Jul 17, 2014

A Big Fan of the Pigpen

If ever there were a picture that summed up my niece, this is it!

Apr 24, 2014

A Salty Salute

My days of caring for a pregnant woman are over, but the scars remain. Here's a throwback to when Julie was pregnant with baby number four.

Inherit the Breeze - originally posted February, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your time and attention today. Over the next few minutes we will be discussing a topic of grave importance, one that affects not just the parties involved in the incident I am about to describe, but all of mankind. What you are about to observe is not just the retelling of single garish episode of manipulation. Rather, it is but a window into the world of exploit that is the dark underbelly of married life. The mistreatment of married men by their wives, especially the pregnant variety, has gone on long enough.

My client, me, has risked everything to bring this case before you today. No government, no police force in the world can protect him from the blowback that will certainly arise from nothing more than his appearance before you today. My client's bravery, determination and outright selflessness are to be commended. No. Revered. Today my client risks everything for the mere chance at a better humanity.

What you are about to hear may be disturbing, but please listen closely.

The following diagram (Exhibit A) shows the general set up of the second floor of my client's home. Please note the location of the bed and TV in the bedroom, the desk in the office and the stairs that lead to the first floor.

On the night in question, my client's wife, "Hoolie," was in the bedroom watching TV shows about parents with way too many kids, people with mysterious, unsolved illnesses or some other reality rubbish about births, deaths or autopsies. Meanwhile my client was at the computer doing work of great importance to the family, like managing finances or something, not say, reading sports pages, updating his Facebook status, or browsing YouTube videos of people hurting themselves. This diagram (Exhibit B) shows the location of Hoolie in red and my client in green.

At approximately 9:35 PM, Hoolie left the bed and made her way to the office (Exhibit C). She proceeded to call to my client, "Hey. Come here."

Before my client could even respond, Hoolie returned to her original position in the bed (Exhibit D).

My client, being the devoted husband that he is, left his location in the office and proceeded to make his way to the bedroom (Exhibit E). He then climbed into the bed and snuggled up to Hoolie in an affectionate manner, fully expecting that she was in need of some alone time with her hubby (we can all agree that he is quite the specimen) or, at least, that there was something obscenely gross to be witnessed on TV. Surely there must have been some reason to drag my client from his work in the office to join Hoolie in the bed.

And there was a reason, my friends. There was.

For it was at this moment that Hoolie leaned in close to my client and whispered into his ear, "Go downstairs and get me a soft pretzel."

That's right folks. My client was called to bed to take a food order. Had my client's wife not just made the trip nearly halfway to the downstairs kitchen herself? Yes. And, if she didn't want to carry out the task herself, could she not have simply made her request while my client was sitting a few feet from the stairs rather than calling him back to bed (and further leading him on) to place her order? Yes.

And did my client refuse? No! My client, being the selfless marital supporter that he is, then fulfilled Hoolie's request by proceeding downstairs to carry out her order for one, mildly tasty, microwaveable soft pretzel (Exhibit F).

But it doesn't end here, ladies and gentlemen. Upon return with the requested soft pretzel, the following conversation took place:

"Here's your pretzel."
"You're welcome."
"You didn't put any mustard on it."
"You didn't ask for mustard on it."
"But you know I like mustard on my soft pretzels."
"But you didn't ask for mustard on it."
"But you KNOW I like mustard on my soft pretzels."
"I'm sorry."
"It's fine. I guess I'll just eat it like this."

There you have it. Undeniable proof that women are crazy and men are their unwitting pawns stuck in a game of psychological mistreatment and manipulation in which they have no real chance of satisfying the whims of their oppressors.

And for these reasons, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I ask that you award my client damages in the form of the March Madness package on DIRECTV and one PlayStation 3 game or Blu-ray Disc movie of his choosing.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Apr 16, 2014

The Finest Joke is Upon Us

Pssst. Hey you... prospective parents. Yeah, YOU. Guess what... everyone is lying to you...

Parenthood is, in fact, one lie after another perpetuated by those "in the club" to those considering membership. When it comes to honest conversations, you're likely to find more straight talk in a timeshare sales pitch.

"You'll fart, pee, puke and poop in front of ten complete
strangers who'll be staring intently at your vagina."

From the act of birthing a child on through college and beyond, it's one fabrication after another. OK, I don't know about college and beyond since I'm not there yet, but given the track record of parenting reality vs. parenting marketing, I'm going to assume it's a continued pack of lies.

