Author: Underdaddy

I am a well-intentioned father of four girls. I assume the identity of Underdaddy to carry out my mission of publicizing my mistakes and funny adventures so that others may smile. Engineer by day, I understand that if no one ever discusses failures then no progress will ever be made. In that light, I represent a lot of potential progress.

Disturbia

My children do things that disturb me.  I have worked hard to have them embrace their weirdness. To bolster their self-image and give them a sense that they are free to be who they want to be. I dare say the scheme has worked. They could give two shits what anyone thinks. They laugh at things they find funny and they use the word “fart” freely in public. I’ve instructed them in the fine art of shutdown of a bully through a sharp wit. I’ve heard them tell a boy that they didn’t care what he thought and they are way weirder than he could imagine so back it off. When we get a notice from school that the kids can ignore uniform rules on a Friday, Jane will pack a Lord of the Rings style cloak into her backpack and wear it all day. I caught her wearing a fox tail into school one morning and she was too far away for me to stop her. They have personal confidence. I can probably put this ship on autopilot for a while. I might even need to shame them a little for balance.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Supermom found her old Barbie’s in boxes in the attic. We brought a couple of the boxes home and the girls have been playing with them non-stop. The only problem is how they are playing with the Barbie’s. They think old style Barbie with non-existent underwear is the funniest thing ever. I have found half-naked Barbie in terrible poses all around the house. The kids hide her and then wait for me to find her topless torso in the kitchen utensil drawer while they look on from the other room. I act surprised and they die laughing only to run off and hide another Barbie somewhere else in the house.

Last night the game escalated.

Supermom called out from the bathroom, “You have to come see this.”

I walked into the bathroom and found this on the sink.

Disturb_3

I assume that Barbie crossed Skipper one too many times. Maybe the right-sized Barbie got jealous of the long legs and skinny arms from vintage Barbie. Either way, the kids thought this was really funny too.

What other disturbing things have they been up to? Hmmm. Oh wait I know. They insist on sleeping together every single night. All four of them in a make-shift king bed (two twins pushed together). I laugh a little at the thought of some people who probably had to share a bed thinking about how nice it would be to have their own space while my wolf cubs insist on sleeping like sardines. That isn’t the weird part. In fact, I find their strong urge to co-sleep kind of endearing; as long as they stay out of my bed.

The weird part was two nights ago.

I heard a strange series of thumps and, being a competent parent, I went to investigate. I found Donna Threeto curl up inside a large plastic container that she had placed in her quadrant of the community king bed. I dumped her out of the box and took it away. She was angry. She insisted that she wanted to sleep in a box. Twice she snuck out of the room to get the box and put it back in her bed. I locked it away in the closet. What in the world? Who tries to sleep in a box? The other girls acted like it was the most normal thing ever. This is coming from the same kid who has pondered the tooth fairy and instead of questioning her existence decide to call our bluff by cutting her hair and placing it in a ziplock bag under her pillow. I asked her, “Why did you do this to your hair?”. She replied, “I’m getting a dollar from the hair fairy.” She then stared at me to gauge my response to the idea of a fictional character. Well played Donna.

I didn’t dare leave a dollar for hair. We would all wake up bald when she realized what a goldmine was all around her. Not my head so-much but her sisters.

Also worthy of note. Supermom has embraced the small dog and bought him a sweater. Meet GQ Jasper.

Disturb_4

And Jane is working on a Science Fair project that is centered around swabbing animal spit and watching the bacteria grow. We want to see which animal has the most aggressive mix. Our test subjects are Cat, Dog, Squirrel, Rabbit, Gecko, Horse, Goat, Chicken, Human, and a blank Control sample. Leave a comment to guess which animal was the worst. I’ll share the answer in my next post. The horse is shown as the cover photo to give an idea of what it looks like when animal spit is cultured in a dish.

Disturb_1

This should be one of my kids. I would be so proud. 

Life rolls on here at the Underdaddy house. If you enjoy quirky everyday stories, this post was for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Bday Movie Night

Another birthday in the books. Thirty six feels like… something much older than my twenties. It came with drinks, dinner, and a movie. I had a hard time deciding on the movie.

I love what Marvel has going with the Avengers and the whole Marvel Universe. Guardians is my favorite. They are incorporating Spiderman and if Venom turns out half as awesome as it could be then I might not be able to handle it. Last night we saw Thor: Ragnarok. It was a natural selection for the evening. It was awesome. Classic Marvel. During the credits they left a good preview of the next step in the saga. There was also a preview for Black Panther and I have high hopes for that one too.

