"Actually honey he's being very, VERY nice."
One of my general rules in life is that my dog's strangely pink willy is not to be used within the vicinity of my kids. I haven't written this rule down or anything. It's a general catch-all mental decision on my part. Firstly - if he's perversely grinding away on another dog then I'm going to have to explain it - and I don't want to. Secondly he tends to get stuck. Not in the other dog - it's not like a Chinese finger trap. He gets (as our family has sadly come to term it - meaning it happens frequently enough to warrant a name) "stuck in a hump" with his back curled at it's most extreme humping-arc - completely unable to return back to normal. He may look like a cute little thing - but doubled-over like that with his frightening canine-saveloy shamefully pointing at his attempted conquest removes any hint of cuteness. I've been called cute by some - but if I stood like that with same glowing shame-stick wagging about I'd lose that sense of innocent charm as well (please don't request photos - I'm all out).
Thirdly though - it also drives a wedge between parent and child. Because apparently stopping a dog from humping your child is mean. Especially when it's your own dog and your own child. My daughter (from this point referred to as, "the humpee") thought that her dog (the, "humper") was being friendly and hugging her. My son thought it was hilarious. I tried to stop the whole shameful episode but neither the kids nor the dog cared very much about my protests. Eventually I probed my wife (steady now...) into action and pointed out to her what our deviant little shit (the dog, not the daughter - although this is often interchangeable) was up to. So she scolded the dog - who doesn't know better - before being counter-scolded by our daughter for stopping the whole thing. "He's actually being mean..." my wife weakly claimed. Cue furrowed brow and adamant refusal by our daughter. "No he isn't - he's hugging me." So I chimed in with the, "actually honey he's being very, VERY nice." I mentally patted myself on the back for not making a disparaging remark about how it's probably more acceptable in the North Country. I'd find that funny - but considering how holier-than-thou dogs are considered up in the conservative north it'd be akin to waltzing into a big group of Americans solemnly stood in silence at the end of a Memorial Day parade - slathering away on a bun filled with dark, dripping meat - and exclaiming, ".....oh man.....this is amazing.....have you ever tried horse?"
Still - I sensed this may have been my fault all along, as I've been encouraging my kids to play amusing games where we have a hero and a bad guy. The hero always has a perfectly normal hero name - like Captain Cheesestick or Super Kitten. But the bad guy has a name like The Slapper - who's weapon of evil is slapping. I took great pride in watching my daughter bellow a warning that her brother is a slapper and is after us. I even managed to get her to call him, "a dirty slapper" after pointing out his feet were dirty. But alas in hindsight that may have contributed somewhat to them both thinking the dog humping them is perfectly okay. Which it isn't. At least not in my home.
After returning from the in-laws (where the Humpathon took place) my kids and I spent all of our time yesterday outside. My kids splashed about in a shitty inflatable pool while I was bitten by bugs and muttered obscenities at a broken weed-whacker. I also had to explain to my son - who was horrified by the entire thing - why there were clothes outside hanging off a washing line. It's warm enough and dry enough for that - but he doesn't have any memory of clothes outside. Especially not his own - that in his mind seem to have been stolen by the squirrels who are taunting him with them by dangling them just out of his reach. So I told him it's how you can dry clothes for a period of the year - and that yes, it is weird in the US where most people chuck it all in the dryer no matter what the weather is. Then I quickly explained that in some places in the US the town doesn't actually allow you dry clothes outside - as it's unseemly and ugly to some people. Frankly that blows my mind but it's true. But then I've heard stories from people where someone has shown up at their house to tell them that they aren't allowed to have certain things on their lawn (in this case big huge boulders) as the town association has outlawed them. It's not lost on me that for all the "Freedom" that some people like to blather on about, they really mean that they have the freedom to impose whatever pish they believe in on other people.
My daughter kept arguing with me that hanging the clothes up won't work - because in the dryer they're all in a pile. I mistakenly imitated a dryer by saying they were all balled up in a barrel - so that they would be shaken about - with a pipe blowing hot air all over them. I say mistakenly because I amusingly pointed out that, "unless you're going to roll in them and toot all over the clothes for an hour then this is a much better, cheaper way of doing it." She clearly considered the first option and even sat on my t-shirt (casually laying socks and underpants over her shoulders like laying streaks of bacon in a frying pan) to try out some sort of maneuver that she was thinking of. Instead I just pegged all the clothes up. I took this opportunity to make an important point about the neighbors and my kid's underpants.
Me: And this is the only way that it's okay for the neighbors to see your underpants, okay kids?
Daughter: Unless they buy some off me Daddy.
Me: Well that goes without saying, honey.
I think she's referring to a mythical potential garage sale that she has been urging us to have (at which she seems to think she can sell her underpants that are too small now - what does she think this is - the north country?). I dunno though - she does have an awful lot of money in her piggy bank. She must be earning it somehow.
Anyhoo - here's a snapshot of life yesterday at Case de Herpes (I might reconsider the name).
My son was bored of the pool by that point. Instead he really wanted to sit and bounce on things. So here's my son's best Buster Gonad impersonation.