When I was a child (not all that long ago), I played soccer. I played every outdoor season, then played indoor soccer in between the outdoor seasons and sometimes even simultaneously. Let’s just say I played a lot of soccer growing up. (I played so much that my ankles are now about as useless as Nancy Kerrigan’s after a Tonya Harding crow bar session)
While I no longer play due to my competitive eating disorder, M is now playing soccer and I am truly loving it! Each Saturday the nostalgia comes bubbling back to the surface of the caldron that is my memory. The smell of the fresh-cut grass, the sideline chalk dust in the air, the overly loud soccer moms cheering on their little would-be Pele’s, and the list goes on. Suffice it to say, I love me some game day!
Even at the tender age of 6, the girls are quite competitive, M in particular. I don’t know where she gets it, but she has a wide competitive streak in her and a strong drive to win. (God knows it does not come from me…Hell, if I were out there, I would be swilling a beer and waiting for the ball to come in close enough proximity for me to fane a kick without spilling my drink. And all that running…Eff that! I get tired just watching them. Me, I roll up to the games with a dozen bear claws and go to town while my baby gets her soccer on…I kid, I kid…everyone knows I am a chocolate glaze kinda guy…)
Seriously though, as M’s games kick off, I start out calm and in my camp chair with the Wife and Lil b alongside the rabid soccer moms (& dads). As the action picks up, I find myself standing and starting to bark a few minor instructions to M. ” Cover #8!”, or “Get to the front of the net!”, or maybe ”If she comes by you again, slide her an elbow to the temple!”, and occasionally “Shut-up, Ref! Or I will gut you like a fish!”
If we are not already pounding the other team into submission by this point, (we usually are), I start pacing the sidelines along with the coach at times. I start to give M more instruction. Mind you, I am not one of those yellers or arm wavers on the sideline. I am subtle…almost to a fault as M often does not notice me or hear me trying to get her attention. (I sometimes have to trip one of the opponent kids to get a dead ball so that I can get M into proper position) Needless to say, I am slightly involved in the game from a parent perspective, but not overly so like those crazy soccer moms. So, over the past couple of seasons I have been begged by M to coach and even been urged to assist by her current and previous coaches. Alas, I have held strong…until now.
That’s right folks, I am breaking the ole whistle out of retirement! And I must say, I am pretty excited. I have not coached since I was a junior in high school when I assisted in coaching a 5 year-old boys team to what I will now embellish to an undefeated championship season. (in reality, I was probably too hungover at the games to even know if we won…hell,did we even play? Was that all some bad dream?). Even if I am only going to be coaching in an assistant capacity, it is safe to say that I am not the only one who is a little excited. You should have seen (and heard) M’s delight. It totally made my day. (Now I am not regretting all of the threatening and coercing I had to do to get the current assistant coach to “step down”. I hope she regains the ability to walk again soon…)
I dropped the coaching news on M as she completed her final game of the season with yet another tick in the win column. I am quietly reflecting as the team huddles around the coach as he starts to hand out the hardware. And by hardware I mean the standard participation trophies that EVERY kid on EVERY team gets these days. I almost crap my pants (if you count sharting as crapping your pants, then yes, I did crap my pants) The size of these effing trophies is bigger than the largest trophy I ever received. Only, my team had to win a huge citywide tournament to get that trophy! We poured our hearts out on that clumpy dust bowl field to get that trophy! I will probably be buried with that trophy! (Just me, my trophy and that unfortunate Prince Albert jewelry) As M crams her participation loot into the family truckster, I am left to ponder what size trophies they hand out to the kids who actually accomplish something. If the size of these participation trophies is any indication, we are gonna need a bigger house…
Below is the transcription of a speech given just before the great spring clean of 2013 in Stepfordville, Texas. Go forth and be motivated!
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many years. The eyes of this house are upon you. The hopes and prayers of clutterless-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the Clutter war machine, the elimination of toy tyranny over the oppressed parents of Stepfordville, and security for ourselves in this house.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well-trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.
But this is the year 2013! Much has happened since the Clutter triumphs of 2011-12. The United Parents Nations have inflicted upon the Clutter great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our recent offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the playroom and their capacity to wage war on the ground floor. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting parents. The tide has turned! The clutter-free rooms of the world are marching together to Victory!
