Monday, September 26, 2011

Like Dad

Today I did something, now that I reflect on it, that of all the people on earth, only my Dad would have done. Thus, I have completed the cycle and become my Dad.

Not completely, of course, just in spirit.

As many of you know I have chosen to become a SAHD (Stay At Home Dad) and home school my two girls. Today was our park day. One that both have been looking forward to for two weeks. Our park is awesome. It has three playgrounds with all kinds of awesome stuff to climb. It has a pretty big interactive water feature that Zoey and Sara could not get enough of.

I even remembered to put them in swimming suits this time. And brought lunch, snacks and towels. Look at me thinking ahead.

Then the call came. It’s Stephanie.

“I’m stuck at CVS. The car won’t start.” That’s the abridged version. You really don’t need to know what she actually said. Most of you probably already do.

Stephanie: “Should I get someone to try and jumpstart it?”

Me: “Yes. It would take me half an hour to get there. Try that and if it still doesn’t start, call me.”

She texted me instead.

Stephanie: “Only other worker is on break so only manager running store.”

Stephanie: “Do u want me to call for a tow, this is sucky I hate this shit and life right now.”

Lemme explain. We’ve called our insurance company's road side assistance like 5 times in the past 12 months. I think Stephanie was worried they’d take it away. Especially since last time I called all I needed was a jump.

Full disclosure in order to maintain marital happiness: She was right. I was wrong.

Me: “I can be there in 30 minutes.”

So I gathered up all our stuff and two disappointed little girls. They were good about it though. They treated it like a little adventure.

On the way I’m thinking it’s got to be the starter. Had the same problem about three years ago and I needed to replace the starter. Sometimes, if you got yourself a wrench, if you smack the starter it’ll wake up and work for a while.  Of course I thought about this after it was way too late to turn around and go back to the house for my tools. I figured that either I’d figure it out when I got there, or I wouldn’t.

We got there. Popped the hood. Something clinked and rattled to the ground.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this look like a dental tool?

I’m guessing it was left in there by the repair shop the last time we needed it repaired. I’m also guessing it was intended as a reason for bringing it back.

“Gee, Mr. Mechanic. Now it makes a rattling sound!”

Except you probably wouldn’t notice such a tiny rattle over all the other noises this car makes.

I had her try to start it.


Yup. Classic “starter won’t start” sound. We tried to jump it, just to see if a little extra oomph would do it. No go.

So now here I am. No tools (except that weird dental tool), two wet kids, and pissed off wife and a CVS where the only tools to be bought are for diabetics and performing enemas.

And I needed to smack a starter.

It's the silver cylinder with a wire running across it.
As there are no hard and fast rules for what to smack parts of your car with, I used the only thing I could find that was reasonably long enough to reach the damn starter.

Stephanie’s umbrella. I’ve actually had this umbrella for about 18 years. May have used it once in the past 18 months. But it rained last week. I figure, why not?

So, I’m sure the other people buying their insulin and enemas got a kick outta this, there I am in the 96° sun, my head under the hood jabbing an umbrella into the guts of my car like a maniacal plumber with a plunger and a man eating toilet.

And that bitch started.

And I owe it to my Dad. Of his many lessons about life, this has got to be at the top of the list: If you don’t got what you need. Use what you got.

Thanks Dad.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Don't Wanna Get Old

Today we went to our home school group park day and had a great time. There’s this park not five minutes from my house that I didn’t even know existed. Awesome playground! It has an interactive water feature. It has trails, cool playground equipment, and a pavilion with a kitchen.

Yes. It has a kitchen.

The girls had such a good time. I didn’t even think to check it out in advance to know there was a water feature, so my kids got wet in their clothes. Fine by me. Zoey met a few kids her age and they hung out together the entire time.

And then we came home.

Lunch time!

Both girls made their own peanut butter and honey sandwich! Sara is becoming quite the independent one.

So, sandwiches were made. Fruit was chosen and served. Sara opted to include a handful of Cheetos just to balance the meal.

And then it happened. Sara experienced a revelation. I don’t know what was going on in her five year old mind, but here’s the ensuing conversation.

Sara: “I don’t wanna get old.”

Me: “Me neither, but I only know one way to avoid that and I have to admit, I’m not too excited about exercising that option.” My kids are smart. They know to ignore me when I talk like that.

