Diaper Dog

Spring Break Kickoff

Yay! Time for spring break. A week with all the kids at home is bound to be delightful. I know how well they behave when half of them go to school.


Passive medical chair. Sit and enjoy a fully moisturized rear. 

At least they will have something to do. Supermom has enjoyed Kolaso so much…


Watching him eat my jeans.

that she has added three adorable lion-faced bunnies. We are only keeping one but the selection process is taking longer than I feel it should. If only they weren’t so cute.


Cute little turd factories. 

Rabbits are second only to chickens when it comes to poop generation. When it comes to urine the win has to go to…


Diaper dog. She is blowing out size 6 pull-ups. 

I think we need to upgrade her to Depends. This is one of those situations where I see her sleeping quietly and I wonder if she is actually dead. I feel a flood of guilt for the wave of relief that builds up in my chest then she snores like a band-saw and I am right back to pondering euthanasia. I love her but sweet baby Jesus, she is cashing in her chips one soaked pile of laundry at a time. She works in tandem with the youngest child. Lady Bug shoves all the clean clothes off the couch and within two minutes Sprinkles the Wonder Dog wanders aimlessly across them while her drippy dog twat pours like a busted water main. She is a maple syrup smelling pile of sadness and I can’r bring myself to end her because she is still happy to see me. Dammit.


Speaking of death and decay. The pumpkins are still there. A few of you thought I was kidding about leaving the jack-o-lanterns to wither and die but I wasn’t.


Frankly, I’m amazed. 

There is some real science going on here. The three on the left were carved so they began decay before winter really set in. The one on the right was only drawn on with a sharpie and didn’t have the protective outer skin broken until we had a hard freeze. The tissues basically became freezer burned and all the moisture leaked out but it hasn’t decayed like the others. If you notice the lighter areas of concrete, this is where the juices seeped out during freeze-thaw cycles. What can I say… Science is messy.


You can still see the face. I wonder if the seeds will sprout and grow into the sidewalk?

We attempted having a movie night tonight to kick things off. Alvin and the Road Chip. Cheesy but funny. Everything is funnier with high pitched voices. Like all good family activities, the family movie idea far exceeded the reality. I did manage to get grounded because I “pants-ed” Supermom and she didn’t find it nearly as funny as the rest of us.

Ah memories.

If you survived another week, this post is for you. You’re welcome. As I listen to the hour long sob session of my oldest child, who is beyond tired and crying because she has the wrong blanket and her sister who finally fell asleep has the one she wants, I take solace in watching relate-able episodes of The Middle, On-Demand through my cable box.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.


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.

Release Super Genius

Your child can be a genius.

Strike that. Could be a genius. As in, it is entirely possible that through some miraculous set of circumstances you have a child that processes, retains, and recalls information much faster than an ordinary child. Your child could be a genius but, most likely, is not.

My dog is not a genius. She sniffed around the kitchen floor for a good fifteen minutes looking for an elusive piece of soft dog food. She could smell it but couldn’t figure out where it was located.

Truly a mystery meat.

Truly a mystery meat.

Maybe my children could do better. I briefly held such a hope. I remember thinking, “Maybe one of these kids will be a mental mega-star and lead the family to riches.” Then they learned to walk (roughly) and talk (sort of) and my thoughts have shifted to, “Man, I hope they can fill out their own applications at McDonald’s.” Not that McDonald’s is a bad job or that people who work there aren’t intelligent but let’s be honest, it isn’t the first career on a parent’s wish list.

My kids are all at normal intelligence from what I can tell. There are flashes of brilliance and depths of unrealized potential. There are also moments where all I can do is stare at them. Speechless. Searching for the universe where – the words they uttered or the actions they took – make sense.

How about a few examples?

Prima is my drifter. She gets lost in glassy-eyed thought while spinning in circles and staring at the television. On our snow day a few weeks ago she insisted on getting herself dressed to go play in the snow. She came to me in the living room with her layered shirt, overalls, jacket, and knit cap.

“I’m ready to go outside!” she declared with excitement.

“Are you sure?”

“Oh yes, I have my coat and everything!”

