw what was some sort of magical enchantment on the table and couldn't help himself and pulled it off.  Ha.  Nope, he just wanted to wreck shit because that's what all my kids do.  He said to himself, man it would be cool if I could get that weird thing off the table and then throw it on the ground so all the water gets on me and everywhere.

In the end it does't really matter why this modern marvel of destruction ended up on my table nor the story of how it got there.  The point is that it was there and that I was a fool to think I could ever clean something up somewhere without some other part of the house getting destroyed.  That's why only 1 room in my house is ever clean at one time.  It's the price I pay.  If I clean the living room, the dining room is going to get destroyed.  If the kitchen is getting cleaned, the living room will have mold magically appear through the power of a toddler and his two older siblings.  I could spend my entire day basically doing one big circle of clean without actually accomplishing anything.  It's like some weird Twilight Zone episode and I'm the poor schmuck that is stuck in a time loop.

I grab the mop, which I have learned to always keep nearby, and begin the clean up.  I let Bacon Hoss stew in his wet clothes while I do it.  If you asked me why I didn't change him right off I would have given you the nice answer that I was trying to show him the consequences of his actions blah blah blah.  But in my head I'm thinking he got what he deserved so he can suck it while I clean up this mess and try to figure out which one of my other kids sandbagged me.

I finish with that clean up and look at my now very clean and freshly mopped floor.  I'm pretty happy with it actually, I got something accomplished.  This floor needed a good mopping anyway.  Now it sparkles and I'm going to enjoy it.

"Dada!  Dog Pooped!" Bacon Hoss yells at me from the other room.

Of course he did.  I forgot my own law.


Evil Bacon

My 2 year old watches the dvd player in the car.  No matter how long the trip is, he gets to watch a movie.  Trip to the store?  2 minutes of Elmo.  Going to the playground, have some cookie monster.  Across the state, all the movies you could ever want.

Go ahead, judge me.  I welcome it.  Electronics for short trips!!  Ruining his mind with that filth!  Good God Gasp!  Can your child not entertain himself?

Of course not.  He's two.  His idea of a good time is screaming at the top of his lungs while trying to punch me from the backseat.  Look, most people get the glorious quite in a car.  When you are on your commute you can sit in complete silence if you want while you contemplate what kind of hand gesture you are going to give that jackhole in front of you.  Your entire mind can be focused on the subtleties of the finger or should you give him more of the New York salute.  And you can quietly focus on this for 30 minutes if you want to.

That precious quiet time left me 9 years ago and like I'm Captain Ahab, I have been hunting for it ever since.  So go ahead and judge me all you want, quietly from your car.  I'm giving you the finger right now.

Our current choice of movie for my 2 year old is Monsters Vs. Robots.  A delightful flick with plenty of violence and alien blood.  I figure if I'm rotting his brain anyway, might as well go full tilt.  No half ass slackers in this car.  Next he can watch the Terminator movies.  But not number 3.  That one doesn't exist in my world. In all probability my son will see alien invaders come in his lifetime and he better know how to defend his frail old man from them.  He'll get no help from his older two siblings, the sight of blood makes them run.

Halfway through our little car ride though I hear him starting to scream from the backseat.  Then he starts crying.  My initial reaction is dear god what horrible thing has happened to my little boy!!  Ha, honestly no way is that my first thought.  My first thought is god dammit, what's wrong now.  Look, I'm three kids into this stay at home dad thing.  There's got to be some blood and a guy with a hockey mask with a machete to get my blood up.  The boy who cried wold was written by a parent who couldn't understand why putting the wrong sippy cup in front of a toddler was a life and death emergency for his child.  So yeah, I though my son was basically just being my son.  The worlds came out of misalignment or a bug was seen in a field 100 feet from the car 45 minutes ago and he's just now remembering it.  God I hope he's good at sports.

"What's wrong Bacon and why are your ruining my primo quiet time?"

"Dad!  Dad!  Dadadadadadadadadadada!"

"What man?!"

"Dad!  Robot!" my son says.

Robot?  Oh yea, in Monsters Vs. Aliens there is a robot.,  I suppose the robot must have scared him.  There's no way he's making it through Terminator 2.

"It's ok bud, the robot can't hurt you."

"No! Dad!"  Even now his tone implies that I am stupid and he's only 2.  He's been hanging around his older sister to much.


"They kill robot!  Robot dead!"


Oh, the robot attacks the monsters (the good guys) in the movie.  The monsters fight back, they destroy the robot.  World saved, pop in the next movie.  He's upset that the robot got pulled apart.

Wait.  What??

My son is upset because the robot got smashed.  My son, my beautiful son, is cheering for the robot.  For the bad guy robot designed to destroy the world and all of mankind.  My son.  My son may be evil.  I'm not really surprised.  TV has probably rotted his brain.

