Fifteen Days In May

There is a rumor around my line of work; If it rains on the first day of May then it will rain a total of fifteen days in May. A more specific version of “When It Rains It Pours”. So far it seems to be correct that dreariness begets more gloom and doom. It is hard to wake up ready to tackle the world when you go to bed feeling behind.

For example, on Saturday, Supermom decided to change out the summer/winter wardrobes. Along with the switch is the sizing up of each child who have all managed to grow over the past few months. Therefore, it was absolutely necessary to bring in eleven Tupperware boxes from the garage and sort though each piece of clothing. Plus we did shoes.



I feel like the picture doesn’t quite cover it. 

I say “we” but I just carried the heavy stuff back and forth. The volume of clothes and shoes and gloves and hats and… just shit… that goes along with four kids. We have a bag of hats that could keep the neighborhood warm on a field trip to Alaska. We have enough gloves that each kid could wear one for the sole purpose of wiping their ass one time and we still wouldn’t need toilet paper for a week. The quantity of shoes is obscene but even worse if the fact that ninety percent of them are utterly destroyed by the fact that my club footed Orc children can’t stand vertically and end up walking on the sides of the shoes. And dragging the toes of the shoes. I couldn’t scrape the toes any more completely if I gave a monkey a fat rock of meth and fresh package of 80 grit sandpaper. Holy sheep shit on a sandwich. Give me a minute…

And they shed.



One pass with the vacuum. 

People talk about pets being dirty or high maintenance (totally true) but I don’t think children are much better. Supermom vacuumed around the bedrooms and found enough hair for a fifth American Girl doll. We have enough stray toy parts and doll clothes to fashion a Frankenstein style doll. She would have to be a) homeless or b) a stripper for the hair to pass a reality check with all the glitter and shreds of colored paper. Man these kids have me frazzled today, I just suggested we make a Frankenstein American Girl Doll who is also a homeless stripper.

What else can I bitch about?

Did I share the picture of toothpaste on the stairs? At least it will match the toothpaste on the wall, light switch, carpet, most white shirts, sink, mirror, bathtub, and toilet. Notice I didn’t say toothbrush. That is because they avoid actually using the paste correctly. Speaking of finding the toothpaste in the toilet, here is a fun anecdote. I was in the middle of scrubbing out a toilet one day and one of the children walks up and looks quizzically at the stain in the toilet. She then says, “Try a toothbrush, they work really well for that.” We bought all new toothbrushes that night.


Yay for the Dora the Explorer Lou-fa hanger that is stuck on the column. (I don’t know if I spelled Lou-fa correctly but that is what auto-correct gave me so…)

So today we received the remains of our diapered dog biscuit. Things are better but it is still hard when you keep remembering the little things. I knock on the front door softly so that she won’t bark. Stuff like that. Also, I have never had a box of cremated remains. It is more comforting that I would have thought.


How cute. This is my favorite picture of her. 

Then this afternoon I got a text with the following picture attached.


This is Lady Bug’s hair. She did not have a hair appointment scheduled today. 

It seems that Don Threeto decided it was time to hand out a haircut. I had hoped we would miss this milestone. Everyone has a haircut story but we have been clean for the better part of nine years. There was that one time that I cut the bow out of Jane’s hair when she came home from the hospital but I was a new dad and I thought the glue would hurt her if I tugged it so I’m not counting that one. In hindsight, Threeto did a pretty good job and it isn’t really obvious that Lady Bug has been thinned out up front. Maybe she has a secret talent.

If you are bracing yourself for a rainy May, this post is for you. Stay low, life is swinging hard this month. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

If I Could Say One Thing

In the blockbuster movie “Men In Black” featuring world renown actor and ear model Will Smith, there exists a tiny device called the neuralizer. This magic crossbreed between a wand and a flashlight has the power to erase the memory of any subject leaving a blank slate for the next few seconds allowing the interviewer to insert new happy memories. What a magical tool.

Sometimes I daydream about owning a neuralizer and using it immediately after speaking a string of harsh truths. There are so many things that I want to say just as a relief. I don’t want to say it to them as much as at them.

I have asked several people this question and the answer is usually word-for-word identical. Multiple view points, cultural backgrounds, and stages of life but still the general emotion seems to be the same.

Question: What is the one mean thing that you wish you could say, at least once, just to get it out?

Answer: Shut the fuck up.

Every. Time. I have to admit my inner voice has thought this more than once.

-When they are supposed to be going to bed but are talking.

-When they keep asking the same questions on a road trip.

-When they are gushing embarrassing details to complete strangers.

