Me: I don't know. (Nb - I do know though - she's told me this joke at least 200 times now)
What - six/seven weeks of silence? Was nice. In which time all the guff I usually put on this blog has ended up divided between various forums and social media. That joke has done the rounds, I can tell you. So I figured that I'd wander back in here and bash one out. And write something on the blog. Snort....
Anyway - obviously you know that in our time away from the limelight of Blogger we could have become an avatar of a family - an example to all within our community of what they can achieve if they transcend the current boundaries of what they know awesome to currently be and graduate to a whole new, unknown level. A beacon of hope to those struggling to make sense of parenthood - and who just need comfort to know that they are not alone when their kids do something odd. A shining city on a hill if you will. But the Jesus kind - not the ironic Reagan one (seriously - 50% of what he says in that address makes no sense at all).
Of course none of that happened. In fact it seems the fastest way to become known in my own local community is to either loudly state whilst picking up your child at school that you think basketball is hopelessly ridiculous (oh the staring was intense.....). Or - according to Topix - go to Dunkin Donuts blitzed on meth. Only one of which I did. I'll trust we all know which one that is. Anyhoo - I felt duty-bound to give a roundup of how the last six-to-seven weeks have gone. Just as a means to assuage any concerns any of you may have had that my family have taken a dour turn for the worse and started making appalling life choices.
So first off - this happened.
Probably shouldn't have led with that one. Casts a dark, sticky shadow over everything that follows. Although as you can see from the look of absolute shame on my face this wasn't a choice I made lightly. Although one testament that photo does make is that quite clearly I didn't imbibe the lesson of the Twilight move franchise - that being that cool people wear an inch-thick layer of glitter and makeup. I must say though that I did feel extremely depraved and self-conscious at the library when I borrowed this, the first Harry Potter movie and a book about octopuses. I made an extra-special effort to make the claim that this movie was for my wife. Probably oversold that a little. I didn't quite try to express a ridiculously insecure level of manliness. But I did convey the message that I'm the sort of man who works with his hands and knows how to handle tools - therefore quite clearly Twilight and it's horribly wooden acting (Pattinson seems to be channeling Charlie from Casualty in an attempt to look awkward and moody, but never actually at other people - except with a motor-neuron disease) wasn't something that I secretly wanted to watch and I simply couldn't resist it any longer. Of course I made sure though to leave out the bit about how I almost exclusively use a screwdriver to put batteries in a child's toy. Thought that might dampen the point.
Let's move on. You'll be glad to know that my children have kept up their commitment to eating healthily and properly. As is the case with most kids they have traveled the thin line between just telling me that the dinner I made is disgusting and kindly saying they'd rather wait until the next meal time. Capped off perfectly by my daughter saying last week that her chicken tasted bad, only for me to point out it was pork - "as in a pig". At which point she retorted that her, "pig-chicken tastes bad." Having said that though my daughter has seemed to finally grasp that meal time - specifically dinner - needs to be eaten. I tried not buying any snacks and telling them both that until they start regularly eating all of their dinner I shall not be buying any more. Two failings here are that a) they still didn't eat half the time, and b) I didn't have any snacks. So I came up with the much more motivational tactic of buying lots of snacks and brazenly eating them in front of them - and then telling them they can't have any unless they eat their dinner. Been working out well. My daughter will still say she isn't interested in eating most of her dinner - then it'll register that she'll be getting nothing exciting to eat for at least another 24 hours and she just shovels the remainder of her dinner in like a shop-vac picking up sawdust.
Having said all that my son does keep demanding I feed him onion bagels covered in peanut butter. Which is foul. I still give them to him though. And my daughter also invented White Trash Fondue. That would be dipping a strawberry in Velveeta. Whilst wearing a superhero cat costume. And looking like you've just been huffing bath salts. I think I've eaten Velveeta twice my entire life. And as rancid as it is I'd still choose it more often than strawberries. Those things are horrible. But still - together? Only a weirdo would do that. That girl's parents should be ashamed.
Speaking of superheroes my children have been fervently interested in framing the entire families superhero capabilities. Many an afternoon has been spent ironing out exactly what powers each of us holds. This was prompted by us borrowing a Superman reading book from the library. My son - so addicted to Thomas the Tank Engine that I fear a strange Channel 5 documentary about forbidden love in his future - has become quite enamored with the entire Superman idea. So much so that for half the day lately he insists I call him Super Owen. Except for about a fortnight ago when I was trying to teach him the importance of wiping your bottom after going to the toilet - after which he spent much of the day yelling, "I am a bum wipe." A real treat for the lady at the town hall when we were paying taxes. Not as big a treat as last week though when he yelled, "DADDY IS DELICIOUS!!" in my daughter's school hallway so about fifty people could hear him. I've never tried harder to make it look like my son hadn't caught me sending out emails signed with my stripper name before, and was now helping me reach more customers with the old town-crier method of salesmanship.
