Monday, April 30, 2012

The Miserable Faucet


I have a new cold burning it's way violently through my head. My son is on day three of it. His nose has been a broken faucet since Friday, but the miserable attitude that goes with a good strong cold didn't really hit till Saturday morning. But as a two year old he is much much better at handling it and still managed to have unbridled happy moments the past weekend. Running around outside with his lawnmower toy, watching a few minutes of Americas Funniest Videos, and getting to sit on his mother when we went out for breakfast being prime examples. My cold hit late in the afternoon yesterday after spending the entire day outside digging. By the time I went to bed just after 10pm I wanted to keep telling my wife that I has a sad. Eventually at 3am - after repeatedly crying inside that my nose has that cold-itch and my body ached - I got up. I brought my son down at 4.45am after hearing him flailing around in his room. He sounded like he wanted to run across to his mother but was paralyzed with violent coughing. He's been sat on the couch next to me for five minutes and it' subsiding slightly - so hopefully that's just post-nasal drip and not another symptom to look forward to. My miserableness is in full flow right now. Maybe I'll try sitting on my wife for relief later on as well like my son does.

He keeps saying, "cheese..." and feebly pointing at his nose. Clearly he needs a tissue. Or some very stinky runny French cheese - just to see if his olfactory senses still work. They may not - I can't smell anything. Add he has an amusing red-sore spot above his lip (that clearly isn't amusing to him) that makes him look like he has a Hitler mustache. Which just lends more credence to his secretly French identity as the French love cheese and Hitler in equal measure. My wife gave him some chapstick for it yesterday and he thought that was ace. Actually a cold like this calls for garlic mushrooms and hot chocolate purely for comfort purposes. I don't have any of that though (although we did have an almost British dinner of sausage, mashed potato and onion gravy last night, which warmed the cockles nicely). My son would likely call the hot chocolate, "hotcha" anyway.

In truth I have an unfinished blog entry sitting in edit on this account ready to go that I was going to finish up Saturday. Instead I'm just chucking the bare bones of it here without the photos. It was just pictures of things and the names my kids call them that make me laugh. For example, there's a photo of my guitar with my daughter's word for it, "gintar" underneath. I've sat her down several times and told her what the real word is and she just gives me that look that she gives that one of us has a problem here, and it isn't her. A prime example of this look is when she pretends we live in, "a hunted house." That's what she's saying with her mouth, but her brain is definitely saying, "haunted." So when I've asked her if she's saying the correct word she again thinks I'm being weird. Distressingly though she clearly can't say, "strawberry." Instead - employing the same infuriating messing up of the word. "breakfast" that her grandfather unfailingly uses - she calls it a, "strawbrerry." Most of her other mispronunciations are cutesy kid words, like calling a dog treat a, "tweet" like she's hunting for wabbits. Add her oddly Allo Allo enunciation of the word, "water" is still absurd. All of which led me to declare to anyone who would listen this past weekend that the word, "aubergine" is a much better word than, "eggplant." It's inherently prettier and feels much more pleasing with mouthed. I'm undecided on whether courgette or zucchini is the winner of their own Anglo-American rivalry - although I'm hugely tainted by hearing a very Welsh valley girl chiding an American at university for using the word, "zucchini" by angrily saying, "Why do Americans have to change everything? The proper English word is courgette."

Other phrases my daughter repeatedly uses are the weird things like describing anything big as somehow as big as my head. I don't think my head is shockingly massive, but there you go. More painful is when she exclaims with genuine astonishment that something is, "as big as you!" Except she'll be talking about construction cranes, whales or mountains in the distance. She also thinks that to describe a lot of something is to say there are a hundred of it - with the idea that a hundred of whatever it is being an almost unfathomably large number. But she'll leech the notion of it into any measurable thing - so saying she's stayed up so late that it is a hundred o'clock.

My son's weirdest words are ones that are almost right, but actually a related to the actual thing. For example this is from one of his favorite books -"

He calls the dinosaur a, "saurus," and the ice cream he calls, "tweem." My favorite one from him though is depicted wonderfully with this image of my wife's Jeep -:

That - in his parlance - is, "poopt." The spelling is key because that's exactly how he says it. When he ambles across the room to me, grabs his crotch and emphatically yells, "poopt" I know he doesn't mean that he's already curled one out. That's just his quick-and-easy word for all kinds of poo - no matter what tense is needed to describe it. More amusing is that my daughter calls this, "goose attack" - which is an infinitely better description.

Lastly, we spent quite a bit of time this past weekend digging up random crap in my back yard. My wife planted potatoes and weeded the vegetable and flower gardens. I looked for treasure/corpses digging out the back in the woods. The kids flitted between us poking trowels and fingers into the mud. No vast hauls of treasure though. Mostly bricks and broken glass, but some bones and other things that may or may not be the murdered remains of people that my village really wishes I'd leave alone. The best thing I found was a rock the size of a football with an eye painted on it. I have photos. This was buried nearly two feet down about fifty feet from my house. It had no business being there. Anyhoo - you can read about all that here instead.

Uncle Touchys Den Of Felonies

Have fun with that. If you'll excuse me - I have to open another box of cheese for my nose.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Puddle Of Munchables

"Look at my chicken lumps Daddy!"

My wife is a better cook than you. I'm sorry to break that to you, but she is. She can cook food that makes your mouth think that the food you've just put in your mouth is secretly having sex with your tongue. She's the sort of good cook that - up until pretty recently (say 5 or 6 years ago) we didn't really buy snacks. Mostly this is because we're both cheap (I don't think we bought a bag of potato chips until we'd been married for 5 years first) but really it's also because she makes snacks out of empty cupboards that are just much much better. Even more importantly she's the sort of person who would watch those TV shows where they'd take some guy who only ate microwave curry and show him how to make "real" curry - and then they'd say that they preferred the $1.99 frozen one.

That used to drive her nuts because it didn't make sense. I still remember an animated conversation she had with me a good 6 or 7 years ago where she expressed bewilderment that someone she knew ate great food when his wife made it, but was perfectly happy to eat a bun-less microwaved hotdog for dinner if she didn't. I seem to remember my response being, "....ketchup sandwich." With me then pointing out that for the periods of our relationship where we lived in different countries that at least fifty percent of the time my only food for the day was a cheese sandwich - or if I had no cheese - a ketchup sandwich and I was perfectly content with that. In other words crap food is just another type of food that's not inherently inferior as far as taste goes (nutritionally and often-times ethically it's a completely different story). It's just a choice.

Basically this is a long-winded set up to the fact that my wife likes to pile all her food up in the middle of her plate, mash it all together to make some sort of lumpy paste and then eat it that way. All those individual foods - with their own tastes and textures - plopped together in a fat multicolored hockey puck. Like a hotdog patty. To me that's barbaric. I am more proud of my wife than you can imagine - but this is one of a few things that I actually feel embarrassment, shame and (sometimes) anger about. The other main one being ashamed of someone who has just had at least eight hours of sleep being completely non-functional even an hour after they've gotten up. But the slurry-ball of food is just strange. But then I'm so rigid about how to eat that I have to eat foods in an order - starch, vegetable and then meat if there is one is generally the routine. I didn't use to mix food at all - the very idea of eating two things of different textures was just anathema to me. Even crap food - like beans on toast - was eaten so that toast and beans would be eaten separately. Which itself fetched disdainful judgmental looks from my wife as she watched me pile beans on the toast only to scrape them all off again two minutes later.