When the alien invaders come, he's not going to protect me.  He's going to offer me up like a pulled pork sandwhich.    He's not going to be John Conner fighting the evil machines.  He's going to be the guy that flips the switch to activate skynet.

Don't care, still worth it for some quiet time.


Bubba Hoss

My son got into trouble at school and to be honest, I didn't really know how to handle it.  

I'm not talking about my youngest son.  Bacon Hoss is 2 and 1/2 and pretty much lives in time out.  He is there so much he has a nice little yard, pretty cool neighbors and little a desk area where he can write me death threats on his toddler stationary.  He's pretty much a major butthole most of the time.  

No, my older son, Bubba Hoss.  He got into trouble.  

Normally when I have meetings with teachers he is described as "angelic" and "greatest gift from your good loins my dear sir, the world is honored."  I bask in the glory of having the "good son" and as soon as the conference is over I immediately go to the internet to judge people who don't parent as well as me.  Turns out I'm a major butthole as well.

This time however, when I asked my usual question of How's the boy doing, I did not get the answer that I expected.  I was told that he "could be doing better."  I had to cancel my post meeting internet judging.  

Bubba Hoss has always been a good kid, eager to please.  His biggest fear in life is disappointing me.  On a side note, that's a heavy burden on both of us.  I get it, I'm dad and he looks up to me.  It breaks his heart when he thinks he has done something that would displease me, unlike my wife who makes it a habit (easy joke, couldn't help myself.)  But as it turns out, with all that admiration coming my way it has the affect of me being afraid of disappointing him.  Father/Son relationships aren't supposed to be the complicated until he is at least 16 and he wants to join the band on a road tour.  

But it turns out that my son has gotten a bit talky in class, enough so that the teacher feels the need to bring it up during the conference.  He apparently has his best friend in his class and they like to do things like talk, get out of their seats and interrupt each other and the teacher while the other is talking.  

Honestly, I'm a bit shocked.  I shouldn't be, not really.  The boy has literately never been a problem.  He was so easy as a toddler that he only through a fit when he was ubber tired.  And he never wanted someone else to cut his hair.  I have no idea why but from ages 3 through 5, he had a buzz cut courtesy of me.  

He was so good that I just assumed that all boy toddlers where that good so when Bacon Hoss came along, I wasn't prepared for the shit storm that is my younger son.  Yesterday Bacon Hoss through a full on screaming fit because he couldn't chew on an extension cord.  Maybe the cat is raising him, that would make more sense because our cat is pretty much an asshole too.  

So now comes the fatherly part that on the surface seems simple, but underneath is one of the hardest parts of fatherhood.  What should I do?  Simple question, hard decision.  If I come down on him like a mountain, do I kill any confidence and break his fragile spirit.  To easy, and he doesn't learn any respect for authority and good behavior.  Is this infraction big enough for me to take issue with it at home?  Or do I just have a quick discussion with him now in the classroom.  

See, when doing things like this, it looks like a quick decision from the outside.  But in my head, I'm debating with myself the best course of action and honestly, I'm never sure if I make the right decision in the end.  In fact, I know I screw up a lot.  I'm just trying not to screw up enough to make him need therepy at 30 because he can't have a relationship with his father and has become an axe murderer.  If I'm to hard, will he never take risks?  That's not good.  That sucks.  If I'm to easy, will he decide that life is better lived by smoking crack and fighting rats at the local carney.  

It's a very difficult balance and one that I find very hard to maintain.  

"Stop talking during class boy."

That was my decision.  I think I made the right one.  Short and to the point, I like it.  Time to go on the internet parenting sites.



Age 9

At age 9, I have discovered, is the age your daughter has decided that you are probably not fit to be a parent and that every request that you make should include some sort of bribe.

"Go clean your room" I'll tell Little Hoss.  "Do I get an Ipod if I do?"

I just stood there, not sure if I heard what I think I heard.  Did I miss some sort of Dad class somewhere that explained that 9 year old girls need an Ipod or concert tickets, or a new bike for every chore they are supposed to do?  You do it because you live here and you live here only because no other building can stand up to your destruction.

"Brush your hair before you go to school"

"I know DAAAADDDDDDDDD"  This is usually followed by a sigh.  Then she can't find her brush, even though she has 12 that I buy her every week because she can't find her brush.  Then she stomps off.  Somedays I grab a pair of scissors and follow her around to let her know that if she chooses not to brush her hair, I'm going to give her a military cut that The Duke would be proud of.  My favorite part is how she draws out the last syllable to emphasize how god damn stupid I am.

"You can't wear that to school."

"WHY!  WHY, why can't I wear this to school!!  It's fine.  I look fine!  I want to wear this to school."