-When they are asking their mother for a refill of juice while she holds a dead animal and sobs. (Who hasn’t been there? Am I right?)

Just once to be able to lovingly embrace them and whisper, “Shut the f*$% up.” Followed immediately by a bright flash and then I say, “I love you sweet child. Sleep soundly tonight.” We both would smile and all would be right with the world.

Other times in life I think I would use the device on myself. For example…

Poo Hands

Not chocolate. Totally got you. 

I know Supermom would go for a memory erase right about here…

Poop Clean.JPG

I’m not sure that bleach works on grout? It just seems like there would be gaps for poop particles.

If you ever needed a neuralizer, this post is for you. Sleep deprivation seems to do a good job of erasing most things but it takes time. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

On Second Thought

“Many a true word is spoken in jest.” – Chaucer


Jane: If I find a dragon with wings and that breathes fire, will you buy it for me?

UD: I sure will.

Jane: Do you think I’ll find one?

UD: I hope so but I’ve never seen one.

Jane: I am going to keep trying and I wont give up until I’m 29 years old.

UD: Sounds reasonable, that’s about when I gave up.

Jane: What did you give up?

UD: Just my hopes and dreams.

Jane: Why?

UD: Because I want you to have them instead.


This started as a back and forth banter with thick sarcasm but the conversation got deeper the more I thought about it. Family is not about giving up your goals as much as it is about redefining them. My hopes are met when my children think their dreams are reachable. I remember when I thought dragons might be real.

My hopes are also met when they let me sleep in on Saturdays = small goals.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

ps. The rabbit picture was just a funny cover photo. No rabbits were harmed. Concerned maybe but not harmed. 

My Kids Continue to Be Smarter Than Me

Prima may not have as much gracefulness or attention span as your average 5 year-old but her wisdom takes me by surprise. It shouldn’t since the premise of my blog is that I am an idiot 90% of the time but some dad part of me thinks I am teaching my children. Passing the flickering torch of knowledge. However, she did break her wrist by falling off the couch watching Dora the Explorer so I can’t have her take the MENSA test just yet.

This week my children were the surviving flame and I continued to be the wind. I didn’t freeze my tongue to a spoon again but I did get a bug in my eye and it rolled back into my head. Three hours later it moved around and came out. Here’s a picture of that.

That little green piece of junk was a crawly bug inside my head. Gross.

That little green piece of junk was a crawly bug inside my head. Gross.

I left a jar of sprinkles in reach. So here is how that turns out.

All the multi-colored sprinkles. Yay!

All the multi-colored sprinkles. Yay!

Then I saw something smeared on the doorframe to the bathroom. No its not another poo encounter. I think it is toothpaste and it is high enough on the door that the ones who could reach should know better.

Toothpaste painting. Yay!

Toothpaste painting. Yay!

So at the end of this day I was giving a bath to Threeto and she can sense when my give-a-shit meter is near the bottom. At that exact moment when I can’t take anymore I say, “Just put down the bath toys and get out right now!” She replies, “Okay take my rag.” And she squeezes a full washrag into my lap as I am looking the other direction talking to her mother. It was the perfect cherry on top and I just laughed at the apex of chaos.

A few deep breaths and we all gathered for some Lego’s before bed. I asked Prima how her first year at school had been. The short paragraph I got was a stream of consciousness but was impressive. Still waters run deep;

Prima: I have liked learning to read but I really like to draw.
UD: Oh yeah? What do you like to draw?
Prima: I want to draw. I want to draw how life IS. Like what life looks like.
UD: Wow. That is deep, can you do that?
Prima: Yes. I am courageous in my use of markers.

I got out some markers and paper because after that how do you not? She continued to talk and lay down some deep knowledge.

Prima: (Drawing intensely) Dad?
UD: Yes?
Prima: Did you know that in the future I am a teenager, right now. And if I think of a cheese sandwich and remember it, then it happened in the past. Yeah, you remember stuff in the past and you can’t see the future until right now.
UD: Did you eat mushrooms on your pizza?
Prima: …..

Then Threeto rushes into the conversation to tell me about a race they always have at the Grandparents house. “Papaw beats me every night!”
UD: He beats you?
Threeto: Yup. Every night (smiling).
UD: He wins?
Threeto: Naw, he just beats me.

But let’s not leave Lady Bug out of the rotation this week. I got this text from Supermom while I was at work. The only thing worse than finding a cap to red lipstick is this…

How do you respond? Good luck? That stinks?

How do you respond? Good luck? That stinks?