So my thinking on how I'd like my kids to eat their meals pretty much involved the notion that they eat in a civil manner and recognize they have opposable thumbs. As any British expat will tell you - watching some Americans eat like they're trying to stab a flag into each item of food (it's a national DNA thing that extrapolates out to foreign policy as well) is an appalling thing to witness. Especially as they hold a fork upside down like an ice-pick in the right hand with the other hand free - presumably to reach for a concealed pistol to shoot furriners with. There are even videos celebrating it as a cultural plus - although the detail in it makes it look like a human eating as opposed to an angry chimpanzee infected with the Rage Virus from 28 Days Later trying to stab someone to death. This is pretty close but still looks too human and doesn't show the handover of fork to the other hand and being held in the same way to stuff massive hunks of flavorless beef steak into a mouth.

But for some reason I see my way of eating as a model of some sort for my kids. I assumed they'd hold their cutlery correctly and then go around their plate eating food like a civilized human being. Not that my wife doesn't apart from the tendency to pile food like a dragon piling gold. So it was with some surprise that yesterday my daughter took the pile of rice on her plate, the other pile of chicken and white bean chili, and the splodge of sour cream and mashed it into an unrecognizable blob. At which point she asked me to look at her chicken lumps. Oh I gave her a look alright. And then said something like, "and you claim to be English...." with a not-really-fake look of pity. I can even admit that I was more ashamed of my daughter at that point than I was later on when my daughter was having a bath and asked if I wanted to see her, "play this water flute with my willy." Obviously I pointed out all of the ways that was wrong ethically and biologically. To which she simply answered, "I know I don't have a willy Daddy. I have a trolley instead."

And yet all I could think of was her vile chicken lump.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Traveling At The Speed Of Sausage

Today has been quiet odd.

Nothing ordinary has happened. It's been completely bonkers so far. I've been feeling quite silly. But my daughter also is locked rigidly in a game she's playing. It devolved out of a game we play called Duck and Dodge. That's pretty simple - whilst waiting for their mother to get home the kids stand on the couch looking out the window. Depending on the color of the car that goes past the house you have to do a certain thing. If the car is green then it's filled with aliens - like me - and you have to dodge under a blanket. If it's red then it's filled with monsters - like my son (so my daughter says) - and you have to duck below the window ledge bu t not under a blanket. They are essentially the only two options. Outside of those two colors my daughter came up with rules for yellow cars (filled with Banana People), black cars (people who eat Daddies), silver cars (people who eat children of Daddy) and my favorite - white cars (filled with ghosts). My wife drives a white car so it quickly dawned on my daughter that her mother is secretly a ghost. Obviously I took the opportunity to express, "How ironic that I have put the willies up her and yet she's the one who's a ghost!!!" I said that to my wife later with a sizable amount of pride and she told me she's never heard that expression ever - and that even after I explained what it means it makes no sense. Especially as it insinuated bluntly that ghosts (and by extension me as well) may have more than one willy. She challenged me to explain how a statement that basically says that British men hide ghost-penises in other people is an acceptable way to say that you have slightly scared someone. Fair point.

Anyhoo - we had to go out this morning. No tea bags you see. Can't have that. And my daughter screamed like a demented banshee when we went past anything that has a physical color to it. Which is everything. "OH MY GOD THAT HOUSE IS AN ALIEN!!!!" she would wail. My son - playing along - would scream/grunt/fart (pushing too hard, obviously) as well. They both would hide under their blankets only to emerge and immediately scream in distress again. Thankfully neither of them made the Gary Neville sex-noise. I will confess that in the grocery store they both carried on in a similar fashion - if not slightly quieter than in the car. So they were astonished by the confusing alien-bananas and made everyone aware of that fact. Add the woman behind the fish-counter was borderline terrified at my kids alarmist screaming about the alien-lobsters in the display case. Which my daughter managed to explain were alien's dogs - whilst screaming at a frequency that could shatter glass. Nothing though was as shocking as when my daughter energetically warned the cashier about the, "alien sausage" that might bite her. It was actually a zucchini but for a fleeting second we all believed it was an alien sausage.

It was like that all the way home too. Except my daughter - bless her - also claimed that the only way we could get home without being destroyed by ghosts/aliens/monsters was to "travel at the speed of sausage." Which is what I claimed she had done yesterday to win The Golden Sausage race. Its now part of her lexicon. I could not have been more proud. That was until an online friend commented on my confession that this morning I had found myself dancing to Salt N Pepa - safe in the protective bubble that I can claim I did it to give my kids a laugh - only to see them sat around the breakfast table completely oblivious to my sexual gyrations (trust me). So after being semi-mocked for it and to make up for my own shame I dressed up in running shorts and a pink tight polo shirt and made my kids dance to Push It with me. Because I'm a good parent.

Great stuff. After that silliness my daughter then went back onto her tangent about everything being about ghosts and aliens. And confessed that she can't wait to go to ghost school today so she can play with a ghost-boy there that she ghost-loves. She got all excited and said she can't wait until next year when she's at school all day because that means even more time ith the ghost boy. I might not tell my wife about that lest she panic that he will try and put the willies up her.

Hopefully not both of them though.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Golden Sausage

I peed on my son today.

More on that later (I sense some of you are scrolling down already...). First up I need to announce that my daughter is today's winner of (drum roll...) The Golden Sausage. I imagine we will be making paintings, t-shirts and pinata's throughout the week based around The Golden Sausage. But for now I'm nicking this -:

It's not dodgy at all. Promise. My daughter succeeded in getting to Sausage Street before my son, that's all. Now hear me out. Every day when I pick her up from school we come out of her classroom - stop for a second to look in the display cabinet at whatever the kids have made (this fortnight it's clay-baked food) - say hello to some of the women who think my son is cute (I pretend they mean me) - and then make an exaggerated effort to open the main doors. During which time my daughter had started challenging my son and I to a race to get to our car first. Usually with a comment like, "last one to the car is a silly sausage/rotten egg/squishy banana!" The parents huddled in the hallway have heard this so often lately that they actually seem to be stepping aside to allow us to go through the motions. More and more recently she's focused that taunt to sausages - because she is well aware that I believe sausage to be manna from heaven. So oddly it's a way for her to rub our noses in it when she wins the race, and to be nice to me about sausagery. That's the professional term for th act of sausage fiddling/fancying. Like falconry.