"Because it's 10 degrees outside and I'm pretty sure your arms will freeze off.  At which point it will be harder for you to clean up your room and brush your hair."  I don't think my daughter thinks I'm funny anymore.

"I'm not cold!" She will say.

Yes you are, I know you are.  Your mother knows you are.  The dog knows you are.  But at this point you are just being stubborn to prove a point.  What point is fucking beyond me but I'm sure it's in there somewhere.

"I'll wear a jacket!" she will say right before she storms out.

But no she won't.  She won't because Dad stashed it and I won't give it to here until we are waiting outside for the bus and I'm watching her squirm.  See, Dad can be passive aggressive too!  I've had 20 years training from your mother, I am immune to this.  Now take your jacket and PUT IT ON AND NOT IN YOUR BACKPACK!

"Do you like any boys in school?" I'll ask her.

She won't even respond to this.  Look, I know that talking about boys and stuff can be awkward and weird for young girls but so help me god we won't avoid a conversation because of awkward.  I live in the world awkward, I have embraced it and I refuse to have a child ignorant because it's "weird".  At 40 years old and with 3 kids that seem to live to embarrass me in public over the last 9 years, I have absolutely no problem with awkward.

I get it, I'm not the "cool" parent.  I don't want to be the "cool" parent.  Here's a little knowledge for my daughter:  All the other parents hate the cool parent.  He's a dick, an irresponsible jack hole that shouldn't have kids in the first place.  He's the guy that is going to give his kids beer when they are 13 and tell them to drink it in the basement "so they are safe".

You know why I meet the parents of your friends?  To make sure they aren't the cool parent, that's why.

"Go to bed."
"I'm not tired."
"Set the table"
"I'm not hungry"
"Don't break that"
"Break what?" Snap.

All.  The.  Time.

That's alright, I'm sure the teen years will be much much easier and I'll be able to reason with her and use logic to convince her of my sound advice.


Our Dog Dobby

First I heard my daughter screaming.  Then I heard the dog barking.  Those two things are all that is required for dad brain to kick in.  "Hey, hey you.  You sleeping oaf.  Something's going on.  Your daughter isn't happy, your dog sounds like it's going nuts and you are Dad.  So get up dad and do your dad thing."

Sometimes I don't want to do my dad thing.  Sometimes I just want to sit and watch football which is code for "I want to take a nap while pretending to watch football."  I can almost make it through the 3rd quarter of a game now a days.  But not today, today it was halftime and the screams of my daughter and the barking of my dog were getting fainter.

I know what happened.  Everyone who has kids and a dog knows what's happened.  The dog has gotten out.  The dog has bolted, flown the coup, made tracks to adventure.  And my daughter is chasing him.  I bet she doesn't have shoes on.

We got a new puppy.  An 8 month old mix of lab and boxer.  It was a shelter dog.  The kids were begging for weeks and weeks and weeks to get a new dog.  I finally said ok because I'm not a heartless bastard.  Every kid deserves a dog, a dog that belongs to them.  A dog that they will remember when they are old and I'll resent every time it craps in the house.  It's natures way of reminding us that no matter how much in charge we think we are, there is always someone's shit we have to clean up.  And with 3 kids, 2 dogs (now) and a cat, there is  alot of shit to clean up.

The puppy does what puppy's do.  It jumps, chews on anything, pee's when it needs to, eats whatever I say it can't and it runs.  It runs very fast.  It's a puppy, that's what they do.  I made a deal with the kids.  If they got a new puppy, they would be responsible for taking care of it, cleaning up after it, going to the vet with him and training him.  And to my constant amazement, they have held up this end of the bargain.  But there are times when it's a little to much, like now and Dad has to step in.

Little Hoss was taking the dog out in the backyard to put him on the leash, give him some quality poop time outside instead of right outside my door.  The dog saw our family squirrel.  The dog bolted.  The leash snapped because fuck it, why not.  Didn't even slow Dobby down.  That's his name by the way.  Dobby, like from Harry Potter.  We got him at the pound and after seeing him it seemed very fitting.  It also seems fitting now after he is refusing to listen to us and has bolted to do his own thing.

Of course he couldn't catch the squirrel.  Jeff, our squirrel, has been ditching our pets for years.  I'm pretty sure that it's not the same Jeff as when we moved in 7 years ago but I don't tell the kids that.  One squirrel moves out, another one moves in, they are all named Jeff.  I'm good with this.  He lives in our walnut trees and if he can dodge the dogs, can live like a king.

I make it outside and see my daughter in near hysterics by the edge of our little forest.  She's got no shoes on and is yelling "Dobby!  Please come back!  Dobby!  Please!"  What works on me obviously doesn't work on the new dog.  We will have a talk about that later.  The dog isn't coming back and has gone into a thicket.  My daughter has stopped just at the edge of it yelling.

