Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Out Of My Tree

I bought my daughter a house today. Look -:


As you can see it is a starter home. It's a touch pokey but it does have a folding table and a place to put a phone inside. It's in a damn site better shape than mine was when I got it, I can tell you that. It was $8 at a garage sale right down the road. Strangely I didn't even know they had kids, let alone that their daughter has the same name as mine.

Speaking of strange my daughter is currently asleep. She casually told me that she was going to take a nap. After I nearly choked laughing I went and did the two things I had to do. Took maybe six minutes. When I came back she was asleep on the couch. She still is. Here -she's doing that creepy Dolphin-eye thing.


That's not human. I'm not letting her have more than twenty minutes either. Any longer and she will never go to sleep tonight.

Anyhoo the two things I needed to do were drag the old cat-tree outside and then check something on my lawnmower. Or as it is now known, "The Fucking Lawnmower." I just paid to have it fixed - more money than I actually paid for it. The bolt that holds the blade onto the lawn mower snapped inside the frikking lawnmower. There is no way to get it out. Crap. The other thing was the cat-tree. We didn't buy one. Oh no - we are worse. Our in-laws built one and stapled carpet to it. We used to own one years ago and the cats adored it. But the cats haven't been near the thing in over a year. So I dragged it outside and will give it a few hours for free by the side of the road before dismantling it and burning the wood. Except after coming back in the house I see this out the window -


Seriously? It sucked for over a year and then within five minutes Bodmin is already relaxed on top of the thing? I was so irritated I actually went out and told her to get off. But she's back up there already. Do I still throw it out now? Can I get away with keeping it out back and let them use it there? Will it attract other animals? It certainly looks like the kind of deviant sex-aid that a red squirrel would enjoy. Those chirpy little bastards are always flying about the place trying to molest other squirrels. Bah - I'm just chucking it out.

Maybe.

I'm Sorry But Your Mother Is Dead. Just Kidding!!

"Daddy, I only want toast with butter. Stop telling me I want armpits."

Good Lord she's easy to wind up sometimes. My kids got up after 6am today. I know! Which meant that my son was in a super-terrific mood, and my daughter didn't wake up with a glass-half-empty-when-it-could-be-full-of-jellybeans attitude. Which meant I could commence with taking the piss at the earliest opportunity. The wife left for work and my daughter got right into the important work of the morning - telling me what she should have for breakfast. Actually she initially said that because the sun was coming up that she should be allowed candy. I rebuffed that one by simply laughing. So she told me she was hungry and that she wanted to watch TV. Nope - no TV at 6.15 in the morning. I wasn't going to keep going down the, "no you can't" route though so told her that I could get her whatever she wanted to eat that is actual food. She came up with nothing. So I suggested toast. I don't eat toast and neither does her brother (he's just not interested) so she doesn't get it all that often.

So she got all excited and told me specifically that she wanted toast with butter, that it should not be burnt and that she did not want any nonsense like peanut butter or jelly to come anywhere near it. "Right..' I said, "you want a goat dipped in Vaseline. I'll bring it right out."

"No! Just toast and butter!"

I put on a fake confused face and acted like I was trying to concentrate. "Okay good - you want me to wash your hair with ketchup."

"Daddy stop. I don't want a ketchup head. I want toast with butter. That's all." She was now up close and trying to make eye contact. She also had her index finger raised and was trying to get me to notice it in an effort for me to realize that I had one thing to do correctly and that's all.

"Fine, you want me fill your ear with chocolate sauce and have the dog lick it out. WESTON!!! TIME TO EAT EAT CHOCOLATE!!" I then went in the kitchen and got an over-sized spoon and told my daughter to lie down so I could get the sauce in. After a lot of correction from her I ended up just suggesting various things to go in her armpit. I suggested jam, mayonnaise, ice cream and most inspired of all, Regis Philbin. My daughter knew I was mostly joking and was playing along somewhat, but she was also a little annoyed that I wasn't acknowledging she wanted just toast with butter. I kept her onside by finishing the whole thing off by telling her I knew that she wanted me to tie her up in a blanket and lick her face. Which I did. Then after she laughed too much I made her toast.

I don't know why this is such a hard thing to do. The rules are simple. Only do it when she's in a good mood initially. And only suggest absurd ridiculous things. And if it's not working - meaning she gives more resistance than you'd expect - stop and just go do what you were supposed to do. My daughter's grandfather likes to play this teasing game too but often clumsily crashes around the whole concept like a drunken hippo. She'll suggest something like to go play in the sandbox and he'll tease her with, "okay then - you want me to burn all your clothes." The shock of this alone is alarming to her but then after she pleads with him not to he'll also include that he's going to pour all the ice cream into the garbage disposal and drown her dog in the hot tub. Oh, and that she'll never see her mother ever again. Not just because her mother is dead but because he's just about to throw acid into her tiny face. He thinks he's doing it correctly though and that because he's saying all this in a jokey smiley way that it is clearly playful, when really it comes across as definitely mental.

Anyhoo - she's eaten all the toast now and is bored of filling the old coffee can I gave her with toy cars. I got her a spoon half way through to stir the Car Soup, but even after adding a few more ingredients (a plastic llama, a bracelet and a coiled-up measuring tape) she's already losing interest. I think I'm going to sit in the floor and see if we can do some reading. Later we need to go buy a nut and bolt for the lawn mower and then this afternoon I want to mow the hairiest part of the yard. No idea what's for dinner. Maybe it's chicken tikka night?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Elastica The Raisin Toboggan

My daughter challenged me to a game of carpet-football this evening while we waited for her mother to hurry up home from work. She told me she would be the scorer and that I could be, "the Pretender." Dammit - she has me figured out already. Then she cheated. I swiveled, did a masterful step over and then buried the ball into the back of her goal. Then she casually told me that I can;t score because her goal is asleep. While I thought about this she threw the ball randomly and weakly away from me over to the couch. And yelled , "GOAAALLLL!" in celebration. What a brazen cheat. Premier League material easily there.

As an act of revenge I gave my son repeated raisin snacks today. Take that - he'd be backed up like a drainpipe stuffed with loose-shag rolling tobacco and treacle. Not so apparently as he exploded with a rancid stink and a surprising loud trumpeting eruption around 6pm. It was probably the worst poo I've ever had to clean off of him. It was almost elastic. The actual Beast itself was like a giant raisin toboggan. You could probably have used an emery board as scale-sized oars for it. It was particularly annoying because he hasn't had a single accident of any kind for days, and yet I sabotaged that. Way to go Super Dad.

Time to put the buggers to bed. I'm hoping for a nice sit down, to sample some coffee ice cream I'm chancing my arm on and to watch another terrible episode of NCIS: Rural Georgia. That;s an inside joke that isn't funny to 99% of the people here. But it made me laugh like a madman.

Hide The Sweetcorn

Speaking of jokers...

My kids played a game the other morning called Peek a Boo-Boo. They insisted on playing it again today. Basically they hide their faces in the massive cups of my wife's bra and I have to pretend I can't find them. When we first played it my wife was actually in control of the bra. Which meant that it wasn't as odd and there was a slim possibility that she would play Peek A Boo-Boo with me. Which is hot. This morning though I was in control of the bra, which meant I was deliberately playing with my wife's hot underwear with my kids. I felt a bit odd. But then I remembered that after playing that game with my wife I went to make a bath and she sent my daughter to find me whilst wearing her hottest bra. Which is, again, wrong.

Then yesterday afternoon my daughter came running over to me and said, "Look Daddy!! I'm dressing in Ranch Dressing!!" Go on - it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out what she was doing and why her hilarious word-joke was funny. I went to get a wet paper towel to wash off the massive sploodge of Ranch she'd caked onto her stomach and she got mad at me for not wanting to eat it off. When I finally came back she was trying to get her brother to lick it off. For God sake No - this isn't France.

Fifteen minutes later she had stuffed a deflated balloon up her nose as a prank and said I had to pull it out as if she wear a church bell. I gave her the firm, "don't shove things into your body" talk and secretly worried for a good half an hour that she'd come running up to me exclaiming, "Daddy I've hidden a bag of frozen sweetcorn and you have to find it!!" No I don't. That's why we have coroners.

This morning my wife got up at 4.45am. Which meant my son did too. He was really happy about that too. And in case you cannot recognize sarcasm (as represented by italics) I'll point out he was furious with the whole thing. I also was up and had that body-pain in my ribs from lying wonky that suggested that during the night my wife had repeatedly punched me. Knowing how loud I can snore that's not out of the question. Anyway, I could tell that my son was mostly pissed that his mother was awake in the house without him so I shoved her out the door to go to work at 5.15 and worked on getting him back to sleep. By 6am I'd wiggled him asleep and plonked him on the couch and went to make coffee.

During which my daughter began screaming down the stairs that I had to come lie down with her. I went up, explained that we had to be quick in case her brother woke up, and lay down. She told me that last night she dreamed she was a vacuum cleaner. She said I had to drag her around the house by her legs and she would suck up dirt with her bottom. Then she told me she was, "going to make milk" and hid under the duvet. So I quickly got up and went downstairs. My son was wide awake, was sat at the computer and had pulled the "r" key off. He was poking the exposed sensitivity-pad with a packet of Wrigley's Spearmint gum and some fingernail clippers. Not sure what he had planned but he does have the element of McGyver about him, so it is possible he was making a Dirty Bomb. You might think I am being shockingly suspicious about that but consider that barely two minutes ago whilst writing this he came to me with one of my winter hats to put on. Which I did only to find he'd hidden about twenty pre-sucked raisins in it. Still not suspicious? Well consider that yesterday in the car we listened to a five minute piece on NPR about raisin toxicity and dogs.

You can see how it's clear he's trying to bump me off.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chop Chop

My daughter told me a joke this morning. She actually was trying to retell one she'd heard. The original goes like this -:

Q: What did the mud puddle say to the worm?
A: Can you dig it?

Which is both not funny and doesn't actually work. Nevertheless I had promised my kids we would go outside and find mud, puddles and mud puddles to throw ourselves into. Thankfully I'd left the play-pool open and that was full. Every bucket, container and cup outside was full of water. Add that there was a nice knee-deep (a child's knee at least) pond way out in the back yard we could jump in. Kids had a blast and got soaking wet. In the middle of this my daughter told the joke like this -:

Q: What did the mud puddle say to the worm?
a: Get out of my body worm. Go back in the house right now and have a shower. This is not appropriate.

