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, September 30, 2011

The Elusive Beach Jew

We finished celebrating Rosh Hashanah today. We're a little slow. We went to the beach.  Big part of celebrating Jewish Holidays, the beach. Jews have always been big surfers.

As part of the RH tradition, you're supposed to cast bread upon flowing waters, symbolizing the casting away of your sins for the year. I brought a lot of bread. And we cast that shit. And lo, 30 seagulls did swoop in aggressively and they did eat each one of our sins.  Yeah, dirty birds. Eat those sins.  It was weird; to watch a seagull gluttonously eat the sin of gluttony.

Then we played in the sand and the rocks and tide pools. It was perfect beyond reason. There was literally a lone bagpiper standing on a tall rock near the surf, the mournful tones of the bagpipes carrying over the entire beach and out into the sea. I think he was playing Single Ladies (all the Single Ladies).

It was a good way to close the Rosh Hashanah ceremonies.

I write this again after coming home from a run. friday night running is fun. The sights and sounds included a man and a woman holding hands and crossing the street against the light. I believe the woman was worried about it because I heard the man, who had a blond sort of Hulk Hogan style haircut stuffed partially under his cap say, "I'm in the crosswalk, so if they hit me I have a fahckin' law suit, numbah one."

I didn't get to hear number 2, but I'm assuming it was something like, "And numbah two, my internal organs have been completely useless for the last eleven years." Or maybe, " And numbah two, I'll fahckin blast a car right in the face." Probably it was simply, "And . . . what comes after numbah one?"

There were also two more drunk fans cheering me on at the park, "How many times around is a mile? Is that dog a pitbull? You have feet!"

Then there were kids smoking clove cigarettes, I swear. More kids rapping badly into an eyefone, ("I'm spittin' mad rhymes, I like limes, they used swords in olden times, muthafuckas drop dimes, etc."), one paunchy middle aged dude running around with his big ass dog. Definitely Motley.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

100% fool-proof potty training techniques

The Pumpkin man is Potty trained. Completely and reliably using the potty every (97% of the) time. As long as he is naked. I'll revise that. As long as he is naked from the waist down. Which is a charming look, the tshirt with wangle/testicle accessories.  The dad of a childhood friend used to rock that look late at night or very early in the morning and let me tell you, the Pman pulls it off better.  Slightly.

He loves being naked. Who doesn't? And his lack of self-consciousness is wonderful until I'm on my hands and knees on the floor cleaning up a mess and I feel his toddler bulk slam into my back. Then he gets good handfuls of my shirt, digs in his heels, and climbs right up to my head. Hello, my son's junk. How are you? Have you ever heard of a little thing called personal space? No? Well, this isn't it.

On the bright side. that view is at least equaled by the sight of my naked boy joining in with his mother and sister as they go through their yoga routine. Wow, that's an eye full. I feel like we should be putting quarters or flowers in or something in there. Maybe some spackle. Or a sparkler.

We do encourage nakedness around here to a degree. We read somewhere that it's good for little ones, so we try not to stifle their natural inclinations. We have a dance where whoever is naked--or almost naked except for their underwear--rubs their own belly and does a little hula swivel and chants "naaaked Baaybeh, naaked baaybeh." But they're definitely getting a little old for that. Or I am.

He's having trouble with telling us when he needs to go while he's wearing a diaper. But obviously I can't take him out naked. Our climate is too cold. Discomfort and shrinkage.

We're training him through a reward system similar to what we used on the Peanut. He gets candy every time he goes. 2 M&Ms for urination, 4 for defecation, 6 for both, 11 if we see him reading a newspaper while he does it.

This works, but it also leads him to stretching one piss into three or four different potty sessions. The devious bastard.

I can't wait for him to be done, but at the same time, it'll signify that we have no more babies. Just little kids.

Which is ok, really. I'm ready for them to be little kids. One more year and they'll be able to fend for themselves. Unlike their father.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Bits and pieces

And chunks and slime strings. The Pumpkin man was at it again today. We were in the car. On our way home this time. He told us his belly hurt.  We made it home with no incident. I dragged him out of the car and carried him into the yard.. I asked him if he needed to throw up. He shook his head no.  Then puked. A little at first. A splash on my shoulder, a spritz on my neck. "That wasn't so bad." I thought before he let loose like a broken sewage line at a fashion show.