I get to the edge and calm her down, letting her know that it's going to be ok that he hasn't gone far.  She's crying a bit, she really loves her dog.  Little Hoss won't go into the thicket because it freaks her out a bit.  There are bugs in there and where there are bugs there are monsters and homework that has to be done.  She's terrified of thickets but she begins to walk forward, no shoes on at all, to find her dog.

My heart breaks because I'm a wimp.  I'm so proud that my daughter has put her fears aside and is going in barefoot for her dog.  This should be in a book somewhere.  And in this book the hero shows up.  Me.  I'm the hero.  I'm the hero because I'm dad and dads do what they need to so that their little girls will stop crying.  Besides, dad knows a secret.

"It's ok sweety." I tell her.  "He's still right there."

I know this because I know that just beyound the thicket is a 6 foot tall wire mesh fence.  I'm guessing that our new puppy hasn't figured out how to climb it yet.  So I head into the thicket, making sure that I squash any bugs, monsters and homework that I find.  Sure enough, the dog has it's nose against the mesh 10 feet beyond the underbrush.  I grab him and throw him over my shoulder (he's a big pup) and head back to my daughter.  She see's me come out and runs up to me.

This is the image that I want my daughter to have of me.  A dog over my shoulder as I emerge from the woods.  This is what a hero should look like.  Except he should have more hair and some sort of sword.  I'm working on that.

She hugs me and begins to scold the dog.  Dobby doesn't understand any of this of course, he's a fucking dog.  But he's happy that he got to create some drama.  Perhaps dogs keep our life interesting and that's a noble cause, isn't it?

He licks my daughter, licks me and eyes where the squirrel has gone.  I'm sure that it's supposed to be menacing to the squirrel and I'm also sure that Jeff flips him the finger.


We are a cliche

Hossmom is disappointed because the birthday card doesn't have flowers on it.  Apparently she asked for flowers on the birthday card and didn't get it.  She is a bit perplexed with me I think.  I do what any good father does, I blamed it on my 9 year old daughter.  Look, I've fulfilled my daughters every wish for 9 years she can take the heat for me on occasion.  Is it cowardly?  Perhaps.  I prefer to think of it as paying off a debt.

We were invited to a birthday party for a young senior citizen.  I will not do her the disservice of disclosing her age because I don't want my wife, or my wife's friends, to throw me out a window.  Let's just say she's over 21.  It was a surprise party but came with an open bar.  The kids were invited which I find normally negates the open bar.  Perhaps it was a trick to begin with.  If so, now I no longer feel bad about the birthday card.

Wait, check that, I don't feel bad about the card at all.  The card we chose instead was freaking awesome.  Was it appropriate?  Define appropriate.  I recall somewhere in the recess of my mind that Hossmom perhaps did give very specific instructions to give an age appropriate card that could be opened at a formal shindig.  She may have said something.  I may have forgotten.

But when Little Hoss and I went to pick up the birthday cards we didn't like the look of the flowers on the card.  Frankly, they were sinister and a bit devilish.  Dare I go against God?  Dare I tempt fate!  No, I do not.  Evil flowers man are evil flowers, you don't mess with them.

So instead my daughter and I picked out a kitty cat card.  With rainbows.  Shooting out of it's eyes.  It's an awesome card.

Now I ask you, would you rather have some wierdo flower card from some weirdo guy or would you rather have freaking rainbow laser kittens?  I think that is an easy choice.

Hossmom sighed and roller her eyes.  In my defense though, she knows not to send me out to pick out pretty things.  It never works out.  I have about as much taste and decorum as a rock in a mud pit.  I admit it.  So really the fault lies with her.  I'm just a product of my environment.

None of these arguments worked on Hossmom either.  So we rallied the kids, dressed them nice and gave a very strict discussion about proper behavior at fancy parties.  They promptly ignored this and preceded to rock some timeouts at a fancy restaurant.  We can do better kids, we can do better.  Maybe you got into the open bar while your dad did not.  Understandable.

We drove downtown to our fancy restaurant, a place named after some sort of legume or bean I think.  Honestly, I can't remember names of things like this very well.  It all gets filed in my head under "that one place", right next to "remember to get a birthday card with flowers on it."

Being downtown, parking was a bit of a challenge but we did manage to find a space.  Apparently downtown on a Sat. night is the place to be.  We wouldn't know really, our Saturday nights are usually spent crying in closets about how we used to be cool and hip.  We are no longer cool and hip.  I am ok with this though as I find today's music to be soulless and the youngsters entitled thus completing the journey to being an old man, much like my father before me who once told me that grunge music sounded like a garbage truck backing up.  I was hip then, he was not.