Which is definitely funnier.

Anyhoo - we spent the morning getting covered in mud and chucking the billions of walnuts that had fallen down into the giant barrel. After a quick scoochy about it turned out that nothing had fallen down or blown away, and the rain that had gathered was all but gone. Randomly when I went to check the mail a freaking huge branch fell out of the tree in front of the house. This really has nothing to do with any storm - it tries to kill me at least once a week. But it did remind me that I better start planning how to de-limb these trees come Fall. The house is surrounded by enormous old trees that are itching to crash into something. If they hit my house that's not that annoying - insurance covers it. But a good chunk of them loom over the neighbor's collection of cars, his homemade snowplow (don't ask) and his house. Maybe I'll plan a chopping party?

Shortly after this my daughter demanded a bath and a hot chocolate. She also threw in a Popsicle to cover her bases as well. We had the bath and her hot chocolate is sitting next to me pretty much untouched. He brother is conked out on the couch. He is going to love Winter. He doesn't even know you can yank icicles right off the roof and eat them. Or that at least five times last Winter there was so much snow overnight that you couldn't even see the car. It's going to blow his tiny mind.

Miscellaeneous Debris

There were plenty of little things from this wedding weekend that I haven't mentioned yet.

- All the drinks for kids were behind the bar. I don't know why this seemed weird to me. When I was younger one of the most family oriented places you could go was down the pub, but that is not the case here. It was particularly annoying because I had to wait, ask the barman for a juice-box like I was some pretentious Hipster, and then actually tip them for drinks that I actually helped carry into the freaking room myself an hour earlier.

Every single time I headed to the bar I met the same woman. She looked like one of the middle photos of that famous "this is what meth does to you" photo history thing you can see online, except with a party dress on designed to show off as much boob as possible. She would then be all playful and try and make my son laugh. Which was cute and funny enough. However by the third or fourth time, and after what was clearly more than three or four more drinks for her it wasn't as cute and funny. She will still nice and friendly but in a drunk overly touchy way. It was made weirder still as she kept saying, "Hey Gabe - go on - say my name!!" As my son's name isn't Gabe that was a little odd. But not as odd as the fact that that isn't usually the situation I think about a drunk woman with their tits falling out of their clothes keeps touching you and yelling, "Say my name!! Go on say it!" After a few more times one of her friends with her said, "oh Gabe - that's a nice name!" and I had to confess that wasn't actually my son's name. At which point the drunk woman told me she just decided to call him Gabe because she thought he looked like the killer baby in the movie Pet Cemetery. At which point my Achilles tendon started to hurt.

- Apparently American men have no idea how to do up a tie. Having gone through school in the UK, and having had a job or two that required one, I don't even think about it when putting it on - just like most of you don't. It's like doing up shoe laces. Right before the service I aided a relative in getting his tie done up and apparently that was so impressive he needed to call other people over to watch. I thought it was more impressive that he had "forgotten" how to do it. For a short while after that people behaved as if I knew the super secret Illuminati handshake. Then after the service after bringing my son back I was leaning against the back of my car putting my tie back on and chatting away to a few family members. And I swear to God a crowd of people actually stopped to watch me put a tie on without looking at it or using a mirror. They even asked me to do it again like I was a sword swallower or The Oracle.

- Once when walking around the reception room I was stopped by a nice woman (no idea who she was) who told me, "you are doing such a good job." Okay. Then she said, "it's so nice to see." Okay. And then she said, "I just really wanted to tell you that you are really giving single parents a very good name." No way was I correcting that. At least one person in that building thought I was a hero and I wasn't doing anything to change her mind.

- My wife - inspired by wedding fever - dragged her own wedding dress out from her parent's closet and put it on. Actually we were just sitting around watching the kids when she remembered it was in the closet. She chucked it on and looked better than the bride ever could. Here, I didn't notice the big fat-smudge fingerprint on the lens when I took the photo but you get the point -:


Looks like she has been dolling herself up all day no? Nope - she just threw it on. She thought it was pretty funny how easy it was to get it on and off. And - I'm glad to say - she's even hotter somehow. She thought it would be funny to show up in a wedding dress of her own carrying her own two children. Sort of like a social commentary on the situation where people can somehow think that yes they do want to have a family and live together, but don;t want to get married because it would be like being stuck in a relationship. Except that the truly biting part of it is that my wife and I actually have been married for a decade already, and did so well before we had kids.

- My wife and I were confused by something. Most of the women who showed up were married. They're just in that age group - recently married and not yet divorced. Add that as this was a wedding a very large number of the people there are related in some manner. And yet a good solid number of the young women were dressed in startlingly whorish attire. And by that I mean if you were to imagine in your head right now a thirty year old woman wearing a dress that a stereotypical streetwalker would wear in a cheesy network TV show - they were wearing that. We couldn't quite understand it. There is no way that they didn't get the response when they asked their spouse/family member how they looked that morning, "You look like a hooker. Not only that but you look like the kind of hooker that other hookers go to when they want to feel classy."

- During my wedding the minister tried riffing a little bit on what the symbolism of the rings was. Oddly he wandered down a strange cul-de-sac and actually uttered the phrase, "spiral of death and decay" during the main service. It was odd, but most people didn't notice. However during this service during the speeches someone stood up to have everyone take note of the fact that some people couldn't be there because they had died. In particular a relative who had died very recently of cancer at a young age leaving a husband and young child behind. Which is touching and achingly painfully sad. But at some point they had decided that they didn't actually want to make it seem like they were focusing too much on the surviving husband. So they named a few other people who also couldn't make it because they'd died fifteen years ago.

- After the wedding service everyone gathered in the building to get trashed. Everyone accept the guy who thought that moment would be a great time to try out his mountain bike on the ski-hill outside. I was never introduced to this man, but even I knew he must have been the man who lived in his car for awhile in my in-laws driveway. Maybe it was the enormous non-conformist beard and canvas deerstalker hat he was sporting. Or the fact that he wore toe-less socks - as in socks that he'd cut the toes out of. Or the fact that right after the service he took of his socks and just chucked them on the road between the parking lot and the reception hall. No - I think it was actually because at the rehearsal dinner (and I stress dinner because there was food available) when the bride-to-be was giving a short speech about how helpful her bridesmaids had been he kept yelling to her, "Where I can get a loaf of bread?" Repeatedly. I later learned he is Celiac so the loaf of bread demand seems very strange. Maybe he uses it as toilet paper.

- Everybody else liked the food both nights. I didn't eat anything at the rehearsal because it was pasta or covered in breadcrumbs. Which actually is fine by me because I don;t actually like fake-Italian food anyway. I don't think I've ever been to many events, let alone a wedding, where I've liked the food. At my wedding it was good. We had a good normal selection of tasty stuff and then randomly had enchiladas chucked in as well. That went over spectacularly. At one of my wife's school friend's weddings I remember the food being decent enough. Aside from that it's just not my kind of food. Case in point being that at this wedding there was prime rib and some kind of marinated grilled chicken. I genuinely think that prime rib is the most tasteless bland cut of beef imaginable. I don't get the veneration for it at all. Don't give me, "oh you have to cook it right" - I've had it many times and it's just pointless. Add the chicken tasted like it had been dipped in old dirty dishwater. I think that quite a lot apparently. It's an odd common thing I say along with that my cup of tea sometimes tastes like chicken. It's obviously incorrect but that's what I'm thinking. When I used to smoke I'd sometimes get a cigarette that I genuinely thought tasted like chicken too. Evidently there's some connection between all of them, but other than the fact I'm mental I can't put my finger on what it is. Anyway that's just me - everyone else thought it was all tasty.

- My wife was easily the most beautiful woman there. Easily. I didn't take any photos of her but I'm sure they'll surface at some point. I looked like me in a suit. I scrub up okay. I can look tasty at times. But I looked alright this weekend. But she blows my mind at how beautiful she is. I bet she could have pulled off one of those hooker dresses with aplomb.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Wedding Crashed

Today it's raining. I'm being told by scary media people that Satan is literally pissing all over the Eastern coast. Yes it is raining. It feels like Swansea actually. Some of the coverage has been horrifying though. Friends of mine on the coast have been telling me that it rained, got a bit windy but nothing to really make a dent in any plans they had. Then they'd turn the news on and they're told that they are experiencing the End Of Days. I've spent enough energy today complaining about this on Facebook and elsewhere, but if you have no knowledge of how the US national news completely makes up events watch these 20 seconds and then remember to NEVER EVER trust your TV again.


Yeah - it's that level of bullshit.

Spent the entire day yesterday at my brother-in-laws wedding. My kids did spectacularly considering. And by considering I mean that the place we were in was a sweat-box. Add that the one definite that I was not looking forward to is that my brother-in-law and his now-wife are always two hours late for everything at best. And when they arrive they've forgotten something fundamental. And that is how it went yesterday except multiply that by ten. Everything went wrong. They could have collapsed and cried but didn't so fair play to them. But you make your own luck and all that. At the rehearsal the food was late. And then they only received half of it. And people had to run out to get drinks. For the actual wedding day the linens didn't show up when they were supposed to. The flowers didn't show up until the very last minute. The person who made the cakes made the cupcakes. Good stuff. But they blew off the actual wedding cake stating that because she wasn't sure what frosting the wedding party wanted that she just wasn't going to bother. Lucky they called her to check and one was made. The groom told me he was going to write his vows that night - probably.

On the wedding day itself the groom showed up at our house and dumped his daughter - which is okay as he plenty to do. But he had no idea how she was getting to the wedding, what she was wearing or where it even would be. Not his problem. Then he asked if he could borrow my car so his buddies could get to the wedding. This is because the bus he had hired a month earlier told him a few hours before that they may be double booked. Then they refused to take his calls for the rest of the day. Not knowing how I would get my own family to the wedding I kept my car. I doubted I would ever see it again to be honest. Then jobs were assigned to different family members with very poor instructions. It was odd - for an inexplicable reason the wedding things - flowers, clothes, favors, party bags, everything really - had been scattered all over town and were to be sent to other non-central destinations. It was chaos. Which is why both the groom and bride lost their wedding vows - and for a short time had lost the rings. When I got to the wedding people were milling about drinking from the open bar. Which wasn't supposed to be "open" for another four hours.

