Month: August 2015

Rogue Wave

A rogue wave is something that happens when regular waves get on the same wavelength and combine into a freakishly huge wave that crashes down on happy little boats. What makes them even more sinister is the fact that the waves may be travelling just right to cancel one another until that split second where they don’t. Boom. Rogue waves pop out of nowhere and vanish into nothing with only the eyewitness account of the survivors to tell the tale.

About a week ago we decided to get rid of our piano. A few hours on Facebook and someone had laid claim to the giant wooden music box. To be picked up Sunday at 7:00. Sweet. Little did I know, at 7:30, I would be standing in my living room wondering what story the survivors would tell to the rest of the world.

Per Underdaddy standard house cleaning policy: visiting people requires at least three of the rooms to appear clean. We spent some solid prep time getting our mess shoveled into other parts of the house. We folded up Toby’s play pen and set it in the corner of the room while Toby’s sleeping bag hung from the gate between the living room and the kitchen. We also decided that it would make the pickup easier to have the piano scooted out into the middle of the living room.

I don’t know what exactly happens in a child’s brain when their habitat is rearranged but it appears that they lose their freaking minds. They ran in circles in the very spot where the piano had been sitting. It was like the blank space on the floor was a dear friend that had moved away but came back to visit. It is 6:00 and the kids are playing themselves stupid over the rearranged floor space.

The Diapered Dog is whining about something. She whines constantly. Food, water, pee, thought she heard something, wanting to go to bed, nervous that the kids are screaming. Who knows? I just treat her like a newborn and feed her then change her diaper. Given our schedule of 7:00 I do the same for Toby. I realize that I have more animals in diapers than children. It is a strange moment. No time to ponder it because it is 6:30 and the grandparents show up with lasagna.

As they walk in the house I notice gathering clouds on the horizon. This is what we call in the industry “foreshadowing”. The radar on weather.com confirms a popup shower over our part of town. The brave men who are picking up the piano assure me that the rain is no concern. 6:45.

The children eat lasagna and drink Sprite which may not have caffeine but somehow still works like cocaine. All four kids are strung out with marinara stains around their mouths running like hyper zombies at a brain eating festival. Running circles around the piano. Squealing like scared piglets. I’m exhausted just writing about them.

7:00 – the music movers arrive and come into the house to assess the heavy lifting. In my living room are five grown men, two grown women, four small girls, a dog, and a wallaby hanging in a bag. I should mention that the dog is twelve years old. She has a history of a medical condition called “old floppy dog vagina” where she leaks pee in spurts but she also evacuates her body when she is very nervous.

She is very nervous at 7:05. Time to play moral decision… It is raining outside and her diaper is about to erupt into the floor. We have put lots of time and effort into a façade of a clean house. We pull the diaper off the dog and push her out the back door into the rain. See peers at me through her cataracts and the drizzling rain as I shut the door. I turn around and feel the weight of my rogue wave crashing all around us. Dirty lasagna plates, soggy diapers, and the blank stares of confused adults who are unable to hear themselves think.

7:10 and finally the piano is out on the front door stoop. The menfolk are outside the house and I close the door behind us. Beautiful silence. This is where the difference between men and women becomes well defined. The four of us are all fathers to what adds up to about eleven or twelve girls. Men don’t count our exact number of kids we just know one, two, or several. Nothing is mentioned about the madness we all emerged from five seconds beforehand. The biggest discussion is about how we will load the piano and if there are enough straps. Thank you gentlemen for your quiet understanding.

I have no doubt they all got back in the truck and thought out loud, “Holy shit. What was that maelstrom?” There were probably some “Thank God that isn’t my house” thoughts or “Why doesn’t he drink more vodka?” Good question. I have been looking for a new hobby and I have some spare potatoes. Vodka it is!

If you ever try to put together a good show for people and your stage crumbles beneath you, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Dehydrated Water Balloons – For Real

`We went for a play date with the kids over the weekend and I was inspired. I experienced an invention so great that I am considering writing a recommendation to the Nobel Prize committee. Ladies and gentlemen I give you….. Dehydrated Water Balloons.