The parking space we were pulling into was slanted and required you to back in.  Hossmom was driving.

"Stop!" I yelled.  We came close to hitting a car that I'm pretty sure had never had kids in the backseat before.  There were no stains or hand prints on the windows.  Yuppie.

She pulled out again to give it another go..


She pulled out again.


Rinse, lather repeat.


Hossmom was not quite getting the fact that the spot was angled and required you to park angled.  She was trying, probably by force of habit, to back straight in.

"Do you want me to park?" I asked her.

She got out and gave me a kiss and I parked the car.  I was laughing.

It seems, even with our non traditional roles of me being the stay at home parent and her being the account executive, that perhaps we are still the walking cliche that makes for bad sitcoms.  I can't pick out a card and she can't park the car.

Or maybe she was thinking about flowers to much and not concentrating on the rainbow laser cat.


Morning Singing

The kids are off to school and I am once again reminded what happens over the weekend when they and my wife are home.  They destroy the house.  I don't mean they are messy, I mean that they come through like a bullrider yelling "yeeeee-haaaaaa".  Sometimes I make requests like: Please do not get anything on the ceiling.

By Monday, there is something on the ceiling.  

So I do two things on Mondays.  1. I go grocery shopping because they also eat all the food in the freaking house.  To amend my above similie, they are like a bullrider yelling "yeeeeeee-haaaaaa" while eating a sandwhich and drinking all the milk.  2.  I clean up the house.  

What is usually nice though is that I get to do it without to much interference except from Bacon Hoss and his 2 year old fists of fury.  He likes to hit me in the knees alot and I applaud his strategic decisions.  But like the other kids before him I have trained him to be less of an annoyance if not actually helpful.  

He loves throwing things in the trash, loves it.  This is a big help as you can imagine.  My daughter likes to draw and write stories on the weekend.  She gets so caught up in the creative process that she often leaves papers in random places, forgot that she was writing that particular story, and leaves it stashed under the couch cushion or in a kitchen cabinet.  Bacon Hoss throws these away for me.  The catch though, because there always is with a 2 year old, is that you have to watch very closely what he is throwing away.  He gets so caught up in his creative process that he throws away bills and yesterday it was my wallet.  Turns out he is a little bit of a thief.  He took all my money.  He through that way too.  

It's the same with the laundry too.  He likes to put dirty laundry in the washer and the wet laundry in the dryer, you just have to watch him.  Last week we washed all the kids tooth brushes.  I figured that was ok.  

Bacon Hoss knows when we start.  We start when Metallica comes on.  That's our morning horn, that's what let's us know it's time to get it on and clean up after the tornado that I call my family.  This worked for a good two years.  When he was very young, I would strap him to my chest while I cleaned, he was like my little mascot of dirt.  Then he got to be 1 and didn't help clean but tried his best to actually thwart any cleaning to be done.  I would put clothes in a basket, he would take them out and throw them over the stairs.  Now though, now we got it done.  

Except now we don't anymore.  

I put on the Metallica, I grabbed the broom and the floor scrapper that I always keep on me when cleaning.  Yup, I keep a floor scraper as part of my normal cleaning supplies and I use it enough that I always put it in my pocket.  Children are fucking filthy man.  

But this time when I put on the Metallica, he put his hands over his ears and ran away.  He ran away like it somehow hurt him, like it offended his Christian upbringing.  I'm just kidding, we are all heathens here.  So he ran away like it offended his Heathen upbringing.  He wanted nothing to do with Metallica.  

I turned it down, he kept his hands over his ears.  I tried different morning time clean music. 

AC/DC, Nirvana, Primus, Sabbath.  I even went to Pearl Jam and Alice and Chains, something a little easier.  Nope, he wasn't having it.

He kept his ears covered and continued to say no.  No, no, no.  

I have failed as a parent.  I'm not sure how as I usually think of myself as pretty freaking awesome.  So maybe it's not me.  Maybe it's Hossmom.  It can't be me.  I have raised my children on this music. 

My other children no longer listen to Metallica either.  Or Nirvana, Primus, Sabbath.  It's my wife, she has thwarted me and I don't know how.  

I contemplated this while I cleaned.  I turned on a podcast instead.  I could use headphones but that would prevent me from hearing Bacon Hoss and I have learned that if I can't hear him then something is being thrown in the toilet.  So I went about my day wondering if Hossmom can truly be responsible for this.  

The weekend comes and it's time to go to our soccer game.  I coach my son's soccer team.  I got drafted to do it and it turns out it's a lot of fun for me.  We focus on having fun, it's not the World Cup.  But if it was I should be getting some sort of FIFA kickback.  Greedy bastards.  

