Sucky Choices

There is something amazing about the modern world. Our mobility allows us to live and work in completely different areas. We move from family homes and strike out into the world knowing that the people we love are only a plane ride away. Maybe a day-long drive. But for all our nimble-ness, modern life does stretch us to make weird decisions.

Last week we had a few scares in the family. A trip to the emergency room. An uncertain diagnosis. Lots of crossed fingers and wait-and-see.

There is something depressing about having to make a decision about visiting critically ill family or considering the possibility of needing to attend a funeral. What scenario exists where you don’t feel like an ass-hat for saying I would have done both but we have work and school and blah blah blah.

It is a human reaction to want to be all things to everyone. I get that. Too bad that isn’t how life works. We have to put value on things that are priceless. Time is endlessly limited.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

JC_Computer

Hoarders

I’m so bad at this. I have zero parenting skills. I have no dog skills.

The dog is one hundred percent against all things. She tries to ruin things. She ate a hole in the carpet.

Carpet Hole

Potty training for Lady Bug is going just as well. We are on the fourth pair of panties today. One incident was a number two. Imagine squeezing chocolate through cheesecloth. Awful.

Our house needs major attention. We started cleaning the other day and wheeled out the vacuum. Lady Bug looked at it and tilted her head to one side, “What’s that?”

I feel it is safe to say that if your three year old child doesn’t recognize a vacuum, you might need to use it more. The ensuing wave of guilt pushed us to agree to a neighborhood yard sale that we were made aware of about a week before. To get ready we decided to clean and organize the garage. That should say a lot because if I had to choose between a yard sale and another vasectomy, I would pick the sale but only by a small margin.

I knew the garage was in bad shape. We live in a house that is too small for the six of us anyway and all extra boxes, toys, and junk gets pushed into the garage. A few years ago the garage door burned out the electrical circuits in the garage so we had even less incentive to keep it cleaned up since we quit using it as access to the house. It has been practically inaccessible for about six months. Cluttered for years. We prepared for a long day but I wasn’t ready to face the level of junk.
Hoarders have less. Here are a few of the highlights.

YardSale

Each year we get four pumpkins for Halloween. Apparently we promptly throw them in the garage and forget they exist. We found a total of sixteen plastic pumpkins, six woven Easter baskets, and one Elmo head bucket.

Yard Sale

There was a pile of cardboard boxes that got completely out of hand. Half was diaper related. The other half consisted of boxes from Christmas presents, appliances, and miscellaneous purchases. Our garbage service requires everything to be in a bag for pickup. I am amused by the irony of having thirteen bags of boxes.

We have a lot of good things to sell. Some of it will be handmade pottery because we took lessons for four years and accumulated a metric ton of ceramic dishes. One day will be dedicated to sorting out mugs, plates, cups, bowls, and teapots.

If you are a disgusting human being, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

Supermomglue

Also, Supermom glued her fingers together with superglue. Lol.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Judy_Innocent

The Art of Pinching A Loaf

I think repeatedly, “Don’t kill the dog. Don’t kill the dog. Don’t kill the dog.”

What is it about potty training a puppy that is so infuriating? Our new puppy is sitting around 50/50 for shitting in the house versus outside. I swear she stores it for the forbidden parts of the house. We follow the rules; crate-outside to pee – eat – go back outside after 20 minutes for poopy – playtime – nap time – potty – eat dinner – go back outside after 20 minutes for poopy – free play – pee before bed. Wake up if she is whining and go outside again. This is the routine. It is reliable. It works.

Except when it doesn’t. Which is 50% of the time. The primary problem is my dog and the fact that she is a yellow-bellied-Red-Badge-of-Courage-scared-of-her-own-shadow textbook pussy.

We will walk circles around the backyard looking for the perfect blade of grass to shit on and her butt hole will be puckered into a bag of hemorrhoids. A half opened airlock from a sci-fi movie. This is happening. Awesome. The perfect storm for a speedy dump which is good because the mosquitoes are usually eating me alive.