He got us both real good. In a way, it was nice. He hasn't puked on me like that since he was a baby. Awww. At the same time, you could see how big he's getting because of all the colorful, little, singular bits. Yellows and reds and greens. Like stinky confetti. Surprise!

We had just come home from dinner out. A rarity for us but we were kind of forced to. We were stuck in the city due to an impromptu doctor's visit for the Peanut.

Both kids have colds. Slight fevers and snot rockets. The Peanut began complaining of some slight burning and irritation in her tiny nether regions ("My vagina hurts." She said this flatly. Matter of factly. Which is kind of when you know there's trouble. Isn't this a lovely post?) The Peanut's nether regions are of some concern to us.

Last night, on the advice of our on-call ped, we went to our local er to get a urine sample. The doctors and nurses at our local hospital--which for the purposes of this post we'll call Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett Ma--have been hand-picked from the finest online universities and mail order degree mills. Long story short, we went in to find out about a u.t.i., and came out with a diagnosis of a yeast infection based solely on a visual inspection that uncovered some residual Desitin we had applied early in the day. That shit stayed on through a bath, by the way. Stuff is amazing. Little known fact, Desitin is what the Eskimos use to waterproof their sea kayaks.

When I told a nurse of my reservations about the diagnosis and resulting prescription, I was told " don't worry about it. It won't hurt her. Go ahead and use it." Which was always my mother's philosophy when it comes to medications, so you know, no judgements.

We went to our regular pediatrician today, and everything is fine and good. So that's good.

I'm typing this after getting back from my run. I'm not exactly sure how far I ran, as the drunk lying on the grass near where I run was taking care of counting the laps for me. It was great on one hand because he was really enthusiastic. "Yaaah! SEVEN!" he bellowed as he held up four fingers. Still, I trusted him until we got near the end and instead of yelling out nine or ten he just sobbed out the lyrics to King of The Road.

Finally (thank god for fucks sake), I have a new post up over at Insert Eyeroll. Please check it out if you have a moment. I 100% promise it has nothing to do with vaginas.

P.S. One more thing. The Peanut started yelling gibberish in this loud, raspy, angry kind of starting out low and ending high voice. She told me that's what I sound like when I yell. Which explains a lot. I should probably try some real words. even better though I asked her what mommy sounds like when she yells. The peanut peanut pitched her voice higher and yelled, "BLAHGERRAHHLWORLGARGLFUCKINGYAARGLE!"
I said, smiling, "How does mommy yell again?" And she replied, "BLERRRGLEGROWLRAAHHERGLEFUCKINGRAWWWR!

I enjoyed telling my wife that this evening.

Alright. Thats it now.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Running is stupid

I've been running. Not fast. And not too far. And not well. Often by the end there is drool and always by the end there are gross torrents of sweat and legs filled with wet sand and owies, and a breathing sound like an asthmatic pig. But I'm doing it. About half an hour 5 times a week. I'm up to approximately 3 and 1/3 miles. 

I should preface this by saying that I hate running.  Really, it sucks and it's stupid and hurts my muscles and sometimes I get unpleasant chafing and I rarely did it before now, and also douche bags often do it. But now I do it.

I started out doing it because I had lost some weight, I was feeling good, and I had to get the goddamn dog some exercise. The goddamn dog needs a lot of exercise. The goddamn dog is athletic like Jim Thorpe or Bruce Jenner or Serena Williams or Wolverine.

The best part about running with the goddamn dog is that when I'm running my hardest, when I'm in that last lap and I'm pushing myself near to the point of puking, I can look down at that goddamn dog and see that she's laughing at me. Laughing her dumb ass off. Gallivanting along, panting just to be charitable, big moron doggy smile on her big moron doggy face.

And the more we exercise, the more stamina she gets. The more exercise she needs. I should probably just tie her to the back of the car and go.

But still, I'm proud of myself. For a 38 year old paunchy dude with bad achilles tendons who hates running, 3 1/3 miles (and counting) ain't half bad.

Of course, my eating habits have suffered somewhat. After you've run a few miles, it becomes mighty easy to rationalize that snack of chocolate covered butter pats washed down with a cold cheese smoothie. Mmmm mmm!