Normally I would put on some loud music to get my son pumped up.  Something of his choosing that gets him in the mood, something to get his aggression level up.  My boy is a sweetheart, not naturally aggressive at all.  So I use music to get him going.  Hossmom was in the car with us.  Normally he would choose a little Fallout Boy, seems to be popular with the younger crowd these days.  Something a little fast pace, I'll take it. 

But Hossmom grabs control and puts on a Pandora Station.  

"Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men.  It is the music of a people that will not be slaves again." 

God Damnit woman, we are not doing show tunes on the way to a fierce soccer match!  Les Miserables is good, I'll give you that.  But c'mon, it's show-tunes man.  How can you get your blood up without a guitar solo followed by an out of control beat!!

I'm about to slap her hand away, silly woman this is sports time, when I see my kids in the backseat.  Little Hoss is singing along quietly while she is reading her book.  Bubba Hoss is nodding his head, adding his voice to the chorus that is now going on.  And Bacon?  Bacon has got his hands in the air and is dancing.  

Son of a bitch.  This is how I've been thwarted.  Somehow during the weekends they destroy the house to the sound of showtunes.  So much so that they now relate Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera and Wicked with destructing good times.  This is what happened.  Perhaps when I'm mowing the lawn, or fixing something in the garage.  She waits until I'm no longer the primary parent, jumps to subvert my will, and now the kids are listening to showtunes to get their blood up.   Metallica has been replaced by Rent.  

I'm in disbelief as I drive, I am trying to process what happened and when it happened.  It was so subtle that I didn't see it happening.  When she was making lunch, she was making lunch to the tune of the Inn Keeper's Song.  

The next song comes on and without knowing it I begin to sing with everyone else "There was a time when love was blind.  And the world was a song and the song was exciting."

Crap.  She's gotten me to.  


Steak Dinner

I may have to divorce my wife.  It's a shame really, I am quite fond of her.  We are good together, we are a good team.  My weaknesses are her strengths and vice versa.  We have 3 kids together.  I feel like we have been through a lot over the last 20 years.  She was a minx of an 18 year old when she fell for my charm.  Her laugh caught me quick.  1995, a very good year.

We have had many conversations during that time.  Both have said a lot of things, sometimes hurtful.  However, there reaches a point where one person goes to far.  Somethings some say just can't be taken back.

"Ug, I'm just so tired of steak for dinner."

That's what she said.  Hand to god I'm not making this up.  That is what she said.  And when she said it, and when our friend agreed with her, I knew that it was pretty much over and I would have to hit our friend in the mouth just out of god damn principle.

Our friend came into town on business and went to dinner with us after a hard day of working.  I can only assume he is swindling old ladies out of their church money, given that he too gets tired of steak dinners.  They both decided that we should eat Chinese because I can only assume they both love communism and child labor camps.

It was nice to be out with people, even if the kids were with us.  It was nice to talk about adult things, things that didn't involve school grades or cheerios.  I don't get that level of conversation that much.  But as usually happens when we get together with other people who work, my wife and he began to talk shop and traveling for work.

My opportunities for work travel, as you can imagine, are few and far between.  What I would call a work trip you would call a vacation.  My work travel usually also includes a dirt cheap hotel and a kiddo that just won't go to freaking sleep even though we've been on the road all day.  By 12am I end up calling my wife while hiding in the bathroom.  But you have to whisper because if you wake up the toddler I'm going to kill you.

As my friend and my wife talk about traveling for work, as they both do often, the conversation took a devilish turn.  And I don't mean like a good twist, or a plot point that has sexy consequences with a college bar maid.  No, I mean that by the end of it that I was looking at two satanists, how have I not seen this before.

"Yeah, one of the things that I hate about work travel is the dinner after a full day of work.  It's never a quick dinner, it's like three hours.  It's always at some fancy steak house and I don't get back to the hotel until late.  I get tired of steak."

Right there.  Right at that moment is when she broke my heart and I lost my friend.

So we are clear, when my wife isn't with us our dinners consist of things that can be described as some sort of "wiz" or "Mc".  There are a lot of sandwhiches, corn dogs, nuggets and things in the shape of dinosaurs.  There is no steak.  My "treat" is usually whatever the kids didn't eat.  The dog and I split it.

You can say "Hossman, make yourself a steak then damnit!"

Shut your mouth, you obviously don't have kids.  Cooking up a juicy wonderful steak just right can be difficult.  Cooking one while one kid latches onto your leg, another one is throwing rocks at the third one, a dog that smells the meat and a cat that frankly hates us all, is a chore man.  It's tough.  To get it right you have to ignore someone and some days I like the dog a hell of a lot more than the kids.  If I cooked the steak just right, while remembering to stir the mac and cheese or not burning the nuggets, then one of my kids is going to end up on the roof wondering if they can "make the jump".

