Humor

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Tidbits and Errata

I have an accumulation of randomness that I always think, “Hey this would make for a good blog.” But then I realize that I would have to type out one every day and I’m not at the point in my life where I have time for that. So here is a smattering of photos and the thoughts attached to them. Enjoy.

Of all the fun word games that are available to modern adults, my favorites are “That’s What She Said” and “That Was My Nickname in High School”.  The other day I was shopping in Walmart and while perusing the French Fries I had an excellent “That Was My Nickname in High School” opportunity. I was totally and utterly alone. So, I took a picture.

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We have been waiting for weeks for school photos to come back. We sent the kids to school somewhat unpolished on Picture Day because we didn’t remember it was Picture Day. I secretly prefer awkward pictures because that makes them worth looking at fifteen years down the road. Donna Threeto did not disappoint. Prima did a good job too.

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Like she had no idea what was going on or who these people with strange objects are. 

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Another epic photo that I came across in my newsfeed came from a language barrier. It is a thought provoking piece that should serve as a warning to all the young men and women who get inspirational quotes tattooed on their body in strange foreign languages. Just know that what you think says, “Love, Life, Laughs” might actually be the Chinese characters that say something like “Sperm Dumpster”. It would only be fair repayment of the untruths we release on the world. Somewhere in Africa there are entire villages clothed in T-shirts that claim the Atlanta Falcons won the last Super Bowl. Now imagine that you have a cute pinchy-cheeked child and he gets a free hat from America! What a generous and benevolent country! Happy Day! I think this kid lives in Vietnam.

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If you laughed at this photo you have an ethical and moral obligation to visit fredcolton.wordpress.com 

I have had to say goodbye to something that was part of my life for as long as I can remember. It functioned in the background. A supporting role. I dare say I took it for granted. Then my mother sent me a picture of it on the day it died. Standing next to it was the replacement. Staring her down. Mocking her death and degrading her service to our family. How could you?

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I grew up thinking everyone used old plastic jugs as sugar storage.

The free market system does a great job of reflecting society. I live in the south. While at lunch at a Mexican restaurant last week I had a chance encounter that perfectly captured southern priorities. There was a claw machine in the front lobby. A variation of the claw machine where prizes hang by a string and the claw is a dull scissor device. It is such a scam that there is actually a note on the machine explaining that the scissor might not cut the string on the first try. The prizes include a DeWalt Drill.

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How is this not gambling?

Have you ever said a common word slowly or repeatedly and realized that it starts to lose its identity. Like margarine. Mar-ga-rine. MAR-JAR-RINN. Butter’s replacement. Margarine. Look at the word. Is it even spelled right? Who the hell knows. When you get too close to something that you should breeze by and only view peripherally, it overloads your brain and life unravels. The world ceases to make sense. I felt like that recently when examining my smashed pinkie toe. It started to look like an Orc finger and I had an out of body experience.

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Holy shit. Look at that thing. 

I have also been delving into a little family history. I learned that my Grandfather was a gansta-ass-boss-playa from day one of busting outta the mutha-fuckin womb. Rolling hard on his foes and never hesitating to bust a cap in multiple asses. All the while never staining his socks or letting a single strand of his luxurious hair become mussed.

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Seen here riding a “Try Me” cycle. 

If you like a good dose of random musing, this post is for you. You’re welcome. I didn’t even mention the new dog. Then again, that subject is deserving of its own dedicated post. Until next time.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Hurricane Season

Hurricane Harvey jacked up Texas. Irma pummeled Florida. Jose might smash New York. Yellowstone has earthquake swarms rolling around getting people all worried about a super volcano. Montana is burning to the ground. The sun just launched some solar flares and a G3 magnetic storm. A ship just passed through the Arctic without the help of an ice breaking vessel. HBO still hasn’t offered to bring back Dexter. I got served pulling into my driveway. My kid crop dusted me in Walmart. Plus kids in school are expensive, how do private school families make it work? Selling organs?

Let’s start with Walmart. We had a normal bi-annual lapse in judgement and took all four kids shopping. They reminded us why anxiety medications exist. The highlight was when Prima farted in the snack aisle and I thought she crapped her pants. The smell crept up and slapped me in the face. I was tired and annoyed by that point in our trip and I exclaimed out loud, with very little forethought, “Jesus, who just shit their pants?” I caught side-eye from a passing family and an arm punch from my wife. They were judging me but they didn’t have to bear the smell. I was there. It was straight toxic fumes off a hot turd nugget. Poo particles lingered in my nose. Offensive. I can’t believe the kids were still picking snacks off the shelf and talking about which ones tasted better. I was trying to maintain my balance and avoid vomiting. Those kids should work in the medical field or the sanitation industry.