Sara: “No. I want to grow up, but I don’t want to get old.”

Me: “Why?”

Sara: “When you get old…” I could see the concern on her face. She put a Cheeto down. Leap of logic… and… “I don’t want to die!”

Me: *choke* “What?” I so was not ready for this.

Sara: “I’m gonna be all alone!” The tears started coming.

She then went into a hysteric gasping list of every family member she knows and how they were going to get old and die. And it wasn’t just that we were all going to die that concerned her, but that she was going to be lonely.

Me: “Sweety. That’s going to be a long time from now. You’ll be all grown up and have lots of friends. You’ll have kids too! And grandkids. You’ll be a gramma! How cool is that? You’ll never be alone!”

Sara: “I don’t wanna die!”

She was inconsolable. The tears. The sobbing. My heart was breaking.

Zoey: “This is making me sad.”

Sara: “Maybe somebody can take me to the doctor when I die…”

Ah. Now she’s looking for the cure. I’d continue with quoting her, but she was sobbing and crying and hic-coughing so much I’m not entirely sure exactly what she said. Needless to say, she drew the conclusion that by the time she got old and died, everyone she knew would already be dead and there won’t be anybody to take her to the doctor. So, now she’s going to die alone. I tried to assure her that when people get hurt or sick, there are always emergency workers and ambulances to take us to the doctor when needed. I also reminded her that she’ll never be alone!

Sara: “I wish everybody could be a ambulance.”

Let me explain this one. She took the word 'ambulance' to mean they were people that don’t die and take sick people to the doctor. I explained to her exactly what and ambulance was and did my best to reassure her that she’ll never be alone, and getting old really isn’t such a bad thing.

She wasn’t having any of that.

Sara: “I don’t want to eat any more of my sandwich.”

Me: “That’s fine, honey. You don’t have to eat it.”

Sara: “I don’t want to eat any more of my Cheetos either.”

Now it’s serious.

I assured her that I’d never let her be alone and would love her forever. The poor girl felt a little better. We canceled lessons for the day and watched cartoons while folding laundry. Sara snuggled up on me pretty much until Mom got home. 

Yeah, we didn’t do much, but I’m exhausted.

Friday, September 9, 2011

What Is Wrong With You People?


I just checked my stats and the worst post I've ever written is like 30 page views from being my most viewed post.


Zombies. And Facebook. Seriously.

Zombie + Facebook = being #4 in a google search for "Zombie apocalypse team".


From around the world. Japan. Scotland. Finland. The U.K., Australia, Belize, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Somewhere in Georgia (US), Wisconsin, and Bangkok. That's in the last 48 hours.

I swear, if you don't knock it off my next post is going to be about zombie turduckens and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it.

Wrap it in bacon and I will follow you through the gates of hell. Period.

Today In Homeschool

And just where the hell have I been?


Doing what you ask? You know, it’s been weeks and I haven’t a clue.

Zoey has been studying Asia. I have discovered that geography at a second grade level is pretty loose. To finish the week we made Chicken Fried Rice. Because it’s not at all racist and let’s face it, fried rice is AWESOME.

She mixed. She stirred. She fried. She stir fried. She set the table and served us! She was totally into it.

Serving for four!

I couldn’t have been more proud!

Her sister… well… she didn’t get into it. Not only was she pissed she couldn’t “help” with the cooking, but didn’t like: rice, chicken, broccoli, peas, carrots or corn. Actually, she likes them all, just not “together”.

Sara: “I can’t eat this!”

Me: “This is what’s for dinner. You don’t have to eat if you are not hungry, but if you say you are hungry later, then this is what you will have.”

Notice the distance between dinner and girl.

Sara: “But I want desert! I’ll eat one bite.”

Me: “You will eat what is in your bowl if you want desert.”

Sara: “I’ll eat one bite of chicken, one bite of rice, and one piece of broccoli.”

Me: “That’s good for one bite of Tootsie roll.”

Sara: “Then I’m not gonna eat ANYTHING!”

Me: “OK.”

Sara: *weeping* “Now I’m going to DIE!”

It really was good!

Me: “Yup.”

Seriously, how do you respond to that?

*sigh* I’m gonna have another beer.

Barely able to choke it down.
Just desserts.