“I think you are missing something.” I prodded after I noticed a very key piece of clothing was missing from her winter ensemble.

“Nope. Im ready.”

“Okay.” I said and opened the door into the snow.

She ran forward and her bare feet sank ankle deep in the icy whiteness. She stood there for a second and even reached down to touch her bare feet with equally bare hands. “Uummm. Daddy… I need some shoes.”

“I thought you might.”

Shoes really help with the cold feelings on feet.

Shoes really help with the cold feelings on feet.

A couple of nights ago Prima had some more quotable moments. Again I blame her fickle attention span. Jane was looking through some books for the bedtime story for the night and she mentioned gnomes.

Prima said, “Gnomes are creepy.”

I replied, “Did you know that Gnome is the name of a town in Alaska?”

She looks at me with her head tilted sideways like a confused puppy, “We live in Alaska?”

Blank stare.

I turn my attention to the search for something to read. Jane finally finds a book on dinosaurs and we all sit in the floor. Prima is twirling her hair while looking at the book in a daze. She stares past the turning pages without flinching and I just tell myself that she is like a laptop that is in sleep mode. As long as I don’t punch a button or move her mouse she will twirl her hair like a screen saver.

The book has lots of neat dinosaurs. I try to read out the syllables of the names and get the girls to say them with me, “Pterodactyl, Ter-OH-dak-till

Prima blurts out, “I’m allergic to those!”

“I doubt that.”

“Yes I Am!” Both eyes stare at me with an intensity of a death row inmate pleading for someone to believe their story.

I try and give an honest answer to why it can’t be true, “You have to be exposed to be allergic which I think would make you nearly immortal because they have been dead millions of years.”

“Well, I don’t like birds”, she says as she shifts her gaze to her own wiggling toes.

“Fair enough.”

I finished the story. I may have been more entertained than my audience.

Life is funny. We do things like read bedtime stories in an effort to enhance our children. To give them an edge. To make them smart. We want to teach them about the world and endless possibilities of imagination. We hope they are inspired to read and learn. Then, in the midst of it all, they do exactly that service for us, the parents.

So, if you try to be a teacher and end up a student – this post is for you. Reading to your kids is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Daddy Can I Have A Puppy?

My reaction is complicated. I say no. To my kids it sounds like “No.” That’s because it is no. Jane has been wanting a pet since Christmas and she is thinking of every way in the world to get one. We have a couple pets already; Diaper Dog, Crazy Cat, lots of other animals who live at different grandparents’ houses. Part of me wants to say that she has enough interaction with animals and that another pet is a burden we don’t need.

Always up in someone's Kool-Aid.

Always up in someone’s Kool-Aid.

Pets are trouble from the word go. Whining, eating, pooping in the floor, taking them outside or changing a litter box, training them, getting attached to them, paying for medical procedures, and ultimately knowing that they don’t live long enough. If you ever try to go out of town then you have to find someone to watch over them or even tougher you have to take them with you. Why would anyone want a pet?

That is the easy button response. I need to know my reasons at a little deeper level so I did some research back into photo albums from the past. I wanted a complete picture of what dogs have meant to me growing up.

What roles have they filled?

My First True Friend

Sam was tolerant to say the least.

Sam was tolerant to say the least.

My first remembered dog was named Sam. He was a Golden Retriever and a perfect family dog. Sam was trained well and I enjoyed having him follow me on my adventures around the farm. I learned loyalty from Sam and, in a round-about way, empathy. I can remember telling him to sit and he didn’t listen to me so I hit him over the head with a plastic whiffle bat. I got in trouble but was told to think about what I did and how I would feel about someone hitting me. I can remember thinking about loving someone who is mean to you and that stuck with me. To this day I can’t stand people mistreating animals. Anything that can consider another something worth loving is at least worth respecting.


Sam followed my sister and me everywhere. Guarding over us because we were his pack. He proved that family doesn’t know trivial boundaries like race and species. Sam loved his family and was most at home in the middle of the madness. There is a similar dog at my mother’s house now and he is named Chester.

Chester the nervous peeing dog.

Chester the nervous peeing dog.

