He Said It

He said it!  Dear God almighty, he said it!  This is the day I've been waiting for.   For the third time.  The last time.  But it counts as much as the first two times count.

"Dad, I can go to bed by myself."  That's what my 3-year-old just told me.   He didn't ask me to read him one more book.  He didn't cry and try to get me to stay until he fell asleep.  He didn't try to tell me that my butt stinks or that I'm a lousy father.  He told me to go one, get outta here, he's got this.

This has been going on for a while and as I know a lot of parents, thus making me an expert through personal experience, they do the exact same thing.  So this isn't such a massive failure on my part as it is a failure on all our parts as parents.  Please someone take the blame with me here, it's difficult to walk this road alone.

Alright, I will admit it.  I should have been more strict at bedtime.  I should have demanded that my boy go to sleep by himself.  He should put himself to bed, he should tell himself his own stories and he should fight his own monsters in the closet.  I'm weak.  He would look at me and plead and I'll be honest, on this one I just didn't have the heart to tell him no.  I wanted to tell him no.  I wanted to explain to him that it was time to grow up a bit here and go to bed without me in the room.  But I couldn't.  I couldn't do it and look him in the eye.

I did it with the other kids for the most part.  My oldest would actually just get up, at age 3, announce that she was tired and was going to bed.  When naps were cut out, she seemed to know here limits.  My 9-year-old son just wanted to go with the flow.  I said it was bedtime, he said ok and that was it.

Oh sure, I had to come down on them a little bit.  I used to keep a lawn chair in the hallway that I would sit in so that when they tried to sneak out their doors, I was right there.  Boom, busted, turn around and suck it up buttercup.  But on the third one, I found that I just didn't have that in me anymore.

We tried other things.  I tried making his room special.  Gave him his own special big boy sheets and big boy pillow.  I explained why mommies and daddies need time alone together downstairs.  I explained that mommy wanted daddy to watch a show which she described as a "character study" and that this would make daddy cry.  People want to see daddy cry as much as daddy wants to watch a dialogue driven show about problems that seem to be easily fixed if someone just talked to someone else.  But I suppose that show would only last ten minutes which should free up tons of space for advertising and dad crying.

None of that worked and every night he would holler, cry and basically do everything he could to get us to stay with him until he fell asleep.  And in our weakness, we did.  Because honestly, who doesn't love bed?  Bed is great, bed is my favorite.  Bed is where I get to be a Viking.  It wasn't like he was asking me to snake the toilet which is gross and foul and the only dialog happening there can't be put on any primetime show.

But tonight he wanted to go to bed alone and that's the victory.  He said the words and now I'm going to go downstairs and....

I don't know what I'm going to do but's it's going to be awesome and adult.  I will pay my taxes while thinking about how to maximaze the kids college accounts.

Or I'll sneak back up and go to bed.  One of those two.


Cliffhanger statements

"My friend isn't going to be back until the 17th," my daughter told me.

Until the 17th!  Dear god, how can this be?  There has to be some sort of mistake, some cruel twist of fortune that keeps her friend away that long.  My first call should be to NORAD because if they can track Santa then they can track my daughter's friend.   Then I will go to the store and grab friend finding supplies, most likely some sort of sausage type meat because those are usually encased in hope and we need hope right now.

There are a lot of questions to figure out here.  What is the current border situation in Portugal, what is the alert level of the red army, is Cobra commander accounted for?  But namely, the first question I should ask is:  What the hell is my daughter talking about.

Normally I would ask my daughter a follow up on her statement.  What friend honey?  Do I know this friend?  Does this friend know me?  Has the Justice League been notified?  I can't however because after my daughter dropped this cliffhanger of a question she promptly turned around and walked away.

I would say that a good 50% of my conversations with her fit this script.  She will run up, drop some explosive intel, then walk away always assuming that I know what she is talking about.  I rarely do.

I keep up with the comings and goings of my first born too.  I know who her friends are, I've got her calendar color coded into my phone so when I open my app my face gets bathed in purple light so much that I'm only missing rhinestones and a disco ball.  I know her teachers, I read the books she does so we can talk about them, I attend every practice that she has.  So I suppose it's only natural that she think I know the conclusion about any social information that she tells me.  However, it is very difficult to keep up with the mind of an 11-year-old.