Other things . . .
The peanut has started ballet, the next session of swimming lessons (she's an eel now. I think the next level is level The Incredible Mr. Limpet.) and school.  We're hoping to over schedule her young so that she can get her nervous breakdown out of the way before middle school.


P.S. Troy Davis's execution is on my brain. Just needed to mention it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Can you see this?

Post a first trip to the eye doctor. The whole family is together, having a picnic at the arboretum.

Her: "Daddy. I'm the eye doctor. Look in here and let me check your eyes.

Me: "ok"
 I look in to an imaginary eye machine.

Her: "Daddy. Look into the machine."

Me: "I am."

Her: "Ok. You're all set."

Me: "Ok. I like the eye machine. I'm a machine. I---am--a--robot." I press my forehead into hers, peer into her eyes and say in perfect robot monotone," I am a robot eye doctor. You have a slight astigmatism. My calculations are always correct."

Her: She wanders away, comes back, presses her forehead to mine, peers into my eyes and says in perfect robot monotone," I am a robot. Your eyeballs are nipples."

That can not be a good diagnosis. Unfortunately, she's a robot. Her calculations are always correct. Her ppor mommy received the same diagnosis. Must be contagious. Ol' Nipple eyes.

It turns out she does have a slight astigmatism. Glasses not (yet) necessary. An affliction from her mother's side of the family. Apparently, there is a price that comes with being beautiful, and it's mediocre eyesight.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Enter The Dragons

I'm teaching my kids mixed martial arts. I don't like to talk about it much, but I am proficient in Kung Fu, Karate, Capoeira, and I am a master of the world MMA champion spawning Gracie family method of Jujitsu. She was always able to get George's goat (Old Guy Alert*).

I want the children to become deadly killing machines. Tiny harbingers of doom. Renders of flesh and tendon. Bone splintering, blood splattering, human threshers. Dark ninjas with eyes like black granite and souls like murky ponds. Beings capable of ending lives. Murdering mutha fuckas by the dozens.

Life long denizens of the Octagon. Knowing mercy as a disease and victories as common as breaths. Fists like steel pistons, kicks like sonic booms, fast and strong and smart like angry movie apes.

They will be Destroyers, Eaters of The Earth, The last thing scores of men will ever see.

They will free many souls from the bonds of the flesh.

They will learn how to be all these things. Then, when they're ready, I will lock them out in the backyard and finally let them work out their own bullshit. Kill or be killed, the winner gets the top bunk. Loser gets oblivion. Just stop screeching already.

I'm taking bets. Peanut's favored, but only 3:2. I think the Pman has a good chance of coming out on top. He' s younger and less coordinated, but he's not much smaller and he bites.

Really, they're pretty good kids, and they don't fight that much, but when they do, I just feel like wandering out into traffic. They're like two unreasonable, Machiavellian*, Howler monkeys.

If I had a fire hose at those moments, I'd stick it in my ear.

But those are the breaks I guess. Like I said, mostly, they're pretty good. And very loving. If only they could fight by telepathy. Or in someone else's house.

And, when I said I was proficient in martial arts, by proficient I meant "not proficient."

And it would be cool if the Peanut had crazy ninja skills, if only to see a 3 ft tall, 28.5 lb 4 year old girl with the ability to take out a grown man. If I saw that actually happen, I'd laugh about it the whole time I was in the hospital.

Also, I'd turn them into a deadly assassination team called "Strike Force Fuzzy Bunny."


*Machiavellian refers to this: We'll be in the car and they'll both be yelling for something completely unreasonable at that time. Like, "Daddy, we want to be be home right now!"  Or "Daddy! We want ice cream topped with gold leaf ans served in the Ark of the Covenant!" 

And I'll say something to the effect of, "That enough! We are done talking about this. The next time someone mentions wanting ice cream with gold leaf served in the Ark of the Covenant, I am pulling over and giving that person a timeout right on the sidewalk!"

Then there will be a beat. Then after that beat you will hear the Pnut whisper, "Pumpkin man, ask daddy for the ice cream with gold leaf served in the ark of the covenant again." And if I don't catch it right away, the poor sucker'll do it. It's a goddamn shame, really.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Labors of Hercules

Today we celebrated Labor Day not with a respire but with it's name sake. Labor. Not having more babies. The other kind of labor.

