Confessional

Hero’s skeletons.

A Gift

I often get the question, “Do your kids ever read your blogs?”

Which I answer, “No.”

However, I know that one day they will. That is the whole point. To create a record of all of our craziness and random life events that they can look back on and laugh. That is also why I try to create nicknames and spread the love on embarrassing stories. I hope the stories will sneak past their teenage years. Past the unforgiving eyes of bitter tweens who may use the information for harm. I also hope that they are strong enough to ignore lesser mortals and their insults.

Even outside of this blog, I know my kids will share embarrassing truths with their friends and will face a situation where their delicate secrets get exposed. It happens. Friendships change and relationships end. Things you share in confidence don’t always remain that way. Write that down.

If I have learned something from writing my life stories for other people to read, it is this… Everyone has a similar life experience with someone else. In other words, if something has happened to you then that same something has probably happened to someone else. I can’t tell you how many of my stories that I thought were unique had a followup from a reader who said, “ME TOO!”

As adults we don’t share. We try to maintain decorum and civility. We try to act like we have things figured out. That life is going smoothly according to plan. It never is. Life doesn’t conform to plans. I try to keep the transparency pretty high for my kids. I figure that if I am going to be a mediocre parent then the least I can do is not lie to them.

We had a talk the other night about one of the kids and a funny poop accident. I could tell they were a little embarrassed so I let them in on a secret.

UD: You don’t have to be embarrassed about potty accidents.

Kid: I don’t?

UD: No. Don’t take that as an excuse to start crapping your pants but accidents happen.

Kid: Have they ever happened to you?

UD: Uhhh. Well… Sure. They happen to everybody. If you live long enough I guarantee that you will ruin at least one pair of perfectly good underwear.

Kid: *laughs* Tell me about it happening to you!

I sat for a moment frozen in fear. I have had no hesitation sharing their stories but I realized I didn’t want to tell them my own. What kind of role model is that? Some of their harshest stories are about poop-gone-wrong so I searched my soul and offered up a couple of tales.

UD: I can tell you that there were two times in my life when a fart lied to me.

Kids: *laughs hysterically*

I then shared the following accounts…

The first one that I can remember was during bath time with my cousin. I couldn’t have been more than three. I remember my cousin making bubbles in the bathtub using his mysterious internal gas powers.  I also remember my mother walking into the bathroom and spotting a suspicious looking floating object and having a mild “freak-out”. How to get this turd from tub to toilet was an interesting problem. The solution to this quandary was scooping handfuls of water out of the tub and into the air towards the toilet. Imagine trying to pick up a boat by scooping the water around the boat. Exactly like that but with a turd. I suppose the approach worked because I don’t remember anything after that except being blamed for the problem in the first place. That whole memory is fuzzy.

I also remember an incident from kindergarten. I was probably five. This one was not so much of an accident as much as it was a straight-up pants-shitting. It was nap time and I was drifting in and out of consciousness when suddenly I realized something wasn’t right. My body had bypassed all decision making processes and while I was dreaming, it shit in my pants. Adrenaline rushed into my veins and flooded my mind with one overwhelming feeling… Oh shit. Literally. I raised my hand and requested a trip to the restroom. I was told to wait a few minutes and we would go as a class. Fantastic. I didn’t have that kind of time but what else could I do? I waited. Play it off. Keep a poker face.

Fifty hours later (ten minutes) it was time for class potty break. Kindergarten is the worst kind of place to go to the bathroom. It is like an insane asylum. Other kids would peek through the cracks in the stall and try to hold a conversation. Not the best scenario for trying to perform damage control on what is left of your wardrobe. I won’t elaborate details but rest assured the logistics of the kindergarten bathroom were not suitable for me to discreetly correct the problem. I spent the rest of the day self-aware of my personal space and tried to minimize all movements. It was traumatizing. Like a kernel of popcorn in your teeth or a small rock between your toes when you are wearing boots, the feeling is unique and unmistakable. Somehow, I made it through the day and the ride home without drawing the attention of any of my soulless sociopathic five-year-old peer group. I rushed to the bathroom to try and re-handle the problem on my home turf. I recalled the process my mother used to clean my baby-sister’s underwear whenever she had an accident; wash them out in the toilet. Think through the steps. No mistakes. I knew that the water needed to be moving to wash the debris from the soiled cotton. No problem. I had seen it done several times before. Go time.

This is one of those memories that are burned extra bright.