Whats next? Oh yeah.

I realized that we need to move. I’m driving home the other day and there are several kids playing basketball in the street in front of my house. Not unusually because we live on a cove. As my car approached this one kid turns to face me and starts making weird symbols with his hands. I had the benefit of a high class public education so I know some gang signs when I see them. I believe the term when I was in school was “stacking”. I also remember that kids who learned about throwing gang signs would play around with it and try to act cool in front of their friends. I am certain that this kid was doing the same thing – just trying to be cool for his friends. The sad part is that he was maybe ten years old. After I pulled into my driveway I asked him if he was making gang signs with his hands. He told me he just felt like holding them that way. His friends giggled and didn’t make eye contact. Maybe I was wrong and he really did have awkward hand positions. I hate assuming the worst but being a parent makes me a cautious cynic.

A couple of days after my encounter with unconventional sign language we decided to go out and ride bikes as a family. Prima, who has no sense of how she is perceived, was racing in circles on her pink bike while wearing a bright unicorn helmet. Two of the neighborhood boys were playing basketball and she kept riding through the middle of their game. Each pass she would try to strike up a conversation. Only it didn’t sound like that was her goal. She never meets a stranger and says exactly what she is thinking. She doesn’t adjust her tone for anyone and often sounds like an asshole. One of the boys had removed his sandals and left them laying in the road.

She told the boys, “Whose shoes are in the road? You better move them before they get run over.” She stared directly at them with wide eyes and an emotionless face. She might as well have been Pennywise the Clown asking if they wanted to play a game. It sounded like, “Move your shoes asshole before I move them for you.” Playful in that aggressive kind of style. I would say that she will catch a punch one day but she is so much taller than kids her age that I bet she gets away with it for a while. Until middle school anyway.

Speaking of school, I don’t know if she will make it to middle school in the public system. We may have to home school. The totally free public school is expensive. I have tried to make a mental note of all the things we buy or assist with or fund-raise for. I understand the causes on an individual level but collectively, with four children, it all gets to be a lot. Below are the extra-curricular things and my notes on them:

 

T-Shirts – Raising money for the playground. Always the playground.

Jackets – I like the jackets. No negativity with this one. They have monogrammed names on the back.

Smart Cards -I always pay and never remember to use the damn thing. Mine is an idiot card.

Uniform Charity Extortion – This one is interesting. If the students donate to a specific charity then they are allowed to deviate from system-wide uniform standards on Fridays. Lesson => Money creates different rules. I’m not sure how I feel because it is a real-life lesson that holds true. I bribe them with money all the time. And soda. I’m the worst.

Charity Snacks – Carrying snacks to a nearby school that is also public but somehow has a high ratio of lower income bracket students?

Book Club – Fully support this one. They need a book writing club. Story club.

Book Fair – On the fence about this one. It is a sale of books inside of the library. They are selling books in a huge room dedicated to free books. Anyone? No one? Carry on.

Shoe Box Dioramas – We always get reminded of these projects the night before and spend fifty dollars at Walmart for them to make something that looks like we spent fifty cents. I refuse to do projects because I have enough projects of my own.

Ice Cream Money – Why not? We can’t send cupcakes or sugary snacks for birthday celebrations. Damn healthy rules. Thanks Mrs. Obama.

Math-A-Thons – Money for solving math problems. Again, this mirrors life so probably is fine.

Dance-A-Thons – Money for physical exertion. I need someone to pay me to move around more.

Yearbooks – They don’t even make them hardbacked anymore. The last set that came home looked like the recipe books that church ladies put together to sell at the bazaar. And do kids even sign each other’s yearbooks anymore? I remember all the fun things that I used to write. Stay cool.   I signed your crack.    I’ve waited all year to disclose my undying love and here we are at the edge of summer so maybe we will be in the same class next year and I can continue to choke down these feelings.)

Butterbraids — Fund raiser where parents have to figure out the logistics of delivering frozen treats.

Picture Day – Two to three times in a year; Uniforms, Casual Clothes, Class Photos. I enjoy seeing how the children will find new ways to ruin the world’s easiest photo shoot.

Bake Sales – I love cake. These are easy because you can buy some cookies at Walmart, throw them on a paper plate, and wrap them with Saran Wrap. Boom. Good to go.

Spirit Night – I felt misled. This was not about whiskey as I had hoped.