But I was still curious about Justice League. DC has always had the darker side of comics and I have wanted to be a fan of what they were putting out but nothing really seemed connected. Batman vs Superman seemed flawed from the beginning. How is that even a contest? Don’t say Kryptonite because that is a cheap trick. The writers of Superman knew he needed a flaw so the only one they gave him was a glowing green rock. And Batman is wealthy and used to be a character who was driven by his darkness but evolved into a guy without much direction who just buys expensive tech and gets roped into weird plot lines. The Dark Knight series weren’t built for spinoffs which was short sighted. I was starting to lose faith that the universe would make sense. Then Wonder Woman came out and started to turn things around. There were connections to build off of. Maybe it was an island full of powerful women who were scantily clad. Maybe it was her purity of heart. Either way, her movie was good and as soon as it was over I wondered when I would get to see her again. DC has a poor history of follow-up.

We have started watching the Flash on the CW and caught up on the last few seasons via binge watching. We watch Teen Titans GO! On cartoon network and got to know the lighter side of Cyborg. I noticed lots of familiar faces in the Justice League trailer so I almost picked it. But Flash won’t be Barry Allen that I remember and Cyborg won’t make silly dude jokes with Beast Boy. Batman will still be Ben Affleck.  I realized that the only character that I knew I liked and wanted to see was Wonder Woman. Maybe we will get back to the theater soon. The critics aren’t being kind but some people have seemed to enjoy the movie. Let me know what you think if you have seen it. Is Gal worth the effort? Should I have chosen Bad Moms instead?

Aside from birthday fun, I have another update that is a little overdue. We have added a new member to the family.

Jasper “JTP” Waggingham Sr.

JTP_1

He is an older Maltese who needed a home and seemed reasonably well behaved. He came to live with us about two months ago. JTP had the breath of a dead swamp rat which turned out to be a tooth abscess and he had to have the top two teeth removed. Now his tongue hangs out a little bit and gives him a goofy blank stare. He is a good dog who spends the majority of his time curled up in bed. Sometimes he is too curled up and a few times I have even thought he was dead. He hasn’t been here long but finding him dead would still be traumatic. His only other flaw is that he eats the cat’s food and it makes him vomit. The girls love him and he adds to the family character. I’m certain we will have some fun stories to share about JTP.

JTP_2

If you are into comics, sagas, and new pets; this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Halloween and A Cat

As Halloween’s are recorded into the record book of time, ours in 2017 won’t be one that breaks many records. Supermom and I decided early on that our energies would be focused on Disney and the rest of the month may be a wash. We set the bar low for Halloween and achieved everything we set out to do. In some ways it was a good holiday and in some ways we could have been better. But hey, that’s parenting right?

Let’s start with costumes. I dare say some bank robbers work harder on their outfits. Lady Bug was the most dressed up in her Vampirina outfit. For all of you who are out of the loop, Vampirina (if that is how you spell it?) is a cartoon about a small cutesy vampire girl who moves into a strange neighborhood and works to gain acceptance from her neighbors. Obviously a product of the liberal agenda and brainwashing children that blood sucking undead demons are harmless and should be welcomed with open arms because they struggle with the same emotional issues and desire for community acceptance. While not as obvious as the glittery emo vampires of Twilight, I still dispute the historical accuracy. But Lady Bug looked really cute in her outfit so she became Vampirina. Prima decided to be a unicorn so we phoned it in with a three piece kit and an all-white sweat suit. Put on some gloves for hooves and BAM… unicorned. Donna Threeto insisted on becoming a fox because her native American spirit guide is a fox. She displays many fox mannerisms and loves wearing a tail. Luckily, a fox is a generic enough outfit that the costume store also had a bag of fox-parts that we could combine with a sweat suit.

Three down. One to go.

Jane was a little more difficult. She wouldn’t decide on what to be and two days before the event decided that she wanted to go as a goat. She wants to be a veterinarian. She loves farm animals and goats especially. I can understand this outfit from start to finish but the problem is that being a goat is a really unique idea. There aren’t standard costumes. Probably because anyone described synonymously with a goat is either an old-goat or a horny-goat or both. Regardless, I value my children’s dreams and aspirations. A goat you shall be!

We went to the store a day before Halloween and found the scattered remains of various costumes. Walmart had grossly miscalculated the number of children who wanted to be ninja turtles. Anything resembling a goat was gone. I begged and reasoned with Jane to just choose something generic. The whole point is to get candy. It is like a bank robbery. The teller at the window doesn’t care if your plastic mask is President Nixon or President Reagan, they just want you to stop pointing your gun at them so they give you the money and you leave. The whole point is that you are hiding your identity and threatening the homeowner with mischief if they don’t pay you off with candy. Who cares.