I deftly pulled the handled to unleash the torrent of water and held the underwear against the raging stream. I remember thinking, “This is going to work!” The water promptly snatched the underwear out of my hand and sucked them down the toilet. I stood staring at the gurgling whirlpool with wet hands and wide eyes. Right on queue my mother, walking down the hall, asks, “What are you doing in there?”

Panic.

“Nothing…”

Poor planning. I didn’t have any fresh fruit-of-the-looms. I should have gotten some before attempting triage. Idiot! Cut me some slack. I was five. From there I remember going commando and acting surprised at my amazing disappearing underwear.

Luckily that is the last incident I remember as a young child. The next closest call was at a church Christmas dinner. We went to a Methodist church and there was food which meant it was a Wednesday. Santa was a surprise guest and everyone lined up to sit in his lap. I had just eaten an after dinner peppermint. The semi-chemy kind that had been sitting in the glass bowl in the lobby since Easter. I wasn’t aware that a sudden intake of sugar is sometimes a strong stimulant. Instant gut bomb. I didn’t want to leave the Santa line but I broke out in cold sweats and had to admit defeat. Thanks to all that is holy, I didn’t shit in Santa’s lap. That would’ve been a disaster. The little helper elf photographer would have captured the moment for eternity. For all that has gone wrong in my life, that moment landed in my favor. What is church for if not for small miracles, right?

So there you go. To my future kids. Here are a few tales of personal shame that you can enjoy. You’re welcome. Don’t say I never gave you anything.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

A Case of Cant-Evens

I’m thankful for many things in life. I have one of the most blessed, first-world, placid existences that anyone could hope for. My girls are wonderful people. My wife is my beautiful partner in crime. We don’t worry about where our next meals come from or if we can afford medical care for our children. Our sink produces some of the best quality water in the world. These things make us extremely lucky in the game of life.

I only mention these things to preface the fact that I want to spend a few minutes bitching about small pointless things. Things to which I cant even…

  • TGI Fridays: We were greeted by a ho-hum staff of three sixteen year old hostesses who were training each other in the art of taking people to their seat. They giggled about seating a particular server five times in the last thirty minutes. Hilarious joke because we would be receiving poor service. I’m quite certain that I had to clean a booger off my chair before sitting down. I went to the bathroom to pee and possibly vomit from the booger incident and our server was talking on his cell phone. It didn’t even sound important. His conversation could have been mistaken for middle school yammering with that cute girl who has you in the friend zone. I know what that sounds like buddy and you are in the friends-zone. My tea was old. The food was weak. Then to top it off our bill had a suggested tip of 18% written in bold right under the total. I’m a consistent 20% kind of guy but I barely got 10% service and for my receipt to make the assumption that I should just fill in the blank with a “calculated” tip is insane. Congrats TGI Friday, your effort to alienate me at every opportunity has borne fruit. Your skillful combination of fast-food quality meals coupled with five-star dining prices has ensured I am done as a customer.
  • Cat: My cat has become entirely too comfortable with personal space. She tries to sleep on Supermom’s face sometimes. When we are eating nighttime snacks she has been progressively encroaching on us. Tonight we enjoyed some nachos. My favorite part is rounding up the crumbs and little bits of cheese. Not tonight because some asshole ruined it.Cat Nachos
  • Laziness in Manufacturing: In the past week I have noticed some laziness in my processed foods. My elbow shaped Macaroni and Cheese had a Velveeta Shells and Cheese noodle in the mix. Then, in my bowl of mini-ravioli, a stray Spagettio. What’s next? These may seem like small issues but the implications are large. How does something from one process end up in another? There is just an air of apathy to it all. Then, to top it all off, I went and got a Nutty Buddy because my nacho crumb snack was ruined and what did I find? More half-assed snackery.

    Nutty Buddy

    Tapered edge cheats me of delicious wafer and peanut butter enjoyment. Once again the little man pays in the name of profit! (I still love you guys. At least you aren’t TGIF.)

  • Judy Cornbread: This goofball of a dog is killing me. She got into some kind of stinging insect in the backyard and enjoyed an allergic reaction. She looked like Popeye for a couple of days. We spent a few hours making pirate jokes. They are even funnier when you know this dog and the fact that she is scared of cardboard boxes and bed sheets.

    Pupeye

    Arrgh matey. Curiosity kills the cat but just makes me look silly. 

