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.