Month: August 2014

I Lost My Manginity

Sometimes I ponder how unmanly I have become in the past few years. I could claim that I had no choice in the matter. After all, everyone in our household is female. Wife, four girls, girl dog, girl cat. Every living thing around me is biologically capable of bearing fruit. I bet if I look close enough, the wilted and neglected tomato plant in the backyard has a vagina. I’m sure estrogen coats my walls. Maybe it will leave shadows of clean wall behind picture frames and chest of drawers when we move. Like an elderly chain smoker had lived here for decades. The new owners will probably need new curtains. But I can’t blame the women in my life. My decline started well before my family was formed.
Rewind to a time before I discovered my superpower of self-depreciation and I would say that on the surface I was somewhat manly.
Let’s take an inventory of what being male looked like;

Sports Car – Check
Leather Bomber Jacket – Check
Physically Fit – Yup
Favorite Music – Hip Hop
Miscellaneous Street Signage on my wall – Of Course
Favorite Pastime – Beer
Favorite Swear Word – Fuck

I don't recall much about this person at all.

I don’t recall much about this person at all.

Amazing. From these spectacular beginnings I reached a point, a climax, a fight or flight moment when I exposed myself as a liar.

I met the love of my life who I knew I could marry the night we met. She took about three months to return my calls but that story is for another day. She eventually gave in to my stalking and before long we got a dog. A pet/first child who I will call Dog. The addition of Dog to our small family made Sports Car unwieldy and it gave way to small SUV. I use SUV liberally here, I think it was a RAV4 body on a go-cart frame but the three of us fit happily.

Of course I want to capture this moment. Who doesn't want to see the death of pride up close.

Of course I want to capture this moment. Who doesn’t want to see the death of pride up close.

Then as everyone knows happiness equals weight gain, ergo Leather Bomber Jacket and Physically Fit both fell off the list. Girlfriends have an aversion to felony theft and my bad boy first impression was intact so the street signs (which were totally not obtained in any questionable way by myself and two friends on a Wednesday night) had to go. Time marches on and with wedding, jobs, and sissy man sinus problems, beer also became a fond memory for me. At least I had my swearing. Sure profanity and expletives are unnecessary and are always a sign that you don’t have a good grasp on what you are trying to say, but nothing makes you feel like a man like a rebellious “Fuck It”.

Not in front of the baby though. We are always in front of the baby. So there I was releasing the last thing on my manly list. I was oblivious that the list had even existed but my test lay just around the corner.

Dont worry little baby. I will protect you at all costs.

Dont worry little baby. I will protect you at all costs.

One fateful night Mommy and I were relaxing on the worlds cheapest couch. Our two bedroom mansion, which may be on MTV cribs, was dark and silent with only a dim lamp on in the living room. We had just our baby, One, to bed and popped in a DVD. The selection for the evening was the Amityville Horror because Mommy likes scaring herself out of her mind and sending me to the kitchen to fetch things while I try and pretend like I’m not creeped out too. After all, I may have sold out my man list but I have a child, dog, and wife to protect. I am still a man.

The weather forecast for the evening was severe thunderstorms. Perfect.

I plan on a story about this first house of ours at a later date but some important details are necessary. This house was constructed by the Pastor of the church across the street. I assumed he lived there until he realized that free wasn’t always worth the price. Maybe he joined a mission overseas so he could have more reliable housing, who knows. The ultimate irony about the house is that while the oak framing was robust enough to burn out saw blades, every other aspect of the house was awful and it was in no way airtight.

The movie was getting to the suspenseful part near the end and the approaching thunderstorm was rumbling in the distance. In a creepy coincidence our front door blows open at the same time as a jumpy moment in the movie. Lightning flashes outside and we laugh a nervous laugh as I shut the front door. I make sure it clicks shut and we pause the movie. Not because we were scared but because of the thunderstorm.
As we sat in the silent and eerie glow of the paused horror show we noticed a scratching sound coming from the baby’s room. Nothing all that horrible but definitely a noticeable scratching. Leaves are blowing around in increasing gusts in the yard and the lightning is getting more frequent with the thunder getting louder. Still more scratching, so Mommy nominates me to investigate.