If you have little things that annoy you despite your best efforts to be thankful, this post is for you. You’re welcome. We got school photos in this week. They are ever bit as funny as last time. Just so you know to keep a lookout.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

When Tempurs Flare

Dear Tempur-Pedic,

When I first got married I wondered how we would integrate the little things like our choice in mattresses. For the first few years we were financially bound to hand-me-down, well-sprung Serta/Sealy styles. Our first co-ed bed sagged in the middle and provided a gravitational force that made sure we stayed close. It was an apt model for the space-time effects of gravity. We dreamed of the day that we could have a designer mattress and a comfortable night of sleep. Then, one star sprinkled November evening, we decided that our health and happiness was more important than our fragile credit rating so we financed a king sized Tempur-Pedic sleeping apparatus.

Oh happy day.

I am perfectly happy to swallow my pride and fully disclose that we financed around $2k for a mattress. Another minor detail, we actually bought a pair of twins and smushed them together under a king sized top sheet. It was cheaper but we used rationale such as “more isolation of movement” and saying, “it was cheaper” to defend our pride. So in effect, we financed a lie upon a lie on which we lay. Twenty four months with no interest which would have been nice if we hadn’t missed the first fucking payment and had full interest and penalties applied.

Didn’t matter. Not even a procrastinator tax could ruin my excitement over a new mattress and the hope for a good night’s sleep. After all, the material balancing the pressure under my weary back was none other than a top-of-the-line molecular structure developed for astronauts by NASA. Not Cosmonauts or Chinese-nauts, good old first-world American bodies in the deadly depths of space. Surely this would be the wisest investment in the history of man.

Never once did the thought occur to me that using NASA as a credential for a mattress was flawed. I realized today that astronauts are in a weightless environment. They could be strapped to the flat side of an I-beam and would be grateful to not be floating around banging their face into vast panels of complicated button panels. What could a foam mattress provide? How hard are they strapping astronauts into their beds? Hindsight is twenty twenty. Moving on.

The delivery day arrived and we put the magical cube of super-dense mystery on top of the faux box springs. I thought it would be appropriate and symbolic to do an honorary swan dive into the lush comfort.  About the point where gravity took over I had a salient thought, “What happens when memory foam hasn’t developed a memory yet?”

I’ll tell you.

Mosquitos asses go through their brains against car windows in much the same way.

I peeled myself up and reassured my inner self that if I could tough it out a few dozen months then the memory function would kick in and my new mattress would be form fitting heavenly down. The heavenly part was true in as much as heavenly equals clouds. Also, clouds in this case equals a thin fog of moisture that wouldn’t support a stiff breeze. This mystical shape shifting brick bound lump of shit turned from polished stone to sixth grade home economics throw pillow half filled with poly-fil, overnight.

One minute it is hard and the next… I can feel the double stitched seams of the box springs under my butt cheeks. I’m 95% certain that the mattresses used in the children’s tale, The Princess and the Pea, were a dumpster scavenged collection of twice used Tempur-Pedics. Five second rundown – the story is about a girl claiming to be a princess so they test her by putting a pea under her stack of mattresses with the assumption that a pampered princess would be able to feel the slightest discomfort of the pea. Of course that skinny poser felt the pea, it probably damn near ripped a hole through the bottom six layers. Piece of shit.

In other news, I might be royalty.

I wake up every morning want to punch myself but I find myself unable because my arms are floppy tingly dead weight. I need to leave this bed.

It is like a bad relationship. I am constantly worried that I will do something to ruin it but that may be the best possible outcome. I worry that I will spill something on the foam and according to the salesman (after we signed the deal), any wayward moisture breaks down the molecular structure. Is that what has happened? Did I sweat too much? Did the humidity of the southern United States doom me from the start? Is this a sign of magnetic planetary pole reversal? Was it ALIENS?!?

If I had an ounce of manhood left I would douse this mattress in kerosene and throw a lit match. But I don’t. Mostly because I am tired from poor sleep but also because that is arson. In the unlikely event that my house burns down and the evidence points to my mattress, let the record show that I am firmly against setting intentional fires. Desire and action are two different levels of involvement.

In conclusion, screw you guys for shallow reasoning (i.e. NASA technology), predatory marketing to habitually poor people (who finances a mattress?), and for the persistent neck pain that I endure. Maybe I am just getting old but the next bed will be something adjustable that is developed for sleeping under the full gravity of our home planet. I bet Orgeenic was developed for cooking in space too.

Sincerely,

Underdaddy

Halloween 2016

Halloween has come and gone. We survived.

I’m exhausted.

Supermom is exhausted too.

I have several updates that I feel I need to share just to get the memory out of my head and into some sort of cataloged history. To kick things off we can start off with a popular Supermom text message.