So I got bugged, heard the wisdom of Plato, saw a man be misrepresented, and was entertained by my wife’s struggles. Oh and one day while cleaning I found this and could have cried from the proudness…(It says Fosl Resrech, she likes Paleontology)


So if you had a fun rollercoaster week, this post is for you. Me too. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

The Tell Tale Cart

I was thinking about a recent trip to Walmart and how parts of it reminded me of a story we had to read in 9th grade English.

This is the story of the Tell Tale Cart.

Intro Scene: (Dusk. The orange glow of a setting sun is rapidly disappearing behind a dark line of trees on the horizon. Like a dying coal it fades to grey. Lights across a shopping center parking lot are rapidly coming to life to greet the approaching night. There is a buzz from the lighting and the sound of a lone car quietly moving across the asphalt. The camera follows the van and zooms in to our hero.)

The ultra-luxurious minivan pulls into an empty parking space at Walmart. Underdaddy bounds confidently out of the driver’s side. He moves with the finesse of a Jaguar around the opening and closing of the car door. To the untrained eye, he would appear like a phantom sweeping out of the car while the door flapped like a delicate metal wing. He barely looks back as he holds up the key fob remote and points back to the van while pressing the lock button. A seasoned veteran. He presses twice so the van honks. This alerts would-be burglars and lets them know that a super security system is in place and is ready to valiantly protect the collection of empty water bottles, half consumed sodas, and what might have been a hotdog or a petrified tree. Precious cargo that is guaranteed to be safe.

Underdaddy strides towards the automatic sliding doors with a cool confidence that is somewhat unexpected from a thirty-something balding man with a Pac-Man t-shirt and cargo shorts. In the fire lane, a woman is loading the last bag of groceries into a large SUV that has been strategically hovering near the front door and blocking traffic. Our hero has an eye for citizens in need so he slows down to assist the damsel in distress.

Underdaddy: Excuse me kind citizen, I noticed you are finished with that grocery cart. Might I be of service and return it to the store?

Damsel: Are you sure? (She seems to hesitate)

Underdaddy (Feeling like the Shopping Cart Savior): Verily I say to you, this is not a problem. I need a cart for shopping and you need to allow the SUV to leave the fire lane so we aren’t all burned alive inside this fire-resistant metal and concrete building.

Damsel: (Obviously in awe of such selfless bravery) You are my hero! Take this cart. Shop… so that others may live!

(Okay… so that is a little dramatic but I did offer to take someone’s cart on the way into the store which should win a civil service award or something. Back to the story.)

The fair damsel exits in the Escalade and Underdaddy continues into the store with the rescued shopping cart. He is walking proudly (nose up, chest out) and enjoying an adrenaline high from such a noble deed. Who says chivalry is dead? He barely notices a slight tick of a damaged wheel that is tapping softly but regularly on the vinyl tile flooring. The thump is nothing to be concerned about. A petty complaint that is only noticed by lesser men. Underdaddy is a local hero and willing to sacrifice through an imperfect cart.

He makes his way to the feminine hygiene section to grab a spare pack of tampons. No one needs tampons yet but with four small girls he knows that stockpiling feminine products is a strategic investment. Add in a few new toothbrushes to replace the three that magically “fell” in the toilet on top of turds that someone “forgot” to flush. The wobbly cart continues to thump and the small dental products bounce playfully around the cart with each slap of the wheel. Underdaddy nears the edge of the tampons and notices a fellow male browsing in the “personal” products shelf and holding a box that appears to be water based lubricant. Momentary jealousy gives way to a deep understanding as he realizes the box is actually an Early Detection Pregnancy Test. A four pack. That poor bastard. The men exchange a somber nod and Underdaddy continues past. The soon-to-be-exiled man makes a casual comment, “They need to fix those lumpy wheels huh?”

Underdaddy smiles and, as he quips “They won’t waste money on that…”, he considers the rhythmic thumping for the first time. It is a definite rapping of a flat place worn into the rubber wheel. The vibration is making his hand tingle so he tries to vary the speed of the cart to make the thump less noticeable. Slower gives a harder *thunk*….*thunk*….*thunk* and faster makes the cart feel like it is rolling over a continuous washboard pattern, *thunk*thunk*thunk*thunk*. He considers if the wheel could be fixed by jamming some chewing gum onto the flat spot of the wheel.

The situation makes him think of the Buddhist concept of duhka (doo-kah) which is represented as a wheel out of round and a life out of balance. He continues through the aisles trying to be at peace with the noisy wheel and happy for the reminder that life needs balance. He doesn’t want to end up like a lumpy wheel. He picks out some energy efficient lights that are most certainly the wrong size, brightness, or shape then continues to the pet food area, stopping only once to browse the bargain movie bin. He thinks to himself, “Why did they produce so many generic animated movies?” and “Why is half of this bin the exact same movie?” He decides that any place of business that allows lumpy carts probably isn’t very concerned with the contents of the discount movie bin.