The bride obviously showed up 45 minutes late. I was strolling through the parking lot at the time looking for sanctity when she pulled up, rolled down her window reeking of beer asking if anyone had found her vows. And her phone charger. Nope. When the ceremony eventually kicked off it went okay. Except the groom yelled out, "ONE LOVE" from the Bob Marley song randomly in the middle - unaware it seems that the one love in the song is weed. The actual service was nice though. Love is Love after all. Very cheesy and all the wedding party are right out of the central New York state version of Jersey Shore (less Italian - more skank). Right after the service it became clear that the bar was almost empty. So my father-in-law ran out for a ton more beer. It wasn't the last time either. I took my son for some respite for an hour and my wife went up a mountain on a ski-lift to do family photos - only to find herself somehow responsible for the children of the wedding party. Not really assigned - but the daughter was just left up the mountain to figure it out. I then start getting phone calls - please bring all sorts of crap because the wedding party forgot to arrange for it. So I ran around, got it all and drove back well before the reception was due to start.

It was then revealed that the caterer didn't show up anywhere near on time and nobody was going to bring the 150 chairs from the ceremony into the actual dining room. My wife fixed that. Finally the food arrived over an hour late but was delayed further because the wedding party realized they'd forgotten to buy champagne, and made someone go out to find some at 45 minutes after the reception was supposed to actually start. Why? Because this was a wedding totally about getting absolutely fucking hammered. Which practically everyone except maybe 20 people were. Sadly my wife and I, and then later I alone, kept bumping into the groom and his gaggle of best men hidden behind chalets or gathered into one toilet cubicle clearly imbibing illicit substances. Yeah go celebrate - you should. But dude - you have kids and everyone you work with is in the room next door.

It was a frikking shambles. Not to mention I had to endure several conversations from state employees (at least half the room) - many of whom retired in their fifties due to ludicrous pension and benefit schemes - complaining that this country has gone to crap due to all these government leeches and their entitlement mindset. And now the bastards want Obamacare-for-all and God knows what other communist hippie crap. And that is not on - those socialist traitors are threatening their guaranteed full-salary pensions and what has to be the most flagrant and egregious insurance plan you've ever dreamed up. Best we all get on the phone to Rick Santorum and tell him to stop being so frikking tolerant and start fighting for us all real Americans.

Still - the dip was tasty. And it's in no way the oddest wedding I've been to. One I was at people were line-dancing to Tainted Love. No one should be line-dancing to the anthem to anal sex. That's Deliverance-level creepy. And in all honesty no I don't share the same interests or moral mindset of the family I was with - but I'm glad they are married and are happy.

For now.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Party Dress

The success of this weekend hinges on me.

I have a handful of things that I absolutely must do today. First and foremost I must remember to take everything we need to the wedding we are off to. It's the rehearsal dinner tonight (which idiotically is scheduled for 5pm on a Friday) so I have to pack all our fancy clothes and make sure I don't forget any. And when we travel we always forget something fundamental. We've left shoes and coats (sometimes both) when we've gone to the in-laws in -10 Fahrenheit weather. One time we went away and I forgot to bring underpants. I had to actually buy a few pairs at a hardware store. Anyway - I haven't made a list or anything like that (my wife would have done that, and she'd have bought herself a special pen to cross off each item that she had tagged with special string) so hopefully I'll just remember it all.

Secondly I have to keep my daughter out of her special wedding dress. I bought it ages ago when I splurged on maybe 7 or 8 girlie dresses for her to look nice in. She tried it on yesterday and has already tried to sneak it on twice this morning. All I have to do is make it until tomorrow and then she can put it on, make it through the ceremony and then do whatever she likes in it. This morning I drove my wife to work and when I got home I let my daughter out of the car and went to unbuckle my son. By the time I got into the house she had stripped off naked and was trying to climb into it. She was barely a foot away from a way-to-full cup of grape juice as well. I explained that it was a special dress and she couldn't put it on. Then she asked me for some dry cereal. When I came back with it she had snuck off into the dining room and was trying to get into the dress. So as a security measure I've already put it in the car. I don not want to come in later from getting the mail and find her half-dressed in it exclaiming, "Daddy, I tried to put it on but it ripped. And I spilled half a gallon of the jar of honey I was drinking onto it. Oh, and I shit myself."

I'm wearing my old wedding suit. I wore it to my wedding a decade ago. Amazingly it still fits. I had purchased a new suit since then but that has an off-the-shelf quality to it. My wedding suit looks like it is my suit. Technically I shouldn't be wearing it. I may be one of only two people at this wedding in a suit who isn't in the actual wedding party. It is a big fancy wedding, but people around here just do not wear suits. Case in point being interviews - every interview I've ever been to the interviewee has mentioned right off the bat that I'm wearing one. My wife interviews people often for her job and she has yet to see a man wearing an actual suit. It's even less casual up in the mountains. It's one of those towns where every other bloke is sporting one of those fantastical Civil War mustaches/beards. I had an interview there a few years back and put my suit on. Everyone who saw me that day assumed that someone had just died.

My wife paraded through her wedding/event dresses yesterday. She plumped for the classic black one. I'm going to bring her a sunnier one as well in case she feels like she is overdressed, or marking the occasion with a funeral dress. She was ridiculously hot in all the dresses - especially the one that showed off her gusset. I think that one might set the wrong tone though. My son has a snazzy little suit too. Cost a dollar. I'm hoping he doesn't have an accident during the ceremony on my gorgeous wife. I don't care how tasty she looks - when you're covered in piss it changes things. Add the boy's suit pants are polyester - and there is zero chance of getting the stink of urine out of polyester. Actually we realized today that we forget to buy him shoes for this thing so we have to go on my wife's lunch break. Which means that she will actually have a lunch break for a change. I think he should just wear mud boots.

Anyhoo - the wedding is going to be absurd. It's one of those weddings with a 90 minute photo session in the middle. Lots of money is being spent and the stated aim of the people marrying is that they want to get absolutely tanked. That's pretty much it. It's actually an annoying wedding. These people have two kids, are living in their second home (a big flashy one at that) and should have married 8 years ago. The groom just didn't want to. No really - it was an open fact that the bride-to-be would demand to get married or she was off, and he would say, "well, if that's what you want go nuts, because I don't want to get married. At all." Then they had a kid. Then another. Now they are having a grossly overblown wedding. Good for them for celebrating the event, but it came with a sense of weirdness. They already have everything - so the wedding shower and registry list smacks of just asking for stuff they thought would be neat but wouldn't pay for themselves. None of it helps them form a home or plan for their life together. But whatever - it's good that they are finally marrying. It'll make the inevitable divorce in a few years more interesting.

Right - I don't see my daughter. I better go check in the car to make sure she isn't pouring maple syrup and engine oil onto that bloody dress.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Suddenly Really Want Princess Bounce To Come Back

So my daughter and I snuck upstairs after my wife got home to sort out the laundry and make my bed. Which meant that I sorted out the laundry and made the bed while she ran around naked and jumped onto the piles of clothes and my bed. After a short while I complained about her destroying my neat piles and she scolded me.

"You can't tell me not to jump on the clothes. I'm a super hero. My name is Super Bumming Girl."

Which sounds very much like a straight-to-DVD series of movies that she really doesn't to want to be in. After doing the laundry and making the bed I got a bath ready. With bubbles, obviously. My wife had been holding my son since she got home. He'd been irritated and prepared to demonstrate that for a good three hours before she got home. So when I came downstairs and told her the bath was ready she pointed out he was already asleep and put him to bed.

When I got back upstairs Super Bumming Girl had been skimming bubbles out of the bath and covering her legs in them, then running around the landing and bedroom trying to cake the walls and floor in bubbles. I got in the bath, she followed and then completely covered herself in as many bubbles as she could. My wife paraded in and out of the room in various dresses for a wedding we are going to Saturday. After she left one time my daughter announced that she would be wearing only some bubbles to the wedding. I said she couldn't. She remarked once again that Super Bumming Girl can wear bubbles to a wedding if she wants to. Which, if I'm not mistaken is a sub-plot from Super Bumming Girl 4: Honey I Might Have Been Touching The Neighbors Barely-Legal Kids, that may or may not include a special guest appearance from Rick Moranis.

Anyhoo - time to put her to bed. Actually my daughter nominated her mother to do it - and they both might not reappear. I'll sit on the couch with a some chicken jalfrezi and a cup of tea and watch PBS News Hour.

The Adventures of Dr. Bonk and The Window Licker

Today is a crappy rainy day. Yay! So as it's been forever since we've been we are going back to the craft store. My daughter wants to decorate for Fall and their stuff is on sale for that right now as it's between seasons. I might grab a few Halloween things cheap too. It also depends on how insanely priced the pine cones are. You can make your own for maybe thirty cents. Last time I was near some they were something absurd like $5.99 for 5 pine cones that smell like cinnamon. I could just make stuff in a suace pan - we have tons of cinnamon sticks. Yep - I'm doing that. This house needs to start smelling of Fall. Apple pie, cinnamon and stuff like that.

This morning we played a very long intricate game of The Adventures of Dr. Bonk and Princess Bounce. Haven't done that in a month or so. My daughter started it off by naming this episode Dr. Bonk Sat On A Frog. Then made her brother sit on a wooden frog toy. That was a pretty short adventure so she started firing them off. Princess Bounce and The Million Foot Snake was first. I was the snake. When I commented that I am not a million foot long my daughter said that I should pretend harder. Hmmm. Then she announced that we were now playing Daddy Sleeps With a Toe In His Ear. She forced me to play that for fifteen minutes. I had to pretend to sleep in the pretend bed on the floor and then she would just put her toe in my ear. Over and over and over. I had to express great surprise at that each time. Pretty dull after the fourth or fifth time. Until my son spied the opportunity to sit on my face obviously. We played a few more episodes - Dr. Bonk Has No Underpants On followed annoyingly by Princess Bounce Also Has No Underpants On. We then played a game called And Then Everyone Had Breakfast With Their Pants Very Much On.