Anyhoo - when you go out the doors you can either go right or left along a sidewalk. The right side I never get to park on. I've dubbed that Banana Boulevard. The other way - the one we always go - is Sausage Street. Once my daughter gets the all clear to which way to start going she will stress that we are all in a race to the car, and that the winner gets The Golden Sausage. Oh - and that she is to win. I then scoop up my son (usually as their is gravel and he hates falling on that) and do that fake slow-running thing behind my daughetr with loud dramatic footsteps. Then we get to the car, I strap my son in, come around to her side where she declares that she is the winner - again - of The Golden Sausage. She even does a, "Dah Duh Daaaaah!1" noise after saying The Golden Sausage in a cheesy John O'Hurley voice. Needless to say she does want to come up with paraphernalia for that. I'm all for it personally.

But here's why you are actually here. I peed on my son earlier. Not on purpose. This isn't Fear Factor. Although sometimes I do hear Joe Rogan commentating on my kids and my living room carpet fights. But no - it was a mistake. And no - I don't think it will be all that long before Google traffic starts rocketing it's filthy golden stream towards me. Basically I rushed into the bathroom before going to get my daughter from school. My son - as is his want - came running in to smile at the oddness of someone stood up peeing. I'm quite used to the audience now. I'm even at the stage where I don't really feel uncomfortable that the kids come in - watch me pee - and then celebrate by jumping and hooting when I'm done. Actually my wife tells me that when she poos at work that nobody cheers. Which is sort of sad. I'm actually thinking that when I do stop being a stay-at-home-Dad that the withdrawal may be so stark that I may need to hire Peter Dinklage to follow me into the bathroom so that I don't feel all weird.

Anyway - my son was in there as he always is and I mostly ignored him. And then the silly bugger stuck his hand out as quick as a gecko's tongue toward a mosquito - right into the line of fire. There was plenty of, "No. Absolutely not. No no no no no no you will not be one of those people." from me. He got a teeny bit upset by how abrupt I was about it but seriously - you don't grab another man's urine. Thankfully I am an adult man who has had years of training to stop/start urination over the years (yes - I've played "can you hit that woodlouse up there?" in a pub urinal) so I quickly ceased delivery. After I was sure he was not going to do it again I finished up and then washed his hand with about three different soaps and a hand sanitizer. How can my son be petrified of any kind of dirt being on his skin, but want to grab urine? It makes no sense. Anyway - I repeated the central point that you don't thrust your body - or anything for that matter - in front of a peeing human (I'll allow dogs and bears - I'm not a killjoy) and he nodded in agreement.

Of course when his sister got home and went to bathroom he stood in the doorway and yelled something in French at her and over-enunciated the words, "pee pee" (which I don't say). Then he whispered something sinister at the end whilst pointing at the ceiling. I now have a fear that they are going to both try peeing at the ceiling somehow.Which is ludicrous.

They'll never beat me at that.

The Frenchman

"Evelyn doivent être détruits à tout prix."

I can understand my son. He speaks in sentences to me and I know what he means most of the time. My wife understands a little less. Lots of other people haven't the slightest idea. Part of this is because sometimes he doesn't articulate entire words. For example he only pronounces the first half of the word, "bagel."He says other two and three syllable words perfectly well, but some he just doesn't get yet. But a bigger reason why some people can't understand him is because he seems to already be speaking French. Almost every single thing he says sounds like a French person speaking English whilst thinking about how to pronounce every word. His sister used to do it too. But she used to sound like the policeman from Allo Allo. She still sometimes says that she has, " a beump on my head." Her French accent was so bad that it makes me think of this Yahoo Answer entry that asks, "[W]hy do French people smell of onions and say haw hee haw? they also wear black and white tops and berets on thier heads and ride biclycles? I learned all this from US Television." That's one of my fellow countrymen there - totally ignoring years of shocking stereotyping from British entertainment.

My son's accent is so good though that he might be demonstrating Foreign Accent Syndrome (which is clearly bollocks). He doesn't pronounce his sister's name properly either and either just says what sounds like he's saying the French word for, "one" - or if he's ranting I swear he says, "vol au vent." He did bite her yesterday too so that might be closer to the truth than I'd like it to be. Yesterday he also started mimicking me after I'd told my daughter off. She had thrown a massive hissy fit about a drawing she was making. I had sharply rebuked her. When she tried to talk over me I got louder. Then I employed the trick of actors on network American television who are trying to come off as really dangerous. It's easy - I just leaned in closer and almost inaudibly told her to go upstairs before she gets in serious trouble. If it was on television spouses would have asked the other one, "what did he say?" Which is what makes an actor amazing over here apparently. Anyway, she didn't get up immediately. My son then stepped over her and impersonated me. First he ranted for twenty seconds - possibly the statement at the top of this entry. It may have been - but it was definitely in French. Then he bent over and made an exaggerated whispering noise whilst pointing at the ceiling. I wish I could have videoed that one. Especially as he seemed to end the whole performance by saying, in his thick French brogue, "......nonsense......"

My son has also decided that my freckles are unacceptable and has been angrily trying to rub them off all morning long. He growls quite a bit when he does it too. He's seen them a million times. In fact when my wife has any blemishes of any kind he will point at them and yell, "what is that!!?" over and over again. Which is a real kick right between the confidence and self esteem. With me though he's generally left me alone. But this morning he angrily tried to clean the birthmark off my knee until I pointed out it will never come off. Which he took to mean I will be dirty forever. So I tried to explain freckles and beauty spots to him. I think all he heard was, "MUD THAT MUST BE REMOVED!" He literally chased me around the living room trying to yank up my trouser leg so he could have another bash at scrubbing the filth off.

All of which reminded me that neither of my kids have birth marks that I know of. My wife will possibly correct me when she gets home from work - but I don't recall any. They have the right number of digits. They have no unusual features. Nobody whispers about the size of my children when we walk by them. Their bellybuttons aren't hideous lumpy pokey-out things that look like a mutated finger. I've seen an acquaintances kid with one of those and I honestly thought about asking them if their child has a conjoined siamese twin growing out of their waist. But not my kids. They look normal, if not delightful. Nobody recoils in horror when they discover I have ginger-blood secretly hidden in my direct family tree. So on that score I'm quite happy.

They do though dance and fight in a way that everyone in the area is going to make fun of. I've tried to imbibe them with my legendarily smooth dance moves and my ninja instincts. My daughter still gyrates like she's fighting with a demon inside of her. My son dances like a roadie for the band Scorpion. The sort of person that genuinely thinks that Meatloaf and Status Quo rock. That's the best that I've come up with to describe that. Their fighting abilities are woeful. I may have to start unannounced random attacks on them like Cato pouncing on Inspector Clouseau in his living room. For now though it will just have to be run of the mill stuff like, "Oh no!! My hand is an axe!!" style attacks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Checkout and The Shameworm

 "You counted all the way to Woof!"