And then after I do that, I set the table, get everyone milk or juice, ketchup because that goes on everything, napkins because they are a bunch of dirty bastards, and am lucky enough to sit done to enjoy my still warm steak,  As soon as my butt hits the chair someone will be out of milk, mac and cheese has flipped off a plate, the dog thought it was meat and is licking the toddler, and suddenly the 7 year old decides he's to old for dinosaur shaped food can he have something else?  My steak is now cold, my beer is warm and somehow I have ended up with a green bean in my pants and I didn't even cook green beans.

I look at my wife and our friend and try to make sense of what they are saying.  Just so I understand, can anyone understand?  You get tired of going out to a steak house.  That you don't have to pay for.  That you can order any prime cut of meat you want.  That someone will make for you.  That someone will give you alcoholic drinks and bread so you have something to do before the steak gets there.  That if you don't like, you can send back and get another one??!!  That you can talk about world things, important things that have nothing to do with Paw Patrol.  So that you can go back to a nice hotel and grab all the pillows that you want. That no one is screaming in the middle of the night that they can't sleep.  That you can leave the door open while you poop.

That.  That's what your hardship is?  That's what you get tired of??

I can't relate to this conversation that they are having.  I can't join in.  I can't give some witty observation.  I can't because what they are saying makes no sense.  It's like they are speaking in tongues and even in that language, that only tongue speaking people and God can understand, even those people think my wife and our friend are crazy and want no part of your steak hating dogma.

Now this is the part of the blog where I come around and maybe give them some credit, try to see things from their side.  See the hardship placed on them and think perhaps anything in excess can be a bad thing.  I'll learn to be more empathtic and end perhaps with a funny little note of understanding.

Shit no.

Not going to happen.  Steak is fucking awesome.  Steak that someone else cooks for you and brings to you is even more fucking awesome.  There is no lesson to be learned from this story.  I would eat steak every day like that and never get tired of it.  I could have steak and eggs for breakfast, steak fajitas for lunch, a nice strip for dinner.  I could do this every day of my life for as long as I live.  And as I lay down on my death bed at 55 with clogged arteries from all the red meat, as the meat sweats come off me still, as a piece of gristle has replaced my liver, I would look at my wife.  I would hold her hand. My friend would be there with us, comforting me in my last moments.   My breathing would be labored but I could get out one more sentence, just one.

"It was worth it you commie bastards."


This Is Not Working Out

I'm just going to sit down here and type up a funny story.  Maybe make a few jokes, maybe one will get my wife to roll her eyes and then laugh when I'm not looking.  Sure, I got time to do this now a days.  I don't have anything else to do like chores, lawn mowing or binge watching Paw Patrol ALL THE FREAKING TIME CAN YOU PLEASE WATCH SOMETHING ELSE!

And Bacon Hoss is now sitting on me.

It's ok, I can still type and write a funny story while someone sits on my gut and hits me in the face with a sippy cup.  I'm paying attention to him, yup, I am completly not trying to ignore my two year old son just to do a little bit of funny.  I like it best when he is helping me type with his feet.  That is in no way distracting and counter productive.

Alright, I can't type while my son is gut punching me and trying to feed me gold fish crackers.  Let's take this show to the table.

I can find refuge at the table.  If I push the laptop in the middle of the table and type all long arm style, I should be good to go.  Except now he is actually on the table.  Not in a chair, no.  Actually on the table.  He's got his little monkey head looking over the top of the screen to see what's going on.  Now he is pushing buttons with a little monkey finger while making beep boop sounds.  I'm hitting the delete key more than I'm actually writing.  Maybe he can improve my spelling.  I didn't think he could make it to the top of the table.  I watched him do it.  Stood on a chair, belly scooted to the top, came right over.  I have got to admire the determination to not let me do anything.

No problem though, I'm Dad, I got all kinds of ideas.  He can't reach the counter top.  Suck it little boy, Dad's got one on you.

He unplugged my laptop while trying to climb up my leg.  He's pulling my shorts off.  It's actually pretty tough to type one handed.  Pretty slow going.  My right ass cheek is now hanging out to.  He got a fist full of boxers now as well.  Good times.

Screw it.  I have to go drastic.  I have to put all common sense aside so I can get some stuff done.   Bacon has a philosphy of "I love dad so much that no one is allowed to love him at all".  That basically means that he requires constant contact to ward off any other possible people that may want to hug me, touch me, walk near me.  But I have a way out of this.  I'm not proud but screw it.

I just gave him the Ipad.  I know it's a 300 dollar piece of high tech gear that I have just given to a 2 year old toddler so that I may do something.  Anything really, I don't even care.  I just need to feel accomplished and take a break from the world of PAW PATROL WHY WON'T PUPS GO TO THE POUND!

Now I can write.  Now I can be funny.  Now I can listen to the wonderful classic "Let it go" around 1000 more times.


