First there was a Man. Then a Woman. Then in quick succession, two cats, a confused dog beast, and two kids. I stay at home with them. I'm the Man

Friday, April 30, 2010

Bucket Head

Bucket head is a game.  A great game.  One of our favorites.  It involves me putting a yellow plastic bucket down over one of my kids’ heads until their face is completely covered and then using it for a drum.  All the while loudly chanting, “Buuuucket HEAAAD! BucketHeadBucketHead!”  I drum fairly lightly, and they laugh and laugh and then it’s my turn to wear the bucket.  It is elegant in its simplicity. 

The game has evolved.  Now the Peanut plays it with her little brother.  In her version, she runs at him and slams the bucket down over his wispy, blond-haired, unsuspecting head and then wails on it with everything she’s got.  Just pounds the shit out of him.  While screeching “Bucket Head!” like an insane bird of prey.  The Pumpkin Man usually vacillates between laughing and crying until I can rescue him.  He’s so happy she’s playing with him, but man, love hurts.  She smiles and screams his name and tells me “He likes it daddy, he likes it!” It’s a little frightening for everyone.  In a good way. 

At our twice weekly, YMCA playgroup, not everyone talks to me.  It’s mostly moms.  Some of them are nice, many are standoffish.  Some of the standoffish ones even go to the trouble of carrying extra, suspicious, mistrustful stares in their diaper bags that they drag out just for me. 

There are times when I’m self-pitying about it and I wonder what I did wrong.  Of course, when I’m honest with myself, I know what I did.

It started innocently enough.  I was over to the side, playing a game of Bucket Head with my kids.  Some of the other kids noticed.  They were intrigued.  Who wouldn’t be?  Being naturally friendly, I shared our family game with them. At first it was just a couple of the bolder 3 year olds.  They in turn, passed it on.  Paid it Forward.  In a flash, there were toddlers everywhere playing Bucket Head.  Playing it hard.  Like a campfire in a meth lab, it quickly got out of control.  Toddlers, dozens of them (hundreds?) eyes wild, unseen mouths flecked with foam, running blindly, screaming,  “Bucket Head! (some of them had placed the bucket on their own heads and were stumbling around the gym, the call of Bucket head echoing out from under their plastic headwear.  That is not how the game is played.  I mean, c’mon guys.  Pay attention.  Which is something I probably shouldn’t have been saying at that moment.).” 

We ran out of buckets early on.  They used plastic bins, bags, toy strollers, big wheels, Playskool garages; whatever plastic toy they could cram onto each other’s heads and then thump.  Tiny warrior-savages careening around, smiting the shit out of each other, crashing into each other.  Screaming and eventually, swearing.   “Bucket Head!  Fucking Buuucket Heaaad!  GAAAHH!” Civilizations collapsed and playgroup was plunged into chaos.  Darkness.  Not unlike the darkness you might experience if you were to have a bucket suddenly descend, unbidden, over your eyes. 

It took us a long time to recover.  Not everyone has forgiven me. 

I wonder if they would like Cymbal Feet any better? 

This post brought to you by Fatherhood Fridays at


  1. That was hilarious! I don't know if they will ever forgive you for that one! lol

  2. I love when I start reading a post and actually start laughing out loud. The image of your daughter running over and slamming the bucket on his head before wailing on it with a big grin on her face.

    But then it just got better. Seriously. You taught bucket head to a group of 3 year olds? You are my hero. I bet those moms love you now. :)

  3. My children would *love* a game that gave them an excuse to beat the shit out of each other. Especially my 21 month old and her older brother, actually, at present she doesn't need an excuse, if she can reach him, he is fair game. That child seems to think that she has 21 months worth of reasons stored up, and actually, she probably does.

  4. I can just hear them now : "That's him, yeah, right over there. You know, the guy with the BUCKET!"

  5. Linda's comment made me laugh almost as much as the post.
    And for heavens sake, please start filming this stuff!

  6. Brilliant! Tell me, where can I lay my hands (poor choice of words...) on some kids?

  7. Campfires in meth labs and smiting warrior savages. Hilarious stuff.

  8. where were you when my kid was younger? she would have loved that. I won't teach her now b/c then she'll try it on the dog and I would never do that to him

  9. Seriously... how have I not found you before this. You are hee-lair-ious! I'm dying laughing over here! OH MY GOSH the scene I imagined in my mind with the kids running around like they were in a mental institution! bwahahahahaha!

  10. Christopher: Thanks very much. I usually do much better with little kids than with adults anyway,

    SL-But then I would compromise my anonymity.

    Linda- Yup. If they could, I'd be one dead Bucket Head.

  11. Too funny! I'm sure you'll be tops on the invite list for the new playgroup then... the one they'll conveniently forget to tell you about!

  12. hahaha... I think I'm going to go teach this to my kids right now... let's not mention that they're 6-15 years old, they can't go another day without being pommelled in a bucket.


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