Today my daughter has gym at school. She loves gym. But more than that she loves the idea we came up with that while she's at school her brother goes to O-school (his name begins with an O) and does the same stuff. So he has O-gym (which sounds like a really lame empowerment gym the sad women on Sex and The City would go to) today too. That way he doesn't miss out.  Better still is that our dog apparently also goes to Woof School. This morning we laughed about how while she was at school her brother and the dog accidentally got on the wrong school bus and ended up at the wrong school. Which is just silly and tenuous enough an idea that it sounds like a movie someone would make with Hillary Duff and a dog that they'd dress up like her. So all morning she's been replacing all the standard words for EVERYTHING with the word, "woof." So to count to ten you go, "woof, woof, woof....' etc while counting with your fingers. The colors of the rainbow? You'll never guess what they are. Or the words to the amazing song Woof Woof, Woof Woof, Little Woof (" I woof woof, what you woof...."). It was mildly amusing and cute at first. Now it's distressing. Especially as she's tried to fit the dog's bark collar to my son and also loudly rebuked him for peeing on her favorite tree outside. To make it more tolerable to me I've asked her to tell her teacher that her brother and the dog have school too, and that hopefully won't pee on anything.

My daughter announced in bed that she knows how to whistle. Which is interesting because she has no idea and usually just makes a face like an anteater trying to lick it's own chin (if they have chins...). After revealing the secret of whistling my wife laughed and told her I was write on the Internets about it. Which I said was too easy and that I wouldn't write what she said. So instead I videoed it.

Nice work. I particularly like the two finger technique myself. Although I find if you get too much of a good purchase and shove too hard you can direct the air inside your body to another exit point that - if you train correctly - can also produce a whistle.

As I'm building a delightful picture of my daughter here maybe I should display some of her other talents. For example, her drawing and writing is really coming along. Combine this with her admiration for Angry Birds - andm ore importantly crass knock-off versions of Angry Birds - and you get pure Win. I sometimes play a loose adaptation of it called Match Day of The Dead. It's pretty much a football player kicking balls at zombies. My daughter doesn't see the death or grim nature of it and thinks it's a game where you kick balls at people filled with jelly - with the aim of the game being to knock the jelly out of them. She calls the game Angry Balls. I'm hoping she never ever tells other people that I sometimes play Angry Balls on the computer. In tribute to the game she made me this motivational poster titled, "These are my Daddies balls."

As you can see it's displayed proudly on the refrigerator. My daughter explained in detail to her mother how I destroy the Jelly Men with my interchangeable Death balls from on top of a car. Except she made it sound cutesy and innocent. That's me in the bottom left on top of the car. The structure is a building that the Jelly Man is stood on that I'm about to twat with a flaming ball (her favorite).

Moving on - we went to a very poor rummage sale last Saturday. It was in a small church near our house and consisted of three tables. One had random junk on it. One had about forty unopened jigsaws. And best of all, the last had three old television sets and about twenty roll-on deodorant sticks. Skipping the urge to try out the deodorant sticks (and fearful that my daughter would spend ten minutes sniffing each one to check if they'd been used) we nabbed some tat from the junk table. We got a Theo Leisig book, a litle sparkly purse thing for my daughter and this cool wooden snake -:

It's a pretty cool snake. My son spends a lot of time snaking about with it. In general it's good fun, but being a wobbly mace-like thing he can employ it as a weapon if the situation calls for it (and has a few times). One of his favorite games is to pretend it's trying to get him while he's riding his wolf (bear with me). At which point he squashes it. Unfortunately when photographed it looks like this. Which is visually unappealing.

But it's still nicer than an innocent rubbery toy my daughter has been chucking around since Easter. I actually had no idea what to call them. We'd been through Frizzles, Wobblers, Goof Balls, Spangles and other equally silly names. But now we've settled on Hair Balls. If you look at the photo you can just about see some of my daughter's hair still attached to one of them. That's because if they touch her hair at all then they become surgically attached. I thought perhaps the first time was an accident. But after it happened the second time and I feared i may have to actually cut them out I banned them. This photo was taken mere moments before I chucked them in the garbage.

And lastly - tying the whole blog together like a rug that a Chinaman will hopefully not pee on (Of course Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. It's Asian-American, please) - we have a book my wife got out of the library for my daughter. She slipped it in the pile of kid's books, gave it to me to take to the desk and have checked out by the attractive young woman there who's most noticeable (and seemingly most difficult to contain) attributes are also the title of this book.

Obviously I didn't know this book was on top of the pile. Otherwise I wouldn't have cheekily smiled at the librarian and said, 'I'd like to take these out please...." and then slid it across to her.

Would have been weird if she had though.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baby Daddy and The Lick Dancer

"He made all the babies in the whole world!!"

That was the declaration I heard from my daughter about my son as I entered the house at one point yesterday afternoon. Not to worry though - she went on to clarify that he is the baby-daddy of everyone in our town. And will even be the Daddy of her future baby. My wife rigorously focused on that last emphatic claim with the focus of someone performing Lasik eye surgery."Absolutely not," she repeated quite a lot. It says something when you ignore all the other morally reprehensible boasts that someone will impregnate every fertile woman in the area just to make sure that they don't think about impregnate one of them.

A little while later I ran through that dilemma of wanting badly to photograph something hilarious and entirely innocent, but knowing that doing so would lead to all kinds of awfulness. That being my son hiding behind my bedroom curtain. We'd all gone upstairs to as it was shower time. My kids - upon hearing that cleaning will occur - can get upstairs and remove every item of clothing (except underpants so that they are then allowed to jump on my bed) faster than Linford Christie eating an avocado. My son had gunned upstairs, ripped off some of his clothes but then overheard us saying we were going to have a shower instead of a bath. Which he doesn't like very much. Which meant he a) had to make a symbolic gesture of disgust, and b) had to hide lest we drag him in there. So he whipped off everything except his shirt and then hid behind the curtain. Using child logic that meant he had made his point (you can't tell me what to do) and was now invisible even though his wanger was sticking out giggling up and down behind a curtain. "Oh no - I can't find Owen anywhere..." I deadpanned. To which - ever the stage-ham - he felt compelled to burst forth from behind the curtain declaring, "SURPRISE!!!!" I wanted to film that because it's funny. But you can't do that. It's up there with his other legendarily bad hiding-from-the-shower trick of taking all of his clothes off, finding out it's a shower night, and then lying stark-naked on the floor except for putting his underpants over his face thereby making him completely invisible.

In other flirting-with-inappropriateness news my daughter introduced her family to Lick Dancing yesterday. Which is basically dancing around like she has been tasered and also can't quite make it to the toilet, and then licking someone. Which is odd enough in itself - but she's now very big on the idea of putting the right dance to the piece of music that is playing. And, as luck would have it, I'd randomly put on Girls and Boys by Blur. Which actually seemed quite clever of her. I was careful though not to play any King Missile or Soft Cell after that. Goodness only knows what she would have paired with that stuff.

Right now I need a mind-scrub. I say this because I woke up this morning both hearing the utter dirge that is Wet Wet Wet's utter shit Love Is All Around, but also seeing Marty Pellow grinning like a twat every time I closed my eyes. Just for you I went and got the link from Youtube. Instantly when I saw that pony-tailed twonk doing that excessively cheesy "look how sexy I am," gurn I thought he looked like disgraced Senator John Edwards crossed with Tom Cruise in Magnolia chunting, "Respect The Cock!"

The only thing making me happy about that image is the knowledge that quite a lot of you are going to have that appalling song stuck in your head as well.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Super Rainbow Love

She's squirting love puddles at you Daddy!