My son just tried to make out with me while he was on the toilet. For those of you without kids this will sound odd. Basically little kids learn that a kiss from Mom and Dad is a physical show of affection. So they reciprocate by mushing their big open gummy mouth and tongue against you when they want to tell you they love you. My son, now happy again with going to the bathroom (I think it's five days with perfect toileting again) wanted to tell me how much he enjoys going in there, sitting on his brand new seat and reading Go Train Go! one more frikking time. I sit on a tiny stool right in front of him so we can both see the book, and I can point his willy into the toilet if he suddenly starts firing off a torrent of wee like a confident garden hose. So after I enthusiastically asked him if he wanted to read and win some marshmallows (waaay cheaper than M&Ms but just as bad for you) he looked down into the bowl and began gushing away. Then he looked up at me with love, clapped his hands and tried to make out with me to show me how happy is to please me. I was more concerned with making sure he didn't fall of the toilet and soak us both victory juice. So I let him make out with my eye and part of my cheek. Then when he was done he flushed (he loves watching it between his legs) and jumped down to put his knickers back on. At which point he gave me a hug and tried to kiss my face again. I guess he is feeling all lovey-dovey today.

I didn't have the heart to tell him he'd pissed right into the face of Thomas the Tank Engine though in the book we were reading. It can be cleaned off but still - I'll still know. It actually made me think of something a friend of mine mentioned Somewhere across this great land someone is taking their kid to the toilet, but instead of a book they have taken in a Kindle or an IPad. Revolting. And annoying when the kid squirts all over the screen.

My son brought me a bag of sugar this morning too. Well, not really. He brought me the bag from the sugar. He left all the sugar in the kitchen. At least he hadn't pissed in it. OR just rolled around in it inhaling as much as he could before I noticed he was missing. That would have been one hell of a rush for him. I have started trying to trick my kids by giving them things with cinnamon on them instead of sugar. It works sometimes. On occasion they know it's not right though.

I have no idea why the human body has a predilection for sweet things and a revulsion for sour at this age. That will change obviously. Mind you it seems most snacks in this country are sweet whereas I recall everything I'd stuff my fat head with in the UK were savory. But not at this age. I remember getting Pick N Mix from a shop near my house. That seems to have faded out these days. Cola bottles and gummy bears were a 1/2 penny then. Which frankly meant piss all to me because I've never liked soft-chewy candy. I liked the cola cube things though. I also remember some weird tiny chocolate cup cake thing that came with a foil wrapper - those things were amazing. We didn't get stuff like very often at all mind you - we were a solid working class family that made do other ways. If we had deserts or sweet things it would be at home. I do recall my sister inventing her own snack by stuffing her finger into the butter and then rubbing it in the sugar bowl. Other than that my mother made tons of cake and custard things. And my Nan had that ice cream you cut with a knife. Everyone else ate jelly (Jell-o to some of you) that had fruit somehow floating inside it. I didn't like that stuff either.

Right now my daughter is angry because I won't let her pretend the dog is a pinata. That seems like good parenting to me but she strongly disagrees. She is wandering around the living room with a fish slice pretending to not eye him up. I don't know why she wants to batter him, but if she takes a swipe at him I may have to actually make something. Maybe I could dress up the giant elephant somehow? Hold on.

I took their minds off it with salami sandwiches. Always a winner that. My daughter has been telling me since about 6.15am that she should be getting parade candy and then tying to bargain with me. She knows that she has to eat meals and healthy stuff, but she's been saying, "I ate a banana yesterday so I should get a bag of candy today Daddy." No - you shouldn't. No candy until dinner. Failing that why not go roll in the sugar? I'm sure if she licked the floor there's plenty of sugar lying in the tile-seams on the floor that I've missed.

Actually I better not joke about that - she'd do that in a heart beat. She got cherry-flavored window decorations for Valentines Day last year and I actually found her licking the window when they fell off. I real life window-licker. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Old Enough To Poo In The Bushes

I was sat at the computer yesterday reading Facebook when friends of mine all over the Eastern seaboard started posting that they just felt an earthquake. I look down at my son who is at my feet and he's vigorously shaking a snow-globe. No - he can't be....? I didn't feel a thing. Which is probably a good thing because my daughter was certain that her hand hurt. She couldn't remember which hand it was half the time, but she knew that candy and Popsicles were the cure. I'm pretty sure that if she felt an earthquake then she'd demand a chocolate gateaux or something.

I personally am enjoying the dour weather. It's grey, overcast and threatening to rain. The leaves are chucking themselves out of the trees and I have even started to hear the Canada Goose bombing about the place. This morning when I drove to the store I even had to put the heating on in the car. I know it isn't Fall for a good month but my brain sure is convinced. It even woke up this morning suggesting I make some hot chocolate to start with and somehow get a hold of some smoked haddock to make Cullen Skink with for dinner. My daughter wasn't helping either. When I went up to lie down with her she insisted it was nearly Christmas because it was still dark outside at 6.30am. I told her it wasn't and to go get dressed - she came downstairs wearing a pretty red party dress for her, "Christmas party." By 10am it had warmed up considerably and we were outside in shorts and shirts chucking walnuts and playing on the slide.

Before that my daughter told me she was going to, "do a show" with her musical keyboard. Which basically meant whacking the keys to make a banjo noise while a speed-reggae version of Knick Knack Paddywack rumbled along very loudly. My son obviously wanted to join in. To which my daughter remarked, "You have to keep Owen away Daddy. I'm trying to learn a song about a raspberry bush on my keyboard." She is well out of it today.

When we went outside we played chase. Then we went through the ritual. First we picked up walnuts. Then we each got a Squashing Stick and knocked all the evil white caterpillars off the trees. Then we made walnut soup by rubbing the sticks on the side of the barrel I'm keeping all the fallen nuts in. My daughter tests the walnuts to see if they are the tastiest by taking a bucket full of them up her slide and rolling them each down individually. She then arbitrarily yells, "Left!" or "Right" like the sadistic guard in Schindler's List and piles them up. The good ones go in the soup. The bad ones are piled on a stump and then beaten with a baseball bat. And then put in the soup. Now Im writing this all down it actually seems like psycho-killer behavior. Oh well - it helps pass the time. All I can say is thank God she had taken that little red dress off - that would have been eerie.

My daughter then started playing a game with her brother which involved running around like lunatics and then ramming into him. He always thinks it's hilarious at first. Then five minutes later he'll come crying to me. I let them get on with it because in a year he'll be beating the shit out of her so you know - swings and roundabouts. After I asked her to stop she explained, "Daddy, it's called Fall because we keep falling down." Then she looked at me like I was trying to play God or something. So I said sod it and we all ran around and then I or my daughter would yell, "FALL!!!" and then we'd all fall over.

My son is asleep now. He didn't nap yesterday. I needed him to take one today. He has been good as gold over the last four days or so, but today he was extra whiny. Mostly because I kept taking stuff off him. After I stopped him from beating a guitar with a snow-globe, and then took the entire block of cheese off him that he'd smuggled off the counter he started just doing stuff he knew he wasn't supposed to. He tried to empty the kitchen drawers. No. He tried to put a book in the toilet. No. He dragged all the cushions off the couch and tried to pour his juice all over them. No No No. Then he just gave up and cried like a wimp. He's just tired. My daughter even asked what is wrong with him. So I jiggled him to sleep on my knee while listening to old Radio 4 shows. My daughter really wanted to know why he was so whiny. So I just told her that he isn't old enough yet to know and do some things, and he doesn't like to be told that he can't or should be doing something. To which she summed up as, "Oh, you mean he's not old enough to cut with scissors or poo in the bushes?"

Yes, exactly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back To Bed Every Morning

Daughter: Quick - fetch me a goose filled with cheese and truffles. I cannot get out of bed until you do.

I started doing this silly thing when my kids wake up. They wake up far too early. My wife has been getting up around 6am. I've usually been up and hour to two hours by then. After my wife gets up, grabs breakfast and rushes out the door the kids wake up. Usually when they hear the gravel crunching in the driveway. Honestly it's usually only one of them that wakes up, but then they wake the other one up screaming. My son will start yelling because he's alone. My daughter just yells for me because she doesn't actually want to get up. She wants to lie in bed for fifteen minutes but with me as well. Usually it's her who has woken up and her yelling has woken him up. By the time I get upstairs the both of them are on my bed waiting for me.

The point is that sometimes when I would get up there my daughter and son would be in a bad mood. She always wants to cuddle, but if her brother comes within five feet of her she may explode. Which is likely because the second I lie down they both start wriggling all over me. He wants to lie down and snuggle, but he has to be taken to the bathroom before tragedy happens and he decorates my bed in a way I really don't want him to. Fifty percent of the time he's okay with it, but the other half he hates being dragged out of the snuggly warm bed to sit on a plastic seat. By the way - did you know that most toilet seats are made of wood? Which is porous. Or - in layman's terms - is a wee-sponge that collects urine inside it never to be released? Anyway - no urine stories today.

So I took control of the situation. I started joking with my daughter that she was behaving like a giant precious melodramatic Queen when she's all huffy in the morning. So I would tease her with ludicrous things like, "Please don't expect the likes of me to climb out of my bed until you have assembled a chorus line of peacocks to waft my body to achieve the temperature only fit for a Queen." That sort of bollocks. Now she plays it every morning, attempting her own nonsensical silliness and then letting me have a go for five minutes too. This morning she managed the goose one. Yesterday she expected chocolate kisses. She's had a few real clangers, such as demanding I put the dog in a bra. But all you really have to do is let her watch daytime television - there are hundreds of spoiled prima-donnas on there to give us tons of material.

I also have to assuage my son, so I play Timber! and Ear with him every morning too. Timber! is simple - I get hm to stand on my chest and then yell, "TIMBER!!" while he slowly crashes into the bed. He can do that a good thirty times before getting bored. And when he does we play Ear, which he insists on. Basically I fold my ear inside itself (it's way sexier than you can imagine) and he has to try and pull it out, but I pile pillows and duvet on top of myself to make it harder. He always wins though.