I quietly throw my shoulder at the crooked door and it pops open. The streetlight outside casts a glow through the oak tree across the room and the wind makes the shadows dance back and forth. The baby crib is near the window and baby One is sleeping soundly. Even so there is still a scratching and it is coming from the window. I step towards the window and squint in the dim light. I am inches away from the window when all hell breaks loose. A mighty wind blows against the window and a crack in the edge of the window lets out a banshee scream. The high pitched squeal scared the absolute shit out of me and I ran as fast as I ever ran out of the room and slammed the door behind me.
Mommy says, “What is it! What happened?!?”
My heart is pounding but even now I realize that it was the wind. I reply between breaths, “I think the window screamed at me. That thing is alive.”
“And you left our child with it!?” she said with a haunting disappointment.

This was the exact moment I gave up any pretense of being manly. I had just abandoned my first born child to the jaws of a whistling window monster and I even closed the door so it wouldn’t come get me too. We had a good laugh but I think a small part of me died that night.

So if you have never abandoned your child to save your own ass in the face of danger, you might be a better parent than me. You’re welcome.

Underdaddy to the rescue.

Kids are Creepy

Nothing is scarier than children. That is a scientific fact. Horror movies use wispy laughter of children, ghosts of children, and even children being possessed by television sets (I see this every time My Little Pony is on). That being said, sometimes my children venture into truly creepy territory.

One of the earliest memories I have of this involves child One. She had just gotten into a ‘big-girl’ bed and was newly potty trained. I would wake at odd times of the night with this feeling of someone watching. A small face, bathed in green light from a digital clock would stare and in a high and raspy voice say, “daddy…..juice” The first few times were the worst. My dream worlds would blend with the little Golem beside my bed and paralyze me with momentary fear. Eventually my subconscious figured out what was going on and these incidents became more of an annoyance.

No worries though because she kicked it up a notch. As she got older she would tell me stories about her ghost friends. I don’t know where she learned about ghosts, maybe from Scooby-Doo. I thought, perhaps, this was an imaginary friend scenario where the word ghost was inserted for imaginary. Then we had this conversation:

Me: So these friends. They are imaginary huh?
One: No daddy they are my ghost friends.
Me: Soooo, where did they come from.
One: They died.
Me: I see. What are their names?
One: I don’t know, they have a baby though.
Me: Oh like a ghost mommy and a ghost daddy had a ghost baby?
One: No the baby died and is a ghost too. They are so funny.
Me: Do you want to go watch Spongebob? I need to pick up some salt at the store and soak the carpet in holy water.

Creeped out yet? Yeah me too. So what awesome parenting thing did I do?
Nothing at all. Ignore it and hope it goes away.

It hung around for a while and I think she told me once that one of the ghost friends was an old relative of some sort, Great Granddad maybe? Some ghost dogs joined the story later and I think she has moved from child Medium to teller of interesting imaginary friends stories.
So if your kid doesnt see dead people and dogs, and doesn’t play with them in their spare time, you might be a better parent than me. You’re welcome.

Underdaddy to the rescue.


Yard Biscuits

Legend has it that my youngest sister was a bold child. She had thick skin and strong opinions from birth. We always had a swimming pool when I was growing up and if the boys had to pee then they would run out to the yard and pee. My sister, at three years old, saw no reason why she couldn’t do the same so she would run out and pee in the yard too. The parents thought this was funny and this is where the “be careful what you say” lesson started for all of us, about twenty years ago.

The fruition of this lesson came about at the very same pool. One innocent afternoon cookout. Granddaddy, Grandmother, Myself, Mother and my four children, Brother and his Girlfriend are grilling, swimming, and hanging out. To protect the innocent I will call the children One, Two, Three, and Four. The children are swigging Capri-Sun by the gallon and racing back and forth into the house to pee. I think to myself, “we used to pee in the yard”. I say out loud, “Hey kids if you have to go, go in the yard. Your Aunt did it. So can you.”
Let’s take a quick timeout for some people to gather their thoughts. Yes, I encouraged my kids to pee in the yard. This is the south and that is fairly common. Now let’s continue.

I don’t get any complaints and sure enough one of them jumps out of the pool and runs into the yard. She squats and pees like a champ. Good job Don Threeto, good job. No more in and out of the house, no more mowing the grass in that area. Win-Win.

Jane and Prima follow suit in the next few minutes and everyone has street cred for peeing in the yard. Lady Bug still pees her pants at this point which according to Billy Madison is the ultimate cool. My sister would be proud.