"Jessie has very pretty hair," or "I got 3 squares"  I have no idea what the significance of 3 squares are and apparently she has a friend named Jessie with very pretty hair.  Unless of course, she has a friend who has a dog and the dog has very pretty hair, that is also a very likely scenario.  Perhaps 3 squares refer to the number of meals she has had today.  Yes, that's probably it.  My daughter has had three solid squares today just like a 1930's drifter explaining his most joyous moment.

I deal with this daily.  With my son, who is 9, it is a bit easier.  His random statements usually have to do with some fact that he learned today.  Something like "The sun is bigger than Jupiter but it's still a star and there are a lot of bigger stars in the universe."  That I can deal with.   It's a bit harder with my daughter.  It's almost like I turned to a page in a random novel and read the very middle sentence and then closed the book.

I don't even get any time to make any dad jokes and that is a bit hurtful.  Dad's get sustenance from dad jokes and when one goes unsaid, our power diminishes ever so slightly.  Perhaps this is the plan for preteen girls everywhere.  By the time she reaches 18, I'll be nothing but a powerless old man that can't tell her what to do, she loves Chet and she's going to help him with his band!  She'll turn aroun and march off with purpose and conviction, I'll call after her with my hand in the air and I'll say "So you're going to be an aid to his band, or would you say you were going to be a band-aid!"

Everything is way funnier in my head.


Yoga Pants

The cackling from my wife coming from behind me isn't helping the yoga.   I am trying to find my suki here and I'm finding it difficult to discover it with the snorting laughter echoing through my living room.  However, I do not know what suki is which makes finding it rather difficult.  It's either a state of mind or it's a street somewhere in France.  If I could concentrate a little I should be able to reason out which one of those two it is.

You would think that the laughter would discourage me from doing yoga and I'm sure this is the fundamental reason that many people do not go out into public to do yoga.  Let's be honest here, downward facing dogs and mountain stances are never not funny.  Doing yoga is like "imagining that you are a tree blowing in the wind."  To do them requires a certain level of "fuck it, I don't care anymore."

Which is good because I ran out of fucks a pretty long while ago.  There comes a certain point in your life that you realize that what people think of you is not all that important.  This does not count our wives though because she has now fallen over with her laughing.   It's warranted because I'm wearing yoga pants.  Her yoga pants.  It appears that we are both distracted.

It was an honest mistake at first.   I have a pair of long johns, very manly black long johns, that I got for Christmas.  They are comfortable and helps when I have to remove snow and it's cold as balls outside.  As I do not want my balls to get that cold, I wear them to keep the company assets nice and toasty.  I got up this morning and put them on, noticing at first that they seem pretty tight for long johns.  But they are supposed to be tight.  And the fabric felt different, thicker.  Perhaps they shrink when you get them out of the dryer and they haven't been worn in a while.  And they were shorter than I remembered.  Maybe I grew.  I'm a growing boy after all.

And I had a toddler screaming at me for what reason the gods don't even know.  Then my daughter tripped, fell, hurt her knee and then decided now was the perfect time to have a pre-teen meltdown.  Of course, my 9-year-old son would not be ignored as he wanted to tell me all about squid, or Pokemon, or what his friend Johnny said or why it's important to never cough and sneeze at the same time.  All solid advice.

At 7 am in the morning, the day is pretty hectic.  Sometimes a random mother will also call with important updates on unimportant things.  So I grabbed my oddly comfortable and oddly thicker long johns and got to work.  I'm raising a family here people, take notes.

Throughout the day the long johns kept creeping up on me, riding high in places that I didn't think they should ride high at.  Perhaps my junk is just getting bigger.  It happens when you reach a certain level of manliness.  I read it online, so it must be true.  I didn't think much about it until we sent the kids upstairs at night so we could get our yoga on.

We are trying to be healthier.  We are trying to manage stress and anxiety.   And according to Mrs. Youtube Yoga teacher we are trying to find where this yoga journey will lead us and experience ourselves in whichever way that it is presented to us.

On a quick sidenote here, I would be a lot more focused during my yoga if the teacher didn't say things like "elongate your soul" or "point your pelvis with purpose."  I want to scream out "That's what she said," every time I hear it.  It's a bit distracting.  Maybe if she said what we are really thinking it would cut down on my immature humor.  Probably not as "point your pelvis with a purpose" would instead become "get that butthole jolted to the ceiling so you can't hold a fart in" would be as equally distracting.