At the thrift store yesterday my daughter picked up a Care Bear backpack. Here -:

 She named it Super Rainbow Love. It has a small zip-up pocket in the back that you can stuff with whatever very-small treasure you feel fit to smuggle inside a bear. My daughter suggested stuffing it with marbles - which frankly makes the thing seem like a prison weapon. She carried it around all day (when not in school) calling it her favorite bear - right in front of her actual bedtime bear as well. Callous. She even tried to take it in the bath until I protested by pointing out that what with all those marbles up it's whoopsie it would likely drown to death within seconds. Then - to make life uncomfortable - she hid under the covers of my bed in her underpants with it (after the bath) and claimed to be squirting everyone with "love puddles" from inside what she called her, "love cave." Even her mother was yelling from the next room about how inappropriate the whole thing was. She didn't believe I hadn't prompted any of it either.

Right now the kids and my wife are out at a local restaurant for some quality time. I'm at home watching dour football and enjoying my own quality alone time. Normally I'd be blasting some music that isn't really child-appropriate, but this morning seemed especially loud that I've gone for the silence. This should give a decent snapshot of the repetitive barrage of noise. It's my son playing some sort of free-form jazz peppered with an electronic shotgun noise.

I can't wait till he tries that one busking down by the thru-way gas station.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Unrelated Moments

I have a ton of bits and bobs I've written down the last few days and can't actually be bothered to tie them all together. So instead I'll just splash it out here for you all.

- When my wife first came to the UK during college she applied for a part-time job as a front desk receptionist. At a massage parlor. She had absolutely no idea what a massage parlor was and just thought it was like a tanning salon that you get in every strip mall in North America. When she told me about the interview (when the truth was revealed...) she said all the women were big old fat lasses. But that the one woman said she loved her job because - with her background - she would never have been able to buy a pony like she had by working there. 

- I am officially middle-aged. Today at the playground I spent an inordinate amount of time picking up the garbage that the oiks had dropped all over the place in spite of the very easily accessible and numerous trash cans every where. But the clincher was the amount of tutting involved and comments I made that led to my daughter also picking up half-empty Mountain Dew bottles and remarking, "it's like they don't even bloody care." No doubt I will now start insisting on wearing wool socks no matter the weather, going to the hardware store every Sunday to look at cans of paint and will remark without shame to rooms full of relatives when we visit them that, "I've put the fan on in the bathroom..." to indicate that I've just had a poo and it's best to avoid the room for fifteen minutes.

- Every two weeks or so my wife explodes into effervescent panic about her daughter growing up to be a slut of some kind. It doesn't appear to be based upon anything actually happening. Especially as my daughter isn't even five and hasn't really done anything to suggest that in late life she'd let any old Tom, Dick and Jane drive their vehicle into her parking bay - if you know what I mean. Actually hold on.

Let's move on - I'm going to discount that one. Especially as right after it hit her she realized she need the toilet. I've put my wife's moral convulsions down to nightmares she may or may not be having. Sadly for me I've had two different unrelated nightmares repeat themselves more than twice over the last month which have led me to look differently at my son. The first is that my son grows up to be Swampy. And I don't mean like Swampy - and burrows tunnels and lives up a tree to stop a by-pass being built somewhere. I mean he comes to me on day (still as a two year old) and confesses that when he grows up he will be the actual Swampy, and will go back in time to bother other people with his crusty, white-man-with-dreadlocks ways.

But worse than that abomination is that I have dreamed at least three times that I can recall that my son is secretly the incredibly creepy dead-kid Gage from Pet Sematary (that's how Stephen King spelled it, so who am I to argue?). And that he does to my Achilles tendon what he did to Fred Gwynne's from under the bed with a scalpel. Which is troubling. But unlike my wife's panicked desperation where she thinks it might be possible for her daughter to grow up to be a brainless slut, I am certain that I'm not going to bury my dead child in a Micmac Indian burial ground. Even if he does crack his head open doing one of his flying-Karate Kid-pissing-dances from on top of the toilet.

 - I've realized that some of my bad habits have completely rubbed off on my kids. And as foul and icky as these are I'd ignored them based on judging my wife's main bad habit of leaving tens of piles of shoes all over the damn house as if Imelda Marcos was burrowing up out of the ground like a mole. But my kids don't emulate that - they emulate me. First and foremost - my daughter is frequently knuckle deep up her nostrils committed to chasing any hidden treasure out. My wife pretends she doesn't pick her nose (and she certainly doesn't then EDITED OUT TO PREVENT DIVORCE with it). I - however - see the whole notion of nostril cleaning as the same as making sure your face isn't covered in mud. But another obsessive habit I have is ripping off my finger and toenails when I think they're too long. As in every couple of days I'll go to great lengths to find something to rip off. My son and daughter are right there with me with this now. My wife will - very infrequently - snap off the china-plate thick hunks of toenail that she grows with clippers that can somehow cut through them, and then chuck the debris into a garbage can. Well - she does mostly - sometimes she piles the stash up on a table and leaves them there until I clean it up or the dog eats them. Yes - he does. I though am a filthy pig of a human being and just rip them off and pledge to vacuum them up the following day (amusingly I'll pledge this even if I rip them off at 8am in the morning - fulfilling my procrastinate proclivities to the full). I will also admit that if clipping I do feel prouder the further the projectiles ping off to.

Sadly I've only just noticed that when I do clip my kids nails my son demands that I leave the clipped-off bits dangling so he can rip them off and then throw them on the rug. So I've had to have a chat with him about how the debris is supposed to go in the garbage. My daughter even employs a game where she'll express danger and shock at her nails coming off, even going so far as to yell, "my eye!!" before grasping her face exaggeratedly.

- Before I first came to the US I smugly told my wife I wouldn't need to learn to drive. "Please - you couldn't possibly understand dear - you're an American," I probably said pompously. "You don't need to drive anywhere. It's absolutely a choice." One of the very first things we did after I arrived was go out to buy milk. After being in the car for over ten minutes and the store being nowhere in sight I began to think that maybe my wife was taking me to a nearby farm to actually milk a cow. Amusingly we ended up living in Grand Island, NY a short while later - which is a small island in western New York that you literally can't get off without a car.

- Lately I've been pining for the UK. It's not on the usual schedule for an expat to go through so I was worried at first. Then I started realizing that I was longing for things that don't actually exist anymore. So a Britain where milkmen clink down the road at 5am - with four bottles of red-top, some eggs and a bottle of that Schweppes lemonade that came in the thick-glass bottles that looked like a bathroom window. A Britain where when you visited your Gran she gave you ice cream from inside a foil wrapper that she cut with a knife to serve you. For pubs on the Gower that serve home-made sausage with onion gravy that you can sit outside of with the paper, a good book and smoke a pack of JPS for three hours and watch life slowly amble by.