He was rescued from under a bridge and totally destroyed my house. He is the reason we have hardwood instead of carpet and the reason that our wedding photo was destroyed. He is still a good dog and he has found his place living at my mother’s farm. He reminds me a lot of Sam and he hovers around my children in the same tolerant and protective way. He will always have a home.

Sam is also my first reference for unexpected loss. Sam had cancer in his mouth and after a while it looked like he was holding a tennis ball. He was in a lot of pain and one weekend when I was gone from home my parents had him put down. I came home looking for Sam as my mother cried and told me the news. I remember very clearly the feeling of realizing I wouldn’t see Sam again. Empty and hollow loss. I never got to say goodbye.

Dogs Are Playmates

Peanut the bluetick hound.

Peanut the bluetick hound.

Sam wasn’t our only dog. We had a squirrel dog named Alicia, coon hunting dogs, and several dogs that were just passing through. One dog was a hare-brained Fox Terrier named Hot Pants or “HP” for short. We weren’t afraid of any of the dogs and never thought twice about them not liking us. They followed us and played in the creeks and woods all around the back of our house.

Penny (left) and Alicia (right).

Penny (left) and Alicia (right).

My aunt had Scottish Terriers that loved chasing balls around the backyard. We loved the fact they would play soccer with us. I had a friend who had a mean Schnauzer that would chase me every time I came to visit. Dad had a dog named Panda that was so ugly that she was cute. Panda looked like a fuzzy warthog mated with a shaggy throw rug and she was a sweet heart.

There was a dog named Rebel (I called him Lenny) and he was shot by a redneck neighbor who thought he might try to breed with a [somehow pure-bred yet half-wolf] type of dog that he had chained to a shitty plywood dog house. That is the closest I have been to pure hatred.

Happy Go Lucky Lenny.

Happy Go Lucky Lenny.

My First Pseudo-Responsibility

Pets came and went.

We had gerbils from hell. The long tailed rats ate everything. They ate their wheel, the steel screen over the cage, the inside of a Websters Dictionary that I put over the holes in the screen, and the one time I tried to hold one of the bastards it ate my thumb. Well, a piece of my thumb. We had rabbits that bred into uncontrollable numbers and were eventually murdered. Cats that went crazy or got run over by cars. Pet goats, ponies, and even a tamed pig named Speck. None of them hold what dogs do for me.

I begged for a pet of my own as a kid. Eventually, my mother waved the white flag and let me get a Dachshund that we named Penny. She was a weird dog. Penny loved her little house that she slept in at night. She would hide everything in her house. We found toys, socks, empty cans, and bones stuffed in the back. I taught Penny to sit and roll over. Penny slept on the end of my bed at night and is a placeholder in my memory for a time from pre-teen to leaving for college.

Penny became my mother’s dog when I moved and lived until a few years after we moved back to town. She grew old and lost her sight and hearing. One day she wandered off and ended up in the road. Honestly, it was quick and in the grand scheme of things not a bad way to go. I cried when I heard because it was the turning of a page and it felt like a new chapter.

My Wife’s Little Sidekick

Beauty was intimidated by candles I guess.

Beauty was intimidated by candles I guess.

Supermom is an only child. She grew up with a cousin close to the same age so she has the experience of siblings but not living in the home with her. Beauty was a Cairn terrier who was her sidekick from ten years old until a little while after we started dating. Beauty lived the luxurious life of the only pet of an only child. She was treated like a person and the family liked to watch her explore snow and express her sassy personality. Like the baby toddler of the family, Beauty was doted on. Supermom brought Beauty to visit my apartment and she promptly jumped up and peed on my bed. She must have sensed competition and was trying to mark me out of her life. My mother-in-law would have been proud at the time, although hopefully she doesn’t still wish for dogs to ruin my sheets.

Snow playtime.

Snow playtime.

It wouldn’t work. Supermom and I were getting serious and one weekend we traveled across the state to meet my family. Beauty wasn’t allowed to come along. While we were driving in my hometown Supermom got a call on her cellphone and with a confused look handed the phone to me. It was my future mother-in-law telling me the sad news that Beauty had died. I had to be the one to tell her and hold her while she sobbed. My first time for being a shoulder to cry on. Her sidekick was gone and she never got to say goodbye. I didn’t have any words worth saying but I understood. Sucks.