Invention_1

Top five inventions – in order – (1) Fire, (2) Underwear, (3) Wheels, (4) Breasts, (5) Dehydrated Water Balloons.

Let me explain. An inventor who is most likely the love child of Thomas Edison and Mother Teresa (and thereby part of a race of time-travelers) took the female end of a water hose, attached fifty tiny straws, and placed water balloons on each one with a rubber band. Simply attach to the end of a water hose and turn the hose on. Slowly fill the balloons and once they are large enough just shake the hose and they all fall off into a bucket. Tip: Fill them in a tub of water so they are neutrally buoyant and don’t do it over grass because the blades might bust them when they fall off.

This could have changed my entire childhood. Think of the skill our military would have at throwing grenades if childhood practice had been this easy. World Peace. That is where we would be. The fear of ultra-accurate long distance grenadiers would crush all rebellion and defiance. Trees would hug us because of all the fucking world peace.

Sorry. I got carried away. What a weird thought, being crushed to death by a giant oak tree that doesn’t respect personal space. Moving on.

Suffice it to say, it was an awesome water balloon war this weekend. I took the inspiration and channeled it into my common everyday problems. Two days later I was sitting around the living room and thinking to myself. I spend a lot of time getting these little hellions juice. I don’t spend nearly as much time getting the pets liquids. At first I took the obvious route and thought about pouring a gallon of Sunny D in a bowl. The only two issues could fathom were accidental spillage and someone pooping in the open air bowl.

Back to the drawing board.

Then lightning struck! Rodents drink and pee constantly without regard to social situations. So do my kids. What works for rodents might also work for them. The Sunny D Spigot was born.

Notice the careful placement of the duct tape.

Notice the careful placement of the duct tape.

Now they can self-hydrate on the go.

The best inventions are simple and effective.

The best inventions are simple and effective.

Take that Dehydrated Water Balloon Man! Im so bright that my mother calls me son. Im so radiant that my children wear sunglasses indoors.

I am blown away by my father's ingenuity!

I am blown away by my father’s ingenuity!

My innovation was so inspiring that even Don Threeto took notice (beyond wearing sunglasses of course). She made an invention of her own. The Shoe Safe. Basically you take the one shoe that you can still find after Mommy buys a brand new pair and you stuff it full of cash.

This could be huge in the gansta' rap accessory market.

This could be huge in the gansta’ rap accessory market.

Thieves break into the house and see a shoe and think, “Hmmm, that is a normal household item and probably smells stinky so I will leave it alone.” Little do they know that it is full of your hard earned blood money. Winning!

If your capacity for innovation surprises the people around you, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Semicolon

If you follow my Facebook page or Conceited Crusade then you have already seen this one. I have several WordPress friends who might have missed it and it has been pretty popular, so here you go.

Conceited Crusade

There is a movement centered around a tattoo; of a semicolon. The idea that when a sentence could have been ended it chooses to continue. The sentence, of course, being a life. The catch is that sometimes the sentence ends before it should have. The pen goes dry. This idea connected for me because I thought the semicolon might be a symbol for colon cancer (no humor intended I really considered it.) Turns out it is for depression and suicide survivors.

When I turned sixteen I got a 1984 GMC Custom Deluxe. It was custom for sure. Deluxe was debatable. Every day I gave a ride home to two of my friends who lived near the school. One was an excellent artist. The other would prove to be a daredevil.

That day was a warm day, because we had the windows rolled down and we were listening to Sublime the self-titled…

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One Year On the Electric Ocean

I made it a full year doing this madness. Writing something twice a week for people to read is tough but with a crew like mine it isn’t too hard. While writing this I heard a commotion in the girl’s room. Threeto was sitting in the middle of a dark room with socks on her hands making them talking to each other. Most of this blog writes itself.

But back to the year-long celebration. A lot of fun things happened and it is hard to enumerate all the things I have learned.