After that we just lie on the bed together looking out the window. I heartily recommend that to everyone. It's very relaxing to just look at the outside world in near-silence for ten minutes. Of course my daughter will usually burst that silence by screaming, "OH NO!!! THERE'S A DRAGON IN THE BED!!!!" and then trying to crush my ribcage. Or this morning suddenly yelling that, "you're dressed with a penis Daddy!" which was surprising seeing as I was already dressed and my totem pole was not on view at all. Which means she thought of penises on her own without visual stimuli.

Today we are trying to fit some Mom time in the middle of the day. She's been super-busy and will be until at least Thursday. Add this weekend will be insanely busy so she's going to need some kid time whenever we can fit it in.

Add that now it is bleeding into Fall my wife and I have started chatting about ways we can make life as colossally fucking stupid as possible - just in order to carry on the theme we have every year. So openly discussing if the job-reversal is working out. Or of we should go even more hard-core into this and have her be one of those power-bosses and I actually do the writing and working from home thing that I still haven't seemed to have time to get my head around. Shockingly we both remarked that we miss the UK. Not the chaviness. Or the dirt. Or the stupid house prices. Or shitty job market. But the ease of life and the fact that the thing that is evil in this country and prevents people from making easy life changes is health insurance. I hate insurance. I worked in the industry and it is a scheme invented by evil wankers. Anyway, we are just testing the waters to see what silliness we can indulge in to shake life up. We certainly aren't moving overseas. On a pragmatic level I let my passport lapse, so I couldn't even if I needed to. On the next level I didn't really enjoy 75% of my time back there when we moved back to Bristol. Now I have clearer ideas as to why, but it's still a fact. Amusingly by the time we left I finally got comfortable. My wife was comfortable the whole time. But we moved for the kids. Here they have a house that we own. They have two acres to piss around on. They have the outdoors stuff that they never would have in the UK. They have a distance from the pub culture that I felt uncomfortable around for kids, but ironically miss for myself. And they have one set of grandparents an hour away who are retired and live in one of the most idyllic places on Earth. One phone call and the kids can be kayaking or snowmobiling in 90 minutes. When they get older than can go back to see family alone. And they'll have dual passports. They can go nuts. And we have no intent on moving.

Yet.

So no, we aren't thinking of moving. But we are mouthing things out loud about how this is all going and wondering what we can do to make it different. I'm sure that by Christmas we'll have joined the Peace Corps or something truly ridiculous.

We shall see.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Worst. Drink. Ever.

Why isn't it Fall yet? Summer blows and should be over. Actually it shouldn't - I checked the historic temps on Wunderground and while this is a touch warmer than last year it is still a month before we hit those really cold mornings. Bah.

This morning my son walked into the bathroom where I was releasing yesterday's pork chops, sauteed peaches and potatoes carrying his cup of blueberry juice. I was already uncomfortable that he'd chosen a room that has a toilet in it to enjoy his drink in. Usually in these situations he grins at me like he just caught me doing something rude, and then proceeds to do one of two things that he knows he can get away with because I'm anchored to the toilet. He either steals the toilet roll or starts messing with the faucets in the sink. Sometimes he will combine the two and laugh maniacally. This morning he went for an all new low. After faking a run at the sink he clambered to the space behind me and began to pour his blueberry juice it into the toilet down the gap. Bastard.

I don't have any idea what to do today. I guess we should just go to playgrounds this morning and do the back yard this afternoon - come rain or shine. The girl goes to school in a few weeks so best make the most of it. Hopefully we will all have fun. Last week my daughter asked her Mom to stay home instead of me. Nice. I need to start actually doing something productive too. I read a few of the earlier entries and I was a lot busier then. I cleaned every day, made loads of things to eat and was well up for it. Now I keep the house livable, clean the kitchen only (I mean properly clean things) and while I do make dinner it's not with any joy or effort. Mostly because my kids have totally lost interest in eating meals. Need motivation. We are all just in a funk at the moment. The kind where if you don't address it you realize you've eaten an awful lot of ice cream and chicken wings lately. I've even run out of coffee and tea.

Best get my thinking hat on.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Alligator

Yesterday after stopping in the driveway of the farm-stand near our house I accidentally let the balloon my daughter had been given at the parade that day out the window. My daughter began to cry uncontrollably. Apart from being angry with myself for making such an amateurish parenting mistake, and being sad that I had let my daughter down, I was also confused. My daughter has a million balloons at home. We blow up maybe three or four a day. Still, this one was special - it was a round bouncy inflatable symbol for what was a great day for her. She loves parades - and this parade was phenomenal. It lasted for a good 75 minutes and it involves floats, enormous logging equipment that is waaay too big to be on the road, and stonking amounts of candy. My kids collected three Ziploc bags filled with candy. They also got pencils, two Hacky Sacks, two baseballs, a few Yo-Yos and a flyer about coupons for ice cream. They also got three balloons. By the time we left there was one balloon left. Which made it an hour back south, to the shoe store and the grocery store, but then was released barely a mile or so from our house.

And my daughter began that crying where your kid cannot understand why you are being this mean to them. Bright red, mouth clamped wide open, tears streaming and a very loud guttural wailing. And in that moment, while cuddling her and trying to comfort her, all I could think of was the time she cried just like this because her poo had vanished.

Before I get to that I should point out that my wife seems to think that her daughter poos evil. This is because my daughter - as twee and beautiful as she is - can produce things of such an astonishing size and smell that it tests the loving bond between a mother and her daughter. My wife seems entirely unaware that we too have suffered under this sort of strain. I cannot count the number of times I've been sat in the living room only to hear the faint but urgent scream from my wife upstairs, "You have to come and look at this!!"

I must confess that I have on occasion been frightened by what the girl has produced. Then again it is poo - it's not supposed to be something you cuddle and sleep with. Still, as a parent I have had to put my uncomfortableness aside. It is my duty to make sure the kid is clean, and that her poo isn't the wrong color or filled with maggots or something weird like that. OF course it never is. On very rare occasions what she has produced has frightened me though.

But in that moment yesterday whilst holding my little girl as we watched her balloon sail off miles into the sky, I saw an old poo of hers. My memory has been scarred by an incident months ago when she went to the bathroom, then we did our usual ritual (Daddy I need help WIPING!) and we went about our day. An hour later my daughter came running into the living room in a panic. "Daddy - it came back!!" Sure enough it did. Like the true hero I am I flushed again. For the next three hours we carried on with the same performance. I grew more and more spooked, whereas my daughter grew more and more enthusiastic. I tried to concentrate on other thins. My daughter, now giddy with excitement, hung around near the bathroom in case her "friend" came back. It was infuriating to me. Things are supposed to do what things are supposed to do. I flushed, watched it get sucked away, but it kept coming back. I must have flushed it down maybe four or five times and it seemed to vanish, but it kept coming right back. Add this particular bran-barge was suspiciously eerie. It was of ample size, but it also floated. I remember actually becoming animated about that. It was large but refused to sink and I was sure that whatever was making it float was bringing it back to us. I don't trust poo that floats. I have some reverse theory about poo that floats that it must have been dropped by a witch. If it sinks - not a witch. If it floats - you're a witch. Or you've been eating one of those giant Aero bars. Or corks. In this case I began to suspect she'd eaten an inflatable boomerang.

Needless to say that when it came back the fourth or fifth time I seriously considered cutting it with scissors. Frankly I didn't in case it actually popped. I don't think I could have coped with that happening. Then my mind started racing. I started to worry that it was like trying to flush away a baby crocodile. What if I flush it and in a month a giant turd came back and started terrorizing central New York state? By God that would be an awesome movie. With my mind racing I began to have a day-mare about what would happen if I didn't deal with this now. I knew couldn't leave it there overnight whilst we slept. I was convinced it would crawl out, creep around the house until it got comfortable, and then start stealing food. I was sure I'd come down the next morning to find it slumped on the couch asleep surrounded by candy wrappers and empty beer cans. Then when woken it would lash out and kill us all. I knew I would have to trap it, weaken it, and then destroy it. I thought about tying russet potato to it to help it stay sunken, but that might backfire and it could get stuck in the toilet pipe forever. Screaming - endlessly screaming. Then it might summon it's friends and my bathroom would be taken over by him and his mates. Ironically it would probably claim squatters rights, presumably because it had been squatted into the toilet in the first place. I thought about getting the hand-mixer out and pulsing it into pieces, but I was fairly certain the screaming would be too much, and there would be quite alot of splash back.

I was startled out of this frankly disturbing haze by my daughter loudly exclaiming, "Yay he came back!!" I had two thoughts then. Firstly, why is it a He? And secondly, that I had to get rid of this now before she gives him a name. So I grabbed the toilet brush, flushed and began whisking the poop-water like I was making a very unpleasant meringue. Five minutes later I came back to check. He's gone!! Another ten minutes and it was confirmed - The Beast Is Dead!!! I came dancing into the living room and happily asked my little girl for a high five because the poo was gone forever! And she just broke in half screaming. Bright red, mouth clamped wide open, tears streaming and a very loud guttural wailing.

And that is why I am mentally scarred. Nobody should be emotionally wrecked by flushing a poo away. And more importantly, I shouldn't be sat here right now, gripped with fear that one day I will stupidly open the car door and watch in horror as the giant Poo Balloon I'd just got for my daughter at the parade escapes and floats into the great beyond.

At all.

Daily Dump August 21, 2011

That was one big parade. My daughter enjoyed the Cand-ocalypse.



Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Day My Girl Became An American

My daughter woke me up in the middle of the night to go sleep in her bed so I could protect her from, "the bee." Which is fine. Except she talked about the bee for a good 45 minutes, and how if I don't cuddle her and teddy the right way (which could not be achieved) then the bee would get us. Also something in her room sparks off some kind of allergic reaction. It only just started a few days ago and my throat feels like sandpaper right now. No idea what it is but it made being a bodyguard last night more dangerous than it needed to be.

We are off to one of those huge parades today. It's in the north country and has more candy and bigger logging equipment than you can possibly imagine. It's a very good parade. Last year we even got free pencils. Oh yes. It's about an hour away so I might go buy some of those smoked snack sausages for the car journey. There's no way in Hades that I'm letting the rest of the family stink up the car with Funyuns - but if I don't take the ones from the house my wife will think I don't love her any more. Those things are horrifying.