A Dog Was Our First Child

Momma Dixie with babies Biscuit and Sammy.

Momma Dixie with babies Biscuit and Sammy.

After celebrating our first New Year together we visited my hometown again. My dad had a boxer named Dixie who was the mother of several family dogs. She was a brindle colored Boxer and we learned that in this family the brindle color came with hereditary joint problems that led to pain and paralysis. But a few years before we learned about that, Dixie had a litter of puppies.


Awwww. Wait, what the hell is on my chin?

One of them was a sandy colored puppy that took to me right away. I didn’t necessarily want or need a dog but after an afternoon of snuggling with this tiny life, Supermom and I decided that the puppy needed to be our first child.

Seriously, how cute is this dog? She snores like a buffalo but she was cute once.

Seriously, how cute is this dog? She snores like a buffalo but she was cute once.

Biscuit is the Diaper Dog that you may have seen in other posts. She moved with us back to college and lived in our apartment. Then later we moved in with my future father-in-law. Biscuit was a shared love and responsibility that helped teach us some of the basic tools of parenting. Namely that you have to plan ahead for feeding, pooping, and peeing. She also didn’t like Mommy and Daddy to be upset at each other and she would try to give kisses between us when we acted like we were angry with each other. Custody over Biscuit would have been an ugly battle.

Every morning at 5:30 Biscuit would wake me up to go pee outside. I would stand on the front porch while she went out in the yard and usually I would have to go too. At 5:30 am in the middle of nowhere… I peed off the porch. One afternoon I see my father-in-law standing in the yard staring at dead patches of lawn and scratching his head. “What in the world is killing the grass? Look it is just in this one spot.” I had to explain that I had been peeing in that spot for a couple of months every morning. I found out he had been trying to figure out the grass problem for about the same amount of time.

Friends for life.

Friends for life. She even loves a worthless cat.

Biscuit is our official relationship dog. She represents almost the entirety of my life with Supermom and even as I type this she is laying on a pillow napping next to me. Diaper and all. She loves her family as deeply as anyone and considers herself second in command. If I am away from home she doesn’t allow guests to approach the children or my wife. She doesn’t growl or make much of a show but she keeps her body between family and company at all times.

Anything for the pack.

Anything for the pack. She is protecting Lady Bug from the couch.

Dogs love sacrificially and I will always remember a day that I was swimming laps in the pool at my dad’s house. Biscuit was pacing at the edge of the water and very concerned that I was drowning. I continued my laps and suddenly she had decided that the risk was worth the cost and she dove into the pool. Boxers aren’t made for swimming and I had to rescue her but she proved herself to me. I hope that I would be as brave to protect my family. In fact, there are some stories on this blog that prove I wouldn’t be. Biscuit is definitely the unsung hero. That is something beyond words.

Getting old and grey.

Getting old and grey. Jane loves her “Bee Bee”.

Age isn’t nice to dogs and as she gets older I have the constant fear of finding her cold and still or even worse is the thought that I would have to make the decision to put her down. I don’t know that I could do it. She is in all of our photos. Biscuit was our first. She saw us date, marry, have children, move houses, celebrate birthdays and Christmases, travel to see family, welcome new pets to the family, and has more than once been a pillow to cry on for someone. She watched over our children and probably taught them some of the same lessons that Sam taught me. She is this stable symbol of friend, family, and love.

Go Vols!

Go Vols! She is nervous just like most vols fans.

Dogs Are Heavy On The Heart 

When the kids ask for another dog I think of all of these things. I have the denial of losing Biscuit. I have the bitterness of choosing her replacement. I think about what will replace her and mark the next phase of our life. Replacing Biscuit means allowing time to move forward. It means the kids will move from “Sam” to “Penny” and eventually a “Biscuit” of their own.

So when they ask, “Daddy can I have a puppy?” my brain screams, “No!”. But the kids know better. They see the look in my eyes and know that it isn’t even a question.

Of course we will have a puppy. Life requires it. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.


