Suburban Garden: A Lesson in Humility
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…
It’s Holiday Season Again: Thanksgiving
so I promised to complete the holiday series and by GOD I am going to do it! For those of you that have long since put the torturous memory of Thanksgiving out of its misery, I am happy to reopen that wound for you as I am doing so to myself by authoring this very entry.
As is often the case, we opt to travel for Thanksgiving this year. Only this time we are not on a 3-hour tour, we jump in head first and sign up for the 6-hour variety of road trip. Granted, if I roofie the wife and NyQuil the rug rats , I can make that trip in 5 hours flat. This being said, I am fresh out of roofies and at last check we have two wide-awake ankle-biters in the back seat. Begrudgingly, we head off to the windy, treeless prairies of the Texas panhandle.
Based on previous road trips (see https://genericdad.com/2010/09/21/were-no-donner-party/) you all know my children do not do well in the car over long periods of time. Now, in the past we would typically drive thru a fast food joint and scarf down a high calorie, deep-fried mystery meal while I would attempt to distractedly eat and drive. This is coupled with the wife riding reverse cowboy (on her knees in the front seat facing the back seat trying to force the kids to eat food that they don’t want in the first place)…maybe “Reverse Cowboy” is not the term…In fact, I know it’s not…I have Cinemax ya know. Needless to say, this is not the safest way to transport our precious cargo, so in recent trips we have been stopping at an actual restaurant with actual waiters. This, at the very least, allows the wife and I to enjoy decent food while our kids run around howling like banshees in whatever Small Town, TX eatery we bless with our noisy presence.
The meal goes without incident. I tip the poor 78 year-old woman who had to endure the ear-piercing shrieks of my kids and we are back on the road just as an icy rain starts to fall. Because the kids are somewhat behaving and because they actually ate some lunch we are inclined to let them have some candy while they watch their annoying movies (thank GOD for headphones!). I don’t know if is something that he ate at lunch, car sickness, or something else entirely, but Lil B lets out a painful sounding belch that would put Booger Presley to shame. That air bubble must have been serving as some makeshift cork because as soon as the cork blew, so did Lil B. The kids had each just plowed through a tasty sack of M&Ms, so naturally, what was currently being projectile-vomited all over the back of my seat had the look of a lovely chocolate fountain one might see at a decent reception. The comparison to the reception stops there because this is about the time that the smell hits the front seat. Of course, we are in the middle of nowhere by this time and it’s pouring rain. Luckily we see a roadside stop that we can at least have some cover to get Lil B. out of his Baby Gap Chocolate Fondue gear. Clean as I might, I am not able to rid the vehicle of the scent of chocolate mixed with stomach bile, but some creative directing of the air vents at least keeps the smell in back with the livestock…err kids.
By comparison, the rest of our journey goes swimmingly and we soon find ourselves in the dusty plains of the panhandle on the outskirts of Amarillo. There is not much to do in Amarillo other than binge drink and get pregnant. Since we are already saddled with two fun babies, we opt for binge drinking. We relax and visit with family in the days leading up to the turkey day feast(s).
Our first feast requires a short jaunt to the metropolis of Dumas, a small agribusiness-centered community in which the wife’s family resides. Dumas is filled with good people and…hispanics, but mostly good people and I do not mind our brief visits. It is actually a nice departure from the busyness of Dallas. Things are quiet and simple and there is not much to do and I kind of like it…if only I could get 4G to connect so that I could Facebook and watch internet porn…maybe I don’t like being out in the boonies after all…at least there’s binge drinking…
After a delicious Thanksgiving meal with the wife’s family we are forced to exit rather quickly as we are already running late for our 2nd feast at my folk’s house back in Amarillo. We arrive at my parent’s place just as my family is sitting down to eat. So as not to disappoint, I heap the fixin’s onto my plate as though I had not seen food in days. You can’t show up to mom’s and not eat after she has spent an entire day preparing a meal…So, the wife and I take one for the team and eat our second complete Thanksgiving meal within a two-hour span. I am a fat ass and this is not much of a feat for me to accomplish, but I give the wife credit as she made a great showing at both feasts. I am not positive, but I could swear I hear the sounds of a desperate woman purging her system later that day…it reminds me of high school and for a short time I bask in the nostalgia of my hometown.
The voyage home is uneventful. There is no projectile vomiting, no crying, and no rain. As we listen to an audiobook my mind drifts in and out of the story. My liver and colon wreaking havoc on me for a week’s worth of overeating…and drinking, I am left with a warm sensation knowing that we are blessed with such a great family…nope, that’s not it…I think I just sharted…where the hell is that roadside stop!
National Debt Crisis Resolved
A quick note that I wanted to share with you all regarding a commercial that I recently saw on a channel that my 4-year-old frequents. Typically, I do not pay much attention to the crap that is on the television when M is watching. I make the mistake that many of you make in that I trust in the “children’s programming” format of the network with which my daughter is enthralled.
So, I am sitting there picking my nose or adjusting my junk as I often do in my spare time when my attention is brought to a commercial on the TV. View the commercial now and then rejoin my discussion below so that we are all on the same page:
Now that you have witnessed at least some version equal to that which I saw. My question is simple; what are we teaching our children with games like this? I may be an idiot, but what I see in that commercial is that handling, playing with, and collecting feces is fun. Not even during the depression was playing with your own, let alone animal shit a fun thing to do. Fine, they added some happy colors to the fake dog shit so that it’s appealing to everyone and a good time is had by all…playing with faux shit. I can only assume that there is no realistic feces smell included. I don’t know about you all, but if I let my near 2-year-old watch that commercial, I would soon have a mound of randomly collected turds in my house.