I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!
~Dwight D. Parent
A couple of months ago I am putting Lil b to bed and I start doing a random character. For no real reason, the character that I jump into on this particular night is an old Jewish grandmother, or bubbe. To become a bubbe, I hobble around his room like any elderly woman might while I talk about my day. In my best Jewish old lady accent of course. This is supposed to be a spur of the moment, one-off type thing to ease him into bed one night and never mentioned again.
For whatever reason, the character resonates with Lil b and he starts to ask for “Boobie” the next night and the following night, and so on. Now it’s to the point where I have to practically become this old broad every night when I put him to bed! Don’t get me wrong, Boobie is great. She tells stories about growing up in New York. She tells Lil b all about her day at the beauty parlor, or the butcher shop and the choice cuts of meat…and how big they used to be compared to what you get now…and how everything is so expensive. The best thing about Boobie is that she gives super wet, sloppy kisses, which I think is what stuck with Lil b in the first place. (you perverts get those dirty thoughts of Boobie outta your head right this minute!…sick bastards)
This is all fine and good and only happens for a few minutes each night…no harm, right? My ass…Since Boobie is now an official family member, I am strapped with the task of coming up with new material for her every friggin’ night. I feel like one of those shitty standup comedians that travels the country telling the same jokes every night and then binge drinking himself to sleep in his budget motel room. (the only embellishment there is the comedian part) Needless to say, playing Boobie gets old. Especially on those nights where I have had a bad day and all I want to do is drink myself in to an autoerotic dream world. You try getting off when you’ve been portraying a crotchety old Jewish lady…(Now I know what Howard Stern feels like…)
Needing a break from Boobie, I have had to come up with an acceptable substitute. I sometimes become Slim Jim, the crazy cowboy that yells his own name every 30 seconds. I have a French chef character when it comes time to feed the kids. They call him Chef Daddy and he snobbishly serves them processed foods for breakfast on the weekends. There is “Ze German”. He comes out rarely as he and Boobie don’t seem to get along all that well for some reason. And finally, there is Frank The Tank, my personal favorite.
FTT is a fairly new character. He talks in a Gomer Pyle voice, but acts like the Will Farrell character from Old School just after he does the beer bong. Only, I take it a few steps further and I actually pin Lil b down on his bed and punch the life out of him. (Ease up CPS dorks, I don’t hit him in the face where you could see the bruises…body blow!, body blow!) The first time I did FTT, Lil b loved him. I don’t know what happened, but the next time I broke into character Lil b was having none of ole Frank and he went into instant fit mode. Me being me, or Frank being Frank, this only eggs me on to take it up a notch… to the point that Lil b is huddled in the corner of his room sucking his thumb and quietly rocking himself into a happy place.
It is about this time that Mommy rescues him and bans FTT from upstairs in an effort to keep Lil b from developing a few personalities of his own. That being said, FTT still comes in very handy when I need to get Lil b to quiet down or get back into bed…All I have to do is fire up the ole tank and start the fist guns in motion and he squeals with delight…or terror…yes, it’s definitely terror as he sprints back to his room yelling that he hates Frank…silly kid…I am probably causing some kind of psychological damage…Guess I had better get my cane out and put on my grandma dress…my baby boy needs his “Boobie”.
So, we have recently decided to grow our first garden. We are doing this for several reasons ranging from something to keep the kids occupied over summer to us trying to become a little more self-sufficient. This being said, we load up the family truckster and roll on over to Gebo’s. Let me just tell you that this store is exactly the same as I remember it from my childhood. This particular store is even more impressive in that it originally must have been out in the country a bit, but now has an entire shopping center built around it. All of this, and yet, when you walk through those doors you are instantly transported to Small-town, TX. The same line of John Deere toys, the same standard feed store fare, the same live chickens for sale for $2. Watching the kids with the baby chicks was worth the trip alone. Alas, we are here for one thing, and one thing only. We are starting a garden!