So yesterday I was goofing around with old photos and checking things from when my daughter ws born. She was born in Bristol in the UK. You might not know this but when a child of an American-born citizen is born in the UK you have to take the kid to the US Embassy within some arbitrarily short time period (I want to say 60 days, but that sounds very short) so that an Important American can stick a flag in it. They get a valid passport out of it, but it is a very strange process. Anyway I remembered that my daughter's first experience on American soil - the US Embassy - involved meeting a genuine bona fide nut-case racialist. We were stood in line to see the Important American when the woman in front of us turned around, smiled at our baby girl said to my wife, "oh, she's a master alright." No idea what she was on about. Then she said, "you can tell - the high forehead - you can see she's evolved. Definitely one of the master race." Wow.

Then later on the way home at Paddington train station a British woman chipped in her effort to show that Americans do not hold all the cards on lunatics. Whilst sat in the waiting lounge a woman pulled down her jeans and knickers, exposed her crotch and then started combing her hair. Her regular hair that is. It was one of those situations where you don't really know what to do so nobody does anything. In the end someone told her to stop showing her pubes off and we went and sat on the platform. Later the same lady was kicked out of a WHSMiths for blocking up the toilet. Quite a catch there.

Anyway - I need to make sausage plans.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Think I See Australia Daddy

Daughter: Daddy, why are you wearing yellow? That's a color for ladies.

Me: What!? Since when? Honey - certain colors aren't for boys and girls. And certainly not yellow. Sometimes I wear pink. And today your mother is wearing blue. You always used to wear brown and green stuff.

Daughter: But pink is a girl color Dadd-o. Grandma told me.

Me: No! Like I said - sometimes I wear a pink shirt.

Then she gave me that look like Grandma had told her that this is definitely what I would say. And that I was definitely wrong. My little girl used to be a mud-covered beast that dressed in whatever combination of clothes she felt like. She could care less if it was boy or girl. And a good thing about the US is that stores that carry clothes for kids often have a section of clothes that either kid could wear. So she wore pants and t-shirts that I wouldn't blink at handing down to my son. All her sneakers are going to him too. I do recall lots of other people thinking she was a boy when she was between one and two because she was generally just in pants, a t-shirt and caked in mud. Apparently I was supposed to dress her in impractical dresses and tights at that age so that she would learn girliness.

Actually I was told all the time that raising a girl and a boy is totally different because as a gender they are totally different. I kind of looked right past that because people are just different. That is definitely born out by my kids. My daughter is like a giant bottle of soda that's been shaken for ten minutes. My son is more like a cup of tea. Their attitudes are completely different. I wouldn't call one boy-like and the other girl-like. Especially as one of them barely seems human at times. My wife's closest friend has a girl and a boy too and they have very different personalities that don't seem to be gender related either.

That's not to say I'm not terrified of when they get to that age when they know that there is a sexual difference between boys and girls. I must say that as far as that goes at their respective ages there is a difference. For example my son yanks on his plonker like he's making balloon animals unless I cover the thing up in difficult-to-move layers. Partly he's just playing with the thing because it is immense fun. Women totally misread this about their husbands/boyfriends when they are playing with their parsnip - it's not sexual at all most of the time. Think of it more like fussing with a Rubik's cube. But I can also see that at times there is pleasure involved (God it's ugly - it looks like a pink fun-size Mars bar) which I'm not completely comfortable with. Especially as he often wants to show off the trick he's learned. I caught him the other day shoving it onto the end of the hand-held bar-code scanner of his sister's Dora cash register toy. I can only imagine the look on his face if it beeped and Dora called out, "Yum! Habas Grandes! One dollar!" Ick - male genitals are a revolting thing especially at that age - it looks like a gasping new-born hairless hamster.

She on the other hand doesn't even think about fussing with her bits and bobs if she has clothes on. Naked is a whole other story. And then there is no pleasure at all but seemingly more akin to a physical challenge. It's like she thinks that at the other end of it is Australia. She has no interest in that thing other than just seeing how wide she can rip it open. Which is horrible. I may have to convince her that her whoopsie is like that hole in Flash Gordon that people put their arm into to see if they'll get bitten and die.

Anyway, the point is that I don't think my son wearing a yellow shirt is going to give him the clear female tendencies that his Grandma evidently does. And if colored clothes had such an effect on the gender-path my daughter wouldn't have decided she is a Princess/Witch/stereotypical female girl half the time. She is distinctly girly at times now. Which is very different from her odd fascination with John Deere tractors, heavy metal and fishing that she used to have.

But just to assuage Grandma I might do something absurdly manly with my son next time we visit. Like logging or falconry. But we'll do it wearing pink shirts and gaucho pants.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How To Achieve A Zoloft Smile

Son: Hey!!! You have food!!! Girl over there - the one who sits on me all day - that round man over there has food!!!

Daughter: Wow Daddy!! Is that chicken in ice cream!?

Me: No - it's that chicken taco stuff we had yesterday. You wouldn't eat it remember? Anyway, you just had lunch - which you refused to actually eat - so I thought I'd eat this.

Son: Gimme now!!!

(I give a piece of chicken to my son and he makes the "this tastes of piss" face and spits it into my hand revolted)

Daughter: I'm not understanding - what you have done with my ice cream?

Son: Good heaven's that is disgusting. Seriously the worst ice cream I have ever had.

Me: I told you - it's not ice cream. It's chicken.

Son: I know it isn't chicken because you didn't even heat it up.

Me: I like it cold.

Son: Hey cool!! You have food!! Can I have some!!?

Me: You literally just spat this into my hand and told me it was disgusting. Look - you're still actively spitting it into my hand right now.

Daughter: Daddy seriously - where is my ice cream?

Me: What ice cream? I didn't say you could have ice cream?

Son: If she's getting ice cream then so am I.

Me: Neither of you are getting ice cream.

Son: What is that smell? Dad - I think I just shit myself. No wait - it's the smell of that food you forced me to eat instead of ice cream. I should be calling Child Services about now.

Me: Oh very funny. And stop swearing - you can't even talk properly yet. And honey, I told you yesterday that you can't just keep expecting to get...

Daughter: Daddy, you keep interrupting me. Where is my ice cream? I want chocolate milk.

Son: Holy shit did you see that the fat bloke has food? Gimme some food!!

Daughter: Come on Dad. I haven't eaten in like seven minutes. Which may or may not be a long time - I honestly have no idea.

Me: The only thing either of you are getting right now are carrots.

Son: This is why Google says you're fat.

Me: I really don't see why I should be taking this kind of abuse.

Daughter: Would it be a possible to get a little ice cream with this whine Daddy?

Me: There is no way you know what that even means.

Son: Wait....I did crap myself. I sat on it to make sure. And honestly - I'd rather eat that than the filth you just gave me.

Me: You are crossing the line buddy.

Son: Wait. Is that food? Seriously? You're eating without me? Hey big girl - the fat bloke is eating. AGAIN!

Daughter: Daddy I really don't understand why you are eating without giving me chocolate milk and ice cream. Hey! I know - let's go to Dunkin Donuts. If that old lady is there you can talk to her in that stupid fake Irish farmer accent thing that you do when you think people don't notice you're fat.

Me: You're not even supposed to know what Dunkin Donuts is.

Son: Why are there raisins in my pants? I didn't eat raisins today.

Me: You ate raisins yesterday. It's a normal natural biological thing. They go in one end and come out the other.

Son: Really? So tell me - when did I eat all this poo then?

Me: Stop being a smart arse.

Daughter: Look Daddy!! I'm naked!!!

Me: Honey - put your underwear back on. And get off the couch - you are clearly breaking Rule 55.

Daughter: I can't hear you! I'm covered in cabbage!

Son: Hey I thought I was done - but there's LOADS more raisins coming out!! Look!! I got some on your guitar Daddy!!

Me Oh come on!!!

(I grab my son and whisk him off to the bathroom to clean up)

Daughter: Daddy! The dog ate your ice cream!!

Son: You know, he's really doing you a favor there. Mid-day meals aren't doing much for your gravitational pull.

Me: Look - making fat-man jokes involving the "you so fat you have your own moon" is not only rude and inappropriate, but unlikely seeing as you can't actually talk properly yet.

Son: Wow. I had no idea that this thing could stretch this far. Look I made an elephant!

Me: I'm not looking! You can't make me!!!

Dog: That is easily the worst ice cream I have ever had.

Me: Don't you start.

Dog: Your doctor is totally going to up your dosage.

Daughter: Daddy I made my own chocolate milk. And also, in a totally unrelated incident, I spilled all the milk.

Me: Jeez honey come on!!! Wait, why are you wearing a helmet?

Daughter: Are you saying I look weird? Because that will leave a complex deep in my psyche Daddy. Way to go Dad.

Me: Well considering you are naked except for a helmet I thought it was fair question. Now help me clean up this milk.

Daughter: I can't Daddy. I'm helping Dr. Bonk to take all the cushions off the couches.

Me: Evelyn you come back here right now!!!

Daughter: I'm not Evelyn. I'm Princess Bounce and I don't have parents. They died from smoking cigarettes.

Son: Are you sure fat-boy didn't accidentally roll on them? Ha!! Zinger!!!

Me: You two are way out of line.

Son: I have never peed this much right after pooing. Seriously, that has to be close to a gallon. Oh by the way - you need to wash all the shoes that I am currently sitting on.

Me: Are you deliberately pissing on all my shoes?

Son: How very dare you insinuate that I have collected your shoes, and only your shoes, and have chosen to gush my Freedom Fountain all over them. It is just circumstance that I gathered all of your shoes together and made a mountain out of them. I was pretending to be a chicken laying an egg when my body just took over control.

Daughter: Daddy - this chocolate milk you made me is disgusting. It tastes like rotten bananas. You have to say sorry.

Me: I didn't make you that drink so I'm not saying sorry. You best stop this attitude right now young la....

Daughter: Daddy, you are boring me right now. A lot.

Son: Erm, I just found this DVD tray on the floor. I absolutely did not rip it off the television with my bare awesome hands.

Daughter: Daddy Owen broke my TV!!! Now I'm allowed to hit him....