I pat myself on the back for a job well done and continue talking to my father as we turn burgers on the grill. The rest of the adults are sitting at a poolside table and talking. I slightly notice that Don Threeto gets out of the pool again and trots off to the yard, damn these kids pee a lot. Like little Cocker Spaniels. A moment later I notice that the other adults are watching Threeto with curiosity. I start to ask my dad what they are looking at because I am trying to flip burgers but he just turns me around to face the yard. It took me a second to process what I saw.
Threeto is in the center of the yard in a low squat. She was doing a pee method sort of like drunk college girls who don’t want to pee on their shoes. A balance between stability and distance. Then I notice that Don Threeto is going number two. On the lawn. In front of everyone. On the upside she looked like a pro. She stood up and ran back to the pool like nothing happened.

I couldn’t say anything, it was my fault, “If you have to go, go in the yard.”

I also started to realize that someone would have to remove this man-log from the lawn and I barely got turned before my father was handing me a plastic bag and some napkins. I walked the Green Mile to that steaming pile of yard biscuit. My traumatized brain has repressed the details but I cleaned human turd off the lawn that day. Soap doesn’t clean that feeling off your hand. They don’t make enough napkins to hide the warmth and texture or to filter that ‘just laid’ smell. I don’t know when the others stopped laughing but I do know that I never started.

So if your kid has never dumped a big old pickley number two in a dense Bermuda grass lawn and you never had to clean it up with two cheap Kroger bags and some party napkins, you might be a better parent than me. You’re welcome.

Underdaddy to the Rescue.

Knock Knock, Who’s There?

Sometimes our kids remind us that we need to be very mindful of what we say. At first I thought this was limited to swear words and sexual innuendo, R-Rated things. No one wants to end up at therapy watching their child act out a domestic violence scene with role-play Barbie. Okay. Got it. Watch what you say. Turns out, anything you say can and will be used against you in a grocery store near you.

First off, I feel like I need to preface this story with a touch of background information. High School was an odd time for everyone and my high school was like any other. The guys would make up games to break down social barriers such as touching a boob or causing another guy some form of blunt nut trauma. The latter was usually a “cup check” kind of game. Very direct. This started with cave men and lives on with shows like ‘Jackass’. The boob touching takes a more creative approach. Doorbell was the game. The game involved pretty girls and the guys who liked them. Rules are, When an unsuspecting nipple is a little cold or just making itself known the guy pokes it and screams “doorbell” and runs away. Hilarious right? Right. Sexual harassment in a place known for self-esteem issues, where could that go wrong?

Fast forward a thousand years and I am a grown man with a child of my own. All my dreams are achieved and I live in a house that costs less than a nice car. One hot summer day I am sitting in the living room of my mansion. The window mounted air conditioner can’t quite reach all the way across the room so naturally I have my shirt off. My three year old daughter climbs on the couch and sits beside me to watch Criminal Minds or Dora the Explora’, I can’t remember which. She looks over at me and unexpectedly pokes me in the nipple. My mind races back to high school almost instantly. I don’t even look over from the TV and say “ding dong!”. She laughs, “Ha ha you are a doorbell daddy!”. Then Dora yells at us about a map and my daughter is distracted. That is the entire event. Harmless family fun.

Now let’s go to Wal-Mart weeks later. Just me and the kiddo shopping for cereal and whatnot. The grumpy middle-aged checkout lady is taking her sweet ass time with the shopper in front of me. We are bored. Wal-Mart never has enough lanes open so the two lanes that are open beside me are packed with people who are bored too. Looking for a fun game to pass the time, my daughter grabs the front of my shirt and says, “Daddy! Let me see your Ding Dong!”

Holy shit. This walking megaphone just tuned in the radar of every mother in a three aisle radius. My mumbling reply of, “Shhh we don’t play that here” did very little to ease their minds. I felt like iPhones were snapping photos of ‘the creepy guy in the Superman shirt’ for police to use in the lineup. In my mind I could see the checkout lady peering into a one-way mirror and pointing, “That’s Him!”. I tried to play cool and smile but I was thinking of listing my house for sale and joining some branch of the military. Dear baby Jesus, how could you allow this?
If your child has never requested to see an awkward body part in public then you could be a better parent than me. You’re welcome.

Underdaddy to the Rescue.

Have No Fear! Underdaddy is Here!

In the spirit of Underdog, a hazardous hero who only makes it worse, I present my alter identity Underdaddy. His mission is to save people from their own negative thinking by showing how poorly good intentions can go.

I decided to start a blog because why not. My kids are beautiful, smart, funny, emotional, and downright strange sometimes. I am too. What better way to catalog our life journey while entertaining/warning the rest of the world.

You may laugh, you may cry, or you may block me and unfriend me all together. Who is to say. I don’t claim to know what you are thinking.

If you’d like to be kept updated with my posts “Like” this post or subscribe to my blog.