Baseball Nights – Joining the great American pastime. If only my kids cared about Baseball. They have dollar beer sometimes which could be problematic.

Ads for the Yearbook – Show how much you love your child by buying a second picture with a personalized message. If the printing is sponsored by ad sales, can we at least have hardback editions? This plastic spiral bound this is bothering me.

Christmas Toy Boxes – One year we shipped these toy boxes over seas. I had real distress over what would be appropriate to put in the box. I didn’t want to make assumptions. Do they need batteries and flashlights or hand sanitizer? Or candy? Or C vitamins to prevent blindness like that Sally Struthers commercial? It is a lot or pressure trying to be the light of the free world. Do you put too much stuff and then another kid with a shitty box feels cheated by the inconsistencies of America?


We have parent-teacher conference tomorrow and those are always fun. They give us unrealistic suggestions like setting aside quiet study areas and practicing spelling words. That is some only-child advice. Reality at our house is different. There are six of us trying to watch Henry Danger in the living room over a plate of spaghetti in our laps while we keep the dog away from our garlic bread. Quiet isn’t going to happen. We do practice spelling words though -when they actually bring the list home. Children are terrible students sometimes.

I don’t know if any of this was coherent or worth reading but I feel better. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Total Eclipse of the Part

The Perseid Meteor showers are gracing our skies this weekend. YouTube conspiracists promise the brightest showing in modern history sprinkled with end-of-all-humanity. I haven’t bothered to Google the event because it is partly cloudy here and I probably won’t get to see the action. Plus, we are only on Episode 9 of Season 3 in The Flash. The binge watch is real. I have become addicted to the characters more so than the plot lines but it is a fun show with some good complexity so I will keep watching. My dishes may lie dirty in the sink. My laundry may live in limbo between the floor and the dryer. My friends and family may report me missing and fear I have died but I know one thing… I will find out if Barry and Iris are really meant to be. This means that I probably will fail to notice the setting sun and I will wake up in the recliner, having completely missed the world’s most impressive meteor shower. Thank you Netflix.

That will be okay because on August 21st there will be a full solar eclipse. I plan on watching that event with my family. Our only decision to make regarding the solar eclipse is where we are going to watch and how we can avoid being part of an Interstate National Disaster. Experts expect millions of people to flock to the “Totality” zone where the eclipse will be an absolute darkening of the sun instead of 90% in the 100 miles adjacent. The ensuing traffic jam promises to become a disaster urban legend. I must decide if we will brave the migration of sky-watchers or settle for something less than amazing. My track record suggests the latter. I buy generic coffee for my Keurig because it is “good enough”. We clean out our van when we become unsure of “that crunching sound”. We are, generally, terrible at self-motivation and superstars at procrastination. (I’ll write a blog on that topic tomorrow.)

Not this year. We are cramming in some quality family memories. We are going to Disney in October. That should be amazing and exhausting. We will take pictures with every character that we encounter. We will buy the fifty-dollar, plastic and felt Mickey Ears Hat. We will be the best parents that selective photo posts on Facebook will allow.

As a warm-up, we are going to watch the solar eclipse in nine days. We might even try for a dinner together as a family afterwards. Anything is possible. No pain no gains.

I’m excited about the solar eclipse. I hope it makes a special memory for the girls and they aren’t preoccupied with having to go pee or wanting to listen to silly songs on XM radio. That is expecting a lot from a demographic group that mistreats toys but insist on playing for hours with empty Tupperware. Maybe the memory will be more powerful in their future adult brains.

I remember the first time that celestial objects seemed like real things. Not just bright spots in the sky. My sister and I went with our Grandmother on a road trip to Indiana to visit family. My Aunt and Uncle had a really cool house with a heated pool and a next-door neighbor who played football for the Colts. One night we were in the backyard laying on the trampoline, staring at the stars. My uncle pointed out a star that was moving faster than the other stars across the sky. “That’s a satellite”, he told me. It was a cool moment. It moved space and satellites from something imaginary to something I could observe and understand. We watched at least ten more objects coast across the sky over the next couple of hours. I hope the eclipse will do something similar for my girls. Of course, I will probably leave out all the dirty jokes my uncle was telling while we stared up at the heavens. I doubt the girls would appreciate tales of frogs who perform sexual favors or dogs who lick themselves and the old men who say, “You better pet him first.” I thought the jokes were hilarious. They were a hit at school later that fall. Thanks Uncle J.

If you enjoy the wonders of the cosmos and dirty jokes, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.