But the last time I was back in the UK I was astounded at how much more commercially-obsessed the place seemed to be. I still remember popping down to the local SPAR early one morning and all the kids going in and out were all dolled up as if they might be picked up by television producers to be on Britain's Got Talent (that talent being wearing tight pink t-shirts and having Bogan hair). Everybody dressed the same, had excessively groomed hair and was drenched in perfumes (and, if the tabloids were to be believed, Canesten cream) and felt compelled to blow their credit on the same stuff to show how much disposable income they didn't really have. Every town and city center became a drunken, cheap, kebab-spilled, g-string of a place come six o'clock every day. And the dog poo!! Oh the dog poo absolutely blood everywhere. But more than that - one of the primary reasons I moved was a moment when I was walking the dog and some 10 year old kid was sat on a bench with a few mates and he yelled, "what the fuck are you looking at twat?" to the elderly couple in front of me who were walking their dog. Call me a square from the 70s but that would have seemed out of line if I didn't see it happen all the time. It's taken me a decade - and a hiccup in the middle where I actually succumbed and went home for a bit - to realize that it's okay to miss stuff from back home without it meaning I actually want to be there. And it's a good time to remember that the reasons that we moved here are still valid. Even if I do live somewhere where the teenage boys (and even many twenty-somethings) use something called Red Man Moist Snuff instead of hiding in the woods behind the park and smoking cigarettes.

Okay - time for cheese.

The Hive Mind

In 1974 scientists researching unusual ant colonies in the Mojave Desert in California discovered that the ants had built a tower and seemed to have built strange massive geometric structures in the sand. When the Myrmecologists (yes, I looked that up) realized that something very odd was happening they built a research station and began trying to play with the ant's environment in a manner that has odd parallels to The Stanford Prison Experiment. Things were all hunky dory until the ants deliberately dug a pit, captured the primary investigator studying them and killed him. 

None of that really happened though. It's actually the plot to a rather awesome movie called Phase IV from 1974. Don't be thrown off by the dodgy cover poster - this was not some cheesy drivel at all. It is a genuine art-house thriller that the studio tried to pigeon-hole and edit into one of those shit 70s horror movies where a generic Midwestern American small-town is terrorized by slugs/foggy weather/refrigerators. But it's not - it rocks (trust me). 

Anyhoo - I bring this up because for almost the entire period of the day today when my daughter was not in school we all spent the day out the back of my house doing something the neighbors practically begged us not to do - dig stuff up. I salvaged a nice big chunk of the backyard last year and it was a fantastic thing to do. So this year I want to do another stretch and connect two separate parts of my yard together. If I do that it'll completely change the way the backyard works. But as some of you may know I bought this weird old house at an auction three years ago when it was in a state of absolute disrepair. Two of the people who grew up in it live next door (he's in his late 50s now) and the other owns property two houses over (he's in his late 60s). On a ridiculous number of occasions as we were refurbishing it they saw fit to randomly stroll on over and warn us not to go digging in the back yard. You know - "just in case." It got so silly that I even openly joked to one of them that the work inside my house was so extensive that, "if I find both your kids buried in the basement I really don't even care at this point. I'm covering them up and getting on with putting up the drywall." Which he laughed at a little bit too hard.

Annoyingly I dumped all the crap I dug up and found in the part I had already cleared on the spot I now want to clear. But that's still only about ten percent of the new bit I want to clear. And I've known since the first time I walked over it that it was a absolutely littered with bricks, rocks, glass and huge quantities of buried auto parts. I'd love to know why - but I'm not asking. The easy answer given is that the original owner of the house was a brick and glass maker - so ditched it all in his own backyard. Okay - I can buy that. There's a lot of ash back there. And I can think of no logical explanation for there to be this much fucking glass everywhere. But that doesn't explain why bags of garbage and broken soda bottles with the labels still on them are buried in amongst chimneys. Or the hundreds of half-empty oil filters shoved underneath all the disturbing amounts of asphalt roofing shingle. All of which is entangled in annoying bushes, tree roots and the rain-forest of trees that I've already felled over the last few years.

Which brings me to the ants. Holy shit do ants like shingle. And - by extension - my hands and feet. I had encountered so much glass, pointy metal and stunningly sharp things that I had repeatedly informed my kids not to touch anything. But as I was yanking crap out of the ground (and I mean digging one-to-two feet trenches and dragging stuff up) I'd sort it into piles (garbage/scary/interesting/the murder weapon) they'd invariably want to look at it. And I'm glad they did. Because while I was knee-deep in a ditch trying to drag another chunk of chimney out of the ground (there are a worrying number of chimney's buried back there as if someone had built a paean to Dachua concentration camp and then buried it before anyone else found out) my kids notified me that I was surrounded by ants. "They're stealing your sugar blobs Daddy!!" After panicking that not only were there ants in my pants, but that my daughter somehow knows my codename for my secret wobbly bits, I realized that she was pointing out that I had exposed an astoundingly large ants nest. Or - as seemed to be the case - four or five of them. I should note that sometimes on the way home from school my daughter pretends we are ants looking for a place to live - which is inside our house where we keep our sugar blobs. And that some of the ants I'd just found were carrying big white blobs around. So nothing to do with my spuds at all. Hopefully. For all I know they could have been a new breed of Testicle Ants. Which they now officially are in my household folklore.

Anyhoo - because I'm a rational level-headed man I instantly thought of Phase IV. And why not - I was in a two foot hole surrounded by asphalt tile that I could now see was absolutely crawling with very annoyed ants. So I told the kids to, "go over there" and I climbed out. I may have had work-gloves on but balls to that - they got me good. Actually didn't hurt all that bad but I did get a nice series of nibbles on my hand, arm and one ankle. My son was only about three or four feet away paralyzed with the need to point and yell, "ANT!!" over and over. My daughter was already sat on the steps of our house (forty feet away) and looked genuinely frightened. I suddenly felt compelled to run around jumping over walls in an angular, blocky but satisfying way to relive how I completely wasted a small chunk of my youth. Like this -:

But seeing how possibly upset my daughter was I knew I had to lighten the mood lest my kids both be traumatized by any and all ants they see. So I grabbed my son - held him like a rugby ball - and then ran around the yard bounding over things comically shouting, "they're nibbling my sugar blobs!!!" That worked well and saw both kids giggling and running around chasing me thinking the whole thing was an hilarious game.

Which was probably a poor choice of time for my gruff turtle-forking neighbor to come home and wonder why we were running round the yard like a crap Benny Hill sketch making double entendres that appeared to involve my children, nibbling and my testicles.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

View From A Mentalist: April 19, 2012

I finally got around to recharging my daughter's camera batteries - and then she ran around a few times with it for the last couple of days. She's also returned to the habit of photographing up her own nose, and taking about thirty shots of out the window. But still - she got just enough to make a post out of. Not really but she moaned when I said she didn't have enough so I told her I'd do this anyway. Six acceptable photos out of 78 is a pretty poor show mind.

"Look Daddy! The toaster is wearing a hat!" Yep - my toaster is as cool as Indiana Jones.

Let's get the only Up The Schnoz photo I'm going to use out of the way. She insists. Actually she says she was trying to get her mouth in shot too because we are playing dentists today. Which oddly is just her having me put toys near her mouth while she makes ridiculous faces.