She deflected my words with indifference. We walked Walmart twice while she pondered different combinations of things that might make her appear goat-like. She salvaged some red devil horns and a plain white shirt. She told herself that her outfit was Aires, the ram. I give her credit for knowing that Aires is a ram and for knowing some astrology. We bought the few items and returned home.

On Halloween night everyone was dressed and ready to go and Jane was deliberating over her costume. Something was off. Something needed to be added. The outfit looked like a backup dancer in a ballet put on a set of red horns. It didn’t scream “Aires the ram is here for your candy!” so she decided to face-paint the symbol for Aires on her forehead. So we did.

HalloLineup

The real tragedy of Jane’s outfit is that no one is familiar enough with astrological signs or subtlety to glean the fact she was a goat. Instead, their minds probably drifted towards member-of-a-satanic-cult. Not exactly what she was going for and that fault rests squarely on my shoulders. I should have provided for a better goat. We can’t be too disappointed because we did get lots of candy and that is what really matters.

This Halloween was the first one where all of the kids could run together from house to house without an adult walking along beside them and picking up shoes or dropped buckets. It was another quiet milestone that passed on the wind. They all waited for each other to gather on the doorsteps before ringing the doorbell, they watched out for one another, and they always said thank you to the people who handed out candy. I’m pretty proud of them and the people they are becoming.

I am also proud of my wife. One day while at work I got this text.

HalloCatText

Then a few days later I came home to this gem.

HalloCat

I have a real appreciation for the unusual things and I think I have rubbed off on her. This Kleenex butthole cat is everything I thought it could be.  His posture. His look of fearful concern, like you have cornered him and are stealing the tissue against his will. He is a perfect new member of the family.

HalloCatUnder

Looking at a small sticker on the bottom that boasts “Made In China”, I couldn’t help but wonder. What does the factory worker who casts these things all day think of Americans and the kinky shit we buy?

HalloCatButt

This was one too many on the cat pictures. I apologize. It is just hilarious to me. 

What does that production meeting sound like? “Okay folks, we got another order for 10,000 plaster cats with the tissue-port assholes. I need everyone to stay late tonight to make sure this order gets out the door. Frank… make sure you paint the eyes on straight this time. I bought 500 cross-eyed tabbies back from North Dakota last week. We don’t have the budget for your bullshit. Eric… don’t send any out with broken tails. I know you have been boxing them up like that. People notice and it has your sticker on the bottom.” (For the record, I don’t think that Frank and Eric are traditional Chinese names but anything else would have sounded offensive.)

Also, a quick safety warning about Ring-Pops. If they melt inside the package and re-harden in the corner then it becomes a Ring-Stab.

HalloCandy

If you enjoy our normal weirdness then this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Tell Tale Cart Returns

I’ve lost faith in humanity. A weekly occurrence but this one was deep. This one cut me to the bone.

Supermom and I were entering the Mecca of merchandising known as Walmart. I was reflecting over the logistics problem presented by shopping carts. I was actually thinking… if everyone entering the store would bring a cart back inside then we wouldn’t have a cart issue. Underpaid teens wouldn’t have to stand in the rain loading up wet carts. Shopping would be a happier experience. Ergo, world peace.

I do my part. Whenever I go to Walmart and see someone nearing the end of their shopping cart usage I ask, “Hey can I take that inside for you?” or I say, “I’ll take that.” People usually respond with a Thank You and I have time from the parking area to the shopping are to decide if I like the cart. If I am near the entrance to the actual store then I ask for more details from the cart owner. Something like, “Does that cart make a thumpy sound or pull hard to the left?” It was in a scenario similar to the latter where my faith was shaken.

Back to the story. It went something like this.

Supermom and I were walking into Walmart. A lady in her later-twenties was leaving and taking a single shopping bag out of her cart. She made eye contact with us and immediately was able to assess that we didn’t have a shopping cart. Mostly because we didn’t have a shopping cart. She pushed her cart towards us and said, “Do you need a cart?” I replied, “Awesome. Thank you!” Then she added, “It isn’t bumpy or weird or anything.” She added that comment of her own free will as if it was assuring me that we made a good decision to trust her cart suggestion. We were standing beside three rows of newly returned carts so it would have been easy for this lady to stay un-involved. To leave us to an uncertain fate.