Me: Stop hitting your brother!!!! And put some bloody clothes on!!

Son: Hey I heard that!! That's one of the special words you aren't allowed to say!

Daughter: Yeah I'm totally telling Mom!!

Dog: That's messed up Fat Boy. Cussing like that around kids. You should be ashamed.

Son: I can't believe it!! Even more raisins!! This has to be an inhuman amount of raisins that I'm crapping onto your computer chair right now.

Me: Oh come on this is insane!!

Son: Hey you signed a pledge saying you would stop shouting at us. And that is clearly not just loud talking Mister.

Daughter: Daddy I need help wiping!!! DADDY I SAID I NEED HELP WIPING!!!

Me: Hold on honey I'm very busy right now.

Daughter: But I said please!!

Me: No, technically you didn't.

Daughter: I also didn't quite make it and need some clean underpants Daddy.

Son: It's weird - no matter how hard I smack this computer keyboard with this egg whisk it doesn't seem to do anything.

Me: How in God's name did you turn on Sticky Keys by whacking it?

Son: Hey don't blame me - you probably fat-fingered the thing before you pooed on the chair.

Daughter: I still don't understand why I don't have any ice cream right now Daddy.

Me: Honey is completely wrong to be asking me about ice cream while pooing at the same time. Totally wrong.

Son: Look at all the milk I poured on the couch!! There's loads of it!!!

Me: Okay that's it!! We are going back outside. RIGHT NOW!! Get your shoes on Evelyn I'm not in the mood to argue.

Son: Well I can't go outside when I have a boner like this. It's just not neighborly.

Daughter: Daddy we can't go outside. It's too warm. And it might snow. And I can't find my marble.

Me: If we go outside I'll catch some toads for you, and you can play in your pool, and I'll give you an ice cream if we are out there for at least an hour. Okay?

Daughter: Oh I have you wrapped so far around my finger it's absurd. But we can't go outside right now because Owen is asleep.

(I look over at my naked son and he has fallen asleep on his way to the back door)

BANG BANG BANG WHACK BANG WHACK!!!!

Me: Evelyn please stop hitting your drum with that other drum. Owen is trying to sleep. I've been trying to get him to sleep for the last two hours. If you wake him up right now I will not...

Daughter: Daddy, you're boring me.

Dog: I'd call your doctor and ask him to move that appointment up by a week if I were you. But then again if I were you I'd skip the bowls of chicken ice cream and shave once in awhile as well.

Me: I can tell the vet you have rabies and have you killed.

Cat One: There is no way on Earth you pricks have ever seen a frog this big before.

Daughter: Daddy!!! Bodmin ate half of Mrs Toad!!!!

Me: It's okay honey. Don;t get upset...

Daughter: I WILL KILL YOU WITH FIRE!!!

Cat Two: Can somebody please explain why there are like fifty bees in the dining room?

Me: Will you all just SHUT UP!!!!

Daughter: You're yelling Daddy!! And yelling is wrong!

Me: I'm sorry honey. I won't shout any more I promise!! Its just frustrating that's all! How in God's name am I supposed to take care of you frikking lunatics all by myself?

Jesus: Bro - chill. I've been here the whole time. Calm down and let the girl play PBS Kids on the computer and just take five okay? We got this.

Me: First of all - I don't believe in you. Second of all don't you think it's creepy as fuck wandering in here to "be nice to kids"?

Jesus: I know!. I may have that Jimmy Saville vibe going on but for some mental reason certain people think a single, bearded man in sandals and no pants hanging around their kids is fine!

Me: Okay well just fuck off alright. I'm losing my shit here and the last thing I need is this delusional nonsense.

Dog: Evelyn's on the computer so calm the fuck down okay? Which reminds me - you need to wipe your internet history. Seriously dude - you need to cut that out.

Son: Three pees in half an hour. That has to be some sort of record!!


Ad Infinitum.

Stop Interrupting Me Daddy

I'm pretty sure my son pissed himself deliberately just so he could wear his favorite color underpants. He had just been to the bathroom and had on a pair that look like a stormy raincloud. Which, by the way, always look like they've just been urinated in. But then I thought I'd prepare ahead and bring down the post-box red ones he has as well. He ran around waving them at me for a few minutes and I idiotically explained that he can't wear them now - after all they are only going on if he accidentally pees himself. I could see him actually process that information, and then he looked down at his crotch. And urinated! Then I swear he held up the red underpants helpfully.

Right now my daughter is thrashing around the living room to a reggae version of Mary Had A Little Lamb on one of her birthday presents. There's a tempo button too and she has slowed it down to a sludgy crawling Dub grinding speed. You can practically smell the chronic it's so trippy. It's still more preferable to the acid-techno version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star that she was flailing about to before that. Oddly there is no "normal" setting for these nursery rhymes, so you have to listen to jazz, hip hop, rock, reggae and techno versions of them all. Let me tell you, the hip hop version of Three Blind Mice is amazing. I hate hip hop in general, but that is some good stuff right there.

I can't imagine what musical style will be cool when my little girl gets to Middle School. Hopefully the Rebecca Black insipidness will have died off and the fake nu-nu-metal garbage like Linkin Park will have choked on it's own safely middle-class saccharine awfulness. I can't talk mind you. When I was a kid I remember having a tape that had Iron Maiden on one side and Rick Astley on the other. And I remember my sister making me stop-start a taped copy of Vanilla Ice off the radio so she could learn the words. She listened to that, Bros and Bruce Springsteen repeatedly, which is the sonic equivalent of reading Catcher In The Rye all the time. I did graduate to actual good music though with a Faith No More record in 1989 marking the dawning of my musical epiphany. I still liked Chris Isaak though - and still do - so judge away.

My daughter is very interested in some of the music I like. Though she is - right this instant - repeating the crappy hip-hop-by-numbers rapping that is on this musical keyboard. Meaning she is yelling, "Yeah" and "Yo-oooo" in a mock arrogant attitude just because that's what the instrument keeps doing. White people have a tendency to take innovative radical music and make it really nerdy and lame so that they can generate comfortable alternatives to the scary different musicians they don't want their kids listening to. NWA evolved into Fred Durst. Lee Scratch Perry somehow ended up being eaten, mugged and vomited up as Sting. Fusion metal/rock of the very early 90s is now safe and nice and delivered to us by banal nice bands like Staind and Flyleaf. Jazz - easily the coolest and most edgy innovative musical genre of the mid Twentieth century - has been hijacked to such a bad degree that NPR now get white dentists with bow ties to play it for hours during the day because it is the least offensive thing they can think of musically. Pretty much take a genre that is unique and has something to say and get teenage girls and rich white boy-men to sing it with tons of Auto-Tune and it's money in the bank.

My daughter has taken to telling me, "Daddy you are interrupting me again." I think she got it off a television show but I don't recall it. She doesn't say it when I'm interrupting her though - she says it whenever I'm talking to her and she is supposed to be listening. After a quick chat I figured out that she meant, " Dad - stop talking." So I told her that she probably meant that. Or that I was boring. I know!! Why on earth did I tell her that? She's told me at least five times this morning alone that I'm boring. What a smart move that was. Presumably tomorrow I'm going to teach her to tell me I smell of urine. I don't, by the way. Don't listen to her.

My son, and no I did not teach him this, hid the piece of banana he did not want to eat this morning in his sister's underpants. Right down the back. My daughter protested, but nowhere near enough for me to believe that she didn't want a banana in her underpants. Since then he's been in full-on rage mode. He has to be more sick of hearing, "no hitting" than I am of saying it. It is a phase but it's bloody annoying. I hope he isn't one of those boys who kicks people in the nuts. I've been trying to get him to nap for 45 minutes (hence being able to write this with my other hand) and he clearly needs one.

Later my daughter gets to meet her teacher for the first time. Fingers crossed that goes well as the meeting is scheduled for the exact time she usually goes nuclear. I may need to involve bribery. Or Ritalin. Either/or - I'm not fussed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Valentine Turkey

When I was thirteen I woke up in the middle of the night and I knew what the meaning of life was. It was as clear as crystal. When I woke up again later in the morning I'd forgotten.

You can't imagine how annoying that still is.

My daughter is currently in the kitchen making crafts. This is because - even though it's sunny and beautiful outside - she is convinced that it will snow today. Because in Fall it snows. It isn't Fall but whatever. It's my fault - I've been blabbing on and on about The Signs Of Fall all freaking week. These are most of the usual things you can think of, but tucked right into the middle of it all are cryptic comments about the possible destruction of Earth. This is because there's a nervousness every Fall in my family because every single Fall my wife and I end involved in something colossally fucking mental.

Last Fall I was fired. I'd never in a million years think that was going to happen. Totally random. The Fall before that we bought a house we'd never even seen that was filled with dead animals, walnuts and Satan himself. That Fall I also admitted that not only was I sick again, but that I had in fact been sick all along and had been ignoring it. One Fall I was bitten by a spider and my hand looked like a boxing glove that might actually burst. There was a Fall where my wife managed to get a crazy-good university position that was principally advertised in The Guardian, and then when they gave her the job she found out she also found out she was pregnant. just to be clear the HR department at the university didn't announce that to her.

Prior Fall's to that we'd moved from one country to another for no real reason and totally changed the entire path of life we had been on. Keep working backwards and crazy shit just happens come Fall. There's even been a Fall where my wife got sick of waiting for a security clearance for a nuclear engineering role with Lockheed Martin, so instead took a job as a Materials Engineer working for an eighty-something year-old retired inventor in an abandoned Post Office, who's ultimate goal was to build a nuclear-fusion powered spaceship and fly it to Mars. I'm not even kidding.

Anyway, the point is that at this moment in time my daughter is in the kitchen making a combined Thanksgiving/Valentines Day gift for each member of her family. She's taken two things from each holiday and combined them. Right now she's trying to glue a swizzle stick to the surprise Turkey heart that she's going to give to her mother when she gets home.

So yes, she's stressed somewhat. The graphic Turkey Heart (it really does have a shocking amount of blood-red paint on piled onto it) should alleviate that if it dries in time. I might ask my daughter to make a few more less bloody ones. My son is sleeping off his raisin-raid from earlier. I left them on the counter and he - using his new found height - managed to pull them off, get the lid off and wolf down a heroic amount of them before I realized he was suspiciously quiet. All I can say is that I'm not looking forward to the poo he has on Friday. There's no way he's processing that over the next twenty four hours. Not a chance.