With the kids upstairs I had the awesome idea that I should take off my jeans as the only thing I can stretch in my denim is good fashion choices.  So the jeans came off, fuck it I'm in my own home.

My wife stopped.  Looked at me.  Started laughing.

"Those are my tights.  I've been looking for them for a month."

"No, they aren't.  These are my long johns."  The nerve of some people.

"Um, yes they are.  Those are my tights.  Those are not long johns.  Why would you think they are long johns?"  Then she started to laugh harder.

I looked down and after feeling them again for a while, I had to agree.  I was wearing my wife's yoga pants.  And you know what, I make them look good.  My calves were popping, rippling leg muscles that had some definition to them and even the flat butt was presentable.  And they were so comfortable and warm, like being snuggled under a down comforter on a day that you don't have to get out of bed.  So fuck it, I'm wearing yoga pants to do yoga in.  I'm going to zen this.  I am going on a spiritual journey to discover my inner yoga pants wearing self.

So we did yoga.  My wife laughed.  We did the downward facing dog and my wife laughed more.  We did the Cobra and my wife couldn't' breath.  We did the mountain pose and my wife had to run to the bathroom before she peed herself.

And while she was in there I decided that perhaps next time I was going to just do yoga in my very loose and comfortable boxers.  My very open legged, cold ball hanging boxers.  With any luck, I can get her to pee in her yoga pants before the week is over.


Back to School

There are many things that I do that I like to think defies conventional expectations.  For example, instead of merely flexing in the mirror like so many other males, I undergo an entire Mr. Universe routine that highlights the shoulders but ignores the gut.  Very cutting edge stuff.  I also eat Mac and Cheese with the noodles upside down, a difficult concept to understand but once you try it you will soon agree that there is no other way to eat it.

However, as unique and special that I think I am, complete with my own safe space inside my head, the truth is that I am as conventional and cliche as you can get.  I live in the suburbs.  I mow my yard.  I help the kids with their homework and I root for the home team.  I read books about war and complain about politics.  Besides the fact that I'm an at home dad, somewhat rare even today, I am Mr. Cliche.  I do exactly what you expect me to do for the most part. Except when I went tarantula hunting in South America (true story) there is really nothing about me that you wouldn't expect to see.

Which is good because now I embrace my lack of uniqueness and do what millions of at home parents have done before me.  Drink copious amounts at the bus stop.

But besides the heavy unmoderated alcoholism at 8 a.m. in the morning, I am also taking a class at the local community college.  I am attempting to better myself by following in the footsteps of almost literally every single stay at home mom that has come before me.  Thanks for paving the way ladies!

Yup, Hossman is doing a little extra coursework.  This I do find surprising because I never thought I would return to school.  Once I graduated college I thought that would be the end of it for me.  This didn't mean that I did not desire to continue learning, no.  Just my learning now is more directed towards self-interests and less about bettering myself.  For example, recently I am listening to a podcast about the history of the English empire.  I have learned from that very interesting podcast that kings and queens killed lots of people and had a lot of parties that it turns out they couldn't really pay for which can certainly be seen as the tradition of the American people.

But now I need something more instructor guided.  I am taking a creative writing course, the one of what I hope to be many, to start a trail of discovery.  It's time to decide if I can really tell a story and if I can, how do I do it better.  Looking at the almost 10-year history of this blog, I have written characters, plots, had twists and told the stories that were in my head.  I've embellished and made the most simple chores seem like a Viking on a quest to reach Valhalla.  It's been fun and I plan on continuing.  In fact, I plan on writing my ass off this year, the handsome hunk of flat meat that it is.

However, I can't continue to take 10 years to have well-developed characters.  I need to get a move on.  And of course, this is almost due entirely due to the awesomeness of my wife who encourages me daily.  In fact, if it wasn't for her I would probably never see how far I can take this.  I like making her laugh and honestly, that has been the true motivator over the last 10 years.

My youngest, Bacon Hoss, is in preschool now twice a week.  This was somewhat of a wake-up call that within 2 years I will find myself alone in a house with nothing but cleaning to do.  Cleaning, while important for sure, has about as much interest to me as the pile of rocks that are currently sitting on the front porch that I do need to clean up.  But rather than clean them up I have used them as a zen garden to help me to decide what my next step is and how to achieve it.