Rather than tear the hell out of our yard because, let’s face it, we are amateurs and this garden may not last the summer, we opt for a less permanent option for our garden. We peruse the outdoor section of the Gebo’s until we find exactly what we are looking for in a livestock water tank. But hey, if this keeps me from digging up my yard, I am willing to take on the added cost of $12o “que cash register noise”
Next stop, Calloway’s!
Calloway’s is a less-than-affordable gardening mecca to which the local affluent flock. Unfortunately, we were unable to find veggies for sale this early at our local generic hardware super center, so we are forced to shell out a little extra…again. 4 tomato plants, 2 cucumber plants, 2 water melon plants, 1 jalapeno plant, 2 cilantro, 1 basil, 1 mint and various bags of vermiculite, soil, peat moss, and human feces (at least it smelled that way!) leave us with a full truck bed, less $150 “again with the noise”
But hey, were are moving toward self sustenance here, so what’s a little (or lot) of cash up front, right? ”Onward and upward “, like some overly peppy scout leader once said. So, we make the actual garden assembly a family event as to involve the kids from the beginning.
Surprisingly, this goes well and without incident. However, when it comes time to water everything in, we end up with two soaked kids. Somebody please tell me why the hell a kid is incapable of working a garden hose without ending up on the wrong end of it and completely drenched??
Needless to say, our first garden is planted! We are stoked and ready to get those thumbs turning from brown to some form of green. Yes, this is the part where you, the reader, starts to wonder about this story being too good to be true. You must be thinking, ”How could those idiot bastards pull off a successful garden on their first try?”. Well, fear not because your instincts have not failed you.
On a whim, we decide to check the forecast. Whoa Nelly! Are you kidding me? We are at the end of March and the forecast calls for a hard freeze…and not just one night! No, it’s going to freeze for the next 3 nights! Being the prepared boy scout that I am, I spring to
action and find some cloth tarps to cover the garden with. I can do nothing more this night other than funnel wine down my craw and feel superior to those poor bastards on Shameless.
Wouldn’t you know it…all of the effing plants are effing dead…eff my green thumb! Eff this oversized tin of dirt in my yard! and eff gardening! I am already in the hole a three hunny and now I have to re-buy most of the plants again! Maybe those hippies at the commune aren’t all that “far out” after all…Oh well, it’s off to Calloway’s for round two. I guess this thumb ain’t gonna turn green on its own. Now, if I can only find one of the kids’ green markers…
Many of you may or may not know it, but we as a one-world population sit at the precipice of hell. According to my favorite extinct race, the Mayans, the world as we know it is going to end tomorrow. Wow, that sounds really ominous and hopeless-feeling. This being said, I have a bucket list of items that I am going to take care of tonight:
1) Watch porn…pre genital hygiene early ’70s porn…
2) Eat a beautiful medium rare steak…correction, a beautiful medium rare HUMAN steak…mmm3) Practice karate in the garage
4) Pee on my neighbor’s sofa…again
5) Watch more porn…midget porn…
6) Burn something…anything…a nice yule log…or a car
7) Perform my rendition of Eddie Murphy’s Delirious…at a giant Jehovah’s Witness church, or a synagogue
8) Properly execute the Tripple Lindy…Thornton Melon style bitches!
9) Go Christmas carolling…at the “terrorist” containment block of Guantanamo Bay
10) Finish my life of with another round of watching porn…staring anyone who has defiled our guest room…we saw what you did, you filthy bastards!
On a more light-hearted note, I want to know why/how society today with all the technology at our fingertips, do we base our eradication on a primitive calendar made by a practically extinct race of sacrificial heathens?? These primitively advanced Mesoamericans had their own written language, ”end-of-days” calendar, mathematics, astronomy, and on and on. However, they had not yet discovered steel apparently because the Conquistadors put the beat-down on those “primitive” bastards…hmm, this story sounds awful familiar…just ask the American Indian.
Okay, okay…I will get off my soap box…but only because I want to know why four guys on horses are tearing my lawn…
I don’t know about all you other football fans out there but, at my house, Daddy doesn’t miss his games. Of course, for day games this is fairly easy to manage because the kids can be sent out to detail Daddy’s truck, or simply locked in a closet while Daddy straps on his football rig and lets the sporty nectar send him into a pigskin-induced coma. However, evening games have proven more difficult for Daddy to get some “Me time” (not the me time you fellow porn addicts are thinking, but I like where your heads are)
Needless to say, after seasons of experimenting I have come up with something that gets those frisky kids to bed by kickoff so that Daddy can get his fix. I call it Emergency Football Drill. The EFD is a complex combination of skilled parenting moves that has taken a couple of years to perfect. In a show of good will towards my fellow football folks out there, I am going to share with you my secret formula.