After the fifty pound bag of dog food is in the cart, the thumping seems to grow louder. The additional weight should help keep the bounce of the wheel to a minimum but instead it just made the sound stronger. Lifting upward on the right corner of the basket while pushing seems to help but only momentarily. Holding a fifty pound cart on two wheels is energy intensive and by the start of the grocery section the hero has grown tired. He settles for a dull pounding sound as he enters the dairy section.

More groceries are added. More weight. Louder thumping. Banging in fact. Other shoppers watch from the corner of their eyes and Underdaddy can feel their glares. They are quietly wondering who would pick such an annoying cart and then walk around the store annoying others. The slamming wheel is threatening to chip the floor tile and the car is bouncing up and down like a hotrod with hydraulics. A couple of pin stripes down the side and some flames and who would know the difference?

The pounding is getting ridiculous. Underdaddy stops to examine the wheel. Did it lose more material on the trip through the store? Is the wheel made from a package of square wooden coasters? Is the cart slamming on the floor hard enough to crack the welded frame?

Everything appears normal so the brave hero presses forward. He can see the underutilized row of registers at the front of the store. Another hundred yards and he will be able to pay for the groceries and household products and return the God-awful, brick-wheeled piece-of-shit cart to the cart return. He tries to smile through the searing wrist pain and blurred vision that is growing worse with each body slam of the products. The leisurely stroll has become an attempt to walk a raging jack hammer. He no longer cares if the eggs remain unbroken or the bananas unbruised. The thumping of the cart stabs his brain with every smack of the wheel.

The seed of a thought planted by some asshole with a pregnancy test has grown into a thorny thicket of mental anguish. Underdaddy struggles to remain brave but all he can hear… or see… or feel… is the cart!


Time slows down and he can feel the wheel rotating in space. The next one is approaching.


Just like a Jack-In-The-Box or an unpopped can of biscuits, he knows the moment is coming but it still startles him.


No human should have to endure this pain, this lower middle-class water boarding torture. How much can one DAMN wheel cost? Surely not enough to affect the executive jet service of the stockholders of Walmart! Enough is enough. If it happens one…. More…. Time….


Underdaddy stops in the middle of the aisle a mere thirty feet from an empty check-out line. Rage bubbles out of his eyes in the form of a cold dead stare at the offending wheel. He snaps into action and flings the cart into the air with a guttural growl. Groceries scatter. Metal clangs. Children scream.

The thumping wheel has become a throbbing vein attached to the forehead of a screaming madman. He runs to the checkout line and grabs a package of grill lighters and dashes off into the clothing section setting fire to the socks and women’s underwear. He swats at the racks of oversized night shirts and shoulder tackles a display of discount canned chili (with beans). He doesn’t notice the crackle of the intercom.

Security (via Intercom): Walmart would like to remind our shoppers that involuntary fits of rage are prohibited for your safety and ours. As always, thank you for shopping at Walmart.

The rampage continues. After a near 100% loss of slicing tomatoes in the Produce Section, the fallen hero returns to the upturned cart to finish what he started. He jumps on the side of the cart and bounces repeated to crumple the basket. Red faced and with tattered clothes, he is still cursing a lumpy and misshapen hunk of metal when the police arrive and place him in custody. The officers of the law drag the wide eyed attacker out of the front door and past an illegally parked Escalade. The same Escalade from earlier. Underdaddy returns to reality momentarily when he recognizes the same woman who gave him the cursed cart. She has returned to the store for the same reason everyone does, she forgot something. She recognizes Underdaddy from earlier and has the gall to mention as he slides past, “Sorry about that cart…that wheel was just awful”

He flails wildly and screams into the now darkened skies, “You evil bitch! You knew about the cart this whole time!” The betrayal is more than the broken man can bear. His body goes limp as his mind is defeated. The police roll him into the back of a squad car and slam the door shut.

As he lays against the faux leather and smells what seems to be sadness and urine he realizes a small victory. At least he is away from that terrible cart and the constant *thump*. He smiles and closes his eyes as the car pulls away. The tires roll evenly on the asphalt and the car drives off into the distance.

Never question the power of the Tell Tale Cart.

If you have ever been driven to the edge of insanity by a shopping cart with a thumpy wheel, this post is for you. I have the urge to smash them beyond use to protect the next person who might use it. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.