He looks drunk. This is yesterday. We don't have a drop of alcyhic in the house so he's likely been secretly sipping NyQuil or "skittling." Katie Couric told me about that last one years ago in a sanctimonious "my daughter says all the other kids at school are doing this" Today show episode I accidentally watched. I'm hoping that when she Googled it she clicked on the sixth definition of this website just like you did before visually picturing the whole thing over and over and over again.

Happy Birthday! My daughter designated yesterday the birthday of the black Angry Bird. She says he's fourteen. I bet he goes skittling. He looks the type.

I know this looks like a bad photo. But it isn't - it's AMAZING.Why? Well - because my daughter says that she was lying the plane (upside down in the photo) when it hit a giant dog. When the fire engine showed up to help with the accident a dinosaur broke out of the airplane and started attacking everyone. See - I told you it was n amazing photo.

Lazy bugger.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The bugs are out now it's Spring. In particular the bees and bastard wasps (that's their full scientific name, obviously). My daughter has now decided that she loves bees and wants to become a bee keeper. Which I'm promoting just so I can hear her say, "my father was a bee keeper before me, and his father was a bee keeper before him." Anyhoo most of what's farting around the yard are harmless North Eastern shiny bugs that look nice and don't bite. No Brown Recluse spiders or insane Australian mutant killer monsters here. Just beetles and stuff. Some are quite big.

Yesterday (I think) a carpenter bee got into the house and was moseying about on the floor when my wife spotted him. I was instructed to scoop him up in tissue and crunch him (sure sign of defeat there). I fucking hate bees. But they'll mostly leave you alone. But if they come in my house I will then spend an hour looking for other bees - and any bastard wasps - thousands of yards away from my house to annihilate. Hence why today I bought 4 cans of Kill It Now.

So seemingly daily now I give my kids the, "just leave them alone" talk about bees, wasps and whatnot and to come tell me if they see any in the house. I tell them too that spiders are mostly fine (and pretty helpful) but they can let me know too just so we don't have to pick and choose what's what just yet. And ants - those buggers are going to get slaughtered if they come in so come get me as well. If they see one in the living room they amusingly pick up a plastic dinosaur and stamp on it with them. Anyway - outside the house I'm pretty clear - that's where they live so let them get on with it. Still my son noticed a big bug and a spider on the house working as a tag team.

 Suspecting thievery of some type he came running over to tell me they were trying to infiltrate the siding and get in the house. Actually my daughter contributed that they were trying to, "lick our cheese." I can't ignore that euphemistic opportunity - that's just vulgar. I let them know that the bugs were fine but of they felt like it they could blow on them. Which led to this.

Linda Blair Is Inside My Son


We spent a little time outside yesterday afternoon again. I am supposed to be doing something constructive out there but I haven't actually been doing that. Instead I've been sitting around watching the kids goof around. First and foremost - the one-eyed turtle is back out. In the background you can just about see the peas peeking through the ground in our garden next to the neighbor's house.

And my daughter is making squirrel soup again. Which isn't some traditional Blue Ridge Mountains roadkill jerky. It's just stirring all the walnuts we picked up, balancing them on a stump and then whacking them with a baseball bat. Here's the soup itself.

And this is the "dinner table" that the squirrels eat off once my daughter has repeatedly twatted the walnuts with the bat. She seems to think that's appealing to squirrels.

While she did that (for an hour too) I was supposed to be in the background behind that above photo clearing the brush out to extend the yard. Instead I followed my son around with his cart while he grunted like a cross between a John Zorn album with Mike Patton singing on it, and a Linda Blair IMDB listed-quote from The Exorcist. Which is spelled somewhat like the top line above.

Today though is a Mud Day. After going out early to get all the snacks that my wife complains that we never have in the house (oh I'll show her...) we are going to roll around in mud for a few hours.

Or sit in the house reading and eating potato chips. It's a close run thing to be fair.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Danny La Russo Pisses Himself

Apparently I'm supposed to be teaching my son to pee standing up.

My wife reminded him enthusiastically yesterday that we were going to learn that this Summer. And by that I obviously mean she said it to him so that I would hear it - thereby making a binding contract. He looked slightly suspicious about the notion if I'm honest. My wife obviously is remembering the difference between when my daughter needed taking to the toilet and now when she can go all by herself, but still chooses to take someone with her so she can share the whole delightful experience. Usually with interesting narration like, "what was that noise Daddy!!" or, "it looks like a sleeping bag!"

I'm slightly more cautious about it myself. My son is way more eager to be autonomous about certain things than my daughter was. As far as going to the bathroom goes he already tells me to get lost half the time. He'll start motioning to the door, allow me a millisecond to get the hint before gruffly telling me to, "go away." He used to call for me to come back and get him off his perch to gaze in wonder at whatever he'd created. Now if I so much as make the sound of footsteps anywhere in the hallway outside the bathroom door then he'll repeat that he told me to go away already. Now he wants me to stay out till he's done most of the time. And by done that means grabbed some toilet paper, stuffed it down the gap in the seat in front of him, flushed the toilet and taken his smaller seat off and picked up his underpants. All of which is mostly fine I guess. If there's any spillage, overshoot, smearing (heaven forbid) or whatever then he doesn't keep going. So it's not like I will come back in once I hear his seat hit the ground to find him knee deep in shame clutching a bran-toboggan and drawing a crucifix on the bathroom wall (I'd just like to point out spell-check advised me that bran-toboggan required two "g's" - which I found pleasing).

Anyhoo - with this sort of I'll-Do-This-Myself attitude it's likely that once he starts doing it standing up (it's been strongly recommended that I show him how to do this in the backyard - which seems very classy, but strangely fitting to central NY) that he's going to get it wrong a lot. When it's bath-time that boy can whip his pants off like a Chippendale. I'm not worried about that so much. But if he doesn't follow the steps where he tells me it's time to head to the bathroom then I know he'll get that muddled up. Add he's not going to understand trajectory, force or technique at all. When the stream starts to weaken he will likely panic as it starts to drop closer and closer to his feet. All of which means that he may become one of those weird people that chooses to take off their entire bottom half of clothes when they're in the bathroom. You people are weird. And he's going to confuse the whole thing. He'll try to apply the outside-standing method indoors - and naturally will just end up taking a whizz all over the outside of the toilet bowl. And God forbid that he completely loses grip of his senses and feels that he can poo standing up as well.

And I've already compounded this. Right before we all went out to wait for the school bus I had to go to the bathroom. My son waited by the door grinning at the visual of me peeing stood up. My daughter was much more subtle and ran in excitedly, yelling and pointing, "Look Owen!! Daddy is going to teach you to pee like this!!!" Obviously he felt compelled to come in and celebrate as well. So while I urinated they hugged, cheered and jumped up and down. Never one to miss a moment to impress my children I heard myself saying, "Yeah! Look at me!! I'm peeing stood on one leg!!" And I was. Which - while clearly impressive - deflated my daughter a little who announced sheepishly, "I pee on both my legs." Which might help explain the brackish, dead-fish scales odor she seemed to have emanating from her yesterday.

