Month: June 2015

Notable Notes

I may test my kids for inclusion into MENSA which is a private club for genius people. I figure they have to be geniuses because people of normal intelligence do normal things and eccentricities are reserved for crazy mad scientists and such. Here are some “eccentric” things my kids have done over the past few weeks.

1. Barn Biscuit – I was informed that the same child who laid the infamous “Yard Biscuit” also repeated the scenario at the Grandparents barn. For anyone who hasn’t read that story yet it is about a misunderstanding about what potty means and a kid takes a dump in the yard. This was repeated by the Grandparents at the barn and Papaw made the executive decision to throw some cedar shavings over the top of it just like the horse poop. He told me the story like it was just some normal thing that happened that day like, “Oh btw, so-and-so played in the sprinkler or picked some flowers” but instead, “So-and-so pooped in the field in front of the barn today. Don’t worry I put some cedar shavings on it. No big deal.”

2. Prima likes playing in the backyard with a large inflatable ball. She likes to watch me kick it high in the air and wait for it to land. She declared one day that I was, “really good at balls.” Then the next day she decreed her mother and me, “The King and Queen of balls.”

3. Don Threeto may go down in history as the only person to almost drown from using a snorkel while she was above the water. We were all swimming and I heard some choking sounds. I turn. Threeto is swimming around with a snorkel in her mouth and the top of the snorkel is under water. She is using it upside down. I don’t know what you do about that? A snorkel is a really easy concept. I just took the snorkel away and decided to blame Spongebob.

Slow controlled breathing will not help in this situation.

Slow controlled breathing will not help in this situation.

4. Lady Bug undid her diaper about half way and Supermom noticed a loose poop ball had fallen out. Thinking that where there is one escaped poo there might be more, Supermom looked around and found three. We hope that we don’t find anything else but who knows. This doesn’t really qualify as unintelligent but it is funny. I get a lot of funny texts at work but this was one of the better ones.

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5. Prima put on a show at the river. We went with my father and stepmother for a day on the river and stopped the boat at a beach to swim. After a few minutes Prima informed me she had to pee. I told her to move downstream from everyone and just pee in the river. She didn’t know I meant to do it below the waterline in a covert kind of way. She walked down the beach just a little bit and while standing in ankle deep water she pulled down her suit, bent over, and peed a stream right out into the river. She looked like one of those peeing statues but somewhat reversed. I can only hope the captain of the passing barge was busy working a crossword puzzle or reading navigation maps. I raised up my beer in a silent salute.

6. Lady Bug invented a new game. Peek-and-go-seek. She hides her eyes like Peek-A-Boo while chasing sisters around like Hide-And-Seek. It is usually a short game and ends with a face to some furniture or a wall. Hide-And-Go-To-The-Clinic.

If most of your notable stories for the week are about bodily functions and/or use the word “balls”, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Things You Didn’t Know About Wallabies

Imagine that you (or your partner) are nine months pregnant and are starting some serious contractions. The baby is on the way and there is no turning back so you head to the hospital. Then the doctor who greets you takes you into a little room and tells you anything and everything horrible that can happen to an infant. The doctor covers every angle and describes the deaths in detail; choking, SIDS, failure to thrive, falling off of objects, aspirating milk, kidney infections, dietary concerns, and being attacked by ravenous wild animals. Just as you are filled with horrible thoughts and a sense of dread, the baby crowns and is delivered into your arms. The nurses hand you a bag and a care kit and wishes you all the luck in the world but you leave knowing that you are utterly and totally alone. You are convinced that you will sit on the sidelines and be forced to witness a death spiral that is unavoidable. Congratulations my friend, you just bought a wallaby!

Over the next few days we learned several interesting wallaby facts:

  1. THEY WANT TO DIE. Stress triggers panic which causes a release of toxins that can be fatal. This is what I was told so I worry about sneezing, farting, kids screaming, thunder, the dryer, and thinking too loudly. Wallabies reproduce constantly and being sacrificial is a trait that got promoted through evolution although, I’m not sure how. Maybe the wallabies who are willing to die are more passionate lovers too? I’m an engineer not an evolutionary biologist so lets keep moving.
  2. THEY REQUIRE SOME MAINTENANCE. A wallaby develops in his mother’s pouch until he is ready to… not be in his mother’s pouch. During that time he eats. Logic follows that he must also poop and pee right? Where does it go? I AM SO GLAD YOU ASKED BECAUSE I DID NOT. You have to rub his butthole with a wet wipe to encourage him to poop and pee. Four to five wipes should get it. It is a strange experience.
  3. MALE WALLABY NAUGHTY PARTS ARE WEIRD. The berries are above the twig. Imagine your own bellybutton and its relation to the rest of your body parts. Got it? Okay now hang your testicles on your bellybutton above the penis that they serve. That is how a Wallaby is assembled but that isn’t the weirdest part. The actual penis is hinged or something. Opposable maybe? I don’t know what to call it but the damn thing has a knuckle. Maybe research will find a use in search and rescue situations for robot penis cams. Dont underestimate nature and how it can help.
  4. THEY BOND SOCIALLY. He thinks we are parents and that the Diapered Dog is a sibling. He tried to climb in her non-existent pouch today and it was the cutest thing ever. The dog doesn’t know how to act.Toby hugs and snuggles against you which is fine if his man parts are not clicking around down there.
  5. CATS HATE WALLABIES. I could go into a little detail here but not many people will care because we all know that cats, while cute and useful outlets for affection, are cold blooded killers who would eat all of us if they were bigger. (See Siegfried and Roy + Tiger Attack) On the plus side, the cat hasn’t slept on Supermom’s face in weeks. She is plotting something sinister.Point to Toby.
  6. THEY ARE FAST AND AWESOME AT HOPPING. We let him free in the living room and he took a minute to warm up before bounding all around in circles. He got braver and faster until he crashed into the playpen and then tried to eat some paper. These things are cute as a button and dumb as a brick. Plus when they scratch their arms it does look like they want to box with someone.
  7. MEN CANT CARRY WALLABIES. The place we bought him supplied us with carrying bags and bottles, etc. There is one special bag that is for carrying him long times in public. It is constructed similar to a baby carrier so I figured, “I got this.” Nope. This thing looks like I stole a dress from Michelle Duggar and sewed the top and bottom together. I expected the back to be bedazzled. It is an awesome design but not in my fashion arsenal.
  8. WALLABIES WIN HEARTS. I wanted to drown him in a bucket or toss him out on the interstate for the first few days. (Not really) It wasn’t his fault it was just the hanging cloud of responsibility and the limits that he represented. Stress and panic were part of the equation but we knew that he needed his new mommy and daddy. I understood the indecision of a young mother and her dumpster baby. Alas, our hearts are too big. It has gotten better. I like him now. The girls love Toby and Don Threeto insists that the pronunciation is actually “TWO-BIAS” and she holds up two fingers to stress her point. She does not like Toby as a nickname. Everyone else wants to see Toby even though I know the unspoken reaction is a mixture of “WTF” and “That is crazy as hell.” They still want to see him and touch his ears. Point awarded to Toby for magically winning hearts.

So If you have temporary buyers remorse sometimes this post is for you. New parenting panic? You know what might help? Buying a Wallaby, I know of a good deal on one. You’re welcome.(Call me!!!)

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

A Word On Zombies

I have been cavorting with a wonderful group of people at Conceited Crusade

and even though it is out of the norm for my blogging I am excited to see what comes out of this one. Stretch the mind right? Writing is a great way to summarize thoughts and you can edit as many times as you want before putting it out into the world. However, this challenge is a ten minute free write that you don’t edit and post when you finish.

Special thanks to The Babe for putting me up to this. Heres mine for the free-write on the subject: zombies.

Zombie: Sometimes this is how I ffeel. Today is like that. I slept very little last night after being at the river all day and I could snooze for days. Zombies are one of these genres that represent something scary and foreboding but represent danger very generically. An unrelenting mindlessness that keeps coming for its victim. I feel like zombies could be diseases, actual zombies, or even public opinion. K I don’t really understand what the significance of shooting them in the head to make them die because they are mindless right? Spekaing of zombies I did enjoy the movie Warm Bodies and its parallel with modern society on living in a routine that devoids us of feelings, maybe voids us because devoiding would be filling up. Then voids make me think that medically something has pooped. Do zombies take dumps? What do they do with all those brains that they eat? Do they ever think that a different type of brains or flesh might be tastier? Do they have a preference for teachers or doctors or video gamers? Zombies wouldn’t make ti very long in actuality. Oh that reminds me of the grey mass destruction scenario where scientists make nanobots that breakdown carbon in nature to assemble more nanobots and they spread like a bacteria eating everything in a wave of consumptive nanobots leaving a grey dust across the entire planet. I wonder if they could go underwater? Would they just leave a mud or sand. This is where silicon based life would really excel I suppose. Cubic zirconia would be the only choice for nanobots wanting to proclaim their love for another nanobot. Then aliens would land expecting to abduct a cow or something and they would get yelled at by the captain alien for steering the ship to the wrong planet. The first mate alien would be making his case, “I swear there were cows right freaking here!” Insert left-turn-at-Albequ(however you spell that city). Man. Ten minutes takes forever. Where were we? Oh yeah zombies. I watched something on TV that was sciency and said that a caterpillar can be made a zombie by a mold, which makes them climb up and be exposed to predators which…