On my long walks in the woods this fall and winter, the times where I dropped off my son, sent my other two to school, I did a lot of thinking.  This is what woods are good for.  That and spiders.  The woods have lots of spiders.  Fucking spiders everywhere.  But on these walks, it helped me plot my course over the next two years so we are giving it a shot.

I've been lucky enough that I've been published already.  And even though the works were in very local markets or for very niche communities, the work got out there and someone thought highly enough of what I've written that they paid me for it.  Now I have to get passed the fear of what I've written being public and being read.

I know this sounds weird as I have written here for so long but in my head, I have convinced myself that no one really reads any of this.  That this has been for mostly the benefit of my wife.  I know that this isn't entirely true as I have heard from people that I have never met that they read what I posted and found it funny.  It's always weird and flattering to hear that but at the same time I file it away as a "fluke" and move on to the laughter of my wife.  My daughter is old enough now that she reads the blog as well and has gone through many of the stories here about herself and laughed.  I love this.

So that's my next step, the result of thinking in the woods and dodging spiders.  A creative writing class.  I've written some short stories based on writing prompts, perhaps I'll put them up here and perhaps I won't, honestly I haven't decided.  They are weird and twist but they make me laugh and I'll take it.

But whatever I write for this class, screw it, I'll put it up here at least to do something that doesn't make me feel comfortable.  And right now, with Bacon Hoss getting closer to school, I probably need to get uncomfortable for a while.


Why are the Clouds on the Ground?

"Daddy!" my 3-year old says.  "The clouds are on the ground!  Why are the clouds on the ground Daddy?  Daddy?  Daddy?"

This will go on for the next 30 minutes unless I answer him.  He is like the alarm clock but with no snooze button.  He won't shut off until he has an answer that makes sense to him.


This is a part of being a father that is commonly overlooked. When many of us first realize that we are going to be a father and what that really means, we imagine a scene of father advice.  We will take our son's and daughters to some stoop somewhere.  We will sit with them, often with an arm over their shoulders, and impart fatherly wisdom.  Wisdom so good that each and every word should have a chapter in a book written about it.

"Son," you'll say.  "A man's worth is determined by his treatment of others.  A man with a poor soul will corrupt other's around him while a man with light in his heart will lift up other's when they need it most."

Shit, that sounds awesome.  I'm going to file that one away to use someday.   Let's try one for my daughter.

"Daughter," you'll say.  " This world is yours to build or destroy as you see fit.  Let no one tell you which to do for the choice is always only yours."

God damn.  I should write a little book of these.

But that's not what I'm doing this morning as me and Bacon Hoss walk to the store parking lot at 8:30 in the morning.  Why so early?  Because you weekenders fuck up my grocery shopping that's why.  So if I need to go to the store on the weekend we go early in the morning.  I imagine that all you that don't have kids are sleeping in on your Saturdays.  Me and father's like me were up at 7:15 am because 3-year-olds kick you in the face until you wake up and get breakfast ready.

Then once you are up and on the way to the store they begin the toddler quiz show which is very different from a 9-year-old or 10-year old quiz show.  In the older quiz shows the questions are a little more specific and usually has something to do with what their friend Sammy said to them over the weekend.  Sammy likes to talk a lot of shit.

The toddler quiz show is always something that they see and don't understand.  It's your job to put it into the context that they can grasp.

Why are the clouds on the ground my toddler asks.

I take a breath.  This is going to get long.  I'm about to talk about condensation and dew point which will lead to a conversation about weather patterns and water molecules.  That, of course, will lead into a discussion of atoms and matter and the relationship of temperature to the state of matter.  Gasses, solids, and liquids will come into play now.  Eventually, we will make it back to what fog is and why it is on the ground.  A complete and total education for my toddler.

"Daddy!" he screams.  "Why are the clouds on the ground!"  His words are louder which is my cue to stop talking and to start explaining.

"The clouds are going to sleep baby, just like you."

Somedays as a father you just aren't up for discussing the state of the universe.  Some days you just need to get the brats for dinner.

And a cookie.  But cookies at 8:30 in the mornng are awesome.