Just as the turtle head is starting to crown she will hear the whisper of a dog barking from seven blocks away. Probably the smallest dog on the Earth. Suddenly, the emerging turd sucks up like a landing gear and the tail locks down between her legs as she runs to the door, begging to go inside. She refuses to go back out but I can’t trust her to walk around on shore leave with a loaded gun. Five minutes later she is sniffing and circling in the living room so I take her back outside. Again something barely louder than a mouse fart spooks her into a panic constipation. At this point I lean down and talk to her like Americans talk to people who don’t understand English, I say “GO POOP!” loud enough that my neighbors can hear me through the fence. She looks at me with a blank stare.

We go back into the house and I am defeated. Supermom and I have a conversation about the pooping dog.

SM: Did she poop.

UD: No. She saw her shadow so six more weeks before a bowel movement.

SM: Maybe she doesn’t have to go.

UD: She was almost finished. She just needed to pinch it off and call it a day and she pulled it back up. Like a fucking snail retreating into its stinky shell. I swear if she shits in the living room I’m going to beat her until my hand hurts.

SM: She doesn’t know.

UD: Oh she knows…

She starts circling again. I grab the leash again and we go outside. Again.

This time the stars align and she has complete reverence from nature which allows her to poop. Suddenly I am very proud of her and want her to be positive about pooping outside. We celebrate and confirm how good of a girl she is. Judy Cornbread is totally excited about her accomplishment and races into the house to get her poop treat.

UD: Tell mommy how good you are Judy!

SM: *talking to the dog* Did you go poopy!?

UD: She did!

 

And we wait a few hours and do it all again.

If your dog has a shy anus, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Sunrise

Fluffy Murder and Summertime

They say that serial killers practice on animals to perfect their methods before starting with people. I wonder if the same can be said for gangsters. I noticed that Halbert the Penguin had been quiet lately and I wondered what he was up to. After all, a penguin who doubles as a pillow should be fairly popular and indeed he was until a few weeks ago.

It was early in the evening and I was playing “Where is that smell of puppy shit coming from?” and I ventured upstairs. There was no doubt I had located the puppy pile but something in the corner of the room caught my eye. Halbert the Penguin. He had clearly crossed someone very important and received his revenge.

Peguin_Gets_It

Notice the blank stare of death in his little eyes.

I’ve never seen the damage from a chocolate milk shotgun. So violent. So much apparent suffering and carnage. All I can say is that I hope it was Qwik.

Come on people. Three paragraphs to set up a weak pun. Qwik… Chocolaty drink?  I am proud of myself.

 

Summer is in full swing around the Underdaddy lair. The kids have been doing loads of fun summer things. Swimming, horseback riding, playing iPads. The kind of things that all red blooded Americans should do. There are a couple of other things too…

Lizard Eggs

Collecting lizard eggs. I hope they are lizard eggs. Mamaw swears they are. Bold statement Mamaw, I hope you are right.

Tantrum

Throwing sleeping tantrums. Lady Bug has taken to laying down in the middle of stores for a quick recharge during shopping trips. I’m sure that some point in my past I would have been concerned about hygiene and third party opinions. Ehh.

We ate at a good pizza place. Pizza Rev. It works like subway but for pizzas and at the end of the line they oven fire the pizzas really fast. I’ve never seen a fast food pizza that is fresh made but they pulled it off. They have some sort of Oreo desert pizza that I think will get obesity levels near 90% if the word gets out on how delicious it is.

SM_Text_13

Supermom is still sending me fun texts during the day. I got this gem a few days ago. Have I mentioned that my entire parenting goals have been distilled into making sure the girls do anything besides drugs and prostitution? Yeah that is where I have the bar right now.

Baby_Snuggles

Oh I almost forgot. Supermom got to snuggle a baby yesterday. My nephew, you can call him Keanu. We had the family together and realized girls outnumbered the boys about 6 to 1. Little Keanu was snugly enough that I’m sure it stimulated some womanly hormone and we will have a new pet in a week or so. I’m glad we took care of the baby issue.

Anyway, that is my life over the past couple of weeks. Just living in fast forward in a house that stays destroyed and with kids who have gotten their last four baths via chlorine pool. Winning.

If you are trying to keep up with a speedy summer, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

CEJ

Butterfly Effect

I had a good conversation the other day about the beauty of randomness. The art of chaos and how our lives are shaped by insignificant details. All the major things that we plan really have very little bearing on what actually happens. For me it has been cross connections and memories. I was talking with my mother about a vacation we took when I was probably 10 to 12 years old. Through that conversation I was able to pinpoint a chain of events that would be responsible for the life I currently live.