But she acted. She heroically offered her experience and opinion. I felt like the luckiest man alive. Here someone had given me a rare gift. A fully functioning shopping cart at Walmart. A unicorn. Guaranteed to be bump and weirdness free.

We pushed our way into Walmart and the happy adrenaline began to wear off. By the time we reached the aisle of Clearance items behind the greeting cards, I realized the truth… That bitch lied to me. This cart was bumpy AND weird AND everything. It shook like Michael J. Fox and sounded like a pair of tennis shoes in a dryer. There was a loose weld on the bottom rack and the metal slapped against itself the whole time. If I had purchased buttermilk it would have been churned by checkout. The handle had a filmy greasiness along the bottom edge. Body lotion or boogers? Who knows. I was confused. Violated.

Why on earth would she have offered me this total piece of shit cart? Why would she have put in the extra effort to tell me that it was neither a) bumpy or b) weird. I didn’t ask about the cart. I didn’t indicate I needed one. She sought me out for discomfort and despair. Was she following me? Laughing at my misfortune? Am I going to be on a candid camera show?

I don’t care. I’m enraged and disappointed all at once. I trusted her. She screwed me over. I had flashbacks of the Tell Tale Cart. We have enough struggles in life and now I have to worry about random sociopaths sandbagging me with shitty carts at Walmart.

If you get confused by people in public, this post is for you. Me too. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Tragic Kingdom

Disney is a land with love and magic. It also has frustration. And anger. And confusion. I kept a list in the notes section of my phone so that I could be helpful to someone in the future. There won’t be a grand narrative or connecting theme with this post, only a list of my random observations and experiences. Enjoy.

  1. Everyone Takes Constant Selfies. I saw a woman lying on the ground upside down while her friend stood on a trash can to get an extreme photo angle. What I saw later made me feel sorry for the lady on the ground.

  2. The employees are all very happy and the guests look like prisoners who have just been turned out to the rec-yard. I figured people who paid money to stand in line would have been happier about it. The entire thing is optional. The monorail will take you back to the parking area and the happy guests will be glad you leave. It is a small world and Disney makes it feel claustrophobic.

  3. Sometimes the monorail breaks. Then you sit in line for the ferry with other people who would rather take the monorail. Tragic_Ferry

  4. There is no good place to fart at Disney. I didn’t consider it before but a few facts about humans became important. The human body is constantly making methane. Everyone farts. If you don’t fart it could be a sign of a fatal condition (see your doctor). Despite these facts, society frowns on farting in crowds because nothing is worse than oppressive heat except for oppressive heat and a sulfur cloud. Lady Bug gave zero shits what anyone thought about farts. She crop-dusted everyone within ten feet in nearly every line. She would giggle and when the smell hit us she would say, “That’s my butt!”.

  5. You can give an alien plant a hand-job in Pandora. No shit. There is a large plant that has a large red area on the side. If you rub this area vigorously for a few seconds the plant will groan and spray water out of the end into the passing crowd. I’m not sure which part is more awkward. If you walked into Pandora in the Animal Kingdom and felt a mysterious spray of water…
    Tragic_Plant

    I mean… how is this not inappropriate?


  6. Disney must be the largest disease vector in the developed world. All handrails are at licking height for children and they must touch each and every surface in the entire park. I tried to show them examples of why we don’t touch surfaces in Disney. In one instance, a sickly man was walking behind a lady in a scooter. He began coughing and leaned on the scooter in some attempt to half walk, half ride. The lady asked him, “Are you okay.” To which he replied, “No” and then vomited watery snot directly onto the sidewalk. The rear tire of the scooter rolled through it and left a trail of moisture for about five feet. I pointed to the spot and told the girls, “This is why we don’t crawl on the ground on our hands and knee. Because no one is going to clean this and after it dries in the sun, you won’t have anything to let you know it was here.” The message didn’t stick because Prima licked the exterior wall of our condo later that night. I assume out of boredom.

  7. Disney is home of the overprotective mother. I can’t count the number of full grown children who had their knees crammed up to their chins in a stroller while their mother pushed them through the crowd. If your child is in danger of getting their entire leg sucked under the stroller before their upper body would move, they may be too big. Lady Bug is four and walked 100% of the time. She never requested to be carried and we went from morning until night. Kick your entitled kids out of the stroller. While you are at it, kick them out of the wrong bathroom. A good rule of thumb for moms, if your child has a baritone voice or any manner of pubic or facial hair, they are too big for you to take with you. They can wee wee all by their big-boy selves. The amount of women taking their boys into the women’s room was ridiculous. Cut the cord already.