Giddy Up Santa

The holidays can be such a drudge for parents. Years of tradition make us nostalgic but somehow we want to avoid the festivities too. There is work and responsibility and in my case, a foreboding feeling that I won’t meet expectations. What this holiday needs is something uplifting. I don’t mean the type of uplifting where a stranger pays for a child to get his mother Christmas shoes or the solider comes home but the kid doesn’t know and then surprises them. I can’t watch that stuff or read it, much less type it. I’ve become too soft from all this estrogen. There is no need to explain to my children why I’m crying and typing at the same time. We need shallow, on the surface, smile through the tears uplifting.

The entertainment we need this holiday is some good old-fashioned gladiator style fun. Nothing is more useful for that than animals you live with or children who don’t know any better.

This is where the Giddyup Santa came through for us this year.

Petsmart Riding Picture

Not three days ago I was walking through Pet Smart while the oldest child sobbed about a kitten (that there was no way in hell was coming home with us). Jane is softhearted towards animals anyway and this potential rescue cat was working overtime on trying to get a new owner. Most of the orphaned cats were busy sleeping in their litter boxes which I can only assume is because the boxes are covered and the shrieking sounds of children are more muffled. This particular cat was making solid eye contact with everyone who came by his cage. He saw Jane and smelled a sucker. He rubbed against the cage near her and purred. She asked him if he wanted to go home with us and I kid you not, he put his paw through the cage and lifted the padlock. As if he was calling her bluff and asking it to be opened. She instantly got all doe eyed and teary. “He wants a home daddy….”

Not going to happen.

So anyway, Jane was crying about the cat and we were trying to walk our way through the store. Then he caught my eye. An ambitious and daring Santa who had the poise of a rodeo cowboy and the bravado of a Navy Seal. The mere fact that there was no picture on the packaging told me that this Santa didn’t give two shits what you strapped him to, he was going to ride it into the ground. At a respectable fifty percent discount and noticing that all of the product was virtually untouched, I knew that this was the item for me. It was a Miracle on 34th street but the movie will be titled Clearance on Aisle 9. I mean he had adjustable Velcro straps. What wouldn’t this Santa ride? I intended to find out.

First opponent was our diapered dynamo, the family dog. For a solid five minutes Santa endured the nervous shivers, heavy shedding, and incessant whining of a half blind Boxer. I was impressed. This jolly old elf had nerves of steel and a back made of felt. When it was clear that he had crushed her will I looked for Santa’s next challenge.

Just look at her abandoned sense of self-worth.

Just look at her abandoned sense of self-worth.

Santa needed something more dangerous and more headstrong. Nothing competes with a panther. Unfortunately our cat isn’t a panther but she is partially black and mentally unstable. Good enough.

Psychologists say that people look down and to the left when they lie, I wonder if that's what cats do when they don't want to accept the truth?

Psychologists say that people look down and to the left when they lie, I wonder if that’s what cats do when they don’t want to accept the truth?

You should have seen Santa shine. I have been trying to get the best of that cat for nearly a decade and he crushed her in fifteen seconds. I had cheers and before I knew it I was on my feet cheering him on. I might as well have been watching the end of The Jungle Book, the mighty tiger was defeated. Poor Cat was so confused that she just sat there waiting for life to end. But Santa is merciful and let her live.

Then Santa met his match. My children returned home from a trip to the grandparents and they heard of the amazing bravery and strength. They all wanted a shot at the title so we arranged what may become the most time honored tradition since Elf on the Shelf, Santa Rodeo Challenge.

WordPress is really unreliable with videos so I YouTubed them.

Calamity Jane gave it a good try.

Don Threeto put him in a death spin.

Prima the Ballerina crushed his holiday spirit.

Who will be Santa’s next challenge? Do you think he could survive your pets or kids? I’m not saying that Santa is the toughest man alive but if Chuck Norris wears a Santa hat…

He may be the bravest man alive.

He may be the bravest man alive.

So if you have weird traditions or spontaneous Santa Rodeos, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

Underdaddy to the rescue.

ps –

Santa is actually Chuck Norris.

Santa is actually Chuck Norris.