Growing up we always rode horses. I am not a rider deep down in my soul like other horse riders but I was legally a minor and forced to join the family on trail rides. There were a number of reasons that I was less than excited about outdoor activities. Let’s do a quick rundown.

  1. I had a one eyed horse named Lightning whose fastest speed was an aggressive walk.

2. I am allergic to horse dander and generally averse to bodily injury.

3. A giant horse named Red stepped on my foot when I was six years old.

4. I busted my bottom lip on a three wheeler when I was four or five because of a carefree daredevil who thought riding a small child around through a grassy field would be fun. I still remember looking in the mirror and seeing blood gushing out and the imprint of HONDA backwards on my chin. Not the entire word because I was a small child but there were definite parts.

So basically the thought of running through woods on an oversized special-needs horse made me nervous. It was a summary of everything bad that had happened to me in life up to that point. Sometimes we stepped in yellow jacket nests and you know how I feel about bees so the picture of my nightmare is complete. (Yellow jackets are small ground nesting wasps that swarm out of holes and ruin picnics.)

One day my mother tells us that we are going on vacation. Yay! To a week long trail riding camp. Oh… The general plan was to camp in the sleeper part of the horse trailer. Wake up. Ride horses all day long. ALL. DAY. LONG. Then crash in an exhausted heap only to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn to do it again. Boy oh boy. Sign me up.

The week arrives and the first day is exactly what I thought. Near death experiences and saddle-sore ass cheeks. The area was beautiful and we saw some really cool things but seriously, near death experiences. The trail went along the side of a cliff and surprise surprise, my horse’s bad eye was on the side that he needed to be aware of the face of a cliff. Did I mention that he bumped a dead tree and it fell, scaring him into a mad dash across the side of the mountain? That happened. Then at the bottom of the ravine our lead horse stepped in a yellow jacket nest and everyone ran for their lives. I remember the big guy taking off his shirt and talking about getting stung in his “love handles”. I laughed but I wouldn’t comprehend the phrase for a few more years. The day came to a close and I remember thinking how excited I was for six more days just like this one.

The next day I left our campsite early and went to the mess hall for breakfast. I must have been annoying my parents because they let me go by myself and they didn’t join until later. I decided to make some friends and systematically moved from table to table talking to everyone who would listen. Legend has it that I made friends with the entire camp by 9:30 am. (I used to be so outgoing and full of life. *sigh*) Anyway. I made friends with the trail leader (who looked like Burt Reynolds) and was invited to ride at the front of the group with him which to a preteen was some prestigious shit. Top-o-the-world kind of importance. I got much more excited about the riding but the nights were still boring. The only thing going was a lame-ass dance hall. I wouldn’t have gone but after dark in a horse camp there isn’t a lot of option for entertainment.

I walked into the barn where the dances were held and found a seat out of the way of the action. I realized really quickly that cute girls liked to dance and that learning an easy one would be a good way to meet a few. The group of hotties I selected were probably sixteen and thought that a little ten year old kid with buck teeth and cowboy boots was adorable. They taught me a dance called “The Rebel Stomp” and I had lots of fun. The rest of the week flew by with all the dancing and socializing.

For the next eight years I had zero encounters with country line dancing. My interactions with horses dwindled as well. By the time I went to college I would venture to say that my country-ness was at an all-time low. I had the whole Slim-Shady bleach blonde shaved head thing going on. One night someone mentioned going to college-night at the Cotton-Eyed Joe. Yee Haw. My friends and I sat on the sidelines watching the cowboy-clad people hopping around to country classics such as “She Thinks My Tractors Sexy”. Riveting stuff. We were about to leave when I heard the DJ announce that the upcoming dance would be the Rebel Stomp. I had a trace memory of what to do and we had smuggled a flask of vodka so I figured what the hell. One dance before we leave.

I remembered how much fun it could be and more importantly, that girls love to line dance. Our group became regulars at the Cotton Eyed Joe and the rest is history. I should probably do an entire story on the Cotton Eyed Joe, it deserves a book unto itself. For those unfamiliar with some of the history, that story is here.

If you enjoy a good story about Serendipity then this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.