Times Up: 10 Minutes

Words: 370

RULES
1) Open an MS Word document (or any other editor)
2) Set a stop watch or your mobile of 5-10 minutes.
3) Your topic is at the foot of this post, DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH A TIMER.
4) Fill the word document with as much words as you want. Once you began writing do not stop.
5) Do not cheat by going back and correcting spellings and grammar with spell check (it is only meant for you reflect on your control on sensible thought flow)
6) You may or may not pay attention to punctuation and capitals.
7) At the end of your post write down the number of words
8) Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic.

Keep Scrolling

I would like to nominate some fellow parent bloggers, I know life gets busy so no worries:

Cordelias Mom

April

The Closet Monster

My Walmart Brother-In-Arms, Gary

Ritu

Carrie

New Topic: Dirtiest Diaper

Daddy Am I Pretty?

What do you say when one of the girls puts a flower in her hair, leans her head to the side and beams a smile while saying, “Daddy, am I pretty?”

For a moment I think to myself, “What an awful question.” After all, someone only asks questions like that when they have doubts about the answer. I’m sure the questions start innocent enough but someday they will ask it in earnest and they will sincerely not know the answer. On that day I hope they will think for just a minute on what beauty means.

I started exploring this idea with their mother.
Supermom puts on an outfit and asks, “How does this make me look?”
“Beautiful.”
“You would tell me that if I wore a brown paper bag.”
“Because it is true.”
“Ugggh, you are not helping.”
“You aren’t asking a good question. You make things pretty not the other way around.”

I probably spent more time than I should thinking about “pretty” and what makes someone pretty or attractive. But I’m not the first to ponder at length. Leonardo Da Vinci studied beauty by looking at the grotesque. Legend has it that he would find ugly and misshapen people and invite them to supper in exchange for the chance to draw them in detail. He found beauty in proportion and curves. Ugly was created by being out of balance. Most modern studies agree that beauty is perceived when there is symmetry. When eyes line up and noses are even and straight. What about other preferences? Do they affect beauty? Height, weight, skin color, eye color, hair style, personality, interests, attitude.

For me it is becoming a collective idea. There are parts of “pretty” that I can’t exactly describe but I know that my definition is built with the traits from people I love. Children are a great reminder of how that works.

Jane has a love for animals. She currently aspires to be a vet and I see no reason why she shouldn’t. Her love for horses borders insanity and I recognize it from my mother and sister. She has a heart for the underdog and makes friends where others might not try. Those are the friendships that mean something. She has to be recognized as the top performer but has a motherly streak as well. There is a caring and love for life on the move that is definitely beautiful.

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Prima is my free spirit child. She doesn’t sit still but instead swirls in currents and waves like a playful river. She looks the most like her mother which in some odd way makes me feel closer to them both. Prima is the closest to showing pure altruism. She is happy when other people are happy and is confident enough with herself to take life on at full steam. Her emotional side is highly developed and I don’t think she meets a stranger. She lives through social interaction with others and can appreciate beauty. I think that is beautiful.

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Don Threeto. This spritely blonde gangster is a ball of knees, elbows, and energy. She doesn’t have a low gear. If she is awake, she is running in circles and talking about something. She loves to wrestle and play all day long. For all her rough and tumble behavior she is very affectionate too. Threeto is upbeat and gets excited at a level I wish I could still experience. She is headstrong like several of her relatives before her and that is a beautiful thing.

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Lady Bug is the baby of the family and seems like my last chance to enjoy all the nuance of growing up. She smiles a lot while she pushes her wispy bangs out of her eyes and doesn’t say many clear words. Like Jane, Lady Bug enjoys life on the go. If she thinks someone is going somewhere she will find the closest two shoes (doesn’t have to be a matching pair or even hers) and then she stands guard by the front door, determined to not be left. Her favorite thing to do is watch a movie and snuggle in your lap. She has given us highs and lows; from the experience of my wife and I delivering her at home to the panic of dealing with seizures. She smiles so big that her shoulders get involved. That is beautiful.

Beauty is made of the characteristics we learn to appreciate. We learn those characteristics from the people that we love. Our children seek those things out when they look for a partner. The best way to ensure that you are considered beautiful is to accept who you are and know, for someone, you are already pretty.