  8. Scooters are proof that God has abandoned his creation and is blind to our suffering. I couldn’t tell if I had stumbled into an area of character actors from the movie Wall-E. America is so out of shape. And old. I nearly went ape-shit on an old man in a scooter who I am fairly sure might have been dead already. His eyes weren’t responding to movement around him and he was slumped over with a slight drool. I would have cared but he hit me in the ankle twice. Fuck that guy. There should be a test when the keys to the scooter are handed out. Not a hard test. More of a safety check. Something like, “Excuse me sir, do you have a pulse or a functioning motor neurons? Oh you do? Fantastic here are your keys. Enjoy the mayhem you will inevitably create. May God have mercy on your eternal soul.”
    Tragic_Scoot

    This old dudes scooter said “SUE” on the front. The woman next to him had a sign that said “Frank”. I rest my case. 


  9. Fast pass is an interesting social experiment. It gives you a chance to be a “have” and a “have not”. Every time I had a fast pass for a ride I would zip to the front and look at the sad faces of the people waiting in line. I would think, “You poor bastards. Ha ha. Sucks to be you.” Then, two hours later, I would be standing in a slow-moving line with a farting four year-old while fast-passers zip past me and I would think, “You self-righteous pricks. I hope you die. I hope the ride malfunctions and lops off your leg.” Everyone probably encounters the same level of waiting but it just felt good to hate the fast-passers.
    Tragic_Passes

    We summon the dark-lord of animation… STEAM BOAT WILLIE!!!


  10. Two of the most enjoyable rides for me were the Toy Story rides. It was basically a drive-by shooting. You get a laser gun and unlimited ammo to blast bad guys. Very satisfying.

  11. They sell double balloons that consist of a colored mickey shaped balloon covered by a clear balloon. Grandad Map found one crammed into a trash can and he rescued it for the girls. They loved it but in about ten minutes they were done with it which meant that it got tied to my backpack. One side note about the backpack… I have lifetime rights to put random shit in my wife’s purse until we are old and grey. I carried everything for everyone in a backpack while we were in the parks. I carried juices and snacks and ears. I tolerated constant stooping over for someone to zip and unzip the backpack. Back to the balloon. This balloon decided to torture me and everyone near me for the next few hours. It was depleted of helium enough that it hovered instead of floated. It smacked people in line and wedged behind me when I tried to sit down. If I die and go to hell, 90% chance that the devil will tie a balloon to a backpack and make me navigate a crowd.
    Tragic_1

    I offered a man twenty dollars to pop the balloon. He walked away with a confused look. Too bad, easy twenty. 


  12. Money falls from the sky at Disney. Every surface that is too far for guests to reach are covered with coins. Any water was guaranteed to have piles of coins littering the bottom. The posts sticking out of the lake next to the ferry boat glistened with nickels and dimes. You could hear them hitting the post and splashing into the water. I was on a lower level and I held my hand out. I caught thirty five cents. True story. I wonder if people are just that broken at the end of the day and they say, “Here, take it all you rat bastard!” Tragic_Money

  13. We betrayed all of our children’s trust through traumatic roller coaster rides. Prima fell victim to Yeti Mountain. Jane got motion sick on Mission to Mars. Prima may have lost consciousness on Mission to Mars. Donna Threeto was broken by the Tower of Terror. Lady Bug was up for absolutely everything. She rode Big Thunder Mountain and shamed her sisters back into riding roller coasters. My favorite kid meltdown was someone else’s kid. We were waiting in the line for Rockin Roller Coaster and a small girl ahead of us in line was whimpering. Her father was assuring her that everything would be fine and there was no need to worry. The line moved out into the loading zone for the ride and the waiting guests got to watch a few cars launch before riding. The Rocking Rollercoaster is built to launch the coaster from zero to sixty miles per hours in a couple of seconds. Like a rocket. As the small girl, who had just finished crying, stopped at the fence to watch the first car leave, there was a burst of air and the coaster shot into a darker tunnel and disappeared leaving only echoes of screams. The girl melted into the floor in a pool of tears and screaming. She lost her mind. I laughed too hard to be helpful. Jane was with me and she thought it was funny too. Strangely enough, the girl decided to ride the ride proving that humans are addicted to bad decisions. By the end of the trip all of the girls liked roller coasters and were more open to enjoying all the rides. Plus we got cool pictures on the ones that scared them out of their minds. Tragic_Tower

So there you have it. A few tips and notes on Disney. There are probably lots more but I’ll save them for another day.

If you have ever been to Mickey’s world then this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.