We drove treacherous highways. Rented unwieldy aluminum canoes and paddled strenuously for miles against a fast moving current before dragging said canoe up a steep river bank where we partook of a repast we ourselves had made only hours before. Then we plunged our fragile bodies into the powerful current, swimming against being swept downstream, only to emerge, dry ourselves, have another light gnosh, dip our tootsies in again and then make our way upstream even further before turning and making the long trek back to the rental place.

You must say to yourselves "Oh, now here is when they rested. Surely they could suffer to go no farther. Further? Further . . . farther?

But NO! We made once again for those treacherous roads, traveling them until we came to a crowd of people 100 strong. There we waded into the milling throng, pushed against them as we had pushed against the current that had moments before threatened to sweep us away, and arrived finally at the window. A window where we ordered ice creams so large it took the strength of 10 laborers to lift them to our waiting mouths.

Then we made our way back onto the road of death only to find ourselves--funneled there by forces beyond our control--at the beach. The windswept sand and stark, ocean scrubbed rocks were not enough to turn us from the task at hand. We plunged into water as cold as the Arctic seas, as the sun sank below the horizon. We built sandy monuments to Gods and princesses that will stand forever against waves both tidal and not so tidal.

And that's how we squeezed the last few drops of summer from the bottom of the tube. My wife goes back to work tomorrow and she goes back happy.

Also, I wrote a little humor piece for  Insert Eyeroll, that they were kind enough to publish. Please, check it out if you have the time.  Happy Labor Day


Friday, September 2, 2011

Keeping Busy

My wife dropped a 3 foot cement bird bath on her foot yesterday. I don't know why. Maybe she thought her foot was a thirsty bird. Maybe she was going for a gardening disability pension. Either way, it was ineffective and for me, painful. The Pnut came to the kitchen door to tell me "mommy hurt herself," and I think I strained a muscle sprinting out to where she was sitting.  Then, after she spit on it, rubbed some dirt on it, shook it off, walked it off, dug deep, employed mind over matter, gritted it out, and put some frozen peas on it, we had to get ready to go out. We had a lunch of tuna--on pita chips for the kids, like little trashy hor d'oeuvres--and then we all piled in to the car to take the Pnut to an eye doctor appointment.

We had to drive into Boston to get there. All the way to the other side of the city. We know a lot of shortcuts through the city. Most of them go through the lousy parts. We took one such short cut. The Pumpkin man started complaining that his "stomache hurt. Can you rub it?" We told him to hold on and we'd rub it when we got to the Doctor's office. He replied by vomiting all over himself, his shoes, his car seat, the car, a passing bicyclist, and four unsuspecting pigeons.

We pulled over to clean him up.  On a busy city street. We had no choice. The car was filled with puke. Tuna puke. I offered to do the cleaning, but my wife has such a strong phobia of telephonic bureaucracy that she let me call the doctor's office while she took a screaming, vomit coated Pman on to the sidewalk. So score there.

As she undressed and cleaned him on a busy urban sidewalk, she kept telling him. "It's ok buddy, it's no big deal, it's alright," while people passed by giving them a wide berth and holding their hands palms out and close to their bodies as if to say, "Ah no lady, that smells like a pretty big fucking deal."

We ended up rescheduling the appointment and coming home. With a mostly naked boy in the backseat. Like we took a pukey little joy ride.  Like we planned it that way.

"What'd you do today? Oh, yeah, that's nice. Us? We just dropped a 3 foot cement birdbath on my wife's foot and then drove into Boston so our kid could puk all over the place, You know, that's just what we do."

Or it was like   . . . the rough parts of Boston are predominantly black. They know how to segregate in Boston. So because of that, it was kind of like we were some kind of weird sect of crazy, passive aggressive racists who decided, "Hey, I know. Let's drive our white baby into the ghetto, have it puke all over the place, then get the fuck back in the car and go! Real white people puke too, like tuna and mayo."

All in all, we laughed about it on the way home.  When we got there, the Pman was starving. We gave him toast. Lots of toast.

We still don't know what caused the throwing up. Toddler throw-up is like that sometimes. Mysterious like the outer reachings of the Universe or the appeal of Ke$ha.


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