The Emergency Football Drill
Step 1) FEED THE LIVESTOCK: Getting the kids fed, and fed quickly is essential and this single event can make or break whether you are seeing kickoff or reading Goodnight Moon . The recommended dinner for the kids on game night is fast food (easy to grab on your way in from work and no prep required) Of course, this is not the most healthy option for your livestock, so any foods that can be prepared quickly will also work (grilled cheese, mac-n-cheese,etc). The point is to get them fed quickly. This is also where you start to set the tone for the next step.
Step 2) LIE TO THEM: Let’s face it, small children literally have no sense of time. It is easy to hurry them along by telling them that it is late and that they need to get a move on. This starts with Step 1 and continues through Step 5. Always keep them rushing. If you let them get sidetracked with cartoons or toys for even a few minutes, then you are putting yourself at risk of missing that first snap!
Step 3) CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO…: Bath time with toddlers can be the ultimate time waste if you are not diligent. When possible, put them in the shower. We have trained our toddlers to shower (with our aid) and this saves many precious game night minutes. Showers are genius in that they do not offer the opportunity for kids to play. There are no bubbles and no toys…and no time is wasted…efficiency by definition…If you are really pressed for time, take a hose to them out in the yard…you can almost hear that national anthem now, my friend.
Step 4) STORY TIME: Ahh story time…yet another sand trap that is easily played into by unsuspecting parents. Do not let the squid pick the bedtime story(s). You know the short ones, don’t act like you don’t…this is the time to use those short books to your advantage. Close all curtains so that the kids time awareness remains “in the dark”. This step should not be completely rushed through as this is some good quality time with your little ones. Read the short stories, snuggle and tickle…but be mindful of the time…can you feel it? You are sniffing the goal line of kid-free game watching buddy…soak it in…
Step 5) DISCIPLINE: Game time is minutes away and your kids are calling your bluff. They are in and out of bed, crying for water, wanting extra hugs…you name it, they are gonna throw it at you. You have to maintain discipline. Be stern, be strict…hell, if it’s your favorite team, be mean, but you must get them in to stay in those beds…It’s okay to mildly beat them in this circumstance…
Good work! In addition to your Father Of The Year nomination, you have just secured yourself an evening of uninterrupted football watching. Give yourself a pat on the back, open that tall boy and kick those feet up on the coffee table. You have earned it my friend…What? What’s that? Fold laundry? Go to the grocery store? OMG…we forgot to check the wife…This is where a step 6 would come in handy…I’ll be hiding in the garage…good luck boys!
Looking back, I have quite fond memories of the first day(s) of school. What’s not to like from the kid’s perspective? You get to rock new clothes, new backpacks loaded down with supplies (which sucked ass for kids that walked to/from school), and new super hero-themed lunch boxes. Properly supplied, the Sis and I would climb into Mom’s Cutlass Supreme, she would crank up the Queen, and we would roll straight 80′s pimp-style to elementary school. And yes, my mom rocked the perm…
Throughout junior high and high school the first days only seem to get better. Super hero lunch boxes give way to designer shoes and jeans, and the selection of the perfect jacket/coat plays a more important role in ones wardrobe (so long velour-lined jean jacket, you will be missed…then burned). As for the backpacks, they remain an unfortunate necessity. The story remains the same in that we as kids provide our list of demands and hold our folks schedules (and wallets) hostage until all demands have been met…
Throughout all of those years I never thought once about the stress or the cash outlay that was placed on my awesome parents, nor did they throw it in our faces like they could have…should have. Hell, Sis and I were so spoiled that if we didn’t get to go out-of-town-school-shopping you would think the world was ending…such little assholes we were.(Don’t worry, we gave the folks a break eventually…I took to dealing drugs and robbing liquor stores and Sis took to whoring to pay our way through college…)
Fast forward to the present, the first day of Kindergarten for my baby girl, M. With a closet full of designer clothes (I looked for iron-on shirts, but apparently these are a thing of the past); a personalized/matching backpack and lunch box set (super heroes are not cool enough for this diva) and new shoes (that blink and flicker enough to send an epileptic scrambling for a tongue depressor). All topped off with her first missing tooth, lil miss thang is ready for school…Like her mom and dad, she is oblivious to what we have gone through over the past couple of weeks to ensure her first day happiness…In fact, she had the nerve to bitch because we didn’t send the proper snack in her lunch box! (I know someone who is about to be snacking on the back of my hand!)