What is a kid to learn from this game other than, “If I collect the most pieces of shit, I can win in life”? What about that game tells a child that feces is disgusting and carries bacteria and diseases? Nothing! Instead, they make shit seem colorful and fun. Hey kids, it’s okay to scoop up that turd from the yard. In fact, take a bite because we have colored it to look like a friggin’ candy cane. Plus, it’s worth 5 points! I can only imagine the repercussions involved on the first day of school when my kids show up with a cache of dog shit or worse acting like they own the joint. According to this game, shit is the new bling. “You like my new grill? Yeah, it’s thoroghbred horse shit, dawg. Fo reals”
This game is not the only source directing our kids to embrace poop. Mr. Hankey has been around for years and recently the Easter Bunny movie made it socially acceptable to eat rabbit shit. That movie alone has made me start systematically eliminating the rabbits from my yard. I feel like the Hitler of bunnies! Something has got to give…I think I will just keep my kids playing Chutes and Ladders or Candy Land …at least until I see them gnawing on the furniture.
Nuggets of Truth
I am sorry that this has become such a habit to have to apologize at the beginning of every post for not posting more frequently. Alas, I am busy at work, busy with the kiddos, and truthfully, I am quite possibly the laziest person that you know.
Regardless, on to the long-overdue update. Let’s start with M since you all know her a little better than Lil B. M is approaching the start of her 2nd year of Pre-K at the little Christian school. She has progressed nicely as far as curriculum is concerned. She is also making interesting strides in her social development. At the end of last year she was anointed “Most Friendly” by her teachers. We were proud of her for not being the thumb-sucker that sits in the corner and shits herself while not having the communication skills to let anyone know about it. However, we have recently been made aware that our daughter is the cause of much drama at the little Christian school. Apparently all of her classmates want to play with M and she has not exactly rolled out the welcome waggon to some of them. While we understand that someone known as “most friendly” might draw a crowd in the realm of the 4-year-old, we are not prepared to have other parents complain that our little baby is excluding her peers. The important thing here is what we do with this information. There are several ways to look at this situation. We could be happy that our daughter is the object of every post-toddler’s desire regardless of who she has to step on to reach the pinnacle of Pre-K stardom. Or, we could scold and punish her for not being nice to others and try to strain some sort of life lesson out of the situation. In the back of my mind I feel as if I am creating some kind of pre-pubescent sorority super-bitch…and I kind of like it. I mean, why should my little girl have to be scolded because some half-wit’s parents can’t handle that they have a child that is an undesirable playmate. Problem solved! M, continue on with your natural selection-style of making friends. I feel like Will Farrell in Old School as he takes a tranquilizer to the jugular, “Is this bad?
On to the main man who is going to carry on the Henderson name, Lil B. The last update I did probably had Lil B shitting in diapers and crying like a little bitch about every little thing. Well, I am unhappy to report that nothing has changed! As Lil B nears his 2nd birthday we find him in the throes of learning the english language. While he has a full grasp on conversation (in his mind), he is in that stage in which only us parents understand what the hell he is actually saying. It usually involves crying about a lost member of his entourage. You read correctly, B has an entourage. He has “Baby”, “Rabbit”, Giraffe”, and “Puppy”. When I say entourage, I mean it in every sense of the word. Lil B is NEVER seen without at least one of his trusted comrades. Although, I did notice that none of B’s boys were around when he decided to carpet bomb the kitchen.
It is our own fault. See, Lil B had a gnarly diaper rash and we were trying to let that nasty thing air itself out. So one afternoon I get the kids home and decide that B’s bomber needs a little time outside of the diaper. I slap some shorts on him mainly because M is a little too fascinated with the difference in equipment between the two of them, if you know what I mean. The shorts are designed to avoid M screaming, “PENIS! PENIS!” while pointing and laughing at her nude little brother. That being said, B is going about his normal business of free-balling and following M around one afternoon and things are running quite swimmingly. They aren’t fighting, B isn’t tackling or pulling M’s hair and M isn’t using her height advantage to withhold coveted items from B. Basically, a nice little afternoon in my world. Meanwhile, as I half nap/half ignore the kids. Mommy comes into the kitchen and screeches. I am shaken from my slumber and run into the kitchen thinking that B has fallen on his head (again) or that he has kicked M’s ass again when I almost step in a trail of turds. If I were tracking small game it would not have been difficult to track Lil B from the string of nuggets that he had laid down across the kitchen floor. As I scrape up last night’s dinner reincarnate, I am reminded of one of the many reasons that we are now dog-free. I also made the tactical error in thinking that this was a one-time event. Two kids almost potty trained, and I recently got my first bathtub bombing from Lil B. To make matters worse, I was distracted by a heated game of Disc Driving on my iPhone while I let him play a bit in the tub. I am startled from my game by the garbled sounds of Lil B saying, “Poo Poo”. I give a half-ass glance in his direction and my mouth falls open. Sitting proudly coated in Mr. Bubble is Lil B. holding up a piece of shit the size of a cucumber. He is grinning ear-to-ear with the pride that he has finally connected the term of Poo Poo to its reality. I swipe the ex-dinner from his hand and pull my best fade-away into the toilet. Splash! Nothin’ but net, err…water. I know that B will grow out of his bombing phase, so I am not too worried. Plus, I get to work on my jump shot.
So, you all can see that I have two midgets in completely different stages of childhood. To add to this, I have both sexes to deal with and believe it or not, they are completely different in demeanor from birth. I am thankful for this challenge because I was beginning to get a little bored with being Superdad. Obviously, if you have read all of this you have lost time that you will never get back. Thank you for reading and watch out for those toddler land mines!