Anyway the point here is that during dinner my kids have taken to revealing what their new daily super powers are. My son though hasn't quite grasped the idea of super powers and keeps making an "you'll be amazed at the powers I have!!" face before telling us he has the ability to do things that most people can already do. I did try to explain that super powers were unusual but this apparently just confused him. Which tends to happen during a lot of our games. During Hide and Seek my daughter and I always come up with terrifying monsters that we're hiding from. Whereas last time we played my son - after being reminded that "a light bulb!!" isn't up to snuff as a scary monster -shrieked "Oh No! A Woman!!!" Terrifying. Needless to say I prompted him to come up with more traditional super powers, but to no avail. Hence the best powers he's come up with over the last few weeks being -:
- sniffing oatmeal (which frankly sounds like something the Today Show claims teens are doing these days)
- playing trains
- "doing Thomas" (somewhat worrying, to be honest)
- sea lions
- "tricking you" (this usually involves saying, "no" when he means, "yes")
Walking? Unless he means in that uncomfortable Olympic-walking thing that makes it look like someone is peeling an orange with their arse then that's just absurd. I should commend him though for last week coming up with, "kayaking." I didn't even know he knew what that was. It would have been the best power of the day my daughter not come up with the ridiculous, "being able to see even though my eyes are closed." That has to be the most useless power ever thought of.
Actually a good super power would be instantly being able to travel a long way. Because after living in this area for four years and knowing that I really enjoy the winter season I've come to the conclusion that winter is actually complete an utter and balls. No idea why that clicked. But my wife's long, pining desire to move to the South West seems like the finest idea she's ever come up with. I am aware it's a combination of knowing that the overall area of central New York is pretty sad mixed with an annoyance at being cold, wet and irritated by what the weather does to everything all the bloody time. I'd much rather have the simpler life described by friends I know in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico of knowing that you're likely going to be wearing a t-shirt for 9 months of the year. As opposed to having to put on a balaclava to go outside lest my eyes freeze - only to then discover after the fact that the cat urinated on it. I suppose I should stress thought that while I don't like my very local area I don't particularly dislike it either. At least I have the blessed fortune of not living in Utica. I'll never get over the irony of people from there making fun of where I live in for being a bit out-in-the-sticks and whatnot. Doesn't seem like much of a tradeoff to me to have a terrible school distrct, grime, misery and spates of arson/rapery but easy access to K-Mart and a very, very bad Greek restaurant. Let's just put it this way - if for some strange reason you came to me and said that you need to contract a cold sore today I wouldd send you to Utica.
Moving quickly along - my son has also been working hard on perfecting that look he has of smugness mixed with drunkenness. He's really got it nailed down. Take the below photo - which I think is subtly brilliant because the low-light makes it look like he's been caught at 4am sneaking in the house again. When in reality he's decided to get up at 4am so that he could make the blatantly obvious point to me that he's still tired and should sleep more. This is his photograph gurn. It's a real winner.
I couldn't possibly go any further without posting the best thing that has happened since my self-imposed exile. That being my wife bought me this rug.
We've also finished the entire floor downstairs now. But balls to that - this rug is amazing. I was wary of making my living room look like a Northern Ireland political mural. Or as if I was making a weirdly ironic UKIP protest statement whilst living in another country. The irony is I'm not particularly patriotic and am certainly not a monarchist. And there's nothing more weird and strange to me than people with massive US flags all over the place. But let's be honest - that rug is freaking amazing. I have enjoyed the comments of a few people quick to say, "um - I think you'll find that rug is wrong." Yes - that's why you don't have one and I do. Oh - and that my wife is ace. And I still intend to get a smaller US flag rug to go near the window that I can banish my wife to when needs be. "Get orf my land" and all that.
Add the rug is fantastic for other reasons. I like to make my kids fight on it with the added proviso that they're actually wrestling for control of the land directly under the flag - much like the glorious (ie - brutal and awful) days of empire when Britain didn't pretend that military intervention in weird foreign countries was absolutely wrong. Although of course my son was born in the US, so no doubt he'll "accidentally" destroy the rug in the neighboring room before arbitrarily accusing Iran of meddling in a foreign nation. The rug in the other downstairs room will no doubt be an occupied carpet for the next decade. Hopefully he'll make that demented girly banshee-shriek that he does at the end of this video as well when he does it. Just feel grateful I posted this video as opposed to the other one where my son is wearing a skort that his sister has dressed him in whilst yelling, "I'm a tunnel!!" instead.
I could go on but this thing would end up being obscenely huge. It's been fun catching up....