Needless to say, my feelings of first day nostalgia are quickly being replaced with feelings of unappreciated tiredness…and it’s only Kindergarten…WTF are we gonna do when she’s a junior in high school? (hopefully my backhand still packs a wallop by then as I fear I am going to need it…)
Happy First Day to all of you unappreciated parents out there…Now go fix your kids lunch…and iron some effing clothes while your at it you worthless bastards…
Hello blogophiles! Yes, I am still alive…barely. My apologies for not posting recently. Hopefully you will forgive me as I have been busy solidifying my position as the Christian Grey of our new home. If I can just get the wifey to sign those non-disclosure agreements…
Anyway, what I would really like to do is update you all on the little ones since the last installment was purely rodent related. M & Lil B are doing quite well in getting adjusted to their new digs. In fact, they have almost become fully acclimated to cleaning the additional square footage of the new crib. In fact, they are becoming more efficient and are quickly working their way toward getting 3 full hours of sleep each night. This is a great milestone and it gives me confidence that they will be able to keep the new house clean while still keeping up with their regular yard work duties. For a minute, I thought that we were going to have to have another child to supplement M & Lil B. Thank God the wifey is a Tiger Mom and she runs a tight ship…I don’t know if I could handle having to purchase fast food for an additional mouth…the thought sends chills through my gelatinous body…
As a reward, of sorts, for the kids taking on the added chores, we have let them get a pet. Cats are out because of allergies. Dogs are out because you actually have to interact with them. Farm animals are out because my therapist does not think I am fully rehabilitated yet. This leaves us with boring old fish…That is until we are at the Stepfordville Mall one day making the kids do some power walking to increase their chore productivity, when we stumble across the perfect pet…Crabs. That’s right, we’ve got crabs!
May I just say that these crabs have been the perfect pet thus far. They just sit there in their little sand-covered prison cell and all we have to do is keep some water in there for them and feed them now and then. (I am now fully qualified to be a prison warden! Feed ‘em, water ‘em… execute ‘em!) The best part about having crabs is that the kids have a pet to call their own and caring for the crabs does not take away from their chores! This is waaaay better than the last time I had crabs…
In addition to the giving the kids crabs, we also allow 30 minutes of television per week (assuming all work tasks have been completed to our satisfaction). One might think that M & Lil B would choose to watch cartoons, or one of the preteen shows on Disney, but not my little workers. They spend their TV time watching Cake Boss! If you haven’t seen it, Cake Boss is a reality show featuring an entire family of overweight New Jersey Italians making kickass cakes. Obviously, they eat a lot of cake too…Needless to say, the kids now walk around the house spouting off in their best Jersey-Italian accents. It is funny to hear a 5 and 3 year-old tossing around terms like fondant, ”butta cream” and “I’m the borse” Next thing I know they will be watching Snookie blow some dude in a bathroom on Jersey Shore…God help us…Why can’t they just watch Nickelodeon? Now it’s just me that watches Victorious and Wizards of Waverly Place…alone in the dark with my scented lotions…don’t judge me…
Hello lone reader! I am sure that after 50 posts involving my children that you are as sick of them as I am. That being said, I want to offer you a little light reading that actually does not involve my spawn…mostly. No, this a story of great personal struggle and ultimate triumph. I am telling you, this is the stuff of which great movies are created. I am talking about rats…Yes, I know you are already seeing the title of this movie twinkling on the marquee outside your local theater. ”Rats, the Musical”…or “Rats, it’s What’s for Dinner”…or ”Debbie Does Rats”…(I am particularly fond of the latter.) Ahh, I can almost taste the showbiz life now, and as they say in the biz, the show must go on…
Fade In on a 1974 ranch home in Suburbia, USA: Enter the Generic family, our main characters. The Generics have come down with a serious case of new home fever, or technically house envy. Some friends of theirs have recently built a gorgeous home in Stepfordville, and before they have time to think twice, the Generic house is up for sale. Naturally, in a terrible real estate market, their home sells in 4 days. The Generics are left wondering, ”What the hell have we just done?”. Regardless, their house is sold and they embark on building a home near their great friends. Gotta keep up with the Joneses, right?