The first rule of Parent Club is never talk about Parent Club. Ha! Just kidding. Everyone knows that 75% of what we do in Parent Club is talk about our kids, our way of parenting, other people's kids, other people's ways of parenting and our kids. I've never actually seen the rules, but I'm guessing the real first rule of Parent Club is never tell the whole truth about Parent Club.

Here's a perfect example. The grossest part of parenting is usually advertised as changing dirty diapers. FALSE. I'm not even sure if changing a poopy diaper cracks the top ten list of nastiness in the parenting world. Why don't we find out? Here is my honest take on the top ten grossest experiences in parenthood.

10. Cleaning boogers off of walls - Old, hard, crusty boogers. Smeared on the wall next to the bed. These things are nasal concrete.

  9. Cleaning carseatsReally cleaning the carseats. Covers off. I can't tell you the kind of amazingly disgusting things I've found in the crevices of carseats. No, really, I mean I literally cannot tell you what those things were. They were unrecognizable by the time I got to them. All I know is they were sticky, stinky and utterly nasty.

  8. Picking another person's nose for them - Sometimes baby needs you to go for the gold on her behalf. It's a revolting feeling. Makes the hair on my neck stand up just thinking about it. 

  7. Someone sneezing in your open mouth - Kids have a fascination with the insides of mouths. And they have the uncanny ability to sneeze directly in one when they have it open for inspection. You would think the odds of these events converging would be astronomically low, but somehow it happens. All. The. Time.

  6. Wiping a runny nose on the inside hem of your shirt - Sometimes there just isn't anything else handy. Nothing. Sure, as a parent you should have tissues stuffed into every pocket on your person at all times -- even that useless little coin pocket in your jeans. But one day you won't be prepared. And on that day your child will be a fire hydrant of long, stringy, chunked out snot.

  5. Changing a dirty diaper during/after an illness - This is not the same as changing an everyday poopy diaper. Not even close. The stench and consistency is both unpredictable and unbearable. You'll know it when you change your first one. You'll probably briefly lose consciousness.

  4. Cleaning the bathroom after potty training is over - How do I know that changing dirty diapers isn't the grossest part of parenthood? Because if you have boys, eventually you'll actually long for the days when they were in diapers. How can such little things create so much filth in so little time?

  3. Recovering an old sippy cup that six months ago contained milk - Oh, you finally moved the couch to clean under it? Surprise, there's that missing Mickey Mouse sippy cup out of which she loves to drink her afternoon milk! Spoiler (heh) alert: It's now cheese. The stankiest cheese you've ever encountered. Might as well throw that nastiness directly in the garbage can. The outside garbage can. 

  2. Cleaning up after a toddler that learned how to remove his own diaper - I know he's up from his nap, but I can hear him on the monitor and he sounds like he's entertaining himself in his crib. What a cutie pie. I'll just finish loading the dishwasher before I go get him... Rookie mistake. If you think cleaning shit off of a diapered butt is grand, you'll just love cleaning it out of fingernails, hair, pajamas, pillows, curtains, stuffed animals, walls, crib rungs, belly buttons, ears, blankets...

  1. Catching vomit in your bare hands - Kids don't vomit like adults. There's no moaning. There's no dry heaving. It's all smiles one minute, projectile vomit the next. Strangely, though, there is some parenting instinct that gives you a 1/10th of a second warning. I don't know what it is. Maybe you see their eyes suddenly dilate or the hue of their cheeks alters ever so slightly. Maybe their lips twitch.  Whatever it is, you'll know it. And, reacting faster than you ever have in your entire life, like lightening bolts from Zeus himself, your hands will shoot under your child's chin to form a receptacle for the oncoming deluge. After all, cleaning vomit off your hands is far better than cleaning it out of the shag carpeting. Just kidding! It's not like you actually catch more than half of what exits your retching offspring. Congratulations, you got barfed on AND you have to clean the carpet.

Well, there you have it. Run of the mill changing of dirty diapers doesn't make my top ten list of the grossest realities of parenthood. Truth. I'm sure any parents that are reading this are thinking of several disgusting experiences that I left off the list, too. It's a dirty job for sure. 

Remember this, though, prospective parents: Once your kids are out of diapers, parenting only gets easier. And being a parent is the greatest joy in life. There's some truth in there somewhere. I swear. You can trust me... I'm a parent.