So when my girls ask me, “Daddy, Am I pretty?” I think of all these things and fight that little lump in my throat. I keep down the anger that the world might convince them otherwise. I want to tell them that they are my baseline. They are the definition and the ruler that I use to measure the rest of the world. My girls are beauty. Asking me is as silly as asking, “Does fire burn?” or “Is water wet?”. My actual response is usually a big hug and a kiss and I tell them, “You couldn’t be not-beautiful if you tried.”

So if you aren’t feeling particularly beautiful just remember that you were born into the world as a ruler and somewhere along the way you have been convinced that you are the thing to be measured. This post is for you. Stop that shit. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

How Not To Check In

On our recent trip to Colorado we broke up the drive out by stopping overnight in Kansas, creepiest state in the US. Seriously, “the hills have eyes” minus “hills”. Everything that isn’t nailed down just blows into Missouri. Kansas blows.
I tried to be understanding. The Great Plains stretch on for days and at the right spot on top of a rolling hill the view is breathtaking. The cattle feedlots are breathtaking too.

But it was at a Best Western hotel that I held my breath voluntarily. The scene was set before we arrived by a pulsing thunderstorm on the horizon. High winds, torrential rain, and cloud to ground lightning hounded us all the way to the hotel lobby. Supermom had arranged reservations about an hour before we arrived and she ran inside to get our room key.
She returned with a baggage cart and a key card to room 229. I parked the car and ran through the rain to the safety of our hotel.
I know the hotel was safe because we checked Kansas state gun laws and found that personal carry is an unspoken requirement in Kansas. I think the actual law states “Persons entering any public or private place of business shall brandish hand powered weaponry to maintain public welfare and general order. Section 4d. Subsection 22.f.IV”
The night manager stared with a glazed look in our general direction and I couldn’t decide if she was looking at us or at a demonic spirit climbing on the ceiling behind us. It is hard to gage where people are looking when their eyes are red and twitchy. We chose to ignore and continued to the elevator with our three wheeled, rolling luggage rack. The silence of midnight and the large tiger picture on the elevator wall fit nicely with the 1980’s horror movie motif.
Room 229 was almost the furthest from the elevator except for Room 230. We swiped the key card and it didn’t work. We turned around and went back down to the lobby. The night manager wobbled out to the front desk and reprogrammed the key. We tried again. More luggage in the strange elevator. More walking down the haunted hallway. More swiping with no green light.

“Are you sure this is the right room?”

“She said 229.”

“I’ll go tell her.”

“Good, Im sitting right here in the hall. Call me if I need to go somewhere else.”

I make the journey solo back to the front desk.

I hand the car to the manager and huff, “Still doesn’t work.”

“What room was it again?”

“You said 229.”

She takes the card and stares at it for a minute. Her eyes roll around a bit searching for consciousness I think.

“Did you say room 228?”

“No… How about this. My reservation is under [Underdaddy] so just look me up in the computer and lets make sure.”

After a little typing on the computer she looks up at me, “They haven’t checked in yet.”

“Then why did you give me a card? I am them.”

She looks at the card and then back at the computer.

“Who checked you in?”

You did, like three minutes ago.”

“Oh. I will just let you in the room. We can fix this in the morning.”

“Is 229 the room number? I don’t want to bust in on Yosemite Sam and get shot.”

She is on the computer again. “229 is [Underdaddy]”

“Sounds good Captain Obvious. Lets go open that door.”

“Okay.”

We both went back to the elevator and I tried to make small talk to avoid her passing out or forgetting who I was.

“What is with the elevator and the weird holes in the frame?”

“We get all kinds of people out from under the elevator.”

WTF?!? I froze momentarily while that thought processed. Images of The Undead crawling through a crack under the elevator made me shiver.

“What?”

“Keys. People lose their keys and phones so I have to get them.”

“Nevermind.”

We walk silently down the hall and I am relieved to see that Supermom is still sitting on the luggage cart and not kidnapped by desert mutants who live in the walls. The keycard works and we thank the manager and hurry into the room.

Deadbolt. Lock. Towel over the crack at the bottom. Large furniture angled into the knob as a doorstop.

I check under the beds and in the closet before laying down for the night. I am keenly aware that screaming only makes other boogey men aware of fresh blood. I felt an eerie sense that we would die in our sleep. I slept like a soldier in a foxhole. A shallow foxhole called Kansas.

The next morning we awoke to sunlight and were surprisingly well rested. Off to Colorado to buy our wallaby. Stay tuned for more.

If you enjoy quality service at creepy motels then this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.