This would have been fine but it was my son's turn to go next. So I sat him down and he told us to go away. I did my daughter's shoe laces up and was sat in the mudroom doing my own boots up when I noticed an unusual shadow on the bathroom wall. It was pretty big and noticeably out of place. I knew it was too high to be my son. I was quite wrong about that mind you. Applying what he had just seen me doing along with his grasp of how he knows you go to the toilet, he had stood up on the toilet seat and was doing some sort of strange Karate Kid crane-kick thing on one leg while naked from the waist down. If ever you want an image of a deranged mentally unstable patient that had just spent 45 minutes on the TV show House being repeatedly diagnosed incorrectly, this was it. Thankfully he'd already done his duty before attempting his finishing move. And also thankfully he didn't topple off and smack his head on the floor and kill himself. I'm pleased to say that I love my son enough to know that would be an absolutely crippling emotional travesty that would be exceptionally difficult to recover from. But I'm also aware that I'd secretly think it was so ridiculous a way to die that I'd really want to tell people about it. It's sort of like when people ask me the breed of my dog and I have to say, "he's a cockapoo..." and I watch them process the fact that a) I've just said the words, "cock" and "poo" in a strange English voice for some reason, and b) that I've just claimed my dog is actually a male when it's clearly a girl. Even though it's awkward and annoying to talk about it, I do sort of enjoy the whole discomfort involved. As far as my son's impending urine-based martial-arts accident goes I'd definitely want to bring that up. I'd certainly fight to get that on his death certificate. And it's a dead cert (literary genius at work here folks) that I'd start dressing up as Mr. Miyagi just to tie the whole thing together as a story too.

So I hope my wife now understands why I don't want my son to die like this (but kind of do as well) .

The Strong And The Brave

This is the scariest thing in my son's entire universe.

No - not the horrendous pattern on the couch. And not even the massive scary dinosaur. This is a Touch and Feel book. Oddly enough my son doesn't read this sort of thing anymore preferring longer things with more words that he can repeat back. But this is new and is often lying around. My son is perfectly happy all the way through it. But when he gets to the last page he pulls a full Kevin Keegan and bottles it. That's because - irony of all ironies - he can't stand being licked by the T-Rex. It's tongue is too sticky for him. And he doesn't just hide - he slams the book shut, runs across the room and then chucks it in the newly dubbed Scary Book Cupboard, aggressively closing the door shut behind it.

And just to show that he's all mouth and no trousers he sometimes will yell at the cupboard afterwards. Obviously when I open the door again he runs away like a big Jessie. But then he'll go and get the book out a few minutes later and go through it all again. But it's not like when people watch a scary movie because they like how being briefly and safely terrified makes them feel (a good example being this so-scary-I-might-have-poo'd Julia Roberts picture). No - because once we get to the last page he genuinely loses it again and behaves like he's genuinely frightened of it.

It's not the only book he's frightened of either. He's also frightened of two other old short books that he no longer reads unless I break them out to terrorize him.We own two Mr. Croc pop-up books that are bland and absurd that he sort-of liked looking at before. First is this -:

Which features cracking stuff like this in it -:

It's all like that. But judging by his reaction to the last page it's as if he Duncan Ferguson has just come storming into the room demanding to punch a baby. Seriously look at the horror of it all -:

I imagine it's because it's so life-like. The ending of the other one looks like this and is just slightly more terrifying.

That is officially not scary. The scariest thing about that picture is that a crocodile has been dressed up as Tim Nice-But-Dim. But what my son does like is the fact that the book is so old now that when you close it the pop-up crocodile/Enfield thing doesn't fold down properly and looks like you've crushed a the bastard inside before he had the chance to rip your hand off.

I need to point out that after he shuts that book squashing the bugger inside he genuinely gets all pigeon-chested and a bit arsey about it. He starts behaving like he's actually brave. Consider that my son is two. This is a boy who - at least once a day - comes clattering towards me like a drunken pony scared because he can see something shiny/a bug in the window screens/there's dirt on his finger/he's seen a picture of Ann Curry. The only other time that he behaves like he's just duffed-up the biggest bully in school is when he is attacked by this beast and somehow manages to defeat it.

Luckily he has some strong male characters around him to set a fine example. Obviously there's the dog. Pure animal, primal instinct will surely guide my son to behavior that will set him up for life. All he has to do is watch my dog slyly hunting small-prey in the back yard and he'll soon learn what true bravery is. My dog may be small, but he definitely punches above his weight. Everything about him just oozes bravery. Hang on I hear him eating - I'll take a photo of him to capture the true essence of his brutal-but-restrained maleness.

Okay so that's not going to work. Luckily he has me around. I should squeeze some of my manliness in his direction (Note: make sure you go back and change the wording here before problems arise) and hope that he picks up some tips. My no-nonsense High Plains Drifter behavior will really set an example (except without the rapey bit with the hotel owner's wife obviously). I'm like Clint Eastwood for the new millennium. Don't worry son - you'll soon know what true bravery is.

Actualyl I'll just wait till his mother get's home and she can show him.

Monday, April 16, 2012

She's Still Bananas

"Daddy, quick! Turnaround and look at Bananaman's banana star!" 

My daughter informed me yesterday afternoon that Bananaman has moved in and will be sleeping in her room. Two minutes later she told me to turn around and look at his, "banana star." No way I was looking at that. I plucked up the courage later on in the afternoon to have a look, ince she had promised that it had nothing to do with him pulling his pants down or anything. Thankfully it was just this -:

Which was very VERY comforting considering all I could picture was a distorted banana-nightmare that looks an awful lot like this Peter Griffin chocolate-whoopsie gif. I feel like I've dodged a bullet there. Still she insisted on me wearing it around the house so that Bananaman could find me - which gave me a modicum of insight into how Jews felt in late 1930s Germany. She completely went off on one about Bananaman living with us after presenting me with this poster she made. I would show you the other side which has the message, "Bananaman - please come and live with me" on it, but it's written in pencil and you can't really see it. So instead you get this instead.

Pretty clever of her to save all that blue ink on his suit by using blue paper. Although to be honest that does look more like a fat bloke at Halloween party claiming to be in a Bananman costume. She attached it to the refrigerator and dangled a yellow fuzzy bollock over it that she made as a craft earlier in the day. Obviously she doesn't think it's a bollock - but frankly after the banana star incident my mind was fixated on Bananaman's nether regions. I bet he's uncircumcised. You'd feel let down if he was.

But anyway - you might think I'm employing an element of hyperbole with regards how absolutely nuts she's gone. Amusingly I told her she'd literally, "gone bananas" and she corrected me with, "no Daddy - it's gone nuts - that's what my teacher says." Nice work school. But back to the point - I am not exaggerating at all. How mental for Bananaman is she? Well - she did make a techno song about Bananaman on her keyboard, recorded it, and then performed a violent dance to it that caused epileptic convulsions like she was watching a Japanese Manga cartoon. Don't believe me?

Anyway she better get over this quick before this blog becomes some naff tribute website to crap British cartoons littered with troubling phallic symbols.