Some things I learned:
1) I have made some really good friends. They live around the world and it makes the world seem like a better place. Where else can you talk to someone from Australia, Great Britain, India, Korea, Thailand, and Canada in one place? The Olympics sure, but where else? Writing really is baring your soul so it is nice to have people who (a) think your soul is nice or (b) are just a screwed up as you are.
2) Every facet of your life is relatable. I have lots of people tell me that they feel I am writing about them or things they experience in the exact same way. From the big things like kid seizures to the little things like toothpaste being smeared into carpet. Not everyone has a diapered dog or a wallaby but tiresome pets are everywhere.
3) The chain mail that is known as blogger awards really do make you feel good. I know that I may not acknowledge the awards appropriately and I know that I am not actually be; Encouraging Thunder, One Lovely Blogger, An Inspiring Blogger, a Liebster, or The Versatile Blogger but I feel like it when someone bothers to take note and include me. Thank You.
4) Mommasview, Nutsrok, Ritu, Butch, EKPreston, Jenny, Cookies Dad, MeMyselfandKids, Deborah, April, DotedOn, Sheena, Skipah, Mai Stone, McNierdy, Julie Sopetran (who has an all Spanish blog I can’t read but still reads mine), all my CC homies (Sam, Fred, GZ, YuMin, Crabby, Babe, Flanders), Alana, Victo, Georgetteann, Insanity Bites, Bens Bitter Blog, and everyone else who reads and comments regularly. I’m no doubt missing several people but that happens with lists. You guys make my day.
5) People you know in-real-life (IRL) might surprise you. I might not could have guessed who reads the most regularly but I really enjoy having a reason to talk beyond “Hey I like your meme.”
6) Writing helps your thinking. It is one of the best outlets and therapies and it is free. If you can write something where someone else can follow your thought then you have a better chance at understanding how you really feel. Try it even if you never share with anyone. I promise you will benefit.
7) The internet is a weird, weird place. A magic box.
8) My wife and kids are pretty awesome for putting up with my random picture taking and note writing. You forget way more than you remember about kids so write it down.

Here’s to another year ahead. Now… back to your regularly scheduled programming.

-Underdaddy

They Grow Up So Fast

My baby boy is growing up too fast.

In another month or two we won’t be able to cuddle the same way. He is going to be too heavy and rambunctious. I refuse to cut his nails (the experts say you shouldn’t) so he will actually be dangerous. He won’t need me to fix him bottles anymore. His appetite is changing and I think it is safe to say he is vegan. Speaking of fiber, his poop will soon be too much for the diapers to handle.

He is becoming curious. Just today he crawled out of his playpen all by himself and the house isn’t safe. I have to review everything to make sure it is protected against chewing or mischief. He insists on playing on the stairs and I know that any minute he will trip and fly headlong down to the tile below. His frail little bones and lanky body is a recipe for injury. Where will I take him for medical care? He isn’t covered on my insurance. (I may petition my congressman for a new bill.)

The unspoken elephant in the room is his rapid physical development. How fast are boys supposed to develop sexual desires? I can already tell he gets a little more aggressive at times. Damn that testosterone. I found him humping the arm of a pillow chair in front of his sisters. He is adopted but he doesn’t know it. I hope he understands that his sisters are not “mate” material. How do I handle this behavior? Chide him? Spank him? Let him finish? I know it is only a matter of time before I have to take him to have his “ambitions” removed. God knows I sympathize with that.

Oh well. I guess I will enjoy the moment and let him sleep in a bag as long as gravity and cotton thread will allow.

I know you might be curious about what a dynamic child like this even looks like so I have a picture of him below. The only viable male in our household, Toby.

Wallaby_List

To all the people who treat pets like children, this post is for you. You’re welcome. Regular readers probably saw this from a mile away but you can help me spread the uncomfortable ambigousness to new people via sharing.

Toby_Co_Captain

For videos of Toby check out Underdaddy FB page. How we even came to have a wallaby? Click here.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.