Anyhoo - I suppose I better get tonight's dinner ready to go. I figured chicken taco's was a good option.

Special Edition: A Brief Analysis

I take my responsibility on this planet very seriously. It has been bestowed upon me - via this humble blog - to provide a dialogue about the more engaging topics of the day. Indeed, some see me as the true Devils Advocate of Life - the only man truly qualified to prompt a truly enlightening meta-narrative. Today such a weighty topic has crossed my purview. Today we shall discuss underpants.

I have spent an inordinate amount of time peeling off and washing underpants over the last few months. Many of which have been sullied and filled with shame. I have plowed ahead without gratitude or awards - of which I deserve many. Not just for my underpants endurance but for my other talents too. For example, I can put any child to sleep (wait until the end of this sentence before making any undue judgements please) in three minutes by jiggling them on my knee. I would argue that I am the finest baby jiggler this country has seen since Louise Woodward. I am not just a parent - I'm the Gusset Gladiator.

Which is actually funny because I have battled underwear all my life. It has taken me a very long time to find a shape that fits comfortably. It's not the same for women - you can wander into Victoria' Secret and there are literally tables covered in thousands of pairs of knickers of different shapes and sizes. And most of them look decent too. My wife has all kinds - little ones that fit snugly and pregnancy knickers are so massive they double as a parachute. Seriously - as the plane is rocketing towards the ground you could open them like a sail out the cargo doors then gently sail the entire aircraft safely to the ground.

And now I think I might have to give in and actually buy socks and underpants. Socks are more expensive than homes in San Diego. Seriously - $7 for one decent pair? It's obscene. Underpants are another thing altogether. I do buy new knickers constantly. But with my abrasive plums and the still un-found gusset gnome that seems to eat my underpants apparently still living wild and free in my drawers I am at that stage where I may need some new ones. It does beg the question - how old is too old for underpants? Most of my bundies are at least a year old. Some, quite frankly, are under sanction by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Imagine my surprise to find Mohamed El Baradei rooting around in there. Anyhoo, I had recently bought some nice spanking new keks to keep Boris and the Berries safe and happy but it's led me to wonder what the age limit is for pants. Is it Six months? A year? Only if a Gieger counter goes off near them? After all, this is the only item of clothing that rubs against your arse all day long. This is important - I am now the person responsible for underpants for 3/4 of the family.

So important that I needed to actually see data on how long normal people wear their underpants. So after rooting around I found this old study on the BBC. It is an article on the nationwide spread of the filthiest. It provides detailed analysis of how many people wear their pants for three days, then turn them inside out for an extra days wear. I'm also surprised by the number of people who own a pair of ten year old plum-hammocks.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4831180.stm

"One in 10 people wear their underwear for three days in a row, a peep into the nation's smalls has revealed. And a similar percentage of people has owned a pair of knickers or underpants for more than 10 years. The study was carried out by Gaynor Lea-Greenwood, a senior lecturer in fashion marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University. She said 5% of the population also admitted wearing their briefs inside out to get an extra day's wear. We clearly have a lot to learn in the pants' department," said Ms Lea-Greenwood. "It appears we have some curious ideas when it comes to cleanliness."

No shit (see what I did there?). Don't forget to look at the data regards the nation-wide spread of 10 year old pants included in the news report. Apparently people in the West Midlands and London are more comfortable with archaic knickers.
I think it's safe to say the Scottish and Welsh could rival any part of England in the nasty-knickers department yet they aren't included in the study. Presumably because no-body actually wanted to be around dirty Welshmen in seven year old pants.

Actually that reminds me - there was a tramp (that would be "homeless man" to you American people) who wandered Swansea when I lived there. He looked like Dave Lee Travis and always carried a huge garbage bag with him. One night when my mates and I were having a piss-up on the beach he came over and asked if he could sit by the fire we'd made. He was alright - nice guy. Don't remember his name but it turned out that the only thing he owned was his big sack of underpants. He said that the absolute worst thing about being homeless is your knickers get so stinking dirty that you couldn't get them off with a wood-plane. So every night he'd go garden-hopping around Swansea looking for people who'd left their skivvies on their washing lines juts to get some respite from the itch. He was a nice enough bloke - never sold The Big Issue or anything like that, but nobody minded him. Not that they should - but if he lived anywhere around here he'd be chased out of town.

So - the summary of all this is that I may have to make a trip to a store to buy a possible $40 worth of family underpants, and $30 worth of family socks. That's obscene. Especially as my kids will mostly use them for peeing in and sitting in puddles in. And yet as cheap as I am I have never once been tempted to sample the cheap (or often free) underpants you can get at thrift stores. I wouldn't wear them. And I wouldn't want anyone else wearing my cast-offs either. It just seems wrong. Of course my son is too young to care. My daughter is very proud of her underpants - I know this by the frequency with which she changes into a new pair and parades around puffed up like a rooster. But I don't recall being bothered at all by what I was wearing when I was six or seven in school. My memory at that age is poor so maybe I'm forgetting the trauma. In fact one of the only things I do remember as a school boy having weeing competitions with my friends - we would see how high we could wee up the urinals. Oh how high we could wee!!!

Of course, I can't do that these days. Whenever I try the Headmaster calls the police and I'm escorted off the premises.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Open Your Mouth Diego

Today is definitely a soup kind of day. It's a day that just looks wet, drab and filled with greyness. Or "Wales" as some people call it. I recall going outside without fail in the early Spring when it ws still too cold for no coat and getting soaking wet. Odd how now in late Summer I don't want to go out in it. My daughter won't go out in this either. Not until it is either chucking it down or snowing. She is desperate for it to get cold enough to yank icicles off the roof and gnaw on them.

Actually this morning the weather report did that thing that I don't get. It pretty much said it would be overcast all day, low 70s (just about) until the evening when the cloud cover might go away and temps go back into the very low 60s. As far as rain went, a 30% chance for the day. But then for the summary graphic they gave rain for the whole day at 78 degrees. Huh? At no point was that temperature even hinted at. Last time I remember 30% of something meant 70% of something else. I don't get weather here at all.

My kids are burning through clothes. Yesterday my son leaked in 9 pairs of underpants. This was after a steady weekend of absolutely no accidents. I suppose the gates were opened when my wife, probably still in an early morning haze, whipped his undies off without checking and dropped a walnut whip of some considerable weight right onto the bathroom tile. To be fair it was only hinted at by my son, but the wife does have a habit of just ripping his clothes off without checking for potential falling debris first. Anyway, my son seemed to take that as a go ahead to just let it rip all day. He usually holds it in, waits for a bathroom trip (or asks to go) and enjoys a good read. Nope - yesterday he wanted to see how many of his toys he could piss on/in/around. On a pile of blocks? Yep. Into the bucket aprt of his riding cart? Indeedy do. Right on the tiny hand-gliding Diego from his sister's Dora Lego? Oh nice shot.

Amazingly he kept it to a three foot square section all day, although his frequency was shockingly often. I took him to the bathroom before he did each one as well. He was clearly taking the piss. Literally - he was taking it back into the living-room and squirting it into a Frisbee and onto his toy cars. Today he's been a star again - asking to go in and read while he gushes satisfaction where it should be gushed. No idea why he gets like that. It is very particular too. Once his mother got home yesterday he went to the bathroom again no questions asked. It was almost as if he had whispered in her ear, "I have to tell you - there's piss everywhere in here. Wasn't me I swear. I mean look, I'm happily going in the toilet. And I have been all day - I promise you. I don;t care what the skinny bloke who looks like a warrior marine says - he's lying. I think he's trying to frame me."

This morning he's also demonstrating that thing where you realize your kid has grown a bit more too. Wandering into the living room holding the bread knife and waving around the potato peeler. Families very quickly learn the boundaries of what their kids can get hold of. The counter was too tall a week or so ago for him to reach. Now he's opening the bloody drawers all morning and chucking spatulas and potato mashers all over the place. He's doing that because I took the very large sharp knife off him, which he was severely affronted by. He took it as a direct lack of faith in his ability to not stab people or cut himself. I could practically hear him squealing, "Seventeen!!! Seventeen frigging month's old!! For crying out loud I'm old enough to go to war but not suck knives? This country is a disgrace!!"

I also had one of those annoying instances last night where I realized that a book we'd borrowed from the library was either dreadful or inappropriate. In this case, it was both. I recall getting one once where the entire story was how a mom found her kids to be barely tolerable as long as they left her the hell alone. That really was it - not exactly a great message. And my son is obsessed with something called Sheep In a Jeep at the moment, which is patently terrible. When we are at the library I grab a few books that I think they'll enjoy. So making sure we get something that actually a book too - so with a story and whole sentences. We tried a few classics (Charlotte's Web was a big hit) but I've wandered into just getting books that have whole plot-lines and paragraphs that seem to have something to grab my daughter's attention. I let her grab whatever she likes on top of that from the entire kids section - whether they are board books or Geronimo Stilton nonsense is fine.

Anyhoo I got her smoothly ready for bed. No hiccups and no surprises - this was going to be easy and fast. She'd brushed her teeth and picked out her reading books. I read one about Deadly Creatures (it's a pop up one and she likes the part where the blue ringed octopus kills an Australian) and then I started reading something called Tell Me Again About The Night I Was Born. No idea what it was but I did see that Jamie Lee Curtis had written it. Nothing clicked. I was half thinking about what snack to eat next downstairs and half concentrating on not accidentally falling asleep while getting my girl to sleep. Then, after some cutesy preamble I found myself reading aloud, "tell me again how you couldn't grow a baby so a woman who was too young to take care of me was growing me for you." Or something like that. My daughter, annoyed by the fact that she knows where babies come from and this isn't the place, told me she needed something else and grabbed a huge story. The sleepy bubble she was in broke and now she was bouncing up and down and all perky. Just like Jamie Lee Curtis. Thanks a lot.

Great - I took my eye off my kids and now they are both in their underpants. It only takes them half a second. Persuading them back into clothes will take until lunch. Bah.