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The joys of the school pickup line.

 

Along those same lines, I feel I have to mention the phone conversation we had today.

 

UD: Hey honey. How are you this afternoon.

SM: Oh… you know… good.

UD: What happened?

SM: Your child just took a shit in the floor. On purpose.

UD: Hardwood or carpet?

SM:Carpet.

UD: Hmmm. Not good. How did you clean it up?

SM: Well, after I cleaned her feet and legs there wasn’t much to clean up.

UD: What about the carpet?

SM: Ms. Judy Cornbread thought she would help me out…

UD: So kid crapped in the floor and the dog ate it?

SM: Yep.

UD: …

UD: I love you.

SM: Yep.

UD: I’ll call back later.

SM: K.

 

Let’s see… what else do you need updates on? Halloween report you say? Okay. Here were our costumes.

 

halloween_16_1

Judy Hops!!!

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Pikachu!!!

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Bookworm Belle! I am proud that she likes this look better than ballgowns.

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Jane was a white wolf. Custom origami claws were a nice touch.

halloween_16_5

Nick Wilde. More like Nick Tame who really let things go after a couple kids. 

The night started in excited anticipation and ended in a puddle of sugar soaked tears in the living room floor. Not for me though, I ate Reese’s cups until I thought I might be sick and fell asleep at midnight.

 

halloween_tears

The end of any good Halloween run. 

 

I do feel the need to rant just a bit. A couple of neighborhoods that were former candy-getting hot spots have fallen by the wayside. I can’t help but feel that it is driven by the phenomenon of trunk-or-treat events that are basically a blend of flea markets and parking lot carnivals. A local church had bouncy slides and fire trucks. What in the actual hell is going on here? Have we become so protectionist that we can’t let the kids jump from a slow moving vehicle and rush into a screaming mob of other children in strange neighborhoods?

Halloween is about dressing up and wandering door-to-door like a candy fiend zombie. It is a chance for elderly people to enjoy the exuberance of children and hand out cheap flavorless candy. Okay… that last part is cliché because this one lady last night was old enough that she was trying to decide if one of her bushes was a trick-or-treater yet she was handing out handfuls of the good stuff. God bless that lady.

Take note America. That is how you fight stereotypes, with fistfuls of Kit Kats and Hersey Bars. Thanks to her cloudy vision we went back twice. Four kids X two trips = eight candy bars for DADDY! Just kidding. They only went once so I only got four candy bars.

If you think the spirit of Halloween is being killed, processed, and sold at wholesale prices – this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Beam Me Up Already

For those of you who read these to make yourself fee better about parenting by enjoying my fails, I present my official Parenting Win of the Week. My P-WOW!

I get a call from Supermom informing me that Don Threeto had a breakdown at school. She had a panic attack of sorts. It was bad enough that her oldest sister, Jane, had to be called out of class to come and calm her down.

My kindergartener freaked out and the principal of the entire school had to summon a fourth grader sister to talk her down.

Part of me is extremely proud to have such a sisterly bond between my children. It does my heart good to know they watch out for one another. However, the reason for the breakdown concerns me.

When I first heard, I thought to myself “I wonder if she got scared of some ants?” That would be reasonable since she is allergic. I also considered that maybe bees had snuck in through a crack in the window. I am afraid of bees, maybe I passed that on. What on earth could elicit such a reaction?

I did a top five list in my head:

  • Rabid wild animal was lurking outside. Peeking
  • Someone brought one of those blue star tattoos that were being passed around schools a few decades ago and was laced with a hallucinogenic substance and she was being chased by talking floor tiles.
  • Another student had threatened her and she was scared. (This one was not plausible since she doesn’t fear other people.)
  • She realized that all the lunches are now free and therefore there was no money to steal from the weaker kids.
  • She learned to read and figured out that Russia and the United States were on the brink of thermonuclear war through a combination of angry Facebook posts and Wikileaks.

Most of those would have been better than the truth. #2 and #4 are questionable alternatives. Anyway, here you go…

Supermom had done some detective work and figured out the root of the trouble. Turns out… a sudden high-pitched metallic noise from somewhere in the ceiling convinced my five year old child that aliens were coming to abduct her. She was convinced that she would be swept away into the space ship and never see her family again.

WTF? SMH

She told the teacher and principal that exact story.

We are now “those” parents. Awesome. We were probably already those parents so whatevs.

If you have children who share insane conspiracies and their teachers judge you from afar, this post is for you. You’re welcome. There is nothing you can do. Smile and wave boys, smile and wave.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.