(Que first person narration)
“As we are preparing the “old” house for inspections and whatnot, we come to the realization that we have a critter or some such that has taken up residence in our garage. No big deal, right? This happens all of the time to all manner of folks. This is where the story takes a slight turn (the plot thickens and the villain is introduced) The wife comes to the realization that some form of Rodentia is or has been getting into her vehicle. At first, I laugh at her naturally and go about my internet porn studies. (There is just so much material to absorb…I feel like I am constantly learning…a porn sponge if you will) Roughly a week after her initial approach, the wife comes to me again, this time in tears. She produces forensic evidence of some massive rodent activity…in her car. Okay, now she has my attention…By the time I get home that evening she has taken matters into her own hands…A quick trip to Home Depot by the wife produces $200 worth of mouse-catching paraphernalia. (Note to self: Do not let wife EVER go to HD alone…EVER). We outfit the garage and wife-mobile with more rodent traps than a shady (insert ethnic group here) food restaurant.
In fact, Wifey-poo actually goes on to set mouse traps in her own car…SEVEN traps to be exact. There are more mouse traps in this car than room for passengers! You may expect me to tell you that we caught a mouse that very night…but you will, one again, be let down by my underwhelming-ness. Those effing traps sit in her car for over a week and the only thing that is caught are kids shoes and wife’s handbag collection. We start to believe that the little critter(s) is long gone and go back to our normal lives mostly (aside from the trap display in her car…that stays with no chance of ever leaving). Another week passes and we find fresh chocolate drops in Wifey’s car…i.e. rat shit…We know this is rat shit because the shit itself is bigger than a mouse! These effing turds are so big that I shuttered to think that she had been binge eating chocolate chips during her commute! We also note that all of the little mouse traps in the garage have been picked clean. FYI do not buy those little sticky pads that claim to catch rodents. All we were doing with those sticky pads is providing a plate for that effing rat. Between the garage and the car, that bastard was living like a Kardashian. Now it’s serious… Dump mouse traps, upgrade to rat traps: $50 at HD. (Notice that the cost per HD trip goes down significantly when I am involved)
This rat may have won the first battle, but we are preparing for war. We were like those lanky blue bastards in Avatar with our harmless spears, but now we have heavy artillery! We even bought a rat trap that will electrocute the pest! (After all, we do live in Texas…FRY EM…YEEHAW!) We place a few traps in Wifey’s car and a few in the garage. Now properly armed, it does not take long to see some action. During my routine hourly patrol of the “hot zone”, I check the too-many-to-count garage traps- All Clear. I make my way to the wife-mobile and check the front seat traps- All Clear. I move to the rear and see one is untouched and one I can’t see for some reason. I angle my flashlight around and still do not see the trap anywhere. WTF…Where is that effing thing? When I unlock the car and open the back door, I am greeted by a huge white rat that has been executed by our new badass traps. Take that sky people! Don’t ever eff with us lanky blue bastards!…
Over the next couple of days we manage to execute 8 rats total. I even got one in the “electric chair” trap! While no additional rats were ever caught in Wifey’s car, she refused to set foot in that thing ever again other than to drive it straight to the dealership and trade it in. I hate to think about the poor old lady that bought that ride and the potential stowaway(s) that probably came with it. As for us, we will eventually get over the war with the rats…eventually…As we pulled our troops out on our last day of occupation in that ranch house I bowed my head to honor those rodents that had given their lives in effort to scavenge from my family. Who am I kidding…I danced a jig as I thought about the next rat invasion and how I would be long gone from this place…Good luck new owners, you’re gonna need it!…effing rats…