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.