Differences in Parenting

My Wife:

Tomorrow we are going to have both kids write their apology letters.  Bubba Hoss needs to first write how he felt when Little Hoss hit him.  Then he should write why she hit him..  He needs to understand why his sister was embarrased and to understand that by trying to embarrass her in front of her friends was really hard for Little Hoss.  Then he needs to write why he is sorry that was teasing Little Hoss and what he is going to do in the future.

Little Hoss needs to first write how Bubba Hoss must have felt when she hit him.  Then she needs to write what she felt when she hit him and about how angry she was.   She needs to understand that hitting is wrong and that there are other ways that she could have dealt with this.  She needs to write that she hurt her little brother and what she should have done instead of hitting him.

Then they both need to write letters of apology to each other.  Hopefully, they will understand the other persons point of view and what they did shouldn't have happened.

What do you think Hossman?

I think we should buy boxing gloves and put them in the basement.


Baked Chicken and Little Genghis Khan

Alright.  I get it.  I need to write again.  Everyone can stop yelling at my wife.  Well, you can actually yell at her.  I'm fine with that actually.  If you yell at her, you won't yell at me.  I don't like being yelled at.

Ok, let's tell a story.

I want to eat my dinner.  Such a simple thing, such a small request.  There is food.  It is on my plate.  I would like to eat it.  That would be great.  It would be the greatest.  It would be a monkey riding a baboon great.

I can't eat dinner however and my food grows cold.  To my right, standing in at a grand total of a foot and a half tall, is the Interrupter.  A vicious fiend that has broken off the shackles of his high chair and now brays at my feet.

He utters no words, nothing intelligible.  He screams, he grunts, he shakes the table of the heavens with his tantrum.  Tiny hands flail in the air, passing through his hair as his frustration becomes my frustration.  I just want to eat.

His own kind, other 2 year old boys of fury, cannot understand his speech.  However, his intention is clear.  I. Want. Up. Motherfucker.

But no, I can not give into his demands.  That would be folly, a fools decision that would perhaps silence the pain of my ears but would never quell the rumble of my stomach.  It's baked chicken.  I would not see it eaten for the sacrifice of the rest the baked chickens of my future.

Bacon Hoss sees that I am ignoring him.  He does not like to be ignored.  In his anger, his ferocity, he grabs the shirt sleeve of my right arm, my dominate hand.   A shrewd calculation of one so little and young.  I cannot fill my mouth if my fork can never reach it.  And If he can't sit in my lap to enjoy throwing my dinner, then he will be damned if anyone else can either.

I continue to ignore him.  It's my only defense, the only one that will work.  Give in to a tantrum now and you will set the precedent for the future.  Never again will a quiet dinner be had.  Only the promise of more little, but surprisingly strong, tiny hands.

I switch my fork to my left hand.  It is awkward, untrained into filling my pie hole with glorious baked chicken.  A piece falls from it, lands perspicaciously on the edge of the table and with last hopes, falls to the floor.  I hear a grumble and slobber as I know that that piece of chicken has been swept from present, never to again adorn my plate.  The dog ate it.

Bacon Hoss does not want the chicken nor does he want the rice that goes with it.  He certainly doesn't want the salad or the broccoli.  He only wants to sit on my lap.  Such a simple request and one must think me a beast for not allowing it.  A father and son sitting in an embrace as we break bread together.  That's how it looks from the outside, to the ones that see nothing but the light of the situation.

The truth is that he wants in my lap so that he may lord over everyone at the table.  You there!  The one with the milk!  I require that!  Woman!  Fetch me my sippy cup!  Fat man, try and drink your water and see it slapped from your hand in futility.  I bet I can break this plate if I throw it to the ground.  Watch!

And he will laugh.  He will laugh.

I don't ask much.  I consider myself a simple father and a good husband.  I attend to my families needs, I engage with them.  99% of the time I am the floor mountain that they must all climb and conquer.  I read books with one hand, I tie shoes with my teeth.  I vacuum with someone hanging on to my leg and another one on my shoulder because someone is afraid of the vacuum cleaner.  I embrace this role, the walking interactive jungle gym.

Just not at dinner.  At dinner, don't touch me.  Don't hang on me.  Don't scream near me.  Don't throw food at me.  I just want to eat dinner.  It's not to much to ask.  Although as he finally utters the word "Daddy!!!!!", it may be.

"Do you want a time out?" I ask him.  My final card, the ultimate judgement for a 2 year old boy.  He stops screaming.  He cannot speak much yet but he understands what I have said.  He hasn't let go of my shirt.  He is deciding.  Does he want a time out or does he want me to not eat.  Those are his choices.

I want a time out.  I want to sit in the corner and eat baked chicken.